Rio's new backyard
This week we checked out the snazzy new boardwork at Rio in Gaithersburg, where a striking outdoor concert stage is nearly complete and a summer’s worth of performances are on the way. Rio is undergoing a $30 million facelift with dramatic changes to its appearance and tenant mix. Shown here: the view from what will soon be a second-floor lounge outside the AMC movie theater and the upcoming Dave & Buster’s (aiming to open July 1st). What’s next for Rio? A huge Silver Diner with indoor/outdoor seating and full bar (tentatively opening in August); an “experiential” Xfinity store (opening date TBD); and a state-of-the-art IMAX cinema that’s almost finished inside the movie theater. Plans for a Baked Bear ice cream shop have fallen through, but local creamery Moorenko’s is coming with a summertime pop-up. For behind-the-scenes photos from our visit this week, check out Store Reporter on Facebook and Instagram.
Latest on Lord & Taylor
Lord & Taylor finally announced plans to close its store at Gaithersburg’s ailing Lakeforest Mall — no surprise, as other tenants have been exiting in droves while the mall’s owners look for a buyer. Meanwhile, the retailer’s White Flint store remains in business more than four years after the adjoining mall was demolished. On a recent visit, we found the White Flint Lord & Taylor in surprisingly good shape with up-to-date merchandise and plenty of still-loyal shoppers. After years of litigation with White Flint’s owners, it’s unclear how much longer this department store will be around. But for now, there’s plenty of summer merchandise on the shelves.
New restaurants for Rockville Town Square
Good news on the dining front for Rockville Town Square: Four new Asian restaurants are on the way. Friendship BBQ, featuring skewered meats and seafood dishes, will open this summer across from Sushi Damo. And the former Mellow Mushroom space, empty since last fall, will be divided into three new eateries: Gyuzo Japanese BBQ, offering sake and tabletop grilling; Kyoto Matcha, serving green tea, cakes and other desserts; and Cents Taro Family, specializing in Taiwanese taro balls. Rockville Town Square and the surrounding area are already home to a number of Asian restaurants, from the upscale Peter Chang, Sushi Damo and Thai Pavilion to fast-casual Pearl Lady and busy food hall The Spot. Meanwhile, Little Dipper Hot Pot House and the adjoining Lab Cafe recently closed on Gibbs Street.
Yoga at Park Potomac
A new yoga studio is heading to Park Potomac. Local yogi Debi Schenk is taking over the long-empty Barre Belle space a few doors down from Kaufmann Jewelers. Plans call for an early September opening, with a price point around $17 per class. Schenk’s studio won’t be the only new fitness option in Potomac this fall; Pure Barre is moving to Potomac Village. More on that in our May 2nd edition.