The Pato Del Sur burger debuting in fast-casual Good Ducking Burger next month in the former Duck Duck Goose space. Credit: Provided

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include quotes from Duck Duck Goose owner Ashish Alfred.

Duck Duck Goose, the fine-dining staple that has served Bethesda since 2016, will rebrand as a fast-casual burger restaurant in early September, its operators announced this week.

The birth of Duck Duck Goose, at 7929 Norfolk Ave., brought more than commercial success to Chef Ashish Alfred: The 27-seat restaurant was his first business after overcoming a drug and alcohol addiction, according to a news release from the restaurant.

Alfred has two other Duck Duck Goose locations in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., which will remain open as-is.

The restaurant racked up accolades including being named Best Restaurant in Maryland in Southern Living magazine and Best Bruch by Washingtonian magazine. Alfred himself was recognized by the Restaurant Association of Maryland as Chef of the Year in 2019.

Despite its successes, the eatery’s profit margins have plummeted with the rising costs of doing business, according to the release. The restaurant space is about 1,100 square feet, including interior and the seasonal outdoor patio, with no ability to add seating.


“It really just all comes down to money,” Alfred said. “The pandemic did put us in some debt, so there was paying back some of those things that we had to do and then, obviously, the price of everything went up, the cost of food went up, the cost of booze went up, cost of labor went up.”

Duck Duck Goose in Bethesda officially closed its doors July 27 as Alfred decided to shift from the fine-dining business to fast-casual Good Ducking Burger to better utilize the space.

“I’m doing this as a pivot,” he said. “I’m just fortunate that I’m pivoting to something that I’m really passionate about and really know how to do. At the end of the day, my goal is to create a sustainable environment to create a sustainable business, not only for myself but for the people that I employ.”


Alfred also said he wanted to curate a menu that spoke to his Indian background.

“There’s stigma and misconceptions around Indian food. … It’s not like this overly spiced, overly choregraphed whatever,” he said. “It’s tasty; it’s fun; it can be casual. The Indian food that exists in a lot of places around here—not all places—but it doesn’t celebrate the fun, playful, happy energetic culture that is India.”

Good Ducking Burger’s menu will include classic burgers, fries and chicken sandwiches. Some signature items are the “Delhi Hot Fried Chicken” sandwich, which has butter chicken sauce, green chutney and yogurt aioli; the “Pato Del Sur,” topped with plantains, duck confit and a sunny-side up egg; and “Bollywood Fries,” which are double fries topped with tamarind chutney, cilantro chutney, yogurt sauce and chaat masala.


Despite Good Ducking Burger being fast-casual, Alfred wants diners to be assured that they will still get the quality service they became accustomed to at Duck Duck Goose.

“People will still be able to come in and get a restaurant experience,” he said. “We pride ourselves on our service; that will not change. People can still expect that standard of service.”