Federal Realty announced today that the first Piccoli Piatti Pizzeria will open at Bethesda’s Wildwood Shopping Center in 2020. The 3,473-square-foot dining destination will be located between Sequel and Sanctuary Interior Design and will feature a hybrid of Neapolitan and American style pizza called Neo Neapolitan pizza. Additional menu items will include small and shared plates – Piccoli (small) Piatti (plates) – such as Panzanella salad, house made spreads, grilled and fried calamari, house made desserts and more.
With talents in Italian cuisine, Piccoli Piatti’s owner previously owned Red Tomato and Centro, which were both located in downtown Bethesda. They currently own Fish Taco, a community favorite, which has a location in Wildwood Shopping Center.
“The combination of new dining options, new tenants including Flower Child, Bethesda Bagels and Joe & the Juice, and Wildwood’s recent neighborhood upgrades allows us to create a place where our community feels welcome to gather, shop and dine,” said Kari Glinski, Director of Asset Management at Federal Realty.
Novel Books is in trouble and is asking for your support.
When I walked in I was greeted by owner, Patrick Darby. He told me about the facial recognition software the book store uses– you walk in...and he recognizes you.
Darby has been selling books since he got out of college back in 1981. He worked for Crown Books for a while before he got tired of the corporate attitude of selling books and wanted to get back to the basics.
Fast forward a few years...
Novel Books opened back in 2011 and has been in its current location, in the historic district of Clarksburg, since 2014 (23330 Frederick Rd. across from Clarksburg Market).
The store saw continue growth in each year of its existence until last year, when unexpected costs put the business in jeopardy. Patrick tells us the store is now on the verge of closing and is asking for your help.
In addition to stopping in for a visit, he’s asking you to consider supporting through his GoFundMe page.
Patrick wants Novel Books to be a place where Clarksburg and MoCo families can gather to enjoy books, classes, and other events. Novel Books currently offers Story Time for toddlers, a space for local books clubs, and gaming tables for chess clubs and Magic: the Gathering card tournaments. New programs include multi-week courses on music for toddlers, and a class that used Legos to teach science and engineering. A goal is to bring authors to the store for signings and new release events.
We wish Patrick and Novel Books the best of luck and hope things can turn around for the local bookstore.
Lone Oak Brewing Company is coming to Olney.
The farm brewery will be located at 5000 Olney Laytonsville Road and is expected to open this fall.
We are told that Lakeforest Mall has been purchased by WRS Inc., a real estate investment firm based out of South Carolina.
The purchase includes the "core" of the mall, but the pad sites and their parking lots (Sears, JC Penney, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s) are not included in this purchase as they are each owned by the individual companies.
Due to the timing of the news we have been unable to speak with representatives from WRS so we do not have any details on how much the mall sold for or any future plans at the moment.
U.S. Bank previously purchased the same part of the mall for $19.1 million in a foreclosure auction in January of 2018.
The rumors that have been swirling for a couple weeks have unfortunately been confirmed.
The iconic tree that was featured on O.A.R.’s In Between Now and Then album cover has died and will be removed soon according to Sensible CCT. Yesterday, they put the following out on Facebook regarding the popular tree that can be seen from Muddy Branch Road on Belward Farm:
“We received confirmation that the grand, old black gum tree known by many names — including "Bushy" and "Emma" — on the Belward Farm property is dead. Bartlett Tree Service said it leafed out this spring and then, sadly and suddenly, died. Apparently there is nothing that can be done and it will be removed. I am looking into whether community members can retrieve a small slab of the tree when it is cut down.”
O.A.R. guitarist Richard On quoted our tweet and wrote “So sad. This tree was my childhood. My favorite memory was jumping the fence w/ @benjgershman at 5am, in the middle of a blizzard, to get a silhouette shot for @ofarevolution In Between Now and Then album cover 💔”
NaturaLawn® of America, an organic-based lawn care company, offered high school seniors and college undergraduates across the country the opportunity to enter an essay contest, for a chance to win scholarship money towards their higher education costs. Applications were accepted from March to May 2019. Students were encouraged to submit a personal essay, as well as up to three recommendations to be eligible for consideration. The award, named The Dan Collins Scholarship Award, was established in 2017 in memory of former franchise owner, Dan Collins, who passed away from cancer in 2005.
