Despite several delays during the remodeling process, restaurateur Matt Largent hopes to have his new Kentlands restaurant up and running on Feb. 1.
The Germantown resident signed a 10-year lease in March on the building at 654 Center Point Way in Gaithersburg.
His plan has been to completely renovate the space and create a neighborhood eatery called Largent’s Restaurant and Bar. The restaurant was originally scheduled to open last August, but a couple of unexpected delays pushed back the opening.
“Mainly the delays have just been trying to remodel,” he said. “There were a lot of things that were not up to current code. Now, we’re just trying to get inspections completed.”
While some residents believe the space is “cursed” — the space has seen four tenants come and go in the past dozen years — Largent said he thinks the other establishments did not have the right business models for the Kentlands community.
The restaurant will not be a sports bar, but it will welcome fans with plenty of televisions for big games, according to Largent. The first floor will be more family oriented, and the main bar will be relocated to the second floor.
Largent specifically chose the Kentlands location because its small community feeling reminded him of his upbringing in Damascus. He wants the restaurant to be geared toward both children and adults.
“The Kentlands is a very family oriented neighborhood and that’s where we want to be,” he said. “The atmosphere is going to be more of a neighborhood restaurant.”
One previous problem with the eatery’s structure was a lack of sufficient bathroom space. Largent said adding bathrooms was already part of his plan, but the city of Gaithersburg offered to help pay for them.
“The city has long considered this design flaw to be both an inconvenience for patrons as well as a detriment for the space’s marketability,” Economic Development Director Tom Lonergan said in March.
Since then, Largent applied for one of the city’s toolbox grants, which are designed to provide economic development incentives to businesses that exhibit growth potential, and provide stable, well-paying jobs.
While the location of Largent’s eatery typically does not qualify for retail support, Lonergan said the city decided to award the $10,000 grant because of Largent’s substantial investment in the stucture and the space’s large size.
A grand opening celebration will be planned once the restaurant officially opens, Largent said.