Wagshal’s Bets on Bethesda
Wagshal’s, the D.C.-based deli and gourmet market, has launched its first Montgomery County location in a Bethesda building with a history as storied as its own. Wagshal’s Grand Bodega opened Aug. 24 in the vintage former home of Bonfield’s, a 1920s auto repair garage and gas station at 6124 MacArthur Blvd. that operated for roughly 70 years.
The newest location of Wagshal’s, itself in business since 1925, offers a combination of the products and services available at its various D.C. locations, including a meat and seafood market, fresh produce, a deli, prepared meals and Pitmasters Back Alley BBQ.
The distinctive look of the former auto repair garage long ago caught the eye of Bill Fuchs, Wagshal’s owner and president, whose family bought the food business from the Wagshal family in 1990, according to Wagshal’s Family of Fine Foods CEO Jay Comfort. Comfort says Fuchs noticed the building when he was commuting from Northern Virginia after buying Wagshal’s. Decades later, the building went on the market and Fuchs bought it.
“It was really kind of love at first sight,” Comfort says.
Who could have guessed that wearing the logo of the world’s largest defense contractor could be a hip style move? That seems to be the case in South Korea, where Doojin Yanghang Co. is offering an online streetwear collection featuring Bethesda-based Lockheed Martin Corp.’s logo and even illustrations of its F-35 fighter jets and other military products.
Lockheed Martin, according to the company, works with Equity Management Inc. on licensing agreements, and the agency arranged the company’s pact with Doojin, which has relationships with several global brands.
The streetwear taps into a trend in South Korea that features apparel sporting the logo of brands that have nothing to do with fashion, such as CNN, National Geographic and Yale University, according to published reports.
Fashionistas can check out the streetwear line at lockheed martinapparel.co.kr, where models sport T-shirts, hats, hoodies and pants in shades of white, gray and black. Prices start at about $44 for a T-shirt.
A Helping Hand
Local small businesses financially impacted by the ongoing construction of the light-rail Purple Line are receiving aid from Montgomery County through a state-funded grant program, according to county officials.
- $5k grants from the roughly $1 million grant program were awarded in three phases.
- $545 thousand was awarded to 109 businesses in early 2022 and the spring of 2023
during the first two phases.
- 20 is the maximum number of employees a business could have to apply for one of the grants
Investing in MoCo
Montgomery County’s $6.7 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that began on July 1 and ends on June 30, 2024, includes investments that stand to affect the local economy. Spending increased in some areas and decreased in others when compared with the budget of the previous fiscal year.
- Alcohol Beverage Services: $70.7 million (up 3.6%)
- Department of Technology & Enterprise Business Solutions: $52.2 million (up 2.4%)
- Funding for Urban Districts: $11.5 million (up 11%)
- Montgomery County Economic Development Corp.: $6 million (down 3%)
- Economic Development Fund: $3.45 million (down 13.5%)
- County Business Incubators and Economic Partnerships: $3.2 million (down 24%)
- Worksource Montgomery: $2 million (down 8%)
Source: Montgomery County government. Some numbers and percentages have been rounded.
This story appears in the November/December issue of Bethesda Magazine.