Friday, October 04, 2013

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- The Action Committee for Transit is holding a contest to estimate the opening date of the Transit Center. The prize is dinner at 8407, though you have to pay for a membership to be eligible. They will probably have to pony up for a lot of meals if "never" proves to be the correct answer. (Which it is.)

- Substations needed to power the Purple Line (also never happening) may be disguised as single family homes along its route. People are complaining, of course. This idea is nothing new, as there's a number of Pepco substation houses scattered around the area, some of which are now occupied by actual people.

- Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the Mini Maker Faire at the Civic Building last weekend, but by all accounts it was a smashing success, with over 10,000 attendees. Let's hope they bring it back next year.
- A woman from Silver Spring was one of the survivors of last week's terrorist attach in Nairobi, Kenya.

- Kaldi's, the new coffee place on Silver Spring Avenue is now open. Has anyone tried it yet? They have a Facebook page, were, strangely, they have posted a Starbucks promotional video.

- The AFI Silver Theatre is offering free popcorn to furloughed government workers. I'd certainly be catching up on movies were I forced to stay home this week. (Though today I'd be at the Majestic for Gravity on IMAX.)
- Adios, Quiznos. The Fenton Street location has closed after ten years of operation in downtown Silver Spring. I don't particularly like Quiznos, but at one time it was the few options in that immediate area prior to all the DTSS restaurants opening, so I have eaten there a few times.

That block just won't be the same without dozens of Quizno's banners and signs, including the "grand opening" sign that was displayed for years.

- Remember how Pedro Matamoros (formerly of Nicaro and 8407) was going to buy the Golden Flame Restaurant? Not so much. Not only did he not buy the place, he's not even the chef there anymore.

- There was a AMA (ask me anything) on Reddit yesterday with Bar Rescue host Jon Taffer, who famously failed to re-brand Silver Spring's Piratz Tavern. He had a few choice words regarding the Piratz Tavern management (who, to their credit, are still there).
Q: Which bar rescue was the most difficult one for you?

A: Pirates comes to mind because it was so bizarre, and uncomfortable every minute I was there. I can't really say this about any other bar that I've rescued, but I did not like those people, candidly. And I did not enjoy one minute that I was there. It was my most difficult in that regard.

Q: Who was the most entertaining owner to work with? Do you keep in touch with any owners long after the shows?

A: I've developed very good friendships with some of them. With the exception of Pirates, I've left everyone in a good relationship.
He did get called out by a few commenters for purposely antagonizing the owners with his selection of a "corporate" theme for the revamp. I do agree that he must have been trolling them.


Terry in Silver Spring said...

"I'd certainly be catching up on movies were I forced to stay home this week."

Except if you were saving money to make sure you could pay your rent.

Sligo said...

I'd be counting on the back pay...

Robert said...

Speaking of the Transit Center, why not turn that grassy hillside next to it into a new "green" like the one that was at the Civic Building site?

Baughman said...

Pedro Matamoros is a brilliant chef, the Golden Flame Restaurant was not a good fit. If you have been there you know why.
He is now the Executive chef at MIX in Patomac.

Anonymous said...

So whomever holds franchise rights to Five Guys in Silver Spring...The empty Quizno's might be a good spot.

The Transit Center should become a parkour arena/thingy. You're welcome Leggett.

Anonymous said...

ah, Pirates. I was in there once...and like John Tapper, will never go back. Man, did I have a bad experience there.

Anonymous said...

Pirtatz is unbelievable. I'll give them this: given how horrible it is in every aspect and how the staff and regulars are basically grown children: they've defied common sense and are still open. Somehow.

Anonymous said...

"Pirtatz is unbelievable. I'll give them this: given how horrible it is in every aspect and how the staff and regulars are basically grown children: they've defied common sense and are still open. Somehow."

I am the previous poster right above your comment about Piratez, and man, you have said/summed this up well.

Anonymous said...

Piratz is definatly a microcosm of Silver Spring. Eccetric, off the beaten path, and proud.

Ken Cho said...

I think at this point, people got to Piratz BECAUSE it's such a shitty place with shitty service and food. People want to see the place that defied the Bar Whisperer and is still around. Kinda like that crazy ass lady out in NM who gave Ramsey the finger.

Went once, never again. The service was really terrible... and they weren't dicks about it but it's just like they don't care living in neverneverland.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Piratz is definatly a microcosm of Silver Spring. Eccetric, off the beaten path, and proud.

Monday, October 07, 2013 8:19:00 AM

So you are saying Silver Spring is delusional and pathetic?

G. Money said...

Does anyone know what's going on with the apparent installation of parking meters on Colesville between Draper and 16th? From the looks of it, they've allotted about 20' for each space. Is this a side project for the Transit Center planners or something?

Craig said...

Apparently, some people really like the Piratz Tavern judging by the number of positive reviews on Yelp.

This is why Piratz is not going away anytime soon. I have not been there and have no plans of offering patronage in the future.

If there is one place on Georgia Ave. that I would love to see would be Fire Station 1.

Fire Station #1 has:

Poor beer selection.

Slow and inattentive service.

Bartenders have no skill with mixed drinks. But at least they can open a beer bottle.

The food was average at best. I have ordered pizza and a burger from there. Not impressed.

