Posted by Store Reporter on Jan 12, 2017 in Current Issue
Park Potomac developer heads to White Flint
The company that built Park Potomac will break ground next winter on a new retail/residential complex near the former White Flint Mall. The project, to be known as East Village, will replace some old office buildings on Nicholson Lane with a low-rise mix of stores, restaurants, living space, and ample parking for bikes as well as cars. “It’s going to be very transit-oriented, close to the Metro and Pike & Rose, with a definite village feel,” says Foulger-Pratt spokesman Lisa Wood, whose company is building the project with partner ProMark Real Estate. The first phase is scheduled to open in about three years.
Goodbye American Apparel
American Apparel, which changed hands this week at bankruptcy auction, will soon close its Westfield Montgomery Mall store along with its other D.C.-area locations. Merchandise has been marked down and the end will come in the next few weeks, an employee tells us. Many clothing retailers have struggled in recent years, but American Apparel’s troubles were magnified by its scandal-magnet founder Dov Charney. (Google him.) Ironically, the company once known for its trendy styles and American-made goods will now be owned by the Canadian sweatpants manufacturer Gildan.
New gym on the way to Bethesda
Opening this summer in downtown Bethesda: Bridges Fitness & Yoga, a new gym from local fitness guru Robert Sherman. Housed in a former post office building on Wisconsin Avenue, the 15,000-square-foot facility will offer cardio and strength classes, indoor cycling, circuit training, a rooftop yoga deck and an outdoor meditation labyrinth. “We’ll have a much more personalized atmosphere than what you’d find at a large gym,” says Sherman, who is well known in this area from his years at Life Time Athletic, Equinox and his own F.I.T. gym. Bridges is already offering classes at a temporary location near its future home; click here for details.
Cabin John restaurant will be back soon
China Gourmet Bistro at Cabin John Shopping Center is working to get back in business after last month’s closing due to a kitchen fire. “We are definitely reopening,” says owner Vivian He, who runs the two-year-old restaurant with her parents. Repairs should be finished in a couple of weeks, she says.
Vintage vinyl on Rockville Pike
If you miss the days of combing through record stacks or you’re into Japanese anime, a new store in Rockville is calling your name. Purple Narwhal Music & Manga, in the Clock Tower Plaza at 822G Rockville Pike, is a labor of love for owners William FitzHugh and Alice Goldberg-FitzHugh. “I grew up going to area record stores like Yesterday and Today and Vinyl Ink that are no longer in business,” says William, who’s keeping his day job at a Rockville software company. “With the resurgence of interest in vinyl records, we thought the time was right to open a new store.” The FitzHughs carry mostly used merchandise including CDs, DVDs, cassette tapes, graphic novels, music-related books, Japanese art and movies, and vintage concert T-shirts. To check out their Facebook page, click here.
Posted by Store Reporter on Jan 5, 2017 in Previous Issues
New pizza on the Pike
Pizza CS, the Rockville restaurant known for its authentic Neapolitan-style pies, is venturing into new territory for its upcoming second location at Edmonston Crossing on the Pike. “The menu will focus on 18-inch New York-style pizzas with a thin crust,” says co-owner Ankur Rajpara. “We’ll also do subs, wings, and a pan-baked pizza called Sicilian. And we may do the ‘grandma-style’ pizza, which is a thin-crust Sicilian that’s native to Brooklyn and Long Island.” The new restaurant will offer takeout and delivery only, in contrast with its sit-down older sister at the Twinbrook Metro Center. Both restaurants will have fresh competition from Pie 360, a make-your-own pizza place that just opened on the ground floor of the Galvan at Twinbrook complex.
Three stores out at Westfield Montgomery Mall
This week we say goodbye to three stores at Westfield Montgomery Mall that didn’t survive the holidays. First to exit was The Limited, which is closing stores across the country as it prepares to file for bankruptcy. Also out is Smart Toys, a longtime tenant that doubled as Halloween Adventure every fall. And R. Riveter, a Shark Tank-backed business featuring handbags sewn by military spouses, has closed its doors after a short run in the former Eileen Fisher space. Even though the concept didn’t appear to catch on with shoppers at Westfield Montgomery, R. Riveter tells us it’s looking to open other pop-up stores in the D.C. area.
Macy’s, Sears and Aéropostale will stay at the mall
This week Macy’s and Sears released their lists of stores that will be closing nationwide. As you might have guessed, the Macy’s and Macy’s Home stores at Westfield Montgomery Mall will not be among the casualties. Neither will the mall’s Sears store, despite its increasingly incongruent presence as Westfield Montgomery moves in a more upscale direction. Also staying put is the teen store Aéropostale, which survived a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing and is finally taking down those “Store Closing” signs that were plastered on its windows for months.
