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    Bethesda, MD

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  1. Shameless self promotion alert. In my law practice I represent independent tenants and landlords. I am also a licensed real estate broker in Maryland I spend a lot of my time cleaning up messes which were made because people recycle old leases, do not perform much due diligence and do not thoroughly read the lease (if they read it at all). "If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur." Red Adair DaveO makes some very good points. Here are a few more things commercial tenants should be aware of: clearly specify who owns the equipment and what happens to it when the lease is over, can the landlord terminate the lease early if something better comes along (such as Amazon moving to Virginia), I can only speak for Maryland but, as long as it says so in a commercial lease, it's perfectly legal for a landlord to change locks on the doors if the tenant is in breach of the lease, take a close look at the HVAC system and try not to be responsible for it, they are expensive. If you pay for the HVAC system get credit for it. You will not be able to take it with you, nor will you want to, when you leave.
  2. Might be way too much information but I am into this sort of thing so - Natty Boh has San Francisco-based investment fund TSG Consumer Partners LLC.
  3. Shameless self promotion, both are available at Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda, I have tried neither but am looking forward to both. Cheers!
  4. Thank you, I will be testifying next Monday in Rockville in support of a law proposed by Del. Frick, Sen. Feldman and others. The law would allow the retailers, bars and restaurants to purchase directly from the distributors. It would also allow retailers to sell liquor. It would be a referendum on the ballot next November. It would not go into effect until 2018. Meanwhile, Comptroller Franchot has said he will propose a law which does not go to referendum and does not wait until 2018. I have not seen the comptroller's proposed law. If I weren't so personally invested in it, I would say that it's quite interesting watching the situation develop if you are into the political process. Meanwhile, I just want the situation to improve for consumers, bars, restaurants and retailers. The status quo is maddening to say the least. If any one wants more information, please PM me.
  5. Hi all, not sure if this is the right forum but I will give it a shot. I am very active in the movement to break Montgomery County's monopoly on the sale of beer, wine and spirits. Adam Pugnacco recently launched a petition in support of abolishing the monopoly. If you are like minded, especially if you live, work and/or vote in Montgomery County, could you sign the petition here https://www.change.org/p/karen-montgomery-senate-state-md-us-brian-feldman-senate-state-md-us-susan-lee-senate-state-md-us-cheryl-kagan-senate-state-md-us-richard-madaleno-senate-state-md-us-roger-manno-senate-state-m-end-the-monopoly-let-the-voters-decide?recruiter=416270842&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink, add your comments and share it on social media? Thanks, Justin McInerny Capital Beer & Wine Bethesda
  6. Pardon the thread drift but anecdotally I can say that Yelp on its own removed a negative review of us (Capital Beer & Wine - Bethesda) presumably because the review was from someone who doesn't post much or posts too many negative reviews. I only check our Yelp reviews once every few months. Meanwhile, a new employee looked us up on Yelp and told me we had a terrible review. I looked at it and remembered the guy immediately. He was pleasant and knowledgeable. He was from out of town. He asked for a Sauvenières. I told him I liked to think I know a lot about French wine but I was not familiar with this AOC. I quickly found out it's a Chenin Blanc region in the Loire Valley. I am especially fond of the Loire Valley and told him I would try to track some down but I do not recall seeing any from my vendors but it would definitely be on my list of things to buy. He chose some other really good wine and I enjoyed helping him. At check out, I accidentally rang a bottle twice, he caught the mistake, I corrected it and I didn't think anything of it. Months later I see the Yelp review where he says the staff was stupid and did not know anything about French wine. He also said I tried to cheat him because he was Asian but he caught me ringing the bottle twice. Rather than getting into a flame war on Yelp, I just let sleeping dogs lie amid four other favorable reviews. A few months later I checked Yelp and the bad review was gone. I haven't done any paid placement on Yelp but I have been considering it coming into the busy season. From what I understand it's more bang for your buck than Google adwords but I haven't done much research. The amount of negativity on Yelp amazes me when it comes to restaurants. Very well established beer, wine and liquor stores do not get nearly the volume and vitriol of reviews for relatively young restaurants. I am a fan of crowdsourcing to a degree but it gets out of hand and can be pretty unpredictable. My personal practice is only to review places I like and I always give four stars. I won't give five because I don't think anything is perfect unless you get into Michelin star territory which I don't. Or I will do arbitrary things. For example, I had a great time at a brew pub with really good beer and atmosphere and pretty bad food. In my Yelp review I did not say anything about the food and gave a four star review. Everyone has their biases and you just have to read between the lines in Yelp or any other review site.
