by Michael Vyskocil, photography by Nikola Tzenov
Food & Fun
Carroll’s dining community knows how to serve up yummy food at cafes and restaurants, but the county is also a premier spot for first-rate entertainment. Whether it’s trivia or painting, live music or open mic, there is plenty of fun to be had in Carroll County year-round.
When planning a fun night out in downtown Westminster, make 84 East Woodfire Kitchen & Bar part of your plans. This new addition to Westminster’s dining scene — which will mark one year of operations in March — has quickly gained a following among locals and out-of-town visitors.
“Our establishment is a small space,” owner Pietro Priola said. “We have only 63 seats, but it’s a very welcoming place.”
Priola takes pride in what he, his daughter Nicole and his management team have created with 84 East Woodfire Kitchen & Bar in Westminster. Priola is no stranger to the Maryland restaurant community. His family has managed restaurants such as Maria’s Sicilian Ristorante & Cafe and Mangia Italian Grill and Sports Bar in Annapolis and the Mangia Italian Grille and Sports Cafe in the Waverly Woods Village Center in Howard County.
Priola admits that opening a new business amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging, but he’s grateful to the customers who have supported the restaurant since its opening.
“Offering good food and good drinks is our No. 1 thing. Our success has been the quality of our food,” he said, “but it’s our entertainment that keeps people here after dinner.”
The wood-fired pizzas and wings are an appealing part of the menu. But what also appeals to guests is the delightful atmosphere that supports gatherings with family and friends.
Each Wednesday, the restaurant hosts a Trivia Night beginning at 7 p.m. “The Trivia Night has gotten so popular that guests call to reserve tables,” he said. If you go, be prepared for competition among those vying for the chance to win restaurant gift cards.
On Thursday night at 8, it’s Open Mic Night hosted by Greg Kneller. “Greg is a local musician from the area. He’s well-known and has a great following,” Priola said. He added that Open Mic Night also offers an opportunity for his team to discover new talent for entertainment bookings.
On Friday and Saturday nights, 84 East Woodfire Kitchen & Bar hosts musicians from Westminster, the Carroll County region, Howard County and Pennsylvania for live music and a late-night happy hour. Over the past several months, talent such as Marshall Stone, Chris Kross, Arielle Viola, Daisy Meadows and others have performed here. Guests can leave their troubles behind and immerse themselves in the instrumentation and vocals of dynamite performers.
This year, Priola’s goal is to open up the outdoor deck and bring the music outdoors beginning in the spring. He said he hopes to provide this space for people to come together, celebrate with delicious food and drink and enjoy local, live entertainment.
Follow 84 East Woodfire Kitchen & Bar on Facebook to get up-to-date information about entertainment offerings and schedules for upcoming live music performances.
84 East Woodfire Kitchen
84 East Main Street, Westminster • 443-293-7335 • facebook.com/84EastWoodFired