by Aaron Kraut — October 21, 2014 at 8:25 am 712 0

Flickr photo by BeyondDC

French International School Could Be On The Move – The Lycee Rochambeau (or French International School) will likely move from its main campus at 9600 Forest Road, near Old Georgetown Road and the Beltway. The school has hired a commercial real estate company to help it look for space to consolidate its three sites. The two others are on Bradley Boulevard and Woodbine Street in Chevy Chase. [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Wants Maryland’s Help For More 8-Car Trains – Metro hopes to have agreement from D.C., Virginia and Maryland officials on a $1.4 billion funding plan to purchase new eight-car trains it says are necessary for easing rush hour subway congestion. With a gubernatorial election ongoing, it’s unclear whether Maryland will support the plan. [Washington Post]

BOE Slammed For Spending $140,000 On Legal Review Of Credit Cards – Some councilmembers are letting the county’s Board of Education have it over $140,000 the body spent on a legal review of its own credit card and expense procedures. The Board paid a law firm the money to do an independent review of controversial credit card use by Board members. Councilmember George Leventhal said “I just don’t think there is any way you can tie a ribbon on the fact that our school board spent $140,000 getting advice on how to stop wasting money and make it look good.” [The Gazette]

Flickr photo by BeyondDC

by Aaron Kraut — October 20, 2014 at 3:25 pm 484 2 Comments

Pedestrian plaza at Gallery Bethesda, via Gallery Bethesda

One of Woodmont Triangle’s new apartment buildings will turn its pedestrian plaza into an outdoor beer garden on Saturday.

The Gallery Bethesda, which opened earlier this year at 4800 Auburn Ave., is hosting an Oktoberfest Biergarten celebration from 2 p.m.-5 p.m., with music, food, prizes, cornhole and, of course, beer. Attendees must be 21 or older.

The 17-story, 234-unit apartment building from developer Donohoe hopes to show off its plaza, which features permanent outdoor sculptures and an expansive wall mural by a local artist. The apartment is also hoping to sell some units. The free event will include building tours and waived application fees.

Bratwursts, potato latkes and pretzels will be provided by nearby restaurant 4935 Bar & Kitchen. The Aria, the combination deli, convenience store and dry cleaner that opened on the ground floor of The Gallery, will provide beers and ciders.

For more information, visit the building’s Facebook page.

Photo via Gallery Bethesda

by Joseph Hawkins — October 20, 2014 at 2:20 pm 306 14 Comments

Board of Education candidates forum last week in Potomac

My Two Cents is a weekly opinion column from Bethesda resident Joseph Hawkins. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of BethesdaNow.com.

On Nov. 4 and starting Thursday with early voting, Montgomery County voters will choose four Board of Education candidates. Even though some Board candidates run in assigned districts, voters are allowed to vote for all Board candidates. Excluding the student member, the Board is comprised of seven members.

Traditionally, county voters ignore casting a vote for the Board candidates.

Joseph HawkinsGiven the fact that our public school system typically accounts for almost half of the county’s budget (more than $2 billion dollars), that type of voter apathy needs to change.

Please, please vote for Board of Education on Nov. 4.

Here is a link to the sample Montgomery County ballot, which includes Board candidates. And here is a separate link to relevant campaign information on the candidates.

Bethesda voters fall into District 3. Our current Board member is Pat O’Neil, who is being challenged by Laurie Halverson.

I wish I had time to devote to each of the eight Board candidates. I also wish I had time to get crazed about the issues — overcrowded schools and the achievement gap are just two.

I decided I would go another route by getting personal with the District 3 candidates. I asked Pat and Laurie, via email, the following question:


by Aaron Kraut — October 20, 2014 at 1:20 pm 237 1 Comment

Bethesda Row trick-or-treat, via Bethesda RowAbout 40 businesses and restaurants will offer a Bethesda Row version of trick-or-treating next week.

From 5 p.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 30, the stores will offer deals, live entertainment and trick-or-treating for the kids. There will also be a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to the Paper Source.

