Monday, July 15, 2019

Bambu Cafe soft opening today in Rockville

Bambu Cafe will hold soft opening hours today, July 15, 2019 from 11:00 AM to 8:00 PM. Stop by and try one of their featured Vietnamese Che dessert beverages, or a smoothie or yogurt drink. Bambu Cafe is located at 12242 Rockville Pike, at Towne Plaza.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Shark Week merchandise arrives at Vineyard Vines

Shark Week hit CVS Pharmacy early in Montgomery County. Now Vineyard Vines has their own custom official Shark Week apparel and accessories on display. Items include shirts, hats, ties and bow ties, tote bags and phone grips.
The store's tag line for the limited-edition merchandise is, "You're gonna need a bigger closet." You're also gonna need a bigger wallet - the prices on the Shark Week merchandise will inspire sticker shock in all who are new to Vineyard Vines.
Shark Week begins July 28, 2019 on the Discovery Channel. Vineyard Vines is located at Westfield Montgomery Mall.






Thursday, July 11, 2019

Baja Fresh to close in Rockville

Baja Fresh "has lost its lease, is shutting its doors, and making a complete liquidation" of the contents of the restaurant, which is located at 1607 Rockville Pike in the Congressional Plaza shopping center. So states an online auction listing, which indicates the sell-off will take place on Monday, July 22, 2019. The photographs illustrating the items up for bid clearly show the Rockville location, and distinctive Congressional Plaza columns and stone masonry.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Foulger Pratt CEO criticizes MoCo for failing to complete master plan highway system

Tells Bisnow, "there's no comparison"
between moribund MoCo and booming
Northern Virginia office markets

Foulger Pratt CEO Cameron Pratt is the latest regional business leader to speak out on the moribund Montgomery County economy, which has failed to attract a single major corporate headquarters in over two decades. That matters to the real estate firm, which has many Montgomery County office buildings in its regional portfolio. Pratt tells Bisnow in a new interview that "there's no comparison" between stagnant MoCo and booming Northern Virginia when it comes to office tenant interest. He cites MoCo official's cancellation of major parts of the county's master plan highway system as a major reason we've become the bedroom community for booming job centers in Northern Virginia.

Of course, Pratt notes that Northern Virginia is much more business-friendly in its policies, and is far more aggressive in wooing companies. Both factors can almost go without saying. But he zeroes in on infrastructure as a deciding factor, as have many CEOs who have chosen Virginia over Montgomery County in recent decades.

"I think the biggest challenge Montgomery County has is infrastructure," Pratt tells Bisnow's Jon Banister. "You look at Northern Virginia; they have two airports, they have a significant freeway system connecting the airports and the suburbs to downtown, and they’ve spent money to invest in HOT lanes, in extending the Metro to Dulles Airport. That infrastructure is because of decades of planing and investment and Montgomery has not made those same investments. Montgomery County does not have a freeway connecting the suburbs to downtown. It does not have significant airport infrastructure and has not extended Metro further out. They have not been willing to grapple with the important issue of another river crossing and if Montgomery County is not willing to make investments in infrastructure, I don’t think they’ll be able to attract employers and compete with Northern Virginia."

What a bodyslam. "That's gotta hurt, Gene." Pratt's interview comes ahead of next week's Bisnow-sponsored event that will focus on the future of business and real estate in Montgomery County.

Pratt is one of the few CEOs to publicly challenge County officials' ongoing refusal to complete the master plan highway system. Bob Buchanan, another County business leader willing to speak up, told transportation officials in Virginia that many of his MoCo business colleagues are afraid to challenge elected officials on their failure to build the new Potomac River crossing because of political pressure.

Montgomery County officials years ago canceled no less than three freeways leading into the District: the Northwest Freeway, the North-Central Freeway, and the Northern Parkway. They canceled the Rockville Freeway in the late 1980s, and are currently blocking the M-83 Highway from being constructed in the upcounty. And of course, they've prevented the new Potomac River crossing to the Dulles Airport area from being built for decades. Dulles has the wide variety and frequency of flights to international business destinations that corporate leaders need to be competitive. They simply cannot meet their travel needs at BWI or Reagan National, which themselves are infuriatingly long drives away from MoCo.

