Friday, May 07, 2010

R.I.P. Taste of Jerusalem

Taste of Jerusalem in happier times. Photo by Flickr user tackyjulie.

The restaurant gods giveth, the restaurant gods taketh away. The same week we get a new restaurant on the 8100 block of Georgia Avenue, news comes that Taste of Jerusalem has closed its doors after four years of operation. It's too bad, as I do like Middle Eastern food, though we still have Moby Dick's, Lebanese Taverna and Taste of Morocco. Yes I know the realize the first two are chains, but they are local chains.

Coincidentally, I happened to eat at Taste of Jerusalem just this Sunday night for admittedly only the second time ever. Something did seem amiss, as a woman who I believe was the owner's wife was serving as our waitress and she openly admitted that she had never waited tables before. There were only a couple other parties in the restaurant at the time, which made me worry about how their business were doing. I suppose in retrospect I was right to be worried.

That is a bit of a tough location, as it is away from the main strip, though Pacci's has so far proven they can draw a crowd. Hopefully something worthwhile will take that space. (Not another hair salon, please.)


Springvale Roader said...

That's a shame, but I'm not surprised. It was a nice restaurant in a terrible location. If only it could have moved into one of the spaces occupied by those redundant hair salons along Wayne, next to Ghar-E-Kabob, we could have had a nice little cluster of restaurants.

Anonymous said...

What's up with these places (Mayorga, ToJ) closing up just as things are improving are picking up around them ?

Anonymous said...

I think the interior would be perfect for a Chi-Cha lounge kind of place.

Sligo said...

Yeah, but does MoCo allow hookas?

Coincidentally, the Chi-Cha people actually had a place in Silver Spring (Ceviche) and closed it.

Joe said...

That's a big loss. It was one of our favorite spots here, but we didn't have the budget to go more than every month or two, with friends.
Jackie's seems to be doing okay, so I don't think it's totally geographical, but the geography certainly doesn't help there.

Anonymous said...

I really hope the county will spend some $$ and build a few pedestrian bridges over the train tracks between e-w hwy and ga ave. There are literally thousands of potential customers for locations lke taste of Jerusalem that don't go there because it's not an easy walk (and maybe perceived as unsafe, too...going on ga under the tracks).

squirrelist said...

Not sure if a hookah lounge could operate in Montgomery.

Montgomery County Code 24

Exceptions are made for tobacco shops and private clubs. Don't know if either could apply. The law doesn't explicitly make an exception for establishments which receive more than 10% of sales from tobacco products, as the state and many counties in MD allow.

chiquita said...

I'm sad to hear this, but not really surprised. We went there maybe 10 times in 4 years, and they were always really friendly (especially to our toddler) and the food was good. But it was never more than 1/4 to 1/2 full. The last time we went (about a month ago) the waiter had no idea what he was doing.

Anonymous said...

Taste of Jerusalem failed and Mayorga did too. But Jackie's and her new bar are thriving. And the new firehouse place will be open soon. So I don't think it's the location. Unfortunately most restaurants close within three years of opening.

Anonymous said...

This is why I can't understand the nimby's of Silver Spring that bemone all the condo's. Had there been more construction in this part of town, there might have been the patrons to keep these local places alive.

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