Monday, February 13, 2012

Piratz Tavern to be "Rescued"

According to its Facebook page, Piratz Tavern has been selected to receive a makeover as part of the second season of Spike TV's Bar Rescue and should be closed for a week or two as it undergoes whatever transformation "bar expert" Jon Taffer has in store for it.


Can't say I've ever seen the show, but presumably the bars involved generally come out improved. Look for the episode to air sometime this summer.



126 comments:

ES said...

I'd rather see them on Tabatha Takes Over, personally...

Anonymous said...

YESSSSSSSSSSSSS. Piratz badly needs it. Here's hoping it ends up with a real beer selection, less cheesy wait staff, better food, etc. The outdoor seating and location are great - here's to them successfully tapping into that!

Thomas Hogan said...

I love that show, but despite living around the corner from that bar, I've never been. Maybe I should do a before and after?

Alex said...

Alas... I'd sort've hoped it was a misprint and by "Silver Spring" they meant Wheaton, and the bar to be rescued was Royal Mile.

As far as Piratz... What can they really do? I mean, I hate it, but that's because it's a theme bar based around pirates. Other than changing the theme of the bar completely, how can they possibly rescue it? Better beer and food? Sure...but it's still a frickin' pirate bar!!

Simon Burke said...

Last couple of times we were there we had some shocking service. THey offered my wife a free drink on her birthday and then charged her 12 dollars for it :) On Zombie night you couldnt get served and the waiter tells us they all hate working that night while he was fishing for a tip. I dont mind the decor or cheese, but the food and service is abysmal. We've effectively stopped going.

Anonymous said...

The pirate-theme ruins that space. I suppose they could transform theme into Pie-Ratz. It would be more so much more fun with dog-sized city rats running over your feet with pies strapped to their backs.

Or, here's a novel idea: they could just make it a regular bar with good beer and kick the ren-fair wannabes to the curb.

Patrick Thornton said...

This is great news. Piratz has a great location and building. With the area getting a lot more residents, we need more good bars.

I've only been there once, and it took too long for us to get seated so we left. That and it seemed like no on really cared that we were there.

The question is, does the theme have to go/be toned down? My guess is that if it were a really good bar that happened to have a pirate theme people would come. But an average/below average place with a theme is probably not very attractive.

Anonymous said...

I have seen a few episodes of that show and from what I have seen of it, I am guessing they will have no problem telling the owners to ditch the pirates theme entirely.

Here's hoping.

Fencerchica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fencerchica said...

I agree Piratz has things it needs to work on, such as continuing to improve the menu (kudos to them for working on it lately!), adding drafts, and keeping a better eye out for newcomers waiting at the front host's station. However, I personally am a huge fan of the pirate thing and really admire them for picking a fun theme and doing it to the hilt. I would be honestly very sad to see them turned into a bland shadow of their former rollicking selves, and I hope if Bar Rescue pushes for that, the ownership will refuse to give up the ship.

Isayaah Parker said...

If they could somehow turn the place into an actual ship on the inside so it feels like you are on the ocean, then it would be cool. As of now, it just feels like your being waited on by depressed college drop outs, dressed up in costumes with a lot of regrets in life, regrets that no doubt include their employment there. I would love to be a customer while they are filming. I want my 5 minutes of fame.

Springvale Roader said...

I love Piratz, and I love their wait staff. I understand the criticisms, but it's a genuinely friendly place where anyone can fly their freak flag. I've hung out for hours their playing board games with a friend, and the wait staff would often join in, since they love games. They've even taught me a very old dice game.

It's also a great place to bring a friend or a child for a birthday, since the staff will happily sing old and often raunchey sea chanteys for you if you ask them.

Besides, how many other local bars serve flaming drinks? (The dreaded "Cannonball")? And, where else can you hear pirate rap?

I'm looking forward to seeing the new place.

ForestGlen said...

They need to get rid of the theme and all the staff that work there. Went there once and never came back. The bar tender obviously wanted us to leave so he could close up shop.

Anonymous said...

I count at least three people on here who are probably the hipster troll or the NOVA troll. STOP hating on Piratz!!!

It's places like this that make Silver Spring so great!

Anonymous said...

Uh, I think most people want Piratz to change(hence the rescue). I don't think most people appreciate the guy who runs around trolling for no reason, whining about hipsters and vegans and fat people.

I, too, hope the pirate theme just gets dumped. I understand that it appeals to some people, but obviously it's not enough to keep it financially viable.

Anonymous said...

Ah, this explains the trailer setup on the street in front of the dialysis place.

Anonymous said...

I agree. But I think the NOVA troll is more than one person!!! And I think he's starting a smear campaign again Piratz!

Piratz is a great Silver Spring bar! It's a lot of fun and I'd hate to see it close down so some bland Bethesda or Reston type bar opens up.

Patrick Thornton said...

There is no guarantee that Piratz will lose its theme, but clearly the bar isn't doing well. It has to be in bad enough shape that this show would take it on. I've only been there once, and couldn't get service. I wouldn't go back unless this place got help. There are issues far beyond the theme itself.

It's possible the issue has nothing to do with the theme itself but rather how it is run. It's also possible that the theme needs to updated. Maybe more of a pirate tavern feel but less campy and without people pretending to be pirates. Imagine if people talked like stereotypical Irish people at McGinty's. Or if everyone pretended to be firemen at Fire Station 1. You can have an interesting decor without being over the top and kitsch.

