'Upscale' Lighthouse Tavern to replace low-rent Sports Cafe in Canton

January 31, 2012|By Erik Maza | The Baltimore Sun

Canton is getting a new "upscale tavern" in about two weeks. Called Lighthouse Tavern, it replaces the old Sports Cafe, which closed earlier this month.

Co-owner Patrick McCarthy promises "an alternative to the Canton Square scene."

McCarthy knows that area. He worked as a bartender at Looney's for nearly 15 years and at Coburn's for about three before that bar closed in 2009. 

He and his business partner, Christopher Petrie, bought Sports Cafe nearly two weeks ago to re-open as "a place where you don't have to have someone screaming next to you," as is the norm at the Square, he says.

They're planning 10 draftlines to start — focusing on craft beer — with an eye towards 15. McCarthy says he anticipates an extensive list of craft beer by the bottle.

There will also be a dining menu specializing in "upscale bar food." For McCarthy, that means gourmet burgers and high-quality meats. He has not decided if they'll have kitchen managers or an executive chef, though he has met with candidates.

McCarthy and Petrie have a full renovation planned for Sports Cafe, located at 1226 S. Clinton. Before they bought it, the cafe was "a low-rent bar."

"It looked like a liquor store," McCarthy says.

Over the last 10 days, McCarthy says the bar has gotten a full face-lift — the Formica bar counter was replaced with a wooden bar top; the fluorescent lighting is also gone; and a wood floor was installed. The layout of the bar was also re-arranged. The bar's color scheme will be modeled after a pint of Guinness. The bar, which has a capacity of 85, will also have outdoor seating.

McCarthy says there's still a week and a half left of work. He anticipates an opening in two weeks, at the earliest.

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