Restaurant closures in Gaithersburg point to larger trend

Take a drive through Downtown Crown in Gaithersburg, and you'll notice two major restaurants that have recently closed: the Paladar Latin Kitchen and Rum Bar, and the Pour House. 

These closures have left many residents and visitors puzzled. Downtown Crown has been a growing development, attracting businesses and residents. The loss of two popular restaurants raises concerns about the area’s future.

"You know, it's beyond me why they closed," said one resident to FOX 5. 

"I mean, no doubt things are getting more expensive now, but I still think, especially since there is a population of younger individuals who enjoy happy hour, it's important to have spaces to do that. It was surprising. I had heard first that Paladar was closing. I didn't realize Pour House was closing as well," said another resident. 

A note on Paladar's door cites various challenges in recent years that made continued operations unsustainable.

A growing number of D.C. restaurants have been closing in recent months, with higher costs and lower profit margins partly to blame. Diane Gross, Chairman of the Board of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, offers some insights.

"We saw tourism was up last year, which was a great stat to hear, but a lot of these restaurants, you know in Bethesda, in Gaithersburg, where I am on 14th Street, tourism dollars really don't hit us, right? We're neighborhood spots," said Gross. "So if people in the neighborhood are feeling the pinch, they're not going out as much, and I think that's really having a profound effect on restaurants in local neighborhoods."