Riverdale Park’s Denizens Plans May Opening

Photo courtesy of Denizens Brewing Co.

The new Denizens Brewing Co. is scheduled to open at Riverdale Park Station in May.

Co-founder Emily Bruno told the Hyattsville Wire that the popular Silver Spring-based brewery doesn’t have “any firm dates” yet but plans to open next month.

The 12,000-square-foot space will be one of the biggest new draws at the Riverdale Park Station mixed-use development sinceWhole Foods opened in 2017.

Along with its taproom, Denizens will cater private events and host meet-ups for yoga, biking and running clubs.

Denizens is also a good fit for the diverse local community, as the only woman- and minority-owned brewery in Maryland.

Bruno has said the brewery’s belief is that “there is a beer for everyone,” not just the stereotypical bearded beer nerd.

While a recent Stanford study found that consumers ranked a craft beer more poorly when they thought it was made by a woman, Denizens’ owners say they have faced little outright discrimination.

“I think the future is going to have a lot more women at the helm in the beer business,” Denizens co-founder Julie Verratti told Forbes recently.

Denizens joins Franklins, Streetcar 82 Brewing Co., Maryland Meadworks and Sangfroid Distillery as part of Route 1’s burgeoning craft beer and liquor scene.

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Capital Bikeshare Coming to Brentwood

Studio 3807 in Brentwood is adding another amenity: bikesharing.

The new apartment building at 3807 Rhode Island Ave., will install a Capital Bikeshare rack on Thursday, April 18, extending the popular bikesharing service along Route 1 corridor.

The rack is just one of a number of interesting amenities at Studio 3807, including solar panels, electric car-charging stations, commissioned art, an art gallery and an artisanal food hall.

Despite its popularity in D.C., Capital Bikeshare has been slow to expand in Prince George’s County.

Currently, there are stations in Mount Rainier’s city center, at the Shoppes at Arts District Hyattsville, at Riverdale Park Station and at the site of the Hyattsville public library at Adelphi and Toledo roads.

But there aren’t any stations yet at the Metro stations, eliminating the most obvious scenario for users.

College Park, University Park and the University of Maryland have done a good job building out a successful bikeshare system called mBike from rival Zagster, including a station at the College Park Metro stop, but it’s limited by not being tied to a broader regional system.

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Hyattsville’s Electric Bolt Police Car First in U.S.

Hyattsville’s electric police car was the first of its kind.

When the Hyattsville Police Department added a Chevrolet Bolt to its fleet in September of 2017, it became the first electric patrol vehicle in the state and the first Bolt used as a police car in the country.

Funded in part by a grant from the Maryland Energy Administration, the vehicle had to undergo some modifications before it could start patrolling the streets. The car was equipped with a two-way radio, computer, sirens and lighting.

But in other respects, it was better the a traditional gas-powered police car. The Bolt is much quieter — an advantage when police are looking to be stealthy — it has fewer emissions and it can go from zero to 60 mph in less than six seconds.

The vehicle is electronically limited in speed to 90 MPH and its less roomy than other sedans. Another limitation was that the Bolt’s design prevented the installation of a driver-side spotlight used for reading addresses or checking out suspicious vehicles.

Sgt. Richard Hartnett, an electric vehicle enthusiast who drives the Bolt, told the Hyattsville Wire that the benefits of the vehicle far outweigh the costs. 

“There is very low maintenance on the car,” said Hartnett. “[Our experiment was to] see if electric car could suffice as a police car, if it could handle the everyday rigors of police work and its range of the battery would be sufficient to do patrol and then take it home and come back and it has far exceeded that.”

Pending the availability of more grants, Harnett hopes that the department will purchase more vehicles.

The department also purchased an 2017 Zero DSR electric motorcycle that will also be used for patrol and it expected to be on the road by the end of this month.

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World Cuisine Influences Riverdale Park’s Tapas

The menu items at Riviera Tapas Bar may have Spanish names, but their influence comes from around the globe.

The newly opened Riverdale Park restaurant at 6108 Rhode Island Avenue, located at the former home of S&J Restaurant, uses the structure of a tapas place — small plates with big flavors, designed to be shared, but it’s dishes are not really just Spanish or Mexican.

On a recent visit, the Hyattsville Wire sampled Datiles with bacon wrapped dates stuffed with white cheddar cheese and a filet mignon with creamy polenta and spinach in a red wine reduction that could have been served in an American steakhouse.

The chef paired these items with miniature toasted baguettes with tomato spread and olive oil that would have been at home in a rustic Italian restaurant; another with Manchego cheese and dry-cured ham that was quintessentially Spanish

Other menu items include lightly battered calimari with sriracha aioli; smoked salmon with caramelized shallots and capers; grilled jerk chicken with tropical relish; crab cakes with cheese grits; and lightly battered chicken croquettes.

Co-owner Patricia Martinez told the Hyattsville Wire the restaurant is now holding happy hour from 5 to 7 p.m on Thursdays and Fridays with a list of $6 specials.

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Behnke’s Nursery in Beltsville to Close in June

Photo courtesy of Robert & Pat Rogers

After 89 years, Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville will close in June.

Started in 1930 by German immigrant Albert Behnke and his wife Rose, the nursery and garden center had been a thriving business for three generations of the family.

But the owners announced that they will shut down after putting all of their remaining stock on sale.

“My family has been discussing what to do with our aging property and, for many reasons, the ultimate decision was to close the nursery,” they wrote on Facebook.

Behnke’s almost closed the Beltsville location once before, in 2002, due to problems with its bank, but got a reprieve at the last minute.

The nursery’s financial problems are directly tied to the reason it is so beloved. Behnke’s prided itself on carrying high-quality shrubs and flowers, even when they were out of season, and kept a full-time staff year-round.

