Flooding ruins the party at Bluebird’s new Hampden pub on opening weekend

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The Pub Hampden
The Bluebird Pub’s discreet sign. Photo by Ethan McLeod.

Maintenance issues have promptly put a damper on the party at Hampden’s newest bar, The Bluebird Pub, which opened just this past Friday on the basement level of the building housing Bluebird Cocktail Room and Belgian beer hall De Kleine Duivel.

Just three days in, a spokesperson for the bar says the new spot is now “closed for an indefinite, but hopefully short, period of time.”

In a statement posted to social media Sunday, owners Caroline and Paul Benkert disclosed that their bar “experienced flooding issues last night that caused significant damage.” Asked if it was related to heavy rains from the weekend, a spokeswoman for the bar attributed it to “a combination of factors.”

“While it is heartbreaking to have to take these steps backwards, we were thrilled with the amazing response we had this week,” the operators wrote.

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We are very sad to say that the Bluebird Pub will be closed for an indefinite, but hopefully short, period of time. We experienced flooding issues last night that caused significant damage to the Pub. While it is heartbreaking to have to take these steps backwards, we were thrilled with the amazing response we had this week. Thank you to all those who came out to experience the Pub and we hope to open again very soon for a grand grand re-opening! In the meantime, we hope to see you upstairs at the Cocktail Room.

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The Bluebird Pub is the Benkerts’ replacement for Little Bird, a coffee bar the Benkerts operated from August 2018 through this past February.

Little Bird was open for breakfast and brunch daily, serving light fare and sandwiches, espresso drinks and some beer, wine and spritzes. The Bluebird Pub, by contrast, was to be open until 10 p.m. most nights—midnight on weekends. The menu features “elevated” pub offerings (burgers, a corned beef sandwich, short ribs, etc.), plus a selection of whiskey drinks and Guinness on draft.

One goal in opening The Bluebird Pub was to address long lines that regularly form on weekends at the dressed-up, literary-minded upstairs bar specializing in fine cocktails and specially carved ice.

The Benkerts said they’re still welcoming patrons upstairs. Of the pub, they said, “we hope to open again very soon for a grand grand reopening!”

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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in CityLab, Slate, Baltimore City Paper, DCist and elsewhere.
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