Or it's simply possible that the pirate theme may not appeal to enough people. My guess is that it's a combination of the place needing a management/service overhaul, a food and drink overhaul and at least an updating of the pirate theme.

I have no issue with restaurants that have themes, but I'd call Piratz tacky and inauthentic.

Anonymous said...

I have been to Piratz and enjoyed myself. However, the last time I went, my waiter got drunk during the course of his shift, failed to bring a round of drinks we ordered, charged me for the drinks we didn't get, and then, when I spoke to a manager after receiving my bill, the manager tried to argue with me about the drinks. Based upon that experience, I refused to go back.

Anonymous said...

I think Patrick hit the nail on the head. WAY too over the top. Just be a pirate theme without everyone acting like an asshole.

And yes, I'm the Retail Fail troll.

Anonymous said...

Now I can appreciate "international talk like a pirate day" for one day a year...but to frequent a place where they talk and dress like pirates everyday is not my thing. How that place has survived this long, in a recession, is beyond me. Are there that many pirates in Silver Spring? ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR

Anonymous said...

More from the retail fail troll:

One of my geeky friends was comparing it to Renn Fest. This place is completely 10000 percent over the top Renn Fest and anime nerds. That's fine.

But think about Renn fest. Even the most hardcore people and fans of Renn fest go what, twice or thrice a year? Normal regular folk go once a year or never.

The theme might really be the problem.

Retail fail troll OUT

Anonymous said...

I miss this commercial but would not miss a completely redesigned Piratz Tavern!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnuRLURYqVM

Sligo said...

Interestingly, the comment pictured in the post has since been removed from the Piratz Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the show just didn't want them advertising it? or the comments turned nasty?

With Piratz turning around (it can't get any worse) and Society opening up across the street, coupled with the 2nd phase of MoCo redoing Ga. Ave. (taking down the old light posts, replacing the cement pavers, replacing the trees, etc.) Ga. Ave. should have no problem continuing it's forward momentum. Just need to fill the old Taste of Jerusalem space and get rid of a few junkier facades.

Anonymous said...

I'm really enjoying reading the comments crying about the place on Facebook.

NOVA RULES

Anonymous said...

Of course the theme is going to go. Are you kidding me? The producers of that show probably felt like they hit the jackpot when they found a pirate-themed bar. We should have a contest to see if we can come up with worse themes for a bar than pirates. It would be a challenge.

Anonymous said...

If you want the restaurant to be "rescued" at all, then you'd probably do well to take down this article. Apparently blogs and articles about the rescue have come to the attention of the network, and they aren't happy.

Sligo said...

Why does Spike TV care? What's the big secret, anyway?

It's not like Piratz Tavern didn't post it on their Facebook page.

Anonymous said...

Uh oh insider network action! This blog is blowing up!

Christian said...

I deleted my post as well. It looks like Piratz Tavern deleted the post about it on their Facebook.

Patrick Thornton said...

I would hope the network would have a little thicker skin than to care if a few people were discussing the show on a blog. Discussions like this are going to raise interest in the show, not just the one about Piratz.

It would be crazy to take down this post because some people at Spike TV take themselves too seriously.

Anonymous said...

The last time I went to Piratz, we were the only customers at about 11:30pm. We decided to try their large "grog" mized drinks. At 11:40 he said they were closing because it was slow and he wanted to go home. At 11:50 he physically collected our drinks and said they were closed.

Grossly unprofessional. It's the closest I've come to being robbed in SS.

-Ken

Anonymous said...

Piratz should be put out of its misery. That horribly run fire station disaster should go down, too. Apparently, the owners think "If I have a theme, I'll succeed!" Well, how about having polite, professional staff who know it is rude to chat with fellow workers while paying customers are waiting to be seated or are trying to get service at the bar?

Service? What service? Be gone you pathetic excuses for bars.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree about FS1. The bartender there on the weekend is outwardly miserable to be there. I love the building and don't mind the inside, but the service is poor and the food is terrible. Such a shame.

Filmi Girl said...

I love going to Piratz Tavern but I can understand why a lot of people don't. The staff can be really rude and if you aren't in the "know," you are in for an unpleasant evening getting ignored and over-charged.

I tend to tip very well and go often enough to almost count for a regular, so obviously I hope they don't change too much.

Adding draft beer and ditching some of the more unpleasant staff members *cough* don't make me name names *cough* would go a long way towards solving their problems.

Patrick Thornton said...

We should start posting what we think will happen to the bar.

A few of my thoughts:
1) The name will change.
2) The drink and food menu will be completely overhauled.
3) The place will be much more of a tavern. More emphasis on alcohol and much better beer and drink selection.
4) The kids area will be gone.
5) The theme will be gone. It may have a pirate tavern interior (a more authentic one), but the whole dressing up as pirates and treating people poorly will no longer be around.

Springvale Roader said...

I've never been treated rudely by the staff at Piratz, and I'm not really a regular. I'm not disputing other peoples' stories of that, and it's certainly not tolerable, but I've never had a bad experience there. It's still one of my favorite hangouts in DTSS.

Anyway, last night we ate at Charm Thai, next door to Piratz, and unless it was "dress up like a film crew and bring your obviously professional-level equipment" night, then something was up. Lots of activity going on there. In fact, we asked two guys we met at the corner across the street on Georgia -- one holding a camera, the other a microphone -- if they were part of the film crew covering Piratz' rescue, and they denied knowing anything aboutany such thing, but not very convincingly.

