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NEWS
By Edward Gunts and Edward Gunts,Staff Writer | July 15, 1993
It outlasted Prohibition, the Great Depression and disco. But it couldn't quite survive the competition from Bohager's, Donna's and the Vanguard Cafe.So earlier this week, owners held last call for the Owl Bar, the venerable midtown watering hole that drew generations of Baltimoreans to the former Belvedere hotel.On Monday, they reopened it as Taos Cafe, a restaurant featuring tortillas, quesadillas, fajitas and other "New American Southwest" fare.As part of the transformation, the owners draped handwoven Southwestern rugs above the handsome wooden bar, where leaded-glass owls have long ruled the roost.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | March 27, 2013
In mid-January, Jim Burger took a routine stroll around his neighborhood, Remington. The freelance photographer walked along the same streets and passed the same buildings he normally does. Then, out of the corner of his eye, Burger watched someone walk into a building he had long considered vacant. He knew of the corner rowhouse for its previous failures as bars: Joe's Tavern, Molly's Public House and, most recently, the Kitty Kat Bar. Curious, he followed. Without a sign outside, Burger had no idea he had entered WC Harlan, a wonderfully quaint, dimly lit bar that seemed plucked from the Prohibition era. From the black-and-white photos on the wall to the crank-to-open cash register, every well-placed detail helped transport him to a forgotten time.
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NEWS
By Jay Apperson and Jay Apperson,Staff Writer | November 29, 1993
The owls are returning to rule the roost at the midtown Baltimore watering hole named for them.Restaurateur Dion Dorizas is admitting he made a big mistake when he snatched these wisest of birds from their perch at the Owl Bar and replaced them with coyotes last summer as part of his attempt to increase business by changing to trendy "New American Southwest" fare and renaming the place the Taos Cafe.On Friday, the Owl Bar will re-open in its spot off the lobby of the former Belvedere Hotel, a Baltimore landmark dating back to 1903.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Evan Siple | January 29, 2013
Old is new, new was old two weeks ago. For what it's worth, this is nothing ... new. Whether it be the churning tides of fashion, music - or in our case, alcohol - the contributions of shows (well, really just one show) like "Mad Men" have renewed an interest in the classics. Without exception, especially classic cocktails. The Harvey Wallbanger, the Old Fashioned, Box Car, Rob Roy and the granddaddy of them all: The Manhattan. The Manhattan is the very definition of "classic cocktail.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Kathryn Higham and Kathryn Higham,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | July 31, 1997
If you haven't been to the Owl Bar recently, you may be surprised by the changes. Italian is out, American regional is in -- from Maryland to the Southwest.The menu at the popular pub was revamped when Morou Ouattara took over as executive chef last May. Though Ouattara is from Africa's Ivory Coast, his cooking style owes more to the five years he spent at Red Sage, Mark Miller's noted Southwestern restaurant in Washington.We enjoyed Ouattara's Southwestern dishes at the Owl Bar. One reason was the absence of cumin, which overwhelms much of Tex-Mex and Southwestern cuisine these days.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Elizabeth Large and Elizabeth Large,Sun Restaurant Critic | December 30, 1994
For a while the new owners were calling it simply the Bar. But they came to their senses, and the Owl Bar in the Belvedere -- which has so much history for so many people -- is once again the Owl Bar.Pauli Santi, Thomas Stuehler and Aristotle Stroumbis also have made sure the bar-restaurant looks much the same as it did in its heyday: the leaded stained glass panels with the owl motif, the brick walls and handsome oak bar, high ceilings and carved wood....
ENTERTAINMENT
By Elizabeth Large and Elizabeth Large,Restaurant Critic | August 13, 1993
Taos Southwest CafeWhere: The Belvedere, 1 E. Chase St.Hours: 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.Credit cards accepted: Major credit cardsFeatures: Southwest cuisineNon-smoking section? yesCall: (410) 539-1355Prices: Appetizers, $2.95-$6.95; entrees, $6.95-$14.95**What's odd about the new Taos Southwest Cafe is that it's still the old Owl Bar. The stained glass owls, the magnificent room-length bar, the paneled walls and exposed brick, the wooden booths -- it's all still there. The place still carries the weigh of its history as one of the city's great nightspots.
