Sunday, October 31, 2021

Popeyes opens in downtown Silver Spring (Photos)

enjoys trolling rival Chick-fil-A about the latter's choice not to be open on Sundays. It's a red-letter Sunday for Popeyes at 8401 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring, because new and unique location is now open for business. 

Operating hours are 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM. The interior is several notches above the typical Popeyes restaurant, with plenty of room for social distancing. They even have a special Highlights magazine in the kids' meal.

Friday, October 29, 2021

David Blair releases plan to help restaurants in race for Montgomery County Executive

Blair headquarters at 11751 
Rockville Pike

Democratic Montgomery County Executive candidate David Blair has released a list of policy changes he would implement to help county restaurants if elected. "Restaurants are Better with Blair" is a 10-point plan for a low-profit-margin industry that was struggling in the county even before the pandemic hit.

Proposals include streamlining regulations, and ensuring they are consistent with competing jurisdictions around us; simplified inspections; ending the County's monopoly on liquor sales; increased access to capital; developing the hospitality workforce and management skills in partnership with local colleges; expanding childcare; investing in transit and more ride-hailing, on-demand bus services; and growing the agricultural sector of the county's economy, so that more food and alcoholic beverages produced here can be served in county restaurants.

One restaurateur to endorse Blair, who narrowly lost the 2018 Democratic primary to Marc Elrich by only 77 votes, is Farmers Fishers Bakers co-owner Dan Simons. In addition to having a Founding Farmers restaurant at Park Potomac in Montgomery County, Simons blogs about the industry at Dan Simons Says.

Elrich is running for reelection. Current County Council member Hans Riemer is also challenging Elrich. Councilmember Tom Hucker is exploring a potential challenge, but hasn't ruled out running for his District 5 Council seat again instead. No candidate of any party has filed paperwork for this race with the Board of Elections, as of this writing. 

Strong-arm carjacking in White Oak

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a strong-arm carjacking in the White Oak area of Silver Spring late Wednesday night, October 27, 2021. The carjacking was reported in a residential parking lot in the 11600 block of Lockwood Drive at 11:56 PM, according to crime data.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

No shortage of East MoCo books at Wheaton Target

Supply line snafus may have some shelves looking spotty, but there's no shortage of books on the topic of eastern Montgomery County history at the Target at Wheaton Plaza. One can find tomes on the history of Silver Spring, or the more recent development of downtown Silver Spring. 

There are volumes on Forest Glen and Takoma Park, as well as on the County at large. And a chance to learn about life in Montgomery County during World War I or the Civil War. Each book offers the opportunity to learn something you didn't know about eastern Montgomery County.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Two Hands Corn Dog, Suki Hana post "coming soon" signage at Wheaton Plaza

Two Hands Corn Dog
, the South Korean hot-dog-on-a-stick chain, is "coming soon" to Westfield's Wheaton Plaza mall. That's what signage posted at its future location in the mall says. When it opens, look for Two Hands Corn Dog in the center of Level 2. 

Also arriving in the near future at the mall is Suki Hana Japan, a fast-casual Japanese restaurant in the vein of Sarku Japan, which it essentially is taking the place of here. Suki Hana will be in the mall's food court next to Famous Rotisserie & Grill.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Daro's Beer & Wine considers adding basement speakeasy in Wheaton

Daro's Beer & Wine
, a beer and wine retailer that also serves cold beer indoors at 2501 Ennalls Avenue in Wheaton, has room to grow in its 2000-square-foot basement level. Owner Pete Cordaro is floating the idea of turning the space into a speakeasy, given that it has access from both inside the store, and from the exterior alleyway. 

