Monday, October 21, 2019

Dream Aero opens, Cookie Dough & Co. closes at Westfield Montgomery Mall (Photos)

Dream Aero, an authentic Boeing 737NG flight simulator, has opened for business at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The realism is incredible, but be prepared for sticker shock. A departure on the shortest 30 minute flight will set you back a whopping $165 through October 30. Multi-session training courses are available, as well.
There's no TSA checkpoint to worry about here. Upon entering, you'll be greeted by a man in a full airline pilot uniform. Before leaving, there is an assortment of souvenir gifts available for purchase.
Hold on to your wallet - this sim is likely
only for those whose billfolds are too large
to qualify as carry-on luggage
It quickly becomes apparent that this is not going to be an arcade game for kids after a movie at ArcLight Cinemas down the hall, but more of a professional training device. For aspiring pilots in Rockville, this could be a convenient first step to earning your wings.

While Dream Aero has successfully taken off, Cookie Dough & Co. is the latest mall tenant to crash land. Their kiosk, which opened in August 2017, has closed and been cleared out.

Friday, October 18, 2019

King Farm Parcel Plus for sale

The Parcel Plus shipping store at King Farm Village Center in Rockville is now for sale. According to an online sales listing, the asking price for the business is $200,000. They also sell greeting cards, gift wrap and gifts, as well as offer services such as a notary public, rental mailboxes and passport photos. The owners are selling because they would like to pursue a new business venture.

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Francesca's closing Rockville store

Women's apparel boutique Francesca's is closing at Pike & Rose. The Texas-based fashion chain announced earlier this year that it would be closing twenty to thirty of its more than 700 stores nationwide. They are now hosting a closing sale at this store, which is located at 11811 Grand Park Avenue.
The good news for loyal Francesca's customers is that their Bethesda Row and Montgomery Mall locations are not currently scheduled to close. The even better news is that you can save 50% on your entire purchase at the Pike & Rose closing sale.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

First look: Lands' End Rockville store (Photos)

Here's a sneak peek at the new Lands' End store at Congressional Plaza. The store will still celebrate its grand opening on October 26, but in a last-minute change, the company moved up the actual store opening to tomorrow, Thursday, October 17, 2019.

Evoluxxy to open Rockville store

Evoluxxy, a women's fashion boutique featuring designer labels, will open a location at 11811 Grand Park Avenue at Pike & Rose next year. They have signed a lease for the space between Olive & Loom and Lucky Brand, property owner Federal Realty announced Tuesday. Curated brands carried by Evoluxxy include Max Mara Weekend, Vince, AGOLDE, MOTHER DENIM,  Maison Kitsune, Yuul Yie and Etc.

“Pike and Rose offers some of the finest restaurants and retailers in the DMV and it is growing bigger and better,” Evoluxxy owner Amanda Dolin said. “We look forward to bringing our variety of nationally and internationally acclaimed labels to the neighborhood. Whether you are looking for a trendy piece, simple cocktail dress or a formal outfit, we’ve got it all.”

“With on-trend styles and must-have brands, Evoluxxy compliments the shopping experience that customers are seeking at Pike & Rose,” Federal Realty Leasing Director Emily Gagliardi said. Evoluxxy will open in Spring 2020.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Rockville Town Square ice rink under construction

It's already that time of year again. A chill is in the air, and the ice rink at Rockville Town Square has emerged from storage. A crew is assembling the rink for what seems like an earlier start each year.

Monday, October 14, 2019

When you run out of ramen on Sunday....

Katsu Ramen was closed yesterday at 12238 Rockville Pike. The explanation given for the closure was a "stock shortage." You may recall there was an ownership squabble here that went public a few weeks back, with the Katsu Go sign coming down, then later being replaced with the "Katsu Ramen" banner you see above.

Chaliskan opens at Montgomery Mall

Chaliskan has opened at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda. The store offers Turkish towels, fashion apparel, lighting fixtures, ceramics and gifts. They have a Tysons location, as well. Chaliskan is located on Level 2 next to the Goodyear tire store.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Rockville construction update: Main Street Apartments (Photos)

The Main Street Apartments are about three stories above 50 Monroe Place in Rockville. This used to be the IBM building downtown.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Bliss in a Bottle opening at Montgomery Mall

Bliss in a Bottle will open a kiosk this fall at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The gift retailer specializes in chocolate-covered wine bottles. It's more sophisticated than it sounds - the specific chocolate coating is specially chosen to pair with the wine inside the bottle, a variety of chocolates are used, and mix-ins found in the chocolate can be a sophisticated as hibiscus berry powder and rose sugar. The Ohio-based Bliss in a Bottle already has an area location in Tysons Corner Center.

Photo courtesy Bliss in a Bottle

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Lands' End Rockville opening date set

Lands' End has just announced their new Rockville store at Congressional Plaza will open on Saturday, October 26, 2019. The chain's first D.C.-area store will open with a ribbon cutting at 10:00 AM that morning.

“We are so excited to expand our footprint in Maryland and introduce our new retail concept to the D.C. metropolitan area,” Lands' End SVP of Retail Claudia Mazo said this morning. “Our loyal shoppers in this area and the convenient shopping location make Congressional Plaza an excellent place for our newest store opening.”

Light refreshments will be served inside the store during the grand opening celebration. Guests will also have the opportunity to win prizes from a prize wheel. There will also be a special showcase of iconic items from Lands' End's Heritage Collection on-site.

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Montgomery County's first Wawa approved by Gaithersburg

The proposed Wawa convenience store and gas station proposed for 405 S. Frederick Avenue in Gaithersburg was approved by the city's Mayor and Council last night. In approving Montgomery County's first Wawa store, the final vote was four-to-one in favor, with Councilmember Laurie Anne Sayles opposed.

Several residents and local business owners spoke against approval of the store earlier at last night's meeting, citing environmental impacts and effects on nearby small businesses. Wawa has disputed these impacts in statements filed previously with the City, but the protests appear to have persuaded one councilmember to vote against the store.

For those eagerly awaiting MoCo's first Wawa, however, the countdown to opening day begins. Wawa is expected to open in November or December 2020. Royal Farms is also coming to Gaithersburg, at the future Watkins Mill Road/I-270 interchange. Let's hope Sheetz comes to Montgomery County soon, as well, and that all chains pop-up countywide eventually.

Monday, October 7, 2019

McRib is back at McDonald's (Video review+Photos+McRib Locator)

McRib is back! McDonald's legendary sandwich, one of a handful of fast food items to earn my 6 star rating (out of 5 stars), has returned to Montgomery County and Maryland for the first time in seven years. I hadn't had a McRib since 2012, and am pleased to report they are just as good as they were in the past. Watch my detailed review of McRib 2019, and find the McRib nearest you using the official McRib locator. Many thanks to McDonald's and the local franchise for listening to their loyal customers and bringing back McRib!

Women's fashion pop-up at Congressional Plaza in Rockville

A pop-up fashion boutique is moving into the space next to Chico's at Congressional Plaza on Rockville Pike. They haven't even put up a sign yet, and there's nothing on the property's social media accounts about it. It may be tied to the upcoming Fall Sidewalk Sale at Congressional Plaza, October 11-14, 2019.