NEWS
By Norris P. West and Norris P. West,Staff Writer | January 7, 1994
A Baltimore Circuit Court judge rejected yesterday an effort to reopen the famed Owl Bar and the adjacent Renaissance Cafe & Club, which were shut last week by the city Board of LiquorLicense Commissioners.Judge Ellen M. Heller denied a request to stay the liquor board's order suspending the license while an appeal is pending in Circuit Court. She said an investigator's report on noise, dancing and disc jockeys at the Renaissance raised concerns about the owner's failure to follow restrictions on his liquor license.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | July 27, 2007
The set of the latest play staged at the Chesapeake Arts Center might look vaguely familiar to regulars of the elegant restaurant and bar in Baltimore's historic Belvedere Hotel. Playwright Mark Scharf set his 15th play produced by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, Last Night at the Owl Bar, a haunt he's long admired. Of the Owl Bar location, Scharf quoted his central character Jonathan Caldwell: "I like it here because it's nicer than most places. I love the exposed brick and the polished wood.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | August 17, 2007
Playwright Mark Scharf has created a work as classic as its setting in his 26th annual Baltimore Playwrights Festival offering, Last Night at the Owl Bar, which continues through Sunday at the Chesapeake Arts Center Studio Theatre. Scharf, who has 40 plays under his belt, again shows his gift for creating a uniquely appropriate and welcoming environment, natural and clever dialogue and contemporary characters with familiar human frailties - companions worth spending two hours with. Anyone with a fondness for the Owl Bar in downtown Baltimore's Belvedere Hotel will feel at home in the Brooklyn Park theater.
ENTERTAINMENT
Wesley Case | November 7, 2012
Sitting atop the Belvedere like a brilliant Christmas ornament, the recently renovated 13th Floor will likely impress first-timers the moment its elevator doors open to the intimate space. First, they'll wonder: Is this view really of Baltimore? Then: Is this bar really in Baltimore? Aesthetically, the 13th Floor is that beautiful. The low-lit room feels illuminated - just enough - by the countless number of lights dotting downtown outside. But its lighting and dark decor keep the mood romantic, in a non-showy way. On a recent Friday night, a crowd of 25 quietly conversed and sipped expensive cocktails as a piano player provided a smooth, barely-there jazz soundtrack.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Wesley Case, The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2012
After closing in April for renovations, the 13th Floor in Mount Vernon's the Belvedere will reopen at 4 p.m. on Thursday, according to a press release. Unhappy with its inconsistent "experience," the Belvedere Restaurant Group (BRG, which also operates the Owl Bar) used the renovation period as a time to refocus the 13th Floor, on top of giving it a new look. For example: The weekend's live music (one of the bar's former issues, as it often varied in style and genre from night-to-night)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Emily Testerman and Emily Testerman,Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 26, 2009
Avoid the stress, the mess, the "I don't know what happened, I followed the recipe!" dilemma and the cleanup, but still get your turkey fix at these Baltimore restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Alizee We're curious to find out what the chefs have in store for their buffet, served 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Usual fare is a mix of contemporary Asian and French cuisine, so the possibilities have our heads spinning. If you go: : Alizee is at 4 W. University Parkway. Call 410-235-8200.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Emily Testerman and Special to The Baltimore Sun | November 26, 2009
Avoid the stress, the mess, the "I don't know what happened, I followed the recipe!" dilemma and the cleanup, but still get your turkey fix at these Baltimore restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day. Alizee We're curious to find out what the chefs have in store for their buffet, served 3 p.m.-7 p.m. Usual fare is a mix of contemporary Asian and French cuisine, so the possibilities have our heads spinning. If you go: Alizee is at 4 W. University Parkway. Call 410-235-8200.
