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Quarry House Tavern, Silver Spring, On Georgia Ave. and Bonifant St. Since 1937, Reopen in the Same Location after a Fire


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'bookluvingbabe said:

Stopped by--the door said they opened at six but there appeared to be no life inside.

Had a decent burger nearby at the Quarry.

Did you have the onion rings at Quarry? I keep hearing they are excellent.

Both the Half-Moon BBQ and La Bamba are also good places to eat. Both are directly below the (ex?) Napoli, and both are IMO better than any of the formula places that have invaded Silver Spring.

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Did you have the onion rings at Quarry?  I keep hearing they are excellent.

Both the Half-Moon BBQ and La Bamba are also good places to eat.  Both are directly below the (ex?) Napoli, and both are IMO better than any of the formula places that have invaded Silver Spring.

I did and they were very good. I can usually only a have a few before I get tired of them and these were hard to resist. I had hoped to go nearby to Mandalay but we were in a rush so...

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The Quarry House in downtown Silver Spring has just reopened under new ownership, but they have retained a central menu item: the half-pound burger.

It's now made with Coleman organic ground beef, and is served a variety of different ways with choice of three sides: fries, o-rings or tater tots.

Yep, tater tots.

And for the bleu cheese lovers, there's the "Black on Bleu" burger -- dusted with cajun spices and stuffed with bleu cheese.

New owners are Jackie Greenbaum and Patrick Higgins, of Sligo Ave.'s Jackie's fame. It's their second restaurant.

Maybe a new thread? The ambience is decidedly old school (opened in 1934) and the menu is small, but for bar food, late night drinks and dim lighting, you could do worse in chain-saturated Silver Spring.

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Nooooooooooooo. Any chance they won't be invaded by trendoids now? That was one of my favorite watering holes. We were going to get together with friends there next week but now I'm not so sure.

Organic burgers? I'm sure they'll be offering microbrews on tap now too. And I can't imagine that the prices won't go up.

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Nooooooooooooo.  Any chance they won't be invaded by trendoids now?  That was one of my favorite watering holes.  We were going to get together with friends there next week but now I'm not so sure.

Organic burgers?  I'm sure they'll be offering microbrews on tap now too.  And I can't imagine that the prices won't go up.

I talked to Jackie about their plans a few weeks ago.

She wanted to update the interior and menu and maybe occasionally have a small jazz or standards band.

I believe that the beer has been upgraded.

She said that she wanted to maintain it as a neighborhood bar and maintain some of the tradition, but I am sure that the crowd will change as it is in the rest of downtown SS.

Sure, a certain cruddy shabbiness will be lost, but to my mind that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Now that I know it's reopened, I will have to stop in to explore.

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Nooooooooooooo.  Any chance they won't be invaded by trendoids now?  That was one of my favorite watering holes.  We were going to get together with friends there next week but now I'm not so sure.

Organic burgers?  I'm sure they'll be offering microbrews on tap now too.  And I can't imagine that the prices won't go up.

Chance of trendoid invasion: 100%. :)

I've worked there for 4 years (which makes me pretty new) and my first shift under the new ownership was last Friday. We've all been holding on to a shred of optimism that things would stay largely the same -- though obviously there was room for *some* improvement -- but it's not looking good.

First, nighttime regulars should know that Mara wasn't welcomed back. Big minus there.

And they now have a "chef." And no longer serve pitchers. And are going to have a menu of "classic martinis" to honor the tavern's heritage. (Forget that martinis were never what the QH was all about.)

And this is a particularly loud warning of things to come: The outside sign? It's going to be replaced by a big silver "Q." Ugh!

There were a few regulars in last Friday...it was pretty slow because of xmas weekend...and no one was loving the changes. I'm sure most will try it a few times and then look for another comfortable, laid-back, cheap place to go.

Late-night was definitely a different crowd and vibe altogether -- the lights went down ridiculously low, while the jukebox (which mercifully hasn't been changed yet) was louder than ever. Liquor ensured the customers were loud and obnoxious. I can't imagine what it's going to be like when it's busy.

My take on it is, been there, done that, don't want to do it again. I worked there once a week for fun. It was the easiest restaurant job I've ever had, the regulars were all great (and I'm going to miss them terribly), there were never any problems, the food came out quickly and done to order, and the hours were short. (Now they're staying open regular bar hours, and I'm too old to handle that!)

