Shula’s Steak House comes to Washington

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Don Shula has brought his steaks to Washington with the opening of Shula’s Steak House at the Wyndham City Center in the District and another one planned for Tyson’s Corner later this year.

The legendary Miami Dolphins coach opened his first Washington-area restaurant last week. The District’s 5,000-square-foot location, which seats about 160 people, centers around the Miami Dolphins’ 17-0 perfect season, led by Mr. Shula in 1972.

Dinner menus, which are hand painted on autographed NFL footballs, include a 48-ounce Powerhouse steak. Those who finish it get admitted to the “48-ounce Club.” The club already has more than 12,000 members who ate the massive chunk of beef at other Shula Steak Houses around the country.

The steakhouse’s construction began in October and coincided with renovations being done at the Wyndham City Center, which used to be the Sheraton City Center. Shula’s Steak House is replacing the Washington Grill.

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Wyndham International will expand Shula’s Steak House in several of its properties. A second Washington-area restaurant is expected to open in late spring at the Wyndham-owned Marriott Tyson’s Corner.

NOT SO LAZY

La-z-boy Galleries is relocating two stores and adding two more in southern Maryland and northern Virginia.

The retailer, best known for its recliners, is increasing its store size to display even more products that include couches, sleep sofas, love seats, lamps and furniture.

La-z-boy is relocating its existing Springfield store to Kingstown Town Center in Springfield and doubling its size to 20,000 square feet. The store will be open in the spring.

Another location in Fairfax will relocate to a free-standing site on Route 29 and Route 50 in Fairfax. That store, which will increase from 8,000 square feet to 17,000 square feet, will be open in the fall.

Two new locations will open in Sterling, Va., and Waldorf, Md. After those two stores open in the summer, there will be 14 La-z-boy stores in the area.

The residential markets in Maryland and Northern Virginia are among the most prolific in the country, with excellent consumer demographics and disposable income figures to match, says Michael L. Patz, one of the real estate agents from KLNB Inc. handling La-z-boy’s expansion in the area. “The expansion plan is in response to the success of the retailer in this market.

CHANGING NAMES

The Bethesda Ramada has a new name and a whole new look.

Last month the 164-room hotel officially became the Four Points by Sheraton Bethesda and a $4 million renovation is just about complete.

Four Points by Sheraton is a Starwood Hotels & Resorts brand. The renovations led to the decision to “enhance the name on the property,” said Phillip S. Pool, general manager of the hotel.

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The hotel, which has about 100 employees, did extensive marketing about the name change in mailings to guests who have stayed at least twice at the property, future guests that were already booked there and meeting planners. The new Starwood hotel was also listed in mailings to the members of Starwood’s preferred guest program, the company-wide loyalty program..

Renovations, which began about a year ago, included new furniture and bathrooms in the guest rooms and revamping several rooms to make them more accessible for disabled guests. All the work is expected to be complete by next month.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

* Soco, a French handbag retailer, has opened its second Washington location in Tysons Galleria in McLean. The 600-square-foot store offers trendy leather bags from $24 to $395. Soco opened its first Washington store in Georgetown in September.

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

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