NEIGHBORHOOD GUIDE
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Rockville

Here’s what you should know about the Montgomery County suburb right now.

About Rockville

What’s New


A Widening War


Take a stroll around Rockville neighborhoods these days and you’re bound to notice them: signs reading don’t widen 270 staked on front lawns. Residents are worried about governor Larry Hogan’s proposal to widen the highway, which they fear could require seizing private homes and businesses. As many as 1,500 properties are potentially affected by both the I-270 proposal and a similar plan to widen the Beltway, according to a Maryland Department of Transportation study. Hogan, though, insists no one’s house will be taken.

The governor and his supporters point to projections that show traffic on the highways increasing by roughly 15 percent in the next 20 years—a headache that widening the roads could soothe. But they face a serious fight, with several local grassroots groups organizing protests and petitions as well as drawing up alternative plans.

There’s No Place Like Home


Main Street, a new residential building opening next year at Rockville Town Square, will cater a quarter of its units to adults with disabilities—making it the first apartment complex of its kind in Washington.

The units will be wheelchair-accessible and come with special safety features, such as a technology that puts out stove fires automatically. The building is part of a growing national response to adults with developmental disabilities who face limited independent-living options.

New Kid on the Block


Rockville is now home to dueling Asian food halls. Each features a collection of eateries serving fusion dishes, often crafted to look as photogenic as possible for Instagram. First was the Spot (255 N. Washington St.), which opened about a year ago with a noodle bar and fried chicken. Pike Kitchen (1066 Rockville Pike) arrived at the end of last year, with Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese stalls plus a hard-to-resist bakery.

Now a splashy new addition, the Block, is slated to arrive by the end of 2019 at Pike & Rose. Larger than the original Block in Annandale, the hall will span 8,500 square feet, with seating for 300. Its eight vendors will serve a more varied spread than the other food halls, including Nashville hot chicken, poke, Thai food, and Taiwanese shaved ice.

Like-Family Tree


When news spread that the black gum tree at Belward Farm had died in July, Rockville residents past and present were devastated. The tree was more than a navigational landmark for drivers on Route 28; it was a stalwart presence in the daily lives of many—a majestic, massive-limbed tower standing on acres of farmland while the rest of Rockville grew and developed around it. The band O.A.R. (see page 185) even featured the tree on the cover of its 2003 album, In Between Now and Then.

The tree’s demise, according to arborist Joshua Nadler, who examined it, was the result of excessive rain that contributed to root rot. A request has been made to Johns Hopkins University, the landowner, to plant a new gum tree in memory of the original.

K-BBQ Invasion


Even with Rockville’s abundance of Asian food, Korean barbecue in the area was limited to only a couple of options. But recent months have seen a mini-boom of tabletop-grill spots. An outpost of the Korean barbecue chain Honey Pig (12015-G Rockville Pike) opened about a year ago, and Mahdang Korean Restaurant (12300 Wilkins Ave.) and K-Pot Hot Pot & Barbecue (5550 Randolph Rd.) arrived off the Pike.

Get Out the Vote


In November, Rockville will become the first city in Maryland to hold a vote-by-mail election. Though one physical voting center will be open at city hall for those who prefer the traditional method, all registered voters will be mailed ballots so they can cast votes in the 2019 mayoral and city-council races from their homes. Officials hope the new option will boost participation.

Best Real Estate Agents in Rockville

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Where to Eat in Rockville

Our favorite places to eat, plus some old classics.
A&J Restaurant by Scott Suchman

A&J Restaurant

The Southern California–born cafe is a sure bet for Taiwanese noodles and dim sum–style treats such as scallion pancakes and soup dumplings. 1319 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-251-7878.

Asian Bakery Café

A piece of Cantonese pastry heaven in an unexciting strip mall. Expect shelves of buns and breads, almond cookies, moon cakes, and warm egg tarts straight from the oven. 763 Hungerford Dr., Rockville; 301-838-3189.

Bob’s Shanghai 66

This staple, unperturbed by fusion trends, is reliable for delicious, no-frills Shanghai and Taiwanese flavors—the soup dumplings, duck, and dim sum are particular draws. 305 N. Washington St., Rockville; 301-251-6652.

Dokiya Ramen

The noodle shop has enough combinations of soup bases and ingredients to satisfy any mood. 785-H Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-294-9970.

Duck Donuts

Just as you can at the Outer Banks original, you can watch your doughnuts get freshly fried, then decorated with colorful toppings. 1327 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-296-1988.

Hot Pot City

The all-you-can-eat spot is a full-on experience: a sauce station, a digital tablet with pictures for ordering, and a conveyor belt transporting ingredients throughout the restaurant to add to your soup base. 199-D E. Montgomery Ave., Rockville; 301-978-7671.

Julii

Head here for French-Mediterranean fare—start with roasted bone marrow, end with chocolate soufflé—plus terrific cocktails. 11915 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda; 301-517-9090.

Kuya Ja’s Lechon Belly

Sure, there’s chicken, but the whole point—hence the name—is to feast on the lechon (pork) belly, roasted Filipino-style to a delightful crispy outside and tender inside. 5268-H Nicholson Ln., Rockville; 240-669-4383.

Pike & Rose

The area’s glam mixed-use district is laid out with walkable streets lined with popular restaurants and chain favorites including REI, L.L. Bean, and Uniqlo. 11580 Old Georgetown Rd., North Bethesda; 877-265-7417.

