Ropewalk To Close for Renovations in July, Will Return as a More “Family-Friendly” Restaurant with Duckpin Bowling

| June 18, 2019 | 0 Comments

Heading into its 25th year in Federal Hill, Ropewalk Tavern is looking to reinvent itself and “cater more to the locals and families in South Baltimore,” said owner Anne McFaul. She noted that less and less people from outside the city are coming downtown in recent years.

Ropewalk will close on July 1st to start a renovation project that will add mini duckpin bowling lanes and virtual reality, gaming, and arcade systems. It will also include a mostly cosmetic renovation of the existing spaces.

The duckpin lanes will be about 40 ft. long as opposed to the  standard 60 ft. The Ropewalk team is still in the planning and design stage, but there will likely be at least four duckpin lanes. They are looking into either placing the lanes on the second floor or potentially the back bar room on the first floor.

The Ropewalk team is building off the success of its beach bars in Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia that have different activities like playgrounds, corn hole, ring toss, and fire pits. The team is also opening a new restaurant in Ocean City called Alley Oops which will have a shark tank, mini duckpin bowling, and around 50 games. McFaul said they will see what’s popular at Alley Oops and look to bring those games to Federal Hill.

McFaul said games at Ropewalk could include virtual reality system Hologate, Mario Kart, and Connect Four Basketball. They will start installing games in late-August and early-September.

Ropewalk will also be updating its menu with “upscale pub food.” Ropewalk switched to an entree-focused seafood menu in recent years, but the demand wasn’t there, according to McFaul. They will bring some popular items from the beach like crabcake egg rolls and Bada Bing Shrimp to the updated menu, and will continue serving its selection of wings.

Many sections of Ropewalk will be renovated to “clean the place up and give it a shine.” This will include refinished floors, bars, and walls at the bar which dates back to prohibition. Some changes will likely be made to the exterior as well.

Ropewalk will continue to host dueling pianos and its late-night hours on weekends. The team hopes to create a more family-friendly and dynamic environment while keeping its existing clientele which brings in a lot of business on weekend nights. They are also hoping it’s a popular place for birthday parties and events.

Ropewalk will reopen in October and will host its Grand Re-Opening and 24th Anniversary Party on October 18th.

“We are looking to get more weekday business and get more families coming in here,” said McFaul. “A lot of the younger generation aren’t just looking to go out and have a beer, they are looking for entertainment too.”

McFaul noted that business has slowed in Federal Hill in recent years, but the team has a soft spot for the Federal Hill location because it’s the original. Employees in Federal Hill will be offered positions at the beach.

The Ropewalk team also has ownership in Stalking Horse, which is now only open Thursday to Sunday and no longer has a food menu. McFaul said the business is for sale and noted that there has been some strong interest, but nothing has happened yet.

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