Some of that is a result of the store’s free wine and beer tastings, which are typically a weekly event. The store (7029 Wisconsin Ave.) is offering a free taste of wines from four different countries today from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
“I’m an avid beer geek,” Birks said. “So the main thing I would say is the customer service aspect of it, meaning that when somebody comes in here I can give my customers honest feedback.
Carlos Ramirez and Francis Namin, the duo behind the similarly named Food, Wine and Co. (7272 Wisconsin Ave.), opened the beer and wine variation of the restaurant in August 2011.
Craft brewers and winemakers come in to let customers sample new products, usually on Thursday and Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons.
Tonight’s wine selection includes Argyros Assyriko from Greece, Fred Loimer “Lois” Gruner Veltliner from Austria, Falesco Assisi Rosso from Italy and Bodegas Renacer “Enamore” from Argentina.
The featured wines will be sold for 10 percent off during the tasting.
A required environmental study of the National Institutes of Health campus will not be ready for review when the federal agency’s Draft Master Plan goes before the Montgomery County Planning Board on Oct. 18.
NIH Office of Research Facilities spokesman Brad Moss said the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will not be ready prior to the meeting, but will be submitted in time for full public comment before NIH finalizes its 2013 Master Plan.
The Draft Master Plan is also scheduled to go before the National Capital Planning Commission on Nov. 1 for review and comment.
It calls for a new entrance gate on West Cedar Lane and the development of facilities to house up to 3,000 additional employees, some currently working in satellite offices away from NIH’s 300-acre campus of more than 75 buildings on Wisconsin Avenue.
Moss said those are long term projects planned over the 20-year life of the master plan and that no growth is envisioned soon.
“NIH is very conscious of its impact of congestion on the community and its own employees and will continue to be a leader in the federal sector in the area of transportation demand strategies,” Moss wrote in an email.
Approximately 1,200 U.S. Food and Drug Administration employees who now occupy three buildings on the NIH campus will be moving to new facilities on FDA’s White Oak campus in Silver Spring.
Moss said that move will offset the roughly 650 additional staff members that will work in the new Porter Neuroscience Research Center, which is being constructed on the Old Georgetown Road side of campus.
“Eventually, NIH may renovate buildings 29, 29A and 29B if funds become available and may gradually increase campus population over the 20 year master planning horizon,” Moss wrote.
Nearby residents and commuters are wary of development at both NIH and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which is across Wisconsin Avenue.
NIH held an “initial public scoping meeting” with the public in February.
Walter Reed expansion has caused traffic and parking difficulties for nearby residents and commuters. The Department of the Navy submitted its EIS for planned development of new medical and research facilities earlier this week.
Current Boutique owner Carmen Lopez and store manager Amanda DeSanto think there’s room for another.
The pair opened a shop in August at 7220 Wisconsin Ave. and will hold a grand opening celebration tomorrow (Saturday).
The company specializes in upscale brands, and is careful in its selection of which items to buy from customers.
“I think we stand out because of the quality of the things we take, unlike your typical consignment shop” DeSanto said. “In this market, knowing that people will bring in the best stuff and having savvy shoppers works perfectly for us.”
DeSanto managed Current Boutique’s flagship store in Arlington, Va., for two years. The Bethesda store, which stocks women’s clothes, jewelry, shoes and designer handbags, will be Lopez’s fourth in just more than five years.
Consigners receive half of the selling price.
“There’s a little more competition here, but Carmen and [Carmen's husband] Chris do such a great job of designing the store,” DeSanto said. “It’s that attention to detail and customer service that we focus on.”
Consignment shops already in Bethesda include
Second Chance Boutique (4920 Fairmont Ave.), Reddz Trading (7801 Woodmont Ave.) and Woman’s Boutique Consignments (8118 Woodmont Ave.).
Update 2:50 p.m.: We are told Second Chance Boutique closed last week. The store’s phone number is disconnected.
The previous tenant in Current Boutique’s new space was a recruitment agency for temporary staffers, so there was quite a bit of remodeling to do.
Lopez replaced the blue carpet and with a hardwood-style floor, had the walls painted yellow and designed the fitting area with a yellow couch and black and white curtains.
Tomorrow, Current Boutique will offer free gifts and refreshments to customers as part of the grand opening event.
For now, it’s called the Chevy Chase Urban Space Open Park, a rare green space in an intensely developed area the Chevy Chase Village Board this week approved for submittal to the County Planning Board.
Village Board Chair Pat Baptiste said some preliminary talk has already begun on what the park should be named. Some hope it’s named in honor of a local or county figure, others are looking for a geographical label and some have suggested the name be something that identifies it with the massive mix of upscale shopping and office space in nearby.
But whatever the result, it’s clear Chevy Chase Village and Montgomery County Parks think the park, bounded by Grove Street and Western Avenue, will be a special commodity among the hustle and bustle of Friendship Heights.
“It’s important for that reason. You have so much pavement, not very much green space all through the [Central Business Districts] of the county,” Baptiste said. “Parks are on the fringes. Projects like this are just not always possible to do because of the value of the land.”
The county and the Village bought the property, zoned residential and just outside the boundaries of past development projects, in 2002 to make it a park.
Now the process will pick up. After Monday’s approval from the Village Board, Montgomery County Parks can present the plan to the County Planning Board for permitting and construction approval.
Brenda Sandberg, with the County Park Department’s Legacy Open Space Program, said the park could cost between $150,000 and $300,000, according to the Chevy Chase Patch.
The name, for the time being, will have to wait.
“It’s just difficult to know and people have different thoughts. But it should be an interesting process,” Baptiste said.
Berliner Asks For Another Option On Public Power — County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) asked County Attorney Marc Hansen for another opinion on what it would take for Montgomery County to pursue a publicly-owned electric utility. This comes after massive Pepco power outages caused by June’s derecho. [The Gazette]
Bethesda Row Ritz Camera Store Will Close — After the Beltsville-based company won permission to liquidate its remaining 137 stores, the shop on Bethesda (7263 Woodmont Ave.) will shut down. [Bethesda Patch]
Gambling Debate Reaches Fever Pitch on Your TV — Two rival casino companies have spent roughly $15 million for TV ads for and against the state gambling referendum on this year’s ballot. [Washington Post]