I can't recount how many years it's been since I was last on the 13th floor of the Belvedere (1 East Chase at Charles). At least five years for sure.
That streak ended recently when I went up there to check out what has been done to the fabulous room, with one of the best views of the city, both north and south.
Thanks to Sondra Goad and Bob Persaud, who oversaw the design and concept, the 13th floor has been restored to its latter-day glory, even better by many accounts. Opening day was October 3.
The first thing you'll notice when you enter off the elevator, the only way up, is that view. On a clear day or night you can see for many miles, even the highrises of Towson come into view.
You'll find yourself gazing out the windows, no matter how long you've lived in or near the city. I enjoyed pointing out to no one in particular all the sites I knew.
Some of you might remember when the 13th floor was a niteclub. That, my friends, is no longer the case. I would describe it now as a supper club.
You can enjoy small plates of American fusion food along with full entree specials offered nightly. The small plates range from $10-$16. The food is excellent and it should be since Sondra and Bob conducted a nationwide search for a chef. You can also enjoy cocktails from the beautifully appointed full service bar.
One of my favorite things about the renovated room is the music. From about 6 to 9 you'll hear tunes (both song and piano) offered by long time local favorite Tommy Joy. He is strong into the Sinatra songbook or other songs of that musical genre. After 9 p.m. a live band entertains to closing, which is usually about 1 a.m.
The 13th floor is open Wednesday through Sunday. It opens at 5 p.m., just in time for happy hour which happens to be Wednesday through Friday from 5 to 7.
The dress is best described as business attire. You won't find many people under-dressed. It's not that kind of place. I don't mean to imply it's stuffy, not at all. You'll just feel better if dressed up just a bit (more casual attire permitted on Sunday).
The room seats 97, including some very comfortable sofa-like seats along the wall. If you have a group of 40 or more you can take over the entire room. There's plenty of parking on the street or in the adjacent lot. You can get discounted parking by purchasing $25 or more in the 13th floor or The Owl Bar.
Getting back to the view, did I mention it was fantastic? This room is an excellent viewing location for the lighting of the Washington Monument December 6 and an ideal place to view the distant fireworks in the harbor for New Year's Eve.
For more information call 410-347-0880 or go to 13floorbelvedere.com.