Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Outback Steakhouse opening delayed until spring at Ellsworth Place

The opening of the new Outback Steakhouse restaurant at Ellsworth Place in downtown Silver Spring has been delayed until spring, a spokesperson for the restaurant chain said yesterday. While the interior fit-out has been completed for some time now, and signage was installed last October, the expected "late fall" opening did not materialize. A representative of the mall's property owner had then forecast a January 2024 opening for the restaurant. Located at 8661 Colesville Road on the ground level of the mall, this will be the third Outback Steakhouse in Montgomery County when it opens.

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Montgomery County police chief announces retirement

Montgomery County Police Chief Marcus Jones abruptly announced his retirement this morning, January 30, 2024. He has served the public for 38 years, the last four of them as chief. His retirement will be effective Monday, July 1.

“It has been an honor to lead such a dedicated and talented department of officers and professional staff. I am immensely proud of what we have accomplished together, and I am confident in the department’s continued success,” Chief Jones said in a statement. “Now is the right time to retire. I am grateful for the support I have received throughout my career. While I may be stepping down a few months earlier than originally planned, I won’t be far. You will still see me around, actively engaging in and contributing to the well-being of Montgomery County.”

A department press release states that the search for a new police chief will begin immediately. Chief Jones did not cite a specific reason for his retirement, nor for moving his retirement date up to July 1.

Monday, January 29, 2024

Gold's Gym targeting late spring opening at Downtown Silver Spring

Late spring in Silver Spring. That's what a Gold's Gym spokesperson is now providing as the target opening date for the fitness chain's location at Downtown Silver Spring. The gym opening was announced almost a year ago, and construction inside has dragged on longer than some potential members expected. Gold's Gym will be located at 901 Wayne Avenue.

Friday, January 26, 2024

Vet clinic to replace Sip & Develop at Downtown Silver Spring

Sip & Develop is essentially moving from Downtown Silver Spring to National Harbor in Prince George's County at the end of this month. Both properties are owned by The Peterson Cos. The Sip & Develop space has now been leased by a veterinary clinic, which will begin construction after the photography business closes on January 28, 2024. Perhaps addressing the booming "pet parent" market, the daytime vet business follows a trend begun by Bethesda Row, which added a veterinary clinic to its mix of retail and restaurant businesses in December 2022.

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Robin Ficker endorses Donald Trump for President

Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Robin Ficker (R) has endorsed Donald Trump for President, the Boyds resident and attorney announced in a press release timed to coincide with Trump's second consecutive victory of the 2024 primary season. The endorsement isn't likely to help Ficker much in the general election, in a state where Trump has some of his lowest popularity numbers in the nation. But, barring former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan coming to his political senses, Ficker has a very good chance to be the GOP nominee in the race this November. He is the only declared Republican candidate in the race with statewide name recognition, as both a former elected member of the House of Delegates and a notorious Washington Bullets superfan seen on TV reports from coast to coast over the decades.

"It's time for us to coalesce behind the only Presidential Candidate capable of restoring logic to our government," Ficker said in a statement. "President Trump is the only candidate with a proven track record of historically low unemployment, safer communities, and lower energy prices. Together, President Trump and I will secure our Southern border. Together, President Trump and I will stop the flow of fentanyl across our border and onto our streets. President Trump and I will take swift and decisive action to protect our communities and secure our border.

"President Trump and I will bring the country into a new, prosperous economic age and help the United States become energy independent again, pursuing an ‘all-of-the-above’ approach to our energy sector. President Biden has failed in every one of these categories. The choice is clear. Reject Biden's policies in the ballot box this November and vote for Donald J. Trump!"

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Best Buy shelves growing bare as promised 2024 phaseout of physical media begins (Photos)

The DVD and Blu-Ray shelves are growing spare, if not quite bare, at Best Buy stores nationwide. The big box electronics chain announced last fall that it would phase out such physical media in 2024, and it's one New Year's resolution that's being kept. While 4K, Blu-Ray and DVD movies are still being manufactured, Best Buy won't be stocking them as they're released anymore. You can see the policy change beginning to take effect at this Best Buy store at 10901 Georgia Avenue in Wheaton. 

It's been a long time since I've bought a physical copy of a movie. For me, it wasn't so much the convenience of digital or streaming films, but the fact that fewer and fewer releases came with deluxe packaging and collectible items inside. When all you get is an expensive steelbook case and the disc(s) inside, there's little incentive to buy the physical product anymore. And behind-the-scenes features on many discs seem to get illegally uploaded to YouTube eventually, where they can be viewed for free.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Roaming Rooster to open at Downtown Silver Spring

Roaming Rooster
has leased a space at Downtown Silver Spring. It is in the former Flipp'd by IHOP location at 8537 Georgia Avenue. Roaming Rooster is vying with Hangry Joe's for fastest-growing chicken sandwich chain in Montgomery County. This should be a popular lunch spot at the Peterson Cos. property when it opens. 

