Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Rock Grove shopping center construction rounding the turn in Rockville (Photos)

The transformation of the aging strip mall at the corner of MD 355 and Shady Grove Road into the new Rock Grove shopping center is nearing completion. Property owner JBG Smith's makeover is showing its true colors with multi-shade facade treatments and surfaces. Even the Jiffy Johns match!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Crumbl Cookies sets opening date at Federal Plaza in Rockville

Crumbl Cookies
is finally ready to open its first D.C.-area location at Federal Plaza at 12266 Rockville Pike. The store and delivery business will open this Friday, October 2, 2020. Cookie lovers will love the hours, as the store will be open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 AM to midnight. Additionally, cookies can be delivered from 8:00 AM until 10:00 PM, Monday through Thursday. On the weekend, deliveries will be available from 8:00 AM to midnight. 

Crumbl will offer four limited-time cookie varieties each week, along with their two standard cookies: warm chocolate chip and chilled sugar cookie. Limited-time flavors will include Muddy Buddy, Biscoff Lava, Funfetti, Snickerdoodle, Coconut Lime, Chocolate Caramel, Cranberry Vanilla, Nutella Sea Salt, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip, Rocky Road, S’Mores, Orange Creamsicle, and more. 

Customers in the store - who will have to wear masks and observe capacity limits due to covid-19 protocols - can watch the cookies being made in the open bakery. “Having our customers see every cookie being made is one of the best experiences of our stores,” Federal Plaza Crumbl location owner Robert Davis said this morning. “Each ingredient is carefully chosen to provide customers with the highest quality cookie on the market.” 

Monday, September 28, 2020

Duball brands Rockville Town Center project as the Ansel Apartments (Photos)

The latest look at the construction in Rockville Town Center comes with some breaking news. Developer Duball, LLC has announced the branding for the previously nameless project. It will be known as the Ansel Apartments.

Ansel will have studio and 1, 2, and 3 bedroom units available. Delivery is expected in Fall 2021, and the property will be managed by Bozzuto.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Award-winning Rockville police officer does it again

Rockville City Police Department Corporal Brandon Thomas has twice received awards for saving lives in the line of duty, in 2018 and 2019. Now he has a third. Two weeks ago, Thomas was awarded a Distinguished Service Citation at the Rockville Public Safety Awards.

Thomas received the recognition for saving the life of a customer who stopped breathing at a fast food restaurant. Finding no pulse on the patient, Thomas performed CPR for seven minutes until paramedics arrived at the scene. That action made it possible for the patient to survive the medical emergency, making for three people who are still alive today as a result of Thomas' quick thinking and lifesaving efforts.

Photo courtesy RCPD 

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Montgomery County partners with Main Street Apartments to provide "digital equity" for residents

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced Wednesday that the County is partnering with Main Street Apartments to provide internet and WiFi service to up to 70 apartments in the new, inclusive housing development at 50 Monroe Place in Rockville. The service will provide upload and download speeds of 50 Mbps+, and is made possible through private sector partners Plume and Positron Access Solutions.

“Affordable access to the internet is crucial and the need for a safe and reliable connection is more important than it has ever been,” Elrich said yesterday. “With the help of our partners, we are excited to bring robust internet connectivity and home Wi-Fi to eligible residents of Main Street Apartments at absolutely no cost. We believe that the internet should be accessible for everyone and we are happy to be working with Main Street Connect to offer it to their residents, many of whom depend on the internet to work, learn and grow.”

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Tuesday Accessories now open at Montgomery Mall

Tuesday Accessories
has opened a kiosk at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The business specializes in handmade jewelry and accessories. With all of the craziness of the pandemic and election, it's hard to believe that Christmas shopping season is almost upon us, and one-of-a-kind handmade items make for very unique gifts. Tuesday Accessories is located on Level 1 near Michael Kors.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

D.C.'s HalfSmoke opening at Rockville Town Square

The Starbucks of half smokes is coming to Rockville Town Square. HalfSmoke founder Andre McCain has leased space at the struggling development at 36-A Maryland Avenue, formerly home to American Tap Room and Pandora Seafood. McCain opened the original HalfSmoke at 651 Florida Avenue N.W. in the District.

