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Desserts from Sisters Thai


Another new restaurant for Cabin John

Sisters Thai, a hipster eatery from Fairfax, is the latest addition to the new restaurant lineup at Cabin John. The buzz on this place is quite good — not only for its food, fruit drinks and desserts, but also for its cozy “living room” atmosphere with mismatched furniture and overstuffed bookshelves. (Click here for a preview). Construction is already under way in the parking lot at Tuckerman Lane and Seven Locks Road, where Sisters will join Shake Shack, CAVA and Le Pain Quotidien for a late 2018 debut. Cabin John, which was sold last year to the Edens development group, also is planning a name change after 50 years. Say goodbye to Cabin John Shopping Center & Mall; it’s now Cabin John Village.



Filicori Zecchini at Park Potomac:




Gringos & Mariachis at Park Potomac

Photo: Violetta Markelou


Gringos & Mariachis arrives

This week brought the long-awaited debut of Gringos & Mariachis at Park Potomac. The Mexican restaurant had been under construction seemingly forever (but really about two years) across from MoCo’s Founding Farmers and next to the new Addie’s. This is a sister to the three-year-old Gringos & Mariachis in Bethesda, serving casual food and cocktails amidst striking murals inspired by Mexican street art. Owners Roberto and Riccardo Pietrobono are also behind the popular restaurants Alatri Bros. and Olazzo. More photos on our Facebook page; click here to see them.



Winterwilds Market at Park Potomac:




Wildwood Shopping Center


Welcome the holidays at Wildwood

Stop by the Wildwood Shops this Saturday (Dec. 9th) for a holiday open house featuring live music, giveaways, strolling entertainment and plenty of gift inspiration. Register to win a $100 gift card to Buredo or Balducci’s, and snag a free copper insulated travel bottle with any $150 purchase. (Redeem your receipts at Belina Boutique, Coco Blanca, Buredo, Irresistibles, Red Orchard, Secrete Fine Jewelry or Yves Delorme.) Shopping hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Wildwood Shopping Center, 10241 Old Georgetown Road. Click here for details.


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Norman's Farm Market Winter Home Delivery:




Gifts from JT Interiors


Rediscover your favorites at JT Interiors

JT Interiors closed its doors last summer, but the Potomac Village gift shop is alive and well on the Internet. All those charming holiday gifts that the store was known for –  from embroidered table runners and painted guest towels to festive candles and party accessories — are available all season at Snow globes like the one shown here are $30 and up, silk scarves are available in 10 colors for $40, and lighted glass vases with winter scenes are $12 to $30. Click here to visit the JT website, or email your inquiries to


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Pita sandwiches from Gyroland


New Greek restaurant for Rockville

Gyroland, a casual spinoff of the longtime Greek restaurant Mykonos, opened its doors this week in the former Maria’s Bakery space in the Shops at Congressional Village, 1701 Rockville Pike. The menu features gyros, wraps, souvlaki and other Greek specialties, along with salads and the honey donuts known as loukoumades. For a peek at the menu, click here.




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Julii at Pike & Rose


Cava team cooks up something new for Pike & Rose

Have you been wondering what’s up with that glass-encased building across from the new L.L.Bean store on Rockville Pike? Now we know: It’s the future home of Julii, a new French Mediterranean restaurant from the founders of CAVA. This will be a standalone concept created specifically for Pike & Rose, serving an all-day menu that moves from croissants and coffee in the morning to shakshouka, roast chicken and cocktails in the evening. Co-owner Ted Xenohristos tells us he hopes to open the doors by late spring or early summer.



Wintergreen Plaza:




Norman's Farm Market Winter Home Delivery:



Toy Kingdom at Rockville Town Square


Game over for Toy Kingdom

Toy Kingdom, one of the last original tenants at Rockville Town Square, will close its doors at the end of this month after more than a decade on Maryland Avenue. Toy stores large and small have been struggling to compete with online commerce these past few years; high-end Marbles closed all its stores last winter (including the one at Westfield Montgomery Mall), while Toys R Us filed Chapter 11 this past fall. In our area, Toy Castle in Potomac and Child’s Play in Rockville are now the only two toy stores left standing.