Kids’ boutique exits Pike & Rose
Yogaso, a children’s store that was among the first tenants to open at Pike & Rose, will close its doors next week to focus on Internet sales. “We thought it would be great to have a brick-and-mortar store so people could see, feel and touch our products,” says owner Alem Beshir, who carries clothing, toys and accessories from around the world. But with web traffic outpacing foot traffic in her second year of business, Beshir decided to focus on her website with occasional local pop-up shows. Yogaso fans can continue to shop the line at www.yogaso.com.
Changes ahead for Cabin John
Cabin John Shopping Center & Mall has a new owner for the first time in its 48-year history. Carl M. Freeman Cos., which developed the center in the 1960s and ’70s, has sold it for $165 million to EDENS, a national firm with extensive holdings in the D.C. area. The likely result: a new look and hopefully some new tenants to fill the center’s empty spaces. Stay tuned for more after the holidays.
Park Potomac restaurants: Who’s opening when?
Restaurant construction has been moving along s-l-o-w-l-y at Park Potomac, where two new eateries that were supposed to arrive before the holidays have been delayed until next year. Filicori Zecchini, the Italian coffee house and cafe, is now looking to open in January or February. Gringos & Mariachis, a Mexican concept from the owners of Bethesda’s Olazzo, is tentatively set for March. And Addie’s, the new incarnation of the beloved Rockville Pike restaurant, should follow sometime this spring.
Goodbye Jerry’s and The Limited
If you were planning to order takeout from Jerry’s Subs & Pizza this winter, you’re out of luck: The restaurant closed its doors inside Cabin John Mall at the end of last week. And we’ll soon say goodbye to The Limited at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The retailer is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, and our local store is expected to close shortly after Christmas.
The gold standard at Kaufmann Jewelers
The gift of gold is always welcome, and Kaufmann Jewelers at Park Potomac has some great selections in stock for the holidays. The store carries gifts in every price range (including some lovely pieces under $100) as well as custom designs by third-generation jeweler Corey Kaufmann, who runs the business with father George. Shown here: a cable-chain ring for $225 (or $295 with pavé diamonds) and a triple-band ring with two-tone gold for $750. Kaufmann Jewelers, 12500 Park Potomac Ave., #107-S, open through 4:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Call 301-978-7778 or click here.
Stocking stuffers from The Container Store
When we’re in a holiday rush, we always count on The Container Store for last-minute gifts. We tested a box of stocking stuffers and chose our favorites. The U-Dock by Umbra (currently on sale for $8.99) is a sturdy tablet holder with a minimalist design that collapses flat for easy storage. The Scoop That ($19.99) uses your hand’s own body heat to dish out some Ben & Jerry’s in a hurry. And then there’s the Chipolo Item Finder ($24.99), which uses your phone to find your keys or your keys to find your phone. Every year we try these “find-your-keys” gadgets in search of one that works. This year, for the first time, we were not disappointed. Click here to check it out.
We’re taking a winter break
This is the last issue of Store Reporter for 2016. We’ll be back in January with news about who’s coming, who’s going, and which stores and restaurants didn’t make it through the holidays. (In case you missed last week’s issue: Rockville’s American Tap Room is already out, and Timpano is closing on New Year’s Eve.) Want to find out what else you might have missed? While we’re taking a winter break, catch up on back issues at www.storereporter.com.
Timpano closes, Sports Authority space is filled
The new year will bring some big changes to the Montrose Crossing shopping center on Rockville Pike. Timpano Italian Chophouse, a fixture in the area for more than two decades, is exiting to make room for some new fast-casual eateries. Timpano will close on New Year’s Eve, with demolition to follow shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, the former Sports Authority space didn’t stay empty for long: Value City Furniture, an Ohio-based chain with a growing presence in Maryland, is now under construction with plans to open early next year. For a look at the company’s merchandise, click here.
American Tap Room taps out
American Tap Room closed its doors over the weekend at Rockville Town Square, joining a growing list of restaurant casualties that now includes Oro Pomodoro, Cosi, Pho & Rolls, Carbon Peruvian Chicken and 82 Steak Out in just the past two years. Execs at American Tap Room say the Rockville location was owned by a franchisee, and its closing won’t affect their other restaurants. Federal Realty, which owns Rockville Town Square, says it already has a new tenant in place but can’t share the name yet. Stay tuned to Store Reporter for more.
