In early August we shared a link to Brandi Edinger's Kickstarter page for her plan to bring The Cider Barrel back to life!
The link can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/MoCoShow/posts/1213589988744958.
A couple weeks later I interviewed Brandi using questions based on YOUR comments on our original post. With just 10 days left to raise over $75k, it doesn't look like the Kickstarter campaign will be successful (it’s an all or nothing campaign, which means if the full amount isn’t raised, everyone that donated will be refunded their money), but even it the goal isn’t reached it doesn't mean that the dream to bring The Cider Barrel back to life ends here.
Here's What Brandi had to say:
What are some of the pastries that you plan to sell (Apple cider donuts)?
I plan on offering things such as fresh cinnamon rolls and sticky buns and other "breakfast pastries" such as seasonal muffins, danishes and crumb cake. I will also offer things like triple choc. mousse torte, assorted flavor filled eclairs and colorful macarons-just to name a few. In addition to that I also plan on offering some gluten free and vegan items since there is a deman for that right now. (I have alot of experience with vegan because I was the Pastry Chef at Equinox Restaurant in DC for a few years and they have a strong vegan following). I even want to have a little selection of dog treats 🙂 I really want my menu to represent the seasons well and I can certainly do so since we are so close to many great farms.
One of our readers asked for a collaboration with the old Montgomery Donuts. Any interest in doing that down the road if this happens?
I would certainly love to talk more about this. I want this to be about creating relationships in the community and what better way than collaborating with a local icon in the industry. That would be a win win in my opinion.
Do you plan to serve regular coffee, capuccinos, frappes, etc.?
Coffee is a must! I will offer specialty coffees but only a select few such as lattes, cappuccinos and macchiatos. Since I am hoping for a late fall opening it is a MUST that I have apple cider. I have been very fortunate to meet with Mr. Gene Bollinger, one of the original partners and cider maker of the Cider Barrel. He gave me a few good tips about how to go about selling cider and if anyone knows...it would be him 🙂. I will also offer hot chocolate made from real chocolate and fresh made marshmallows.
Do you think the goal will be reached? A limited amount of people can donate certain amounts, do you think that will hinder the campaign?
$85k is my goal. I would not be telling the truth if I said I did not have any worries. I am very VERY excited about all of this but I am also extremely nervous. $85k is a lot of money but without meeting my goal, this just won't be possible. I met with a local contractor on Sunday who grew up in MoCo and has many great memories of the CB. His name is Paul Innocenti. Thanks to him, I can now save money and cut down from the original $185-$200k that the bigger companies have estimated this to be. He is currently meeting with a plumber, electrician and concrete company so we can find the most cost effective way to make this happen. The plumbing is where the majority of the money comes in. Once we get answers to a few questions we have, we may be able to cut the cost of the entire project in half (fingers crossed!). Mr. Innocenti will allow myself and anyone else that wants to volunteer, to be hands on to help save money.
What would the parking situation look like?
Many have questioned the parking as well as a few other things such as zoning. I started this journey last August, so it has been a year in the making. During that time I have been crossing every T and dotting my I's to be sure I was doing this right. Scott Whipple of Montgomery County Parks and Planning has been a big help in all of this. Mr. Whipple confirmed that we are zoned correctly and that there is parking. There will be parking provided behind the CB in front of the Elm's clubhouse. They will also have proper signs. Many people do not realize, but there is a path leading directly from the parking lot to the side door of barrel which also has a handicap ramp. It ties into the path running along 355.
What's your response to those that say it's best to leave it as it is?
For the those who are against this...I can honestly say that the support I have been receiving from the community is overwhelming!
There will always be one in every bunch and I completely expect that, but they are far and few in between. I seriously cannot thank everyone enough. I am very fortunate to have the support from all that I do. Susan Soderberg (President of the Historical Society), has been my guiding light in all of this. I run everything past her before I do anything. I look at this as the CB being her baby. Susan has fought for the barrel for years on many levels so it is extremely important to me that she be behind me on everything. Had she not approved of this, I would not have went any further.
I want everyone to understand that while I am working to open a bakery, this is Soooo much more than that. I want this to be about community. I am constantly building new relationships in effort to bring people together throughout this endeavor. I want to utilize local products as much as I can. Everything from fruits, vegetables and dairy from our local farms to possibly even coffee and donuts. I would love to talk more about Montgomery Donuts as well as reach out to a local roaster in Rockville
This post has been brought to you by Trapezaria Greek Restaurant. Whether your party is social or corporate, now is the time to book your holiday event to ensure the date is available.
Shake Shack will open their first MoCo location at Cabin John Mall in Potomac in mid to late 2018 (http://storereporter.com/shake-shack-heading-cabin-john-plus-sushi-burritos-last-call-smoothie-king-sears-update/).
