Saturday, December 31, 2016

Car stolen on Bradley Blvd., vehicle arson in N. Bethesda + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 28, according to crime data:

Theft. Location unknown, reported to 2nd District police station.

Theft from vehicle. 8100 block Connecticut Avenue.

Stolen car. 5600 block Bradley Boulevard.

Burglary. 7000 block Radnor Road.

Drug arrest. Connecticut Avenue at Woodlawn Road.

Vehicle burglary. 10800 block Antigua Terrace.

Car fire. Determined to be arson. Parklawn Drive at Boiling Brook Parkway.

For Eyes clears out at Apex Building in Bethesda (Photos)

All the glasses are gone at For Eyes, a longtime tenant at the Apex Building at 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, which is facing demolition in the coming months to clear the way for redevelopment by Carr Properties. The empty display racks remain at the shuttered store.

Yum Crepes, Shanghai Bao Kitchen reopen at Westfield Montgomery Mall

Yum Crepes and Shanghai Bao Kitchen have reopened at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda after a temporary closure. No sign was posted to explain why both were closed earlier this week.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Assault on Pooks Hill Rd., burglary on Edgemoor Lane + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 27, according to crime data:

Assault. Location unknown, reported to 2nd District police station.

Assault. Ourisman Honda.

Burglary. 5400 block Edgemoor Lane.

Theft. Balducci's.

Assault. 5100 block Pooks Hill Road.

Assault. 11300 block Schuylkill Road (Randolph Hills).

Theft from vehicle. 11800 block Grand Park Avenue (Pike & Rose).

Where to watch UFC 207 in Bethesda tonight

Where can you watch UFC 207, featuring the headlining bout of Amanda Nunes vs. Ronda Rousey, in Bethesda tonight? While these aren't the only venues, the following bars have been officially confirmed by the UFC as showing the fights:

Downtown Bethesda

Tapp'd Bethesda
4915 St. Elmo Avenue

North Bethesda/Pike District

Quincy's South Bar & Grille
11401 Woodglen Drive

Value City Furniture moving into Sports Authority space at Montrose Crossing (Photos)

Value City Furniture, the Ohio-based chain, is taking over the vacant Sports Authority space at the Montrose Crossing shopping center in North Bethesda. "Coming Soon" signage has been posted on the storefront, and blueprints and schematics are inside the store for contractors to use while building out store. Timpano Italian Chophouse is also making an exit here, to make way for a new retail building by property owner Federal Realty.

Montrose Crossing is located at the intersection of Montrose Parkway and Rockville Pike.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Assault on Woodmont Ave., burglary on Dunlop St. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 26, according to crime data:

Assault. 8200 block Woodmont Avenue.

Vehicle burglary. 4400 block Montgomery Avenue.

Theft. 4900 block Earlston Drive.

Burglary. 3500 block Dunlop Street.

Domestic violence assault. 4400 block Willard Avenue at 10:00 PM.

Assault. 1 Wisconsin Circle.

Car vandalized. 11500 block Parkedge Drive.

Domestic violence assault. 4700 block Macon Road (Randolph Hills).

Bethesda's Waverly Street Gallery to host photography exhibit in January

Waverly Street Gallery will be hosting a new photography exhibit to start the New Year in January. Photographers Kate Stillwell and Wil Scott will bring a trove of shots from their travels - and the inspirations derived from the people, places and events they witnessed - in Two for the Road - A Photographic Journey.

The exhibit will open on January 10, and run through February 4, at the gallery, which is located at 4600 East-West Highway in downtown Bethesda. An opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Friday, January 13, from 6:00-9:00 PM. An Artists' Talk with the photographers will be held on January 28, from 1:00 to 3:00 PM.

All of the events are free.

Regal Cinemas Bethesda signage stripped ahead of demolition (Photos)

All exterior traces of the Regal Cinemas Bethesda 10 theater were removed yesterday, and the workers were in a mad rush. In short order, signage over the entrance was ripped down, and pulled off of the now-unplugged digital marquee out front. The theater closed two weeks ago; the Apex Building that housed it is going to be demolished for a new mixed-use development by Carr Properties.

Regal Cinemas has the right to return in the new development, but there is no public word yet on its negotiations with Carr. A retail space for a cineplex has been shown in early schematics for the project.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Criminals take Christmas off in Bethesda - Bethesda crime update

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

Collision/property damage. Democracy Boulevard at Old Georgetown Road.

Weapon discharged/possession of firearm. 11500 block S. Glen Road.

Bethesda construction update: 4831 West Lane (Photos)

Construction of a seven-story, 120 unit apartment building at 4831 West Lane in downtown Bethesda is well underway. The SJG Residential project will offer 15% affordable units. Small, quiet streets around the project have made it controversial among existing nearby residents. But the development could also be considered modest, given that it is only a block from the Bethesda Metro station.

Shanghai Bao Kitchen, Yum Crepes temporarily close; Cold Stone Creamery for sale at Westfield Montgomery Mall

Update 12/30/16: Both Shanghai Bao Kitchen and Yum Crepes have reopened for business

Shanghai Bao Kitchen and Yum Crepes, two fairly recent additions to the Dining Terrace at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda, appeared to have closed yesterday. Neither was open during regular business hours.

