As 2023 comes to an end, let’s look back at all the great restaurants that opened in Montgomery County this year.
Akira Ramen & Izakaya- Gaithersburg
Akira Ramen & Izakaya is now open at 105 Paramount Park Dr, next to Ela Mesa Taste of Greece in the Spectrum Town Center in Gaithersburg. Menu items include Ramen, Soba/Udon, and Sushi. There is an additional Akira location at 1800 Rockville Pike h1 in Rockville.
Per Akira: “At Akira Ramen, we specialize in taking the authentic ramen experience to the next level. First, we offer unique in-house broth that would suit everyones’ taste: Tonkatsu salt, Miso, Shoyu and Vegetable broth. With extra toppings as an option, you can customize your ramen anytime. Second, our thin and curly noodles are made in-house daily.”
The news of Akira’s opening date was first reported by Sam Eig Blog.
Andy’s Pizza – Bethseda
Andy’s Pizza is now open at 4600 East West Highway- the former site of sandwich shop Booeymonger in Bethesda. The pizza dough undergoes a 72-hour cold ferment and is cooked in a New York deck oven. The process creates a crispier crust with a chewy interior, and a hint of a sour flavor. Andy’s Pizza will also offers salads, wings, fries, and more. Last year Andy’s got 1st place in the International Pizza Challenge™, which has evolved and grown in stature and prize money to become one of the most prestigious pizza-making competition in North America. Andy’s Pizza also has locations in Adams Morgan, NoMa, Navy Yard, and Shaw in DC, with an additional NoVa location at Tysons. Another upcoming location is planned for Old Town Alexandria. Owner Andy Brown, who grew up in Bethesda, stated that he had been looking in the area since his restaurant began expanding. According to Business Journal, “The Bethesda location will also have more space than average — its other locations run roughly 1,800 square feet — to accommodate larger parties.”
Antojitos Salvadoreños Isabel – Montgomery Village
Antojitos Salvadoreños Isabel at 19114 Montgomery Village Ave opened on Friday, August 25. The restaurant is located in the former Einstein Bagel Bros spot in the Montgomery Village Shopping Center. The restaurant will serve traditional Salvadorian dishes like pupusas, tamales, yuca con chicharron, and pastelitos. Einstein Bros closed its Montgomery Village store in December 2021. La Poteria, which sells Colombian street food and coffee, is located next door.
Asian Cuisine and Seafood – Gaithersburg
Asian Cuisine and Seafood is now open at 8035 Snouffer School Rd in Gaithersburg, the former site of China King. Menu items includes “bangin wings with DC mumbo sauce,” traditional Chinese carry-out options like Beef with Broccoli and General Tso’s Chicken, and seafood combination platters with Snow Crab Legs, Crawfish, and Mussels. Asian Cuisine and Seafood is located between 7-Eleven and El Salvadoran restaurant El Encanto in the Horizon Center shopping center.
Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon- Gaithersburg
Auntie Anne’s/Cinnabon combination restaurantis now open at 220 Boardwalk Place in Rio, taking over the location that was recently home to Lilly Magilly’s– as the cupcakery is still preparing for a move to a new location. The two brands, popular for their presence in malls, are co-branding to open locations across the country. In recent years, Cinnabon left then returned to Montgomery Mall. There’s also an existing Cinnabon location in Wheaton Mall. Auntie Anne’s has locations at the outlets in Clarksburg, Ellsworth Place Mall, Montgomery Mall, and Wheaton Mall in MoCo.
B2J Fish Soup – Gaithersburg
B2J, which specializes in traditional Szechuan-style fish soup, is now open at 9629 Lost Knife Rd in the Montgomery Village Crossing shopping center in Gaithersburg. The menu include a variety of soups where you choose the broth flavor, protein, and add-ons, including tilapia, bass, and Waygu beef. B2J has additional locations in New Jersey, Texas, and Washington State.
Baked Potato House – Clarksburg
Baked Potato House, featuring “delicious stuffed potatoes”, is now open in the Clarksburg Premium Outlets, taking over the space that was previously home to Day & Night Cereal Bar. The cereal bar cleared out of the space in May and is expected to open in a new location sometime this summer. Menu items at Baked Potato House include a “build your own” stuffed potato with toppings such as cheese, sour cream, bacon bits, gyro meat, broccoli, olives, sweet corn, and a variety of sauces, a selection of specialty baked potatoes, ice cream, and lemonade. The menu also features “wet burgers,” an Istanbul-style street burger that has been marinated in a special tomato sauce.
Barra Brava Cevicheria – Rockville
Back in February we let you know that Barra Brava Cevicheria Peruana was “coming soon” to the location that was previously home to Old Hickory Grill at 15420 Old Columbia Pike B in Burtonsville. Barra Brava opened its first location at 15921 N Frederick Rd in Rockville in October of 2017. The menu consists of seafood entrees, a variety of ceviches, non-seafood entrees like lomo saltado, aji de gallina, and more.
Baskin Robbins – Montgomery Village & Potomac
Baskin Robbins opened locations this year at 1079 Seven Locks Rd in Potomac Woods Plaza and in the Montgomery Village shopping center.
Bento Teryaki & Sushi Express – Silver Spring
Bento Express opened earlier this summer in the Woodmoor Shopping Center at 10141 Colesville Road in Silver Spring. The fast-casual restaurant is located in the space that was formerly home to Sprint, between the UPS Store and Subway. Menu items include teryaki (chicken, beef, shrimp, & salmon), bento boxes, poke bowls, dumplings, and a variety of sushi rolls. According to the restaurant, “Bento Express Restaurant offers authentic and delicious-tasting Japanese cuisine in Silver Spring, MD. Bento Express’ convenient location and affordable prices make our restaurant a natural choice for eat-in or take-out meals in the Silver Spring community. Our restaurant is known for its variety of tastes and high-quality fresh ingredients. Come and experience our friendly atmosphere and excellent service.”
Black Diamond Restaurant & Lounge – Silver Spring
Black Diamond Restaurant & Lounge opened in the space that was formerly home to TTT and Buena Vida at 8407 Ramsey Ave in Silver Spring on January 26.The restaurant is described as an “Afro fusion restaurant and lounge.”
Black Lion Café – Silver Spring
Black Lion Café opened at 8240 Fenton St in Silver Spring in January. The cafe opened its first location at the Traville Gateway shopping center in late 2016. Black Lion Café sources its coffee from three regions of Ethiopia known for producing some of the best tasting coffee beans in the world. Keffa, the region of Ethiopia that gave the name ‘coffee’ to the bean, Yergacheffe, and Harrar.
BooBoo Pho – Montgomery Village
BooBoo Pho is now open at 19230 Montgomery Village Ave. in the Montgomery Village Shopping Center. Menu items include spring rolls, Pho (noodle soup), sandwiches, vermicelli bowls, salads, and stir fry.
Brew House Kentlands – Gaithersburg
Brew House Kentlands at 325 Main Street in Gaithersburg will opened on March 4. Per its logo, it touts itself as being the “best coffee shop in Kentlands.” Brew House Kentlands is taking over the previous home of Clear Skies Meadery, which has opened its new meadery at 15201 Display Ct in Rockville. In addition to coffee, the menu also features beer, wine, and cocktails, as well as breakfast and lunch options.
Butter Chicken House – Bethesda
Butter Chicken House is now open in Montgomery Mall. The restaurant is located in the space that was recently home to Ya Mon! Island Grill, next door to Chick-Fil-A. Ya Mon Island Grill closed over the summer. According to its website, “Butter chicken, also known as “Murgh Makhani,” is a mouthwatering and beloved dish in Indian cuisine. It’s a rich and flavorful dish that combines tender pieces of chicken with a creamy and aromatic tomato-based sauce. The flavors are a perfect balance of savory, creamy, tangy, and mildly spicy, making it an absolute delight for the taste buds.” Menu items at Butter Chicken House include butter chicken, tofu, shrimp, and lamb, either over rice or as a wrap.
Capo Italian Deli – Potomac
Capo Italian Deli is now open in Cabin John Village, taking over the location that was previously home to Goldberg’s New York Bagels, which closed last year, at 7731 Tuckerman Lane. The menu includes Italian classics like Chicken Parmigiano, Hot Italian Beef, Prosciutto & Provolone, and more. The Italian delicatessen was previously available for carryout and delivery in Montgomery County out of sister restaurant Brickside Food & Drink (4866 Cordell Ave) in Bethesda. The deli’s first location opened at 715 Florida Ave in NW, DC. Using a a prohibition style speakeasy gimmick, the deli used their old school Italian deli as a “front” to it’s back bar. Capo gained attention in the area in the summer of 2020 for their popular “Fauci Pouchy” carryout cocktails. The deli has since opened a Western Market location and has a Tyson’s Corner location coming soon.
