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Pike & Rose


More new restaurants for Pike & Rose

Pike & Rose is adding two more restaurants to its lineup, filling the empty spots left by the recently departed La Madeleine and Carluccio’s. Moving into the former La Madeleine space on Old Georgetown Road: Commonwealth Indian, serving beer, wine and cocktails along with a selection of Indian dishes. The Carluccio’s space next to Owen’s Ordinary will be home to Kusshi Sushi and Sake Bar, a new venture from the owners of Bethesda’s Hanaro Sushi. What else is scheduled to open at Pike & Rose this year? A ramen bar called Jinya (click here for more); a Mexican restaurant called Nada (click here for more); and Julii, a new concept from the founders of CAVA (click here for more).



Realtor Lisa Nasar of Long & Foster:




Kung Fu Tea and Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt at Pike & Rose


Kung Fu Tea kicks butt

The Tutti Frutti yogurt shop at Pike & Rose is now a Tutti Frutti/Kung Fu Tea combo. That makes three Montgomery County locations for the fast-expanding bubble tea chain, which also can be found in downtown Rockville and Westfield Montgomery Mall. A competitor, Boba Station, closed its doors at the mall last week. But another New York bubble tea chain is coming to test the waters: Gong Cha will open in Rockville this year as part of an all-Asian food court called The Spot. For more on The Spot, click here. For other bubble tea stores in our area, click here.



Restaurants at Wintergreen Plaza:




Van with M. Gemi Italian shoes at Westfield Montgomery Mall


Latest exits at the mall

More changes in store at Westfield Montgomery Mall, where some of the last remaining independent retailers will be among those exiting before summer. Shafa Blends, which opened three years ago under the name Rumi Tea and Spice, has relocated to Gaithersburg. Boba Station is also out (see story above) and other longtime tenants like Solstice and Pen Boutique are getting ready to leave. Hoamgar, an Asian chain that was testing the U.S. market, will close its doors this spring. Some of those empty spaces will likely be filled with attention-getting pop-up shops — like this minivan filled with Italian shoes.



Toy Castle Lego Building Challenge:



Vince & Dominic's is torn down at Home Depot Square


Vince & Dominic’s no more

See that empty space to the right of the Bubbles hair salon? That’s where the Vince & Dominic’s pizzeria used to be. Home Depot, which owns that shopping center, has torn down some of the empty storefronts to make room for more parking. 



Disney's Beauty and the Beast at Herbert Hoover Middle School:




Did you miss these stories?

  • Aldi will open a no-frills grocery store on Rockville Pike. Click here.
  • Corned Beef King will open inside a Rockville gas station. Click here.
  • CAVA opens new restaurant at Montrose Crossing. Click here.
  • Dave & Buster’s coming to Rio Washingtonian Center. Click here.
  • Mix Bar & Grille closes in Potomac Village. Click here.
  • Hank Dietle’s burns down. Click here.
  • The Halal Guys opens at Wintergreen Plaza: Click here.
  • Chevy Chase Supermarket plans a spinoff in Rockville: Click here.



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Aldi on the way

Aldi, the German grocer known for its high-quality products and ultra-low prices, is heading to Rockville Pike. Plans call for a fall opening in the former H.H. Gregg space at Congressional North shopping center, a few doors down from Bed Bath & Beyond. This is one of six new Aldi stores scheduled to open in Maryland this year, but the company tells us it’s the only one planned for Montgomery County at this time. Aldi is something of a corporate cousin to Trader Joe’s — they both originated from the same parent company — and the two chains have a similar business model: small stores, limited product selection and mostly private-label brands. But Aldi cuts prices even further by dispensing with every frill — meaning that you’ll have to bring your own bags, pack your own groceries, even put down a refundable deposit on your shopping cart. (If you’d rather just stick with Trader Joe’s, there’s also a new one of those coming to Rockville this year. Click here for details. And did you hear about the Wegmans store planned for Rockville Pike? Click here for more on that.)



