Friday, February 26, 2021

Clear Skies Meadery coming to Rockville

Clear Skies Meadery
is coming to Rockville. They will be located at 15201 Display Court, in the Southlawn industrial area. Their new facility will include on-site production of mead, office space, and a tasting area. Clear Skies Meadery has an existing location at 325 Main Street in Gaithersburg.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

New Rockville Dunkin' offering Tap System Tuesdays through March 9

Rockville's newest Dunkin', which opened recently at 14801 Southlawn Drive, is offering a special Tap System Tuesdays promotion every Tuesday through March 9, 2021. For $2, guests can order a Small Cold Brew or Nitro Cold Brew served from the restaurant’s Premium Pours tap system.

You may notice from the photos that the design of this Dunkin building is unique compared to other locations. The differences are more than cosmetic. This location is 25% more energy efficient than the standard Dunkin' store design. It has digital ordering kiosks inside the store, and the fastest-ever Dunkin' drive-thru experience using the Dunkin' app.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Strong-arm rape reported in Rockville

Montgomery County police responded to a report of a strong-arm rape in Rockville on Monday morning, February 22, 2021. The sexual assault was reported in the 600 block of Jefferson Plaza around 10:44 AM, according to crime data.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

"Coming soon" signage at Taco Bamba in Rockville (Photos)

Taco Bamba
is showing us more of what to expect when their new Rockville location opens at 1627 Rockville Pike at Congressional Plaza this spring. "Coming soon" signage has been added to the storefront, with large photographs of menu items. Taco Bamba's liquor license hearing is scheduled for next month.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Rockville African-American cemeteries could get increased preservation aid under proposed Maryland bill

A bill designed to increase protections for African-American cemeteries in Maryland is a good start, but needs amendments, advocates say. HB-1099, introduced by Montgomery County delegate Al Carr, will receive a public hearing next Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 1:30 PM. Residents can provide their opinions on the bill during the virtual hearing by signing up online todayMonday, February 22, 2021 between 10:00 AM and 3:00 PM. Rules for testifying can also be found online.

As currently drafted, the bill would create a fund to finance the preservation of African-American cemeteries in the state. It would also fund a study of the obstacles and threats to such preservation. 

The Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition is suggesting four amendments to strengthen and expand the bill: the rights of African-American descendants to the remains of their ancestors and how their resting places will be memorialized and celebrated should be recognized; the bill should address the fact that many black cemeteries are no longer in the hands of the original black landowners, and now often in the hands of developers; create civil and criminal penalties for the desecration of black cemeteries; and elevate the status of descendant communities in the bill to be equal to that of developers, "white preservationist NGOs, [and] big-business cultural resources groups."

BACC notes that some of the organizations currently recognized in the bill have facilitated the desecration of Moses African Cemetery in Bethesda. They should not, therefore, have the same status as the descendants of those buried in the cemetery, BACC argues.

Friday, February 19, 2021

Rockville construction update: Bark Social (Photos)

The expected February 26, 2021 opening date of Bark Social is rapidly approaching at Pike & Rose. Construction of the dog park and craft beer and wine bar has advanced accordingly. More of the shipping container structures have been completed, and the lights are on inside. Branded logos have been applied to the sides of the containers, including a dog drinking from a glass of beer.

More Montgomery County news:

Bethesda Row proposed development would require demolition of Uncle Julio's

Sign installed at RanKen Noodle House in Gaithersburg

Glenmont Lidl sets opening date

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Power outages in Rockville

The weather this morning has been dominated by ice, rather than the predicted heavy snow. That creates a greater chance of falling limbs and trees, and power outages. Currently, 18 Pepco customers in East Rockville are without power this morning, according to the Pepco outage map.

Rockville declares snow emergency

The City of Rockville is now under a snow emergency, as snow, sleet and ice are expected to result in 3-5 inches of accumulation today. All vehicles must be removed from roadways within the City of Rockville limits, and parked in driveways or garages. 

If there is no off-street parking available, vehicles should be parked along the even-numbered side of the street. On courts or cul-de-sacs, parking is allowed only on the left side of the streets as one enters the cul-de-sac or court. Do not park in the bulb of the court or cul-de-sac.

The city is making satellite parking available for residents in the following locations:

Rockville Civic Center main mansion lot, 603 Edmonston Drive.

Woodley Gardens Park, 900 Nelson Street.

Welsh Park (Mannakee Street side only), at the corner of Martins Lane and Mannakee Street.

Elwood Smith Community Center, 601 Harrington Road.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Melina Greek restaurant coming to Rockville from the CAVA group

, a Greek restaurant, is coming to Pike & Rose. The latest dining concept from the team behind the CAVA empire, Melina will take up a prime location in the ground floor of Federal Realty's new office building at 909 Rose Avenue. That gives the restaurant high visibility from Rockville Pike. 

Melina has a liquor license hearing scheduled for March 4, 2021. If you want a sneak peek at what may be on the menu, check out the tantalizing photos on its Instagram account. Here's a look at the interior so far, and as you can see, there's quite a ways to go before opening day.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

First look at proposed Rockville shopping center with daycare facility

Here is the first rendering of what a new shopping center proposed for 14119 Travilah Road in Rockville will look like. A daycare facility with a large, fenced outdoor play area would be situated directly behind the retail center. Note that the dimensions of each building have been slightly reduced since the project was first proposed in 2019. The retail square footage has gone from 5896 SF to 5677, and the daycare building from 12762 SF down to 12607.

