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The Woodhouse Day Spa North Bethesda


New spa opens on Rockville Pike

The Woodhouse Day Spa, under construction for more than a year at North Bethesda Market on Rockville Pike, is officially open for business. This is the first Maryland location for the Texas-based chain, which offers massage, skin care and mani/pedis as well as specialty services like warm spiced mud wraps and aromatherapy sleep treatments. Not on the spa menu: Anything to do with hair. “We didn’t want any whir of hair dryers or smell of hair chemicals to take away from the experience at our spa,” says franchise owner Peter Dychkewich, a former investment banker. “We paid great attention to design details, right down to the eight-foot mahogany doors. We want this place to feel like you’re in an old European manor house.” The grand opening party is happening this Saturday (Sept. 24th); click here for details.



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Almost time for Tex-Mex on the Pike

Chuy’s is set to open its doors Oct. 4 at Federal Plaza on Rockville Pike, where construction crews have been working all summer to renovate the former Ruby Tuesday space. This is the first Maryland location for the Tex-Mex chain, known for its made-from-scratch menu, fresh margaritas and kitschy decor. We’ve been hearing good buzz from readers who have tried Chuy’s in Virginia. For a preview of the menu, click here.



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MET Bethesda


Goodbye MET Bethesda & Hooters

In case you missed our special edition earlier this week: MET Bethesda, the upscale restaurant across from the ArcLight Cinema at Westfield Montgomery Mall, made an unexpected exit last weekend after less than two years in business. Click here for more on the demise of MET, the fifth restaurant to close at Montgomery Mall since May. Hooters on Rockville Pike also closed its doors last weekend after losing its liquor license in the wake of a fatal drunk driving accident.



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Ready for Rosh Hashanah?

If you’re hosting a crowd for the Jewish holidays this year, Potomac Grocer makes it easy. On the menu for Rosh Hashanah: onion-braised brisket, pomegranate molasses-glazed salmon, lemon honey roasted chicken, sweet potato-carrot tzimmes, noodle pudding and much more. Pre-ordering is recommended, but some dishes will be available à la carte while they last. Potomac Grocer, 10107 River Road, 301-299-4200. For the catering menu, click here




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Softest store at the mall

Here’s a sure sign that cooler weather is on the way: Sheepskin Gifts & Alpaca Too, a seasonal tenant at Westfield Montgomery Mall, has returned for the winter in a new space next to Brookstone. The store carries a surprising variety of gifts and clothing, from sweaters, shawls and coats to hats, gloves and boots for adults and kids. (Biggest draw for men: the sheepskin moccasins with gel soles, priced at $69.99). The store’s owners manufacture many of their own products; click here to see what else they carry.




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MET Bethesda


MET Bethesda closes its doors

MET Bethesda, the upscale restaurant on the third floor of Westfield Montgomery Mall, closed its doors over the weekend after less than two years in business. MET had earned a loyal following for its classic American menu, quiet atmosphere and sharp-looking martini bar. But it wasn’t enough to overcome the restaurant’s lack of an exterior entrance, which made it too dependent on traffic from the ArcLight Cinema across the hall. “We were on the third floor of a two-story mall,” one employee tells us. “Our food was great, but people only came on Friday and Saturday nights when they were going to the movies.” MET Bethesda’s parent company, which owns four other restaurants in Massachusetts, could not be reached at press time. This is the fifth restaurant to close at Westfield Montgomery Mall since May, following the departures of Blaze Pizza, Lobster ME, Jamaican Mi Crazy and Chloe’s Deli. See more in our May 23 and June 2 editions.



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Store Reporter is in the know about the places you go. Want to get our newsletter in your email box every week? Click here. Want to advertise your business to our readers in greater Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda? Click here.

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sports equipment


Sports stores score at Wintergreen Plaza

Wintergreen Plaza is reinventing itself as a one-stop shopping center for sporting goods. TennisTopia is the latest addition to a lineup that already includes Total Hockey, Aardvark Swim & Sport, Capital Martial Arts, Gold’s Gym and Rockville Soccer. Darrell Haines, co-owner of TennisTopia, says he and wife Amy had been looking for a larger home on Rockville Pike after a decade at Congressional Village Shopping Center. “With the closing of Sports Authority and City Sports before that, we thought this was the right time to expand our business,” he says. “We liked the fact that Wintergreen Plaza is really becoming a mecca for sports.” It’s also becoming a mecca for post-sports meal breaks: The Habit Burger Grill and Jersey Mike’s Subs opened at Wintergreen this summer, and Wingstop is on the way.