Carmen’s – Clarksburg & Gaithersburg
Carmen’s Italian Ice is now open at 130 Market St in Gaithersburg (partnering to Kung Fu Tea) and is located in the portion of the building that was previously occupied by Tutti Frutti. Earlier this year Carmen’s partnered with the Clarksburg Market at 23329 Frederick Rd to open a similar concept in Clarksburg. About Carmen’s: It started with a simple idea. Introduce homemade gourmet Italian Ice to the Washington DC area. Jason Mandler – a native of Parsippany, New Jersey – opened Carmen’s Italian Ice & Cafe in Rockville, MD in 2001. Tracing its roots back to Philly and South Jersey where this dessert has been a mainstay for years, Carmen’s offers homemade, gourmet Italian Ice in over 60 flavors. It also now offers frozen custard, shakes, and a toppings bar.
Char’d – Gaithersburg
Char’d food truck is now open at 8600 Zetts Ave, the former site of Slider Rider food truck. Slider Rider relocated to Jacksonville, Florida over the summer. Char’d opened its first food truck in Northern, Virginia in April and tell us, “We’ve been very fortunate with all the support we’ve received and already have established a loyal customer base in Northern, VA with many requests to open a place in MD, hence the second truck!” Menu items include the Original Char’d (w/ grass-fed beef, American cheese, shreduce, onion, pickle, and CHAR’D sauce,) the Hot Char’d (with pickled jalapenos & CHAR’D jalapeno sauce,) fries, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Charlie’s Pizza and Subs – Derwood
Charlie’s Pizza and Subs has taken over the restaurant that was previously known as Sam’s Pizza & Subs at 15855 Redland Rd (off of Frederick Rd) in Derwood. While the sale became official as of Wednesday March 14, 2023, the restaurant operated as Sam’s until March 29, 2023 when the name changed to Charlie’s. After 2.5 months. The restaurant received approval for the final change- the official signage. The updates come with a new name and new hours. Charlie’s will be open daily and will serve beer and wine for dine-in and carry out. The restaurant is currently working on delivery of beer and wine as well. The new menu offers many of the selections currently on the Sam’s menu as well as fresh wraps (chicken, shrimp, Caeser), Maryland crab cakes, and more.
Charley Prime Foods – Gaithersburg
Charley Prime Foods, the new restaurant from Jackie Greenbaum & Gordon Banks (Little Coco’s, El Chucho, Bar Charley, Quarry House Tavern) is now open on the Rio Lakefront boardwalk at 9811 Washington Blvd in Gaithersburg. Charley Prime features an extensive steak menu that includes filet mignon, New York strip, and a 36oz Tomahawk ribeye, as well as house made pastas and sandwiches like the Roasted Lamb French Dip. Additional details: Acclaimed DC restaurateurs Jackie Greenbaum & Gordon Banks (Little Coco’s, El Chucho, Bar Charley, Quarry House Tavern) will open Charley Prime Foods, a modern American restaurant, on May 12 at Rio Lakefront in Gaithersburg. Chef/Partner Adam Harvey, long time Executive Chef with Greenbaum & Banks, will helm the kitchen, along with Russell Pike, currently the Chef de Cuisine at Little Coco’s. Located in the former Tara Thai space (9811 Washingtonian Blvd, Gaithersburg, MD), the restaurant will be centrally positioned on the boardwalk. The space will seat roughly 90 inside, with another 100 on an expansive patio, complete with lake views. Editlab@Streetsense designed the space.
Charleys Cheeseteaks & Wings – Aspen Hill & Germantown
Charleys Cheesesteaks & Wings has opened Montgomery County locations this year at:
19877 Century Blvd, Germantown
20910 Frederick Rd, Germantown (Walmart)
13617 Connecticut Ave, Hill
The Charmery – Chevy Chase
Baltimore-Based ice cream shop The Charmery opened its newest location at 8551 Connecticut Ave, Suite 202, in Chevy Chase. According to a press release, “The Charmery’s first location opened in Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood in 2013. Since then, husband and wife team David and Laura Alima, have opened three additional locations in Towson, Columbia, and The Union Collective. The Charmery has quickly become not only a Baltimore mainstay, but also an East Coast destination for super premium, highly original, and insanely delicious ice cream. Since opening, they have won numerous Best of Baltimore awards and recently Thrillest named them one of the 40 best ice cream shops in America. This will be their first location in the DC area with the aim to bring together the local and global communities to help every person achieve happiness through ice cream.
Chicken Basket – Gaithersburg
Chicken Basket at 30 N. Summit Ave. in Olde Towne Gaithersburg has reopened. The restaurant, which first opened in 1978, closed in April 2019 after a fire. Chicken Basket’s menu consist of fried chicken, wings, subs, gyros, salads, wraps, burgers, and seafood. The restaurant is open Mon – Thurs 11am to 8pm, Fri – Sat 11am to 9pm and closed on Sunday. Full menu can be seen below, as well as photos from Chicken Basket’s original 1978 menu.
Chip City Cookies – Bethesda
New York’s Chip City has opened its first Maryland location at the Shoppes of Bethesda, replacing Fancy Cakes By Leslie at 4939 Elm St. Fancy Cakes by Leslie closed in October 2022. The new store opened to plenty of fanfare, as customers and social media influencers alike have been posting their experiences at the new shop. Five years ago, cookies were a side hustle for Theodore Gailas and Peter Phillips. Since then, they’ve opened over a dozen Chip City cookie shops in and around New York with plans to expand outside of the area. Chip City is expected to rapidly expand, with over 20 stores expected to open in 2023. According to Forbes, The rollout plan will be supported by the founder of fast casual restaurant Shake Shack, Danny Meyer, who recently invested $10 million in the cookies.
The new cookie shop rotates through 18 flavors, allowing customers to choose from those that make it on to the weekly menu. The weekly roster can include “core cookies” like chocolate chip or dairy free chocolate chip, other flavors like blueberry cheesecake, peanut butter and jelly, Nutella sea salt, and more. Currently, location are offering seasonal Thanksgiving cookies with flavors like Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato S’mores, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal.
Chef Tony’s at Amalfi – Rockville
In November we let you know that longtime MoCo restaurant Amalfi Ristorante Italiano at 12307 Wilkins Ave in Rockville was bought by the owners of Chef Tony’s Restaurant in Bethesda. The restaurant, now known as Chef Tony’s at Amalfi, reopened in January. The menu features a rotation of “Amalfi Classics”, many starters, tapas, salads, and pastas, and a variety of seafood entrees. The promenade location at Pooks Hill in Bethesda is now ‘Chef Tony’s Italian Kitchen’ and most of their seafood menu has moved over to Chef Tony’s at Amalfi. The restaurant is currently only open for dinner service. Additional information can be found via the Facebook page.
Chick-Fil-A – Gaithersburg
Chick-Fil-A has opened a new location at 700 N. Frederick Ave in Gaithersburg. The restaurant is located in the new Progress Labs, a 44-acre property that directly fronts I-270 at the Montgomery Village Avenue exit. Progress Labs will also be home to Montgomery County’s first Sheetz, which is expected to open on August 10.
Chicken On The Run – Bethesda
Chicken on the Run, a Peruvian chicken restaurant located 4933 St Elmo Ave in Bethesda, has reopened in the same location after a closure that lasted over a year. The restaurant announced what seemed to be a permanent closure in April 2022, writing “SORRY, AFTER MORE THAN 20 YEARS IN BUSINESS WE ARE CLOSING OUR BUSINESS DUE TO THE LANDLORD NOT RENEWING OUR LEASE.” The restaurant first opened its doors in 2002 and reopened earlier this month. Chicken on the Run opens at 11am daily and closes at 9pm every day except for Sundays, when it closes at 7:30pm.
Citizens & Culture – Silver Spring
Kaldi’s Social House founder Tsega Haile has opened Citizens & Culture at 8113 Georgia Ave – a 15,000 square feet, multi-level fine dining and live DJ and band performance venue located on the border of downtown Silver Spring and Washington, DC. In addition to fine-dining, the music venue brings a unique concept to the DC-area featuring a ground-floor front patio for outdoor seating leading into an expansive, vaulted ceiling main dining room with full length bar and an exclusive new menu by Executive Chef Ryan Hackney (DC-based chef known for appearances on Food Network’s Beat Bobby Flay and Bite Club) and Chief Chef Consultant and Director for Kaldi’s Social House Jessica Shields.