American Tap Room, 100 Montaditos, Aveda, Bethesda Bagels, Bluemercury, Bonobos, Calypso St. Barth, Capital Teas, Cava Grill, City Sports, Cork & Fork, Dolcezza, Equinox, Ginger, Haagen-Dazs, Icebreaker, J.McLaughlin, Jaleo, Kidville, Le Creuset, Lebanese Taverna, Lucy, Luke’s Lobster, Lululemon Athletica, Make Meaning, Mamma Lucia, Mon Ami Gabi, mussel Bar, Paper Source, Pink Palm, Quartermaine, Raku, Redwood, Roosters, Sassanova, Secolari, ShopHouse, Upstairs at Bethesda Row, Vino Volo and Wear it Well will all take part.

by Aaron Kraut — October 20, 2014 at 12:00 pm 1,478 1 Comment

Solaire Bethesda rendering, via Washington Property CompanyA chain of full-service restaurants that prides itself on “honest food that tastes really good” is coming to the ground floor of a planned apartment building on Wisconsin Avenue.


True Food Kitchen, the Arizona-based healthy food concept that recently opened in Fairfax, will take up the ground floor restaurant space in the Solaire Bethesda — the 12-floor, 139-unit apartment at 7100 Wisconsin Ave.

The Washington Property Company, which is developing the project on the former gas station site of the Eastham’s Servicenter, made the announcement on Monday.

The restaurant featuresvegan, vegetarian and gluten free meals spanning a variety of food types. There’s a butternut squad pizza, edamame dumplings and turkey lasagna, to name a few options. There’s also plenty of kale and quinoa, plus seabuckthorn and acai berries and juices.

Construction on the project started earlier this year. True Food Kitchen will take up 6,400 square feet.

“We think Solaire Bethesda is the perfect location for True Food Kitchen,” Washington Property Company’s Daryl South said in a prepared news release. “Bethesda is home to the National Institutes of Health and is one of the nation’s most bicycle-friendly communities. We think this exciting restaurant concept will be a magnet for Bethesda’s discerning and health-conscious residents as well as visitors from all over the area.”

The project will include a two-level underground parking garage that will provide some parking for the restaurant.

Rendering via Washington Property Company

by Aaron Kraut — October 20, 2014 at 11:20 am 255 0

4514 Amherst Lane 5502 Johnson Avenue 6304 Berkshire Drive

Check out the condos, townhouses and homes that sold last week in Bethesda and Chevy Chase:

  • 5500 Friendship Boulevard; 0 BD | 1 BA condominium; List price: $229,999; Sale price: $223,000
  • 7420 Westlake Terrace; 2 BD | 2 BA condominium; List price: $259,900; Sale price: $250,000
  • 4801 Fairmont Avenue; 2 BD | 1 BA condominium; List price: $409,000; Sale price: $415,000
  • 6427 Camrose Terrace; 4 BD | 1 BA single family detached; List price: $530,000; Sale price: $530,000
  • 4111 Maryland Avenue; 3 BD | 2 BA single family detached; List price: $750,000; Sale price: $615,000
  • 5502 Johnson Avenue; 3 BD | 2.5 BA single family detached; List price: $750,000; Sale price: $680,000
  • 6014 McKinley Street; 4 BD | 2.5 BA single family detached; List price: $679,900; Sale price: $680,000
  • 9413 Balfour Drive; 3 BD | 2.5 BA single family detached; List price: $734,900; Sale price: $734,900
  • 7310 Maple Avenue; 3 BD | 2.5 BA single family detached; List price: $725,000; Sale price: $738,000
  • 4514 Amherst Lane; 4 BD | 2.5 BA single family detached; List price: $779,000; Sale price: $750,000
  • 10 Kentbury Way; 3 BD | 1.5 BA single family detached; List price: $797,500; Sale price: $800,000
  • 8105 Lilly Stone Drive; 4 BD | 3 BA single family detached; List price: $915,000; Sale price: $842,500
  • 7316 Bradley Boulevard; 5 BD | 5.5 BA single family detached; List price: $1,050,000; Sale price: $855,109
  • 6304 Berkshire Drive; 5 BD | 4.5 BA single family detached; List price: $1,279,900; Sale price: $1,245,000
  • 7405 Arlington Road; 2 BD | 2.5 BA condominium; List price: $1,399,000; Sale price: $1,335,000
  • 6408 Brookside Drive; 6 BD | 3.5 BA single family detached; List price: $2,000,000; Sale price: $1,925,000

6408 Brookside Drive 4111 Maryland Avenue 7405 Arlington Road

by Aaron Kraut — October 20, 2014 at 10:05 am 436 9 Comments

Income per Montgomery County Liquor Store for fiscal year 2013, via Montgomery County Council

A report commissioned by the county’s Department of Liquor Control shows how much money each of the county’s 25 retail liquor, wine and beer stores brought in from July 2012 to July 2013.

