Kabob Bazaar on Wisconsin Avenue plans to close later this month Credit: Andrew Metcalf

Two restaurants at the Connor Building in Bethesda are preparing to close in advance of a deadline to vacate the building so it can be demolished to make way for a Westin Hotel project.

An employee at Kabob Bazaar said Thursday the Persian restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue plans to close July 24 and will not relocate in Bethesda. In April, the owner of the restaurant, Behrooz Sarvghadi, told Bethesda Beat he was attempting to find a new spot for the restaurant, but high rent in the area was making the search difficult. The employee said the owner was not able to find a new space and instead plans to focus on his other restaurant in Arlington.

All tenants at the Connor Building were informed by developer The Bernstein Cos. they needed to leave the building by July 30 so it can be demolished. The Bernstein Cos. plans to begin constructing a 12-story Westin Hotel on the site in about a year.

Philadelphia Mike’s, the cheesesteak restaurant next to Kabob Bazaar, is planning to close July 30, according to Selam and Etu Gebreyessus, who have owned the eatery for the past decade and are known in the community as “the sisters.”

Selam Gebreyessus said they are in negotiations to lease a nearby restaurant space and are optimistic they will be able to stay in business.

“We love our customers and we want to stay in this area,” Selam Gebreyessus said. “We’re sad we have to leave. We’re basically a family in the Connor Building.”

The Comfort One Shoes and Smoothie King that face the building’s parking lot along Woodmont Avenue have found new locations in Bethesda. Comfort One opened a new store a few blocks away at 7920 Norfolk Ave., while Smoothie King, which posted a sign saying it would close July 30 at the Connor Building, opened a new shop at 4710 Bethesda Ave. in 2015.

Philadelphia Mike’s. Credit: Andrew Metcalf

 

The Connor Building in Bethesda. Credit: Aaron Kraut