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The City Paper Drinky-Camt

Fish Head Cantina

Phone:(410) 247-2474
Address:4802 Benson Ave.
Arbutus, MD 21227

More on Fish Head Cantina.

By Erin Sullivan | Posted 3/26/2008

If you've ever wondered where young people in the greater Halethorpe/Arbutus area go to drink, this is probably it. Located up on a hill on Benson Avenue, commanding a view of a sprawling industrial park, Fish Head Cantina's patrons are unobtrusively rocking, beer ponging, and bikini contesting the nights away. But you'd never really know it, because the place is so far removed from the main road and its only immediate neighbors appear to be businesses that are done for the day by 5. We'd driven past the joint hundreds of times without even giving it a second look, until a friend's band was playing there one night and we stopped in to watch. We were startled, first off, by the fact that it was only midweek and the place was hopping--serious pool players (the kind that bring their own cues) packed one side of the bar, and a crew of drinkers, old and young, kept the bartenders busy on the other. The place has sort of a Key West/Margaritaville meets NASCAR on the Eastern Shore décor: Think bamboo/grass hut accents and plastic green iguanas on the wall, sharing space with posters of Budweiser chicks in bikinis, touchscreen video games, and big-screen TVs. But that's not all there is to the Fish Head. Follow the bright-yellow signs directing you to the Paradise Pavilion tiki bar and beer garden, turn left through a brightly painted room dwarfed by a humongous flat-screen TV, and exit through the door. You'll find yourself on a wooden walkway that leads to an enormous outdoor pavilion space with a stage, sound system, tiki bar, and enough seating for a small army. The pavilion is apparently open-air in warm weather, but when it's cold outside, plastic tent walls keep the breeze out and the heat from portable patio heaters in. It's genius--Bohager's for county kids. And we'll certainly be visiting on Easter Sunday, when Fish Head Cantina is serving up Easter Bunny Shooters. You know, for the big kids.

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