Founded just 13 years ago, the New York City based fast casual restaurant chain now has almost 150 locations across the world. They've finally made it MoCo. If this goes well I wouldn't be surprised to see 1 or 2 more locations within the county (maybe Downtown Silver Spring and Crown in Gaithersburg?).
Photo courtesy of the Town of Poolesville twitter account.
If you haven't visited the Town of Poolesville and are looking for a reason to, Poolesville Day is THIS Saturday, September 16th. I'll have more on that later in this article.
I don't really get the opportunity to write much about Poolesville, but I don't want the small town of about 5,000 people to think that it's because there isn't much to say...there's plenty.
What many people outside of Poolesville don't know is that the legal name of the town was "The Commissioners of Poolesville" until 2010 when it was changed to "The Town of Poolesville." The town was founded by brothers John and Joseph Poole, who owned a lot of the land within the boundaries of what is now Poolesville (about 160 acres or so). Though the area was settled in 1760, the town was't incorporated until 1867...Happy 150th Anniversary, Poolesville!
A fun fact about Poolesville is that it's home to a direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln. Here's more on that from the local Poolesville newspaper, the Monocacy Monocle www.monocacymonocle.com/images/issues_2017/MM_2017-03-24.pdf
I also had the chance to ask town Commissioner Jim Brown a few questions about Poolesville Day and the town itself. Here's what he told me...
The Historic Town of Poolesville, Maryland (located in Montgomery County) will host its 25th Annual Poolesville Day celebration this Saturday, September 16 from 10:00 am - 4:00 pm(rain or shine). "This is an event where we invite over 10,000 of the town's most closest and personal friends to celebrate all that is Poolesville." The full-day, FREE celebration features activities for all ages, including a morning parade, an antique and electric vehicle car show, rides and games, food and vendor booths, a skate contest, and live entertainment. The event will take place along Fisher Avenue (Rt. 107) in Poolesville, with the main stage and other activities being held at Whalen Commons, in front of the Poolesville Town Hall. There will be over 180 vendors/exhibitors and food trucks. We have new rides this year including - Extreme Air In Line Jumper, Trackless Train, Turbo Tubs, Dixie Twister Swing Ride, Aqua 5 in 1, Triple Lindy 3 Lane Slide, Fun Express Train Station; Hippo Chow Down, Moonbounce, Trackless Train, Calleva Rock Climbing Wall and more!
I also asked him about Cugini's. He said "It’s one of the best places in town for pizza and wings and a favorite with Trivia Night and craft independent beer selections." I recently went and had some of the wings I consider among the best in MoCo. The pizza was really good too...I highly recommend it.
So if you're looking for something to do this Saturday, check out Poolesville Day. It's a great taste of what the Town of Poolesville is all about.
My recent trip to Cugini's
Photo courtesy of B-CC Back in the Day Facebook Page
If you've been to Cabin John Regional Park in the last half century or so you've probably seen a bizarre, miniature house-like structure that has a pig face with its mouth wide open on one side. That's Porky. You can feed him paper and cardboard and soft drink cans, but you can't feed him bottles or broken glass...glass gives him a tummy ache.
"I still have nightmares of my arm getting sucked into this thing" commented Richard Schaffer as he shared a picture of the famous trash dispenser. Creepy Basement, a popular website that is comprised of creepy highlights from across the world, refers to Porky as an "eternally hungry demon pig that commands children to feed him with his creepy 1950s radio voice." While they might be slightly exaggerating Porky's creepiness, they're not really far off...
While Porky can come off as being pretty creepy initially, I remember rushing to him anytime I had to throw something away at the park. That means he did his job— encouraging kids to throw their trash away rather than litter. I think ultimately memories of Porky shy away from the creepy aspects of his being and lean more towards his iconic presence and the fun memories we have of our childhood.
Next time you stop by Cabin John Park, make sure you feed Porky. He's still there and he's still hungry.
Anxiety Counseling, Eating Disorder Counseling in Olney, Maryland.
Sometimes reaching out for help isn't easy. Counseling could be exactly what you need to move forward and make positive changes in your life. Whether it is anxiety, sadness or excessive worry, or even an unhealthy relationship with food/exercise, counseling will allow you to become your better self. Depending on your goals, you and your counselor will work together to come up with ways to meet these goals along with acquiring insight into your behaviors, thoughts and feelings. We support a variety of clients and use different approaches depending on their needs. We provide counseling in Olney and Bethesda, MD. We want to Empower You to Make Positive Changes.
16 Handles has recently announced they'll be closing both of their Gaithersburg locations (Rio and Kentlands), joining many other froyo spots that are closing in MoCo.
With cookie dough, bubble tea, and macarons trending as the new go-to dessert shops, does this signify the end of the froyo boom?
