Thursday, February 26, 2009

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

You like-a da juice, eh? The juice is good, ah?

There's a new restaurant in town - the Big Greek Cafe at 8147 Georgia Ave., the space formerly occupied by El Taqueria Mexicano. I haven't tried it yet, but when I do I'll be all over this:

Hercules Burger $ 6.75
Seasoned Ground Beef With Tzaziki Sauce, Feta Cheese, Lettuce, Tomato On A Sesame Bun

They've even got a Facebook page. (Update: this place actually opens today - 3/2.)

It's always nice to see something opening up in Silver Spring that isn't a hair and/or nail place. Speaking of which, I'd bet dollars to donuts that the space formerly occupied by the recently-closed Douglas Speed Sport Center on Fenton will soon house a hair salon. (Douglass had been around forever. First the Electric Shaver Shop, now them. At least the shoe repair place is doing ok, thanks to no one being able to afford new kicks.) Seriously, why does Silver Spring need 300 hair and nail places??? They already make up 90% of our retail businesses. Bethesda has perhaps the highest number of restaurants per capita in the country; meanwhile, we can probably claim the same thing with respect to hair & nail joints.

- According to an anonymous commenter on this post, Montgomery County's ridiculous liquor laws were responsible for the demise of Kirsten's Cafe:

I have 2nd hand info on why Kirsten's closed. Her plan when she expanded into the space next door (Dunkin' Donuts?), was to get a liquor license and be open for dinner. County rules prohibit someone from having two liquor licenses and she has one for Red Dog. She was able to get a waiver of that rule, but was then stymied because there is a church (African congregation of some sort) that meets in the Minbilt office building next door and a liquor licensed-establishment is not permitted that close to a church.
Yeah, an office building = church...

- The same commenter also points out the news that Jerome Snider of Snider's Super Foods passed away last week. RIP.

- A Washington Post shopping blogger visited Silver Spring, and while she praised some of the stores, she essentially referred to the entire downtown development as "City Place". She must have not actually ventured into Shitty Place proper or the whole tone of the post might have been completely different.

- Some words of wisdom - no matter how annoying those helicopters may be - DO NOT POINT A (makes air quotes) LASER AT THEM.

- More on the Falkland Chase development mess from the Post. I think the people fighting this development may have a strategy - keep stalling the process until the economy collapses and developers can't afford to build anymore. Of course, with the county, it's damn the torpedoes, let's build a $700K library bridge anyway!

- Silver Spring Scene ist kaput?


Anna said...

"County rules prohibit someone from having two liquor licenses..."

So how does Jackie Greenbaum run both the Quarry House and Jackie's?

Silver Spring Penguin said...

Anna's got a good point, not to mention that both QHT and Jackie's are close to churches (Bethel on Georgia Ave, Jesus House on Selim [?], respectively).

Sligo said...

Who knows. The Byzantine liquor laws around here probably vary from block to block and day to day.

Anonymous said...

The rules are different in downtown Silver Spring to encourage redevelopoment.

Anonymous said...

Many jurisdictions have laws prohibiting the sale of liquor close to places of worship. But should a non-descript building next to Kirtsen's be considered a church? Probably not.

Thomas Hardman said...

That thing with the laser is rare idiocy even for someone in East Wheaton.

I hope the cop doesn't go blind.

I remember discussing laser pointers online with a cop from the Chicago area, almost a decade ago. He said something to the effect of "whether it's a laser pointer, or a laser sight, if you're on one end of the beam, there's an asshole on the other". Made sense to me.

RoseAG said...

Did this church move in in-between when they expanded into DD and got the waiver?

It seems to me it's been there awhile.

I think it's just an excuse for what was more likely poor planning and a bad economy. Of course I liked Dunkin Donuts so consider the source...

I do get pretty tired of those whirly-birds chopping around in the early morning hours.

Thomas Hardman said...

Our Gracious Host writes something to the effect of a strategy to stall major capital projects until the economy collapses and developers can't afford to build anymore.

Well, look at it this way, the sane way: if it's possible to stall the project until the economy collapses -- and thus prevent a start -- then if it got started now and the economy collapses, all you wind up with is the destruction of the old, and the new gets barely started before it grinds to a halt.

And as for a 3/4-million dollar elevated walkway for the new DTSS Library? Let's just say that the present District 4 Special Election is a preview, in some ways, of the 2010 General election. The way this campaign is going to go is as follows: Spend money you don't have, and you'll be lucky to get out of office without being hung from a lamppost.

What are they going to do to fund it, raise homeowner taxes again?

To keep up with the planned rate of expenditure (especially with a weakening dollar), let's just say that if the valuation of real-estate has dropped 20-percent (1/5) you need to raise the level of taxation to 6/5th of current in order to almost break even.

Try adding in the fact that with increasing job losses and people trying to pay down debt and switch to a savings-based economy, they're less likely to be able to scrape up the cash for the current taxes, much less for any increases.

Increase the level of homeowner taxes as people lose their jobs, you wind up with homes seized for sale, in a market increasingly dominated by foreclosures and other distress sales. All that happens here is that it pumps up the rate of property-value decline. And the temptation will be to raise taxes and seize more homes, increasing the property-value decline rate. Vicious spiral of devaluation ensues, with the obvious logic inherent that it's time to sell as fast as you can regardless of the loss, because it will be harder later.

