Howard County Times
Howard County

Ellicott City’s Main Street shares the bustle of the holidays | MOSTLY MAIN

The holiday season kind of snuck up on me, considering the lovely warmer weather we have been enjoying as of this writing. I know that some people were even able to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner outdoors, and it’s still possible to comfortably eat outside at restaurants, as so many are employing huge and efficient space heaters.

The historic district is festooned with greenery and bows, and a lovely Christmas tree has been erected, thanks to the generous donation by Slack Funeral Home. I also want to give a shout-out to Vickie Goeller and Ed Lilley for volunteering to decorate several areas on Main Street, as they have in the past. Along with the colorful shop windows, there is plenty of holiday cheer to be had here.

Historic Ellicott City's Christmas tree was donated by Slack Funeral Home.

If you have been reading “The Polar Express” to your kids in anticipation of Santa’s arrival, you will want to take them to the B&O Railroad Museum, Ellicott City Station, for its annual holiday model train exhibit, on display until Jan. 3. Of course, the exhibit is fun for all ages. The museum is open Wednesday and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Admission is free and the building is accessible.


Syriana Cafe is hosting the Oella Fellas Band on Friday, starting at 7:30 p.m. The group plays folk rock, blues, country and rock, which you can enjoy while dining. The restaurant is at 8180 Main St.

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We have also been enjoying patio dining at LeeLynn’s. It has announced that it will be closed on Sundays for the winter months. The good news is that its special discounts are now applicable to carryout as well as dining in, including crab cakes on Monday, burgers on Tuesday and fish tacos on Wednesday.

Clark’s Elioak Farm is offering fresh produce, grass-fed beef and pasture-raised pork at its farm store in the Castle on Route 108. The winter hours are Thursday and Saturday, from noon to 3 p.m. or by appointment. Right now, the farm is offering bok choy, turnips, greens and squash, among other vegetables, and a variety of meat products ranging from pork shanks to bacon to lard for holiday baking.

My husband, Tom, and I had a great lunch at the Phoenix Upper Main last weekend. We had seen that a new shipment of its iconic T-shirts had come in and wanted a few for Christmas gifts. It says, “Warm beer, lousy food, bad service — since 1979.” We had also learned that owner Mark Hemmis and his wife, Kate, had just been in a serious car accident and Kate was still in the hospital.

We were fortunate to be able to catch up with Mark at the restaurant. Mark and his family have been through so much in the past few years, with two major floods, a move up Main Street right at the start of the pandemic, and now a car accident. We wish Kate a speedy recovery and only the best for the whole family. I noted online that celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who spent a week in Ellicott City earlier this year helping with the Phoenix’s move up Main Street, has sent his concern for Kate’s recovery from his latest work venue in Finland.


While we ate, we could see Main Street and across to Su Casa and La Palapa on the other side. There was a lot of foot traffic and more than one macho man in shorts on a brisk day.

From what I could see, it’s best not to assume that cars are going to stop for you in the crosswalk even though that’s the law, so please be careful — and if you are in a car, please give pedestrians the right of way. Visiting Main Street is an easy way to support a variety of small businesses that need us more than ever.