Though it has only been open since February 2013, Firehouse Pub has already established itself as a place with its own traditions. Free plays on the jukebox ring throughout the bar every Monday; on Wednesday and Friday, karaoke brings in the dulcet tones of patrons belting out their favorite songs. Each Thursday, corner pockets consume stripes and solids during free pool games in the billiards corner, where hanging flat-screen TVs keep players abreast of the latest sports and competitive woodworking coverage. The same goes for the TVs hanging above the bar, where bartenders pour wine, mixed drinks, shots, and domestic and imported beers. The rest of the time, Firehouse Pub welcomes an ever-changing lineup of live DJs and musicians to its main stage.
Only one person's musical taste matters to DJs Rich Scott and Tina Bussey: yours. Whether spinning at weddings or bar and bat mitzvahs, Rich and Tina lure partygoers to the dance floor with whatever music you want, be it '50s bee-bop or contemporary hip-hop.
While grooving among Progressive DJ & Karaoke's bubble and fog machines, backlit by vivacious light shows, or brandishing Elvis-inspired props, karaoke participants croon their favorite songs. Customized touches can even precede events thanks to Progressive's design imprint, which can generate personalized invitations, flyers, and signs for each soiree.
The allure of Bill Bateman's Bistro increases exponentially with a glance at the wide-ranging menu. Locally lauded for its superlative wings, Bill Bateman's Bistro's offers glazed poultry in a variety of sizes and sauces. Combine cuisines with 10 ($8.49) of the Sweet Thai Chili Wings, or firmly uphold winged tradition with 30 original buffalo wings ($22.99). Fifty Wings from Hell ($36.99) will sate the fire-deprived tongues of fearless wing devourers and can be ordered via a Ouija board that until recently was just a game. The shrimp-melt wrap ($10.99), jalapeñoed Heat Wave Burger ($8.99), and grilled-chicken-topped California Salad ($10.99) are but a few of the numerous bites capable of complementing the various cold draft beers. For the full rundown of possible palate pleasers, see the complete menu for each participating location: Parkville, Severna Park, Glen Burnie, and Reisterstown.
Just above the open window of Elliott's Pour House, there's painted a row of draft beer taps. Look inside that window, and you'll discover that the paintings are merely a taste of what's in store. Behind the bar, 20 colorful taps bear the names of craft breweries such as Star Hill, New Belgium, and Oskar Blues. Guests sip on pints of craft beer or the locally beloved Natty Boh (also on draft) as they watch NFL games on the TVs or play ping-pong on the bar's own table. Elliott's is known for taking care of its regulars, who are rewarded with perks such as a $10 gift card for every $100 spent or enrollment in the Draft Club, which begins with a ritualistic bath in beer foam.
The freshly uncorked Lighthouse Liquors, associated with the landmark Bo Brooks Restaurant, stocks a mighty bevy of ethanol-infused libations. A massive cooler crammed with microbrew six-packs and bomber bottles of beer provide a malt-and-hops mix to match any barley lover's preference (all under $20). Launch a thousand dinner parties, cheese tastings, and booze-fueled triremes with domestic and imported wines, including Californian Cupcake varietals ($10+) and Italian Kris pinot grigio ($10). For a special dessert drink, try a bottle of Adult Chocolate Milk, which pairs well with similar grown-up combinations like lobster mac ’n’ cheese and steak-flavored Pepto-Bismol ($10.99).
Not everyone who loves wine is fortunate enough to transform that love into a viable career, much less a successful business. But Christopher Spann did just that with Wine Market Bistro, whose numerous accolades stand as testament to his achievement. More than 25 wines can be savored by the glass in the loft-like dining room, while the adjoining wine shop stocks more than 800 bottles ranging in varietal and region. These bottles can be enjoyed in the bistro for a small corkage fee. The wine-friendly menu fills the rustic-chic dining room with the aroma of house-made mini brats, diver scallops, and dry-aged ribeye. And in warmer months, diners can take their meals on the courtyard patio and cool off by piling ice block after ice block onto their laps.
Gitan Bistro Cru has the personality of a neighborhood gathering spot, plus the food and drink to match. Its wood floors and mustard-colored walls envelop visitors, who stop by to fill up on the restaurant's French- and Lebanese-inspired dishes. The menu features sandwiches, soups, and a roster of Lebanese-style small plates, including hummus accompanied by warm pita bread. From behind the bar, servers dish out specialty cocktails, as well as rare, hard-to-find wines.