Friday, June 23, 2017

Vandals hit Chevy Chase Blvd., Westlake Terrace; burglary at Montgomery Mall + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 21, according to crime data:

Vandalism. 4600 block Chevy Chase Boulevard.

Car vandalized. 7400 block Westlake Terrace.

Shoplifting over $200. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Burglary. Westfield Montgomery Mall.

Mental transport. 4100 block Wexford Drive.

Identity theft. 5500 block Randolph Road (Pike District).

Shoplifting. 5700 block Bou Avenue.

Bold Bite licensing up for beer, wine as national chain competitor looms in Bethesda

Downtown Bethesda's homegrown upscale hot dog spot, Bold Bite, is preparing to take on national hot dog chain Dog Haus Biergarten. Like Bold Bite, Dog Haus also serves gourmet burgers and sausages alongside the hot dogs on its menu. But unlike Bold Bite, which is located at 4903 Cordell Avenue, Dog Haus serves craft beer and wine.

Bold Bite is aiming to remedy that this summer, before their competitor opens a few blocks away at 7904 Woodmont Avenue. The restaurant has applied for a liquor license to serve beer and wine, and will have a hearing on July 6 at 10:00 AM. While they had already planned to add beer and wine before Dog Haus announced its plans, the addition of adult beverages will be all the more advantageous to Bold Bite with a booze-purveying competitor looming.

Honeygrow, Pieology & more tenants announced for new retail building at Montrose Crossing

Pieology, which just opened at Bethesda Row, is already planning another nearby location at Montrose Crossing on Rockville Pike. The pizzeria will be neighbors with the already-announced Five Guys and Allure in a new retail building at the shopping center, now under construction where Timpano Italian Chophouse once stood in the parking lot.

Just since my report on Five Guys yesterday morning, Pieology and two other tenants were made official by property owner Federal Realty: Cava Grill, and Honeygrow.

Cava Grill is the increasingly-ubiquitous, locally-owned Mediterranean alternative to Chipotle. Honeygrow is a Philadelphia-based fast casual chain serving stir-fry, salads, "honeybars," and cold-pressed juice.

In total, the new retail structure sounds like it will join parking lot neighbor Chick-fil-A as a lunch hub for nearby residents and office workers.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Car vandalized in Friendship Heights, domestic violence on Strathmore Hall St. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 19-20, according to crime data:

June 20

Theft over $200. 1 Bethesda Metro Center.

Shoplifting - clothing. 5300 block Western Avenue.

Car vandalized. Friendship Boulevard (Friendship Heights).

Burglary - forced entry. 6700 block Barr Road.

Mental transport. 5700 block Grosvenor Lane.

Sudden death. 10400 block Grosvenor Place.

Theft over $200. 9800 block Bristol Square Lane.

June 19

Domestic violence assault. 10300 block Strathmore Hall Street..

Theft. 7600 block Arlington Road.

Mental transport. 7700 block Marbury Road.

Theft - supermarket. 10300 block Old Georgetown Road.

Renovations, new sushi bar planned for Woodmont Grill in Bethesda

One of Bethesda's top restaurants will be getting an interior makeover soon. Woodmont Grill, located at 7715 Woodmont Avenue, plans to renovate its dining room. Among the updates will be a new sushi bar area and wait station.

New Montrose Crossing retail building scores first tenant

Federal Realty has its first tenant for the new, 18000 SF retail structure it is building in the front parking lot of the Montrose Crossing shopping center at 12055 Rockville Pike. And it's a familiar one.

Five Guys has leased one of the units; the burgeoning burgers-and-fries chain already has a location across the street from Montrose Crossing, suggesting that could change in the future. Federal Realty has Five Guys in their Rockville Town Square and Bethesda Row developments, as well.
Rendering of the new retail building
under construction on the former site
of Timpano Italian Chophouse

First residents to move into Stonehall Bethesda condos in July (Photos)

The new Stonehall Bethesda ultra-luxury condominium building at 8302 Woodmont Avenue will welcome its first residents in July. Developed by Duball, LLC, the building's 46 units will range from the $600,000s to penthouses that start at $2.3 million. If you've been following my updates, you'll note that the original starting price was $800,000 for 2-bedrooms. Stonehall's 3-bedroom units ($1.7 million) and penthouses retain their original prices.

