The store moved out of 7263 Woodmont Ave. earlier this year. A Max Brenner Chocolate shop will take its place with an expected mid-June opening.
On May 9, 10 and 11, moms will receive a flower with a coupon for a free 8×10 enlargement of any photo. The store is also holding a Mother’s Day raffle for two Polaroid digital cameras. Customers who bring their child’s artwork can have it scanned and printed into a leather-bound album for a reduced price.
The store includes an expanded inventory and sales on cameras, SD cards and tripods. Eric Moseson, executive vice president of Ritz, said the new space is larger and the store will offer photography classes.
Last year, New Jersey-based C&A Marketing bought Ritz Camera after it failed to emerge from its second Chapter 11 bankruptcy in four years. C&A Marketing decided to keep its Bethesda store after a going-out-of-business sale, just in a new location about half-a-mile away.
Interior designer Sussan Haghighat and her husband opened the Ultimate Home Design Center on Sunday (7942 Wisconsin Ave.), a one-stop shop for building and design services they hope will appeal to upscale Bethesda homeowners.
The store takes over the old space of the long vacant Arut Oriental Rugs space, in a section of town where more business are moving out than moving in.
Haghighat said the duo wanted to offer a range of products, including kitchen cabinets, counter tops, flooring, bath, antique furniture and hopefully some local art, to accomodate a variety of needs for those renovating or rebuilding homes.
The Grand Reopening ribbon cutting (the store never actually closed during the renovation) is set for the morning of Friday, April 12. Throughout that weekend, Giant will provide a “tasting passport” to all customers from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on April 12 and from noon to 5 p.m. on April 13 and April 14 for a chance to win free groceries for a month.
Other improvements include six new self-checkout lanes and nine additional regular checkout lanes, expanded frozen food, international food and natural food sections and a redesigned produce department with 20 percent more produce.
The deli has also been redesigned with a new gourmet cheese case and olive bar.
Giant will make a donation to KEEN Greater DC, a nonprofit that organizes recreational activities for kids with developmental and physical disabilities, at the ceremony. County Executive Isiah Leggett and Councilmember Roger Berliner are scheduled to attend.
Image via Wikimedia
One of the D.C. area’s biggest boutique real estate agencies celebrated the opening of its downtown Bethesda office on Thursday.
Donna Evers, who founded Evers & Co. in 1985, said Bethesda was a natural location for her company’s newest office (7032 Wisconsin Ave.) because of its active real estate market.
“It’s probably the most successful suburb, if you want to call it that, suburb-city in the country and deserves to be,” Evers said.
The agency has more than 100 sales associates and luxury home and downtown condominium properties in Bethesda and Chevy Chase.
Beloved craft, party item and obscure gift store Bruce Variety opened in its new Woodmont Triangle home today.
After more than 60 years in Bradley Shopping Center and what owners Linda Ridenour and Richard Dimock claimed was a rent-hike orchestrated by neighboring Strosniders Hardware to oust them and take their space, the store commonly known as Bruce’s is back on its feet at 8011 Woodmont Avenue.
Bruce Bethke, his kids and his mom were some of the first customers in the new space, which Creative Parties Ltd. gave up for a space in the nearby Landow building last year. The green and blue house near the corner of Woodmont and Cordell Avenues became a landmark of sorts.
“Some of my earliest memories going shopping were going to Bruce Variety,” said Bethke who took his kids to visit his mom, who still lives in the area, and decided to head to Bruce’s. “It’s something that always appeals to the kids, so we stopped by. They have some nice space. It’s bright and colorful and inviting.”
Dimock said the new space is larger than the old one in Bradley Shopping Center at 6922 Arlington Road. He’s still waiting for some button items to come in, but the shelves are mostly stocked and ready for Easter weekend.
A customer called seeking Easter egg dye sets. Ridenour said there were a few left.
Ridenour and Dimock’s decision to close the original store earlier this year because of a rent spike inspired an online petition asking the shopping center owner to reconsider. Multiple trustees contacted about Bruce Variety have either referred the matter to someone else or not returned messages.