The rush to market further floods the market and property values decline even more rapidly. By the end of the process, nobody can dump their houses fast enough, the county can't raise tax rates fast enough, the value of homes approaches zero on a hyperbolic curve with the zero-intercept asymptote about 9 months from now, which is to say, dead of winter 2009 and Happy Frakin' New Year as everyone's taxes are raised to 100-percent and nobody can pay and the county goes flat broke and doesn't even have the money to pay the sheriff's deputies to drive around and tack up seizure notices to the doors of the properties they claim to own but which have actual negative value, mostly because right about this time, trucks stop rolling into your supermarket to restock the shelves with produce nobody can afford to grow as if anyone had the money to buy it.

Meanwhile, people in other countries are starting to wonder how anyone is going to make even the first installment on repaying the massive Federal deficit. The executives of all US banks load up as much gold as their corporate jets can hold and head for Iceland or Ireland or some such isolated place, and wait for the plagues to start and finish.

Now put that in your Zombie Movie Script and smoke it. ;)

Of course, it can't actually be all that bad... except for the lampposts.

If elected, I shall take it upon myself to take my copy of the proposed budget and chop chop chop away at everything except for public safety and "guts" entitlements such as insulin for indigent diabetics or subsidized dialysis for welfare patients with bad kidneys.

Building buildings mostly for the purpose of being named after politicians, that's just going to have to wait.

Springvale Roader said...

It's not just MoCo that has crazy church-inspired liquor laws. In D.C., an upscale vegetarian restaurant called "Vegetate" opened in a blighted part of 9th Street, NW. For years they fought to get a liquor license over the objections of a local church that was perhaps several feet within the "God and martinis do not mix" limit set by D.C., but even that was disputed. I believe Vegetate ultimately prevailed, but at great expense.

The irony is that this restaurant was attempting to bring nightlife and business to a decrepit part of D.C., thereby helping revive the neighborhood and reclaim it from the thugs, and this damned church fought them tooth and nail. For what? To keep the streets empty and dangerous?

Strangle the last king with the last priest's intestines and we'll all be free!

ForestGlen said...

Kirsten's was a rip-off

rb said...

Re Kirsten's Cafe
If, in fact, Kirsten's applied for a liquor license, (was there an application taped to the window), the problem may have been the proximity to the day care center in the building said to be occupied by the church, rather than proximity to the church. Another prospective business applied for a liquor license for a "Beer and Wine Retail Outlet" last year, across Georgia Ave. around the corner on Corwin. It withdrew the application. An argument against this place had to do with the day care center.

Anonymous said...

Why did Kirsten's fail? Because it sucked. Plain and simple. All one has to do is remember how good Red Dog Cafe was before Kirsten turned it into Dead Dog Cafe. We can only hope that she either sells The Dog, or a new eatery takes its place. There have been a lot of posts here in the past about how The Dog went bad after the change in ownership. Kirsten's was the closest coffee and dining to my home and I almost never went there because the quality was so poor. I found it better to walk further and actually enjoy coffee and dining out.

On another restaurant note, I drove by the place in Forest Glen where the old store was, and where Colorado Kitchen was supposed to have a place. There was an open sign in the front door window, despite no other signs of what it is that opened. Anyone know what gives?

Easley Does It said...

Yes, Anonymous 12:56, Gillian Clark's place has indeed opened. The Post Food section had a brief story on it a few weeks ago. The wife and I stopped by last week and they were just doing carry-out service. I had the best chicken salad I've ever eaten.

Vagrarian said...

On another note entirely, the Hercules Burger at the new Greek place totally rocks.

Thomas Hardman said...

So did I accidentally wander into the "DTSS Restaurant Promotion Commission" website?

All you guys talk about is restaurants you're promoting?

Anonymous said...

Hartman, take your self aggrandizing snottery elssewhere please

Anonymous said...

Mr. Hardman, I enjoy the restaurant discussion and skip your posts.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more about Red Dog Cafe. I would LOVE to spend my money there but won't give them another nickel because, like the previous poster said: It sucks. The food is pretty decent, but the service and nonchalant attitude is pathetic. How many times does an owner have to read the negative comments about her customer service before she does something. Obviously, that didn't happen so too bad. That's capitalism.

Thomas Hardman said...

Woohoo, the Anonymous Cowards are still allowed to post here, I see.

Sligo, when are you going to put your foot down and demand the Integrity that can come only from Identity?

Even nom-de-plume aliases from one-time-use accounts show more integrity than "anonymous"; just try to find any user named "anonymous" who is anything other than a forum troll.

As for me, I post under my real name. The best thing about working for yourself is that you never have to worry about people snitching you out to your employer because they want to suppress your opinion.

I can about guarantee you that "anonymous" is a fearful coward posting without a name because anyone employing them would take one look at the psychology betrayed by their postings, and would instantly fire them with a prominent "useless office bully, no rehire" notation sent straight to ChoicePoint and all of the Credit Reporting Agencies.

That's okay, "anonymous", ChoicePoint makes good money buying the logs of companies like "blogger" and ratting you out In real Life to anyone with a hundred bucks.

Anonymous said...

Sounds an awful lot like a threat Hartman. Maybe the bully you see is in a mirror.

Anonymous said...

Mr. H, Just an observation: You are telling someone with a name like "Sligo" (so obviously NOT his real name) that folks who post here should use their real name?

Thomas Hardman said...

Anonymous coward, I said directly that it's one thing to post under a nom-de-plume or alias, and it's another thing entirely to post as "anonymous".

Sligo, and only Sligo, posts as Sligo.

"Anonymous" is the Beast of Seven Billion Heads.

Besides, the way you misspelled my name is something that's very typical of "foolio".

And BTW, you also can go blow $100 at ChoicePoint, and to make things even easier for you, you've already got my real name.

Now, back to the discussion of restaurants, you'd think that nothing ever happens in DTSS except for people going out for dinner.

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