Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Can Brewpub Break the Streak at 1115 East-West?

Big news for those of you have been pining for an (actual?) brewpub in Silver Spring - Citizens Brewing Company has announced it will open at 1115 East-West Highway, occupied previously by Gallery, Babe's, and Fajita Coast. 


Beyond the location, details are limited at this time, but you can get updates on their progress via Facebook and Twitter. More to come.



64 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope so. that location is the WORST.

It's surrounded by a very odd collection of stores towards the Georgia avenue side (towards the seedy side) and has low street visibility, little street parking, bad support from the East West crowd (they let a bunch of places close there already), the outside looks nondescript, no signage and bad arhcitecture inside.

I really hope they put a huge sign up that can been clearly from far away and do some major interior and exterior renovations- but somehow I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

If the beer is good and reasonably priced, I'm confident this place could be a regional draw and thrive. Babe's was flat awful in every way I can think of (minus all the TVs). But seriously, all you people living in those E-W condos/the Blairs need to step up and support your local businesses. Scion is too empty too often. If that or this new place fail it's on you. You get no more nice things.

Anonymous said...

OMG OMG if this is true I can't wait.

Pit Boss said...

I hope they're buying top of the line brew equipment...cuz i'll buy it on craigslist when they go under in 6-9 months.

if ever a place cried 'please burn me down so i can become loft unit apartmnent' it's here.

Anonymous said...

8407kb handles their awkward, 2 level space well enough. Bar/lounge on bottom level and bar/restaurant on top level. I'd suspect this site will do the reverse (and have all the brewing equipment on the bottom level?). If the drink is good and the food is fine then I'm not too worried about the space. Babe's sucked; that's why it failed.

A funky parking situation (maybe valet needed?) is the only real concern, I think, other than whether or not the beer's tasty and priced properly.

Anonymous said...

I like others here have been pining for a real sports bar...maybe they will keep the TVs?
Scion is kind of like a brew pub even if they don't brew their own beer. Their entire (expensive) beer menu is different and mostly local craft beers. Too bad, because it keeps away the dedicated Miller Lite fan in my house.

Anonymous said...

Scion is empty? The people who live around that area suck. Head out there stupid.

Mike said...

On another note, has anyone had any experiences/impressions of the police presence in downtown Silver Spring? This request is in advance of a meeting with the 3rd District commander. Want to aggregate some comments if I can. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

"If that or this new place fail it's on you. You get no more nice things."

completely agree. I don't understand why people who live on this stretch of east west don't go out more at the bar uh across the freaking street. I live in silverton and go to Scion frequently. I do have to say that Babes was god awful though.

Also, it's not just people who live in this neighborhood: people in silver spring in general need to not be horrified at the thought of parking in the (free after 7 and on weekends)parking lots on east west and walk the whole 5 minutes to the brewpub location. laziest people ever. people walk to jackies, paccis, olazzo etc... why not here (if it's worth it)?

Anonymous said...

"On another note, has anyone had any experiences/impressions of the police presence in downtown Silver Spring?"

My impression of the police in DTSS is that you could commit a double homicide 5 feet away from them and they wouldn't notice because they're so wrapped up in their conversation. Staying in one location for hours on end seems to of little value. Trying walking around a little.

Anonymous said...

I'd agree w/anon. Having a pair of cops permanently standing at Ellsworth & Fenton makes sense because it's the unofficial center and having them in the same places means people know where to find them, BUT when there are 4 or 6 or 8 cops just standing there chatting (which is exceedingly common) that doesn't make sense.

Have 2 stationed and the rest circulating. Or, if they all need to be there w/easy access to vehicles, at least split the group up on different sides of Fenton. One set of eyes can watch south (Vet Plaza) and the other can stare at Galaxy (north) until the riffraff there decides which law they're going to break today.

Back to the topic at hand: DTSS is rockin' it. Getting rid of the likes of Macaroni Grill and Quiznos and gaining the likes of Kaldi's, Urban Butcher, and Citizens Brewing Co. 20910 just keeps getting better and better.

Craig said...

Bad, bad, bad location for them. Sorry, but I will bet on the Under for surviving one year in that spot.

That stretch is a dead zone for pedestrian traffic. The apartment residents at the Veridian (or whatever it's called now), the Blairs, and the Bennington would rather take a friggin Metro train ride into downtown DC than walk five minutes down the block to the bar at Scion or the new Citizens joint. Seriously, that's how these pathetic transplant jerks think. They honestly believe that the cool, trendy places with hot people are miles away in DC or Arlington. Well...they may be right but I mean--come one--you have two awesome bars outside your apartment.

