Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Silver Spring Finally Scores a Sports Bar

Ask and ye shall receive. Eventually.

After my droning on for years about Silver Spring not having a proper sports bar, it looks like this gaping hole in Silver Spring's dining and entertainment landscape will soon be plugged. Seemingly out of nowhere, work is underway in South Silver Spring at the future home of a new establishment named "Babe's Sports Bar & Grill". As I had suggested, this new sports bar is being set up in the space formerly occupied by the Gallery Restaurant and Lounge at 1115 East West Highway.

 Photo via South Silver Spring Neighborhood Assn's Twitter Feed.

So what's the 411 on this Babe's joint? I wish I had more details to share, but for the present all I know is what is written on the liquor license notice pictured above. Through the magic of The Google, I have (unsurprisingly) come across a few other "Babe's Sports Bars" here or there, but they don't appear to be part of a chain of any kind.

If anyone has the scoop on our new neighbor, please do share.

UPDATE: The word on the street is that Babe's will be opening the week after Thanksgiving and will feature a dining area upstairs and a bar with pool tables on the lower level.

UPDATE #2:  As speculated in the comments section, this does indeed appear to be a reincarnation of sorts of Babe's Billiards, which was located on Wisconsin Avenue in Tenleytown for a number of years before closing. Once Babe's closed, condos were planned for that space, but that never quite worked out. I went to Babe's once or twice, but that was a loooong time ago.

 The former site of Babe's Billiards in Tenleytown


Anonymous said...

Thank the heavens!

Pablo said...


Thayer Avenue said...

The owners of the Great Kids Village (who provided some of the intel for this via Facebook) should be more than pleased about this, too. But I wonder what kind of parking issues they've had. I certainly don't mind paying for parking - unlike most of the unrealistic cheap skates in the area - but for those who aren't walking, that might be an issue. For me, that's just close enough to not drive and just far enough that walking is a pain in the ass. Gettin' my drink on will determine the proper course of transportation.

Patrick Thornton said...

Silver Spring needs more parallel parking, which greatly alleviates this issue. East-West should have parallel parking the entire way, along with Georgia. For people refusing to even pay meter parking during the day, well there is nothing really good to say to those people.

Free parking is the bane of good urbanism. You'll never find free parking in desirable areas. In fact, parking in general is scarace in desirable areas. Parking is a very poor return on investment in areas with desirable real estate.

I wish a little further north on East-West, towards the metro, there was more retail, but the lack of parallel parking may hurt the ability of businesses to thrive. In general, Silver Spring would be a much more walkable and friendly place if there was less surface parking and garages and more parallel parking.

Since I'm in the East-West area, I'll be checking this place out. It's good to see South Silver Spring get some more places to go, but I still usually walk up to DTSS.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, you cannot park your fine, fine automobile directly adjacent to the bar. But! E/W has metered parallel parking along that stretch wherever the road is wide enough to support it. If that is insufficient, the garage under 1315 and 1305 E/W will be more than happy to hold your car after business hours, as well as the garage behind the Veridian and the garage/lot/metered parking on nearby Kennett and Newell Streets. Plenty of parking, folks.

Patrick Thornton said...

East-West is certainly wide enough to support parallel parking the entire way. It's a simple as removing a lane of traffic or two. East-West and Georgia would both be much nicer to walk along (and would support much more robust retail and dining) if the sidewalks were widened (at least on the western side of East-Wide) and parallel parking installed. Also, put in bike planes. All of these techniques would calm traffic, disperse parking and make it much more pleasurable to walk around Silver Spring.

It's incredible how fast people drive down those roads at times and how high a percentage of the people driving on those roads are doing so alone. Clearly, there is excess capacity for an urban area. All those lanes of traffic are doing is making it less safe for pedestrians and less likely that people will want to frequent businesses around here.

While I am at it, Silver Spring has too many parking garages. The issue isn't about a set amount of parking spaces, but how and where they are placed. Parallel parking ensures that parking is fairly evenly distributed (and also serves as a great traffic calming device). Large parking garages put an overabundance of parking in some areas, while under serving others.

I don't own a car, but I do know that our current parking situation in Silver Spring makes no sense, and there is too much car traffic.

Anonymous said...

If only you could have suggested a better location, Sligo! I'm going to hate walking all the way down there from DTSS. But hopefully it means low rent/low price of beer?

Sligo said...

Yeah, the location isn't optimal, but it's big and already existent. Not sure where else one would go unless something of comparable size closed down.

Anonymous said...

This is great news, I live literally 3 min walk away. And don't be scared of walking down that way on East West, with Pacci's FS1 and Jackies in that area, this addition is really fantastic. I've never had a problem or felt nervous walking on that strip. So happy that this is happening, been long overdue.

