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 1983, "Beefalo" Bob DiMartino began a small-scale catering operation built around no-frills, classic recipes of pit-roasted barbecue, growing his business to include a carry-out joint, sports bar, and even an upscale banquet hall. Bob's process is simple: slow cooking beef, ham, turkey, slabs of ribs and morsels of pork and chicken over smoking hickory fires and not cutting corners with gas jets or heat vision. The sports bar garnishes these backyard-style feasts with plates of oysters, lump crab cakes, and strip steak, as well as sports games on 20 big-screen TVs and rivers of cold beer.
True to its roots as a catering outfit, Beefalo Bob's supplies parties of up to 10,000 with bull roasts, crab feasts, and roasted pigs, as well as rentals of tents, tables, and moon bounces. Fancy occasions find a home in the 250-person Reflections Hall, decked out with chandeliers, DJs, a fireplace, hints of sparkly gold, and a wide-open hardwood dance floor.
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.
Praised by the Washington Post as "undoubtedly the most stylish gathering spot in the Maryland suburbs," Ranazul's chic, comfortable interior sets the tone for shared plates and conversation over bottles of wine. Traditional cold tapas arrive at tables during dinner as slabs of raw salmon over seasoned avocado and briny seaweed, or tender, pan-seared scallops surrounded by potatoes, spring vegetables, and crab meat. Meals are paired with selections from a wine list replete with more than 220 bottles and 32 options by the glass, from light, sparkling prosecco to sustainably-farmed pinot noir from New Zealand.
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.
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-jalape?o 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.