FREE EVENT!!! The Sandy Spring Slave Museum and African Art Gallery and the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships will co-host their first annual Afro/Latino Caribbean Festival on Saturday, August 31, 2019, from 12-6 pm.
Join us at the Sandy Spring Slave Museum, 18524 Brooke Road, Sandy Spring, MD and enjoy the sights, sounds and foods of the Afro/Latino Caribbean cultures. A variety of vendors will be available for your purchasing pleasure.
Guest panelists will share the contributions that people of African descent have made to our community and the global culture as a whole. The festival will highlight the work, values and issues important to the Afro/Latino Caribbean community. Come join us!
Lidl, the German discount supermarket chain, expects its first MoCo location to open in the first half of 2021.
It will be located in the now-vacant Professional Center site that is on Montgomery Village and Centerway, across from the Montgomery Village shopping center.
According to plans shared with the community, Lidl will demolish every building that is currently in the Professional Center to make room for the new building and parking lot, which will have over 150 parking spots available.
Construction will have to wait until Lidl is approved for permits following a Planning Board meeting which will likely take place at the end of this year. Neighbors worried about deliveries affecting traffic in the area do not have to worry, as almost all of Lidl's deliveries would come from their central distribution center in Fredericksburg, VA every morning at 5am.
In the Montgomery Village shopping center, the demolition of Bank of America and Denny's was expected to take place early this summer to make way for Centerway Road's expansion through the shopping center, connecting with Watkins Mill Rd. It is still expected to take place in the coming months.
Foodhini, a Company That Offers Authentic Multicultural Meals Crafted by Emerging Immigrant and Refugee Chefs, Inches Into MoCo
Foodhini, a company that offers authentic multicultural meals that are crafted by emerging immigrant and refugee chefs, has expanded to include the 20912 zip code of Takoma Park.
Founder Noobstaa Philip Vang moved to D.C. to attend graduate school at Georgetown in the summer of 2014 and found himself missing his mom's Hmong home cooking. He couldn't find any Hmong restaurants in the area and didn't find most of the local Thai and Lao restaurants as authentic as he was looking for.
Vang thought of his mom's story. She came to the United States as a refugee of the Secret War in Laos and was only able to find low paying jobs due to her limited English language skills. Even though she had to work multiple jobs, she always found time to cook amazing meals for her family.
Vang wanted to create opportunities for chefs like his mom, while introducing unique flavors to the D.C. area. Currently, Foodhini offers food from four chefs- an Eritrean chef, an Iranian chef, a Lao chef, and a Syrian chef. They plan to add more chefs and feature a wider variety of cuisines as they continue to grow.
If you're not in their current delivery area, which only reaches Takoma Park in MoCo at the moment, you can still support and enjoy meals from Foodhini by picking it up from their kitchen located at 2212 Rhode Island Ave NE.
In the images you'll see Nam Khao (crispy curry rice with lettuce) and Khaw Mee (Lao stir fried noodles).
Yesterday I stopped by George’s Hotpot & BBQ in the Diamond Square shopping center in Gaithersburg and noticed the door was open during construction of the space.
I was told that they’re still likely a few months away from being ready to go (photo available below), so I expect the Korean style bbq and Asian Hotpot restaurant to open at some point this upcoming winter. It’s located next to Silk Road Choyhona.
One of my favorite tapas spots, hidden gem Boca Botanas, has started construction on their outdoor patio.
Located in the Festival shopping center in Gaithersburg, you’ll soon be able to enjoy your favorite tapas and cocktails al fresco on their beautiful green patio.
It took me 19 minutes to get from my house in Gaithersburg to the heart of Burtonsville (Thanks ICC).
Burtonsville is located in the easternmost part of MoCo– about 20 miles southwest of Baltimore and about 15 miles northeast of DC. It is named after Isaac Burton, who owned most of the land in the area in 1825 after buying out his siblings shares of his father’s land. Initially, he named it Burton’s because...why not?
We toured Burtonsville on two different days, with Dave Golden of the Burtonsville 2.0 Facebook page as our guide. He organized visits with a few different local businesses owners in the Burtonsville area. While we didn’t get to visit every place we wanted to see, we were happy to get to visit with a few.
We start with Burtonsville Batman! Bill Gibson stripped down his 1978 Lincoln was able to transform it into the Batmobile we see below entirely on his own!
Since Halloween of 2016, you may have seen Bill and his Batmobile driving around town or visiting places like the Children's Inn at NIH or the Carl Sandberg Learning Center to brighten the day of children from our area.
