Westfield changes hands
Westfield Corp., the Australian company that owns Westfield Montgomery Mall, announced this week that it’s being sold for $15.8 billion to the French firm Unibail-Rodamco. What does that mean for our local mall and its sister property, Westfield Wheaton? No one knows yet. For now, mall staff tells us that everything is status quo and the bustling holiday season is proceeding as usual. Meanwhile, the mall has lost a few more tenants in the past few weeks: The 3-D Manaco photo store is gone, as is the Boardwalk burger-and-fry restaurant (previously known as Kraze Burger and then Burger Venue). Also on the way out is Vitamin World, whose parent company has filed Chapter 11.
Hot Pot on the Pike
Urban Hot Pot made its debut this week in the Galvan complex on Rockville Pike, next door to the recently opened Akira ramen restaurant. There’s an all-you-can-eat menu for $24.99, with heating stations at the tables and a conveyor belt that sends out fresh ingredients for the broth bowls. This is the second hot pot restaurant to open in the area this year, following Little Dipper at Rockville Town Square. And a whole new wave of Asian eateries is headed to Rockville in 2018; we’ll have more after the holidays.
Free week of winter produce from Norman’s
Norman’s Farm Market has launched its first winter home delivery program, offering seasonal fruits and vegetables direct to your door. Partnering with sustainable local farms a few hours south of the D.C. area, Norman’s is offering fresh-picked baskets of squash, potatoes, avocados, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, greens, apples and whatever else looks good on a given week. A small share, which feeds one to three people, costs $29 per week. A large share feeds four to six people for $39. Sign up now and take advantage of one free week for Store Reporter readers; make sure to use the code STORE18. Click here for details.
Potomac Village restaurant closes
Fortune Garden, a longtime fixture in Potomac Village, has closed its doors at the Potomac Promenade shopping center on Falls Road. Landlords tell us the search is on for a new tenant — and clearly there’s room for some fresh restaurant options in the Village. Stay tuned.
Spin to win with Spotluck
Have you heard about Spotluck? It’s a homegrown company (launched in Rockville, now based in Bethesda) that offers dining discounts at 1,400 restaurants all over the East Coast. Download the app for everyday savings at favorites like Black’s, Barrel & Crow, Bombay Bistro, Passage to India, Mamma Lucia, Gusto, Mussel Bar & Grille, the Grilled Oyster Co., Trapezeria and Lebanese Taverna among others. From Dec. 15th to the 22nd, Spotluck is giving away free gift cards for everyone who downloads the app. And Store Reporter readers can get an extra discount by using the code REPORTER. To claim yours, click here.
Store Reporter holiday gift picks
Are you looking for some quick and easy holiday gifts? We’ve been testing some products that were sent to us for review, and we’d like to share some of our favorites. For the travelers on your gift list, we’re impressed with the Eva NYC Almighty Pro-Power Mini Hair Dryer, which comes with a cute case and packs a surprising amount of power for such a tiny device ($48 at Urban Outfitters). We always count on The Container Store for great stocking stuffers, and this year is no exception. Our favorites are the whimsical Toasty S’more Skewers ($14.99, click here ) and the 3-in-1 clip lens for creating fun effects with your phone camera ($4.99, click here). And with winter movie-and-popcorn nights on the horizon, you can’t go wrong with this red collapsible Lékué microwave popcorn popper from Sur La Table ($20, click here for info). For more of our recommendations for great kitchen gifts, scroll down or click here.