The Daily Grill inside the Hyatt Regency Bethesda has closed permanently.
Initially, the Daily Grill temporarily closed last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But on Thursday, Hannah Falkosky, a spokeswoman for parent company Grill Concepts, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat that it will not reopen.
Grill Concepts filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on April 28. Chapter 11 allows a business to continue operating while it reorganizes its debt.
In a statement, the company wrote that the financial pressure from the pandemic was “extreme and, indeed, unprecedented.”
“This was a difficult decision, but it is the right path forward for Grill Concepts Inc. A US Chapter 11 filing is designed to serve as the means to a new beginning and preserve the jobs of our team members and that is exactly our intent,” the statement read.
Charlie Schwieger, a senior associate with the Hyatt property’s owner ,The Meridian Group, told Bethesda Beat on Thursday that Grill Concepts was struggling financially even before the pandemic.
“Their CEO did have a conversation with us, because we wanted them to put some more money into that space,” he said. “And he said, ‘Hey, look. We really don’t have the capital to do that.’
“He kind of mentioned that Chapter 11 was a consideration. And then I think once COVID hit, that was the rather large straw, if you will, that broke the camel’s back.”
Schwieger said that the Hyatt hopes to find a “destination retailer” to replace the Daily Grill, and “there are a number of different options” being considered.
He said the new business will still be in the food-service industry. Ideas include a fine dining establishment, a high-end banquet space and a golf simulator tied to a food concept.
“That space provides room service to hotel guests — the kitchen component, that is. So, we certainly want to preserve that,” he said.
Schwieger said he hopes the new tenant can use the large outdoor patio.
He said the timing of a new business in the Daily Grill space is uncertain, but it might be early 2022. Part of that, he said, depends on when hotel occupancy bounces back from the hit it took during the pandemic.
“We do need the property to be cash-flowing and stabilized from an overall income and expense standpoint. So, once we get the hotel in a positive cash-flow position, we’ll have a little bit more flexibility with respect to the capital that we can put into the space,” he said.
Dan Schere can be reached at email@example.com