Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Qdoba opening new Rockville location

Qdoba Mexican Eats
is opening a second Rockville location. The chain has leased a corner space at the new Rock Grove shopping center at MD 355 and Shady Grove Road. A liquor license hearing for the restaurant has been scheduled for August 5, 2021. Qdoba has an existing location around where the much-missed Putt Putt Golf & Games used to be, at 128 Rollins Avenue.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Bethesda Bagels, European Wax Center under construction at Fallsgrove Village Center in Rockville

Interior fit-outs are underway at the future Bethesda Bagels and European Wax Center at the Fallsgrove Village Center in Rockville. These photos were taken about a week ago, and you can see they are both in the early stages of construction at this point. European Wax Center is slightly ahead, with interior walls already taking shape last week.

Monday, July 26, 2021

Roaming Rooster expanding to Rockville

Roaming Rooster
, a fast casual restaurant chain known for its fried chicken sandwiches, is expanding to Montgomery County this fall. It will open an 1843 square foot location at Federal Realty's Pike & Rose development in Rockville. Among the chain's other locations are Tenleytown and Woodridge in the District. 

Started as a food truck in 2015, Roaming Rooster has become one of the most-successful family and minority-owned hospitality businesses in the region since. In addition to its famous free-range, grain-fed, antibiotic-free and Halal fried chicken sandwiches, the chain also offers an all-week breakfast menu, salads, side dishes, chicken wings, chicken tenders and hand-cut fries. The sandwiches are available in your choice of heat level: mild, medium or hot.

Roaming Rooster breakfast
biscuit sandwich

“We chose Pike & Rose in Montgomery County because we want to be part of a neighborhood that features premier retailers, restaurants and services,” Roaming Rooster co-owner Michael Habtemariam said in a press release. “As a supporter of the DMV’s local businesses, Federal [Realty] is eager to bring this popular regional favorite to its first location in Maryland and Montgomery County,” Federal Realty Director of Leasing Emily Gagliardi added.

Friday, July 23, 2021

Should Meixin Supermarket building in Rockville be declared historic?

The Rockville Planning Commission will consider whether or not the vacant Meixin Supermarket building at 460 Hungerford Drive should be declared historic or not at its July 28, 2021 meeting. City staff advised against changing the property's zoning to MXCD-HD (Historic District) in May. The city's Historic District Commission ruled otherwise on May 20, finding that the property met the criteria for designation, and recommending application of the Historic District (HD) overlay zone through the filing of a Sectional Map Amendment.

Now the Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the Mayor and Council regarding the fate of the property. JPMorgan Chase wishes to demolish the supermarket to clear the way for a Chase Bank branch. Planning staff is not recommending historic designation. While the building was designed by prominent Rockville architect John "Jack" Sullivan (1925-2014), staff argues it is not an exceptional example of his work. 

Historic preservation organization Peerless Rockville, by contrast, has supported historic designation for the property. Peerless Rockville Executive Director Nancy Pickard noted in a May 2021 letter that the city's 1986 Historic Resources Management Plan is now outdated, placing 90 years of growth and architectural styles into a single period of consideration. Pickard suggested the city update its criteria to consider Midcentury Modern structures like the supermarket in the appropriate context, before making a final decision in this case.

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Nationwide used car shortage evident in Rockville as new Ourisman Pre-Owned Supercenter opens

New cars are in short supply across America, and those in need are turning to used cars, driving up prices and driving down inventory. The reduced availability of used cars is evident in Rockville, as Ourisman opens the Ourisman Pre-Owned Supercenter at 15301 N. Frederick Road at E. Gude Drive. 

When this property was Ourisman's Rockmont Chevrolet, the lot was typically jammed to overflow with new and used inventory. As you can see, there is a lot more open space in the lot at the moment, as used cars are a hot commodity and selling fast. It's a great time to be in the pre-owned business, as supply chain shortages and booming inflation have made it a seller's market.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

JK Beer & Wine coming to Rockville Pike

JK Beer & Wine
is coming soon to Rockville Pike. It will be in the Golden Arcade strip mall at 800 Rockville Pike, in a storefront that was formerly home to Enterprise Rent-A-Car. The store has a liquor license hearing scheduled for August 19, 2021.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

IT'SUGAR opens at Montgomery Mall

is now open at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The store was previously found at Rockville Town Square. You can see my sneak preview of the candy shop here. Look for IT'SUGAR on Level 1, in the Nordstrom wing.