D.C. chef and restaurateur Robert Wiedmaier pulled the plug this week on his music venue and restaurant Villain & Saint in Bethesda, much to his chagrin. The executive chef of RW Restaurant Group spoke with Bethesda magazine about his decision to close up shop after four years at 7141 Wisconsin Avenue, and it sounds like something he dreaded doing.
“We just weren’t making any money there [at the Bethesda club]. I’ve got two other music venues and we weren’t able to get that place up and running properly,” he told the magazine. “It got to the point where I had to look at my [RW Restaurant Group] partners and say, ‘This is ridiculous.’”
Wiedmaier operates a Villain & Saint Atlantic City and another music venues Baltimore, but it wasn’t clicking in Bethesda — the chef cited location and a difficulty in enticing locals in to see out-of town bands. “This was a hard decision. I really loved Villain & Saint. I loved everything about it,” he said. “I would’ve kept it running even if were breaking even, because I love music.”
The self-described “Haight-Ashbury-inspired rock ‘n’ roll music hall” might rise again — Wiedmaier talked about relocating it to D.C., either U Street or another nightlife corridor. Aside from being a place to see live acts, the restaurant served bar fare like cheeseburgers and lighter options like zucchini pancakes.