Monday, January 22, 2024

Sticky Fingers bakery soft-opening starts January 23 by Takoma Park Metro station

Sticky Fingers
bakery will begin holding soft-opening hours tomorrow, Tuesday, January 23, 2024 at 314 Carroll Street NW, in Washington, D.C. This is the former Soupergirl space, directly across the street from the Takoma Park Metro station. The latest venture from two-time Cupcake Wars winner Doron Petersan will offer all of your favorite Sticky Fingers baked goods, alongside plant-based ham and cheese croissants, spinach and feta Danishes, sandwiches, artisanal vegan cheese, and house-made charcuterie. Also available will be Soupergirl soups, and fresh-brewed coffee by Swing's Coffee of Alexandria.

"When I first moved to DC in 1995, I lived in and fell in love with Takoma Park," Petersan said in a statement this morning. "Ever since we opened our first shop in 2002, I’ve been looking for an opportunity to get back to the most welcoming community I’ve ever known. I am so excited to bring our sweets and eats to the Takoma and Takoma Park community, and have an opportunity to serve Shepherd Park, Silver Spring, Brightwood, and other neighborhoods in the area.  I feel like we’re coming home!"

Sticky Fingers aims to meet most dietary needs, including vegan and kosher pareve. There are gluten-free products, and the bakery will be a peanut- and shellfish-free facility. January will be a soft-opening month, with varying hours, and the bakery will be closed on Mondays. By February, Sticky Fingers Bakery will be open to the public from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM Mondays - Fridays, and 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

Photos by Deb Lindsey  

Friday, January 19, 2024

Police release photos of Wheaton home invasion suspect

Montgomery County police have released photos of a suspect in a home invasion robbery this past Sunday in Wheaton. Around 5:00 AM on January 14, 2024, police were called to an apartment in the 11200 block of Georgia Avenue. The victim in the incident told officers that he was awakened to find a man had broken into his unit, and was leaving the apartment with property that belonged to the victim, including what police describe as "government property."

Police describe the suspect as a Hispanic male, approximately 18 to 20 years-old, 5-feet, 8-inches tall in height, with a thin build, brown eyes, and dark hair. The suspect was wearing a black beanie, a "distinct green and black pattern windbreaker style jacket," Nike sweatpants and slides.

Anyone with information regarding this suspect or this incident is asked to visit the Crime Solvers of Montgomery County, MD website at ( and click on the “ (” link at the top of the page or call 1-866-411-8477. A reward of up to $10,000 is offered for information leading to the suspects’ arrest. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

Break-in at store in Wheaton

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a burglary at a store in Wheaton Tuesday morning, January 16, 2024. The burglary was reported at a store in the 2400 block of Ennalls Avenue at 8:15 AM Tuesday. Officers responding to the scene found evidence of forced entry at the business. They also indicated that property had been stolen from the building.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

2 arrested after 2 Silver Spring 7-Elevens are robbed 2 days apart

This crime report is brought to you by the numbers 2 and 6. Montgomery County police have arrested two suspects, whom they accuse of robbing two 7-Eleven stores in Silver Spring, two days apart. Stephen Lavance Oates, Jr., 35, and Katrice Ceclia Wood, 29, both of no fixed address, allegedly robbed the 7-Eleven at 14101 Georgia Avenue in Aspen Hill on January 8, 2024 at 2:52 AM, and the 7-Eleven at 11303 Lockwood Drive in White Oak on January 10 at 4:21 AM. 

Driving a Ford Expedition getaway vehicle, the two suspects allegedly brandished a firearm in both robberies, and pepper sprayed employees at the Aspen Hill store. Among their alleged haul from the robberies were cash, cellphones taken from employees, and some scratch-off lottery tickets for good measure. 

Detectives caught up with the pair in the 3500 block of Old Annapolis Road in Laurel, where there is a Motel 6. Police are leaving the light on for them at the Montgomery County jail, where Oates Jr. and Wood have both been charged with multiple counts of armed robbery, assault, theft and firearms related charges. Both suspects are being held without bond.

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Strong-arm robbery at Silver Spring apartment complex

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery at a Silver Spring apartment complex this past Saturday, January 13, 2024. The robbery was reported on the street in the 1700 block of Hampshire Green Lane at 6:28 PM. That is in the Avery Park Apartments complex, just south of the Capital Beltway interchange and The Chateau off of New Hampshire Avenue.