I'm sure they'll be successful, but they're going to alienate a lot of people in the process. People who have been coming there since they were kids! It's still one step up from a chain, but the QH as everyone has known it is gone. Sad, sad, sad.

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Sad to say but I'm NEVER going back. Tried the new style a few nights ago with the Mrs. (she's even more of a burger snob than me)...it sucked. Too-lean beef, pressed into a hockey puck...no thanks. The main reason (for me) to into that little hole was the kick-ass burger and local flavor. Thats all gone now. I hope the Banana Republic likes their mini-burgers and faux-retro flavor. I'll pass. Thanks for screwing up one of the few reasons to go out in Silver Sprung. I need a drink.

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Chance of trendoid invasion: 100%.  :)

I'm sure they'll be successful, but they're going to alienate a lot of people in the process. People who have been coming there since they were kids! It's still one step up from a chain, but the QH as everyone has known it is gone. Sad, sad, sad.

Oh no. Thanks for the updates. I started going there in 1986 (before I was 21, shhhh) and was a once-a-week customer off and on until 1995, then sporadically after that. No, martinis were never what they were about, it was about hanging out and pitchers of Bass. And the big silver Q? Bleah.

I'm sure it will be fine, hip establishment. But it won't be the Quarryhouse.

Edited by Heather
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Sad to say but I'm NEVER going back. Tried the new style a few nights ago with the Mrs. (she's even more of a burger snob than me)...it sucked. Too-lean beef, pressed into a hockey puck...no thanks. The main reason (for me) to into that little hole was the kick-ass burger and local flavor. Thats all gone now. I hope the Banana Republic likes their mini-burgers and faux-retro flavor. I'll pass. Thanks for screwing up one of the few  reasons to go out in Silver Sprung. I need a drink.

Despite the fact that there really is no substitute around, it makes me really happy to see that regulars aren't liking it at all. I never did work a second shift -- they said I didn't have to, because "I didn't seem to like it too much" :) -- but I did go in with a friend on my usual Friday night. There were some of my normal customers there who were trying it for a second time and were again disappointed. I even got a drink bought for me for refusing to work there any longer!

I'm hoping to keep in touch with people to see where they decide to go instead. I'd like to still see all the old customers on Fridays, and though it's too bad I won't be making any money to hang out with them, it'll be infinitely better than staying there.

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I made it to the new/old quarry house last night. We started with the homemade potato ships and dill dip, which was enjoyed by all.

We all had the burgers, which were not the same as the old Quarry burgers, but were good none the less. Instead of that big flat patty it was a big thick burger. The quality of the beef was very good. It seems like everything is served with tater tots. Now I think it has been YEARS since I had tater tots, but it was worth the wait. Portions were large, so we couldn't finish, though I blame the potato chips.

The inside looks exactly the same to me. I didn't check out the bathrooms, which were never the finest of Silver Spring, so hopefully they get/got fixed up.

It still is the dive bar of yore; I think it is safe to go back. It still seems to be more bar food then the gourmet, but that is what you would want while eating in a basement dive bar.

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E-mail from the QH.

JUST ANNOUNCED:  Traditional Irish Music performed by Eric Vesper and friends to play on St. Patrick’s Day

We will be opening at 4:00pm on Friday to begin the festivities!

Following are the details on the Quarry House and our St. Patrick’s Day fun…(Apologies if this is a duplicate for some of you.. J)

Did you know that Jackie’s Restaurant has taken over the old Quarry House Tavern in Silver Spring?  For those of you who don’t know the place, the Quarry House is a legendary pub that has been in Silver Spring since at least 1934.  Facing closure last summer, we stepped in to keep it open and to breathe a little new life into it.  We particularly want a place downtown with a great bar and live entertainment.  Keep an eye out over the next several months for lots of improvements.

In the meantime, what are you doing on St. Patrick’s Day?

How about joining us at the Quarry House for our first annual St. Patrick’s Day party?  OK, it’s the first one since we took over, if you want to be picky about it. 

What’s new at the Quarry House?  New Music, New Beer, New Food, New Staff, New Hours. 

What’s not new at the Quarry House?  The décor, the soul, the bathrooms (yes, you still hit your head on the ceilings) and it remaining the best neighborhood joint in the area.