2016 Toy Castle Fall Sale ad with boy and teddy bear 1200




Aerpostale store closing sale at Westfield Montgomery Mall


Goodbye Aéropostale?

Just as teen retailer PacSun emerged from bankruptcy court last week, Aéropostale announced “store closing” sales at all of its 800 locations across the country. But we’re not predicting Aéropostale’s exit from Westfield Montgomery Mall just yet: Staffers say they’re still expecting large shipments of winter merchandise — enough to last at least through the holidays — and no specific closing date has been set. Aéropostale, which filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy last May, has proposed a reorganization plan that would save more than 200 of its best-performing stores. No word yet on which will be the survivors. Meanwhile, click here for a look at the bargains to be found right now.



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Moby Dick tomato and chicken kabob


Is Moby Dick still opening in Potomac Village?

Remember last April when we told you that Moby Dick House of Kabob was heading to Potomac Village? Nearly five months later, the Falls Road storefront that once housed Toys Unique is still sitting empty as ever. The project has been held up by permitting issues, we’re told, and the restaurant’s owners don’t want to open in the middle of winter. Bottom line: If they don’t start construction in the next few weeks, we probably won’t be ordering kabobs in the Village until next March. In the meantime, you can check out the Moby Dick menu here.



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Cabin John Shopping Center


Cabin John is on the market

Cabin John Shopping Center & Mall, which has been owned by Carl M. Freeman Cos. since it was built in 1968, is up for sale. Freeman, a family-owned business with a dozen other commercial properties in its portfolio, confirmed this week’s report in the Washington Business Journal but declined to comment further. So did Eastdil Secured, the investment banking firm that’s been hired to market the property. In the meantime, it’s business as usual at Cabin John. For dates and times of this month’s concert series, see the ad below.



Cabin John Family Concert Series:



Store Reporter is in the know about the places you go. Want to get our newsletter in your email box every week? Click here. Want to advertise your business to our readers in greater Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda? Click here.

For a guide to previous issues, click here.

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Goods from H&M, Sephora, Taylor Gourmet and Sur La Table


New tenants for Pike & Rose

Pike & Rose is building an impressive list of tenants for its second phase, now under construction at Rockville Pike and Old Georgetown Road. In addition to REI and a Pinstripes bocce and bowling center, here’s who else is heading to Pike & Rose:

  • Sur La Table: This high-end kitchen store will fill the void left by Williams-Sonoma’s departure from the doomed White Flint Mall.
  • H&M: The fast-fashion retailer, which also lost its home when White Flint was demolished last year, is making a welcome comeback to North Bethesda.
  • Red Door Salon & Spa: This is the second Bethesda location for Red Door, which also can be found at Wildwood Shopping Center.
  • Sephora: It’s also the second Bethesda location for the beauty retailer, which just expanded its presence at Westfield Montgomery Mall.
  • Taylor Gourmet: The D.C.-area hoagie chain is known for its made-from-scratch ingredients, including vegetarian and gluten-free options.



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A “town square” vibe for the Apple Store?

While everyone is busy obsessing over the iPhone 7, we’d also like to mention that the new Apple Store at Westfield Montgomery Mall is going to be even bigger than we thought. In addition to taking over the spaces that previously belonged to BCBG and Teavana, the expansion is now expected to include a portion of the former Sephora store as well. Apple hasn’t revealed what it’s going to do with all that square footage, but Fortune reports that the company’s new stores are going for a “town square” vibe with visually inviting Genius bars, expanded seating areas, free Wi-Fi and even live music. To read more in Fortune’s interview with Apple retail chief Angela Ahrendts, click here.



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Food from Little Dipper Hot Pot


Chinese hot pot heading to Rockville

Taking over the Noodles & Company space at Rockville Town Square: Little Dipper Hot Pot, a locally owned restaurant that’s scheduled to open early next year. Little Dipper serves Chinese-style soup with noodles and vegetables, accompanied by a plate of raw beef, pork, lamb or seafood that’s cooked right at your table via a flame beneath your bowl. This will be the second restaurant for owner Kevin Lui, who opened the first Little Dipper last winter in Falls Church. “Rockville has the right demographics and a market that needs this type of cuisine,” Lui says. For more on Little Dipper, click here.



