Jenny Hurley, marketing manager with the franchisee company of Panera Bread restaurants in Maryland, said Panera has been exploring a downtown Bethesda location for years.
“We feel like this provides ample parking, there is a lot over there,” Hurley said. “It will definitely be an attribute to the people who are working out there.”
The location, at 7201 Wisconsin Ave., is across the street from Parking Lot 24, a metered lot along Willow Lane.
Bethesda Magazine first reported that Panera would be taking over the space. The Minnesota-based bd’s Mongolian Grill closed last August. Panera had 1,652 locations as of December 2012 and there are locations in Friendship Heights, Upper NW D.C. and Rockville, but none with a Bethesda address.
Photo via Google Maps
Panera Bread Moving Into Mongolian Grill Space — Panera Bread will take over the vacant former space of the bd’s Mongolian Grill (7201 Wisconsin Ave.). The opening date is not yet known. The grill left the space last year. [Bethesda Magazine]
Bethesda Fine Arts Festival This Weekend — The event will feature 130 artists and their sculptures, paintings, photography, mixed media, ceramics, clothing, jewelry and other goods. It starts on Saturday at 10 a.m. and runs to 6 p.m and picks up again on Sunday at 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Parts of Norfolk, Auburn and Del Ray Avenues in Woodmont Triangle will be blocked off to traffic for the Festival. [Bethesda Urban Partnership]
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown Gets Ready To Announce Candidacy For Governor — Many view the former Prince George’s County Delegate as a front-runner in the race to replace Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who is term-limited. Brown will face a challenge from Attorney General and Bethesda native Doug Gansler, who has almost three times the amount of campaign money as Brown. Brown will also attempt to become the first lieutenant governor ever to make the jump to governor. [Washington Post]
Summer Recreation, Camp Guide Out — The 2013 Montgomery County Recreation Summer Guide is available online and summer session registration starts Monday morning. [Montgomery County Recreation]
Flickr photo by Dreamin Up Concepts
Tex-Mex eatery Mi Cocina is set to open Friday in Friendship Heights. Above are photos from a private event on Wednesday night, courtesy of Bethesdan blogger Amy Moore.
The restaurant (5471 Wisconsin Ave.) is the 22nd location of the Texas-based chain, and the first in the Washington area. It will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
A press release says the restaurant aims to provide a “memorable, friendly Texas experience.”
On Friday at 10:30 a.m., co-owners Bob McNutt, Dick Washburne, Ray Washburne and general manager Max Sagatizado will join local politicians and the Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce for a ribbon cutting ceremony.
Photos via Amy Moore
Specials include brunches and price-fixed dinner menus at the following selection of Mother’s Day options. (Feel free to add more in the comments section.)
Assaggi Mozarella Bar (4838 Bethesda Ave.; 301-951-1988) Open 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Regular dinner menu served all day, featured specials will be available for the very special mom and family.
Brasserie Monte Carlo (7929 Norfolk Ave.; 301-656-9225) Open 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Three-course menu for $45 per person. Main courses are: Crab Stuffed Shrimp, Filet Beef Medallions, Pork Tenderloin, Duck and Vegetarian. Reservations only.
Cesco Osteria (7401 Woodmont Ave.; 301-654-8333) Elegant but casual. Brunch 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Regular menu 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. with carving station, raw bar, pastas, salads, desserts and live Spanish guitar music.
Guardado’s (4918 Del Ray Ave.; 301-986-4920) Special Mother’s Day menu from 11:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
LIA’s (4435 Willard Ave.; 240-223-5427) Mimosas, eggs, and good times for Mother’s Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Meritage Restaurant at Bethesda North Marriott ( 5701 Marinelli Rd.; 301-822-9234) Mother’s Day brunch with seating times at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. $29 per person for ages 12 and older, $17 per person for ages 6 to 11.
Morton’s The Steakhouse (7400 Wisconsin Ave.; 301-657-2650) Special three-course Mother’s Day meal.
The website, MocoFoodTrucks.com, includes schedules for 16 of the county’s most popular trucks, including many that make frequent stops in Bethesda.
It also includes a blog and contact info for catering requests.
Brick-and-mortar restaurant owners have traditionally seen food truck owners as competitors who don’t have to spend as much in operating costs. In Bethesda, food truck operators who do set up shop in downtown areas say it’s not uncommon to be harassed by meter attendants. Many prefer to set up in the corporate office parks near Rockledge Drive, where parking is easier and a steady flow of customers is guaranteed.
