Regulars of the Woodside Deli in Silver Spring, Maryland, must have suffered a terrible surprise Monday when they attempted to pop in for an omelet, a Reuben, or a generously portioned bowl of matzo ball soup. The iconic, 72-year-old restaurant just inside the Beltway closed Sunday, according to multiple outlets.
Bethesda Magazine reports that the development came as a surprise even to co-owner Shira Elzarat, who claims that Woodside’s landlord did not want to renegotiate the lease. She tells the outlet she and her husband did not want to shut down the property just yet. Customers were still showing up Monday, and staff had to turn them away, she says:
“It’s horribly sad. I’m talking to customers and they’re walking in here crying. We’re an institution. We’ve been here since 1947. We’re part of the community. We are the community.”
In a story published by Montgomery Community Media, deli manager Alexa Margolis says the closure represents “a sad day for Montgomery County” and “was definitely a shock.”
The Moco Show first reported news of the closure. A listing for the business on BizBuySell describes a turnkey operation ready to be rebooted by a different owner. The ad for the deli curiously says the owners are retiring. It promises a “well oiled cash cow” and includes “rights to the name and recipes.” The asking price is $500,000.
Multiple outlets reported that the Rockville location of Woodside will continue to operate a restaurant with an identical menu and catering business. A Germantown deli with the same name hasn’t been affiliated with the company for more than a decade.
In 2016, the Maryland Comptroller’s office honored Woodside Deli for its longevity. Then-owner Paul Zlotnicki told WUSA9 he tried his best to change as little as possible at the restaurant full of kitsch including ancient issues of Life and Playboy.
If Woodside does not resurface under new ownership, the neighborhood will still have several viable alternatives for traditional Jewish fare. Goldberg’s New York Bagels is just across Georgia Avenue from Woodside, and Max’s Kosher Cafe is nearby in Wheaton. Parkway Deli in Silver Spring has its own loyal following.