The Tavern at River Falls has a new owner.
Chef Robert Wiedmaier’s RW Restaurant Group closed a deal Friday to take over the neighborhood American and seafood restaurant next to the Market at River Falls on River Road in Potomac.
The restaurant will continue to focus on American cuisine, but plans are in place to upgrade the food and drink menus, according to RW Restaurant Group partner Frank Shull.
Shull, who said he can walk to the restaurant in the Potomac Village Shopping Center from his Potomac home, hopes that, with a few improvements, the restaurant will better serve as a community haven for date nights, family dinners or special events.
“We think we can make that place what it should be—a great restaurant in the heart of Potomac with free parking,” Shull said.
The current staff of the restaurant will be evaluated, Shull said, and the restaurant group plans to provide additional culinary training as well as hire a general manager. The name and the interior of the approximately 2½-year-old restaurant will remain the same.
The RW Restaurant Group acquired the restaurant from John Grolig, a retired firefighter and the father of Jeff Grolig. John Grolig, the restaurant’s owner, operated the restaurant after his son closed his popular business next door—River Falls Market. Jeff previously handled day-to-day operations at the restaurant while running the market, but he closed the market in August due to a financially taxing divorce. His ex-wife’s Italian restaurant, Renato at River Falls, is located two doors from the Tavern.
The market later reopened under new ownership in December as the Market at River Falls.
Shull thanked John Grolig for working on the deal with the restaurant group. He said the restaurant may close for one day, if at all, in early March when the group officially takes over the restaurant.
“We’re very excited about being there and bringing the RW Restaurant Group food and quality to Potomac,” Shull said.
Wiedmaier’s restaurant group has been active in the area lately. Last month the restaurant group took over the former Roof Bethesda space in Woodmont Triangle and in May 2014 it opened Brasserie Beck in Gaithersburg.
Wiedmaier also operates Mussel Bar & Grille and Wildwood Kitchen in Bethesda as well as Marcel’s and the Brasserie Beck location in Washington, D.C., among other restaurants.