Gourmet grocer Dean & DeLuca will not be opening a store in downtown Bethesda after all, a company spokeswoman said Friday afternoon.
The food purveyor’s arrival had been hotly anticipated locally since the 2016 announcement that it would move into a retail space under construction at 4749 Bethesda Ave. But since then, there have been signs the project might not move forward as originally planned.
The store, part of a larger JBG Smith redevelopment, was initially expected to open in fall 2017. Last year, the completion of the JBG Smith project was pushed back to 2019 because Dean & DeLuca wanted to modify the store design, the developer reported.
Now, a company spokesperson says the store wouldn’t be coming at all.
“Dean & DeLuca is not opening in Bethesda. We are currently pausing our market expansion,” Jee Park, vice president of Magrino Public Relations, a firm that represents the food company, wrote in a Friday email.
The high-end grocery chain last year reported it would be focusing on the brand’s existing stores rather than expanding, according to news reports. Dean & DeLuca that year canceled plans to open new locations in New York City and Texas.
The store project at Bethesda Avenue is part of JBG Smith’s overhaul of that area. The company is also developing an adjacent 14-story trophy office building at 4747 Bethesda Ave. that has attracted big-name tenants such as Booz Allen Hamilton and Host Hotels & Resorts. The office building is slated for completion in late 2019.
A spokeswoman for JBG Smith said Friday afternoon that company representatives were not immediately able to comment on the news about Dean & DeLuca.
The Dean & DeLuca planned for Bethesda was expected to offer the same gourmet selection as the company’s well-known Georgetown store, selling cheeses, charcuterie, baked goods, produce, meats, seafood, coffees and prepared foods.
The company based in Kansas has stores in New York, California, Kansas and Hawaii, plus several international locations.
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