Silver Spring’s Woodside Deli, the local chain’s original building at 9329 Georgia Ave, has closed after 72 years.
Co-owner Shira Elzarat said in an interview Monday afternoon that the restaurant closed abruptly over the weekend because the owners were at an impasse with the landlord on renewing the lease (Elzarat’s husband Sharon is also an owner).
“They [the landlord] did not want to come to an agreement with us,” she said.
Elzarat declined to comment further on the details of the lease, but said they had not planned to close prior to last weekend.
“We had no idea. It was a surprise to us as it was to everybody else,” she said.
Elzarat said Woodside Deli’s downtown Rockville resataurant will stay open and will continue its catering service. There is also a Germantown restaurant by the same name, which the company sold to a different owner 10 years ago, she said. The restaurants all serve the same food, she said.
The Silver Spring Woodside Deli building, just south of the Georgia Avenue-Beltway interchange, is managed by Deoudes-Magafan Realty Inc., according to the state’s property assessment database. Representatives from Deoudes-Magafan could not immediately be reached for comment.
Elzarat said Monday that customers were still coming to the store, and she had to tell them it was closed.
“It’s horribly sad. I’m talking to customers and they’re walking in here crying. We’re an institution. We’ve been here since 1947. We’re part of the community. We are the community,” she said.
Elzarat said many of the Silver Spring restaurant’s 32 employees will relocate to the Rockville restaurant. She added that there are many pictures and other historic memorabilia that will be transferred to the Rockville restaurant.
The Maryland comptroller’s office honored Woodside Deli in 2016 with an award as the restaurant neared its seventh decade of service.
In the 1980s, a male customer sued the deli for having a “ladies night discount.” The owner at the time changed the policy so that any person wearing a dress would receive the discount.
News of the deli’s closing was first reported by The Moco Show.
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.firstname.lastname@example.org