Monday, November 12, 2012

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- Home Properties has put the entire Falkland Chase complex up for sale. Surprising, considering all their efforts to get their plans to redevelop the north parcel approved.

- After being open for just two years, Fire Station 1 is getting a new owner and a makeover. I still have never stepped foot inside this place.

Thanks to Jerry McCoy for the photo.
 - According to a commenter, the Stage Burger will also be also be receiving a renovation that includes a new bar as well as an expanded menu.

- As you may have already read in the comment threads of previous posts, we're getting a Cricket Wireless store next to the County Liquor store on Colesville road. Meh, right? I guess it beats an empty storefront. (Barely.)

- This is the oldest house in Silver Spring, in case you were curious.

- MajesticWatch Update: Went to see the new Bond flick on Saturday night and ticket lines were out the door. Total employees manning the box office at the time: three - and one appeared to be a manager lending a hand. The Majestic must be one of the highest volume theaters in the chain, yet management always appears to skimp on staffing.

- From the archives of the Baltimore Sun, here's the downtown Silver Spring "Silver Triangle" retail and commercial project that never was. This would have been the intersection of Georgia and Colesville.





59 comments:

Vagrarian said...

I was at Fire Station 1 once; the food was OK but kinda generic. However, it is fascinating architecturally on the inside. Most folks I know who have been there have been unimpressed; they don't hate it, but aren't crazy about it, either. One exception is a co-worker who loved it, but she also adores Ruby Tuesday, TGI Friday's, Applebee's, and Red Lobster, and dislikes places like 8407 so one can see where she's coming from.

I think the bar/expansion for Stage has always been in the works, but now they're justified in doing it. Still a darn good burger, and a bar would be welcome.

Anonymous said...

From WaPo today: http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/capitalbusiness/2012/11/09/9dd74b44-283f-11e2-bab2-eda299503684_story.html

Report Here:
http://business.gwu.edu/Walkup.pdf

Silver Spring is defined as a "Copper" WalkUP community; per the report:

>>> No metropolitan
area in the country has witnessed substantial
market-based employment growth outside the
favored quarter. However, land and infrastructure
constraints in metro D.C.’s favored quarter have
led to this tentative expansion, which currently
includes WalkUPs such as NoMA, Capitol Waterfront,
New Carrollton, Wheaton and Silver Spring.
Metro D.C. growth outside the favored quarter is
the first market-based bridging of the notorious
west-east divide and is to be welcomed since it
brings services and jobs where they are needed
most. Still, it is important to recognize how unusual
and tentative this trend is. To continue, it must be
nurtured by infrastructure and zoning changes
rather than by levying onerous costs or fees on
future development. <<<

Anonymous said...

GREAT news about Fire Station 1! That place has so much obvious potential that has been left unfulfilled. A new renovation of the currently generic interior+a menu that's better than mediocre=win! Hopefully the happy hour gets better too - I used to go to the place regularly back when taps were $3, but have completely abandoned it since they revamped HH entirely like a year back.

Anonymous said...

It's a shame what happened to Fire Station 1.

The problem isnt them, the problem isnt there isnt the desireable type of foot traffic in that area. Sure, you get the occasional person going to Pacci's or Jackie's (which for the life of me i still can't understand why people like that place).

Maybe with the new housing development there, they will bring in a better type of clientel that can help places like FS1 flourish, as well as the rest of that area, but we will soon see.

Btw, speaking of that area, whats up with the 36th ethiopian place opening up near the World Building? JEEZ!! we can't seem to get rid of these places

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping Fire Station 1 keeps the lobster BLT. Scrap the rest, but that sandwich, complete with tarragon mayo, is delightful.

Anonymous said...

re Majestic lines...At the top of the esclators, directly to the left are two electronic ticket kiosk machines - which almost never have anyone using them.

Sligo said...

Personally, I just print my tickets at home. Of course, they charge you extra to buy tickets in advance.

Learn Every Day said...

Might be the oldest house, but it ain't on 100 acres anymore. Completely surrounded by townhouses. It was for sale a few years ago, but (1) who wants to be in a sea of townhouses and (2) it looked like it needed a lot of work. May the current owners enjoy it!

BTW, new owners can't be bad for FH1 - the food was marginal at best.

Anonymous said...

The Ethiopian Community has brought life and activity to Fenton Village. They are independent small businesses and filled with customers talking, face to face, not phone to phone. Get outside your comfort zone and try something new. The Ethiopians are generous & friendly hosts.

