As 2023 comes to an end, let’s look back at all the great restaurants that opened in Montgomery County this year. (more…)
Per Montgomery County: “Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich, along with the County’s regional services offices and community partners, is hosting a series of 10 “Community Conversations” to seek input on the Fiscal Year 2025 Operating Budget. The last conversation, from 2-3:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 11, will be a hybrid meeting that will focus on issues important to senior residents.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) has responded to a crash that involves a rollover that occurred at approximately 3pm on Sunday afternoon.
Vegetable Garden, a “truly vegan restaurant” located at 3830 International Drive in Leisure World Plaza, at has closed after nearly 30 years in business.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) have responded to the 12200blk Veirs Mill Rd., near Randolph Rd. (in the area of Korean Corner), for a collision involving a driver backing a vehicle up into the building in the Stoney Mill Square shopping center at approximately 5:30pm.
The vehicle primarily hit the entrance of Quickway and partially hit the entrance of King Pollo. Several units have responded and a building inspector has been requested. One witness has claimed that a driver hit another car before backing into the building. No word on injuries or a cause for the collision at this moment. Featured photo courtesy of Claudia Reyes (@ok_calirey)
12200blk Veirs Mill Rd. near Randolph Rd., Korean Corner, collision, vehicle backed into building, @mcfrs A721, T725, PE721 responding, building inspector requested
— Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) October 29, 2023
Everyone has had their share of terrible experiences in MoCo parking lots, and while there are more than 25 “bad” parking lots, we’ve narrowed down a list (in no particular order) of what may be the worst based on our experiences and comments left by readers throughout the years.
The original “Worst Parking Lots in MoCo” article was inspired by Fox 5’s Jim Lokay when he tweeted “What is the most lawless frontier in the DC region and why is it the parking lot at the Gaithersburg Costco?” The Gaithersburg location has the strangest layout and most people don’t use the underground portion of the lot.
Reader comment: “The Costco in Gaithersburg is the 7th circle of hell”
Woodmoor Shopping Center (Silver Spring)
One of the oldest shopping centers in MoCo can also be one of the most problematic. Though you can park in the back (it also gets full), we all hope for the best and try to make it into that front triangle parking lot. This shopping center features a Chipotle, CVS, and Starbucks.
Rio AMC (Gaithersburg)
Everyone’s favorite garage at Rio, most people prefer to try to find a spot at the very bottom of the lot so they can walk out by Guapo’s. Click here to see our “Where to Park (and where not to park) at Rio Lakefront in Gaithersburg” guide.
Norbeck Center (Rockville)
This center has several incredibly popular restaurants (Full On & Big Greek Café) and only a handful of parking spots. Full On has even devoted of a portion of their website (www.fulloncraft.com/parking/) to helping guests with the parking situation. “While there are only a few spots in front of Full On, the lot in front of White’s Hardware Store is public space. 46 spots are open to the public at all times. Follow the sidewalk that runs parallel to Norbeck Rd which takes you directly to our door!”
Reader comment: “Omg I was just at the norbeck parking lot for big Greek yesterday and I wanted to end it all. It is by far the most complicated parking lot. You HAVE to know how to drive to park there “
The traffic for this Chick-Fil-A’s drive thru on Century Blvd is so bad that it often times closes all lanes of the parking lot. This center also has a Carrabba’s, Panera, Taco Bell, Walgreen’s, and the Germantown Transit Center.
Reader comment: “Definitely Chick Filet and the Dutch Market in Germantown. I’d put them on a regional and national list, too! “
With H-Mart, the Dollar Store, and AutoZone all next to each other, it’s no surprise that this parking lot is one of the worst in the area. The lot is also known for its very narrow lanes.
Every Trader Joe’s
Federal Plaza in Rockville has been one of the busiest parking lots for as long as we can remember. Trader Joe’s doesn’t help. The same goes for every other Trader Joe’s location in the county. Some say they do it on purpose so that they can increase the amount of customers during their off-peak hours.
