Let the bargains begin
In the years before the pandemic, Black Friday shopping had increasingly begun to encroach on Thanksgiving as stores and malls started opening before the pumpkin pie even hit the table. But the pendulum has shifted, and this year most retail workers are enjoying Thanksgiving dinner at home. In-person shopping will be back early Friday morning: Best Buy opens at 5 a.m., Macy’s at 6, Target at 7 and Nordstrom at 9. (Don’t bother heading to REI, which famously remains closed on Black Friday so its employees and shoppers can “opt outside.”) Meanwhile, “Black Friday” shopping online has shifted forward; many deals have already been available for the last few weeks.
If you’re doing a lot of your holiday shopping online this year, it’s worth taking a moment to study the retailer’s return policy. Some stores, including Abercrombie & Fitch, DSW, H&M, J. Crew and Zara, have begun charging fees for purchases returned by mail. With the rising cost of shipping, as well as the labor it takes to inspect returns, retailers are discouraging people from ordering more items than they plan to keep. Their biggest headache is “bracket” ordering, where customers purchase multiple sizes of the same item and send back the ones that don’t fit. In many cases, you can avoid these fees by returning online orders to the retailer’s physical store. But some chains, including Uniqlo and Old Navy, have begun to impose strict rules about which online returns and exchanges can be handled in person.
Kosher bowls at Cabin John
After several years of shrinking options for kosher fare at Cabin John Village, Playa Bowls has changed its menu to accommodate observant Jewish customers. Rabbi Adam Raskin, of synagogue Har Shalom in Potomac, has been assisting the owners in their transition to all-kosher products. “A lot of what they served was already intrinsically kosher,” Raskin says. But now, he says, those who follow Jewish dietary laws “can feel confident that this is a place where they can eat.” In addition, the neighboring Giant supermarket is making its own grab for kosher customers. As you enter the newly renovated store, it’s impossible to miss the huge “Kosher” sign promoting an expanded array of offerings.
The Store Reporter Guide
A weekly guide sponsored by some of our favorite local businesses
This week we welcome Our Gift Biz to the Store Reporter Guide. Owner Becky Briggs can handle your entire holiday gift list — corporate and personal — from the shopping to the shipping, complete with hand-written notes.
- BONDAY is a Rockville lifestyle boutique brimming with unique gifts that spark joy. We have tableware from Indonesia; bathrobes from Turkey; clothing & handbags from Europe; loincloth totes from Cameroon, Sénégal & Ghana. Check out our French designers this holiday season: Alain Manoukian, Rodier Paris, Bill Tornade, Courreges, Torrente, Lulu Castagnette, Georges Rech & Exaltation. Find us at Federal Plaza on Rockville Pike. Shop Facebook & Instagram. Phone: (240) 249-5908. Website: lebonday.com.
- HANNA’S CONNECTION clothing boutique, upstairs inside the Cabin John mini-mall. New sweaters, Lurex from Europe, Orna Farho from Paris. You won’t find them anywhere else! Stop in to see everything in person, schedule a private appointment, or arrange a virtual shopping session. Curbside pickup & shipping available. Shop new arrivals on Facebook and Instagram. Call us: (301) 704-0264. Website: hannasconnection.com.
IBHANA BOUTIQUE is the place to shop your favorite U.S. & Canadian designers: Joseph Ribkoff, IC, Snoskins, Moonlight, Lisette, Lior, Terra, Piccadilly, Habitat & more. Complete your outfit with a beautiful piece of jewelry & matching handbag, & walk out as your best self. New location: Federal Plaza in Rockville, 1776 East Jefferson Street, Suite 116. Open Monday-Saturday 10-5, Sunday 11-4. Phone: (301) 424-0906. Website: ibhana.net.
- JOYFUL BATH CO.: We make our own soaps, shower steamers, bath bombs, soy candles, Turkish towels & custom baskets. All our products are vegan & cruelty-free, paraben & phthalate-free, great for sensitive skin, no SLS or detergents, no glittery mess. We ship, we offer curbside pickup, or visit us in person: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. 5534 Wilkins Ct., North Bethesda. Call (301) 986-5320. Website: joyfulbathco.com.
