Thus spake Jerry McCoy, president of the Silver Spring Historical Society, in reference to the chain-store-ification of downtown Silver Spring, MD – the town which serves as my current place of beer drinking. I mean residence. Well, both I guess, but I suppose that is redundant.
In any case, I was reading the new issue of The Advocate, which some guy drops off at our door every month, and noticed a quote from this Jerry McCoy fellow saying that the historic Silver Spring Fire Station No. 1 “may become a Matchbox Pizza restaurant and microbrewery.”
Now I had read that the folks who own Hook and Ladder Brewing Co. have been working on a deal to buy this building and convert it into a brewpub but I hadn’t heard this “Matchbox” name being used until now. As soon as I read it, I suspected it was a chain or franchise or something – it just has that ring to it. But, thankfully, googling turned up the existence of no such chain.
So I checked the Hook and Ladder website and found an article that appeared in the June issue of the Maryland Gazette that also quotes McCoy talking about the pending brewpub and referred to it as a model that he hopes could be used to preserve other historic buildings in Silver Spring. Clearly an advocate of local business, he even said, “There is nothing sexy about chain restaurants.” So, I’m hoping this means Matchbox is not a licensed chain but just a clever name that the Hook and Ladder guys devised as a tie-in to the whole firefighting theme. Other than Franklin’s in Hyattsville, this will be the only non-chain locally-owned brewpub in the Washington metro area.
All this talk of fire and beer is making me thirsty. Unfortunately, my closest fresh beer option is the Rock Bottom in Bethesda – one of the larger national brewpub chains. Their beer is good and the service is usually decent as well. However, I must whole-heartedly concur that, as a chain, the place absolutely lacks soul. Gigantic TV screens intrude in just about every corner of visual space and loud vapid pop-oriented rock booms over any attempt at a conversation. But then, there is the beer…