The report was made public last week as DLC Director George Griffin appeared in front of the Council’s Public Safety Committee.

Among the recommendations made by the firm that put together the study was one that included closing or relocating the county’s Chevy Chase liquor store at 11 Wisconsin Circle.

The store lost $278,431 in fiscal year 2013, due in part to a poor location and high rent, according to the report. Only Montgomery County is allowed to operate a retail store selling liquor in Montgomery County. Of the county’s 25 stores, Chevy Chase was the only one to lose money in fiscal year 2013.

Griffin told the committee that the DLC will look for a new Chevy Chase location that could be ready to go when the current store’s lease is up in two years.

Others in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area performed much better. The county’s liquor store in the Westwood Shopping Center in Westbard (5432 Westbard Ave.) brought in almost $1.3 million in fiscal 2013, good for the third highest net income of the county’s 25 stores.

The county’s Hampden Lane liquor store in the Shoppes of Bethesda (4920 Hampden Lane) brought in almost $1.1 million, good for the sixth highest net income in the county.

by Aaron Kraut — October 20, 2014 at 9:00 am 440 0

Flickr photo by Aaron Coe

Plastic Surgeon Accused Of Sexual Assault – Chevy Chase plastic surgeon Dr. Hadi Rassael lost his medical license two weeks ago after being accused of sexual assault by two of his patients. The Maryland Board of Physicians suspended Rassael’s license after the two accusations and an allegation that he carried on a sexual relationship with a third patient in which the patient said she loaned him $180,000. Rassael denied the allegations in front of the Board. [ABC7]

Strathmore Shop Around – Strathmore will put on its 25th annual holiday shop around from Thursday, Nov. 13 to Sunday, Nov. 16 in North Bethesda. The event will feature pop-up shops from 20 of the area’s most well known museums, arts venues and cultural institutions, including The Kennedy Center, National Building Museum, Brookside Gardens, International Spy Museum and Shakespeare Theatre Company. Admission is $8 for tickets purchased online and $9 for tickets purchased at the door. [Strathmore]

Developer Gets The Gold – Bethesda-based developer EYA was one of two companies that received a Gold Award in the 2014 National Housing Quality Award program, sponsored by Professional Builder Magazine. EYA is known mostly for its townhome community developments, including on Little Falls Parkway and the planned Grosvenor Heights and Rock Spring Park projects. [EYA]

Flickr photo by Aaron Coe

by Aaron Kraut — October 17, 2014 at 3:25 pm 3 Comments

Western Avenue in Friendship Heights, Flickr photo by ehpienMonday’s monthly meeting of a local citizens advisory board will feature a special round-table discussion with neighbors on the other side of the District line.

The county-led Western Montgomery County Citizens Advisory Board will meet with three D.C. Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (3D, 3E and 3G) to talk about “topics of common interest,” hear from Montgomery and D.C. planners on transportation links across Western Avenue and get an update from police commanders.

Members of the Montgomery group, made up of residents and business owners from Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac and Rockville, must be confirmed by the county executive. The group regularly gets updates from county and other agency officials on local issues, then typically weighs in in the form of a letter or Council testimony.

D.C.’s ANCs largely play the same role, though ANC commissioners hold sway on the approval or disapproval of liquor licenses.

The meeting is open to the public and will take place from 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Monday at the Village of Friendship Heights (4433 South Park Ave.).

Among the D.C. neighborhoods represented by the ANCs taking part are Chevy Chase D.C., the Palisades, Spring Valley, Wesley Heights, Friendship Heights and Tenleytown.

Flickr photo by ehpien

by BethesdaNow.com Sponsor — October 17, 2014 at 2:25 pm 0


Editor’s Note: This column is sponsored by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer (10400 Old Georgetown Rd.).

