Chinese and Jamaican food on the way to the mall
Two more ethnic eateries — both from local owners, not big chains — will join the increasingly adventurous Dining Terrace lineup at Westfield Montgomery Mall in the next few months. A new Bob’s restaurant, from the owners of Rockville favorites Bob’s Shanghai 66 and Bob’s Noodle 66, will serve up authentic Chinese cuisine (and hopefully those famous soup dumplings) starting in late August next to Chloe’s Deli. Also on the way is Jamaican Mi Crazy, the first permanent storefront from D.C.-based food truck owner Nya Radway, opening in early August near the new Naples pizzeria. The menu will feature traditional dishes that Radway learned from her Jamaican parents: jerk chicken, beef patties, curried chicken and goat, oxtail simmered in butter beans, rice and peas, coco bread and fried plantains. “Doing the food truck has been great, but I’ve been looking for something bigger with more foot traffic,” Radway says. “And as far as I know, there has never been a Caribbean restaurant like this in a mall.”
Sweets for a good cause
Newly open in the lobby of Rockville’s Jewish Federation building on Executive Boulevard: a cafe operated by the nonprofit Sunflower Bakery, which teaches baking skills to people with developmental and cognitive disabilities. From 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, you’ll find coffee, bagels and top-notch baked goods from the Sunflower factory in Gaithersburg — all kosher, with many gluten-free options. Cafe Sunflower serves as an extension of the bakery program, teaching its employees real-life job skills like working the cash register, making specialty drinks, interacting with customers, even sales and business management. “We don’t give them a limit on how long they can work here,” says cafe manager Kelsey Pitta. “But ideally, the goal is for them to eventually go out and find other jobs.”
Potomac Woods update: Spa opens, seafood market’s next
A new day spa opened last week at Potomac Woods Plaza, in the onetime Natural Body space off Montrose and Seven Locks Road. AcuSpa offers everything from massage to nail care to reflexology, all incorporating the “East-meets-West” philosophy of owner Danlu Wang-Ross. She didn’t have to do much renovation to the space, which was originally designed for the Natural Body spa chain but had been home in recent years to the now-closed Lacy Couture boutique. Next up for Potomac Woods Plaza: a new seafood market from the O’Donnell’s restaurant family, replacing the recently-closed Little Gym. Click here to read more in our April 30 issue.
Cell phone store taking B Scene’s space
Well, it didn’t take long for Cabin John Mall to find someone to take over the B Scene space. Cell Fixx, offering repairs and cell phone accessories, will open in June after the 14-year-old clothing boutique moves out. Store owner Igor Titovets is a U.S. Army vet who learned to repair cell phones after serving in Afghanistan. He specializes in Apple and Samsung products, but says he’ll service other brands as well. (Did you miss last week’s issue about B Scene’s impending departure? Click here to learn the details.)
Goodbye to FAO in NYC
If you’re traveling to New York City with kids this summer, you might want to squeeze in a last-chance visit to the Big Apple’s two iconic toy stores. FAO Schwarz has announced that its Fifth Avenue store — the only remaining freestanding location for the 153-year-old company — will close July 15 due to rising rents. This follows the recent news that Toys R Us will vacate its Times Square store next January. Toys R Us, which bought FAO Schwarz in 2009 and added FAO departments to some of its stores, is looking to reduce expenses across the board. There’s a chance that both stores will reopen elsewhere in the City, but for now no one is saying where or when.