Jerry Bailey began homebrewing with friends in 1989, hopeful that the craft would bring fulfillment that his 9-to-5 failed to provide. Fulfillment it brought, along with numerous batches of tasty brew. Bailey couldn’t keep his inventions to himself; he quickly decided to open his own brewhouse as well as distribute his goods to other local establishments.
Today, Bailey proudly stands at the helm of both Old Dominion Brewhouse and Old Dominion Brewing Company. In the pub, chefs add variety to liquid meals with food such as burgers, crab cakes, and thin-crust pizzas while 30 flat-screen televisions keep patrons entertained with sports. The chefs also exhibit flair for Asian cuisine, slicing and rolling sushi and offering create-your-own mongolian stir-fries. At the bar, eight handles remain perpetually reserved for Old Dominion's craft beers, such as the award-winning Baltic porter and the Oak Barrel stout, which is loaded with flavors of vanilla and the color brown.
In its former lives, the space now occupied by J'Ollies Restaurant was a biker bar, a seafood restaurant, and a pub. When J'Ollies moved in, though, that space was transformed into a family-friendly restaurant where diners can feast on pancakes and waffles straight from the griddle, or homemade biscuits bathed in sausage gravy. They can even create their own omelet, filling a hearty three-egg and cheese package with meat and veggies. Later in the day, lunch and dinner options include American classics such as beer-battered cod, meatloaf, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Founded in 1925, Morris Miller Wines & Liquor continues to embrace the marvels of fermentation and distillation by stocking its shelves with an international selection of potent spirits. The wine selection is grouped by region, allowing patrons to more easily track down a crisp New Zealand sauvignon blanc or a spicy Chilean carménère. On Friday and Saturday evenings, the staff hosts complimentary wine tastings, which allow customers to try small samples before they buy bottles to enjoy at home, in restaurants, or on the neighborhood's new roller coaster. Shelves of craft beer, single-malt scotch, and Brazilian cachaca round out the store's ample selection.
Adega serves fresh café fare for lunch and dinner, including delicately swaddled wraps such as The Jerk ($7.49), made with jerk chicken, romaine, avocado, mango, red pepper, mango vinaigrette, and served in a tortilla made of chipotle and misanthropy. Feast with the family on a 14-inch margherita pizza ($11.99) or one of the other Mediterranean flatbreads, or prepare an absorbent nest for flightless wine flights by ordering one of the sandwiches such as The Duke Ellington, a swinging combo of roast beef, caramelized onion, lettuce, tomato, brie, and horseradish cream. The establishment also houses a variety of wines, which are sold by the glass ($4–$9) and bottle ($8.99–$60), but customers are welcome to buy a bottle at Adega during lunch or dinner and have it at the table with their meal. While feasting and sipping, absorb the café's warm and unpretentious décor, replete with ample windows for prime views of passing strongmen bench-pressing parked cars.
When the Silver Spring Volunteer Fire Department moved into a larger building, retired firefighter Jeremy Gruber saw an opportunity to combine his two loves. He had grown up with a passion for food—his grandparents opened the New York City restaurant Gruber’s back in the 1930s—so after a few failed attempts to eat the old firehouse, he decided to buy it and open his own restaurant instead.
Though the firehouse vibe lingers with cinderblock walls and large, sectioned windows that resemble garage doors, Jeremy gave the space a modern update with bamboo floors and LED lighting. Inside the transformed dining room, patrons extinguish their hunger with orders of five-alarm wings or firehouse chili paired with cheddar-jalapeño corn bread. In the microwave-free kitchen, cooks also prepare entrees as varied as portabella burgers and seafood risotto. Locals will recognize added treats such as Gifford’s ice cream and craft beers from Red Brick Station.
Armed with a Woodstone brick oven and an unwavering faith in freshness, chef Aaron M. Tootill presides over Fire & Sage’s menu of brick-oven flatbread pizzas, daily made cornbread, and a piping panoply of gourmet entrees. The signature shrimp and pancetta pizza ($14) sneaks to tables cloaked in gooey mozzarella, garlic, and a rich basil pesto, while the wild mushroom ($13) adorns itself with shiitakes, portobellos, and bright green 1-Ups. The short-rib sandwich ($14) ensconces caramelized onions and muenster cheese between its ciabatta bun and arrives escorted by a hearty chalice of three onion soup. Glittering lochs of mustard caper sauce encircle the towers of jumbo-lump crab cake ($31), whose gates open onto a dessert of barrel-aged bourbon pecan-ice-cream sundae artfully flecked with nougatine, pecan brownie, and drizzled glyphs of butterscotch ($8).