Sunday, October 31, 2021

Collision involving Ride On bus in downtown Bethesda (Photos)

A Montgomery County Ride On bus was involved in a collision at the intersection of Battery Lane and Woodmont Avenue in Bethesda around 7:00 PM tonight. Damage to the bike rack and front of the bus is visible. Over an hour later, some lanes are closed in that area, as investigation and cleanup continue. There is no word on the cause or injuries as of this writing.

Preparations for demolition of Newdale Mews at Chevy Chase Lake (Photos)

The road is fenced off at the Newdale Mews apartment complex at Chevy Chase Lake. A demolition permit application notice is posted on the fence. The apartments are being destroyed to make way for the new Crescent at Chevy Chase development. That Landmark Realty project is expected to deliver in mid-2023, and certainly before the Purple Line ever starts running there. As you can see, the site is right next to the light rail line's future tracks and bridge.

Oishii Ramen Cafe opening today in Bethesda

Oishii Ramen Cafe
will open for the first time today, Sunday, October 31, 2021 at 4901-B Fairmont Avenue in downtown Bethesda. Operating hours today will be 12:00 - 9:00 PM. Check out the menu in advance below:

Saturday, October 30, 2021

3 cars stolen in Bethesda

Montgomery County police are investigating the thefts of at least three vehicles in the Bethesda area since Wednesday. On Wednesday night at 8:45 PM, a vehicle was reported stolen in the 6400 block of Lone Oak Drive. The next morning at 4:30 AM, a second vehicle was stolen from an office building parking lot in the 10400 block of Fernwood Road. About two hours later, a vehicle was taken from the driveway of a home in the 4800 block of Chevy Chase Boulevard, and the home was broken into.

Construction begins on new apartment towers in Pooks Hill

Another long-delayed development is finally getting started in the Pooks Hill area of Bethesda. Clearing, grading and excavation are now underway for two apartment towers at 5151 Pooks Hill Road. These have been in the works for about seven years, and will be 160' tall.

Friday, October 29, 2021

David Blair releases plan to help restaurants in race for Montgomery County Executive

Blair headquarters at 11751 
Rockville Pike

Democratic Montgomery County Executive candidate David Blair has released a list of policy changes he would implement to help county restaurants if elected. "Restaurants are Better with Blair" is a 10-point plan for a low-profit-margin industry that was struggling in the county even before the pandemic hit.

Proposals include streamlining regulations, and ensuring they are consistent with competing jurisdictions around us; simplified inspections; ending the County's monopoly on liquor sales; increased access to capital; developing the hospitality workforce and management skills in partnership with local colleges; expanding childcare; investing in transit and more ride-hailing, on-demand bus services; and growing the agricultural sector of the county's economy, so that more food and alcoholic beverages produced here can be served in county restaurants.

One restaurateur to endorse Blair, who narrowly lost the 2018 Democratic primary to Marc Elrich by only 77 votes, is Farmers Fishers Bakers co-owner Dan Simons. In addition to having a Founding Farmers restaurant at Park Potomac in Montgomery County, Simons blogs about the industry at Dan Simons Says.

Elrich is running for reelection. Current County Council member Hans Riemer is also challenging Elrich. Councilmember Tom Hucker is exploring a potential challenge, but hasn't ruled out running for his District 5 Council seat again instead. No candidate of any party has filed paperwork for this race with the Board of Elections, as of this writing. 

Bethesda hit by multiple power outages on blustery day

North Bethesda has been hit hard by power outages this morning. Over 1000 Pepco customers are without power in an area bordered by Rollins Avenue to the north, Bradley Boulevard to the south, Connecticut Avenue to the east, and the Capital Beltway to the west. Winds and rain have been brisk and steady so far, as opposed to high gusts and torrential downpours. But it appears the currents must be stronger north of downtown Bethesda to this point.

Sneak peek inside Tacombi in Bethesda (Photos)

The window screens are gone at Tacombi, the fast casual taco restaurant opening soon at 4749 Bethesda Avenue, and we are getting our first look inside. Visible are tiled walls and counters, and a retro Mexican aesthetic to the interior architectural details and signage. New York magazine declared Tacombi's taco the Big Apple's "absolute best," and Bethesda is close to judging that accolade for itself.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

La Madeleine demolition update (Photos)

Say goodbye to the French chateau at 7607 Old Georgetown Road in downtown Bethesda. La Madeleine is being pulverized into rubble even as you are reading this. In its place, believe it or not, you will get a high-rise apartment building. Mon Dieu!

Boy assaulted on Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda

A parent has reported their 11-year-old son was assaulted by other juveniles on the Capital Crescent Trail in Bethesda yesterday. The boy was riding his bicycle on the trail between Little Falls Parkway and Dorset Avenue at 4:30 PM Wednesday, and stopped to adjust his bag. Three white male juveniles allegedly approached him, pushed him and the bike over, and began punching him. The victim attempted to fight back, and the alleged assailants fled. 

The suspects are described as wearing bright-green and grey jackets, and are approximately 12 to 14 years old. Maryland-National Capital Park Police have taken a report on the incident, which the parent described in a post on a local listserv. Parents whose children use the trail alone may want to alert their kids to be aware of this.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Gas pumps removed at Westbard Citgo (Photos)

Things are looking bleak at the Westbard Citgo at 5471 Westbard Avenue in Bethesda. First the underground fuel tank was dug up, and the garage cleared out. Now the gas pumps have been removed. The gas price sign is blank. 

This gas station will be demolished to clear the way for a senior assisted-living development. However, its current status in Google is only "temporarily closed." Some pre-demolition work is being done on the long-vacant nursing home on nearby Ridgefield Road, a property that will eventually hold dozens of townhomes. The other Westbard Citgo at 5335 Westbard Avenue remains open for business, but does not offer full-service at the pumps like this one.