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Speak Out: Takoma Park Food Scene

Where do you like to dine?

In an online chat, Washington Post nightlife reporter Fritz Hahn took a swipe at the Takoma Park food scene. Thanks to Patch reader and former columnist Steve Davies for the tip on this one.

Hahn wrote, in response to a question (the 11th question down) about eating and drinking in the People's Republic:

Takoma is blah for food and (especially) drinks. Head a little over a mile west to Silver Spring for creative and classic cocktails and snacks at Jackie's Sidebar, or beers, fried food and dancing to honky tonk music at Quarry House Tavern.

We have nothing against our more nightlife-oriented neighbors to the northwest, of course, but Patch wants to know what you think of the food and drink scene in Takoma Park.

Tell us your favorite restaurants and what you might like to see come to the city.

Ryan McDermott (Editor) June 06, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Let us know your favorite restaurant and what you might like to see in Takoma Park.
Celia Arnaud June 07, 2012 at 11:34 AM
I've only had a chance to eat there a couple of times, but I like Roscoe's.
Steve Davies June 07, 2012 at 05:53 PM
Middle Eastern Cuisine/Olive Lounge and Capital City Cheesecake on Md. side, Soupergirl and Cedar Crossing in D.C.
Anna June 07, 2012 at 10:46 PM
My business partners and I (two of us are residents of Takoma Park) have looked at more than an handful of spaces in the neighborhood to open a cafe since last year. Most, if not all of these vacant properties require serious upgrades to bring them up to code and/or to turn them into commercial restaurant spaces. We have the money, the will, and the experience to do the necessary renovations, but property owners are still rejecting our lease proposals. Someone suggested this might make a good story, but at this point we are just trying to reach out to other residents and business owners to get some perspective and support to keep our momentum (and commitment) to the neighborhood going. We are pretty discouraged right now.
Ryan McDermott (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Thanks for the comment Anna. I'd love to talk more about this. Are there any other Takoma Park business owners or potential buisness owners out there who feel the same way? Speak up!
Ryan McDermott (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 05:13 PM
All fantastic eateries that I frequent. CCC has such a great, laid-back lunch environment and everything is fresh.
Christine June 08, 2012 at 05:32 PM
I, too, like Roscoes and although have only had one meal there, I loved what I had at Takoma Bistro (and yes, I know it's a chain). Anna's response is very upsetting. We really need more good food options in Takoma Park and should be encouraging anyone who wants to try that has the resources to do so. Have you talked with your councilmember about this? I'm wondering if the City Council knows how discouraging it is to try a new business in Takoma Park?
Ryan McDermott (Editor) June 08, 2012 at 05:45 PM
I've only had one meal at Takoma Bistro as well, but it was delicious. It would be interesting to hear what councilmembers have to say. I'll be working on a follow up to this so look out in the coming week.
Steve Davies June 09, 2012 at 07:47 PM
I assume you've spoken with Laura Barclay of the Old Takoma Business Assn.? Roz Grigsby with the city is another good person to touch base with. Before you sign anything, however, make sure there is sufficient foot traffic and available parking, and make sure your food is good!
Anna June 09, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Thanks for the comments, and we hope to talk to Ryan more soon. We've been getting some feedback from OTBA. We already run a successful business in DC. We know how to run a business, why foot traffic and parking is important, and we know how to make good food. Our problem is property owners who expect us to put in 50K in repairs (necessary electrical, plumbing, and structural upgrades) without negotiating a reasonable rent or a long term lease.
Jay Levy June 12, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Glad to see you're considering opening an eatery in TP. What's missing in out city, and, I daresay, in the whole of MC, is a vegetarian only place. I think this would go over bigtime since it would attract not only locals, but folks from everywhere. I've eaten in some veggie places in NYC that were superb, with recipes so inventive you'd never guess all the ingredients came out of the ground.
Barbie Rosenblatt June 13, 2012 at 10:40 AM
I think it's time for the town council to forge more specific relationships with property owners. We need to forge ahead economically as a community.

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