Photo by Caitlynn Peetz.

Editors' Pick

Best Replacement for an Ailing Anchor Store

When Barnes & Noble announced in 2017 that it was closing its doors after more than 20 years as a downtown Bethesda landmark, there was a round of communal mourning followed by nervous speculation about the fate of its prominent corner spot. News of the replacement tenant, Anthropologie & Co., was cheered by some and derided by others who hated the idea of trading a bookstore for a three-story temple to hipster fashion and décor. While the naysayers did get some consolation from the subsequent arrival of Amazon Books down the street, it’s the Anthropologie fans who really ended up with the store of their dreams. Where else can you pick up a patchwork kimono cardigan, jeweled velvet hair ties, gilded agate coasters, Turkish carpet floor pillows and a Swedish forester’s ax all in one trip? The 37,500-square-foot store brings all of Anthropologie’s brands together, including the Terrain gardening shop and farm-to-table Terrain Café as well as the BHLDN bridal boutique bursting with sleek and surprisingly affordable gowns. From the boho-chic outfits and sparkling serveware to the velvet couches and hand-carved coffee tables that prompt more than a few visitors to take selfies, this is a place where personal style and lifestyle are seamlessly intertwined. The new Anthropologie store may not sell many books, but it sure weaves a compelling narrative.

4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda; 240-345-9413;