Wills Decorating offers a Hunter Douglas discount for Store Reporter readers:




Corned Beef King food truck


New throne for the Corned Beef King

One bit of fallout from last month’s fire at the historic Hank Dietle’s Tavern: The Corned Beef King food truck, which had been serving meals on the property for several years, was left without a home on Rockville Pike. But it didn’t take long for owner Jon Rossler to cook up a new plan: His truck can now be found outside the Liberty gas station off Twinbrook Parkway, and Rossler is in the process of taking over a little-used kitchen inside the building. The idea came from the station’s owner, Bobby Wheeler, who’s been a fan since the days when Rossler’s family ran Potomac’s Celebrity Delly. “Jon serves a high-quality product that’s just like his father used to make,” Wheeler says. “Once people find out we’re serving his corned beef, they’ll be back for more.” The gas station/deli combo will be the second such venture for Rossler, who runs a similar operation in Olney. Click here to check out the menu.



Patrizia Luca Milano


Italian boutique is back

Good news for fans of Patrizia Luca Milano, the two-year-old Italian clothing store at Westfield Montgomery Mall. After losing its home in the Macy’s wing last month, the store reopened this week in larger quarters across from Michael Kors. The high-profile spot, which once belonged to Bebe, is a big move for owner Mahmoud Nassaj at a time when many independently owned stores are closing their doors. What’s his secret? “Our niche is that we’re different,” he says. “We’re more like a boutique than a typical department store where you see the same thing around every corner. When new customers come in, 90 percent of them say, ‘Finally, something different.'” Click here to check out it out.



Jenny Camps Personal Training:




Rooftop yoga at Truebody Fitness


Namaste in Bethesda

Truebody, a new gym from local fitness guru Robert Sherman, had its long-awaited opening last week near the Bethesda Metro Station on Wisconsin Avenue. Sherman, who is well known in the Rockville/Potomac area from his years at Life Time Athletic, offers a full schedule of cardio and strength classes with an eye toward mindfulness. Cool features include a fire pit, a meditation labyrinth and a snazzy rooftop yoga space. Click here for more.



Did you miss these stories?

  • CAVA opens on Rockville Pike. Click here.
  • Dave & Buster’s coming to Rio Washingtonian Center. Click here.
  • The Halal Guys opens at Wintergreen Plaza: Click here.
  • Mix Bar & Grill closes in Potomac Village. Click here.
  • Westfield Montgomery Mall sees more closings: Click here.
  • Chevy Chase Supermarket plans a spinoff in Rockville: Click here.
  • Cabin John restaurant update: Click here.



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Trader Joe's


Trader Joe’s at Travilah? Not just yet

Disappointing news for Trader Joe’s fans in Rockville: The new location at Travilah Square Shopping Center is really behind schedule. While the store initially was expected to open by early spring, construction has been delayed — and now we hear that it might not even arrive before the holidays. A company spokesman was noncommittal: “Later this year” was all we could get. The Gaithersburg Trader Joe’s will be closing once the new store opens, but the Rockville location is staying put.





Photo via CAVA


Another CAVA for Rockville

CAVA opened its newest Montgomery County location this week, joining newcomer Honeygrow at the former Timpano site on Rockville Pike. The two eateries mark the beginning of an upcoming restaurant row that soon will include Five Guys and Slapfish. Never heard of Slapfish? Click here. Wondering when CAVA is going to open at Cabin John? Click here.



Bethesda Central Winter Farm Market:




Rio Washingtonian Center


Dave & Buster’s rolls into Rio

Nine months after we first reported that Dave & Buster’s would be heading to Gaithersburg’s Rio Washingtonian Center, the deal finally became official this week. The gaming chain, which has been seeking a new location in this area since the White Flint Mall was torn down, is moving into the former Sport & Health space near the movie theater. And we hear there are more renovations on the way for Rio. Stay tuned.



My Best Friend's Closet


My Best Friend’s Closet grows up

A lot has changed at My Best Friend’s Closet since the boutique opened nearly a decade ago in Rockville. Once a go-to for tweens in search of gently used clothing and party wear, the store now carries all-new merchandise that takes its customers into their 20s and beyond. Partners Susan Olan and Cheryl Rhodes say the same young women who first came looking for bat mitzvah dresses are now out of college and still shopping at the store — as are their mothers. While My Best Friend’s Closet no longer carries any recycled items, the store has managed to keep prices down by working with vendors whose clothes can’t be found in department stores. My Best Friend’s Closet, 9735 Traville Gateway Drive, 301-340-3233.