- KAUFMANN JEWELERS: Fine jewelry, custom jewelry, large & small repairs. Father & son George & Corey Kaufmann are carrying on the family tradition: offering an upscale shopping experience while preserving the handshake-generation, family-business mentality. Whether we’re designing your custom piece, showing you our collection or handling your repairs, Kaufmann Jewelers strives to build lifelong clients. Call us: (301) 978-7778. Visit us at Park Potomac, 12500 Park Potomac Avenue. Website: kaufmannjewelers.com.
- LEILA JEWELS is the online address for the jewelry, gifts & Judaica shop you used to love at Cabin John Shopping Center. Since closing the shop a few years ago, owner Deb Shalom has gone virtual with a unique & beautiful selection of everything from gemstones & sterling silver to Murano glass from Venice & Judaica from Alef Bet Jewelry & Joy Stember Studios. Every price point, every occasion. Free shipping for all jewelry & hand-delivery for customers in the Potomac area. Website: leilajewels.com.
- OUR GIFT BIZ: We take the guesswork (and the stress!) out of gift-giving. Give us your budget & your corporate (or personal) holiday list, and we’ll do the rest: choose the perfect gift, wrap it beautifully & ship it out with a lovely hand-written card. Gourmet food boxes are our specialty — and we personally taste everything we ship, so we know it will leave a memorable & lasting impression. Check us out on Facebook & Instagram. Email: email@example.com. Phone: (240) 406-8701. Website: ourgiftbiz.com.
- SAINTS VALLEY: Hand-crafted jewelry & gifts for the home at Rockville Town Square. We specialize in cashmere & silk garments, embroidered shawls & scarves, hand-made carpets, pillow covers, wall hangings, purses, pouches & pashminas. Our silver jewelry with real gemstones is hand-made in Armenia. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (301) 906-3493.
- SCOUT & MOLLY’S BOUTIQUE, your North Bethesda fashion destination at Pike & Rose. New arrivals: jackets, blazers, maxi dresses, jumpsuits, lightweight cardis & more fall styles. Shop Instagram, shop Facebook, shop online, shop in-store or call us: (301) 348-5047. Website: northbethesda.scoutandmollys.com.
- SUSAN KOEHN DESIGNS: Fine, classic, edgy & timeless jewelry. Check out our latest on Facebook & Instagram. Call, text, email or DM for a private appointment at our showroom. Email susankoehndesigns.com. Phone: (301) 704-7605.
FITNESS, HEALTH & BEAUTY
- LIVE LASH LOVE: Sue & her team are experts at creating lush lashes. From subtle lifts, tints, classic & hybrid lashes to volume & mega-volume “wow” eyes, Live Lash Love will put together a look that suits your style. Specializing in NovaLash, LashBoxLA, LashMakers & Elleebana. Conveniently located at Rockville’s Federal Plaza, in the Phenix Salon Suites near Trader Joe’s. Check out the looks on Instagram. Appointments: Email email@example.com or text 703-839-3523 visit https://livelashlove.
- MIRACLE THAI MASSAGE STRETCH & SPA: Professional massage for relaxation, stretching, flexibility & healing sports injuries. Our masseuses are trained in a variety of modalities: Swedish massage, deep tissue massage, head massage, foot reflexology & Thai massage featuring ancient techniques like acupressure, myofascial release & walking on the back. We’re conveniently located in a Rockville medical office building: 3202 Tower Oaks Blvd., Suite 180. Call (240) 551-8993 or visit miraclethaimassagespa.com.
- MODA OPTIC: Celebrating 14 years of framing your faces in Rockville. New fall releases arriving daily! From straight-up glamorous sophistication to subtle to artful, let us bring your look to life. Book an eyewear experience with one of our incredible opticians today. Appointments prioritized, walk-ups welcome. 130 Rollins Ave. Call us: (301) 881-9444. Website: www.modaoptic.net.
- ROCKVILLE PERSONAL TRAINING, first three sessions $99. Our private studio on Rollins Avenue uses the latest research & technology for a fun, affordable & effective exercise program designed specifically for you. We have backgrounds in medical exercise & clinical physiology, plus a decade of experience working with ages 9-90. We disinfect between clients, & we keep you safe with HEPA & UV-C air filtration. All trainers are vaccinated. Check us out on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. Call us or text us: (240) 630-0298.