Anonymous said...

wow, didn't realize how much location affects the taste of beer. we're talking about beer people!

Anonymous said...

well they are right about hot people- none of that in silver spring.

but that still doesn't excuse the laziness.

Anonymous said...

Psh, speak for yourself, ugly anonymous. Sligo and I are both hot as hell.

I think a microbrewer will be enough of a draw that if it's good it'll survive. Sure, the frontage might not be the best in the world, but the advent of Yelp and blogging has made that issue largely irrelevant. People find Quarry House (it's in a freakin basement and doesn't even have a sign!); people find Sidebar. You don't NEED to have Austin Grill's exposure, unless you suck and rely on randoms to stumble in without realizing there are a 100 better options within walking distance.

Also, I suspect (if successful) a chunk of revenue won't even be relying on distribution on the physical site. Here's hoping they'll be successful bottlers to sell regionally and also have growlers for us locals to take home.

Sligo said...

Aw, thanks.

Anonymous said...

Okay, that's a fine idea. Anon 8:45.

Explain why no place there can stay open?

And Silver Spring is ugly buddy. Being hotter than the average around here isn't really a big deal.

Anonymous said...

Please just go ahead and move to NoVa, where apparently everyone is a supermodel.

Anonymous said...

Silly response. Truth hurts I guess.

Anonymous said...

"Explain why no place there can stay open?"

Gallery was open for quite a few years. It's safe to say that place was at least moderately successful in the space.

Babe's was awful in every single way I can think a place could be awful. It surprised exactly no one when the place went under.

I only went to Fajita Coast once and then never returned due to it being supremely overpriced. Maybe others agreed, I donno.

Anyways, I think it still doesn't make sense to assume the place is going to fail due to the building it's housed in. If it fails, it'll almost certainly be due to other, more important issues. That's not to say the building isn't a negative - it's just certainly not enough of a negative to turn what should be a successful venture into an unsuccessful one.

Gull said...

I do agree there are too many people who have moved into all these new apartments in Silver Spring who want nothing to do with hanging out here, they just live here because its close to Metro and $500 a month cheaper than being in DC. I've met people who have lived, LIVED here for a year in the Blairs, and didn't even know there was a Whole Foods on Fenton Street, or that there was a Fenton Street. They said they work downtown so they just hang out there after work with friends until heading home to sleep. I've also had frineds who came to visit me say "OMG, I didn't realize how far out you lived, this is like the outer suburbs", who live in downtown. The concept of being inside the Beltway was lost to them.

I think the bars and restaurants on the Fenton Village side of Georgia Ave do better business because the neighborhoods to the east generally have younger, post apartment dwelling 30somethings that have bought homes to still be able to walk to Silver Spring, whereas the neighborhoods like Sheppard Park in DC are full of a lot of older long time residents who don't go out in Silver Spring.

The NOAA buildings plus Silverton are very boring, non-activated street fronts to walk past too, so there is nothing that would ever draw a curious person to walk down East-West Hwy. The redevelopment of the Blairs will help a little, but the East-West frontage improvements are 15 years away, and will not change the frontage of the existing high rise except to slightly widen the sidewalk. I'd like to see the NTD tire, La Nueva church and Day's Inn all turn into 2-3 new residential projects, and the Honda Service center a nice public plaza or park, and the Mr Wash car wash into an office building. That would provide enough local activity to keep something like Citizens Brewing in business.

Sligo said...

Congrats, NoVa Troll, you made the official Silver Spring, Singular Glossary.

Kev29 said...

I wish these gals (by the look of it) all the luck in the world - they'll need it. And not necessarily because of the location in Silver Spring, but because they're trying to do this in Montgomery County. Do they know that when they brew their own beer in MoCo, they'll have to keg/bottle/can it and sell it to the county, send it to a warehouse and then buy their own beer back from the county?

I know that Ike Leggett is open to changing the liquor distribution process to attract more concepts like this, but I don't think it will change quickly enough for Citizens.

Anonymous said...

who mentioned NoVa?

Craig said...

Gull,

You described the challenge perfectly. I have had different roommates who NEVER explored downtown Silver Spring streets after living in Silver Spring for at least a couple of years. They would rather get in their car for restaurant/drinking trips to Bethesda or take metro to downtown DC neighborhoods. Silver Spring is the undiscovered country.

Maybe the owners of Citizen Beer (and Scion) should approach the nearby apartment and condo complexes about marketing their establishments. Probably already tried this approach anyway.

