25 New Restaurants That Opened in the Bethesda Area in 2016
The local dining scene expanded this year with restaurants from Mike Isabella, Neighborhood Restaurant Group and others
The bar at Hen Quarter. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
Hen Quarter – 919 Ellsworth Drive, Silver Spring
The Southern concept from Pheast Food Group opened in mid-December and serves fried chicken, shrimp and grits and other comfort food. It also has a bar that offers 75 types of bourbon. The new restaurant fills the former Austin Grill location near the fountain in the Downtown Silver Spring development.
Community exterior. Credit: Andrew Metcalf
Community – 7776 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda
Restaurateur Mark Bucher turned the ground floor of the new 7770 Norfolk apartment building into an upscale diner with a 1970s retro feel with Community. The restaurant offers burgers, prime rib, tomato soup, salads and an all-day breakfast. It also has a walk-up window for coffee and donuts. Bucher’s not done either—he’s building out a Medium Rare steakhouse next door.
Flor de Luna dining room. Andrew Metcalf
Flor de Luna – 1147 Woodglen Drive, North Bethesda
This new family-owned restaurant serves traditional Latin American and Spanish cuisine ranging from tortilla soup and tacos to lomo saltado and tres leches cake on the ground floor of an office building just off Rockville Pike near the Whole Foods grocery store. It opened in late November.
Dave & Buster's bar. Andrew Metcalf
Dave & Buster’s – 8661 Colesville Road, Silver Spring
Gamers and diners heading to the new Dave & Buster’s in Silver Spring have to wind their way up a series of escalators to reach the top-floor space inside Ellsworth Place, but once inside they’ll find the company’s signature mix of hundreds of games, televisions and prizes. This location, which opened Nov. 21, also offers a large area for watching sports games on TV and a square bar surrounded by seats.
via Dish & Dram on Facebook
The Dish & Dram – 10301 Kensington Parkway, Kensington
Zena Polin and Jerry Hollinger, owners of Silver Spring’s The Daily Dish restaurant, added a second restaurant to their lineup in mid-November with the comfort food eatery The Dish & Dram. The restaurant’s menu offers an international flair with items such as a ploughman’s lunch and osso bucco, but it also includes Mid-Atlantic staples such as rockfish and Maryland crab soup.
Outdoor dining area at Owen's Ordinary. Andrew Metcalf
Owen’s Ordinary – 11820 Trade St., North Bethesda
Neighborhood Restaurant Group, the well-known regional restaurant company behind popular Washington, D.C., eateries such as Birch & Barley and Churchkey, made its entrance into Montgomery County with this Pike & Rose restaurant that offers more than 50 draft beers and 150 beers in bottles and cans. The restaurant serves an American menu with beer-swilling accompaniments such as half-smokes and cheese fondue.
The Chihuahua bar at Chuy's. Andrew Metcalf
Chuy’s – 12266 Rockville Pike, Rockville
The Tex-Mex restaurant brought its love of Elvis, classic cars and hubcaps to Rockville with a new 6,000-square-foot restaurant that opened in early October at the former location of a Ruby Tuesday’s. The location is the Austin-based chain’s 60th in the U.S.
Modern Market exterior in Bethesda. Andrew Metcalf
Modern Market – Rockville and Bethesda locations
Colorado-based Modern Market brought two new fast-casual restaurants to Montgomery County with locations on Bethesda Row and at Congressional Plaza in Rockville. The restaurants serve sandwiches, salads and pizzas as well as “homestyle plates” such as chicken breast or flank steak with sides including mashed potatoes and fruit salad.
Quincy's exterior. Andrew Metcalf
Quincy’s – 4920 Del Ray Ave., Bethesda
The sports bar that already had locations in Gaithersburg and North Bethesda opened its third restaurant in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle in late July. The restaurant features a sleek metal bar and more than a dozen TVs. It serves up an American tavern menu. It filled the former Hard Times Café space on Del Ray Avenue across from a county parking garage.
Tapa Bar dining room. Aaron Kraut
Tapa Bar – 4901 Fairmont Ave., Bethesda
Chef Alonso Roche and his brother Alvaro Roche opened their Spanish tapas bar on Fairmont Avenue in early August. The eatery specializes in small plates that range from spicy shrimp to meatballs with cucumber and Manchego cheese. The bar offers a range of gin and tonics—a drink Spain has taken as its own. The brothers also operate the Bold Bite restaurant next door to the new tapas spot.
Fish Taco at Wildwood Shopping Center. Andrew Metcalf
Fish Taco – Two new Bethesda locations
Fish Taco, the fast-casual restaurant that stays true to its name with its menu, got its start in Cabin John in 2013, but now has three Bethesda restaurants after opening new locations at Wildwood Shopping Center and on Wisconsin Avenue in March and July, respectively, this year. The new restaurants are part of a larger expansion for the brand, with additional locations planned in Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., according to owner Francis Namin.
The bar at Samovar. Andrew Metcalf
Samovar – 201 N. Washington St., Rockville
Rockville Town Square added a bit of Russian flavor with Samovar, which opened at the Federal Realty development in June. Owner Solijon Nasimov is the former owner of a large tea house in Tajikstan’s capital, Dushanbe. The restaurant serves Russian staples such as caviar and beef stroganoff as well as infused vodka.
