Almost three weeks after a federal judge sealed its fate, the Dave & Buster’s location at White Flint Mall has closed.
The restaurant, bar and arcade closed for good Wednesday, catching a steady stream of potential customers by surprise.
Last month, Judge Roger Titus gave Dave & Buster’s 30 days to leave its space at the mall, where it had been for 18 years. It was one of the last remaining tenants of the facility. Property owner Lerner Enterprises plans to tear down and rebuild it into a massive mixed-use town center project.
Titus ruled the chain violated the “radius restriction” part of its lease because it opened another restaurant location in 2006 at Arundel Mills Mall.
In court, White Flint Mall said it only brought up the radius restriction after Dave & Buster’s sued the mall in an effort to stop its redevelopment plans. Lord & Taylor sued the mall in similar fashion.
Dave & Buster’s General Manager Robert Solomon told Bethesda Magazine that most of the roughly 100 employees who worked at the White Flint location will be transferred to other locations. He said the games and equipment will also be moved to other locations.
An employee said any leftover ticket winnings or game credits can be used at other locations.
A sign on the doors thanked Bethesda for 18 years of patronage. The only major businesses left in the mostly vacant mall are Lord & Taylor and P.F. Chang’s.
A number of Planning Department approvals remain before Lerner Enterprises can begin redevelopment. It last went before the Planning Board in October 2012 with its sketch plan. It’s unclear when the developer hopes to return with more detailed plans.