Nottingham's is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend, with festivities beginning tomorrow evening with a "Jimmy Buffett-style" band, according to Brian Kannee, the restaurant's general manager.
Saturday will feature a retro band, the Reagan Years, and on Sunday a "reunion" party will bring together former employees and customers to celebrate.
Nottingham's will give away commemorative glasses and auction T-shirts for charity.
Every Saturday night, Nottingham's has live music with bands that range from Irish folk to reggae to rock. While you're listening to the music, Nottingham's can fill you up with a choice of sandwiches and gourmet pizzas.
"Tavern Munchies" include hot crab dip (lump crab meat combined with spiced cream cheese, served hot with French bread), roasted garlic foccacia sticks (foccacia topped with roasted garlic, mozzarella and parmesan cheeses) and Buffalo wings.
There is also Chili con queso (warm, spicy cheese sauce combined with tomatoes, scallions and chilies and served with tortilla chips) and Chesapeake shrimp (steamed "the good old-fashioned way with lots of Old Bay") and fajita shrimp (steamed with onions and a blend of fajita spices).
Among the pizzas available at Nottingham's are BBQ chicken (with barbecue sauce, chicken, red onions and mozzarella, Monterey jack and cheddar cheeses), five cheese (mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, Monterey Jack and cheddar cheeses), Piggy Pie (with pepperoni, sausage, ham and bacon), Italian Stallion (pepperoni, Italian sausage, Genoa salami, garlic, roasted red peppers and mozzarella and parmesan cheeses) and SMOG (with sausage, mushrooms, onions and green peppers).
Nottingham's offers daily specials, which recently included dishes such as Cajun dip (thin-sliced eye round on a toasted alpine roll with a side of Cajun au jus for dipping, served with a side of Creole potato salad), mahi-mahi and roasted vegetable wrap (pan-seared mahi-mahi with roasted tomatoes, zucchini and fresh garlic wrapped in a sun-dried tomato tortilla with mixed greens), sesame ginger chicken salad (sesame ginger marinated chicken tenderloins, water chestnuts, marinated cucumber, red pepper, bok choy, broccoli and crispy noodles over romaine and red leaf lettuces with a plum vinaigrette).
"Business lunches are a big part of our business," Kannee said. "Our soups, which we serve only Monday through Friday, are very popular and are the best around."
Recent soup specials included cream of broccoli, Tuscan white bean with sausage and coconut chicken vegetable medley.
Nottingham's is more than a bar. Sure, there are the dart boards, billiard tables, shuffleboard and live music. But if you're in the mood for a quiet chat, you can check out the flagstone patio, surrounded by plants and highlighted by a fountain and pond filled with koi.
But what really makes Nottingham's distinctive, Kannee believes, is its staff.
"It's more than just the food," he said, although he stresses that, of course, the food has to be excellent. "It's also about the people waiting on you and really working hard to make your experience enjoyable."
Where: 8850 Stanford Blvd., Suite 1200, Columbia 21045; 410-290-0077.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday; 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Sundays.
Prices: $3.50 to $8.50.
Credit cards: Visa, MasterCard and Discover