Bethesda restaurants to close for condo development

Four popular restaurants are closing in Bethesda, and bad business is not to blame.

A new developer has other plans for the area at Norfolk and Fairmont avenues.

Right now, the windows at Foong Lin Chinese restaurant are plastered with signs reminding customers they're still open for business. But soon, that won't be the case.

After 25 years at the Bethesda intersection, the owners must close up shop at the end of the month.{ }

"Very painful and very sad for me to leave, because all of my good customers and good friends," owner Fu Cheung said.

Foong Lin is one of four Bethesda ethnic restaurants shutting down by the end of August to make way for a new 17-story condominium and apartment building. The restaurants' leases were not renewed, and the property owner sold to developers.

For many customers who've been coming to Foong Lin since it opened in 1984, it's like losing a family member.

Customer Everett Greenstre said, "It's a wonderful restaurant. I'm sorry to see it go. They're great people. They really are..."

"I was just shocked," added customer Jim Garrison.

The four restaurant owners are now scrambling to find other locations in Bethesda for their businesses, as are customers for their ethnic food fix.