Well, despite the best intentions of community groups and Douglas M. Duncan, a second location for the Birchmere Music Hall won't be coming to Silver Spring after all.
You know what, though? The more I think about it the less I care. Yes, it would be nice to have it just for bragging rights, but seriously, how many country-western shows am I going to be hitting up every year? Zero, more than likely.
(And yes, I do realize they have artists of other genres that perform there, but looking at their calender, there aren't too many that I am psyched to go see. I mean they have Minnie Driver scheduled, for God's sake. Yes, that Minnie Driver. OK, she was cute in Good Will Hunting, but I'm not about to drop twenty bucks to enjoy her musical stylings. And, if I was that pressed to see George Thorogood & The Destroyers perform live, I could make the occasional hike out to Virginia.)
Of course, my not caring is predicated on the assumption that something that I will like will ultimately be housed in the former digs of JC Penney. Now, if it were up to me, they'd be starting construction tomorrow on a high-end bowling joint à la Strike Bethesda or Lucky Strike. Now that I'd use a LOT. That'd also be something utilized by a much bigger segment of the population. Think of all the opportunities for birthdays, happy hours, etc. that would open up. My fingers are crossed.
What does everyone else think might work in that space?
UPDATE: Here's the bitter press release from the Birchmere management. Sounds like they feel they got screwed by the county and/or the Lee Development Group. (And they may well have been.) It does offer a tidbit of insight into what may be planned as an alternative to the Birchmere:
It appears the county and/or the landowner is ready to announce -or perhaps already has- a replacement for the Birchmere. The replacement is allegedly a stand-up nightclub concept, more traditionally associated with drink rather than food service.The parties involved better have something good to announce soon in order to quell the backlash that will inevitably result from today's developments.
Update #2: It looks like they may have something bigger in store than the Birchmere after all, according to the Washington Post:
Live Nation, the world's largest producer of live concerts, is considering Silver Spring for one of its new Fillmore-branded clubs, according to someone familiar with the negotiations. If the Live Nation deal goes through, the venue could be nearly three times as big as the Birchmere's proposed 700-seat hall. This could make Silver Spring, which is already well on its way to becoming an arts center, a destination for top-drawer live entertainment.