In other Dining Terrace news, the Cold Stone Creamery kiosk in the food court's center is for sale. While still open for business, in the sale listing, the owner is describing the reason for selling as a "family matter." One problem I can say they had, is a lack of special menu items the chain was promoting everywhere else. I stepped up to the counter during Shark Week to order the limited-time-only Shark Week sundae, and was told, "we don't have that." You don't have that? 
Sales listing for
Cold Stone Creamery

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Firefighters respond to kitchen fire at Highland House West in Friendship Heights (Photos)

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a report of smoke on the fifth floor of the Highland House West apartment tower at 4450 S. Park Avenue just after 10:30 PM tonight. They found that food had burned in an apartment kitchen. The fire was quickly extinguished, and there were no injuries, MCFRS spokesperson Pete Piringer said.

Bethesda behaves badly on Christmas Eve - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 24, according to crime data:

Disorderly conduct. Tastee Diner.

Disorderly conduct. 4900 block St. Elmo Avenue.

Disorderly conduct. 4900 block Cordell Avenue.

Theft from vehicle. Whole Foods Market (Friendship Heights).

Vehicle burglary. 4500 block Cortland Road.

Sexual assault. 5200 block Pooks Hill Road at 4:00 PM.

Theft. 7100 block Democracy Boulevard.

Theft from vehicle. 10600 block Montrose Avenue.

Assault. 12000 block Rockville Pike at 12:00 PM.

Assault. 12000 block Rockville Pike at 2:00 PM.

GNC stores in Bethesda to close Wednesday, reopen as One New GNC on Thursday

Struggling vitamin and supplement retailer GNC is making a dramatic effort to right the ship this week. Tomorrow, Wednesday, December 28, all of their stores nationwide - including the ones here on Elm Street, and at Georgetown Square and Westfield Montgomery Mall - will close for the day. When they reopen on Thursday, they will be rebranded as One New GNC, according to a company spokesperson.

Store staff will be armed with tablets to assist customers, and new point-of-sale terminals will provide faster checkouts. A new loyalty program and mobile app will go online at the same time, with the idea of increasing customer incentives to shop at GNC. And inventory will be more diverse, with new brands, and more stock of currently-popular products.

During January, a 1 Million Point Giveaway Contest will be held, and other samples and prizes will be awarded in stores on Saturdays. Robert F. Moran, Interim Chief Executive Officer of GNC, doesn't underestimate the challenge of turning the company around. "The New GNC leaves the old, broken model behind," he said in a statement. "We're confident it will have a positive impact on the business, but it will take time for the changes to take hold and translate to improved financial results."

Spiro Hallas, longtime Bethesda barber, passes away

Spiro Hallas, barber and proprietor of Spiro's Barber Shop & Styling in Bethesda, passed away on Christmas Eve. Hallas' shop has been a fixture at the Shops at Sumner Place (Little Falls Mall, for longtime residents) for decades, and in Glen Echo before that. For those who live near the shopping center, Spiro's is the equivalent of the venerable Westwood Barber Shop for neighborhoods on the other side of Massachusetts Avenue. But many customers traveled farther than that to patronize Spiro's.

Flowers and an American flag stood outside the door of the barber shop on Monday, as customers shared memories outside the shop, and on internet message boards. 

Spiro's daughter, Maria Hallas, says that funeral arrangements have been made for this Saturday, December 31, at St. George Greek Orthodox Church at 7701 Bradley Boulevard (near Seven Locks Road). The viewing will be held at 10:00 AM, and the funeral service will begin at 11:00 AM. All who remember Spiro are invited to attend, and a luncheon will be held afterward.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Assault on Old Georgetown Rd., burglary on Montrose Ave. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on December 23, according to crime data:

Assault. 8600 block Old Georgetown Road at 11:00 AM.

Collision/property damage. 10300 block Old Georgetown Road.

Theft. 10400 block Old Georgetown Road.

Collision/property damage. 7100 block Democracy Boulevard.

Theft. 11300 block Rockville Pike.

Burglary. 10800 block Montrose Avenue.

Fraud. 11600 block Gainsborough Road

Bethesda construction update: Element 28 luxury apartments (Photos)

The lobby of the Element 28 luxury apartment tower is taking shape, and its design reflects the nature theme that begins with the glowing leaf structure out front. Organic lines and pillars evoke tree trunks and landscaping in an indoor setting. Meanwhile, the garage door has been installed, and curiosities like a man-sized door in the leaf sculpture have come to light.

Element 28 includes 101 apartments and 3500 SF of ground floor retail, and you can see the latter empty space in some of the photos below. The Kettler-developed building is at 100 Commerce Lane, across from the Bethesda Metro station.
Tree-like pillar in lobby

Organic shapes

View approaching the lobby
from outside

A door into a sculpture...
now that is unique

View from the front plaza

Garage door

Leaf sculpture

The 3500 SF retail space
for lease