Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Shouk coming to Rockville in Montgomery County expansion

has posted coming-soon signage at its future space at 5436 Westbard Avenue, in the Westwood Shopping Center in Bethesda. The globally-inspired, plant-based street food chain is also opening a Rockville location at 5568 Randolph Road, in the Montrose Shopping Center. Both locations are expected to open this fall.

Shouk's future Rockville location

The Bethesda location will initially be carry-out only, as it is moving into the small China Cafe space. At a later date in the redevelopment of the Westwood Shopping Center, it will move to a larger, newly-constructed space in the new Westbard Square development that recently began construction. The Rockville location will be full-service with indoor dining.

Shouk Burger

Shouk's most famous menu item is the Shouk Burger, a veggie burger that has won several awards. Celebrity chef Carla Hall called it "the best dang burger I've ever tasted," and "mind-blowing" on the Food Network. Pita bread sandwiches, bowls, hummus and salads round out the menu.

Vacant former China Cafe space

Both the Rockville and Bethesda locations will be constructed of reclaimed materials, and will be 100% wind-powered. Shouk uses renewable packaging from plant sources, such as wooden utensils and biodegradable materials.

One piece of interesting trivia: Shouk's arrival will give the Westwood Shopping Center two eateries in its 62-year history that served dishes named "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" on the Food Network. Mo Rocca chose former tenant Farrell's' Gibson Girl Sundae as the best thing he ever ate. Rocca originally ate the sundae at the Westwood Shopping Center Farrell's location in the 1970s.

Monday, August 30, 2021

McDonald's adds Glazed Pull-Apart Donut to menu

has added a new item to its McCafe line of baked goods designed to go with coffee beverages. The Glazed Pull-Apart Donut is shareable, with donut holes attached to the center that can be torn off. McDonald's says it is a limited-time item, and will be available all day, not just for breakfast. 

The new donut has already appeared at some McDonald's locations in Montgomery County, and will be available at all McDonald's nationwide on September 1, 2021. How does it compare to Krispy Kreme? Watch my review to find out.

Friday, August 27, 2021

Let's Taco sets opening date in Rockville

Let's Taco
is bringing authentic Mexican tacos to Pike Kitchen at 1066 Rockville Pike. The newest addition to the food hall next to Taco Bell will open next Friday, September 3, 2021. 

Tortillas will be handmade from dozens of types of corn. Burritos (including a California burrito stuffed with grilled steak, french fries, cheese, avocado crema, pico de gallo, and chipotle crema), quesadillas, ramen birriamen, elote, garlic crab fries, a Mexican Dip sandwich, chips, churros, flan and pudding will also be available. Preview the menu here. It looks like they will also deliver via UberEats.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Sneak peek: Sports & Social in Rockville (Photos)

Here's a look at the latest additions to the interior of the future Sports & Social at Pike & Rose, opening September 9, 2021. Yesterday, sports-themed artwork was installed on the walls. You can also see the bar area and gaming tables.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Police release video of Derwood armed robbery suspect

A suspect has been caught on surveillance video in the August 3, 2021 armed robbery of the 7-Eleven convenience store/gas station at 15821 Frederick Road in Derwood. Montgomery County police have released the images, and are seeking the public's help in identifying the suspect. Detectives say he displayed a knife, and lunged at the cashier behind the counter, although this is not shown in the video footage. The suspect then allegedly fled the store with "stolen property," which was not further described as merchandise or money by police.

Anyone with information regarding this suspect or this crime is asked to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call Crime Solvers Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or submit a Crime Solvers tip online or via the app. Crime Solvers may pay a cash reward for information that leads to an arrest in this case.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Sports & Social sets opening date for Rockville location

UPDATE - August 25, 2021: Added information regarding FanDuel sportsbook

Sports & Social has set an opening date for its newest location at Pike & Rose. The upscale sports bar and entertainment center will open its doors on September 9, 2021. 

Guests will have massive screens to watch top sporting events, arcade games, ski-ball, shuffleboard, a golf simulator, Beirut, a dog-friendly outdoor patio with flatscreen TVs, and a Crush Bar serving specialty crush drinks. Sports & Social has announced that the local beers offered from the bar will include Flying Dog, Denizens, Silver Branch and 7 Locks.

Betting on sports had been expected to be legal long ago, but is currently wrapped up in regulatory red tape in Annapolis, infuriating those who had expected it to be allowed in time for the NFL season. FanDuel is sponsoring the new Sports & Social Bethesda location as part of its online plans in the state of Maryland pending regulatory approval. They are going to be the location's official sports book partner when legal sports betting comes to Maryland.

