Vineyard Vines, Johnston & Murphy open at the mall, while J. Crew takes a summer break
It’s a busy time in the Nordstrom wing at Westfield Montgomery Mall, where two new stores opened for business last weekend and a third closed its doors for the summer. The big news for many is the Maryland debut of Vineyard Vines, whose breezy, clean-cut clothes have earned a huge following among preppies from Massachusetts to Palm Beach. The brand has become a staple at college campuses as well as our local high schools, where the pink whale logo is as popular with today’s teens as Izod crocodiles and Polo ponies were with their parents. Not to be outdone by its snazzy new neighbor, the mall’s nearby J. Crew store closed its doors last week for a major remodeling that should be done by early August. The other new addition in the Nordstrom wing is the classic shoe store Johnston & Murphy, which built its reputation in men’s footwear but now offers a range of clothing and accessories for both sexes. In other mall news: A huge Peet’s Coffee station with plenty of comfy seating is about to open in the Sears wing, while the women’s clothing store J. Jill is relocating to the former Fossil space near Macy’s.
Win dinner for two at River Falls Tavern in Potomac Village
This week we have a fabulous giveaway from the River Falls Tavern in Potomac Village, which is offering dinner on the house for one lucky pair of Store Reporter readers. RW Restaurant Group, which purchased the Tavern last spring, has introduced a sophisticated new menu under the direction of famed chef Robert Wiedmaier. Top picks include the Braised Boneless Beef Short Rib, served with creamy garlic polenta and glazed young carrots, and the Peppercorn and Coriander Seared Rare Tuna (shown here), served with roasted beets, emerald kale and farro salad. For more on what’s happening at the River Falls Tavern, click here for our May 28th edition. Want to win dinner for two (up to $65) and try the new dishes for yourself? Click here to email us (subject line: Tavern) or click here to enter via Facebook. Update: Store Reporter reader Nicole Kustner won this giveaway. Stay tuned to Store Reporter for more great contests.
Amazon same-day shipping
This week brought some welcome news for Amazon Prime shoppers in greater Rockville and Potomac: The company just launched same-day delivery service in the greater D.C. area, including area codes 20850, 20854, 20817 and many others nearby. You can now order by noon for guaranteed delivery by 9 p.m., or by midnight for delivery the next day — as long as you spend at least $35 and choose items marked with the Prime Free One-Day logo. The list of qualified items is not exactly comprehensive, but we spied plenty of things (batteries, printer cartridges, kids’ birthday presents, etc.) that could easily spare us from a last-minute shopping trip. Same-day shipping is free for Prime members, but it’s also open to other Amazon customers for a $9.98 delivery fee. And here’s some more good news: Amazon says it will soon start offering free shipping for everyone on inexpensive items that weigh less than eight ounces.
Irish pub on the way to Rockville Town Square
An Irish pub is joining the restaurant lineup at Rockville Town Square, where three new eateries are now scheduled to open in the next few months. Finnegan’s Wake Irish Pub, the first venture from local husband-and-wife team Terry and Vanessa Laurin, will start renovations this month at the Gibbs Street space that formerly housed Carbon Peruvian Chicken & Grille. Rockville Town Square, which lost nearly a dozen tenants in the past 12 months, is now looking to entice diners with locally owned ethnic restaurants like the recently opened Ev & Maddy’s (European-style bistro) and Peter Chang (traditional Chinese). Also on the way are Miso Cafe (Korean/fusion) and Samovar (food from Tajikistan). Those two, along with Finnegan’s Wake, should be open by fall.
Gamers and geeks are worth big bucks
Video game retailer GameStop has announced plans to buy Geeknet, the Fairfax company that runs the popular ThinkGeek website, in a $140 million deal that’s expected to close this summer. ThinkGeek specializes in goofy and nerdtastic merchandise from Star Wars, Star Trek, Doctor Who, Marvel and other franchises that appeal to adults and kids alike. (Theoretically, at least, these are the same people who like to shop in GameStop’s stores — and will be thrilled to check out that Captain America Stealth Shield Watch in person.) Apparently geek chic is worth a lot these days: GameStop expects this acquisition to boost its sales by $100 million per year.