Cat's Eye Pub

1730 Thames St., (410) 276-9866,

When Cat's Eye Pub's founder, Tony Cushing Sr., passed away in 2008 and his son, Tony Cushing Jr., took over, we worried the place would morph into yet another Fells Point get-drunk, get-laid bar. But the son's respect for the father's traditions has kept it the same as it always was: few cover charges (only on weekend nights after 9 p.m.) to enjoy the roots bands that've always played there; a wide range of beers; dusty old decor; and a core set of regulars and longtime staffers who warmly welcome newcomers and tourists alike. The patio out back, where the marriage of smoking and drinking continues to consummate, is a bonus. About the only thing changing-as it always has-is the bathroom graffiti. That this institution survived its passage to a new generation unscathed is a testament to Tony Jr.'s youthful wisdom, and to Baltimore's drinking culture, which makes the place an ongoing success.

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