12/04/13 12:00pm


From a press release:

“Urban Butcher, a bohemian inspired gathering place that celebrates the butchers art, opens Thursday, December 12

Urban Butcher is a laid-back and relaxed escape from the ordinary that will transform downtown Silver Spring. Every element of the restaurant from the sharing menu to the garage door sized windows that create an open air market feel to the repurposed coffee bar/lounge furniture to the custom-designed glass-enclosed curing cellar to the in-house butchering kitchen creates a true atmosphere of community, inclusion, transparency and comfort unlike any other. The extensive sharable menu of eclectic and honest fare will feature a significant selection of in-house cured and aged cuts of meat, as well as seafood, poultry, pig and game.

The entire menu is made of shared items including many selections from the meat cellar including charcuterie and salumi as well as terrines, pâtés and more. The moderately priced menu focuses on nose-to-tail dining. It will feature popular cuts of meat from heritage breeds chosen for the natural flavors they take from the land upon which they graze as well as many other cuts not often found on restaurant menus. Reflecting the chefs’ passion for whole animal butchery and using flavorful and honest ingredients, many of the proteins on the menu will come from local and sustainable sources.

With a focus on accessibility Urban Butcher’s highly-researched and value oriented wine list of approximately 100 labels is devoted to respecting terroir and tradition. It features avant-garde small producers from the Old World. Additionally, it will include newer-style wines from around the United States. One sparkling wine and 11 beers will be available on tap. The cocktail program features classic cocktails as well as an eclectic whiskey and malts selection.

Designed to appeal to the business and residential communities it is surrounded by, Urban Butcher will offer a variety of experiences including a 30 seat coffee bar that turns into a lounge area in the evening, a 20 seat bar, a 50 seat dining room, a 24 seat communal table and an outdoor patio that seats 50.

Splashes of bright, fresh color and texture will accent the clean, white interior. Vintage and reclaimed furniture as well as more modern pieces create an eclectic mix of old and new. Garage doors open to the street creating an open air market feel throughout the restaurant that beckons passersby. The jewel piece of the restaurant is the custom-designed glass-enclosed curing cellar located at the back of the restaurant. Reflecting Urban Butcher’s emphasis on accessibility and transparency, a floor-to-ceiling glass walled wine room accessed by a rustic, library-style ladder greets guests upon entering.

The restaurant will initially offer dinner & happy hour. The butcher shop, lunch, brunch and a coffee shop throughout the day are planned for early 2014.

Hours: 5:00 p.m. – midnight (Monday thru Thursday), 5:00 p.m. – 2 a.m. (Friday & Saturday). 5 p.m. to TBD (Sunday). Dinner 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Sunday thru Thursday), 6 p.m. – midnight (Friday & Saturday), Happy Hour Open until close (seven days a week).

Thursday, December 12 at 5:00 p.m.

8226 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland 20910, just two blocks south of the Silver Spring Metro stop on the Red Line.”

07/15/13 12:00pm

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8517 Georgia Avenue

From a press release:

“sweetgreen, the much-loved, organic, farm-to-table salad shops founded in Washington, D.C., opens in Silver Spring, M.D. today – exactly six years since sweetgreen opened its first store in Georgetown. The Silver Spring store is located in the heart of downtown at 8517 Georgia Avenue, next to the Discovery Communications headquarters and Silver Spring Farmers Market. Silver Spring residents now have access to sweetgreen’s healthy and delicious salads, grain bowls, seasonal soup and frozen yogurt, which have garnered a cult-following in the D.C. area.

In celebration of opening day, sweetgreen is inviting guests to “Pay What You Want” until 4pm, with all proceeds benefiting FRESHFARM Markets. The organization’s mission is to educate the public about food and environmental issues and to provide vital economic opportunities for local farmers through farmers markets and other programs in the Chesapeake Bay region.”

06/18/13 11:30am

962 Wayne Ave

Back in Nov. 2012 we first heard Pete’s would be opening up a Silver Spring location.

From an email:

We got all of our approvals today, so we can finally lock in an opening date: Wednesday! June 19th! 11AM! The hours at Silver Spring are the same at the DC locations: 11AM – 10PM Sunday – Thursday, 11AM – 11PM Friday and Saturday.

You can see a map of their delivery radius here.

Photos courtesy of Pete’s. I’m jealous of the booths:


06/05/13 11:00am


Dysfunction Junction chronicles the most forlorn, baffling, and wonderful crossroads of our fair city. The column is written by Ben Ball, a transportation nerd in his spare time. He lives in LeDroit Park. Ben previously wrote about 18th and Florida/U St, NW.


This intersection is like the DC equivalent of the River Styx – a grim passage between two worlds that is a test of character in and of itself.  (Now, would that put Hades in Maryland or the District?  You decide.)  The Washington Post recently called it “a treacherous test of patience” – one that officials on both sides of the border have whined about but failed to fix.

DC recorded twelve accidents in this intersection in 2012 (Montgomery County hasn’t released data for its side).  A pedestrian was killed here in 2009.  So why are we still waiting for this to be fixed after years of promises?


Overlapping jurisdictions are supposedly to blame.  Traffic engineers apparently agree that the problem is on the Maryland side – a signal is needed on Colesville Road.  Getting the funding and approvals to install that signal requires action not only from Montgomery County and the District, but also the Maryland State Highway Administration, and therein lies the rub.  The request for proposals on a series of traffic improvements just went out in January – five years after everyone agreed on what needed to be done.  (Hopefully they’ll keep an eye on any concrete…)


Approaching the circle, there’s an amazing glut of signage.  Arrows point the way to a bunch of numbered Maryland highways, a bizarre placard on the Maryland side demonstrates various ways you might try to go through, and the circle itself is full of stops and yields that confuse even veterans of DC’s many traffic circle models.  The bumper-level dent in the “welcome to Silver Spring” sign seems to sum it all up.

Trying to walk in this area?  Don’t.  The lack of crosswalks on the Maryland side certainly contributes to the Frogger-like feel.  But the part that really takes the cake is in the middle of the circle, where they’ve installed tactile paving for the blind…without a matching crosswalk.  This supposes that anyone (let alone the visually impaired) would even attempt to cross straight through the middle without a serious death wish.  And what is there to experience in the middle of that circle anyway?  Shrubs?

05/14/12 10:05pm

Sixth Engine did a great job converting an old firehouse into a restaurant in Mt. Vernon Square. I just saw another great example up in Silver Spring called Fire Station 1 at 8131 Georgia Ave.

“The Fire Station 1 Restaurant and Brewing Company is proud to be locally owned and operated in the original location of the first firehouse in Silver Spring, MD. Retired firefighter Jeremy Gruber began his firefighting and EMS career at Fire Station 1 and nearly a quarter of a century later he’s the proud owner of the newly renovated family friendly Restaurant and event complex.”

More on the history of that firehouse here.

Makes passing the old firehouse on North Capitol Street that much more painful…