Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Silver Spring News 'N Notes

- There's a movement out there to convert a portion of the as-yet-undeveloped area adjacent to the Transit Center into a public park in lieu of constructing a hotel as originally planned. Let me be the one to say it: no. Just, no. Throughout history, very few things located next to bus stations have ever been described as "nice" (case in point: the McDonald's across the street), and I have serious doubts that a park in that location would be particularly appealing as a place to relax. The county needs to stick to the plan and accept the cash flow generated by the 7% hotel occupancy tax. Considering the money pit next door that a hotel would overlook, the last thing the government needs to do now is leave money on the table.

- Anyone have an update as to the status of Kao Thai? It closed for "emergency repairs" last week, and as far as I know has yet to re-open. The windows have been covered up with paper, which is a bit odd if it's just a maintenance issue. What's there to hide?

- Why does Scion, open for nine months, still have a vinyl banner hanging over its door rather than permanent signage? You'd never know it was there if you drive by at night, and even if you're looking for it, it's not easy to spot.

- I had wondered why St. Michael's church had posted large, ugly "no skateboarding" signs around its entrance until I happened by Sunday evening and saw a dozen skateboarders ignoring said signs and jumping off the church's front steps. (It's because we didn't build them a large enough skate park, right, Sk8ter Mom?) Since a lot of churchgoers ignore the "Parking for shopping center only" signs in the adjacent lot, I don't have a ton of sympathy. And yes, they do, because I see it with my own eyes as I sit idling in my car waiting for a spot to open. No offense to parishioners that obey the rules.

- There has been reportedly been an increase in graffiti in Silver Spring as of late, and I have noticed that a number street signs around my neighborhood have been tagged. At least if our "graffiti artists" had some sort of artistic talent or creativity, it might be interesting, but it's usually just a few hastily-sprayed letters. The only tag that is remotely memorable is the angular smiley face guy. And what is the point in tagging playground equipment? Is this some sort of toddler gang marking a slide as their territory? Should my two-year-old be watching his back after using it?


- This frequently-hit crosswalk sign on Sligo Creek Parkway lasted a bit longer than expected, but it finally succumbed to the effects of relentless vehicle strikes and has lain in pieces along the side of the road for a few weeks now. When it was in place, people would stop when they didn't even need to. Now drivers don't stop at all. I recently stood at this crossing with a stroller (something which usually compels people to brake) as half a dozen cars drove past.


- The sledding at Seven Oaks Park must be pretty brutal/fun, as melting snows revealed a muddy hill with shattered and broken remains of countless sleds strewn across it. Someday I'd like to create an exhaustive list of sledding hills around downtown Silver Spring along with ratings for each. When I was a kid, Holy Cross Hospital was the place to sled, but they ruined that hill with their expansion years ago.






99 comments:

Anonymous said...

Are we sure those sleds aren't from our fabulous holiday tree?

Anonymous said...

No no no, Sligo. Don't you know better? Papering windows is standard operating procedure when dealing with emergency maintenance like burst pipes in parts of the restaurant not even visible from the sidewalk.

Sligo said...

Whenever I fix a faucet in my house, I'm sure to paper over all the windows.

Sligo said...

Good point about the holiday tree. Maybe some shady waste management contractors backed a truck up to the park and dumped out all the sleds.

Joe said...

http://aparentinsilverspring.com/2014/01/list-of-local-hills-for-sledding.html

For sledding hills.

Anonymous said...

A neighboring business said that they thought the Kao Thai closure may have involved the health department.

Anonymous said...

I don't remember exactly, but when I inquired at Scion about their lack f a sign, I think the response was either something to do with county regs or the apartment. Probably why Ikko across the street doesn't have a sign either (just a flashy lit one in their window).

Sligo said...

I can't imagine there's really a rule you can't have a sign. There are plenty of places in Silver Spring located at street level of apartment buildings with signs.

Anonymous said...

I don't know...but on a different subject, whenever they want to advertise an event, they have to put the posters up facing the inside...so from the outside you can't read them...They also claim it's the County.

Sligo said...

If that is a real rule, it is violated by a large number of businesses on a regular basis.

Juliet Martin said...

Yea, don't know. The have a Flying Dog Tap Takeover event this Thursday btw.

Anonymous said...

Don't know if it's a real rule, just telling ya what they said.

Anonymous said...

