Thursday, November 30, 2023

Raku AYCE Sushi & Japanese Buffet "coming soon" to Rockville

There's been a change in plans for the next chapter of the former Miller's Ale House building at 1471 Rockville Pike. Out is Umi Sushi & Seafood Buffet, which had announced its intention to open in the former sports bar space this past spring. In is Raku AYCE Sushi & Japanese Buffet, a small Northeastern U.S. chain with existing restaurants in Cherry Hill, New Jersey and Levittown, New York. From humble beginnings just last year, "Raku AYCE Sushi has gained the reputation as the most popular Japanese restaurant in New York," the company declares on its website. Raku, which may run into some confusion here with the local Raku sushi chain down the road, says its restaurants balance exotic ingredients delivered fresh each day with affordable prices.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Donutchew opens at Montgomery Mall (Photos)

has opened in the Dining Terrace food court at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The mochi donut chain's product is denser - and as the name suggests, chewier - than a traditional donut. They are made with glutinous rice flour, as opposed to the enriched wheat flour of a Krispy Kreme donut. Donutchew is in a kiosk that has seen heavy turnover in the last couple of years, but the company has had early success with its Rio Lakefront location in Gaithersburg.

Ốc & Crab Seafood Restaurant closes in Rockville

Ốc & Crab Seafood Restaurant
has closed at 765-F Rockville Pike at the Ritchie Center. The Vietnamese restaurant only opened this past April. Another seafood establishment, Live Crawfish & Seafood, moved out of the same space a year ago. It had survived since 2017, and through the worst of the pandemic lockdown. Ốc are snails, the culinary stars of many popular dishes in Vietnam.

Wawa Gaithersburg signage, gas pumps installed ahead of December opening (Photos)

There are real "signs" of progress at the construction site of Montgomery County's first Wawa at 405 S. Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg. The most visible to drivers passing on MD 355 is the roadside sign with the Wawa logo, and digital displays for gas prices. But the main logo sign is also now on the storefront of the convenience store, as well. Wawa-branded gas pumps have been installed, and safety bollards in line with the pumps. Above them is the Wawa logo signage for the gas station canopy. 

When will the Gaithersburg Wawa open? The chain's current target opening date is December 2023. There's still a not-insigniicant amount of paving and landscaping work to be done on the site. Let's see if they can get it done before the ball drops on New Year's Eve.

Police called after assault at Target in Rockville

Montgomery County police were called to the Target store at 5700 Bou Avenue in Rockville Monday evening, November 26, 2023, after a 2nd-degree assault was reported there. The assault was reported at 7:44 PM Monday. At least one individual was also accused of shoplifting and fraud in the same incident at the store.

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Rockville Giant store to add electric vehicle chargers

The Giant at 9719 Traville Gateway Drive will soon add two electric vehicle charging stations outside the store, which is located at the Traville Village Center in Rockville. Giant began a partnership with Volta Charging to provide EV charging stations at its stores in 2020. The alliance was expected to eventually deliver more than 200 charging stations at the Ahold-owned supermarket chain's locations.  

“Providing our shoppers and communities free electric charging services is part of Giant’s larger sustainability efforts,” Giant Food President Ira Kress said in a statement. “We are excited to offer our customers who opt for electric cars the satisfaction of quick and free charging while they shop. It’s a value for our shoppers that also benefits the environment.”

Monday, November 27, 2023

Strong-arm robbery in Rockville

Rockville City police responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery in the Twinbrook area Saturday afternoon, November 25, 2023. The assault was reported in the 2100 block of Veirs Mill Road at 3:28 PM Saturday. That is in the commercial area around the Twinbrook Center.

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Disorderly conduct at Rockville grocery store

Rockville City police responded to a report of disorderly conduct at a supermarket Friday afternoon, November 24, 2023. The incident was reported at a grocery store in the 15100 block of Frederick Road at 2:41 PM Friday. New York Mart at the College Plaza shopping center is on that block.

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Pajama-clad porch pirate snatches package in Rockville

Rockville City police are seeking the public's help in identifying and locating the suspect in the theft of a package from the front porch of a home in the Maryvale neighborhood on November 8, 2023. The package was taken around 5:16 PM that afternoon. Police describe the suspect as a White female of undetermined age with auburn hair. She was wearing pajama pants and a tan hoodie at the time of the alleged theft.  If you have any information about this incident or suspect, call Rockville City police at 240-314-8900.

