2016 | Dine

Small Bites: Two Anticipated Beer Destinations Apply for County Alcohol Licenses

Plus: A celebrity from Bethesda opens new restaurant in D.C.

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The beer fridge at World of Beer in Rockville - the restaurant serves more than 500 types of beer

Andrew Metcalf

World of Beer, Owen’s Ordinary apply for liquor licenses

Two anticipated local restaurants are scheduled for county liquor license hearings next month. Owen’s Ordinary, the new beer garden concept from Neighborhood Restaurant Group, which is planning to open later this summer at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, is scheduled to appear before the county’s Board of License Commissioners July 7 for its liquor license hearing.

That same day, World of Beer will also appear before the board to obtain its license for the franchise’s new Bethesda location. That restaurant is under construction at The JBG Cos.’ 7200 Wisconsin Ave. building near Bethesda Row. Franchise owner Matthew Earl, who opened the company’s Rockville location last month, said in May the Bethesda restaurant is aiming for a November or December opening.

Bethesda native Giuliana Rancic opens new D.C. restaurant RPM Italian

Giuliana Rancic, center, at the opening of her and her husband's new D.C. restaurant. Via RPM Italian D.C. on Facebook

Fashion Police host Giuliana Rancic was among other celebrities such as her husband Bill Rancic—winner of the first season of Apprentice—ESPN’s Michael Wilbon and Fox News anchor Bret Baier at the pre-opening party for the couple’s new Washington, D.C., restaurant RPM Italian on Monday night.

The Bethesda native, whose parents own the DePandi clothing store in Chevy Chase, told The Washington Post that despite Bill’s success on Donald Trump’s TV show, she wasn’t going to  talk about politics. She said the restaurant, which opened Wednesday, aims to serve diners of all political beliefs.

The restaurant is the couple’s third and maintains the classy vibe of their other two Chicago restaurants with dark wood floors, white leather chairs and low lighting, according to the Post. The restaurant fills the former headquarters of NPR on Massachusetts Avenue in Mt. Vernon Square. Rancic told the Post that despite the star power behind the restaurant, her aim is to serve great tasting food to keep customers coming back.

Former Kensington spa being transformed into restaurant space

It appears a new restaurant may be coming to Kensington Shopping Center. A permit application filed with the county June 21 calls for $45,000 in improvements to be made to 10543 Connecticut Ave., the former location of Nirvana Reflexology Spa, to turn it into a 2,000-square-foot restaurant space. No word yet on whether a restaurant is already in line to take over the space.

Wiedmaier partners with Virginia distillery on new bourbon

Local chef Robert Wiedmaier, not content to rest on his laurels with his dozen or so restaurants, is making a foray into the bourbon business. Wiedmaier has partnered with Virginia’s Filibuster Distillery to create Straight Bourbon Whiskey—a 90-proof blend of the distilleries’ 4- to 6-year-old bourbons that he’s selling exclusively at three of his restaurants—including Mussel Bar & Grille in Bethesda. The bourbon is available neat, in a cocktail or as part of an $18 whiskey flight at the Bethesda restaurant.

Fillibuster Distillery, a boutique distiller that got its start in D.C., relocated to Shenandoah County in 2013.

“When I’ve got bourbon on my mind, I turn to a decidedly artisanal brand, not one that’s mass produced,” Wiedmaier said in a press release. “You can taste the uniqueness in its flavor notes, a real timeless quality. I pour it neat with a good cigar standing by.”