We can’t decide if it’s the ginormous screen or the Skee-Ball that makes Sports & Social the best addition to the local sports bar scene. An 18-foot screen—so big it feels like a Jumbotron that’s been transplanted from a sports stadium—anchors the nearly 7,700-square-foot space at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda. Don’t worry if it’s not showing the game you want to watch. Just glance at another of the 20-plus screens around the chic space (they’re all controlled from a DJ-esque station overlooking the main area of the venue). Between games, you can play some yourself: arcade basketball, foosball, Big Buck Hunter Reloaded, a table version of shuffleboard.
Though it’s part of a national chain, the Pike & Rose outpost, which opened in September, includes a lineup of Maryland brews, an outdoor “crush” bar that serves fruity cocktails, and a menu with a crabcake sandwich and a pretzel with crab dip. The other locations, some based in casinos, feature online sports betting through FanDuel. That might soon be another way to game at the Pike & Rose spot—at press time, legalized sports betting in Maryland was about to be officially on the books.
The birria de res quesotacos platter (quesadilla + taco = quesotaco) at Little Miner Taco, which opened at The Block in July 2020, is a thing of beauty. Three deep-fried corn tortillas ($17) are griddled with loads of Jack cheese and birria de res, braised beef flavored with guajillo chiles, cloves and juniper berries. The tortillas are folded into tacos, topped with salsa roja, chopped scallions and cilantro, and served with lime wedges, pickled red onions and a cup of beef braising broth (consommé) for dunking and drinking. (Birria de res tacos not sold separately.)
Little Miner Taco at The Block, 967 Rose Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, 240-600-1980, littleminertaco.com
Kyoto Matcha at The Block
The display case at Kyoto Matcha is an art exhibit of exquisite confections—many of them matcha based—meant to provoke impulse buying and photo posting. Resisting them is futile. We are intrigued by the 22-layer crepe cake slices ($9), especially the bright green matcha variety and the neon purple ube offering, but the brown sugar boba milk cap cake blows us away. It’s a round of delicate sponge cake bathed in silken white milk foam, mounded with purple boba and drizzled with brown sugar syrup, plenty for two to share ($12).
Kyoto Matcha at The Block, 967 Rose Ave. (Pike & Rose), North Bethesda, kyotomatcha.us
We hope to see you at our next Friends of White Flint Community Meeting Tuesday, February 1 at 7:00 pm by Zoom. MCDOT will brief FOWF on the proposal to advance the MD355 Flash BRT in the County Executive’s 2023-28 capital budget. It’s a great chance to ask your BRT questions.
Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is kicking off a planning study for the North Bethesda BRT to determine the street layout that will accommodate the BRT service, the location of stations, and the end points of the corridor.
Help guide the planning study and improve transit access in your community. Residents, business owners and interested stakeholders are invited to apply to join the join the County’s Corridor Advisory Committee (CAC) to help guide the North Bethesda BRT planning study. Corridor Advisory Committees follow Master Plan guidance as approved by the Montgomery County Council to provide input on the\ design, construction and proposed station locations for the transit corridor.
Construction will continue for the White Flint Substation project Mon-Fri with Saturday work as needed for make-up days for weather related events. Flaggers will be on site to direct traffic and work will be covered with steel plates after hours. For moves, deliveries, or any special circumstances during our work hours, please alert me in advance for coordination with our crew.
Randolph Road Micro-Tunnel The crew will continue working on Randolph Rd. from Parklawn Dr. to Nebel St for the micro- tunnel operation. The traffic control plan will allow East bound traffic only on Randolph Rd. West bound traffic will be detoured down Parklawn Dr. to Rockville Pike-MD-355. Sidewalks on Randolph Rd. will remain open to pedestrians throughout the duration of the micro-tunnel construction.
While working during the permitted hours, flaggers will be posted at every two driveways to help coordinate traffic going to local businesses and three officers are posted to mitigate traffic. “We’re Open” signs have been placed in front of all entrances to encourage business patronage during construction. All traffic control measures will remain in place 24/7 until the work is completed.
Week of 01/17/2022CSX/Randolph Rd.-Package A (SECA)– Continue first drive- Continue forming CIP MH- Pour concrete
Nebel St.-Package C (CW & Sons)– Continue conduit installation around the 500 series manholes- Continue conduit install to substation wall- Pour concrete- Backfill-chester to install 2” to wall penetration
Week of 01/24/2022White Flint Substation-Package-A/B (CW & Sons Crew #2)– Pour concrete- Remove forms- Backfill- Continue certification between 100/101 manholes
Nebel St.-Package C (CW & Sons)– Continued coordination regarding Cathodic Protection- Install conduitCSX/Randolph Rd.-Package A/B (SECA)– Continue first drive
Week of 01/31/2022Nebel St.-Package C (CW & Sons)– Cathodic protection- Backfill trench
CSX/Randolph Rd.-Package A/B (SECA)– Complete first drive- Prepare for second drive
Aris Tsekouras never had to audition for the top cooking slot at the new Melina in North Bethesda. His bread, which he promoted on Instagram, did the job for him. One taste of the chef’s koulouri, or sesame sourdough, was sufficient proof of talent for the restaurateur who ended up hiring him at the modern Greek establishment.
“So much love into something simple,” says Dimitri Moshovitis, among the founders of Cava, the Mediterranean fast-casual brand. “This is the guy I want to run this restaurant.”