Friday, November 24, 2023

AMC Montgomery 16 theater to add recliners at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

AMC's acquisition of the former ArcLight Cinemas at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda came with great hopes that the cineplex chain would upgrade some of the outdated elements of the theater, now known as AMC Montgomery 16. That's finally about to happen. AMC says it is moving forward with a plan to replace the fixed, cloth seats in the 16 auditoriums of the complex with its current recliner model. 

The company says it will spend nearly $3 million on the seats, and some other minor updates to the cineplex, which are expected to begin early next year. AMC notes that the addition of recliners will reduce the total number of seats in each auditorium. The renovation plan tells us that AMC is committed to keeping this theater open for a long time to come.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Cellaxs Phone Repair opening at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

Cellaxs Phone Repair
is coming soon to Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Signage has been installed at its future space, which was once home to The Fix, on Level 2 near the food court. Cellaxs repairs screens, buttons, speakers and water damage on your phone. Battery replacement, tablet repairs and free diagnosis of your phone's problems are among the other services offered by the device repair chain nationwide. 

Knife-wielding robber strikes at Rockville convenience store

Montgomery County police responded to a report of an armed robbery at a convenience store in Rockville late Monday afternoon, November 20, 2023. The robbery was reported in the 1200 block of E. Gude Drive at 5:15 PM Monday. A knife was the weapon used in the robbery.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Contents of Rockville restaurant to be auctioned off next month

The contents of a Pakistani restaurant in the White Flint area will be auctioned off next month. While the restaurant is not named in the online auction listing, the interior photos look like TooSso Pakistani Kitchen, which closed earlier this fall at 5290 Randolph Road at Loehmann's Plaza. Among the items up for grabs to the highest bidder are TooSso's menu board, a decorative antique door, a tandoori oven, and even the restaurant's broom and dustpan. To register and place a bid, see the online auction listing. The auction begins closing December 15, 2023 at 10:07 AM.

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Montgomery County Board of Elections votes to not follow anyone on social media

Montgomery County Board of Elections
President David A. Naimon

The Montgomery County Board of Elections voted unanimously yesterday to not follow anyone on social media, part of a new social media policy the board passed via that vote. While the board encourages residents, voters and political candidates to follow its accounts on social media, commissioners decided that its own accounts should not follow anyone, and should not "like" social media posts. The board said it made the policy change to emphasize its commitment to free and fair elections, and equal treatment of all candidates and ballot question debates. 

“As a non-partisan organization, the Board must ensure that all candidates, political parties and voters are treated fairly and that no candidate or supporter or opponent of a ballot question receives or is perceived to receive preferential treatment,” Board President David A. Naimon said in a statement after the vote. “The mission of the Board is simple - - free, fair, and transparent elections for all candidates and voters.”

For official information about the 2024 elections, including how to register to vote and/or volunteer to serve as an election worker, follow the Montgomery County Board of Elections on X at @777vote (, on Facebook at, or on Instagram at Information also continues to be available on the BOE website at, and by phone at 240-777-8500.

Police called after assault at Rockville restaurant

Montgomery County police were called to a restaurant in Rockville Sunday afternoon, after an individual was allegedly the victim of a 2nd-degree assault there. The assault was reported at a restaurant in the 9900 blovk of Key West Avenue at 4:54 PM Sunday, November 19, 2023. That is at the Shady Grove Professional Center at Key West and Darnestown Road.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Menorah display stolen outside CVS Pharmacy at Cabin John Village

The Chanukah portion of the outdoor holiday decor at CVS Pharmacy at 7955 Tuckerman Lane at Cabin John Village in Potomac was stolen sometime between Saturday night, November 18, 2023 and Sunday morning, November 19. A reader forwarded these before-and-after photos, which show the inflatable menorah gone on Sunday. The Christmas-themed inflatables remained untouched. A torah scroll holder was recently ripped off of a resident's door in the Congressional Plaza area of Rockville. Like this area of Potomac on the border with Rockville, that is also a community with a large Jewish population.

