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New Gaithersburg tapas bar on the way

A new tapas bar is planning to open in Gaithersburg. Boca Botanas Tapas Bar applied for a liquor license with the county this month and is scheduled to appear before the Board of License Commissioners on Dec. 3.  

The owner, Michael Alexander of Gaithersburg, said he has a passion for food and decided to open the restaurant after traveling throughout Latin America. He’s hoping to open in mid-December. He said the 1,500-square-foot restaurant at 239 Muddy Branch Road will offer a mix of Latin American cuisine served in a Spanish tapas style. The menu will also include beer and wine pairing menus and unique cocktails.

Alexander said he’s constructing the restaurant with the help of his father and “great” friends who help out when they can. He said they’re in the process of hiring staff and plan to start training employees soon.

Helen’s making progress

The new restaurant from Washington, D.C. caterer Helen Wasserman is coming along nicely on Rockville Pike. The restaurant is renovating the former Addie’s space, which was well-known for its yellow exterior. That yellow paint is gone and the building is now gray. Pictures posted to Facebook earlier this month also show the restaurant has added a large, outdoor patio. There’s no word on an opening date yet. The construction at the building has been delayed due to water and permitting issues. Wasserman said in the spring she had hoped to open by the summer.


The former yellow Addie’s building on Rockville Pike is looking different these days as renovations take place to make way for Helen’s. Credit: Andrew Metcalf

Silver Spring restaurant launches Kickstarter to change concepts


The restaurant formerly known as Sligo Café is now pursuing a Kickstarter to help pay for a concept change at the Silver Spring eatery. The restaurant closed at the end of October as part of the plan to rebrand and relaunch as a Korean restaurant. Initially, owner Jung-Ah Park and General Manager Katie Golden hoped to open about a month after closing, but the Kickstarter notes that timeline was tough to meet. The restaurant hopes to raise $25,000 through the Kickstarter to help pay for new signs, menus, marketing, equipment and other items.

Owner Jung-Ah Park makes a pitch in a video associated with a Kickstarter campaign to help rebrand her restaurant. Screenshot via Kickstarter.


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