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by Aaron Kraut — November 21, 2014 at 12:25 pm 2,836 22 Comments

Photo via Roof, on Instagram

Roof Kitchen & Bar will close on Sunday, a little less than a year after opening in Woodmont Triangle.

Owner Alan Pohoryles confirmed the news on Friday.

“Unfortunately, the rumor is true,” Pohoryles wrote in an email. “We have a couple offers to buy the place and are working on a deal with them.”

Smashburger and Roof, at the corner of Cordell and Norfolk AvenuesPohoryles, the owner of the popular Tommy Joe’s bar and restaurant at 4714 Montgomery Lane, opened Roof on the second and third floors of a newly constructed building on Norfolk Avenue with the hopes of introducing a more high-end dining experience to Woodmont Triangle.

The rooftop bar became a popular hangout during the summer, but Pohoryles told Bethesda Magazine earlier this month that the inside second-floor dining room was hard to distinguish from the ground-floor Smashburger franchise.

So he changed the name to Roof Kitchen & Bar and altered the menu. This week, the restaurant added signage to the second floor windows of the building (7940 Norfolk Ave.).

But it didn’t make enough of a difference to keep the operation going.

“It has been a difficult decision to make,” Pohoryles wrote.

Top photo via Roof

by Aaron Kraut — November 20, 2014 at 2:35 pm 257 0

The Bethesda Row City Sports, Flickr photo by ehpien

The next retailer to open at Pike & Rose in White Flint/North Bethesda will be City Sports, the Boston-based sporting goods chain that is set to kick things off Saturday.

The store will be known as City Sports Rockville, which makes for another interesting tidbit in the ongoing debate over what to call the area around the White Flint Metro station.

It will be the retailer’s sixth D.C. area store and second in the Bethesda area. City Sports has a previous relationship with Pike & Rose developer Federal Realty. It has its Bethesda store at Federal’s Bethesda Row (7121 Arlington Rd.).

The Pike & Rose location (11600 Old Georgetown Rd.) will open Saturday at 9 a.m. The first 100 customers will get a free City Sports backpack with gifts valued at more than $75.

Also in attendance will be folks from radio station HOT 99.5, who will be giving away tickets to their Jingle Ball from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

City Sports will raffle off prizes including free shoes for a year, shopping sprees and Baltimore Ravens tickets, plus they’ll be refreshments and an Under Armour-sponsored photobooth.

Flickr photo by ehpien

by Aaron Kraut — November 20, 2014 at 12:35 pm 293 3 Comments

Positano Ristorante on Fairmont AvenueFor those looking to make Thanksgiving plans out of the house next Thursday, a number of local restaurants have you covered:

Brasserie Monte Carlo (7929 Norfolk Ave.) — Offering a three-course menu, with main dish options of sea bass, turkey, duck, beef medallions, a vegetarian option for $35, plus a $15 children’s option. Reservations are required in advance. Open from 12:00 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Clydes of Chevy Chase (5441 Wisconsin Ave.) – A traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings, $25.95 per adult, $15.95 per child.

La Ferme (7101 Brookville Rd.) — Will be serving a traditional three-course Thanksgiving menu from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for $48 per person.

LIA’s (4435 Willard Ave.) — Three-course special menu featuring Maple Orange Glazed Turkey for $39. Open from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Morton’s The Steakhouse (7400 Wisconsin Ave.) — Open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Positano Ristorante (4948-4940 Fairmont Ave.) — Annual Thanksgiving feast with dark or white turkey meat, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, string beans, bread and choice of pumpkin pie or apple pie for $25. Open 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. with regular menu available all day.

Ruth’s Chris Steak House (7315 Wisconsin Ave.) — Three-course dinner with oven-roasted turkey breast and sweet potato casserole, priced at $39.95 for adults and $12.95 for children.

Seasons 52 (11414 Rockville Pike) — Traditional Thanksgiving dinner and mini pumpkin pie for $26.95 per adult and $12.95 per child. Full dinner menu will also be available from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Know of any local restaurants that will be open on Thanksgiving? Let us know in the comments or at news@bethesdanow.com.

by Aaron Kraut — November 20, 2014 at 11:15 am 211 2 Comments

Peripoint Building from Old Georgetown Road, via StreetSense

A Bethesda artist is taking advantage of a vacant ground-floor space with a pop-up gallery just in time for the holiday season.

