On Deck

Cacao Lane is the ideal bar for summer sips.

By Jess Mayhugh - July 2016

On Deck

Cacao Lane is the ideal bar for summer sips.

By Jess Mayhugh - July 2016

The outdoor deck at Cacao Lane. -Photography by Scott Suchman

Walking down Main Street in Ellicott City is a bit like being in a time portal—one that transports you back to an era when people traveled by train, mills ruled the economy, and department stores like Caplan’s were king.

A visit to Cacao Lane (8066 Main St., Ellicott City, 410-461-1378)—the building was fashioned from locally quarried stone and brick back in 1840, and has been in continuous use as a cabstand, general store, pool hall, and, now, restaurant and bar—is no exception.

The best time to visit is during the summer when the rooftop deck is in full swing. Imagine a grown-up, no-frills tree house. Replete with plastic chairs, wooden bar stools, and black umbrellas, the multitiered deck is nestled in trees with a view of the town’s still-operating flour mill in the distance.

Cacao Lane’s deck has a small dedicated bar area with its own menu, but all drinks are available if you don’t mind carrying them outside yourself. Here, the staff churns out summertime drinks like orange crushes and pours local beer from Evolution, Union, and Heavy Seas. On our visit, the sun was out and we were in a tropical mood, so we opted for a tart and refreshing pineapple mimosa brought from the bar downstairs. Signature outside offerings include the Deck Punch with coconut rum, and peach and watermelon purée, and a Sunburn with vodka, orange, cranberry, and pineapple juices.

To make sure we descended the deck’s steps safely, we decided to soak up the alcohol by noshing on bar snacks, including plump mussels and shrimp steamed in Natty Boh, crab dip made with Monterey Jack cheese and Old Bay, and light and lean pulled pork tacos with pickled radishes.

Take it from us: Spending a lazy afternoon on Cacao Lane’s deck, sipping drinks as the trees sway overhead, makes all the hustle and bustle of Main Street feel like a world away—no matter what era you’re in.





You May Also Like


Arts District

Points South Drag Brunch Searches for New Home After Restaurant's Closure

The Fells Point bar has closed, but Brooklyn Heights assures patrons the show will go on.

In Good Taste

Local Flavor Live Podcast: Ranch Dressing Remains a Classic

Plus, Uptown Abbey opens, chef Andrew Weinzirl's next chapter at The Choptank, and best bites.

Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: Our Approach to Negative Reviews

Plus, 'Esquire' magazine praises Baltimore and our favorite items at Trader Joe's.


Food & Drink

Local Flavor Live Podcast: Frank Pepe Pizzeria Reportedly Expanding to Maryland

We dish on the New Haven institution's famous clam pie. Plus, behind the scenes at Dutch Courage and best bites.

In Good Taste

Treehouse Cafe and Juice Bar Replaces Prime Corner in Hampden

Local fitness instructors offer gluten-free menu featuring pizzas, salads, and wraps.

In Good Taste

Chef Andrew Weinzirl Discusses His Transition to The Choptank

Plus, the former Brewer's Art chef shares where he likes to dine out and thoughts on the farm-to-table trend.

The outdoor deck at Cacao Lane. -Photography by Scott Suchman

Connect With Us

Most Read


Kirby Lane Park Brings New Energy to West Baltimore Neighborhood: Formerly dilapidated site has become a hub for community engagement in Franklin Square.

John Waters is the Newest Male Face of Nike: Waters is one of three celebrities chosen to be in '90s-inspired Nordstrom x Nike campaign.

Maya Rockeymoore Cummings Declares For Late Husband’s Seat: We break down the familiar faces in upcoming special Democratic primary.

Maryland Native Maggie Rogers Receives First Grammy Nomination: The singer-songwriter was nominated for “Best New Artist” alongside big-name acts.

What to Know About the Maryland Cycling Classic Coming September 2020: For starters, Baltimore's pro cycling event will be more than 100 miles long.