The MoCoShow Visits Burtonsville

by MCS Staff
Photo courtesy of Burtonsville resident, Gabe Rivolta (

It took me 19 minutes to get from my house in Gaithersburg to the heart of Burtonsville (Thanks ICC).

Burtonsville is located in the easternmost part of MoCo– about 20 miles southwest of Baltimore and about 15 miles northeast of DC. It is named after Isaac Burton, who owned most of the land in the area in 1825 after buying out his siblings shares of his father’s land. Initially, he named it Burton’s because…why not?

We toured Burtonsville on two different days, with Dave Golden of the Burtonsville 2.0 Facebook page as our guide. He organized visits with a few different local businesses owners in the Burtonsville area. While we didn’t get to visit every place we wanted to see, we were happy to get to visit with a few.

We start with Burtonsville Batman! Bill Gibson stripped down his 1978 Lincoln was able to transform it into the Batmobile we see below entirely on his own!

Since Halloween of 2016, you may have seen Bill and his Batmobile driving around town or visiting places like the Children’s Inn at NIH or the Carl Sandberg Learning Center to brighten the day of children from our area.

We visited the future site of a US 29 Bus Rapid Transit Station, which is located right behind the old shopping center, with lifelong Burtonsville resident Chris Bolton.

You’ll be able to use SmarTrip, the busses will contain Wi-Fi and charger ports, should take about 90 cars off the road per hour, and will eventually have dedicated lanes (maybe) for a full trip that includes nine stops. It is expected to open in 2020.

It will make the trip from Burtonsville to Downtown Silver Spring in under 20 minutes. More info can be found in this Washington Post article.

We visited Khana Claypot Grille, a fast-casual Indian restaurant owned by husband and wife team, Amir Ali and Paola Orlandi.

This is one of the few fast-casual restaurants with a chef rather than a line cook in the back. The beautiful restaurant can be seen below along with a few of their dishes, including the very popular chicken tikka entree.

Our tour had to include what may be the saddest shopping center in MoCo.

Burtonsville Crossing has only three of over 20 storefronts occupied– Pepino’s, Kim’s Hunan, and Burger King.

Growing East County, a blog written by East County resident and activist Sebastian Smoot, is working hard to engage the community in creating a plan for the shopping center.

Below are the ruins of Burtonsville Crossing.

Join the Montgomery County Planning Department on October 5th and 6th as they reinvent the Burtonsville Crossing Shopping Center into a lively place for the community with food/drink vendors and many activities.

More info available here.

​Pepino’s is responsible for almost every parked car you’ll see in the Burtonsville Crossing Shopping Center. Owners/sisters Patti Pignatari and Margaret Manley say, “Every night’s a dinner party!”Originally located in the current Cuba de Ayer location, the restaurant has been around since 1991. Patti and Margaret bought the restaurant in 2006. They’re the former owners of Umberto’s, which was located in the Cabin John Shopping Center in Potomac.

When I asked about the rent in the abandoned shopping center, I was told “It makes sense…it just makes sense.”

Greene Turtle, the sports bar, grill, and family restaurant that was founded in Ocean City in1976, is a meeting spot for many in Burtonsville and surrounding areas.

The brand is built on being involved in the community and for nearly five years they’ve done a lot of work with the community and Paint Branch High School, hosting fundraisers nearly every week.

On August 1st they hosted a Yappy Hour alongside the Montgomery County Humane Society.

We stopped by beautiful Meadows Farms Nursery (15930 Old Columbia Pike), which has been in the area for about three decades. Christmas trees in the winter, almost any kind of plant you might need (including pineapple plants), or just a place to check out if you’re in the area.

Hickory Grill (formerly Old Hickory Grill, but it’s newer now ?) is a Burtonsville staple.

It’s one of the only restaurants in MoCo to have lines out the door on a Monday, with people taking advantage of the 50% off the whole menu option.

We chatted with owner Ricky Sty, who has worked hard to to make it a great place to be every night of the week.

We had the opportunity to make garlic knots and pizza with Squisito owner, Chris Rodney.

At just 27 years old, this young man impressed us with the hard work he puts into his craft and his work in the community sponsoring local youth teams and supporting local schools.

Watch a video of us making a mess in Squisito here.

For 80 years, Seibel’s has been serving the Burtonsville community.

It was built back in 1939 by Buck Seibel. We spoke with owner Lynn Ground Martins, whose mom Joyce started working at Seibel’s as a waitress back in 1960. They took over the restaurant in 1970 and added breakfast, burgers, and more while continuing to serve homemade ice cream.

Currently, Seibel’s makes their own sausage, grinds their own burgers, and still makes all of their own ice cream. About five years ago , they added a bar to the restaurant.

“We put an emphasis on human contact and putting our customers first.” Lynn told me. She has lived in the area her whole life, attending Banneker when it was an open school (no classrooms) and graduating from Paint Branch.

While driving in Castle Blvd in Briggs Chaney, we drove by one of the coolest looking athletic fields I’ve seen. I hopped out to take a look at this smaller football/soccer field hybrid and spoke with a couple kids that were playing. They told me they usually switch up between football and soccer games on most evenings when it’s not too hot.

Quick detour to nearby Colesville! Our host, Dave Golden, was raving about a Polish deli for days before our tour.

We visited Polka Deli, which is owned and operated by Maria and Joanna. Polka Deli offers donuts that come in fresh from New York each Friday, kielbasa and deli meats that come straight from Chicago and Baltimore (both of which have large Polish communities), and they make items like stuffed cabbage, hunter’s stew, pierogis, dumplings, schnitzel, borscht, and more right in the store.

Last, but certainly not least, we checked out one of the most popular restaurants in the area. Anytime we ask about the best restaurants in MoCo, you hear Cuba De Ayer mentioned.

Cuba De Ayer offers authentic home style Cuban cuisine and some of the best mojitos around. Owner, Jessica Rodriguez, has worked hard to make this one of the premier dining destinations in MoCo.

We would like to thank Dave Golden and the wonderful business owners and people of Burtonsville for welcoming The MoCoShow with open arms. We hope you consider take a trip to Burtonsville and seeing what it has to offer if you haven’t done so already.

We leave you with a few fun facts about Burtonsville:

• As mentioned before, Burtonsville was named after Isaac Burton and originally named Burton’s, but did you know he lived there with his wife Ketura and their 17 children?

• Burtonsville is home to one of the only remaining Jerry’s Subs & Pizza in MoCo. The chain started out in Wheaton in 1954.

• Burtonsville is home to one of the biggest car shows in the area.

• Jersey Mike’s is coming to Burtonsville later this year.

• Burtonsville has the highest % of Indian Americans in any place in all of Maryland (8% of residents identified as being of Indian heritage).


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