This column was written by Georgetown Square Wine and Beer customer Garrett Cruce. Follow his beer travels on Instagram.

I’m very excited to talk rye beers, one of my favorite varieties. Rye beers can come in a bunch of different styles, but I’ll be focusing on rye IPAs today. There are several traditional European styles that use rye, but to narrow our focus even more, I’m taking a look at the trend in American brewing.

This variety has a significant amount of rye in it’s grain mixture. Known as “adjuncts,” grains such as rye, corn and rice are used in addition to the primary grain, barley, in brewing. Adjuncts can be used in small amounts to achieve varying effects or to cut down on the amount of barley needed.

Rye is traditionally used to improve the appearance of the head — rye beers often generate thick, creamy and long-lasting heads. But increasingly, American craft brewers are adding more rye to special beers to showcase its spicy and mildly sour flavor. Now is the time to explore and enjoy the charms of rye beers, as many of them are in season for late fall and early winer.

Great Divide Brewing Co. Showdown Rye IPA, ABV: 8.3%, Denver, CO

This bomber is a smooth and refined rye IPA with the balanced hop and malt character that you want in a rye. A good pour creates a beautiful creamy head that lasts. The spice of the rye comes through with the clean hop bitterness in both the aroma and the flavor. Very drinkable even with the high alcohol content.


by Aaron Kraut — October 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm 0

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

Before Strathmore’s brand new Music Center opened to the public, it opened to thousands of local elementary school students.

A decade later, the North Bethesda venue is celebrating 10 years of student concerts with a new music genre.

From Tuesday-Friday next week, Strathmore will shut down to make way for more than 11,000 MCPS 5th graders who will hear a new Blues concert thanks in part to nonprofit JazzReach. Until this year, the annual MCPS student concerts have exclusively featured classical music in partnership with the National Philharmonic:

The musicians onstage personify racial and gender diversity–Strathmore and MCPS were insistent that performers be inclusive and representative of the diversity in their community. The concerts were developed in close collaboration with MCPS music curriculum experts, addressing key concepts 5th graders will master during the school year. All elementary music teachers have pre-concert lessons to prepare students for their experience and strengthen their understanding of concepts contained in the program. The concerts will also illuminate for students how Blues is the foundation for genres more familiar to them, such as rock ‘n’ roll, gospel, and R&B.

The live multi-media educational program will fos­ter an appreciation of the great American Blues tradition. With the goal of teaching timely music curriculum concepts in a highly interactive and thrilling concert experience, the Strathmore Student Concerts include audience participation throughout, as well as supporting video content–live shots of musicians on stage and clips of famous Blues musicians performing.

Strathmore said the 5th grade student concerts require $124,000. Together with the 2nd grade concerts set for November, the total program costs $248,000 and is funded with help from the Strathmore Hall Foundation, GEICO, Jordan Kitt’s Muisc and the Paul M. Angell Family Foundation .

The concerts next week are set for 10:35 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and just 10:35 a.m. on Friday. Expect some school bus traffic in the area of the Music Center on Tuckerman Lane.

Flickr photo via Bill in DC

by Aaron Kraut — October 17, 2014 at 11:20 am 158 0

Closed northbound lane of Hillandale Road in Bethesda

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation has shut down one lane of Hillandale Road after part of the roadway buckled.

According to the Department’s Division of Highway Services, a storm drain culvert under the roadway was found to be degraded.

That led to an emergency pavement repair on Thursday. On Friday morning, the northbound lane of Hillandale Road starting at Little Falls Parkway was still closed.

A Montgomery County official was on site inspecting the damage.

The closure cuts off access to the Bethesda Swimming Pool (6300 Little Falls Parkway) and Willet Parkway from the south. Detour signage has been set up to direct drivers to northbound Arlington Road, eastbound Bradley Boulevard and then southbound Hillandale Road.

by Aaron Kraut — October 17, 2014 at 10:25 am 177 2 Comments

Check out our picks for open houses this weekend around Bethesda.

