Downtown Frederick: Hidden Gems

Steve McIntyre

Shhhhh! We all have a few, don’t we? I’m here to share my list with you…but remember, this is our secret.

Afterall, these places are great because nobody knows about them! Nothing worse than it becoming the “talk of the town” and you arrive on your next adventure, only to find a line out the door. They are all too hard to find these days with tagging, check-ins, etc….so let's keep this between us.


Spinners Pinball

Take a step back to your childhood – before Nintendo, Instagram, On-Demand…a day when kids would play together and sneak off to their local arcade with a few quarters from their parents change jar. A moment in time, from new to old, this venue provides an extensive line of refurbished to original condition pinball machines, in addition to other arcade offerings. They have a few rooms for small gatherings, birthdays, etc. and they do serve a very limited list of alcoholic beverages to make your kids sixth time asking for money a bit easier. Food will need to be brought in, but there are plenty of options including Papa Johns right next door.


Cellar Door

You’re thinking, “Ok – everyone knows about this.” Well…every Sunday is comedy night…7pm sharp. It’s a great place to wind down the weekend whether on a date, having dinner with friends, or just looking for a few laughs to cheer you up before a dreaded Monday commute. With well priced drinks and a long list of foods, this makes for a fun time to be in Downtown when the City isn’t bustling with crowds, and the location is super unique. It can get quite busy and if you aren’t the right person to take a joke…don’t sit in the front. If you do, I hope you are quite witty.


McClintock Back-Bar

This is a newer addition to the Downtown area and I’m sure it’s bound to get more popular. With fantastic offerings of spirits from McClintock over the years, it surely was time that they opened their own “watering hole.” Located under an old Buick car dealership, this “dungeon-esque” styled extrudes old world character with large wooden entry doors, exposed beam and stone, brick…etc. Deliciously fashioned cocktails and a relatively quiet space, makes for great conversation without screaming at your guests. Located on S Carroll St and next to Carroll Creek, it’s a perfect stop for a night cap, after dinner with friends at any of the many local restaurants.


There are plenty more of these…but I can’t give all of my secrets away at once! I hope that you take the time to enjoy these, as they are a bit of a “locals only” and “in-the-know” stop at the moment. Be sure to drop a comment, leave a Google review, or simply, thank your bartender. See you there soon! 


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