Tara said...

I actually think that the pirate theme is the bar's best asset. We all like to complain that none of our DC/VA friends ever want to hang out in Silver Spring, but Piratz Tavern is the only place that we've successfully enticed our non-SS friends to come try. It's not your everyday generic pub -- and that's a good thing. I'm all in favor of the wword swallowers, belly dancers, theme nights, and kitschy drinks.

That's not to say that it's lacking in problems. First, as is often the problem identified in these kitchen-nightmares type shows, the ownership equates having a hobby (in this case, the pirate life) is good enough to run a successful business. We've been there on crazy busy nights where the owner/manager has just been sitting around with a drink rather than pitching in. Service is hit or miss, and when it's miss, it's abysmal.

Anonymous said...

The likes of Quarry House and Sidebar attract a wider swath of people. Piratz, quite obviously, can't even attract people who live a block away. Ditch everything about the bar (minus the fact there's a back patio) and start over. I'd love to see the new bar's logo/name in a mural on the blank side of the building too.

P.S. can't believe Spike would be pissed off that we're all talking about this. Before Patch and Sligo, no one had even heard of this show. Now many of us are planning on watching it. How on earth does that sound like a bad thing for Spike?

Patrick Thornton said...

I agree with anon. I watched my first episode of Bar Rescue because of Silver Spring Singular and Patch. I had never heard of it before now. Engaging people online and encouraging people to talk about what could happen to their local bar is a great way to get people interested in the show.

There is no such thing as too much free press.

Sligo said...

They should abandon the whole pirate thing and go with a ninja theme. How awesome would it be to have servers dressed as ninjas? The cutlery could include miniature ninja swords.

Anonymous said...

Ninjas, zombies, and pirates...wow pretty dorky

Alex said...

1. Sorry, the pirate theme really is lame. Really, trust me…it is. Do you ever go into a Long John Silvers and think, “Wow, this is hip! If only I could find a bar like this”? Gastropubs are in. Cocktail lounges are in. Dive bars that successfully balance between authentic and well-manicured (i.e., The Quarry House) are in. Bars focusing on deep selections of one type of liquor (or beer) are in. Bars that ask the question, “Hey, do you want to hang out in a place that looks like a cheap Disney theme ride and be waited on by dorky folks in pirate outfits” are NOT in.
2. I have had folks visit me from DC and NOVA who demanded we go by Piratz because it was such a ridiculous idea for a bar. I told them it was cringe-inducingly lame and cheesy. They assured me we would have fun. Each and every time, within a minute or two of being inside, they said they’d seen enough and wanted to leave. Each and every time, we never even wanted to actually sit down…it felt that lame being there. Again, places that look like an eight year-old boy’s dream bedroom are not going to fly with your typical adult bar goer. Yes, a few folks will love it and declare it cool…but it will be a very few number of people. And it will be so few your bar will go out of business.
3. The RenFest analogy is apt. Most folks I know go to RenFest once every few years…primarily to laugh at the RenFest die-hards who are seriously devoted to RenFest. You can’t build a successful bar on the idea that a few customers will come regularly and the rest of your base will come once (maybe twice a year) for the sole purpose of laughing at the employees and establishment.
4. Screw Spike TV if they really are ticked off about this. This discussion is organically generated buzz for one of their shows. This is exactly what you want if you’re trying to get people to watch your show. I have no interest in this program as a whole but even I will tune in for the Piratz episode.
5. If they do a Ninja theme, I hope the servers appear out of nowhere with your order and then vanish as quietly and quickly as they came. Oh, and maybe they could occasionally stage fights with pirates.

Alex said...

Also, a suggestion for FS1… Scrap the current menu, find a good pitmaster, and re-construct your establishment with the idea of being the best BBQ bar in the region. Seriously...right now there is no reason to go there. Mediocre and generic food in a mediocre and generic environment. If you had one thing you did better than anyone else in the area, then the dull interior design would be inconsequential. Hell, look at Kloby’s up on Rt. 29. Copy their strategy of excellent ‘cue and creative beer menu that offers around 35 interesting choices. If you focus on turning out world class BBQ it would even fit in with your name...get it...barbecue...Fire Station. Punny! Also…this only works if the BBQ is seriously good. NOT some stuff from an electric slow cooker with a bunch of KC Masterpiece sauce mixed in before it’s slopped on a bun. NO. Real wood...real smoke..rreal barbecue.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if FS1 did good bbq AND actually became a brewery like their name says they are. Man, talk about going from zero to hero. I'd practically live there.

Anonymous said...

Whats with the food at FS1? I'm convinced the positive yelp reviews are delusional or bought off....

Anonymous said...

I think that the Piratz location would make for a good German beer hall/restaurant. Big steins of beer (the 1 liter size), schnitzel, pretzels, sausages. And the patio would be great as well. If you have to have a theme, that is...

And I agree on FS1 as a bbq place. No reason to go there for the food or beer selection. Or even to watch a sporting event.

Patrick Thornton said...

An old firehouse was just remade into a bar in DC: http://dcmud.blogspot.com/2012/02/improvise-adapt-overcome-now-eat.html

Why isn't FS1 more like that? Instead FS1 feels like someone took an old firehouse, stuck a fire engine out front and asked someone at Ruby Tuesday's to do the interior. It' an old firehouse, it shouldn't feel like a low-brow chain restaurant for families.