That made it a great place for gardeners to get good advice and hard-to-find plants, but it also made it hard to compete with Home Depot and other chains.

But the owners told the Hyattsville Wire that their decision had nothing to do with the financial problems they faced last time.

“It was a long carefully thought out plan by the Behnke family and management for the past four or five years,” they wrote. “The Behnke children are all in their 80s and it was time to make the hard choices on how this was going to happen.”

Posted in Greenbelt | 12 Comments

Route 1 Corridor’s Very Own All-Natural Popcorn

After contracting tuberculosis while serving in the military overseas, Edmonston resident Renette Dallas became focused on her own health.

Switching careers from civil engineering, she studied naturopathy, became a personal trainer and created her own brand of all-natural popcorn as a healthy snack.

True Pop Popcorn is made with non-GMO corn from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, though the distributing company, Life by Dallas, is based in Edmonston, where Dallas has lived since getting a degree at the University of Maryland.

The popcorn is lightly sprayed with sunflower oil and flavored with nutritional yeast, sea salt and herbs. It is certified kosher, gluten-free and made without peanuts, tree nuts, dairy or soy.

Recently, Dallas was selected for WeWork’s Veterans in Residence program, and True Pop can be found for sale in the market at WeWork in College Park, D.C. and New York; at Whole Foods in Riverdale Park, Silver Spring and South Capitol; at The Glut co-op in Mount Rainier and at Wegmans in Lanham. You can also buy it online on Amazon and at dallaspopcorn.com.

Although she’s sold the popcorn for years, Dallas said she’s currently in a growth phase, as highlighted by recent coverage from CNN’s Jake Tapper and Forbes magazine. True Pop will soon be sold at cafeterias at Fort Meade and the CIA.

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New Board Game Inspired by Lake Artemesia

Courtesy of Stonemaier Games

The Route 1 corridor is an excellent area for birding, so it makes sense that game designer with local ties is behind a new board game based on it.

Former health care policy consultant Elizabeth Hargrave designed Wingspan, a card-driven board game recently launched by Stonemaier Games.

Players compete to develop the best habitat for a wide variety of birds by getting food tokens and laying miniature eggs.

The game is backed by science, with cards giving detailed information about the birds and the values assigned to different actions based on real-world data on birds. (Endangered species are worth more, for example.)

Hargrave, who lives in Silver Spring, is an avid birder who likes to take her guidebooks to Lake Artemesia. Her personal charts about different birds she’d spotted were the inspiration for the game, which has already drawn the attention of the New York Times.

It’s not her only game, either. She’s also designed a game about Victorian names for flowers and an upcoming game about butterflies.

Wingspan is designed for one to five players, ages 10 and up. You can buy it from Stonemaier directly here or online from Amazon.

Posted in Hyattsville | 4 Comments

Demolition Begins at Hyattsville Library Site

It’s out with the old and in with the new at the site of the Hyattsville library.

Prince George’s County began tearing down the old public library in earnest this week, although the historic saucer at the entrance on Adelphi Road is being saved and will be moved to a new courtyard, thanks to a public outcry.

Located on the same site as the old library, the new 40,000-square-foot building will be one story, with parking underneath.

The building will have centralized desk services and fewer segmented areas in order to create easier access for the disabled and make it feel more welcoming in general.

The new library will also have interactive play areas for children, including some exhibits inherited from the now-closed National Children’s Museum at National Harbor.

Construction is expected to take two years. In the meantime, library services are being offered at a temporary location at 6502 America Boulevard, in University Town Center across from BonChon.

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Coming Soon to College Park: Electric Scooters?

Courtesy of Bird

Scooter ridesharing may be coming soon to College Park.

Electric scooters, which can be rented on an app, have become the latest entrant in the burgeoning urban hipster transportation market. They can be seen in less inhibited parts of Washington daily.

After several scooter companies reached out to the University of Maryland about setting up a program in College Park — including the most well-known, California-based Bird — the student body voted for a resolution in favor of bringing them to campus.

The city is also weighing a separate contract with Zagster, which currently runs its bikeshare program, for electric scooters, according to the Diamondback.

Scooters would do well on a campus like the University of Maryland, with lots of sidewalks away from busy roads. But they could raise safety concerns if students start taking them along Route 1, especially at night.

One study found scooters were involved in 249 emergency room visits in two California hospitals over a one-year period, mostly for cuts, bruises and bone fractures. Only two patients were sent to intensive care.

For now, it’s too soon to tell if scooters are a transportation fad or the next big thing, and equally hard to say whether they’re more risky than bikes or other forms of transportation. But if anywhere on Route 1 would be good for them, it would be College Park.

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Inside the New Bella Salon in Riverdale Park

The new Bella Lifestyle Nail Salon and Spa will hold its grand opening on Sunday, March 24, at 4575 Van Buren St. at Riverdale Park Station, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

During the grand opening, coffee, tea and red and white wine will be served free of charge. And the first 100 clients will get a special gift, location manager Alex Vo told the Hyattsville Wire.

Along with the usual manicures and pedicures, the salon offers Swedish, deep tissue and hot stone massage; skin care treatments; eyelash extensions and waxing and tinting.

And as noted by Route One Fun, which first wrote about the grand opening, there’s also special pricing for kids under 10, who can get a manicure for $10, half the adult cost.

The salon’s prices are a little lower than the high-end Red Door Spa in College Park, but a little higher than budget salons, making it a good mid-range option.

As we’ve noted before, nail salons are “Amazon-proof,” since they offer something the online retailing behemoth can’t undercut on price, one reason we’re seeing so many more nail salons along the Route 1 corridor.

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