Aldi on the way
Aldi, the German grocer known for its high-quality products and ultra-low prices, is heading to Rockville Pike. Plans call for a fall opening in the former H.H. Gregg space at Congressional North shopping center, a few doors down from Bed Bath & Beyond. This is one of six new Aldi stores scheduled to open in Maryland this year, but the company tells us it’s the only one planned for Montgomery County at this time. Aldi is something of a corporate cousin to Trader Joe’s — they both originated from the same parent company — and the two chains have a similar business model: small stores, limited product selection and mostly private-label brands. But Aldi cuts prices even further by dispensing with every frill — meaning that you’ll have to bring your own bags, pack your own groceries, even put down a refundable deposit on your shopping cart. (If you’d rather just stick with Trader Joe’s, there’s also a new one of those coming to Rockville this year. Click here for details. And did you hear about the Wegmans store planned for Rockville Pike? Click here for more on that.)
New throne for the Corned Beef King
One bit of fallout from last month’s fire at the historic Hank Dietle’s Tavern: The Corned Beef Kingfood truck, which had been serving meals on the property for several years, was left without a home on Rockville Pike. But it didn’t take long for owner Jon Rossler to cook up a new plan: His truck can now be found outside the Liberty gas station off Twinbrook Parkway, and Rossler is in the process of taking over a little-used kitchen inside the building. The idea came from the station’s owner, Bobby Wheeler, who’s been a fan since the days when Rossler’s family ran Potomac’s Celebrity Delly. “Jon serves a high-quality product that’s just like his father used to make,” Wheeler says. “Once people find out we’re serving his corned beef, they’ll be back for more.” The gas station/deli combo will be the second such venture for Rossler, who runs a similar operation in Olney. Click here to check out the menu.
Italian boutique is back
Good news for fans of Patrizia Luca Milano, the two-year-old Italian clothing store at Westfield Montgomery Mall. After losing its home in the Macy’s wing last month, the store reopened this week in larger quarters across from Michael Kors. The high-profile spot, which once belonged to Bebe, is a big move for owner Mahmoud Nassaj at a time when many independently owned stores are closing their doors. What’s his secret? “Our niche is that we’re different,” he says. “We’re more like a boutique than a typical department store where you see the same thing around every corner. When new customers come in, 90 percent of them say, ‘Finally, something different.’”
Namaste in Bethesda
Truebody, a new gym from local fitness guru Robert Sherman, had its long-awaited opening last week near the Bethesda Metro Station on Wisconsin Avenue. Sherman, who is well known in the Rockville/Potomac area from his years at Life Time Athletic, offers a full schedule of cardio and strength classes with an eye toward mindfulness. Cool features include a fire pit, a meditation labyrinth and a snazzy rooftop yoga space. Click herefor more.