Make-your-own pizza on Shady Grove Road
Pieology, a make-your-own pizza restaurant in the style of the recently departed Blaze, made its Maryland debut on Shady Grove Road this week in the former Chicken Out space near Nordstrom Rack. This is the beginning of a planned mid-Atlantic expansion for Pieology, a California-based chain that offers 40 choices of fresh toppings over three types of crusts (including gluten-free) at a price point below $10. Click here to see the menu, which also includes Chopt-style customizable salads. Pieology is actively looking for additional Maryland and D.C.-area locations, says local franchise exec Todd Stallings. He and his associates already know the market: They’re also the regional franchisees for Five Guys.
Habit Burger opens in Rockville
The Habit Burger Grill, named by Consumer Reports as one of the top fast food restaurants in the country, arrived ahead of schedule this week at Wintergreen Plaza on Rockville Pike. Like Pieology, this is a California-based chain opening its first store in Maryland. Click here to check out the Shake Shack-style menu of burgers, fries, onion rings and ice cream-based drinks. If burgers aren’t your thing, Jersey Mike’s Subs is set to open next door in early July. The two restaurants stand in the spot once occupied by Tedd’s 355 diner, which closed last fall.
Another restaurant exits the mall
Westfield Montgomery Mall lost its fourth restaurant in two weeks with the closing of Chloe’s NY Style Deli, which exited over Memorial Day weekend shortly after celebrating its first anniversary. Chloe’s had been the first independent venture for owner Caje Fernandes, a veteran of Celebrity Delly, Attman’s and Shalom Kosher whose menu had offered everything from knishes to latkes to matzoh ball soup. Fernandes says he simply couldn’t generate enough traffic with so many food choices at the mall, especially at his location away from the central Dining Terrace. Chloe’s closed just a week after the simultaneous departures of Blaze Pizza, Lobster ME and Jamaican Mi Crazy. (Click here for more in our May 23rd edition.) Mall officials say there are several new leases soon to be announced, in addition to next month’s opening of Beefsteak by celeb chef José Andrés. (Click here for more in our Feb. 18 edition.)
Vodka, blintzes and belly dancing in Rockville
Samovar, the Russian/Central Asian restaurant that’s been under construction for more than a year at Rockville Town Square, finally opened this week at 201 North Washington Street. Owner Solijon Nasimov, a longtime restaurateur in his native Tajikistan, will be working with daughter Ika Nasimova of Rockville’s European Delight market. Entrées include caviar dishes, blintzes, beef stroganoff, smoked fish and kebabs, with a drink menu that ranges from Turkish coffee to infused vodkas to Czech and Ukranian beers… and White Russians, of course. Click here to check out the menu, as well as the upcoming schedule for live music and belly dancing.