Friday, September 13, 2013

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- The transit center could be open next summer. I'll take the over on that one.

- This Sunday marks the 75th anniversary of the 1938 opening of the Silver Theatre, and they are offering a free screening at 2:00 of Four Daughters, the very first movie ever shown at the theater.

- The proprietors of the future 923 Sligo Cafe look like they intend to invest some real money into refurbishing the nondescript commercial property they are converting into an eatery, at least based on these renderings.

- Apparently the former Stage Burger Lounge location on Skid Row is set to be the home of a new sushi restaurant called "Zen Sai". More on that as info becomes available.

- Chef Theo's, which had been serving greasy Greek and other comfort foods for ages from their location in the corner of the White Oak shopping center, has closed. Not sure how long it's been gone, since it's been awhile since I've been over there, but reportedly the restaurant is now vacant. I used to have lunch there once in a while when I worked over in that area, and it was usually fairly busy. Regrettably, I never got the chance to inquire as to whether Kevin Costner actually dined there.

- The Stuckey's mystery has been solved - the chain is owned by former congressman W. S. Stuckey, Jr., who still lives in the area and who moved the company HQ here when he bought back the chain in the 80's. His parents were the founders, but for a time it was owned by a company outside the family.


Anonymous said...

Here's Zen Sai's website, which is still a work in progress.

Does anyone know if Colesville is slated for a streetscape upgrade, a la Georgia? The areas in front of Fillmore, AFI, etc. have been redone (presumably at the expense of the private businesses), but the rest of block is still the junky, old concrete pavers. Skid Row is reeeeeeeally close to being a top tier street. The only things holding it down are the subpar streetscape and a couple of the storefronts between Kao Thai and Abol. And of course the crappiness that is the actual highway cutting through our neighborhood, but oh well. That's a complaint for another day.

Anonymous said...

"Skid Row is reeeeeeeally close to being a top tier street"

I hope your being sarcastic.....i dont know many "top teir" streets that have a wig shop, a tailor shop thats never open a womens clothing store that also never seems to be open and a verizon store that looks like its still sells stuff from back when verizon was Bell Atlantic.

Kudos on anothe sushi place, but this town is in DIRE need of quick and inexpensive burger place. McDonalds is not a burger place btw...its a sespool of vermin.

Anonymous said...

EYA has put up construction fencing and two trailers on the former Chelsea School site. I guess any day we can expect site work to begin for the townhome development (and certain members of 'the community' to form a human chain protest).

Anonymous said...

"I hope your being sarcastic"

I hope "your" the one being sarcastic. I already mentioned the sub par couple stores holding the street back. Other than those, we have what's widely considered the best theater in the region, the Fillmore, a black box theater, and well reviewed steakhouse, Italian, tapas, Ethiopian, Thai and now a new sushi place. Also a mediocre cafe in Panera, but even that fills the important role of being a good "third place."

All that on one single block. If you don't think that's impressive or something everyone else would kill for then you're nuts.

P.S. way to complain about something that's already in the works - BurgerFi: read about it.

Anonymous said...

EYA's site says "coming Fall 2013" so I'm sure construction is imminent. 900 Thayer (across from the Safeway) has applied for permits so that'll be starting soon too. I imagine Studio Plaza will be breaking ground before the end of the year too, but I don't know what address they're using for that so no idea what their permit situation is lookin like.

Anonymous said...

"what's widely considered the best theater in the region"

I'm referencing the AFI, in case you don't know. It seems like you're not especially familiar with the area so figured I'd clarify.

Anonymous said...

From EYA's website, here's the pricing on those Chelsea townhomes:

Luxury Townhomes from the $700s
Elevator Townhomes from the $800s

Anonymous said...

"kill for"

hyperbole strikes again!

BEI said...

On an especially somber day, I come to blogs to cheer up, or get some new information. I love SS, S.

However, this comment section is starting to look like mainstream website comments.

Conversation is wonderful, so is healthy debate. However, mocking one another and being rude is disheartening.

I have no basis for anyone to listen to me, but why don't we all just be nice? We are each others' neighbors.

Anonymous said...

"hyperbole strikes again!"

Oh, you. The phrase doesn't actually have anything to do with murder. It's called an idiom. Maybe move on over to to learn what that is? Leave us all alone for a bit? K, thanks.

Anonymous said...

According to facebook, it looks like Kaldi's opened yesterday and they've got some mad French dessert skills going on. Looking forward to trying them out.