Elyse Harrison, who runs the art education-focused Studio Neptune upstairs at Bethesda’s Peripoint Building, will open AVIARY by Elyse Harrison from Dec. 4-Dec. 24.

The recent closing of Danish television and electronics company Bang & Olufsen has left the ground-floor retail space open in one of Bethesda’s most architecturally significant and noticeable structures (5001 Wilson Lane).

"The City is a Balancing Act," one of the works that will be for sale at AVIARY by Elyse Harrison, via Elyse HarrisonHarrison is getting set to launch a website along with the pop-up gallery, which will feature a variety of her works all for less than $500. She’s also set up a Facebook page with one post showing work on a 8-foot by 8-foot “big bird” piece.

“We see it as a golden moment. December is a great time to promote art,” Harrison said.

Harrison’s husband, architect Michael Belisle, designed the Peripoint Building — which was transformed into the three-story, triangular structure that’s hard to miss at the busy intersection of Old Georgetown Road, Wilson Lane, Arlington Road and St Elmo Avenue.

When the building opened in 2008, Harrison had Studio Neptune and Gallery Neptune on the building’s second floor. The gallery space has since been taken over by Bethesda Fine Art.

Once it became clear Bang & Olufsen was moving out, Harrison thought about the idea of a pop-up studio tied with the debut of the new AVIARY website.


by Aaron Kraut — November 20, 2014 at 10:00 am 520 0

Inside of MET Bethesda, opening next week at Westfield Montgomery, via MET Bethesda

The first of the full-service restaurants coming to Westfield Montgomery mall’s reworked food court will open next week.

MET Bethesda, the upscale restaurant with a changing seasonal menu, is set to open on the second floor of the mall’s new Dining Terrace and directly across from the entrance to ArcLight Cinemas.

The concept comes out of Boston-based Met Restaurant Group, which has four other restaurants from owner Kathy Sidell. The 120-seat dining room with a 40-seat bar described itself as a “metropolitan kitchen and bar” with American dishes mostly cooked over an open wood-fired grill.

That means Whole Branzino with lemon grass, garlic kale and sambal asum, baby back ribs with grilled pineapple and an entire selection of “Char Bar” items described as “American Yakitori” — marinated, skewered and grilled beef, pork, chicken, seafood and vegetables for sharing.

Below MET Bethesda will go Naples 45 Ristorante e Pizzeria, a New York City-based full-service Neapolitan pizzeria and Italian restaurant.

The renovation and rebranding of the Dining Terrace is part of Westfield’s $90 million infusion into the Bethesda mall. MET Bethesda’s press release is sure to describe the mall as “upscale.”

The restaurant will also have a 24-seat private dining room and a full bar program with a martini menu and special cocktails. General Manager Patrick Desotelle has worked at D.C. hotspots Le Diplomate and Zaytinya.

It will be open from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday. The bar will remain open until 11 p.m. during the week and midnight on the weekend.


by Aaron Kraut — November 20, 2014 at 9:00 am 325 1 Comment

New White Flint Post Office location on Nicholson Lane

The relocated White Flint Post Office that was supposed to open in July is set to finally open Monday, according to the Postal Service.

D.C. area spokesperson Laura Dvorak said the new location (5056-B Nicholson Lane) will open at 9 a.m. on Monday.

It will be the first time the White Flint Post Office has been open since April, when the USPS closed its location in White Flint Mall earlier than it had previously announced.

The Postal Service’s lease at the Mall was up in May and with redevelopment of the mall planned, it started looking for a new nearby location last year.

The Kensington Post Office temporarily took over the White Flint location’s P.O. box service.

by Aaron Kraut — November 19, 2014 at 11:15 am 376 4 Comments

White Flint, as seen from above

A Montgomery County-led landscaping effort might be able to brighten up some gloomy concrete intersections along Rockville Pike in White Flint, while also providing the area with a more unified look.

Ken Hartman, a county administrator and director of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center, said he’s close to a $40,000 planting program for soil beds in the medians in four major White Flint intersections.

Miami Crape Myrtle, via White Flint Downtown Advisory CommitteeUsing some of the money budgeted for the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee, Hartman told the group on Tuesday that the program would bring pink Miami Crape Myrtle trees and grassy flowering plants such as salvia in an effort to better establish White Flint’s identity.

