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5 Ways to Create a Welcoming Home Entrance

by Fitzpatrick Group

Since you only have one chance to make a first impression, it’s important to make sure it’s a good one.  The front entry to your home is usually the first thing guests notice when they visit, so here are some tips to keep it warm and welcoming.

1.  Bold Front Door Color

Pick a color that makes your front door pop, such as bright yellow, teal, or a dark orange.  If these colors are too out there for you, try navy blue or classic red.  Use glossy paint to create a reflective sheen that really makes your home stand out from the rest.

2.  Light the Way

Solar-powered LED lights are easy, inexpensive, and can be found at most home improvement stores.  There is no wiring required, which means installation consists of simply sticking them in the ground along the path to your door.  Lighting does wonders for creating an inviting and luxurious look instantly.

3.  Welcome Mat

There’s a reason it’s called a “welcome” mat.  Not only does a mat at your front door create a first impression that can reflect your personality, but it also is functional since it helps keep the dirt and mud out of your home.  You can find a simple mat at most hardware stores, or even a unique, personalized one online.

4.  Replace Door Hardware

If you notice your door handle looks worn and scratched up, it’s probably time to replace it with some shiny new hardware.  Look into a brass lockset that includes a deadbolt.  It’s a small change that can pack a big punch.  You may even want to add a fun doorknocker that adds character to your home as well.  Speaking of hardware, make sure your house number is clearly visible so guests are easily able to find your home.

5.  Go Green

If you have plants or shrubs by your front door, keep them trimmed so they look neat and well kept.  If you don’t have any greenery yet, think about adding some potted plants or boxwoods on either or both sides of your door.  Plants add some life for a welcoming look and can be easy to upkeep if you choose low maintenance ones.

Have you tried any of these tips already?  Send us a picture and show off your welcoming look!   Are you ready to buy or sell your home and you live in the Potomac, North Potomac, Bethesda, Rockville, Kensington, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, or Washington, DC area?  Contact us at the Fitzpatrick Group so we can help make it a fun and enjoyable process!

Small Business Saturday 2016 Recap

by Fitzpatrick Group

Thanksgiving may be over, but the holiday season has just begun!   That means it’s time to start shopping, and what better place to start than at a small business?  Whether you’re looking for a unique gift for a friend, your children’s teachers, the mail carrier, or just something nice for yourself, try shopping at a local, small business first.  While you’re out, take some time to try something new and grab a meal at one of the many family owned restaurants in the Washington, DC area.  We think you’ll have much more fun shopping at small businesses on Saturday, where you’ll have a more personal, laid back experience, than you would fighting off the crowds and crazy people on Black Friday.

In an effort to encourage others to support small businesses and stimulate the local economy, we have put together a list of some of our favorite small, local businesses in the Washington, DC area that we enjoy and think you will too.  We have also included some of the businesses we have spotlighted over the last few years.  Please consider choosing some of these businesses on Saturday, and during the rest of the year as well.  The relationships you will garner with some of your neighborhood business owners are invaluable.  Happy holidays and enjoy your shopping this season!

 

2016 Featured Small Businesses

Bits of Thread Sewing Studio

Event Farm

Finger Foods Culinary

Flying Dog Brewery

Founding Farmers MoCo

Gregorio’s Trattoria

Hunter’s Bar and Grill

Normandie Farm

The North Potomac Times

Potomac Paddlesports

Stella’s PopKern

Vie de France

 

2015 Featured Small Businesses

Appliance Builders Wholesalers

Bagel Towne Deli

Bombay Bistro

Bradley Food & Beverage

Butler’s Orchard

Carmen’s

HomeVisit

Osman & Joe’s Steak’n Egg Kitchen

Pizza Palace

Protec Inspections

The Market at River Falls

Town & Country Movers

Yoyogi Sushi

Yummy in My Tummy

 

2014 Featured Small Businesses

Art & Frame Depot

Bella Bethesda

Cava Mezza

Continental Pizza

Gaver Farm

Guru Groceries & Chaat House

Inner Reaches Yoga & Health

Kicks Karate

Potomac Pizza

Renato’s Restaurant

Studio Ten83

Tastee Diner

 