Thayer Avenue said...

I thought we already had a great, accessible sports bar in Galaxy. Plus, it's in the venerable City Place that everyone loves. Why doesn't everybody go there for sports watching?

Anonymous said...

RE Parking:

First of all I agree with Patrick that everyone should really just walk to most places in downtown Silver Spring, no need to drive. However if you do live too far away for that to make sense but are still in the area, there are 2 parking garages on East West Hwy within a 5-7 min walk of where this bar will be that are FREE after 7pm weekdays and all day weekends. If you can't manage to make that walk, then honestly just stay home. There isn't great parking by Pacci's and they're doing great. This location is also less than 10 min walk from the metro, so really no excuses.

I for one really like that it's away from Ellsworth and down farther on Georgia. Good news for Silver Spring.

Easley Does It said...

How big is that space? I was never inside Gallery, but it doesn't look very big from the street.

Anonymous said...

ugh. who needs a sports bar in the world? Would have been much better to get something like "busboys and poets" in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I was thinking that the old Ruby Tuesdays spot at Fenton & Colesville would be a good place for a new bar - especially with the Fillmore coming, but I never went to the RT while it was it big enough? I'd assume yes, but maybe not. The location definitely is better than this South SS spot.

Sligo said...

I'd like one of those, too. Got to have balance.

Anonymous said...

"The location definitely is better than this South SS spot."

Are you all serious? This "South SS spot" is like a 10 min walk from Ellsworth. Pacci's and FS1 are away from that area and are doing very well. You're acting like this location is miles and miles away when it's .7- there are also several new condos and apartment buildings in the immediate area, so I think it will do well. I'm just tired of the constant complaining on this blog. Silver Spring is getting a new sports bar! Be happy.

Anonymous said...

People are happy.

People don't like walking 10 minutes from DTSS.

If the beers are cheap I'll make the trek. If not, then of course I won't.

Patrick Thornton said...

With so many people living in South Silver Spring, this makes sense. I recently moved there, and my wife remarks how she is happy that we aren't living right around Ellsworth. I like DTSS, but it can be teeming with teenagers and tweens just loitering around, looking to cause trouble or just be immature. South Silver Spring and the East-West corridor are much calmer and more adult. There are times where I like what DTSS has to offer and other times where I want to hang out in South Silver Spring with a different crowd and pace.

In the end, Silver Spring is better off if all of the business and retail aren't in one area. Having a thriving community of restaurants, cafes and businesses in South Silver Spring is good for the area. It allows people to choose different scenes. Fenton Village has a lot of potential and could eventually be another big destination. If DTSS, Fenton Village and South Silver Spring were all doing well in their own unique ways that would be a win-win for everyone.

South Silver Spring is very close to the metro and you can easily walk between DTSS and South Silver Spring. I do it all the time. I shop at Whole Foods, not the Giant on East-West. A little walking never hurt anybody.

There are still a lot of suburban attitudes about walking in Silver Spring. A 10 minute walk is not far. In many parts of Arlington or the District that would be nothing. For people out in MocCo that might mean driving or not going out to try something new. MoCo would be far better off if more people walked and less people drove.

Anonymous said...


Is this the reincarnation of the Babe's Billiards and Bar from the Tenleytown neighborhood in DC? Primarily a pool hall but there were plenty of TVs for sports viewing. That particular Babe's joint closed down in 2005 to make way for a condo project that was never built.

I used to play pool and drink a few beers back in the day at the ol' Babe's Billiards. Hung out with a lot of the American University kids and Tenleytown locals. Great place, good memories.

I just wonder if it is the same owner and he decided to get back into the bar biz.


Anonymous said...

I agree with everything you said, Patrick, but I do find it kinda odd that a sports bar would open in SoSS when, like you said, it's a more mature crowd. I feel like this is exactly the type of place that would be better served if closer to DTSS (I don't mean elsworth per se). An awesome wine bar would be great in this spot. But I'm happy about any new bar, especially sports-centric, entering the scene.

Anonymous said...

I hope the patrons of Babe's are better behaved than the people who would party at the Gallery on the weekends. Those idiots made weekend nights hell for the residents of 8045 Newell and Easter Village with their antics in the Kennett Street garage. I would not be surprised to see residents from both buildings protesting the liqour license at the November 4 th hearing.

Anonymous said...

Gallery was a problem because it was a club. This is going to be a sports bar - very different clientele. And while I understand the frustration of those residents who had to deal with the aftermath of Gallery, if you want to live in a quiet place, then move out of an urban area and into the deep suburbs or the country.

Anonymous said...

Babes? Do the people in Shepherd Park know that they are going to have babes in their backyard again?

Pablo said...

