Artwalk Reveals Ellicott City’s Hidden Artists

Past the boutiques and restaurants on Main Street in Ellicott City, it would be easy to miss Dee Cunningham’s painting studio. The skate shop that shows art and the metal sculptor get overlooked, too.   There’s a ceramic artist, a jewelry maker, a photographer, a specialty car painter and more than a dozen others.  So Cunningham created an event to highlight the hidden art scene in the former mill town. 

Artwalk will take place Oct. 11, with 21 galleries and studios showing work.

Artwalk is a series of open houses of studios and spaces that are not always open to the public. Some artists will demonstrate their work, and there will be raffle prizes for those who visit multiple studios. A shuttle will be available to transport event goers to and from opposite ends of Main Street.

“We didn’t even know we were all here,” says Cunningham, who has helped form a coalition of the artists and art businesses. “It’s been fun getting to know each other.”

It may surprise people how many artists work in the area, says Debra Korb, executive director for the Ellicott City Historic District Partnership. “There are little pockets. And there’s art in places you might not expect to see it.”

The Good Roll Skate Shop and Bean Hollow, the coffee shop, for example, both show art.

And just up the hill from the boutiques and restaurants, there’s an enclave of artists with a range of skills, from Cunningham, who specializes in decorative painting and faux finishes, to Bill Knapp, a found-object sculptor.

“We’re trying to bring awareness to the artists working in and around this area,” says Cunningham.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE  from the Baltimore Sun, including more  info about the artists

Destination Design by the Washington Post

Destination Design: Ellicott City  courtesy of the Washington Post, written by

Shopping in Ellicott City’s historic district, you might hear the rush of the Patapsco River or a whistle from a train. Nature, architecture and history add to the charm of this small mill town, founded in 1772, whose winding Main Street has survived floods and fires to remain a place to stroll for treasures.

Old Yates MarketThere’s always been a splash of the Bohemian in the shops that come and go in the stately granite or brick buildings, whether a tarot card reader or a Victorian-style tea parlor. And Ellicott City does bring to mind, vaguely, a Mediterranean cliff town whose shopkeepers hang their wares outside on the narrow sidewalks to tempt customers to stop in. “It has a kind of European old-world charm to it, if you look at the unevenness of the roof lines and all the different building styles,” says Susan Shoemaker, of Shoemaker Country, a home furnishings shop here.

Read the full article

Ellicott City Named in the Top Ten Best Places to Live

Ellicott City has just been named as the sixth best place to live in the country by Money.  This current ranking has advanced our town two places from it’s 2013 number 8th position.

“Ellicott City has quaint older homes and a charming downtown. Columbia is a planned community stocked with pools and sports facilities, plus lots of big-box shopping and other practical amenities. Though the two unincorporated places have their own unique feel, they function as a single city in many respects. For residents, that means shared access to parks, rec facilities, and a diverse and outstanding school district. The area is also rife with good jobs—many of which require only a short commute.”

Read the full articleEC sign

Community Safety Workshop Announced

In observance of National Preparedness Month, the Ellicott City Historic District Partnership’s Clean, Green and Safe Committee will host a Safety Workshop on personal and business preparedness. Ellicott City has faced many challenges throughout its history from fires to floods to train wrecks. This workshop is part of local efforts to help increase the town’s resiliency to internal and external threats and disasters. The workshop will be held on Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 6:15-8:30 pm in the Oella Room of the Roger Carter Center at 3000 Milltowne Dr, Ellicott City,  MD 21043.

The first part of the workshop (6:30-7:00) will focus on business safety practices. The second part (7:00-8:20) will focus on various aspects of disaster preparedness, particularly flooding, and how the town can best prepare for and recover from these kinds of events. The workshop will conclude with a brief, facilitated group discussion on next steps based on lessons learned from our speakers. Featured speakers are representatives from Howard County police, Howard County Office of Emergency Management, MD State Insurance Administration and Howard County Dept. of Inspections, Licenses and Permits.

All who work or live in the Ellicott City Historic District area and are interested in learning more are invited to attend. Please RSVP to: debra.korb(at)

A raffle drawing for an emergency kit (valued at $170)will take place at the event.

Outdoor Dining in Historic Ellicott City

From going alfresco on the moonlit decks at Cacao Lane, to sharing pitchers of sangrias in the festive LaPalapa’s patio area, these places are the ideal spots to dine in the great outdoors.




Outdoor Dining in Historic Ellicott City

8066 Main Street
(410) 461 – 1378                                                    

Located in lower Main St, Cacao Lane has a beautiful outdoor 3 tier seating area with a terrific view of the Ellicott City skyline.  Join them on the top level for their full equiped bar or enjoy something from the full dining menu at a table located on one of the lower levels.  The deck is open seasonally and weather dependent.  Menu & info.


8167 Main Street
(410) 461 – 8210

Located in the heart of Historic Ellicott City, Johnny's Bistro .  The outdoor seating is reminiscent of a European Bistro.  Enjoy your intimate gourmet meal for two while taking in the scenery of Historic Main Street. Menu & info



Outdoor Dining in Historic Ellicott City

Outdoor Dining in Historic Ellicott City

8307 Main Street
(410) 465 – 0070

The only Mexican Restaurant in Historic Ellicott City, LaPalapa's boasts plenty of outdoor seating and is the perfect spot for large groups or dinner with the family. Stop in to enjoy an amazing Mexican meal and a refreshing Margarita on a hot summer day!   Menu & Info


3731 Hamilton Street
(410) 465 – 5995

Located on the grassy courtyards of Tonge Row, stop in for gourmet coffees, teas and custom sandwiches. Open for breakfast and lunch, vegan friendly.    Menu & info



