On Tuesday, Yamas Mediterranean Grill became the latest in a spate of Bethesda-area restaurants to close since the new year began.
With Pi Pizzeria in downtown Bethesda also on the way out, Montgomery County has seen more than two dozen restaurants shut down over the last year, including these 13 in the past six months.
The restaurant business is known for high turnover, but Ginanne Italiano, president of the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday she isn’t concerned about recent closings, noting that more development will always bring more restaurants to the area.
“We’ve got over 200 restaurants in Bethesda, so having two or three close, especially in the dead of winter, especially when there’s so much construction going on … it’s not as negative as you would think,” she said.
Longtime Bethesda restaurant Grapeseed closed at the end of July after more than 17 years on Cordell Avenue. The restaurant was known for pairing wine with each dish. An Ethiopian restaurant, a Bethesda outpost of Silver Spring’s Lucy, will take over the space.
Pike & Rose’s La Madeleine closed in August. The outpost of the fast-casual French café chain had opened in 2015 during the first phase of the North Bethesda development. The Silver Spring location also closed in April, but the Bethesda location remains open.
Suma Restaurant and Bar
Suma Restaurant and Bar, a restaurant that served American food at 4921 Bethesda Ave., closed its doors suddenly in September. A sign suggested the closing was only temporary, but another restaurant—Chercher Ethiopian Cuisine and Bar—is moving into the downtown Bethesda space.
A popular dim sum spot, Oriental East closed at the end of September after 27 years in downtown Silver Spring. The owners cited upcoming renovations to the Blairs Shopping Center and a decision to take “a much-needed break.”
8407 Kitchen Bar
After opening in 2010, 8407 Kitchen Bar decided to call it quits in October. The downtown Silver Spring restaurant featured small plates, sandwiches and charcuterie. It’s being replaced by Tacos, Tortas and Tequila, a new restaurant from restaurateur Ivan Iricanin, the man behind popular D.C. restaurant Ambar.
Wine bar chain Vino Volo closed at its prominent spot on Bethesda Row in early December. The chain, known for locations at airport terminals, sold wine by the bottle and glass as well as offering tasting flights in addition to food options. The Bethesda location opened in 2012.
Tommy Joe’s Kentlands
The Kentlands location of Tommy Joe’s Bar and Grill closed at the end of December, with owner Alan Pohoryles citing issues with staff and management. The Bethesda location remains open.
Quench closed at the end of the year after owner Vitune Satsiennukul decided it was time to let go of the Rockville bar and restaurant. It opened in 2012 at 9712 Traville Gateway Drive. Quench will be replaced by a steak and seafood restaurant, which hasn’t yet been named.
After almost two years, Bibim closed on Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring. The Korean restaurant featured bulgogi, bibimbap and kimchi. It featured a buffet and karaoke on its last day, Dec. 28. “We will party until we are done!” a note on the door read.
Community and One Burger at Community
Both Community and the restaurant that briefly came after it closed in recent months. The upscale diner closed in late October, under a year after it opened at 7776 Norfolk Avenue. Owner Mark Bucher then decided to try a burger restaurant (first called One Scotch, One Burger, One Beer, then ‘One Burger at Community’) before he decided in January to close, saying both restaurants were “the wrong time and wrong concept.”
A Spanish-style restaurant that opened in September 2016, TapaBar closed after its New Year’s Eve celebration. Owners Alonso and Alvaro Roche said it wasn’t “the right fit for the neighborhood,” but suggested they might reopen TapaBar elsewhere in the Washington, D.C., area. They’ve since opened family-style restaurant R Family Kitchen & Bar in the space at the corner of Norfolk and Fairmont avenues.
Less than a year after it opened, Lincoln’s Bar-B-Que closed suddenly in early January. The large restaurant sat next to the fountain on Ellsworth Drive in downtown Silver Spring and served a wide array of barbecue meats. It was a second try for owners The Restaurant Group (after A.G. Kitchen closed at the end of 2016), and the company is not planning on trying again at that location.
Yamas Mediterranean Grill
The Woodmont Triangle eatery Yamas Mediterranean Cuisine closed Wednesday after eight years in Bethesda. Owner Tony Alexis said nearby construction “really hurt our business.” The restaurant will be replaced by another Greek-style fast food restaurant.
Other restaurants that closed earlier in 2017