Attman’s deli closes in Cabin John, plans to relocate

Attman’s deli closes in Cabin John, plans to relocate

General manager says lease was being cut short

| Published:

Attman's deli in the Cabin John Village shopping center has closed, and plans open in another location nearby

Photo from Google street view

Attman’s — a New York-style deli known for its corned beef, pastrami and other deli-style meats — has permanently closed in the Cabin John Village shopping center. The restaurant plans to relocate, its general manager said.

General Manager Sam Lerner said in an interview Friday that they knew the deli would have to vacate this month because its lease, which had 3 1/2 years remaining, was being cut short by the landlord, the commercial real estate company Edens, so a county-owned liquor store could be built in the space.

Lerner said Edens took the space next door to theirs about five months ago. It had been occupied by an optician.

The two spaces together, he said, will be a county-owned liquor store. World Gourmet Wine & Beer, an independent store, is two doors down, he said.

Representatives from Edens could not immediately be reached for comment Friday evening.

Lerner declined to say what the new location of the deli would be because the lease hasn’t yet been finalized. Previously, he wrote in an email that it would be “nearby.”

Attman’s had been serving carryout following Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order on March 16 that closed all restaurants in the state for sit-down service due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Lerner said he had to lay off 12 of the restaurant’s 28 employees, and the deli wasn’t making a profit.

“When the pandemic hit, our sales were cut in half. We weren’t losing money but we weren’t making money either,” he said.

The only reason Attman’s stayed open at that point, Lerner said, was to pay the salaries of the remaining 16 employees.

Lerner said to help the laid-off workers, the deli temporarily sold toilet paper and hot dogs from a cart outside. They raised enough money to pay the laid-off workers $32 per day, he said.

But after customers started canceling Passover orders, Lerner decided on March 28 to close the Cabin John restaurant. Continuing to operate it as a carryout business would have cost $600 per day, he said.

Attman’s, a Baltimore institution since 1915, opened a second location in Cabin John in 2013.

Lerner said he hopes to open the new location in mid to late May, but it will depend on “the business climate” during the coronavirus outbreak.

“If it’s gonna be where you can only do carryout, there’s no point in killing ourselves to break even. We’ll open when the time is right,” he said.

The deli’s closing in Cabin John was first reported by Store Reporter.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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