Walked by Kao Thai the other day - don't remember the exact wording of the sign they put up, but it did imply or say that they'd be open fairly soon. Papering windows IS SOP when dealing with rehabbing commercial space. It's exceptionally rare to not do so (see Sligo Cafe as the only example I can think of in years that lets you see the sausage being made).

For what I can see in comment sections, it appears effectively no one thinks a park @ the transit center is a good idea. I can't imagine it happening. Foulger Pratt and WMATA have scratched the plan for the buildings surrounding the transit center so there's currently no plan in place. I expect WMATA to issue a new RFP once the transit center actually opens (in 2081?).

Gull said...

The County sign regulation just generally limits signs to one per business (it's really based on size but most storefronts are only big enough for one), either as a formal sign, or as part of an awning. I'm much more willing to believe it's the apartment and office building owners that are not allowing the businesses along east-west highway to put up their own signs or awnings as an attempt to keep the building looking the same. If the signs and awnings are tasteful, I think having unique signs with different colors and fonts can be quite charming, but i've seen some very ugly ones before too. Not having a good way of saying that sign is cute and that one is ugly, it's easier for the building management to say everyone must use our standard color and font, or do without. Having posters in the window advertising is allowed so long as it only covers a certain percent of the window, and it should be advertising, not an additional 'sign' used by the business.

Anonymous said...

Papering would make sense if they were doing a major interior overhaul. But you don't close without any warning, not even to your employees, to do an interior overhaul.

And of I had a nickel for every business that was temporarily closed per some hastily made paper sign that never opened again, I would have many nickels.

My guess is also something to do with health code violations, but the MoCo database is only updated for inspections through 2/10.

Stuart said...

> a lot of churchgoers ignore the "Parking for shopping center only" signs in the adjacent lot

I believe that the developer and the church have an arrangement that allows churchgoers to park in the spaces immediately adjacent to the church on church days. This is not mentioned on the signs.

Anonymous said...

So this blog has gone from answering our questions about DTSS businesses to asking them ???? Guess it was too much trouble to actually contact Scion or Kao Thai to get an answer. Sad.

Sligo said...

If you do my job and babysit my kids, I'll go hang around closed restaurants to try and catch someone who can answer the question. I'm just "crowdsourcing".

Anonymous said...

Maybe you should have been thinking about your readers while you were out making babies, Sligo. Ever consider of that, you selfish bastard?

Anonymous said...

"Crowdsourcing" ? In that case, perhaps this blog needs to be renamed "Silver Spring, Plural"

Anonymous said...

Does everyone realize the person who runs this blog does it as a community service? This isn't the freaking Washington Post.

Frankly if Kao Thai were smart (and this goes for other local businesses in the area) they would monitor the local blogs and use them to convey information. Not a great business strategy to close out of nowhere, have some mysterious message on your voicemail and paper up your restaurant with no explanation. I like their food and hope they reopen asap, but doesn't look good...

Anonymous said...

"Frankly if Kao Thai were smart(and this goes for other local businesses in the area) they would monitor the local blogs and use them to convey information."

Lolz!

I wish local biz was that savvy. Fake Yelp reviews are the extent of many small restaurants social media mastery.

Anonymous said...

Shame this is opening in Rosslyn -- would be the perfect concept to replace the terrible Fire Station...

http://www.bizjournals.com/washington/blog/top-shelf/2014/02/an-inside-look-at-heavy-seas-ale.html

Sligo said...

The commenter is right. I should really quit my job, crown myself "King of Silver Spring" and post a bunch of photos of doors and cute animals.

Anonymous said...

While the Heavy Seas Alehouse looks cool, this town ain't big enough for two Pirate themed establishments, so says me. Arrr.

Gray said...

Anonymous at 8:51 AM: I imagine that a Heavy Seas Ale House would be a lot harder to run in MoCo, where they would have to sell their beer to the county and then beg for it back, with no promise that it would be in stock when needed.

Just one more casualty of our stupid monopolized beer distribution system.

Anonymous said...

Ikko, the Sushi place on East West Highway has an awning with its name on it. It doesn't face East-West Highway, but rather the courtyard it shares with NOAA. I assumed it was there and not out front, because the front of the Benington has a covered driveway so you wouldn't be able to see it.

Gull said...

Gray - I certainly dislike many aspects of the county run liquor control board, and would love an exception for people who produce their own product to be able to sell it at least on premise without county involvement. However I can't complain too much about other aspects - I enjoy the online portal for product searches, prices and frankly MoCo stores have some of the cheapest prices on liquor that I've ever seen compared to DC, VA and PA for similar product.