Colony Grill – Potomac
Colony Grill, a popular Connecticut Pizza restaurant offering “bar pies” opened its newest location today at t 11325 Seven LocksRoad in Potomac’s Cabin John Village. Pricing for Colony Grill’s pies range from $10.50 to $13.50 with options for adding additional toppings or gluten–free crust. The menu also features a “salad pie,” as well as a breakfast pie that features a choice of bacon or sausage, egg, and cheese and is available all day.
Crave Cafe – Silver Spring
Crave Cafe is now open at 1200 East-West Highway in Silver Spring, according to a report by Source of the Spring. The coffee shop is located in the space previously occupied by Bump ‘n Grind, which closed in May 2021. Menu items include 16 different blends of coffee, breakfast sandwiches, muffins/bread, soups, paninis, and salads. The restaurant is part of Jeffeary Miskiri’s Miskiri Hospitality Group, which describes itself as a unique collective of Black, family and woman-owned products and restaurants in the DC area. According to its website, “Situated in the popular and vivacious Downtown Silver Spring, Crave Cafe will offer a lively, energetic, classy comfortable, and intimate environment. We looking forward to serving local coffee blends as well as a selection of healthy food choices to families, the college communities, and the workforce that frequent the area!”
Cuppa Tea – Rockville
Cuppa Tea has opened a Rockville location at 1112 Taft Street. The shop offers Hong Kong-style milk tea and is a popular brand with over 800 locations worldwide. Cuppa Tea made its U.S. debut when it opened in late 2021 in New York’s Flushing and Queens and Prince George’s County’s College Park. In addition to Hong Kong-style milk tea, Cuppa Tea offers Taiwanese food like bento boxes, egg waffles, curry balls, and more. To order at the Rockville location, you can download Cuppa Tea app where you are accumulate reward points (for free drinks and more) or visit the Cuppa Tea website, select the Rockville location, and place your order. You can also order on delivery plate forms such as Chowbus and Fantuan (UberEats and DoorDash will be available soon). Cuppa Tea is currently offering Buy 3 get 1 drink free on its app. Currently, the shop is only accepting online phone orders only (no walk-ins). Their phone number is 301-201-5777, and business hours are Mon – Sun 11am until 7pm (closed on Tuesday).
Daboba (Bubble Tea) – Rockville
Daboba held its grand opening at 1079 Rockville Pike in Rockville’s Talbott Center on Saturday, July 8th . The bubble tea shop was established in early 2018 in Taiwan and is now based in Malaysia.
Dalia’s Falafel – Bethesda
Dalia’s Falafel has opened its first brick and mortar location at 7750 Old Georgetown Road in Bethesda. Dalia’s opened up as a pop-up restaurant at 4223 Howard Avenue in Kensington back in August 2020 serving falafel pita sandwiches and falafel bowls. New items on the menu will include radishes, french fries, rice, and Moroccan beef kabobs (full menu below.) The Kensington pop up will close once the Bethesda location opens. Last year, the local “Yelp MD Burbs” part of Yelp released its list of “Top 25 Places to Eat in MD Burbs” list and 15 of the 25 restaurants on the list are in Montgomery County, including Dalia’s Falafel, which came in at #21. Yelp is a popular company that publishes crowd-sourced reviews about businesses with a major focus on restaurants.
Damso Korean BBQ – Rockville
Damso Korean BBQ is now open in the space previously occupied by Saffron Indian Cuisine at Woodmont Station in Rockville (1319 Rockville Pike). According to the restaurant, ” Damso is the second restaurant of DANJI in Centreville, VA, which is famous among Koreans for its commitment to serving authentic Korean flavors. We share that same commitment while also offering a unique dining experience. While DANJI is dedicated exclusively to serving authentic Korean dishes, at Damso we offer a menu that includes the same classic Korean flavors as DANJI Korean restaurant, with the addition of our signature Korean BBQ. We believe that food is not just about nourishment, but also about bringing people together. That’s why we take pride in providing warm and welcoming service to each and every one of our guests. Whether you’re a Korean food enthusiast or trying Korean cuisine for the first time, we welcome you to come experience the best of Korean flavors at Damso.”
District Bistro – Wheaton
District Bistro at 11230 Grandview Ave in Wheaton-Glenmont (former site of Umberto’s), held its official grand opening on Friday, December 1. According to owner Pedro Matamoros, District Bistro is a new American concept that is focused on “seasonality and use of local ingredients.” District Bistro shares its location with sister-restaurant Frank’s Burgers, with Frank’s on one side and District Bistro on the other, united by a kitchen in the back.
Donutchew – Bethesda
Donutchew is now open at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. Donutchew is currently holding a “pop up” soft opening in the food court kiosk that was recently occupied by Vino Rita. We’re told the donut shop will be moving soon to its permanent location in the spot recently vacated by Adonni’s Desserts, next to Macy’s and across from 7-Eleven. Donutchew offers a variety of mochi donut flavors, sweet and savory croffles (croissant and waffle mix), macarons, bubble tea, and more.
“Downtown Brew’s” opened at 5751 Fishers Lane in Rockville on January 26th at the former site of Downtown Beer and Wine. According to the store, “We have on and off premise service so people can come here and enjoy a glass of wine and beer or take them with them.” “Downtown Brew’s” will also offer beer and wine home delivery services and plans to eventually offer charcuteries, gourmet toast and coffee.
Dunkin’- Silver Spring & Montgomery Village
Dunkin’ is now open at 14328 Layhill Road in Silver Spring and at 20000 Goshen Rd. (former Capital One Bank building) in the Goshen Crossing Shopping Center. Both restaurants held grand opening events where the first 100 customers with “Free Coffee for a Year”.
Ed Studio Cake & Dessert – Gaithersburg
Ed Studio at 360 Main St in Gaithersburg (former site of SPAGnVOLA chocoltier) is currently holding its soft opening. The bakery, which is named after its owner Ed, specializes in Chinese desserts, milk tea, and birthday cakes. Some of the items currently on the menu include Soy Custard Parfait, Earl Grey Dulcey Chocolate Cake, and Cheese Snow Mountain Bread. The bakery is open everyday from 11am-7pm.
Eerkin’s Uyghur Cuisine – Rockville (Reopening)
Eerkin’s Uyghur Cuisine has reopened in its new Rockville location at 6 N Washington Street in Rockville’s Courthouse Center, at the former home of Amici Miei. It was previously located at 1701 Rockville Pike # B1 in The Shops at Congressional Village, which recently auctioned for $44 million. Eerkin’s announced a temporary closure following a kitchen fire that occurred at the restaurant on Mother’s Day last year. Soon after, the restaurant posted a message on social media on announcing a temporary closure, “Dear Loyal Eerkins Customers our Rockville, Location is currently closed until further notice please visit our running locations in Washington DC and Fairfax Virginia thank you for your support ”
Flames & Crepes – Rockville (food truck)
Flames & Crepes, a new halal food truck, recently opened at 801 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Owner Ashraf Said is originally from Egypt and has been a MoCo resident for over 18 years. He is bringing years of experience in restaurant management. His fiancé Marelyn is originally from El Salvador and, also a MoCo resident. They tell us she “brings the flavors of Latin America to many of the foods offered.” The menu features a variety of dishes, including classic American fare like a steak and cheese, chicken sandwich, mango habanero wings, and more. Latin-American fare is also featured, such as yuca frita, pupusas, and tamales. They also offer a variety of crepes- both sweet and savory.
Frank’s Burgers – Wheaton
Frank’s Burgers opened its new location at 11230 Grandview Ave in Wheaton-Glenmont (former site of Umberto’s), on Saturday, October 14. Nicaraguan restaurant El Chante, which currently splits space with Frank’s Burger Place at 11265 Triangle Ln, will now take over that entire space. The new Grandview Ave location will be split into two restaurant concepts, with Frank’s on one side and District Bistro on the other, united by a kitchen in the back. According to owner Pedro Matamoros, District Bistro is a new American concept that is focused on “seasonality and use of local ingredients when permitted.” Menu items at District Bistro will include beef tartare, steak frites, roasted duck and lamb bolognaise, and its bar will focus on classic cocktails like Martinis and Manhattans. We will provide an opening date for District Bistro when it is announced.
