Restaurant Behind the ‘Golden Showers’ Burger Closes

One Scotch, One Burger, One Beer—previously Community diner—couldn't draw a crowd
Restaurant Behind the ‘Golden Showers’ Burger Closes
The Golden Showers Burger at Community in Bethesda. Photograph by Nevin Martell.

The Bethesda diner-turned-burger joint, famous for its cheeky politically-themed burger specials, closed over the weekend.

Community opened just over a year ago, aiming to bring in crowds from breakfast through late-night. But owner Mark Bucher, also behind Medium Rare, says breakfast business meetings just aren’t a thing in Bethesda, and not many people were dining out past 8:30 PM. “At a $15 check average, you couldn’t get enough people to make it work,” he says. “You’ve got to know when to get out. If not, it can ruin your life.”

Bucher had banked on new high-rise apartments and condos to bring in a wave of millennials and make downtown Bethesda more of a vibrant urban center. “It never materialized,” says Bucher, who lives in Bethesda. Plus, it wasn’t enough of a destination. “No one said, ‘Hey, let’s go out to Bethesda tonight.'”

In November, Bucher attempted to resuscitate the business by rebranding it as a burger-centric restaurant called One Scotch, One Burger, One Beer, named after a blues song. (He’s also the founder of fast-casual BGR the Burger Joint.) But that wasn’t significantly more successful. The check average went down, and the number of diners didn’t increase.

The problems were compounded by staffing troubles, which contributed to lackluster Yelp reviews. “If you’re good, you’re working in DC for DC money,” Bucher says.

Along the way, Community offered a number of political gimmicks to drum up publicity. Among the most memorable: a Trump-themed “golden showers” burger that was “drenched with self-tanning cheddar and yellow mustard leaking down the sides, and topped with a very small pickle.” When Donald Trump Jr.’s emails with a Kremlin-connected lawyer first became public, the restaurant also advertised a “Did I Just Hit Reply All?” burger special with extra Russian dressing, an optional vodka shot, and “extra napkins to clean up from throwing Dad under the bus.” 

Community might not be totally dead, as it turns out. Bucher says he’s in talks with a hotel chain to bring the concept to Philadelphia. He’s not done with burgers either.

“I’ll always have burgers in my life somewhere,” he says. “I’ve just got to find the right spot and the right opportunity.”

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Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.