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New restaurant in the works for old Hamburger Hamlet space

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 7/8/2014, 3:25pm  ET

The former bar space at Hamburger Hamlet in Georgetown Square Shopping 
Center

There’s lots of buzz around the construction happening inside the old Hamburger Hamlet space in Bethesda, but no official word on who is taking over.

Cristina DiSandro, a manager with the Vornado/Charles E. Smith property management company leasing the space, said crews are completing a general demolition inside the restaurant to remove all remaining fixtures left over from Hamburger Hamlet.

DiSandro said Vornado is working with another restaurant group, but the deal isn’t yet official.

The construction — and a dumpster full of debris in the Georgetown Square Shopping Center parking lot — has drawn attention to the 8,500-square-foot building at 10400 Old Georgetown Rd. Hamburger Hamlet closed in December 2013 after fellow California-based chain Du-par’s attempted to revive it by making it a 24-hour diner and eatery.

Original Hamburger Hamlet owners Marilyn and Harry Lewis opened the restaurant — the chain’s first location on the east coast — in 1973.

Numerous tipsters have noticed the construction over the past few days.

For now, DiSandro said it will probably take until early next year for the new restaurant to open. The interior has to be completely rebuilt.