Last week, the Strosniders Hardware store that was neighbors of Bruce Variety for almost 60 years unveiled plans to debut its own variety and party store in the old Bruce Variety space.
Whatever controversy there is around the move, word of Bruce Variety’s reopening traveled fast.
About a dozen customers milled about in the store on Friday afternoon and Dimock and Ridenour are optimistic about the future.
It didn’t take long for Federal Realty to find a new tenant for Lou Lou boutique’s old space at 7125 Bethesda Lane.
COURAGE. b, (you guessed it, another boutique) will be moving into the shop next to Luke’s Lobster on the east side of the pedestrian walk-thru, almost directly across from Lou Lou’s new space at 7126 Bethesda Lane.
Lou Lou, which specializes in accessories, jewelry and bags, made the move last month for more space.
COURAGE. b, so named because while “starting a new business or expanding an existing one is always an act of confidence, doing these things in economically challenging times can be an act of…well, courage,” offers accessories and clothing.
The boutique has six locations in other high-rent districts, including the Hamptons, Palm Beach and Aspen. It will be the eighth Bethesda Row shop that identifies itself as a women’s clothing store.
Call it “Variety Wars,” or just a natural business move, but the folks at Strosniders Hardware are taking over the next-door former space of Bruce Variety, which is getting ready to open in a new location across town on Woodmont Avenue.
“When we lost Bruce’s, the shopping center lost an icon in the community. We felt basically we need to kind of control that situation and bring on another business similar,” said Stronsiders general manager Bill Hart, who hopes to open Bradley Party & Variety in early May. “I think what we’ll find is, we’re not going to know exactly what to carry at first but we’re going to try our best and listen to customers and kind of have them help us figure out our way.”
Strosniders (6930 Arlington Rd.) is celebrating 60 years of business in the Bradley Shopping Center. Bruce Variety, its next-door neighbor for all of that time, closed up shop in January to the dismay of many who said they relied on the shop for arts, crafts, fabrics and quirky items you didn’t know stores sold.
The owners of Bruce Variety blamed a high rent for the closing of the store, which even elicited a petition from customers asking the Bradley Shopping Center owners to reconsider.
Bruce Variety then announced it would be taking over the former Creative Parties Ltd. space at 8011 Woodmont Ave. with a March 1 opening. But the opening has been delayed.
Meanwhile, the Strosniders group has put a banner up in Bruce Variety’s former space announcing the arrival of a party store with a similar name. Renovations are ongoing inside.
The news was first reported by blogger Robert Dyer.
“Everything was hearsay. Nobody knew exactly what was going on,” said Hart when asked if he knew Bruce Variety was reopening in a new location. “But we knew somebody was going to go in here and if it wasn’t us, then it could be a competitor. So we figured it was best for us to kind of capture that opportunity.”
Hart envisions a store similar to Bruce Variety, focused on party goods with arts, crafts and fabrics that will compliment the hardware store.
“It gives us a chance to kind of expand in some areas we know we do well with in here and there’s a captive market for, but we just don’t have the room,” Hart said.
Owners said the reopening of the much-talked about crafts store in its new Woodmont Triangle location was supposed to come March 1.
The opening may not come for at least another two weeks, according to a store employee. The store was selling snow shovels and sleds yesterday in front of its new digs, the former Creative Parties Ltd. house at 8011 Woodmont Ave.
Employees on Wednesday were stocking shelves, which have been installed for a look similar to Bruce Variety’s space of more than 60 years in Bradley Shopping Center.
Owners Linda Ridenour and Richard Dimock’s decision to close that location because of what they complained was an exorbitant rent led to an outpouring of support from the community, extensive media coverage and even a petition with more than 2,900 signatures asking the owner of Bradley Shopping Center to renegotiate the lease.
Creative Parties Ltd. owner and President Tracy Bloom Schwartz said she decided to move her event planning and wedding invitation store out of the blue and green house because of uncertainty with the property.
Chevy Chase-based developer JBG intended to make the property part of a joint project with Montgomery County to build a new 2nd District Police Station and apartment complex before that deal fell through.