A couple of ideas. The real estate companies representing The Blairs, the Bennington, Veridian and other places might allow banner ads, Facebook and Twitter links for nearby restaurants and bars on their web pages. For a small fee perhaps.

Wouldn't hurt to ask if building owners would allow the neighborhood restaurants to post ads in lobbies and slip postcards underneath residents doors. Perhaps some "guerilla marketing" strategies would be in order too.

Any new restaurant or bar on East-West Hwy. has to be aggressive with their promotions if they have any chance to survive. Unfortunately, E-W Hwy does not have the vibrancy and aesthetics of say Ellsworth or Georgia Ave.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a step in the right direction! Happy to hear this will be coming to DTSS. Looking forward to trying it out.

"On another note, has anyone had any experiences/impressions of the police presence in downtown Silver Spring?"

I think police presence is over the top in DTSS. Officers tend to gather in groves in places where pedestrian traffic and crowds are plentiful-Veterans Plaza, Ellsworth,and Fillmore.Sometimes I see 5 or 6 cars parked near the Regal, and same goes for Fillmore. Seems very unneccessary, and they always have the worst attitudes. Gives the impression to visitors that DTSS is unsafe, and that even a small crowd gathered for ice skating at veterans is unsafe without 6 officers present.

Anonymous said...

A great brew pub will be popular no matter how unnattractive the adjacent buildings are. Look at Quarry House - it doesn't have a sign, its in a dive basement off a side street, and the mediocre restaurant on top has the worst looking building fronts in town. But QH draws a crowd.
Don't forget that the long period of area construction and the economic crash all hurt the previous tenants in that space. Moorenkos and Crisfields do OK.
Best of luck to the new entrepeneurs in S. Silver Spring

Another S. Silver Spring business worth supporting is Andrea's Fine Hats - some pretty sharp men's hats in there.

Anonymous said...

Wish Takoma Theater would get a brew pub. Shame to lose that singularly cool space to another condo development.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone vouch for how busy Pete's is for dinner? I've only been there on weekends for lunch and it's been dead.

Anonymous said...

I've been there a couple weeknights and also weekend nights. Every time it's been moderately to very crowded.

Anonymous said...

I've been probably a half dozen times and it's been moderately busy most of the times. A couple times it was very busy. I'm guessing they're doing fine between steady dine-in plus deliveries. Presumably they're not paying a top tier rent for that space.

Ken Cho said...

I live in the Veridian... and it's still the Veridian. I have been to Scion. The service was completely terrible. I wanted to like the place but I'm not patronizing a place where the staff are dicks. And I've been there more than once so I actually wish them ill will, that's how bad it was. When I see the staff out front smoking cigarettes because it's empty, I chuckle.

I do patronize DTSS a lot. I went to Fajita Coast several times but again, the service was just so bad. I do like QH, Lotus Cafe, Jackie's and Sidebar, Pete's, Federal Distrito Tacos.......

Anonymous said...

That's odd - I've had great service at Scion the few times I've gone. The last time was probably the best server I've ever had; he was extremely knowledgable of the taps on hand, was very friendly and responsive, and at the end he offered (without prompting) to split our bill 8 ways. We weren't going to ask since I'm sure that's a pain in the ass, but he went out of his way throughout the night. Guess I get lucky with my servers.

Anonymous said...

Went to Pete's tonight and it was crazy packed. Seems they're doing fine. That said, the next round of apt construction can't happen soon enough. We're adding tons of nice restaurants every year and it'd be a shame if population growth didn't keep up and they started going under. Hopefully it's just crappy places (a la Macaroni Grill & Quiznos) that don't make the cut.

Anonymous said...

Starting tomorrow Scion is having a Pumpkin Week where all their taps are pumpkin beers. $5 each.

Easley St said...

I can't wait for the new brew pub! How exciting! Agree with others that location is terrible. I went a few times when it was Gallery and Babes (awful).

How is Federal Districto Tacos doing? I went 3 times and service/food was super inconsistent. Once food was amazing but service was awful and vice versa. Maybe it was growing pains? I hate seeing local places fail.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the Taqueria will be around for much longer. They're listed for sale. Maybe a place will have better luck once the library is complete. Until then, it's become painfully apparent that there just isn't enough foot traffic on Wayne to sustain a mediocre business (at least not w/a rent of $6K+ a month). If only we could go back in time and bury the garage, put retail on the Wayne side as well, and a few hundred apartments above that. Vibrancy in a snap. Oh well. http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/18388900/930-WAYNE-AVE-Silver-Spring-MD/

8201 Fenton (the old Fresh Starts space) is gutted and a new restaurant is under construction. Not sure what kind of restaurant is going in, but renovating the space automatically makes it a win.

