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UPDATED: Car Fire At Rockville Pike Gas Station

by BethesdaNow.com | November 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm | 1,041 views | No Comments

(Updated at 4:42 p.m.) All northbound lanes of Rockville Pike have been reopened after a car fire caused authorities to shut down the road around 4 p.m. today.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services put out an engine fire in a van at the Exxon gas station at the corner of Rockville Pike and Nicholson Lane, according to spokesman Capt. Scott Graham.

Police also shut down eastbound Nicholson Lane. There were no injuries or reported damage to the gas station.

Screenshot via TrafficLand.com.

Brickside Bringing Prohibition Feel to Cordell Avenue

by BethesdaNow.com | November 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm | 1,915 views | No Comments

Brickside Food & Drink, the Prohibition era style bar and restaurant coming to Cordell Avenue, is gradually coming along.

Brian Vasile, from the Grand Central bar and restaurant in Adams Morgan, is joining up with well regarded fine Italian dining chef Andrea Pace and his partner, Reem Arbid, of Villa Mozart in Fairfax to bring the 4,000-square-foot space at 4866 Cordell Ave. alive.

The menu, heavy on modern American appetizers and other fare, will be a departure of sorts for Arbid and Pace. But both were looking to branch out when they connected with Vasile and Grand Central’s Andy Seligman, who were looking to capitalize on the coming growth and development of the Woodmont Triangle area.

“For 30 years, I’ve been in fine dining, so I wanted to try a little bit more casual,” Pace said. “It’s going to be different. It’s a new challenge.”

Vasile is in charge of the restaurant’s new look, which will be a significant departure from the last few tenants.

Workers have replaced the front facade with three sets of retractable windows that will open and will allow for a separate room or patio feeling. Much of the decor will harken back to the Prohibition-era, with distillery pipes making up the shelves behind the bar and a reproduction of a Baltimore street corner’s famous “Vote Against Prohibition” mural on the dining room brick wall.

There will also be a 180-inch high definition screen showing games, giving Brickside what Vasile hopes is a “comfortable, unpretentious feel,” in a growing area of town.

“The bottom line is it’s thousands of more people coming into the area. If you’re a business person, then that’s gotta be great news, that all these people are coming,” Vasile said. “And they’re probably young, urban professionals who like to dine out at good places. Hopefully we can be one of those places.”

The space used to hold the ill-fated Bubby’s Deli, and some have even told Vasile it’s cursed because of the high turnover over the years.

“I don’t think places are cursed, it just hasn’t had the right people in it and hopefully we are those people,” said Vasile, who has started to introduce himself to some of the area’s other bar owners. “Bethesda is incredible. I consider myself lucky to be part of the community. In Adams Morgans, we have 68 neighbors and it’s awesome. Whatever brings more people to an area is good.”

“It’s a new market for us,” Arbid said. “We know that Bethesda is up-and-coming. It has a young crowd that’s attractive to us.”

Brickside is hiring now and set to open sometime this winter. For more information on its progress, visit the Facebook page.

Hamburger Hamlet Partnering Up For 24-Hour Restaurant

by BethesdaNow.com | November 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm | 1,713 views | No Comments

Hamburger Hamlet in Georgetown Square is partnering with another Los Angeles-based restaurant chain to open a 24-hour restaurant, bakery and breakfast place starting Saturday.

Hamburger Hamlet and Du-par’s Restaurant & Bakery are coming together to create Du-par’s Hamburger Hamlet, according to an announcement on the restaurant’s Facebook page yesterday.

Two very famous restaurants are planning an incredible joint venture! Hamburger Hamlet in Bethesda, MD will be Du-par’s Hamburger Hamlet starting on December 1st. Our chefs are currently having a meeting of the minds… So far, the changes include: Hours: Open 24 Hours. Additions: amazing bakery! Mixes: A combined menu of amazing classics. Double the GOODNESS! Please like our page and tell your friends!

That means the restaurant, at 10400 Old Georgetown Rd., will join Tastee Diner as Bethesda’s only 24-hour eateries. Du-par’s has three locations in the Los Angeles area. Hamburger Hamlet has a location in Crystal City and three more in the L.A. area.

Photo via Hamburger Hamlet

Franchot Visits Bethesda to Talk Local Business, Online Shopping

by BethesdaNow.com | November 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm | 571 views | No Comments

Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) toured Woodmont Triangle on Wednesday to encourage residents to shop local this holiday season.