Thayer: Galaxy Stinx. If you enjoy wading thru drug dealers to get in, go for it. POOR TV sound quality unless you sit around two old, outdated, dull resolutioned large
screens/projectors. One screen is captioned because the sound is so bad. Plenty of other televisions through the place, but they're small, plus the place is buried below the mall in a dark cave. The service is trashy, the specials are ALWAYS out, the pool is expensive.
Bar food: Eh...

Anonymous said...

Gallery was supposed to be a restaurant not a night club. I could buy into the argument that the clientele at Babe's will be different from a night club but it is absolutely ridiculous to suggest that the noise that the patrons of Gallery made was just "urban" noise. There was a very real noise problem above and beyond what any city dweller should expect. If this is the attitude people who will go to Babe's have it is obvious they will have no respect for others. It is better to try to protest the liquor license now. Waiting until after the problem starts is not a solution.

Anonymous said...


Regarding Galaxy...the only current sports bar & billiards joint in SS...I have to say that Galaxy Billiards is a dump X 2.

If I need to watch a sports game on TV with a buddy, I go to Fire Station 1. If I need to play some eight-ball, I can find any dive bar between Maryland and Virginia with a solitary pool table.

Galaxy attracts thugs--pure and simple. You don't see families in that place. You don't even see young couples hang out there much. I usually see tough-looking dudes having smokes outside and pounding down serious booze inside. The scary scene cuts across racial and ethnic lines because thuggery comes in all skin colors. Lots of angry and drunk military vets from Afghanistan and Iraq add to a volatile environment. The military vets have been known to harass female patrons and staff in bars along the Ellsworth corridor.

I welcome an alternative sports bar and billiards location in Silver Spring as long as

A.) The street thugs stay away.
B.) The PTSD and alcoholic military vets steer clear of the place. Walter Reed Army hospital can't close soon enough in my opinion.
C.) The Yuppie ratio doesn't make the place boring and soulless. I won't be a happy person if there is a wine list and a low-carb option for appetizers. It's about beer by the pitcher, fatty foods and shooting some stick. And I better not see dudes in suits and chicks in Ann Taylor outfits. You can't Yuppify a billiards hall.


Thayer Avenue said...

No one picked up on the sarcasm in my praise of Galaxy? " the venerable City Place that everyone loves..."? I expected more from you people. Slackers.

Patrick Thornton said...

You can go all over the world to different urban places, and I doubt many urbanites would say that drunken partying in a parking garage is their idea of what urban living is all about. Hanging out in a parking lot is what I did growing up in the middle of nowhere. I moved to Silver Spring to actually hang out with real people in real places, not in a parking garage at 3 am, while setting off car alarms and urinating on people's property.

A real sports bar would be fine for the area, and I will certainly check this place out once it opens. If it's good and attracts a courteous clientele, I'll be there often. If not, I will never go back.

The kinds of people who frequent sports bars and night clubs are completely different. I go to sports bars to hang out with friends and watch sports, not be a drunken moron. Night clubs can work, but they have to be in the right area and they have to be carefully monitored. A benign night club is where people go to socialize and dance; a bad one is where thugs go to hang out and cause trouble.

I live in the area, and I have no reason to protest the liquor license. A quality sports bar would be good for the area. The issue is making sure that actually happens and that the county listens to our needs. We want restaurants, cafes, shops and bars. We don't want thugs.

Patrick Thornton said...


I picked up on it, and I appreciated it greatly, if not quietly.

Anonymous said...

"If this is the attitude people who will go to Babe's have it is obvious they will have no respect for others. It is better to try to protest the liquor license now. Waiting until after the problem starts is not a solution."

Are you unable to comprehend the fact that this will be a different business? A club goes to all ours, hence the drunk morons causing problems at 3 and 4 am. Sports bars don't go that late, and attract a different kind of people who go there for a different purpose other than humping girls. So before having a knee jerk reaction and opposing a new business that is badly needed for Silver Spring's growth, calm down and see how it goes.

Anonymous said...

"Are you unable to comprehend the fact that this will be a different business?"

No, as a matter of fact I even stated that I could appreciate the argument that it would a different type of place.

If the OP would have stopped there it would have been fine. What gets me is when the person tries to write off the problem and suggest I move if I don't like it. That tells me the person (who sounds like they welcome the addition to the neighborhood) does not respect other people. Why would I be in favor of a place that attracts that type of person?

I had actually orginally hoped the place would thrive and becomes a nice neighborhood hangout. I was just pointing out that I wouldn't be surprised if people in those two buildings protested. I don't believe I ever said I was
protesting. Then some idot comes along and tries to tell me that the problem was mine not the club patrons. I don't buy it and if that is the attitude patrons have THEY can go someplace else.

