A Montgomery County judge last week ruled in favor of the landlord of the Fresh Grill restaurant, which was closed in 2012 after the landlord claimed excavation for a nearby apartment building caused structural damage.
Circuit Court Judge Ronald B. Rubin made a declaratory judgement in favor of the White Flint Express Realty Group in its complaint against Bainbridge, the developer of the 17-story, 200-unit “Bainbridge Bethesda” apartment still under construction at 4918 St Elmo Ave.
White Flint Express closed Fresh Grill (4905 Fairmont Ave.) and Dansez Dansez (4909 Fairmont Ave.) suddenly in March 2012 and put a fence around the building, claiming Bainbridge’s excavation near the back wall of its building caused cracks and structural damage that made the building unsafe.
After the sides argued in court on Nov. 21 and Nov. 25, Rubin ruled on Nov. 27 that Bainbridge breached its easement agreement with the landlord and “improperly and wrongfully asserted that it was not required to meet its obligations” to the agreement after White Flint Express terminated it on Feb. 27, 2012.
Part of a subsequent agreement involved administration of a crane swing, tie back and swing scaffolding on the construction site, which is next door to the one-story restaurant building.
Fresh Grill has been closed since March 2012, with no signs that it will reopen. When it closed, Dansez Dansez reported the building damage happened on Feb. 14, 2012. The dance studio has since moved to Norfolk Avenue.
It’s unclear what this means for Fresh Grill.
The above photos are from architect Steven J. Karr, who worked as a consultant on the easement agreement for the building’s landlord, Lenny Greenberg. On Friday, Greenberg said he had no comment.
A representative for Bainbridge or Fresh Grill could not be reached on Friday afternoon.
In his ruling, Rubin ruled in favor of the landlord’s motion for a partial summary judgement and said Bainbridge would be responsible for the landlord’s legal fees.
Photos via Steven J. Karr
Owner Alan Pohoryles said he plans to open Roof, the two-story restaurant and bar in Woodmont Triangle, on Friday, Dec. 20.
The restaurant will take up the second and rooftop floors of the recently constructed building at 7940 Norfolk Ave., a much anticipated improvement to a section of town that is undergoing a wave of change.
While the rooftop space is obviously the main draw (Pohoryles says Bethesda is the only place in the DC region without a rooftop dining and bar venue) the Tommy Joe’s owner wants some of the focus on the menu.
He brought in Jed Fox, who trained at the L’Academie de Cuisine and The Inn at Little Washington, as the restaurant’s head chef to provide a menu full of fine dining staples. There will also be a specialty cocktail list, making Roof more like across-the-street competitor Brickside (4866 Cordell Ave.) than happy hour favorite Caddies on Cordell or even Pohoryles’ existing bar and restaurant on Montgomery Lane.
Smashburger, the Denver-based fast casual burger chain, will open on the ground floor of the Roof building next Wednesday. A Dunkin’ Donuts will open next to it.
Photos via Roof
Make sure the right medicine gets to the right patient at the right time.
That’s the job of the folks in Suburban Hospital’s Pharmacy Department, and it’s a job Bethesda-Chevy Chase student Ryan Greenhouse got a firsthand look at on Thursday.
Greenhouse was one of six B-CC students who shadowed nurses, doctors and other professionals in different departments around the hospital as part of the annual B-CC Career Partnership Day.
Nineteen Bethesda businesses and organizations hosted B-CC students throughout the day, including Suburban, the 2nd District Police station and the Bethesda Urban Partnership. The program is organized by Junior Achievement of Greater Washington with help from the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce.
For Suburban Hospital, where access can be limited because of the primary duty of non-stop patient care, it’s a unique opportunity to stoke the interest of prospective nurses, surgeons, pharmacists and therapists.
“We really want to give the students as much exposure as possible because in a clinical facility, it’s difficult if you don’t have the training to get that exposure,” said Suburban community outreach health educator Patricia Rios. “The staff here at the hospital, they really take the time to explain what they do. A lot of the clinicians here, this is something extra that we add on. You can see the team, the different individuals who play a role in making sure a patient gets their medicine.”
Daniel Albrant, staff clinical pharmacist at Suburban, gave Greenhouse the rundown of how the Pharmacy Department operates — from filling patient prescriptions, to transporting those prescpritions in a vacuum tube to other departments to the daily rounds pharmacists make to consult with doctors.
Rios gave the students, each who got one-on-one time with clinicians in two different departments, a brief orientation before dropping each one off at their first destination.
For the students, who all said they’re interested in a medical career, it was an eye-opening look at a day in the fast-paced environment of a hospital.
