- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2001

A proposed floating Georgetown restaurant is getting opposition from the boating community.
Clyde's Restaurant Group has it's sights set on a 9,700-square-foot, 250-seat restaurant barge next to the Key Bridge, a site that boaters say will block navigation under the bridge.
"The project threatens navigation and river safety at this location and would interfere with and displace the rapidly growing rowing, paddling and sailing activities on this stretch of the Potomac River," according to the Potomac Boat Club's Web site (www.rowpbc.net).
"We do not want it to happen," says Bill Baxter, part-owner of Jack's Boathouse, located right near the proposed site.
Mr. Baxter says the Clyde's restaurant will significantly impact his business, which offers canoes, kayaks and row boats, because "it's a big thing and it's at the end of our dock."
The plans for the restaurant, which is currently called "the Boat Club," still need to be approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The restaurant, which will have 150 to 200 employees, looks like three Victorian houses floating on a barge, says Tom Meyer, vice president of restaurant development for Clyde's. If that area ever gets flooded the structure can rise with the water.
Mr. Meyer is not surprised that there are concerned boaters but the floating restaurant won't restrict their access to the river, he says.
Despite the opposition, Mr. Meyer is confident the project will be completed, but he doesn't know when. An engineering study will be submitted to the Corps of Engineers within the next six weeks, he says.

Getting Connected

Verizon Wireless plans to add seven new stores in the Washington-Baltimore-Virginia area in the next several months creating 56 new jobs.
Company officials aren't disclosing where the specific locations are until the leases are signed due to the highly competitive nature of the wireless business, says John Johnson, director of corporate communications for Verizon.
Verizon Wireless is, however, aggressively pursuing a location in Baltimore city, he says.
"We have been growing our business in the Washington/ Baltimore area pretty dramatically," Mr. Johnson says. "We're increasing our signal coverage and our network capacity to handle more calls and to cover more areas."
The wireless communications provider is investing about $200 million in the Washington-Baltimore-Virginia area to do just that. It's part of the company's $4 billion nationwide initiative to enhance its network.
Verizon Wireless has 56 stores and kiosks in the area.

Panda Expands

Panda Express, the Chinese quick-service restaurant chain, has opened its first street location in the Washington area in Bethesda.
Panda Express, part of the South Pasadena, Calif.-based Panda Restaurant Group, is focusing its development on the street sites, rather than its traditional mall locations in food courts.
Panda Express plans to open four street locations, ranging from 1,800 square feet to 2,500 square feet, in Frederick, Silver Spring, Merrifield, and Alexandria within the next year, says Kevin Reilly, executive director of real estate at Panda Restaurant Group.
The company isn't abandoning its mall location concept. Panda Express will open two locations in St. Charles Center in Waldorf and the Bowie Town Center in Bowie this summer.
Panda Express has 10 locations in the Washington area.

Open for business

Prince George's Plaza has attracted four new tenants: Outback Steakhouse, Gap Kids, the Children's Place and Baker Shoes.
The 5,800-square-foot Outback Steakhouse is slated to open in the fall. In July Gap, which already has a 3,600-square-foot location at the mall, will relocate to a 9,000-square-foot space shared by Gap Kids. The 4,000-square-foot Children's Place is also scheduled to open in July. Baker Shoes opened in April.
Shula's Steak House has opened another location near Washington at the Marriott in Tysons Corner. The 5,500-square-foot restaurant seats 184 people and has about 45 employees. Shula's Steak House is also located in Wyndham City Center in the District.
Red Lobster is opening a 7,000-square-foot location at Dulles Town Center today. The 216-seat seafood restaurant will have about 150 employees.

Donna De Marco can be reached at 202/636-4884. Retail & Hospitality runs every other week.

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