2020 | Dine

Small Bites: Tastee Diner temporarily closes in Bethesda

Plus: Cooper’s Hawk furloughs 51 workers in Rockville

The Tastee Diner in Bethesda has temporarily closed due to Montgomery County's recent order prohibiting indoor dining.

Photo by Dan Schere

Tastee Diner temporarily closes in Bethesda

Bethesda’s Tastee Diner on Woodmont Avenue has temporarily closed this month for the second time during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo by Dan Schere.

The diner had a sign posted on its door that it had temporarily closed because of Montgomery County’s executive order that bans indoor dining. On Dec. 15, the County Council approved the order, which still allows takeout, delivery and outdoor dining.

On its Facebook page, the diner posted a link to a GoFundMe fundraiser aimed at raising money to support the staff.

“The COVID-19 situation we are facing right now is truly difficult and scary for us here in Montgomery County, Maryland,” the page says.

“Since our employees are not working, pouring your coffee, serving your meals and helping brighten your day, they need your help. If you have a few extra dollars to share, we are collecting funds to share amongst the staff to help them survive this temporary shutdown.  Any amount will help.”

Manager Beth Cox started the fundraiser after the diner closed on March 16, during the first indoor dining ban during the pandemic. That shutdown forced the diner to lay off the entire staff, the restaurant posted on Facebook at the time.

The diner reopened in June, when the county began allowing indoor dining at 50% capacity.

Cooper’s Hawk furloughs 51 employees in Rockville

Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant in Rockville furloughed 51 employees this month due to Montgomery County’s indoor dining ban, which took effect Dec. 15.

The Illinois-based chain filed a notice of the layoffs on Dec. 22 under the federal Worker Adjustment Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, which requires some employers to give advance notice of business closures and mass layoffs.

According to the notice, the layoffs are retroactive to Dec. 16, and are due to the pandemic.

Cooper’s Hawk Senior Manager for Human Resources Laura Swanson wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat on Monday that the 51 workers have been temporarily furloughed because of the county’s shutdown order. The employees can come back when restrictions are lifted, she wrote.

“In the meantime, we will continue to support furloughed staff by providing a daily meal for them and their family members, as well as continuing benefits such as health insurance,” Swanson wrote.

Swanson added that the Rockville restaurant is still open for takeout and delivery.

Candy store closing in Rockville Saturday

The candy store IT’Sugar is closing its location in Rockville Town Square this weekend.

Justin Clinger, a spokesman for the company, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat on Tuesday, that the last day of business for the store will be on Saturday.

IT’Sugar’s other Montgomery County location — in Gaithersburg’s Rio shopping area — will remain open, Clinger wrote.

The candy store’s parent company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in September due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Robert Dyer reported IT’Sugar’s impending closure on Tuesday.

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