Archive | February, 2011

Ram’s Head Tavern – Best Happy Hour Ever?

19 Feb

It’s official – HoCo Hangover has earned its title as a real-life Howard County blog. This must be what Pinocchio felt like when he became a real boy.

On Wednesday night, we attended our first HoCoBlogs blogger party at Ram’s Head Tavern, where we met fellow bloggers, talked about our HoCo Hangover endeavors and, of course, enjoyed a few cold ones. Jessie, the host of HoCo Blogs, likes to throw these parties about once a month, or whenever she finds bloggers that are willing to co-host. This time, Thursday Bram, Amy Monteith, and Jen Kentmere hosted the party at Ram’s Head, and it was a blast.

Ram’s Head Tavern is located in historic Savage Mill, an old textile mill that has since been turned into a fantastic shopping center with a great old-time feel. It’s filled with tons of specialty stores and antique shops with unique items that you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

The architecture of the Mill works out well for Ram’s Head’s, allowing for at least four separate dining areas on three different levels. Each level carries its own unique vibe, ranging from its sophisticated dining room to lively basement tavern area. In addition to its interesting layout, the Tavern is loaded with one-of-a-kind decorative touches that give it a truly original feel. Check out our favorite seat in the house.

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There are steps up to this booth, and perched on the adjacent wall is the signature Ram statue. About 15 minutes into our conversation, we looked up to find a square of glass that allows you to look up through the woodwork of the upper floors. So cool.  Also, there are bars in both the main dining room and the basement. We know what you’re thinking: what if you’ve had one too many drinks to confidently get up and down all those stairs? Not to worry, HoCo Hooligans – the Tavern’s personal elevator will transport you safely from bar to bar.

The basement tavern seemed to be the best spot to grab a pint and hang out with friends. There are bright red glowing letters above the bar that call out, “BEER” and “LIQUOR” – you know, just in case you forgot what you came down there for. Across from the pool table sits a small, wooden stage, where local musicians and DJs set up to entertain the crowds at night. It just so happened that Wednesday night is Ram’s Head Tavern’s open mic night, allowing us to enjoy some sweet renditions of the Flight of the Conchord’s “Business Time” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary.” If that’s not enough, the bar offered $2.50 domestic drafts and $3 shooters. 

If that wasn’t enough to convince us to return, get ready for the real kicker: Ram’s Head Tavern may just have the most impressive happy hour specials in Howard County. Every weekday from 5pm until 7pm, Ram’s Head gives out free food, which ranges from carved meats, tacos, oysters/shrimp,/mussels, bratwursts and Buffalo Wings. That’s in addition to their great drink specials that go from 4pm-7pm, which include $2.50 drafts, house wines, and rail drinks. What more could you ask for?

But Hey, Nobody’s Perfect:

Probably because the Mill wasn’t originally built for shopping, the parking situation pretty much sucks. Very few are lucky enough to snag a spot in the small lot just outside of Ram’s Head before happy hour. More parking is available on the other side of the Mill, and it’s a hike to get back to your car at the end of the night when the rest of the Mill is locked up. Not only that, but the Mill gets seriously creepy after hours. Once we stepped out of Ram’s Head and into the empty hallways, we kind of felt like we were in that hotel from The Shining.

On a positive note: Walking through the hall to leave the Mill will scare the bejesus out of you and make you want to run back to your car, so you’ll get there in no time.

So, we’re definitely interested in hosting our own blogger party in the near future. The only problem: which venue to chose? Anyway, stay tuned for details on upcoming blogger events. They’re open to bloggers as well as blog readers, but you need to make sure you sign up for a (free!) ticket to attend. In the meantime, check out our new friends’ blogs!

TJ Mayotte of 1000 Words and Jennifer  Domenick of Love Life Images, Inc. were just two of the awesome HoCo bloggers at Ram’s Head Tavern. We also had the pleasure of meeting Mary C. Gardella, a colleague of Jennifer’s, who also has an amazing blog that shows off her own work.

Here are two of the hosts of great HoCo Blogger party, Thursday and Amy. Don’t forget to check out Thursday’s awesome blog on writing and business and Amy’s fantastic creations at her site.

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HoCo is for Lovers (and Lushes)

10 Feb

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly, striking fear into the lonely hearts of HoCo singles and turning normally sane people into love-crazy fools. We’ve compiled a list of great spots for the lovebirds to go for romance, as well as a list of Monday night bar specials for the single and restless to hit up.

For The Lovebirds
For indulgent lovers, we suggest calling quickly for a reservation at Pure Wine Cafe or The Iron Bridge Wine Company. Pure Wine of Ellicott City is offering a night of “Pure Aphrodisia” on the 14th, including hors d’oeuvres, a three-course meal and dessert, each served with its own wine pairing. The set menu is specifically designed to put you in the mood, if you will. This night of bliss is yours for $75 per person [tax and tip not included]. Reservations are required, so e-mail pj@purewinecafe.com ASAP.

