Japanese steakhouse flames out
Bad news for those who were hoping for hibachi at Westfield Montgomery mall: It looks like Viva Japanese Steakhouse is never going to happen. The restaurant originally was supposed to open last summer across from the ArcLight Cinema, replacing the short-lived MET Bethesda. But construction moved at a snail’s pace as summer turned to winter and finally to spring. Earlier this month, mall reps told us that Viva would open May 1st. This week all work came to a halt yet again, and now it appears the project is likely dead. We did manage to snoop inside for a glimpse of the partially finished interior; you can check out our photos on Facebook and Instagram.
What's that smell?
That scent wafting across the Dining Terrace at Westfield Montgomery mall can only mean one thing: Cinnabon, whose aroma alone has wrecked many a diet, has finally arrived. So who’s out this week? Kids’ clothing store Gymboree has closed its doors after a three-month going-out-of-business sale, soon to be followed by Crabtree & Evelyn. Sports Nation exited its lower-level spot and moved to the second floor. The other big news, in case you missed it, is the closing of Crave American Kitchen & Sushi Bar. More on that in our April 11th edition.
The Big Greek giveaway
It’s been 10 years since brothers Nikos and Simos Marmaras opened The Big Greek Cafe in Silver Spring. The twins had grown up around hearty Greek dishes, helping their father run The Golden Flame restaurant while enjoying their mother’s family recipes at home. Their four-restaurant chain — now with additional locations in Rockville, Kensington and Bethesda — is modeled after their mother’s hospitality as well as her cooking. “The number one thing when anybody entered our house was to have a meal with us,” Simos says. “At our restaurants, we want every guest to feel right at home like they’re sitting around my mom’s table.” This year, they also want two lucky guests to visit the place where it all began: The restaurant chain is giving away a six-day trip to Athens, Greece. For your chance to win, visit any Big Greek location between April 22 and June 22. For directions to all four locations, as well as weekly specials and a preview of the menu, click here.
New Java for Rockville Pike
Kensington coffee shop Java Nation is moving into the old Addie’s/Helen’s space on Rockville Pike, right next to the burnt-out dive bar Hank Dietle’s. More on that, along with tons of other retail and restaurant news, in our post-spring break edition. In the meantime, catch up on any news you missed at storereporter.com.