Brothers Alonso and Alvaro Roche’s ambitious efforts to operate multiple restaurants in Bethesda’s Woodmont Triangle have come to an end.
In notes taped to the front doors of 202 Donuts & Coffee, 202 Next Door and TacoArepa, the brothers announced that Saturday was the last day for the three eateries. Last week, Bold Bite, their fast casual burger and salad restaurant on Norfolk Avenue, also closed.
The notes posted Saturday cited “failed negotiations with the building management.”
In a phone interview Saturday, Alonso Roche said they tried for eight months to re-negotiate a new deal with their landlord, but were not successful.
“We have loved being here in Bethesda—and it’s very, very hard for us to close,” Roche said. “It’s been a tough ride.”
Leonard Greenberg, the landlord, told Bethesda Beat that he “made every effort to salvage the negotiation and to accommodate them, including reducing their rate by a third and forgiving substantial amounts of past due rent and taxes.”
Signs on the doors of the businesses encouraged visitors to make the most of their final day. “HAPPY HOUR ALL DAY TODAY!” read the sign at TacoArepa, where the music Saturday afternoon was cranked up to beckon guests inside.
The closings mark the end of a difficult few years for the brothers. Last year, they moved Bold Bite from it’s original space on Fairmont Avenue to a much larger space a few blocks away on Norfolk Avenue. 202 Donuts & Coffee, which had been sharing the space with Bold Bite, remained on Fairmont Avenue.
Two years ago, they opened TapaBar in space at the corner of Norfolk and Fairmont avenues, but the restaurant closed last New Year’s Eve. Shortly after, in the same space, the brothers opened R Family Restaurant, which lasted only a few months, and then 202 Next Door.
In February, they opened TacoArepa, a fast-casual taco eatery, and an adjacent beer garden in April.
In an email to Bethesda Beat, Alonso Roche wrote: “We are sad to announce that 202 Donuts & Coffee, 202 Next Door, and TacoArepa have closed their doors due to failed negotiations with property management. As a local family, we believe in Bethesda and invested all of our resources in Bethesda, and feel that through our efforts, made a lot of customers happy, delivered great food and created a new value to the Woodmont Triangle area. We thank all of our customers and followers for their continual support throughout the years we were in business.”