Anonymous said...

"frankly MoCo stores have some of the cheapest prices on liquor that I've ever seen compared to DC, VA and PA for similar product."

Yet a dearth of interesting bars. Which is one reason why Arlington kills Montgomery in attracting young, college educated professionals.

Gray said...

@Gull: I don't know about liquor prices, but I have seen beer and wine prices almost exactly the same in MoCo vs. DC and NoVA. Of course, I can't buy beer or wine at the grocery store like in most places, which is annoying.

But the biggest problem I hear about is that the MoCo distribution system makes it very hard for bars to get good craft beers. Only a few are consistently carried, and the rest are just available sporadically. This makes it very hard for bars to have consistently good beer selections.

I imagine that the same thing applies for wine, though I haven't talked to any wine distributors about it. I did talk to a rep from Troegs, who told me that MoCo is a much, much harder place to keep good beer on tap than DC or NoVA.

Gull said...

@ Gary

You are right about the beer and wine prices. MD taxes all alcoholic beverages by the gallon, and the per gallon tax for beer and wine is very comparable across the region, but MD has notably lower taxes on alcohol per the gallon. I'm personally not a beer drinker, and since wine changes every year with every vineyard I don't usually have a favorite brand I look for with wine either - but I can imagine there are problems with the system with stocking. I do know from living in VA during graduate school that the ABC board in VA is responsible for ordering and stocking the beer and wine for grocery stores and gas stations, not the store itself, and therefore the system is basically the same with regard to ordering product. Maybe because the VA liquor distribution is state rather than county wide, they have a larger and better stocked warehouse. I know montgomery county liquor control has in good faith said they want to work with customers to keep a better inventory, but have in the same breath admitted that space and staffing are major obstacles. And as much as being able to get beer or wine in a grocery store would be convenient for 'regular' brands, they still are less likely to stock the craft product and it would create a major backlash state wide as there are hundreds of independent beer/wine/(liquor) stores in MD that only survive because they are the only sources of said beer and wine.

Anonymous said...

"I imagine that a Heavy Seas Ale House would be a lot harder to run in MoCo, where they would have to sell their beer to the county and then beg for it back, with no promise that it would be in stock when needed."

FYI, that's not how it works. At all. The ladies of Denizens would know more than I if you're interested in educating yourself further.

Anonymous said...

"I wish local biz was that savvy."

Lots of them are - see UrBu, Denizens, and Bump & Grind as the latest with strong social media presences (B&G just had an interview over on the SSInc blog, actually). Is it really surprising that older, immigrant-run businesses often have less social-media awareness? Or maybe they just aren't interested in telling you about whatever the issue they're having is.

Anonymous said...

"FYI, that's not how it works. At all. The ladies of Denizens would know more than I if you're interested in educating yourself further."

That is how it works. They are trying to change that. The county seems receptive - I wish them continued luck.

Gray said...

Anonymous @ 1:05 PM - Denizens is a different case, since they will be producing the beer on site. I don't believe the Heavy Seas location in Rosslyn is actually a brewpub; they're bringing in beer from the MD brewery.

Anonymoous @ 4:29 PM - From my understanding, this was considered as a point to push by the nightlife committee, but abandoned. The county seems very much in favor of continuing to siphon off revenue from the current liquor distribution system rather than just taxing alcohol directly. It's really hard to break up such entrenched monopolies, particularly when they're a revenue source for government.

Gull - I don't believe that's how VA or most other states distribute beer now, though they may have in the past. In general, private distributors (with more or less monopoly power depending on the jurisdiction) control the flow of beer to restaurants and retail outlets, except for MoCo and at most a handful of other jurisdictions.

Mike said...

"frankly MoCo stores have some of the cheapest prices on liquor that I've ever seen compared to DC, VA and PA for similar product."

WTF? Do you people shop around? Watch the ads? I regularly buy a certain label wine in the 1.75 liter size for our house wine. At the MoCo liquor store in White Oak, it's regularly $12.49 a bottle. On sale, when I'm lucky, I can get it for $10.49, Yesterday, I got it for $6.99 a bottle at Calvert-Woodley in D.C and bought two cases. For the hell of it, I also grabbed a 750ml bottle of Fireball whiskey for $7 less than I last paid in MoCo. Total Wine in Laurel is not quite that good generally, but absolutely worth the drive out of the county.

Anonymous said...

