Tuesday, January 31, 2023

HalfSmoke at Rockville Town Square - is this happening? (Photos)

One of the great mysteries of our times - at least since September 2020 - has been, "When is HalfSmoke opening at Rockville Town Square?" There have been no official answers, and it's been impossible to know what is going on inside the space at 36-A Maryland Avenue, as the windows have been tightly covered for most of this time. Little activity has been seen at the space, and the lights inside are usually off. But they were suddenly on this week, and a small area of one of the window coverings apparently came loose, and we are getting our first look inside since 2020.

The good news is that the lights are on. The bad news is that HalfSmoke won't be opening anytime soon, from what you can see here. The worst news at the moment is that the rear wall with the diamond shapes, the blue right interior wall, and the black texture on the front of the bar...those are not newly installed, but are left over from previous tenant Pandora Seafood House & Bar, as you can verify in my photos from the opening of that restaurant. In the center of the floor, which appears to still be Pandora's old flooring, is a pallet stacked with Sheetrock.

In the time since this location of HalfSmoke was announced, the chain's owners have opened two eateries at Westfield Montgomery Mall, including a HalfSmoke kiosk in the Dining Terrace food court. That revived questions about what in the world is going on at the Rockville location, which have since died down again. Is it time to start getting excited about HalfSmoke at Rockville Town Square again? Stay tuned!


  1. What gives you the idea that things have changed with this establishment? It certainly can't be from the exterior, nor the interior, activity (or lack of) for that matter. Nothing has moved on this spot since the original announcement that they were coming, except for the fact that they opened at MM after that. Judging from the extremely slow business at MM, including Butter Me Up, they are reconsidering going any further with this lease.

  2. Thanks for the update! I work near the Town Center and have seen the signs as well for over 2 years! I have been to MM and talked with the employees at the Kiosk and every time they tell me it will be opening. The most recent conversation was just after Christmas and the employee said early February. Looks like that's not going to happen.

  3. My God - how long can it take to open a hot dog stand. This is getting ridiculous. That space used to be popping when it was Austin Grill.

  4. Any good news would be welcome at RTS! It was popping with Austin Grill, Gordon Biersch…now it’s usually glum and lifeless

    1. Both of the previously mentioned eating establishments went belly-up for different reasons. However, FRIT failed in its efforts to attract any viable replacement tenants. With any luck and good fortune, the new management will be much better at fill all the voids left behind.

  5. Just found out the montgomery mall halfsmokes is PERMANENTLY CLOSED....
    ....also the one in BALTIMORE....
    ....I got CRAB FRIES with my HALFSMOKE the one time I went to the Montgomery Mall store... and the Crab fries were TERRIFIC... ...but the Halfsmoke though TASTY was a DISAPPOINTMENT.... it was THINNER than a hotdogs and NOT THICK the way I remember them as a kid.... THAT'S what made a HALFSMOKE a Halfsmoke.... it's thickness BURSTING with flavor....
    ...perhaps everyone else don't expect it to be as it was....