Built by a group of friends interested in camaraderie, cold drinks, and good food, Diamondback Tavern aims to put a contemporary spin on a traditional Maryland tavern, and its pub menu has earned accolades from the Baltimore Sun and Howard Magazine. Wrangling local meats, seafood, produce, and bread, the staff builds fresh sandwiches filled with garlic-braised pulled pork and caramelized bananas, crab-cake platters loaded with two 5-ounce jumbo lump crab cakes, and veggie risotto topped with grilled portobello.
Behind the bar, chilled local and domestic brews and sangria blended from a family recipe cleanse palates and put out fires after fire-eating competitions gone wrong. Diners enter under a traditional hanging tavern sign emblazoned with a brown diamondback-turtle shell before nestling into a spacious sports bar or dining room. Diamondback Tavern also hosts open-mic nights and screening events around NFL games to keep ears and eyes entertained as mouths gnaw on the minimalist, modern decor.
The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company reinvigorates classical theater tales with exquisite emotions and lively language. The troupe's production of Shakespeare’s Cymbeline chronicles the story of a princess who, after being separated from her beloved husband, faces the sting of betrayal, a war-torn king, an evil stepmother, and a Roman invasion. Spectators can sip wine and munch popcorn as the actors sink into the romantic tale, its stage set amid a historical venue built in the 19th century and an intimate seating area. Groupon customers must acquire their tickets at the ticket table no later than 15 minutes before the start of the show.
Cuisine Type: American bar food
Most popular offering: 1/2-pound Black Angus burger
Delivery/Takeout Available: Takeout only
Alcohol: Full bar
Number of Tables: 5?10
Outdoor Seating: No
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Bring some darts, and your ID if you're coming after 9 p.m.
The staffers at Golden Sports Bar & Grill know the damage working on the weekends or having different days off than your friends can do to a social life. So on Monday nights, they host an industry night, complete with free beer pong, for those whose weekend starts on Monday.
In addition to beer pong games, the bar hosts pool games and applied-geometry show-downs on eight pool tables and dart competitions on 10 dart boards. For digital diversions, it entertains folks with its multiple flat-screen TVs and collection of video games. Tuesdays bring karaoke night, and on Fridays, live bands take over the bar, wailing on guitars and crooning rock songs.
To fuel all this revelry, cooks whip up 1/2-pound Black Angus burgers, mussels, and wraps. They also mix vodka with their own housemade bloody mary mix during Sunday brunches.
Throughout the afternoon and evening, the streets of Ellicott City echo with the footsteps and laughter of revelers making their ways between the city’s pubs and breweries. Bar crawlers visit four local pubs; The Diamondback Tavern, Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, Judge's Bench Pub, and La Palapa Grill & Cantina. Revelers sip domestic beers, spirits, and wines as they tactfully ignore bar-trivia rivals inside the Diamondback Tavern's rustic interior, between the wooden trim and hanging amber-colored lamps of Ellicott Mills Brewing Company and the Judge's Bench Pub, or between the exposed brick walls and colored glass mosaics at La Palapa. To help stomachs soak up excess alcohol, some bar proprietors lay out snacks for touring groups. Participants on both earlier and later crawls walk away with a souvenir T-shirt, as well as a new layer of bar-crawling memories to replace lingering remembrances of high-school-trigonometry lessons.
With a diverse mix of events, a roster of live music, a pool league, and a full kitchen?plus a new sushi bar?it's hard not to find something to like about Fish Head Cantina. The back patio houses a two-stage venue accommodates up to 1,000 music lovers, as well as a full tiki bar and koi pond. Inside, patrons can sidle up to a table to peruse the enormous menu, which ranges from wings to tacos to more than 20 maki rolls on a sushi menu.