UPDATE Friday 9:35 a.m. Ri Ra Irish Pub in Bethesda is closing once its lease ends in September, according to an employee who confirmed an earlier report from Bethesda Magazine.
Regional manager Andrew Christie said "it did not make business sense to renew the lease in Bethesda."
Manager Paul Corey said the Connecticut-based pub chain, which has locations in 11 other cities including Arlington, Las Vegas and Atlantic City, will leave town when its 10-year lease dries up.
Ri Ra will be opening a new location in Georgetown in the fall.
Ri Ra (a Gaelic phrase that translates to "uproar," or "fun and merriment") became a spot to watch European soccer matches and drew people in with its beer and whiskey samplers.
The bar and restaurant (4931 Elm St.) was named by On Tap Magazine as the best Irish pub in D.C. in 2012.
The property is part of the Shoppes of Bethesda, managed by Rockville-based The Draiman Companies.
The full text from the announcement Ri Ra will be sharing with customers over the next few weeks is after the jump.
Dear Friends of Rí Rá,
After 10 great years in Bethesda, it is with sadness that we announce Rí Rá will be closing its doors in September due to the expiration of our lease. Over the decade, we have immensely enjoyed getting to know you and the local community, earning your friendship, watching your families grow, hearing your great stories, and of course, sharing with you, the perfect pint or two!
Thank you for your support over the years and for sharing your lives with us. We will continue to excitedly welcome you through our doors – there is still a summer full of fun times to be had!
We also want to share with you the news that Rí Rá will be opening in Georgetown this fall. Familiar faces will be eagerly awaiting your arrival to show you around our newest location with céad míle fáilte (a hundred thousand welcomes)!
We look forward to spending the coming months in your company and together, seeing out our lease in style!
The Rí Rá Bethesda Team