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Refresh of Bethesda Eatery Quickly Loses Steam

Competing plans may sink return of recently shuttered Stromboli

The sign hung at Stromboli Family Restaurant suggested it would be back next year.
Photo by Alex Momeni / Moby Dick Restaurant Group

The takeover of nearly 40-year-old Stromboli Family Restaurant by neighboring restaurateur Mike Daryoush, founder of local chain Moby Dick House of Kabob, appears to have gone off without a hitch. But just weeks after the ownership swap, interest in resurrecting the now-defunct Italian restaurant appears to have waned.

Shortly after the original owners of Stromboli called it quits, Daryoush issued a statement saying his company would not only bring the neighborhood fixture back, it would improve things.

“We’re going to give the restaurant a brand-new look and update the menu, while keeping the dishes that made the food here so popular with the neighborhood,” Daryoush said in a September 26 press release.

But in a recent conversation with Eater, Daryoush indicated that an updated pizza parlor may no longer make sense. Instead, Moby Dick plans to move into the space Stromboli formerly occupied to allow for an additional grill and more seating for the long-standing kebab spot (stay tuned for more on Daryoush’s expansion plans). Daryoush is still weighing whether to tear down walls and join the two locales or keep the spaces separate.

At this point, Stromboli may not get a second chance. “We originally put out the word that we wanted to keep some essence of Stromboli on the block but that idea has competition. And the final plan about how to use the space is really still up in the air,” a spokeswoman for Moby Dick tells Eater.

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