O'Donnell's Market Wednesday Meal Deals:




Helen's on Rockville Pike


Trouble for Helen’s

Helen’s, which opened last year in the former Addie’s space on Rockville Pike, is struggling to stay in business. Owner Helen Wasserman, a longtime D.C. caterer, says it’s been difficult to turn a profit in an aging building that has needed so many repairs. “We’re hoping to stay open if we can work things out with the landlord,” she says. The building’s former tenants, restaurateurs Jeff and Barbara Black, had similar issues that led them to close the original Addie’s in 2013. They recent debuted a new version at Park Potomac — and it’s one of our Store Reporter Favorites for 2017. Scroll down to find out who else made the list.




Realtor Lisa Nasar with Long & Foster:




Shanghai Bao Kitchen at Westfield Montgomery Mall


Another restaurant closes at the mall

Westfield Montgomery Mall lost another eatery last week with the closing of Shanghai Bao Kitchen, a two-year-old concept from the owners of Bob’s Shanghai 66. The restaurant had made several attempts to revamp its menu in the past few months, adding sushi burritos, poke bowls and other trendy items, but it suffered from its out-of-the-way location plus competition from the neighboring B/Bop/Q.



Winterwilds Market at Park Potomac




Honeyfish Poke, Buredo and Fresh Baguette


Our favorite new restaurants of 2017

This has been a tough year for retailers, but a relatively good one for the local dining scene. From Rockville Pike to Potomac to Westfield Montgomery Mall, some terrific new places have opened over the past 12 months. Here’s a look at some of our favorites.

  • Addie’s at Park Potomac: This reincarnation of the beloved Rockville restaurant was one of the most anticipated openings of the year — and many longtime fans say it was worth the wait. Seafood towers are the centerpiece of the high-end menu. Click here for details.
  • Buredo at the Wildwood Shops: This is the first Maryland location for the D.C.-based chain, an early pioneer of the sushi burrito craze. We’re partial to the Beatrix, stuffed with yellowfin tuna and salmon sashimi. Click here for details.
  • CSNY Pizza on Rockville Pike: From the owners of the much-loved Pizza CS, this is about as close as you can get to authentic New York-style pizza in Rockville. Click here for details.
  • Don Pollo at Westlake Crossing: Come for the juicy roasted chicken, stay for the tasty Peruvian dishes. We particularly like the ceviche, yuca and plantains. Click here for more.
  • Filicori Zecchini at Park Potomac: Finally, a neighborhood coffee shop that Potomac can call its own. With sleek European furniture, a stunning copper bar and authentic Italian coffee, it’s worlds away from Starbucks. Click here for more.
  • Honeyfish Poke at Congressional Plaza: Hawaiian-style poke bowls are all the rage, and this place does it right: generous portions, fresh toppings and flavorful sauces. Click here for details.
  • Fresh Baguette on Hungerford Drive: The second location for this popular French bakery is designed to service wholesale clients (think country clubs and ritzy hotels) but is happy to serve you a super-fresh sandwich, a loaf of bread or a single perfect pastry. Click here for more.
  • Gusto Farm to Street at Westfield Montgomery Mall: The pizzas and salads are all very good, but it’s the chewy, gluten-free cauliflower crust that really sets this place apart. Click here for more.
  • Lucky Strike at Westfield Montgomery Mall: The food is surprisingly good at this snazzy bowling alley, where you can sit front-and-center at the sports bar or huddle in a cozy corner for a quiet board game. Click here for more.
  • Mission BBQ at Wintergreen Plaza: This uber-patriotic restaurant has something of a cult following, both for its top-notch barbecue and its dedication to supporting those in uniform. The brisket is a standout. Click here for more.
  • Moby Dick in Potomac Village: A welcome addition to this restaurant-starved neighborhood, offering a reliable Middle Eastern menu that’s well-suited for takeout. Click here for more.
  • Pinstripes at Pike & Rose: Bocce and bowling aren’t the only reasons to visit: The dishes here are among the tastiest we’ve had this year in North Bethesda. Don’t miss the boneless short rib and the crispy calamari. Click here for more.



