07-01-2021 Howard Mag - Flipbook - Page 17
have turned this strip mall storefront into
an oasis. In one corner, the ames of a brick
oven dart to heat up pizzas, and a team of
cooks prepares wings, salads and busting-atthe-seams burgers.
Wells says he used to take a more cerebral
approach to food, caring more about what
his peers might think of his food than the
actual people eating it. Now, he says, “I’m not
cooking for me,” he says. “I just want to make
food that people really like. I like to make
food that makes people happy.”
It might not win him a James Beard
award, but the guest-rst philosophy has certainly won fans in this suburban-meets-rural
part of Howard County, where Walker’s has
fast become a go-to dining destination.
“Around here, there’s not a lot of restaurants,” said Wells. “We’re kind of in
farmland.” Aging farmhouses and even a dilapidated log cabin can be seen on the drive
to the restaurant, located on Route 97 just off
the Baltimore National Pike.
Wells lives with his family just a short
drive away and says he enjoys feeling part
of the community where he’s building roots.
On his days off, guests from the restaurant
will sometimes recognize him at the grocery
store and ask him what’s for dinner. “My kids
love it here.”
A diner at the restaurant might never
know of the behind-the-scenes chaos that
his and other businesses have faced the past
year: the health scares, the shortage of everything from labor to chicken wings.
“Supply has been complicated,” Wells said,
taking a break before the lunch crush. Most
recently, it’s crab that’s been an issue. “I can’t
nd it,” he says. “I don’t know what’s going
Through it all, Walker’s Tap & Table has
remained steady, doing everything from
pivoting to carryout to selling whole chickens
to diners when grocery stores began to run
out last year. “We didn’t evolve with COVID,”
Wells said. “COVID evolved us.”
And the staff has worked hard to accommodate all guests, regardless of their COVID-19 comfort levels. Tables are spaced far
apart for social distancing, and an outdoor
tent allows people to dine al fresco if they
want. The restaurant is still doing a brisk
carryout business, even as on-premise diners
continue to pack the restaurant every night
of the week.
The past year, though chaotic, has helped
cement the relationship with guests more
than ever — just as Wells wants it to be.
Walker’s Tap & Table. 2465 MD-97,
Glenwood. 410-801-9400. eatatwalkers.com
Your Future in the Growing
Hospitality and Culinary
Industry Starts at
Howard Community College.
Hands-on, practical training that you can apply right away.
Knowledge to start or manage your own business.
Affordable, quality education to prepare you
for an in-demand career.
Explore degree and certicate programs,
and learn more about HCC’s
Center for Hospitality and Culinary Studies
u Arianna, Culinary
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