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Panel Proposes Plan to Make Montgomery More Hip

How can Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville and other places in Montgomery County be made more hip?

Evening on Bethesda Row. Patch file photo.
Evening on Bethesda Row. Patch file photo.
Montgomery County often has been accused of being a bit bland once the sun goes down.

In the words of one participant in a county nightlife survey, the county is a "boring bowl of porridge," Council Member Hans Riemer reported in an email newsletter sent out last month.

But, maybe we won't be porridge forever.

A 21-member group has been working for the past six months to come up with policy suggestions to make Montgomery County's nightlife more exciting, The Washington Post reported. The panel's 33 proposals, scheduled to be finalized at a meeting on Monday evening, "will let a thousand food trucks, brew pubs and live music venues bloom," The Post stated.

The proposals include plans for a "late-night bus service, police patrols and safe ride programs for over-served bar patrons," an altered ratio between sales of food and drink in restaurants (currently, that ratio is set at 50-50, which the panel says is not practical) and "urban noise districts," in which noise can be a little louder than elsewhere at night, The Post reported.

>>>Read more about the panel's proposals on The Post's website.

About 2,000 people participated in the nightlife survey. The most common places of residence for the participants were Silver Spring (24 percent), Bethesda (15 percent) and Rockville (12 percent). Forty-eight percent were 50 years of age or older, and 23 percent identified themselves as single, according to Riemer's website.

Nearly half (47 percent) of participants said the nightlife options in the county were "okay," while 39 percent said they were "not very good." Only 10 percent said the nightlife options were "good." And, 58 percent of participants said that the fact that most grocery stores in the county do not sell beer and wine was "a problem that needs to be fixed," Riemer's website reported.

>>>Read more about the survey results on Riemer's website.

What do you think? Is there room for improvement in the county's nightlife? Should it be improved? If so, what do you think needs to be done to make the place more hip when the sun goes down? Tell us in the comments.
Hippy Crits October 22, 2013 at 01:56 AM
Some would say Amsterdam is "Hip", correct? Can't wait to see legal prostitution in Bethesda. (Sarcasm) Making an area "Hip" means more drugs. Some believe the word "hip" came from those who used opium recreationally in the 19th century. (Opium smokers commonly consumed the drug lying on their sides, or on the hip). Another way of looking at the term "hip" is closely related to the term "Hippy". Another direct reference to drug use. You should be very concerned as a community, when a leader wants an area to be more "Hip". If you bring in more live music venues, you will see an upswing on crime. No doubt. Music Venues and Drugs go hand in hand.
PansyAston October 22, 2013 at 06:10 AM
Adams Morgan and U Street in the 'burbs?
Rose-Shoshana October 22, 2013 at 06:46 AM
Silver Spring and Wheaton need a nice new State of the art diner like Rockville's Silver Diner and an open all night Starbucks with a Laundromat attached to it and a printer
Bastante October 22, 2013 at 08:28 AM
You are either hip or you aren't. You can't make yourself hip. The harder you try, the less hip you are. And hip is not ordinarily associated with middle-class, middle-age, exhausting jobs, kids...the kind of people who live in most of MoCo. We spent our 20s downtown and we were hip. Then our lives moved in another direction. We don't go out late at night because we have to get up early and go to work. Not because there's a dearth of places to go to or buses to get us home.
Norman October 22, 2013 at 09:46 AM
I had big hopes for more entertainment options in Silver Spring with the addition of the Fillmore....sadly none of the acts have been remotely interesting so I'll continue going all the way to Annapolis and the Rams Head.
Bastante October 22, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Totally agree with Norman. The Fillmore has been a long list of "who?" but that's probably my age as much as anything. Still I expected to find an occasional name of interest because I am seriously into world music and indie rock. So for me, it is mostly the Birchmere, Lisner, or NYC.
larry oxman October 22, 2013 at 01:30 PM
Larry -resident since 1948 Great way to SELL BOOZE!! Do you really think most inebriated people will call for a ride??-GET REAL!!! HOW DO YOU COMPENSATE RESTAURANTS PAYING ALREADY EXORBITANT RENTS FOR THEIR SPACES? With residential scattered throughout these areas, what residents REALLY WANT TO BE IN OR LIVE NEAR AN "URBAN NOISE DISTRICT"?? WHAT ABOUT PARKING?? HOW ABOUT WORRYING ABOUT THE BIGGEST DEMOGRAPHIC - THE BABY BOOMERS WHO CAN BARELY AFFORD TO LIVE IN THE COUNTY NOW!!
Mary Lennox October 23, 2013 at 04:17 PM
Are my county taxes pay for this ...*stupidity*... Im going to be hip and move to Baltimore. Although, I might wait around for food trucks in Bethesda. That traffic nightmare I would love to see.
Bastante October 23, 2013 at 05:54 PM
The idea is that more business generates more business taxes. You have to spend money to make money. However, I can't imagine that this hair-brained plan will generate much in the way of additional business taxes and not likely enough to offset what they are going to spend on it. Much less reduce MoCo taxes from 7.95%.

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