Potomac: Old Angler’s Inn Owners Seeks Approval To Add Pavilion

Potomac: Old Angler’s Inn Owners Seeks Approval To Add Pavilion

Neighbors invited to attend discussion meetings.

Mark Reges with architectural renderings of the two overnight suites which will provide housing for four couples as well as the wedding pavilion.

Mark Reges with architectural renderings of the two overnight suites which will provide housing for four couples as well as the wedding pavilion.

"My mother's dream was to build a romantic country inn in a natural setting on the land she owned behind Old Angler’s Inn (OAI)," said OAI owner Mark Reges. "However, she was never able to find the time to construct this charming French country inn to share with others as she envisioned it."

Mark and Sara Reges are hoping to make the dream of his mother come true by adding a wedding/event pavilion and four-room inn that would be consistent with the historical architecture of OAI while providing an event space to the Potomac/Bethesda area.


The area where the wedding pavilion will be built is a clearing among trees.

"The tranquility of OAI would remain the same but we would be providing a wedding/event facility — not a hotel, country club or restaurant but a lovely setting which will also offer four guest rooms next to the event space," said Reges. "OAI is located on seven acres — and we are only requesting to use 2.9 acres, so much will remain the same."

The couple has been sharing their plans with family, friends and neighbors for a while — but are now trying to make them a reality. They filed their architectural renderings with the Montgomery County Planning Board in March 2015 and believe the hearing will be in the fall.

While some Potomac residents are in favor of the addition, some neighborhood associations, as well as the West Montgomery County Citizens Association (WMCCA) have voiced concerns that the pavilion might increase traffic along MacArthur Boulevard, the noise of the events could disturb the neighbors adjacent to OAI, and the development may ecologically endanger the trees and plantings behind the OAI.

Mark Reges is also an attorney who has researched all of these areas of concern. "As far as noise is concerned, we will be building an indoor event room with a commercial kitchen and an office. There will be no outdoor entertaining space. If we permitted a lot of noise, we would be ruining the peaceful setting of OAI — and hurting our own restaurant environment,” he said. “The wedding/event pavilion will be 9,000 square feet — smaller than many Potomac homes, and will hold up to 240 people. It will be located in a clearing above OAI and not noticeable from MacArthur Boulevard."

The couple has hired Middleburg Architects, experts in historical design, to research the architecture of OAI and provide renderings that are consistent with the materials and style of the restaurant.

As far as traffic issues and parking are concerned, Reges said, "We are building 80 new parking spaces on our property, so parking for events will not be an issue. Traffic is quite heavy on MacArthur Boulevard during the morning hours when kayakers, hikers and walkers use the C&O Canal. Bikers are prevalent in the morning too. However, most of our events will be held in the afternoon and evening when there is very little traffic on MacArthur. If anything, the area behind OAI will be more manicured. It will be exceptionally attractive and will have no impact on the Canal."

The new building will be constructed behind OAI in an open area. Some trees will be removed and county drainage and storm management requirements as well as environmental building requirements will be met.

The couple is planning to invite members of neighboring communities such as River Falls, Avenel, Woodrock and the Brickyard Coalition to open discussion meetings this summer to learn about their proposed project and to take them on a walking tour. They placed the renderings on the OAI patio a few weeks go with a petition and have already received 700-plus signatures in favor of their building project.

"We need to be able to expand our business model in order to stay in business for the next generation and beyond,” Reges said. “The restaurant business has become more and more competitive and without these improvements and changes, we might not be able to stay in business. Sara and I want to preserve the dreams of my mother and turn them into a reality."

To learn more about the project, go to oldanglersinn.com.