Tucked behind the hulking remains of Hausner’s, Snake Hill is everything that the Baltimore icon was not. It’s small, informal and basically has just one thing on the menu: sausage. “We saw the concept in places across the country,” says owner Rich Pugh, the onetime skateboarder who owns Johnny Rad’s on the other side of Patterson Park. “Baltimore didn’t have a bar that’s a sausage restaurant.” Pugh and partner Randy Coffren, who also tends bar at Johnny Rad’s, opened the place late last year and named it after the neighborhood. The farmland north of the harbor was once known as Snake Hill—before it was annexed by the city and eventually morphed into Highlandtown.
A small butchery, Fat City Craft Meats, provides all manner of links—boar, rabbit, duck, venison and yes, rattlesnake—about 18 styles total. Sausages are served on brioche buns with such classic toppings as sauerkraut, onions and peppers, or offered in special concoctions like the Pho Real, a Vietnamese-style frank with jalapeño peppers, hoisin sauce and basil, and the Mighty Duck, a duck- and-bacon sausage with poached pears and caramelized onions. Rotating brews and cocktails are plunked down on a bar clad in 17,000 Scrabble tiles. 418 S. Clinton St., 410-469-9003, snakehillbaltimore.com