Finally......someone has a brain and makes an intelligent comment......i'm talkin about you mike....kudos


Particularly total wine....an exceptional store. Great prices, great selection, far...but totally worth it. Btw, great cigar celection too.

Anonymous said...

Agree with anonymous Feb 26 8:56pm. I never buy alcohol in MoCo. I always wait until I've made a trip across the river, to the McLean Total. Wonderful store, helpful, much cheaper, great selection, wine tastings, etc. There are always cars sporting MD license tags with MD folks stocking up there - lol. Me too.

Gull said...

Mike - Wine may have some price edge compared with other jurisdictions, but I have not found this magical liquor store that has booze any cheaper than the liquor store here in Silver Spring. I've pulled up the online prices of what VA ABC stores charge and what PA liquor control stores charge, and it's cheaper here in MoCo than in either of those states, and i've had friends from both VA and PA comment on how liquor is cheaper here than where they live. Note I keep saying liquor, not beer or wine. The only liquor stores i've visited in DC were ones near friends houses and they were outrageously priced for all products but you take what you can get when you don't really know where you are and need something quick.

Gary - Unless VA changed their system in the last 5 years, then ABC has a stronger grip on prices and distribution than you think. Other MD counties have it better with beer and wine because the only other MD county that has government regulated distribution that I know of is Wicomico County. It may be beneficial to drive to Howard or Prince Georges Co for beer and wine if you're really after a very specific selection of product. I'm not really after anything specific enough to put forth that effort as I'm mostly a rum and whiskey fan myself.

Gray said...

Gull - I can't tell if you're still talking about liquor, or if you mean the licensed distributors, but . . . VA has a three-tier distribution system for beer and wine, like most of the US.

http://www.vbwa.org/industry.htm

This system means that there is a limited set of licensed distributors, but at least in VA there is more than one so they have some incentive to get new products and keep products in stock.

By contrast, MoCo is a control jurisdiction:

The procedures of obtaining a license to serve alcohol on-premises vary state by state,
and are not unique to control systems. There are, however, distinct differences in the distribution process. Products for on-premise establishments in control systems must come from a state-owned warehouse or, in some cases, state-operated retail stores.


See http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DLCLRE/Resources/Files/pdffiles/controljurisdictionsfaqs.pdf

Anyway, my point is not about retail sales but regarding sales at restaurants/bars. Because of the way MoCo controls everything (unlike the vast majority of jurisdictions in the US), it's very hard for bars to keep great craft beer selections going. There is thankfully a brewpub exception which will hopefully work for Denizens, but that doesn't help a place like Heavy Seas. And it's going to continue to keep us from getting those sorts of places in DTSS.

Anonymous said...

For sake of comparison, I looked up my standard MoCo liquor purchase, a handle of Smirnoff. Here it is $18 on sale and 20 regular. In VA, it is $22. In PA, $22. At Calvert Woodley, it is $17 and at Schneiders it is $20 on sale.

I also looked up wine prices for my standard NZ Sauvignon Blanc purchases and MoCo is definitely a few bucks more per bottle across the board in VA and DC.

Interesting, but nothing that will change my behavior of simply walking 5 minutes to get my hooch.

Gray said...

Unrelated, but I'm just going to leave this here.

http://connectedcommunities.us/showthread.php?t=60760

Anonymous said...

I spent a lot of time shopping around for liquor for my wedding last year and agree that MoCo was the cheapest prices I could find in the area (by quite a wide margin, in a number of cases).

It sure would be nice if someone who knows what they're talking about could straighten out how big of an issue MoCo's Dept. of Liquor Control is. How is Scion having a bunch of Flying Dog taps tonight, including a number of extremely limited/rare releases? How do Adega and Fenwick also commonly have these types of beer events? I'm sure the notion that Heavy Seas "would have to sell their beer to the county and then beg for it back, with no promise that it would be in stock when needed" is completely off, but is it as simple as Flying Dog being able to drive their limited release kegs over to Scion this afternoon or is there a hoop to jump through first? I know MoCo can fulfill "special orders" - is that what always happens? How easy is it? Is that how Fenwick is able to carry hundreds of different beers or how QH has a massive beer list or is MoCo's available selection already that large? Come on, county employee lurker - you know you want to shed some light on the situation....

Gull said...

Gray - I think we were talking about two different things. My experience is working for a grocery store in VA that cold beer and wine, and it was always stocked by ABC agents, and I was told it's the same for all retail. It's quite possible that bars and restaurants are able to seek out private distributors for on-sale consumption.