Instead of signing another five-year lease at a location where redevelopment might be on the horizon, Bloom Schwartz moved across the street to the first floor of the Landow Building.
What Went Wrong With “Snowquester” Forecast? — Higher than freezing temperatures kept yesterday’s snow from sticking on roads, which had a lot to do with the lower than projected amount of precipitation that came in the early morning hours. Jordan Tessler, a University of Maryland student who runs Terp Weather, provided a more detailed explanation on Facebook. [Terp Weather via Facebook]
Review: Bethesda Blues and Jazz Orchestra — The new Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club’s house band is a work in progress, writes a reviewer from the Washington City Paper. More concerning for fans of jazz and live music in Bethesda, just 35 people came to see the set in a venue that holds 500. [Washington City Paper]
Post Editorial: State Leaders Must Sell Modest Transportation Proposal — The gas tax proposal to fund transportation projects unveiled this week by Gov. Martin O’Malley, House Speaker Michael Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller is modest relative to a recent plan in neighboring Virginia. [Washington Post]
Bach Choir Performing At Strathmore Next Week — The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Pa., is touring the D.C. area for the first time since 1999 and will perform on Wedensday, March 13 at The Music Center at Strathmore (5301 Tuckerman Lane). [Strathmore]
Flickr photo by Matthew Straubmuller
March is truly coming in like a lion, at least in terms of Bethesda’s business climate.
Four openings of unique Bethesda shops or venues are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, including the opening of the relocated and much-beloved Bruce Variety store and the opening night for the highly anticipated Bethesda Blues and Jazz Club.
Then, there’s the grand opening celebration planned for Friday for Bethesda Scooters & Boards, the eclectic shop from Bethesda resident Kaare Wieneke that will move across Woodmont Triangle after a pop-up shop trial run last summer.
Co-owner Wieneke and his “Chris Sacks Band” will be playing and the store (4825 Fairmont Ave.) will be filled with scooters, skateboards, stand-up paddle boards, customized Bethesda t-shirts and a large variety of other items.
Also reopening is Jason McCarther, the owner of the former Box Bar sports bar who sold, then re-bought the place at 7525 Old Georgetown Rd. after the short-lived Dry Fried Wing Bar and Grille fizzled out. McCarther plans to open Roc Bar Live, a live music version of his Roc Bar nightclub in D.C., on Saturday with rock artist and Rockville native Mike Westcott.
Nearby, the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) will be hosting its second night of live music with local jazz pianist and keyboardist Marcus Johnson. Friday’s opening night performance in the revamped Bethesda Theatre features New Orleans trumpeter and bandleader Irvin Mayfield.
Also on Friday, Bruce Variety will return.
In December, owners of the crafts store known for its odd and hard-to-find items said they could no longer afford the rent at its location of 60 years in the Bradley Shopping Center. That announcement shocked and saddened many, some who even signed a petition asking Shopping Center owners to lower the store’s rent.
But soon after Bruce Variety closed on Arlington Road, it found a new home in the old home of Creative Parties Ltd., in the blue and green house at 8011 Woodmont Ave. It signed a lease there in January.
Westfield Montgomery Mall yesterday released a video via Facebook of what its new food court and luxury movie theater could look like when the project is finalized later this year.
Bethesda Patch first reported the unveiling of the “Sneak Peak,” a visualization of renderings of the Mall’s new Dining Terrace set to be completed this fall and an ArcLight Cinema, a 16-screen luxury movie theater set to open in spring 2014.
The ceiling of the existing food court will be raised to allow for the new look and parts of the food court will be closed off to customers through the construction process. The ArcLight theater will go above the existing food court parking garage and expanded over the driveway leading up to the food court. The project also includes more “fast casual” eating options on the third floor with the theater, according to the Facebook announcement.
Video from Westfield Montgomery Mall via Facebook
The response to Steve Mulder and partner Jean-Louis Marechal’s Zoom Room dog training facility on Rockville Pike has been among the best the company has ever seen, Mulder said today.