Friday, January 12, 2024

Police seeking suspect in White Oak 7-Eleven armed robbery

Montgomery County police are seeking the public's help in identifying and locating a suspect in the January 6, 2024 armed robbery of a 7-Eleven store in the White Oak area of Silver Spring. Detectives say the suspect entered the store and walked around to the employee side of the checkout counter. He then allegedly drew a handgun, and took two packs of cigarettes before fleeing the store on foot.

Police describe the suspect as a "medium complexion Black male," approximately 30 to 40-years-old, with bald head. He is 5-feet, 10-inches to 6-feet tall, weighs 180 to 200 pounds, and was wearing a black winter coat, grey pants and black sneakers at the time of the robbery.

Anyone with information regarding this suspect or this crime is asked to visit the Crime Solvers of Montgomery County, MD website at ( and click on the “ (” link at the top of the page or call 1-866-411-8477. A reward of up to $10,000 is offered for information leading to the suspects’ arrest. Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Historic downtown Silver Spring U.S. Post Office available for lease

The historic U.S. Post Office building at 8412 Georgia Avenue in downtown Silver Spring is being marketed for lease. Located on one of the busiest commuter routes in Maryland, the building has a 5,645-square-foot main level, and a 5,609 lower level basement. The two spaces can be leased together by one tenant, or separately by two tenants. 

Unleashed by Petco was located in this building for roughly 7 years before closing in 2022. KLNB is marketing the building for retail use. The classic architecture would make for a grand restaurant setting, as well, in my opinion. Ten dedicated parking spaces are located at the property, and it is within walking distance of a public parking lot and several garages.

Strong-arm robbery at Takoma Park ATM

Takoma Park City police responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery at an ATM machine this past Saturday morning. The robbery was reported at an ATM in the 7600 block of New Hampshire Avenue at 10:40 AM Saturday. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Armed robbery at White Oak 7-Eleven store

Montgomery County police were called to a 7-Eleven in the White Oak area of Silver Spring late Saturday night, January 6, 2024, after an armed robbery was reported there. The robbery was reported at the 7-Eleven at 12257 Tech Road at 11:10 PM Sunday.

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Apex Vets now open at Wheaton Plaza

Apex Vets
is now open at 11060 Veirs Mill Road at Westfield's Wheaton Plaza mall. The clinic offers standard veterinary care, as well as handling emergencies and surgery. Anesthesiology and diagnostics services are also available, as well as neurology services. 

Monday, January 8, 2024

Shoe Dept. Encore opens at Wheaton Plaza

Shoe Dept. Encore
is now open at Westfield's Wheaton Plaza mall. Wheaton shoppers are already familiar with Shoe Dept., but Shoe Dept. Encore is like Shoe Dept. on steroids. The 20000-square-foot footwear store carries casual and athletic shoes for men, women and children. Shoe Dept. and Shoe Dept. Encore are both owned by corporate parent Shoe Show, Inc. Operating hours at this location are 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Thursday, 10:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Fridays and Saturdays, and 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Sundays.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Taco Bell Cantina Silver Spring update (Photos)

Montgomery County's first Taco Bell Cantina is getting closer to opening at 8662 Colesville Road in downtown Silver Spring. The latest additions to the interior are the electronic menu boards, soft drink fountain dispensers, and self-ordering kiosks. Booth seating has also been installed. I'm intrigued as to why the Grilled Cheese Dipping Taco Deluxe Box is showing on the menu board - it's not currently a featured item at Taco Bell, and not rumored to return to the menu soon, that I am aware of.

Thursday, January 4, 2024

America's Kids opens at Wheaton Plaza

America's Kids
is now open at Westfield's Wheaton Plaza mall. The children's apparel chain says it carries the top clothing brands for kids of all ages, and has a "vision and mission of fulfilling the needs of the modern American family." Brands include bebe, Calvin Klein, Carters, Champion, Disney, DKNY, Fila, French Toast, Juicy Couture, Levis, Nautica, Puma, Timberland, True Religion and more. Look for America's Kids on Level 1 of the mall, outside of Target.

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

H&R Block opens new Wheaton office

H&R Block
has opened a new office in the Wheaton Triangle. It is located in the former El Dollar Plus space at 11208 Grandview Avenue. The office offers tax preparation and bookkeeping services for individuals and small businesses. It can also offer support services if you are being audited by the IRS.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Mulushewa Bar & Grill opening in Silver Spring

Mulushewa Bar & Grill
is coming soon to downtown Silver Spring. It will be in the Juste Lounge space at 8241 Georgia Avenue. It was only about six months ago that Mix Bar & Grill rebranded to Juste Lounge, so the only constant here is change. The banner for Mulushewa is emphasizing the brunch menu.