Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Matchbox awnings installed at Bethesda Row

The awnings have been installed outside of Matchbox, opening soon at Bethesda Row. They've also stenciled the restaurant's hours onto the glass. Those hours end much earlier at night than predecessor American Tap Room's, just the latest nod to downtown Bethesda's cratered nightlife. Training is underway; stay tuned for an opening date.


Anonymous said...

Once again, those letters are not stenciled on the glass, which means painted or sand blasted through a cut out mask. They are die-cut vinyl letters applied to the glass. Look it up if you don’t believe me.

Anonymous said...

Stencilling produces an image or pattern by applying pigment to a surface over an intermediate object with designed gaps in it which create the pattern or image by only allowing the pigment to reach some parts of the surface. The stencil is both the resulting image or pattern and the intermediate object; the context in which stencil is used makes clear which meaning is intended. In practice, the (object) stencil is usually a thin sheet of material, such as paper, plastic, wood or metal, with letters or a design cut from it, used to produce the letters or design on an underlying surface by applying pigment through the cut-out holes in the material.
The key advantage of a stencil is that it can be reused to repeatedly and rapidly produce the same letters or design. Although aerosol or painting stencils can be made for one-time use, typically they are made with the intention of being reused. To be reusable, they must remain intact after a design is produced and the stencil is removed from the work surface. With some designs, this is done by connecting stencil islands (sections of material that are inside cut-out "holes" in the stencil) to other parts of the stencil with bridges (narrow sections of material that are not cut out).
Stencil technique in visual art is also referred to as pochoir. A related technique (which has found applicability in some surrealist compositions) is aerography, in which spray-painting is done around a three-dimensional object to create a negative of the object instead of a positive of a stencil design. This technique was used in cave paintings dating to 10,000 BC, where human hands were used in painting handprint outlines among paintings of animals and other objects. The artist sprayed pigment around his hand by using a hollow bone, blown by mouth to direct a stream of pigment.
Screen printing also uses a stencil process, as does mimeography. The masters from which mimeographed pages are printed are often called "stencils". Stencils can be made with one or many colour layers using different techniques, with most stencils designed to be applied as solid colours. During screen printing and mimeography, the images for stenciling are broken down into color layers. Multiple layers of stencils are used on the same surface to produce multi-colored images.

Anonymous said...

"American Tap Room, just the latest nod to downtown Bethesda's cratered nightlife."

Seems like the problems are with Thompson Hospitality (Austin Grill, American Tap Room, Matchbox) and Federal Realty (Bethesda Row and Rockville Town Center, where another American Tap Room failed).

Anonymous said...

You dare to question the all mighty Scoops?
Don’t you know he has a ginormous swelled brain and knows more about stenciling than anybody? Or so people are saying. I won’t say it, but other people are. Or so I hear.

Anonymous said...

One again you somehow turned a nice positive article about a new restaurant in downtown to your usual moribund diatribe about nightlife. We all know you love to stroll around after midnight, but clearly not many folks want to eat a meal or have a drink at 1:00 in the morning.

Anonymous said...

I have the feeling that this discussion about "stenciling" will be even more fun as the previous discussion about "blade signs".

Anonymous said...

This really is quite simple. Residents and visitors in downtown Bethesda no longer seem to frequent bars and restaurants at late hours. I am sure that any place that had to kick out a ton of people to close at 11:30 PM, would surely consider extending their hours to capture more business. Nothing nefarious is going on, just businesses responding to customer demand, which for what ever reason, apparently no longer desire late night entertainment.

An older and more mature population, and more nearby options in Pike and Rose, Rio, Downtown Crown as well as DC, are likely the cause.

Robert Dyer said...

6:52: D.C. has always been there. There are no competitors for the top nightclubs in D.C. at Pike & Rose, Crown or Rio. Nightlife is not drinking a beer.

Customer demand is not the problem - numerous nightspots that closed after the County Council's disastrous "Nighttime Economy Initiative" and task force were crowded up until the moment they closed for good.

