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.

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.


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.


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

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