Currently, the interiors of units on the first floor are being built-out, with cabinets going in this week. By early July, the building's lobby and common areas are expected to be completed. The facade will follow in mid-July. Residents who have purchased units on the first floor will move in by late July. The remaining units will be completed by the end of August. Stonehall is directly across the street from a 24-hour Harris Teeter grocery store, with a pharmacy and Starbucks.

A first floor retail tenant - currently rumored to be either a bank or a restaurant - will follow, as well. The building's sales office is located at 7706 Woodmont Avenue. Stonehall has a rare pull-off driveway for residents and deliveries, and that circular driveway porte-cochère is one of several architectural features that really set this building apart from its competitors.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

DUI on Cabin John Pkwy., burglary on Riverwood Dr. + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 18, according to crime data:

DUI. 700 block Cabin John Parkway.

Burglary/forced entry. 10300 block Riverwood Drive.

Shoplifting. 11800 block Old Georgetown Road.

Downtown Bethesda garage gets freshening (Photos)

Painters shut down the Woodmont-Rugby Public Parking Garage 35 overnight, to apply fresh paint. It was kind of a strange situation, as the garage was supposed to be closed, but there were still many cars inside. And some random cars had protective tarps thrown over them, while others sat exposed, presumably, to dripping paint. On the other hand, I assume they know what they are doing, and where the paint would be dripping.

"Prosecuted to the full extent
of the law" - as the County Council
should be!

Utility work blocks lane on Fairmont Avenue in Bethesda (Photos)

Utility work is blocking a parking lane on Fairmont Avenue, on the block between Norfolk Avenue and Old Georgetown Road. It's unclear if this is related to the construction of the Cheval Bethesda condo tower, or just regular/emergency utility work. So it's more of a parking issue than a traffic issue at the moment.

Bethesda Tesla store now selling solar panels (Photos)

There are so many Teslas on the road in Bethesda, it's getting hard to stand out driving one anymore. Now you may just have to be the first on your block to buy a Tesla roof. The Tesla store at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda has just begun marketing rooftop Tesla Solar panels, which can generate power to charge your Tesla (and your home). Next up for the booming company will be the Tesla Solar Roof, which will first be available for installation in California this month, and then roll out across the country.

You probably have deep pockets if you drive a Tesla, and you'll need them again for the Tesla roof. The company doesn't say upfront how much their solar panels cost, asking you instead to request a price quote. They are more transparent about the Tesla roof, however: Tesla says one of their roofs will cost the typical Maryland resident $52,000, for which they will offer financing by late 2017.

A Tesla roof makes little sense for retirees, however, as it could take two or three decades to pay for itself and earn you money. But for a wealthy young couple buying their first home in Bethesda, Tesla estimates they could earn $8000 in power generated by the roof over 30 years. And with the Powerwall battery, you can store power for use during Pepco power outages.

Tesla will install the roof, which is quite an advance from a standard solar roof. Instead of putting panels on your roof, invisible solar panels are inside the "shingles." So you are literally buying a replacement roof, just as you would with an asphalt or slate shingles. A 30% federal tax credit will apply only to the solar portion of your Tesla roof, the company says. The Tesla shingles are more than 3 times stronger than the typical roof shingle, as an animation on the Tesla website shows.

The Tesla roof probably will be a status symbol in Bethesda as much as a way to save the planet. With solar in decline as a fad, and power companies having second thoughts about paying customers for electricity they generate with their solar hardware, you'll probably see more Model 3s on your street than Tesla roofs in the next 10 years.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Pet resort opening in Pike District of N. Bethesda (Photos)

Dr. Boyd's Veterinary Resort is opening its first location outside of California here in the Pike District of North Bethesda, at 11503 Rockville Pike. This was formerly a Staples store. Dr. Boyd's offers veterinary hospital services, dog and cat boarding, doggie daycare and training, and a pet spa with grooming services.

