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Longtime Bethesda Favorite Closing In Bradley Shopping Center

by BethesdaNow.com — December 31, 2012 at 11:50 am 2,411 6 Comments


After 60 years, the Bruce Variety store in Bradley Shopping Center is closing.

The supply shop known for its vast collection of crafts, fabrics and other assorted items you probably didn’t even know existed is having a clearance sale today. Everything is half off.

A sign in the window says the store will be moving. An employee said the store will likely close in a week or two and will be open on New Year’s Day. The owner was not available.

The store, at 6922 Arlington Rd. next to Strosniders Hardware, stocked hairnets, cotton underwear, even bras.

Blogger Robert Dyer reported the store is closing because of rent increases.

Now, fans of the store have started an online petition asking the shopping center owner to allow Bruce Variety to renegotiate its lease. More than 140 people have signed:

 Like all of you I have loved Bruce Variety in downtown Bethesda for years. Walking into that store lets me take a trip back in time to when the world seemed like a gentler, simpler, more civilized place. It would be so sad for Bethesda to lose that vestige of the past.

I am wholeheartedly a supporter of the free market, but I also support individual’s rights to show their support (or boycott!) for a shopping center based upon strong community desires. Bruce’s is more than just a store; it’s a unique atmosphere in this day and age that brings a wonderful vibe to the otherwise largely cookie-cutter corporate stores that surround us.

-Bethesda Community


  • Amy Rinker

    I can’t believe this is happening! This was our special holiday one stop shop and a neat store! It is also another one of Bethesda’s classsic icons! I DO NOT want to see it go!

  • Robin

    This is so sad. My fondest memories of BV’s are back to school shopping every September for new shiny notebooks, folders, pens etc. Going to BV meant always seeing someone you knew. It is a true neighborhood and community store. I’d like to sign the petition.

  • John M. Doyle

    Vegetable and flower seeds in the spring, plates, napkins and goody bags for kids’ birthday parties, Halloween costumes, goofball stocking stuffers at Christmas and party hats for New Year’s Eve. This place was a treasure trove.

  • Bob

    You people couldn’t have loved it that much. The shelves were half-empty for years and there was very little foot traffic in and out.

    You would rather have gone to big chain stores for your needs.

  • B

    Agree with Bob, if the business was thriving, rent wouldn’t be a problem. A lot of people want to think they buy local and support local business, but they are running to target weekly and once a year you might go to Bruce’s to feel the quaintness. People like the thought of the place, but probably spent 10 bucks a year their. Reality, business has been bad, the owners may or may not have been paying rent on time or at all. Landlord has every right to bring in a new tenant that can afford market rent. As citizens, folks have the right to petition of course, but the article seems to state the owners don’t really have a burning desire to stay either.

  • Brookmont Beaver

    Very sad.


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