But sometimes it gives us something far more important, like lightbulbs. Or the telegraph. Or mac and cheese that tastes like a Cuban sandwich.
Which is reason enough to check out Trademark Drink + Eat, a shrine to the art of inventing things, now soft-open next to the US Patent and Trademark Office in Old Town.
If Thomas Edison had a giant bar in his mansion, it might have looked something like this. First off, there’s his portrait. But there’s also hardwood everywhere, and it’s festooned with magnifying glasses, beakers and (naturally) cool-looking lightbulbs.
You’ve got a couple plays here, the first being football. The TVs are many, and the communal high-tops can accommodate a whole quorum of fans, their pints from the 12 taps and comfort-food plates like beer-can chicken and The Cuban mac and cheese (with ham, bacon, deep-fried pickle).
For date purposes, you’re better off by one of the giant front windows. There, you can down classic cocktails like the Jack Rose before you move on to short rib ravioli and Chesapeake pot pie with crab, rockfish and shrimp.
In coming weeks, watch for a cocktail class dubbed a “Mixology Lab,” where you can tinker with bitters, infusions, tinctures and such.
Just don’t burn your eyebrows off.