For 27 years, Italian menswear shop Bruno Cipriani at White Flint Mall attracted a well-known clientele including Washington Capitals announcer Joe Beninati, opera’s Placido Domingo and Eduardo De Pandi’s son-in-law, Bill Rancic, a winner of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” TV show. (De Pandi’s daughter, Giuliana Rancic, is co-host of E! News. )
“The problem is not the economy,” De Pandi, a master tailor, says. “It’s the center. There are too many empty spaces.”
Yesterday, Macy’s Inc. announced that it will close four Bloomingdale’s stores nationwide including the store in White Flint. It is slated to shutter in the spring with a closing sale starting Jan. 8, according to the Washington Post Capital Business Blog.
“Slowly a lot of the people have left the mall,” De Pandi says. “It’s a problem.”
MoCo’s White Flint Sector Plan calls for the mall to be transformed into a 5.2 million square foot mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly urban living development over the next 20 years. It is owned by Rockville-based Lerner Enterprises and Tower Companies.
So far, the Pottery Barn is still hanging in. The store manager of the Pottery Barn at Chevy Chase Pavilion, Tiffany Lucas, says that while the Chevy Chase location is closing Jan. 16, the White Flint store will remain open.
Meanwhile, De Pandi says that he will still run his businesses in Chicago and Naples, Italy, where he got his start at age 9.