Try visiting the other restaurants in Fenton Village. You'll see why the Fire House needed a new menu. The menu was too generic to compete with such a diverse restaurant area; 6 Ethiopian , 7 Asian, 4 Italian, 2 Greek, 2 Indian, 2 Latino, 1 Jamaican, 3 owned by Jackie, 1 African, 1 Creperie, 2 coffee houses, and Piratz Tavern. Technically, 8407 Kitchen bar isn't in FV, but its top on my list. There are more great independent restaurants just north of Colesville too. Don't settle for generic when the world is out there waiting.

Easley St said...

Fire Station 1 has the potential, but the food was just so bad. Hoping for better times ahead. My work friends and I are always looking for a new HH spot.

Anonymous said...

No, the Fire Station isn't great. But, it is on par with you can expect when you pay $15 for a meal.

My wife likes to eat there far more than I do. The food is ok. I like their wings. The service is usually pretty good. Not a bad choice of beers. And, as far as I can tell, they seem to do a pretty good business.

I can't understand all the hate for the place on these boards. There sure are a lot of want-a-be managers.

Anonymous said...

Is anyone else a little creeped out by the armed policemen in the SS Majestic these days?! This weekend one of them was acutally helping to take tickets.

If they are off duty, how can they be waering hteir MoCo uniforms?

Ken Cho said...

The only draw I can see to Fire Station is that it is a bar/restaurant named Fire Station located in an old... fire station. I'll pass.

Anonymous said...

Cell phone stores got to go. Enough of this crap.

Anonymous said...

So did this new management get rid of the firetruck out front? Cause that was the coolest part about that place.

The interior definitely need a more hip vibe.

But of course hip and silver spring aint happening.

Pete said...

I still hold a grudge against FS1 for not being a hook and ladder brewpub. MAKE IT A BREWPUB.

Craig said...

Regarding Home Properties and Falkland Chase, I am really surprised about the sale as well. This is PRIME real estate property for high-density condo and apartment leasing buildings.

I recall that Home Properties faced a groundswell of opposition from historic preservation groups for its efforts to build a high-density, hi-rise complex in the north parcel. I wouldn't be surprised if residents from Woodside were also opposed to the new development plans. Roadblock after roadblock. In the end, Home Properties gave up the fight.

I am waiting for Southern Management to listen to offers for the entire Summit Hills complex. Those apartment buildings are a throw back to 1960s/1970s public housing project era and the aesthetics do not match the surrounding the neighborhoods. These buildings could really use the wrecking ball.

Anonymous said...

Good news about Home Properties. That plan was god awful. I'm all for re-development, but that plan was cold and off-putting.

Gull said...

The proposal for the Faulklands north parcel was supposed to raise Silver Spring to a new level of design, and Home properties spent a lot of money hiring an architect to design the site. Rumor has it they have cold feet, lacking the experience really needed to spend the next 10 years in construction while still maintaining other portions of their properties. For the sake of time, hopefully what ever group purchases the property will keep most of the current approvals, if they want major changes that will add 2 more years of delay.

As for Summit Hills, go back to the 1950's for construction, My parents recall them as already built and for having a bad reputation in the mid 1960's. I don't forsee redevelopment any time soon however. The zoning does not allow for additional density, and it would be extremely costly to tear down and re-build the same number of units, especially once the current environmental regulations kick in requiring millions in mitigation and probably the reconstruction of the stream that was paved over down by the pool.

I'm excited to try Fire Station 1 again (i've been twice, meh), but i'll give it a couple more weeks for the new management to settle in.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually a fan of Firestation. I've been there maybe 10 times, and once had a subpar meal.
I hope they keep the Smokestack Burger. That thing is good.
Their burgers are way better than my one Stage burger I had.
Hope they can do something to the Stage place. It looks sad everytime I walk by.

Anonymous said...

Re: Summit Hills - at some point they're going to have to do a tear down or a major, major reno because the plumbing in most of those buildings is pretty much shot: water coming through the ceiling because of broken pipes, shutting down the water every week to make plumbing repairs, cold water supply randomly shutting off in the middle of the day....

When I lived there, the management was responsive to plumbing issues, but all they were really doing is minor patches - it was pretty evident that there were some large-scale, fundamental plumbing problems in those buildings.

Gull said...

summit hills - oh, i'm well aware as a current Summit Hills resident just how terrible things are. I had quite the waterworks in my bathroom about 2 months ago at 11 at night. Poor lady upstairs was probably not happy with me, and the 3 hours of repairs that transpired. I've also had electrical issues that took about 4 months to be fully resolved (the main breaker panel for my building was so old the electrician wouldn't repair it and replaced the whole thing.) The management is however investing some money putting lipstick on the pigs of apartments right now, so they've no plans to change it in the short term. Mid-long term, it would probably be cheaper to do the major renovations than to do a tear down, based on the buildings size. I agree it would be a much nicer place if it were more street activating and safer for pedestrians, I just don't see it happening in the next 10-20 years.