NEWS
By Brent Jones and Brent Jones,brent.jones@baltsun.com | November 14, 2008
The city liquor board revoked the bottle club license last night of the Suite Ultralounge nightclub in the basement of the Belvedere Hotel, one month after police say two people were shot and another stabbed during an altercation that started at the club. Ultralounge, however, was granted a stay and will be allowed to remain open, pending an appeal to Baltimore Circuit Court. About 25 Mount Vernon residents and business owners attended the four-hour hearing, with several condominium owners at the Belvedere testifying that patrons of Ultralounge are unruly, frequently fight and cause other commotions that can last until 3 a.m. Liquor board commissioners said residents' testimony had the greatest influence on their decision, saying Ultralounge has not operated to protect the safety and welfare of the community.
NEWS
By ELIZABETH LARGE | March 19, 2008
When I asked Tony Guarino, general manager of Saute (2844 Hudson St., 410-327-2883) in Canton about the new restaurant's name, he said, "Most of our dishes hit the pan." This self-described American brasserie is located where the Duck Inn was. The owners bought the house next door to create a dining room and bar that's two houses wide. Guarino said the renovated space has a "nouveau '70s feel to it," with dark woods and mosaic tile in colors of green, copper and purple. Guarino promises an upscale atmosphere and mid-priced food, with entrees running from $15 to $25. Some of the best-sellers in the first weeks of Saute's opening are duck nachos (the restaurant makes its own chips)
NEWS
By Elizabeth Large and Elizabeth Large,Sun Restaurant Critic | August 4, 2002
The Owl Bar in the Belvedere, over the years one of Baltimore's favorite drinking spots, has had more than its share of menu changes. But after stints as a casual Italian restaurant and a Southwestern restaurant -- the last two -- the Owl Bar has gone back to its roots, which happen to be bar food. This, it seems to me, had the potential for disaster. More fried calamari, Buffalo wings and Maryland crab dip? Oh, please. But while bar food, brick-oven pizzas and sandwiches are the backbone of the Owl Bar's current menu, there's also a small section of entrees that are as good as you'll find at any traditional American restaurant.
NEWS
By Tom Keyser and Tom Keyser,Staff Writer | April 16, 1992
The two lawyers in their 60s turned about 40 when they walked into the Owl Bar. They stepped back into the warmth and comfort of an earlier time.Claude L. Callegary and Morris Lasover, Baltimore natives, joined several hundred people yesterday in celebrating the reopening of the Owl Bar in the old Belvedere Hotel. The bar had been closed about two years.The stately old hotel, fraught with financial troubles much of its 89 years, had been sold and turned into condominiums."All the great social events of the city were held here," said Mr. Callegary, who drank his first beer at the Owl Bar in 1950 when he was a law student at the University of Maryland.
NEWS
By MARY JOHNSON and MARY JOHNSON,Special to The Sun | August 17, 2007
Playwright Mark Scharf has created a work as classic as its setting in his 26th annual Baltimore Playwrights Festival offering, Last Night at the Owl Bar, which continues through Sunday at the Chesapeake Arts Center Studio Theatre. Scharf, who has 40 plays under his belt, again shows his gift for creating a uniquely appropriate and welcoming environment, natural and clever dialogue and contemporary characters with familiar human frailties - companions worth spending two hours with. Anyone with a fondness for the Owl Bar in downtown Baltimore's Belvedere Hotel will feel at home in the Brooklyn Park theater.
NEWS
By Mary Johnson and Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun | July 27, 2007
The set of the latest play staged at the Chesapeake Arts Center might look vaguely familiar to regulars of the elegant restaurant and bar in Baltimore's historic Belvedere Hotel. Playwright Mark Scharf set his 15th play produced by the Baltimore Playwrights Festival, Last Night at the Owl Bar, a haunt he's long admired. Of the Owl Bar location, Scharf quoted his central character Jonathan Caldwell: "I like it here because it's nicer than most places. I love the exposed brick and the polished wood.
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