Red Tomato Cafe Closes Amid Construction Controversy


A Bethesda favorite closed this week because of what its landlord says is permanent structural damage to its building. Red Tomato Cafe (4910 St Elmo Ave.) posted a sign on its front window that announced it is closed for business. Green Tomato LLC, the owner of the building, is suing the developer and construction company at the Bainbridge Bethesda apartment site next door. Green Tomato claims foundation work at the site caused significant structural damage to its buildings and ongoing construction activity means unsafe conditions for its tenants. Last week, a representative at Green Tomato said Red Tomato and co-tenant BCC Automotive would likely have to leave their spaces by March 1. Red Tomato, owned by Potomac resident Fay Namin, apparently decided to make that move earlier. Namin could not be immediately reached for comment on Wednesday. The construction of the 17-story, 200-unit apartment building caused the same landlord to move popular lunchtime restaurant Fresh Grill out of its space on Fairmont Avenue in 2012. That building is still sealed off and Fresh Grill filed suit late last year against the developer, construction company and landlord, claiming the series of events led to it going out of business.

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