It’s the end of an 18-year run for Dave and Buster’s at the White Flint Mall. The restaurant and arcade officially closed for good today. A sign on the door reads, “It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later. We are closed. Thank you, Bethesda, for 18 great years.”
“We had a great run here,” said general manager Bob Solomon. “A lot of guests have supported us over the years so we’re grateful for everyone who visited.”
Solomon said a “majority” of the approximately 100 employees who work at the location are being transferred to other locations. He said the gaming equipment will be moved to other locations in the country and that the space will be fully cleared out by the end of the month.
The business had attempted to stay open at the location after being evicted by the owners of the mall, Lerner Enterprises, but a federal judge ruled last month that Dave and Buster’s violated its lease at the mall by opening a location at Arundel Mills and ordered the company to vacate the mall.
The sudden closure came as a surprise to some customers who were bringing their kids to the arcade Wednesday afternoon. Rachel Gross brought her son Jack, 10, and his friend Marcus Deroche, 11, from Reston only to find the sign announcing the closing. She said she had checked online and saw it was still open.
The boys were even more let down. “I’m really, really disappointed,” said Deroche, who came to celebrate his birthday, which was Monday. “I came to have lots of fun, but it’s closed.”
The sign on the door directs people to the Arundel Mills Mall location, which is about 30 miles from White Flint.
The closure moves Lerner Enterprises one step closer to redeveloping the mall into a new mixed use mini-city. Shops and restaurants still remaining at the nearly completely empty mall include Lord & Taylor, Khoury Bros. Fine Jewelers and P.F. Chang’s.