The Washington Post

Now closed: Annapolis’s Punk’s Backyard Grill and Sly Fox Tavern

Punk’s Backyard Grill, which tried to bring the outdoor barbecue experience indoors, closed on Sunday. (2009 photo by Susan Biddle for The Post)

Owner Dave McCabe said that while Punk’s sales were good, the restaurant spent much of last year trying to renegotiate its lease to lower the rent. Around Thanksgiving, McCabe said, the landlords at the mall “told us they were putting together a long-term affordable deal for us.”

In response, Punk’s spent money to build a new, larger bar with more seats and 20 taps, which opened in mid-December. Then, last Friday, McCabe said he received a letter from the landlord’s lawyers, saying that Punk’s lease was being terminated.

There are no immediate plans to move the Punk’s concept elsewhere, McCabe said, though he seems open to the idea of another restaurant combining picnic-style food and a good selection of craft beer. “It’s a little early for us to tell,” he said. “This one is closed. We’ll talk to customers and investors and see where it goes.”

No matter what happens with the restaurant, the Punk’s legacy will live on through Draft Punk, a beer brewed specially for Punk’s by Steve Jones of Oliver Ales in Baltimore. (It was such a hit that the hoppy IPA eventually showed up on draft at Meridian Pint, the Big Hunt and other D.C. beer bars, and Oliver will keep brewing it for the foreseeable future.)

This was the second bar closure in Annapolis in the space of a week. Sly Fox Tavern, the pub in the basement and courtyard of the historic Reynolds Tavern, closed its doors on New Year’s Eve. The owners plan to open a new beer-focused pub called the Fox’s Den a few blocks away, near the intersection of Main Street and Conduit Street, later this year.

Fritz Hahn has covered bars, drinks and nightlife for the Washington Post Weekend Section since 2003, but he also writes about everything from Civil War battlefields to sailing classes. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Play Videos
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
The rise and fall of baseball cards
How to keep your child safe in the water
Play Videos
'Did you fall from heaven?': D.C.'s pick-up lines
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
How to get organized for back to school
How to buy a car via e-mail
The signature drink of New Orleans