Last year, B-CC celebrated its 20th year of Career Partnership Day. Suburban has participated since 2008.
The program matches up about 200 B-CC juniors and seniors with professionals to explain the ins and outs of a work day, an attempt to teach students the connection between learning and earning money.
December will bring a diverse group of events to the area, a few we’ve featured here.
BCC Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon
Hyatt Regency Bethesda (1 Bethesda Metro Center)
Time: 7:30 a.m. — 9:30 a.m.
Join us for a joint Economic, Government & Real Estate meeting discussing the upcoming legislative year. Held at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda. Register: www.bccchamber.org. Members: $40 / Non-members: $60
Winter Wonderland Concert
Imagination Stage (4908 Auburn Ave.)
Time: 8:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.
Bethesda’s Winter Wonderland begins Friday, December 6th at 8:00pm with a winter concert featuring four fabulous professional choral groups at Imagination Stage, located at 4908 Auburn Avenue. Featured groups include:
• Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Choir
• The GW Troubadors, George Washington University’s co-ed a cappella group
• Capital Blend, All-female a cappella group
• Vox Pop, Mixed voice a cappella group
Tickets go on sale Oct. 1 and can be purchased at www.bethesda.org. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.
Winter Fair 2013
Lycee Rochambeau French International School (9600 Forest Rd.)
Time: 10:00 a.m. — 5:00 p.m.
Celebrate Winter and join us for a unique shopping experience, delectable foods & drinks, activities, seasonal crafts, music & entertainment for every member of your family. Discover our Book Shop & Cafe (used books and new books, in English or in French) and meet our local authors. Have your portrait taken by our professional photographers and keep a photo souvenir of 2013. Come for the festive ambiance, to catch up with friends, or spend a day of fun with your family. All you need to know about the Winter Fair 2013 is here. All proceeds from the Winter Fair 2013 benefit Lycee Rochambeau – French International School.
Aurelius Gori, baritone and Maribeth Gowen, piano
Westmoreland Congregational United Church of Christ (1 Westmoreland Circle)
Time: 8:00 p.m. — 10:00 p.m.
Baritone, Aurelius Gori with pianist Maribeth Gowen will perform as part of the Washington Conservatory Piano, Plus! Concert Series at 8 pm on Saturday, December 7 at Westmoreland Congregational UCC Church, 1 Westmoreland Circle, Bethesda, MD (on the border of DC and Bethesda). This concert is free, with donations accepted at the door.
Sunday, Dec. 15
Bach to Rock Open House
Bach to Rock (4819 St Elmo Ave.)
Time: 11:00 a.m. — 1:00 p.m.
Bach to Rock Bethesda is having an Open House from 11 am – 1 pm. Come in for a free trial class!
11 am – Rock n Roll
11:30 am – Rock City
12 pm – Kids n Keys
Bach to Rock also offers private and group lessons, and jam band opportunities.
Come check out B2R and find your inner rock star!
It’s an important symbol of the New Deal era based on a piece of Bethesda history. But for the last 17 months, the old Bethesda Post Office mural has been sitting in Postal Service storage.
On Wednesday, the 1939 mural of the Bethesda Farm Women’s Market that was proudly displayed in the old Bethesda Post Office will be re-installed in the county’s Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center (4805 Edgemoor Lane).
The mural has been restored, according to Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman, who worked with the United States Postal Service to let it again see the light of day.
The mural was funded by the Works Project Administration, the largest New Deal agency that put millions of unemployed men to work on public works projects. It also commissioned music, writing and arts projects, such as the mural.
The old post office (7400 Wisconsin Ave.) was built in 1938 as part of the New Deal next to the Madonna of the Trail statue. The post office building has been deemed historic. Faced with mounting financial difficulties, the USPS closed it in 2012 and sold it for $4 million to the Donohoe Companies.
The mural went in a year after it opened. It was created by Robert Gates, who later became head of the Art Department at American University. It shows a woman feeding animals next to women selling produce at the Farm Women’s Market, which opened on Wisconsin Avenue in 1932.
In 1938, Eleanor Roosevelt visited the Procurement Division of the Treasury Department to look at the sketches of the mural. She later wrote in her diary the sketch was “charming,” and “I think these post offices are making the country more and more conscious of decorative, artistic values.”
It will go in the lobby of the Regional Services Center, located on the first floor/plaza level of the building.
Photo via Save the Post Office
It’ll be a busy holiday-themed weekend around town with Bethesda Urban Partnership’s Winter Wonderland, Bethesda Row’s Santa Pet Photos, the ongoing Santa’s Village at Westfield Montgomery Mall and a visit from Santa at The Collection At Chevy Chase.
