Friday, January 29, 2021

Aspen Hill Kmart to close

The Aspen Hill Kmart is closing. This is one of the saddest posts I will have to write on this website, but the closure was announced late Thursday. According to the announcement, the venerable Kmart at 14014 Connecticut Avenue will close in mid-April. A closing sale will begin in the near future.

This has always been my Kmart store, and as one of the best-run in the chain, it has outlasted many rounds of closures. But the vulture capital monster usually prevails in the end, after draining all of the value out of a brand, and Fast Eddie Lampert has been no exception. 

Expect a monster real estate development on this site in the future. The Montgomery County cartel has been rubbing its hands over this property, and others in Aspen Hill, for more than a decade.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Purse-snatching in Long Branch

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a forcible purse snatching in Silver Spring on Tuesday afternoon. The purse was snatched in an unspecified block of Walden Road in the Long Branch area around 2:26 PM, according to crime data.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Text-to-911 now available in Maryland

Callers in emergency situations who cannot, or do not wish to, speak on the phone now have a silent option. Text-to-911 service is now available in the state of Maryland. Residents and visitors alike can contact emergency services via text using the service.

To use Text-to-911 service, follow these steps:

1. Enter 911 in the “To” line.

2. Enter a brief message that includes the location of the emergency and type of service needed – police,              fire, or ambulance.

3. Hit send.

4. Respond to questions from the responding 911 specialist, and follow the instructions he or she provides.

Sweet Sweet Kitchen expanding to Silver Spring

Sweet Sweet Kitchen
is coming to 904 Bonifant Street in downtown Silver Spring, according to a sign attached to the front of the building. What type of cuisine will it be? I recognize the flag of Jamaica on the banner, and after some research, I can report the other flag is that of Sierra Leone. There is a restaurant of the same name in Lanham, according to Yelp.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

&pizza racing to completion in Silver Spring

The newest area location of &pizza at 8455 Fenton Street in downtown Silver Spring is scheduled to open in February. As the construction crew races toward opening day, an appropriate new design detail has been added to the storefront. A powder blue racetrack oval now encircles the future entrance, and is topped off with an &pizza logo. It's drawing a lot of attention at this corner, but probably not as much as the aromas of the pizzas will when it opens.

Monday, January 25, 2021

Long Branch Library refresh completed

Renovations to the Long Branch Library at 8800 Garland Avenue in Silver Spring have been completed, Montgomery County announced today. Holds-to-Go appointments can be scheduled as of today, and telephone service is now active, County officials said. The phone number for the library is 1-240-777-0910 (TTY: 301-565-7662).

Tables now have electrical connections throughout the library, which also got new flooring, carpet and paint. The circulation desk area got a thorough makeover, and LED light fixtures and furniture are all new. Outside, you'll notice a new stucco finish on the first floor exterior, a new plaza roof, and ADA-related upgrades to improve access.

The entire project cost $4 million dollars. “Our libraries are community anchors and the impressive improvements transform this into a modernized, beautiful facility for our Long Branch residents to enjoy,” Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said in a statement this morning.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Flower Avenue Montgomery County liquor store closes after employee tests positive for Covid-19

The Montgomery County government-operated liquor store at 8706-B Flower Avenue in the Long Branch area of Silver Spring has temporarily closed after an employee tested positive for Covid-19. That employee's last day at the store was Monday, January 18, 2021. The store will remain closed until a deep-cleaning process can be completed, County officials said.

Silver Spring native Dave Chappelle tests positive for Covid-19

Actor and comedian Dave Chappelle has tested positive for Covid-19, TMZ reports. Chappelle, who grew up in Silver Spring, has canceled at least two of his upcoming performances as a result. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Gusto closes at Downtown Silver Spring

Gusto Farm to Street
has closed at 8512 Fenton Street at Downtown Silver Spring. A sign in the window says the restaurant is closed "until further notice." The downtown Bethesda Gusto location closed last August. According to the Gusto website, their Chantilly location is the only of their restaurants currently open for business at this moment.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Armed robberies in Takoma Park, Olney

Two armed robberies in East Montgomery County took place in a matter of hours this week, in Takoma Park and Olney. Firearms were used in both robberies, crime data indicates.

City of Takoma Park police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a convenience store early yesterday morning. The incident occurred at a store in the 6900 block of New Hampshire Avenue around 12:00 AM, according to crime data. 

The previous evening, Montgomery County police were called to the scene of an armed robbery in an Olney residential neighborhood. That robbery was reported in the 3900 block of Gelding Lane around 8:20 PM Monday night.

Trump pardons include local developer Douglas Jemal

Among the 73 pardons issued by President Donald Trump the night before Inauguration Day was a full pardon for one of the most prominent developers in the Washington, D.C. region, Douglas Jemal of Douglas Development. Trump, known for most of his life for his own real estate development business, granted Jemal a full pardon for a 2008 fraud conviction. 

Jemal was found guilty of wire fraud. He had been accused of using the proceeds of a loan taken out with a business partner to purchase a property without the partner's knowledge or consent.

Douglas Development owns numerous properties in Montgomery County, in Bethesda, Rockville, Silver Spring and Gaithersburg. They include the Trader Joe's-anchored Shops of Wisconsin in downtown Bethesda. The White House released the following statement regarding Jemal's pardon:

"President Trump granted a full pardon to Douglas Jemal. Mr. Jemal is an American businessman and philanthropist credited with rebuilding many urban inner cities in the United States. In 2008, Mr. Jemal was convicted of fraud. In addition, Mr. Jemal was instrumental to various other charitable causes, including the rebuilding of churches prior to his conviction.  Notably, at his trial the presiding judge told prosecutors that he thought it 'inconceivable' to send Mr. Jemal to prison."