Fruver – Wheaton
Fruver, a smoothie, coffee, and snack shop, is now open 11255 Grandview Avenue in Wheaton. It has taken over the space that was previously home to Asesoria Americana and Taxline Services. Fruver opened in late April and offers a variety of smoothies, smoothie bowls, fresh juices, coffee, and other snacks.
Good Ducking Burger – Bethesda
Good Ducking Burger is now open, replacing Bethesda fine dining staple Duck Duck Goose (7929 Norfolk Ave.) Like its predecessor, Good Ducking Burger is owned and operated by French-trained chef Ashish Alfred. Times change, tastes change, prices fluctuate and the one who chooses NOT to evolve is the one that sinks. For Duck Duck Goose Bethesda, it all came down to the numbers. Despite having a packed dining room most nights, the rising costs of doing business caused DDG Bethesda’s profit margin to plummet. While Alfred’s four other restaurants in Baltimore and DC are both spacious and busy, Bethesda was just busy. Cozy and intimate at about 1100 square feet total (counting interior and the seasonal outdoor patio), and unable to add any more seating, it became obvious that the business was just no longer sustainable as is and, according to Alfred, he was putting an increasingly unfair demand on his employees.
“Growth can be painful but it’s the right decision for the business,” says Alfred. “I can keep trying to make things work – I mean business is still good – but when it’s time to change, it’s time to change.” Good Ducking Burger isn’t completely a new concept. It has made wildly successful appearances at Alfred’s restaurants in Baltimore and DC as a delivery-only ghost kitchen, focusing on American classics like burgers, chicken and fries… all with a nod to Alfred’s Indian heritage.”
Grandma’s Ice Cream and Waffles – Rockville
Grandma’s Ice Cream and Waffles at 389 E. Gude Dr in Rockville, next to the former Branded 72/O’Brien’s restaurant space, is now open. Grandma’s is owned and operated by the same owners as “Grandma Kona’s” Kona Ice franchise in Gaithersburg/Germantown. Additional information, as well as a $1 coupon, below:
“Grandma Kona is happy to announce that Grandma’s Ice Cream and Waffles will be opening on Monday January 23, 2023! We will be opening for breakfast at 7am till 1030am then transitioning to a great lunch till 2pm. The ice cream and waffles dessert menu will be available until 9pm. Offering liege waffles sandwiches with a variety of options including Vegan! Grandma’s Ice Cream will be an experience like non other. Soft serve ice cream with unbelievable flavor (including dairy free options) with Grandma’s twist of injecting flavor into the ice cream and if wanted dipped in chocolate or caramel. Come use your imagination with all the different combinations you can make.”
Hangry Joe’s Montgomery Village
Hangry Joe’s is now open in the Montgomery Village Shopping Center. The Nashville-style hot chicken restaurant is located adjacent to the Starbuck’s at 19290 Montgomery Village Ave. Hangry Joe’s in know for its hot chicken sandwiches, known as the “Chicken Sando”, and allows guests to choose the spice level of the fried chicken (Plain<Mild<Medium<Hot<Angry Hot). The menu also consists of chicken fingers, chicken & waffles, wraps, nuggets, loaded fries, and salads. Sides include cider slaw, waffle fries, and fried okra. Hangry Joe’s has additional Montgomery County locations in Wheaton (2533 Ennals Ave) and Rockville (718-B Rockville Pike and 10050 Darnestown Rd.)
Hong Kong Pearl- Gaithersburg
Hong Kong Pearl is now open in the Walnut Hill Shopping Center, taking over the location that has been home to New Fortune at 16515 S Frederick Ave in Gaithersburg. New Fortune has operated in Gaithersburg for many years and the dim sum restaurant, known for having over 140 different offerings.
Issac’s Poultry Market- Gaithersburg
Isaac’s Poultry Market at 12167 Darnestown Rd in Gaithersburg, the former site of Pizza Hut, opened on February 23. The restaurant was opened by Rob Gresham, a lifelong MoCo resident and the former Director of Operations at CAVA and features American roasted chicken, wings, sandwiches, and salads.
Japong Bakery – Rockville
Japong Bakery, which opened at 785 Rockville Pike in the Ritchie Center nearly five years ago in October 2018, closed temporarily on April 17th with a plan to reopen approximately three weeks later at its new location at 765 A Rockville Pike within the same shopping center. After a bit of a delay, the bakery held its soft opening on Sunday, July 16th.
Jersey Mike’s – Aspen Hill
Jersey Mike’s opened at the Northgate Plaza in Aspen Hill on February 15in the location that was formerly home to Body & Brain Tai Chi- between Dunkin’ and Roy Rogers. Jersey Mike’s was founded as Mike’s Submarines in Point Pleasant, New Jersey in 1956. Peter Cancro started working at the restaurant in 1968 when he was 14 and the shop was on its third hour. Three years later the shop went up for sale again and with the help of a local high school football coach who was also a banker, Cancro was able to pull together $125,000 to buy it at age 17. He began to franchise the restaurant in 1987 and now has over 2,000 locations with various locations across Montgomery County, including in Burtonsville, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Olney, Rockville, and Wheaton.
Ji Bei Chuan Noodle House – Germantown
Ji Bei Chuan Noodle House is now open at 19520 Waters Road Unit 5 in Germantown, taking over the location that was formerly home to Provisions Cafe closed in January 2022 after just over three years in Germantown. Ji Bei Chuan is a restaurant franchise based in China that was founded in 2018. In just five years it has become one of the fast growing noodle restaurants in China with over 400 locations across the country. There are now several locations in the United States (over 50 in the last two years) with the Germantown location being the first in Maryland. Ji Bei Chuan Noodle House is open on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 11am-9pm, Friday and Saturday from 11am-9:30pm, and Sunday from 11:30am until 9pm (closed on Tuesdays).
Jolloff Etcetera – White Oak
Jolloff Etcetera recently opened at 11237 New Hampshire Avenue, which was the longtime home of Hunan Manor (there for 20 years by most recent ownership group) until it closed permanently in February 2022. The restaurant is located in the White Oak Shopping Center near Dollar City and Montgomery County liquor store. Jolloff Etcetera offers Nigerian cuisine and opened its first location in nearby Hyattsville, MD (Prince George’s County). The menu offers a variety of Nigerian cuisine, including Jolloff rice, grilled fish, fried rice, multiple soups, and more.
Kabob N Karahi – Gaithersburg (opens December 15)
Kabob N Karahi, the popular Cloverly restaurant that features Pakistani cuisine (and some Indian dishes), has set the grand opening date for its second restaurant. The second location at 18232 Flower Hill Way (Previously Aaron’s) in Gaithersburg will hold its grand opening on Friday, December 15th, according to a representative from the Cloverly location. Kabob N Karahi’s menu consists of a variety of kabobs, curries, stews, and tandoori naan. The Cloverly Village Center location at 15521 New Hampshire Ave, Silver Spring, opened in 2008 and has become a staple in Cloverly.
Kema by Kenaki – Potomac
The long awaited Kema by Kenaki began its soft opening phase on July 15 at 11325 Seven Locks Rd. STE 115 in Cabin John Village. The almost 2,000 square foot restaurant is similar to what Kenaki in Kentlands offers, but is more “fast paced,” in what is a hybrid between Kenaki and AKO. Kenaki is a full-service restaurant while AKO is a sushi counter at a food hall. Kema will offer signature rolls from Kenaki/AKO such as the Black Magic roll- made with “forbidden rice”, spicy tuna, pickled jalapenos, and truffle oil, the Donkey Kong roll- made with eel, fried plantain, cream cheese, cucumber, tempura flakes, togarashi spice mayo, and sweet shoyu, among others.
Kentlands Baby Bar – Gaithersburg
Kentlands Baby Bar is now open at 375 Main St. in Gaithersburg’s Kentlands neighborhood. Carolynne Nowrouzi, founder/owner of Baby Bar, was raised in MoCo. She wanted to provide a space where parents can go with their young children to enjoy a space where they can each grab a bite and just play. The space will offer “food, fun, and socializing” where “you enjoy a coffee and a bite, while your little ones get yummy food and a baby-friendly place to play!” Baby Bar Kentlands will offer fresh fruits and veggies and will have options for babies (puréed or chopped), food for kids like grilled cheese, egg bites, croissants, and more, and food for adults like bagels, muffins, fruit bowls, and more.
