Friday, May 06, 2011

Friday News 'N Notes

- It's official, or at least as official as the creation of a Facebook page makes it: Pacci's Trattoria & Pasticceria will be opening at the old General Store spot in Forest Glen. For those not aware, a pasticceria is a pastry shop. Incidentally, this is the second Italian word I have had to look up in as many days for the purposes of a blog post.

- Next weekend marks the first ever Taste the World in Fenton Village, scheduled for Sunday from 2 to 5 PM. Despite its fictitious name, this area is not or has never been the site of any village. However, as the name of the event implies, it is indeed home to a wide variety of ethnic restaurants, many of which will be participating.

More than 15 participating restaurants will offer appetizers or small tasting plates for $5 or less, in the restaurants. Among those participating are Jackie’s, Addis Ababa Ethiopian and Ghar-E-Kabob. Hosted by the Silver Spring Citizens’ Advisory Board and Downtown Silver Spring, the free event will feature musical entertainment and an outdoor market featuring local businesses. Taste the World passports that can be picked up at the parking lot on Fenton St. at Silver Spring and Thayer avenues will be stamped at each restaurant visited and turned in at the end of the day for a special drawing.
Kudos to Downtown Silver Spring for sponsoring an event promoting businesses located outside of its territory.

 - The Fenton Street Market returns tomorrow after its grand opening last weekend. Not that I have any particular use for it, but along with some other other random items I picked up a 1959 street map of Paris at last week's event. If you look closely enough, you might something at the market you didn't know you wanted. Also, crepes.

(When the crepe cart operator immediately recognizes you after a long winter layoff, you realize that perhaps you consumed too many crepes the previous summer.)

- The Handmade Mart returns on May 22nd. Here's a list of vendors for this year's event.

- DCMud provides the current status of the long-delayed Falkland Chase project. Despite early hope that this development would include a Harris Teeter, that particular deal has yet to be inked.

- Radio One is moving their headquarters from Lanham to downtown Silver Spring. It will be located directly across Wayne from the Discovery HQ.

- Godspeed, Mr. Chicken. After less than a year of operation the rotisserie chicken joint on Georgia has closed its doors. Can't say I ever ate there, but for what it's worth their reviews on Yelp! weren't terrible. It will soon be replaced by a Thai restaurant.


From 12-5 on Sunday, Veterans Plaza will host life-sized, radio-controlled mock-ups of characters from the Pixar Cars movies. According to the press release, "the cars are the largest radio-controlled models ever built".

Photo by Flickr user kmchavez08
While Cars was certainly one of the lesser Pixar films, I'm still somewhat geeked about this.


Anonymous said...

Oh Good. ANOTHER eatery around here. ANOTHER thai joint. I love that Silver Spring keeps opening the SAME crap over and over again.

No wonder the general population seems so fat and slothy.

God forbid they open up a REAL bar next to that monstrosity that is the Pirate Bar. You know a bar, bar? Think Bethesda folks or say anywhere else in DC, MD, or VA.

And for the record I liked Mr. Chicken but it wasn't as good as Sabroso...

Anonymous said...

I worked in the Radio One bldg in Lanham (but not for R1). Used to occasionally share the elevator with various hip hop and other personalities there for interviews and meetings. Bottom line: This move greatly increases the chance you'll run into Bizmarkie in DTSS.

Anonymous said...

I think the Taste the World in Fenton Village event is NEXT weekend.

Anonymous said...

Good luck to Pacci's!

It's my current favorite restaurant in Silver Spring now.

Hope they are keeping the downtown S.S. location open?

Anonymous said...

um Anon at 10:56, check out fire station one and babe's sports bar for new bars that have opened in silver spring. And please don't say that they are "too far to walk to." You will sound like a fat and slothy moron.

Anonymous said...

Of course Pacci's is keeping the DTSS location open. They are doing some reno work though, right? I walked by as they were bricking up the adjacent driveway. Adding more outdoor seating would be my guess.

There are a number of "real bar[s]" in silver spring (think Sidebar and QH, NOT bethesda). That said, we'll see if silver spring can sustain another thai place (which is hardly fatty compared to most cuisines, so way to have a 'tarded comment on multiple fronts, first guy).

Anonymous said...

It's nothing to do with fatty or whatever.

It's just that the social scene consists of Eating, eating, eating and more eating.

That's about it.

QH is nice but very low key. Side Bar is nice but even MORE low Key. Pirate Tavern is a joke. Babes is just full of strange customers and seems empty half the time. Perhaps the population of Silver Spring is incapable of having a nice upscale normal bar like one would find in almost ANY other city (urban or not):

Bethesda, Rockville, Columbia Heights, Reston, Herndon, Columbia MD, Ellicott City MD, Landover MD etc etc etc.