Also in good ol’ romantic Ellicott City, Greystone Grill will serve a special three-course meal on the 14th for $49.50 per person [again, tax and tip not included]. This menu already includes a cheesecake dessert, but complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries and glasses of champagne are bound to be the perfect end to your night out. If celebrating your love on a Monday is inconvenient, The Iron Bridge Wine Company offers their three-course Sweetheart Menu tonight through Sunday, also with wine pairings, for $69 per person. Reservations are required, so call 410-997-3456 and ask for Marcie or Vince.

For the Single and Restless
Valentine’s Day can be quite annoying, even nauseating, for those without a companion to swoon over, but luckily there are quite a few HoCo bars where you can enjoy a pint of beer without feeling like an awkward extra in Casablanca.  We’ve compiled a list of great Monday night drink specials for those willing to skip out on the flutes of champagne and chocolate-dipped fruit.

  • Catch the Caps game at the Greene Turtle of Columbia for their Rock the Red and Monday Night Light specials – $2.50 16oz Bud Light drafts and $2.25 bottles of Miller Lite/Coors Light/Bud Light.
  • Round a group of friends together for half-priced pitchers of margaritas and sangria, as well as $2 domestic bottles, at La Palapa Grill and Cantina.
  • Want something a little stronger? It’s $1 off tequila shots at El Azteca, where you can also munch on half-priced appetizers while you drink.
  • Get $1 National Bohemian bottles at Looney’s Pub South of Maple Lawn, or choose your pick from their all-day Happy Hour specials.
  • Enter into the trivia competition at Pub Dog Pizza & Drafthouse to pull in some cash prizes and sip on Hoppy Dog drafts, whether alone or with a group of up to 12 friends. Just make sure to be there by 7:30 to secure a spot. As always, you can choose from their premium drafts and get two for $4.

Please let us know if you hear about any other singles-friendly events going on in the Howard County area.

Whether single or coupled up, it’s possible to enjoy this Valentine’s Day – especially with the help of an adult beverage or three. Cheers!

Super Bowl Sunday Specials

3 Feb

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! [And no, we don’t mean the holidays].That’s right, HoCo Hooligans – it’s the weekend of Super Bowl XLV, and the Green Bay Packers will duke it out against the Pittsburgh Steelers this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. For those of you who still aren’t sure where to head to watch the game, here are some events and specials going on at HoCo venues.

Kloby’s Smokehouse off of Gorman Road is having a “tailgate party” during the game, including a full pig roast, sides and unlimited non-alcoholic beverages for $25 per person. While this might not be the prime location for heavy duty football drinking, it sounds like a great place to go for a delicious BBQ feast with the family.

Looking to just walk right in and enjoy the game? There will be no cover charge at Ram’s Head Tavern in Savage Mill. Specials include $10 buckets, $5 pitchers (Bud Light, Coors Light and Miller Light), $2.50 drafts (Fordham) and $6 eats (burgers, sandwiches, and basically all bar meals). Ram’s Head is also giving away door prizes at half-time in the form of tickets to Ram’s Head live shows, gift certificates, and alcohol gift baskets.

Second Chance Saloon of Columbia is holding a major Super Bowl party that starts off with $2 Bud Lights, Miller Lights, and Yuengling at 5:30 p.m. Even if you’re not a big Packers or Steelers fan, choose a team to root for, because every time your team scores, The Second Chance Saloon will hook the fans up with a round of free shots. Need something to munch on during the game? You can get an entire pound of wings for $5 bucks. Second Chance will also have raffle prizes.

No cover and prizes?!?! Ram’s Head and Second Chance have our votes as top contenders for a HoCo Super Bowl bash.

If you’re looking to stay in the center of Columbia, Uno’s Chicago Grill is offering a $25 All-You-Can-Drink and All-You-Can-Eat for Sunday’s big game. If this sounds good to you, keep the following in mind. Uno’s of Columbia requires you to RSVP beforehand for this special offer. You can pre-order tickets by calling (410) 964-9945 or by e-mailing them at 731@unos.com. Otherwise, walk right in and talk to one of the bartenders about this awesome deal. Also, don’t forget that the bar area of Uno’s is on the smaller side. Get there early to secure comfortable seats and a good place to get your Super Bowl game face on.

Nottingham’s in Columbia is getting fancy on Super Bowl Sunday with $3 Bloody Marys and Mimosas! Perfect for the ladies who aren’t too big into the football scene but still want to take part in the festivities (and the guys who enjoy a nice Mimosa every now and then). Notty’s also offers $3 Dos Equis bottles, $2 Yuengling drafts, and $1 Natty Light cans – and don’t forget their Football Munchie Menu!  Notty’s weekly contest winners from throughout the season will have a private party in the event room during the game. If you want a spot at this event, hang at Nottingham’s on game days next season and maybe you can snag one for Super Bowl XLVI.

Well, that’s our Super Bowl list! At least one of these is sure to fit your partying needs. If not, be sure to check out previously mentioned sports bars, such as Looney’s Pub South, Union Jack’s of Columbia or River Hill Sports Grille . Just about all of these HoCo hot spots are bound to have great things going on this Sunday.

Drink up, chow down, and cheer hard!

[Note: The original post mistakenly advertised Second Chance Saloon’s specials as The Diamondback Tavern’s specials. We apologize for any confusion!]