by Katherine Saltzman and Forest Hills Connection
Comings and goings in Tenleytown
The Tenleytown Best Buy was once a Sears. The long-gone Hechinger home improvement chain moved in next. And before Best Buy signed the lease in the early 2000s, the Washington Post says the building’s owners considered a “car dealership, a data center, a discount department store and a Toys ‘R’ Us.”
Best Buy is the next “former” retailer at 4500 Wisconsin Avenue. November 3rd is its last day.
Best Buy staff members have been telling customers that the rent had become too costly.
Mattress Firm has closed its Tenleytown location (4537 Wisconsin Avenue).
CorePower Yoga, the largest privately held chain of yoga studios in the U.S., is opening a Tenleytown location this winter at 4600 Wisconsin Avenue.
There is still no word on what will move in to the vacant storefront formerly occupied by Johnson’s Florist and Garden Center (4200 Wisconsin).
“We are not in a position at this time to make a public statement, but hope to be able to in the near future,” said Andrew Huff, the director of community relations at American University, said in an email to Forest Hills Connection. AU owns the property.
Cleveland Park: Baked by Yael opens pop-up in Alexandria
Baked by Yael is a nut-free, kosher bakery specializing in cake pops, hand-rolled bagels and other pastries. Yael Krigman, the owner and Cleveland Park resident, sold her cake pops online for four years before she opened the store at 3000 Connecticut Avenue in 2015.
Krigman’s operation has grown to include daily deliveries and the farmers market in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria. And she’s been operating a pop-up shop in Del Ray every Sunday in October. The pop-up at The Sushi Bar (2312 Mt. Vernon Avenue) sell bagels and bagel sandwiches from 8 a.m. to noon or until bagels run out.
“The Alexandria customer base is really great, they know we are only there once a week, so they are very supportive with their words and money. They have been a very welcoming and supportive community,” Krigman said.
More on Baked by Yael:
- The bakery is entirely nut free and caters to individuals with nut, soy and gluten allergies.
- The bagels are made from scratch, hand-rolled and boiled.
- The bakery hosts cake pop parties in its kitchen.
- Baked by Yael ships its cake pops everywhere.
“We really want to be able to accommodate as many people as possible. Our goal is for a family to be able to walk in and no matter what their restrictions are everybody can at least enjoy something. We don’t want anyone to feel left out. That’s why we created vegan and gluten free options,” Krigman said.
Though Krigman originally opened the store as cakepoppery, her bagels became a huge hit. They come in five flavors: plain, poppy seed, sesame, everything, and onion. Bagels are available onsite and can be ordered in advance and in larger quantities online.
“Attendees at cake pop parties cannot stop raving about how much fun they are. We do a lot [of parties] for kids and adults as well– usually for team building exercises for offices. We clear out the kitchen and show participants how to make cake pops, frosting and how to decorate. Everyone leaves with a box filled of cake pops,” Krigman said.
“There is really no limit to what we can do,” Krigman said. For a bakery that has fulfilled an order of over 6,000 cake pops, that statement seems to be true. Cake pops come in a variety of different flavors and colors and can be customized for special events or birthdays. Baked by Yael delivers locally and also ships the pops nationwide. Visit the website to learn more about flavors and packages.
Chevy Chase: Honoring American City Diner, Blue 44 serves breakfast for dinner on Thursdays
Two weeks after American City Diner closed last summer, Blue 44 (5507 Connecticut Avenue) started serving a “Legacy Thursday” dinner special to honor the diner’s late owner, Jeffrey Gildenhorn, and to fill a food gap in the neighborhood.
“After Gildenhorn passed away it was a shock for the community. He was a pillar in the community,” said Blue 44’s owner, Christofer Nardelli. “When they closed their doors we wanted to do something to honor him while at the same time offering guests a meal to fill the void of the diner, since that type of food is not available in the neighborhood.”
Before Blue 44 opened in April 2010, Nardelli frequented American City Diner while the restaurant was under construction. Nardelli and Gildenhorn became friends and supported each other’s businesses.
“I had established a relationship with him over the last 8 years. He used to come into the restaurant quite often before he got ill,” Nardelli said. “We were always there for each other. We would borrow things from each other, whether it was napkins or cups and he was always generous with our staff.”
The Legacy Thursday meal is the restaurant’s most popular weekend brunch option. Called the “Triple Double,” it includes two pancakes, two eggs, fingerling fries, and a choice of bacon or sausage link.
“We might stop if the novelty wears off, but it hasn’t yet, so we continue to do it every Thursday night,” Nardelli said. “The community is small and pretty close knit. People appreciate the option and the tribute as well.”