New tenants move in on King


Conrads Furniture Gallery and Jakes of Old Town clothing boutique recently became the new tenants of 101 and 103 King Street, providing new options for window shoppers in the heart of Old Town. The existing Fish Market downsized, making room for the newcomers within the rustic, brick structure.

 Conrads Furniture Gallery, is a new furniture store specializing in antique-styled, contemporary and transitional furniture. It is a family business owned by Dorota and Jerzy Gorzala, who have experience with interior designing and construction, with a focus on gaining customers trust. Trust is even the namesake of Jerzy Gorzalas Rockville-based construction company, Trust Building Service, Inc. Dorota was trained in interior design in Europe.

The store is named after their son, blue eyed, blonde haired youngster Conrad, 6, who turns on the charm as customers come in the door. On opening day, Saturday, June 16, young Conrad welcomed everyone and was happy to show them his favorite chair was perfect for watching television. As he flips the reclining switch on the side, and explains thats for relaxing, Conrad said.

Gorzala describes their selection as a little bit for everybody, she said.

The inside was cleared out and renovated, but still has the old brick walls, exposed wood beams for ceilings, and an old fireplace that could be used as part of a living room showroom in the future. The first floor is a painted cement finish that will be durable in times of high water from storms that are known to flood that section of Union Street. Gorzala knows the location, and thats the main reason we dont have wood floors, on the ground floor she said. Inside, there is an assortment of accent pieces that are more decorative, Gorzala said. This includes intimate seating, an English country setting, transitional and modern furniture also. There are a variety of lamps, wall hangings and candle designs throughout.

At the top of the stairs is a multi-tiered chandelier designed to accent a grand foyer in a house. Upstairs is designed with a hickory wood floor that brightens up the interior. Showroom spaces include a bedroom, living room, dining room, and entertainment room in one room, and through a doorway, contemporary and retro furniture dominate the other. Some of the retro furniture is leather, but designed in a way similar to the hand chairs of the 1960s. Its a retro with unusual shapes, said Diane Boesen, store manager. There is also a console table on display in the retro area that is put together with several planks that support a table top. The console was designed by designed by Marge Carson, a well known designer from California.

Upstairs there is a design center with a collection of fabric samples so they can design furniture for individual tastes. The family has plans to open a second shop in McLean.

Jakes of Old Town
Next door, in a space that also used to be part of the Fish Market, is Jakes, a laid back clothing store with a surf shop feel spreading the message that Life Is Good. All their clothing spreads that message using Jake, a stick figure character with a huge smile. On each item of clothing, as well as coffee mugs, Frisbees and hats, Jake is enjoying himself, doing something outdoorsy.

Its all about optimism, the glass is half full perspective, said manager Jeffrey Schwartz.

Jake is the creation of Bert and John Jacobs who started the company in Boston with $78 in their pockets. Now it is a nationwide chain.

Currently, they are displaying their spring-summer line of clothing, offering a wide assortment of T-shirts, shorts, flip-flops, hats, tank tops, coffee mugs, picture frames and baby clothes. On each item, Jake is doing something fun with a smile on his face, spreading the joy whether hes playing sports, music, camping, barbecuing or just hanging out.

Its about appreciating the good things in life, Schwartz said.

Its catching, too. One customer told Schwartz she liked it because it was a feel-good store. The response has been phenomenal, he said.

In the winter, Jake will still be around but just in long pants with scarves, hats and mittens.