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Step into History while you Enjoy a Sandwich

Wagshals Deli Spring Valley

Wagshals Deli Spring Valley

One of the great benefits of living in Bethesda is the proximity to Washington D.C. and all that the Metro area has to offer.  Today reminded me of that perk.  Brian and I were out touring homes for sale during Tuesday Broker’s Open Houses in Bethesda and afterward popped into Spring Valley for lunch.  We decided to grab a bite at Wagshal’s Delicatessen located at 4855 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20016.

Wagshal’s has been a staple in D.C. since 1925 when the founder, Sam Wagshal and his then 13-year-old son, Ben started their first shop.  Wagshal’s is woven into our history books as many a President, Supreme Court Justice and celebrity have become regular customers!  Presidents George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Richard Nixon and Dwight D. Eisenhower were Wagshal’s customers, among other famous names they list on the story board out front.  I loved to learn that Wagshal’s was the first to apply for a beer license in DC after prohibition.  That Mr. Wagshal knew his customers well and didn’t waste any time delivering just what they wanted!

Soup Bar at Wagshals

Other than its noteworthy clientele, the place is famous for its prepared foods, extensive wine selection (also noticed some nice whiskeys and brandys today), fresh sandwiches, pastries, and cakes.  They also offer outdoor tables so you can sit right down and enjoy your fares.  I indulged in the soup bar today which offers four different selections daily.  The cream of broccoli was delicious!  Brian met someone in line today who said they lost 60-pounds eating Wagshal’s chicken noodle soup every day!  Now there’s a testimonial for you!

The Jelly Belly Joint in Bethesda

The Jelly Belly dispenser!

The Jelly Belly dispenser!

So have you ever thought to yourself, “Now where would I go to get a good bag of jelly bellies in Bethesda?”  No?  Well, neither have I but hey, now you might be thinking that!

The answer is: Bradley Food and Beverage located at 6904 Arlington Ave.

I recently bagged some beans for my daughter who is away at college as a sweet treat from home.  Of course, I had to sample a few of my favorites!  The beans are paid for by the pound so you can select any combination of flavors you like.  I loved knowing that not a single bean would go to waste because I could bag only the best ones!  They also have some pre-made assortments too for those who would rather be surprised or who may find these types of decisions to be too daunting.

Bradley Food and Beverage is also a great stop for a fresh made sandwich or soup from the deli counter.  They have a great selection of wines, beer, snacks and offer catering services too.  They have a few tables in the back so if you’re stopping in for a quick bite you can sit right down and enjoy your snack…and perhaps a few Jelly Bellies too!  What’s your favorite flavor?

All Fired Up on our Anniversary!

Our Memento from All Fired Up

Our Memento from All Fired Up

Recently we celebrated our wedding anniversary.  While our plan had always been to escape the cold in February and seek sunny shores for our special day, it just wasn’t in the cards this year.  Instead, we ended up in our favorite town, Bethesda of course!  After a nice lunch at one of our local haunts that we affectionately call “The Pain Restaurant” (because we can’t actually pronounce it’s real name) we found ourselves on Elm Street loading into our car and wondering what else to do to make the day both enjoyable and memorable.  As I looked over my shoulder, I noticed “All Fired Up” the do-it-yourself ceramics shop.  I had an idea…let’s make something to commemorate the day.  Brian eagerly agreed (I love that about him) and we were off on a creative adventure.  After getting the instructions from the helpful staff about how the process worked, we rolled up our sleeves and began painting a serving dish we selected.

We learned a great deal about the ceramics process while there – about the paints and how drastically the colors change after firing – about the tricks for writing words with paint and giving things texture.  But one of the best things we learned about “All Fired Up” is that you can drink wine while you work!  Who knew?!  Sadly, we did not know until we were almost finished with our two-hour project but NEXT TIME, we come prepared!  We laughed and talked while we created our little artsy memento of our special day and it was the perfect way to celebrate…despite the parking ticket we received from Montgomery County.  Bummer.  We highly recommend All Fired Up for little or big people who like to create and want to share some time doing something a little different.  The dish we made was $22.  I can’t think of a better experience we could have had for $22 and we have something we will keep forever to remember it by.

All Fired Up in Bethesda is located at 4923 Elm Street conveniently located near the Metro Red Line (Bethesda Station).  Their phone number is: 301-654-3206.

