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REI at Pike & Rose

 

REI is almost ready to roll

April 28th is opening day for the new REI store at Pike & Rose, relocating from its current digs further north on Rockville Pike. The 36,000-square-foot store will have a similar layout to the company’s new flagship location in D.C., with a full schedule of classes, meetings and events for the hiking/biking/camping community. We asked company spokesman Mike Ferris the question we’ve been hearing from so many Store Reporter readers this winter: What does REI think about L.L. Bean‘s plans to join the lineup at Pike & Rose? Ferris says competition between the two stores is a non-issue. “Our goal is to collaborate with other retailers and the local community… to help more people get outside,” he tells us. “In the end, we all benefit when more people have access to the outdoors.”

 


 

Duck Donuts in Rockville and Gaithersburg: https://duckdonuts.com/locations/rockville-md/

 

 


 

ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen

 

Shophouse gets chopped

This week we say goodbye to ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, the Chipotle spinoff that’s going out of business after six years of failing to meet its parent company’s expectations. Eight of the chain’s 15 locations were in the D.C. area, where fans have been mourning the loss these past few days by visiting even more often than usual. “We’ve suddenly doubled up on sales since the announcement that we were closing,” says a ShopHouse staffer at Pike & Rose. “The same people have been coming in over and over.” But it’s too little, too late: All ShopHouse restaurants closed at the end of St. Patrick’s Day.

 


 

Brackish men's feather accessories at JT Interiors: https://www.facebook.com/jtinteriorspotomac/

 

 


 

Clear Knee Mom Jeans at Nordstrom

 

New at Nordstrom: windows for your knees

This week we got a much-needed chuckle over the denim pants that launched a tweetstorm: Clear Knee Mom Jeans. Now on the shelves in the Topshop department at Nordstrom, these $95 beauties are aimed at teens who’ve been wearing “mom jeans” ironically — but they’re drawing critiques from actual moms who wore them before ironic fashion was a thing. “Teens! Explain yourselves!” snarked the Twitterverse, while reviewers on Nordstrom.com had some very specific suggestions: “Great for hiking and checking your knee for tick bites along the way!” “Perfect for shopping days; I use a dry-erase pen and write my grocery list on the clear panel!” “Everyone knows that knees are the windows to your soul. Now I have windows to my knees! Thanks Nordstrom!” Despite the week-long hatefest, these jeans haven’t sold out just yet. Click here to check them out.

 


 

Lavaloka workout wear: https://lavaloka.com

 

 


 

Bagel City in Rockville: http://bagelciti.com

 

 


 

Tea from Rumi Tea/Shafa Blends

 

A makeover for Rumi

Rumi Tea and Spice, one of the few remaining independent retailers at Westfield Montgomery Mall, is getting a mini-makeover. “We’re changing our name to Shafa Blends as we add new products like olive oils and other types of beverages,” says co-owner Darius Zolfagharian, who opened the store two years ago on the lower level next to Claire’s. The mall’s tea business has really heated up since then, with Teavana relocating to larger quarters and newcomer David’s Tea joining the lineup this past June. Zolfagharian says his business takes a different approach, focusing on natural products without artificial flavors and colors (click here to take a look). “Those other stores have really gotten far away from what tea should be,” he says. “We’re not trying to be a candy store. We want to be a real tea store.”

 


 

Blast 28 Infinity at Churchill High School: https://events.ticketprinting.com/event/21710

 

 


 

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Brisket, fries and beans at Mission BBQ

 

Hello Mission BBQ

The big news on Rockville Pike this week is the opening of Mission BBQ, under construction since November in the former Benjarong space at Wintergreen Plaza. This is the first Montgomery County location for the popular Maryland-based chain, which offers brisket, spare ribs, pulled pork and other traditional favorites in a casual atmosphere with prices mostly below $10. “Mission” refers to the company’s focus on patriotism, which includes lunchtime renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner and frequent fundraisers for veterans, police and firefighters. Grand opening is this Monday (March 13th); click here to check out the menu.

 


 

Taff & Levine D.D.S.: http://www.taffandlevine.com

 

 


 

HHgregg

 

Electronics retailer pulls the plug

Add HHgregg to the ever-growing list of retail bankruptcies in this warm but brutal winter. The electronics chain filed Chapter 11 this week, with plans to close 88 of its 200 stores and sell off the rest. All HHgregg stores in the D.C. area, including the one on Rockville Pike, are expected to close in mid-April.

 


 

JT Interiors: https://www.facebook.com/jtinteriorspotomac/

 

 


 

Slime from Michael's

Got slime?

