Thursday, February 19, 2009, 12:11pm EST
Bice in Bethesda closes doors
Washington Business Journal - by Tierney Plumb Staff Reporter
Bice Ristorante served its last risotto dish just one year after it opened in one of the area’s largest Class A office buildings.
Positioned in the heart of Bethesda’s downtown business district in the 696,500 square-foot Chevy Chase Bank Building at 7501 Wisconsin Ave., the Northern Italian eatery sat across from the Bethesda Metro station.
According to Raffaele Ruggeri, president of Miami-based Bice Restaurant Holding, the “restaurant closed Tuesday this week, because of not enough business to sustain the operating expenses, we tried!”
The company had about 30 employees in Bethesda.
The concept started as a neighborhood trattoria in Milan, which was opened by Beatrice Ruggeri, nicknamed “Bice,” in 1926. The Bice Group is still run by the Ruggeri family — Bice is Raffaele’s grandmother — and owns about 40 restaurants around the world from New York to Monte Carlo.
The restaurant group recently sped up its expansion, opening three spots in the Middle East.
With entrees ranging from $12 to $47, its extensive menu contains prosciutto and melon to asparagus risotto with sea scallops to braised veal shanks and an array of pastas.
The spacious Bethesda restaurant, which had private room seating for 70 guests, was open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sundays for dinner and hosted live music several nights a week.
Bice most recently closed another restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio at the end of 2008.