What went down while you were out of town
While we’ve all been vacationing this summer, the retail and restaurant news hasn’t stopped. Read on for a look at what’s been happening these past few weeks. We’ve got lots more to tell you about what’s coming this fall and winter — but it will have to wait until September, when we’re back to our weekly schedule. (To keep up with any breaking news between now and Labor Day, don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.)
White Flint/Wegmans watch
In case you’ve been away and missed the latest on the White Flint Mall saga: Last week a federal jury awarded Lord & Taylor $31 million for lost profits and future renovation costs during the mall’s impending teardown and reconstruction. That verdict is likely to be appealed, which means yet another delay in plans for a new version of White Flint — and also makes it increasingly unlikely that Wegmans will continue to be a part of those plans. The beloved grocer reportedly had been close to an agreement with White Flint’s owners before this latest turn of events. A Wegmans spokesman tells us she can’t comment on “rumors or speculation” about the White Flint site. But from what we hear, Wegmans is now actively scouting other locations in greater Rockville/Potomac.
Chopt on the way to Congressional Plaza
Good news for the salad scene in Rockville: The much-loved Chopt chain will open a new location next spring at Congressional Plaza on the Pike. Chopt will take over a portion of the space left by the Plow & Hearth store, which closed in June. Sorry, all you impatient Chop’t fans: We have no idea why it’s going to take that long.
Win a $50 gift card for Urban Heights
This month we’re giving away a $50 gift card for Urban Heights, 7940 Norfolk Avenue in downtown Bethesda. New executive chef Cliff Wharton, formerly with D.C.’s TenPenh, draws on his Filipino heritage for an Asian-influenced menu with dishes like Bulgogi-Style Steak Salad and Xo Honey Glazed Shrimp with Wasabi Grits. And don’t miss the Tuna Bar with your choice of Tuna Roll, Sashimi, Tartare or Ahi Poke. Even if you don’t win the gift card, Store Reporter has a little something for everyone who enters. Enter via Facebook by clicking here.
New boutique at Potomac Woods
Ibhana, a new women’s clothing boutique, has opened at Potomac Woods Plaza in the former Robert Bernard Jewelers space off Montrose and Seven Locks Road. This is the first storefront in the Rockville area for owner Meena Tharmaratnam, who started out selling Indian shawls from her home and later operated pop-up stores in D.C. Now she carries clothing, jewelry and accessories from designers like Joseph Ribkoff, Damee, Fridaze and Lior. “My customer is typically a baby boomer woman, and I’ve learned what she wants,” Tharmaratnam says. “She doesn’t want sleeveless. She wants things that are sophisticated, washable, wrinkle-free, travel-friendly and not fearfully expensive.”
Who won our Wildwood Kitchen giveaway?
Congratulations to Store Reporter reader Sharri Freedman, who won our $75 gift card to Wildwood Kitchen at the Shops of Wildwood. We also have a special thank-you for everyone who entered: a free dessert on your next visit to Wildwood Kitchen. (If you were one of our Wildwood entrants, watch for an upcoming email with details on how to claim your dessert.) We have many more great restaurant giveaways coming up this fall; be sure to enter the next one for Bethesda’s Urban Heights.
New place for workout wear
Lululemon and Lucy just got some fresh competition in the D.C. market: Chelsea Collective, a female-focused subsidiary of Dick’s Sporting Goods, opened its very first store this month at Tysons Corner Center. The merchandise is a mix of clothes, shoes and fitness accessories from mainstream brands like Nike and Under Armour as well as trendier lines like Zobha, Splendid, Lorna Jane, Spiritual Gangster and the new Calia by Carrie Underwood. The store aims to please with tailoring services a la Lululemon, gait analysis a la your favorite running store, and a “girlfriend lounge” equipped with treadmills and ballet barres to test the merchandise in action.