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Best dining al fresco: The Hickory Lodge Restaurant and Bar

From the front parking lot, the Hickory Lodge Restaurant and Bar’s low-slung building looks pretty but unassuming.

“If you pull up from the road, this place looks tiny, but then you walk out back and you don’t feel like you’re in a parking lot or in Bel Air,” says manager Dani Kirchner. “We have multiple personalities. It’s clubby at night and outside is more of a party, but if you sit inside, you can have a quiet meal.”

That party atmosphere makes the restaurant a county favorite for outdoor dining.

Inside, The Hickory Lodge is spacious and decorated with warm wood and stone, with a distinct mountain lodge feel. Outside, the stone and wood continue, and tall fences surrounding the outdoor make it feel remote and private.

Though the deck closes during the chilliest parts of the year, with fire pits for cooler weather and live music most nights of the week, the outdoor space draws a fun, vibrant crowd when it is open.

“It has an open, laid back atmosphere,” says Kirchner.

People often gather outside for the music, she says — and the fresh-squeezed crushes.

“We have one [employee] who comes in just to squeeze grapefruits and oranges,” Kirchner says. “We see groups of people come to just hang out on the patio and drink crushes.”

Find the Hickory Lodge Restaurant and Bar at 2119 Conowingo Road, Bel Air. 410-838-2240 or thehickorylodge.com

By Kit Waskom Pollard | For Harford Magazine
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