Archives September 2020

Hank Dietle’s owners hope to complete bar’s resurrection by year’s end

From Bethesda Beat

The owners of the Hank Dietle’s Tavern in North Bethesda say the once-popular bar could reopen by the end of the year — but they worry that followers might not come back quickly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dietle’s was destroyed by a fire in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day 2018. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue officials said at the time that the fire was caused by a discarded cigarette that hadn’t been extinguished.


At the time of the fire, the bar was 102 years old and held the distinction of being the first establishment in the county to hold a beer and wine license.

In the years since the fire, there has been a movement to rebuild the bar. Thomas Bowes, a former band booker for the bar, along with his wife, Sarah Bonner, and photographer Alan Kresse, signed a 10-year-lease for the property at 11010 Rockville Pike in September 2019.

The owners hoped to have the bar open earlier this year, but the pandemic delayed the process, Bowes told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday.

Bowes said the owners had to reformat their plans for the bar and resubmit them to the county’s Department of Permitting Services since the staff is working from home during the pandemic, which contributed to the delays over the summer.

Bowes said that in the next couple of weeks, he expects new glass panels to be installed in the windows and the bathrooms to be finished. Then, the bar and kitchen areas will be built, he said.

“Then, we’ll go ahead and finish insulating the ceiling and drywall. And then, once we get done with that, we’ll start paneling the room,” he said.

Bowes said if all goes according to plan, Dietle’s will be open by December. But the timeline for how quickly the bar’s faithful return is uncertain as long as there are capacity limits during the pandemic, he said.

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Home Depot Design Center now open in Montrose Crossing

From Bethesda Beat

The second Home Depot Design Center in the country opened in Rockville’s Montrose Crossing shopping center on Monday, a store employee confirmed to Bethesda Beat Wednesday.

The design center is an offshoot of the hardware store chain and features a showroom with kitchen and bath displays. Customers can choose from a variety of cabinets, countertops, appliances and other home fixtures.

Home Depot’s website states that the design center includes a team of employees who help people customize their kitchen, bathroom or laundry room. The store also offers installation services for home projects.

Home Depot announced in December that it would bring the design center to Rockville. The only other location is in San Diego, Calif.

Store Director Damian Taylor wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat that the Rockville store had a soft opening on Monday. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

County to remain in Phase 2; eases restrictions on live performances

          Montgomery County will remain in Phase 2 as the State moves to its Phase 3 reopening, which went into effect Friday at 5 p.m. Montgomery County’s current case count is higher than it was when the County entered Phase 2 several months ago. Daily case counts in late June when the County entered Phase 2 averaged 67 cases per day. The current seven-day average of new confirmed cases is 85.

            Venues such as indoor and outdoor restaurants may now include live performances as part of their dining experience. However, establishments are prohibited from allowing dancing or congregating in front of the performers. Individuals present must still wear masks unless they are eating or drinking (and they must be seated while eating and drinking). The new live-music guidelines go into effect immediately. On Wednesday evening, the Governor announced that more activities would be allowed under Phase 3; they are being reviewed to determine if the County could also allow some version of those activities.

            “Although we will not be moving into Phase 3, we will continue to evaluate areas where restrictions might be modified,” said Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich. “Allowing live music with restrictions at restaurants is an example of the cautious steps that we are taking toward reopening; and we will work on appropriate guidance for other live venues beyond what we’re doing for restaurants. Our careful, measured approach using data and science to make our decisions is likely part of the reasons that transmission of the virus in Montgomery County has remained relatively stable over the last few months.”

            Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel and Prince George’s Counties have also decided to remain in Phase 2. Health officials are concerned that moving to Phase 3 will cause case counts to go up across Maryland, including in Montgomery County.

            “We have made progress in addressing the pandemic, but the crisis is not over,” said County Health Officer Dr. Travis Gayles. “As we entire the holiday weekend, we must continue to be vigilant about wearing masks, maintaining physical distance and limiting the size of social gatherings. We will continue to look at the science to determine additional adjustments and slowly open things safely.”

            For the latest COVID-19 updates, visit the County’s COVID-19 website as well as the County’s data dashboard or follow Montgomery County on Facebook @MontgomeryCountyInfo and Twitter @MontgomeryCountyMD

Bark Social dog park and lounge expected to open in October

From Bethesda Beat

Bark Social, a coffee bar and beer garden that welcomes humans and dogs, plans to open in Pike & Rose in late October.

The membership-based dog park and lounge will offer food and drinks for customers and their canines. In the morning, it will serve coffee and encourage patrons to work on their laptops.

The evening “Yappy Hour” will offer beer and stream sports games.

Co-founders Luke Silverman and Jeff Kurtzman secured a liquor license last week. On Monday, the business received its final building permits.

Read the rest of the article at Bethesda Beat.