I also acknowledge that MoCo is not the cheapest place for wine, but no where in MD would be (though some may have it cheaper). MD has a high behind the scenes tax on wine per gallon, but a low behind the scenes tax on liquor per gallon, which is why we have good retail liquor prices but not so good retail wine prices.

I don't have a perfect answer for why some restaurants/stores are able to stock craft beverages or have special events, except for as far as my following of the nighttime economy task force and the county website takes me. However I do remember reading many months ago that the County does work with restaurants and retailers to purchase unique products, but admits that the more unique the product, the less likely they can keep it in regular stock. Having an event or two, or stocking for a month of something is easy because the retailer requests a batch be ordered and generally the County will try to. The problem is limited warehouse space and limited staff, which means the County's focus is on keeping the popular selling/popular requested product stocked at the expense of craft product. It's certainly a bad system. Ideally the County just lets go of its control totally (which I don't see happening). Compromise 1 would be to decentralize beer and wine, but keep control of liquor, which would solve many problems but not all (still unlikely but more likely than full decentralization). Compromise 2 (which I see is more likely, but the least effective) is to get a second county owned warehouse and a few additional staff to focus just on beer and wine (again assuming the liquor side of things are not the major issue).

At the end of the day just about every jurisdiction has some level of ridiculous control on liquor dating back to post-Prohibition legislation (no happy hours in Mass., Can't advertise them in VA {finally changed}, Beer only available by the case at retailers in PA or by the 6 pack directly from a bar with high price markup, now no bottomless brunch in NYC).

Anonymous said...

"How is Scion having a bunch of Flying Dog taps tonight, including a number of extremely limited/rare releases?"

a) The beers at tonight's event are not that all that rare. Most have been on tap around the county in recent months.

b) Flying Dog sends a lot of beer to MoCo, so there's a lot in stock. For an event like this Scion and a FD person will make sure that the county is properly stocked with the right beers and they deliver with the order this week.

In every other city or county the brewer or distributor would just drive the kegs straight to the bar's door. Here they need the county to do it. That said, MoCo Liquor Control have gotten a lot better at stocking and being flexible with bars in the past few years. They have felt the pressure from higher ups to be more business friendly because those highers ups know that the county gets crushed by other jurisdictions in the restaurant biz.

Anonymous said...

Alright, all you arm chair alcohol distribution pros.

http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dlc/#

Gray said...

Yeah, what Anon @ 1:30 PM said. It's not impossible to have craft beers on tap in MoCo, but it's more difficult than in other jurisdictions. If you want more interesting stuff, then it's always a special order and MoCo may or may not have it in stock when you need it. Places like Scion have adapted to this (and their strategy seems to be that they change up their taps super fast, so they get the best stuff that's available at any given time), but it doesn't make up for the fact that the MoCo way definitely makes it harder to have a wide variety of craft beers in stock. Like it was said above, anywhere else the distributor just drives the truck to the restaurant and drops off the desired beers. It might be a pain to get certain items from certain distributors, but it's relatively much easier.

Again, my point is that this ridiculous system makes it hard for something like a Heavy Seas Alehouse to open up in MoCo. Since it's not a brewpub, it doesn't fall under that exception so yes, they would have to sell their beer to MoCo and buy it back at MoCo's leisure. In VA they have to go through a distributor, but that distributor tends to be much more responsive to customer needs (not to mention cheaper) than MoCo's board.

And thanks, Anonymous @ 1:40 PM, for linking to the same place that I linked above.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:30, you're clearly talking out of your butt. There are a number of extremely limited releases, e.g. the Mango Habanero IPA which was only released for the very first time less than two weeks ago @ Flying Dog itself and has been served in less than a handful of bars - ever. Or the Barrel Aged Gonzo which is an EXTREMELY limited release and this year's also came out only a couple weeks back and had a two bottle max limit ($20 each). Does that sound like Flying Dog is providing MoCo - or anyone in the world - with "a lot in stock" of these very limited-run beers? Clearly there are mechanisms in place that allow for bars to buy or host even the most craft of craft beers in MoCo. The question is what are those mechanisms and if the process has room for improvement.

Anonymous said...

Yes, those FD beers were released a few weeks ago. The brewery has had time to get them trough the county DLC before the event. No there is not a huge stock of those beers in the state, my example was that Flying Dog has a lot of experience dealing with the county and they know how to make events like this work. This is a crucial market for Flying Dog, they make it work.