We visited the future site of a US 29 Bus Rapid Transit Station, which is located right behind the old shopping center, with lifelong Burtonsville resident Chris Bolton.
You'll be able to use SmarTrip, the busses will contain Wi-Fi and charger ports, should take about 90 cars off the road per hour, and will eventually have dedicated lanes (maybe) for a full trip that includes nine stops. It is expected to open in 2020.
It will make the trip from Burtonsville to Downtown Silver Spring in under 20 minutes. More info can be found in this Washington Post article.
We visited Khana Claypot Grille, a fast-casual Indian restaurant owned by husband and wife team, Amir Ali and Paola Orlandi.
This is one of the few fast-casual restaurants with a chef rather than a line cook in the back. The beautiful restaurant can be seen below along with a few of their dishes, including the very popular chicken tikka entree.
Our tour had to include what may be the saddest shopping center in MoCo.
Burtonsville Crossing has only three of over 20 storefronts occupied– Pepino’s, Kim’s Hunan, and Burger King.
Growing East County, a blog written by East County resident and activist Sebastian Smoot, is working hard to engage the community in creating a plan for the shopping center.
Below are the ruins of Burtonsville Crossing.
Join the Montgomery County Planning Department on October 5th and 6th as they reinvent the Burtonsville Crossing Shopping Center into a lively place for the community with food/drink vendors and many activities.
More info available here.
Pepino’s is responsible for almost every parked car you’ll see in the Burtonsville Crossing Shopping Center. Owners/sisters Patti Pignatari and Margaret Manley say, “Every night’s a dinner party!”
Originally located in the current Cuba de Ayer location, the restaurant has been around since 1991. Patti and Margaret bought the restaurant in 2006. They’re the former owners of Umberto’s, which was located in the Cabin John Shopping Center in Potomac.
When I asked about the rent in the abandoned shopping center, I was told “It makes sense...it just makes sense.”
Greene Turtle, the sports bar, grill, and family restaurant that was founded in Ocean City in1976, is a meeting spot for many in Burtonsville and surrounding areas.
The brand is built on being involved in the community and for nearly five years they’ve done a lot of work with the community and Paint Branch High School, hosting fundraisers nearly every week.
On August 1st they hosted a Yappy Hour alongside the Montgomery County Humane Society.
We stopped by beautiful Meadows Farms Nursery (15930 Old Columbia Pike), which has been in the area for about three decades. Christmas trees in the winter, almost any kind of plant you might need (including pineapple plants), or just a place to check out if you’re in the area.
Hickory Grill (formerly Old Hickory Grill, but it’s newer now 😊) is a Burtonsville staple.
It’s one of the only restaurants in MoCo to have lines out the door on a Monday, with people taking advantage of the 50% off the whole menu option.
We chatted with owner Ricky Sty, who has worked hard to to make it a great place to be every night of the week.
We had the opportunity to make garlic knots and pizza with Squisito owner, Chris Rodney.
At just 27 years old, this young man impressed us with the hard work he puts into his craft and his work in the community sponsoring local youth teams and supporting local schools.
Watch a video of us making a mess in Squisito here.
For 80 years, Seibel’s has been serving the Burtonsville community.
It was built back in 1939 by Buck Seibel. We spoke with owner Lynn Ground Martins, whose mom Joyce started working at Seibel’s as a waitress back in 1960. They took over the restaurant in 1970 and added breakfast, burgers, and more while continuing to serve homemade ice cream.
Currently, Seibel’s makes their own sausage, grinds their own burgers, and still makes all of their own ice cream. About five years ago , they added a bar to the restaurant.
“We put an emphasis on human contact and putting our customers first.” Lynn told me. She has lived in the area her whole life, attending Banneker when it was an open school (no classrooms) and graduating from Paint Branch.
While driving in Castle Blvd in Briggs Chaney, we drove by one of the coolest looking athletic fields I’ve seen. I hopped out to take a look at this smaller football/soccer field hybrid and spoke with a couple kids that were playing. They told me they usually switch up between football and soccer games on most evenings when it’s not too hot.
Quick detour to nearby Colesville! Our host, Dave Golden, was raving about a Polish deli for days before our tour.
We visited Polka Deli, which is owned and operated by Maria and Joanna. Polka Deli offers donuts that come in fresh from New York each Friday, kielbasa and deli meats that come straight from Chicago and Baltimore (both of which have large Polish communities), and they make items like stuffed cabbage, hunter’s stew, pierogis, dumplings, schnitzel, borscht, and more right in the store.
