Irish Inn owners buy Benny’s at Cabin John
Benny’s Bar & Grill closed its doors last weekend after two years in business at Cabin John Shopping Center. But the space won’t be empty for long: The owners of Glen Echo’s Irish Inn are taking over with a new restaurant called Lahinch. “I heard that Benny’s was for sale, and I figured that if I didn’t buy it somebody else would,” says Lahinch co-owner Chris Hughes, a native Irishman who once ran Ireland’s Four Provinces pubs in D.C. and Falls Church. “Benny’s was ideally set up with two rooms, two bars and a stage for us to have live music,” Hughes says. Lahinch, which takes its name from a famous golf course in Ireland, will offer a more casual atmosphere than the Irish Inn with traditional dishes like lamb stew, fish-and-chips and corned beef with cabbage. But the menu will be broader than you might expect. “We’ll specialize in American cuisine using fresh local meats, seafood and produce,” says general manager Barry Nolan. “We’re not your typical Irish pub.” After a few renovations to the Benny’s space, Lahinch is expected to open in mid-January.
O’Donnell’s Market eyes November opening at Potomac Woods
Construction is humming along at the new O’Donnell’s Market, where owner Bill Edelblut hopes to open before Thanksgiving at Potomac Woods Plaza off Montrose and Seven Locks Road. The market will offer fresh meats, fish and seafood plus a salad bar, grab-and-go items, and a bakery stocked with bread, pies and the famous O’Donnell’s rum buns. Edelblut, whose family ran the O’Donnell’s Sea Grill restaurant chain for almost 100 years, says he thought about taking it easy after selling his last restaurant in The Kentlands two years ago. “But it turned out that 18 months of retirement was enough,” he says. “I’ve always wanted to do a market where people can buy something to take home rather than going out to dinner. We’ll have some products that are pre-cooked, and some that are raw and come with heating instructions. And people will be able to just call up and say, ‘Hey, Bill — cook me a lobster and two crab cakes, and I’ll be there in 20 minutes to pick it up.'”
Who won the gift card for Jodi’s Jamboree?
Congratulations to Store Reporter reader Abby Signer Gleicher, who won our $50 gift card for Jodi’s Jamboree. Abby’s daughter will have her pick of jewelry, pajama pants, monogrammed robes, personalized rain jackets, sweatshirts and much more from the teen-oriented Rockville business. If you have a teen of your own to shop for — or you’re looking for personalized merchandise for your sports team, school or upcoming mitzvah — click here to shop the Jodi’s Jamboree Facebook page or call owner Jodi Pasternak at 301-742-1468. You also can find a booth full of Jodi’s merchandise at the upcoming Washington Hebrew Congregation Holiday Boutique, Nov. 15-17 at the Bindeman Center on Falls Road.
Walgreens buys Rite Aid
This week Walgreens announced plans to buy Rite Aid in $17.2 billion transaction that’s expected to close next year. The deal could have a direct impact on Potomac Village, where Walgreens and Rite Aid have stores right across the street from each other — and one would be likely to close. Walgreens currently has more stores than any other U.S. drug chain, but rival CVS — which recently announced plans to take over Target’s in-store pharmacies — does a bigger business in dollar volume. The Rite-Aid acquisition would potentially give Walgreens greater purchasing power to cut deals with its suppliers and possibly offer better prices to its customers.
Can Target trick you into buying more candy?
If you’re taking the kids out for Halloween this Saturday, Target has a new trick for your cell phone. Treatster, which launched this week, is a crowd-sourced mobile app that allows its users to rate the best Halloween houses in their neighborhoods. The app uses a pumpkin image that constantly changes sizes as it’s up-voted or down-voted by trick-or-treaters on the move. Here in the Rockville/Potomac area, we all know plenty of little trick-or-treaters who already have their own cell phones. But we wonder if this app is really a just clever way of getting the parents to buy more candy — at Target of course — to make sure they get the best pumpkin rating on the block. If you’re game to play along with Treatster, click here for more inf