Going, going, gone
As we begin the new year, let’s bid adieu to some local stores and restaurants that didn’t survive the holidays. At Westfield Montgomery Mall, the Burton snowboarding shop and the Dumpling Dojo eatery both made sudden disappearances. Also gone are Naartjie Kids, whose parent company declared bankruptcy last fall, and Wet Seal, a struggling teen retailer that started dumping hundreds of its stores after Christmas. Over in Rockville, The Children’s Place at Congressional Plaza will close this month (though the Montgomery Mall location will remain). And today (1/8) is the last day of business for Robert Bernard Jewelers at Potomac Woods Plaza — but one of its partners expects to open a new store in the area. (Click here for more in our Dec. 4 edition.)
Tiara Galleries & Gifts, a fixture at Congressional Plaza for the past two decades, is making big changes for 2015. Next month the store will get a new name (Silver Moon Jewelry & Accessories), a new location (the former Harry & David space a few doors down), and a new focus on jewelry and handbags. “We won’t be carrying any more crystal or porcelain,” says owner Irv Losman. “Those ‘older’ categories were my dominion — but the rest of my staff is more in tune with lines like Brighton, Spartina, Vera Bradley, Endless, Pandora, and Alex and Ani. We’ve decided to do a smaller, more streamlined store that appeals to women in a different way.”
Two more restaurants at Pike & Rose
Opening in the next few weeks at Pike & Rose: Stella Barra Pizzeria, featuring artisanal pizzas, salads and sandwiches; and Summer House Santa Monica, offering California-influenced food with a beach house-style decor. Both concepts are from the Chicago-based restaurant empire Lettuce Entertain You, which also owns chains like Maggiano’s and Mon Ami Gabi. Click here to learn more.
Grocery staff shakeups in Potomac Village
With the re-opening of the Market at River Falls over the holidays, several key employees who had crossed the street to Potomac Grocer have now returned to their original jobs. Back at River Falls are chef Steven Fela and seafood specialist Michael “Junior” Turgott. Manager Max Devens says he’s staying with Potomac Grocer. He’ll be joined by newly hired chef David Rogers, a veteran of Balducci’s and the National Gallery of Art. Now that this musical chairs game seems to be over, we’re still wondering: Can Potomac Village really generate enough business to support a Giant, a Safeway and two high-end grocery stores? (For more background on the Village grocery store saga, click here.)