Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that Chaia Tacos in Bethesda opened in September 2021 and not September 2022.
Chaia Tacos closed its pop-up location in Bethesda July 19 after two years.
The vegan and vegetarian restaurant announced it would close its pop-up, located at 7237 Woodmont Ave., on its Instagram account on July 14.
The social media post read: “When we opened our pop-up shop in Bethesda, we thought we’d have a great time – and boy did you prove us right! Thank you so much for welcoming us with open arms, big hearts and hungry bellies.”
Chaia has become well-known for its menu items including its braised mushroom taco, black bean enchiladas and sweet potato nachos.
The owners of the Bethesda pop-up initially signed a lease for one year from Aug. 1, 2021 to July 31, 2022, and was extended for an additional year. The business opened in September 2021 and the closure came at the end of the extended lease, according to a spokesperson for the restaurant.
“The Bethesda pop-up shop served as a proof of concept for a new commissary model allowing us to operate stores with smaller footprints, and we’re excited to bring this model to bear at a third permanent location in the DMV, which we’re actively exploring,” said Bettina Stern, Chaia co-founder in an email through a spokesperson. “We’ve been thrilled to continue serving this incredible community for a year longer than anticipated under our initial one-year lease.”
The eatery has two permanent locations in Georgetown at 3207 Grace St. NW and in Chinatown at 615 I St. NW.
“Chaia is looking in areas across the DMV including Northern Virginia and Maryland. We will enthusiastically explore opportunities that may arise to return to Bethesda,” Stern said in an email via spokesperson. “For now, we invite our Bethesda customers to come visit us at our two permanent shops in Georgetown and Chinatown.”
Supporters of the pop-up left comments on the Instagram post begging the eatery not to leave.
One user commented “Come to Potomac,” and another user commented “Come to Old Town.” Both comments were liked by the Chaia Instagram account so there’s no telling where the next Chaia might sprout in the Washington, D.C. area.