2020 | Dine

Lotus Grill and Bar closes in downtown Bethesda

Owner says business struggled during pandemic

Logo from Lotus Grill and Bar Facebook page

Lotus Grill and Bar, which served Indian and Indo-Chinese cuisine, has permanently closed at 4929 Elm St. in downtown Bethesda.

Lotus opened in May 2019. Owner Suman Pradhan told Bethesda Beat Wednesday morning that he decided to close the restaurant on Monday due to the economic challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pradhan said he tried to change the menu during the pandemic, so it would be more suitable for customers wanting to order carryout, but it wasn’t popular.

“Right now, the carryout and delivery restaurants are doing OK, but restaurants like mine that are meant for fine dining are [struggling] right now,” he said.

Pradhan said his business was also hurt by the fact that Bethesda’s Streetery involved closing Woodmont Avenue, where diners from nearby restaurants often eat at tables and chairs in the street. Because Elm Street wasn’t among the streets that was closed, customers often went to restaurants along Woodmont Avenue for meals instead of his.

“That’s what was creating a lot of problems,” he said.

News of Lotus’ closure was reported Wednesday by Robert Dyer.

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