Renderings via Montgomery County Planning Department
Architect: Nicholas Lucarelli Architects, LLC

Monday, February 15, 2021

Rockville pharmacy burglarized

City of Rockville police responded to a report of a burglary at a pharmacy early Valentine's Day morning. The burglary was reported at a pharmacy in the 100 block of Rollins Avenue around 5:00 AM, according to crime data.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Athleta, Custom Ink moving at their own pace in Rockville

Two of the brands Rockville shoppers have been awaiting the arrival of at Congressional Plaza are Athleta and Custom Ink. But each is moving at its own pace toward opening day. Athleta has been recruiting employees heavily since late January on job boards and websites, and appears to remain on-schedule for a spring opening. Custom Ink, which was announced almost a year ago for a summer 2020 opening, never materialized beyond the "coming soon" screens installed on the storefront.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Boardroom Salon sets opening date in Rockville - UPDATED

UPDATE: The opening has been pushed back to the end of March 2021. Stay tuned for the new opening date.

Boardroom Salon for Men has set an opening date for its new location at 12031 Rockville Pike in the Montrose Crossing shopping center. It is now scheduled to open on March 13, 2021, over a year after first being announced (understandable, given world events). 

As you can see, it is still very much under construction inside. Special Founder's Membership deals are currently on-sale on the Boardroom Salon website.

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Taco Bamba coming to Rockville


Taco Bamba
is coming to Rockville. The Northern Virginia-based taqueria chain has leased the space at 1627 Rockville Pike in the Congressional Plaza shopping center. That space was previously home to Modern Market. Taco Bamba has a liquor license hearing scheduled for March 4, 2021, according to a sign posted on the storefront.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Rockville construction update: Bark Social at Pike & Rose (Photos)

Bark Social
is scheduled to open on February 26, 2021 at 935 Prose Street at Pike & Rose in Rockville. Here's a look at the progress on the construction of the dog park with craft beer & wine bar since my last report.

Monday, February 8, 2021

Forme Life opens kiosk at Montgomery Mall

Gyms have been hit hard by the events of the last year, and the success of Peloton in filling that vacuum with a home alternative is attracting new companies to the fitness marketplace. A new entry in late 2020 was Forme Life, a full-length mirror that turns into a "life-size" fitness coach when you activate the screen. Now you can see Forme Life up-close and personal with their new kiosk at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. 

You can also make an appointment to try it out at the kiosk. Forme Life promises it will include a review of all the features of the device, as well as a quick workout. Cinnabon first!

Friday, February 5, 2021

Site plan shows development that would replace King Buick GMC in Rockville

Here is a look at the site plan for the proposed redevelopment of the King Buick GMC auto dealership property at 16200 Frederick Road. Rockville leaders are currently considering whether or not to annex the property into the city, a move necessary to allow construction of the density proposed here by developer EYA. A public hearing on the question of annexation has been scheduled.

EYA is proposing to build 247 townhomes and 118 "two-over-two multifamily units" on the property. Above, you can see the proposed open space (shown in blue) and green space (green) for the development. 

The site is walking distance to the Shady Grove Metro station. Intriguingly, it is also across the street from the Montgomery County dump, an issue that previously arose during the successful approval process for the Bainbridge Shady Grove down the street. May the winds be ever in your favor!

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Rockville Planning Commission to hold public hearing on annexation of King Buick GMC dealership into city

Should the City of Rockville annex the King Buick GMC dealership at 16200 Frederick Road into the city limits? You can weigh in on the proposed plan at a virtual public hearing being held by the Rockville Planning Commission on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at 7:00 PM. To participate, follow the instructions on the meeting agenda. If approved, the new land added to the city is expected to be redeveloped by EYA as a residential housing development.

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

Rockville Mall artifact found

Historical documentation of the infamous Rockville Mall is few and far between. Photographs of the structure are virtually non-existent, even on dead mall websites. Whether such materials were simply destroyed, or slowly disappear via the Mandela Effect or CERN tearing apart the space-time continuum, is unknown. So discovery of any new artifacts from the Rockville Mall is exciting, indeed.

Here we have a matchbook from David Lee's Empress, a Chinese restaurant with a location inside the Rockville Mall. It is currently being auctioned off on eBay. If you ever ate at the Empress, please leave your memories in the comments section below. Meanwhile, my archaeological dig for Rockville Mall ephemera continues. "It belongs in a museum!"

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea holding soft opening in Rockville

It's finally time to try authentic Taiwanese fruit tea at Yi Fang Taiwan Fruit Tea in Rockville. The shop is now having a soft opening at 777 Hungerford Drive, near Flagship Car Wash.

Armed carjacking reported in Rockville

Montgomery County police responded to a report of an armed carjacking on Rockville Pike late Sunday afternoon, January 31, 2021. The carjacking was reported at a commercial parking lot in the 12000 block of Rockville Pike around 5:31 PM, according to crime data.

Monday, February 1, 2021

Car stolen in Rockville

City of Rockville police responded to a report of a stolen car last Friday morning. The vehicle was parked outside of a home in the 5800 block of Stillwell Road. It was reported stolen around 10:50 AM.