Shop Talk

Red Hue Boutique Grand Opening

On Nov. 17, Red Hue Boutique, a new clothing, shoe and accessory store, held a grand opening celebration that included cupcakes, sodas and free gifts with purchase. Customers who made purchases through the entire opening week were treated to $10 gift cards to the store.

Owner Silvia Huezo-Lopez and her husband, Sal Lopez, pulled out all the stops in the week leading up to the opening to make sure everything would look and run smoothly on their first day.

“Like my husband says, ‘We had to work hard and work smart.’ We worked day and night to get it open as quickly as we did, and there are still many more things we will be improving through time. My husband did all the painting and drilling, and I focused on the merchandise and displays,” said Huezo-Lopez.

The store, which occupies the former Benevolent Buddhist Center space at 404 Main Street, is the second location of Red Hue Boutique; the first is in Rockville Town Center. Huezo-Lopez and her husband own and manage the stores, with help from their assistant manager, Gianna Fogelbach.

The couple was looking to expand and stumbled upon Kentlands Main Street. “We were looking for a walkable community that was a retail-oriented area with a nice mix of independent and national stores,” said Huezo-Lopez. “I just happened to be in the neighborhood one day for other business reasons and happened to walk by this space.”

When asked about her thoughts on occupying the former Buddhist worship center, Huezo-Lopez said she was happy just to get a nice, move-in ready space.

“I don’t think we thought much about what it had been previous to our occupation,” she said. “It’s an ideal space for a clothing boutique.”

The shop carries contemporary fashions with classic styling that Huezo-Lopez said are “still very fun and feminine.” The store also has its own private label, Red Hue, which is designed by Huezo-Lopez herself. The line is vintage inspired and sold exclusively at Red Hue Boutique stores.

The prices at Red Hue are moderate, with most items selling for under $100. Customers can expect to find most clothing in sizes small through large, with some brands carrying extra large. The Red Hue brand will carry up to size 2x in some styles.

“I think there is something for everyone here,” said Huezo-Lopez.

While shopping at any boutique will be a unique experience, she believes the prices at Red Hue are more reasonable than at many other clothing stores. Additionally, she said the store carries only three to six of each item in order to increase its exclusivity with customers

According to Huezo-Lopez, the personal styling and customer service make shopping at Red Hue Boutique a fun and very different experience than at a national chain or, conversely, a high-end boutique with shocking prices.

“I think we are mostly different than the other shops here in the sense that our prices are more ‘shop-able.’ I think people will have fun picking and choosing different items to add to their wardrobe.”

She added that the best part of her job is seeing a satisfied customer report compliments she got on a Red Hue item.

Huezo-Lopez is excited about her new boutique and already feels very welcomed by the Kentlands and Lakelands communities. “[The wonderful] thing about the Kentlands neighborhood is how supportive everyone is,” she said. “From the neighboring businesses to the residents, everyone [has been] so warm and welcoming. There is a certain pride about shopping local here that is really quite inspiring.”

For more info.: 301.977.1949. Boutique hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Sunday, 12 – 5 p.m.

Popular Sports Bar Spreads Its Wings

Buffalo Wild Wings, a sports bar and grill franchise that started in Canton, Ohio, will soon move into the space formerly occupied by Chevys in Quince Orchard Plaza. Plans are currently in place to open for business in early 2013, and the Maryland franchise owner has already applied for a sign permit from the city of Gaithersburg for the new location.

The restaurant site at 668 Clopper Road has been empty since Chevys abruptly closed its doors in February. Advertising for Buffalo Wild Wings has already begun for the sports bar’s newest location; a representative from the franchise was present at the grand opening day of the new LA Fitness on Nov. 17. LA Fitness recently opened in Quince Orchard Plaza, directly across from the restaurant’s future location.

The closest Buffalo Wild Wings location is currently in Rockville Town Square. The bar specializes in having an extensive tap line, many large TVs showing various sporting events, and a wide assortment of sauce flavors for their buffalo wings. Their menu also offers typical bar fare such as burgers, nachos, sandwiches and all-things-fried.

Calls to the Buffalo Wild Wings headquarters and area manager had not been returned at press time.

Pritchard Music Academy Expansion

Pritchard Music Academy on Main Street is currently undergoing a major remodeling and expansion project, set to finish by Christmas. A grand-reopening celebration will most likely take place after the holidays.

Owner Joe Pritchard and his wife, Becky, said they are very excited to finally be able to accommodate more students. The new downstairs portion of the remodel/expansion will feature four additional practice rooms and one classroom, all fitted with extra-dense soundproofing material.

During a brief tour and interview, Pritchard explained plans that included a conduit [pipe] from all downstairs rooms to the upstairs, where music could be recorded on the studio’s updated computer system. The old computer system was “a home printer and a Frankenstein program basically designed by me,” he said.

The remodel/expansion is being done in two phases so the academy will not have to cease lessons or sales at any point. Once the basement is complete, students will practice, learn and record downstairs while “walls are knocked down and moved around upstairs,” said Joe.

Once the upstairs is finished, the academy will have triple it’s current retail space as well as greater variety of musical instruments for sale. Additionally, the Pritchards will gain some much-needed office space. Currently the academy’s office consists of a crowded desk in the right-hand corner of the upstairs music classroom. “As it is now,” laughed Joe, “I take important calls outside, which I refer to as ‘my office’!”

For more info.: 301.355.8079.

Kentlands Beads Moves On

Kentlands Beads and Gifts, formerly at 406 Main Street, has moved. The new store is located at 8687 Grovemont Circle in Gaithersburg near the large post office on Shady Grove Road. Owner Mary Wei said the primary reason for the move was space issues.

“We decided to combine our store with our [business] warehouse,” she said. While the Main Street showroom operated as Kentlands Beads and Gifts, the jewelry supplier’s company name is Super Time International (www.supertimebeads.com).

The new location offers more retail space with the added convenience of a fully stocked warehouse.

“It is better for customers because if they don’t see what they want [on display], they can be helped by an employee who can go check the entire stock,” Wei said in a brief phone interview. “It’s a very big facility.”

Wei said that an added bonus of the decision to move was her ability to save money on labor. “The employees of the warehouse can also watch the shop.”

The store hours are from 9 – 5:30 p.m. Monday – Saturday. The shop is closed on Sundays. Wei is excited about the consolidation of the warehouse and store and hopes the change will bring in new customers from the Rockville area. She said she has been able to keep her loyal customers who used to frequent the Kentlands location.

“[So far] our customers say they love it!” said Wei.

For more info.: 301.947.1800.

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