Change is in the air at Congressional Plaza
There’s a lot of reshuffling at Rockville’s Congressional Plaza this month, with longtime tenants on the move and more changes still to come. Here’s the lowdown:
- Lebanese Taverna has closed its 20-year-old restaurant and will return next month with a new name, new format and new location between Ulta and Modern Market. Say hello to LebTav, which dispenses with the grill in favor of a fast-casual menu of salads, pita sandwiches, falafel, shawarma, hummus and grab-and-go items. This will be the second location for the Leb Tav format, which also involves more cooking at a central commissary. “If it’s successful, we will probably go this route for all our restaurants in the future,” says marketing manager Pamela Ferreira. For a sneak peek of the Rockville restaurant in progress, click here.
- Chico’s, which has been closing stores including the one in Potomac Village, is relocating from the north side of Congressional Plaza to a smaller space on the south side. The old Chico’s will close on Feb. 24th and the new one will open a few days later.
- On the back side of Congressional, new tenant Big Bear Custom Apparel is creating personalized clothing designs for sports teams, businesses, groups and individuals. Click here to check out the Big Bear website.
- Performance Bicycle has been holding a going-out-of-business sale since its parent company filed bankruptcy late last year. The store will remain open until early March, but most of its inventory is already gone.
All of these changes — plus the recent closing of the Thomasville furniture store — add up to a lot of empty space on the north side of Congressional Plaza. So what’s the plan for all that square footage? For awhile we were hearing talk about a mini Barnes & Noble store, but that seems unlikely now that the bookseller has renewed its lease at Montrose Crossing. Still, it certainly looks like something big is on the way. Watch our upcoming issues for the latest.
(Editor’s note: For an update on this story in our March 28th edition, click here.)
Cooper's Hawk will take flight soon
With the recent openings of Onelife Fitness and Chick-fil-A at Rockville’s Research Row, anticipation is building for the arrival of Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. The Illinois-based chain, which has locations in Reston, Ashburn and Annapolis, is known for its food-and-wine pairings, wine-tasting rooms and in-house gourmet markets. There’s no official opening date for Rockville just yet, but the company tells us it should happen sometime this summer.
Who's out at the mall
Add Payless to the list of stores holding going-out-of-business sales at Westfield Montgomery mall. The shoe chain has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the second time and will close all 2,500 locations by May. Also on the way out of the mall are Gymboree (Chapter 11), Crabtree & Evelyn (downsizing) and Sheepskin Gifts (a seasonal tenant that comes and goes every year). Already gone as of this week: the Kia Stinger showroom. So what’s on the way to Westfield Montgomery? More food. Catch up at storereporter.com for the latest on Cinnabon, 7-Eleven and Urban Plates.