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Historic tavern in Funkstown expands

June 11, 2002|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN - An historic Funkstown watering hole has a new name and look.

The 10th Inning Funkstown Tavern and Restaurant at 23 W. Baltimore St., formerly the Funkstown Tavern, was recently expanded to include a full-service kitchen, dining room, handicapped-accessible rest rooms, outdoor patio area and parking lot.

The tavern's owners want to promote the establishment as a more family-friendly eatery while maintaining its reputation as a hometown bar, part-owner Nevin Spielman said.

David H. Phillips, who had owned the bar since 1986, dreamed of offering an outdoor eating area but didn't live to see its completion, said his widow, Mona Phillips. Her husband died in February.

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A group of David Phillips' friends - Spielman, Don Butts, Steve Youngblood and Dane Brewer -invested in the tavern and oversaw the completion of the renovations, Spielman said.

The owners hope to preserve the tavern's history while updating its offerings, he said.

"It was a tavern when the horse and buggies came through here," said Spielman, whose grandfather owned the bar decades ago. "It's got a lot of history."

Over the years, extra rooms were added to the old log home. It has served as a post office, barber shop and tavern in addition to housing apartments, Spielman said.

Original log beams from one of the 18th century building's exterior walls were uncovered during the renovation process and left exposed. An original doorway that had been plastered over was discovered and re-opened, leading from the dining area to the new rest rooms, Spielman said.

The building's plumbing and electricity were updated, said Butts, who commended Funkstown officials and local contractors for their support during the year-long renovation process.

A wall between the original bar and an adjacent apartment was removed and the apartment converted to a nonsmoking dining area with seating for 40. A smaller smoking section flanks the horseshoe-shaped bar, which was also expanded.

A kitchen filled with new appliances - including a blast oven - was added to the rear of the building.

The menu - now mainly homemade soups, sandwiches and the hand-patted burgers and hand-cut fries for which the tavern is locally known - eventually will grow to include hand-tossed pizza and such weekly specials as crab cakes, steamed shrimp, chicken pot pie and Mona Phillips' popular spaghetti and meatloaf, she said.

A hallway leads past the kitchen and rest rooms to the new patio area, which eventually will hold up to eight tables with umbrellas, Spielman said. Off-street parking is now available behind the patio in a gravel parking lot with room for 18 vehicles.

Spielman surrounded the property with a tall wooden fence.

Job opportunities are available at the tavern and restaurant. Anyone interested may call 301-733-6355.

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