Since You Asked: How Can the Golden House Restaurant's Wisconsin Avenue Building Survive Bethesda’s Development Boom?

Questions and answers about the Bethesda area


Montgomery County Planning Board

How can the Wisconsin Avenue building housing Golden House still exist when it’s surrounded by so much development?

—A reader who works in Bethesda


The building survives because it has been designated in the county’s Master Plan for Historic Preservation.

The site was once a “Little Tavern,” a restaurant that served small hamburgers by the bag. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, think White Castle.

Little Taverns were a pioneer in the fast-food industry. The Bethesda restaurant is believed to have been constructed in 1939 in the “Old English Cottage”-style the chain used. The structure integrated the latest materials and technology of the “modern” age—tile, Formica, aluminum alloys and neon signage. At the time of its designation in 1994, it was one of four Little Taverns in the county; two are in Silver Spring and the fourth is in Wheaton.

(Source: Bethesda Downtown Plan, Montgomery County Planning Board)

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