Last, but certainly not least, we checked out one of the most popular restaurants in the area. Anytime we ask about the best restaurants in MoCo, you hear Cuba De Ayer mentioned.
Cuba De Ayer offers authentic home style Cuban cuisine and some of the best mojitos around. Owner, Jessica Rodriguez, has worked hard to make this one of the premier dining destinations in MoCo.
We would like to thank Dave Golden and the wonderful business owners and people of Burtonsville for welcoming The MoCoShow with open arms. We hope you consider take a trip to Burtonsville and seeing what it has to offer if you haven't done so already.
We leave you with a few fun facts about Burtonsville:
• As mentioned before, Burtonsville was named after Isaac Burton and originally named Burton's, but did you know he lived there with his wife Ketura and their 17 children?
• Burtonsville is home to one of the only remaining Jerry's Subs & Pizza in MoCo. The chain started out in Wheaton in 1954.
• Burtonsville is home to one of the biggest car shows in the area.
• Jersey Mike's is coming to Burtonsville later this year.
• Burtonsville has the highest % of Indian Americans in any place in all of Maryland (8% of residents identified as being of Indian heritage).
Smashburger was out of MoCo for almost five months following the closure of the Rockville location (1800 Rockville Pike Suite A).
Back in late March we were informed of an eviction notice posted on the door and the lights turned off. We were later told it was owned by a franchisee and that it would reopen as a corporate owned and operated store.
Soon after that, the location was removed from the Smashburger website and we even heard rumors about what could possibly be taking over the location.
Those rumors were out to rest last month when we were told that Smashburger would be re-opening it’s Rockville location. On Monday, 8/12, the restaurant was open for business.
We were told that it is under new management with new employees. Though the location is not currently listed on the Smashburger website and the phone number on the Facebook page is that of the old store, we were given the new phone number for anyone who may want to place an order: (240) 406-5114.
When his friend sent him a picture of the closed sign outside of Adega, a staple in Downtown Silver Spring for almost 15 years, Jarrod Jabre texted Justin Wallace immediately.
The pair had both worked at Adega in the past and wanted to look for a way to get in there immediately– even initially hoping to keep the Adega name, but it didn’t work out.
Fast forward 2.5 years and we have the opening of Locavino. “I wanted to think of a word for someone who drinks local...and it made sense– Locavino” said Jabre when we spoke in the café earlier today. He told me that he considers Locavino the spiritual successor to Adega, but that the experience will be different.
The café will serve wine, beer, and food, but will also be a wine retailer. "We don't want to put a table in the middle of a wine shop...we're going to let the space and the flow dictate the direction we go in."
Jared and Justin worked with Santos Amaya to create the menu for Locavino. Santos was the kitchen manager at Adega and the trio came up with a simple menu that includes some of the plates people loved from Adega, a few items the public has asked for, and a couple dishes that are the owners' favorites.
Not a wine person? No problem. The café will offer many local beers, both on tap and in cans/bottles, as well as soda if you're not into alcohol at all.
With Jabre living in Silver Spring for nearly 15 years and Wallace being born in Takoma Park and living in the DC Metro area his entire life, Locavino is a neighborhood bar owned and operated by people in the neighborhood.
The grand opening is this weekend. Saturday, 8/17 from 11am-11pm and Sunday, 8/18 from 11am-9pm.
Last month we broke the news of Lakeforest Mall being sold to South Carolina-based WRS Inc.
Today, the Washington Business Journal reports that WRS Inc. is in talks with the owners of the four department stores at the mall in order to secure the entire site for redevelopment.
If WRS Inc. is able to secure the purchase of the pad sites, which include the department stores and their parking lots, they would be able to move forward with redevelopment of the area.
Gaithersburg city officials are scheduled to discuss the future of Lakeforest this month.
Updated to reflect that it is currently closed. We were told this morning that they would remain open today, but several people have told us they are not taking customers today.
Fuddruckers in Rockville (1592A Rockville Pike) has closed permanently.
It was one of two remaining MoCo Fuddruckers locations (the only one left after today is located at 819 Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring).
CB Açaí Bowls and Smoothies is coming to Olney!
The new restaurant will feature açai/pitaya/smoothie bowls, smoothies, and limited juices.
Owner John Samartzis is a lifelong Olney resident, where he still lives with his wife and two daughters. He told us his deep ties and long lasting relationships are a big part of why he is investing in the community.
CB Açaí Bowls and Smoothies will be located in the Olney Center and is expected to open in early 2020.