Sanctuary Interior Design opening at Wildwood Shopping Center in Bethesda; Buredo update (Photos)

Vienna-based Sanctuary Interior Design will open a Bethesda location this fall in the Wildwood Shopping Center. They are calling the new outlet a "Rockstar interior design studio." The new Sanctuary location will also carry home design gifts.

Meanwhile, the sign is up at Buredo, the new fast-casual restaurant at Wildwood that will offer sushi burritos. As build-out of the interior continues, a nifty mural depicting highways and bridges across rivers is sure to make the blood of our "War on Cars" Montgomery County Council boil. "How dare they!"

Monday, June 19, 2017

Underage drinking party in Pike District office building + more - Bethesda crime update

Here's a roundup of crimes reported across Bethesda on June 16-17, according to crime data:

June 17

DUI. Unspecified block of Woodmont Avenue.

Suicide attempt/overdose. 5000 block Jamestown Road.

June 16

Underage drinking party. Office building in 5000 block Nicholson Court at 9:56 PM.

Identity theft. 8500 block Pelham Road.

Kenwood fireworks 2017 set for June 29

The best fireworks display in the D.C. area will once again be presented by the Kenwood Golf and Country Club in Bethesda. This year's Kenwood fireworks will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2017. The event at the private club is for members only. However, the fireworks are visible some distance around the club, and usually begin after 9:00 PM.

Nearby residents - and those with apartment balconies facing the club - know the drill by now: Plan a backyard party modest or grand, and then gain the cachet of The Great Gatsby himself when an expensive fireworks display suddenly erupts in the sky above, and caps off the evening.

Savvy Bethesdans (a.k.a. readers of this blog) who aren't part of the landed class can still partake of the fireworks - if they know where to go. The smart spot is in the church parking lot across River Road from the club, where those-in-the-know converge on foot or by car.

I haven't bothered to go into D.C. or out to Rockville for fireworks since Kenwood began their fireworks displays over a decade ago. The Kenwood display is superior, and gets better each year, and it certainly did in 2016.

Impress your friends, avoid getting your pocket picked or purse snatched downtown (or by the crooked Montgomery County Council!), and take in the best fireworks in the D.C. area. Gracious toast and "I'm Gatsby" line are optional.

A&B's Barbershop grand opening in Pike District today (Photos)

Over the last few days, in addition to being Bethesda's leading news source, I'm also the leading source of news on barber shop openings. Today, it's A&B Barbershop at 11520-D Rockville Pike, in the Pike District of North Bethesda. To celebrate their grand opening today, they're offering a $12 special. Walk-ins are welcome. And yes, they can give you their vaunted "fohawk."

LoveSac, Peloton, Haagen-Dazs open at Westfield Montgomery Mall; Shilla Bakery posts signage (Photos)

LoveSac, the retailer of customizable sectional furniture, has opened at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The furniture features machine-washable covers.

LoveSac calls their most popular sofa a "sactional" sofa. The store is located on Level 2 by Aldo.

Also debuting is Peloton, with perhaps the most unique mall kiosk seen yet. Prospective owners of the high-tech exercise bike and subscription video service will be able to test out the wheels in a glassed-in room (complete with closing doors) in the center of the mall corridor.

This ostensibly will let you focus on the video screen and audio by shutting out the sounds of the mall. At the same time, you will be on display in a glass cage.

Ice cream lovers will be delighted to know that Haagen-Dazs has reopened on Level 1 in the Old Navy wing, after a renovation.

As I previously exclusively reported, Shilla Bakery will also be opening soon in the mall's Dining Terrace. They've installed some Coming Soon signage in the last few days.