Winter Wonderland starts on Friday with a ticketed dance performance, then continues Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Veterans Park. Included will be the annual ice sculpting display and a chance to sit on Santa’s lap.
Over at Bethesda Lane, Bethesda Row is sponsoring Santa pet photos from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The photos cost $10, which will go to the Montgomery County Humane Society. The Humane Society is also accepting unopened pet food, treats, toys and lightly used bedding and towels to help shelter animals in need.
Westfield Montgomery will continue its Santa program until Christmas Eve with Santa’s Village from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. The Collection at Chevy Chase (5451 Wisconsin Ave.) will host its own Santa from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, then again on each Saturday and Sunday leading up to Christmas.
Look for Santa and his polaroid photo-taking elves next to the Cartier and Christian Dior. The event includes the free photo, a free gift wrap of up to three packages and light refreshments.
Photo via Bethesda Row
Those bikes you see Montgomery County Police officers ride around downtown Bethesda don’t come cheap. For the second time, a local car dealership has stepped in to help.
Euro Motorcars (7020 Arlington Rd.) gave the Montgomery County Police Foundation $3,480 for the purchase of two new Trek bikes for the 2nd District’s Bethesda CBD Bike Team. The donation follows a 2001 donation of bikes that needed replacements.
“The community is extremely good for us,” said Charlie Harmel, president and general manager of the dealership. “We want to be good to the community.”
In 2002, Euro Motorcars also donated toward a new station gym in Bethesda. Harmel, a Bethesda native, said it feels natural to help the 2nd District Police. He’s also mindful that the dealership, located at Arlington Road and Bethesda Avenue, can create a traffic inconvenience to residents when large car shipments are dropped off.
The bike donation was coordinated with the help of Bethesda Urban Partnership Director Dave Dabney and longtime Bethesda Avenue bike store Griffin Cycle.
2nd District Commander David Falcinelli two Bike Team veterans to thank Harmel for the donation on Tuesday.
Panera Bread’s first downtown Bethesda location will open Wednesday morning.
The bakery and fast casual cafe will open at 6 a.m. at 7201 Wisconsin Ave., the former spot of bd’s Mongolian Grill.
Lemek LLC, the franchisee company of Panera Bread restaurants in Maryland, had been looking for a location in downtown Bethesda for years, according to its marketing rep. There are locations in Friendship Heights, Upper NW D.C. and Rockville, but none with a Bethesda address.
The company is hoping to take advantage of nearby Parking Lot 24, a metered lot along Willow Lane.
Expect a new restaurant and bar at 4848 Cordell Ave., which now is the site of a men’s transitional homeless shelter leased by Montgomery County and operated by Catholic Charities. Local architect Steven J. Karr lists the project as in the works for prominent Bethesda landlord Lenny Greenberg.
Using the same basic sketch design he used for Roof, Karr lists the project as a 4,200-square-foot change-of-use that will cost $1,000,000 and that has a projected completion date of November 2014.
The county will consolidate the homeless shelter with a women’s shelter in North Bethesda.
Tommy Joe’s owner Alan Pohoryles is nearing the debut his new Roof bar and restaurant at the corner of Cordell and Norfolk Avenues, across the street from Brickside (4866 Cordell Ave.), the Prohibition-themed bar and restaurant that opened in January. Smoke BBQ (4858 Cordell Ave.) opened earlier in January a few doors down.
It also appears Smoke BBQ will have a new neighbor. Bethesda Magazine says longtime pizza takeout joint Victor’s (4860 Cordell Ave.) has finally closed.
is still looking for someone has found a tenant to take the vacant former space of the flagship California Tortilla franchise, which moved across the street in 2012. Greenberg said the incoming tenant does not yet wish to be identified.
Rendering via Steven J. Karr
The county’s Department of Transportation is offering an award of up to $2,000 to teams of high school students that create posters, paint sidewalks, hold school-wide assemblies or take other measures to “educate high school students about the importance of pedestrian safety.”
Safe Kids Worldwide, a D.C.-based nonprofit, recently reported one in five high school students cross the street while distracted. The report also claimed a 25 percent increase in pedestrian injuries among those ages 16 to 19 over the last five years.
Some of that, at least in the examples of educational material the county provided, is due to kids with headphones or kids texting while crossing the street.
The $2,000 Walk Your Way grant are meant to piggyback on programs at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring and Seneca Valley High School in Germantown.
Students must work in teams of at least two and have a teacher or staff sponsor. Applications (see PDF below) are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 16. The project must be completed by April, 30 2014.
Photo via MCDOT
Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation is planning a bike lane and sidewalk project for Goldsboro Road after a request from a local neighborhood group.
