After expanding his diner Family Meal to four satellite locations over the past couple of years, chef Bryan Voltaggio is now closing all of those restaurants except the original.
Over the past couple of months, locations of the restaurant in Richmond, Ashburn, and Baltimore have closed, and Voltaggio tells Eater the Hagerstown location will shutter as well. The Ashburn location has been replaced by Voltaggio's Italian restaurant, Aggio, which also has a location in Baltimore (and temporarily operated as a pop-up in D.C. within sister restaurant Range). Beyond the Ashburn one, the remaining locations will not be replaced with other Voltaggio restaurants.
"It's not a decision we take lightly," Voltaggio told Eater Tuesday. Though he wouldn't share much in the way of specifics, he said that each of the existing locations closed "for individual reasons." Employees as much as possible have been diverted from the closed restaurants to other Voltaggio properties.
"Obviously it's always hard to do this," he said. "This is my first time closing restaurants so this is not exciting by any means. But we're refocusing our energies and attention to our existing restaurants and brands."
The company isn't done with the Family Meal brand, either. The original in Frederick will operate as usual, and plans for a future location at Baltimore-Washington International Airport are still in the works, he said. Voltaggio said he wouldn't rule out other future openings, either.
Family Meal first opened in Frederick back in 2012. It rose to popularity featuring such dishes as a pickle-brined fried chicken and chicken pot pie fritters, all in a family-friendly atmosphere, which made it a natural choice for expansion into suburban locations.