City Sports throws in the towel at Pike & Rose
The year-old Pike & Rose development in North Bethesda has suffered its first casualty: City Sports, one of the first tenants to open there last November, says it will close up shop by the end of this month. The decision follows last week’s Chapter 11 filing for the Boston-based chain, which is also closing its Silver Spring store and possibly other D.C.-area locations. This is the second sporting goods retailer to go belly-up on Rockville Pike this fall; Hudson Trail Outfitters called it quits last month and is currently liquidating its store at Montrose Crossing. But it’s a whole different story for the Pike’s thriving REI store, which recently signed a lease for 36,000 square feet in Phase II of Pike & Rose. This week we heard some speculation that REI might take over the much-smaller City Sports space instead of waiting until 2017 for its new store to open. But Federal Realty, the developer of Pike & Rose, says that’s not going to happen. “We’re confident we will replace City Sports with a great retailer or restaurant that will be additive to the Pike & Rose neighborhood,” a company spokesman tells us.
Fish Taco swims toward a winter opening
If you’re one of those Fish Taco fans who can’t wait for the gourmet Mexican restaurant to open at Wildwood Shopping Center, we’re sorry to tell you that the wait will be a couple of months longer than expected. “Nobody wants to open sooner than I do, but now I think we’re looking at the middle of January,” says owner Francis Namin, who opened the original Fish Taco on MacArthur Boulevard and also owns Food Wine & Co. in Bethesda. Namin signed the Wildwood lease this summer and had hoped to open by fall, but plumbing and electrical issues got in the way. Still, he promises the new restaurant will be worth the wait: modern decor, seating for up to 80 people, a streamlined takeout counter, and a “lighter, brighter and happier” look than the one on MacArthur Boulevard.
New gym heading to Wildwood
Also on the way to Wildwood Shopping Center this winter is Solidcore, the D.C. fitness chain known for its high-intensity workouts on Pilates-based Megaformer machines. Founded two years ago in Adams Morgan, Solidcore promises a personalized, boutique atmosphere with 50-minute classes that are designed to exhaust every muscle. The Wildwood location, set to open after Thanksgiving, will have 14 machines that must be reserved and paid for online before you arrive. At peak times, those slots can fill up quickly. “Our typical clients are hard-working, hard-driving individuals who like to be challenged,” says Solidcore vice president Erika Elko. “Many are athletes and former athletes who have been very successful in their lives and careers.” At Solidcore’s price point, they’d have to be successful: The gym charges upwards of $35 for a single class, with one-year unlimited memberships going for nearly $3,500.
Still time for a gift from On Cloud 9
It’s not too late to enter our giveaway for a super-soft Butter jacket from On Cloud 9 at Potomac Woods Plaza, 1085 Seven Locks Road. The winner will get to choose from an array of cute styles like these, available in sizes 4 to 16. On Cloud 9 caters to fashionistas of any age — babies, girls, teens and women — with the latest looks from Vintage Havana, So Nikki, Malibu Sugar, Wildfox, T2 Love and many more. Update: Jill Mendelson Rodriguez won this giveaway; keep reading Store Reporter to see what we’re giving away next.
Potomac jeweler is back with a new store
Potomac jeweler George Kaufmann, formerly with the now-closed Robert Bernard Jewelers at Potomac Woods Plaza, opened a new store at Park Potomac last week with son Corey as his partner. Kaufmann has been in the jewelry business for most of his life, learning the trade from his own father at a Kaufmann store in D.C. that dated back to the 1940s. The new Kaufmann Jewelers, 12500 Park Potomac Avenue across from Sugo and MoCo’s Founding Farmers, will offer repair service and custom work on gold, diamonds, gemstones and watches.
Bankruptcy filing for American Apparel
American Apparel filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection this week, a move that had been expected for months as the troubled company fought with its ousted founder and saw its sales continue to slide. The retailer plans to close some of its 227 stores, but there’s no word yet on the fate of the one at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The past 12 months have been tough for teen retailers, with Wet Seal, Delia’s and Deb Shops going out of business while once-popular chains like Abercrombie & Fitch face an uphill battle to win back their fickle customer base.