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Holiday festivities get underway at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda (Photos)

The holiday shopping season is officially underway at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Live performances, celebrity guests and holiday sale offers greeted shoppers at the popular retail center yesterday, as mall owner Westfield held a special holiday launch event six days before Black Friday. The Jingle Lounge is now open, with special beverages and a place to relax between stores, or while you're waiting for someone else to finish shopping. A special wine bar at the lounge hosted by Windridge Vineyards will be open again today, November 19, 2023.  

The Jingle Lounge

One of Santa's elves
caught on camera

Abe Lincoln from the
Racing Presidents of the
Washington Nationals

In this age of high crime, you can
trust Honest Abe to carry your
shopping bags to the car

He always was a little more cautious
after Fort Stevens...

Wine bar today only!

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Police investigate alleged weapon possession at Richard Montgomery High School in Rockville

Rockville City police were called to Richard Montgomery High School at 250 Richard Montgomery Drive yesterday morning to investigate a report of illegal possession of a weapon. Officers responded to the campus at 7:00 AM Friday, November 17, 2023. 

Friday, November 17, 2023

Choice Hotels logo signage installed at future headquarters in Rockville

The glowing logo of hospitality giant Choice Hotels is now shining from atop the new office tower nearing completion at Pike & Rose, at 915 Meeting Street along Rockville Pike. Choice will be relocating its corporate headquarters down the Pike from its current location by the Rockville Metro station. 

915 Meeting Street is on-schedule for a Q4 2023 delivery at the Federal Realty development. Another Montgomery County corporate headquarters in Gaithersburg, Sodexho, has also been lured to the new 266,000-square-foot trophy office tower. Choice represents many brands familiar to travelers, from Quality Inn and Radisson to Cambria Suites and EconoLodge.

Mimi's Handmade Ice Cream now open at Federal Plaza in Rockville

Mimi's Handmade Ice Cream
has opened at 12274-E Rockville Pike at Federal Plaza. The shop offers handmade ice cream, sorbet and sherbet. Asian, German and Italian-inspired flavors are found on the menu, alongside standard favorites. Operating hours are 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM Monday through Friday, and 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Good Feet Store opening at Federal Plaza in Rockville

The Good Feet Store is opening a new Rockville location at 12274-D Rockville Pike at Federal Plaza. "Coming soon" signage has been installed in the storefront windows. The Good Feet Store specializes in customized arch supports designed to relieve foot, hip, knee and back pain. It has an existing Rockville location at Wintergreen Plaza.

Tobacco Hut opens in Gaithersburg

Tobacco Hut & Vape
is now open at 309 N. Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg. The shop offers all of the standard tobacco products you are looking for, plus vaping supplies, CBD and hemp products, pipes and hookah equipment. Tobacco Hut is open seven days a week from 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM. It's hard to miss in that former hair salon house location, on Gaithersburg's main drag, directly across from Forest Oak Cemetery. Convenient free parking is available behind the store.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Is your home or business eligible for a Montgomery County security camera rebate?

Montgomery County has launched a new security camera rebate program for residents and businesses in select "priority areas" of the county, to combat the ongoing spike in crime. If your home is within one of these priority areas, you can receive a rebate on a security camera purchase of up to $250. So, if the camera is $250 or less, it will be free, minus installation or other costs beyond the camera itself. For businesses and non-profit organizations, the rebate tops out at $1250. 

The camera must meet certain standards set by the Montgomery County Police Department, and you must keep footage taken by the camera for at least 7 days. See all the requirements and fine print at the security camera program website.

You can check if your address is within a priority area using the Montgomery County police GIS map for the program. Among the priority areas are the Westbard commercial district, part of the Springfield neighborhood in Bethesda, parts of Rockville and Derwood near MD 355, large portions of Gaithersburg and Germantown, commercial areas of Olney and Damascus, and downtown Silver Spring. 

“Today we implemented our Private Security Camera Incentive Program, created to protect Montgomery County businesses and residents in areas experiencing relatively high incidences of crime,” County Councilmember Gabe Albornoz said in a statement. “Last year, my Council colleagues and I passed Bill 14-22, an opt-in program that lets businesses and individuals apply to receive a voucher or rebate to offset the cost of a security camera on their property. We are currently facing heightened security issues in every aspect of our daily lives. This program is even more important today than it was when it was passed a year ago. We look forward to working with MCPD to provide additional support to our businesses and residents with the greatest need.”