Rocky Run RIP (aka Bert’s)

My first post on a family and / or kid friendly restaurant is in fact one that does not exist in Baltimore anymore.   I will not do this again, at least not intentionally.  In this economy, restaurants close quickly.

On one hand, this might be a bad way to start, but Rocky Run (aka Bert’s) on the 3100 block of St Paul was one of the first places my wife (Melissa) and I took our newborn son.  And Bert’s was in Charles Village, where we live.   Over the years I ate there many times.  It just went out of business early this month, so I felt like an obituary was due.  And by starting out with a closed restaurant, I feel this blog has a sense of appreciation for the past.

Rocky Run was a fun place.  It was a sports bar that went by the name Bert’s and had many flat-screen TVs.  It was also a college / neighborhood bar.  Charles Village is by the undergrad Hopkins campus, so it tried to get college kids.  And it tried to get local drunks and sports fans and families.  Those different markets don’t always mix well.

I refer to this place as Rocky Run, but it officially ended it’s run incorporated under the name Bert’s.  I assume creditors contacted Rocky Run which resulted in a name-change.

Bert’s had been Rocky Run, which was a more family-friendly restaurant than Bert’s.  Rocky Run even had a kids club named the “Rocky Runts,” and Rocky Run tried to get families.  They had a large menu with a lot of healthy options, and Rocky Run had free peanuts.  They offered discounts on Wednesday’s to people who worked in the 21218 zip code, as a way to entice local employees.  Eventually they stopped the Wednesday discounts.  This limited local employee good-will.  Then they stopped the free peanuts.  This hurt relations with local residents.  Then one of the Rocky Run dishwashers murdered a Hopkins female college student.  And that hurt the goodwill with students.

So Rocky Run folded and became Bert’s, which had much of the same menu as Rocky Run just none of the healthy options.  And they put up a lot of flat-screen televisions as well as team logos for every team imaginable, in an apparent attempt to appeal to people who loved sports but hated sports loyalities.

I always liked Rocky Run, even when it was officially Bert’s.  They offered Rasta Pasta, which I have since found is better at Rainforest Cafe ( a future blog post), but Rocky Run/Bert’s was my local neighborhood restaurant.  So it tasted better there.

The last time Melissa and I had food from Rocky Run, we ordered takeout.  She got a chicken cheeseburger sandwich and I got buffalo wings and fries.  It was very disappointing.  I watch my chlorestoral (spelling?), so I can only have wings once in a blue cheese moon, and I can’t have the blue cheese.  And my wings were weak, so, in addition to having a bad meal, I wasted my unhealthy wing splurge.  The fries were also greesy and oily.  Melissa’s cheeseburger was a mess.  And these three items came to almost $30, which is a crazy price in this economy for cr-p.

The place was in fact on its last leg, because now Bert’s is dead and gone.  Rest in Peace, Rocky Run (aka Bert’s).  A lot of kids in Baltimore will miss you.


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