The Tulip Hill Citizens Association wants better pedestrian access along the road. Goldsboro now has one continuous sidewalk along the southern side of the roadway from Tulip Hill Terrace to a point about a quarter- mile east of Massachusetts Avenue, where the sidewalk just stops.
The project is in the facility planning stage, thus the public workshop scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 4 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Whitman High School (7100 Whittier Blvd.).
So far, the project provides for a study of a five-foot wide sidewalk linking River Road and MacArthur Boulevard and a master planned on-street bike lane. The project also might include a reconfiguration of the somewhat confusing MacArthur Boulevard intersection, near Glen Echo Park.
For more information, check out MCDOT’s information pamphlet on the project.
Photos via Google Maps and Montgomery County Department of Transportation
Denver-based hamburger chain Smashburger will open its Woodmont Triangle location in the second week of December, with a media preview set for Dec. 10 and a new partnership with one of Bethesda’s best known businesses.
The fast casual outfit will be in a 2,100-square-foot ground-floor space of the new building at 4901 Cordell Ave. The building, which has been under construction most of this year, will also be home to a Dunkin’ Donuts and Roof — the new two-level bar and restaurant from Tommy Joe’s owner Alan Pohoryles that will likely also open in December.
As part of the preview event, Smashburger will have Honest Tea co-founder and CEO Seth Goldman to a tasting and presentation about his Bethesda Avenue-based company’s bottled teas. Smashburger will be the first national restaurant chain to roll out Honest Tea’s iced teas at all of its restaurants.
Smashburger has more than 200 corporate and franchise restaurants in 29 states and five countries. It recently opened a location in Germantown.
Adventure Theatre MTC, the musical theater company and training center, was helpless as 19 of its performances of “Goodnight Moon” were cancelled because the National Park Service closed Glen Echo Park during the shutdown.
A day before the end of the shutdown, the group predicted a loss of $3,000 per cancelled show. That’s more than $50,000 the company is looking to make up to proceed with programming at its Glen Echo Park performance space and facility in Rockville’s Wintergreen Plaza shopping center.
On Dec. 8, Adventure Theatre MTC will host singer Sandy Bainum for a one-night holiday benefit concert to help the recovery. Tickets are $35 each.
“Although the situation is temporarily resolved with the government and the national parks, without a full resolution we may have to shut our doors again so we need as much positivity and holiday cheer as possible,” producing artistic director Michael Bobbitt said.
For more information and for tickets, visit the Adventure Theatre website.
Trash and recycling pick up for Thursday routes will be moved back to Friday, with Friday routes moved back to Saturday.
All parking at county curbside, lot or garage meters will be free.
If you’re in Woodmont Triangle and hope to leave Bethesda on Thursday morning, make sure to get out before 8:30 a.m. or wait until after 10:30 a.m. For that two-hour period, parts of Wisconsin Avenue and Old Georgetown Road will be closed for the 31st annual Turkey Chase 10K race.
The event attracts thousands of runners who start in waves at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase YMCA (9401 Old Georgetown Rd.) before heading south on Old Georgetown, hanging a left on Cedar Lane, winding through Alta Vista and Pooks Hill and continuing south on Wisconsin Avenue. The race course then cuts through on Commerce Lane back to northbound Old Georgetown and the YMCA.
MCPS is also closed Friday.
After at least five years of lobbying, a community in Chevy Chase will get a new crosswalk on the busy “Green Mile” stretch of Wisconsin Avenue.
At its annual meeting on Nov. 18, the Chevy Chase West Neighborhood Association announced the State Highway Administration will install a crosswalk on Wisconsin Avenue at Chevy Chase Boulevard, about halfway between the existing crosswalks at Bradley Lane and Dorset Avenue.
Residents in Chevy Chase West and other neighborhoods along the Green Mile have been asking for more crosswalks since at least 2008, when they made it a recommendation in their Traffic Plan. A golf course on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue means there is no development or housing there, but there are four bus stops that many said were basically inaccessible.
The SHA plans to build the crosswalk next year as part of its controversial sidewalk project, according to the neighborhood group. It will include pedestrian-activated flashing lights over the six-lane road to alert drivers to crossing pedestrians. There will also be a pedestrian refuge on the median. The flashing lights on each side of the road will need to be activated individually.
In a separate project, the SHA will install two similar crosswalks on Bradley Boulevard between Wisconsin Avenue and Hillandale Road. This will allow Chevy Chase residents living south of Bradley to more easily access downtown Bethesda.
The crosswalks there (see a PDF of the design below) will have pedestrian-activated “high intensity beacons” to signal to drivers. The project manager says construction is likely to start by summer of next year.