Imagine knowing what the solutions to a major problem are, and simply refusing to implement them. Under the current "leadership" of our MoCo political cartel-controlled Council, that is what passes for "The Montgomery Way." Heckuva job, Brownie!

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Cooper's Hawk Rockville opening next week

Cooper's Hawk has set the opening date for their new Rockville location. The restaurant and winery will open Monday, July 15, 2019 at 1403 Research Boulevard in the new Research Row shopping center, a company spokesperson tells me.

You can see that the permanent signage has been installed on the facade of the restaurant. They've also already got an interesting assortment of wine bottles and containers arranged inside the front windows.


Monday, July 8, 2019

Closing sale underway at Saks Off Fifth in Rockville

The collapse of high-end retail in Montgomery County continues. A closing sale is now underway at Saks Off Fifth at Congressional Plaza on Rockville Pike. Items are 20-40% off, which somewhat undercuts the "Nothing Held Back!" claim. My guess is that unsold merchandise here will wind up at the many other Saks Off Fifth locations that remain open around the country.

Windows in the storefront display the "Everything Must Go!" signs now ubiquitous in shop windows around the county. Montgomery County has suffered a net loss of over 2100 retail jobs since 2000, according to the Maryland Retailers Association. The flight of the rich to lower-tax jurisdictions in the region has since cratered high-end retail centers in Bethesda and Chevy Chase, with the latter's once-touted "Rodeo Drive" of Wisconsin Avenue now a sad strip of vacant storefronts, aging apartments and smashed-out bus shelters.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Sign installed at Escapology in Rockville

The permanent sign and door stenciling have been added to the front of Escapology, coming soon to 11572 Old Georgetown Road at Pike & Rose. Like another escape room business in downtown Bethesda, this one has been severely delayed in opening, so it's encouraging to see some activity here.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Ding Tea opening in Rockville

Rockville is nearing "peak bubble tea," and the latest addition will be Ding Tea in the Ritchie Center, opening soon at 785-C Rockville Pike. It will be in the space next to Kiin Imm Thai.

eyebobs opens, Crabtree & Evelyn closes at Westfield Montgomery Mall

Westfield Montgomery Mall is one up and one down in tenants. Designer eyewear boutique eyebobs has opened on Level 2. Meanwhile, Crabtree & Evelyn has permanently closed.



Wednesday, July 3, 2019

China Garden sets soft opening date in Rockville

China Garden is finally happening. The restaurant's owners told me last night that they have scheduled a soft opening for their long-delayed new location at 11333 Woodglen Drive in the White Flint area of Rockville. China Garden will open on July 12, 2019 at 11:00 AM for lunch.
Specializing in dim sum and authentic Cantonese cuisine, China Garden has operated since 1973 in its original Virginia location. All of their chefs are recruited directly from Hong Kong.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

KFC Cheetos Chicken sandwich arrives in Rockville/Cheetos Lovers Box Review

KFC launched its limited-time-only Cheetos Chicken Sandwich nationwide yesterday. The sandwich contains a crispy chicken breast brushed with a cheesy Cheetos sauce, served atop a layer of Cheetos and mayonnaise on a bakery roll. It comes in a special Chester Cheetah box.
For larger appetites, there is the Cheetos Lovers Box. For just under $10, you get the Cheetos Chicken sandwich, Cheetos popcorn chicken, potato wedges, mac & cheese and a medium drink. There is no special box for the Cheetos Lovers Box, unfortunately. Watch my review of the sandwich and Cheetos Lovers Box for a full evaluation.


Monday, July 1, 2019

Rockville cooling centers to open if temperature reaches 95 degrees, or Code Red alert issued

The City of Rockville will open four designated cooling centers should the temperature reach 95 degrees or higher - or if a Code Red air quality alert is issued - today or any other day. Visitors can rest for free in the designated public area inside the cooling center. Those wanting to utilize fitness centers, computer labs or other amenities can upgrade by paying a fee. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Rockville's cooling centers are at the following locations:

  • Lincoln Park Community Center, 357 Frederick Ave.
  • Thomas Farm Community Center, 700 Fallsgrove Drive.
  • Twinbrook Community Recreation Center, 12920 Twinbrook Parkway.
  • Rockville Senior Center, 1150 Carnation Drive.