R Family Kitchen & Bar is closing Saturday May 19, after less than six months in operation. The Bethesda restaurant, at 4901-A Fairmont Avenue, served a variety of dishes, from mac and cheese to mini arepas to Venezuelan cheese sticks (aka tequeños).
The space on Fairmont will become 202 Next Door, an expansion of neighboring 202 Donuts & Coffee, with Wi-Fi and space for lounging. As per a release, the 202 Donuts & Coffee owners found themselves using the R Family cooking space to respond to demand from the adjoining bakery. To them, this closing and subsequent expansion made perfect sense.
To say that the Bold Family Restaurant Group — founded by brothers Alonso Roche and Alvaro Roche — has been eager to switch things up in this space would be an understatement. Before R Family Kitchen the spot was Tapabar, which itself lasted about 15 months; the Roches’ cited lack of foot traffic as the reason for that shutter. Washington Post restaurant critic Tom Sietsema was not impressed by the rebranding effort.
202 Next Door is projected to open later this month.