Rasa arrives in Rockville
Fast-casual Indian chain Rasa opened its big green doors this week on Rockville Pike, filling the former Slapfish space at Montrose Crossing. This is the fifth Rasa and the first Montgomery County location for owners Rahul Vinod and Sahil Rahman, who grew up in Gaithersburg and are also second-generation restaurant partners. Their fathers own two longtime Indian restaurants: D.C.’s Indique and Rockville’s Bombay Bistro. Vinod and Rahman both left corporate careers to launch Rasa in 2017; after several rounds of funding, they have ambitious plans for the D.C. area and beyond.
Bed Bath & not a lot of bargains
Bargain-hunters have been descending on Rockville Pike this past week, hoping to score some deals as Bed Bath & Beyond and Buy Buy Baby begin their liquidation sales. The sister chains, which filed Chapter 11 last week, will cease operations by the end of June. So… are there actually any great bargains to be had? From what we’ve seen, probably not. Rockville’s Bed Bath & Beyond has been half-empty for at least a year, as merchandise noticeably dwindled and shelves never got restocked. Those 20 percent-off coupons won’t work anymore, and right now most of the store is only 10 percent off. Over at Buy Buy Baby, the discounts are slightly more generous at 20 and 30 percent off — but the strollers, carseats and other large items have already been snapped up.
The future of Normandie Farm
Nearly a year after Normandie Farm was sold to a D.C. restaurant group, the historic Potomac restaurant stands as empty as the day it closed down. Chef Cary Prokos, who ran the establishment for 39 of its 91 years, retired last June and sold the business to brothers Eric and Ian Hilton. Initially there was talk of a beer garden or some other ambitious plan for the Falls Road property. But the Hiltons’ company, H2 Collective, has bars and restaurants all over the D.C. area and has yet to turn its attention to Potomac. The brothers’ portfolio includes such diverse offerings as French bistro Chez Billy Sud, waterfront pub Brighton, a pair of Mexican beer gardens known as Del Rey, and a ’70s-inspired gaming bar called Players Club.” They are trying to get something done over in Potomac, but it’s been craziness around here,” an H2 spokesperson tells us. “That particular project is very much up in the air.”
The Store Reporter Guide
A weekly guide sponsored by some of our favorite local businesses
- BONDAY is a Rockville lifestyle boutique brimming with unique clothing, shoes, purses & gifts that spark joy. Shop our new Felicity T handbag line, made in Italy. Check out our moving sale, as we get ready to relocate to Congressional Plaza in May. Find us at Federal Plaza on Rockville Pike. Shop Facebook & Instagram. Phone: (240) 249-5908. Website: lebonday.com.
- HANNA’S CONNECTION clothing boutique, upstairs inside the Cabin John mini-mall. Big winter sale going on now! All winter fashions are on clearance. Stop in to see everything in person, schedule a private appointment, or arrange a virtual shopping session. Curbside pickup & shipping available. Shop new arrivals on Facebook and Instagram. Call us: (301) 704-0264. Website: hannasconnection.com.
IBHANA BOUTIQUE is the place to shop your favorite U.S. & Canadian designers: Joseph Ribkoff, IC, Snoskins, Moonlight, Lisette, Lior, Terra, Piccadilly, Habitat & more. Complete your outfit with a beautiful piece of jewelry & matching handbag, & walk out as your best self. New location: Federal Plaza in Rockville, 1776 East Jefferson Street, Suite 116. Open Monday-Saturday 10-5, Sunday 11-4. Phone: (301) 424-0906. Website: ibhana.net.
- JOYFUL BATH CO.: We make our own soaps, shower steamers, bath bombs, soy candles, Turkish towels & custom baskets. All our products are vegan & cruelty-free, paraben & phthalate-free, great for sensitive skin, no SLS or detergents, no glittery mess. We ship, we offer curbside pickup, or visit us in person: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. 5534 Wilkins Ct., North Bethesda. Call (301) 986-5320. Website: joyfulbathco.com.
- KAUFMANN JEWELERS: Fine jewelry, custom jewelry, large & small repairs. Father & son George & Corey Kaufmann are carrying on the family tradition: offering an upscale shopping experience while preserving the handshake-generation, family-business mentality. Whether we’re designing your custom piece, showing you our collection or handling your repairs, Kaufmann Jewelers strives to build lifelong clients. Call us: (301) 978-7778. Visit us at Park Potomac, 12500 Park Potomac Avenue. Website: kaufmannjewelers.com.
- LEILA JEWELS is the online address for the jewelry, gifts & Judaica shop you used to love at Cabin John Shopping Center. Since closing the shop a few years ago, owner Deb Shalom has gone virtual with a unique & beautiful selection of everything from gemstones & sterling silver to Murano glass from Venice & Judaica from Alef Bet Jewelry & Joy Stember Studios. Every price point, every occasion. Free shipping for all jewelry & hand-delivery for customers in the Potomac area. Catch us in person Sundays at the Cabin John farm market! Website: leilajewels.com.
- MOSAIQUE DESIGNS: Bethesda artist Shelley Dane blends traditional mosaic techniques with modern designs & resin finishes. She takes custom orders for beautiful, functional serving trays inspired by what’s meaningful to you: your home, your dog, your favorite spot, your favorite photo. Perfect for wedding gifts, anniversaries & milestone birthdays. Check out recent pieces on Instagram. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (301) 367-6735. Website: mosaiquedesigns.com.
- OUR GIFT BIZ: Mother’s Day is May 14th. Show your appreciation for those who take such good care of you! We’ll take this task off your plate & save you time, energy & effort. Shop online at ourgiftbiz.com, or work with our “gift concierges” to create the perfect custom gift. Just let us know your budget and when & where to send the gifts; we’ll take care of the rest. Phone: (240) 406-8701. Website: ourgiftbiz.com.
- SUSAN KOEHN DESIGNS: Where fun shines. Come see our collection of fine jewelry. Classy. Edgy. Timeless. Check out our latest on Facebook & Instagram. Call, text, email or DM for a private appointment at our showroom. Email susankoehndesigns.com. Phone: (301) 704-7605.
BUYING & SELLING JEWELRY
- JUST JEWELS: Ready to sell your jewelry? Lee Siegel has been buying & selling diamonds, fine jewelry & watches for 25 years. Modern & older cuts, engagement rings, loose diamonds, vintage pieces & brands like Cartier, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, David Webb, Chopard, Bvlgari, David Yurman, Rolex, Cartier, Patek Philippe & Omega. License #2801. Call our office in Bethesda: (301) 525-7561. Email email@example.com. Website: justjewelsusa.com.
- STX GOLD: We can help you settle any estate. Get full value for all precious metal items — gold jewelry, sterling silver flatware & silver serving pieces. We’ll do an in-home appointment, no obligation, to evaluate your items. Call (301) 318-9788. Visit our website & check the current price of gold: stxgold.com.
KIDS & TEENS
- TIPS ON TRIPS AND CAMPS: What are your kids doing this summer? We’re here to offer ideas, expertise & plenty of options. Tips on Trips and Camps has been around for half a century, guiding families like yours to the best summer options for their students ages 7-18+. All our services are FREE to families. No need to figure this out alone — we are happy to help, with plenty of ideas for summer 2023! To get started on your summer plan, call Lisa Bulman Mullen: (561) 703-6448 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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