R Family Kitchen & Bar Is Closing in Downtown Bethesda

Owners will convert space into expansion for 202 Donuts & Coffee


Joe Zimmermann

R Family Kitchen & Bar on Fairmont Avenue in downtown Bethesda is closing Saturday.

Alvaro and Alonso Roche, the owners of the restaurant, will convert the space into an expansion for 202 Donuts & Coffee, the adjacent donut shop they also own, according to a spokeswoman for Bold Family Restaurant Group.

R Family opened Jan. 19 as a family-friendly alternative to the Roches brothers’ previous concept TapaBar. The tapas restaurant had opened a little more than a year earlier.

The Roches plan to rebrand the space once again as 202 Next Door, which is set to open May 29. Like 202 Donuts & Coffee, it will serve house-made donuts, breakfast sandwiches and coffee provided by Vigilante Coffee of Hyattsville, and it will also have an expanded menu of light lunch and dinner fare, shareable snacks and a craft cocktail bar.

Taking its name from a play on the owners’ last name, R Family served comfort food influenced by Venezuela, where the Roches grew up, as well as an eclectic mix of other items, from mac and cheese to pho. Primary items were “sizzle plates” of steak and chicken.

In February, Alvaro and Alonso Roche cited an early negative review by Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema as immediately damaging their business.

The Roches also own Bold Bite at 4903 Cordell Ave. and at Union Station. Their Bold Bite Market in D.C. closed in January after opening last year.

On the other side of 202 Donuts, the Roches recently opened TacoArepa.

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