Customers then were forced to go into the District for nightlife. It's not rocket science. Club and bar owners were financially unable to afford to keep going and compete with DC, where there is no government liquor monopoly. Plenty of customers, but too much money going to County government via monopoly, wages and taxes in a very low profit margin industry.

Anonymous said...

And the Litany of St. Robbie the Perpetually Chaste is underway.

Anonymous said...

6:52 is spot on. You read about it everywhere. People aren't going out in the numbers they did in previous generations.
There are maybe 1/2 the number of bars/nightspots in DC as there used to be.
Why don't you talk about that? Talk about the entirety of the issue. Instead of whining that you don't like the bars in Bethesda and now it's ruining your mid-life.

Anonymous said...

Just an FYI - as a millenial living in Bethesda (who has lived in DC as well), I can assure you most people don't go to clubs anymore - there's a very distinct clientele who do and those people surely don't live in downtown Bethesda. Going out means going to a bar, period.

Robert Dyer said...

7:14: I know millennials who live in Bethesda, Potomac, Rockville, etc. who regularly go to clubs in D.C., so what you describe is not my experience or observation at all.

It's really a small leap to just admit the folks on our County Council suck at economic development and don't have a clue about nightlife - take it - you'll feel refreshed, and it doesn't take much energy at all.

Skippy said...

There are several "sports" bar types of places around town. There's probably an opening for a few places that are different from that. A wine bar would be welcome given that Grapeseed & Vino Volo have been gone awhile now and offered something different.

Anonymous said...

"Peak Restaurant" is quite real, and it's affecting the entire country, not just Robbie's little bubble in Bethesda.


And the bars and restaurants of the District of Columbia have been hit hard by it. Beloved bars Buffalo Billiards, Front Page, and Sign of the Whale all closed within a week or two of each other.


Anonymous said...

So according to you, if nightlife is not drinking a beer or two in the evening, perhaps while watching a game, you are now suggesting it must include some form of dancing or entertainment? It seems to me the definition of a “nighttime economy” should include bars, coffee shops, cafes, speakeasy or even restaurants with late night dining or desserts.

You often suggest that an urban cinema contributes to the “nightime economy” with the beneficial idea that may least some folks going out after a movie to eat and drink. So now your definition must include more than a meal or a beer after a movie? Something like a dance club, with a bouncer, that offers bottle service?

Yes, let’s all go to the movie, and afterward, we can go dancing and drinking at a club! It seems these two entertainment ideas are not entirely related.

Somehow, it seems you long for a place to party at 1:00 in the morning. I just don’t think many folks in Bethesda share this interest.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous people who think the Rio is the height of cuisine and entertainment weighing in on DC area night life :)

You gotta get out of the county a bit and then weigh in.

Captain MoCo said...

I have my finger on what young people in MoCo want.

Anonymous said...

Creepy. Go find somebody your own age.

Anonymous said...

Let me ask an honest question here.

Pleas list one (or more) specific actions that Montgomery County officials did or didn’t do that forced the closure of any specific night club.

If the nightclubs were still popular, they would still be open. No one at the county did anything to discourage these places from staying open.

Now if you believe that the counties actions or inactions to get more places to stay open are not working, I could understand your frustration. But again, I believe the market has spoken, and not enough folks seem to support these type of places, at least in downtown Bethesda.

Yes of course DC has more nightclubs and entertainment venues than Rio or Pike & Rose, but my comment was that more restaurant and theater choices with these nearby alternatives have made it more difficult for restaurants to survive and flourish in downtown Bethesda. Its not the only game in Montgomery County any more.

Robert Dyer said...

3:57: Wrong! The nightclubs were popular. They had crowds outside, police waiting for closing time, and neighbors complaining about those many drunken patrons exiting at the end of the night. But they still closed, because the policies, votes and taxes of the County Council left over not enough cash to pay the rent at the end of the month.