QH is a real bar yes. But that's honestly about it. No other place has any social scene or gets packed or you can go to to meet people. It's kind of sad really....

Anonymous said...

So we agree QH is awesome- glad you think that so I know you're not just crazy. Sidebar is quite upscale (do they sell drinks that cost less than 10-15 each?), as is Ray's. Ditto with Olazzos and 8407 for well done "upscale" drinks. I actually enjoy Copper Canyon's bar/bartenders as well, for something on a more nice casual scale and the same with FS1. I think you're mistaken to think the bar scene in Silver Spring is substandard, especially compared to the places you list which are replete with mostly generic bars. I'm sure most people living in those areas would kill for Sidebar, QH, Ray's, 8407, etc.

Anonymous said...

And I don't mean to deride other SS bars like Babe's and McGinty's - they serve their purpose well. I agree that Piratz basically sucks, except I like their patio and some of their apps.

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on, people.

Piratz Tavern *is* a joke - that's the whole point of the place.

It's actually a fun place to hang out, but you probably need to have been a high school D&D player to enjoy the vibe.

I enjoy the place in small doses, when I feel like geeking out again. I've found it's a fun place to bring a date you're just starting to know - it gives you a fun few hours of people-watching.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind that Piratz is a joke, I mind that the service sucks/annoys you and the beer selection blows.

hockeypunk said...

DAMMIT NOO! I liked Mr. Chicken. Worth the walk on lunch break from NOAA. I can't stand Crisp n Juicy. Anyone know if Sabroso's any good?

hockeypunk said...

oh, haha I should read the comments. I'll try Sabroso soon. Thai is ok I guess, but there are plenty of those down here

Anonymous said...

I went to Sabroso's once and was underwhelmed.

Their sides may be OK, but the chicken was just dry.

For my money, nothing beats Crisp & Juicy. Their fries are basted in crack, I think - they're so unbelievably good. And their chicken is, as the name implies, juicy and soooooo delicious. Yum.

Anonymous said...

So we agree QH is awesome- glad you think that so I know you're not just crazy. Sidebar is quite upscale (do they sell drinks that cost less than 10-15 each?), as is Ray's. Ditto with Olazzos and 8407 for well done "upscale" drinks. I actually enjoy Copper Canyon's bar/bartenders as well, for something on a more nice casual scale and the same with FS1. I think you're mistaken to think the bar scene in Silver Spring is substandard, especially compared to the places you list which are replete with mostly generic bars. I'm sure most people living in those areas would kill for Sidebar, QH, Ray's, 8407, etc.


Okay you tried to make some good points-Kudos on the effort but-

Every place you listed was a RESTAURANT other than Side Bar and QHT.

Copper Canyon? that's a restaurant with a bar. People come there to eat. lol@drinking there.

Ditto to Rays. really? You think Rays has a drinking atmosphere?

I love the martinis at Olazzos and the drinks at Sidebar. And the scotch at QHT. That's fine.

I love the drinks there. Cool.

The ATMOSPHERE Is what sucks. That's what my point was. The scene.

It's sad that you had to list a bunch of restaurants to point out that we have a good bar scene. And that's EXACTLY the problem.

Eat. eat. eat. eat. eatery. Dining. Dining. While Silver Spring does food very well it does meeting people, dancing, lounges, hip atmosphere, and fun outgoing people VERY BADLY.

That's my point.

Sidebar is awesome but always empty and dead. Same with Babe's which features a really crappy clientele and just feels cold and uncomfortable.

Of everything QHT is the only thing that feels and functions like a real fun hip social bar.

That's ONE. In the entire area.

Sligo said...

So what are the good bars in Bethesda? I only know of maybe one or two at most. That's just Montgomery County. They make it hard to have a proper bar due to their their laws regarding the percentage of sales that have to come from food. That's just the sad reality. When I lived in Bethesda, I still went to DC to go out on the weekends.

Anonymous said...

To continue my rant:

Any of those "generic places" in those other towns are full of hip fun people who like to go out and the scene seems like a normal bar.

Not a restaurant with families, not a pool hall with lowlife weirdos, not an "irish bar" that is empty every moment it's open, not an italian restaurant that happens to have a small bar, not a pirate tavern for geeks, etc. etc.

I think you guys know what I'm talking about. The scene is frankly dead in Silver Spring other than an odd night at Mcgintys (St Pattys day) or QHT. And I say this not just comparing to upscale urban areas like Bethesda, I mean compared to places like:

Laurel, Landover, Olney, Crofton etc. etc.

