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The parent group that owns Austin Grill has decided to do a switcheroo with its Bethesda property, replacing one of its concepts for another. From the look of things, the American Tap Room is set to open any day now in the former Austin Grill space. Many of the fixtures and furniture were already in place when I pressed my face against the windows this weekend.
I’ll be curious how the Tap Room fares in Bethesda. It’s sort of a gastro-pub lite, mixing the limited ambitions of an American grill with a semi-lengthy beer list that favors big commercial brands over craft brews. With Robert Wiedmaier‘s Mussel Bar right around the corner, with its superior Belgian suds menu, I suspect the American Tap Room will have to rely more on the beer amateur, and not the geek, to sustain itself.
Meanwhile, owners Casey Patten and David Mazza are moving full steam ahead with the third location of their budding Philly sandwich chain. Their Bethesda store will open across the street from the Tap Room on Thursday, September 2, right before the Labor Day weekend.
The new store “[h]as a lot of the same look and feel if City Vista but with the third we feel it is a little more refined,” Patten e-mailed me this weekend.