The biggest issue is getting in and getting out. When those lines start to form it seems like nobody knows who’s supposed to go? This shopping center includes Bethesda Bagels, Mama Lucia’s, Poyoteca, Safeway, and Starbuck’s. Fallsgrove is also across the street from Shady Grove Hospital.
Reader comment: “Fallsgrove is the worst. Funnel everyone in thru one spot and no one knows who goes first.”
Shady Grove Home Depot (Gaithersburg)
“Leaving Home Depot Gaithersburg #2550 off this list is a major oversight” was just one of the dozens of comments we received about the Home Depot at 15740 Shady Grove Rd when we posted the 2021 list.
Costco (Wheaton Plaza)
The Costco at Wheaton Mall opened in 2013 and the parking lot has been packed ever since. In addition to the normal craziness of a Costco lot there’s the added bonus of a shopping mall.
Gaithersburg Commuter Bus Stop/Park & Ride
Several readers mentioned the Park & Ride stop that’s located on West Diamond Ave in Gaithersburg, with one writing, “will take you a good 20 minutes to get out of the lot during rush hour.”
Olney Village Center and Fair Hill are also bad, but Olney Gardens is narrower and we think it squeaks out the victory of the Olney parking lots because if that. This shopping center includes Cava Mezze, Cafe Rio, and CVS.
Flagship Shopping Center (Rockville)
Flagship is located on Rockville Pike across from the Great Wall Supermarket. With restaurants like Pho 75, Thai Cuisine, and China Bistro, there’s good reason parking is always tight.
The revitalized shopping center now features Chipotle, Claire’s, CVS, Five Below, Marhsalls, Oak Barrel & Vine (Montgomery County Liquor), Panera, and &Pizza and is one of the busies in the county. Click here to see a list of businesses that are coming soon to the center.
Reader comment: “I agree 100% with Gaithersburg Square where Marshall’s is located as the worst. In a minute they will have to re-do that circle. It’s a complete mess trying to get around that.”
Montgomery Village Center
What was once considered a “dead” shopping center, this parking lot has seen a huge increase in traffic ever since Aldi opened up next to Big Lots in 2020. In the past year we’ve seen Hangry Joe’s, Kobe Japan, and Starbucks also open. Baskin Robbins and a laundromat are expected to open by the end of the year.
Leisure World (Silver Spring)
The closer to Giant you get, the better your chances of a bad experience. We try to park far away and get our steps in when we head to the Leisure World shopping center.
You have to just park up by Dairy Queen and walk, but we always have high hopes and look for something better when we get there. Lots of spaces, but tends to get pretty full when you want to be there. The Lancaster Dutch Market and Outback Steakhouse are the main attractions in this center.
Cabin John Village (Potomac)
The addition of the fast-casuals on the one side allows traffic to hit you from every angle. Construction didn’t help things recently either. Never a fun time when it’s busy. This massive shopping center includes Colony Pizza, CVS, Dunkin, Giant, and Gregorio’s Italian Restaurant.
Firstfield Shopping Center (Gaithersburg)
The Starbucks drive-thru in this center is so busy that the line of cars often extends outside of the parking lot and on to the main road. The center also includes Einstein Bagels, Roaming Rooster, and Jimmy John’s.
Manhattan Pizza/Upcounty Beer & Wine (Clarksburg)
A very tight spot that makes it almost impossible to get in and out of. We suggest parking on the opposite end near the Subway. On a side note, definitely try the gelato at Manhattan!
Whether it’s the people double parking to run into Little Caesars for pizza, or trying to find a place to park in the back alley for Planet Fitness, both sides of this shopping center are a mess.
Aspen Hill Shopping Center
There’s a lot going on so it could take a long time to get from one end to the other. Heading to McDonald’s? That’ll make it even worse. The shopping center include Chipotle, Giant, Panera, and Wingstop.
Lowe’s Parking lot (Kentlands)
The four way stop in the Kentlands is pretty bad, but it’s not a parking lot, so we’re gonna go with Lowe’s here. There can be 11 cars parked yet somehow 378 people are walking to and from the parking lot at all times. Shake Shack has also recently been added to area.
