This used to be the Bentz Street Raw Bar, which featured Maryland crabs and live jazz and blues music, but when new owners took over in 2004, they dumped the "raw" for "sports" and turned the converted garage into a hard-partying nightspot.
Most of the space is given over to a dining room with huge booths and walls lined with flat-screen TVs. On Fridays, modern rock and cover bands take over the stage that fills one corner, while DJ Savure gets hands in the air and bodies grinding to hip-hop, R&B and techno on Saturdays, when a diverse post-college crowd shows up to dance or just hang out at the bar. On Mondays and Wednesdays, a few dozen people show up for Texas Hold 'Em tournaments (starting at 7 and 10 p.m.) and half-price burgers or wings.
Pool tables fill a narrow room in the rear, but it's better to push past to the wooden back deck, which overlooks the canal-like Carroll Creek and the historic downtown. On Thursday night, DJ Savure spins on the patio and bartenders serve drinks from the outdoor bar.
Sports becomes a more important part of the programming in the fall, when college alumni groups gather to watch football games. (Penn State and West Virginia are the biggest draws.) Weekend NASCAR viewing parties merit exclusive drink specials, including $2 domestic drafts.
Two things to watch out for: Parking can be a bit of a pain, since the bar is a couple of blocks west of downtown. And special mention must be given to the cramped bathrooms, which are some of the worst I've seen in a while. They're going to be renovated soon, according to taped-up signs. It can't come soon enough.
--Fritz Hahn (August 3, 2007)