Mick O'Shea's, a de factor happy hour spot for many… (Kenneth K. Lam, Baltimore…)
Mick O'Shea's already plays two roles in Baltimore: Traditional Irish pub — maybe the most traditional — and after-work watering hole.
For a lot of people who work in the downtown and Mt. Vernon area, it is the de facto happy hour spot, with live music, weekly specials and an unpretentious beer and wine menu.
Among Irish pubs, it may have the best spot on the St. Patrick's day parade route, and a rotating cast of Irish bands second only to J. Patrick's.
Like any Irish pub, Mick O'Shea's attracts a boisterous crowd, none more so than on Ravens game days. The bar caters to the Ravens fans with generous specials and plenty of flat screen TVs. On the day of the Browns game, most bars will be closed or working short hours. It's Christmas Eve, after all. But, at Mick's, they're playing it by ear.
"As long as we have a good crowd drinking and eating, we'll stay open," said co-owner Stephanie Webber.
Drinks: Mick's has about 10 beers on tap, including, predictably, Smithwick's and Guinness. But it also has a couple of craft options, like Brewer's Art Resurrection and Dogfish Head. There's also a rotating craft beer — this week it's Peak Organic Winter Ale, from the Maine brewer. By the bottle, there are about 20 brands, including Flying Dog and Fat Tire. Mick's also has a big selection of Irish whiskeys; it carries about five red wines and five whites. On Saturday, a bucket of five Natty Bohs will be $8.
Food: Mick's menu is simple and consists of traditional fare like bangers & mash ($12) and shepherd's pie ($11). But there are also burritos ($9), and won tons ($6). Mainly, there's a lot of solid bar grub, which is what makes it such a destination for nearby office dwellers. On game days, the bar offers a $20 combo special on any pitcher of draft beer and a pound of wings.
Décor: Recognizable by its bright blue sign, the décor at Mick's is upbeat — Kelly green tables, lots of posters that are not beer ads on the walls, and a broad view of Charles Street. On game days, the bar has Ravens fans covered with five flat screens.
Distance from stadium: The bar is less than 10 minutes away from M&T by car; a couple of buses also offer mostly direct trips to the stadium from Mt. Vernon.
Parking: Metered street parking is available along Charles Street.
If you go
Mick O'Shea's, at 328 North Charles St., is open 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Sundays. Call 410-539-7504 or go to mickosheas.com.