  7. It's hugely frustrating. I have gotten pretty good at navigating the labyrinth which is the DLC and I manage to get some great wines. Meanwhile, I could go on for hours with anecdote after anecdote of awful situations. If folks could make their voice heard with their county and state representatives that would be great. If changes were made at the DLC then more money would stay in Montgomery County instead of consumers buying wine, beer and spirits in DC, VA and neighboring counties. If I had a shop in northwest DC I would be opposed to any changes at the DLC.
  8. SHORT STORY - Many retailers, restaurants and bars (licensees) want the ability to order and receive beer and wine directly from a distributor/importer, not from Montgomery County. Presently, the licensees must order almost all of their beer and wine from the County Department of Liquor Control (DLC). Can you make a statement to the Montgomery County Council on July 21, 2015 at 7:30pm in the County Council Building 3rd Floor Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville, MD 20850? If so, then please call 240.777.7803 before 10am, July 21 and mention that you want to testify in favor of the ad hoc Committee's resolution on Liquor Control. The resolution can be read here. LONG STORY - Montgomery County's alcoholic beverage laws pose some unique challenges for businesses and consumers. With some minor exceptions, licensees are required to purchase all of their beer, wine and spirits from the county's Department of Liquor Control (the DLC). This system was largely devised in 1934 upon the repeal of Prohibition. This is how it works. The DLC has two broad categories of beer and wine. "Stock" items and "special order items". Stock items are usually widely available products which oftentimes are well known by the general public. Special order items are usually from smaller producers which are not widely known to the general public. Many licensees carry hundreds of special order items. It is fairly easy for licensees to get stock items from the DLC. Licensees just order the products online and they get delivered. On the other hand, special order items are particularly difficult to obtain. The DLC sells the special order items to the licensees even though the DLC does not carry the special order items.The licensees must order the special order items through the DLC which then orders the item from a specialty distributor or importer. That distributor/importer then delivers the item to the DLC then the DLC marks up the price of the item by 18% to 25% and delivers it to the licensee. Note that the DLC does not pay the distributors' sales people, the DLC does not originate the business. The sales people come to the licensees or vice versa. The DLC simply receives and item and delivers it. This process usually takes at least seven days and typically takes ten or more days. Oftentimes, thanks to administrative foul-ups or miscommunication, licensees never receive the products or the products arrive weeks after they were ordered and needed. This Byzantine process greatly impairs licensees' ability to get some great wine and beer and wine. Many excellent specialty distributors and importers simply will not work in the county. Most of the specialty importers and distributors which work in the county are weary with, and frustrated by, the challenges imposed by working through the County. Excellent sales people refuse to work in Montgomery County because of the challenges they face. Montgomery County is a graveyard for talented, dedicated and knowledgeable specialty beverage sales people. Compare this with DC or Virginia where a retailer simply contacts the distributor/importer, orders the product and the product is delivered within a day or two with no additional mark up. Note that the County council is understandably concerned about anything which might reduce revenue. An improved and more efficient system would increase revenue for the county and for business because customers would not have the need to shop in Virginia, DC and neighboring counties. If you want to have better selection and perhaps better prices for beer and wine in the County, then please consider testifying next week. If you don't have time to testify, can you send an e-mail to County.Council@montgomerycountymd.gov with your statement. Please contact me directly with any questions. Justin McInerny cell 301 300-8947
  9. Ate there for the first time last Saturday with my wife. We have not been to many of the top places in DC as most of our time, money and attention for the past fifteen years has been focused on our kids. Marcel's easily lived up to my expectations and we will definitely go back as time and money allow. We each had the five course tasting menu. Six or seven courses would have been too much food for me. My wife would probably take four courses instead of five. I went there to eat and relax, not take notes so I will not recount every last detail. I had halibut, turbot, duck, tortellini and chocolate flan. We also enjoyed a nice red Burgundy from Marsannay. We really enjoyed having a drink at the bar while waiting for our table - we were early and the table was ready right on time. Our waiter was excellent. In addition to the terrific food, service and wine. I really enjoyed the atmosphere. This might sound snobby but one thing I noticed is that the other patrons were so well behaved. It was a very adult atmosphere. The place was busy. People of all ages were there, they knew how to dress, they knew how to act. Nobody was on their cellphone, nobody was taking pictures of their food, nobody was talking loudly. It was a really nice refuge from my very chaotic life. I could pick a few nits but I can not find anything terribly negative. I would suggest having a few Belgian beers or Belgian style American craft beers. I also would like to see more wines by the glass. I would have liked a cremant by the glass. The only sparkling options are Cava and Champagne, which aren't bad options of course.