Hartman said he still needs final approval to do the plantings from the State Highway Administration, which decides on all proposed improvements to Rockville Pike. He also asked for donations from private property owners along the Pike.

“If anyone is willing to partner with us, that frees up more funding in our budget in the spring for more stuff,” Hartman said.

Federal Realty’s Jay Corbalis said the developer might be interested and has looked into landscaping on two pedestrian medians that separate the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Rockville Pike from high-speed turn lanes.


by Aaron Kraut — November 18, 2014 at 3:40 pm 1 Comment

Flickr photo by Nicole'

The United States Postal Service announced on Tuesday that it’s kicking off the holiday shopping season by delivering packages seven days a week in high volume areas including all Bethesda, Chevy Chase and North Bethesda zip codes.

The seven-day-a-week delivery will include delivering packages to mailing addresses in the 20814, 20815, 20816, 20817, 20852 and 20895 zip codes.

The Postal Service said it’s anticipating double-digit package volume growth up until Christmas Day.

To make sure your package arrives in time for Christmas, the USPS also released a list of Christmas shipping deadlines for each type of delivery:

  • Dec. 2 – First-Class Mail International/Priority Mail International
  • Dec. 10 – Priority Mail Express International
  • Dec. 15 – Standard Post
  • Dec. 17 – Global Express Guaranteed
  • Dec. 20 – First-Class Mail/Priority Mail (domestic)
  • Dec. 23 – Priority Mail Express (domestic)

Flickr photo by Nicole’

by Aaron Kraut — November 18, 2014 at 11:10 am 0

The Music Center at Strathmore, Flickr photo via Bill in DC

Last month, it was the 5th graders’ turn. Starting Tuesday, it will be MCPS 2nd graders who are flooding the Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda for a series of annual student concerts.

From Tuesday through Friday, more than 11,000 2nd grade students will see and hear a performance from the National Philharmonic, giving many their first taste of classical music.

There will be seven concerts over the four days in the Music Center, the 2,000-seat concert hall on Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda.

Students are taught about the four families of instrument that make up an orchestra during the performance, via videos and images projected on a large screen hovering overhead. This year, the students will be able to sing along with the orchestra as it performs the “Little Train of Caipira.”

Strathmore said the 2nd grade concerts represent a $124,000 investment. This year’s 5th grade concerts for the first time focused on Blues music. The Strathmore Hall Foundation, Geico, Jordan Kitt’s Music, Capital One Bank and the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation all donated to the student concert effort.

Flickr photo via Bill in DC

by Aaron Kraut — November 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm 646 0

Dining Terrace at Westfield Montgomery

A local Greek restaurant and not-so-local lobster roll eatery are opening this week in Westfield Montgomery mall’s renovated Dining Terrace in Bethesda.

Cava Grill, which has a location on Bethesda Row, is opening on Monday with its Community Day event. Food at the fast casual stop will be free until 2 p.m. and from 6 p.m.- 9 p.m.

Cava is asking for those who come by to make a donation to the Micro Greens Project or City Blossoms.

Lobster ME, the Las Vegas-based chain that features lobster on a stick, will open Friday.

It will be the chain’s first East Coast location and it was built from preserved old growth timber from Maine, according to a press release.

Since last October, Westfield has embarked on a $90 million renovation and expansion of its Bethesda property. Most of the work came in the area that once was known as a simple food court.

Westfield expanded the space, gave it a whole new look and added the ArcLight Cinemas on a balcony up top.

by Aaron Kraut — November 17, 2014 at 9:15 am 976 7 Comments

The developer behind the Washington area’s most expensive condo unit ever has released images depicting the inside of the yet-to-be-built Bethesda penthouse.

Developer 1788 Holdings and Persimmon Capital Partners are building The Lauren, the eight-floor, 40-unit condo complex under construction at Hampden Lane and Woodmont Avenue.

The cheapest units in the building start at $1.5 million. The penthouse unit, known as “Residence 703″, will go on sale for $10.5 million. The developer is also promising to let whoever buys the unit to work personally with building designer Jeff Akseizer and architect Robert Swedroe during construction.