- SHIN ORTHODONTICS is one of MoCo’s leading providers of Invisalign. Drs. Richard & Debra Shin, board-certified orthodontists, are also experts in traditional braces, lingual braces such as InBrace, Brius, & 3D-printed braces such as Lightforce that best suit your lifestyle. We treat teens, adults & kids at two convenient locations: 4701 Randolph Road in Rockville & the Cabin John mini-mall in Potomac. Call for a free consultation: (301) 750-6699. Text us: (301) 812-3011. Website: shinorthodontics.com.
- TAFF & LEVINE D.D.S. provides state-of-the-art dental treatment in a relaxing atmosphere surrounded by caring doctors and staff. No insurance? No problem! Join our V.I.P. dental plan, pay one monthly fee for free hygiene appointments and 10% off all other dental procedures. 7811 Montrose Road in Potomac. Call 301-530-3717. Website: taffandlevine.com.
- THE GLOSSARY NAIL SPA: The newest salon at Cabin John Village, offering manicure, pedicures & waxing. You’ll find us right next to My Eye Dr. We use the highest quality products and never re-use materials, so everything is fresh for you. Walk-ins welcome, but weekends are busy so it’s best to make an appointment. Call us: (240) 660-2192. Website: glossarynailspa.com.
- TOTALLY POLISHED at the Cabin John mini-mall, walk in or call (301) 299-3672. Serving the Potomac community for more than 30 years. From gel manicures & dip manicures to signature pedicures & waxing, we do it all. We take great care with sanitation, including disposable pedicure tools & liners. Check out our work on Facebook & Instagram. We’re open 7 days a week. Stop by to enjoy a relaxing day!
- WINK EYECARE BOUTIQUE: Dr. Rachel Cohn & her talented team of opticians will make sure you always look & see your best. We offer high-tech eye exams & assessments, plus trending frames from designers like Robert Marc, Oliver Peoples & Anne et Valentin. We’ll monitor the health of your eyes & can assist with dry eyes, allergies, contact lenses & more. We are all vaccinated, & have state-of-the-art air & UV light filters. Find us at Potomac Woods Plaza, 1095 Seven Locks Road. Call (301) 545-1111. Website: wink.net.
SELLING YOUR JEWELRY
- JUST JEWELS: Ready to sell your jewelry? Lee Siegel has been buying & selling diamonds, fine jewelry & watches for 25 years. Modern & older cuts, engagement rings, loose diamonds, vintage pieces & brands like Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb, Chopard, Bvlgari, David Yurman, Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe & Omega. License #2801. Call our office in Bethesda: (301) 525-7561. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: justjewelsusa.com.
- STX GOLD: We can help you settle any estate. Get full value for all precious metal items — gold jewelry, sterling silver flatware & silver serving pieces. We’ll do an in-home appointment, no obligation, to evaluate your items. Call (301) 318-9788. Visit our website & check the current price of gold: stxgold.com.
KIDS & TEENS
- TIPS ON TRIPS AND CAMPS: What are your kids doing next summer? We’re here to offer ideas, expertise & plenty of options. Tips on Trips and Camps has been around for half a century, guiding families like yours to the best summer options for their students ages 7-18+. All our services are FREE to families. No need to figure this out alone — we are happy to help, with plenty of ideas for summer 2022! To get started on your summer plan, call Lisa Bulman Mullen: (561) 703-6448 or email email@example.com.
HOME & PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
- MALECH LAW, Bethesda family law practitioner. Aggressive legal representation in high-conflict divorces, child custody & child support conflicts, spousal support & alimony battles, enforcing & modifying court orders, protective orders in domestic violence cases, & settlement agreements. Call Lloyd Malech at (202) 441-2107. Website: malechlaw.com. Family law, reenvisioned.
- MIKE’S LOCKSMITH & SECURITY, commercial, residential & emergency. Lock repair & replacement, re-key services, touchscreen locks & high-security locks. Now offering security cameras, video doorbells & monitored security systems accessible on any device, so you can talk to visitors & unlock doors remotely. All at a low monthly fee. Labor & materials guaranteed for as long as you own your home. Appointments & after-hour emergencies: (240) 506-7500. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: mikes-locksmith.com.
