Thursday, September 30, 2021

European Wax Center update at Fallsgrove Village Center

European Wax Center
looks just about ready to start waxing at Fallsgrove Village Center in Rockville. The spa is way ahead of neighbor Bethesda Bagels in its construction. Texas-based European Wax Center was founded in 2004, has over 800 spas nationwide, and recently went public and exceeded earning forecasts.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Urban Plates closes; Aerie, Marvel Adventure Lab open at Montgomery Mall

A second tenant in the most-prominent space in the Dining Terrace at Westfield Montgomery Mall has failed. Urban Plates has closed permanently, according to a sign posted at the interior entrance to the restaurant. The upscale buffet concept had the tragic timing to run head on into a global pandemic that idled buffets, and a shift to table service after the initial lockdown clearly failed to turn things around. One wonders how the chain will prosper at the struggling Collection at Chevy Chase if it flopped in a busy food court, but Clyde's has made it work, so let's give them a chance.

On the positive side, Aerie has opened on Level 1. It just missed the summer opening target as fall arrived at 12:00 AM last Wednesday. As a bonus, there is an Offline by Aerie shop.

Finally, there is a fun new attraction in the Dining Terrace near CAVA. The Marvel Adventure Lab is a photo booth that allows you to pose with your favorite Marvel Comics superhero. Or to insert yourself into a page from a comic book. The final product prints out for you to take home. Excelsior!

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Amazon Fresh Shady Grove Road update (Photos)

The exterior of the future Amazon Fresh grocery store is nearly complete at the 270 Center on Shady Grove Road. Of course, there's no logo yet. The Friendship Heights location has already opened, but this one remains top secret.

Monday, September 27, 2021

Rockville construction update: Bethesda Bagels at Fallsgrove Village Center (Photos)

Construction is advancing slowly, but not so surely, at the future Bethesda Bagels location at the Fallsgrove Village Center in Rockville. All that has been completed since July are primarily some frames of interior walls where the kitchen, office and restroom spaces will eventually be, as well as some ceiling substructures. 

Friday, September 24, 2021

Kumbia confirmed for Rockville Town Square

Federal Realty has just confirmed Kumbia will replace the departing Spice X-ing at Rockville Town Square. Kumbia will serve dishes from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Brazil, and Ecuador. It will also feature live entertainment and a tableside cocktail menu. Kumbia is expected to open this winter.

“We are excited to bring a unique Latin offering, to include exciting cocktails, beloved dishes and live music inspired by the variety of cuisines that represent South American food culture,” Kumbia co-owner Steven Tobar said in a statement. “We look forward to welcoming Kumbia to Rockville Town Square, to complement the now open Plaza Oaxaca, and the soon to open Thai Chef and Half Smoke, to name just a few,” Mickey Papillon, Vice President at Federal Realty added. “These new restaurants, alongside longtime Rockville favorites, make for a compelling and unique dining scene for the greater Rockville and Montgomery County community.”  

Rockville gas station destroyed by fire demolished

The Sunoco gas station at 790 Hungerford Drive in Rockville has been demolished. It was heavily damaged in a November 2019 fire. Klotz Construction is the demolition contractor, leveling the service station to its concrete slab. Sunoco itself provides some unintentional humor, as its website lists the demolished station as open and ready to serve you this morning.


Thursday, September 23, 2021

Spice X-ing X-iting at Rockville Town Square?

Update - 8:44 PM: Spice X-ing was closed during dinner hours again tonight

There are signs that Spice X-ing at 100-B Gibbs Street at Rockville Town Square may be making an X-it from the development. There was a realtor-style lockbox on the front door of the restaurant last evening. Today, I called Spice X-ing twice during lunch hours, and each time an electronic message stated the phone number has been disconnected. Finally, while Spice X-ing remains on the public-facing Town Square tenant map, it has been replaced on the leasing map by a restaurant called "Kumbia."

El Mercat Bar de Tapas "coming soon" at Rockville Town Square


El Mercat Bar de Tapas
has posted "coming soon" signage at its future Gibbs Street space at Rockville Town Square. It has also applied for its liquor license from Montgomery County. A hearing on its application has been scheduled for October 21 at 10:30 AM. El Mercat is now hiring for all positions.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Orangetheory Fitness opening today at Congressional Plaza

The first of the new fitness tenants at Congressional Plaza's FITRow destination will open today at 1601 Rockville Pike, Suite #210-A. Orangetheory Fitness will welcome its first members today, Wednesday, September 22, 2021, to experience its metabolism-supercharging workouts led by certified coaches.

Orangetheory Rockville South will be open seven days a week offering classes throughout the day from early morning to evening. CorePower Yoga will be the next studio to debut at FITRow. It is on-target to open later this fall. Cool down after today's workout with a beverage from Mr. Wish, also opening for the first time today at Congressional Plaza.

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Mr. Wish opening September 22 in Rockville

Rockville's Mr. Wish is coming true tomorrow. The specialty beverage shop is opening Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at Congressional Plaza at 1615 Rockville Pike. It will be located between Custom Ink and European Wax Center.

The Grand Opening celebration will continue on September 25 and 26 only, when you can buy one Mr. Wish Special Fruit Tea, and not only get another one free, but also a bubble tea keychain. And on September 27 and 28 only, a drink purchase will allow you to get a second of the same drink free. 

Regular hours for the shop will be Monday - Thursday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM, and Friday - Sunday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM. Mr. Wish specialties will include fruit teas, bubble tea and smoothies. Check out their menu online for a sneak preview.

Photos: Robert Dyer (top, center) and Mr. Wish (bottom)

Monday, September 20, 2021

Call Your Mother opens in Rockville

Call Your Mother
, which calls itself "a 'Jew-ish' Deli," opened today at 11807 Grand Park Avenue at Pike & Rose. The store will be open from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM seven days a week. Call Your Mother earned national attention when President Joe Biden's motorcade made its first restaurant stop since he took office at the Georgetown location.

Rockville bus crash severely injures 3 (Video+Photos)

A Metrobus traveling on Rockville Pike suddenly veered onto Congressional Lane around 12:20 PM yesterday, stuck several vehicles, and came to rest on top of the front of a minivan at a building wall of a retail center. Six patients were evaluated by Montgomery County Fire and Rescue services, MCFRS Battalion Chief Steve Mann said. Three of those individuals suffered traumatic injuries, and a total of four were transported to local hospitals, MCFRS spokesperson Pete Piringer said later Sunday afternoon.

As evening approached, WMATA personnel and truck towing specialists were brought in to supervise the complicated task of extracting the minivan safely from under the Metrobus. The large tow truck assisted in a crane operation to hold the bus upright while a second towing crew pulled the minivan out. Night was falling as the Metrobus finally had all four wheels back on the pavement to be towed away. No official explanation for why the bus operator lost control has been released so far. 

Tow truck arrives to lift Metrobus

Extracting minivan from beneath bus

Metrobus lowered to pavement