A drop in business resulting from nearby construction and competition is forcing Yamas Mediterranean Grill to close its doors, owner Tony Alexis said Tuesday.
Alexis said the Woodmont Triangle restaurant will close after dinner Tuesday and clear out of the space on Wednesday. It opened in 2010.
“My wife and I decided we couldn’t keep it going anymore,” Alexis said. “The construction has really hurt our business.”
The restaurant will be replaced by a fast food chain that has locations in Washington, D.C., Alexis said. He said he couldn’t reveal the name of the chain. A spokeswoman for Katz & Co. Property Management, which owns the property, said the space will be filled by another Greek-style fast food restaurant, but said the next tenant hadn’t confirmed the name of the restaurant or when it would open.
Local blogger Robert Dyer first reported that the restaurant was selling all its equipment and contents in an auction.
Alexis said the past year was “particularly brutal” for the restaurant due to nearby construction work on Rugby Avenue. He said the street closure there made it harder for the lunch crowd to get to the restaurant. He said he also faced competition from Harris Teeter nearby on the corner of Woodmont Avenue and Battery Lane and other local businesses.
Alexis said he’s enjoyed running a restaurant in Bethesda, but thought it was time to move on.
“We made a lot of friends here, we have some wonderful customers and it’s been a very enjoyable experience to be a part of the community,” Alexis said. “I came here because I like the small-town feel of Bethesda. Unfortunately there’s a lot of construction uprooting a lot of the small buildings here.”
Alexis said the decision also made sense for his family. He and his wife and their young children live in Arlington, Virginia, and he’s hoping to open a restaurant there.