.

Dunkin' Donuts Likely Will Close Doors on Bethesda Avenue

A local franchise group says Federal Realty will not renew a corporate lease when it expires at the end of May.

Bethesda Row management company Federal Realty will likely not renew the lease for the Dunkin’ Donuts location on Bethesda Avenue, according to the Luis Group, a company that operates the location and seven other Dunkin Donuts franchises in the area.

Though the group hopes to keep the successful shop in its current location, Luis Group chief operating officer Boris Lander told Patch the Bethesda Avenue coffee shop will likely close when the lease expires at the end of May.

Dunkin' Donuts is signed on to a corporate lease for the space with Federal Realty, and the Luis Group subleases from Dunkin Donuts, Lander said.

“There’s still a possibility [Federal Realty] might come back and say OK, three year extension or five year extension, but it’s very doubtful,” Lander said. “They’ve told Dunkin' Donuts they’re not going to renew.”

A call to Federal Realty for more details was not immediately returned. No official details about why the lease is not being renewed were available.

The Luis group is in the process of finalizing two new locations in downtown Bethesda. One is in the basement of the Clark building near the Bethesda Metro station. The other, which will be a combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, is set for the first floor of a building under construction at Norfolk and Cordell avenues, Lander said. The owner of Tommy Joe’s is planning a restaurant with a roof deck for the second floor.

The Bethesda Avenue Dunkin Donuts has long been a successful operation, seeing business from employees of nearby companies and shoppers and diners on busy Bethesda Row. 

“It’s a really popular store. It’s always packed. People love us…we do think it’s a little bit unfair, but it’s out of our hands. It’s not our lease.”

Lander said the pending move would likely mean a loss of some of its loyal customer base even with the opening of the two new locations.

“We have a lot of customers from the Honda dealership that come in two or three times a day, and they’re a huge portion of our sales,”  Lander said. “We’re not going to recapture 100 percent of the business we’re losing in those two locations.”

Lander said it would likely take time for patrons to become familiar with the new locations and grow back the customer base.

The Metro location is moving into the leasing phase and will likely be open by July or August, Lander said. Following the opening of the new building on Cordell and Norfolk, the Dunkin Donuts and Baskin Robbins there could be open as soon as June.

Will you miss the Bethesda Avenue Dunkin' Donuts? Tell us in the comments.

Alan Bayles February 08, 2013 at 07:51 PM
Erin, We live in the Wildwood section of Bethesda. How about some coverage on the shops and restaurants up here and WJHS as well. Thanks, Alan
Erin Donaghue (Editor) February 08, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Hi Alan, thanks for your comment. We do cover Wildwood businesses and restaurants when they come in, like Wildwood Kitchen and Chop't, along with businesses and restaurants in the mall. There tends to be more business turnover on Bethesda Row and in the Woodmont Triangle, so that's why you see most of our business coverage focused there. But thanks for the suggestion and I'll keep an eye out for stories in Wildwood. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for coverage.
OldMemories February 08, 2013 at 09:28 PM
Federal Realty has let its success over the past two decades go to its head and force all their original mom and pop stores to close as they signed on large corporate clients. Now all their properties look like the same strip mall whether in MD, VA, or NJ.
phillip fought February 09, 2013 at 05:05 AM
So you think Dunkin Donuts is "mom and pop"? They are as corporate chain as it gets.
jag February 09, 2013 at 05:39 AM
Huh? As the story clearly notes in the heading and first line, it's a franchise location. Not a corporate owned location.
Captain Cook February 09, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Jag, don't mind phil - he can't help himself as a selfish All For Me Liberal who hates American hard working values - in other words, he wants Free donuts provided by YOUR taxes and is entitled to Free coffee too!
russresearcher February 09, 2013 at 11:43 PM
This really bothers me- it's one of the last shops on that street for regular folk. Not all folks in Bethesda are wealthy! I know this is naive, but for once I'd like to see one of these companies favor good will over the almighty $:-(
walt February 11, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Boo. No matter what store they replace Dunkin with, I won't go to it. I luvmesum Dunkin Coffee--beats the hell out of Starpuke and Quarterdrain.
ep February 11, 2013 at 04:46 PM
Great news that we'll have an ice cream shop in the Triangle again! I miss the Ben & Jerry's.
Baker Bell February 13, 2013 at 07:10 PM
But they don't "feel" corporate. That's one reason they're always packed.I'm a Starbuck's kinda woman myself but know my friends have said they dearly love the place and hope it stays put.
Maya Mcgeathey January 28, 2014 at 09:23 AM
when does the metro dd open ? i saw the sign up yesterday, i cant wait to get a breakfast sandwich , there are very few "quick food" reasonably priced restaurants around here.
russresearcher January 28, 2014 at 09:40 AM
Maya- It was supposed to open today, but it looks like it's now going to be the end of the week. See http://robertdyer.blogspot.com/2014/01/dunkin-donuts-bethesda-metro-center_27.html

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »