4421 Washington Blvd., Halethorpe, (410) 247-4977
The entrance to this old school Baltimore 'burbs hangout is a portal to another world, a closer-knit one, with less emphasis on frills and more on community and enjoyment. Most Coolahan's customers know each other and want to get to know you too, if you act right-it has a country club-sorta vibe, sans membership fees, a dress code, or a minimum. Here, someone can buy you a drink (cash only), and if you're not ready, you get a Coolahan's chip. Often, they have free mini-buffets, but don't sleep on the 35-cent coddies or the assorted low-price sammies. Bartenders rotate frequently, but when you catch them a second time, they're apt to remember you, and they might hook you up with a shot of homemade Vyritos on the house. Also: karaoke night.