Small Bites: Wings and BBQ Come to Rockville’s Wintergreen Plaza

Plus: Vasili’s Kitchen sets opening date in the Kentlands and &pizza receives major investment


Wingstop opens at Wintergreen Plaza and Mission BBQ is on its way

Wintergreen Plaza via Facebook

Wintergreen Plaza in Rockville is continuing its retail transformation. Earlier this month Wingstop, a Dallas-based fast-food chain that specializes in a variety of chicken wings, opened at the shopping center at 891-E Rockville Pike. It’s the second Rockville location for the company, which has another restaurant at the Fallsgrove Village Center. And next year Mission BBQ is scheduled to open at the retail center, according to local retail blog Store Reporter. Plans by Alan Hamm Architects for the new restaurant have been posted online. The barbecue chain has 40 locations throughout the U.S. including 12 in Maryland, although this will be its first Montgomery County location. The restaurants serve brisket, pulled pork, ribs and home-style sides such as baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and cole slaw.

Other additions to Wintergreen Plaza over the past year include a new Habit Burger restaurant and Jersey Mike’s sub shop.

Vasili’s Kitchen sets Dec. 6 opening date in the Kentlands

Vasili's Kitchen via Facebook

Longtime Kentlands Greek restaurant Vasili’s Mediterranean Grill plans to complete its conversion to Vasili’s Kitchen next month. General Manager Theo Hristopoulos told MyMCMedia Monday that the new 4,000-square-foot space where the restaurant is moving will open Dec. 6 at 705 Centerpoint Way. The family-owned restaurant is leaving its Main Street location where it has operated for 15 years to move to the bigger space. As part of the move, the restaurant partnered with Chef Yiannis Lucacos, who spent the last decade operating his own restaurant, Psomi & Alta, in Greece. Lucacos will helm the kitchen. A family friend of the restaurant’s owners, Lucacos graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has appeared as a judge on the TV show MasterChef.

&pizza receives $25 million venture capital investment

The fast-casual pizza chain that started in Washington, D.C., and spread soon after to Montgomery County has its sights set on New York City and other markets after announcing earlier this month it received a $25 million funding round. The restaurant is planning to use the funding to open more locations in Baltimore, Northern Virginia and Philadelphia, according to the Washington Business Journal. &pizza is known for its make-your-own pizza concept in which customers can choose toppings and the type of dough before the oval-shaped personal pizza is cooked on a conveyor belt oven system.

 News also broke this month about &pizza co-founder Steve Salis, who left the company in 2015 citing a “myriad of factors.” Salis recently purchased the longtime D.C. bookstore and restaurant Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café. He’s already expanding the business and said he has a plan to “bring back some of that flair and energy” to the Dupont Circle institution, according to The Washington Post.

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