New Music:

FABULOUS new cd’s on the famed QH jukebox.  All the old good stuff remains, and the following is a sample of what we’ve added:

Tom Waits, The Smiths, more Johnny Cash, The Ramones, Funkadelics, The Pixies, James Brown, Sly & the Family Stone, Prince, Beastie Boys and tons more…

New Beer:

Belgian--DeKoninck ,Delirium Tremens, Chimay

American--Allegash, Rogue, Smutty Nose, Dogfish Head, Magic Hat, Harpoon and many more

English--Young’s

Special St. Patrick’s Day offerings--Guinness, Harp and Smithwick’s on tap

PLUS, we now have a full liquor license and are expanding our scotch, bourbon and whiskey selections, as well as offering excellent classic cocktails.

New Food:

Our big burger is the best around…made from organic, grass fed nice fat beef (we buy our own whole cows from Eco-Friendly Farms!).  We pride ourselves on our made from scratch bar food…we even make our own potato chips in house.  Generally you’ll find a selection of homemade apps (meat and veggie empanadas, potstickers, chips and fresh dill dip), soup and veggie chili, burgers with tons of toppings, Usinger’s hot dogs (from Milwaukee--they are delicious), grilled cheese, philly cheesesteaks and grilled chicken sandwiches and mostly tater tots on the side.  Specials are being added frequently…

New Staff:

Toure Stoney, formerly of Jackie’s, heads up the kitchen and you can’t miss him.  Say hi and thanks for the great burger when you see him there.  And Gordon Banks, our new manager, is the second best kept secret in Silver Spring (after the QH)…spend a few minutes with him and tap into his beer savvy (pun intended), excellent music knowledge, and be sure to try to make him laugh (you’ll see why).  Plus, he’s just so damn cute.  Mitzi and Alison, on Thursdays and Fridays, are the new babes in town and you will LOVE them.  Of course, this is to say nothing of James and Suzie (from the old QH staff) who have stayed on with us and who we are crazy about.

New Hours:

Friday, St. Patrick’s Day, Open at 4:00pm

Normally open Monday through Saturday at 5:00pm, Closed Sundays

We plan to reopen for lunch soon, and will be sure to put the word out.

We do plan some updates and redecorations soon, new (softer and indirect) lighting, painting, new entrance, a cool new bar top, a few more barstools and general sprucing up.  Also, LIVE MUSIC coming soon to the back room…possibly on St. Patrick’s Day. 

Come join us and have a blast.

Jackie, Patrick and The Gang at The Quarry House

8401 Georgia Avenue (at Bonifant)

Basement Level

Silver Spring, MD 20910

301-587-9406

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I went with a couple of friends this evening with very low expectations, so I guess I was pleasantly surprised. The beloved onion rings are no longer offered with the burger and I am pretty sure they were not on the menu at all. They were out of the housemade potato chips and we had to listen to our server, who looked to be about 19, whine about how the potato chips were the reason he came into work today. That was evident by his service, or lack there of.

I had the hamburger, which was $9 with grilled onion and cheese. Only a dollar less than Palena's. It was fine, a pretty damn good bar burger, but not worth a special trip.

Normally I am not a fan of places with lots of air conditioning, but Quarry goes to the other extreme. There didn't seem to be much air conditioning at all. There was no noticable temp change when we walked out.

You can see remnanats of what it once was but it is clear that Quarry is no longer the same watering hole it once was.

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Normally I am not a fan of places with lots of air conditioning, but Quarry goes to the other extreme. There didn't seem to be much air conditioning at all. There was no noticable temp change when we walked out.

Yeah, the AC there has been out for a few days. Seventy-year old equipment just couldn't take the current heat wave. I understand that they are in the process of having it replaced.

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As hillvalley said, it's a good bar burger. They also have the best beer on tap selection in SS. (Edit to add -- Austin Grill's is probably No. 2)

On a side note, even when the AC was working it was warm in there.

One challenge is that there is just no room to upgrade the HVAC very much. The basement space really limits what they can do. They'd effectively have to dig up the foundation and dig down a couple of feet in order to upgrade systems.

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I had a really excellent Dogfish IPA on tap there not so long ago which the menu identified as "sump'n hoppy." As has been noted, the burger is pretty good too. I would much rather eat & drink here than the austin grill (if my choices were confined to downtown silver spring). The beer was extremely fresh & was on par with anything I've had anywhere. The other seven taps were dross though & the overall experience isn't that great.

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Couple friends went tonight. Burgers were okay, but I didn't order toppings. Tater tots were great - nothing like those school cafeteria tater tots. These were nice and crisp on the outside, but appropriately mealy on the inside. I'm surprised no one has mentioned them too much before. Wings were pretty decent - though a bit pricey at basically $1 each. Crisp with a nice burn.

