Shop Talk

Kentlands Family Barber Moves to Main Street

The Kentlands Family Barber Shop, formerly of 109 Booth Street, has finally moved to its new location on Main Street. The move was in the works for quite some time, but the shop did not open its doors for business at the new location until
Feb. 12 due to an assortment of obstacles faced during the transition.

“The biggest issue was with Washington Gas,” said owner and stylist Bernie Alferez. “The previous owner [of the Main Street location] did a conversion to natural gas, but we discovered it wasn’t actually finished. Then it took two months for Washington Gas to come [finish the job.]”

Now that the new shop has opened, it seems to exude the perfect mix of comfortable familiarity and a rebirth of freshness. Alferez decided to keep his old barber
stations but got new chairs with an updated look. He also brought along the flat screen TVs from his Booth Street shop.

“For the sports,” he said. “Always have on the sports.”

While the shop is only slightly larger than its former space, it has a few added amenities. “One of the great things about this space is that I set it up to be able to enter from the back,” Alferez said. In addition, wheelchair access is available in the front of the shop.

However, these are small bonuses compared to the real reason the Kentlands Family Barber moved from the location it held for 15 years. According to Alferez, the already-tight parking situation at his old site has become even tighter with the opening of Jersey Mike’s and Not Your Average Joe’s.

“We always did well there, but customers complained about the lack of [nearby] parking a lot.”

Alferez added that his move was in no way inspired by the departure of other tenant’s in the small Booth Street strip mall, which recently lost Subway, a cigar store and a beauty salon within a short amount of time.

“A barbershop is a man’s business. Men want convenience. They want to walk right in, not park two blocks away,” Alferez added, emphasizing the importance of the parking situation in his decision to move. He said old and new customers alike are happy to walk less now that the shop has opened on Main Street.

“All feedback has been positive,” said Alferez. “Everyone is saying it looks great in here. And for some the people who walk [to the barbershop], this spot is now even closer.”

Open Mic Night at Quench

Quench, a restaurant and bar located at the Traville Gateway shopping center in Rockville, has stepped in to take over where Chloe’s Coffee left off by hosting a weekly open mic night.

One of the managers of Quench, Gillian Grunewald, decided to take over hosting the Tuesday night event when Chloe’s closed its doors this past October. “Patrick Twomey, who always ran the show at Chloe’s, was looking for a new venue. So [we decided to do] something new — to bring a different vibe to our Tuesday nights,” said Grunewald.

Every Tuesday, Twomey brings in a speaker, stand, mics and a guitar for an
8:30 p.m. show, just as he used to do at Chloe’s. “When Chloe’s announced they were closing and we decided to take over [the open mic night], we put a post up on [Chloe’s] Facebook page. We wanted to reach out to their customers and performers.”

The new open mic night at Quench started up in early January.

Each performer is given a 15-minute window, about enough time for three or four songs. Guests can use Twomey’s
guitar but are also encouraged to bring along their own instruments. Grunewald said one former Chloe’s regular now frequently brings her ukulele to perform at Quench.

However, participants are not limited to music. During their 15 minutes, the performers can perform anything from comedy to music, even magic tricks.

Guests who wish to simply watch can do so for free, while enjoying the creative menu and unique cocktails for which Quench is known. The restaurant also offers lunch and a Saturday brunch menu in addition to dinner, desserts and appetizers.

Grunewald said so far open mic nights are going well at Quench. “We have a lot of regulars,” she said, “and we want to push for even more younger artists as well.”

Bits And Pieces

Mei’s Bridal & Alteration, formerly of 364 Main Street, has moved directly across the street to its new location at 367 Main Street. A sign on the door of the now-empty original store states that the move was primarily for space reasons, with the new location being larger than the former space. Mei’s is open Tuesday – Saturday from
9:30 a.m. – 7 p.m., Sunday from 1 – 6 p.m., and is closed on Mondays. For more information, please visit: http://www.
meisbridal.com/index.htm.

Buffalo Wild Wings is busy reshaping the former Chevys into the newest location of its restaurant/bar, with a projected opening slated for mid-May.

“So far the build-out is going well. We haven’t had any problems or delays as of yet,” said Scott Schwartz, director of operations at KPW Management, which does business as Buffalo Wild Wings.

While the restaurant will share parking spaces with many stores as well as a few dining establishments, the main competitor for spots will be LA Fitness, which opened in October 2012. The lot is currently packed most evenings starting at 5 p.m., the time when most people go out to eat or, conversely, have the time to work out.

However, Schwartz is confident it won’t be an insurmountable problem. “We aren’t too worried,” he told The Town Courier. “While much of the parking is taken up by the gym, the Magruders grocery store — unfortunately — has just closed. And that will probably open up some spaces. And there are the spaces next to Rite Aid as well.” Schwartz added that the company is excited about the May opening and anticipates its success. “There will be some challenges, but we have had worse challenges.”

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