La Ferme Restaurant temporarily closes for second time during pandemic
The Chevy Chase French restaurant La Ferme Restaurant has temporarily closed for the second time during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Owner Alain Roussel said in an interview with Bethesda Beat that low customer turnout and the Montgomery County’s indoor dining ban that started Dec. 15 were factors in his decision to temporarily close the restaurant on Monday.
“We may have the best patio, because it’s covered and heated, but it’s still winter, so the people are not very comfortable eating when the temperature is about 40 degrees,” he said.
La Ferme initially closed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, but reopened around the beginning of May, Roussel said.
“At the time when we reopened, we had some money from the PPP, which allowed us to pay the employees,” he said.
PPP refers to the federal Paycheck Protection Program, in which businesses can get relief money related to the pandemic.
Business began to suffer this fall, he said, when the county reduced the maximum allowable indoor capacity from 50% to 25%, Roussel said. Sales from Thanksgiving and Christmas takeout orders helped, he said, but not enough to pay employees and cover basic expenses.
Roussel anticipates that La Ferme will be closed through March, but he isn’t sure. It will depend, he said, on how quickly the county begins to lift COVID-19 restrictions, the state of vaccinations and whether he receives a second round of PPP money.
Gusto Farm to Street permanently closes in Silver Spring
The fast-casual restaurant Gusto Farm to Street — a chain that specializes in fresh salads and pizzas — has permanently closed its downtown Silver Spring location.
The restaurant, at 8512 Fenton St., posted on its Facebook page Tuesday that it had “made the difficult decision to close” due to “ongoing challenges COVID-19 has presented us and the restaurant industry at large.”
Gusto had been in Silver Spring since 2015, the post stated.
Gusto also closed its downtown Bethesda location last year, with CEO Josh Grim also citing challenges from the pandemic as the reason.
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