Anonymous said...

A lot of Silver Spring bars and food places look sad.

And isnt Summit hills far cheaper than most of downtown silver spring? Would probably explain how it and Twin Towers survive for a long as they do.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the first floor of FS1 has been redesigned to include lounge area seating? Anyone been?

Anonymous said...

"Anyone been?"

I have it seems weird. I guess it depends on your taste but the badly needed changes are unfortunately not for the better. They're going the Babes desperation route it seems, Karaoke, DJ, dancing... yes dancing upstairs. I wish Silver Spring were capable of having a regular bar/restaurant with good pub grub and tv's to watch games. DC has it, Virginia has it, Bethesda has it, heck Rockville has it so it's not a Montgomery County issue. I just don't understand why Silver Spring (no I'm not a troll, I like Silver Spring a lot and own here)can't seem to attract places like that.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, FS1 needs to be more sports bar than the TGIF vibe it previously was or whatever lounge/DJ/dancing place it's trying to be now. That's the niche that's missing. Odd since it's got to be the most basic, straightforward kind of bar to run. Good beer+wings+burgers+Sunday Ticket/other sports packages=lots of money.

No need for music like McGinty's/QH, no need for great bartenders like Sidebar, no need for a DJ like Society, no need for pirate outfits like Piratz. Just TVs and booze.

Anonymous said...

Anon Nov 14 6:56 PM- Don't worry despite the fact that EVERYWHERE else on the planet has it you'll be labelled a "troll" and a "hater" for pointing out this obvious fact.

Silver Spring cannot sustain a regular bar and it IS quite strange.

betsy22 said...

My friends and I are desperate for a sports bar in Silver spring - it does seem like a rather basic thing, but so far, no one seems to be doing it right.

Sound - we really want to be able to HEAR the game as well as see it. Babe's had rather odd accoustics (as well as uncomfortable seating upstairs), FS1 had the Monday night game on but karaoke rather than game commentary...glug :(

Anonymous said...

betsy - youre clearly the NOVA troll and hate Silver Spring.

how dare you ask for such things? Move to Bethesda or Landover if you want basic stuff like that.

Silver Spring has great bars. Like Copper Canyon which anyone can clearly see is a real bar. I dont even notice that it closes before 11. It's awesome!

And why do you need to hear the game? Sounds like youre just some jock.

Leave Silver Spring alone meanie!!!

Kev said...

"Silver Spring cannot sustain a regular bar and it IS quite strange"

Silver Spring has long sustained "a" regular bar -- Quarry House. I think the question is why can't it sustain a more vibrant bar scene. And that's a question with a long answer. Short version, demographics and ease of travel between SS and cooler places in DC.

Anonymous said...

"betsy - youre clearly the NOVA troll and hate Silver Spring."

What a freak. How many dozens of threads are you going to post the same damn thing over and over? We get it; you hate SS. We get it; you think you're witty by calling everyone else trolls because everyone calls you a troll. Please, move on. You wasting your life and our time is beyond sad and now has reached annoying.

Not sure where a good sports bar could go. FS1 would be solid, but I think Austin Grill or something going out of business would be ideal. Most of their locations have closed, but I guess their DTSS just has too much foot traffic/is too profitable.

AOA said...

They have such a great space - just need better food. Someone above mentioned a great burger. Smaller menu, better quality food. And we're good to go.

Anonymous said...

Betsy is such a mean jean!

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:31-

are you the same guy you thinks everyone is a troll?

chill out dude

Anonymous said...

So did this new management get rid of the firetruck out front? Cause that was the coolest part about that place.

I think the truck was moved to make way for some street and/or sidewalk repair. No idea whether or not the truck itself caused the need for the sidewalk repair.

In the meantime, the truck was hiding behind the new/actual Fire Station 1, you know, with the real ones.

Anonymous said...

The sidewalk replacement is all up and down Ga. Ave. (south of Wayne; north of Wayne has already been redone). Very good news. The ghetto, old concrete pavers were the absolute worst.

betsy22 said...

Honestly, this might be the first time that I've ever been called a troll. Interesting...

As to location, what's currently in the old TGI fridays spot in City place? Granted, the location seems somewhat doomed, but it would be a big enough space (and more importantly, easy walking distance from my house!)

Anonymous said...

Betsy, the person who called you a troll as doing so with tongue firmly planted in cheek (a dumb "joke" the person has made, literally, a dozen times now). I don't recall a former TGI Fridays...you mean the former Ruby Tuesdays? That's a TD Bank now.

Anonymous said...

I just tried the Fire Station. Not U street, but not bad. I'm not sure what people are looking for in a sports bar, but that place is filled with giant tv's blaring sports and the foods descent.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah? I think anytime I've been at FS1 the TVs have been picture only (on mute). If there's audio and they have NFL Package, that sounds good to me.

kristy said...