Boddingtons on tap was pretty good (but I don't know much about beer). We sat there for about 3.5 hours and no one rushed us out. Then again, there weren't that many people trying to get in. I liked the atmosphere. I'm a big fan of the jukebox - The Cure, The Clash, Violent Femmes, New Order... all that sort of stuff.

My friend has been a bit more than I have. Apparently there is a brunch on Sunday. Tater tots with sausage gravy, french toast from burger buns. Interesting happy hour specials - all you can eat tater tots with cheese for dipping.

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I have not been in a few weeks, but their myspace web site is still up, with a current schedule of events, etc. Maybe he went to the wrong place-- it is easy to miss.
Also, the shed covering the stairs to the basement have always been nothing more than painted plywood.
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QH has been oddly closed on a few occasions recently, but it was open when I was there Friday. They have some new specials and plan to host some beer tastings (weekly? monthly? I forget). It was semi-crowded and lively, especially considering the weather. Food was mediocre, but I enjoyed some good beer, and some less good beer (one of the new specials is $1 PBRs when it rains).

The men's bathroom has been rewalled/refloored. The bar area floor is bare concrete; maybe they're going to put down new flooring there, as well. The on and off remodeling may be the reason for the odd closures.

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My friend went by the other night and said there was plywood up and it looked like it had closed down. Has anyone been by the last few days that can confirm or deny this? He had never been before so maybe he went to the wrong block or something.

Your friend is geographically challenged. I stopped by on Friday, braving the wintry mix, and the place was very much open. They are apparently doing healthy enough that the bathrooms have been redone recently (within the past few months). Probably the best place for good beer in Silver Spring, but I don't frequent SS enough to make a more emphatic statement.

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The plus one and I stopped in last night for a late supper. The place was populated but not packed, and our waiteress was friendly. We started with a Guiness for him, a Strongbow cider for me and a basket of fried pickle spears. The spears were indifferently battered, too thick in parts and non-existent in others. They had lots of flavor, and the sweetness of the honey mustard dip was a nice contrast. I ordered a black 'n' bleu burger, medium with tots and Himself got the chicken quesadilla. My burger was very good, done as I had ordered and served on a nice eggy bun with romaine, tomato and red onion. The quesadilla looked great, but I wasn't offered a bite; a few shakes of Cholula hot sauce and it was all down the hatch! Himself enjoyed a Strongbow after the meal. We were both pleased with the food and the price; less than $35 for a satisfying no frills meal. I'd go back.

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If there's a better bottled beer selection in suburban Maryland than Quarry House Tavern, I'd love to know where it is.

They do have quite the beer list. Been there a couple of times with my brother and friends. The food I find is not really the draw though. ;)

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The lead singer of the Cowpunk band Social Distortion once said of Orange County “There are junkies, winos, pimps, and whores in Orange County…” After a recent visit to the Quarry House I am happy to report that there are still a few left in MoCo – I just wish I could find such a collection of colorful characters in Arlington/Alexandria.

I didn’t try the food, but the smell of the wings was absolutely intoxicating.

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Every time I descend the dank staircase to the Quarryhouse, I say a prayer to the dive-bar gods & goddesses that the hipsters have moved on to the next flavor-of-the-month/craft cocktail/comfort food/ultra super micro beer bullshit joint and the place is full of my neighbors drinking, listening to Zep and the Cure on the juke, and eating the best chicken wings in the DC area. Jackie really should put on a clinic about how to "improve" a local watering hole. The food is good, the beer list is great, and the vibe is still your best friend's rec room circa 1980-1984, if your best friend had an awesome record collection and dad who collected beer signs.

Last Thursday's outing with xcanuck included the aforementioned wings, grilled cheese with tomato and bacon, tater tots, and beer. Rather more beer than it should have, actually. I drank whatever witbier was on tap that night and it was darn tasty.

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I say a prayer to the dive-bar gods & goddesses that the hipsters have moved on to the next flavor-of-the-month/craft cocktail/comfort food/ultra super micro beer bullshit joint

This is Silver Spring you're talking about, there is no "next" bar

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This is Silver Spring you're talking about, there is no "next" bar

Exactly. I hear there are some hip places in Petworth and Columbia Heights.

Whiskey Wednesday features a substantial discount on whisk(e)ys on, um, Wednesdays, and they have live music in the back room on Saturday nights.