Pinstripes

Bowling goes upscale—enjoy filet mignon and a glass of wine between strikes. 11920 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda; 240-630-3222.

Rockville Town Square

The hallmark of Rockville’s redevelopment effort in the 2000s, the square is a picturesque gathering place with—in addition to shops and restaurants—a lawn, picnic tables, and a stage for outdoor performances. 200 E. Middle Ln., Rockville; 301-637-5684.

Temari Café

A Japanese restaurant that’s actually Japanese-owned—a rarity in Maryland—Temari will satisfy your hankering for tonkatsu and donburi. 1043 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-340-7720.

Yekta Kabobi Restaurant

The restaurant side serves artfully presented Persian kebabs, while the market sells ingredients you’ll need to recreate your meal at home. 1488-A Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-984-0005.

Where to Shop in Rockville

The best places and things to shop around Rockville.

Barstons Child’s Play

A real live, high-quality toy store—i.e., not Amazon—with an impressively knowledgeable staff. Bonus: free gift-wrapping if you’re dashing to a birthday party. 1661 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 301-230-9040.

Dawson’s Market

The independent grocer sources its products—wine and beer, fresh bread, organic produce—from within 100 miles. After going out of business last year, it was rescued by new ownership. 225 N. Washington St., Rockville; 240-428-1386.

Great Wall (GW) Supermarket

Need inexpensive produce, fresh fish, or live frogs? This sprawling Asian grocery store is your answer. 700 Hungerford Dr., Rockville; 240-314-0558.

G Street Fabrics & Home Decorating Center

You’ll draw a lot of inspiration for your wardrobe or your home merely by walking the sewing shop’s colorful aisles. 12220 Wilkins Ave., Rockville; 240-283-8300.

Pike & Rose

The area’s glam mixed-use district is laid out with walkable streets lined with popular restaurants and chain favorites including REI, L.L. Bean, and Uniqlo. 11580 Old Georgetown Rd., North Bethesda; 877-265-7417.

Rockville Town Square

The hallmark of Rockville’s redevelopment effort in the 2000s, the square is a picturesque gathering place with—in addition to shops and restaurants—a lawn, picnic tables, and a stage for outdoor performances. 200 E. Middle Ln., Rockville; 301-637-5684.

WoolWinders Yarn Shop

Bring a knitting project to work on or sign up for a class to advance your skills. 404 King Farm Blvd., Rockville; 240-632-9276.

 

Things to Do in Rockville

All the best things to do and places to see in Rockville.

Earth Treks

More than 38,000 square feet of climbing walls, plus group fitness classes, individual instruction, yoga, and a fitness gym. 725 Rockville Pike, Rockville; 240-283-9942.

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s Graves

The famed writers (and partyers) were laid to rest right off Rockville Pike in a family plot at St. Mary’s Church Cemetery. On F. Scott’s birthday, September 24, fans leave martini glasses, cigarettes, and bottles of gin. 520 Veirs Mill Rd., Rockville; 301-424-5550.

Lake Needwood

At the northern end of Rock Creek, you can fish, canoe, or kayak on the quaint 75-acre reservoir surrounded by hiking trails, picnic areas, an archery range, and a golf course. 15700 Needwood Lake Cir., Rockville; 301-563-7540.

Pike & Rose

The area’s glam mixed-use district is laid out with walkable streets lined with popular restaurants and chain favorites including REI, L.L. Bean, and Uniqlo. 11580 Old Georgetown Rd., North Bethesda; 877-265-7417.

Pinstripes

Bowling goes upscale—enjoy filet mignon and a glass of wine between strikes. 11920 Grand Park Ave., North Bethesda; 240-630-3222.

Rockville Swim & Fitness Center

Five swimming pools include three outdoor (one with a twirly water slide) and two indoor, plus a hot tub, sauna, and gym.355 Martins Ln., Rockville; 240-314-8750.

Rockville Town Square

The hallmark of Rockville’s redevelopment effort in the 2000s, the square is a picturesque gathering place with—in addition to shops and restaurants—a lawn, picnic tables, and a stage for outdoor performances. 200 E. Middle Ln., Rockville; 301-637-5684.

Strathmore

A first-class performing-arts destination with a calendar full of concerts by some of the world’s greatest musicians—pianist Emanuel Ax, violinists Joshua Bell and Midori, Broadway’s Lea Salonga. It also houses Levine Music, Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras, and CityDance School. 5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda; 301-581-5100.

The Woodworkers Club

Classes here range from woodworking basics to furniture-making, and a membership option gives you access to tools galore. 11910-L Parklawn Dr., Rockville; 301-984-9033.

WoolWinders Yarn Shop

Bring a knitting project to work on or sign up for a class to advance your skills. 404 King Farm Blvd., Rockville; 240-632-9276.

 

 

Real Estate in Rockville

What’s Selling

$225,000 buys . . .

An older two-bedroom, two-bathroom condo with nearly 1,000 square feet of space and a remodeled kitchen.

$355,000 buys . . .

A 1950s rancher with two bedrooms and baths and a big back yard.

$599,000 buys . . .

A renovated 2,100-square-foot split-level with four bedrooms, three baths, and an open floor plan.

$790,000 buys . . .

A historic 1860s Colonial that’s been remodeled, on nearly two acres, with five bedrooms and baths.

Crime & Safety

Below, the number of crimes (violent, nonviolent and property) reported in 2017.

Photos of Rockville

Click on a photo to view gallery in full-screen.