Even if the interior were better and grittier, the food and drink menus would need updating. Silver Spring only has one really good beer place (QHT). We could use another. Whether or not FS1 ever gets around to stocking local micro brews on tap is one thing (as they originally said they would), but this place should be right there with QHT for a great beer selection.

I would love to see a bunch of Hook and Ladder and Flying Dog Beers on tap. That could make this place a destination for the entire DC region. Instead, we have a very generic beer menu fitting of a Ruby Tuesday's. The worst part is they often don't have the beers that their menu says they do.

As to the food, yes a BBQ joint would be good, but I don't know of the owners or chef's are capable of that. If they are, it could work well.

At the minimum, the food should be good. I don't care what the theme is, just make it good. The menu should be paired down and more focused. What is left should try to be much better.

Anonymous said...

I think Patrick has outed himself as the NOVA troll. It's so tiresome to hear the same arguments about why silver spring is not as good as DC or NOVA.

Give me a break. FS1 is another reason why DTSS has a great social scene!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Patrick that FS1 is not what it could be. I have eaten there maybe 7 times since it opened, and have not ever been much impressed with their food. If they had a great beer selection and ok bar food, I would go there despite the food. If it was a great place to watch a football game, I would still go there despite the food. The problem is that it has neither great food, a great beer selection nor any other amenities that would lead me to go there. If it specialized in barbeque, that would be a draw. But as it is, when I want a beer and a burger, I go to Quarry House. When I want pizza, I go to Pacci's. When I want barbeque, I drive to Urban BBQ. FS1 needs to do something to make me go there.

Anonymous said...

Shut it, anon troll. FS1 needs to go back to it's decent $3 beer/50 cent wings happy hour. Until then, there's no reason to even consider the place.

Fencerchica said...

Definitely agreed that FS1 is not getting their mileage out of their millieu. Commenters who called it a wannabe Ruby Tuesday took the words right out of my mouth. The funny thing is that their renovations might've looked better if they'd spent less, for example installing that regrettable curvy paneling over the bar, yuck. There's also somehing kind of indefinably off-putting about the paint scheme. I agree a grittier look (more like QHT) would be much more fitting and have way more personality. I do really like that they're gradually building up more of a collection of firefighter-themed memorabilia, though.

Anonymous said...

FS1...what a disappointment. Before we moved to SS, I found out that an old firehouse was being turned into restaurant/bar, I was very excited. I've been twice and have never thought about going back again..sad but true.

Anonymous said...

I agree about all the BBQ comments...and how FS1 seems to be the perfect fit. Black Hog BBQ in downtown Frederick is some of the best bbq I've ever had.

Anonymous said...

Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse NY would be a good model to follow. They even have a cookbook that FS1 could buy and use in their kitchen!

Alex said...

A bier garten would be an awesome idea. First off, the idea is hip right now (see Brooklyn and H Street for examples). Second, they have a prime (if somewhat small) outdoor space for it. There is currently no one in the area with a nice outdoor space offering a large selection of good German beers in big steins. They could also take cues from Biergarten Haus on H Street and work with a German themed menu, thus making it a unique dining destination. The key in doing a "theme" like that is to not go overboard. No liederhosen. No polka music. No scenes of the Alps painted on the inside.

Anonymous said...

I just dont understand why so many DTSS haters and trolls need to bash fine establishments like FS1 and Piratz tavern.

People come from all over to see Piratz and it's always a good time. And FS1 is a unique theme and so much fun to eat at. Have you tried thier pizza? Yum.

Must be a bunch of Bethesda and NOVA trolls sniping because they are jealous of the lively bars and restaurants we have here.

Anonymous said...

I agree wholeheartedly. I like Fire Stattion OK. My wife likes it more than me.

Last night for Valentine's Day we decided to go out to eat, something I hate doing on Valentine's Day because of the crowds. Our plan was to just go out by foot and see where we could be seated without a long wait. We ended up at Eggspectation; which was fantastic. They had a special where we got an appetizer, a meal for two and deserts for $40. We boxed a lot of it for tonight's dinner, too. We were very happy with the outcome.

Knock the places around here if you want. But, for me and my wife, we love love the option of choosing between Nando Peri, Adego, McGinty's, Eggspectation, 2 Greek places, Chinese, Tastee Diner, Fuddruckers, Baja Fresh, Popeyes, 8407, Fire Station, Babes, Camerons, Negril and Jackie's. All those places we've frequented in the past year. Yes, we're well aware some those of places aren't for everybody. Diversity is like that.

Personally, I'd rather have a rectal exam than eat Ethiopian again. To each his own. Yes, there are certain types of establishments that could make this downtown better. Just stop being so damn negative. Celebrate what we have; which is a lot of good stuff.

Anonymous said...

It's funny, Anonymous 10:24. I think one of the things that makes DTSS so great is all our Ethiopian restaurants and grocery stores. For those of us who love Ethiopian food, this is practically paradise.

Like you said, to each his own. And I agree with you that DTSS has an amazing variety of restaurants. We could always use more and different, but consider that you can walk to everything from Burmese to Ethiopian to Cuban to Chinese to Italian to Pizza to Indian to Lebanese to Thai...but you get the point. It's great here! And most of the prices are pretty damned good, especially compared to Bethesda.

