Friday, April 23, 2010

What'd I Miss?

I've been gone for awhile, so forgive me if this is all old news... I'm still trying to catch up.

- What an incredible coincidence that the Silver Spring home of murdered D.C. school principal Brian Betts is the same house in which a man and his daughter were brutally killed in 2002, an event which received significant coverage at the time. Homicides are pretty rare in Silver Spring, at least outside the University/Piney Branch area, making the odds of unrelated homicides in a single house pretty low.



Betts didn't know about the house's dark past when he moved in the year following the murders. After he learned about the crime, his Realtor hired two ministers to perform an exorcism on his home. Is this a standard service of Realtors?

Though the two crimes are seemingly unconnected, it's weird to think that had Betts known about the first one, he'd likely have not bought the house and would still be alive today. It will be quite interesting to see if/when this otherwise perfectly fine house sells again or if it will be torn down, à la O.J.'s former home in Brentwood.

Now on to lighter topics such as restaurant openings, which will always be the #1 topic of conversation in Silver Spring, save for the occasional brawl on Ellsworth.

- Can anyone confirm if Pacci's Brick Oven Pizza on Georgia Avenue is now officially open for business? The opening was originally scheduled for the 15th, but like all restaurant openings it got pushed back a bit. The last I heard it was slated to open on the 22nd. I'd like to get my Neapolitan pizza on this weekend, if possible.

- In other down-Georgia-Avenue restaurant news, SoCo Eats recently posted an update on the restaurant/bar eventually opening up in the old Silver Spring fire station. The restaurant will appropriately be named named Fire Station 1. Despite expectations (plans?) to the contrary, it turns out the restaurant isn't officially associated with the Hook & Ladder Brewing Company, which is based in Silver Spring.

Commenters on the SCE blog worry that plans to make the restaurant "kid-friendly" equate to emasculating what was anticipated to be a brewpub for grown-ups, something that could help fill the general deficiency in nightlife options in Silver Spring. (Though Jackie's new Sidebar could help assuage this situation, as well.) I agree that we don't need an Uncle Moe's Family Feedbag downtown, though I'll reserve judgment until it actually opens. At that point I will judge the hell out of it.

In the meantime, what I would like to know from FS1 is the following:

A. What will their total capacity be?
B. Will they be amenable to hosting the 2010 Zombie Walk pre-party this fall?

- Speaking of Silver Spring nightlife, the Gallery Nightclub in South Silver Spring was recently evicted. Can't say I ever went, but I do appreciate their interior design. Is anyone selling the furniture off? I could very much use two of those stools.

- The second Fenton Street Market of the year will be held tomorrow at the Corner of Fenton St. and Silver Spring Avenue. I missed last week's, so I'm interested to check it out tomorrow and see if it has evolved from one I made it to last fall.



17 comments:

squirrelist said...

I just walked by Pacci's today and they aren't open yet. It looks close though. There are stacks of dishes lying around, but the blue painter's tape has yet to be removed.

Anonymous said...

I went by the Fenton street market today and it was pretty slim pickings. It semed only about 60% full compared to last year...maybe the potential for rain kept away venors and customers.

Steve said...

This is a re-posting of a comment I made a couple of weeks ago re the new Fire Station #1; however I think it got buried at the end of a stale post. Apologies to those who've already seen it.

It's interesting to read the negative comments readers have posted over at SoCo Eats regarding the new Fire Station #1. It seems that all the good will built up over the years of waiting for the place to open has been dashed by a few (as yet untested) things:
1. The Menu. It certainly looks way too busy, and as others have pointed out, way too similar to many "casual dining" establishments (e.g. Applebees, TGIF, etc). There really doesn't seem to be a focus or a light touch to it at all. While I don't think anyone was expecting the Inn at Little Washington, I think there was hope for a more sophisticated approach to pairing beers with food.
2. The child friendly environment. This one is more problematic as it really depends on how they try to achieve this. While I wouldn't exactly say that a brew-pub can't be child friendly, I would argue that it is very challenging to create an environment that appeals to children and adults alike.
3. The lack of a Hook & Ladder imprint. Sure, they're going to be offering H&L at the bar, but I think we were sold on the idea that the place was actually going to be a H&L owned establishment. And although this isn't a deal breaker, I think some people sense a bit of a bait and switch going on.
Ultimately of course we should withhold judgment until the place has opened and they've found their legs, however right now they're only just behind Tiger Woods in terms of needing an image makeover.

Anonymous said...

Zombie walk = dorks. Can we get some real culture in SS please?

Anonymous said...

Spoke with the owner of Pacci and it will be open starting Friday 4/30.

Springvale Roader said...

If Firestation 1 has a moosehead with sunglasses, then we're screwed.

Regardless, I think they would leap at the chance to welcome the zombies. That's a ton of business and good pubicity and, in my humble opinion, would be supportive of the finest cultural event in the universe, ever.

Anonymous said...

Re: kid friendly. Just because a restaurant is kid friendly doesn't mean it has to be dominated by kids. As a parent who is frustrated at the lack of any half-decent non-fast food places in Silver Spring to take my son, I would welcome somewhere similar to Franklins in Hyattsville (but hopefully with better food). Oh, and Franklins brews its own beers and has a second floor that is more like a regular bar, which should please the anti-kid beer snobs.

Hugo said...

Re: kid friendly. Just because a restaurant is kid friendly doesn't mean it has to be dominated by kids. As a parent who is frustrated at the lack of any half-decent non-fast food places in Silver Spring to take my son, I would welcome somewhere similar to Franklins in Hyattsville (but hopefully with better food). Oh, and Franklins brews its own beers and has a second floor that is more like a regular bar, which should please the anti-kid beer snobs.

I strongly agree with sentence one, but there are lots of great places in Silver Spring to take kids. While quiet and not a traditional "kids place", Ghar-E-Kabab is incredibly sweet to little ones (they brought our 3-year old a complimentary mango lassi) and offers a great kids Thali plate for like 5 bucks. Our daughter absolutely loved it, so much that she asked to have them cater her 3rd birthday party. Da Marco brings in lots of kids for Pizza Tuesday and offers 1/2 price beer and wine for the parents. And the folks at the newer Thai place on Colesville (across from the AFI Theatre and up a bit) were very friendly as well, and the food is great and is very affordable. I'm sure there are others.

The menu at Firehouse 1 is pretty discouraging, but I'm sure we'll check it out at some point. Pacci's on the other hand, could be a gem.

Springvale Roader said...

Piratz Tavern is great for kids and adults. The food is average, with some standouts like the potatoes, and the people their are more than eager to please. I love the place, kids and all.

Melanie said...

Those Silver Spring kids will be the hipsters of the futures so cool your jets on the anti-kids stuff. Plus, kids are allowed anywhere, it's the parents that can't control them that ought to be banned. I'll take a Bennigan's, just give me life in Fenton Village.

Steve said...

Wow, did this thread get hijacked. I don't think anyone mentioned anything anti-kid, all that was stated was that getting the right balance between kid friendly and adult friendly environments can be tricky. I don't think anyone would disagree with that. As a former kid and current adult I think I can with some authority argue that fun places for kids don't always equate with fun places for adults and visa versa. Those of us who have waited for a nice pub just don't want to see the new Fire House become a Chuck E.Cheese with a liquor license.

Anonymous said...

Chuck e cheese serves beer. Also, current hipsters are awful so thanks for making me hate children even more!

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