Just opened this past Thursday, Calamity Jane’s is a decidedly cozier venue

Just opened this past Thursday, Calamity Jane’s is a decidedly cozier venue than some of the other, well-loved, more rough and tumble hangouts along this strip. Their highway-stripe-yellow walls are hung with paintings of proud, big-game hunters smiling over their kills, framed in long, curved pieces of driftwood. Despite the art, this place is less macho, and a bit more upscale than the rest of the places on the strip. Punksters may abound along Airport Way South, from Stellar to the 9 Pound, but perhaps Calamity Jane’s is hoping to snag some of the many multi-generational families that fill the back room at Stellar, or those wanting a few more dining (or drinking) options. The appetizer menu (3-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; they’re closed Sundays) features pulled-pork sliders with Velveeta and BBQ sauce, while the dinner menu has burgers as well as a veggie Cottage Pie (shepherd’s pie, only with lentils, mushrooms, and cauliflower), as well as tempting-sounding cornbread griddlecakes. Stopping by last night, I indulged in a huge, messy platter of baby back ribs (Tuesday’s special) while my dining companion opted for the traditional shepherd’s pie: ground beef, corn, and carrots, topped with mashed potatoes. The menu offers good, old-fashioned comfort food, spiced with black pepper and butter. We sipped a local beer, Baron Pilsner, local to South Park (not Barnes, as the menu says – thanks to a reader for this correction), which we found tastier and more complex than the Texas-native (German-inspired) Shinerbock. The dining room was populated with girls dancing and squealing, taking photos of each other and raising their shirts to show each other their bellies. 5 year old girls, at a birthday party. So maybe Stellar has a bit of competition for the rugrat-having crowd. A good thing: it’s always nice to have a few more dining (and drinking) options in Georgetown.