Helen Wasserman, a long-time caterer in the D.C. -area, initially planned to open her first brick-and-mortar restaurant, Helen’s The Bar, by late summer in the signature yellow brick building that previously housed Addie’s on Rockville Pike.
But it’s now almost September and renovations to the building have yet to begin, according to Wasserman. Problems with plans to bring the aging building in line with county building codes had delayed the process.
“It’s taking a long time to do the process of getting [the designs] to the county for approval of permits,” Wasserman said.
Maryland property records show the 1,800-square-foot building at 11120 Rockville Pike was constructed in 1954. The building has a rich culinary history: Black Restaurant Group owners Jeff Black and his wife, Barbara, opened their first restaurant, Addie’s, there in 1995. Black said in May he was forced to close the popular eatery last year after failing in attempts to negotiate with the landlord over repairs for the building, which he described as having crumbling walls and rotting joists.
Wasserman said renovation plans have been completed and her architect plans to submit them to the county after Labor Day.
She estimates the renovations will take about three months to complete once the county issues construction permits. She now plans to open the restaurant sometime next year, after the busy holiday catering season.
Wasserman is planning a fusion menu for the restaurant that will combine Asian, Spanish and Southern comfort food.
The current look of the Rockville Pike building that will house Helen’s The Bar. It’s the former location of Addie’s. Credit: Helen’s The Bar Facebook page.