Name any podunk town and odds are the TGIFridays is more happening than a DTSS bar.

Sligo said...

Do you really want to go out in Landover over Silver Spring?

Anonymous said...

To anon that says Sabroso is dry.. when is the last time you've been there? Sabroso is actually featured in the current Washingtonian Magazine's May issue of "WHERE TO FIND GOOD FOOD" in the DC area and ranks as 2nd best in the DC area.. and my coworkers & I agree.

Anonymous said...

Huh? I don't think you understand what a bar is if you think dancing or being "hip" are prereqs. Agree to disagree, I guess, but the scene is far from dead considering I usually have to try a half dozen places on a friday night before finding somewhere not completely packed. That is just a fact. Oh, and of course Rays, et. al. are bars/restaurants - that's just the way bars are outside of a place like Dupont where they forgo food for the sake of being able to cram even more people into the space. Being crammed into a space with music being pumped into your ear and no food hardly are requirements for what make a "real bar," though.

Anonymous said...

I guess the problem most of us have with "Anonymous" is that he/she is looking for something in a bar that many people find obnoxious: Crowds (and maybe a dash of meat market).

As far as I'm concerned, you can keep your crowds. I like to be able to go out for a drink, actually find a seat, and not have to shout the whole time. And if that also means that there is a very low turnout of backward baseball caps and tribal tattoos, so much the better.

Anonymous said...

Sligo compare:

Mcgintys to Blackfinn.

For a simple example.

Compare the scene at:

Hanaro to any sushi place in Silver spring.

Just two examples. to the other poster that is bitching about crowds and dancing etc:

It's called variety. That's my point that you guys seem to miss. Yes, lots of people like hipster paradise bars where people low key talk to each other. And you know what? I like that sometimes too. It's call OPTIONS and VARIETY.

You guys are so excited that every "bar" here is basically a restaurant with 5 people in it staying to themselves that you don't account for what would take Silver Spring to the next level: a varied nightlife.

Do I think every bar should have dancing or tons of people or tribal tats(not that I like those things)? No. But I think it'd be nice not to have EVERY bar here be a ghost town most nights or just filled with drug dealing wierdos to the point that I can't even invite a lady along without trying to keep an eye on her.

Again: variety.

All we have are restuarants and a few hipster low key hang outs.

Anonymous said...

Also it's being "hip" isn't just one thing.

The scene is dead:

Face it an empty bar sucks.

A bar filled with old quiet miserable looking people sucks.

That's why McGintys and Babes are deserted most nights.

This area will never take off quite like other areas till that changes.

Anonymous said...


The Landover area near FedEx field with its generic bars always has more people and a better crowd than Silver Spring does.


Anonymous said...

(I'm a new anonymous).

To all you anonymice who keep blabbing on about how there is nothing to do here and the 'bars' suck: you have no freaking idea how much better DTSS is than it was 10 years ago. And it will take another ten years before SS truly has the kind of 'scene' as Bethesda or Arlington. In fact, it took those two areas 20 years and metro to become what they are today. Dynamic vibrant urban areas are not built overnight, but the progress SS has made and will continue to make is nothing short of astonishing. And there is so much more coming, especially with the Fillmore, the 2500 -3000 multi family units to be built over the next few years and (hopefully) The Purple Line. The kind of nightlife you naysayers want depends on population density and we are are very close to the tipping point. When the people are here and walking the streets, the bar owners, restauranteurs and other developers take notice. Instead of harping on Quarry House, Sidebar, McGinty's, Olazzo, etc, you should respect the risk-takers they were...when others shunned Silver Spring. I'd like to tell you to just be patient and you'll get the Silver Spring you want, but in 5-10 years you'll likely be married with a kid or two and will have turned into the boring people you currently seem to loathe.

boyd said...

After reading all these posts I feel so unhip right now. I think what anon 10:56 is looking for is a bar scene geared toward the young 20s crowd. I think DTSS bar scene is more apt for the late 20s, early 30s, crowd. I have no idea what he bar scene he is talking about in Bethesda.

I went to Mr. Chicken when it opened and it had a feel like it would close right after I left. Very bland. Taverna, the Greek place, and Nando all have better chicken. Haven't been to Sabraso.

Anonymous said...

I think the anon who's ripping DTSS bars just tried to say Blackfinn is better than McGinty' we know he's crazy. I agree - the bars in DTSS are for a 25+ crowd, not an 18-22 crowd, which is what makes DTSS awesome. Being taken over by bleach blonds or jocks is the only thing that could convince me to leave DTSS, so let's hope we never turn into that "Anywhere, USA" type town.

Springvale Roader said...