See our Real Estate section for a full listing of open houses and houses for sale:

8809 Jones Mill Road8809 Jones Mill Road
4 BD | 3.5 BA single family detached
Eric Peek, Peek Properties
Listed: $829,000
Open: Sunday, Oct. 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

28 Dudley Court28 Dudley Court
2 BD | 2.5 BA condominium
Michael Colopy, Long & Foster Real Estate, Inc.
Listed: $389,000
Open: Sunday, Oct. 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

4430 Chalfont Place4430 Chalfont Place
3 BD | 4 BA single family detached
Margot Wilson, Washington Fine Properties
Listed: $1,329,000
Open: Sunday, Oct. 19 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

5133 Willet Bridge Road5133 Willet Bridge Road
3 BD | 2 full, 2 half BA townhouse
Preston Innerst, EYA Marketing
Listed: $1,799,900
Open: Saturday, Oct. 18 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 19 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

by Aaron Kraut — October 17, 2014 at 9:30 am 1,114 0

With all of the much-hyped restaurant concepts and shiny new buildings coming to White Flint, Marty Magill thinks there’s more than enough room for a straightforward sports bar with live music and a casual dining room.

Magill and crew are hosting a soft opening of Qunicy’s South Bar and Grille this weekend, with an official grand opening expected next week.

The restaurant has a 36-seat bar, 18 TVs with any sports offerings you can think of and a menu that closely mirrors that of Quincy’s Bar and Grille in Gaithersburg.

Magill and his wife Alexis bought that restaurant in 2008. They saw Quincy’s South (11401 Woodglen Dr.) as an opportunity to build a “neighborhood place at a good price point,” where there isn’t a whole lot of the same.

“I think we’re going to wiggle ourselves into a little niche here,” Magill said. “This is the kind of place, where if you have $40 or $20 in your pocket, you can have a burger and a couple of beers and have a good time.”

The kitchen, helmed by former Royal Mile Pub chef Bryan Ortiz, will offer wings, chicken tenders, all the typical appetizers associated with a sports bar and American fare including burgers, hot dogs, pizza, sandwiches, a Crab Cake Platter and Guinness Braised brisket.

Entrees run in the $13-$15 range, sandwiches and burgers run from $9-$12 and soups and salads go from $6-$13. Magill said the restaurant’s happy hour will run from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. each weekday, with various weekend specials and live music four nights a week.

Magill said he was able to provide relatively cheap menu prices because of a relatively cheap rent.

The bar’s building is set for redevelopment as part of JBG’s North Bethesda Market II project. The roughly 300-foot, 400-unit glass residential building will one day be Montgomery County’s tallest.

Magill said he’s been told the start of that project could be five years off, or even longer — enough time to establish the Quincy’s brand in a rapidly redeveloping White Flint/North Bethesda area.

by Aaron Kraut — October 17, 2014 at 8:25 am 699 4 Comments

Flickr photo by ehpien

Bethesda’s “Thoroughly Mediocre” Restaurant Scene – Washingtonian Magazine food critic Todd Kliman weighed in on what’s missing from the Washington Post’s recent list of best restaurants. What’s not missing is Bethesda, which Kliman wrote has “more than 200 restaurants, none of them great, and at most three or four that you might actually consider for a good meal out with friends.” [Washingtonian Magazine]

Judge Throws Out Tree-Cutting Injunction Against Pepco – A Montgomery County Circuit Court judge on Thursday denied a request from residents in the Potomac Crest neighborhood to stop Pepco from cutting down trees on their properties. Pepco claims it has an easement dating back to the 1950′s that allows them to cut down trees on private property if it’s necessary for electric service reliability. [The Gazette]

Texas Nurse To NIH’s Special Clinical Studies Unit – Nina Pham, the Texas nurse infected with the Ebola virus, arrived Thursday night at NIH’s Clinical Center in Bethesda. She’ll be cared for in the Center’s Special Clinical Studies Unit, one of only a few facilities like it in the country where she will be highly isolated and cared for by infectious disease specialists. [NIH]

Five Announced For Montgomery Business Hall of Fame – Grossberg Company LLP and Monument Bank, founders of the Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame, announced five inductees to be honored at this year’s Oct. 29 event in Rockville. Among the inductees are David Reznick, co-founder of Bethesda-based accounting firm CohnReznick LLP, Dottie Fitzgerald, vice president of Fitzgerald auto mall, and Mark Choe, who owns a restaurant in Takoma Park. [Montgomery County Business Hall of Fame]

Flickr photo by ehpien


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