Government liquor monopoly, record tax hikes, $15 minimum wage, are only 3 of the dumb decisions the County Council made that helped cause these and many other business closures. They also stupidly did not require a replacement cineplex at 7272 Wisconsin.

That's not the market speaking - it's Soviet central economic planning, with a similar disastrous result.

There were always other theaters in the County. But now Bethesda doesn't have a downtown cineplex. Forget the only game - there's no game at all in Bethesda now.

Just go ahead and admit it - the Council sucks, is corrupt, and has no clue about business, nightlife, transportation, or finances. The childish impulse to want to have an all-Democrat County Council was also stupid, and has backfired spectacularly. Meanwhile, every day, and in every way, all of my predictions and warnings have been vindicated by this criminal and incompetent Council.

11:03: Again, "Peak Restaurant" is bailout baloney for failing, corrupt cities who have raised taxes, environmental regulations and minimum wage beyond what the market can bear, and are now flailing around for an excuse so they can hold onto power.

11:10: You don't seem to understand the definition of the "nighttime economy," nor the interests of young, single professionals. Are you on the Council by chance? I'm sure senior citizens and middle-aged couples aren't looking at 1:00 AM, but the kind of young professionals we were told were essential to the County are indeed looking at 1:00 AM for something more than an alcoholic beverage.

Anonymous said...

"The childish impulse to want to have an all-Democrat County Council was also stupid, and has backfired spectacularly."

And the alternative is what? The MoCo GOP?

-Robin Ficker
-Robert Dyer
-The three other at-large candidates whom Robert Dyer told voters not to vote for
-No candidates at all for three of the five district-based seats.

Robert Dyer said...

1:18: Yes, I was the alternative. Ficker was an alternative. Ed Amatetti was an alternative in District 2. There was a Green Party candidate At-Large, Tim Willard. All very qualified.

No one expects a Republican majority, but my God, let's at least have a couple of non-Democrats on there to have real debates, new ideas and compromise solutions.

Anonymous said...

‘The nightclubs were popular. They had crowds outside, police waiting for closing time, and neighbors complaining about those many drunken patrons exiting at the end of the night.”

This is before my time in Bethesda, but as you described it, this sounds like it was a real problem for both law enforcement and downtown residents.

So what would you choose, 9500 residents living downtown, soon to be expanded to 19,000 residents, or half a dozen bars and nightclubs with drunken millennials, peeing in the street and vomiting in the bushes. Not to mention drunk driving, bar fights, a potential increase in violent and sexual crimes, vandalism, stolen cars.

I think I might choose the former, with 19,000 residents living downtown, and live with a much more quiet and peaceful city after midnight, instead of nineteen year old drunks screaming Stella at the top of their “young single professional” lungs. By the way, back when I was a young single professional, I did not frequent bars and nightclubs at 1:00 AM and require police monitoring at closing time.

Anonymous said...

Today's young adults are not the alcoholics-in-training like previous generations. They don't drink as much, go out as much, shop the same way, or even have the same priorities.

Imagine we are the PARENTS of the boomer generation. Watching everything change, watching constants become occasionals become outdated. Everything changes. That's where we are.

Robert Dyer said...

5:53: I don't recall anything as apocalyptic as you are describing but all that money is now being spent elsewhere, and - surprise! - Montgomery County government's revenue take is dropping further. A moribund economy, chasing out the wealthy, and failing to attract even one major corporate HQ in over 20 years might just have played a role, as well.

Personally, I've been advocating for upscale, Las Vegas/LA/South Beach-style nightspots, not dive bars. By the way, 18 nightspots have closed in Bethesda in the wake of the County Council's "nighttime economy task force," not only six.

Robert Dyer said...

6:20: Is that why there was a trash bag full of beer bottles in the middle of Sangamore Road one night a couple of weeks back? The reports out of County high schools and universities nationwide suggest your analysis is off base. Everybody just magically sobers up when they graduate?

Anonymous said...