Cupcakes seem to have weathered the storm, so maybe they're here to stay! I'm an ice cream guy and always found myself settling for frozen yogurt because there were so many places I could get it. I can't say I'm upset, but I always feel for a business when they're forced to close their doors.
No word on 16 Handles NE and Florida locations.
Whether your event is social or corporate, now is the time to start planning to ensure your date is available. Book your holiday event with Trapezaria today!
In the next couple years I plan on purchasing my next home in Montgomery County. We are looking everywhere...but if you’ve ever lived in Montgomery County, you already know that the cost of living is amongst the highest in the country. Median home prices in the county range from the mid 200s in Montgomery Village to over 1 million dollars in Chevy Chase.
Since I'm a huge fan of lists, I wanted to create an accurate list of the "best" places to buy in MoCo. In order to make this list accurate I asked local realtor, Jonathan Fox, to help me break down the county's "best" areas and include a few up and coming areas that he thinks are due for a dramatic increase in price over the coming years. Here's what he had to say:
So as a long time realtor and resident of Montgomery County I am often asked where the “best” opportunities and areas to buy houses are located, and what our future real estate markets in MoCo will ultimately look like. In this piece I will do my best to break it down for you.
I can prove with data that there are 4 metrics which tend to drive local home prices in MoCo - schools, metro access, distance to DC, and proximity to retail (pretty much in that order). For this article’s purpose we will define “best” as being most desirable FOR THE PRICE, so most expensive will not necessarily mean an automatic winner. With that in mind, here we go!
Overall Olney is affordable with the median home price around $455k. The town center is located 8 miles from Glenmont metro, 2.5 miles from the ICC Georgia Ave exit, and boasts an ample amount of local restaurants and shopping. Olney is a popular spot for homebuyers to search that are seeking an affordable a suburban life plus people seem to stay put and remain satisfied after moving to the area.
(The MoCoShow opinion: I like Olney...but everyone that goes to Olney never leaves and they always want you to come to them. When you start your night in Olney, there's no going anywhere else! 😂)
Also commonly referred to as “horse country”, Dickerson is located in the county’s northern agricultural preserve and is home to some of the area’s most beautiful scenery. Rolling hills, farmland, and the famous Sugarloaf Mountain are all a part of Dickerson. Fun fact - you likely cannot build a new home on less than 5 acres in Dickerson (due to MoCo’s agricultural preserve laws) so homebuyers seeking land and privacy (without moving too far away from retail and mass transit) absolutely love Dickerson!
(The MoCoShow opinion: Can't do it. I'm sure it's a great area, but I need things to be around. This might be perfect for some people, but nothing I can ever do.)
#5) Gaithersburg Planned Communities: Downtown Crown /Kentlands /Parklands
Sorry about having to do a catch-all there, but it’s tough to separate the 3 highly successful planned-communities in 20878 because each have their strengths and unprecedented successes. Here’s the deal...Gaithersburg took a chance in the early to mid 90s by developing the Kentlands, which at that time was one of the first planned communities in the county, and have since perfected the model with the Downtown Crown and Parklands. When Kentlands was constructed a lot of people did not see the value is self-sufficient “crammed communities” way out in the suburbs, but with the rise of urbanism and a new found appetite for “walkability”, planned communities in Gaithersburg have become a hub for homebuyers and businesses. They (mostly) each offer their own school system, shopping, community events, and unique housing styles to fit most budgets! Since Gaithersburg pioneered this national trend to today, Kentlands, Crown, and Parklands still remains at the top of many buyer's lists.
(The MoCoShow Opinion: I have lived in the Kentlands [loved it] and live across the street from Crown [love it], but I can't afford a single family home in either place [hate it]. Parklands is more affordable, but there's really nothing there yet...don't know if I want to wait to see if this will be more Kentlands or King Farm, which is a nice area with almost nothing there.)
#4) City of Takoma Park
Located directly outside Washington, D.C. Takoma Park is MoCo’s most “interesting” communities due to very liberal laws (16 year olds can vote in local elections), city ordinances (do not try to cut down a tree for starters), and eclectic array of historical 1900s housing. The median home price is $510k making it overall affordable, and the city has walking access to cool local shops, a metro stop, plus has its own police force & city government. If lots of green space, strong local laws, and an intense sense of community is important to you, TP is your spot!
(The MoCoShow Opinion: Takoma Park is probably in my top 3 places I have spent the least amount of time in. I simply don't know too much about the area, but based on what I'm seeing above...it seems pretty cool.)
