The General Store Opens Saturday -- Sort Of
Comfort food lovers have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of the General Store, a new venture from chef Gillian Clark (formerly of Colorado Kitchen) and her partner Robin Smith. As Tom Sietsema reported in a November 2008 Dish column, the Silver Spring restaurant is intended to be a "Cracker Barrel with good food," serving classic "American road food" like fried chicken and casseroles. Starting this Saturday, diners can explore the new menu -- provided they don't mind taking that food to-go.
"We're still having a parking issue" with the county, said Smith. The restaurateurs have been working to change their operating license from a mercantile certificate to a restaurant certificate. According to Smith, in order to have a restaurant certificate, the business must offer 30 parking spaces for patrons. The General Store only owns seven. The restaurateurs are trying to build a case for the county, but in the meantime, they've just decided to open as a carryout shop. The operating hours are still being worked out during this transition period, but Smith says they plan to be open with a slightly limited menu this Saturday and Sunday between 1:30 and 10 p.m. Breakfast hours could be added next week, but the restaurant will be closed on Monday. If you can't snag a spot in the restaurant's lot, try the nearby office building at 10 Post Office Road.
Any idea when the dining room will open for sit-down eaters? Smith hates to hazard a guess given all the delays on this project, but hopes to have the permitting issues worked out within two weeks.
The pair has not yet chosen a chef to oversee the day-to-day kitchen operations, so expect to see them in the building. "It's going to be the Gillian and Robin show," said Smith. "Lots of long days."
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