Friendship Heights’ once glittering Collection at Chevy Chase lost a slew of luxury shops in 2017, when many decamped for CityCenterDC. Those departures, coupled with the generally unsteady retail environment, meant it was time for a reboot focused on . . . restaurants.
Now the onetime status-brand shopping center is morphing into more of a food destination. The gluten-free Little Beet Table opened a few months ago. Later this year, Alexandria’s Junction Bistro, Bar & Bakery and another eatery, the Hunter’s Hound, are coming to the old Ralph Lauren store. And the California chain Urban Plates is taking over the Bulgari space. The new tenants are part of Chevy Chase Land Company’s $18-million revamp of the development, which included enhancing public plazas and constructing a small amphitheater for movie nights and concerts. The developer hopes a mix of long-term retail and pop-ups will fill some of the remaining vacancies. A few pop-ups have already arrived, including Whyte House Monograms, clothing store the Palm & the Ivy, and Patrick’s Fine Linens & Home Décor.
Picturesque though it may be, Chevy Chase, Maryland, has recently been home to some ugly rifts. Resident Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court divided neighbors, with one woman reportedly shouting at the justice at the French restaurant La Ferme. But Kavanaugh isn’t the most controversial Chevy Chase figure. That designation falls to dog owners, who battled this past summer over a patch of land known as Brookville Road Park.
After the town fenced in the area so people could let their dogs off-leash, authorities started getting complaints about loud barking and inconsiderate drivers. Information about the park was removed from the Chevy Chase Village website to keep outsiders from showing up. Then the hours were changed. Finally, the Chevy Chase Village Board voted to remove the gates enclosing it. These days, the park is back on the Village website—which states clearly that dogs must be “leashed and under the immediate control of their handler at all times.”
Chevy Chase’s Meadowbrook Stables is more than 85 years old, so it’s easy to see how its users might want some upgrades. But a recent proposal to construct a new indoor horse-riding arena there has some locals champing at the bit, according to Bethesda Magazine. Opponents claim that the facility, which would be built in Rock Creek Park, would deplete home values, ruin views, and pose environmental risks. Perhaps equestrians are Chevy Chase’s new dog owners.
To the dismay of a lot of locals, American City Diner, a Chevy Chase DC fixture for 30 years, closed in 2018. In the coming months, it’s slated to reopen as a branch of Sidekick, the Ballston bakery that’s an offshoot of the popular Ted’s Bulletin restaurants. The Connecticut Avenue diner’s retro train-car design will be incorporated into renovations, and the bakery will include a sit-down cafe as well as counter service. Owner Steve Salis—who’s behind Ted’s Bulletin, &Pizza, and Federalist Pig—says the establishment will have a Kramerbooks-branded component. Salis also owns the stalwart Dupont bookstore.
An enormous new mixed-use community called Chevy Chase Lake is rising around the future Purple Line stop near Manor Road and Connecticut Avenue. Phase one is scheduled to open by fall 2021, with two buildings comprising 280 apartments, 65 condos, and 80,000 square feet of retail. Residents will get the typical luxe amenities: fitness studios, a pool, coworking lounges, a pet station, and so on. More unusual: A garage with a whopping 850 parking spaces is also under construction. Part two, expected to finish in 2022, will come with a third building, 186 more apartments, and 154 additional parking spaces. The whole complex will have direct access to the Purple Line platform as well as the Capital Crescent Trail.
Recent arrivals worth checking out:
June B Sweet
The chic candy counter—inside the stationery shop Write for You—specializes in Brazilian morsels known as brigadeiros, made with condensed milk and butter. 2807 McKinley St., NW; 202-686-7060.
Pizza and soulful Italian fare in a rustic dining room or, in warm weather, on a rollicking patio. 5600 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-741-4599.
Little Beet Table
In just a few months, it’s become a destination for natural juices and gluten-free eating. 5471 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase; 240-283-0603.
New Morning Farm
The small Saturday farmers market is stocked by Maryland and Pennsylvania farms. It’s open Saturdays through mid-March, then reopens in June. Taylor St. at Brookville Rd., Chevy Chase; 814-448-3904.
Clothes and accessories, beauty products, home goods, and jewelry made by the owner and other locals. 3813 Livingston St., NW; 202-730-4556.
A sliver of a bakery and ice-cream shop where flavors such as milk-and-brownies happily coexist with classic vanilla and chocolate. 5027 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-244-9500.