In the 1920’s on the corner of 4th and Chester Ave, George Washington Davis opened a confections and general store, which turned into Davis’ Lounge by the 1940s for the local watermen in the neighborhood. In 1986, the corner building became Davis’ Pub as we know it today. True to its founder, Davis’ Pub has stayed a local, neighborhood joint with good, affordable food.
Where there are no strangers, only friends you haven’t met.
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400 Chester Ave., Annapolis, MD 21403 | 410-268-7432
When visitors leave Davis' Pub, (a) it probably happens grudgingly and (b) if it's not already, they wish it was their neighborhood hangout. Whether it's your first visit or 50th, there's an easy rhythm to this no-frills one-level bar, built in the 1930s when Eastport was a working-class mix of black and white residents.
Settle in on a bar stool, chat with the gregarious bartenders and the regulars sitting next to you, grab a draft beer (Otter Creek, Flying Dog, Heavy Seas) or a can of Natty Boh or Bud, check out the TV schedule to see what's playing on the flat screens -- Orioles and Nationals games play in separate corners of the bar -- and order a basket of crab balls, delightful meatball-size crab cakes that arrive with saltines and creamy dipping sauce. Classic rock, country and '80s tunes play from the jukebox while you make fast friends talking about Maryland sports (note the Terrapins and Johns Hopkins lacrosse gloves hanging from the exposed rafters), your most recent date, current events, boats, whatever -- the bartenders have a gift for getting every person involved in a conversation.
Sure, there's a wharf right across the street, and Davis' helpfully provides sailors with its latitude and longitude on its Web site, but this isn't a stuffy boater's bar by any stretch.
Beyond the craic, the beer and the occasional whiskey shot, this is the best bar food in Annapolis, and that goes beyond the savory jumbo-lump crab cakes and the jumbo pretzel smothered in crab dip. It's typical to find fresh fish and locally grown grilled corn on the blackboard menu behind the bar. Even better, food is served until 1 a.m. And hey, even if you've eaten elsewhere, you'll still find plenty of reasons to stop by.