Have you made a recent visit to Chevy Chase Pavilion? I hadn’t been there in a while because the on-going construction made it a formidable challenge to enter and exit the building. It literally took me a half an hour to find my way out one Saturday afternoon. But I digress. Recently I took my chances and wow! The make-over is by no means complete but what is finished is something else.
The design is certainly not staid, but right now it’s hard to say that it’s customer-friendly either. The lighting is purply blues and pinks, which can be cool at night, but during the day is a little odd. At first I thought I had stumbled into Studio 54, but once I let the surroundings settle in, I did feel like I was entering something special as I took the newly lit escalator to my floor.
The Cheesecake Factory still calls the Pavilion its home, but now it has competition. Say “hello” to “Top Chef’s” Bryan Voltgaggio and his newly opened restaurant, Range. I haven’t yet dined there, but I can’t wait. The restaurant is enormous and will serve a wide variety of food made possible by its seven mini-kitchens.
But wait until you see the revamped Starbucks. It’s still on the lower level, but that is about all that is the same. What was once its front is now its back and vice versa. And the seating area…Yikes! It’s huge and comfy... more like a lounge and it’s very inviting.
The little store near the Metro entrance is still in its space…still available for those losing (at least for me) lottery tickets and other last minute purchases. J Crew, CVS, World Market and Ritchie & Co. Shoes are also open for business. Other stores will be joining them eventually, but the largest neighbor will be H&M. From the looks of things, it seems as if it will be enormous.
Finally, the all important restrooms. The separate facilities for men and women are no longer. Now there are two unisex facilities with a changing area for babies. The area is relatively clean and because you can lock the door it feels a lot safer than the old facility.
I’ll follow up with an update when the renovations are complete. But the signs of life are definitely encouraging. Now if someone would only help out Mazza Galleria.