Not Your Average Joe’s to open next month
Not Your Average Joe’s, now under construction in the old Hamburger Hamlet space at Georgetown Square Shopping Center, will open in mid-July with a moderately priced menu of salads, steaks and seafood. “The decor will be a little more upscale than the one in Gaithersburg, since our look as a company is changing every few years,” says Joe Harris, general manager of the new restaurant off Democracy and Old Georgetown Road. Harris’ top picks from the menu: Cobb Salad ($14), Ahi Tuna Salad ($18), Grilled New York Strip Steak ($32), and the Rosemary Skewered Scallops shown here ($25). Not to mention the fresh-baked focaccia bread that you’ll find at every table. “Sometimes people get upset because that bread is so good that they don’t have room for other things,” Harris chuckled.
Mellow Mushroom heads to Rockville
Mellow Mushroom, the Atlanta-based pizza chain that manages to blend ’70s hippie culture with a kid-friendly atmosphere, will open its first Maryland location this winter at Rockville Town Square. The restaurant is taking over the former Oro Pomodoro space across from the concert stage and ice rink, as well as the adjacent storefront that once belonged to Potomac River Running. The menu will include calzones, hoagies, salads, craft beer and plenty of options for gluten-free and vegetarian diners. And unlike the upscale Oro Pomodoro, the setting will be “funky and very casual — a place where you can bring your family or your whole soccer team,” says Danny Trehan, part of the D.C.-area franchise group that also owns Mellow Mushroom restaurants in Northern Virginia and Adams Morgan. The new pizzeria is one of several new restaurants heading to Rockville Town Square this year; click here for more in our June 4 edition.
The Gazette is gone — but count on Store Reporter for local news coverage
Like so many of of our readers, we were saddened to learn that The Gazette newspapers would be printing their last issues this week. Here at Store Reporter, we believe in the importance of local news coverage — even if it arrives in the form of a weekly email instead of a plastic-wrapped bundle at the foot of your driveway. We hope you’ll continue to count on Store Reporter for the latest news on retail and restaurants in greater Rockville and Potomac. This summer we’ll be taking some time off, with a scaled-back schedule of one issue per month until we resume our weekly updates in September. We’ll also be posting to our Facebook page whenever something newsworthy happens. If you haven’t already liked us on Facebook, click here to make sure you don’t miss a beat.
Tara Thai to the mall in December
It looks like Tara Thai will open around Christmas at Westfield Montgomery Mall, where the company has finalized plans to take over a portion of the long-empty Legal Sea Foods space. Rich Amsellem of Streetsense, who brokered the deal for Tara Thai, says the atmosphere will be a little more relaxed than the chain’s other locations, with “Thailand beach resort” decor and indoor/outdoor seating for 85 people. The mall is negotiating with another tenant to take the other half of the Legal space.
Gap trims down
This week Gap announced that it will close 175 underperforming U.S. locations, leaving some 500 regular Gap stores and 300 Gap Outlets across the country. No word yet on whether the closings will affect our area, where Gap and GapKids have a major presence at Westfield Montgomery Mall as well as a brand new location at Pike & Rose. Gap is one of several clothing retailers — including Aeropostale and Abercrombie & Fitch — that are closing stores even as they try to regain front-runner status with the fickle clothes-buying public. Several other chains, including Wet Seal and Caché, have gone out of business in recent months.