Beer and Banjos at the Friendly Inn

Ya’ll come, despite the spelling

Gisela Woelper seems an unlikely champion of Bluegrass music; her English still bears a charming trace of her native southern Germany. But Gisela has owned and operated Ellicott City’s Friendly Inn for the last twenty-eight years, and Friday night at the Friendly means standing-room-only Bluegrass. Gisele added Bluegrass bands on Saturday and informal pickin’ sessions on Thursday nights and Sunday afternoons, too.

There have been a few changes over the years: there’s no smoking inside the place, and nearby farm fields have sprouted a crop of tract houses, but the Friendly’s patrons still live up to the place’s name, and there is still no cover charge. There will be one big change at the end of the month, though. Gisela will hand the Friendly Inn over to new owner Ron Wildman, who seeks to continue the Inn’s musical heritage. 

On Friday, September 21st, Gisela will be hosting a reunion of Washington’s Orange Line Special (full disclosure: I’m a member). Music starts at 9pm and ends at 1am. Get there early for a sandwich and a chat with Gisela.

More powerful than the Orange Line Metro . . .

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