A little more than a week after the Community diner closed in Bethesda, its owner has opened a new restaurant in its place.
The signs still say “Community,” but make no mistake, 7776 Norfolk Ave. is now home to the burger restaurant One Scotch, One Burger, One Beer.
The restaurant opened Friday, with little fanfare save for a chalk sign out front inviting passersby to “DINE IN NOW.”
Mike Transeau, the general manager, said it’s the quickest turnaround of a restaurant he’s seen in more than 20 years in the business. Transeau, who did not work at Community, started working on the new restaurant on Wednesday.
“I’ve never done it in two days before,” he said.
Marc Bucher, who owned Community, closed the restaurant Oct. 25, saying it was “plagued by tremendous service and training issues.”
The restaurant’s interior remains the same casual diner setup that Community had. Transeau said the design changes will come in the next few weeks. Right now, the staff is focused on the food—specifically, burgers and drinks.
The bare-bones menu, displayed at the entrance on a hand-drawn cardboard sign, prompts diners to pick a beef, turkey or veggie burger, how they want it cooked and their choice of toppings.
Above: The menu for One Scotch, One Burger, One Beer, which is also distributed to customers on sheets of paper. Below: A beef burger with applewood smoked bacon and cheese, available for $13.50.
Transeau said it’s something of a return to form for Bucher, who started the fast-casual burger chain BGR, and has always been interested in returning to cooking burgers. Bucher also co-owns the Medium Rare steak restaurants, which has a location next door to the erstwhile Community.
One Scotch, One Burger, One Beer, named after a frequently covered blues song, will have a rock-and-roll vibe and try to bring some of the late-night bar scene to this side of Woodmont Triangle, Transeau said. The former diner will dim its lights at night.
Transeau is also thinking of putting in some rock-focused decorations and quotes from musicians on the walls—but he said that will come later.