SOLD! 4932 Sentinel Dr. #204, Bethesda

 

4932Sentinel#204

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We recently helped our clients obtain multiple offers on this sun-filled condominium in Sumner Village.

  • List Price $499,000 with multiple offers!
  • Sumner Village Condominium
  • Virtual Tour
  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • 2 Car-tandem parking
  • Beautifully updated kitchen and baths

What can we help you sell?

EYA’s Little Falls Place

LittleFallsPlaceThis week Amy and I attended the Realtor grand opening of EYA’s new showroom for the soon to be built Little Falls Place townhouse community.  The project is nestled along the Little Falls Parkway between River Road and Massachusetts Avenue and will be accessed by a new bridge to be built over the existing Willet branch (creek) that meanders along the Little Falls watershed and park.  Thirty townhomes will be built at the project including 25 two-car garage townhomes starting at $1,385,000, and five one-car garage units priced below $200,000, as required by Montgomery County Workforce Housing regulations.  In Montgomery County, Workforce Housing is intended to be housing affordable to households whose incomes are too high to be eligible to participate in the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) Program.  How high is too high but still qualifies?  Single people in the $75,000 range and a family of four near $100,000.   I suspect demand for these five Workforce units will be high!  The larger four level townhouses will have approximately 2,500 square feet of interior space and a roof-top terrace that will have a gas fireplace and options for a retractable awning, outdoor grill and kitchenette.  The expected delivery date of the project is February of 2014.

LittleFallsPlaceSiteThe new garage townhomes will be constructed with views overlooking the park and have access to the Capital Crescent Trail that runs along the north edge of the property.  EYA describes the project’s architectural style as Mid-Century modern, which is quite a real estate buzzword right now.  The origins of this architectural style in the U.S. go back to Frank Lloyd Wright’s “organic architecture” at the turn of the century and he in turn was influenced by the International and Bauhaus movements that included the designs of Mies Van Der Rohe (which inspired the modern Glass House in Connecticut by Philip Johnson).  I really like this Frank Lloyd Wright style of architecture and built a “prairie” style home that reflects this Mid-Century modern design a few years ago in Bethesda (8400 Westmont Court, Bethesda, MD 20817).  EYA’s interpretation of the Mid-Century modern style is reflected in the project’s integration into the park-like setting of the site.  The project features strong vertical lines of deep hued metal and lots of large glass windows that reflect and mirror the surrounding woods.  Quartzite stone and wood grained exterior (actually made from low maintenance fiber cement) accent the project and the artist’s illustrations depict attractive paneled wood garage doors as well.  The interiors will be luxuriously appointed with hardwood flooring, an abundance of electronic home management options, top of the line appliances and luxury amenities.  All this in an environmentally friendly home built to LEED for Homes standards.  EYA’s slogan is “life within walking distance” and this project personifies the hottest trend in real estate toward the development of communities that have easy access to restaurants, shops and urban conveniences.  I think this community could be a great option for aging baby boomers who are ready to downsize but not quite ready for condominium living!  Want to know more?  Call us!

Sundae at CPK, just $1. Good time….priceless!

SundaeLet’s face it a dollar bill just does not go very far these days.  But it does at the California Pizza Kitchen at Westfield Montgomery  (a.k.a. Montgomery Mall to the old timers in the area). Recently I took my boys out to dinner at this restaurant located near Nordstrom in the Mall and, after getting the usual kids fare (chicken tenders and pizza), we ordered the $1.00 sundae. It’s only a dollar if you order one of the kid’s entrees and it’s plenty big for my guys (ages 6 and 9). It was a hit. The hot fudge is old fashioned and really makes the dessert.  How do I know?  Much to the chagrin of the kids I have a routine when I want to sample of their food.  I grab the spoon and take a bite and then say in a deep voice, “safety check.”  After appearing to really analyze the bite taken I give the “o.k. it’s all clear and safe to eat.”  This is usually followed by groans and howls from the kids who complain bitterly about my food stealing on a false pretense.  Head over to CPK and don’t forget the “safety check!”

SOLD! 5803 Devonshire Dr., Bethesda, MD

5803Devonshire

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just helped a family sell this classic brick colonial in the highly sought after Wood Acres community.

  • Virtual Tour
  • List Price $799,000
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2 Full Bathrooms
  • 2 Half Bathrooms
  • Two dens on the first floor
  • Detached converted garage
  • Rear loaded one car attached garage

What can we help you sell?