HalfSmoke's menu will feature four kinds of sausage, as well as grilled chicken and falafel. Another specialty of HalfSmoke is adult milkshakes, although non-alcoholic shakes are available, too.

McCain told QSR Magazine in 2017 that he is trying to put an upscale spin on what is considered wrongly to be a cheap product. Part of that is in providing high-quality ingredients. But the other part is providing a Starbucks type of atmosphere where customers are encouraged to linger at the restaurant in comfortable seating, rather than run out the door gobbling a half smoke.

It's a tough time to be launching a restaurant empire, to be sure. HalfSmoke is also expanding to Baltimore. I love hot dogs, so it won't be a tough sell to get me in the door.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Soulfull Cafe opens in Rockville

Soulfull Cafe
is now open in the ground floor of the Main Street Apartments, located at 50 Monroe Place in Rockville Town Center. The cafe sells baked goods, acai bowls, fresh juices, smoothies and coffees from Dawson's Market. See photos below for the menu and hours.

Friday, September 18, 2020

Atlantic Guns opens new Rockville store

After 70 years in business, family-owned Atlantic Guns has consolidated its Rockville and Silver Spring gun shops into a brand-new Rockville location. The new Atlantic Guns is now open at 15813 Hungerford Drive (MD 355) in the King Farm/Derwood area of Rockville. It's right up the street from Wendy's and McDonald's.

Atlantic Guns carries long guns, handguns, ammo, and firearm accessories. They also sell non-lethal defense products like Tasers, camping and survival gear, archery equipment, knives and fishing supplies.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, only ten customers may enter the store at a time. The first customer at the new store received a free Benchmade knife.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Veirs Mill Road armed carjacking suspects flee on foot in Rockville

An armed carjacking was reported in the 12000 block of Veirs Mill Road in Silver Spring last night at 8:35 PM. Montgomery County police searching for the stolen vehicle located it in Rockville, near the intersection of N. Van Buren Street and W. Middle Lane.

Three suspects bailed out of the vehicle. Officers arrested one of them, but two remain at-large. Police describe the two at-large suspects as a Latino male with braided hair wearing a red shirt, and a second Latino male wearing a black sweatshirt. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Cava Mezze reopens at Montgomery Mall

Cava Mezze has reopened at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The restaurant is located in the Dining Terrace food court. Also, The Cheesecake Factory is now offering indoor dining again, with social distancing restrictions (Four Cheese Pasta with Chicken is my recommendation). Finally, J. Crew has reopened, as well.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Hit-and-run accident in Rockville

A hit-and-run accident was reported to Rockville police Saturday night. The incident occurred on an unspecified block of Linthicum Street in the Twinbrook Forest area around 7:56 PM. No information on damage, or whether any injuries resulted, is currently available. 

Monday, September 14, 2020

Blinds to Go now open in Rockville

Blinds to Go has opened at 12204 Rockville Pike. The custom blinds retailer takes over the former Next Day Blinds building. Their hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Monday-Saturday, and 12:00-5:00 PM on Sundays.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Lego Store to open in October at Montgomery Mall

Westfield says the highly-anticipated opening of the Lego Store at Montgomery Mall is only about a month away. The mall operator now expects it to open in October, and will have a more specific opening date in the coming weeks. While all businesses have faced disruptions due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Lego Store is technically still on schedule for its previously-announced Fall 2020 opening.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Montgomery County Council proposes creating its own illegal police force to pull you over

Proposal is illegal under
federal and state law

The Montgomery County Council is proposing to create its own police force, to replace the Montgomery County Police Department's role in traffic enforcement. This would be illegal under both federal and Maryland law, but that's not deterring them from trying to quietly move forward. Councilmembers have floated the idea with two local reporters in recent weeks, resulting in two low-key articles, one in The Washington Post and one on NBC Washington's website. Those, and a virtual town hall being held by one councilmember tonight, have largely evaded public attention.

