The Germantown area, which many readers often lament has a scarcity of good eateries, has lost two name-brand chain restaurants since the middle of August.
In mid-August, the Bob Evans location in the Milestone Shopping Center at 21044 Frederick Road in Germantown closed its doors, and just this week the Famous Dave’s BBQ Restaurant in the Shops at Seneca Meadows retail center, which includes Wegmans, has closed its doors.
Hungry Germantown area customers wanting to eat at both locations were met with signs on the doors stating that respective restaurants had been closed.
The Famous Dave’s branding has also been removed from its location. The location is listed as For Lease on the Minkoff Development Corporation website.
The Bob Evans branding has been removed from the building and replaced with a For Lease sign, from the KLNB Retail Commercial Real Estate.
The Bob Evans chain has been struggling in recent years. In 2015, the company announced it would close 21 stores, and then again in January of 2016 it announced that another 27 stores would be closed. However, the Germantown location was not among those 48 stores to be closed.
Also, in January of 2016, the company said that an additional six-leased locations would be closed in 2017. It is unknown if the Germantown location was one of those six-leased locations.
In January 2017, Bob Evans’ parent company New Albany, Ohio-based Bob Evans Farms Inc. announced that the company would be divided between the packaged foods business and the company’s struggling restaurant brand. Bob Evans Farms Inc. said would sell off its eateries to a private equity firm for $565 million and throw its efforts into selling sausage and side dishes in grocery stores.
The restaurant chain portion of the business has struggled in recent years, while the packaged food division, BEF Foods, has remained profitable. The chains 523 Bob Evans Restaurants were sold to the private equity firm Golden Gate Capital, which owns California Pizza Kitchen, and bought Red Lobster from Darden Restaurants in 2014 for $2.1 billion.
On September 19, it was announced that St. Louis-based Post Holdings would acquire Bob Evans Farms, Inc. which is the distributor of refrigerated potato, pasta and vegetable-based side dishes, pork sausage, and a variety of refrigerated and frozen convenience food items under the Bob Evans, Owens, Country Creek and Pineland Farms brands.
The Famous Dave’s opened at The Shops at Seneca Meadows shortly after the retail center opened in 2013. The location moved from a space in the Kentlands in Gaithersburg which has proven to not be a good retail location, and there are currently plans to transform it into apartments.
On May 2, 2017, the parent company Minneapolis-based Famous Dave’s of American announced plans to focus solely on franchisee-owned locations and, as a result, the company intends to accelerate the refranchising or closure of 32 company-owned restaurants over the next 12 to 24 months.
“We believe that this will permit us to shift our resources and energy to the growth and viability of our franchise system, which is paramount to our success,” the company said in its August 18 Quarterly Report filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. “As of July 2, 2017, we had closed five underperforming locations and, subsequent to July 2, 2017, we closed three additional underperforming locations.”
Calls to the Famous Dave’s public relations firm were not returned prior to posting. If more information comes in Germantown Pulse will update the story. In the meantime, Germantown residents are left with fewer dining choices.
Top: The former location of the Famous Dave’s restaurant in the Shops at Seneca Meadows.
Next: The former location of the Bob Evans’ restaurant in the Milestone Shopping Center in Germantown.
Next: The sign on the door stating the Famous Dave’s location was closed and directing customers to the website.
Next: The sign on the door stating the Bob Evans’ location was closed and directing customers to the website.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.