#3) North Rockville (20850)
Rockville (much like Silver Spring) is a massive city in the county and comprised of multiple zip codes spanning tens of miles and though each part of Rockville has its distinct qualities, north Rockville leads the pack! Starting with schools, Richard Montgomery High School is amongst the county’s best plus North Rockville has an award-winning community college (Harvard on the Pike) as well. From history to housing, retail to restaurants, North Rockville has you covered. The Rockville Town Center/ Courthouse area gives the region excellent dining and nightlife options while also providing thousands of employment opportunities for local residents! From a real estate standpoint, there is likely housing in North Rockville to match almost any budget, which is great! I cannot say enough great things about this area and it's only getting better!
(The MoCoShow Opinion: I love this part of Rockville. I'm always looking at homes over in the area behind the town center, but rarely can I find one I afford. Maybe one day!)
If it wasn’t for all of the rush hour traffic on Connecticut Avenue and a new(ish) Chipotle on the corner of Knowles Ave you might forget it is 2017 after spending a few hours in the town of Kensington. Anchored by a historic district and LONG time retail shops (shoutout to Continental Subs & Pizza) Kensington has largely remained unchanged throughout the last 60 years. With the best rated schools in the county, unbelievable community pride and continuity, tons of local parks and Rock Creek Park, plus easy proximity to Bethesda and DC, Kensington has remained one of the county’s most desirable and sought after neighborhoods. Housing is none too cheap but on average is still much less than other closer in communities like Chevy Chase and Cabin John.
(The MoCoShow Opinion: I like Kensington because it's minutes away from Bethesda, D.C., Rockville, and right off the highway which allows you to get upcounty in 15 minutes without traffic).
#1) Downtown Bethesda
Okay, I get it - Bethesda as a whole rocks, but unfortunately Bethesda is comprised of 5 different zip codes (not including “North” Bethesda 20852 which until recently has always been Rockville...sigh) so I had to isolate one specific part which is why I chose downtown. Downtown Bethesda has best best of everything - schools, retail, proximity to DC, and metro access so naturally it had to top our list! Here’s the only drawback...the housing is outrageously expensive! But after all, shouldn’t it be given the fact you literally cannot ask for anything more from an area? Whether you are in your 20s and looking to check out nightlife, growing a family and want the BEST schools and neighborhoods for your kids, or downsizing and want a walkable lifestyle, downtown Bethesda is perfect for you! Plus downtown Bethesda is home to some of our region’s largest employers so there’s a significant chance you won’t need to commute very far if you already live in DTB. This had to be my #1 pick because it scored 10 - 10 in every category!
(The MoCoShow Opinion: If I worked in the city, this would be a great spot for me, but I don't. I know I loved the area when I was a little younger too, as a lot of MoCo "nightlife" is in Bethesda.)
Up and coming areas: In short, here are the few areas I believe are due for an above average increase in median home prices based on a number of factors. Have specific questions? Email me and I’ll elaborate!
-Darnestown: For someone looking for land and community, this area is due for a renaissance!
- Anything near the Pike in Rockville (20852, 20851 specifically): Just look at Rockville’s 10 year plan with Park and Planning. You’re welcome.
-Wheaton/Glenmont area: So much development around metro stops these days are destined to change the look and feel of these two areas.
-Montgomery Village: As affordable housing opportunities become harder to find, affordable areas (MV is our area’s cheapest on average) stand to gain the most ROI over the short term.
There you have it - my top 7 picks from a realtor’s perspective plus a few top up and coming picks.
Jonathan Fox - Realtor with Compass - awarded "Top Agent" in 2017 by the Washingtonian Magazine, Washington Post contributor, and published author with over 11 years experience!
A few weeks back I stopped by Filippo's in Wheaton to try one of their Italian cold cuts, but made it about an hour after they closed on a Sunday. Today I made sure to come while they were open and got to enjoy what many people refer to as the best cold cut in MoCo.
I ordered two items, the cold cut and the panino, based on the recommendation of the young lady that was working behind the counter. As I ordered I spoke with a gentleman that was waiting for his sandwich to be made. He informed me that he lost 42 pounds in 3 months from eating all of his meals at Filippo's. Not sure what he was eating, but I'd love to get a hold of his diet soon.
I sat at one of the few tables in the small deli/market and enjoyed two of the best tasting sandwiches I've ever had. While we were eating, Filippo himself stopped by our table to make sure everything was going well. I've heard stories about how nice of a man he is and my first interaction with him proved these stories true. He is one of the kindest people I've met; making sure we had everything we needed and thanking us for coming in.
On his recommendation, I had a cannoli. I'm a huge dessert guy, so it was a must. I'm usually not a fan of cannolis, but I have to admit...it was really good.
Before I left I told Filippo that I have a Montgomery County based website where I spotlight certain aspects of the county and that I was told my many people I had to try his subs. He told me that Filippo's, formerly known as Marchone's, has been open in Wheaton for 62 years and that he has been there for the last 32. Everyone that urged me to stop by was absolutely right about how good the sandwiches are...I highly recommend either the Italian cold cut or the panino if you're ever in the area.