We're currently on the hunt for the Best Happy Hour in Greater Annapolis. As a former bartender, I understand the difference between a good establishment and good marketing, so the happy hour qualities that I'm focusing on are:
- Special pricing on sought-after adult beverages (not just Bud Light 10-ounce drafts)
- Availability of quality food — preferably complimentary, but price-break appetizers work too
- Enjoyable and original atmosphere, be it a wine bar, jazz club or biker joint
- Service by people who actually enjoy what they're doing
The first stop on my "Greater Annapolis Happy Hour Tour de Froth" is Rams Head Roadhouse located at 1773 Generals Highway. It is part of the same local Rams Head franchise that includes locations in downtown Annapolis, Kent Island, Savage and Baltimore.
There was a time when the Roadhouse was known as Rudy's Tavern and adorned with long lines of motorcycles in the parking lot. Now, it's a bit calmer and you can walk right in without knowing the secret handshake.
The Roadhouse was jumping when my friend and I arrived just after 5 p.m. The interior was clean, well-lit and unassuming. There is a long bar on the back wall, several TVs, and plenty of seating in the bar and dining area. Any traces of the old Rudy's are gone. The new look is not bad but is a bit on the generic side.
Happy hour runs from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays. They keep it simple with all drafts, house wine, and rail drinks priced at $2.50. Since Rams Head is historically beer-centric, as well as famous for their self-produced Fordham craft brews, a cold one is really is your best bet. I'm a fan of their Copperhead Ale so I was in the groove with an amber pint in my hand.
They take their happy-hour food seriously, with different complimentary offerings each day. Options include bratwurst, beef tacos, carved meats, steamed seafood and other good stuff. We were there on a Friday, which was wing day. The wings were good, meaty and well-cooked with a small kick; a perfect companion for the beers.
Service was pretty good too. The bartenders were too busy to chat with us about the weather but we never reached the bottom of our glasses without a refill offer.
Happy hour at Rams Head Roadhouse is a safe choice for local beer lovers with fine draft options, quality food and an adequate sense of value. However, if you're looking for that ideal Appletini or an exquisite glass of boutique pinot noir, keep on looking. I'm just starting my quest so we'll find places that specialize in those too.
Rams Head Roadhouse Happy Hour Essentials
When: 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays
Drinks: All drafts, house wine and rail drinks cost just $2.50
Food: Complimentary offerings vary by day and include bratwurst, beef tacos, carved meats, steamed seafood and more