“Intelligence” is coming to Bethesda

ICC-B2The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) has begun breaking ground on a major overhaul of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (also formerly known as The Defense Mapping Agency) which was located on Sangamore Road, opposite the Sumner Place shopping center.  The new facility will be called the Intelligence Community Campus – Bethesda (ICC-B for short) and will accommodate 3,000 employees and feature a new six story parking garage as well a sleek glass facade that will wrap around the current buildings (two will be demolished) creating one unified modern structure. After months of wrangling with nearby community associations, the DIA has committed to addressing many of the civic group’s concerns regarding the size and scope of the “sabotage-secured” garage and impacts to the heavily forested area surrounding the 39 acre facility and the nearby Potomac River watershed.

ICC-B3

The project should be substantially completed by 2016 and has been redesigned to integrate more organically into the surrounding park setting.  The new plan calls for an integration of metal and glass that will mimic the vertical nature of the surrounding trees and emulate the deeper earth tones of the nearby landscape.

While the exact nature of the work to be performed at the site remains “sensitive” to national security interests, one of the interesting commitments made by the DIA was that the DIA does not “intend” to emit any electromagnetic (or other) signals that will interfere with neighborhood electronic devices.  We live nearby (and I could not survive without my cell phone) so that’s a relief!

Matthew Fontaine Maury "Pathfinder of the Seas"

Matthew Fontaine Maury
“Pathfinder of the Seas”

One small footnote to this post is that one of the buildings at the facility is called Maury Hall, named after the famed oceanographer and United States naval Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury.  Maury was known as the “Pathfinder of the Seas” having made many important contributions to charting winds and ocean currents, as well as publishing the first significant scientific book on Oceanography.  I am indeed related to the storied Commander but I’m not sure he would have approved of my conduct aboard my brother Scott’s sail boat this summer while on an excursion on the Chesapeake.  In rough seas I spent a great deal of the trip leaning over the side of the boat.  Amy of course was enjoying the ride!

Cheers to The Majestic Bar & Grill

Majestic

We ducked into The Majestic Bar & Grill recently on a very cold January afternoon in hopes of finding comfort, both in terms of food and temperature, and we found it all here.  Located at 7141 Wisconsin Avenue, adjacent to the Farm Women’s Cooperative Market at the intersection of Wisconsin and Bethesda Avenues, The Majestic occupies the former Gaffney’s restaurant location and there is free parking after 5:00 p.m. next door at the Farm Women’s Market.  The decor has been nicely transformed into a comfortable, Cheers like, bar atmosphere with a large deep wooden bar with a bank of large screen T.V.’s to catch all the sports action.  We arrived mid-afternoon so it was pretty quiet and the friendly staff seated us in a booth that was easy on our cold bones.  The Majestic Bar & Grill was inspired by the owner Stefan Lalos’s grandfather.  His grandfather came to America just after the turn of the century from Northern Greece and founded the original Majestic in 1925 in Ohio. Having made his mark in the IT field with a successful company, Stefan wanted to try his hand at a neighborhood bar and restaurant that he himself would really enjoy. When the opportunity for Stefan to continue his family’s restaurant tradition in Bethesda developed he jumped at the chance.

Bar

The Majestic offers a nice selection of soups, salads, appetizers/pub fare, sandwiches and dinner entrees with a few surprises you don’t expect to find at a neighborhood bar and grill, such as Maryland style crab cakes topped with bacon.  The bar has plenty of beers on tap and a nice selection of cocktails including a collection of scotches. Our server said we should try one of their “signature” burgers offered in sirloin, turkey, duck & bacon, or bison!  It was a generous burger with a great bun (always a must-have) and topped with sauteed and fresh onion, lettuce and tomato.  I was a happy camper and The Majestic offers “Burger Wednesday” with discounted burgers the whole day! Thursday Night is ladies night with discounted cocktails from 4 pm to 1 am.  They have an awesome outdoor patio as well that will be open when the warm weather returns!  That reminds me.  The bar and grill is open until 1:00 a.m. every night and 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturdays.  There are not too many places for great food and drink in Bethesda at that late hour so keep that The Majestic in mind when the late night munchies hit you.  The Majestic’s slogan is “eat well. drink happy.  repeat.”  That’s just what we intend to do. ~ Brian

POST SCRIPT: In mid-2013, The Majestic Bar & Grill closed. 