FWIW, I used to work Heavy Seas events in the county a while back. They've always happened. You can make things like this work with the county short term. The pain is working with the DLC, and their rates, long term. It pisses businesses off.

I'm not exactly sure what you're arguing. That the DLC structure is OK because FD can have one event at Scion? Basically the same event that Pizzeria Paradiso had last week in Dupont. Or that there needs to be changes in that structure.

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to argue anything; I'm just trying to figure out how easy it is for brewers and bars to hook up w/"special orders" via the county and what, if anything, needs improvement. We know it's possible to do, I just don't know if it could be easier or cheaper or faster or if it all runs fine now.

Gray said...

@Anon at 3:42 PM:

We know it's possible to do,

Yes, it is.

I just don't know if it could be easier

Yes, it could be.

or cheaper

Yes, it could be.

or faster

That, too.

or if it all runs fine now.

No, it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

I hear you. It's not particularly easy, though it is possible. Bar owners always complain about prices from the county - but at the same time some people are crazy enough to do business in MoCo because there are a lot of customers with money here too.

Looking at Scion Silver Spring's events thus far, I'm not too surprised that they have had nights featuring Troegs, Lagunitas and Flying Dog. Three really well organized, pro brewers with lots of experience distributing in the county and all over the region/country.

Another aspect to remember is the oddity of having the county decide which brewers it will accept through the DLC system. Whereas in most of the country it's just up to the brewer and distributor when they want to expand. In DC the possibilities are endless -- and the city is completely lax when it comes to overseeing which breweries start distributing. Which is why Churchkey can have 12 kegs of Cigar City delivered from Tampa for a rare beer night when they normally don't distribute in DC. With MoCo that brewer would have to be registered with the DLC for their beer to be served in the county.

Anonymous said...

OMG, the Flying Dog event was nuts. It was beyond packed. On one hand I miss when dtss was less crowded, but on the other hand it's pretty cool that we're so in-demand now. It took about 90 minutes to get a table for two. I hope Scion continues having these beer events, though in the future I'll definitely be arriving earlier. Back when I lived in Bethesda (I didn't know any better - don't hate me) I only recall this level of demand on nights when Blackfinn would give people free "VIP" parties, i.e. have a buffet of crappy meatballs and carrots for free and charge you 5 bucks for a bud light. Holy moly do I not miss those dark days of mediocrity.

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Anonymous said...

Watch out Sligo. That tag was probably put up by a Crib? Maybe a Blattin' King.

Anonymous said...

I love when people try local beers and all of a sudden thing "gee I'm a beer expert now" "I have a refined palate".

Lets be honest here, most local breweries really suck and their beers are terrible. the only reason half of them survive is because of idiot hipsters who think "hmm, this local beer is much better than budweiser or coors, I'm so cool, i like supporting local organic blah blah blah"

here is a good test for our "really good beer selection" bragging hipsters; Go to total wine in laurel, they have over 630 beers and you can make your own 6-packs. Try all of them and if you can honestly with a straight face tell me that of the 630, 600 dont taste exactly the same(crappy)...I will buy you a crown and name you king of beers(and then buy you a budweiser)

Point is, who cares if a bar around here has "ooh 50 types of beers" most suck and lets be honest Sam Adams or Millers is 10x better anyways.

Though me personally I am a new castle fan.

Anonymous said...

Let's be honest here. You are kind of a dick.

Anonymous said...

lets be honest, I may be a dick, but it's the truth and you hate to admit it

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you feel the need to justify your own insecurities by crapping in others. Now go stuff your mouth with a brick of Velveeta and try to tell us it's the same as Gruyere.

Anonymous said...

Newcastle blows, as do most English beers. Do you were a tutu when drinking it?

Anonymous said...

"Now go stuff your mouth with a brick of Velveeta and try to tell us it's the same as Gruyere"

ahh, typical hipster jibberish...almost as good as a nice cold bud light

Anonymous said...

lol, this guy has got to be joking. What a loser.

Anonymous said...

That guy needs to go back to playing Mindcraft.

Anonymous said...

You can call me a loser all you want, but it just masks your own denial and doesnt mean what im saying isnt true.......its true, you know its true and responding with moronic frangment sentances isnt going to make it less true.


So get over it hipsters!

Anonymous said...

You had a valid point until you stated your undying love of Newcastle. Crappy beer, plain and simple.

