Thursday, July 8, 2010

i'm not at the combination KFC and taco bell in burtonsville

The Kentucky Fried Chicken/Taco Bell in Burtonsville closed for good Monday night, surprising customers and suggesting that the village center's decline isn't over yet. Readers and B'ville residents Laura and Cathy both wrote JUTP earlier this week to say that the fast-food joint was shutting down. Taped on the door is a hand-written note reading, "Sorry for any inconvience. Our KFC + Taco Bell is closed for Business. Please Visit Laurel + Beltsville. Nearest KFC."

Sorry For Any Inconvience
The sign on the door of KFC.

I called the listed number for the KFC. A woman answered who didn't give her name or position, but said I was calling the KFC in Burtonsville. When asked why they closed, she replied, "They no longer have a lease. I don't know the circumstances. They didn't renew the lease."

KFC's departure marks another vacancy at the Burtonsville Crossing shopping center, which has been hemorraging business for years. The opening of the Route 29 bypass in 2006 meant through traffic no longer stopped in Burtonsville, taking potential customers away.

And the developer of Burtonsville Town Square, set to open later this summer, has lured stores like Giant, Hair Cuttery and Chevy Chase Bank to his shopping center located across Old Columbia Pike.

Burtonsville Crossing
Burtonsville Crossing shopping center will soon have twelve vacancies.

According to the website of retail firm Edens & Avant, Burtonsville Crossing's owner, the twenty-eight store strip mall has nine vacancies. The impending closure of Giant, Hair Cuttery and KFC will bring it up to twelve empty spaces. We weren't able to reach the shopping center's property manager - a representative at Edens & Avant gave her name as Madalena - to find out why the lease hadn't been renewed.

Meanwhile at the former combination KFC and Taco Bell, I counted no fewer than five cars approach the restaurant, stop, and drive away in a five-minute period Tuesday night. One couple got out of their car, perhaps anticipating a nice sit-down meal. The woman appeared to be pregnant and the man had bright red cornrows.

"They're closed," I told them. "Forever."

"No shit!" swore the redhead. "I want some motherfuckin' chicken! This is bullshit!" He paused. "Guess we have to go to Laurel."

He paused again. "But you know what I really want is that motherfuckin' Cheeburger Cheeburger," which still has a branch at Burtonsville Crossing.

KFC, Burtonsville Crossing
The now-closed KFC at Burtonsville Crosing.

Some residents, however, aren't mourning the loss of the combination KFC and Taco Bell - particularly with a Chick-Fil-A opening on Tech Road in just three weeks. "Their food was kinda bad it doesn't really shock me," writes Laura on Facebook.

Of course, it's hard to think about a combination KFC and Taco Bell without remembering the song "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" by the band Das Racist. If you find ironic Brooklyn hipsters nauseating, you probably shouldn't watch the following video.


Steve Ammann said...

Wow! Who knew? Man, that shopping center is going downhill fast. It's scary up there. Dan, you're right about the Giant, Hair Cuttery, and bank moving across the street. But, the rumor I heard from the tenants is that Radio Shack and Pet Barn are slated to move across the street as well. Talk about vacancy! Dan, any word on what they will do with this almost empty shopping center? I heard they were talking about making it a satellite campus for MD. Which would bring business. I'm still invested to see what restaurants we are getting across the street (they are pushing around more dirt). I wonder if a office/condo space might work in that area better.
The more I look at Burtonsville, the more I am convinced that we need some real planning going on in this area instead of everyone making small decisions. It's like there is no larger plan for the area. Even though it is not likely to happen, the best thing for our little area is to move Burtonsville Elementary school somewhere else (maybe along old 29) and then you could really build a town square. Anyone with me????

Dr. F. said...

Damn, as a veggie I'm gonna miss the bean burritos. Wonder how long before Burger King takes its BK Veggie and moves away too.

We also just lost the Laurel Ruby Tuesdays (good salad bar, good veggie burgers).

Some good news though: we re-gained the wonderful Maurya Indian restaurant on Cherry Hill Rd. which moved away about 10 years ago but has recently risen phoenix-like at the same strip mall though not at the exact same location. There Indian buffets used to be the best, can't wait to try them again.

Anonymous said...

Dr F., you may want to check out The Great Sage in Clarksville, not too far away, the are vegitarian with vegan options and even I, an omnivore... Love their food.

Also, loving this blog, I was born n raised in MoCo and am now living in GA, so this is an awesome way to keep up with what I'm missing.