This is my personal tribute to a place that holds so many fun and great memories for me and my friends. – Kevin, creator of SouthBMore.com
“Happy trails to you, until we meet again!”
Theses are the famous last words sung by Nevin’s Cross Street Station owner Tom Nevin at the closing of each Friday and Saturday night at the Federal Hill bar. Unfortunately you’ll only get a few more chances to hear Nevin sing his great karaoke notes at Nevin’s and to put together a group of your best friends (of the night) for an epic performance of ‘Love Shack’ or ‘Living on a Prayer,’ or whatever song comes to you in the moment.
If you’ve spent any significant amount of time hanging out around Cross Street, you’ve probably been to Nevin’s or at least have friends who talk about how much they love going there. Being a fan of Nevin’s sort of gives you all the Federal Hill street cred you need.
A weekend night trip to Nevin’s starts with giving Mrs. Linda a big hug after she checks your ID (…if you’ve been there even just a few times, she’ll remember you.) As you walk in you’ll probably see several people you know as well as someone you haven’t seen for years – that just seems to be the way it goes there. Filled with a crowd both young and old, everyone always seems to have one thing in common: an ear-to-ear smile.
The bar is filled with conversation and song renditions from amateur karaoke performers. You’ll occasionally hear a performance that could be professional, but the stage is pretty much a no-judgement-zone, as any good karaoke bar should be. Behind the stage area is a giant mural of the Iron Man Cal Ripken at Camden Yards being looked down upon by an image of Lou Gherig, the original Iron Man from heaven (Best. Mural. Ever!)
As you make your way to the bar, you’ll see Tom Nevin chatting with patrons, as long as he isn’t giving a great Frank Sinatra performance on the stage. And behind bar there are usually two bartenders, including Deb, who has been serving delicious drinks there for as long as many can remember. If you’ve been there a few times, she’ll also remember you and what you typically order.
Drink-wise, in addition to your typical alcohols, Nevin’s offers viticus (I’m going to assume that’s how it is spelled), a potent pumpkin pie tasting liquor with quite the bite. I’ve been told it was made by an elderly Lithuanian lady in the Hollins Market area, before she recently passed away (her family has kept up the drink-making tradition). Nevin’s and Mums are the only places that I know of that carry it in the area.
I’ve spent countless hours in Nevin’s over the last 11 years and will always cherish the memories and good times. On a night out in Federal Hill, my friends and I knew that if we got split up, we would just see each other at Nevin’s towards the end of the night, along with many other friends from the area and friends we’ve met from going to Nevin’s before.
Memories include that friend who always nailed a performance of ‘Bed of Roses’ by Bon Jovi, people attempting to sing ‘End of the World’ by R.E.M, and entire performances by a group that never realize the mic isn’t on. I’m not much of a singer, but did join in on a couple performances of ‘Love Shack’ by the B-52’s.
My best friend Louie and I both have significant experience in the world of production and film, and always wanted to make our own movie one day. Our goal hasn’t gone very far, but we both agreed the film would start with a long shot of an entrance to Nevin’s while a male performer belted out Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’ at the karaoke area. The rest is a work in progress, but what a way to start!
The first time I hungout with my now fiancé, she told me to meet her at Nevin’s – talk about her getting off on the right foot! We’ve been there together many times since.
Nevin’s is set to become a NoCal food and craft cocktail-focused restaurant by the owners of restaurants such as Rye and Stuggy’s at the beginning of February, so make sure to get in one last trip… or three. SouthBMore.com wishes the new owners the very best of luck, but Nevin’s will certainly will never be forgotten.
Best of luck to Tom Nevin, Mrs. Linda, Deb, and the rest of the crew that made Nevin’s such a great place. And to all that loved Nevin’s, in the words of Tom Nevin, “Happy trails to you, until we meet again. Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then. Who cares about the clouds when we’re together? Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather. Happy trails to you, ’till we meet again.”
Do you also have some great memories of Nevin’s? Please share in the comments section!