When I first saw the devastation following the July 2016 flood in Old Ellicott City, I wondered how my beloved Main Street would bounce back.
Entire chunks of sidewalk were gone, exposing the foundation of the storefronts. The streets were covered in mud and debris. I'll never forget seeing the Caplan's Department store building, former home to Sweet Elizabeth Jane, gutted.
But the store owners were resilient and vowed to come back bigger, better and stronger. And they did! According to the Ellicott City Partnership, only 19 stores did not return and more than a dozen new stores opened after the flood. Several of those stores are restaurants.
So if its been awhile since you've visited Old Ellicott City, here are some of the new places to eat and also a list of restaurants and cafes coming soon to Main Street.
And before I go into the new places, I want to give a shout out to the restaurants who reopened after the floods. This includes The Phoenix Emporium, Portalli's, Bean Hollow, Ellicott Mills Brewing Company, Judge's Bench, La Palapa, Little French Market, Pure Wine Cafe, Tea on the Tiber and Tersiguel's.
True, authentic Syrian food comes to Old Ellicott City. The gallery opened in December of 2016 and the cafe opened last December. Their mezza sampler is one of their more popular menu items, which includes things like dips, falafel, and grape leaves. They also offer sand-heated traditional Syrian coffee. This I must try. I also need to try the Syrian ice cream. They are located on 8180 Main Street.
This place is owned by the same group that operates Victoria Gastro Pub, Manor Hill Brewing and a new restaurant in Clarksville called Food Plenty. The menu features unique brick oven pizzas (like wild boar) and features several of the beers crafted at the brewery. The appetizers are also delicious, like the pretzel sticks with beer cheese dip and the funnel cake with crab fondue.
This light and airy cafe sits at the bottom of Main Street, right near the train tracks. It is the vision of Paula Dwyer, who is sharing her family's Greek recipes with the world. Her pita bread is homemade, the falafels are perfectly cooked and the Greek salad is delicious and filling. And don't forget to finish your meal with Loukoumades (Greek beignets) or the classic Greek pastry, baklava.
This isn't a restaurant or cafe, but you can find plenty to munch on at this store. Of course, I suggest you start by trying out the dozens and dozens of gourmet popcorn flavors. There are sweet and savory flavors, from bacon cheddar, to strawberry to classic butter. Also check out the jams, jellies and quirky soda flavors.
This is located at the old theater, right on the corner of Main Street and Old Columbia Pike. Their website says it will be a combination of an upscale restaurant and music venue. We're told this may open in the fall.