As its name tells you, Bare Bones Restaurant & Bar is a rib joint. But it's no rib shack.
Founded on the premise that you can have messy fingers in a clean place, this sleekly designed, side-by-side restaurant and bar operation opened up three years ago in Ellicott City as an offshoot of the original Bare Bones in Gaithersburg. Located amid the suburban sprawl on Baltimore National Pike, it draws from Columbia, Ellicott City and fuzzily defined neighborhoods in between.
If you associate ribs with rib-poking, rowdy good times, the barside crowd here will come as a sedate surprise. They're a settled thirtysomething bunch who know how to have a good time without raising their voices.
Late night rib-and-brew meals draw some folks to all the barside booths, tables and perches. Nightly bar promotions draw others. Nobody stays too late, though. In fact, most nights of the week this place is closed by midnight. Although it's winding down just as real nightlifers are getting wound up, there's no point making this a bone of contention. The early-to-bed barside attitude obviously makes sense for customers who have got real jobs in the morning and mortgages to meet.
Bar specials include a free happy-hour buffet weekdays from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday night football games are accompanied by 25-cent hot dogs, Miller Lite draft for $1 and domestic bottled beer for $1.50. The Wednesday ladies night features a buffet with lighter fare and salads concocted with calorie-counters in .. mind, and live entertainment from 5:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. There is a Thursday night trivia contest with DJ Wildman Rick from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Another DJ, Mike Clark, spins Top 40 records on Friday from 7 p.m. to midnight, but the lack of a dance floor means you can't do much more than tap your toes as you shimmy in your seat. There is laser Karaoke on Saturday night, but this will be replaced in January with live entertainment; trend-watchers have reason to wonder if this sing-along gimmick is on its way out. Sunday football games feature barside discounts.
Bare Bones Restaurant & Bar
Where: 9150 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City.
Hours: 11:30 a.m.- midnight Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m.- 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Menu: appetizers, soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches, ribs, chicken and steak.
Credit cards: AE, MC, V.
% Call: (410) 461-0770.