Danielle said...

I'm really glad the 923 Sligo Cafe is coming in, since it's two blocks from my house, but I have to wonder about what they're thinking. Outdoor seating across from a row of car body shops? I hope they do better than the boring tables and chairs in the pics - doesn't look very comfy for working on the laptop

Another new place in the works: Kaldi Cafe on the south side Silver Spring Avenue bet Georgia & Fenton. (Also a mere few blocks from me- yeah!) Is this is promised revitalization of Fenton village?)

Anonymous said...

The revitatlization of "fenton village" will come when a critical mass of housing is built in it and within few blocks in the Ripley District. Only when there are literally thousands of residents within a 5 minute walk(with disposable incomes) will we see the empty lots and storefronts start to fill up with any velocity.

Anonymous said...

Effectively all of Fenton Village (and the Ripley District) are spoken for already. Studio Plaza, 900 Thayer, library residential, and First Baptist redevelopments are all imminent. 2nd wave in 3-5 years will likely be corner of Fenton/SS Ave., the Safeway, Studio Plaza phase II, and much of Bonifant.

Anonymous said...

What empty storefronts are you talking about? Except for the chronically troubled place at the NE corner Fenton and Silver Spring Avenue I can't think of a single empty storefront. Fenton Village is thriving.
The Eagle Bank tower, Fenton and Sligo, has sold recently to some unknown developer. Even this building has current upstairs tenants and a storefront church on the ground floor.
There are alot of small businesses tucked up in the low rise office buildings in FV. FV also has alot of film and computer starts ups. Just because you can't see them, or they don't sell food and drink doesn't mean the businesses aren't there.

Anonymous said...

Anon: Monday, September 16, 2013 4:21:00 PM

I think you need to look up "hyperbole" in the dictionary before you chide anyone else. Obviously I was not referring to actually killing anyone, I was referring to the hyperbole of calling this area (specifically skid row) being something other cities/areas would "kill" to have. That phrase was over the top. As was your silly response.

Back to your MENSA meeting I guess.

Anonymous said...

Oh, nice. Glad to see Eagle Bank tower (850 Sligo) sold. And for way more than I figured it would. I recall there being rumblings about someone being interested in converting it into micro apartments before...wonder what'll happen to it. It badly needs to be renovated one way or another.

Anonymous said...

Fenton Village is thriving.


Anonymous said...

Thankfully, a number of the new buildings slated to go up in Fenton Village include more retail space (Studio Plaza, 900 Thayer, and First Baptist sites) because, as mentioned, FV's retail vacancy rate is effectively zero. Anyone try out Kaldi's yet? Their desserts (not to mention building renovation) look amazing. A little bit of Paris in FV.

Anonymous said...

I went by Kaldi's last night, and the windows were papered over. Is it actually open?

Anonymous said...

Darn, I guess not quite. I think they had a soft opening a few days back so it should be any day now.

Anonymous said...

Did some Google stalking of the names on 923 Sligo's DLC application. I think this may be one of the new proprietors:

It makes sense, given the place is listed on the architect's site as an acoustic music venue. Nothing confirmed, though.

Anonymous said...

I asked Kaldi's and they'll be opening on Saturday, 9/28.

Anonymous said...

Studio Plaza has only one 10,000 SF space tagged for retail - on Thayer. They refused to plan anymore retail.
900 Thayer has 2 retail spaces, Baptist Church has most of their Fenton and Wayne frontage for retail. The Library Senior housing building adjacent to the library will have several small spaces specifically tagged for small, independent local Mom & Pops.
Solaire has some spaces but they may be Live/Work spaces. 1050 Ripley will have Live/Work units as well.

Anonymous said...

There is a bikeshare station being installed on Colesville, by Discovery. I've heard that another one is going in at Montgomery College Takoma Campus.

I guess that Bike Share doesn't have a problem with cyclist crossing Georgia Avenue without a $12+ miilion dollar bike bridge.
If Bike Share can take off in downtown DC with at-grade street crossings - why do we MoCo tax payers have to foot the bill for a bike bridge that doesn't even serve the majority of DTSS? I'de rather spend $12+ million on better designed at-grade crossings all through DTSS for cyclist and pedestrians.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been to the new Comedy show at the Fire Station Restuarant?

Know where to find some Ethio Jazz music in Fenton Village?

Sligo said...

