Community Owner Shuts Down New Burger Restaurant After Two Months

One Burger opened a week after previous eatery, Community, closed


Published:

Community in Bethesda Monday morning.

Joe Zimmermann

Two months after Mark Bucher closed his restaurant Community, the establishment he opened in its place also has shut its doors.

Bucher said the dining spot closed for good on Friday.

Both restaurants were “the wrong time and wrong concept” for the Woodmont Triangle area, he said, adding that not as many millennials had moved in and dined out as he expected.

“Restaurants are hard, concepts are hard, people are hard,” he said. “I hung on as long and as best I could. … Just, there’s a time in a business where it just doesn’t work anymore.”

The news of the latest closing was first reported by local blogger Robert Dyer.

On Monday, the only indication of the shutdown was a sign on the door that read, “We are closed today. No water because of freezing temps.” The chalkboard and impromptu cardboard signs for burgers were gone, but the seats and tables were still set up inside.

The upscale diner closed in late October, a little less than a year after it opened at 7776 Norfolk Ave. At the time, Bucher said he would convert the space into a burger restaurant. He kept to his promise and started to grill burgers less than a week later.

Restaurant staff called the establishment One Scotch, One Burger, One Beer when it opened. Bucher said he never changed the Community sign outside or the interior design to focus on paying the staff.

“We had an original concept name—it didn’t really grab,” Bucher said. “Since we had all the Community signage and all the Community plates and glasses, we just made it ‘One Burger at Community,’ which is kind of what we settled on in the end.”

The restaurant focused on a bare menu—written on cardboard signs—of $10 burgers. Bucher, who co-founded but is no longer involved with the chain BGR: The Burger Joint, said he loved selling burgers again. However, even though the burgers were popular, he said, the restaurant never drew enough of a crowd.

Bucher, who also co-owns the Medium Rare restaurants, including the one next to Community, said he still loves Bethesda even though his concept didn’t work for the area. He hopes one day it might.

“My burgers will be back in some way shape or form in Bethesda,” he said. “Stay tuned, we’ll have to figure out and find the right spot.”

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