Casual restaurant and Prohibition-themed bar open in downtown Columbia

Cured Tap & Table, a casual restaurant serving “comfortable, familiar, fresh” cuisine, and 18th & 21st, a Prohibition-themed cocktail lounge, have opened in downtown Columbia.

The restaurants on the ground level of the One Merriweather office building are helmed by Steve Wecker, co-owner of the Iron Bridge Wine Co., and Vince Culotta, the restaurant’s former general manager.

Wecker, a Columbia resident since 1969, wants the dual establishments to fill the area’s void of late-night entertainment.

“People said there’s no place to go in Howard County at night,” said Wecker, a Columbia resident since 1969. “What we are doing might not be cutting-edge for Chicago, but it is for Howard County.”

Cured will have 125 seats and serves everything from raw oysters to meat-and-cheese plates to heartier dishes such as roasted spring chicken and sorghum-glazed pork chops. A large charcuterie and raw bar is the focal point of the dining room.

“It really is from scratch,” Wecker says. “‘Farm-to-table’ is overused. But we have a lot of local people who we are working with. The bar program will feature Maryland companies. Everything has a local kind of feel.”

Spirits from the Baltimore Whiskey Co. and Columbia’s Lost Ark Distilling are among the locally sourced drink offerings.

18th & 21st, located in the back half of the restaurant, offers live music as well a 38-seat dining room.

The space is a throwback to the Prohibition period, featuring curtains, tufted wall coverings and fine dining options such as whole Branzino and steaks.

Christopher Lewis — formerly of Iron Bridge, Linwoods and the Milton Inn — serves as executive chef at both establishments.

Cured and 18th & 21st are located at 10980 Grantchester Way, Suite 110, in Columbia near the intersection of Little Patuxent and Broken Land parkways.

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