Maryland-based celebrity chef Bryan Voltaggio has closed Range as of today. The restaurant inside Chevy Chase Pavilion—his first in DC—opened five years ago as a hugely ambitious, 14,000-square foot concept with seven kitchen stations, a tome-length menu, and top industry talents like bartender Owen Thomson and Master Sommelier Kathryn Morgan.
After a promising start, the restaurant seemed to struggle under its own scope and size. Voltaggio opened Aggio, a glitzy Italian restaurant-within-the-restaurant, only to close it roughly a year later (a branch remains open in Ashburn). The wide-ranging menu was trimmed down, and many of the headlining names departed.
The surrounding neighborhood on the DC/MD border also experienced changes. The mall in which the restaurant was housed lost big retailers like Pottery Barn and Louis Vuitton. Nearby luxe retail development The Collection at Chevy Chase (billed as “The Rodeo Drive of the East Coast”) and Chevy Chase Center bled shops like Barney’s CO-OP, Gucci, and Bulgari, and are still in the process of being revamped as more approachable shopping destinations.
“Retail has had a tough run over the past few years, and the Chevy Chase area is no exception,” says Voltaggio. A statement issued by the restaurant referenced a “significant decrease in foot traffic alongside increased costs” as impacting the closure.
Voltaggio will also no longer design the food menu for neighboring Civil Cigar Lounge, though the whiskey and cigar bar remains open. His casual sandwich shop, Lunchbox, will continue to operate in the Pavilion.
Range’s shutter is one of several changes within the former Top Chef finalist’s empire in recent years. In addition to his longstanding Frederick flagship, Volt, Voltaggio has opened and closed Lunchbox in Frederick, Aggio in Baltimore, and multiple branches of his modern diner, Family Meal (the original remains open in Frederick). He also debuted Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse at MGM National Harbor with his LA-based chef/brother, Michael Voltaggio.
Range isn’t the last ambitious project Bryan has in store for the District. He plans to open a still-unnamed restaurant within the forthcoming luxury Conrad hotel at CityCenterDC next year. He also says DC is “top of the list” for a potential branch of STRFSH, a made-to-order fish sandwich restaurant he recently opened with his brother in Santa Monica.