Pacers has closed, though this isn't news since Peterson has listed the space as "available" for a few months now (it closing effectively at the same time as Macaroni Grill reinforces the idea 10 year leases are up). Peterson hasn't, however, list the Macaroni Grill space as available so hopefully that means they already had a new restaurant in their back pocket for the space.

Easley St said...

Thanks, Anon 9:42. Sad to see another local business go.

I went to the Pacers closing sale and they made it seem like it was a mutual decision. The sales rep said they just weren't getting as much business as projected and their other locations are doing much, much better. I wonder how much of it had to do with City Sports opening. He also mentioned they will be opening up another location, he has heard Columbia Heights come up a few times.

Anonymous said...

That's too bad about Pacers. I always thought it would be neat if that location could somehow tap into the Ethiopian and Eastern African market and build a relationship there.

Anonymous said...

Can't say I will mourn Pacers going. I went in looking for a pair of running shoes and I was invisible. I am middle aged, overweight and I felt like I didn't fit the right demographic for them. On the other hand City Sports was welcoming, very helpful, and endlessly patient with my questions. It's all about the service.
Peterson will probably replace Pacers with another mediocre chain/franchise.
I'll take Fenton Village over Ellsworth anytime.

Craig said...

Pacers shoe prices probably could not compete with DSW or City Sports down the road.

The place appealed to the serious running aficionado and the staff looked like they competed in 10Ks and marathons on a regular basis. I agree with the previous poster that the Pacers environment can be little intimating to the novice runner.

But let's be serious about Pacers. The store serves a mostly white, affluent to upper-middle class, college educated market. That's not exactly the crowd who patronizes stores in downtown Silver Spring. Poor business decision by Pacers since their Silver Spring shop did not fit their ideal demographic market. I am sure their stores in more affluent areas like Arlington and Logan Circle in DC are far more successful.

Anonymous said...

Pacers isn't just for rich white people. You need a good shoe to run from the po po.

Gull said...

@Craig about pacers discussion - This underscores so many of the problems with retail in Silver Spring, and the concern whether the proposed Brew Pub has a chance in Silver Spring. Most retailers look at the surrounding demographic before they decide to locate somewhere. In many respects, the new restaurants we are getting in Silver Spring are in response to the existing development, and additional development is just a bonus to their customer base. This about growing suburban areas - the houses come before the retail, which comes before office space. Problem is, demographics show a lot of 25-35 year old educated middle or upper middle income people living in apartments or houses in/near downtown Silver Spring, however many of these Silver Spring residents are going to Bethesda, DC or Arlington to shop/eat out/hang out, and the demographic that is instead coming to Silver Spring by car, bus or train are families from the surrounding neighborhoods or lower income residents from the south, east and north. It's great that there is such a regional draw, however the resulting businesses do not draw the actual people living upstairs. Pacers likely saw a demographic in Silver Spring that would have supported the store, if Silver Spring actually shopped in Silver Spring. I bet there are people who lived in the high rise apartments on East-West Hwy that had NO IDEA there was a Pacers and would have gone there if they knew it existed, but instead went into DC for athletic gear. Silver Spring needs to figure out how to promote itself to the existing residents. Some of it is attracting a better mix of offerings, and some of it is getting people to stay local for retail services. Its a chicken and egg problem at attracting better retailers that appeal to the local resident base.

Sligo said...

You may be reading too much into it. I see plenty of runners on Sligo Creek Trail. This may have more to do with the opening of a City Sports a block away and the fact that you can get every kind of running shoe shipped to you the next day with zero tax and free returns courtesy of Zappos.

Anonymous said...

Distrito was mediocre? Further proof this blog is commentated by idiots.

That's one of the better places in town. Really hope that it's not true that it's closing.

That place is really awesome.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for adding so much to the convo, anon. Maybe just leave us adults/"idiots" alone for awhile? Thanks.

I agree with Sligo - we don't even know if Pacer's was offered a new lease. I wouldn't be surprised if Peterson had planned on dumping Pacer's ever since bringing in City Sports (which they kicked out Pier One to make room for). Peterson regularly balances their space - wouldn't be surprised if Fuddruckers is next to get the boot once BurgerFi opens.

Personally, I won't miss Pacer's, so here's to the space being used by something with broader appeal. Having 4 shoe stores within 100 yards of each other was overkill.