Who would make up this new police force remains unclear. The Post article made vague references to "civilians" somehow gaining the authority to pull over and detain motorists. NBC Washington reports that it could be County bureaucratic employees who somehow gain this authority. Unfortunately for the Council, neither group can engage in such activity under the law. Which is why such a ridiculous idea isn't currently allowed anywhere in America.

In the case of civilians, the Council may have been inspired by an idea proposed in the District to have civilians be able to use an app to enforce traffic laws in Washington, D.C. One can only imagine the potential abuses of an army of "Karens" wielding a Stasi-style reporting app, but that was largely the goal, as yet another way to harass people committing the horrific offense of continuing to drive private automobiles.

Now, imagine Karen or a random bureaucrat empowered to pull you over and issue tickets and other penalties, with no way to defend yourself against any preposterous allegation designed to fill the County's dwindling coffers. Your crime might be your race, as if racism is somehow only found among sworn police officers, or a particular religious or political bumper sticker displayed on your vehicle. Let's not forget, it was our white County Planning Board chair who repeatedly called in police officers on members of a black church peacefully protesting at board meetings.

Having non-sworn civilians pulling people over in traffic would not only be a violation of federal and Maryland law, but it would also be a danger to those making the traffic stops. Who would pull over for a non-police vehicle, especially when a non-sworn bureaucrat would have no authority to make a stop? What happens if the driver detained is a criminal and has a violent response? How would tourists know non-police could pull them over in our jurisdiction? How many accidents will be caused by the confusion of non-police vehicles trying to pull over drivers on busy roads? And traffic stops are inherently very dangerous to make, as the number of police officers hit by vehicles while making such stops each year indicates.

Montgomery County has one of the most professional and highly-trained police forces in the nation. These men and women are prepared physically and mentally for one of the most difficult and demanding jobs in the world. Bureaucrats would not have anywhere close to the same preparation and judgement as these officers possess. And if they did, why and how would taxpayers fund what essentially would be a duplicative police academy and police department?

The bottom line is that what the Council is proposing is illegal. They've offered no details on their proposal, nothing is mentioned about it on the Council website, and there is so far no public process through which we the People can yet comment on this.

If you are concerned about your Constitutional rights and tax dollars, you may want to sign up for Councilmember Will Jawando's little-advertised "virtual town hall" tonight at 7:00 PM. Given the hush-hush nature of the event beyond the Montgomery County political cartel, it's unlikely he's expecting your virtual attendance.
Would you turn to your lawyer or hairdresser to perform emergency heart surgery? Likewise, most of the general public is more comfortable with professional police officers enforcing the law than with random bureaucrats. It's about time we also had a professional County Council. Maoist fever dreams like a personal police force are yet another distraction from the Council's failure to address the multiple crises they've created over the last two decades.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Salon Lofts coming to Rockville

Salon Lofts is coming to the new mini-mall at 1170 Rockville Pike. The franchise leases salon suites to stylists. Leasing seems to be picking up at the retail center since the first tenant came aboard last month, after 19 months of no activity. Salon Lofts boasts over 100 locations nationwide, in the eastern and central regions, with a heavy presence in Maryland and Northern Virginia already.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

First look: Soulfull Cafe in Rockville (Photos)

Soulfull Cafe is getting ready to open in the ground floor of the Main Street Apartments at 50 Monroe Place in Rockville. The cafe will offer baked goods, acai bowls, fresh juices, smoothies and coffees from Dawson's Market. A soft opening is currently scheduled for tomorrow, September 9, 2020, from 7:00 AM-2:00 PM. Here is a sneak peek at the space.