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Washington, DC suburbs in Maryland Calvert County, Charles County, Montgomery County, and Prince George's County
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Old 01-24-2006, 02:57 PM
Location: Anne Arundel County MD
262 posts, read 1,864,468 times
Reputation: 494


Derwood is one of the lesser-known areas in Montgomery County that sits between Rockville, Olney, and Laytonsville. Often, the 20855 zip code is still referred to as simply "Rockville," though some prefer the more distinguished "Derwood" name. Still others refer to the area as Redland, after Redland Road which runs through the area and changes to Muncaster Road at the Rt. 115 intersection. The area boundaries are very difficult to define but I would roughly call Shady Grove Road the northern boundary, Needwood Rd the southern boundary, and Crabbs Branch Rd the western boundary. Rock Creek Park runs throughout the area as well. The Shady Grove metro stop, the northernmost stop on the Red Line, is minutes away.

Most of the area is residential, with subdivisions built in the 1970s on up to the 2000s, mostly housing well-to-do families and professionals. There are some especially large and attractive homes along Muncaster Road that are not in any subdivision. Affordable townhomes can be found at the Muncaster/Rt 115 intersection in the Shady Grove Square and Mill Creek neighborhoods. An average older home runs about $450-500K, while newer homes can easily command $800K plus. There are still some large horse farms in the area as well, as Montgomery County still has very rural areas tucked among the suburban sprawl. Derwood 20855 was one of Washingtonian Magazine's "50 Golden Zip Codes" for the MD/DC/VA area's highest home prices.

Recently, some Derwood homes and businesses have been featured in the news, as the proposed Inter-County Connector (a massive highway toll-road project) would force them to relocate and lose their property due to eminent domain. As the area continues to develop, people owning older homes in the quieter areas of Montgomery County are concerned that they will not be able to find anything that has the same blend of convenience, location, and peacefulness - similar neighborhoods in nearby cities such as Ashton, northern Silver Spring, and Spencerville are facing the same dilemma.

While Derwood is nowhere nearly as developed as neighboring suburbs like Rockville and Olney, there are still a few places of note. Hit & Run Studios is located in Derwood, where local indie pop/rocker Tommy Keene recorded some of his best work. Continuing in the music vein, Joe's Record Paradise on East Gude Rd is one of THE definitive record stores in the area, after the demise of Silver Spring's sadly missed Vinyl Ink. Joe's has a great selection of oldies, blues, jazz, and rock, in addition to antique turntables, collectible magazines, and modern CD's. While not exactly Derwood proper (but still in the Derwood address), Gude Rd also houses a few places to grab a quick bite, a large industrial park, and one of the few Montgomery County roller skating rinks.

Derwood recently lost a local icon in Wurzburg Haus restaurant, which has sadly and suddenly been replaced by Ceviche House - I haven't tried it yet to see if it's any good, but it attests to the growing Latino population in the area and most local Hispanic restaurants are pretty solid. Wurzburg was a delight, with a great menu and good draft beer choices served in huge steins, not to mention live accordion music. The best places to grab a bite in the area now are the two BBQ houses, one in the Muncaster/115 plaza (where Wurzburg used to be) and the Red Hot & Blue on Crabbs Branch Rd.
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