Thursday, October 30, 2014

NEW ZIPCAR BY REDDZ TRADING IN BETHESDA (PHOTOS)

A new Zipcar space has appeared on Woodmont Avenue near Norfolk Avenue, in front of clothing boutique Reddz Trading. The space is active on the Zipcar website, and was occupied last evening by a Zipcar Subaru named, "Eisenhart." Yes, the Zipcars now have names to make them more personable. This new Zipcar at 7805 Woodmont Avenue should be convenient for residents of Fairmont Plaza, and the future 7770 Norfolk apartments.
Meet Eisenhart



GET READY FOR HALLOWEEN AT BETHESDA ROW & BRUCE VARIETY TODAY (PHOTOS)

Bethesda Row is offering you "retail scare-apy" today from 5-7 PM all around the Row. Bring your trick-or-treat bag to Bethesda Row shops and restaurants and see what you'll get - like candy and 20% off at Bonobos on Bethesda Avenue, for example.

Stop by the green tent on Bethesda Lane near bluemercury first, to get your free trick-or-treat bag.

How about Roosters Men's Grooming Center on Arlington Road? During Trick-or-Treating, adults can receive a $10 gift card to use on any service for a first time visit, and a hot lather add-on for a shave (you don't need to get the shave tonight, though!). Kids will get candy and light refreshments.

Speaking of bluemercury, ladies, you will want to stop by during the event to try their M-61 Glow Express treatment for free.

For families in costume, Le Creuset will have free candy (even if you're not in costume), and a free cookie cutter for the first 30 costumed clans.

You can get free candy too at Jaleo, but adults might want to try a free sample of gazpacho.

Creative types can create their own Lilly print with crayons at the Pink Palm's drawing competition.

Equinox will have guest passes and temporary tattoos for kids.

And those are just a few of the treats in store tonight.

Be sure to enjoy a free live performance by local violinist Daisy Castro.

Not quite ready for Halloween yet?

Stop by Bruce Variety at 8011 Woodmont Avenue for costumes and decorations that will make you, and your house or apartment, stand out this Friday night.




TAKO GRILL TARGETING DECEMBER OPENING IN BETHESDA (PHOTOS)

Coming Soon signage is up in the window at the new location of Tako Grill in Bethesda, in the former Hinode space at the Shoppes of Bethesda, on Hampden Lane. The restaurant says it plans to open in December at the new space, after development forced it out of its original location at 7756 Wisconsin Avenue. That building is one of several to be replaced by a project that will include an office building and a Westin Bethesda hotel.

Tako Grill's menu will remain the same at the new location, they confirmed last evening.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

BETHESDA CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: HOMELESS SHELTER-TO-RESTAURANT CONVERSION (PHOTOS)

Interior demolition and asbestos removal are among the early stage projects at the former Bethesda House men's shelter at 4848 Cordell Avenue. The building is being transformed into a restaurant space, based on a design by local architecture firm Steven J. Karr, AIA, Inc. That firm is also involved in renovations at other Woodmont Triangle buildings, including the Saah Building and Greenhill Capital's Lot 667 collection of properties along Fairmont, Norfolk and St. Elmo Avenues.


Here's how the interior looked
about 2 weeks ago


This glass is now gone


HALLOWEEN BASHES AT UNION JACK'S, HARP & FIDDLE IN BETHESDA

Two downtown Bethesda bars are among those hoping partiers will choose to haunt their buildings this Halloween. 

Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle is promising a High Score Halloween, with a live (as opposed to undead) DJ, light show, and an ominously vague-sounding "Special Visual Presentation." Admission is free, and you can win cash prizes in their costume contest. There will also be drink specials, as you can see in the photo at top.

Flanagan's Harp & Fiddle
4844 Cordell Avenue

Meanwhile, the annual Nightmare on St. Elmo Street (actually Avenue, for GPS purposes) Halloween bash returns to Union Jack's Bethesda. The costume contest there has a travel grand prize, with a winner's choice of destinations: Las Vegas, New Orleans or New York City. There will also be other cash and prizes at stake for costume-sporting patrons. Halloween is this Friday, so start making plans now.

Union Jack's Bethesda
4915 St. Elmo Avenue



NEW RENDERINGS OF BETHESDA FIRE DEPARTMENT'S POTENTIAL REDEVELOPMENT (PHOTOS)

Two new renderings showing a potential redevelopment of the Bethesda Fire Department station at Wisconsin Avenue and Bradley Boulevard have been posted on the new downtown Bethesda development map. It appears to show a greater building height over the fire equipment bays and driveway area where trucks would exit onto Bradley Boulevard. That is a different configuration than the more direct Wisconsin Avenue access the fire station has today.