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Dog Haus Biergarten coming to Downtown Silver Spring

Dog Haus Biergarten
, one of the most-popular restaurants in downtown Bethesda, is expanding to Silver Spring. The custom-built hot dog eatery will be located in the former Lebanese Taverna space on Ellsworth Drive at Downtown Silver Spring, according to a liquor license sign on the storefront.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Strong-arm rape reported in Silver Spring

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a strong-arm rape at a school in Silver Spring Saturday morning. The sexual assault was reported at a school in the 3100 block of Medway Street near Wheaton Claridge Local Park around 9:50 AM. Highland Elementary School is on that block.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Pickpocket strikes in Aspen Hill

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a pickpocket at Plaza Del Mercado in the 2200 block of Bel Pre Road in Aspen Hill Tuesday morning. The pocket was picked around 9:59 AM in the parking lot of the shopping center. Watch your wallet!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ghost of Armand's Pizzeria hovers over Krazy Steve's closing auction in Silver Spring

Krazy Steve's
is closing at 1909 Seminary Road in the Montgomery Hills area of Silver Spring, according to an online auction listing. You can bid on the usual kitchen equipment, and even a food truck. But what stands out the most to longtime area residents is that there are items from the previous tenant at this location, Armand's Chicago Pizzeria, up for bid as well.

There is a 37" Armand's Pizzeria sign. And Armand's Pizza delivery signs for vehicles. Those have to be bid on as a set. These would be nice keepsakes for the Armand's fan, while supporting the owner of Krazy Steve's, as he winds down operations in this difficult time for all restaurants.

The virtual disappearance of the Armand's chain in the area has been more lamentable by the day, as dietary trends seem to favor thin crusts in the new pizzerias that have opened in recent years (R.I.P., Pi Pizzeria in Bethesda, one of the few deep dish entries). Fortunately, there is still one Armand's left, in Rockville. Enjoy a takeout slice from there at home, under your new Armand's Pizzeria sign!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Kensington Crossing shopping center to replace gas station on Connecticut Avenue (Photos)

A new shopping center is coming to the main drag in Kensington. H&R Retail is marketing the new retail property at 10619 Connecticut Avenue, at the southeast corner of its intersection with Plyers Mill Road. It is adjacent to the CSX railroad tracks, and diagonally across from the Kensington Volunteer Fire Department station. Located at a crossroads, the branding being given is Kensington Crossing.

Featuring a total of 11,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, the shopping center also has the right to have a drive-thru business, such as a fast food restaurant or bank. At a high-traffic, high-profile corner, that will be quite a draw. Let's hope Jack-in-the-Box is listening!

The property will also feature several amenities. These include a cut-through, arched walkway seen here, as well as outdoor seating and "relaxing community areas." Spaces are now being leased ahead of construction.

Renderings courtesy H&R Retail

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Sex assault reported at Silver Spring nursing home

Montgomery County police responded to a report of an individual being fondled at a Silver Spring nursing home Monday afternoon. The incident was reported at a nursing home in the 3200 block of Bel Pre Road in the Aspen Hill area around 1:59 PM yesterday, according to crime data.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Armed robbery in Colesville neighborhood

Montgomery County police responded to a report of an armed robbery in the Colesville area of Silver Spring Thursday night. The robbery was reported in the 13000 block of Morningside Lane around 10:57 PM. According to crime data, a gun was the weapon employed in the robbery.

Friday, January 8, 2021

&pizza targets February opening in Silver Spring

expects its new downtown Silver Spring location to open in February. The pizza parlor is located at 8455 Fenton Street, in the ground floor of the Central Apartments. Follow the instructions in the photo below for your chance to win free pizza on opening day.

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Discolored water in Aspen Hill

The WSSC has issued a notice that customers in the Aspen Hill and Bel Pre areas of Silver Spring may notice discolored/brown water now and in the next couple of weeks. This is due to work being done in preparation for a large water main shutdown later this month, the utility says. 

WSSC says discolored water is safe to drink, but that they do not recommend doing laundry in the discolored water. If the discoloration persists beyond January 21, WSSC advises you call them at 301-206-4002, or email them at

Car stolen from home in Woodside Forest

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a stolen car in the Woodside Forest area of Silver Spring early yesterday morning. The vehicle was taken from the driveway of a home in the 1500 block of Grace Church Road. It is believed the car was taken sometime between 11:00 PM Tuesday night and 5:00 AM Wednesday morning.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Matchbox, Copper Canyon still open at Downtown Silver Spring amidst construction

Major renovations continue at Downtown Silver Spring. A section of the retail center is walled off by Matchbox, which remains open for business. And despite the appearance of heavy construction work at Copper Canyon Grill, it too is open for takeout and delivery orders.

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Tastee Diner closes in Silver Spring until indoor dining ban ends, Nando's reopens

Tastee Diner
has temporarily closed in downtown Silver Spring, and will not reopen until Montgomery County lifts its ban on indoor dining, the popular restaurant says. The owner previously closed the Bethesda location on the same terms hours before the Montgomery County ban took effect last month. In more-positive downtown Silver Spring dining news, Nando's Peri-Peri has reopened at 924 Ellsworth Drive. It had temporarily closed on December 28.

Monday, January 4, 2021

Geese mitigation to close part of Kemp Mill Urban Park in Wheaton this month

Part of Kemp Mill Urban Park at 1200 Arcola Avenue in Wheaton will be temporarily closed off to the public starting this month. The Montgomery Parks department is installing fencing around ponds to deter geese from nesting in the park.

Pathways and boardwalks around the ponds will be closed as workers prepare the area for the fencing installation. The rest of the park, including the playground, will remain open as usual during the project. Watch for detours at times.