Apple store’s back next month
The Apple store at Westfield Montgomery Mall is set to reopen on Black Friday, revealing the results of a months-long renovation that has both annoyed and intrigued local Apple fans. What we know for sure: The new store will be about twice its previous size, encompassing the neighboring spaces that formerly belonged to BCBG, Teavana and Sephora. What we’re expecting, based on Apple’s new direction: A “town square” vibe with generous seating, free Wi-Fi and occasional concerts; a “Genius Grove” lined with live indoor trees; a giant video wall showcasing the latest and greatest; and a business boardroom for private meetings with Apple experts. To see what the new Apple stores look like in other markets, click here.
Offenbachers, the outdoor furniture and fireplace chain, filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week after 44 years in the D.C. area. Going-out-of-business sales began today (Oct. 27th) at the company’s eight locations in Virginia and Maryland, including the one on Randolph Road in Rockville. Some $9 million worth of inventory will be priced to move, including Hanamint and OW Lee patio furniture, Coyote and Legacy billiards tables, Kozy Heat fireplaces, and grills from Traeger and Big Green Egg. To see what else is up for grabs at Offenbachers, click here.
The end of ShopHouse?
This week Chipotle said it will discontinue expansion of its ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen chain, which opened at Pike & Rose just last year. The D.C. area was one of three test markets for ShopHouse, but Chipotle says sales weren’t impressive enough to continue the experiment. Now the company is turning its attention to two newer concepts: Pizzeria Locale, which currently has a handful of locations in four states, and Tasty Made, a Shake Shack-style burger chain that launches this week in Ohio. As for ShopHouse, the existing locations will remain open for now while Chipotle tries to sell them off.
New sweet treats at the mall
In case you don’t have enough Halloween candy around the house this week, Westfield Montgomery Mall has a new place to satisfy your sweet tooth. Chocolate Moonshine, now open in the former Chloe’s Deli space next to Chick-fil-A, offers handmade fudge and giftable decorative truffle bars that are gluten-free and relatively low in sugar. “We get everything fresh from our factory in Pennsylvania,” says local distributor Edward Heller, a former executive with Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue. “It’s all natural and organic, but it’s the attention to detail and beautiful craftsmanship that really makes our product special.” To check it out for yourself, click here.
New outlet mall opens this weekend
This weekend marks the grand opening of Clarksburg Premium Outlets, less than 30 minutes from the Rockville/Potomac area off I-270 at Exit 18. The 90-store tenant list has something for everyone, from Adidas, Ann Taylor and Armani Exchange to Theory, Tommy Hilfiger, Ugg and Under Armour. Grand opening festivities will be happening all weekend with live music, DJs, kids’ activities, giveaways and Halloween events. To view the full list of new places to shop, click here.
As Kindred Spirits departs from Reagan Airport
As Kindred Spirits, which exited Westfield Montgomery Mall last summer, is also closing its D.C. store at Reagan National Airport. The Congressional Plaza location in Rockville will remain open, says owner Wendy “Rukmini” Walker, who’s still working on plans to return to Montgomery Mall. As Kindred Spirits is one of seven gift shops that made our list of Store Reporter Favorites for 2016. To see who else got our vote, click here for our Oct. 13th edition.