The unit will have 7,300 square feet in space, a direct access elevator, hardwood and natural stone flooring, three bedrooms, four-and-a-half bathrooms, a formal dining room, 600-square-foot grand salon, a gourmet kitchen and quite a few other gaudy features.

TTR Sotheby’s International Realty is marketing the property.

Construction on The Lauren is expected to finish in the early spring of 2016.

Photos via ADG Creative

by Aaron Kraut — November 14, 2014 at 11:00 am 279 7 Comments

New mural on Fairmont Avenue

The newest mural commissioned by Bethesda landlord Greenhill Companies features references to a few local businesses and the Bethesda Urban Partnership.

Greenhill boss Lenny Greenberg had the mural done on a wall extending out from the former Dansez!Dansez! dance studio space on Fairmont Avenue.

Artist Ivo Koytchev, who just finished another mural on the same block, completed this one on Thursday, Greenberg said.

It features a row of offices on “Greenhill Way” with some of the offices labeled with signs for Greenhill, Bethesda-based EagleBank and the Urban Partnership.

Greenhill is hoping to reconstruct the building. 

by Aaron Kraut — November 13, 2014 at 1:35 pm 204 5 Comments

New Writer's Studio at The Writer's Center,photo via The Writer's Center

A 24-hour, seven-days-a-week writer’s studio has opened at The Writer’s Center, part of the Bethesda nonprofit’s $4.5 million renovation project on Walsh Street.

The studio, ADA accessible bathrooms and new-look classrooms were recently completed as part of the lower level renovation of the building (at 4508 Walsh St.)

It opened Monday, and for a $100 monthly fee will offer writers carrels, internet access a lounge with a coffee maker and the camaraderie of other writers:

Coffee shops are noisy. A home office presents too many distractions. Our renovated space is just the spot for emerging and seasoned writers to pen their next piece.  If you are a poet, essayist, fiction writer, or a combination of these, reserve your spot now and get to work!

The center was founded in 1976 out of Glen Echo Park primarily as a workshop for playwrights and has grown into the largest nonprofit literary center of its kind in the region. Stewart Moss, the organization’s executive director, has been leading a fundraising campaign to help refurbish and upgrade Center’s 50-year-old building, once a Montgomery County youth and community center.

Moss told BethesdaNow.com last year the entire renovation process is expected to take about five years.

Photo via The Writer’s Center

by Aaron Kraut — November 13, 2014 at 12:15 pm 276 2 Comments

The exterior of the PerSei apartment building on Grand Park Avenue in Pike & Rose

One of the first major redevelopment projects in White Flint is celebrating the opening of its first phase with a ribbon cutting ceremony and first annual “holiday tree lighting festival.”

Pike & Rose, the massive mixed-use project from Rockville-based developer Federal Realty, will host the ribbon cutting at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

Federal CEO and President Don Wood is expected to be joined by a number of elected officials to make official the opening of a number of new restaurants, apartment units, retail shops and entertainment venues on the former site of the Mid-Pike Plaza Shopping Center.

The company announced two weeks ago it had started work on the second phase of the project, which will add more mixed-use development and a high-rise Hilton hotel below luxury condos.

On Friday, Nov. 21, Pike & Rose will host the tree lighting festival, complete with a kids crafting station, stilt walkers, singing groups and reindeer ponies available for photo ops.

The event will run from 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Pike & Rose is located at 11580 Old Georgetown Rd.

by Aaron Kraut — November 13, 2014 at 10:00 am 380 5 Comments

Dunkin' Donuts opens on Elm Street

The Dunkin’ Donuts that was pushed out of its Bethesda Avenue space earlier this year has opened in its new location on Elm Street.

Franchise operator Boris Lander moved the location to 4943 Elm St. Its grand opening was Thursday morning.

Galaxie Cleaners moved from the Elm Street spot upstairs to 4926 Hampden Lane, also part of the Shoppes of Bethesda property. 

Lander’s Luis Group opened a combination Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins location in March on Cordell Avenue and a Dunkin’ location in February inside the Bethesda Metro station bus bay.

The Dunkin’ Donuts move was necessary when property owner Federal Realty declined to renew Lander’s Bethesda Avenue lease. The franchise location closed at the end of May.

In its place at 4810 Bethesda Ave. went luxury clothing boutique Calypso St. Barth.


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