Monday, July 04, 2016
Barnes and Noble further cuts back late night hours in Bethesda
This further cements Bethesda's growing reputation as a town that turns in early, following the disastrous "nighttime economy" initiative of Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer. Instead of boosting nightlife, nine nightspots in downtown Bethesda closed.
There are now less nightclubs in downtown Bethesda than there were before the Riemer "effort," which ultimately seemed to be more of a self-promoting media stunt than an economic initiative. As much of a failure as that initiative was, the many anti-business votes by the County Council over the last few years played a major role in the closure of bars and restaurants, as well.
Other casualties have included the closure of one of Bethesda's two 24-hour restaurants, and the elimination of overnight hours for the pharmacy counter inside the CVS on Arlington Road. 24-hour pharmacy service continues in more lively areas like Dupont Circle.
The further decline in nightlife only exacerbates the challenge of attracting young professionals to the County. I've heard from several developers, off the record, who are increasingly concerned about the empty, dark downtown streets that can be found after 10:00 - the time Barnes and Noble will now close, coincidentally.
It's a powerful lesson that, while obsequious media coverage can temporarily protect incompetent politicians, in the real world, businesses react immediately to the economic consequences of those "leaders'" (in)actions.