- TOWN & COUNTRY MOVERS, family-owned moving and storage company, based in Gaithersburg and serving the DMV since 1977. We handle local, long-distance and international relocations, as well as short-term and long-term storage solutions. Our staging division works with local realtors to enhance listings and improve home sales. Call (301) 670-4600. Website: townandcountrymovers.com.
DINING & DELIVERY
- BOULANGERIE CHRISTOPHE: Authentic French bakery at Cabin John Village. We have everything you’re craving: sandwiches, salads, quiche, omelettes, crepes, fresh-baked breads, croissants & award-winning baguettes. Finish your meal with beautiful French pastries & Illy coffee. Also: Fresh-baked challah every Friday & Saturday. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram. Delivery via Ubereats. Phone: (301) 298-9878. Website: boulangeriechristophe.com.
- DISTRICT FALAFEL: This former food truck, now at Westlake Crossing, serves up fresh Middle Eastern & Mediterranean food. Beyond falafel, you’ll find gyros, shawarma, zaatar chicken, beef kofta, cauliflower bowls, hummus, baba ghannouj, tzatziki, labneh, pita, sumac & zaatar French fries. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram. Phone: (301) 767-3300. Email: email@example.com. Website: districtfalafel.com.
- FILICORI ZECCHINI CAFE: Authentic Italian coffee, from Bologna to Potomac. Open daily for breakfast, lunch, baked goods, snacks, gelato, coffee & tea. We also offer coffee beans & espresso blends, so your favorite coffee can accompany you everywhere. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram. 12430 Park Potomac Ave. Phone: (301) 444-4417.
- FISH TACO: Let’s catch up! We are family-owned and we source our food seasonally, sustainably & locally. We take pride in using the highest quality ingredients to bring our guests delicious, hand-crafted meals & empower them to connect with what’s important in life. We offer our famous fish tacos, as well as an assortment of Baja-inspired favorites. Visit us at multiple area locations, or order online at www.fishtacoonline.com.
- GREGORIO’S TRATTORIA, Italian favorites at Cabin John Village, 7745 Tuckerman Lane. Full menu and weekly specials featuring pizzas, pastas, seafood, meats, salads & more. Open indoors & outdoors for lunch & dinner, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. We also offer curbside pickup, pay by phone & contact-free delivery. Phone: (301) 296-6168. Call for catering: (800) 749-8894. Menu for all locations: gregoriostrattoria.com.
- PICCOLI PIATTI PIZZERIA: Authentic. Neapolitan. Greatness. We use high-quality imported Italian flour & tomatoes, locally sourced meats, organic produce & spectacular domestic cheeses to create exceptional, affordable dishes that please the whole family. Our pizza is crafted to order in the classic Neapolitan style & finished in our 900-degree brick oven. Great pastas, small plates & lunch sandwiches too! 10257 Old Georgetown Road in the Wildwood center. Call us: (240) 858-6099. Order online: piccolipiattipizzeria.com.
- POTOMAC PIZZA, a delicious favorite since 1978. Multiple locations in Maryland and the DMV. Potomac location: (301) 299-7700. Traville location: (301) 279-2234. Chevy Chase location: (301) 951-1127. Dine with us or choose contact-free delivery, curbside pickup or takeout. Sister company Bagels & Grinds also offering bagels, lox & cream cheese pickup in Potomac on Saturday mornings. Menu: potomacpizza.com.
- QUARTERMAINE COFFEE ROASTERS, locally owned & operated. Visit us on Bethesda Row for fresh roasted coffee by the pound, custom-made coffee & tea drinks, fresh-squeezed juices & smoothies. Try any of our drinks with oat milk, almond milk or soy milk. Want coffee shipped to your door? Subscriptions available & $5 flat-rate shipping with $30 minimum. Visit www.quartermaine.com.
- QUINCY’S POTOMAC BAR & GRILLE, at Potomac Woods Plaza off Montrose & Seven Locks. Twenty beers on tap & American bar fare: hand-cut sirloins, filets & ribeyes; fried chicken, grilled chicken kabobs, lamb lollipops, fajitas & more. We host trivia night on Mondays, karaoke on Tuesdays, bingo on Wednesdays, Family Feud on Thursdays. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram. Phone: (240) 500-3010. Menu: quincyspotomac.com.