Melina joins Julii, an upscale French-Mediterranean restaurant, also from the Cava creators, in the high-end Pike & Rose complex. The fresh face borrows the name of Moshovitis’s 12-year-old daughter and honors the influence of matriarchs in the owners’ business, says Moshovitis, whose co-founders include Ted Xenohristos and Ike Grigoropoulos. Created in 2011, Cava has grown to more than 150 stores. Introduced in November, Melina is already one of the best restaurants to alight in Montgomery County in recent memory.
You can taste what I mean by asking for the tuna tataki. Slices of raw tuna are nothing new, but they seem novel when they’re fanned over a base of crumbled cauliflower jump-started with pickled mustard seeds, enlivened with lemon dressing and ringed with shimmering chive oil. A quick encounter with a blow torch gives the tuna a rosy complexion.
Raise your hand if you’ve seen beef tartare on a menu. Is that a sea of hands going up? No appetizer has had more exposure during the pandemic, partly because it’s a smart use of meat trimmings when restaurants are trying to be as frugal as possible. Melina rewards takers with raw beef shot through with minced pickled cabbage, pickled mustard seeds, cured lemon — ingredients associated with Greece’s beloved stuffed cabbage, but topped off here with a crisp rice cracker.
Octopus makes almost as many appearances on restaurant menus as beef tartare. The version at Melina is Greek to the extent the grilled seafood arrives with balsamic vinegar and fava bean puree, along with luscious caramelized onions. The elusive floral note wafting from the dish, which is brightened with a parsley emulsion enriched with the octopus-braising liquid, turns out to be vanilla, which the chef adds as contrast to the salinity of the centerpiece.
Melina. 905 Rose Ave., North Bethesda. 301-818-9090. melinagreek.com. Open for indoor dining 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Prices: Mezze $12 to $20, main courses $20 to $44. Sound check: 70 decibels/Conversation is easy. Accessibility: No barriers at entrance; ADA-compliant restrooms.
In 2020, although there were fewer cars on the road due to Covid-19 restrictions, pedestrian and cyclist deaths continued to climb. Last year alone, 130 Marylanders lost their lives while attempting to cross our streets and there were an additional 3,022 pedestrian-involved crashes which caused injury or property damage.
This bill addresses the disconnect between MDOT response and the goals of the Vision Zero law stems from a lack of detailed plans to address the problem and insufficient dedicated resources.
The SAFE Roads Act
necessitates pedestrian and bicyclist safety countermeasures be incorporated into new, preservation, and maintenance construction projects;
requires SHA conduct a thorough crash analysis of all roadways to identify high-risk intersections and corridors with serious pedestrian and bicycle injuries and fatalities by July, 2023;
using this crash analysis, requires SHA to identify gaps in safe infrastructure and engineering improvements, and develop a budget estimate and timeline to implement these improvements;
provides dedicated funding of nearly $170 million in FY24 with a 10% increase each subsequent year to be included in the MD state budget for fiscal years 2024-2028 to be used specifically by the SHA to address and improve the safety of Maryland’s roads for pedestrians and bicyclists, including ADA and bicycle retrofits, sidewalk program, traffic management and safety/spot improvements;
identifies pedestrian and bicyclist project planning, implementation, and program management function as a SHA budget line to expedite vulnerable road user safety engineering improvements.
HB0254 perfectly complements Delegate Charkoudian’s SAFE Roads Act; while the SAFE Roads Act requires a systemwide assessment to identify the most dangerous intersections and corridors using the most recent 5 years of crash data, as well as identify and implement corrective engineering countermeasures for these dangerous roadways, HB0254 requires a crash analysis of individual future fatal crashes and targeted engineering countermeasures to address specific gaps at the crash location.
HB0254 requires SHA to:
Assess each individual fatal pedestrian and bicyclist fatality occurring on SHA roadways within 6 months after the crash;
Identify engineering countermeasures consistent with Safe System approach;
Consider the countermeasures that are appropriate for the highway context (e.g., urban, rural, modes of travel)
Publicly post the assessment to SHA web site
To advocate for these bills, please send an email supporting HB254 and HB0254 to the following people:
Complete the 2021-2022 Regional Fair Housing Survey about your experience finding a place to live in the DC area. Your answers are anonymous – we won’t know your name or any other information about you.
At the request of County Executive Elrich, Council President Albornoz will introduce a resolution to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the County. The resolution would approve a Board of Health regulation to require restaurants, bars, fitness centers and other establishments and facilities to require patrons to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 before entering indoor areas.
In addition, the resolution would exempt certain establishments and facilities from the requirement, including those providing essential government services and social services. It would exempt certain individuals from the requirement, including individuals who enter the facility for a quick and limited purpose and individuals who are entitled to medical or religious accommodations.
Under the proposed regulation, the vaccination requirement would be phased-in according to the following schedule: effective Jan. 22, 2022, proof of one dose of the vaccine would be required for patrons 12 years and older; effective Feb. 15, proof of all doses (excluding boosters) would be required for patrons 12 years and older; and effective Mar. 1 proof of all doses (excluding boosters) would be required for patrons five years-and-one month and older.
Those expected to attend and provide information include Dr. James Bridgers, acting chief health officer, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS); Dr. Earl Stoddard, assistant chief administrative officer, Montgomery County Government; and Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, DHHS.
A public hearing and Council worksession is scheduled for Jan. 18.