In September, a group of about 12 vendors discussed how to better communicate marketing strategies and routes and how to fight regulations such as the county’s “9 a.m. to dusk” rule.
The county does not permit trucks to operate past sundown, which effectively limits vendors to lunchtime hours during the winter months.
Later this week, the D.C. Committee on Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs will review a proposal that would restrict food trucks to certain areas of the city.
Ohio-based Paladar Latin Kitchen & Rum Bar announced it will open its first D.C. area in late July or early August in North Bethesda Market.
The 180-seat restaurant, with two patio seating areas, will take over the space at 11333 Woodglen Dr., across from the Whole Foods Market.
The menu will obviously be Latin-inspired, with seafood, steaks, sandwiches, appetizers and deserts including Cuban Braised Beef Ropa Vieja, Blackened Fish Tacos, Plantain Crusted Crab Croquetas and three kinds of guacamole served with chips blended from plantain, yucca, malanga and tortilla.
It will also carry more than 50 rums, rum flights and tasting-size pours, as well as Mojitos, Caipirinhas and Margaritas.
“It is our goal to provide an upbeat, fresh American interpretation of Latin food, borrowing and blending from the many unique aspects of the various cultures represented by the menu offerings,” co-President Andy Himmel said in a press release. “We see Paladar as approachable, affordable and comfortable — a place to go not just for special occasions, but for any occasion. We want to share with our guests the vibrancy, colors, tastes, music and soul of Latin America.”
Paladar will be open for brunch on Saturday and Sunday, traditional happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week and a late night happy hour from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.
The restaurant will be Paladar’s fourth. It also has plans to open a location in Tysons Corner.
Photo via Google Maps
Food, Wine & Co. Gets Makeover, New Menu — The downtown favorite (7272 Wisconsin Ave.) introduced a new color scheme and a new, more adventurous menu according to chef Michael Harr. [Bethesda Magazine]
New Farmers Market Coming To Twinbrook — In nearby Rockville, developer JBG Cos. is brining a mid-day farmers market geared at office workers to the area of Fishers Lane just east of the Twinbrook Metro Station. The market starts May 7 and will run every Tuesday through Novemeber from 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. with vendors including Twin Springs Farm, Upper Crust Bakery and MeatCrafters.
B-CC Baseball Starts Hot With New Stars — The Barons are 10-2 and four wins away from last season’s win total despite losing their three top pitchers and middle-of-the-lineup stars. [The Gazette]
Flickr photo by Craig Thoburn
Blogger Robert Dyer reported the restaurant at 4932 St Elmo Ave. posted a note on its door last weekend that it would be closed and that “We hope to be able to serve you again soon, once we have resolved matters.”
Those matters apparently weren’t resolved. A For Lease sign went up in the window of the restaurant on Tuesday.
When reached for comment, a representative for the restaurant said he was heading into a meeting with a lawyer and that the situation was “quite the story.” We haven’t heard back.
The restaurant opened in 2011 and earned mixed reviews, but was perhaps best known for its Saturday night Flamenco dancing.
Chevy Chase Village Finds Enough To Keep 7-Member Board — At its Annual Meeting on Monday, the four Board members up for election said they would come back and two new members stepped up to fill the spots of the pair who quit last year in protest of more stringent financial disclosure rules. The Village was worried it would not find enough willing Board participants because of the rules. [Chevy Chase Patch]
Chevy Chase Landlord Pleads Guilty In Peeping Case — Dennis Van Dusen, 64, of Ridgewood Avenue pleaded to three misdemeanor charges of placing tiny cameras in smoke detectors to record female tenants having sex. Van Dusen could face up to 18 months in prison when he’s sentenced in July. [Washington Post]
Hard Times Cafe Owner Honored At Restaurant Awards — Hard Times Cafe owner Greg Hourigan, who was diagnosed with leukemia last year, won the Maryland Hospitality Hall of Honor award at the recent Restaurant Association of Maryland’s annual awards gala. [Bethesda Magazine]
A two-month renovation of the Morton’s The Steakhouse in the Hyatt Bethesda hotel (7400 Wisconsin Ave.) took the high-end restaurant and bar from country club feel to modern, said general manager Ron McNeill.
The brick walls and heavy wood front door are gone, replaced with glass and a darker, sleeker lounge-like feel the restaurant showed off during an unveiling event on Tuesday.
Landry’s, the Houston-based restaurant company that bought the iconic steakhouse brand in 2011 for $200 million, is remodeling all of the approximately 65 U.S. locations, starting with its Houston Morton’s restaurants and its locations in Bethesda, Baltimore and D.C.