We all are very, very fortunate to have so much in DTSS. It's good to remember that, even as we gripe about the other things we would like to have.

Anonymous said...

Agreed and well said.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I don't know why all these NOVA trolls just keep complaining about all our great options!

It's great to have so many restaurants that offer so many different options.

I always wanted to live somewhere where I could get 2 different kinds of greek and 4 different ethiopion places within one block of each other.

And I agree with the anon that listed the restuarants as a good time for nightlife. People don't realize what a good time you can have eating out. My wife and I eat out every night and it's great.

So lively and fun! It's always a good time around here. People need to stop being negative and get out there and see how much fun it is at night around here. Just go out and experience the fun of Austin Grill or Fire house 1.

And if you want fun you have Babes, Fire House 1, and Ollazo. Nevermind galaxy which is a great pool hall and quarry house tavern which is probably the best bar in the country.

Stop being so negative guys.

Anonymous said...

Relax Silver Spring die-hards...I live here too...not far from Jackies and FS1. I agree that Silver Spring has some nice casual dining options but that doesn't mean that I can't complain about what we have, i.e. how FS1 could be a whole lot better and how Jackie's food sucks and how Piratz Tavern is just plain weird. I love being able to walk to restaurants and spend money locally, it's just those three places haven't been getting any of my business and that's unfortunate.

Patrick Thornton said...

Look, there aren't any NOVA trolls on here. It's perfectly reasonable to think some restaurants are good and some need work. I'd love to see Piratz Tavern and FS1 be good places and succeed. I always welcome more options.

Posting under an anonymous name and then attacking nameless specters is the very height of Internet trolling. Same with using red herrings instead of legitimate points.

I stand by the fact that Piratz Tavern is not a good place. The fact that it is on a show that rescues bars seem to back that up. My guess is that Piratz as it is today is only months away from going out of business.

I've tried to like FS1 and have been there several times. It's disappointing. It wouldn't need that much to turn it around, but as it stands, there are too many good options in DTSS to justify going to FS1.

With places like Jackie's, Jackie's Sidebar, QHT, Tastee's Diner, Mirancho, Eggspectations, McGinty's, Adega, 8407, Ray's, Pacci's, Silver Spring Thai, Mama Lucia's, Olazzo, Copper Canyon Grill, Austin Grill, Lebanese Taverna, Crisp and Juicy, Oriental East, to name a few, there isn't a lot of room for places that just aren't that good.

Anonymous said...

I guess some of us DTSS fans assumed that Piratz Tavern was not doing great, and as a result of that it was taking part in a bar makeover show. Although I would not dispute that people come from all over the metropolitan area for a pirate bar experience, based on my own experiences there as well as reviews on google and yelp, it does appear to have some problems with the food and service. It's a great space and has one of the few enclosed patios in that part of town. If it's not making it as a pirate bar, I think its layout and location would make for a good German beer garden.

As to FS1, they did a great job transforming the building into a great looking restaurant. I would go there more if the food was better or if the beer selection were better, but acknowledge that is just my opinion.

I live within walking distance of DTSS and moved to the area partly because of the great variety of restaurants within walking distance. Just because I feel that some restaurants could do better does not make me a hater or a "troll." If some believe that FS1's pizza is great, that is also an opinion. One I disagree with but one which is just as valid as mine. Note that I am not calling those with opinions different from mine names. You are not a troll, and I do not believe you are a hater from NOVA or Bethesda. I simply believe that you have a different opinion.

Anonymous said...

I think the anon at 9:54 was being sarcastic

Patrick Thornton said...

Anon 10:49:00,

I agree that FS1 could just user a stronger food and beer menu. I don't think it would take much to turn that place around and make it really strong. But it needs a hook beyond just being an old firehouse, which was interesting the first time or two that I went there.

Anonymous said...

Silver spring needs a LOT of work.. The commentators pretending that crapholes like Firehouse 1 or Babes or Piratz are even worth spending 1 dollar at are delusional.

And did I just see Eggspectations and Tastee Diner as places to go?

And still see no bars on said list other than QHT worth even entering.

Patrick Thornton said...

It's clear that some of the anon posters are being sarcastic (and making us laugh) and others are being serious that we should be nicer to bad restaurants.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering where the one sycophant loser troll is who defends everything DTSS no matter how horrible it is and claims everyone is a "NOVA/Bethesda troll that calls everyone fat, hipsters, ugly or lame" has gone.

That guy was hilarious. Sad. but hilarious.

Patrick Thornton said...

If you like mixed drinks, like really good, high-end ones, Jackie's Sidebar is as good as it gets. They have some good beer there as well, but it's a great place to get a cocktail. Probably about once a month I go there and get some martinis.

If you're not into mixed drinks yet, I'd suggest you try it. They have a lot of mixed drinks that you've never heard of, and they are very good at making classic drinks. (note: if you're idea of a mixed drink is cranberry and vodka or whiskey and soda, don't go to Jackie's Sidebar).

I do agree that DTSS could use another beer bar to go with QHT. McGinty's should try to be that place. They need a much bigger and better thought out beer list. Perhaps the new Piratz will be it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a beer fan. I drank it in college and drink it now only when soemone challenges me to a chugging contest. I watch my weight and it makes me sleepy. Not a good time. I actually prefer light beer. So when I got to QHT I get the scotch.