Dog agility classes are filling up and the two have received more RSVPs for the grand opening (set for Saturday at 3 p.m.) than any other Zoom Room location in the country. Based on the crowd at today’s ribbon cutting ceremony, it’s easy to see why.
A number of attendees at today’s ribbon cutting, including County Councilman Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) and Greater Bethesda Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce members, brought their furry, four-legged friends to the new business at 11771 Rockville Pike, near the White Flint Metro station.
The floor on the 1,700-square-foot main gym space isn’t finished, but after about six weeks of construction and preparation, the facility that will offer obedience training, dog parties and a place for dog owners to socialize is almost ready to debut.
The grand opening on Saturday will serve as a fundraiser for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue and Zoom Room will donate $10 for every advance RSVP received, plus 10 percent of the day’s retail and class sign-up sales.
County Council Meets With Mikulski — Members of the Montgomery County Council this morning will continue their series of informal discussions with federal and state elected officials when they sit down with Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D) at noon. Past meetings have included Sen. Ben Cardin (D) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D). [Montgomery County Council]
Chevy Chase’s Persimmon Reopens — Persimmon, the Wisconsin Avenue restaurant (7003 Wisconsin Ave.) that had been closed since July for renovations, reopened on Saturday with a new look and new menu. [Bethesda Magazine]
Fitness Studio To Open Wednesday — The Bar Method, a women’s workout studio with more than 65 locations, is ready to open Wednesday on the ground floor of the Lionsgate Condominium (7710 Woodmont Ave.) according to the Bethesda Urban Partnership.
Flickr photo by im_apatel
Dog That Helped Alert Elderly Bethesda Woman To Danger Died In House Fire — The 90-year-old woman who survived an early morning garage fire last week says she was alerted to danger by her dog, which could not be rescued from the back room of the smoke-filled house in time. The woman was taken to the hospital and was recovering from smoke inhalation. [The Gazette]
Harris Teeter Says It’s Coming To 8300 Woodmont Project — The grocery chain says it has finalized a long rumored lease for the planned 375-unit apartment undergoing preliminary construction work at the edge of downtown Bethesda. [Bethesda Patch]
Reminder: Engineers To Present New Plans For Sangamore Road Intelligence Base Tonight — Reps from the Army Corps of Engineers and construction company Whiting-Turner will present updated designs for the Intelligence Community Campus-Bethesda, set to hold about 3,000 employees at the former site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency headquarters at 4800 Sangamore Rd. [MORE]
Annapolis Gun Control Hearing Draws Large, Spirited Crowd — A Wednesday public hearing run by State Sen. Brian Frosh (D-Bethesda-Chevy Chase) included eight hours of testimony from officials and residents on both sides of the gun debate. Frosh and Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who testified, support restrictions such as an assault weapons ban. [Washington Post]
Flickr photo by IamJomo
Bruce Variety Officially Moving To Woodmont Triangle — The shop signed a lease to take over the blue and green house (8011 Woodmont Ave.) that Creative Parties Ltd. occupied for 16 years. Creative Parties recently relocated to the Landow Building because of concerns over future redevelopment of the Woodmont Avenue site. Bruce Variety will open March 1. [The Gazette]
Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club Reportedly Opening March 1 — The much awaited venue in the old Bethesda Theater (7719 Wisconsin Ave.) is set to open on March 1 and has already replaced its head chef. [Bethesda Magazine]
Bag Tax Nets More Than $2 Million For MoCo In First Year — The county made $2.1 million off the bag tax in the first 11 months of 2012, the first year of the tax and double the projected total. Environmental activists say the tax appears to have led to a decrease in plastic pollution. [Washington Examiner]
Public Property Smoking Ban Goes To Council Committee — A proposal that would ban smoking in Montgomery County parks, around recreation centers and outside county buildings will be discussed this morning in the County Council’s Health and Human Services Committee. The session starts at 10 a.m. and can be viewed on County Cable Montgomery. [Montgomery County Council]
Flickr photo by Colleen Henderson Fine Art