2013 Featured Small Businesses

Allentuck Landscaping

Diana Nails

Elite Image, Inc

Glenvilah Vet Clinic

Milestone Cleaners

Pigtails and Crewcuts

Quench

Tami’s Table

The Original Pancake House

Vie de France

by Fitzpatrick Group
 
Vie de France started as an idea back in 1971 when a few individuals committed themselves to making authentic French bread in America.  After bringing in master French bakers, laboratory analysts, and technical staff, they developed the perfect flour for their breads.  The bakery then took it another step further and imported the bricks needed to build ovens that would create the essential heat and humidity levels needed to make their crispy, golden French bread.  The business has been thriving ever since and even expanded into cities around the country, as well as Tokyo.
 
There are three concepts associated with Vie de France.  The bakery is where you can watch the baking take place throughout the day and enjoy fresh baked pastries and bread, sandwiches, soups, and salads.  Vie de France also offers fast and fresh locations with quick service where you can purchase sweets, breads, soups, quiche, salads, and sandwiches.  Finally, their bakery-cafes are sit-down, casual French bistros where you can either grab a coffee and croissant, or stay for a nice dinner.  Once you work up an appetite during your shopping on Small Business Saturday, consider stopping by Vie de France to refuel!
 
Website:
http://www.viedefrance.com/
 
Locations:
Potomac Place                                                                                                                              
10146 River Rd
Potomac, MD
301-299-0904
 
Hours:                                                                                                                                                                    
Mon - Sat: 6:30am - 8:00pm                                                              
Sun: 6:30am - 7:00pm                                                                                             
                                                                                                                                                                                   
Rockville Town Center
39 A Maryland Ave
Rockville, MD 20850
301-637-6416
 
Hours:
Mon - Sat: 6:00am - 9:00pm
Sun: 7:00am - 7:00pm
 
White Flint Plaza                                                  
5218 Nicholson Ln                                              
Kensington, MD 20895                                    
301-984-2267                                                        
 
 
Hours:                                                                          
Mon - Fri: 7:00am - 5:00pm                           
Sat: 7:00am - 6:00pm                                        
Sun: 8:00am - 5:00pm                                       
 
Capital Gallery
600 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20024
202-554-7870
 
Hours:
Mon - Fri: 6:30am - 7:30pm
Sat - Sun: Closed
 
South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol Ave, #1620
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
714-557-1734
 
Hours:
Mon - Fri: 7:30am - 9:30pm
Sat: 7:30am - 8:30pm
Sun: 8:30am - 7:00pm

Gregorio's Trattoria

by Fitzpatrick Group
 
This Italian restaurant with locations in both Maryland and Virginia is all about family traditions and good food.  Their goal is to provide a comfortable, warm atmosphere with great service.  Gregorio’s uses the finest, freshest ingredients possible to make Italian favorites that have passed taste tests by both family and regular diners.  The restaurant, which was a blue ribbon award winner at the 2011 “Taste of Reston,” features pizza, pasta, seafood, veal, and chicken dishes.  They will happily accommodate recipe change requests based on dietary restrictions or simply preference.  There is a kid’s menu, gluten free menu, and they cater as well as deliver!
 
Community is important to general manager Greg Kahn, so he makes it his goal to be involved in the communities his restaurant serves.  Gregorio’s can provide support and help non-profit organizations, schools, PTAs, churches, sport teams, and more to raise funds for their various causes.  They donate 10% of the sales generated from fundraising events to the organization being supported.  Whether you’re looking for a place to hold your next gathering or fundraiser, or just want a meal that tastes like home, stop by Gregorio’s Trattoria this holiday season!
 
Locations:
7745 Tuckerman Lane
Potomac, MD 20854
(301) 296-6168
 
1428 N. Point Village Ctr
Reston, VA 20194
(703) 689-4894
 
Website:
 
Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 9:00pm

 

Founding Fathers MoCo

by Fitzpatrick Group
 
Founding Farmers believes family farming is essential to our nation’s well being and they understand the importance of the farm to table concept.  Mark Watne is a third generation farmer and president of the North Dakota Famers Union, where the Founding Farmers story begins.  In 2005, in our nation’s capital, he decided to showcase the union’s passion and dedication to supporting family farmers.  With the help of Dan Simons and Mike Vucurevich, the restaurant has become a thriving business.
 