“Dan Collins was a ‘larger-than-life’ gentleman who always had a funny story to share, an encouraging word for his fellow franchise owners, and a big heart for giving his best to help others,” said Phil Catron, the company Founder and President. “Dan's efforts in promoting NaturaLawn of America and his franchise in the Richmond, VA area can be summed up by a simple five-word question he was so fond of asking; ‘Can I get you started?’”
The scholarship was originally set up to provide a one-time $4,000 stipend to the essay contest winner to be used towards their college education. However, due to the outstanding response and caliber of students who applied this year, NaturaLawn of America decided to award three students with scholarship monies. The winners were awarded $4,000 for first, $1,000 for second, and $500 for third place.
To evaluate each application, NaturaLawn contacted a retired high school principal familiar with how scholarship awards are determined. With all identifying information redacted, the company asked the retired principal to identify the top three applicants.
The first-place award recipient was Cole Cerulli, of Maryland. He graduated from Damascus High school in the spring of 2019. He will be attending James Madison University to study finance in the fall of 2019. Mr. Cerulli is a well-rounded student, who enrolled in Honor and Advanced Placement classes and was inducted into the National Honors Society during his junior year. Mr. Cerulli is also highly regarded by his teachers, mentors, and classmates as selfless and always willing to lend a helping hand.
“We want to congratulate Mr. Cerulli”, said Mr. Catron, “he is an outstanding young man. His essay and recommendations were truly remarkable. He is someone who embodies the Dan Collins award.”
Mr. Cerulli and his parents, Michael and Michelle Cerulli, were invited to the NaturaLawn Corporate Office in Downtown Frederick, to tour the facilities and meet Mr. Catron and the office staff.
NaturaLawn of America hopes these scholarships will help students prepare for their futures with less financial burden. The company also plans to expand the contest in the future, to offer more students scholarship opportunities.
Headquartered in Frederick, Maryland, NaturaLawn of America is a national lawn care franchise system with 36 owners holding 91 licenses, and servicing over 100,000 customers in 24 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, please visit us on the web at www.NaturaLawn.com.
Hakuna Matata Grill is now open in the former Macdara’s Grill space in Wheaton (2405 Price Ave).
The restaurant serves authentic East African cuisine and offers indoor and outdoor dining.
This is still their soft opening, so the restaurant is looking for feedback on their dishes.
Tues-Thurs: 4pm - 12am
Fri-Sat: 4pm - 3am
Sun: 4pm - 12am
Red, Hot, & Blue in Gaithersburg/Derwood has closed permanently after 30 years in MoCo.
The barbecue restaurant initially closed temporarily for renovations, but management recently decided to shut down permanently instead.
We wish the best for all employees affected.
Ema Rossi Pizzeria Napoletana will be moving in to the old Pizza Hut location in the Rock Creek Village Center (5556 Norbeck Rd).
Pizza Hut closed back in April and the store has remained vacant for a few months, but signage is now up confirming the new tenant.
For now we don’t have any any additional information, but it looks like this restaurant will fill any void that may have been left by Pizza Hut’s departure.
Back in May we broke the news of Royal Farms opening its first MoCo location. Today we have an update on Royal Farms along with the news that it will be joined by Starbucks.
The Spectrum at Watkins Mill is a mixed-use development that is located at the corner of Watkins Mill Road and North Frederick Avenue/ MD 355. According to the City of Gaithersburg website, a Schematic Development Plan application has been filed requesting approval for the construction of a new Royal Farms automobile filling station on Watkins Mill Road and a Starbucks building on Paramount Drive. The plan also includes a 4,000 square foot retail/restaurant/office building on Pad Site B, which is located Spectrum Avenue.
We were told that UU HotPot and Kebab pulled out months ago due to the lack of tenants in the area, but have been unable to reach anyone to confirm.
There is no expected opening date for MoCo's first Royal Farms, but if all goes well I would expect it in late 2020/early 2021.