Outdoor Dining in Historic Ellicott City

Outdoor Dining in Historic Ellicott City

8210 Main Street
(410) 480– 5037

Come to the newly opened stone patio at Pure Wine Café overlooking Main Streer. Sip your glass of wine and partake in Pure Wine’s farm fresh menu as you watch Ellicott City roll by.   Menu & info



8081 Main Street
(410) 480 – 8000

Experience an authentic English style Tea overlooking the Tiber River.  Tea on the Tiber offers a wide selection of teas accompanied by cheese, fruit, and pastries.  Reservations are requested for afternoon tea.  Menu & Info


Outdoor Dining in Historic Ellicott City

Howard County Police Museum Opens

Howard County Police Museum to hold Grand Opening Ribbon cutting event, June 27 at 11 a.m.

The Howard County Police Museum will hold its official grand opening Friday, June 27 at 11 a.m. The museum, which is located at 8267 Main Street in Historic Ellicott City, will feature exhibits detailing the bravery, dedication and sacrifices displayed by the men and women of HCPD while keeping the community safe.

The event will include:
Chief William McMahon, Howard County Police Department
Courtney Watson, Howard County Council Vice Chairperson
Retired Sergeant Larry Corum, Howard County Police Department
Captain Daniel Coon, Howard County Police Department

The grand opening will conclude with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the museum to the public.
“We are proud of the Howard County Police Department and its relationship with this community,” said Police Chief William McMahon. “We believe that preserving our past is an important part of protecting our future.”
The new museum will be open to the general public Wednesdays through Sundays and will be staffed by volunteers. The project was funded by donations from various organizations and individuals, including the Howard County Police Foundation, Supervisors’ Alliance and Retired Officers Association.

The Howard County Police Foundation and the police department, which are working together on the project, are asking anyone who may have artifacts or information about the agency’s 60-year history to come forward to be a part of the museum.

Note: To help support this project, the Police Foundation is offering commemorative coins for a donation of $25 and limited edition die cast police cars for a $15 donation. Contributions can be sent to the Howard County Police Foundation; please contact the museum at for details.

Painting Begins on Main Street!

pwm5Courtesy of The Baltimore Sun. By Amanda Yeager, ayeager@tribune.com5:35 p.m. EDT, May 21, 2014

Ellicott City‘s Main Street is getting spruced up this spring.

For the past few days, painters have been at work caulking and priming in the historic district, and on Wednesday morning Howard County Executive Ken Ulman gave the “Main Street Matters” project its official launch, swiping a few strokes of blue paint onto the door of Archive Records, one of the newest businesses on the block.

The facelift comes courtesy of paint company Benjamin Moore, which last year held a contest that called on American and Canadian residents to cast a vote for their favorite small town using social media. To spur support for Ellicott City, the county filmed a video featuring a faux Brad Pitt walking along Main Street and encouraging people to take part in the contest.

The strategy worked: in July, Ulman announced that Ellicott City was one of 20 winning communities.  On Wednesday, Ulman said the project was about “bringing folks together to step up and make a statement about the historic district of Ellicott City. “I know it’s not easy to make progress, but we’re doing it every day,” he said. “The public sector plays a small role, but it’s really the private sector. It’s the merchants on Main Street, it’s the folks who live here.”

County Council member Courtney Watson, who represents Ellicott City in District 1, said the town has “had its sorrrows and challenges, but this is a great day. “The thing about this town is it’s been here a lot longer than us, but every generation has people that love it,” she added.

To do the paint job, Benjamin Moore has contracted with Columbia Paint and Definition Painting Services Inc. of Columbia. The company worked with the town’s Historic District Partnership to choose a rich-hued palette of colors, with names like Byrd Beige, Garrison Red and Colonial Blue.

Definition Painting owner Joel Alvarado said it was “a pleasure” for his small, 18-employee business to “make this town more beautiful.  “One day, I’m going to be more than proud to walk down the street with my family and know we are part of the history here,” he said.

The facades of 40 different buildings from Maryland Avenue to Old Columbia Pike will be painted as part of the project, which is expected to be finished by the end of June, weather permitting.

Read more:,0,1860769.story#ixzz32SNz3iTD



Baltimore Sun – Ellicott City’s Bean Hollow fills up with napkin art

Our own Bean Hollow has been featured in the Baltimore Sun.  A tradition at Ellicott City’s Bean Hollow where patrons left messages for each other in a table’s secret drawer was discovered by owner Gretchen Shuey in 2008, who now displays the writings and drawings on the walls.

Read more:  Ellicott City’s Bean Hollow fills up with napkin art

Ellicott City Receives $100K State Grant for Streetscape Program

The historic district has some improvements on the way!  In addition to the forthcoming capital improvement projects, we received a $100K State Grant for Streetscapes through the Community Legacy Program.

“The Community Legacy program funds projects that will promote commercial revitalization and business retention.

Funding in Ellicott City will go toward implementing green techniques and streetscape improvements throughout its historic district, according to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

The grant will go toward benches, new recycling and trash containers, planters, landscaping, directional signs and bike racks on Main Street..”

Read more about it here:   Ellicott City Receives $100K State Grant for Streetscape Program

More info about Capital Improvement Projects in the Historic District:  Ellicott City Improvements

Happy 2014 from Historic Ellicott City

With 2014 fully underway, you may start to notice some changes happening in the Ellicott City Historic District.  Although we’re saying goodbye to some old friends, we’re looking forward to new shops, restaurants and neighbors joining our family.

A recent article in the Ellicott City Patch lends a peek in to what’s in store….