Bethesda Restaurant Openings and Closings

28 Oct

DMV Dining brings you a compilation of some comings and goings in the Bethesda restaurant scene.

There are certain places that have been in the DC area for decades and are thought of as institutions. Gifford’s Ice Cream is one such place, and we sadly learned that they have closed their doors at all locations due to a legal dispute.

I was walking past the Bethesda location yesterday, and was shocked to see the dark store and eviction notice taped on the door. There was a written note that said, “Closed for the weekend”, but it seems that the sign had been there for several days.

Inside a dark Gifford'sGifford's Closed signGifford's Eviction Notice

Looking into this further, the Washington Post confirmed that there has been a nasty legal battle spanning the last few months between the current and former owner, and the former alleged that the company had been swapping premium Gifford’s ice cream for a generic Hood ice cream brand. We hope this all can be worked out as it would be a sad day in Bethesda to see the beloved store close down for good.

tout de SWEETWhat’s great about working and living in Bethesda is that I can easily run some errands during lunch time. A few days ago, I was picking up some shoes I had repaired at Fortuna’s, a great shoe and leather repair store on Woodmont Avenue, when I spotted a sign on a storefront for a new dessert and pastry shop.

The sign covered the windows so it was hard to tell what was going on behind the scenes, but I was able to take a picture, and it looks like tout de SWEET pastry shop will be arriving soon. The only other description was on the bottom of the sign, which said, “tea, cakes, macaroons, coffee, cupcakes.” We’ll report more when we notice further developments, but as of now, there is no website to speak of for this establishment.

We may have missed the boat on this one, because is looks like Annie’s Bistro Francais is already open on Elm Street in Bethesda. We noticed a few months back that something was coming in the old Cafe Gelato space, but since we don’t live on that side of Bethesda anymore, that specific area is harder to keep track of.

While checking Yelp, it looks like the Bistro opened about a month ago and is already getting rave reviews. The story behind this restaurant is that there was a place with the same name in Middleburg, VA that had a great following. Sadly, they had to close down after too much damage from Snowmageddon, and decided to move up to Bethesda and start over. We can’t wait to try it and I have a feeling we’ll be really glad that they decided to make the move to Maryland.

One place we were always curious to try but never got around to was Javan Restaurant on Wisconsin Avenue. We always heard good things about the Persian restaurant, but now it looks like we’ll never have the opportunity to try it as we recently noticed it was closed for good.

We won’t have to hold out for Persian food for too long as Table Talk reported that a Kabob Bazaar will take its place. This restaurant has a long track record with their Arlington location, which has an average of four stars on Yelp. We will certainly have to check this one out, and based on its reputation, it definitely looks promising.

Finally, I have always found it interesting that there are so many rug stores in the area, yet before long, they all close and have huge signs hanging for months saying that they are going out of business and that everything must go. I noticed this when I was living in DC, and now the same case presents itself in Bethesda, next to Gaffney’s on Wisconsin Ave.

However, below their Going out of Business banners are green signs on the bottom of the windows that say, “Italian Cuisine Coming Soon.” Now, this is fairly vague, and we still have no idea what type of Italian cuisine they’ll be cooking, nor the name of the restaurant, nor any other details, but the signs are prominent in several places. It just seems odd to us that they are already posting signs for a new establishment while the current one has not shut its doors yet.

We’ll keep an eye on those signs and look for more details, but for now, we can tell you that there is yet another Italian restaurant coming to the Bethesda area, and that it will be “soon.”

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