Baltimost: The Ottobar

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Credit: Shane Gardner.

The Ottobar

In the same year it was named one of the nation's best rock clubs by Rolling Stone magazine, The Ottobar's future looked uncertain. The beloved bar and venue, founded on Davis Street downtown in 1997 before moving to its current N. Howard Street location, was put up for sale in November, and then things went quiet.

People speculated on the buyer, fearing some developer would come in and either suck the soul out of the space or knock it down altogether for a fancier building. Then, in May, one of the best possible outcomes happened: The Ottobar announced head bartender Tecla Tesnau would be buying the club.

With the very real possibility that The Ottobar would close, Tesnau had to step in.
"I decided I couldn't let that happen if it was at all possible for me to make the Ottobar continue as it has," she told Baltimore Fishbowl earlier this year.

By hosting happy hours, trivia nights and theme parties, and music that spans indie rock, punk, metal and hip-hop, The Ottobar means a lot of things to a lot of different people. For me, it's both my spot for watching the Ravens on Sundays and the place I chipped my tooth while in the middle of a po-going crowd at local post-hardcore band Double Dagger's final show.

Tesnau said she's looking to collaborate with more artists and bookers to make the venue an even more inclusive space.

"I'm interested in continuing to make this a spot for the Baltimore creative community to hang out and showcase how awesome they are. Because we are awesome."

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Brandon Weigel

Brandon Weigel is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. A graduate of the University of Maryland, he has been published in The Washington Post, The Sun, Baltimore Magazine, Urbanite, The Baltimore Business Journal, b and others. Prior to joining Baltimore Fishbowl, he was an editor at City Paper from 2012 to 2017. He can be reached at [email protected]
Brandon Weigel


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