- ROSE’S LUXURY: The Michelin-starred D.C. favorite is now offering delivery to our area. Choose two or three nights of impeccably prepared meals, including appetizers, entrées and desserts — $40 and up, per person per night. Your order will arrive with easy-to-follow instructions for assembly and reheating, complete with garnishes, pour-over sauces, dollops of whipped cream and custom Spotify playlists. Menus change every two weeks. Click here for details.
- SISTERS THAI POTOMAC, Asian & Thai cuisine + drinks & desserts. Indoor & patio dining with a funky, charming decor at Cabin John Village, 7995 Tuckerman Lane. Try our chicken satay, larb gai, pad thai, drunken noodles, curry dishes & much more. We’re also known for our Instagrammable desserts, cocktails, teas, fruit drinks & specialty lattes. Phone: (301) 299-4157. Menu: sistersthaicabinjohn.com.
- THE BOTTLE SHOP WINE & BEER: Exceptional wine, craft beer & artisan snacks — chilled & ready to go — to make your evenings special. You’ll find us at Potomac Woods Plaza, 350 Fortune Terr., around the corner from Park Potomac (Montrose & Seven Locks). Check our weekly wine & beer discounts on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. Call us: (301) 738-9463. Website: mybottleshop.net.
- THE PRETZEL BAKERY: Philly-inspired soft pretzels, hand-rolled & fresh out of the oven all day long. Breakfast sliders, calzones, pretzel dogs, sweet & savory diets, La Colombe coffee, Boylan’s sodas, Carmen’s Italian ices. Find out why we’ve been named “Best Breakfast Sandwich,” “Best Pretzel” & one of the “50 Must-Try Dishes in D.C.” Open till 5 p.m. daily at Cabin John Village, 7961 Tuckerman Lane. Follow us on Facebook & Instagram. Order ahead & pick up a pretzel box: (301) 242-3539 or thepretzelbakery.com.
- WELL-FED BY NOURISH CULINARY CO.: The North Bethesda personal chef service is now delivering weekly meals to your door. We post a five-dinner menu every week — all seasonal and locally sourced — with options for gluten-free, dairy-free or vegan preparation. Choose three dinners for two ($250) or three dinners for four ($350). Order by Thursday, and we’ll deliver everything the following Tuesday. Follow us on Instagram @nourisheculinary. Website: nourishculinary.com. Click here for all the details.
- YEKTA PERSIAN MARKET & KABOB COUNTER: We have all your Persian, Iranian & Middle Eastern favorites: Breads, spreads, yogurt drinks, coffee & tea, spices & herbs, nuts & seeds, pomegranate, sweet lemon, rock candy & much more. We also offer prepared foods and made-to-order kabobs, bowls, stews, veggie platters, sandwiches & Persian desserts. Order online for home delivery, or visit us at 1488 Rockville Pike. Kabob counter: (301) 984-0005. Market: (301) 984-1190. Menu: yektamarket.com.
- FLASHBACK FILMS, photo & video montages for your special occasion — whether in-person or virtual. Professional montages at affordable prices for all your important milestones: birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, mitzvahs & more. We’re a locally based, student-run company and will work within your budget. Send us your photos and we’ll do the rest. Visit us on Instagram. For video samples & pricing, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- JAMIE KRAMER EVENTS is dedicated to crafting authentic, memorable & customized experiences for private & corporate events. Celebrations & milestones, conferences & board meetings, team building, corporate retreats, networking & more. Whether you’re ready for an in-person event or still prefer virtual, we promise to make it unforgettable. Check us out on Instagram & Facebook, and email email@example.com to start planning. Website: jamiekramerevents.com.
- LILAC, special occasion wear for girls, tweens & teens. We have the perfect outfits for bar & bat mitzvahs (both service & party), recitals, graduations, cotillion & other special occasions. Our clothes are fashionable, well-made, well-priced, age-appropriate — and not typically found in department stores. Now booking private shopping appointments at www.calendly.com/shoplilacgirl. Find us on Instagram (@lilacgirlshop) and Facebook (@shoplilacgirl). For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org.