I drink almost exclusively liquor so I do love the drink at Sidebar. I've just found the atmosphere completely lacking unless you bring a big party with you and I don't know any large groups of people in DTSS. I usually end up going out with only one or two other people when I'm around here.

For my money Ollazo has the best martinis in the area. They are quite good and the price on Tuesdays is great, even if they do close absurdly early and the atmosphere is not conducive to a martini night since it's mostly infirmed and elderly people. Still, I do enjoy Ollazo on occasion.

Sidebar has great drinks, just not a go to place for me yet for some reason. Maybe it's the price....

Anonymous said...

mcgintys suffers from being in an area full of families, little kids and roaming bands of thugs that end up at Galaxy next door.

In addition it suffers from attracting the kind of crowd that thinks Red lobster, Austin grill and Macaroni Grill are good places to eat.

Anonymous said...

I'm 10:24 anon. I can appreciate some people don't care for FS1. It's not in my top 10 choices, but I do go there from time to time and think it is, at least, acceptable. The fact is it gets a lot of business and that speaks for itself.

As to those complaining about places around here not having enough beer choices. Honestly, how many do you need? Is 10 different kinds of beer not enough to choice from? If I'm wanting a good beer and it has Sam Adams, Yeungling, Guiness, Hook & Ladder, or Sierra Nevada then I'm good to go.

Anonymous said...

Its not just the beer. Its the place. Sitting around and having beers in Silver Spring is depressing. And sad.

McGintys? Sad.
FS1? Sad.
Babes? Sad doesn't even cover it
Austin Grill? Sad
Eggspectations? What's sad is that so many people consider this a go to for a happy hour
Galaxy? Thugged out.
Copper Canyon? no.
Red Lobster? Who the hell drinks at a red lobster?

Patrick Thornton said...

Beer choice is about two things:

A) Trying new beer. Good beer places are always rotating in new beers and have seasonal brews. If you come throughout the year you can try all different kinds of beers. I like that QHT rotates in what is on tap. I'm always trying new things there. Church Key in DC is another great place to discover new beers.

B) People have different taste. So while you and I may like Sam Adams, Yuengling and the like, others have different taste. Some people like light American-style lagers, others like pale ales, others like Belgium wheats, others like a strong porter in the winter, etc.

I have old standby's like Guinness, Sam Adam's seasonal brew and Smithwicks that I can get just about anywhere, but I like to try new beers.

Also, places that are really into beer serve it properly. Different beers should be stored and served at different temperatures. They should also be served in different glasses. If a place only has 10 beers, and they are all very well known beers, chances are they don't store and serve their beer at the proper temperature.

jag said...

"I think the anon at 9:54 was being sarcastic"

Indeed. The jackass is now running around calling everyone else a troll every third post. He's a freaking psychopath.

"Church Key in DC is another great place to discover new beers."

Amen. I'd give my left arm for new Piratz or Society or something else down the line to match Church Key.

Anonymous said...

that would require Silver spring to have the same types of people as DC.

Anonymous said...

"that would require Silver spring to have the same types of people as DC."

No - that would require Silver Spring to have the same kind of LIQUOR LICENSE as DC... until MoCo changes bars like that will unfortunately never open up in Silver Spring.

Anonymous said...

That's for sure. MoCo's liquor laws are a regressive throwback. A county that suffers from a bad reputation as a place that hinders business should jettison these ridiculous and counter-productive laws already.

Sligo said...

I want to dedicate a post to the absurdity of MoCo liquor laws, though it will require some research. I've been trying to get through the legalese of the laws posted on their website.

Anonymous said...

why exactly is there not a massive online movement to overturn these stupid backward Christian laws? Unbelievable.

Sligo said...

It's not about religion, it's about $$$.

Anonymous said...

explain. most blue laws in this country are christian based. What are the basis of these laws?

Sligo said...

The county runs liquor distribution. They made $30 million in profit off it last year. Basically they are like prohibition-era gangsters.

Anonymous said...

There are 2 things going on with the liquor laws. The first being that all county goes through the county making it difficult for reataurants and stores to get good varities. Count makes good money off of it and it ends up costing us more.

The second part is the inability to buy liquor, at least beer and wine, at our grocery stores, or almost all of our grocery stores. This, I understand, is throughout Maryland, but I have my doubts about that. So, we have to go to these little mom and pop stores to get our beer and wine. This, to me, is the most annoying aspect of the liquor laws. And yes, this is somewhat religious based and, also, backward thinking. Some believe allowing beer and wine to be sold at stores is going to increase drinking and, also, result in more vagrants hanging around the stores. They are a vocal minority and none of our politicians have a pair to put an end to this nonsense.

Anonymous said...

It reallly is time to throw out all these elected scumbags that continue to support these backward ass bs Christian laws / extortion schemes.

Anonymous said...

http://dcist.com/2010/11/montgomery_county_to_allow_sunday_l.php

Anonymous said...

My favorite was a few years ago, when Whole Foods wanted to stock wine and beer, and a letter writer to the Gazette complained that bums would be hanging out in the parking lot drinking booze.

Ah, yes, Whole Foods is the number one choice of homeless alcoholics looking to score some cheap (organic) hooch.

Mortis Olaf said...

Maybe I can help you just a tad with the MoCo liquor laws.