German bath and body store opens at the mall
Kneipp, the newest addition at Westfield Montgomery Mall, opens its doors tomorrow (12/16) on the second level near Godiva. This is one of eight new retail stores for the German company (pronounced K-nay-p), which makes plant-based, preservative-free products for bath, body and skin care. “Until now, these products have only been available in the U.S. at little spas and apothecaries,” says regional manager Valerie Curcione. “But the customers who have found this brand are incredibly loyal to it.” For more on Kneipp and its founder, a 19th century pioneer of natural medicines, click here.
Pandora jewelry at Silver Moon
The Pandora jewelry line is a perennial favorite, and Silver Moon at Congressional Plaza is a great place to shop the whole collection. The Poinsettia charm on the left, adorned with red pavé cubic zirconia, is available in limited quantities this season and priced at $75. Also popular is Pandora’s new Vintage Allure line, featuring sterling silver and pavé cubic zirconia in a striking geometric design. Silver Moon carries a Vintage Allure necklace-and-earring set for $150 and a matching bracelet in a decorative case for $195. See these pieces in person at Silver Moon Jewelry & Accessories, 1659 Rockville Pike. For details, call 301-468-1122 or click here.
A charmed gift at As Kindred Spirits
As Kindred Spirits, now open next to Nordstrom in the lower level of Westfield Montgomery Mall, is a great source for gifts that are both special and unexpected. Take this new line of gold Lulu DK charm necklaces, priced from $68 and up, with hidden messages of love, peace, faith and sisterhood. The hidden part? The charms are etched with decorative markings that reveal their messages only when spun. (Note that Westfield Montgomery Mall is now the only place to find As Kindred Spirits, which has closed its other locations at Congressional Plaza and Reagan Airport.) As Kindred Spirits, Westfield Montgomery Mall, on the lower level next to Nordstrom. For details, call 301-365-1008 or click here.
Two new restaurants for Congressional Plaza
The dining scene at Congressional Plaza is looking way up for 2017. Modern Market, the scratch-made chain from Colorado that’s been earning raves in downtown Bethesda, opened its doors this week next to Chopt. And the center just landed Honeyfish Poke, a West Coast chain featuring Hawaiian-style bowls of raw fish with fresh toppings and Asian sauces. Honeyfish Poke is set for a spring opening a few doors down from Starbucks, near Congressional’s new outdoor seating area. To check out the menu, click here.
Starbucks goes Venti in Potomac Village
Starbucks in Potomac Village is finally nearing the end of a major expansion that has annoyed its customers for months. The tiny store, which never had enough space to meet the demands of its latte-loving neighborhood, will kick off 2017 with more coffee machines, more baristas and lot more seating. The extra room is coming from a frame shop that closed next door; employees say the work should be done before Christmas.
Who won our biggest raffle ever?
Congratulations to the winners of our latest raffle, featuring fabulous gifts from vendors at the Washington Hebrew Congregation Sisterhood Holiday Boutique & Silent Auction. Here’s a list of who won what:
- Rori Malech won a PJ Salvage sweater from Barbie B (shopbarbieb.com)
- Michèle Morgan won a pair of workout leggings from LavaLoka (lavaloka.com)
- Amy Stolker won a zirconia necklace from Artfully Designed Jewelry (click for more).
- Betsy Fader Goldstein won a choker necklace from Gemini Jewelry (click for more).
- Leela Berman won a photo canvas from Photos by Freddi (photosbyfreddi.com).
- Michael Reiser won a bottle of vintage vinegar from All things Olive (allthingsolive.com).
- Meredith Wernick won a $25 gift certificate from Bows Etc. (bowsetc.com)
- Karla Rosenfeld Azachi won a pair of girls’ leggings from Shop Marti (shopmarti.com).
- Greg Overcamp won a $50 certificate for kids’ clothing from Blue Elephant (shoptheblueelephant.com).
Something dazzling from Kaufman Jewelers
If you’re looking for a gift that really dazzles, Kaufmann Jewelers at Park Potomac is the place to go for gorgeous custom jewelry. Take this stunning 18-karat gold ring with oval tanzanite and diamonds. Not quite what you’re looking for? Third-generation jeweler Corey Kaufman can design something special or find a piece that fits your budget, from diamond and gold jewelry priced in the thousands to silver and gemstone rings, bracelets and earrings for less than $100. Kaufmann Jewelers, 12500 Park Potomac Ave., #107S, 301-978-7778. For more info, click here.
Something sparkly from JT Interiors
The holiday sparkle is in full swing at JT Interiors in Potomac Village, where you’ll find shimmering gifts around just about every corner. We love the tabletop glitter trees ($62 for a set of two), the gold and silver glitter wreath ($70) and the mercury glass lamp ($128), all shown here. The gold leaf tray makes a great hostess gift at $17, as do the candles and illuminaries priced from $10 and up. Visit JT Interiors at 9906 River Road, call 301-299-0485 or click here for details.