THE LOCAL RESTAURANT SCENE went through a rough
According to Bethesda Beat, 11 local eateries closed
or announced they were closing in January and early
February. Among the casualties were TapaBar and Yamas
Mediterranean Grill in Bethesda, ;e Classics in Silver
Spring and Mix Bar & Grille in Potomac.
;e karma was so bad that one restaurant location in
Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle actually closed twice in just
over two months. In late October, Mark Bucher shuttered
his upscale diner Community (after being open for less
than a year) and replaced it just over a week later with One
Scotch, One Burger, One Beer. Alas, the latter lasted only a
week into the new year.
But all is not gloom and doom for the area’s restaurant
scene. In March, we compiled a list of all restaurant
openings and closings that Bethesda Beat had reported on in
2016 and 2017. ;e results surprised me: ;ere were many
more openings than closings ( 71-42).
While there were only a few notable closings in those
two years—in particular, Grapeseed in Bethesda and 8407
Kitchen Bar in Silver Spring—there were many worthwhile
openings. So many that we asked our restaurant critic, David
Hagedorn, to sort through them and choose his favorites.
His 10 picks are the cover story in this issue.
“Two things stand out to me most about my selections,”
says Hagedorn, who was a restaurateur and chef for 25 years
before becoming a critic. “First, experience matters. Six of
the 10 restaurants are owned by local entrepreneurs with
other restaurants. Second, Asian restaurants are currently
preeminent. My top three picks are Asian.”
Hagedorn’s story about his favorite new restaurants starts
on page 128.
ONE EVENING LAST SUMMER I attended the grand
opening of the new Target store in downtown Bethesda
along with County Executive Ike Leggett. As we waited for
the o;cial ribbon-cutting, I asked Ike if he had to go to any
other events that night. He answered, wearily, “;ree more.”
22 MAY/JUNE 2018 | BETHESDAMAGAZINE.COM
to our readers
Editor & Publisher
I remember thinking, “Who would want that job?”
Well, now we have the answer: Lots of people want that job!
As of this writing, seven candidates are running for
county executive (six Democrats and one Republican). ;e
Democratic candidate will be chosen in the June 26 primary.
Overall, a remarkable number of people—nearly 200—
will be on the primary ballot, all running for state or local
o;ces. Why so many? It’s a matter of both motivation and
;e vast majority of candidates are running as
Democrats—not surprising in a county where Dems
outnumber Republicans by more than 3-to- 1 among
registered voters. And many of the Democratic candidates,
especially the scores of new ones, are running in response to
President Donald Trump.
;ere are also more o;ces in play than in recent memory.
;at’s mostly because county voters in 2016 approved
term limits, which meant that Leggett and four of the nine
members of the county council couldn’t seek re-election. An
astonishing 34 candidates are running for the four at-large
With nearly 200 candidates, we know it’s going to be
harder than ever for voters to make informed decisions.
In this issue we feature in-depth interviews with the
Democratic candidates for county executive. (We will run a
debate-style interview with the Democratic and Republican
candidates in our September/October issue.) We have also
compiled a Voters Guide on BethesdaMagazine.com and
are providing extensive coverage of the local campaigns in
Bethesda Beat, our local news service. You can read our
coverage—and sign up for the free Bethesda Beat daily
;ank you for reading Bethesda Magazine!