Wildwood Shopping Center (Bethesda)
The truck is to park in the back, but those can fill up too, and let’s be honest…we always think we’ll find something in the front. These short parking columns are the stuff nightmares are made of.
Every Whole Foods
Just like Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods seem to bring out the worst in people in the parking lots. Silver Spring and River Rd. are our two least favorite parking lots, but the Kentlands and Rockville/N. Bethesda isn’t far behind.
Featured image courtesy of Google Maps.
Boston Market has closed its last remaining Montgomery County location, as the restaurant at 3825 Aspen Hill Rd in Northgate Plaza (Aspen Hill) has closed permanently (photos below). Boston Market closed its Gaithersburg location back in April also closed its White Oak location in early 2020. The restaurant chain is dealing with various issues across the country, as detailed in this Finance Buzz article.
Last January we reported that Boston Market would be opening a new Rockville Pike location, according to signage that was put up at the old Katsu Go location in Towne Plaza (the shopping center that’s home to Navy Federal Credit Union and PM Pediatrics) at 12238 Rockville Pike Rockville, MD 20852. In December, we spoke with a klnb representative who told us that Boston Market signed a lease, but had pulled out of the space. Boston Market was founded as Boston Chicken in 1985.
Below is a list of restaurants that have opened in Montgomery County, MD so far in 2023!
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 (opens October 21)
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. The restaurant recently announced that it will open its second location on Saturday, October 21st from 12pm until 12am. 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 – Potomac
Baskin Robbins opened at 1079 Seven Locks Rd in Potomac Woods Plaza in the space that was previously home to Ibhana Creations. Last February, Baskin Robbins closed its doors at Cabin John Village and announced its plans to open in the nearby Potomac Woods Plaza shopping center. Baskin Robbins was replaced in Cabin John Village by The Scoop, which was opened this past August by Timothy and Mitch Ryoo– Potomac natives and Winston Churchill High School Graduates (2010 and 2006). Baskin Robbins will also be opening a location later this year in the Montgomery Village 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.
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.
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.”
“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.
Isaac’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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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 Park. Motorkat’s menu revolves around a seasonally-led, wood-fired culinary experience with a high quality sourced raw bar.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Special Victims Investigations Division (SVID) are asking for the public’s assistance in locating Genesis Nicole Chavez Pernas, a missing 14-year-old. Chavez Pernas was last seen on Sunday, October 1 in the 3400 block of Hewitt Ave. She is 4’11”, 115 lbs., with brown eyes and has her hair dyed red.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Genesis Nicole Chavez Pernas is asked to call Montgomery County Police Non-Emergency (301) 279-8000 (24-hour line).
Per MCPD: Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 4th District Investigative Section are investigating a residential burglary that occurred in the 3900 block of Wendy Lane in Aspen Hill, on Sunday, September 3, 2023. Detectives have released surveillance video of the male suspect and are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying him.
The investigation by detectives has revealed that at approximately 11:54 p.m., the suspect forced entry into the residence, stole property and left the residence. Detectives reviewed the surveillance footage of a camera inside the home and obtained a description of the suspect. The suspect is described as a 50-year-old male, with short hair, approximately 5-feet, 7-inches tall and 160 pounds. He was last seen wearing glasses, a dark shot sleeve collared shirt and blue jeans.
Anyone with information regarding this suspect or this crime is asked to visit the Crime Solvers of Montgomery County, MD website at www.crimesolversmcmd.org and click on the “www.p3tips.com” link at the top of the page or call 1-866-411-8477. A reward of up to $10,000 is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of the suspect. Tips may remain anonymous.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services (MCFRS) have responded to a crash that occurred on Monday morning on Georgia Avenue, near Janet Rd. in the Glenmont area.
According to MCFRS Chief Spokesperson Pete Piringer, several people are being evaluated for non-life threatening injuries. There is a fuel spill and debris in the roadway that has some lanes on Georgia Avenue blocked as of 10am.
Featured photo courtesy of Instagram user @archesgrande
— Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) October 2, 2023