Some of the ideas behnd the County control are admirable, like not wanting a liquor store at "every corner." However, this wouldn't be the case in MoCo anyway due to zoning. Go to Bmore, and you'll see what they're talking about. I love Bmore though, even with it's problems (they have firehouse restaurants there too btw). Restaurans either love or hate the system, but the liquor prices in MoCo are probably the best in the whole region due to their bulk buying. They have a massive warehouse on Crabbs Branch near Shady Grove station.

I do not understand why the County continues to make stupid decisions. It's as if they're testing us, or want to downsize their population on purpose. Something is not right. Out of any change I woudl like to see in the County, it would be many of the ridiculous laws imposed on restaurants in regards to alcohol. What difference does it make if a person gets smashed there, or at home. At home, they could hop into a car drunk without the bartender doing something about it.

The county/State also has some very lasse faire laws which clash with the iron fist. They open on Sundays, and it's prefectly legal to carry a bottle in the open (so as long as it's sealed still).

I think as someone who reps our community well, you should lead a campaign to try to get them to reform a little. Who else has what it takes?

Seawench said...

I would like to address the earlier comment about the rennie wannabees at Piratz Tavern and the staff full of regrets in costumes.
I am a pirate. It is a state of mind. I have over $5000.00 worth of garb (clothing) and authentic 17th/18th century weaponry. I get paid for what I do. Very nicely I might add. I am a professional. (Side note: I do not work at Piratz Tavern..I am self-employed).
The staff that works at Piratz Tavern also have to buy the clothes that they wear and they ain't cheap. They wear them every day so they can bring the illusion to the public as they serve them. They also get paid for what they do. That makes them professionals.
Having been a bartender for many years, yes there are nights that you regret being there...don't you ever have days when you regret being at work?
If you sit back and watch the show...and the whole place is a stage...you might even enjoy yourself.

Anonymous said...

In and around, there were a year ago.

jag said...

Patch is reporting that the new iteration of Piratz will open on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

I noticed Addis Abbis Ethiopian restaurant had a sign up about transferring their liquor license. Highland Cafe, which closed recently, has a sign up requesting a liquor license for something call Lesaac Cafe.

Just a guess, but I think Addis Abbis is moving across the street. I, also, wonder if they were involved in the closing of Highland.

Anonymous said...

IHATEYUPPIES SAID...

I seriously think the Montgomery County Council, the Liquor Control Board, the MC Police Department and the crusty old white NIMBY ass holes are collaborating to mold Silver Spring as "Pleasantville USA".

If you want a night of serious FUN, you still have to hike down to the District. This was the case when downtown Silver Spring was a spooky ghost town in 1990 and this is STILL the case in 2012.

Wanna know why QH is so crowded every night of the week? Because the place offers a great selection of beers, stiff drinks, and the cozy atmosphere is perfect for socializing.

I understand why the Montgomery County Overlords sitting in Rockville don't want Georgia Avenue to become the next Adams Morgan. Cops don't want to be busting up alcohol-fueled fights and arresting dudes for peeing in alley ways. This stuff costs taxpayer dollars when it comes to police overtime, jail incarceration, and court-related costs.

But the real reason why the County is so hell-bent against the relaxation of liquor restrictions for proprietors in Silver Spring: Fear of an invasion from minorities and college-aged kids. God forbid if we should have drunk black people or UMD frat dudes wreaking mayhem and panic in the streets of Silver Spring. A group of female Howard University grad students doing a bar crawl...Oh NO, NO, can't have that! Call the cops. Whoop...whoop.

Dudes, the NIMBYs living in and around the downtown neighborhoods are a powerful lobbying group and they have direct access to the County Council people and other people of power in MontCo. And because of this, Silver Spring will always, ALWAYS have 2nd rate restaurants and underwhelming bar establishments.

Seriously, if I am looking to open a new restaurant, I would stay FAR, FAR away from Silver Spring and look for property in The District. The liquor control laws are so much more flexible in DC and for some restauranteurs that makes all the difference.

-IHY-

Anonymous said...

I think IHATEYUPPIES and Isayaah Parker (could) get married and have a child, he/she would rise up and save the people from this madness! Do it boys, we need a savior from our horrid, desperate yuppie/hipster/troll/nimby existence.

Anonymous said...

I didn't know black people had monoplolized the drunken bar crowd.

I'm sure racism is well and alive, but this has to be the oddest attempt at linking our ridiculous liquor laws to racism.

Anonymous said...

I seriously think the Montgomery County Council, the Liquor Control Board, the MC Police Department and the crusty old white NIMBY ass holes are collaborating to mold Silver Spring as "Pleasantville USA".

Silver Spring will never be in color if I have anything to say about it, gosh darn it!

-- Crust old white NIMBY

Alex said...

A few points:

1. I don't know much about MoCo booze laws other than people seem to complain about them a lot. What I do know is that at least when it comes to our liquor stores, we have some of the cheapest booze in the region. As an avid scotch and bourbon drinker who's also been slowly building a home bar, I can tell you that it is far cheaper to buy liquor in MoCo than it is the District or NOVA. Many bottles I buy are typically $10-$12 more in DC. My GF and I are planning on moving to the District in early summer, but I'll no doubt continue to buy liquor in MoCo on my way home from work since it is a much better value than DC.

2. Maybe Sidebar isn't for everyone but I actually love the atmosphere. I like the fact that it feels both unpretentious and neighborhood-y and yet has a nice dose of hipster cool. That's not an easy line to straddle.