And it just proves that people have lots of different tastes for different beers. Your taste is for lower quality beers so you really have no qualification for putting down other people's likes.

Anonymous said...

You can call me a loser all you want, but it just masks your own denial and doesnt mean what im saying isnt true.

Unlike simply tossing around the term "hipster" to a bunch of anonymous people online, which of course means whatever follow or proceeds MUST be true. Oh wait. Did I say "true"? I meant "trollish."

Anonymous said...

That guy talking about buying 630 beers from Total Wine, he's clearly a troll from PG since he wants you to spend lots of money on beer from a business in PG.

But for real, the local beer scene is good. It's no Colorado, but it's good. DC Brau needs to focus on consistency, and 3 Stars needs more presence.

On that note, Velveeta grilled cheese sammich and tomato soup time bitches!

Anonymous said...

Moco Liquor is cheaper than anywhere else around. Anyone arguing against this is clueless. Hint: Liquor does not mean "wine" or "beer" so stop misreading the oriignal comments.

Now go back to crying about which hipster beer tastes better than the other.

Gull said...

To not get thrown into the fray - but Total Wine is not in PG county, it's in Anne Arundel County - for what that is worth. It's too far to be piratical most of the time, but is worth a drop in now and then when i'm on my way to visit a friend in Baltimore.

Anonymous said...

"as do most English beers."

Whoa whoa whoa whoa!

Whoa.

Anonymous said...

As of this morning, Scion has a permanent sign!

Anonymous said...

Anyone know anything new about the fate of Kao Thai? I called and left a voicemail on the off chance they'd get back to me, which of course they didn't. They've been closed for over 2 weeks now. Probably done for unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Was glad to see the Scion sign for burger night, as well as a hiring sign for Nai Nai.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Kao Thai's roti canai. You can't find good roti canai most places.

Gray said...

Has anyone else made it to the episode in House of Cards where Freddy talks a lot about those white folks way out in the suburbs who would come to his Silver Spring location?

At least they didn't call it Silver Springs, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Yes and see what happened to Freddy?

Anonymous said...

It's entirely uninteresting, but there's a youtube clip up showing current construction work @ 923 Sligo Cafe. Drywall (and therefore electrical, plumbing, etc.) is done and some flooring is done as well. Hopefully they're in the home stretch. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuCbzaZdQSk

Anonymous said...

A lot of people point out the unrealistic aspects of House of Cards (obviously filmed in Baltimore and not DC, the idiotic choices characters around the Underwoods make that lead to their downfall)....but for my money the single biggest GLARING fake moment in that show that takes me right out of it is the opening episode:

In it, Frank Underwood, a man from South Carolina is going to Freddy's BBQ in DC and loves it just like it's "from home in the South".

That had me laughing. There is literally no BBQ joint in the DC, MD, Northern VA area worth a crap. THERE IS NO BBQ in the DMV. What a joke.

Anonymous said...

Big news for Silver Spring with the passing of the beer bills in the MD legislature. Now Denizens won't have to sell beer to the county and buy it back before serving.

https://twitter.com/DenizensBrewing/status/443787749771202560

http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Bills-to-Help-Bring-Microbreweries-to-Montgomery-County-Pass-Maryland-House-249582651.html

Gull said...

Though i've certainly had better, the Urban BBQ is not too bad. Like so much though it's either on the other side of the Red line, or it's in a car/many bus transfer accessible area. Closest to us is in Hillendale, in the same shopping center as the Starbucks and Safeway. There is also one in Twinbrook, one off Rt 28 east of Rockville, and one way up in Sandy Springs. It's possibly not wort a special trip, but I've eaten there a couple times when I was already in the car running errands, and i'd surely embrace a location in DTSS

Anonymous said...

abc7's story actually interview's Denizen's about it. http://www.wjla.com/articles/2014/03/bills-on-tap-for-maryland-microbreweries-101044.html

breweries have never had to sell their product to MoCo and then buy it back. These law changes don't have anything to do with that imaginary rule someone on here keeps saying, either. The new laws would make it so a brewer wouldn't need a full restaurant licence in order to serve their product (and a second law change would allow the brewer to sell directly to other establishments rather than having to go through a distributor.

Anonymous said...

Urban BBq is pretty terrible. Not even at the level of the Bethesday Country store cart.

But I will say that the location in Silver Spring (new hampshire) is significantly lower quality than any of the other locations.

Anonymous said...

So I'm a TN native with a wife from TX, and we make some great BBQ. Who wants to go 50/50 on opening a BBQ joint in DTSS?