The second rendering gives an idea of how such a new building would back up to the single-family-home residential neighborhood directly behind it. Fire Department officials have not yet proposed a specific plan for the site, but are evaluating options to fund a full renovation or replacement of the aging firehouse.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ASSAULT ON RUGBY AVE., DRUG ARREST ON EDGEMOOR LANE + MORE - BETHESDA CRIME UPDATE

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on October 25, according to crime data:

Disorderly conduct. Woodmont Avenue at St. Elmo Avenue.

Drug arrest. Edgemoor Lane at Arlington Road.

Assault. Rugby Avenue at Del Ray Avenue.

Burglary. 5300 block Westbard Avenue.

Burglary. 5300 block Bangor Drive.

Liquor arrest. Unit block of Derbyshire Court.

Theft. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Theft. Macy's at Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Burglary. 6100 block Neilwood Drive.

4500 EAST-WEST HIGHWAY OFFICE BUILDING FINISHED, SIGNS FIRST TENANT IN BETHESDA

Carr Properties' new Class A office building at 4500 East-West Highway is now complete, including the public plaza outside, as you can see in these photos. I like the public art on the plaza a lot. 

The developer also announced its first lease, after many months of struggling in Montgomery County's abysmal office market. It's not quite the prize that Intelsat would have been, as small business-financing firm RapidAdvance is simply moving from its existing Bethesda office to the new building. It will occupy a full floor at 4500, according to the Washington Business Journal.

After county officials fumbled Intelsat's interest in being the anchor tenant at 4500, the firm instead became the latest to choose Northern Virginia, with its friendlier business climate and Tysons' direct access to highways and Dulles International Airport.











STEPHEN STRASBURG TO APPEAR AT MICROSOFT STORE OPENING IN BETHESDA #NATITUDE

Microsoft has just announced that Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg will be a VIP guest at the Saturday, November 22 Grand Opening of the Microsoft Store at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The first 200 customers in line at 10:30 AM that morning will receive a ticket for a chance to play Xbox One with the Nats ace, who will appear from 4:00-6:00 PM.

Grand opening attendees will also get special deals, including a Toshiba Encore 8-inch 32GB tablet for just $99, or an Xbox 360 for only $99.

Microsoft will present technology grants to community organizations during the 10:30 AM ribbon-cutting ceremony. In addition to products, the store will also feature an Answer Desk where customers can receive expert advice on their Microsoft gadgets and software.

Monday, October 27, 2014

HALLOWEEN LUNCHABLES 2014 REVIEW: DIRT CAKE, S'MORES DIPPERS (VIDEO)

The Halloween Countdown is underway on the Robert Dyer Channel, and the latest video is a review of the Halloween Lunchables of 2014. This year, dessert seems to be the theme, with an Oreo-based Dirt Cake, and S'mores Dippers. I tried out both, and here is my review. Both have great Halloween themed packaging, but let's find out if the actual product is as good.

BETHESDA CURRY KITCHEN TOUTS BIG LUNCH BUFFET (PHOTOS)

A new sign at Bethesda Curry Kitchen on Cordell Avenue draws attention to the Indian restaurant's Big Lunch Buffet. You can see just some of the lunch items on the chalkboard below:
4860 Cordell Avenue
(301) 656-0062

TOLL BROTHERS LAUNCHES SITE, POSTS RENDERINGS FOR HAMPDEN ROW CONDOS IN BETHESDA (PHOTOS)

Toll Brothers City Living has launched the official website for its future ultra-luxury condo development, Hampden Row. They also have posted some new renderings (including interiors), which are not currently on the website. There are also images of formally-dressed couples out on the town, and a promise of an "unparalleled lifestyle" for residents of Hampden Row. Construction is still in the earliest stage at the corner of Hampden Lane and Arlington Road, in downtown Bethesda. Click photos to enlarge for greater detail:





Sunday, October 26, 2014

FRIENDSHIP HEIGHTS METRO ESCALATOR RENOVATION UPDATE (PHOTOS)

The escalator between the bus bays and mezzanine at the Friendship Heights Metro station is currently scheduled to reopen on October 31. Will there be a trick or a treat come that day? Stay tuned. Here are some photos of the project.