Under construction; Montgomery mall open for business

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Preppy takes Potomac; Lilly Pulitzer brings its style to the Montgomery Mall.

By Julia Heimlich, Features Editor

Bethesda’s Westfield Montgomery Mall has been on a roll lately with the revamping of the food court and the addition of more fine dining restaurants and stores.

The new restaurant, Blaze Pizza, located across from Aroma Coffee, puts a fresh new twist on a classic meal. Customers walk through a fast-paced line and have the option of choosing either a build-your-own or signature style pizza.

“If someone’s never been here before, we tell them it’s ‘like Chipotle, but pizza,” restaurant manager Jeff Darden said.

The restaurant’s efficiency and speed makes it different from other pizza restaurants.

“We have a 550 degree oven, and the pizza only takes three minutes because of its thin crust,” Darden said.

Senior Ry Arnold is excited for the Blaze in the mall because he will “have time to grab a pizza and still be able to make it back in time for sixth period.”

While this is Blaze’s first location in Maryland, the company is planning on opening several more in the area, including one in College Park, which will open Oct. 1.

Students will find a variety of new shopping options in addition to places to eat. Talbot, which opened up in early June, offers a wide array of clothing options.While its market seems to be aimed mainly at more middle-aged women, the store seeks to attract teenagers as well.

“Our items will catch any eye,” assistant manager Gabriella Mara said. “High schoolers like our jeans and some of our blouses and dresses, especially our Ponte blush-colored dress.”

The clothing store is unique in the sense that its staff focuses on getting to know its clients personally, according to Mara.

“We try hard to connect and build a relationship with customers, without just trying to get a sell out of them,” Mara said.

Lilly Pulitzer, which opened its location in the mall in April, provides vibrant-print fanatics a new home.

“I was excited when I found out Lilly Pullitzer had opened up nearby because I used to have to order online,” senior Rachel Park said. “Now I can see the items in person before I purchase.”

Lilly sells clothing wear for all seasons. Fall items will be in shortly and will focus more on layering and using heavier pieces like cashmere.

According to store manager Kendall Andes, the store’s accessory pieces are typically more popular among teenagers because of their more reasonable price point.

“Our agendas, cups and pencil pouches are popular because they can be used for school,” Andes said. “But in terms of clothing, we do a great deal of business as well. Our knit items like tees and popover hooded sweatshirts are what most of our high school students are drawn to.”

According to Andes, customers are definitely eager to have a Lilly Pulitzer store so close to home.

“We’re just excited to be a part of this new generation of Montgomery Mall and to delight our customers,” Andes said. “Every market has a large group of Lilly girls in the area. We’re excited to please them and give them all the products they’ve been looking for.”

According to a mall customer service support consultant, a Chipotle will be scheduled to open in the mall Nov. 11.

“Now I can buy clothes and then head over to Chipotle to eat a burrito,” junior Dylan Cohen said.

Lululemon Athletica, which offers comfy exercise-wear for teens and adults, is also planning to join us some time in the near future.

“We are planning two Zengo cycle classes during the mall opening weekend, and lots of other fun surprises to show our excitement about opening in Montgomery Mall,” said Jill Winter, who works as Lululemon’s “Community Connector.”

Also opening soon are Cava, Crave Restaurant & Lounge, Naples 45 Restorante e Pizzeria, MET Bethesda, a Microsoft store and even a brand new luxury movie theater, Arclight Cinemas.

According to arclightcinemas.com, the theater will include reserved seating, black-box auditoriums, commercial-free movies and gourmet cuisine.