The Best Places to Sit, Stay + Play with Your Pooch

Blue Pit BBQ

Whiskey and Wags: Baltimore’s Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar

Voted best BBQ in Baltimore, Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar offers a relaxed and welcoming (and dog friendly) environment in Hampden.


In the heart of Baltimore is a dog-friendly and dog-welcoming district lined with small businesses and unique boutiques. It is the small town in our big city that we call Hampden. Follow the smell of smoked meat and the sound of clinking glasses to Blue Pit BBQ and Whiskey Bar on Union Avenue.

For its two-legged customers, Blue Pit features mouth-watering meats, over 100 American made whiskeys, original and seasonal cocktails, and house-made sauces. But this establishment does more than just serve savory suppers.

Blue Pit is renowned for its involvement with many organizations that benefit furry faces. Just beyond the front door to the restaurant, owners Cara Bruce and David Newman have lined the walls with adoptable dogs from BARCS and the Maryland SPCA. Beside the wall of hounds looking for homes is framed with pictures of the pups that dined on the back patio of Blue Pit, and just below this celebrity wall is a gumball machine full of toys and trinkets that customers can purchase for just a couple coins. All of the proceeds from the gadget are donated to BARCS.

Beyond the décor, Cara and David always include opportunities to raise funds for BARCS and the SPCA in their menus and events too. They offer a “whiskey of the week,” in which one dollar of the charge is given to the BARCS, as well as a portion of the profits from their Dogs and Hogs event on October 19 that features a whole roasted hog and Dogfish brews.

Throughout the year, David and Cara host photo fundraisers where your pup can dress up for a photo-shoot with a professional photographer, like the upcoming holiday themed event, “Santa Paws.” On Sundays, Blue Pit hosts Simple Solutions basic obedience sessions on their sunlit patio. With all of the dedicated and irreplaceable work that it continues to do for the canine community, it’s hard to believe that Blue Pit debuted just three years ago.

David and Cara opened their restaurant with the mission to create a fun and original atmosphere for their Hampden neighbors. With David’s previous experience as the chef at Brewer’s Art, as well as his love for whiskey and a spit roaster, Blue Pit BBQ and Whiskey Bar was born. But as plans were drawn and menus were created, something was still missing from their restaurant. “It has to be about more than making money,” Bruce said. That’s where Sakai came in.

After the tragic loss of their two-year old pit bull, Naples, David and Cara came across a blue pit puppy in the BARCS Animal Shelter. Cara recalled, “As soon as I put him in my arms, I said we’ll take him.” Sakai became the outdoor host and even a part of the clean up team in the morning, generously lapping up the scraps left on the patio from the last night’s meals. The four-legged crew member became the mascot of the restaurant and the inspiration for David and Cara to get more involved with the pet-based organizations in Baltimore.

But Blue Pit’s generosity doesn’t stop with the canine community. David and Cara have worked with the Hampden Family Center, Moveable Feast, Blue Water Baltimore, Youth Empowerment Society (YES), and countless more organizations. Blue Pit has offered their space and support for meetings, profits, and events.

“Hampden is our backyard,” Bruce said, “We wouldn’t be where we are without the community.” With the mutual compassion that comes from Blue Pit and their customers, the restaurant’s presence contributes to the family atmosphere that is unique to the district. “Our mission is to serve good quality food and drinks, and to take care of the community and our people.”

Blue Pit BBQ and Whiskey Bar
1601 Union Ave, Baltimore, MD

Check out Blue Pit BBQ & Whiskey Bar and other dog-friendly restaurants in the CityDog Directory.


Subscribe to Our Newsletter

4Knines Travel Gear
ASPCA Pet Health Insurance
Go! Solutions by Petcurean
It's Always Happy Hour