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Exactly. I hear there are some hip places in Petworth and Columbia Heights

No. We have no hip places in Petworth. None.

Or at least, none that I have succeeded in finding yet. Advice gladly accepted.

In the mean time, Quarry House is a nice place, although all I have ever had there is burgers and beer. It was a haven from the hordes of film-goers looking to eat during SilverDocs!

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Went back to check it out this evening, it was hopping. I didn't eat anything, but the beer and whiskey lists were solid, albeit reduced from what they were in the basement spot. While I was there, they were having an issue with the taps so they were only doing bottles, no drafts. The burgers and tots were coming out of the kitchen fast and furious and it looked like they had a pretty full food menu as well. They were also a bit overwhelmed because they only had one credit card machine working, but they were able to keep track of tabs via table even if you didn't open a tab with a card.

It was great to see a lot of familiar faces both on staff and among the patronage, although it was a bit weird to see them with natural light shining through the windows and the Piratz patio. You would have never known what was there a week before. I was told that they are still filing papers with insurance, etc., so it will be awhile, but to a person they insist that they will move back to the basement and that, if they choose to extend or renew the lease, a new concept will open in that spot (same as they told the Post).

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We stopped in last night for dinner. The place was hopping, considering it was a Monday. There were even people out on the patio despite the chilly temps at 8:30. We scored a table after a few minutes wait. Beer selection was decent. We had Heavy Seas Loose Cannon (hers) and Lagunitas CensoRed (mine). Our burgers came out really fast, which was unexpected given the number of patrons -- maybe a good portion of them were only there to drink. Burgers were cooked to order and satisfying if nothing special. A side of onion rings was a little on the greasy side but still crisp and tasty. Service was friendly and efficient. Glad to see they are up and running and in good order.

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Is there any news about when they will return to the original location?

Some friends and I stopped here a few months ago after catching The Hateful Eight over at AFI. I built the place up for the first-timers, as I'd always enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere, the extensive beer list, and the greasy bar food.

For the record, I have to say that I usually roll my eyes at service reviews - if the food's great, I'll tolerate a long wait or negligent staff. I'll have to dock QHT a star, however, for our experience that afternoon.

We walked in a few minutes before they opened - the door was unlocked. Staff rushed out to tell us that they weren't open and that we could wait outside (in the cold). We complied, and they locked the door behind us. We waited well past the time they were set to open (I confess that I've forgotten what time) and gave up.

Hopefully they'll return to the original location and the original friendliness soon - they haven't lost me yet.

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Thanks for pointing this out.  I'm really looking forward to the reopening.  QH and Crisfield are the only places left in downtown Silver Spring I've regularly visited since my college days (30+ years ago).  I wonder if they'll change the tiny, claustrophobic men's room.  Hope not- the walls significantly limit the amount of swaying when standing at the urinal.

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I'm also looking forward to checking them out when they reopen. We moved to Silver Spring not too long before the fire, and we tried to go to Quarry House in their Piratz Tavern incarnation, but they didn't have highchairs, and my daughter was too little then for a booster seat. Now she can sit in a regular chair and I want some greasy bar food!

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1 hour ago, dracisk said:

I'm also looking forward to checking them out when they reopen. We moved to Silver Spring not too long before the fire, and we tried to go to Quarry House in their Piratz Tavern incarnation, but they didn't have highchairs, and my daughter was too little then for a booster seat. Now she can sit in a regular chair and I want some greasy bar food!

That's why we used to carry one of these around in the car, though we only used it in a restaurant two times. More often it was used for visiting friends/family or at home when the number of kids exceeded the number of high chairs.

Inglesina Fast Table Chair - Black

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On 3/22/2018 at 10:08 PM, dinwiddie said:

The Quarry House in Silver Spring is now open again.  Looks just like it did before the fire.  Great beer list, and even better whisky list, but really a dive.

If it wasn't a dive, it wouldn't be Quarry House. If they made it nice and trendy I think it would close within a year. I can't wait to go back, hopefully tomorrow.

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On 3/23/2018 at 6:19 PM, ALB said:

If it wasn't a dive, it wouldn't be Quarry House. If they made it nice and trendy I think it would close within a year. I can't wait to go back, hopefully tomorrow.

That was not meant as a negative.  What I think is wonderful is that it is just like it used to be before the fire.  A real (wonderful, authentic, and perfect) dive. 

 

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