Monday, December 09, 2019

Patisserie Manuel, Bliss in a Bottle open at Westfield Montgomery Mall in Bethesda

Patisserie Manuel has opened at Westfield Montgomery Mall. The French bakery also specializes in Chilean pastries, and serves breakfast, lunch, and coffee in addition to baked goods. Look for it in the Dining Terrace. Here's a look at the menu:

Bliss in a Bottle kiosk
Also celebrating a grand opening is the Bliss in a Bottle kiosk. Their unique product is chocolate-covered wine bottles, where the wine inside the bottle has been paired with the chocolate on the outside in most cases. Find them on Level 1.

Speaking of kiosks, there is another new one making a debut for the holidays at the mall. This cart sells socks for your favorite pro sports teams.

Sunday, December 08, 2019

Walgreens opens in Bethesda

The first Walgreens in Bethesda opened yesterday at the Bradley Shopping Center in downtown Bethesda. Interestingly, the timing was coordinated with the closure of the Walgreens-owned Rite Aid at the Westwood Shopping Center Friday evening. Rite Aid pharmacy customers are apparently assumed to now take their prescriptions to this Walgreens, where the pharmacy counter is the main focus of the small space.
Last Thursday I noticed the shelves had been stocked. An Apple Store-style security barrier was also installed inside the front entrance. It not only prevents smash and grab burglars from gaining access to the store, but also blurs out all detail on product packaging that can be seen through the front windows.
Now that the store is opened, we can finally see what products will be stocked in the tiny store, which is a new neighborhood store format Walgreens is rolling out nationwide this year. Surprisingly, they do carry some food, raising hopes that this store might stock new Walgreens-exclusive Pringles flavors in the future.
Besides snacks, there is a decent inventory of over the counter medications, toiletries, medical supplies, etc. You're likely to find whatever basic drug store items you need here, without having to play Frogger to cross the street to CVS. However, the store shares the rural town hours of the other businesses in the Bradley Shopping Center, where things wind down by 8:00 PM most nights, so don't cut up your CVS bonus card just yet.

Saturday, December 07, 2019

Bethesda Hemp & Wellness to take over vacant ice cream shop space

Bethesda Hemp & Wellness is coming soon to 8004 Norfolk Avenue. This was most recently home to Jeff's Best, a self-serve ice cream shop.

Friday, December 06, 2019

Historic Bethesda Community Store for sale again

Efforts to modify the historic Bethesda Community Store to attract a rental tenant appear to have failed. The venerable landmark at 8804 Old Georgetown Road is now back on the market. According to an online real estate listing, the asking price is $1.1 million.

For that price, the buyer gets high visibility and high automobile traffic volume. He or she will also get the limitations that come with ownership of an historic property, but with the potential to make the less-visible modifications outlined in the recent plans. Were this a "teardown," the land alone would go for several times the current asking price.

Purple Line to close part of Rock Creek Trail in Chevy Chase

Purple Line construction will require a temporary closure of the Rock Creek Trail between the Ray's Meadow Park and Susanna Lane access points in Chevy Chase. The closure is scheduled to begin December 9, 2019 and last about three weeks. Electronic message boards will be posted to alert trail users to the status of the affected section going forward. A detour is shown on the map above in purple.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza wants to introduce itself in Bethesda

Construction inside the future Anthony's Coal-Fired Pizza in the 7770 Norfolk Avenue apartment tower continues at a deliberate pace. In the meantime, the company begs pizza-crazed passersby to "allow us to introduce ourselves." New signage details what is so special about the pizzeria's coal-fired ovens, handmade dough, imported Italian tomatoes and Wisconsin mozzarella.
Notably missing from the signs is pizzeria investor and legendary Miami Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino. Football fans are still placing their bets as to whether Marino will make an appearance at the grand opening next year.

Ourisman Jeep posts Coming Soon signage in Bethesda

This past August, I reported that Ourisman had leased ground floor retail space in the Adagio condominium building in downtown Bethesda. Now the auto dealership giant has confirmed my scoop by posting some Ourisman Jeep of Bethesda "coming soon" signage in the windows at 6826 Wisconsin Avenue. Can't wait to see the new Grand Wagoneer in these windows in 2021.

Ideal Image spa to replace Modern Market at Bethesda Row

A drastic transformation of the vacant Modern Market restaurant space at Bethesda Row will be needed to welcome its new tenant. Ideal Image, a "skin, face and body medspa," will open here at 4930 Elm Street in 2020. The company calls itself the nation's largest medspa. They emphasize in marketing that they staff their spas with licensed nurses and medical professionals.

Ideal Image is based in Florida. The spa signing ends this space's long history as a dining enterprise, from Baja Fresh to Boloco to Modern Market. After three straight busts here, perhaps landlord Federal Realty determined this spot just doesn't work for a restaurant for whatever reason.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Ourisman Honda plaza taking shape at Capital Crescent Trail

The "consolation prize" public plaza Ourisman Honda is constructing in exchange for building part of its new garage atop public right-of-way around the Capital Crescent Trail is nearing completion. Landscaping has been installed, as well as pavers on the plaza area. The plaza still does not resolve the fire truck access to the rear of the Flats at Bethesda Place issue. And a major bottleneck for the Montgomery County cartel's secret plan to extend the Purple Line to Westbard and Sumner Place will remain as long as the garage does. There currently is not enough width for a trail and two tracks, much less with buffering between them.

Madison Reed Bethesda Row update

The hours, services and prices have been stenciled on the windows at Madison Reed Color Bar, the hair coloring studio opening soon on Woodmont Avenue at Bethesda Row. You can also see the great progress on the construction of the interior of the salon.