Fish Taco Plans To Settle in on Bethesda Row by June

Fish Taco Plans To Settle in on Bethesda Row by June

A new restaurant will open in its Wisconsin Avenue space

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Fish Taco will open in the former spaces of Cosi and Secolari.

Joe Zimmermann

Fish Taco is gearing up to move into a bigger space in downtown Bethesda.

Owner Francis Namin said Monday the local chain will open in its new spot on Bethesda Row by the beginning or middle of June. The current location at 7015 Wisconsin Ave. will close as the move nears, at most a few days before, he said.

Build-out is well underway for the new space. A construction wall emblazoned with the Fish Taco logo has been set up outside 7249 and 7251 Woodmont Ave.—the former site of sandwich shop Cosi and olive oil seller Secolari.

Namin said construction was delayed because of issues with plumbing, which had to be worked out around the Landmark Bethesda Row Cinema located underneath the restaurant. Now that the problems are solved, construction work should end in May, followed by the completion of final touches and inspections. He said construction crews are working around the clock to complete the work on time.

Namin is selling the Wisconsin Avenue Fish Taco space to another restaurant; he said he couldn’t name the new owner until the deal is finalized.

The move means Fish Taco will have three times the space of the Wisconsin Avenue location.

“The whole team is very excited,” Namin said. “We’re going from a small, little space … to one a bit larger than Wildwood.” Fish Taco has locations in Bethesda’s Wildwood Shopping Center and in Cabin John.

The new Bethesda location will offer the same menu of tacos, burritos and rice bowls with chicken, barbacoa, blackened fish or other options—though the expanded kitchen will allow the serving of seasonal items such as gazpacho and stuffed grilled avocados, Namin said.

The Bethesda Row Fish Taco will also have a similar look to other locations. Namin initially planned a Spanish revival design, but decided that people like the “simplicity” of Fish Taco’s current look.

Namin is planning to open Fish Taco locations in Tysons Corner and Rosslyn, Virginia, in the spring of 2019. He’s also looking to open one in Gaithersburg.

Namin previously ran City Burger—which was in the Wisconsin Avenue space before Fish Taco replaced it—as well as co-owning Bethesda’s Food Wine & Co., which closed in 2016, before its home in the Apex building on Wisconsin Avenue was demolished.

He said he could be interested in opening the full-service restaurant again, but is focused on Fish Taco for now.

“We have our eye on it, but it will be a couple of years before something like that pops up,” he said of Food Wine & Co.

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