The FS1 fire truck was in today's Thanksgiving parade.

Anonymous said...

RE:

It is one thing for you to hate Upscale Chain Retail/Restaurants in Silver Spring but it is outright Racist/Prejudice to target dislike of Ethiopians in opening their restaurants/businesses however you ain't got a problem with the El Salvadorians opening up businesses/restaurants All Across University Boulevard from Wheaton to Hyattsville which is a good 10 mile stretch......


Anonymous said...

Btw, speaking of that area, whats up with the 36th ethiopian place opening up near the World Building? JEEZ!! we can't seem to get rid of these places

Monday, November 12, 2012 4:33:00 PM

Anonymous said...

"It is one thing for you to hate Upscale Chain Retail/Restaurants in Silver Spring but it is outright Racist/Prejudice to target dislike of Ethiopians in opening their restaurants/businesses however you ain't got a problem with the El Salvadorians opening up businesses/restaurants All Across University Boulevard from Wheaton to Hyattsville which is a good 10 mile stretch......"

Um, I'm not the quoted poster, but it is asinine to say someone is racist because they wish those storefronts would be going to a wider variety of cuisines. And it is also wrong of you to conflate restaurants serving Ethiopian cuisine with Ethiopian owned businesses. The poster said nothing about the latter. I love cell phones. Use one every day. Doesn't mean I am not sick of the myriad of cell phone shops lining Georgia and Colesville.

And were I to live in Wheaton or on University, I'm sure I would have the same opinion about Salvadoran cuisine, assuming it was a similar situation to what's here.

Anonymous said...

Goodness gracious, how is it racist to say enough with the ethiopian restaurants? People are so sensitive anymore....

Anonymous said...

Its racist because this blog is filled with politically correct douchebags that talk down to everyone who doesnt think silver spring is perfect the way it already is.

Richard Head said...

Stage burger is not a good burger, unless you like backyard lipton burgers that your aunt Frieda makes.

Gull said...

So, I was going to wait a copule more weeks before trying FS1 again, but my friend who had never been really wanted to go, so we went Friday evening for an early dinner 5:30ish maybe.

I like the decor inside (never had a problem with it, not totally sure about the downstairs lounge, but it seems they want the downstairs to be a bar and upstairs to be the restaurant seating). Tons of TV's but all are on mute with R&B music playing over the speakers. The food was fine also, but here comes my complaint.

THE SERVICE! It was worse this time than it was a few months ago. Some of it seemed to be 90% of the staff being new, and unsure how to operate the computer system, or understanding how to section off the space to different servers, but it took 5 minutes just to get a drink order, another 10 minutes to place the food order, and after the meal a good 10 minutes to get the check (the time from placing the food to getting the food was fine). And we never did see the same person twice. The manager or the guy who appeared to be the manager was also a total slob, no belt, pants way to big for him, shirt half un-tucked, the stereotype of a plumber yet even sloppier. Maybe i'll try it one last time in a month after the staff hopefully gets their act together, but I was left annoyed.

I'm thinking i'll just try the Friday happy hour scene to see if at least the drink and wing service is acceptable and priced right.

Gull said...

I mean't to say we went Saturday night, not Friday night to FS1, also for what it's worth, there were like 3 different kid's birthday parties going on Saturday evening in there, so bizarre, not the place i'd take my 8 year old to!

Anonymous said...

Wow, typical Silver Spring.

All the commentators around here swear we have a great bar life, and constantly name FS1 as one of those said bars.

But on a Saturday night you'll find kids birthdays parties.

What a PARTY.

Anonymous said...

Wow, typical Silver Spring. One d-bag poster knocking down strawmen in every one of his hundred identical posts.

Anonymous said...

^^

still not sure why you insist that every post that you dont agree with is one person.

paranoid much?

Anonymous said...

^^

still not sure why you insist that every post that you dont agree with is one person.

paranoid much?

Anonymous said...

Not to change the subject but ...

The Four Corners Pub is now open (re-do and new ownershipt for the Corner Pub).

Has anyone been?

Anonymous said...

Fire station can onlygetbetter. Why do I hate this place? Service possibly the worst of any bar I've been in in he 30 or so years I 've been going to bars.

Terrible management. Example: went to watch baseball playoff game. Management decided that having a guy with a Loud guitar iwith even louder vocals would be a good idea. Nobody at the bar could even order a drink without shouting at the bartender and, of course, nobody could hear the game. When we asked the bartender if the guy playing could turn the volume down, she said the manager didn't want him to. We guessed the manager wanted to hear the music in he back of the room. We left after a couple of innings. When we did, the bar was completely empty. Idiots!

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