Monday, November 30, 2020

Bethesda construction update: Maizon Bethesda apartments (Photos)

The Maizon Bethesda apartments project is heading for the home stretch now at 7500 Arlington Road in downtown Bethesda. I'm still shocked every time I pass by as to how close the windows of the apartments on the lower levels are to the street. In an extreme collision, a vehicle could be propelled right into an apartment. I've never seen such a shallow setback for a residential building in  Montgomery County. Developed by ZOM Living, Maizon is scheduled for delivery next year.

Guapo's Bethesda updates signage (Photos)

The downtown Bethesda location of Guapo's Restaurant at 8130 Wisconsin Avenue has updated its signage. A longtime sign touting its "fine Tex-Mex" cuisine has been replaced with a sharper, more modern one that also includes the chain's logo. The old sign can be seen in the photo below:

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Dining tents, lights newest additions to Bethesda Streetery as reality of winter nears (Video+Photos)


After adding an Instagram-ready photo wall to the Bethesda Streetery, Bethesda Urban Partnership has added other updates to the two outdoor dining areas in downtown Bethesda. Dining tents and twinkling lights, many upon small Christmas trees, can now be found along these street segments closed for outdoor dining at Bethesda Row and in the Woodmont Triangle. Whether diners will still find these arrangements agreeable in 20 degree temperatures, or the science to back up the safety of a largely-enclosed tent amidst an airborne virus will be determined, remain unknown.

A Black Friday that looked like no other at Montgomery Mall (Photos)

The coronavirus pandemic continues to batter most sectors of the local, national and worldwide economy, even bringing the biggest shopping day of the year down to a size unrecognizable by Black Friday veterans. Parking lots and garages at Westfield Montgomery Mall that normally would have hosted horn-honking, steering wheel-pounding, language-as-colorful-as-Christmas-lights battles for an open space were quiet. Foot traffic and vehicles parked appeared to be fewer than the typical, pre-Covid Friday, much less what is on the average Black Friday.

Lots nearest mall entrances had a decent number of cars, and The Cheesecake Factory remained a popular choice for those shoppers who didn't have Thanksgiving leftovers to finish off. And as mall operator Westfield and their tenants try to adjust to the new abnormal, you can't fully judge the level of commerce taking place at the mall by parking spaces filled alone. Many shoppers were taking advantage of curbside pickup services at designated points around the property to whittle down their shopping lists, while avoiding the risks of entering an enclosed space.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Saints Valley pop-up shop opens at Bethesda Row (Photos)

Saints Valley
is a pop-up shop that has popped up at Westfield Montgomery Mall and Rockville Town Square in past holiday seasons. Now it has popped up again, this time at Bethesda Row between Framebridge and Follain on Bethesda Avenue. Saints Valley specializes in handmade clothing, prints, bags and other textile products.

Friday, November 27, 2020

Collection at Chevy Chase to add electric vehicle charging stations

The Collection at Chevy Chase will be adding electric vehicle charging stations to its property at 5463 Wisconsin Avenue in Friendship Heights. Two charging stations will be constructed.

Snowflakes, reindeer welcome visitors to downtown Bethesda (Video+Photos)

Swirling snowflakes and flying reindeer have already arrived in downtown Bethesda before December, and are welcoming drivers and pedestrians as they arrive in town. Don't grab the binoculars and snow shovel, though; they're only animated. The images are being projected onto the welcome signs at the main entrances to downtown Bethesda by Bethesda Urban Partnership.

Thursday, November 26, 2020

North Star Christmas Trees celebrates 50 years as it opens for 2020

For many, after Thanksgiving dinner has passed, the next order of business Friday is getting the Christmas tree. North Star Christmas Trees is celebrating a major milestone as it opens for the 2020 Christmas season tomorrow at 2550 East-West Highway Service Road at Grubb Road in Chevy Chase. This will be North Star's 50th holiday season. 

North Star used to have their Christmas tree lot on the "green mile" of Wisconsin Avenue across from the Chevy Chase Club. For the last few years, they've been at the new spot on East-West Highway that is also convenient to downtown Silver Spring. The family-run business' hours in Chevy Chase will be 12:00-10:00 PM Monday-Friday, and 10:00 AM-10:00 PM Saturday and Sunday, from November 27 through December 24, 2020.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Call Your Mother Deli coming to North Bethesda

Call Your Mother
will open its first bricks-and-mortar location in Montgomery County in the spring of 2021. The deli will be located at 11807 Grand Park Avenue at Pike & Rose. That space was previously home to Lucky Brand.

“We were drawn to Pike & Rose’s unassuming charm,” Call Your Mother co-owner and founder Andrew Dana said Tuesday. The small deli chain that launched in 2018 has previously ventured into Montgomery County via farm markets and their trolley parked at 8804 Old Georgetown Road near Suburban Hospital.

Photo courtesy Call Your Mother

Car stolen at gas station in Chevy Chase Lake

A car was stolen from the Carroll Motor Fuels station at 8505 Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase Lake on Monday afternoon around 1:55 PM. Reporter Alan Henney and @CordellTraffic have provided some additional details about the incident. The 2007 Saturn Aura was stolen while its driver was inside the station's Carroll Mart convenience store, and was last seen heading north on Connecticut Avenue toward the Capital Beltway.

Lotus Grill & Bar closes in Bethesda

Lotus Grill & Bar
has closed at 4929 Elm Street in Bethesda. The Indian restaurant opened in May 2019. Owner Suman Pradhan said the impact of the coronavirus pandemic was the reason for the closure.

Stepped-up police presence as new Montgomery County mask mandate takes effect

More police cars were seen in high-traffic dining and retail hubs in Bethesda last evening, as a new mask regulation in Montgomery County went into effect at nightfall. The new requirement issued by County Health Officer Travis Gayles requires the wearing of masks at all times outdoors, even when six feet apart from others. At the same time, Gayles announced that indoor gatherings can include no more than ten people.

Shortly after the new orders went into effect at 5:00 PM, a Montgomery County police cruiser with lights flashing was stopped in the entry lane to the Trade Street garage at Pike & Rose. A heavier police presence was also seen around Bethesda Row, including a Park Police car just north of the development at Caroline Freeland Park. Not seen during early evening stops at both properties were the Maryland State Police, whom Gov. Larry Hogan had said would serve as mask patrols and establishment capacity enforcers over the holiday weekend. Virtually everyone walking around Bethesda Row was wearing a mask at that hour.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Sushi restaurant coming to Bethesda Avenue

A tenant has been found for the former EuroMotorcars Lotus dealership at 4937 Bethesda Avenue. I'm told the space has been leased to a sushi restaurant. Obviously, the retail interior will need extensive work for conversion to a restaurant use, so there's no opening date at the moment.

Brookie Girl Bath + Body Care opens at Montgomery Mall

Brookie Girl Bath + Body Care
has opened at Westfield Montgomery Mall. Products carried include soaps, bath bombs, scrubs and body butters. They're launching with a buy-one-get-one-50%-off sale. Find Brookie Girl on Level 1 next to Sunglass Hut.