Window treatments by Wills Decorating:




Oreck vacuum store at Federal Plaza


Vacuum store bites the dust

This week we received a lot of reader mail about the unexpected closing of the Oreck store at Federal Plaza on Rockville Pike. Some customers who had dropped off their vacuums for repair are now trying to figure out how to get them back. Oreck is directing people to its next-closest store in Ellicott City, where some of the missing vacuums apparently have shown up. To get in touch with that store, click here.



Did you miss these stories?

  • Mix Bar & Grille closes in Potomac Village. Click here.
  • Hank Dietle’s burns down. Click here.
  • The Halal Guys opens at Wintergreen Plaza: Click here.
  • Westfield Montgomery Mall sees more closings: Click here.
  • Chevy Chase Supermarket plans a spinoff in Rockville: Click here.
  • Cabin John restaurant update: Click here.
  • Brookstone and Golf Galaxy close their doors: Click here.
  • Uniqlo Japanese clothing chain is coming to Pike & Rose: Click here.



Email news and advertising questions to:




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Mix Bar and Grille in Potomac Village


Mix closes in Potomac Village

There were some broken hearts in Potomac Village this week when Mix Bar & Grille closed its doors just ahead of Valentine’s Day. The tables were set for dinner and there was no “closed” sign on the door when we stopped by, but the restaurant’s voicemail was full with no sign of activity inside. A sister restaurant in Silver Spring also wasn’t answering the phones this week. If Mix is gone for good, it will be the second eatery to close in the past two months at the Potomac Promenade shopping center on Falls Road. Fortune Garden departed in December, and the search is on for a new tenant. Click here for more.



Realtor Lisa Nasar of Long & Foster:




 Room from Land of Nod


Playtime’s over for Land of Nod

This week brought some bad news for Land of Nod, the kids’ home decor company known for its colorful, whimsical styles. Parent company Crate & Barrel plans to close all the brick-and-mortar Land of Nod stores and discontinue the adorable Land of Nod catalog, reducing the company to a website with a limited selection of products. The good news is that some Crate & Barrel stores — including the ones in D.C. and Tysons Corner — will start carrying Land of Nod merchandise on the sales floor. Look for that to happen this spring. Not familiar with Land of Nod? Click here to check it out.



Herbert Hoover Theater presents Disney's Beauty and the Beast Jr:



Hank Dietle's burning down

Photo: Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service


Sad end for Hank Dietle’s

For those who haven’t heard yet, the historic Hank Dietle’s Tavern was destroyed this week in a fire caused by “discarded smoking materials” on the front porch. It’s unclear what will happen to the remains of the century-old dive bar, a Rockville Pike landmark that held the first liquor license in Montgomery County. The fire came just weeks after the closing of Helen’s, the neighboring restaurant that had been struggling to stay in business this past year. Owner Helen Wasserman had told Store Reporter that business was slow and she came close to closing several times before it finally happened. More in our Nov. 30th issue.



VIP at Westfield Montgomery Mall


More exits at the mall

Yet another round of exits to report at Westfield Montgomery Mall this week. The V*I*P clothing store will be closing in the next few weeks after a disappointing holiday season. Pen Boutique, which has been selling fine writing instruments at the mall for a decade, is also on the way out. And we’ve seen the last of two short-lived tenants, the Euphrasie dress shop and the Flexy custom printing store. Last week brought the departure of several stores in the Macy’s wing (click here for more). So who’s moving in this spring? Find our most recent info here — and watch Store Reporter for updates.




Did you miss these stories?

