Olde Towne Gaithersburg is the historical gem of the town’s landscape. The area is centered around the intersection of Summit and Diamond Avenues, where historical buildings house antique shops, restaurants and other businesses. The MARC train line stops in the heart of Olde Towne, providing easy access to Washington D.C. and destinations north of Gaithersburg.
Many of the homes in the Olde Towne area are located in a historic district, with some properties dating as far back as the 1800’s. The homes have a distinctive Victorian style. There has been a concerted effort in recent decades to keep the historic look and feel of the area intact, so property owners have been embracing revitalization, rather than rebuilding.
There are also many rental communities in and around Olde Towne. These projects range from apartments to multi-level townhomes, with many offering ample amenities, including on-site fitness centers and pools.
The city of Gaithersburg is in the midst of a 25-year revitalization plan, which aims to turn Olde Towne into a pedstrian-friendly cultural hub that can support a mix of successful businesses and residential projects. City officials hope to transform Olde Towne into a destination area that draws out-of-towners, and keeps locals from venturing to other areas to dine and shop.
Olde Towne features a wide array of dining options. Growlers Brew Pub is on the southwest corner of Summit and Diamond Avenues, in the historic Belt Building. It offers home brewed beers and a varied menu. Growlers also has an upstairs bar area which features live music several nights per week.
Diners seeking more international flavors will not be disappointed in Olde Towne. Old Siam, on the corner of Diamond and Russell Avenues is a Thai restaurant that has a cozy dining room and does delivery and takeout. The restaurant has family friendly atmosphere, but also offers something for the adults with its full bar.
Other international dining options include: Junior’s Chicken at 210 Diamond Avenue, a Peruvian chicken establishment; Rainbow African Restaurant, at 312 Diamond Ave., which serves west African delicacies; and Mi Pueblito, at 6 North Summit Ave., a Mexican/Salvadorian restaurant.
For lighter fare, there is a small, local coffee house, Java Junction, at 5 South Summit Ave. It is next to the MARC train tracks and housed in what was previously a B&O station house. In addition to coffee, it offers breakfast food, sandwiches and soups.
Olde Towne is the festive backdrop for several of Gaithersburg’s big events. The town’s annual Labor Day Parade features dancers, antique cars and fire trucks, clowns, marching bands, equestrian units and other community groups. Celebrate Gaithersburg offers live music, a microbrew beer garden, a kid zone and a large selection of food vendors.
Olde Towne offers several other features that merit note. Griffith Park resides in the heart of Old Towne and has basketball and tennis courts, a covered picnic area and large playground. Antique collectors should make sure to visit the shops along Diamond Avenue. History buffs will enjoy the City of Gaithersburg’s Community Museum which sits next to the MARC train tracks in a restored 1884 B&O railroad complex. The museum features exhibits and programs focused on the city’s history.
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Written by and photos, unless otherwise noted, taken by Amy Morrison.