Beefsteak joins Best Buy in Tenley exodus

Ava Nicely and Madelyn Shapiro

The fast-casual vegetarian restaurant Beefsteak’s Tenleytown location closed on Sunday, February 17.

The chain was started by celebrity chef José Andrés in 2015 and opened in Tenley in 2016, offering a new healthy food option to the community. Andrés owns several other restaurants in DC such as Minibar, Zaytinya, and Jaleo, as well as many others across the U.S.

Beefsteak was known for its unique vegetarian and vegan options. The restaurant is named after beefsteak tomatoes. Customers could choose from a wide variety of pre-made salads or customize their own bowls. Although vegetables were the main part of the meal, there were options for meat toppings such as a poached egg or chicken sausage.

Senior Isabel Guitteau, a former Beefsteak employee who quit a week before the restaurant shut down, explained that the place was not especially busy, with only about four groups of people dining there at one time.

Ultimately, Guitteau believes that the restaurant’s decline stemmed from the low number of customers, as Beefsteak was not making enough profits off of sales. “They’d kind of just break even to pay the people working, and then you also have to take into account that you have to pay for the food,” Guitteau said.

In an effort to raise profits prior to shutting down, Beefsteak had taken on several initiatives to offer promotions to customers. “They would always hand out cards to people, like on Tuesdays college kids would always get a free juice or something,” Guitteau explained. However, this was not enough to bring up the sales of the restaurant.

Guitteau’s main concern is the impact the closure will have on her former coworkers, many of whom were financially dependent on their job at Beefsteak. “I just hope that my coworkers can get jobs…that was their main source of income,” she said.

Still, Guitteau believes that Beefsteak’s closure will be a loss to the Tenleytown community. “There were a lot of families that would come in to eat, that’s how a lot of families got healthy food options for their kids when they didn’t want to cook,” Guitteau said. “It’ll take away a good option.”

Many Wilson students, however, were apathetic to Beefsteak shutting down. “All their vegetables tasted the same,” said sophomore Vincent Kamani. Junior Nora Webb added, “Nobody is sad about Beefsteak closing.”

It is currently unknown as to what establishment will replace Beefsteak. For those interested in Beefsteak, nearby locations include Dupont Circle and Montgomery Mall.