Credit: Photo by Dan Schere

A year ago, Bethesda Beat brought you 20 restaurants that closed in 2020, to conclude what had been a particularly challenging year for restaurateurs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although the pandemic has continued this year, developments on the restaurant front have been more positive.

José Andrés, the well-known D.C. area chef and Bethesda resident, opened one of his latest concepts, Spanish Diner. Hank Dietle’s Tavern made its return to Rockville Pike three years after a fire destroyed it.

And Bethesda Row shoppers can now buy 6-ounce cookies.

Here are 10 Montgomery County eateries that opened in 2021:

  • Tatte Bakery & Café opened in March on Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda. The fast-casual café serves gourmet Mediterranean breakfast foods, sandwiches, pastries and other entrees. The chain, which started in Boston 13 years ago, has expanded its presence in the D.C. region over the years and now has its first Montgomery County location.
  • King Street Oyster Bar opened in the Park Potomac retail development in March. It replaced local staple Addie’s, which closed amidst the pandemic in 2020 after a three-year run in the space.
  • Andrés’ Spanish Diner opened in mid-May in Bethesda Row, replacing his former tapas concept, Jaleo. Andrés opened his first Spanish Diner in New York two years ago, inside the Mercado Little Spain food hall.
  • In early June, area chef Victor Albisu opened his first Montgomery County location of Taco Bamba in Rockville’s Congressional Plaza shopping center. The restaurant serves some traditional tacos, and others specific to Maryland, such as the MoCo Crab (crab, spicy mayonnaise, slaw, mini fries).
  • Levain Bakery, famous for its rich, dense 6-ounce cookies, opened in July in Bethesda Row. After starting in New York City 26 years ago, Levain now has two locations in the D.C. region. The other is in Georgetown.
  • It was a long journey, but more than three years after a fire destroyed Hank Dietle’s Tavern on Rockville Pike, the North Bethesda roadside bar reopened in July. The resurrection of Dietle’s came about due to a combination of grassroots fundraising and rebuilding efforts.
  • In September, D.C. bagel deli Call Your Mother opened in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose It joins Call Your Mother’s Bethesda trolley, which opened last year on Old Georgetown Road.
  • Zinnia, a multi-restaurant concept, opened in the former Mrs. K’s Tollhouse space on Colesville Road in Silver Spring in October. The first two concepts to open were the outdoor beer garden and the tavern downstairs. A café and more upscale restaurant are also on the way for Zinnia.
  • The founders of Mediterranean chain CAVA opened their latest concept, Melina, in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose development last month. Melina serves a variety of Greek dishes, many of which are vegetarian-friendly. Melina is near French-Mediterranean concept Julii, which the CAVA founders opened in 2018.
  • Shake Shack opened its second Montgomery County location in the food court of Bethesda’s Westfield Montgomery mall this month. The popular New York burger and shake chain has another location planned for 2022 in Gaithersburg’s Kentlands development.

Dan Schere can be reached at