“Sports & Social is a one-of-a-kind dining venue and social experience that is unmatched anywhere in the country,” Sports & Social Bethesda's General Manager Andrew Izrael said in a statement today. “It’s the perfect combination of incredible food, great entertainment and state-of-the-art sports viewing all in an upscale setting. We can’t wait to open at Pike & Rose on September 9th.” 

Monday, August 23, 2021

Rockville barrack of Maryland State Police participates in crackdown on "superspeeders"

The Maryland State Police have concluded a crackdown on "superspeeders," drivers traveling at excessive speeds whom the agency says have been growing in number during the pandemic. On a designated day last Tuesday, troopers from the Rockville barrack on Montrose Road joined colleagues from the College Park and Forestville barracks in targeting speeders on I-495. 

By the end of the six-month initiative that concluded Tuesday, troopers had issued 875 citations, 803 warnings, 6 Move Over citiations (for failing to either sufficiently slow down, or change lanes when passing an emergency vehicle stopped on the shoulder), 41 Move Over warnings, and 43 safety equipment repair orders. They also made 8 arrests on outstanding warrants, and an additional 11 arrests for possession of controlled substances.

On Tuesday, troopers issued 149 citations, 155 warnings, and 34 safety equipment repair orders. They made 1 criminal arrest, and 3 arrests on outstanding warrants.

Funding for the coordinated operation was provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office. The stated goal is to reduce crashes on interstate highways in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. According to statistics released by the Rockville barrack, crashes are trending downward in recent years. Troopers based in Rockville responded to 1921 crashes in 2018, 1749 crashes in 2019, and 1121 crashes in 2020.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Lagos Bar & Grill, Mercat Bar de Tapas coming to Rockville Town Square

Rockville Town Square
is adding two more restaurants. Lagos Bar & Grill will take over the Bar Louie space at 150 Gibbs Street. Mercat Bar de Tapas has leased 101-C Gibbs Street down the block. That's a space that has suffered heavy turnover in the last decade, including former tenants Gumbo Ya Ya, Ev & Maddy's and Lab Cafe.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Rockville Wegmans update (Photos)

The retail buildings on the site of the future Rockville Wegmans grocery store have been leveled at the corner of Rockville Pike and Halpine Road. You can see the vacant Fuddruckers restaurant all the way from that corner now, which wasn't possible before. The parking lot that surrounded the stores is still intact. Wegmans will be the anchor retail tenant of B.F. Saul's Twinbrook Corner development here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Armed robbery in Rockville parking lot

City of Rockville police responded to a report of an armed robbery in a parking lot in the Twinbrook area early Monday morning. The robbery was reported at a commercial parking lot in the 2000 block of Veirs Mill Road at 12:46 AM. According to crime data, the weapon employed in the robbery was not a firearm.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

Montgomery County executive appears maskless in Montgomery College classroom

Montgomery County has been under an indoor mask order for several weeks. When County Executive Marc Elrich (D) was caught on camera without a mask in a classroom at Montgomery College on Monday, his critics pounced, calling it hypocrisy. Elrich was attending a "5G Bootcamp" at the community college with Congressman David Trone (D - 6th District).

Trone posted several photos of the event on Twitter. In all but one, Elrich is wearing a mask. But in the maskless photo, everyone but Elrich in the classroom is wearing a mask. "Rules for thee, and not for me," tweeted @justhefactsmo1, sharing Trone's tweet. "What's the ticket for doing this in the grocery store? $500?" asked @jensreesman.

Monday, August 16, 2021

Rockville construction update: Melina Greek restaurant (Photos)

The interior of Melina, the new Greek restaurant in the ground floor of the 909 Rose office building on Rockville Pike at Pike & Rose, is beginning to resemble an actual dining room. White finishes with brown accents currently dominate the space, and light fixtures have been installed. Melina is the latest venture from the creators of the local CAVA restaurant empire, and is expected to debut this fall.

Friday, August 13, 2021

Rockville Amazon Fresh grocery store construction update (Photos)

The future Amazon Fresh grocery store at the 270 Center on Shady Grove Road is now beginning to display some of the brand's trademark architectural details. For example, the vertical green lines on the edge of the canopy on the storefront have been applied. The roofline with large central panel is also visible. We're also getting a better look at those proprietary front windows across the front facade.