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Gong Cha bubble tea


Next up for Rockville: An all-Asian food court

Coming soon to the new Metropolitan apartment building near Rockville Town Square: an all-Asian food court featuring everything from poke bowls and Taiwanese street food to cocktails and bubble tea. “It’s going to be called The Spot, and it will be the hottest place in Rockville by next summer,” says broker Shang Wang of JBG Companies, who’s finalizing the tenant list for the North Washington Street complex. Among that list will be the Taiwanese bubble tea chain Gong Cha, which is moving into Maryland after a three-year expansion around the New York area. Click here to check out the menu. 



Wintergreen Plaza:




Sonoran Rose:




Poki District bowl


New restaurants for Rio Washingtonian

New dining and drinking options are on the way to Gaithersburg’s Rio Washingtonian Center. Just for the holidays, this week marks the launch of a Friday-only pop-up bar on the plaza across from Uncle Julio’s. (Click here for details). Next comes Poki District, a fast-expanding D.C. chain that will debut this spring near the movie theater. And Yard House, a craft beer and cocktail chain from Darden Restaurants, will replace the closed Macaroni Grill in 2019. Click here for a preview.






Toy Castle at Cabin John Mall:




CAVA bowl


New CAVA for Shady Grove

CAVA has opened its newest Rockville restaurant at the Upper Rock retail complex on Shady Grove Road, where its neighbors will include CVS and MOM’s Organic Market. Two other CAVAs also are on the way to this area, one now under construction at Montrose Crossing on Rockville Pike (details here) and the other at Cabin John Shopping Center in Potomac (details here).



VIP Outdoor at Westfield Montgomery Mall:




Store Reporter raffle gifts


Who won our raffle?

Congratulations to the winners of the Store Reporter raffle from last weekend’s Washington Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood Holiday Boutique & Silent Auction. Here’s who got lucky this year:

  • Shannon Zlotnik and Randi Poli each won $15 gift certificates for workout wear by LavaLoka (
  • Naomi Samuels won a sampler pack of edible cookie dough from The Cookie Jar DC (
  • Barbara Faigen won a $25 gift certificate for Lost & Forged, specializing in gifts made from reclaimed silver (
  • Lauren Topf won a $30 gift certificate for kids’ clothing from PixieLane Kids (click for more on Facebook).
  • Nancy Paul won a gift certificate for $25 in hair accessories from Bows Etc. (bows
  • Jamie Kramer won a child’s fleece blanket from Perfect Presents by Pamela (click for more on Facebook).

Stay tuned for more Store Reporter giveaways this winter. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



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L.L.Bean and the Bootmobile at Pike & Rose


L.L.Bean hikes to the Pike

This is grand opening week for L.L.Bean at Pike & Rose, where the “Bootmobile” is parked outside and events will be happening Friday through Sunday (Nov. 10-12). Sitting just across the street from the six-month-old REI store, L.L.Bean completes the center’s transformation into a mecca for the outdoorsy shopping crowd. Company exec Greg Elder tells us the retailer had been searching for a new Maryland location since its Columbia store closed in 2012. “Rockville Pike was on the short list of places we wanted to be, and Pike & Rose was just the kind of project we were looking for,” he says. The new store will offer free clinics as well as staff-led outings for hiking, fishing, fly casting, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. For a schedule of opening events, click here.



