Retro Columbia pub has classic look, feel

February 08, 1991|By Mike Giuliano

What's black and white and red all over?

Before everybody shouts "A newspaper!," consider that an equally valid answer would be "a retro bar." From its black-and-white tile floor to the red Formica covering its bar top and tables, the year-old Classics Pub immerses patrons in the rock-and-roll look of the '50s and '60s.

This Columbia pub has covered its walls with enough movie and rock star pictorial memorabilia -- assembled by co-owners Arne and Debbie Ellgard -- to prompt a trip down memory lane. And naturally there's a jukebox in the place (a reproduction, but most eyes will be fooled). Heck, even the restroom doors labeled "Elvis's" and "Marilyn's" attest to a more innocent era when meals were square and genders distinct.

Although Classics Pub is located in a shopping center nestled within a corporate business park near the intersection of Interstate 95 and Route 175, the lack of street lighting and signs in ever-so-planned Columbia makes the place tough to find for first-timers.

In fact, you may drive in and out of the business park's cul-de-sacs for so long that you'll wonder whether you'll reach the pub or the end of the recession first. By the time you find Classics, you may really need a drink.

Fortunately, there is plenty of food and drink to be had on reaching the pub. If you visit during the early evening hours, you'll find a mix of business park types still in work garb and Columbians who've already gone home and changed into blue jeans. The substantial pub menu is served until 10 p.m. and there is a light fare menu available until close.

Rock and pop nostalgia is provided by guitarist Frank Thompson on Thursday nights, a DJ on Friday nights, and the bands Free Hand and Lower East Side on alternate Saturday nights.

Classics Pub

Where: 7185 Columbia Gateway Drive in Gateway Plaza, Columbia.

Hours: 11 a.m.-2 a.m. Monday to Saturday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday.

Menu: Soup, subs, sandwiches, ribs, lobster, pizza and Italian entrees served until 10 p.m., with a light fare menu served until close.

Credit cards: V, AE, MC, Diners.

Call: 290-0900.

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