New restaurant for Wildwood
Promising new restaurant on the way to the Wildwood shopping center: Piccoli Piatti, a fresh concept from Fish Taco founder Francis Namin. The fast-casual eatery will take over the Oakville Grille space with a family-friendly atmosphere and a moderately priced menu of thin-crust pizzas and Mediterranean-inspired small plates. Namin is no stranger to pizza restaurants: His family once ran Bethesda’s much-missed Red Tomato Café. Tentative opening date for this one: March 2020.
Lands' End in, Baja Fresh out at Congressional Plaza
Congressional Plaza gained a store and lost a restaurant this week, as Lands’ End confirmed rumors that it’s joining the lineup while Baja Fresh made a quiet exit. This will be the second full-sized Lands’ End store in Maryland, part of the retailer’s ambitious plan to forge into the brick-and-mortar world while cutting ties with the failing Sears chain. At Congressional, doors will open this fall in the old Performance Bicycle space — just about the time that next-door neighbor Saks Off 5th closes its doors. (More on that in our June 27th edition.)
New at the mall
Interesting new addition to Westfield Montgomery mall this week: Yvonne Ex, now open next to Lenscrafters with a dazzling array of clothing and accessories from Ghana. This is the first U.S. venture for owner Yvonne Tawiah, who produces her own tie-dyes and batiks for men and women. What else is new at the mall this week? Clothing store Windsor has opened its doors in the Old Navy wing, Kicks USA has changed its names to Snipes, and Shilla Bakery will now be known as Syd’s. More on that in an upcoming issue.
Comeback for Taylor Gourmet
Sandwich chain Taylor Gourmet, on the comeback trail after a 2018 bankruptcy, has announced plans to reopen three locations including the one at Pike & Rose. The North Bethesda restaurant was just four months old when Taylor Gourmet filed Chapter 11 last September. Its new owners, who bought the company’s assets in bankruptcy court, plan to bring back all three locations by the end of the summer.