Category Archives: Silver Spring

Co-Owner of Closing Restaurant Blasts Liquor Monopoly (Updated)

By Adam Pagnucco.

A co-owner of The Classics Restaurant, a Silver Spring steakhouse, has issued a statement placing part of the blame for his decision to close on the county’s liquor monopoly.  Co-owner Elliott Rattley said in part:

After some eleven and a half years, the Montgomery County Government has yet to show any support for the independent businessman in this area. Along with the onerous burden that the ineffective Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control places on an independent operator by their over the normal, for every local jurisdiction, pricing structure to support a bloated and antiquated bureaucracy, and the unfriendly business climate that Montgomery County in general creates, the continuance of this business is untenable. Of course, the loss of a Fortune 500 company directly across the street hastened this decision. (Discovery Channel)

Source of the Spring has the full statement.

In 2015, Delegate Bill Frick (D-16) introduced a bill that would have allowed MoCo voters to decide whether to end the monopoly.  An online petition initiated by your author gained more than 2,000 signatures from consumers, retailers and restaurant operators in favor of Frick’s bill.  County Executive Ike Leggett and the entire County Council except for Council Member Roger Berliner fought the bill and the delegation declined to pass it.  Seventh State asked Frick, Berliner, Council Member Marc Elrich and Council Member George Leventhal, all of whom are running for Executive, for their positions on the monopoly.  You can read their responses here.

Update: Patrick Lacefield, the county’s Director of Public Information, gave us the following on-the-record statement: “Our records indicate A single complaint ever (December 29, 2015 about an item not delivered).  Plus a $1000 fine for serving an underage person on December 5, 2013.  That’s pretty slim evidence.”


Surprise! Silver Spring Transit Costs Up Again

Silver Spring Transit CenterThe costs of the Silver Spring Transit Center are set to rise by significant amounts again in 2014:

The additional expense could be considerable. Since early summer, contractors have drilled and excavated portions of the structure to install additional supporting steel. The “cap ties” are intended to strengthen the building. . . . Dise placed the cost of that work at about $1.6 million.

But more costly fixes are on the way. In coming weeks, workers will apply a two-inch layer of latex-modified concrete to roadways and other surfaces, a task that requires highly specialized equipment. The final major fix will be the addition of 255 strut beams to reinforce interior girders.

The new appropriation request is expected to include other costs, such as continued operation of the interim Silver Spring site for buses and fees for engineering consultant Allyn Kilsheimer, who was hired by the county to oversee the repairs.

This sort of fiasco does not exactly raise confidence in the ability of the County government to handle larger projects.