  10. Part time position (16 - 24 hours per week) in a small beer and wine store. This is an excellent entry level opportunity to learn about the craft beer and wine industries, we work with some of the USA's best beer and wine importers and distributors. We need someone who is reliable, can work evenings and weekends, sales oriented, can carry and move 50 pounds. You will do everything to keep the store running including but not limited to helping at beer and wine tastings, updating the web page, stocking shelves, sweeping the floor, running the cash register and helping customers. Experience is not necessary but a good attitude is a must. Email your resume with a brief cover note. We can't pay much but the job could transition into more hours or it could be a stepping stone for a full time job elsewhere in the industry. Justin McInerny Capital Beer & Wine 7903 Norfolk Ave. Bethesda, MD 20814 store (301) 656-8855 cell (301) 300-8947
  11. If we all drank no Cannonau or any other red wine but lived on the side of a mountain, did not own a car, walked up and down the mountain for transportation, had free health insurance, ate nothing but olive oil, fresh vegetables and fresh seafood then most of us would probably live well into our nineties.
  12. Capital Beer & Wine in Bethesda needs part time help (20 +/- hours) to do just about everything around the store from running the cash register to sweeping to helping with tastings and social media. The working conditions are good, the pay is not good ($10hr) and you must be available on weekends and holidays - we are open 365 days and until 1AM on Friday and Saturday. This is a nice entry level position for anyone who wants to learn about the industry. We work with some of the country's best wine and beer importers and distributors. We will train the right person who has no experience. A demonstrated ability to sell is vitally important to the success of this business and incentive based compensation is a possibility. If you are a beer and/or wine enthusiast with encyclopedic knowledge about beer and wine but you do not like selling, then this is not a good fit for you. If you have a passion for selling and business development, as well as an interest in beer and wine, then you are encouraged to apply. Must be able to lift 40 lb. boxes daily, stand for 4 - 8 hours and have reliable transportation. Please send your resume in confidence with cover letter/email to justin@capitalbeerwine.com. Please no calls.
  13. I went there on Saturday 10/20. I hadn't planned on it but I was in Rockville running errands and thought I would stop in. I wasn't favorably impressed. On the plus side I was looking for a good steak and got a nice skirt steak. I am not sure where it was sourced but it was well priced and very good. The wine selection is especially good for Montgomery County or anywhere, some nice French from importer/distributors Potomac Selections and Elite plus some other really good choices from California and Oregon. Much of the wine is under $20 and imo priced right, but there were some $50 Burgindies which will probably have a hard time selling. Nobody offered to help me with the wine, but I didn't ask for help either. The average wine buyer might want some guidance. On the minus side, Dawson's was practically empty mid-afternoon on a Saturday. Every other place I went that day was jammed, this is the time of year when people are in town and shopping on Saturdays. Granted, the place only opened two weeks ago, but I think it's a bad sign especially in light of their high rent and overhead. The service was really, really lackluster. The guy at the meat counter was pleasant but seemed pretty clueless, he wasn't familiar with a skirt steak. Plus I was looking for fresh green beans in the produce section which they did not have. I got a nice big celery root, they guy at checkout had no idea what it was and had to send someone to figure it out, they also couldn't ring up a bag of potatos for me because it wouldn't scan. All in all, I probably won't be going back. I like to stop at Gordon Biersch, practically next door, to get a growler of beer. The next time I do that I probably won't go back to Dawson's even though it's convenient.
  14. So, does anyone know of any restaurants in MoCo that are taking advantage of the recently passed corkage law? According to Adam Borden, President of Marylanders for Better Beer & Wine Laws the following places in Montgomery County allow corkage: Bezu, Capital Grille , Clyde's Chevy Chase, Clyde's Rockville, Jaleo Lia's, Mon Ami Gabi, Newton's Table, Raku, Seasons 52, Society, Thai Pavilion, Rockville
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