That sounds like a great plan! I hear that LasVegas, LA and South Beach have no problem at all with drunken young single professionals at 1:00 AM.

I believe that high quality vodka and tequila, combined with Red Bull, typically served with bottle service at a nice club, creates a much more pleasant smelling vomit, and much more law abiding young single professionals.

I believe you vision of upscale night clubs and bars is unrealistically optimistic. Vegas combines millions of out of town visitors, with massive entertainment and gambling opportunities to allow the creation of upscale nightclubs. LA is filled with celebrities and wannabe celebrities seeking to be discovered at nightclubs. South Beach is a very different place than Bethesda or even anywhere in DC, Or even the mid-Atlantic.

If this type of upscale nightclub can barely exits on U Street, you really think it can be established on Norfolk or Elm Street? As I recall, and as you and others have described, most of these closed nightclubs in Bethesda were a bit less savory than Studio 54 or the Playboy clubs.

Robert Dyer said...

6:48: D.C. is all about out-of-town visitors, including international visitors. Upscale bars and nightclubs are often combined with hotel developments for that reason. Unfortunately, our elected officials know nothing about "the nighttime economy," and did not incentivize any of the new downtown hotels to add such venues.

Bethesda should be more upscale than U Street, although with the flight of the ultra-rich out of MoCo, that's not a sure thing anymore.

Las Vegas, LA and South Beach not only handle drunken young professionals quite effectively, but they're also raking in tons of revenue in the process. We are not.

Anonymous said...

From 2016. It's been happening for over two decades now.


Anonymous said...

If you drink at all, you drink more than 30% of the American population.

If you have more than one drink per week, on average, you drink more than 60% of the American population.

If you have more than one drink per day, on average, you drink more than 80% of the American population.


Robert Dyer said...

7:56: LOL, just because you spend your life hunched over a computer trolling my site in a dark room doesn't mean nightlife has ended for the rest of America. It's entertaining to witness the inane things you are willing to say and argue to excuse your failed County Council. Almost as enjoyable as the far left having to praise the Martin Luther King, Jr.-hounding FBI and Operation Northwoods/MKUltra/Allende-assassin CIA as the "moral core of America" in the Trump era.

"Nobody goes to movies anymore!" "Nobody eats out anymore!" "Young people don't go to nightclubs or drink alcohol anymore!"

LOL - do you even think about this stuff before you type it?

Good God.

Anonymous said...

I love when Dyer thinks that multiple commenters are a single person attacking him.

Yes, fewer and fewer people are going to the movies because of the rise of home theaters. The movie theater business is failing across the county. Yes, the restaurant market is over saturated with too many new restaurants that often fail. Bethesda already has 200 restaurants, plus many many other choosiest in Pike & Rose, Rio, Downtown Crown and Silver Spring, not to mention thousands of restaurants in DC. This is why so many restaurant are closing. And yes, fewer young single professionals are going to night clubs, thats why most have closed. Most young professionals are more interested in things other than frying their brain cells.

Do you even do any research about this stuff before you type it?

Robert Dyer said...

8:31: Your entire comment is someone out of touch with reality - total fantasy.

People are laughing at you, but also hoping you get the professional help you need. Hopefully you can join us on Planet Earth one day.

Anonymous said...

This observation is from a paranoid blogger who believes the entire county has formed a cartel, primarily to keep him out of office? If folks would like a good laugh, I might suggest a junk food review site that might be more funny. The guy does a great impersonation of Napoleon Dynamite.

Anonymous said...

8:31am fry brain cells? Can you elaborate?

Anonymous said...

Why does Dyer keep talking about "posting from your dark room", in response to comments that are posted in the daytime, when he regularly posts drunken rants at 1:30 AM?

Anonymous said...

@ 11:01 AM - While alcohol does not directly kill brain cells, heavy drinking "damages the ends of neurons, called dendrites, which makes it difficult for neurons to relay messages to one another." -Scientific American

Here is a thorough discussion of the health effects of long-term heavy drinking: