Life shouldn’t be about views, likes, and shares, but this article will be as we take a look back at the upcoming restaurants that have created the most buzz on our website and associated social media accounts in the last two months. Today we’re going to highlight the five (in no particular order) that have generated the most buzz in terms of views, likes, and shares now that we’re in the midst of spring:
Charley Prime (Rio/Gaithersburg): Permanent signage is up at Charley Prime Foods, the new restaurant from Jackie Greenbaum & Gordon Banks (Little Coco’s, El Chucho, Bar Charley, Quarry House Tavern) that will be replacing Tara Thai on the Rio Lakefront boardwalk at 9811 Washington Blvd in Gaithersburg. The restaurant is expected to open this spring.
According to a press release, the Charley Prime team envisions the restaurant as a mature version of their popular DC restaurant Bar Charley, with an expanded menu, but keeping its lively cocktail forward energy. The broader menu will remain steak focused, but will also feature house made pastas (a la Little Coco’s) as well as other items unique to just this location.
Salt & Vine (Olney): The wait is almost over as the highly anticipated Salt & Vine has announced a Spring 2023 opening (exact date not yet available). It will be taking over the Olney House, which was previously the home of Ricciuti’s at 3308 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd. Initially, things didn’t move as quickly as anticipated due to Covid delays. Then the permitting process moved at a slower pace due to the historical significance of the building, but the restaurant is now hiring ahead of its planned opening within the next few months.
Owner and head chef Thomas Zippelli is a Howard County native, having grown up in the county during his childhood and attending River Hill High School. He is passionately sharing his message “EAT LOCAL!” Since his return to the area, Thomas has worked on building his relationships with the local farmers and farmer markets. His morning wouldn’t be complete without taking his truck around to pick up some local produce to add to the menu each night. Zippelli has worked at some of the most notable restaurants in the country, including Michelin three-star restaurants Eleven Madison Park in New York and The French Laundry in California.
Olney Ale House (Olney): The 100-year old building that is home to the Olney Ale House has been sold to Two Sibs LLC, led by Selim Kantar, for $1.45 million, according to the deed. Olney Ale House, located at 2000 Olney Sandy Spring Rd (Rt. 108 and Doctor Bird Rd.), operated in the space until a kitchen fire caused the restaurant to shut down in 2019. In September, we spoke with previous owner John Rich who told us he was interested in selling to someone that would continue to run it as the Olney Ale House restaurant. We spoke with Kantar today, who told us that he will be doing just that.
The restaurant will keep the Olney Ale House name and operate with an updated menu and new cocktails. Kantar tells us that work is just getting started and that there is a lot of it that has to be done before the restaurant is ready to open, so a 2024 opening is the most likely scenario. We will have updates for you as the restaurant continues with renovations and moves closer toward opening.
Umi Sushi & Seafood Buffet (Rockville): Umi Sushi & Seafood Buffet is taking over the space that was recently home to Miller’s Ale House and previously home to Hooters and Shakey’s at 1471 Rockville Pike in Rockville. Miller’s Ale House closed last September after a decade in Rockville.
As of now things look the same inside the restaurant with Miller’s Ale House logos still visible in exterior and interior doors. Umi shares the name and description of a restaurant that has multiple locations in New York, New Jersey and Florida. It describes itself as “the largest and most elegant Chinese, Japanese, and American cuisine restaurant.” Its other restaurants offer a lunch and dinner buffet, along with Saturday/Sunday all-day dinner, and a to-go buffet option. Lunch buffet options go for up to $16.99 per person and the dinner buffet for up to $27.99 per person, according to that menu.
Peri Peri Original (Colesville, featured photo): Peri Peri Original has signed on to move into the space that was previously home to Pollo Mex at 13436 New Hampshire Ave in the Colesville Center. Pollo Mex closed last summer after 12 years in the location.
Peri Peri Original is an international chain that has over ten locations in Virginia and Maryland, as well as an additional location coming to Rockville (location not yet available). “Peri Peri chicken is marinated for 24hrs in our unique Portuguese Peri Peri sauce flamed grilled for serving from the spice selection of your choice.” The first United States location was opened in 2018 in Alexandria, Virginia.