Customers Must Be On a Leash

These baked goods are truly for the dogs.

Three Dog Bakery opens its first mid-Atlantic store later this month at Bethesda Row, serving treats like carob-flavored Beagle Bagels, peanut butter pastries and Pup Tarts to pampered pets.

There are no rawhides here. Instead, dogs who want to be treated like humans will discover that the bakery's items look like the real thing (although they may taste a bit bland to humans).

"You look at these things and you want to eat them because they're so gorgeous," said store owner Denise Graybill-Donohoe, a Potomac resident who admits to tasting many of the canine treats.

Three Dog Bakery is no flash in the pan. Founded in Kansas City in 1989, the company now has 20 stores nationwide. Graybill-Donohoe, a Potomac resident, negotiated a trademark license agreement with the retailer and plans to open her store at 4924 Elm St. within the next three weeks..

The area's demographics, she said, are a good match for the store. Household incomes in Bethesda are among the highest in the Washington area, and there are 100,000 or more dogs in Montgomery County. The store is a block away from the Capital Crescent Trail, where many people walk their dogs.

In addition to selling treats, the store will offer matching sets of high-end leather collars and leashes. The inside of the store is decorated with a gazebo and a fire hydrant, which the owner hopes will not prove to be a temptation.

"Well, we think most of the dogs that will come visit us are socialized," said Graybill-Donohoe.

-- Stephanie Stoughton

Sidewalk Breakfast

The meeting last week of the Pennsylvania Quarter Neighborhood Association was supposed to be a chance for the new Courtyard by Marriott hotel at 900 F St. NW to show off to its neighbors.

But the breakfast meeting turned out to be more popular than predicted. Almost 200 people signed up to hear from the four development teams that are competing to convert a federally owned site at Seventh and E streets NW into an apartments-and-theater complex. That's a bigger crowd than the Courtyard is designed to handle.

So the breakfast buffet moved outside to the sidewalk in front of the hotel and the presentations were switched to the roof of a nearby condo. Association members had their coffee, juice and pastry on F Street as commuters and tourists navigated around the crowd. That is, most went around -- at least one family of tourists joined right into the line for the free eats.

-- Maryann Haggerty

Check In and Sign On

Choice Hotels International Inc. is taking the virtual hotel room a step further. The Bethesda-based hotel franchisor, whose brands include Comfort, Quality, Clarion and Sleep Inn, has developed SuiteLink to offer guests access to the Internet, which includes

e-mail and Web sites touting travel, entertainment and news. Business travelers can choose to leave their laptops at home and simply use a 15-inch monitor hanging on the wall and a desk keyboard to connect with the office or their clients. The system provides high-speed Internet access through a T-1 connection and wireless modem that links into an Internet portal called SuiteLink. The site is provided by GuesTech, a Baltimore-based Internet solutions company.

Guests can access the system for free. The new system allows Choice franchisees to generate new revenue, while eliminating the problem of tying up hotel phone systems. SuiteLink allows franchisees to sell space to regional advertisers, and they receive a percentage of revenue from Web-transactions carried out by guests. Franchisees have already started installing the systems, including the Quality Suites Shady Grove hotel in Rockville and the nearby Sleep Inn in Rockville. Choice expects to have the system in 50,000 rooms over the next several years.

-- Judith Evans


"It's like a knife in your heart when it goes down."

-- America Online Inc. co-founder Jim Kimsey on stock fluctuations.