Realtor Lisa Nasar of Long & Foster:



Washington Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood 2017 Holiday Boutique & Silent Auction:



Prize gifts from the holiday boutique


Win these gifts at the holiday boutique

The holidays are kicking off early this year with the Washington Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood Holiday Boutique & Silent Auction, Sunday Nov. 12 through Tuesday Nov. 14 at the Julia Bindeman Suburban Center in Potomac. We also have a fabulous Store Reporter raffle featuring gifts and gift cards from show vendors. Here are some of the goodies you can win: 

  • Lost & Forged certificate for $25 in gifts and accessories made from reclaimed silver (
  • The Cookie Jar DC sample pack of four mini-jars of edible cookie dough (
  • PixieLane Kids gift certificate for $30 worth of kids’ clothes (click for more on Facebook)
  • Bows Etc. gift certificate for $25 in hair accessories (
  • Perfect Presents by Pamela gift certificate for a $75 child’s fleece blanket (click for more on Facebook)

There are two ways to put your name in our hat: 1) Visit the boutique show and stop by the Store Reporter table, or 2) Click here to enter via our Facebook page.



O'Donnell's Market Thanksgiving catering:



Amici Miei at Potomac Woods Plaza


Amici Miei on the move

Amici Miei is saying arrivederci to Potomac. After 13 years at Potomac Woods Plaza off Seven Locks and Montrose, the Italian restaurant is relocating to smaller quarters at 6 North Washington Street in Rockville. Rising rent was the main reason for the move, says co-owner Roberto Deias, who also hopes to capture more lunchtime traffic from the busy neighborhood around the courthouse. The Rockville location, formerly home to Peruvian eatery Sazon Inka, will have a new bar and pizza ovens when it opens early this winter. The Potomac restaurant will close just after Thanksgiving.





Shilla Bakery at Westfield Montgomery Mall


New bakery for the mall

Shilla Bakery, a Virginia-based chain featuring Korean cakes and pastries, is new at Westfield Montgomery Mall next to Chick-fil-A. This is the same spot that was previously home to Chocolate Moonshine and Chloe’s Deli. Next up on the bakery front: Sweetly Anchored Patisserie, scheduled for a winter opening at Cabin John Mall. More in our Oct. 5 edition.



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Honeybar dessert from Honeygrow


Hello Honeygrow

Philadelphia-based Honeygrow will make its Montgomery County debut Dec. 8th at Montrose Crossing on Rockville Pike —  the beginning of a new restaurant row that soon will include CavaPieology and Five Guys. Honeygrow, which is planning a rapid expansion in the D.C. area, features made-to-order salads and stir-fries that are customized via touchscreen kiosks. The restaurant also is known for its unique “Honeybar,” where customers can design their own combos of fresh fruit, yogurt, house-made whipped cream, crunchy toppings and local honey. To check out the menu, click here.



Takeout foods from Wintergreen Plaza:




Potomac Village Farmers Market:




Ice cream cookie sandwich from The Baked Bear


Sweet news for Pike & Rose

Pike & Rose is on a roll. Latest addition to next year’s lineup is The Baked Bear, a California-based chain known for its over-the-top ice cream sandwiches. Frozen flavors like Bear Batter and Birthday Cake are pressed between fresh-baked cookies, brownies or donuts — and if that isn’t enough, you also can have them rolled in cereal bits, cookie crumbs and other crunchy toppings. (Click here for more.) This will be the first East Coast location for The Baked Bear, joining newcomers Nada and Jinya Ramen Bar as well as Nando’s and Taylor Gourmet at Pike & Rose next year. For more on the new dining lineup, visit



Thanksgiving from O'Donnell's Market:




Toy Castle annual sale:




Activewear from Lucy


Lucy’s leaving

This week we say goodbye to the Lucy activewear chain, which is closing all of its stores nationwide as the brand gets folded into sister company The North Face. The downtown Bethesda Lucy store is already gone, and the Congressional Plaza location is scheduled to close Nov. 12. Clearance sales are going on now at Congressional, but employees tell us most of the basics have been snapped up. To shop the brand online, click here.



Washington Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood Holiday Boutique & Silent Auction:




LED photo booth

Photo: Washington Talent Agency


Lighting up your weekends

Snazzy logosSnapchat geofilters and specialized menus are trending on the local party circuit this season, while sit-down dinners and snoozy corporate events are fading fast. What else is hot? Things that blink, like the photo booth shown here. For more on the trends from our local event experts, click here to read our fall party-planning edition.



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