The Bethesda Morton’s opens to the hotel lobby, but McNeill said they still were able to achieve a much more open feel to the brand new bar area, which connects to the main dining room and the private party area.
Crews worked overnight after the restaurant closed shop for the day. The Northern Virginia locations in Arlington and Reston are next on the renovation schedule.
A major rebranding effort of Caribou Coffee stores outside the company’s home state of Minnesota will mean a big change for the Bethesda location, which over the years has become a favorite for downtown residents and commuters coming to and from the Metro station.
Store manager Lauren Callahan said the Bethesda store (7629 Old Georgetown Rd.) is one of 88 stores nationwide that will become a Peet’s Coffee & Tea, probably sometime in the next 12 to 18 months.
The company is closing 80 underperforming stores. The crew at Caribou will remain, Callahan said. They just won’t be known as Caribou anymore.
“We’ll be here until they close us down,” Callahan said.
Bethesda Row will celebrate a Restaurant Week of its own starting next Monday with 13 participating restaurants.
All the restaurants (with a few exceptions) will offer a $15 three-course lunch and $30 three-course dinner from April 15-April 21.
Tapas-favorite Jaleo is also giving away a $200 dining certificate.
Click each restaurant below to see what’s on its Restaurant Week menu:
Assagi Mozzarella Bar | American Tap Room | Cafe Deluxe | Jaleo | Lebanese Taverna (not available) | Le Pain Quotidien (not available) | Luke’s Lobster | Mon Ami Gabi | Mussel Bar & Grille (lunch only) | Parker’s American Bistro | Raku (choose from full menu) | Redwood | Vino Volo
The sushi and robata restaurant taking over the former Divino Lounge space in downtown Bethesda is nearing its grand opening, with a recent Craigslist ad for part-time servers.
In February, Bethesda Magazine reported Yoshihisa Ota, previously the owner of Kushi in Mt. Vernon Square, took over the storefront at 7345 Wisconsin Avenue to start Yuzu. He’s hoping for an April opening.
Workers have been busily prepping the inside of the restaurant in the past week. It will include a small sushi counter and grilled seafood and vegetable offerings on skewers called robata. Divino, the Argentine steakhouse, closed in December.
Owner Stefan Lalos bought the former Gaffney’s restaurant in December 2011, gave the place a new look and opened for business in February 2012.
His PR rep told Bethesda Magazine last year the bar hoped to attract the 30-plus demographic, but that business apparently never materialized.
Executive chef Damon Hersh posted the following message on the restaurant’s Facebook page yesterday:
As of this morning the majestic bar and grille in Bethesda is closed. Thank you to all our great guests, friends, customers, and staff. Good luck in all future endeavors. We wish great success on the next establishment that fills this space.
Thank you all
Chef Damon Hersh
The following is a sampling of restaurants with brunch or other scheduled specials. Feel free to add more in the comments section:
American Tap Room (7728 Woodmont Ave.; 301-656-1366) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. endless brunch buffet will be an “eggs-traordinary” Easter celebration with classic and seasonal choices.
Assaggi Mozarella Bar (4838 Bethesda Ave.; 301-951-1988) Open all day, serving regular dinner menu with Easter specials priced individually or on a five-course fixed-menu for $69.
Brasserie Monte Carlo (7929 Norfolk Ave.; 301-656-9225) 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. three-course fixed-menu for $30 includes crab stuffed sole, duck cassoulet, leg of lamb, pork tenderloin, vegetarian pasta. Reservations required.
Cesco Osteria (7401 Woodmont Ave.; 301-654-8333) 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. brunch buffet of pastas and omelets, seafood bar, deserts, salads and more for $39, $10 for kids under 10.
Geppetto Restaurant/Oakville Grille (10257 Old Georgetown Rd.; 301-493-9230) Easter brunch with complimentary mimosa or champagne with dinner specials.
Guardado’s (4918 Del Ray Ave.; 301-986-4920) Easter brunch buffet for $22.95, also a la carte brunch and tapas menu.
La Ferme Restaurant (7101 Brookville Rd.; 301-986-5255) Special menu.
LIA’s (4435 Willard Ave.; 240-223-5427) 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Easter brunch includes mimosas and eggs.
Redwood (7121 Bethesda Lane; 301-656-5515) 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Easter brunch buffet including two carving stations, an omelet station, salads and deserts for $34, $15 for kids.