Drugstore's Demise

The Fuisz family's year-old online drugstore company, RxDrugstore.com, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in December.

RxDrugstore.com began as Fuisz Family Drugstore in April 1998, created by Fuisz Technologies, a Chantilly drug company that was founded by Richard Fuisz. Last January, Fuisz and his son Joseph spun off RxDrugstore into its own company.

Why the company filed for Chapter 7, which entails liquidating the company's assets, was not disclosed in the bankruptcy filing in Alexandria.

The Fuiszes could not be reached for comment.

The company reported debt of $.5 million to $1 million. The Chantilly-based online company sold non-prescription pharmacy items such as over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, health and beauty products.

RxDrugstore.com had joined an already crowded billion-dollar Internet drugstore market. The following year, the company left its parent and partnered with pharmaceuticals to deliver products.

-- Judith Mbuya

(mbuyaj@washpost.com)

Touring the Zone

ESPN Zone is showing off its 41,000-square-foot complex this week at 11th and E streets in Northwest Washington, near the MCI Center and the new convention center.

In the invitation-only tours, ESPN Zone points out the facility's features--comfort food, video games, very loud music, simulators and giant TV screens. The facility goes underground and is second in size only to an ESPN Zone in New York's Time Square, which is scheduled to open in September.

The District store will open in mid-March. The first ESPN Zone opened in Baltimore in 1998, and was followed by one in Chicago and then the Zone in New York last year. A fifth facility is scheduled to open Jan. 30--Super Bowl Sunday--in Atlanta.

Adam Scholder, a publicist for ESPN Zone, said the District spot has "more of a higher end, classier feel than the other sites."

Disney purchased the 24-hour ESPN sports channel in 1996 as part of its deal for Capital Cities/ABC Inc. ESPN and Disney have spent millions developing the ESPN Zone concept.

Scholder would not discuss how much the D.C. establishment is expected to make.

-- Dana Hedgpeth

(hedgpethd@washpost.com)

Lucent's Loss, Ciena's Gain

In the wake of Lucent Technologies Inc.'s downward plunge on the stock market following an earnings warning, competitor Ciena Corp. has seen its share price rise more than 11 points since Jan. 6.

Ciena shares closed Friday up $4.31 1/4 at $66.81 1/4. Lucent stock closed down $3.25 at $53.

Linthicum-based Ciena makes CoreStream, a product that transports signals over fiber-optic networks, similar to a new Lucent product. In its first- quarter earnings warning, Lucent said it had underestimated the manufacturing and distribution capability for its new product.

Analysts say this could mean impatient customers turn to smaller companies like Ciena, an assessment that is driving Ciena's stock price increase.

-- Yuki Noguchi

(noguchiy@washpost.com)

$163,000,000

This is the amount of total return--current market value minus initial investment--from FBR Technology Venture Partners' investments in four now-public companies since 1997. The fund, a subsidiary of Arlington investment bank Friedman, Billings, Ramsey Group Inc., hit some true home runs in 1999. The fund only invests in local technology companies.

The biggest hit for FBR Technology Partners was LifeMinders, a Web personal reminder service that went public at $15 and now trades at $34. FBR was one of a group of investors that put $23 million into LifeMinders last summer.

Emanuel J. Friedman said the fund's growth all depends on getting "good managers."

"We're hoping, over the next 12 months, to take our funds from the $300 million level to the $1 billion level," he said.

DID YOU HEAR?...

"We are going to be the global company for the Internet age."

-- America Online Chairman Steve Case

"America Online is no longer a sexy young Internet company. It is a hideously complex media giant that will be held to real-world expectations."

-- Morningstar analyst Pat Dorsey

CORRECTIONS: A "Monday Morning" item Jan. 3 mischaracterized the ownership of the now-closed Neam's Market. The market was owned by persons affiliated with Capital Restaurant Concepts Ltd., not by the corporation itself.

A Dec. 27 story about the Bozzuto Group gave an incorrect date of the company's founding. It was founded in 1988.