Anonymous said...

@Gull-you're def right about the demographics. One great thing about Silver Spring is the cultural diversity. Unfortunately a lot of people still feel more comfortable around people who look and dress like them. Downtown silver spring attracts mainly people from the outer burbs who cannot otherwise afford to go to the DC restaurants.Ethnicity, as does culture play a huge role in how money is spent. Americans largely go out and drink and spend money on food. Many other cultures while they like to dine, are not big drinkers and prefer areas where there are family settings. I only hope that Silver Spring encourages both. I think you can find that happy medium as you find in other growing cities with such diversity. And for those who eat at DC, I am form Texas, food is crap in DC. over priced. the burbs is where all the good food is, not to mention culture.

Anonymous said...

"but because they're trying to do this in Montgomery County. Do they know that when they brew their own beer in MoCo, they'll have to keg/bottle/can it and sell it to the county, send it to a warehouse and then buy their own beer back from the county?

I know that Ike Leggett is open to changing the liquor distribution process to attract more concepts like this, but I don't think it will change quickly enough for Citizens."

I was wondering about this as well. That make this business model difficult.

Kev29 said...

@ Sligo - I promise I don't mean this in a troll-y way, but... they have Pacers, City Sports and internet shopping in Bethesda too.

(sorry)

Anonymous said...

I suspected that the Pacers wasn't doing well when they failed to hold a 5k in DTSS last Spring like they had the first few years they were here. I think the business relies on a healthy base of serious (but not too serious) runners with disposable income to succeed. If they couldn't even attract sufficient numbers to make their annual race successful, it didn't seem likely that the store would survive.

Anonymous said...

"@ Sligo - I promise I don't mean this in a troll-y way, but... they have Pacers, City Sports and internet shopping in Bethesda too."


umm...except no, Bethesda doesn't have a Pacers. Nor a DSW for that matter. You just made Sligo's point for him. Thank goodness you weren't trying to be a troll because you'd be terrible at it :P

Anonymous said...

Technically they do a DSW in Bethesda. Not in the heart of Bethesda, but it is in Bethesda.

My child works at City Sports. Word is the employees much prefer to work in Silver Spring because the business in Bethesda is so slow in Bethesda.

Sligo said...

And TECHNICALLY there's a DSW in Bethesda, though it's way up at Old Georgetown and Democracy. And I've been in the City Sports in Bethesda. It sucks compared to the one in Silver Spring. It feels really cramped, probably because they tried to fit too much in their smaller footprint.

Anonymous said...

"Technically they do a DSW in Bethesda. Not in the heart of Bethesda, but it is in Bethesda."

Well sure, if you want to consider Bethesda in-name-only stores. It's not even inside the beltway.

Sligo said...

"BINO"

Kev29 said...

Ah! I mistook the RnJ in Bethesda for Pacers, my apologies.

Laura G. said...

This is excellent news and I hope they make it. Looks like one of the owners is a lawyer and works for the Small Business Administration so that bodes well for being able to jump through Montgomery County red tape. Maybe? Hopefully. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-08-20/local/41427674_1_task-force-noise-restrictions-montgomery-county

Laura G. said...

A couple of tips for the brewery owners if they read blog comments:

1) Service, service, service - I would argue one of the major reasons previous endeavors failed in this location is because the service was downright horrible. Combine that with mediocre food, an odd layout, and an out of the way location and it's a recipe for failure. I went to both Babe's and Fajita Coast mostly for happy hours after work (work at NOAA) or with large groups of friends for dinner and every time we would wait forever to place orders and then we would sit with empty drink glasses instead of being given the opportunity to order another round (or two or three). Don't leave revenue like that on the table! There are too many other places in Silver Spring that provide better service (especially for groups). So make sure your servers are on their game, know the menu/drinks, and don't just stand around chatting with each other. Be willing to do separate checks and have good sharable items on the menu and you'll have the happy hour crowd eating out of the palm of your hand.

There really aren't many good choices for groups for happy hour in Silver Spring. Most of the NOAA folks I know go to 8407KB (bar staff handles groups really well, but they lack menu items that are good happy hour snacks/shareables, prices are a little high), McGinty's (good space for groups and decent service, mediocre food), and Fire Station (pretty bad service and mediocre food, but people like the outdoor seating, they can handle large groups inside, and don't mind splitting checks). Oh and Sidebar (good layout for groups, but service is slow).

