Lebanese Taverna in Bethesda To Close

Last day for Bethesda Row grill will be Mar 10


Lebanese Taverna will be shutting Mar 10, after a decade during a dilemma of Arlington Road and Elm Street in Bethesda.

In a note that will be posted on a doorway of a family-owned grill Monday morning, a owners have written, “It’s been a smashing 10 years on this dilemma and we are unhappy to contend that we will be shutting a doors and not renewing a lease.”

In an email to Bethesda Beat on Friday night, Grace Abi-Najm Shea, one of a owners, pronounced her family was incompetent to strech an agreement on a new franchise with Federal Realty Investment Trust, a Rockville association that owns Bethesda Row. “It’s unequivocally unhappy for us, though we only couldn’t come to an agreement with Federal,” she wrote.

Lebanese Taverna, that serves Mediterranean cuisine, is one of a largest restaurants in Bethesda, with seating for 150 people in a wood-paneled dining room and another 60 in a lounge.

The Abi-Najm family emigrated to Arlington, Virginia, from Lebanon in 1976 to shun that country’s polite war. Three years after family members bought a medium grill in a Westover area of Arlington—and renamed it Lebanese Taverna.

Today, a family operates 5 full-service restaurants (excluding a Bethesda location), 4 fast-casual cafes (including locations in Rockville Town Square, Congressional Plaza in Rockville and downtown Silver Spring), and a marketplace in Arlington.

In Bethesda Magazine’s Best of Bethesda Readers Poll, Lebanese Taverna was voted a “Best Lebanese Restaurant” in 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.

In a note announcing a closing, a Abi-Najm family said, “Thank we for ancillary us for so many years not only in Bethesda though all over Montgomery County.  Please continue to revisit us in Congressional and Rockville Town Square and even Tysons Galleria, only a few miles down a highway in … Virginia. Yes, we can cranky a bridge!”


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