Re: Know where to find some Ethio Jazz music in Fenton Village?

Were you just listening to NPR?

Anonymous said...

Where's the bike bridge you've mentioned a couple times going in? What cross street of Georgia? It's part of the MBT I'm guessing? So presumably it'll run next to the train overpass or something?

Gull said...

yes, this bike bridge is part of the trail from Silver Spring to Union Station, and is very much needed to get some of the incomplete sections of trail built. I'd bet once that trail is done, and the trail actually connects Silver Spring to Bethesda and onward toward Georgetown, there will be a lot more weekend pleasure rides being taken. I'd sure consider it.

Anonymous said...

And I bet once the trail is completed with the overpass, the area along Selim Road will be a prime location to be redeveloped into cool housing and shops since it will be on a direct off-road walking path to the SS transit center (or biking to anywhere). Selim Rd runs parallel to the railroad tracks between Sligo Ave & Burlington (410).
And for an interesting bit of trivia...guess where the name Selim come from?

In 1840, Francis Preston Blair, his daughter, Elizabeth, along with their thirsty horse, Selim, discover the spring after which Silver Spring takes its name. Sparkling flakes of mica in the water give it the appearance of silver.

Vagrarian said...

As I pack up to leave Silver Spring for Catonsville (for work), I wonder if the blogosphere up there is similar. Probably. I'll come back to visit, though. And I'll be keeping an eye on things from Baltimore County...

Anonymous said...

I was thinking the same thing - if the trail bridge runs effectively parallel with the train tracks that'd go a long way towards giving that corner of southeast silver spring easy access to the Silver Spring metro (and DC if biking south). Not to mention my walk from the metro to Jackie's/Sidebar would be cut in half, at least. Bring on the cocktails!

Anonymous said...

As currently planned the MBT runs through the structure of the nationally recognized historic B&O Station Museum. This will deprive the B&O of its only source of revenue as an event space. The bridge would cross Georgia to the north of the old CSX bridge, which won't help S. Silver Spring. The Bridge will be 17' above Georgia and effectively run right in front of Jackies upstairs windows, blocking the view of their sign. The ramp to get up to 17' will take most of the minimal parking at the B&O. Because of a new homeless shelter planned behind the Fire Station, the MBT will probably be fenced off from the Transit Center across Georgia - to keep the homeless from loitering on it. Cutting it off from the B&O, South Silver Spring and most of Fenton Village.
The MBT will have major negative impacts to the adjacent area - without providing any real benefits to the same area.
Also it can't start construction until the Progress Place development is complete. Thats at at least 5+ years out just for the at grade trail through Ripley - much less the $12 million dollar bridge.
An idea that made sense 13 years ago is no longer relevant to the current status of Fenton Village, S. Silver Spring, the B&O Museum or the new Progress Place development behind the Fire Station.
It's time to rethink the route of the MBT. It's not going through parkland like the Capital Crescent, or vacant rail yards like the MBT-DC. The Silver Spring MBT is going through a dense urban area which has changed rapidly in the last 5 years. A network of smaller, at grade sections weaving through DTSS, Fenton Village and S. Silver Spring would make more sense and be more economical. It's not a highway, its a bike lane for everyone's use.

Gull said...

The last i've seen there is no intention of fencing off the MBT anywhere to keep anyone off the trail. The point would be to make the trail as accessible to the public as possible and that in itself would act as a deterrent to loitering. 17' is not much higher than the existing rail bridge crossing Georgia Ave so i'm not sure it would look that out of place either. The MBT should be separated from a major road like Georgia Avenue because it's a regional bike trail, not a local bike path. Trails like the MBT and the CCT are like the interstate highways of bicycle infrastructure, designed for long distance travel and commuting, and most certainly should not consist of various at grade crossings through Fenton Village. I'm sorry annon from 2:16pm but I couldn't disagree more with your concerns or your suggested alternative.

Anonymous said...

As currently planned the MBT runs through the structure of the nationally recognized historic B&O Station Museum.

That's definitely not true. It would run through some of the public space that the historic society currently uses for events, but it's not the county's fault that they've appropriated public space for their own use.

lilkunta said...

wtf? how are 700k and 800k with elevatot chelsea townhomes moderately priced ? or is the market townhouses? how much are the MPDU townhouses ?

lilkunta said...

@ anon sun sep 15 2013 2:40pm

You must go at the wrong times. The tailor shop and women's clothing store are always open when i stop in.