They have plenty of outdoor seating on noisy, not-so-attractive Georgia Ave.

I would rather see FS1 get sacked before the Piratz walk the plank.

Anonymous said...

Why were all the trees taken down along the east side of Georgia Ave? Those few blocks now look quite exposed and unsightly.

Sligo said...

Apparently they were diseased or something

Gull said...

@ Trees on Georgia

This has been commented on before numerous times - the trees were removed as part of an upgrade to the streetscape. The old sidewalk was torn out, new ADA compliant sidewalk to crosswalk ramps were installed, and new larger tree pits are being put in so that the new trees that will be planted will be able to grow larger and healthier. At some point I hope a similar project happens along Georgia Ave north of Colesville, as those trees are starting to show their age and the nature of the small tree pits they are planted in.

Anonymous said...

I believe it is more than just part of the upgrade. A client of mine, who owns a business on GA Ave. and is well connected, told me that a contractor planted the wrong species of tree--one that was not suitable for that location and that all of them were either dying or would be soon.

In other words, business as usual in DTSS.

Anonymous said...

Trees in such an inhospitable situation generally go into decline after 8-15 years. The current trees are about 17 years old. Their replacement has nothing to do with whatever entity planted them decades ago and is certainly not unexpected. Though I will agree that uneducated people bashing DTSS is business as usual. You'd think there would at least be a statute of limitation on the whining. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Dont be an ass. I am just repeating what I heard from someone I know to be well connected t the business community and MoCo givernment and that would have no reason to tell me false.

I do find it peculiar, however, that you are basically saying that urban trees have to be replanted every 15 years or so. There are plenty others lining the roads in other parts of Georgia Ave, DTSS, greater DC and other "inhospitable" areas that are far far more mature. Perhaps someone so educated as yourself could give us a proper lesson on urban horticulture, replete with proper citation and actual application as to why the situation on that small stretch of Georgia Ave. is so unique.

Or perhaps not. Perhaps you are just one of the many contractor apologists here in DTSS.

Anonymous said...

It would, after all, be impossible for a contractor to screw up a species of tree, wouldn't it?

Or to mess up something in Georgia Ave?

Anonymous said...

That ADA stuff is bs. How the hell is a handicap person supposed to go up and down the steep hill from the metro and have difficulty negociating a small slope on a sidewalk? I am glad they are putting in nice brick sidewalks but it does seem like making work when so many other streets near downtown don't have any sidewalks.
contractor apologists in DTSS.

Anonymous said...

Lets hope they lay the correct amount of concrete and re-bar for the new sidewalks...we already have have one useless pile of the stuff elsewhere in town :)

Anonymous said...

The Georgia Avenue streetscape project is about ADA access into the storefronts. They all had a sill that exceeded the allowed 1/2". The sidewalks have been raised to make them level at the doors. Of course there is the new step at the tree box - which kinda defeats the purpose. New trees will be planted in the next month.
My one hope is that Bombay Gaylord, Langano and Lucy will strip off their ugly 70's era faux facades. Most of the rest of the stores look much better with the original brick. Bombay Gaylord should be fined for their eyesore facade.

Anonymous said...

The pastries at Kaldis are really good. Baked on the premises.
The interior is very nice - hip and modern. They are open on Sunday.

What's up with Urban Butcher?

Gull said...

The trees that were along that part of Georgia avenue were the same species of Zelkova that exist further north along Georgia, but if you look at them, many are not looking very good, and there are close to a dozen tree pits with no tree, just stump, in them north of Colesville along Georgia. I'm not sure what would have been planted instead, Zelkova's are relatively good for an urban tree, they by nature don't live for very long, even when planted in a front yard, after 30-40 years they're maxed out in size/age and start to decline. They make descent street trees because they only get to about 40' tall, can spread to almost as wide, are good for 'limbing up' the branches and grow in a natural upside down pyramidal shape, and grow fairly quickly. The other predominant street tree around DTSS is the willow oak (see Fenton St between Colesville and Wayne, or Ellsworth Dr). They for an oak are descent street trees too, but get to be very big, and eventually will outgrow most commercial streets that only provide tree pits rather than tree strips.

Anonymous said...

youd rather have fs1 close instead of Piratz? Wow. FS1 is subpar and has a lot of problems but it's the only place around here that even LOOKS or feels like a sports bar.

There is literally no reason for a hellhole like piratz to exist. The people on yelp that "like it" are reverse trolling or double posting under multiple IDs

Anonymous said...

Sports bar sports bar sports bar sports bar sports bar ----Yes we know you want a sports bar!!!

Anonymous said...

I enjoy Fire Station. I've eaten many times, and their bread pudding is really good.

That is all.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy Piratz tavern somehow, despite the forgetful (though sometimes entertaining) service and hit or miss food. I'm a softy for a place that isn't a cookie-cutter sports bar or chain restaurant and where people are encouraged to sing and dress crazy if they so desire. The amount of venom directed against it in some Yelp reviews seems disproportionate (though, welcome to Yelp I guess), no doubt egged on by the bar rescue guy. I feel like it helps add some character to SS. I can understand someone having a bad experience with the food or service, but a lot of the criticism seems to come from a middle school kind of place - bullying that delights in mocking people who choose to use their imaginations and dare to live a little different.

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