Real Estate Update: Sales Up and Prices Down

UpDown

Sales of detached homes in Bethesda increased by 8.5% in 2012 to 762 homes sold.  The average and median home prices however dipped lower, by 2.2% and 1.6% respectively.  The average price for a detached home in Bethesda in 2012 was $949,546, a decrease of $21,757 below the average price in 2011.

Normally when sales activity rises average and median prices follow along.  This year was different because the increase in sales volume was not distributed evenly across all price ranges.  Rather the range between $750,000 and $900,000 saw the lion’s share of the increase in activity and this lowered the overall average and median prices.  This is good news! Prices are not falling but rather more people are entering the market and buying homes.  Our market is actually poised to grow and it won’t be long before prices begin to reflect this increased demand.

Nearby this has already begun to happen.  The District of Columbia real estate market is on fire.  Demand for housing has reduced the supply of inventory of available homes by over 36%.  This past year the average price of all homes in DC is up nearly 11% and the median price has jumped nearly 18%!  In Montgomery County the supply of homes for sale has also contracted sharply by over 30% and the County’s median price has increased nearly 5%.

SOLD! 4970 Sentinel Drive, Bethesda, MD

4970Sentinel504

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We just helped the owner of this condominium secure multiple contracts on her Sumner Village Condominium and sell the condo over the asking price.

  • Asking price: $524,000
  • Unit #504
  • 2 Bedrooms
  • 2 Full Baths
  • 2 tandem covered parking spaces
  • Updated Brazilian cherry floors
  • Overlooking Little Falls Park

What can we help you sell?

SOLD! 7622 Winterberry La., Bethesda, MD

We helped a young family find this spacious, split-colonial style home in Bethesda that was not yet on the market.  We networked with one of the top agents in the Bethesda market and found our client a unique pre-market opportunity.

  • List Price: $795,000
  • Bedrooms: 5
  • Bathrooms: 3
  • One Car Garage
  • Large lot
  • Updated Pella windows throughout!

 What can we find for you?

SOLD! 5105 Duvall Dr., Bethesda, MD

5105 Duvall

This classic Westmoreland Hills colonial featured a slate roof, first floor family room (converted from former 2 car garage) and a newly finished attic.

SOLD! 6004 Cobalt Road, Bethesda, MD

Screen shot 2012-12-01 at 12.10.24 PM

We helped the buyers find this Woodacres Colonial nestled on a quiet street with large backyard with future expansion potential.

  • $810,000
  • 3 Bedrooms
  • 2.5 Baths
  • Finished Basement
  • Garage

What can we find for you?

Day 342: Voila! It's Vino Volo!

Vino Volo Bethesda Row

Vino Volo Bethesda Row

Voila!  There it is!  The perfect place in Bethesda to share some wine and good eating with friends.  Like Goldilocks seeking the perfect bed, I have sought the perfect place to tip a glass of red or white that doesn’t come with sports TV blaring in the background or in a cramped, standing-room-only wine shop.   Vino Volo is just right for any type of gathering.

Meeting a friend for happy hour and a small bite?  Perfect!  Try sampling their wine flights while seated at the bar.  Looking to create a wine tasting event for friends or special clients?  Vino Volo’s wine tasting room evokes the feeling of a rustic winery in the heart of Bethesda Row.  Meeting a small group of friends for lunch or a business meeting?  Look no further.  Vino Volo has plenty of room to seat your group comfortably in their restaurant and they offer a delectable menu to accompany their unique wine selections.

Tasting Room Bethesda

Tasting Room Bethesda

Vino Volo has won a place in the hearts of many a weary traveler who found solace in their airport retreats throughout the US.  In fact all of their other locations are situated on concourses.  Their airport wine bars offer an escape from the hustle and bustle of travel and a place to relax and refresh your spirits.

The new Bethesda location is their first departure from the gates of the airport halls.  Someone must have known that Bethesda was a safe bet for their first “baggage-free” location, as we are lovers of good food and drinks in this town.

The wine list at Vino Volo is quite unique -a refreshing change from the same ‘ole wine list I have noticed elsewhere.  The food choices are intriguing with menu options at this location that are more extensive than what their airport shops can offer.

Sample their creatively named wine flights during your visit or opt for wines by the glass or bottle.  The staff is helpful and friendly and the atmosphere is relaxed and warm.  Vino Volo is an exciting addition to our Bethesda restaurant and bar scene.  For more details about Vino Volo check out their website at www.vinovolobethesdarow.com.

Cheers,  Amy

Vino Volo Bethesda

Vino Volo Bethesda