Kobe Japan Hibachi & Sushi – Montgomery Village
Kobe Japan Hibachi & Sushi has opened at 19226 Montgomery Village Ave, next to Moe’s Southwest Grill in the Montgomery Village Center. Kobe Japan has additional Montgomery County locations at 1163 University Blvd E in Takoma Park and 13623 Georgia Ave. Suit A in Aspen Hill. The menu features sushi, sashimi, spring rolls, bento boxes and hibachi
Koma Cafe – Takoma Park
Koma, a new café and cocktail bar from Brad Feickert, chef and owner of SOKO Butcher, is now open at 8006 Flower Ave in Takoma Park. Koma is a “specialty coffee shop with an Italian influence that serves coffee, pastries, and breakfast by day and lunch, dinner, wine, beer, and cocktails by afternoon and night.”
KPOT Korean BBQ & Hot Pot – Germantown
KPot is now open in the space previously occupied by Honey Pig at 19727 Frederick Rd #1337. Honey Pig closed permanently in November of 2021 after five years at the location. According to KPot, the restaurant was started by four friends from different backgrounds who decided to share their mixed cuisine over the same table. KPot combines traditional Asian hot pot with Korean BBQ flavors. Hot pot, also known as “soup-food” or “steamboat,” is a communal pot of simmering broth that is stuffed with raw ingredients like meat and vegetables to cook in the pot.
Kung Fu Tea- Olney
Kung Fu Tea is now open at 3128 Olney Sandy Spring Road, in the space that was recently home to Yogi Berry, next to Starbucks in the same shopping center as Cava Mezze, CVS, and Cafe Rio. The Olney Kung Fu Tea also offers TKK Fried Chicken and Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt. TKK Fried Chicken is a Taiwanese chain that specializes in fried chicken. They’ve been around since 1974 and have locations across Taiwan, China, and the United States. The menu consists of fried chicken, chicken tenders, fried chicken sandwiches, and more. Tutti is a frozen yogurt chain that has had several locations in Montgomery County.
Laperaux – Germantown
Laperaux, the Journeymanchef’s Bistro, is now open at 18056 Mateny Rd in Germantown- the former home of Gumbo Ya Ya, Dickie’s BBQ Pit, and Cafe Mileto (located in the Cloppers Mill shopping center, in the same strip as Shoppers). The French bistro was opened by Chef Gregory Webb, who has earned such accolades and awards as “Chef of the Year 1998” in Houston, Texas, “Winner all Categories” at the Texas Open Wild Game Cookoff, “Top Chefs of Mexico City” and many others. The restaurant offers high casual cuisine created by Webb, who has competed against Bobby Flay on The Food Network, and won numerous ‘chopped style’ competitions put on for various local charity and fund raising events, including DC Central Kitchen’s Chefs Cook Off.
Le Macaron – Gaithersburg
Le Macaron at 7 Grand Corner Ave (next to BurgerFi) in Gaithersburg’s Rio has announced a tentative opening date of Monday, December 18. The shop is owned by MoCo residents Natalia Mejia and Camilo Beltran, and menu items will include macarons (available in over 20 flavors), gourmet chocolates, French gelato, specialty European style coffees, classic French pastries, and homemade candies.
Lil’ Cakes & Creamery – Rockville
Lil’ Cakes & Creamery opened its newest location at 844 Rockville Pike, the former site of Sam’s Cafe & Market, on March 11. Lil’ Cakes & Creamery offers a rotating selection of cupcakes and ice cream, as well as macarons, pupcakes, cookies, cookie sandwiches, pushpops, and milkshakes. Lil’ Cakes & Creamery opened its first location in Gaithersburg Square back in October 2019 and have additional locations in Urbana and White Marsh.
Los Amigos – Gaithersburg
Los Amigos opened at 9631 Lost Knife Rd in Gaithersburg on February 14, at the former site of Texas Parillada Texas Parillada had a long run in the Montgomery Village Crossing shopping center, which is home to BLT Grill, Hook & Reel, and Roy Rogers. The restaurant offered menu items that included Tex-Mex staples like burritos, carne asada, enchiladas, and tacos.
Lum Thai – Gaithersburg
Lum Thai is now open in the Muddy Branch Square shopping center in Gaithersburg (video below).The Thai restaurant is located in the space previously occupied by Roggenart and Canela Bakery at 806 Muddy Branch Road. Other restaurants in Muddy Branch Square include First Watch, Paisano’s, and Royal Tandoor. According to its website, the Lum Thai is open daily from 11am until 9pm. The menu features a variety appetizers (all priced below $10), soups, salads, entrees/curries/noodles (all priced at $13.95), chef specialities (going as high as $20), and desserts.
Mackie’s Barbecue Co. – Olney
Mackie’s Barbecue is now open at 5500 Olney Laytonsville Rd in Olney (most recently Umberto’s). The restaurant is in its soft opening phase with a limited menu for dine in, takeout, and delivery via DoorDash, Ubereats, and GrubHub. A preview and first look video is available below.
Per Mr. MoCo, “The restaurant features a beer cave, similar to the ones found at Shoppers grocery stores, and a wall of retail wine that features local vendors (a wide variety of beer and wine is coming soon, with some already there). The restaurant will also eventually have a full bar.
Mandi Mediterranean – Bethesda
Mandi Mediterranean Bar Grill Lounge is opening today at 4906 St. Elmo Ave. in Bethesda, according to a representative from the restaurant. It is located in the space that was the longtime home of Bangkok Garden, which closed in August 2021 after almost 40 years in business. The restaurant is described as “an Arabic restaurant that offers a wide variety of Mediterranean appetizers and entrees such as kabobs” on its Facebook page. The menu consists of items like samosas, kibebeh, falafel, hummus, baba ghanouj, shawarma, chicken dishes, lamb dishes, a variety of kabobs, and more. Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 11am-10pm, and Sunday from 12pm-10pm, according to the restaurant’s website.
Maman Joon / Z Burger – Olney
In Septemner we reported that Z-Burger and Maman Joon will be taking over the space that was previously home to Taco Bar and Jerry’s Subs & Pizza at 18100 Georgia Avenue in Olney. Both restaurants are now open, beating out the Bethesda Z-Burger location as the first in Montgomery County for the DMV-based regional restaurant. The space offers food from both the Z Burger and Maman Joon concepts.
Z-Burger is a local, DMV-based chain that describes itself as “a Washington DC landmark! Home to the area’s most delicious handcrafted burgers with endless toppings, fresh cut fries and 75 varieties of hand spun milk shakes and concretes made with premium Wisconsin custard.” Z-Burger has multiple locations in DC, a few in Northern Virginia, and three in Maryland- with more to come. Its first location opened in Tenleytown in 2008. Earlier this year, its first Montgomery County location was announced. Prior to starting Z-Burger in 2008, founder Peter Tabibian was the general manager at a Jerry’s Subs & Pizza in Maryland.
Maman Joon offers a variety of kabobs, sandwiches, soups, salads, platters, desserts and other Persian specialties. Maman Joon currently has locations in Tenleytown, McLean, and Tyson’s Corner. The group recently opened its Tyson’s Maman Joon location and co-owner Peter Tabibian stated “We know there’s a lot of Persian community and a lot of people from Qatar, Saudi and Middle Eastern countries in that area. We thought there was a void for a Persian [or] Middle Eastern concept, and we thought it would be a great fit to put Maman Joon out there.” in an interview with FFXnow.
Margarita Bar & Grill – Germantown
Margarita Bar & Grill is now open at 19201 Frederick Rd in Germantown. The restaurant’s menu features a variety of tacos, burritos, chimichangas, pupusas, fajitas, steaks, salad, and seafood. Margarita options include Cadillac, Skinny, Flavored, Diablo, and Crazy. The restaurant is taking over the space that was previously occupied by the Fraternal Order of Eagle #3509 and Captain Mori’s Seafood House. Seafood in the Buff, a mobile steamed crab business, operates out of the parking lot next to this location in the summer months. Margaritas joins Mi Rancho (19725 Germantown Rd), Señor Tequila’s (20021 Century Blvd), La Gula (21030 Frederick Rd), Abi Azteca (11514 Middlebrook Rd), La Mexicana (13016 Middlebrook Rd), and Rio Grande (13541 Clopper Rd) as places to grab a margarita in Germantown.