If you have a child in elementary or middle school this year, you’re probably quite familiar with the slime craze. In the grand tradition of Silly Bandz (2010-11) and Rainbow Looms (2013-14), the preteen obsession du jour is a homemade concoction of borax, food coloring, various forms of glitter and copious amounts of Elmer’s Glue. In fact, that classroom staple has been in short supply at local stores ever since kids started turning their homes into slime factories. “We’ve been scavenging everywhere to get the ingredients and keep up with demand,” says Hadi Hassan, manager of Michael’s on Rockville Pike. “We want to make sure we don’t fall behind the curve when it comes to slime.” Our middle school informants tell us that Hassan can probably relax: Word has it the slime craze has already peaked. Still going strong in your house? Click here for some recipes.

 


 

2017 On Cloud 9 Camp Trunk Show: https://www.facebook.com/On-Cloud-9-252148152907/

 

 


 

Radio Shack and Core at Westfield Montgomery Mall

 

More closings at the mall

Still more bad news to report at Westfield Montgomery Mall this week: The two-year-old Core clothing store has closed its doors, and bankrupt-again Radio Shack will soon be out as well. The mall has seen more departures these past few months than at any time in recent memory, from national retailers that went bankrupt (The Limited, American Apparel and Marbles) to smaller tenants like Best Buy Mobile, R. Riveter, American Classic Clothes, Freddy, Smart Toys and Stride Rite. Losses have been heavy on the dining side as well: Splashy new restaurants MET Bethesda and Naples Ristorante each flamed out after less than two years, as did the short-lived Peet’s Coffee bar as well as longtime tenants Wetzel’s Pretzels and Bistro Sensations. Similar scenes are playing out at malls across the country, as internet sales continue to cannibalize physical stores. Just this week, Urban Outfitters CEO Richard Hayne told Bloomberg that the U.S. is oversaturated with retail space after a late-’90s/early-2000s building boom. “Like housing,” he said, “that bubble has now burst.”

 


 

Realtor Lisa Nasar of Long & Foster: http://www.lisanasarhomes.com/single-post/2016/12/05/The-10-Dumbest-Mistakes-Smart-People-Make-When-Buying-or-Selling-a-Home-–-and-How-to-Avoid-Them

 

 


 

East Gate Swim & Tennis Club: https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=recpveggstmd

 

 


 

Hope for Henry's 5K: https://secure.qgiv.com/event/861275/

 

 


 

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Lucky Strike Social at Westfield Montgomery Mall

 

Time to get Lucky

This weekend brings the long-awaited debut of Lucky Strike Social, opening Saturday underneath the Dining Terrace at Westfield Montgomery Mall. At a sneak peek this week, we found an inviting space for bowlers and non-bowlers alike: plush leather couches at each of the 12 lanes, comfy seating areas for pre-and post-game socializing, and a lively bar that’s likely to become a gathering spot for shopped-out sports fans. Lanes can be rented by the hour on weekend evenings for $65 a pop; at other times, the price will be $5 to $6 per person per game (plus shoe rental). We have more photos on the Store Reporter Facebook page; click here for look.

 


 

JT Interiors at Potomac House: https://www.facebook.com/jtinteriorspotomac/

 

 


 

Menchie's Frozen Yogurt and Stride Rite at Westfield Montgomery Mall

 

Who’s in, who’s out at the mall

Lots of comings and goings at Westfield Montgomery Mall since our last edition. On the food side, Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt finally opened across from Build-a-Bear Workshop; meanwhile, Bistro Sensations has vanished from the Dining Terrace and Chocolate Moonshine has closed its seasonal pop-up shop. Also gone is American Apparel, which finally completed its extended bankruptcy sale, and Sheepskin Gifts & Alpaca Too, whose owners say they’ll be back again next fall. Exiting soon: the Marbles game store (going bankrupt) and the Stride Rite kids’ shoe store, which will close at the end of March.

 


 

Bethesda Salt Cave: http://www.bethesdasaltcave.com

 

 


 

Lord & Taylor on Rockville Pike

 

White Flint update

This week there was a new development in the longstanding battle between Lord & Taylor and the owners of the former White Flint Mall. A U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a 2015 verdict that Lord & Taylor, which is still doing business on the property, is entitled to $31 million in damages resulting from the mall’s demolition. The mall’s owners, Lerner Enterprises and The Tower Cos., have said they might not follow through with redevelopment plans if the verdict didn’t go their way. Bethesda Beat reports that their lawyers are now deciding whether to appeal yet again.

 


 

East Gate Swim & Tennis Club: https://www.teamunify.com/Home.jsp?team=recpveggstmd

 

 


 

Fish Taco platter

 

And the restaurant winners are…

Last month we asked our readers to vote for their favorite new restaurants in the Rockville/Potomac area, drawing from a list of two dozen eateries that have opened over the past year. The results made one thing abundantly clear: The fast-casual segment is where it’s at. Most of the votes went to places where you can take the kids, wear something comfortable, and get a good meal for less than $15 per person.