Franchot said buying gifts online tax-free instead of at local merchants was “unpatriotic.” He thinks Congress will pass legislation that would institute state tax collection by online retailers by this time next year.

“If you live in Maryland, get off the internet and come down and patronize these wonderful local businesses,” Franchot said. “It’s not just that we lose the tax revenue from these internet sales. It’s that we lose our small businesses by not supporting them. It’s a big problem.”

Franchot visited The Blue House (7770 Woodmont Ave.) and owner Jill Godfrey and bought a decorative bowl. He also stopped at Fortuna’s Shoe and Luggage Repair (7835 Woodmont Ave.), in Bethesda since 1938, and Creative Parties (8011 Woodmont Ave.) which does wedding invitations and other party goods.

Bethesda Urban Partnership Executive Director David Dabney and Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce President Ginanne Italiano accompanied Franchot on Wednesday, the first stop in his annual tour of small business areas throughout the state.

 

Bethesda Green Hosting Emergency Preparedness Discussion

by BethesdaNow.com | November 28, 2012 at 11:40 am | 412 views | No Comments

Bethesda Green will host a discussion on emergency preparedness with some of Montgomery County’s main people in charge of the local response to events such as the derecho last summer or Superstorm Sandy last month.

The panel discussion, set for Wednesday, Dec. 5 from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., will address four questions on how the county deals with the type of severe weather that can lead to power outages and other disturbances:

  • What plans does Montgomery County have in place in preparation for a hurricane Sandy or derecho type of event?
  • What resources are currently available to community residents to best prepare themselves and their loved ones?
  • What items should I have stocked in my home to prepare for a weather-related or human-caused disaster?
  • What role does the county, state and/or federal government play in preparation and response to natural and man-made disasters?

Councilman Phil Andrews (D-Gaithersburg) is confirmed for the event, as is Jason Holstine, owner of the Amicus Green Building Center in Kensington. Other invited guests include Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Battalion Chief Jim Resnick, FEMA official Steward Beckham and Chris Voss, from the Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security.

The event is free and will take place at Bethesda Green, on the second floor of the Capital One Bank building at 4825 Cordell Avenue. Bethesda Green is a nonprofit with a green business incubator that also takes on educational projects about sustainability in Bethesda.

For more information and to RSVP, visit the event website.

County: Poor Design Led To Broken Heating System At Chevy Chase Library

by BethesdaNow.com | November 28, 2012 at 10:30 am | 497 views | No Comments

Montgomery County officials will close the Chevy Chase Library on Dec. 10 to replace a broken-down piping system that has left part of the building without air conditioning since the summer.

Richard Jackson and Bill Herrmann, with the facility management division of the county’s Department of General Services, said part of the piping system in the library’s HVAC system deteriorated because it was built into concrete when the library was built in the late 1960′s.

“Metal poured into concrete is not a good mix and will deteriorate in time,” Jackson said. “We’re going to say this is partly due to poor application back when this building was designed.”

Jackson did not know the cost of the project, but said the library (8005 Connecticut Ave.) was able to get by in the summer by using temporary window air conditioning units.

The Department of General Services coordinated with Montgomery County Public Libraries to determine the Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 period was the best time to replace the piping system.

That decision was made about three weeks ago, Herrmann said. The Chevy Chase Library calendar still lists events for after Dec. 10. News of the closing came Monday in an email from the Friends of the Library, Chevy Chase Chapter.

Photo via Montgomery County Public Libraries

Morning Notes

by BethesdaNow.com | November 28, 2012 at 9:05 am | 397 views | No Comments

Metro Hopes to Open Bethesda Station Elevator Next Week — Metro hopes to have the Bethesda Metrorail station elevator reopened next week for the first time since May. Metro needed to rehab the elevators before embarking on the replacement of the station’s three escalators, among the longest in the western hemisphere. [The Gazette]

B-CC Football Coach Resigns — Rich Noland, the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School football coach who took the Barons to back-to-back playoff berths for the first time since the 1950′s, stepped down. Noland, an AP psychology and U.S. history teacher at B-CC, said he wanted to spend more time with his kids. [Washington Post]

Duncan Said To Be Considering Executive Run — Three-term former County Executive Doug Duncan reportedly met with donors and supporters yesterday morning to discuss a run for his old job in 2014. Center Maryland’s Josh Kurtz says Duncan’s reemergence could be behind current County Executive Isiah Leggett’s potential reversal on whether to run again. Leggett previously said he would not run for a third term in 2014. [Center Maryland]

Flickr photo by Fotomoe

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