Mastiha Bakery/Mastiha Taverna – Rockville
Mastiha Bakery, a Kensington favorite (formerly known as Baklava Couture) since 2015, is now openat 2387 Lewis Ave. In July, the restaurant launched Mastiha Taverna, a new food truck that is stationed in front of the bakery. According to Mastiha, the truck will serve pita sandwiches, Greek dessert, drinks, traditional salads, dips, and small bites/sides. Mastiha Taverna will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 5-9pm. Per Mastiha Bakery: The word mastiha refers to the sap drippings, or “tears”, from the mastic tree which grows on the north-eastern Aegean Greek island of Chio, where founder and owner, Katerina Georgallas traces her origins. Founded in 2011 with a deep appreciation for heritage, culture, and scratch-made goodness, Mastiha Bakery specializes in assorted sweet and savory pastries, cookies, authentically crafted pita bread, hand stretched rustic phyllo pies and other delectable items. Using local ingredients and old-world craftsmanship you can taste, Katerina is committed to producing quality goods entirely from scratch.
Milk & Honey – Silver Spring
Milk & Honey, a southern inspired brunch and soul food restaurant which has locations across DC, Maryland, and Virginia, has opened in the space that was recently home to Willie T’s Seafood Shack at 9326 Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring. The news of its opening was first reported by Source of the Spring. Both Milk & Honey and Willie T’s concepts are owned by Thompson Hospitality, the group behind Matchbox (Bethesda, Rockville, and Silver Spring locations in MoCo), Austin Grill and American Tap Room (both previously in MoCo), and Wiseguy Pizza (now open at Wheaton Mall.) Menu items at Milk & Honey include “Chef Sammy’s Award Winning” Shrimp & Grits, Deep Fried Salmon Hash, Chicken & Waffles, and Crab Benedict. According to the restaurant’s website, this Milk & Honey location will be a a uick service restaurant with limited seating available. Food will be served in carry-out containers.
Mimi’s Handmade – Rockville
Mimi’s Handmade ice cream has opened its first Montgomery County location in Federal Plaza at 12274 Rockville Pike Suite E. It has taken over the space previously occupied by Yogi Castle. Yogi Castle closed permanently this spring and Mimi’s Handmade took possession of the space in May. Mimi’s Handmade will also be opening a second Montgomery County location in The Heights food hall, which is stated to open soon. Mimi’s opened its first location in Arlington in the summer of 2021. Mimi’s is named for one of owner Rollin Amore’s two daughters. He credits his extensive travels over the last 30 years for the unique flavors like roasted banana nut, olive OYL, butterfly pea, maple cashew, and more, offered at the ice cream shop. The shop offers a wide variety of other flavors, including more traditional options.
Per Mimi’s Handmade: “With both Italian and German grandmothers, I inherited the secret family recipes from many generations including the most delicious desserts. I can still taste Nona Concetta’s hand cranked gelato and Oma Annamarie’s Bavarian creamy custards and sweets. Over the last 30 years, I have worked extensively in Asia allowing me to explore the wonderful tastes and flavors of the rich cuisines of Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, and Korea. Coming home from my trips, Alexandra, Mimi and I would try all new recipes from my trips, exploring sweet Thai basil, azuki beans, black sesame, ube, jackfruit, lychee and so many other flavors.
Ming’s Chinese Restaurant – Rockville
Ming’s, a new restaurant serving Chinese cuisine, is now open at 800 Pleasant Dr. Suite 120 in Rockville’s King Farm neighborhood. Ming’s is located in the space that was previously home to Imperial Chinese Gardens. Menu specialties include Hunan Style Bamboo Shoots, Kongbao Jumbo Shrimp, House Style Cumin Lamb, and Sauteed Beef Intestines. Full menu can be seen here. The restaurant is open 11am-9:30pm Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 11am-9am Sunday, and closed Tuesdays.
Miss Toya’s Southern Kitchen – Gaithersburg
Miss Toya’s Southern Kitchen at 229 Boardwalk Pl. in Rio opened on June 9. Miss Toya’s is located in the 2,741SF space that was previously occupied by BGR and will serve southern-influenced dishes such as red beans and rice, macaroni and cheese, and a southern fried chicken sandwich. The restaurant is part of Jeffeary Miskiri’s Miskiri Hospitality Group, which describes itself as a unique collective of Black, family and woman-owned products and restaurants in the DC area. Miss Toya’s Southern Kitchen in Rio will be a fast-casual restaurant, while the Miss Toya’s Creole Kitchen at 923 Ellsworth Dr in Downtown Silver Spring is full-service (wait staff, etc.)
Mochinut – Rockville
Mochinut, a restaurant that serves mochi donuts, Korean rice flour hotdogs, soft serve, and bubble tea drinks has opened at 838 Rockville Pike- inside the current location of Tea-Do. Tea-Do is a “contemporary tea house” that was on the early side of MoCo’s bubble tea explosion in recent years, opening in January of 2016. Mochinut offers mochi donuts, which is described as “a donut that originated from Hawaii which is a combination of American doughnuts and Japanese mochi.” Up to 25 different flavors are available, but flavors will vary by location. The Mochinut menu also consists savory treats in the form of Korean hotdogs and offers other sweet menu items like soft serve ice cream and bubble tea drinks.
Motorkat – Silver Spring
Motorkat, the new restaurant from restaurateur Chris Brown (Zinnia, Soko & Takoma Bev Co) and Executive Chef Danny Wells (Republic, Zinnia and Takoma Bev Co.) is now open at 6939 Laurel Ave in Takoma Motorkat’s menu revolves around a seasonally-led, wood-fired culinary experience with a high quality sourced raw bar.
Morning My Day – Silver Spring
Morning My Day at 1305 Fenwick Ln in Silver Spring is currently holding its soft opening. The Japanese bakery offers fresh baked soft bread, mascarpone cream cakes, Swiss cake rolls, and customized birthday cakes, as well as milk/bubble teas and coffee.
Naz’s Halal – Takoma Park & White Oak
Naz’s Halal has opened new MoCo locations this year at 7671 New Hampshire Ave in Takoma Park and 11209 New Hampshire Ave in White Oak. The restaurant has additional locations in Rockville and Germantown.
Neal’s Bagels – Gaithersburg
Neal’s Bagels is now open at 113 Commerce Square Pl in Gaithersburg. The new shop is located in the Kentlands paseo, next to Burtons and across from RanKen Noodle House. Neal’s Bagels has relocated from its previous location about a mile and a half away at 12141 Darnestown Rd in the Potomac Valley shopping center.
New Grand Mart – Germantown (food court)
Noodles & Friends and Gogi Friends Korean BBQ have opened inside of the food court at New Grand Mart supermarket at 13069 Wisteria Drive in the Germantown Plaza shopping center. Additional vendors, including Tous les Jours (bakery) and Fortune Cha (bubble tea and dessert) are expected to open by the end of the summer. Menu items at Noodles & Friends include JjaJang (noodles with blackbean sauce), Jjampong (seafood soup), KimChi fried rice, and Shrimp Tangsu. Menu items at Gogi Friends includes BulGogi, Bibim Bap, Ramyeon noodles, and dumpling soup. New Grand Mart opened in the space previously occupied by Lotte Plaza on June 8th. According to its website, “New Grand Mart carries a variety of fresh produce, fish, meats, and ethnic specialty items that is hard for other markets to match.”
Nosh Grill House – Rockville
Nosh Grill House at 11 N Washington Street in Rockville opened in April. The restaurant, which offers contemporary Chinese-style bbq, is the neighbor and sister restaurant of East Grill Karaoke and East Dumpling House. Along with all-you-can-eat bbq, Nosh Grill House will offer karaoke. The soft opening begins on Monday, April 17th and runs Monday-Thursday from 5pm until 1am and Friday-Sunday from 5pm-2am. Full menu available below. Per Nosh Grill House: “NOSH is a contemporary Chinese-style BBQ restaurant and karaoke bar that pays homage to traditional Northern Chinese food culture, while embracing neighboring countries’ influences, including Japan, Korea, and Russia. Forged with skill and passion, this family-owned restaurant has been a years-long journey in the making; the result is a welcoming, eccentric space with a boisterous bar and a 12-foot screen for karaoke, sporting events, and shows.
Oliva’s Kitchen – Bethesda
Oliva’s Kitchen opened February 22 at 4708 Highland Ave in Bethesda, the former home of Taco Fresco. Taco Fresco opened in the location in November of 2021 and was available for sale approximately 6 months later. Breakfast options include egg sandwiches, Belgian waffles, breakfast tortes, Huevos Mexicanas, and more. Lunch sandwiches include the Cubano, Torta Milenasa, Buffalo Chicken, Steak & Cheese, and others.