Taps at World of Beer. Andrew Metcalf
World of Beer – 196 East Montgomery Ave., Rockville
The franchise restaurant chain brought its signature lineup of approximately 500 beers to the ground floor of Rockville’s Upton apartment building in May. Franchise owner Matt Earl is also building out a second World of Beer location near Bethesda Row with an opening planned for this winter.
Mellow Mushroom interior. Andrew Metcalf
Mellow Mushroom – 33 Maryland Ave., Rockville
Rockville Town Square got a little more funky with the addition of Mellow Mushroom in May. The pizza restaurant known for decadent pies has a look that franchise owner Danny Trehan described as “Andy Warhol pop art” and is complete with Coca Cola bottles and Volkswagen Beetle prints.
Sal's interior. Andrew Metcalf
Sal’s Italian Kitchen – 7945 MacArthur Blvd., Cabin John
Damian and Stephanie Salvatore, who also own the Bethesda restaurants Wild Tomato and Persimmon, converted their Asian concept Indigo House into an Italian restaurant with a Tuscan vibe in the spring. Sal’s Italian Kitchen offers a menu filled with paninis and pastas, but is careful not to duplicate menu items offered at the Salvatores’ adjacent restaurant Wild Tomato.
Pinball machines at Vuk. Andrew Metcalf
Vuk – 4924 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda
This pinball and pizza emporium is the brainchild of Mom’s Organic Market owner Scott Nash, who opened the restaurant in May partly as a way to let others play the classic pinball machines he was housing in the basement of his Chevy Chase home. The restaurant offers New York-style pizza and beer.
Pool and skee ball at Tapp'd. Andrew Metcalf
Tapp’d – 4915 St. Elmo Ave., Bethesda
Bethesda got a new beer hall this year with Tapp’d—the remake of Union Jack’s in Woodmont Triangle offers 40 beers on tap; a game room with skee ball, pool and air hockey; and a Mid-Atlantic bar menu featuring such dishes as crab cakes and grilled wings. Co-owner Johnny Natoli said he decided to change the concept at the Bethesda bar this year to entice the more sophisticated palates of Bethesda craft beer drinkers.
Suma interior. Andrew Metcalf
Suma Restaurant + Bar – 4921 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda
The former executive chef and the general manager of Mussel Bar and Grille left their posts at the Bethesda Row restaurant to open Suma Restaurant + Bar on Bethesda Avenue in April. The modern American eatery offers a seasonal menu of appetizers and entrees as well as a variety of pizzas. The restaurant’s interior is cozy, but it also has a large patio with tables along Bethesda Avenue.
Pi Pizzeria exterior. Andrew Metcalf
Pi Pizzeria – 7137 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda
The St. Louis pizzeria chain that specializes in corn-meal crusted deep dish pies opened its first Maryland location in April on Wisconsin Avenue in the former home of Pittze Table. Pi also offers 15 beers on tap as well as salads, chicken wings and garlic bread.
The Irish pub inside Lahinch. Andrew Metcalf
Lahinch Tavern and Grill – 7747 Tuckerman Lane, Potomac
The Hughes family, which owns the Irish Inn in Glen Echo, expanded its restaurant holdings this April with the casual Lahinch Tavern at the Cabin John Shopping Center and Mall. The restaurant offers traditional Irish dishes and also makes spit-roasted whole chickens, lamb and prime rib on its wood-burning grill and rotisserie.
Duck Duck Goose bar. Andrew Metcalf
Duck Duck Goose – 7929 Norfolk Ave., Bethesda
4935 Bar and Kitchen owner and chef Ashish Alfred opened his second local restaurant, the French brasserie Duck Duck Goose, as a way to showcase his cooking. The restaurant offers a seasonal menu with items such as halibut and sous vide steak and a bar with cocktails that include “The Golden Goose” and “Duck L’Orange.”
Helen's dining room. Andrew Metcalf
Helen’s – 11120 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda
Longtime Washington, D.C., caterer Helen Wasserman brought her eclectic, internationally-inspired menu to a full-service restaurant on Rockville Pike in April. The restaurant filled the former location of Addie’s next to Hank Dietle’s Tavern.
Finnegan's Wake via Facebook.
Finnegan’s Wake – 100 Gibbs St., Rockville
Rockville got a new Irish pub this year in Finnegan’s Wake. The husband-and-wife team of Vanessa and Terry Laurin are behind the concept that opened in April at Rockville Town Square. The pub offers traditional Irish cuisine and aims to pour the “perfect pint” of beer.
The bar at Carluccio's. Aaron Kraut
Carluccio’s – 1186 Trade St., North Bethesda
After testing the waters in Alexandria, Virginia, the British market opened its second U.S. location at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda in March. The Italian market and café serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The dinner menu includes house-baked focaccia breads, primi, antipasti, soups, salads, pasta dishes and meat and fish entrees.
Tables inside Kapnos. Aaron Kraut
Kapnos Kouzina – 4900 Hampden Lane, Bethesda
Celebrity Chef Mike Isabella brought his Greek concept Kapnos to Montgomery County in March with Kapnos Kouzina. The menu, created by the restaurant’s executive chef George Pagonis, includes dishes such as lamb shanks, charred octopus, a fried half-chicken with a preserved lemon brine, and moussaka with roasted eggplant. The restaurant filled the former Vapiano space on Bethesda Row.