Anonymous said...

"It is better to try to protest the liquor license now. Waiting until after the problem starts is not a solution."

Sounds like you are pretty determined to fight it from that comment at 10:28 am.

I definitely understand your concern, and no one should be told to move just because they have a concern about the area they live. But it is unfair to be raising hell when it's not a club, but a sports bar, trying to open there. If it were another club I'd not only agree with you but join in anyone's protest.

Anonymous said...

"Sounds like you are pretty determined to fight it from that comment at 10:28 am. "

Yes, my attitude had changed significantly between my first post and the one @ 10:28 after I was told to move because someone else was causing a problem.

It very well may turn out that this place isn't an issue. I hope it isn't. Unfortunately, As we found out with the Gallery, if issues do arise it is pretty hard to change things after the fact.

I'll take the word of respected members of my community that this place will be different and not an issue. I probably will not protest but I agree with Patrick that we do need to make sure the county is listening to us.

Pablo said...

No one picked up on the sarcasm in my praise of Galaxy? "...

Regretfully, I was too busy crafting my slam of Galaxy. Keep it up though. Now, I'm busy calling all my fellow alcoholic vets to attend the grand opening of Babes. See you there IHY.

Terry in Silver Spring said...

In response to IHY, there are Walter Reed guys (both patients and staff) in McGinity's all the time and they're perfectly behaved. I'm a middle aged woman whose tolerance for trashy behavior has gotten pretty low over the years.

My only issue with the patients is that you will occasionally see a scar on a guy that will stun you. When that happens I end up having this running monologue in my head "don't stare! Trying not to stare by there's no where to look that that scar isn't there. Omg, that scar."

Anonymous said...

This new place is owned by the original designer and owner of Babes billiard (Wisconsin Ave., N.W. DC) and if you come, you might see some of the old faces that made Babes such a great place and new faces that hopefully will make this version better. As for parking, there are quite a lot of available spots in that area, so I would not worry too much about it. Opening date is not set yet, but it should be a couple of weeks after Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

Babes Sports Bar is NOW open and you really should try these burgers, OM freakin god they were sooooo good. I don't know what they put in them but they were the best thing I think I have ever eaten. I got to sample the ribs from the owner because they were supose to awesome and HOLY CRAP BATMAN. They were soooo great I am getting those next time. The burger was so huge I couldn't hardly eat the whole thing. Nice job guys.

Anonymous said...

Babes is now open. Check it out for yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Babes Sports Bar & Grill has finally opened its doors and it was worth the wait. I stopped by Babes last night to grab something to eat. I had the ribs with fries and side salad (love the Asian dressing!). The ribs were spiced just right and quite delicious; the meat falls off the bone and melts in your mouth. Nice place and good service as well. I will be going back. This place has the potential of becoming a popular hang out so check it out!

Anonymous said...

Wow a lot of these recent posts seem planted. I went to Babes last night, it was pretty good but as would be imagined this early in its opening it needs a lot of work in terms of working kinks out (warm beer, taps seem to not be up to the job yet).

However, I do think it has a lot of potential and I'm looking forward to going again to watch games. We tried some of the appetizers, they were pretty good. One thing is the music, they need to cut the nonsense with the club music being played. It's a (supposed to be I guess) a sports bar. No loud rap music required, and in fact most if any music really isn't needed. If music has to be played, keep it low so people can talk and watch the games. I hope they fix that soon, or else I won't be back very often (I live 3 min walk away).

Babes Sports Bar and Grill said...

Sorry if the juke box seemed a little loud, we try to meet the needs of all clients, foul and abnoxious music are not able to be played from the juke box. We are happy to turn the music down inorder for customers to enjoy the games, just ask. As a new business we appreciate all feed back and will continue to try to make everyone happy.

cknull said...

Babe's Reunion Friday January 7th..

Come hang with the old crew at the new Babe's!! Lets enjoy a fun night of food, friends and pool at the only place we've ever loved. The location may have changed but its still the same place we know and love!!! Perfect pre-celebration for the holiday party on Saturday..Come down and Show some Love!!!

SuzyQueue said...

Okay, I'm on for my once-a-year football thing - yes, the Super Bowl. Does Babe's have anything special going on for the game? said...

Thank you "Washington Post" for nominating Babes Sports Bar & Grill In Silver Spring for one of the TOP 10 Happy Hours in the DC Metro Area!!!

Robert F. Crocker said...

The comic, taking the joke one panel past where anyone else might into "pissing blood" territory, is why I love this blog. beer tap handles

jowdjbrown said...

Seemingly out of nowhere, work is underway in South Silver Spring at the future home of a new establishment named "Babe's Sports Bar & Grill". beer tap handles

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