Mason Inn, a sports bar with live entertainment at 2408 Wisconsin Avenue, has closed its doors for good as of the end of March, 2018. This decision by owner Corey Lockett continues the trend of restaurant/retail closings and vacancies along the commercial strip in Glover Park. Corey had strong but not uncommon feelings about why he needed to make this decision: "The rents are ridiculous compared to other opportunities in the surrounding areas. High rent, poor street traffic, limited parking, distance from the metro, lack of neighborhood support and the emergence of other areas make Glover Park a very difficult place to operate. The closing of the Whole Foods began the downward spiral and business never recovered."
Closings and vacancies now have reached a disturbing level of significance on the future of commerce in Glover Park and residents, landlords and officials need to quickly work to get a plan in place for a resolution. Though not directly tied to the success of other businesses as some grocery stores might be, Whole Foods could be considered an anchor for business in Glover Park. While they appear to be nearing a settlement, we do not know yet if they have decided to stay or if they wish to vacate as well. Recent court rulings indicate that the ball is in their court, and the stay or leave decision is theirs to make. A settlement with the landlord should be reached in a few weeks at most. Competition from Safeway, Giant and soon Trader Joe's might be turning them off to the location. Whole Foods has been closing under-performing locations nationally, and now they have the added dynamic of the Amazon purchase.
Mason Inn attracted a younger crowd on average to their live bands, game day TV events and comedy shows. Customers still have the option to gather at the Town Hall and Arcuri, though maybe not the same sort of lively bar scene.
See the prior blog article on vacancies, and here is an update on the closed business where the building owners currently are seeking occupancy for their vacant buildings:
Mason Inn - closed as of 3/31/18
Mad Fox Taproom - closed as of March 2018
Brueggers Bagels - closed December 2017, Domino's will take the space soon.
El Salvadoran Consulate - vacant 2 years now
Bourbon - vacant 3 years now
IOUE Building - vacant for I don't know how many years now, five?
Heritage India - vacant 1.5 years now
Whole Foods - vacant over a year, settlement soon, stay or go??
Tennis Zone - sadly owner passed away 2 months ago, yoga has taken part of the building