The Friday night free concerts will kick off June 5 with The Loose Ends and a special appearance by County Executive Marc Elrich, Russell said.
“[Elrich] plays guitar and he’s going to join in [with] the group,” Russell said.
Other highlights of the summer series, which will run through Oct. 9, include:
- Melonheads, The Loose Ends and The Hathaway Brothers July 3 in a special show starting at 3 p.m. (“We wanted to make that a big Independence Day celebration,” Russell said.)
- Marcus Johnson in a free show celebrating his birthday on Friday, July 31, and
- The Petkoff Jazz Trio on Friday, Aug. 28.
The latter show will be part of a weeklong series of events at various venues that will take the place of the Silver Spring Jazz Festival.
“We want the jazz festival, after its many years of success, to focus more on community, and to have a major, demonstrable impact on the local economy,” said Reemberto Rodriguez, director of the Silver Spring Regional Center.
“By working with the very many venues and others that are throughout Silver Spring, we are looking to do a jazz week,” he continued.
For example, Rodriguez mentioned there could be jazz-focused ballets, movie showings, book discussions at the library and other efforts around the area; details will be announced later.
“We can grow [the event] in quality without growing the expenses related to it,” he added.
During the Friday night shows, which will run from 6–8 p.m., there will be plenty of games and activities on the lawn for children, Russell said.
There are also plans to redo the landscaping in front of the building to allow for more tables and increased seating capacity.
The effort will be undertaken with the support of the Sligo Creek Golf Association, Russell added. That group also will provide assistance to renovate the golf course itself to improve drainage and deal with some other issues.
While the food and beverage service will move outside during the Friday concerts, customers who venture into the pit will see a new look.
“We have renovated the kitchen and gotten all-new, state-of-the-art equipment for beer, food [and] ice-making purposes,” said Dave DeGirolamo, the property’s general manager.
There is also a new countertop, steam tables to expedite service, and additional taps for draft beer that will feature brews from Denizens Brewing Co. and Rockville’s 7 Locks Brewing.
The menu is largely the same, while some of the product recipes have been tweaked, he added, and a new convection oven will allow the kitchen to add enhancements like a brown, crispy top to an order of mac and cheese.
The pit will also add whole and half barbecued chickens to the product line; customers can expect to see those additions in April, DeGirolamo said.
The property is located at 9701 Sligo Creek Parkway. Sligo Pit BBQ is open Monday-Friday at 10:30 a.m., Saturday and Sunday at 8:30 a.m., and stays open “till the meat runs out.”
Photo by Mike Diegel