And the winners are:

  • Fish Taco at Wildwood, the runaway winner of our poll, has earned a loyal following for its distinctive menu, tasty margaritas, striking decor and casual atmosphere that works equally well for couple meet-ups and family dinners.
  • Chuy’s on Rockville Pike is another favorite for its generous portions of Tex-Mex food and drinks, not to mention the excellent service and quirky Elvis-themed decor.
  • The Big Greek Café, a family-owned restaurant that recently added a location off Rockville Pike at Nicholson Lane, is beloved for its delicious home-cooked food and exceptionally warm staff.
  • Chopt and Modern Market, the two newest eateries at Congressional Plaza, both earn high praise for their winning combination of healthy food that tastes great. 
  • The Habit Burger Grill and Jersey Mike’s Subs, both at Wintergreen Plaza, offer an updated take on fast food that’s resonating with many of our readers.

In the fine-dining arena, two restaurants earned the most votes:

  • Helen’s, which took over the former Addie’s space on Rockville Pike, is a favorite for its top-notch cooking and welcoming, intimate atmosphere.
  • Lahinch, in the former Benny’s space at Cabin John Shopping Center, earned high marks for its Irish/American menu and lively ambience.

Other popular choices in our poll were Owen’s Ordinary at Pike & Rose, Mellow Mushroom at Rockville Town Square, and Beefsteak at Westfield Montgomery Mall. And the winner of dinner for four at Chuy’s? Hillary Benson of Potomac.

 


 

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Peruvian on the Pike

La Limeña Grill, a new spinoff of the popular Peruvian restaurant, is set to open next month in the former Potomac Grill space at 1093 Rockville Pike. Owner Emma Perez says the new place will be a bit more formal than its older sister at nearby Ritchie Center, with twice as much indoor seating plus a spacious outdoor patio. Unlike the original La Limeña, this restaurant will focus solely on Peruvian food with no Cuban dishes in the mix. The new menu is still being finalized, but you can see what’s cooking at the original La Limeña by clicking here.

 


 

Wintergreen Plaza: http://www.wintergreenplaza.com

 

 


 

Marbles The Brain Store

 

Game over for Marbles

Another week, another retail bankruptcy to report. This time it’s Marbles: The Brain Store, which has filed Chapter 11 after nearly a decade in business. The Chicago-based company carried a carefully edited selection of games and puzzles, with a hands-on approach that encouraged customers to play before they purchased. All 37 Marbles stores will be closing in the next month or two, including the one in the Nordstrom wing at Westfield Montgomery Mall. To see what’s still for sale, click here.

 


 

Sculpt Studio: http://sculptstudio.com

 

 


 

Lucky Strike bowling alley

 

Bowling alley opening delayed again

The debut of Lucky Strike Social at Westfield Montgomery Mall has been delayed yet again. Grand opening events that were scheduled for February have now been pushed back to early March — about nine months later than originally planned, as the company tinkered with its new bowling alley/game center/party venue concept. For more on Lucky Strike Social, click here for our Jan. 19 edition.

 


 

 

 


 

DXL men's shirts

 

New men’s store on Rockville Pike

DXL, the new incarnation of Casual Male XL, recently moved into the former Ethan Allen space at 12137 Rockville Pike. The store carries big-and-tall men’s apparel and accessories from Polo Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, True Religion, Lacoste, Nautica and other popular brands. Ethan Allen can now be found on the ground floor of Galvan at Twinbrook, the retail/residential complex that opened last year on the Pike at Chapman Avenue.

 


 

Chuy's platters

 

Last chance to win dinner at Chuy’s

Have you weighed in yet in our reader poll about the best new restaurants in the greater Rockville/Potomac area? From burgers and beer to Irish and Russian cuisine, Store Reporter has covered the openings of some two dozen new restaurants in the past 12 months. Tell us which ones you like best, and we’ll enter you into our raffle to win dinner for four at Chuy’s on Rockville Pike. Here are the contenders:

  • Beefsteak at Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • Carluccio’s at Pike & Rose
  • Chopt at Congressional Plaza
  • Chuy’s at Federal Plaza
  • Fish Taco at the Wildwood Shops
  • Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub at Rockville Town Square
  • Habit Burger at Wintergreen Plaza
  • Helen’s on Rockville Pike
  • Jersey Mike’s at Wintergreen Plaza
  • Lahinch at Cabin John Shopping Center
  • Mellow Mushroom at Rockville Town Square
  • Miso Fusion Café at Rockville Town Square
  • Modern Market at Congressional Plaza
  • Owen’s Ordinary at Pike & Rose
  • Pieology on Shady Grove Road
  • Pie 360 on Rockville Pike
  • Samovar at Rockville Town Square
  • Smashburger on Rockville Pike
  • Tara Thai at Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • The Big Greek Cafe on Nicholson Lane
  • Wingstop at Wintergreen Plaza
  • World of Beer in downtown Rockville

Click here to email us with the names of your favorites (choose as many as you want) or click here to comment on our Facebook page. We’ll tally up the votes and draw the winning name in an upcoming issue.