Gray said...

Anonymous @ 3:12: I never said that brewpubs would have to sell their beer to the county and buy it back. What I said was that to sell their beer at a location other than a brewery, they would in fact have to sell it to the county and buy it back.

This was in the context of a discussion of the Heavy Seas bar/restaurant in Rosslyn, which I don't believe is also a brewery. A brewpub would face different restrictions.

The second bill mentioned, though, that would "enable breweries to distribute their own beer to licensed recipients in Montgomery County," sounds like it would affect how Denizens could distribute. Without it they would have to distribute through the County warehouse, but it seems like this bill would allow them to sell directly to stores, which would be pretty huge.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly how the bill reads.

Denizens can sell kegs to QH, Jackies, etc. AB seems to have an iron grip (with a few exceptions) on McGinty's tap lineup..so who knows on that one.

Anonymous said...

"I never said that brewpubs would have to sell their beer to the county and buy it back."

Which is why the comment wasn't directed at you.

Anonymous said...

Just curious if anyone on this site works in construction or permitting and can answer the question below:

three highrises slated to break ground shortly in dtss (900 thayer, 8415 fenton and 8621 georgia) have all applied for permits w/the county but all three seem to be hung up and failing (some have repeatedly failed) the "Sediment Control Permit" inspection. Anyone know what that permit entails or why the developers keep fumbling it? On its face, it sounds like something that'd be easily obtained.

Gull said...

Sediment control permits for face value are what they say, they make sure you control sediment runoff from your property during construction. The developer has to come up with a plan for how this will occur during each phase of construction. Being urban infill sites that each require some sort of demolition - this process is complicated because you're not just putting up sediment fences to keep sediment out of streams, but you have existing storm drains that likely have to be relocated as part of development, and with the new environmental site design stormwater regulations you also have to integrate stormwater management into your sediment control permit.

The sediment control permit is also a phase that developments get hung up while developers are working out last minute issues with forest conversation plans and site plans with MNCPPC. Often conditions are written into the approval that block a plan from progressing to plat, or to sediment and erosion control approval until other bonds have been paid or plan details have been worked out. Also a problem with urban sites is if the dept. of Permitting Services requests a change to the location of something (stormwater outfall, a stormwater device, grading) it may be in conflict with the approved site plan and the developer has to get an amendment with MNCPPC. Permitting Services has a say during the plan review process, but always warns that final plans are not worked out until after MNCPPC approvals. I also imagine it's a place in the process developers like to sit idol if they want to hold up the process for some reason (market forces, lack of financing) because the deadline to act on an approved sediment and erosion permit is a lot sooner than a plan approval from MNCPPC.

Anonymous said...

Kao Thai Update:

I called the number yesterday and a new message was recorded. They are reopening on Monday March 17.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info, Gull. Very helpful.

And great news re: Kao Thai. The comments sections sure are a nice and helpful place...sometimes.

Anonymous said...

You can add Golden Flame to the list of closed places.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Distrito is still around. So much for the tool that would like to see it close down.

Anonymous said...

Distrito is still up for sale. What to buy it, tool?

Anonymous said...

Kao Thai is reopened as of today! :D

Anonymous said...

Ah so easy to get this moron riled up. love it. The defend silver spring troll will never fails to amuse.

Anonymous said...

^...what a sad/angry comment. Someone seriously needs to get out and make a real-life friend or two. Step 1: spend a bit less time trying to pick fights with people on a neighborhood blog post about a thai restaurant renovation.

Kao Thai Restaurant said...

Hi everyone! Thank you so much for your interest in Kao Thai and your patience while we were closed. I'm happy to share with you that our restaurant has re-opened as of yesterday and we think you'll be pleased with the updates we've made. Kao Thai opened its doors nearly three and a half years ago, starting as a much smaller family restaurant. Thanks to the warm support we received from the community, we have had the opportunity to expand and grow our restaurant to twice its original size. While evaluating our business a month ago, we noticed we had strayed from our original idea of a family-run business and the values that go along with one. We strive to ensure that feeling for not only our customers, but our staff as well. When we found ourselves at a place where we felt we were neglecting both, we had to make adjustments. If you have any questions or concerns, please send us a note at kaothairestaurant@gmail.com. Thanks for sticking by us through this time of improvement, and we hope you'll come by and visit soon!

lilk said...

IMO Takoma Park Middle School on Piney Branch Rd is the best .

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