3. I've never had a bad meal at Jackies. Yeah, it may be a bit higher than I can afford on a regular basis, but it's a damn fine restaurant IMO.

4. One thing that needs to be acknowledged about the nightlife development of DTSS (including greater DTSS) is that we are talking about an area that includes a lot of families. While it would be awesome to be the next H Street, the truth is that the city's demographics do put a cap on the number of nightlife options we can maintain.

5. Best as I can tell, there are NO TROLLS in this thread. However, there always seems to be at least one person who sees any criticism of Silver Spring as tantamount to treason.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a liquor drinker. Beer is my pleasure. And beer is much cheaper in DC and Virginia.

Tina & Drew said...

LOL Springer. You want a Ninja bar you're going to have to go to New York or Japan: http://www.ninjaakasaka.com/top_main.html campy yet fun :)

Sligo said...

Holy crap, ninja bars actually exist??? Need to go ASAP.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
I think IHATEYUPPIES and Isayaah Parker (could) get married and have a child, he/she would rise up and save the people from this madness! Do it boys, we need a savior from our horrid, desperate yuppie/hipster/troll/nimby existence.


Oh look: its the defend DTSS no matter what troll.

Patrick Thornton said...

And the pirate theme is gone: http://silverspring.patch.com/articles/spike-tv-renovates-piratz-tavern#c

Hopefully the new place will be great and that the owner understands what people are looking for in a bar.

Anonymous said...

That's too bad about the pirate theme disappearing. I liked the pirate theme, I liked that fact that this bar was different, and I liked the odd assortment of people it attracted. I always had fun there.

What people want in a bar varies, of course. Good drinks, good food, and good service are universal, but beyond that, the sky's the limit.

I just hope that we don't end up with a corporate-approved monstrosity that seeks to satisfy everyone and is bland as a result.

RIP, Piratz. You'll be missed.

Patrick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patrick Thornton said...

The fact that Quarry House Tavern is across the street and thriving shows that people in this area will embrace something different. QHT is underground, almost impossible to find if you don't know about it and its decor is anything but fancy or corporate. But people love that place.

You can be unique and a great place that resonates with people. Piratz wasn't that. I hope the new Piratz is more like QHT (in its uniqueness) and not like places on Ellsworth. That's my only request.

Patrick Thornton said...

There is no reason that the new Piratz can't have pirate night or other theme nights. That seems reasonable.

But it's hard to sustain a pirate theme year round.

Anonymous said...

Annie L

12:34 pm on Friday, February 17, 2012


Piratz Tavern was more than a restaurant to a lot of people - it was a home for those with eclectic sensibilities. To have its soul ripped out is devastating, and Silver Spring needs another "white collar lunch spot" like it needs another ice cream place (there are three within a block of each other). A lot of people are grieving today.
-------------


The funniest comment on the internet goes to......

Anonymous said...

QHT is not different. Lots of dive bars tend to thrive if they are good.

How many Pirate super nerd roleplaying geek bars survive?

Anonymous said...

Piratz, you won't be missed by anyone in my family besides maybe my 3 year old...and he hasn't been going out very much lately.

Anonymous said...

Piratz tavern and it's regulars were so sad it was bordering on pathetic. Not sad to see it go.

Christian said...

Truthfully, I'll be sad if the pirate theme is totally gone.

Anonymous said...

"Christian said...
Truthfully, I'll be sad if the pirate theme is totally gone."

Truthfully, give it up...unless you live near the Horn of Africa, pirates are long gone...let's hope the same applies on Bonifant.

Christian said...

"Truthfully, give it up...unless you live near the Horn of Africa, pirates are long gone...let's hope the same applies on Bonifant."

Sure it has its shortcomings but I'm not sure why people have so much anger towards the place. It didn't seem to be harming anybody.

Anonymous said...

It IS harming the area, by using a prime piece of real estate as a nerd haven that NO ONE GOES TO.

This is exactly the kind of place that is holding DTSS from being any kind of destination that any normal well adjusted grown up would like to go to.

Anonymous said...

"It didn't seem to be harming anybody."


Or serving anybody either...hence the redo

Christian said...

I admire what they were doing by trying to offer something a little different. Besides some unpleasant staff members, the grog was great and the food was good just pricey.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly the kind of place that is holding DTSS from being any kind of destination that any normal well adjusted grown up would like to go to.

Piratz was a great place to go to avoid people with that kind of attitude.

Filmi Girl said...

I'm with Christian - I don't understand the anger people have toward the place. What's wrong with "weird"? It is possible to fix Piratz biggest problem - customer service - and second biggest problem - no draft beer - without letting the pirate theme or the uniqueness go.

Anonymous said...

Just drove past the late Piratz Tavern this am. I say "late" because all the pirate crap decorations both front and back are GONE!

Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with "weird". That's what your parents basements are for.

Easley Does It said...

Just did a drive-by of the Piratz re-opening. It's now--and this is not a joke--"Corporate Bar & Grill" and the logo is a guy in a suit. So pretty much as anti-pirate as they could get. There was a long line of hipsters waiting to get in. Meanwhile, there was a pack of angry pirates angrily stomping up Georgia toward...well, I don't know where. Where's a pirate supposed to go?

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Anonymous said...

Whats it like now i just saw the show it was really nice but the oowner wonted to play dress up