Paris Baguette – Rockville
Paris Baguette, “the neighborhood bakery café where communities come together over expertly crafted baked and brewed goods,” has opened its Rockville Town Square location at 101 Gibbs Street. Paris Baguette offers cakes, gourmet sandwiches, salads, and an assortment of baked goods such as croissants and donuts.
Pho Nom Nom – Gaithersburg
Pho Nom Nom is now open at 18509 N Frederick Ave at Gaithersburg S.C. (that’s the name of the shopping center), at the former site of Pho Viet Saigon. Pho Nom Nom has an additional location at 842 Rockville Pike. The restaurant specializes in authentic Vietnamese cuisine, including pho, banh mi, noodles and grilled dishes.
Pines of Rome Express – Rockville
Pines of Rome Express is now open at 121B Congressional Lane- the former home of Congressional Deli. Last year, we let you know that Pines of Rome, a Bethesda staple for over 50 years, tabbed WashUrban to spearhead their first ever search for a second location. The new restaurant is located beside/behind Mykonos Grill and near Bed Bath& Beyond.
The original restaurant, which will remain open, is located at 4918 Cordell Ave. in Bethesda. Pines of Rome moved to the location in 2017 and was previously located at 4709 Hampden Lane, opening in 1972. The restaurant is known for its extremely popular white pizza, spaghetti & meatballs, and other traditional Italian dishes. The express version will focus on carry-out and delivery. The menu can be seen below via Instagram.
Pizza Hut – Rockville & Silver Spring
Pizza Hut has opened new locations this year at 842-B Rockville Pike in Rockville and 10100 Colesville Rd. in Silver Spring. The new Pizza Hut locations are a smaller version than traditional Pizza Hut locations of the past- focusing solely on carry out and delivery orders. In September 2021, David Gibbs (CEO of Pizza Hut parent company Yum Brands), told investors, “We closed a lot of the dine-in stores that didn’t belong on the portfolio over the last 18 months in the United States,” according to a transcript on the financial services site Sentieo. “But for the most part, the stores we have in the portfolio now are good, long-term stores.” The new Germantown Pizza Hut location, which opened less than three months ago, follows the model.
Poke Bowl – Aspen Hill/Silver Spring
Maryland-based Poke Bowl, a restaurant serving poke bowls, bubble tea, a variety of appetizers, and more, is now open at 2229 Bel Pre Road in Plaza Del Mercado- replacing Smoothie King, between Pizza Stop and Aldi. Poke Bowl has five locations in Maryland, primarily in the Baltimore region with one location in Frederick. Signage has just been posted on the window informing shoppers of the restaurant’s impending arrival, but an opening date is now available. Smoothie King, which closed permanently last month after four years at Plaza Del Mercado, has additional Montgomery County locations in Bethesda and Rockville (Fallsgrove and Congressional Plaza), and an upcoming location in Olney.
Poke Bros – Gaithersburg
Poke Bros has opened its first Maryland location in Gaithersburg’s Kentlands neighborhood at at 107 Market St W, in the space that was previously home to Next Day Blinds. The restaurant is offering 1/2 off bowls all day today, Thursday, November 16. Poke Bros opened its first location in 2016 and has since expanded to over 75 restaurants across the country.
Rakugaki – Bethesda
Rakugaki at 10223 Georgetown Road, near Sarah’s Handmade Ice Cream at the Shops at Wildwood, held its soft opening on March 11. When deciding on a new location, co-owner Marcel The said, “We love the Bethesda community which we have served for the past 25 years. We feel that Wildwood is the perfect choice for our newest restaurant where we will feature favorite menu items as well as introduce new offerings.” Raku’s Bethesda and Cathedral Heights locations as well as Rakuya at Dupont Circle remain open.
“We are thrilled to welcome the Raku team to Wildwood and expect Rakugaki to share the same success as its sister location at Bethesda Row,” said Ralph Ours of Federal Realty. “We are always on the search for delicious exclusive brands to complement our merchant mix and this new dining destination will be an excellent addition to the Montgomery County restaurant scene.”
RASA – Rockville
RASA, a fast-casual Indian restaurant with four locations in DC and Virginia, is now open in the former Slapfish location at 12033 Rockville Pike in the Montrose Crossing shopping center. The restaurant, founded by Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman (combined to create the name, RASA), opened its first location in Navy Yard in 2017 before opening a location in Mt. Vernon Triangle in 2020, Crystal City in 2021, and Fairfax this past summer. The menu offers seven chef-curated bowls under the “We Got You” portion of the menu, that includes their signature bowls like the “Tikka Chance on Me”, “Open Sesame”, “Eat Your Veggies”, “Home Cooking”, “Goa Your Own Way”, “Aloo Need is Love”, and “Caul on Me” or the “You Got It” portion of their menu that allows customers to “DIY” and design their own bowl using the assembly line format of a base, main, sauce, veggies, toppings, and chutneys/dressings.
Red Ribbon Bakeshop – Wheaton
Red Ribbon Bakeshop, a Filipino bakery chain, opened its new Wheaton location on Saturday, September 23 at 9am just as heavy rains moved through the area with Tropical Storm Ophelia. That didn’t stop hundreds of customers from showing up to support the bakery’s first Maryland location- arriving as early 3:30am. One customer, Mr. Eugie Ariaga of Rockville, became Red Ribbon’s first-ever Maryland customer. He won “one year of sweetness”- a Mango Supreme Cake every month for a year. The bakery is located at 2501 University Blvd W, right next to the Anchor Inn sign that still stands. Currently, Red Ribbon Bakeshop has over 200 locations across the Philippines and 39 in the United States. In 2005 it was acquired by Jollibee Foods Corporation, which opened its first D.C. area Jollibee location at Wheaton Mall in 2021.
Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken – Gaithersburg/Rockville
Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken at 16248 Frederick Rd (on the border of Gaithersburg/Rockville), opened on February 19. The North Carolina-based biscuit chain is known for their buttermilk-brined chicken and has additional Maryland locations in Columbia and Towson. Menu items include biscuit sandwiches, biscuits & gravy, fried chicken strips, and donuts.
Roaming Rooster – Gaithersburg
Roaming Rooster at 511 Quince Orchard Rd in Gaithersburg (former Duck Donuts location) opened in the Firstfield Shopping Center in January. Roaming Rooster is known for its variety of buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches that vary in heat depending on the diner’s preferences – mild, medium or hot. In addition to its free-range, grain-fed, antibiotic-free and Halal chicken, Roaming Rooster offers an all week breakfast menu, salads and sides including wings, chicken tenders and hand-cut fries.
Salt & Vine – Olney
Salt & Vine has opened in the Olney House, which was previously the home of Ricciuti’s at 3308 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. “Salt & Vine Trattoria and Wine Bar is built from the historic Olney house at Olney Maryland. Executive Chef and Owner, Thomas Zippelli has focused on creating local, fresh, and seasonally inspired Italian dishes. As well as building a dining experience that fits everyone . We have outdoor seating, two bars, private dining, and a dining room. Anyone searching for an elevated and authentic dining experience will enjoy Salt and Vine. Search no further.”
The Salt Line – Bethesda
The Salt Line is now open at 4900 Hampden Lane, which was previously home to Greek restaurant Kapnos until 2018. According to the restaurant, the opening menu at features a selection of beloved New England favorites also found at The Salt Line’s Navy Yard and Ballston locations, as well as additions from Executive Chef Eric McKamey and Long Shot Hospitality Chef/Partner Kyle Bailey. Highlights include the Local Heirloom Tomato Salad, Bucatini and Clams, Maine Peekytoe Crab Roll, and more. In addition to full beer and wine lists, the cocktail program is heavily influenced by the New England lifestyle and showcases imaginative twists on timeless classics such as the Cape Codder G&T, The Blue Cheese Martini, Sbagliato Spritz, and more. The interior evokes a nautical feel, with mahogany paneling, brass fixtures, booths inspired by yacht seats, a huge u-shaped bar, and vintage coastal ephemera throughout.
Sarku Japan – Wheaton
Sarku Japan has reopened in Wheaton Mall in a new location just outside of Costco, near the relatively new Sydney’s Burger. Sarku Japan is often found inside of malls and has a mall location in Bethesda’s Montgomery Mall. Its other MoCo location can be found a standalone store (located within a strip mall rather than in a food court) in the White Oak shopping center. The chain offers made-to-order teppanyaki-style Japanese dishes cooked on sizzling grills as well as a limited amount of sushi rolls.
