bars in Columbia/Jessup?
I volunteer weekly in a prison in Jessup, MD. I often want to go out with fellow volunteers afterward (only for a drink or two, early evening). But it's pretty much gun shops, liquor stores and dives in that area. We've tried out a couple of places in Columbia, MD, but the ones I've found are really large and underpopulated and pretty bland at that hour. Is there anyplace within shooting distance (no pun intended) that has a little bit of character without feeling sleazy?
The Red Parrot at 295 and Arundel Mills Boulevard has decent sushi and Thai dishes with a full bar, more like a bar/restaurant than a restaurant. Jessup, Laurel and Elkridge are pretty much skeevy industrial wastelands. Gunning's in Hanover, maybe. There just isn't much to recommend except gritty biker joints and wino bars. You'll have no trouble finding those.
I definitely would add Frisco Grill in Columbia to the list. They have an excellent variety of beers on tap (~50). I think they swap out several regularly too and have specials. The old location had a really nice feel to it. I can't attest to the new one (they moved to a new building in 2011). I wasn't huge on the food but is was okay.