 


 

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Moby Dick kabobs

 

Moby Dick update

Moby Dick expects a mid-March opening for its new location in Potomac Village, where it’s nearing the end of construction at the Falls Road storefront that once housed Toys Unique. This will be the 21st restaurant for the fast-casual chain, which has been serving Persian food in the D.C. area for almost 30 years. To see what’s on the menu, click here.

 


 

Kaufmann Jewelers: http://www.kaufmannjewelers.com/aboutus/

 

 


 

Ev & Maddy's and Little Dipper Hot Pot House at Rockville Town Square

 

Who’s in, who’s out at Rockville Town Square

Lots of changes this winter on Gibbs Street at Rockville Town Square, where Little Dipper Hot Pot House is set to open next week while the neighboring Ev & Maddy’s appears to have closed. Little Dipper, which is taking over the corner spot that once housed Noodles & Company, offers flavored broths with noodles, vegetables and meats that you cook right at your table. Ev & Maddy’s, which earned good reviews for its European bistro-style menu, had been open for just two years in the space next door. It’s the fourth restaurant to fail at that address since 2007, following Bobby’s Crabcakes, Tippy’s Taco House and the short-lived 82 Steak Out. Also exiting Gibbs Street is the Ten Thousand Villages gift shop; more on that in our Feb. 2 edition.

 


 

Appalachian Spring at Congressional Plaza: https://www.appalachianspring.com/category.cfm/crafts/jewelry

 

 


 

Want to win dinner for four at Chuy's? Scroll down to find out how.

 

 


 

Macy's sign at Westfield Montgomery Mall

 

Amazon to buy Macy’s?

This week brought the news that Macy’s, which has been closing stores across the country, is entertaining acquisition offers from several potential suitors. The interested parties are said to include Amazon, which is looking to expand into physical stores, and Hudson’s Bay Company, which already owns Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor. Stay tuned.

 


 

Silver Moon Jewelry & Accessories at Congressional Plaza: http://www.silvermoonstyle.com

 

 


 

Purse from BCBG Max Azria

 

Bye bye BCBG

BCBG Max Azria, which exited Westfield Montgomery Mall last year, plans to close 120 locations across the country in the next two months. The retailer says it will continue to operate some freestanding stores, but will focus primarily on its Internet sales, licensing deals and boutiques inside department stores. The BCBG store in Chevy Chase will be closing in the next few weeks, but staffers tell us the Georgetown and Tysons stores will remain open — at least for now. Like so many clothing retailers these days, BCBG is rumored to be on the verge of bankruptcy.

 


 

2017 Tips on Trips & Camps Summer Opportunities Fair: https://tipsontripsandcamps.com/dc/

 

 


 

Realtor Lisa Nasar of Long & Foster: http://www.lisanasarhomes.com/single-post/2016/12/05/The-10-Dumbest-Mistakes-Smart-People-Make-When-Buying-or-Selling-a-Home-–-and-How-to-Avoid-Them

 

 


 

Dinner and margarita at Chuy's

 

Tell us where you love to eat — and win dinner at Chuy’s

From burgers and beer to Irish and Russian cuisine, the Rockville/Potomac area has welcomed some two dozen new restaurants in the past 12 months. As Valentine’s Day approaches, we’d like to know which ones have won a place in your heart. Tell us your favorites, and we’ll enter you into our raffle to win dinner for four at Chuy’s on Rockville Pike. Here are the contenders:

  • Beefsteak at Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • Carluccio’s at Pike & Rose
  • Chopt at Congressional Plaza
  • Chuy’s at Federal Plaza
  • Fish Taco at the Wildwood Shops
  • Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub at Rockville Town Square
  • Habit Burger at Wintergreen Plaza
  • Helen’s on Rockville Pike
  • Jersey Mike’s at Wintergreen Plaza
  • Lahinch at Cabin John Shopping Center
  • Mellow Mushroom at Rockville Town Square
  • Miso Fusion Café at Rockville Town Square
  • Modern Market at Congressional Plaza
  • Owen’s Ordinary at Pike & Rose
  • Pieology on Shady Grove Road
  • Pie 360 on Rockville Pike
  • Samovar at Rockville Town Square
  • Smashburger on Rockville Pike
  • Tara Thai at Westfield Montgomery Mall
  • The Big Greek Cafe on Nicholson Lane
  • Wingstop at Wintergreen Plaza
  • World of Beer in downtown Rockville

To enter, just click here to fill out our survey favorites (choose as many favorites as you want) or click here to comment on our Facebook page. We’ll tally up the votes and draw the winning name later this month.

 


 

LavaLoka workout clothes: https://lavaloka.com

 

 


 

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