A Guide to: Bethesda Row

A Guide to: Bethesda Row
BETHESDA'S FINEST - Bethesda Lane at Bethesda Row provides a luxury, European-feeling shopping experience to the greater D.C. area. Gourmet eateries stocking hard to find treats and upscale boutiques line the streets of the new shopping destination. Rebec

The newly opened Bethesda Lane at Bethesda Row, a pedestrian street in downtown Bethesda, features 44,000 square feet of shopping and dining space in 16 shops and restaurants for students to explore.

Several shops opened in April and May, including women's athletic clothing store lucy, designer clothing boutique Ginger, shoe store the Little Shoe Box, furniture store Urban Country and beauty supply store bluemercury.

However, most of the shops, including women's clothing boutique Urban Chic, bakery Le Pain Quotidien, Redwood restaurant and bar, Dolcezza Gelato, Salon Cielo and kitchenware store Le Creuset, opened in June and July.

Cassie Hitchner, an employee at women's clothing store Ginger, likes the store's location, she said.

"This new street is so nice," Hitchner said. "People are really coming to this area to go shopping because Bethesda had never been thought of a fashion destination before."

Bethesda Lane has a European air to it, said Carla Trippe, an Urban Chic employee and a senior in the School of International Service.

"The architecture and cobblestone is all very classy," Trippe said. "People sit outside for fine dining, locals walk their dogs and window shop, and couples or families sit on the benches eating gelato."

Besides fine boutique shopping, Bethesda Lane offers a variety of new eateries that focus on local organic fare, including Le Pain Quotidien and the Redwood restaurant and bar.

Le Pain Quotidien, a Belgian bakery that has locations worldwide, focuses on the philosophy of a communal table, according to Jay Palatucci, a former waiter at the bakery and senior in SIS.

Separate dining parties are seated at the large table in the center of the restaurant for people to meet each other. All of the food is USDA certified organic and moderately priced. The bakery tries to support local growers who engage in low-impact farming, Palatucci said.

Redwood restaurant and bar also serves organic food, focusing on food grown in the mid-Atlantic region. Many of the items are prepared in the wood-burning grill and oven. In addition to its inventive menu, Redwood also offers 125 different wines at its spacious bar.

For dessert, diners can go right next door to Dolcezza Gelato, an Argentinean ice creamery that serves more than 200 types of gelatos, which also has a Georgetown location. The ice creamery makes 25 new flavors by hand each day for customers to sample.

"I would recommend the tiramisu," said Megan Alcorn, a senior in SIS. "I was also excited to see that they had churros because they are hard to find."

Another draw to Bethesda Lane is the free outdoor concert series, which occurs every Wednesday night from 6-9 p.m. through Sept. 24.

"The concerts have drawn a lot of foot traffic to the Bethesda Lane shops," said Amanda Powell, manager of women's athletic clothing store lucy.

Accessory store Lua Lua, European chocolate and pastry shop Cacao, winery store Cork & Fork, as well as restaurant Lebanese Taverna, are supposed to open in the coming months.

For a schedule of upcoming concerts, visit www.bethesdarow.com/events.

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