TacoArepa Announced as Roche Brothers’ Next Bethesda Restaurant

Fast-casual eatery will serve food from Venezuela and the Caribbean


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TacoArepa will occupy the space next to 202 Donuts & Coffee

Joe Zimmermann

The Roche brothers’ domain on Fairmont Avenue in Bethesda is expanding once again.

In addition to owning TapaBar and the adjacent 202 Donuts & Coffee, Alvaro and Alonso Roche are starting a new Caribbean-Latin American restaurant next door. TacoArepa will open by October at 4905 Fairmont Ave, the brothers’ company announced Thursday night.

The fast-casual, family-friendly restaurant will serve tacos, arepas, bowls and salads, according to a spokeswoman for Capitol Eats Group, the Roches’ company. It will also include a full bar serving local and Latin beers.

TacoArepa’s menu is a tribute to the Roche brothers’ childhood in Venezuela, and Alonso Roche is taking inspiration from his Cuban grandfather’s cooking and West Indies curry dishes for the recipes of both comfort foods and lighter items including quinoa and salads.

The newest addition to Roche row will seat 50 people in its 1,400-square-foot interior and 16 more on an outdoor patio, the spokeswoman said. It will have an industrial look to invoke Caribbean street food vendors.

The Roches also own Bold Bite, a burger shop that moved a few blocks away in May to a larger space on the corner of Norfolk and Cordell avenues. Bold Bite formerly shared a space with 202 Donuts.

TacoArepa’s upcoming location was formerly occupied by Fresh Grill, which closed abruptly in 2012 after construction of the adjacent Bainbridge Bethesda damaged the structure.

The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled this week that Bainbridge Development Corp. must shell out $3.93 million in legal fees and expenses on top of the millions it paid for damages to Greenhill Cos., which own the one-story building next to the apartments. Greenhill’s Lenny Greenberg confirmed Wednesday that the Roches had signed a lease for one of two storefronts in the building.

Greenberg said it took several years for an expensive reconstruction project to balance the building, but said he was “delighted” that it could be occupied again.

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