Friday, December 31, 2021

Taylor Gourmet closes Rockville location

It seemed like only yesterday that Taylor Gourmet reopened its Rockville store at Pike & Rose. But it has now closed permanently. The timing is sad, because the store would likely have seen an increase in lunch sales from all of the new office workers relocating to Pike & Rose for Choice Hotels (which will have its own new office building), and for new 909 Rose office tenants Carl M. Freeman Companies, Prudential Financial, and ACA Group.

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Boston Market returning to Rockville

Boston Market
fans, rejoice. The all-American cuisine restaurant is returning to Rockville after closing its Loehmann's Plaza location two years ago. Boston Market will be in the Towne Plaza retail center at 12238 Rockville Pike. I can taste the mashed potatoes and cornbread now!

Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Rockville Burger King touts new restaurants Ripieno's Italian Bistro, JoJo's + dining room sneak peek (Photos)

One reason the major renovation of the Burger King on Shady Grove Road has taken so long may be the addition of other restaurants to the building, which is on the border of Rockville and Gaithersburg. New signage has been posted in the restaurant windows for Ripieno's Italian Bistro and JoJo's. Potomac Foods Group owns many restaurants across Maryland, including this Burger King.

PFG has already added a Ripieno's to the rear of its Ocean City Burger King restaurant. That location's pizza has been named to some Top 10 pizza lists since its opening there. Potomac Foods Group has operated Golden Corral restaurants in Maryland. One of its former Golden Corral locations in Salisbury is now....JoJo's Family Restaurant. The surf and turf photograph in the sign matches one on the JoJo's website.

The idea of adding two restaurants to this Burger King is not exactly brand new. PFG previously considered adding a Bojangles and a sub and salad shop to the Shady Grove location. The Bojangles was to replace the large play area at the front of the restaurant. 

There's still no reopening date announced, but it looks like opening day is getting closer. We now have our first look at the renovated interior. Furnishings now look a bit more upscale than the typical fast food dining room. There appears to be an outdoor dining patio space, as well.

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Rockville's Century Distributors acquired by National Convenience Distributors

Century Distributors
, a Rockville-based convenience store wholesaling business founded in 1976, has been acquired by National Convenience Distributors, NCD announced in a press release this morning. NCD is America's fourth-largest full line convenience store distributor. Century will become its own division of NCD, rather than be absorbed into the larger company.

“This opportunity to join NCD opens the door to even greater potential, Century VP of Operations David Sadugor said in a statement this morning. "We are confident this will be an overwhelming benefit and positively impact our retail customers and valued employees.” Century is located at 15710 Crabbs Branch Way.

Monday, December 27, 2021

Assault at Rockville grocery store on Christmas

Now that's not the Christmas spirit! Rockville police were called to a grocery store Christmas Day after an individual reported being the victim of an aggravated assault. The incident was reported at a supermarket in the 600 block of Hungerford Drive at 2:06 PM, according to crime data. There is a Giant store on that block.

Saturday, December 25, 2021

Armed robbery in Rockville

Rockville police responded to a report of an armed robbery Thursday evening, December 23, 2021. The robbery was reported in the 100 block of Congressional Lane at 5:05 PM, according to crime data. A knife was the weapon used in the robbery.

Friday, December 24, 2021

Montgomery County sets new record for homicides

Montgomery County tied its 1994 homicide record of 34 this week, with the brutal stabbing death of a man in a stairwell at the Shops of Wisconsin in Bethesda. Last night, the County's record was broken with a homicide reported at 6:35 PM in the 19300 block of Circle Gate Drive in Germantown. The record was smashed just as it was revealed that the County police force has shrunk by 56 officers since February 2021. Response times have suffered, and the annual number of police traffic stops plunged from 106,075 in 2019 to only 39,412 in 2020.

Defunding of the police department by the County Council accounts for only 27 of the 56 lost officer positions. The others have resulted from retiring officers not being replaced, and from reduced morale. Perhaps the only relief for County officials who have to own the new record of 35 homicides, is that there are only seven more days in 2021.

Thursday, December 23, 2021

Rockville City Hall reopening delayed due to omicron variant

The City of Rockville will delay the planned January 3, 2022 reopening of City Hall to the public, due to the omicron variant of the coronavirus. City Hall has been closed since March 14, 2020. The Mayor and Council will consider the timeline for reopening again at their January 10, 2022 meeting.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Retro Burger King logos installed at Rockville location

The main sign at the temporarily-closed Burger King at 16004 Shady Grove Road features a more-recent burger king logo. But the renovated restaurant will also display retro BK logos. Several have now been installed, as well as the structure that will hold the drive-thru menu. 

Striping and arrows have been applied to the drive-thru lane. Burger King announced last January that it planned to switch back to the logo the chain used during its most successful era.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Shake Shack opens at Montgomery Mall

Shake Shack
opened yesterday at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The burger chain continues to favor the I-270 corridor over downtown Bethesda or Rockville Town Center. A third Shake Shack is planned for the Kentlands in 2022; an existing location is open now at Cabin John Village in Potomac. Look for Shake Shack in the Dining Terrace food court near Cinnabon.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Galito's Flame Grilled Chicken opening in Rockville (Photos)

Galito's Flame Grilled Chicken
is coming to 15918 Shady Grove Road in early 2022. "Coming soon" signage has been posted on the storefront. Galito's will serve piri-piri-style chicken, a famous flavor of Portugal, Brazil and South Africa. The restaurant will be located next to Argos Optical in the Shady Grove Center, on the border of Rockville and Gaithersburg.

Photo: Robert Dyer/ Rendering at top courtesy Galito's Flame Grilled Chicken

Armed robbery at Rockville gas station

Montgomery County police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a Rockville gas station on Saturday night, December 18, 2021. The robbery was reported at a gas station in the 12600 block of Twinbrook Parkway at 10:32 PM, according to crime data. A knife was the weapon used in the robbery.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Finnegan's Wake temporarily closes at Rockville Town Square "for the safety and well-being of our staff and patrons"

Rockville Irish pub Finnegan's Wake abruptly announced on Instagram this afternoon that it would be closing "until further notice...for the safety and well-being of our staff and patrons." The announcement made no mention of the reason, nor of coronavirus. 

Omicron-variant coronavirus has caused cases and hospitalizations to spike in many parts of the country, and has resulted in restaurant closures in other cities. Public awareness of any increased risk in Montgomery County may have been lessened, as the Maryland Department of Health has failed to provide Covid-19 case numbers for nearly two weeks. State officials have blamed the failure on a hack of MDDOH's computer system.

Finnegan's Wake is located at 100 Gibbs Street at Rockville Town Square.

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Rockville, Shady Grove Metro stations to reopen in January

WMATA announced that the extended closure of two Metro stations that has extremely inconvenienced commuters in Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Clarksburg and Damascus for months will end in January. The Shady Grove and Rockville Metro Red Line stations are now scheduled to reopen for service on January 16, 2022. Free parking and free shuttle bus service will continue to be offered at both stations until the reopening date.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Rockville Burger King update (Photos)

There's still no reopening date for the Burger King at 16004 Shady Grove Road, on the border of Rockville and Gaithersburg. A few minor signs of progress since my last report: They've painted the formerly red southwestern corner wall. A final layer of material was applied to the fake tower atop the front of the building. And resurfacing and striping of the parking lot has been completed.

Those weird 1000-lunch-bags window coverings are still up. It looks like canopies over the drive-thru windows may yet have to be installed. This is the best-rated Burger King of those that remain in Montgomery County. I hope they reopen soon, because I've missed about 15 limited-time Burger King menu items during the renovation, between the pandemic and the closure.