The building at 1600 (originally 83) Thames Street was built in the mid 1800's. At that time it was known as the Union Hotel and was owned by Captain Thomas Lewis. Described as "Famous Resort for Officers of the Merchant Marine" it became a popular meeting place for ship owners, captains and area businessmen. It was here on June 3rd 1852 that all of the State's Licensed bay pilots met to establish the Association of Maryland Bay Piots, the first port-wide association of pilots in the entire country. The pilots maintained their offices here for 30 years before moving to the pier at the foot of Broadway. The building continued as boarding house for active and retired seafarers while the first floor hosted various businesses and offices through the years. Even serving as a seaman's bethel or chapel at the time of prohibition. After repeal, a barroom waa opened and ran by succession of owner until purchased by Mr. Duda
Fells Point in those days was very much different from the Fells Point of today. Ships still docked at the piers and warehouses along Thames Street and most of the waterfront was given to heavy industrial use. The railroads still plied the Belgian block streets vying with the trucks serving the various warehouses and factories
Upon opening, Duda's Tavern was originally a shot and beer bar. It was one of over 130 licensed beverage establishments located in Fells Point in the early fifties. For many years the Duda Family catered to the blue collar workers employed in the local industries such as Allied Chemical Company, Superiour Laundry and Rukert Terminal.
The 1980's saw the beginning of big changes in the area. The waterfront businesses began closing and their buildings either dismantled or recycled into offices or living space. In 1982 Walters's daughter and current owner Antoinette Duda and husband John Flury decided to renovate the tavern and added a small kitchen. The bar quickly became known for its excellent crab cakes and burgers and developed a loyal following. At this time Duda's began offering a wide selection of imported and craft brewed beers a tradition that continues to this day.
The bay Pilots have moved and the upstairs is no longer a sailor's rooming house, but many feel their presence is still amoung us. For the past 60 years there have been four generations of Duda's along with the Flury family welcoming you and hoping that you enjoy our hospitality.