Ernest Hemingway, a man who certainly knew a good deal about drinking, once wrote, “Night life is when everybody says what the hell and you do not remember who paid the bill…Night life comes out of a bottle and goes into a jar. If you think how much are the drinks it is not night life.” Well, the guy would probably have taken a real shine to W.C. Harlan, the new, and super-hot Remington bar that’s turned the neighborhood into a destination for those looking for just such a nightlife. We’ve heard tell of this kind of place—a tiny, hole-in-the-wall spot that oozes atmosphere and well-considered furniture and décor. The drinks are interesting, seasonal, and mixed by an appropriately credentialed mixologist. Sure, we’ve heard of these places, but we never thought we’d have one right in our own backyard.
Now just because we’re talking about W.C. Harlan on a Friday does not mean we recommend stepping out there tonight. Because it’s so new, so hip, and oh-so-charming, we’d advise waiting until midweek to pay your first visit—and even then, aim for the earlier side of the evening. Reports from friends who’ve gone at various times say the place is almost always jumping, but if you stop in before nine, you’re more likely to get the full experience of the quiet, homey atmosphere that’s part of the draw. W.C. Harlan’s specialty is indeed the mixed drink. There’s always a cocktail du jour, as well as a menu of house specialties, and a couple of choice beers on tap. Just be warned: the place does have a secretiveness to it. There’s no website, and it can be hard to locate. But at least you don’t need a password to get in. Just head to the 400 block of W 23rd Street and look for all the other people out to enjoy Baltimore’s nightlife.