2) Food - Both of the previous locations had mediocre food (at best). I actually liked food at fajita coast, but there's better Mexican in the area (Mi Rancho). A friend also got sick after eating dinner there so that was a downer. If your beer and service is awesome you may be able to get away with average bar food, but please please please create a menu that sets yourself apart from the plethora of chain restaurant food that is so common across DTSS. There's a handful that get it right (Jackies, 8407kb, La Malinche, I hear Scion is decent, burgers at Quarry House). Great BBQ is a niche yet to be filled in this area, but only do it if it's GREAT (Babe's BBQ was AWFUL). Include shareables and snacks on the menu to get the happy hour crowd in there.

3) Beer (duh) - Super excited for a brewpub as I am a total beer snob and it's definitely something missing from Silver Spring. That being said, it would be great if the brewery featured a few local brewers on a rotating guest tap or two. Why? Because I think this area needs a go-to place that pours local drafts (besides just their own). If you only pour your own, there's a good chance people will only go there when they are in the mood for your beer. They will just go to Quarry House or Scion or downtown when they want other craft beer, so make your place somewhere folks always want to go to. Ones that come to mind are Rockville's nanobrewery Baying Hound Aleworks, 3 Stars, Chocolate City, and Atlas Brew Works.

Laura G. said...

...Continued

4) Sandbox - Keep it! It literally was the only positive thing about the previous restaurant. OK maybe not literally, but there are lots of young parents that want a place they can go and drink a couple of beers with the kid in tow. Seems like a no brainer to me.

5) Layout, decor, and location - It sounds like you have a plan to use the weirdly laid out space. Personally what was worse than the layout to a patron was the decor of the two previous locations. Babe's bought most of their furniture and pool tables from a bar in Pennsylvania that had gone out of business. Everything looked dated and grimy. Fajita Coast moved in over the course of a couple of days and brought the furniture from their old location with them (also dated). I think the space was just too big for them and never really fit the mexican/tex mex theme. Both restaurants just always felt really weird. Please please please do a major reno to make the space actually look like a brewpub. It will go a long way to making you customers feel comfortable and want to come back. As for location, I think it's rather accessible and no farther to walk to from the metro station than the core DTSS area. I suggest making sure you have good signage to make it easy for passerbys to find you. And good directions on your website to the nearby parking garages (which are really only about a 2 minute walk away).

Gull said...

I can't find the article right now, but I remember a few months back when the Nighttime Economy Taskforce was still meeting, that they were approached by someone who wanted to open up a brewpub in Silver Spring, but did not want to have to serve food and implored that the liquor laws be changed to allow this. I believe the connection was later made that this is indeed the mind behind Citizens.

I can accept someones desire to have an establishment to just sell beer and drinks, as much as I can accept someones desire to have an establishment where everyone dresses up like pirates, however it does not mean it will work. If they really do intend to push to open Citizens as just a beer and drinks place, I will probably never even go. I wholly agree it's ridiculous to have a set ratio of food to drink sales, but I like the idea of having food at bars. I will spend 2x as much because i'm buying food, and i'm likely to stay longer and have another drink too, because i'm eating food. I don't think i'd actually go to a bar that didn't serve more than chips and nuts. I really hope the owner of Citizens changes their mind and accepts that we're looking for a brewpub with food that we can order!

Laura G. said...

Gull, I think this is the article you are referring to:

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-08-20/local/41427674_1_task-force-noise-restrictions-montgomery-county

Citizen's facebook page says they will be announcing their restaurant partner soon, so it looks like they will have food.

While I agree with your sentiment about wanting to go to a place that serves both good beer and good food, I would like to see that law changed because I think it would lead to an expansion of new breweries in MC. Baying Hound Aleworks in Rockville has a tasting room and they can sell growlers, but they can't sell (or even pour I think) pints of beer at their tasting room. To me, if I'm going to go visit a brewery, I'm going to want to taste a few beers and then get a full pint or two of the ones I really like. To the brewery, being able to sell pints is obviously a revenue generator. And a crowd pleaser to drive more business. It's the way most breweries elsewhere work. Look at Port City for instance.

Mike said...

The task force recommended creating a license that does away with the required food/drink ratio, but such establishments will still serve food. they just won't have to worry about meeting the ratio requirement.

Anonymous said...

I've been to Scion twice in the past couple of weeks, after forgetting it existed due to the odd locaiton. I really like the food and the crowd is interesting -- hipsters, middle aged to older couples (like my huband and me!, young couples with babies ... it's a nice mix. On two consecutive nights, the bar was packed and most of the tables were full. Hope it continues to do well!

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