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Againn Tavern Opens at Towne Plaza in Rockville, Maryland

Rockville, Maryland, June 29, 2010 - Lerner Enterprises of Rockville, Maryland, Washington, D.C.’s largest private real estate developer, announced today that AGAINN Tavern, a contemporary British Restaurant, opened a new 8,100 square-foot restaurant at Towne Plaza, a 60,000 square-foot mixed-use retail | office center located on Rockville Pike in Rockville, Maryland.  The 215-seat restaurant will be located at the north end of the center and will mark the second location for AGAINN.  AGAINN Tavern is owned and operated by Whisk Group, LLC, and will be open for lunch and dinner daily beginning Tuesday, June 29th.

“AGAINN Tavern was an ideal fit for Towne Plaza with its prime visibility and the restaurant’s unique menu; we are optimistic that the residents and visitors of Rockville and Montgomery County will find this concept to be a new dining destination,” stated William J. Winterburn, Vice President of Retail Leasing for Lerner.

“We saw an opportunity to expand the AGAINN concept when a space became available at Towne Plaza, with its unsurpassed location on Rockville Pike,” says Mark Weiss, CEO of Whisk Group LLC.   “We are excited to bring our unique philosophy of certified humane, organic and locally produced ingredients along with a comprehensive beverage program to Maryland,” he added.

The menu at AGAINN Tavern will reflect a modern twist on traditional British Isle cuisine along with a selection of American classics that incorporate organic, locally produced ingredients, including chicken and a selection of meats that are certified humane through the Certified Humane Raised and Handled program.  Executive Chef Wesley Morton will be spearheading the menu for the new Maryland location as well as overseeing AGAINN in downtown DC.

Also available are 84 oak Scotch lockers, which are displayed throughout the dining areas which guests can reserve for $500 a year or a discounted $1,500 for a four-year period. Each locker is emblazoned with a personalized nameplate.

Designed by Peter Hapstak of CORE, the notable Washington-based architectural design firm, AGAINN Tavern will feature a vintage-inspired interior complete with dark paneling and cognac-colored furniture accents, tufted leather booths, and stately light fixtures.  Clean lines and contrasting shades of white and black are present throughout the restaurant.  Incorporating design elements from bistros across Europe, faux fox heads in shadowboxes will be within the entry area, reminiscent to their downtown location.  AGAINN Tavern will also feature an open kitchen at the rear of the restaurant that enhances the lively atmosphere. Other important focal points include a free-standing, 25-seat wooden bar lit with overhead scotch lockers and gas lanterns which serves as the backdrop to the main dining room and a collection of 32 booths. For parties and events, AGAINN Tavern will offer a semi-private dining room with towards the rear of the restaurant, which can accommodate up to 35 guests.  For reservations or additional information, please call (301) 230-9260 or visit AgainnTavern.com.

Richard Benswanger of Kent Commercial represented the Whisk Group.

About Whisk Group, LLC

Based in Bethesda, MD, Whisk Group (WhiskGroup.com) is an innovative hospitality group with a boutique approach to its restaurant concepts, adapting each component of the business to match its market and offer a fresh new approach to dining.  Led by industry veterans Mark Weiss, Bahar Makinaci and Sean Johnson, Whisk Group LLC creates restaurants with personality and soul, striving to perfect cuisine, service and design and melding these elements into outstanding dining experiences. With more than 36 years of combined experience in hospitality management, food and beverage operations, concept development and sales and marketing, Weiss, Makinaci and Johnson stay true to authentic tastes and experiences with each concept they develop and execute them in new and modern environments.  Whisk Group is dedicated to exciting menus, relevant, forward-thinking concepts, impeccable service standards and a sustainable approach to cuisine, and will operate restaurants in prime locations throughout the United States and internationally.

About Towne Plaza

Towne Plaza is a 60,000 square-foot mixed-use retail and office center located on the heavily traveled Rockville Pike in Montgomery County, Maryland.  The center is home to several office and retail tenants.  The center is located at 12230 – 12250 Rockville Pike and is within walking distance of both the White Flint and Twinbrook Metro Stations.  Towne Plaza is within footsteps of major employers, new high-rise apartments and condominiums.

About Lerner Enterprises

Lerner Enterprises (Lerner.com) of Rockville, Maryland, founded by Theodore N. Lerner in 1952, is Washington, D.C.'s largest private real estate developer and is involved in all phases of commercial, residential, retail, hotel and mixed-use real estate.  This includes planning, development, construction, leasing, asset and property management.  Lerner has developed and currently manages more than 15 million square feet of office buildings, retail centers and residential communities.  Lerner's retail portfolio includes: White Flint (ShopWhiteFlint.com), North Bethesda, MD.; Dulles Town Center (ShopDullesTownCenter.com), Dulles, VA; Fallsgrove Village Center (FallsgroveVillageCtr.com), Rockville, MD; Dulles 28 Centre (Dulles28Centre), Dulles, VA; North Point Village Center (NorthPointVillage.com) and The Spectrum at Reston Town Center (TheSpectrumatRTC.com), both in Reston, VA; among many others.  Lerner was also the original developer of Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria in McLean, VA; and Wheaton Plaza in Wheaton, MD.

Lerner has been the recipient of numerous industry awards (Lerner.com/Awards.html) in its 58-year history including the Honor Award for Design Excellence in the Fairfax County 2009 Exceptional Design Awards Program for 1800 Tysons Boulevard in The Corporate Office Centre at Tysons II.  Lerner has also received several ICSC MAXI Merit awards and other various marketing and design awards for their shopping centers.