  • The Halal Guys opens at Wintergreen Plaza: Click here.
  • Montrose Crossing gets a new seafood restaurantClick here.
  • Westfield Montgomery Mall sees more closings: Click here.
  • Chevy Chase Supermarket plans a spinoff in Rockville: Click here.
  • Cabin John restaurant update: Click here.
  • Brookstone and Golf Galaxy close their doors: Click here.
  • Uniqlo Japanese clothing chain is coming to Pike & Rose: Click here.



Email news and advertising questions to:




read more




Platter from The Halal Guys


Hello Halal Guys

Feb. 16th is opening day for The Halal Guys at Wintergreen Plaza, the first Maryland location for a business that started on the streets of New York City. The menu features chicken, beef and falafel dishes in platter or gyro form, topped with hot sauce or the restaurant’s signature white sauce. “We’re bringing the original New York food cart inside,” says Tony Pizzola, director of franchise operations. The Halal Guys will be open for lunch and dinner in the former Rocklands Barbecue space, with seating for 20 people and prices around $10. Catering will be added in the weeks to come, as well as delivery via Uber Eats and other services. To check out the menu, click here.



Valentine's Day menu and events at The Grilled Oyster:




Clobster Grilled Cheese sandwich from SlapfishPhoto: Lauren Gruen/Slapfish

Slapfish makes a splash

What’s this, you ask? Meet the Clobster, a crab/lobster mashup squeezed into a grilled cheese sandwich. It’s one of the signature items at Slapfish, the fast-casual restaurant we told you about last week that’s on the way to Montrose Crossing. Pricing is mostly in the $7 to $15 range for items like shrimp ceviche, lobster grinders, baja mahi sandwiches and surf-n-turf lobster burgers; beer and wine will also be served. Jon Friedlander and Mike Burke, local franchisees for the California-based concept, say they’re planning a rapid expansion in the D.C. area. The Rockville location, next to the new Honeygrow along Rockville Pike, is scheduled to open in June. For a preview of the menu, click here.



Valentine's Day shopping at Wintergreen Plaza:




vacant storefront in the Macy's wing at Westfield Montgomery Mall


More mall moves

Still more vacancies to report this week in the Macy’s wing at Westfield Montgomery Mall. Teavana has closed its doors — part of a nationwide shutdown of the Starbucks-owned chain — and the imminent departure of Solstice will leave three empty spaces directly across from the Apple store. The storefront right next door to Apple also emptied out this week as clothing boutique Patrizia Luca Milano relocated to the Nordstrom wing. Who’s taking its spot? An Invisalign dental center. For a look at what else is coming to the mall in the next few months, click here.



Valentine's gifts at Kaufmann Jewelers:




tomatoes in a grocery basket


New market for Rockville

Coming this spring to the Woodley Gardens shopping center in Rockville: Corner Market and Pharmacy, a locally owned grocery featuring on-site medical services and home delivery of your meds. The store is a new venture from the owners of Chevy Chase Supermarket, which is closing its doors after 60 years to make way for new construction in that area. Corner Market is scheduled to open in April at Woodley Gardens, best known as the home of Carmen’s Italian Ice and Hard Times Cafe.



Bethesda Central Winter Farm Market:




Car crashing through a window at Fresh Baguette

Photo via Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services

Car trouble for Rockville bakery

This past Wednesday morning — one of those snowless snow days for Montgomery County Public Schools — a car apparently slid on the ice and crashed through a window of the Fresh Baguette bakery on Hungerford Drive. There was a similar incident last December at Rockville’s Kielbasa Factory, which is just now getting ready to reopen after nearly two months of repairs. But things went more smoothly at the bakery this week, where the owner offered the unharmed driver a cup of coffee and graciously made some jokes about drive-through service. The damage was patched temporarily, and Fresh Baguette was back in business a few hours later. For a video of the incident, click here for a report from Fox 5.



Lolly's Locks Valentine's Day Bazaar:




Did you miss these stories?

  • New restaurants for Cabin John and Montrose Crossing: Click here.
  • Brookstone and Golf Galaxy close their doors: Click here.
  • Uniqlo and Scout & Molly’s to open at Pike & Rose: Click here.
  • Two Asian food courts to open in Rockville this summer: Click here.
  • Guess, Tara Asia and Quench close their doors: Click here.



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