No bowling at the mall this fall
Remember the bowling alley that was supposed to open this summer at Westfield Montgomery Mall? As we move into fall with construction barely under way, we thought it was time for a check-in with California-based Lucky Strike. “We’re now looking at the first quarter of 2017,” says company spokesman Brandon Thomsen. “We’re excited to come to Bethesda, but some details of the project are still evolving.” This will be the second location for the company’s new Lucky Strike Social concept, which recently launched in Albany with 18 bowling lanes, a full kitchen and bar, a concert hall/party room, and a variety of games from billiards to old-school arcades. For a preview of what’s on the way, click here.
Potomac Day Spa closes
Potomac Day Spa, operating out of a cute little house in Potomac Village for more than two decades, has quietly closed its doors. “The rent here is just crazy expensive, and we had been struggling for a long time,” says owner Angela Hay, who bought the spa four years ago and shut it down last Saturday. The business had little walk-in traffic, Hay says, and it’s been increasingly difficult to compete with larger operations like Red Door and the new Woodhouse Day Spa on Rockville Pike. “The older people liked our quaintness, but the younger people like to go to places that are trendy,” Hay says. “I just couldn’t keep pouring money into something that wasn’t going to survive.”
Rolling out a new ice cream trend
Thai rolled ice cream, a Southeast Asian street food that’s trending across the country, has arrived in downtown Rockville. Class 520 (the name is a play on the Chinese phrase for “I love you”) opens Saturday on Dawson Avenue just off North Washington Street. Each dessert is made fresh when you order, starting with a liquid ice cream base that’s poured over a cold grill until it freezes over. “Then we add the mix-ins and run it over with a spatula to shape it into curls, so you wind up with a hard texture that slowly melts,” says manager Adam Shi. Virtually unknown in the U.S. until recently, Thai-style ice cream has popped up in foodie cities from Los Angeles to New York to Philadelphia in the past 12 months. “We believe that ours is the first one in Maryland,” Shi says. “It’s a trendy food that’s familiar to the Asian population, so we think it will do very well in this area.” Want to see how it works? Click here for a video demo.
Ready for Rosh Hashanah?
If you’re hosting a crowd for the Jewish holidays this year, there’s still time to order from Potomac Grocer. On the menu for Rosh Hashanah: onion-braised brisket, pomegranate molasses-glazed salmon, lemon honey roasted chicken, sweet potato-carrot tzimmes, noodle pudding and much more. Pre-ordering is recommended, but some dishes will be available à la carte while they last. Potomac Grocer, 10107 River Road, 301-299-4200. For the catering menu, click here.
Here’s a product that takes balls
Look out Nike and Under Armour: Lululemon is going after the men. In an interview this week with Bloomberg.com, Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin says he hopes to double the company’s male customer base from 20 percent to 40 percent of its sales. Potdevin has a pretty good track record in this arena, having previously helped drive more male customers to Tom’s Shoes and more females to Burton Snowboards. This fall Lululemon is showcasing a new line of men’s pants called “ABC” — as in Anti-Ball Crushing. Wondering just how they’re going to promote this product? We did too. Click here.
Bad week for Cosi
The Cosi restaurant chain, which exited downtown Rockville two years ago, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Almost half of the company’s corporate-owned locations, including the one in downtown Bethesda, closed their doors this week. Thirty-one locations owned by franchisees, including one on Wisconsin Avenue, are expected to remain open. For more on Cosi’s bankruptcy, click here.