The restaurant is owned by over 40,000 family farmers and is supplied by hundreds of family farms across America.  They work hard to purchase as much of their products as possible from farms everywhere, while also relying on traditional supply chains when necessary.  The American dishes they serve are made from scratch and ingredients are purchased from suppliers that align with their principles.  Incorporating recycled and refurbished materials when building Founding Farmers restaurants, in addition to using compost and recycle waste, is a standard practice they abide by in order to uphold their environmental and social responsibility.
The MoCo location of Founding Farmers is a sister restaurant in Potomac, Maryland that builds upon the success of the original Washington, DC location.  It is a three star certified green restaurant that makes extensive use of reclaimed and recycled materials.  They also offer free parking and complimentary Wi-Fi, making it a convenient community gathering place.  Eat on the patio outside on a nice day, or enjoy some comfort food inside during a weekend brunch on a crisp fall day.
 
Location:
12505 Park Potomac Ave
Potomac, MD 20854
 
Phone Number:
301-340-8783
 
Website:
 
E-mail:
 
Hours:
Breakfast:
Monday - Friday: 7:00am - 11:00am
Lunch & Dinner:
Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm
Sunday: 2:00pm - 10:00pm
Brunch:
Saturday: 8:45am - 2:00pm
Sunday: 8:30am - 2:00pm
Brunch is served on holiday Mondays
 

Flying Dog Brewery

by Fitzpatrick Group
 
George Stranahan, an astrophysicist with a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University and the founder of Aspen Center for Physics, was looking for an adventure back in 1983.  He decided to try to reach the summit of K2, also known as the “Savage Mountain,” the second highest mountain in the world, and one of the deadliest.   It was during his trip to Rawalpindi, Pakistan that he came across a large, beautiful oil painting of a dog that appeared to be flying.  From that day on, the combination of the words “Flying Dog” stuck with George, and in 1990 he founded the Flying Dog Brewpub in Aspen, Colorado.  He and longtime friend and partner Richard McIntyre also opened a full-fledged Denver brewery, as well as their current state-of-the-art brewing facility in Frederick, Maryland.
 
Free tours of the Maryland brewery are offered Wednesday through Sunday and you can reserve your spot online.  The tasting room is open as well on these days, and they have 20 beers on tap for you to try.  If all that beer makes you hungry, they also offer food from Roasthouse Pub.  Don’t forget to bring your growler to have it filled with your favorite beer, or just buy one while you’re visiting.  Next time you’re in the Frederick area and are looking for something fun to do, check out Flying Dog Brewery!
 
Location:
4607 Wedgewood Blvd
Frederick, MD 21703
 
Phone Number:
301-694-7899
 
Website:
 
Hours:
Monday - Tuesday: 9:00am - 5:00pm
Wednesday - Friday: 9:00am - 8:00pm
Saturday: 12:00pm - 8:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm - 6:00pm
 
 

Bits of Thread Sewing Studio

by Fitzpatrick Group
 
Allison Lince-Bentley, owner of Bits of Thread Sewing Studio, began teaching sewing classes for kids a few years ago as a hobby.  Around the same time, she and her friend Laura Lee also started DC Threads Sewing Lounge as a monthly community service program to help keep sewing a popular craft in DC.  They had such an overwhelmingly positive response to the program, that they decided more outlets were needed for children and adults to learn the skill.  As the clientele grew, the business continued to expand and they now own their Bits of Thread Sewing Studio in Adams Morgan that serves the greater Washington, DC area.
 
The studio has a full staff of talented teachers who love helping others and spreading the joy of sewing.  Even the name “Bits of Thread” was born out of love.  Allison explains she came up with the idea after long days of making dresses or teaching kids how to use a sewing machine for the first time.  She would come home with bits of thread stuck to her shoes, clothes, and hair, which served as a gentle reminder that she was doing something she loved.  So if you’re interested in learning the trade, you can come in for a single class or make it a weekly event, but either way, they’ll make you feel welcome and comfortable.  Be sure to stop in!
 
