Remember when everyone got real excited a few months ago when the Montgomery Cinema & Drafthouse opened up the street in Wheaton? Well, guess what? It's already closing. EPIC FAIL.
The owners have released a statement on their website, blaming mall operators Westfield and the Byzantine Montgomery County permit process. I don't know anything about the former, but I can certainly believe the latter is a pain in the ass.
Whatever financial issues they had with the county and Westfield aside, I never really thought of Wheaton as the type of area that was home to the Cinema & Drafthouse demographic. I can't imagine that if they were really packing 'em in they wouldn't have found some way to stay solvent for more than two-and-a-half months.
Speaking of Wheaton closings, the much-hyped Nava Thai restaurant has shuttered its doors, and the proprietors are apparently trying to find a new location, perhaps in Bethesda or Rockville or maybe even in our neck of the woods:
The couple has been scouting new locations and has narrowed down their options to spots in Bethesda and downtown Silver Spring. They’re leaning toward Silver Spring, even though the landlord in Bethesda has really been courting them.Looks like there may be a Thai Restaurant throwdown if Nava moves onto longtime Silver Spring resident Thai Derm's block. (They should just stack Bonifant with Asian places. It can be our own little "Pan-Asia Town". They could install a big gate at the top of the block like they have at Gallery Place. Toss in a Mongolian BBQ joint and I'm set for awhile.)
The Silver Spring location on Bonifant Street, near Mandalay Restaurant and Cafe, would be “close to our current location, so when we move our customers can easily follow us there,” says Supida Peuwkhao, secretary to Ladavan Srigatesook.
Food critic Tom Kliman of Washingtonian Magazine described Nava Thai as "the best Thai food in the area right now", and at least until a few months ago I was inclined to agree. However, I noticed recently that the taste of my favorite dishes had changed significantly (for the worse). I asked if they had a new chef and they told me "no", so I'm not sure what that was all about. A few bad experiences there was enough to knock it off my list of go-to restaurants. However, if they move to Silver Spring, I will definitely give them another chance.
Sadly, I am inclined to believe that their erstwhile neighbor, the humorously (to me) named "Hung Phat" grocery will not move with them.