Shake Shack – Gaithersburg
Shake Shake is now open at 150 Kentlands Blvd in the Kentlands. Shake Shack has additional MoCo locations at Montgomery Mall in Bethesda and Cabin John Village in Potomac.
Sheetz – Gaithersburg
Montgomery County’s first Sheetz opened this summer at 751 Progress Way in Gaithersburg. Sheetz is a gas station/convenience store that offers made to order food and has over 650 locations throughout Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. According to the company, Sheetz provides “kicked-up convenience while being more than just a convenience store. Sheetz is a mecca for people on the go. If you need to refuel your car or refresh your body, we have what you need to keep you moving on to whatever comes next.” Sheetz will also be opening a location in the Walnut Hill shopping center in Gaithersburg in 2024.
Stella Point Grille – Kensington
Stella Point Grill is now open at 3739 University Blvd in Kensington- the former home of China Gourmet. The restaurant is owned by Graham Gursky (former general manager at Quincy’s South) and Stephen Lee (principal owner of China Gourmet). Gursky is a Montgomery County native, who was raised in Germantown and attended Watkins Mill High School. He has worked in the restaurant business since he was in high school, only leaving Montgomery County for a few years while attending college in New Hampshire. Lee is also local, born in Washington DC. He has been in the restaurant industry his whole life and attended college in Kentucky before managing restaurants for decades. He has been married to his wife Christina for 51 years and has two daughters four grandchildren. Much of Lee’s staff from China Gourmet was getting ready to retire so he was ready to change concepts at the location. Gursky has brought along a lot of his former staff from Quincy’s South including the restaurant’s Assistant GM, Gavin Holt, who is also a MoCo native.
Smoothie King – Olney
Smoothie King is now open in Olney Village Center, taking over the 980 SF space that was previously home to Party USA at 18151 Village Center Drive, between IHOP and Pho & Grill.
Sweetgreen – Gaithersburg
Sweetgreen opened at 299 Copley Place D100 in Downtown Crown on January 20. Sweetgreen currently has three additional MoCo locations, in Bethesda, Downtown Silver Spring, and Pike & Rose. Crown has been without a fast-casual salad restaurant since Chopt closed in early 2020 and has since moved that location to the Kentlands neighborhood.
Sushi N You – Cabin John
Sushi N You opened at 7607 MacArthur Blvd in Cabin John on Thursday, November 2 in the space that was previously home to J. Brown Bakery almost a decade ago.
Tacos El Pariente – Gaithersburg & Olney (food truck)
Tacos El Pariente opened a new food truck at 18000 Georgia Ave (Exxon) in Olney on February 13 and its first brick and motor location at 7889 Cessna Ave. in Gaithersburg on September 22. Tacos El Pariente also operates its original food truck at 20220 Frederick Rd in Germantown
Menu items include birria tacos with consome (their specialty), tortas, burritos, enchiladas, and esquite.
You will still be able to find the original Tacos El Pariente truck at 20220 Frederick Rd in Germantown. Additional details below courtesy of Tacos El Pariente on Instagram.
Taco Loco – Silver Spring
Taco Loco is now open at 8417 Georgia Ave in Silver Spring, the former site of Guavaberry Dominican Restaurant and The Greek Place. Menu items include tacos, tortas, gorditas, soups, tamales, elote loco, birria pizza, and more. According to a report from Source of the Spring, Taco Loco began in White Oak as a mobile catering business. You can view the restaurant’s Facebook page here.
Tacos Way – Silver Spring
Tacos Way is now open at 8777B 1st Ave in Silver Spring. Menu items include tacos, burritos, bowls, quesadillas, salads, and chimichangas. According to its website, “All of our taco flavors are inspired by delicious Mexican flavors.” Tacos Way has an additional location at 10540 York Rd in Cockeysville, MD.
Featured image courtesy of Tacos Way on Facebook.
TaKorean – Gaithersburg
Korean taco grill TaKorean has taken over the recently-closed Nalley Fresh location at 261 Kentlands Blvd in Gaithersburg. The restaurant offers Korean style tacos and bowls with options including chicken/Dak Halbi, steak/Bulgogi, pork/Bo Ssam, and tofu/Hoisin. This will be TaKoreans first location outside of D.C.
Taste of Kabob – Rockville
Taste of Kabab, a new Halal restaurant, opened at 765-E Rockville Pike in the Ritchie Center (Rockville) in September. The restaurant has taken over the space that was previously home to CM Chicken/Gama Chicken. Earlier this year, Choong Man (CM) Chicken rebranded to Gama Chicken & BBQ at 765 Rockville Pike #E. At the time a representative from the restaurant, which specialized in Korean style fried chicken, let us that they made the change in early 2023 and that you can still find many of the same or similar menu items. The restaurant closed earlier this summer. Taste of Kabab menu consists of multiple appetizers, a variety of biryanis, kababs, and drinks.
Third Hill Brewing Co.- Silver Spring
Third Hill Brewing Co., which is located in the former Astro Lab Brewing location at 8216 Georgia Ave in Silver Spring, opened on Saturday, August 19. Jason Sliter, Third Hill Brewing Co. owner, has spent nearly a decade of craft beer research & development formulating his unique recipes. The new addition to the neighborhood further represents the strength of the official Brewery District in downtown Silver Spring, reinvigorating Silver Spring as the DC area beer destination.”
TOUS les JOURS – Germantown
TOUS les JOURS is now open inside of New Grand Mart (13069 Wisteria Dr) in Germantown. The French-Asian Bakery features a variety of breads, pastries, and cakes that are baked in-store daily, as well as a wide selection of coffee/espresso based drinks and teas. Other vendors inside of the New Grand Mart food court include Noodles & Friends, Gogi Friends Korean BBQ, and Fortune Cha Bubble Tea.
“Since our launch into the United States in 2004, TOUS les JOURS [meaning “everyday” in French] has developed into a reputable neighborhood bakery specializing in French-Asian inspired baked goods, hand crafted beverages and bold, flavorful coffee and espresso made with the finest ingredients. We take pride in sourcing and using carefully selected ingredients and promises to bring freshness and quality to our customers. To date, we have more than 90 locations across the United States, and more than 1,650 worldwide.”
Quickway Japanese Hibachi – Rockville
Quickway has opened its 7th Montgomery County location right next to Trader Joe’s in the Travilah Square Shopping Center. Their signature hibachi chicken dish is available for $7.95 and additional meals range in price from $9.95 to $12.75. Bento boxes, beef, shrimp, tofu, salmon, sushi, poke bowls and more are also available. The regional chain opened its 6th location in Olney last year and and its 5th MoCo location in Stone Mill Square (Korean Korner shopping center) before that. Quickway which can now be found in 10 different counties across the DMV since opening its first location in 2012, will be joining Hangry Joe’s Hot Chicken– another new fast casual restaurant that recently opened in the shopping center.
Willie T’s Seafood Shack- Silver Spring (now closed)
Willie T’s Seafood Shack opened at 9326 Georgia Avenue, between Islands Tropical Ice Cream and Goldberg’s New York Bagels, in the location that was formerly home to Andy’s Restaurant and closed several months later. The restaurant served a variety of seafood dishes, including hand-breaded fried fish sandwiches and baskets, crab cakes, lobster tails, salads, grilled fish and po boys. The restaurant has been replaced by Mike & Honey.
Wiseguy Pizza – Wheaton
Wiseguy Pizza opened it’s first Montgomery County location in the Wheaton Mall food court on Wednesday, September 20. Wiseguy serves stone-deck oven baked pizza by the slice that’s made with imported ingredients from Italy, homemade sauces, and dough using a special water filtration system. Pizza options include Cheese, Pepperoni, Paneer Tikki (House Masala, Paneer, Mozzarella, Onions, Tomato, Green & Chili Peppers, Cilantro, Jalapeño Sauce), Nashville Hot Chicken, Chicken Parmesan, and Whitestone (Garlic, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmigiano, Oregano, Oil from Tuscany Italy.)
Zuma By Chef Ninja – Bethesda
Chef Mitsuhisa Nishio, or “Michu” to his family members and friends and Chef Ninja to many of his followers across social media, opened Zuma By Chef Ninja in the space that was previously home to Brickside at 4866 Cordell Ave in Bethesd on October 6th.
Potomac Local reports that mega gas station/convenience store Buc-ee’s is looking to open its first location in the Greater Washington area.
The Montgomery County Council will meet on Tuesday, March 5 at 9:45am. Full agenda below courtesy Montgomery County:
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