Bethesda Variety Store Feud Continues

A Bruce Variety employee, who declined to be identified, holds a sign letting drivers know of the store's new location next to the property its owners say it was kicked out of.

Strosniders Hardware’s Bruce Variety-style variety store will open soon and the feud between the two former neighbors only seems to be ratcheting up.

A Bruce Variety employee, who declined to be identified, has been standing on the sidewalk near the Bradley Shopping Center since 11:30 a.m. with a sign that declares Bruce’s new location in Woodmont Triangle.

About 40 feet away, a sign on Bradley Party & Variety Store proclaims the shop will open soon.

As the employee spoke, a passing car honked its horn in apparent support. The employee said that’s happened a lot.

The owners of Bruce Variety have claimed Stronsiders Hardware, their next-door neighbor in Bradley Shopping Center for almost 60 years, orchestrated their ouster from Arlington Road in order to grab the space to start its own store, called Bradley Party & Variety Store.

Bruce Variety co-owner Richard Dimock is the ex-husband of Robin Strosnider. Linda Ridenour, Dimock’s wife and Bruce Variety partner, claimed Strosnider paid a retired Bruce Variety worker for inside knowledge of the store’s vendors.

The two shops spent nearly 60 years next to each other before Bruce Variety closed at 6922 Arlington Rd. in January. Dimock and Ridenour opened up in a new location at 8011 Woodmont Ave. in March. The owner of Booktopia, the third former Strosniders neighbor to close this year, said the feeling of the shopping center definitely changed after Bruce Variety left.

When Bruce Variety announced it was closing in Bradley Shopping Center because of a rent increase, a group of customers started an online petition urging the property owner, a group of trustees, to allow them to remain. The property owners have remained mum on the issue.

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