For its one-year anniversary in Bethesda, Taylor Gourmet plans to give you the presents. The local chain will be giving away 6-inch hoagies or salads on Tuesday, Dec. 20, during the shop’s regular hours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Casey Patten, co-owner of Taylor Gourmet, expects to give away between 600 to 700 sandwiches, almost doubling what the store typically sells in a day. It’ll cost Patten and business partner, David Mazza, about $2,500 to throw themselves a party.
“It’ll certainly be more expensive than my 31st birthday. It was a joke dinner at the Olive Garden,” says Patten. (Long story and too personal to be relevant here for All We Can Eat readers.)
The birthday bash is a nice gesture, given not only the costs but also the simple fact that Bethesda is Taylor Gourmet’s lowest-performing store. The suburban location’s sales are about 17 percent less than the original H Street NE location, which is the second-best performer in the three-store chain (and counting, see below) The City Vista location on K Street NW is Taylor’s top performer.
Patten chalks up the lower sales in Bethesda to a several factors, including the notion that surburban office workers are less inclined to venture outside when the weather’s bad. But he also says, in classic restaurant-speak, that Bethesda is an “extremely rich, quick-service environment,” by which he means Taylor Gourmet has loads of competition there.
“I don’t think we ever thought we’d take over [Bethesda] and have this be the top store,” Patten says.
The anniversary party on Tuesday will also include free homemade holiday cookies and a raffle featuring free hoagies for a year, Washington Capitals tickets and — pay attention, you scofflaws — the paying off one of your parking tickets in Bethesda. (They might regret that one.)
In other Taylor Gourmet news, the partners are close to opening their fourth location at 1910 14th St. NW, near T Street, in Logan Circle. They’ve been training staff for weeks now and are starting to line up final inspections. Patten and Mazza are deciding whether to open before or after the holidays. “I haven’t figured it out,” Patten says, “but I’m not going to stop thinking about it.”
Meanwhile, the guys’ planned Philly cheesesteak shop, Taylor Charles Steak & Ice, has hit a snag. The build-out has been temporarily halted while the landlord performs some structural work on the location at 1320 H St. NE. Patten expects to resume construction in about two weeks and hopes to open the place in April.