Anonymous said...

Of course $700-800k are the market rate townhomes. I have no idea how much the MPDUs will cost and I suspect that pricing won't be set for some time.

Lee said...

Someone I know was in downtown today and said it looked like the Quiznos across from City Place was being emptied of all its equipments (tables, et al.).

Anonymous said...

Awesome news if true re: Quiznos. The co. has been shuttering stores for years yet that location persisted. Terrible service on top of the terrible food - hope an independent establishment moves in or at least a better chain.

Anonymous said...

The MBT will be running under the platform canopy between the B&O Museum and the rail track edge. This is the area where passengers used to wait for the trains, and it is part of the B&O Station Museum experience. The MBT would require fencing the platform off from the Museum visitors - for the saftey of the museum visitors and cyclists. And yes the platform is used for events - its the only source of income for B&O maintenance and programs. The county provides no funds.

But your point is interesting that the MBT is an interstate cycling highway for long distance traveling and commuting. So how is the MBT relevant and supportive of the areas is passes through and impacts in such a signficant way? It sounds like so many vehicular highways - passing by the very communities it is supposed to bring people to.
Since you are so concerned about the MBT - pay attention to Progress Place - 200 people will be coming twice a day for meals and they will wait outside for the doors to open to the dining room. Where will they wait? How will they get to Progress Place? The MBT?

Gull said...

Last I checked, progress place was going to be relocating and a new high rise residential tower was the likely replacement adjacent to the MBT alignment, similar to the relationship with the existing two buildings.

There will be plenty of opportunity for people to come and go from the MBT, but it should be the form of lead walks from area sidewalks every few hundred feet, not the form of at grade crossings of dozens of streets in an area already congested with cars.

Anonymous said...

Progress Place is being relocated directly behind the Fire Station in the Fire Station parking lot.
It will be a 3 story building which leaves a required clearance along the track edge for the MBT. The MBT will run between a chain link fence on the track edge and a 3 story wall. Progress Place will serve 200+/- people meals twice daily and then have 20+ apartments for the homeless. The issue is where will the outdoor congregating space be and since this is a smoke free county property where will these people go to have a smoke? How will these people use the MBT to get to anf from Prorgess Place.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't the CSX bridge have a path across it already? Why can't the MBT use it?

Anonymous said...

I assume the MBT would use it, but an expansion is required as it's very, very narrow currently. But I'm just guessing as I still haven't seen any plans. It's so far out in the future that I don't know how developed the idea is anyways.

Anonymous said...

the MBT would have a new bridge

Anonymous said...

Please take your reasoned, polite discussion regarding the MBT elsewhere. This is a wholly inappropriate forum for your garish displays of civility.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone been to Golden Flame since chef Pedro Matamoros took over the kitchen?

I thought Pete's New Haven pizza is pretty good.

Anonymous said...

"Has anyone been to Golden Flame since chef Pedro Matamoros took over the kitchen?"

Yeah...that fell through. He's now working in Potomac. Big loss for Silver Spring IMHO. (Though I had an excellent meal recently at 8407, so glad to know that is still going strong.)

Anonymous said...

Matamoros appears to be trying to find work wherever he can. I wouldn't be surprised if he jumped to a new restaurant yet again in another few months. It would be nice if he opened another place in DTSS, but frankly it seems and sounds like he doesn't have the capital to do so.

Anonymous said...

Shame about Matamoros - but rehabbing Golden Flame sounded next to impossible. Best wishes to the guy who helped put Silver Spring on the map for restaurants with Nicarro and 8407.

Kaldis is open on Silver Spring Ave.

A theater group has taken up the Travelco space on Silver Spring Ave.

Any news about Urban Butcher?

Anonymous said...

Are there plans for a Zombie Walk this year?

One of the funniest skits I have seen recently was a Zombie Tap Dancing routine.
Maybe DTSS should host a Zombie talent show at Veteran's Plaza. Zombie baton twirlers, Zombies juggling body parts. Zombie tap dancers. All those classic talent show routines twisted around for zombies. Zombie magician pulling a body part out of his hat. Zombie precision team with shovels.

Anonymous said...

Yes, there's a zombie walk this year. Hopefully the word gets out (SS, Singular and beyond) at some point because I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere. It's only google's magical powers that found it for me.

Zombie talent show is an awesome idea. An after party @ Fillmore (after the AFI movie) would be awesome, too, and could be a great regional draw.

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