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“Excellent Beer Bar in Historic Ellicott City”
Review of Judge's Bench

Judge's Bench
Ranked #41 of 170 Restaurants in Ellicott City
Cuisines: American, Bar, Pub
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar Scene
Dining options: Dinner, After-hours, Lunch, Seating, Serves Alcohol
Baltimore, Maryland
Level Contributor
34 reviews
24 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Excellent Beer Bar in Historic Ellicott City”
Reviewed 11 August 2013

I happened to be in Ellicott City and acquaintances had recommend the Bench to me a number of times. It sits on the man drag just at the west end of the old historic main street. Parking can be a bit of a pain, street parking is the easiest but not always available. There are some off street lots as well. For street parking and some of the lots there is a charge, some of the lots are free, but parking enforcement ends at 6pm.

When i arrived, it was around 4pm, the bar was empty, just bartender and myself. I've never felt comfortable with being in an empty bar, but to be honest it wasn't that bad. The bartender was extremely friendly and i had the chance to chat with the owner for a while. It eventually picked up progressively become a full house. I found the crowd to be friendly, welcoming, and sociable. Before i left they were setting up for karaoke with live back up, they also have a stand up night, trivia, and bands on different days of the week.

I mainly came here for the drinks, so i didn't have the opportunity to have any food. As for the drinks, expect a nice selection of about 15 craft beers on tap. Their about an additionally 30 more in bottles. The craft beer selection ranges from the local, to the regional, to some out fo the region ones, so it ends up being a nice selection. And as seems to be a growing trend in "beer bars" the glassware in which the beer is served match the style of beer. Price wise it isn't to bad, it ranges by type, from about $3 to $7.50.

The Bench has gotten a bad rap in previous years for the clientele that it used to draw, it used to be a biker bar, one of the rough types on top of that. But from my experience the Bench is far removed from its biker bar days. Needless to say, with the service, patrons, and beer selection i will be traveling back to the Bench in the future. And hopefully next time i'll grab a bite to eat.

  • Visited July 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank boothy443
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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45 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    12
    23
    5
    3
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Pasadena, Maryland
Level Contributor
48 reviews
36 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Cool little bar in historic EC”
Reviewed 29 June 2013 via mobile

Good pub food, good selection of beer on tap, good prices. Definitely worth a visit if you're looking for typical American fare with some good tasting beer! The place has a pleasant atmosphere to it as well. It's a nice spot to enjoy with a friend or group of friends on the weekends since they often have live local bands playing.

  • Visited May 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Kanicane
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Columbia, Maryland
Level Contributor
108 reviews
66 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere on historic Main Street”
Reviewed 5 June 2013

This is a small pub on historic Main Street in Ellicott City. They have a nice selection of rotating craft beers. The alcohol content of the beers is listed on the chalkboard. The food selection is limited but tasty. They have live bands on some nights.

  • Visited June 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank hoosiermomma76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
40 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great atmosphere and beer”
Reviewed 19 February 2013

Friendly place for great beer. Menu for beer changes regularly and the staff is great :) food is just fine.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
Thank cherev65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ellicott City, Maryland
Level Contributor
36 reviews
15 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Lively small local bar”
Reviewed 24 October 2012

Went there to grab a bite..its really small, but they have local bands playing and gets pretty busy on weeknights. Food is ok, but the ambience is fun

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank fidotravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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