Four new restaurants for Rockville
A new group of fast-casual restaurants is heading to Montrose Crossing, filling the now-empty space where Timpano was recently torn down. On the way so far: Five Guys, CAVA Grill, Pieology and a Philly-based stir-fry concept called Honeygrow (click here for more). All are expected to open this winter.
A Taste of New Orleans on Rockville Pike
Mardi Gras fans and Tulane grads, listen up: A Cajun-style restaurant is heading to Rockville Pike. Live Crawfish & Seafood is set to open this fall at Ritchie Center off Wootton Parkway, home to La Limeña, IHOP and a bounty of international restaurants. This will be a big place: 3,000 square feet with seating for more than 80 people, says owner Thuan Nguyen. Menu will be similar to that of New Orleans Cajun Seafood, a sister restaurant in Falls Church. (Click here to check it out.)
Gift shop to exit Cabin John
Leila Fine Gifts & Jewels, one of the last locally owned gift shops in the Rockville/Potomac area, is closing its doors after five years at Cabin John Shopping Center. “The retail environment is challenging everywhere these days,” says owner Deb Shalom, who is still moving forward with the new jewelry subscription business that we wrote about last month. “Even the most established stores are having a hard time. For someone like me with far fewer resources, it’s tough to make things work.” This has been the worst year in recent memory for local gift shops: As Kindred Spirits closed its last remaining location in March, Ten Thousand Villages exited Rockville and Bethesda soon afterwards, and Appalachian Spring will shutter its Georgetown store this weekend.
Carluccio’s exits Pike & Rose
Carluccio’s Italian Market, the British-owned restaurant that opened just last year at Pike & Rose, has called off plans for a U.S. expansion. The American restaurant business was more competitive than expected, a spokesman told the Washington Business Journal. Carluccio’s, which also shuttered its Virginia location in Alexandria, is the third tenant to close its doors at three-year-old Pike & Rose. The short-lived City Sports departed after its parent company filed Chapter 11, and the children’s boutique Yogaso closed last January.
New at the mall: beanbags and Peloton bikes
Lovesac has opened its doors at Westfield Montgomery Mall, selling beanbag-style furniture on the second level near Nordstrom. This is the second beanbag store at the mall, joining two-year-old Yogibo. Also new this week: A try-it-yourself kiosk for Peloton, the high-end line of spin bikes with video screens that connect to live instructors. You’ll find Peloton on the mall’s lower level near Guess.
Amazon in the news
Amazon deals have been all over the news this past week. First the e-tailer agreed to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Then it announced Prime Wardrobe, a subscription service for no-hassle, easy-return shipments of clothes, shoes and accessories. And now Bloomberg reports that Amazon will soon start selling Nike goods directly from its site, thwarting counterfeiters and bypassing sporting goods retailers like Dick’s, Finish Line and Foot Locker. What will Amazon gobble up next? Stay tuned.