The new space could be rented for events, and possibly include a small stage for live music. Food would be catered, or delivered from outside establishments. It might also feature a big screen TV, a pool table, a pinball machine, Maryland Lottery and sales of beer and wine. But nothing is set in stone yet, as Cordaro is still accepting feedback from customers and the neighborhood.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Indecent exposure at downtown Silver Spring restaurant

Montgomery County police responded to a report of indecent exposure at a downtown Silver Spring restaurant on Saturday morning, October 23, 2021. The incident was reported at a restaurant in the 8500 block of Georgia Avenue at 9:32 AM, according to crime data.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Sydney's Burger sets opening date at Wheaton Plaza

The long-awaited opening of Sydney's Burger at Westfield's Wheaton Plaza mall is finally approaching. Sydney's Burger will have a grand opening on Friday, October 29, 2021 from 1:00 - 5:00 PM. See a sneak peek inside the restaurant below, check out the menu on their website, and look for Sydney's Burger on Level 2.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Rue 21 to return to Wheaton Plaza

Rue 21
is coming back to Wheaton Plaza, a source tells me. The Gen-Z-targeted apparel store was one of the few retailers to enjoy bricks-and-mortar sales growth in 2020. As a result, the chain is again in an expansion mode. This will be Rue 21's second new store in Maryland; the other is in Waldorf.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

McDonald's Smoky BLT Quarter Pounder arrives in Silver Spring

A new sandwich has arrived at many McDonald's locations in Montgomery County. The Smoky BLT Quarter Pounder with Cheese features the 100% all-beef patty topped with smoky bacon sauce, smoked Applewood bacon strips, Roma tomatoes, shredded lettuce and two slices of American cheese on a sesame seed bun. It cost $6.89 before tax. There is also a Chips Ahoy McFlurry for a limited time.

I have seen the burger at McDonald's restaurants in Bethesda (River Road), Rockville and Silver Spring so far. The secretive sandwich is either a test item, or a near-future release that came out early in our area. Which is great news, because the burger is delicious with the mystery bacon sauce. Watch my review, and then try it yourself.

Electronic menu boards activated at Popeyes in downtown Silver Spring (Photos)

The electronic menu boards have been activated at the new Popeyes at 8401 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring. It looks pretty close to opening. This is the nicest interior I've ever seen in a Popeyes restaurant. Very fancy, and great chicken is a given here.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Armed carjacking in Silver Spring

The latest carjacking in Silver Spring was reported Monday night. Montgomery County police responded to a call reporting an armed carjacking in the 11400 block of July Drive at 7:12 PM, according to crime data. That is in White Oak, off of Lockwood Drive.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Takoma Park to hold virtual meeting on redistricting for City Council seats October 21

Takoma Park residents who want to have a say in the redrawing of City Council districts for the November 2022 city election will have an early opportunity this Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 7:00 PM. A two-hour virtual meeting will be held at that time. To participate, register in advance online. 

Mapping tools and a comment form will be available, as well as briefings on the process. A survey will be taken. $50,000 has been budgeted for the redistricting process. The City has hired FLO Analytics to conduct the redistricting process, and to produce maps. A final map is expected to be approved by the Mayor and Council in January 2022.

Monday, October 18, 2021

Commas food hall expected to open next spring at Ellsworth Place in Silver Spring

Ellsworth Place
has released further details on the new food hall being constructed at the mall in downtown Silver Spring. It will be called Commas, and hold 12 stalls for dining vendors. The name is inspired by the punctuation symbol that "separates items in a list, symbolizing the myriad of ways to dine and get together," the mall said in a statement this morning. Commas is expected to open next spring on Level 2.

In addition to a range of local and international cuisine options, the food hall will also serve as an event space. A central bar will be designed as a place to hang out for happy hour, as well as on nights and weekends.

GrizForm Design Architects was contracted to design the food hall. Patrons will be able to see into the open kitchens of each of the 12 vendors in the 13000+ square food space.

Rendering courtesy GrizForm Design Architects 

Friday, October 15, 2021

Barron Street lane closures in Long Branch next week

Watch for lane closures on Barron Street in the Long Branch area of Silver Spring next week. The affected segment of Barron is between Piney Branch Road and Gilbert Place. Lane closures are currently scheduled to begin Monday, October 18, 2021, and will last approximately one week, weather permitting. Work hours will be Monday-Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM, and on weekends, if necessary. Watch for flaggers directing traffic during this Purple Line-related utility relocation project.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Popeyes downtown Silver Spring construction update (Photos)

There's even more Popeyes Orange now inside the future Popeyes at 8401 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring. Even some of the lighting fixtures are orange. The dining room has more of the feel of a casual dining restaurant layout than the typical roadside Popeyes building, thanks to this being a conversion rather than new construction.