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Montgomery County Seeks Bigger Share Of The Region's Nightlife

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Montgomery County wants to keep nightlife dollars in places like Silver Spring and Bethesda.
Montgomery County wants to keep nightlife dollars in places like Silver Spring and Bethesda.

There's plenty of indications that Silver Spring has sprung—you've got upscale apartments on every corner and plenty of movie theaters and restaurants. But once the crowds get out after midnight, there are very few places for late-night lizards to lounge. Instead, they go spend that money in Georgetown, Adams Morgan and even Arlington.

Now Montgomery County wants a piece of that tasty cake. They want Silver Spring to swing, and County Executive Ike Leggett has appointed a task force to figure out how to do it.

The task force will be charged with finding new ways to attract and retain nighttime crowds in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rockville, Germantown, and Wheaton, and one way could be to change liquor laws and even extend last call.

But for many, it's not just money—but also quality of life issues. Some residents of places like Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan have complained for years about noise, crime and even drunks stumbling through their residential streets at 3 a.m. Those same objections may come up at any public hearing Montgomery County schedules in advance of any changes to alcohol laws.

There might even be legal challenges from neighbors who think that Silver Spring is as swinging as it needs to be.

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