McGarvey's Saloon in Annapolis: A welcoming stop for 40 years

Article Index

McGarveys Saloon and Oyster BarBy Joe Duley

Long before everyone knew the names at Cheers, there was McGarvey's Saloon & Oyster Bar in Annapolis.

The green and white hue of McGarvey's Saloon has been a warm, welcoming beacon to locals and tourists alike for the past 40 years.

Whether seeking camaraderie, conversation, crab cakes or cold "locals" (McGarvey's verbal shorthand for beer), McGarvey's Saloon is the place to find it – all while enjoying lively conversation about anything from politics to propellers to thrust versus drag.

What else would one expect from a saloon and oyster bar nestled in the shadow of the U.S. Naval Academy at 8 Market Space and helmed by a maritime-loving pilot in the nation's "Sailing Capital"?

McGarvey's subtly displays decidedly aeronautical and maritime themes — flyboy gear and charts of The Seven Seas (or at least a couple of them) adorn the walls — while filling tables with its famous black bean soup, crab balls and Aviator beer.

Celebrities, sailors and worker bees rub elbows and raise a wrist here, celebrating whatever the hell there is to celebrate on any given day or night. As different as St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve may be, both are celebrated with equal fervor. People from all walks of life, all socioeconomic backgrounds, and both sides of the Eastport bridge know this saloon and oyster bar!

Throughout the seasons, McGarvey's has weathered every storm, hurricane and flood that swept into or out of Maryland's capital city. It has rolled with ebbs and flows of an ever-changing Annapolis, yet has miraculously maintained its McGarvey's-ness decade after decade.

However, in the not too distant past, Annapolis's City Dock, Market Space and a few of the "downtown public houses" were considered by some to be, let's say, less than reputable and a little rough around the edges.

© 2018 Chesapeake Family Life. All Rights Reserved.