I'm standing up for Piratz, which is one of my favorite bars anywhere. The people who work there are pirate geeks, which is fine by me. They know pirate lore, they'll gather round your table and sing bawdy songs, and they love games, so if they see you playing cards or backgammon (both of which I do there), they might join you and teach you some very old dice or card games. In nice weather, nothing beats its patio, and where else you can go and hear pirate rap being played?

The place has no pretensions to hipness and is not a meat market. That's part of why I love it.

All that said, we need more bars in DTSS. Walking home down Hellsworth on Cinco de Mayo I felt like getting a tequila, but McGinty's was packed, and I avoid Austin Grill and Copper Canyon Grill. I just wanted a bar to pop into. A bar somewhere on that long stretch of Colesville Road north of Georgia would be most welcome.

Anonymous said...

Is someone seriously trying to say McGintys is better than Black Finn?

What drugs are you on and can I have them?

How can this be possible when Mcgintys is ALWAYS empty!. Even on weekends. And it's filled with 60 year olds on the weekends.

Note to crowd: Wanting a fun bar does not = 20s. It just means younger than 50. ANd not fat.

Anonymous said...

Although defending Piratz is probably insanity you are correct sir: we need more real bars.


Lol@our austin grill. Go compare it to the one in Rockville.

Face it folks the scene here is a joke. There's a reason Silver Spring is ridiculed from the outside.

Anonymous said...

Although defending Piratz is probably insanity you are correct sir: we need more real bars.


Lol@our austin grill. Go compare it to the one in Rockville.

Face it folks the scene here is a joke. There's a reason Silver Spring is ridiculed from the outside.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lot of angry nerds, geeks and hipsters hating on "jocks and beach blondes".

Seriously? Are you people still in middle school??

Anonymous said...

wtf, the same one loser keeps trashing DTSS and now he's pretending to be multiple people. The internet sure brings out some weirdos. Bet he's the same "DTSS retail fail" freak from before. Move to Rockville, loser.

Anonymous said...

even sligo admits to going to DC for a good time.

What does that tell you?

And yes *I* am the loser. Not the nerds crying about "jocks and blondes". Insecure much?

And obviously the logic follows: fun bars = 18-22 year old jocks. Got it.

Mortis Olaf said...

No, Silver Spring's bar scene really does suck. The one time I did try going bar-hopping in Silver Spring, almost all of the mentioned venues had already 10pm. In fact, I think only two places were open: Quarry house and 1804. QH was packed wall-to-wall, and 1804 was too upscale for our attire (according to my self-conscious friends). I actually don't know about Babes, it might have been open, but we didn't go that way. I hate Virginia, but we would have been fine if we went to Bethesda or DC. I really don't know why people aren't trying to capitalize on an obvious gap.

Anonymous said...

What's 1804? You mean 8407? I've been hitting bars in DTSS for 3-4 years now and I've never come across a place that closes at 10pm. Google's saying FS1 closes at 10pm on monday-thurs, so maybe that's what you're talking about? I'm not seeing anywhere else closing before midnight-2am, even in the middle of the week.

Anyways, I'd love some more bars in DTSS (and obviously the area will continue adding more and more), but it's crazy to say DTSS is a "retail fail" or "bar fail." It's not 18th street - which is a good thing in everyone's eyes, I assume. Otherwise you're living in the wrong place. I'm 24 - I'm interested in mixology and real beers at my bars, not watching college kids embarrass themselves and dealing with vomit up and down GA Ave. and Ellsworth. If you agree then you likely appreciate DTSS, if you don't then you're likely one of the people stumbling down 18th.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem with SS is that sometimes it seems like it was designed to appeal to teenagers, not adults. It's not a vibe that lends itself well to a great bar scene. I never go to McGintys because I don't want to have to deal with the idiots that frequent Ellsworth.

Anonymous said...

lol@the snobbery and people saying they are fans of "mixology".

So other than Sidebar where can the hipster snobs find mixology in Silver Spring?

Seriously, I'm just wondering...

Anonymous said...

It's snobbery to enjoy real drinks, as opposed to PBR and jaggerbombs? Yeah, sure. 8407, Olazzos, Sidebar, etc., "fail" moron.

Vagrarian said...

And the last time I checked, Montgomery County has laws that basically make "Bar Bars" illegal. Every bar has to be attached to a restaurant, which really puts a crimp in any sort of "bar scene." As for the bars always being empty...bullspit. I've been in the QH on nights when you can barely find your pockets to put your hands in them, and the same with Sidebar. The reason why Landover may seem to have a better "bar scene" is because in PG County you can get away with a regular Bar Bar, rather than a restaurant bar. The MoCo ordnances need to be overhauled.

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