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PacSun at Westfield Montgomery Mall


Teen beat: PacSun, Aéropostale and Allure

Teen retailer PacSun emerged from bankruptcy this week after closing only 20 of its 590 stores and reducing its rents at others. The PacSun store at Westfield Montgomery Mall has remained open throughout the process — as has the mall’s Aéropostale store, which has been in bankruptcy since May. But the mall did lose one teen retailer over the summer: Allure, which carried special-occasion dresses, closed its doors in August.



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Starbucks rolls out Bantam Bagels

This week Starbucks added a new grab-and-go food option: bite-sized bagel balls in three cream cheese-stuffed flavors, priced at $2.95 for two. Bantam Bagels are made in New York by husband-and-wife entrepreneurs Elyse and Nick Oleksak, who came to national attention after a 2015 appearance on Shark Tank and a $275,000 investment from shark Lori Grenier. Click here for more on the Bantam story.



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What went down while you were out of town

With Labor Day behind us and the kids back in school, Store Reporter will be landing in your inbox every Thursday once again. If you missed our summer issues, and you’d like to catch up on what opened and closed while you were away, you can find it all at our website:



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Store Reporter is in the know about the places you go. Want to get our newsletter in your email box every week? Click here. Want to advertise your business to our readers in greater Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda? Click here.

For a guide to previous issues, click here.

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Sephora makeup


Sephora’s makeover is nearly complete

Sept. 1 marks the debut of the new Sephora store at Westfield Montgomery Mall — the first of three longtime tenants in the Macy’s wing that are racing to open bigger and better stores before the holidays. Teavana, which closed last spring to make room for a major expansion of the Apple Store, will return this fall in a new location just across the hall. Apple was originally expected to reopen around November, but the project started late and construction delays could make it difficult to meet that timeline. Meanwhile, Swiss coffee maker Nespresso will soon announce plans for a retail store and tasting cafe right next to Teavana. Click here for more on that in our Aug. 18 edition.



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Great Beginnings sign


Sad ending for Great Beginnings

Great Beginnings, the baby and children’s furniture chain that served Montgomery County for nearly three decades, has come to a not-so-great ending. After the original Gaithersburg location closed its doors last summer, owner Jim Streight told Store Reporter that he planned to reopen in North Bethesda. But this summer brought the abrupt closing of a second Great Beginnings store in Chantilly, which was said to have sustained damage from a burst water pipe. Customers were notified via email that the business could not “financially recover” from the incident and wouldn’t be reopening. Those with outstanding orders were advised to seek refunds from their credit card companies.



Cabin John Tot Trot:




Payless Shoe Source at Federal Plaza


Payless in, Hardwood Artisans out in Rockville

Payless Shoe Source opens a new Rockville store this Friday (Aug. 26th) at Federal Plaza on the Pike. The space became available this summer with the departure of Hardwood Artisans, which had been a fixture at that shopping center for nearly 20 years. The furniture company is shifting its attention to downtown Bethesda, where it opened a new store last winter. Click here for more in our May 26th edition.



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Trader Joe's products


New Trader Joe’s for Travilah

Stay tuned this fall for the latest on plans for a proposed Trader Joe’s store at Travilah Square Shopping Center. The grocer is hoping to open on Darnestown Road early next year, replacing a Burger King restaurant and small office building at that property. We’ll keep you posted as this proposal moves forward.



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Nike sneaker

Nike store opens, beer garden for Pike & Rose

The Nike Factory Store opened its doors last week at Pike & Rose in North Bethesda, where it’s well-positioned to pick up customers from the recently departed Sports Authority. Nike replaces the City Sports store that closed last fall when its parent company went out of business. Next up for the Pike & Rose: Owen’s Ordinary, a beer garden and restaurant from the developers of Vermilion, Iron Gate and Birch & Barley. More on that in an upcoming issue.


Store Reporter is in the know about the places you go. Want to get our newsletter in your email box every week? Click here. Want to advertise your business to our readers in greater Rockville, Potomac and Bethesda? Click here.

For a guide to previous issues, click here.

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