Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Last Halloween was no treat for a favorite Baltimore landmark. That’s the night the Mt. Washington Tavern burned down.
Alex DeMetrick reports work underway right now could see it reopen by next Halloween.
The fire burned more than just wood at the Mt. Washington Tavern. It consumed a couple of generations worth of fond memories.
The front door survived in one piece. Other than that:
“The only thing that was really left standing are these three stone and brick walls of the first floor main bar, so we’re going to incorporate them into the design,” Rob Frisch, owner of the tavern, said.
It’s a design that is taking shape on the tavern’s original footprint. The goal is a business that’s still old but improved.
“That’s the hard part. It’s still the Mt. Washington Tavern. I think you’ll still feel the tavern’s ambiance, particularly in this part of the building,” architect Walter Schamu said.
But level floors, an elevator and a modernized kitchen will enhance old features like the sky bar and shuffleboard. It will also mean the dozens of employees who had to find work elsewhere, will have jobs waiting for them here.
“And they expressed to their managers, their bosses, that as soon as the tavern reopens that they were coming back, and their managers all understood,” Dave Lichty, owner of the tavern, said.
Fans of the tavern can also pitch in. Seventy-five dollars will buy a commemorative brick for the tavern’s entrance, and the money will all be donated.
“All of the proceeds going to the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital,” Frisch said.
And once work is done next fall, the old door will swing open in welcome.
Before the tavern reopens to the general public, owners plan to host a party for the firefighters who fought last year’s blaze.