Location:
1794 Columbia Rd, NW Suite #6
Washington, DC 20009
 
Phone Number:
202-642-9622
 
Website:
http://www.bitsofthread.com/
 
Hours:
Monday - Friday: By scheduled class and appointment only
Saturday - Sunday: 10:00am - 6:00pm
 

Finger Foods Culinary

by Fitzpatrick Group

Chef Bertrand Brown-Orleans is the owner and executive chef for Finger Foods Culinary, which specializes in seasonal pies, catering, and other culinary needs.  Mr. Brown-Orleans is a classically trained professional chef with over 20 years of experience in the hospitality industry, working and training with the best chefs in the Washington, DC area.  His knowledge, expertize, and technique have led him to become a top chef and help him run his own business as a culinary consultant, caterer, and entrepreneur.

Mr. Brown-Orleans strives to bring locally sourced, farm fresh, organic ingredients to farmers’ markets, venues, and private residences around the Washington, DC area.  He aims to inspire and bring people together to create community through his food.  If you are interested in requesting one of Mr. Brown-Orleans’s products, or have other culinary needs, see his contact information below to e-mail or call him.

Phone Number:
240-478-1366
 
E-mail:
bertrandbrownorleans@gmail.com
 

 

Hunter's Bar and Grill

by Fitzpatrick Group
 
The “Cheers of Potomac” is a local, family-owned restaurant where both families wanting to enjoy a nice meal or friends meeting for a drink are welcome. The Hunter’s Inn found immediate success when it opened its doors in the heart of Potomac Village in 1977.  Renamed in 2014 to Hunter’s Bar and Grill, they have been named “the best place to meet,” “the best place to make a deal,” “the most romantic restaurant,” and their burger has been touted as one of Washington’s best by Washingtonian Magazine.
 
Managers, brothers, and Washington natives Fred and Murray Berman control the restaurant’s operations using their combined 50 plus years of experience to continuously improve the quality of food and service at Hunter’s.  The focus is on fresh fish, quality meats, innovative menu items, large entrée salads, pasta, ribs, and chops.  Additionally, Fred and Murray expanded the drink selection so the restaurant now features one of the area’s most extensive wine lists.  So whether you shopped ‘til you dropped on Small Business Saturday and need a hearty sandwich or filet mignon to refuel, or you just want to relax and have a drink with your significant other, Hunter’s Bar and Grill is the way to go!
 
Location:
10123 River Rd
Potomac, MD 20854
 
Phone Number:
301-299-9300
 
Website:
 
Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 11:30am - 10:00pm
Friday: 11:30am - 12:00am
Saturday: 11:30am - 10:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
 

Normandie Farm

by Fitzpatrick Group
Normandie Farm Restaurant was started back in 1931 by Marjory Hendricks, who had recently returned from cooking school in Normandy, France.  She purchased the land that was previously the Myers Farm, and with the help of her sister Genevieve, they decorated the A-frame building in distinctive, rustic French décor.  When the restaurant opened in May of 1931, word of the delicious cuisine spread quickly and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt became one of her best customers.  After several hiatuses for various reasons, including World War II, new ownership, and renovations, the restaurant is now owned by Cary Prokos, who began as the executive chef.  He and his wife Margery are committed to re-establishing Normandie Farm as a leader in Montgomery County through the restaurant’s many enhancements and annual charity affairs.
 
The French restaurant, located in Potomac, Maryland, provides a rustic setting that is both cozy and elegant.  Using fresh, local ingredients, the chefs create guests’ favorite dishes, such as beef wellington, eggs benedict, and their renowned popovers.  In addition, the restaurant boasts an extensive wine and beer selection to pair with your meals.  Locals and visitors alike have been enjoying this intimate spot for over 80 years as both a place to enjoy a romantic dinner or gather with friends.  If you’re looking for a charming place to dine with your significant other or to celebrate a special occasion, try Normandie Farm!
 
Location:
10710 Falls Rd
Potomac, MD 20854
 
Phone Number:
301-983-8838
 
Website:
 
Hours:
Tuesday - Thursday: 8:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday - Saturday: 8:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sunday: 8:00 am - 9:00 pm
 

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Fitzpatrick Group
Long and Foster Bethesda Gateway
4650 East West Highway
Bethesda MD 20814
Office: 301-215-4787
Cell: 240-793-8523
Fax: 240-387-6218