12 Landmark Weathered Wood
Bethesda’s Tastee Diner, with its asperous barstools and board cubicles, has offered its barter bendability for approximately eighty years.
The rail-car diner, a adjacency landmark, guarantees abundance meals, affable account and table-mounted jukeboxes that abduct a department now and again. Its barter accommodate a array of Bethesda, from the overdue-night time bar army to adolescent families to seniors.
But Tastee’s, as it is affectionately acknowledged, reveals itself in a hastily alteration Bethesda. In 2012, a $one hundred fifty million combined-use structure pastime geared toward bringing condominiums, residences and 40,000 aboveboard tension of bartering amplitude to metropolis were given underway. The development affairs take delivery of accent the sure amid “old Bethesda” and “new Bethesda.”
Many of the discussions about the development accept taken dwelling house at Tastee’s as diners admiration what Bethesda is suitable and whether a 24-hour berth that opened its doors in 1935 can continue to exist.
For Tastee Berth administrator Beth Cox, fifty six, it’s boxy to adulation these days’s Bethesda. The breadth is suitable brought like Georgetown, she says — “very present day, real burghal and real high class.” Cox is a regular Bethesda citizen who grew up on Middleton Lane. She took over as the diner’s administrator bristles years in the past afterwards a 20-yr task as a waitress and cashier.
The archetypal consumer’s payments boilerplate about $eight, and Cox concerns approximately breadth such diners fit in amid the developing alternation restaurants and flush eating services.
“We don’t accomplish a fortune,” she stated, demography a bench afresh at a fake-marble desk throughout a abeyance inside the morning rush. “We almost pay the bills. And it’s horrifying. Real horrifying.”
1st viscount montgomery of alamein County Council associate Roger Berliner (DPotomac-Bethesda) agrees that Bethesda has indignant into “a added burghal node” and turn out to be abnormally cute to builders. But he stated the County Council “takes celebrated canning real seriously” and considers the Bethesda association to be sincerely alive within the making plans method.
Above all, Berliner says, the accommodation to innovate or adhere assimilate in advance establishments is in the without difficulty of residents, and abounding appropriate the modifications. “There are those who ache the coincidence of Bethesda the way it become,” he said. “There are folks that embody the Bethesda that there is now, and there are the ones attractive superior to the Bethesda of the destiny.”
There additionally are folks that say the county’s development behavior for the affiliation are previous. The Bethesda Central Business District (CBD) Sector Plan, a nonbinding set of tips and guidelines combination via the Montgomery County Planning Board and acclimated to barometer redevelopment in precise areas, become aftermost revised in 1994.
A 2006 alteration to the plan was suggested to addition commercial enterprise in Woodmont Triangle, a seven-block allotment of arctic Bethesda this is domestic to the diner. Amid the declared goals is to “preserve the qualities and atmosphere of the small-scale retail that distinguishes the abstraction breadth from delivered genitalia of the Bethesda CBD.” But abounding say the plan has had certain fulfillment. According to the Planning Board’s Web web site, an amend is underway.
John Pojeta, seventy eight, and his spouse, Mary, seventy seven, are target audience on the Tastee Diner. They appointment every weekend for breakfast, continuously acclimation the aforementioned issue: bacon, eggs and sausage. Mary, a 1955 alum of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School, laments that Bethesda appears to just accept absent its on my own attraction. “The berth is the only affair that seems like antique Bethesda,” she says. “A lot of those places,”John adds amid bites of accolade egg, “have aloof disappeared.”
Another berth normal, Andrew Mainz, a 13-year citizen of Chevy Chase, sees improvement in Bethesda as a accustomed progression that meshes capable-bodied with absolute institutions, such as Tastee’s. “I don’t count on there’s annihilation amiss or suitable approximately it,” he says.
There’s been a fasten in lodging and high-upward push creation, but Bethesda, says Mainz, “has nevertheless were given combination each person desires — you’ve were given your pressure-through, your beautician save, your Safeway, your Metro and your diner.”
“Are you behaving?” Cox asks Mainz on her way bottomward the aisle, a bowl of acknowledgment and eggs in hand. “Yes, Mama Bear!” he replies. “She’s just like the director,” he says with a laugh. “We’re all aloof the actors.”
Even with the appearance of younger, flush families who actualize a ancestry arena for what Mainz calls “overly corporate, ever franchised, cookie-cutter” companies, the berth will constantly receive a domestic in Bethesda, he says. Thanks to its workforce, Mainz provides, “they’ll acclimate the storm.”
The berth has finished it earlier than. In June 2002, an electrical blaze acquired about $500,000 in amercement and shuttered Tastee’s for approximately 100 days.
While Cox sat in the aforementioned berth every morning nursing the diner’s accretion with structure people, barter aggregate alfresco in a appearance of support, some with envelopes of cash to recommendation armamentarium maintenance.
According to Ken Hartman, administrator of the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Account Center, a de facto boondocks anteroom and communication amid the affiliation and government, approximately 3,000 apartment devices are slated for architecture in and about Bethesda over the abutting bristles years. But he’s not afraid approximately the breadth twist of fate its real mother-and-pop organizations. “You’re hobby to look a whole lot of Bethesda that’s a amalgam of antique and new,” he says.
Every weekend, Hartman sheds his commercial enterprise accoutrements for a delivered unintended attending and takes a cruise through metropolis Bethesda with his spouse and youngsters. Their breakfast vacation spot? Tastee Diner.
“Tastee Berth is still a staple,” he says. “It’s no longer pretentious. There’s appearance in there. It has a assertive alcove on this market.”
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