1542 Gastropub for Sale, Banditos Replacing Taco Spot

| June 6, 2012 | 8 Comments

It appears the carousel that is 1542 Light St. continues go round (even though the Inner Harbor Carousel is no longer in business!) Recently known as The Reserve, and very briefly 1542 Gastropub, the bar is now for sale.  Here is a brief history of the property from an earlier SouthBMore.com post:

The liquor license at 1542 Light St. has had more faces than a “Michael Jackson through the years” photo album.  Closing in 2002 was Copa 2000, which was something every neighborhood needs – a trashy swingers bar.  The bar was busted during an undercover sting. Rumor was “a monetary tip was given for great services, which was deemed prostitution.” I don’t have to explain, you get the point.  A few were devastated, most were relieved.

Then the live music spot, The Royale, took over. It lasted a few years and eventually joined Copa 2000 in extinction.  Then came in Charlotte’s which was somewhat of a martini bar without food.  The sign on the outside was made of tarp and as the type on the banner faded away, so did the bar.  In 2009 a major renovation was undertaken and The Reserve took over the rotating liquor license.

Add The Reserve and 1542 Gastropub to the list of now extinct bars at the property – let’s just hope the next owners open a bar that can take us at least through the ’10s.  It is a large space and the owners of the Reserve did a very nice renovation.  German Biergarten? Someone?  Anyone? Please! I know they have the live entertainment license to handle a polka band!

The Ownership of The Reserve will move into the space of their former, even shorter-lived, restaurant Taco Spot, as 1542 and its liquor license are up for sale.  They acquired two-thirds of the space formerly occupied by Movietime and the liquor license from Federal Hill Lounge has been purchased and assigned to the property which will now be called Banditos.  Chef Cyrus Keefer helped create the new menu for Banditos and will help with the transition before pursuing another chef position.  A preview of Banditos menu can be seen at City That Breeds and it features some very wild, chef-inspired tacos and appetizers.  Taco Spot’s menu had the look and customization of a Chipotle, but it appears Banditos will join the list of upscale Mexican restaurants, joining Blue Agave and Miguel’s.

Gastropub will remain open for the rest of this week and they will be previewing Banditos food at the soon-to-close location.  Banditos will officially open its doors on June 21st.  To those upset that the casual Mexican of Taco Spot will not return, I highly recommend trying Elvis, if you haven’t already, and Pop Taco in the Cross Street Market.

About the Author:

Creator of SouthBmore.com and resident of SoBo. Graduate of Towson University and owner of Incept Multimedia, a full service video production company. Diehard Ravens and O's fan, beach volleyball enthusiast, dog lover and "bar food" foodie. Email me at [email protected] and follow me on Twitter at @SoBoKevin.
  • Littlepiggy

    I heard that most people weren’t “relieved” when the Copa went out of business! I’ll be here all week;)

  • bmoreguy

    Elvis’ and Pop Taco are both winners but close early.  Although briefly, Taco Spot made for a great late night option.

    A German biergarten would be a great idea for 1542 Light St!  It would be nice to see something cool like that go in there.

  • Metal in the Microwave

    Elvis and Pop Taco are okay, but I preferred Taco Spot, actually (more so than Chipotle too).  And Elvis and Pop Taco aren’t open late, so this is a loss.  Basically I agree with bmoreguy.

  • The King in the North

    That stretch of light street between Fort and Wells is no man’s land, I’ve had female friends literally punched and mugged walking home at night.  Not to sound too yuppyish, but I’m hoping that the new stuff going up next to Wells helps things along.  We need more gentrification as far as I’m concerned.  I’ve lived in some bad neighborhoods with open drug dealing and shootings, but that whole area around Heath has something about it that makes it extra sleazy/disgusting that I can’t quite put my finger on.

    • It’s come a really long way, but still room for improvement.  People, leaders and cops can’t reiterate enough how important it is for the Victory House to be removed.  You can rehab every single other house, but as long as that place is there, Heath and Light will never look great.  There is another problem property on that block that is currently for sale… hopefully it sells.  

      There has been a lot of progress lately.  Two of the notorious junkies and car break-in suspects are currently in jail, many of the dealers have been heavily harassed lately, andy another problem person is about to get kicked out of their room share.  I think in another 2 years, Light Sreet will look like any other street on the peninsula.  Always frustrating, but I’m more confident than ever that the right things are being done based on the terrific police activity and the demand for shell properties again.  Hopefully news about the Victory House comes soon.  

      • The King in the North

        I agree with you, and I’m here for the long-haul.  My Fed Government job and family are all on this side of the city and there’s no reason for me to have to deal with that tunnel.  I grew up in the outlying counties and Baltimore has always been my home.  I just spent 4 years living in DC and that place lacks the civic pride and blue-collar neighborly attitude of Baltimore.  Currently renting in good spot near the market and hopefully in the next couple years I can become a first time home owner here in SoBo, property taxes and real estate market willing.

        Anyway, I check this site daily and regularly am sending out links to your business roundups to friends.  There are definitely some rough spots down here, but all in all, I think people care about our neighborhood.  It hurts when I see some of the small businesses (some owned by friends) not quite make it for various reasons.  Hopefully with a little more infrastructure we can support some more locally owned small business.

        Keep up the good work!

        • Thanks, welcome back!  There are so many new projects in the works for the back of SoBo that eventually it will be a really desirable place to own a business, though many already seem to do just fine.  I don’t think they’ll get the visitor $$’s that Cross Street, but it will be the highest concentration of residents in South Baltimore.  Sounds like another parking garage is coming, that is as important as anything.  Parking Garage+ No Victory House= South SoBo reaching full potential.  

  • SoBohemian

    Am I the only one who would love to see a NICE, CLEAN mini-mart this end of Federal Hill?