Venerable Children’s Clothing Store Closing in Westbard

Owner of Beyda's Lad & Lassie is retiring ahead of planned redevelopment of shopping center

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Beyda's Lad & Lassie is closing in the Westwood Shopping Center

Aaron Kraut

A longtime Bethesda favorite for parents in need of private school uniforms for their children will close in the next few weeks.

Shelly Rosenberg, owner of Beyda’s Lad & Lassie in the Westwood Shopping Center, said Thursday she’s retiring about 10 years after taking over the infant and children’s clothing shop full-time from her parents, who added the family name Beyda to the store name upon buying the shop in 1984.

“The only bittersweet thing is just missing the relationships we’ve had through the years,” Rosenberg said. “We’re working with three generations now. We have people who are coming in to buy clothes for their children and we dressed them. So we’ve been around a while. We’ve been a part of the community.”

Beyda’s Lad & Lassie was known for its plaid skirts and other formal children’s clothing that many bought for school uniform purposes. It provided alterations for formal children’s clothing, but Rosenberg said another big part of the store’s business was sales of its selection of baby and infant clothing.

“Infantware is such a happy thing. People love to buy clothes for new babies. Even when things are hard they can come in and smile because there’s a baby born,” Rosenberg said.

Rosenberg’s parents originally ran a clothing store on 14th Street in Washington, D.C., and other members of the Beyda family have operated clothing stores in the area dating back to the 1930s.

The Westwood Shopping Center on Westbard Avenue opened in 1960 and is now set for redevelopment from Equity One, a New York-based developer that bought the shopping center and surrounding properties in 2014 and 2015.

The developer is planning a 250,000-square-foot retail town center with a new street grid and townhome community on what’s now the shopping center’s surface parking lot.

Equity One is pursuing new zoning to allow the redevelopment through an update of the area’s master plan. The Montgomery County Planning Board last month approved a plan allowing for redevelopment similar to what Equity One has proposed. The Montgomery County Council will review the Planning Department’s work, starting with a public hearing Jan. 26, and give final approval.

After existing tenants in the shopping center expressed concern about losing their businesses, county planners included language in the master plan noting that redevelopment should focus on attracting small, independent retailers.

Michael Berfield, executive vice president of development for Equity One, told the Planning Board last month the company plans to offer existing retailers the same rents with moderate increases tied to inflation for spaces in the new shopping center.

Rosenberg couldn’t say for sure how much the redevelopment plans figured in her retirement decision. Her husband is also retiring and the two plan to travel and visit grandchildren.

“There are a lot of ‘what ifs’ coming up,” Rosenberg said. “We know the shopping center has been sold and there’s going to be some redevelopment, but at this point, it’s time to move on.”

She said the store will close in late January or early February.

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