Bethesda Tastee Diner not sold — yet

WASHINGTON — The owner of Tastee Diner says reports that he has reached a deal to sell the Bethesda, Maryland, location to Marriott International Inc. are untrue, although he says he is still willing to sell for the right price.

Bethesda blogger Robert Dyer reported Monday that Marriott would acquire Tastee Diner and its corner lot for $7 million, citing an unnamed source.

Marriott is building its new corporate headquarters in downtown Bethesda in the Tastee Diner block.

“I did meet with Marriott on Friday, and the guy told me, ‘We don’t really need your spot, but we’d like to have that corner because it’s just a nice corner,” owner Gene Wilkes told WTOP. “After about 10 or 15 minutes and not getting any numbers on the table, I said, ‘Guys I’ve got a busy day. If you’re really serious come up with a reasonable price and give me a call,'” Wilkes said.

While Wilkes says $7 million has never been offered to him, he says a price like that is “getting close” to what he’d want.

Wilkes confirmed in February that he had been informally approached by Bernstein Cos., the developer behind Marriott’s $600 million headquarters, but nothing firm ever came of that meeting.

Construction on Marriott’s new headquarters — a 22-story office tower and a Marriott-branded hotel — is still a couple of years away, and Marriott won’t make the move to its new headquarters until its lease at its current Fernwood Road campus lease expires in 2022.

The Bethesda Tastee Diner has been at 7731 Woodmont Ave. since 1958. Wilkes has owned the diner since 1971.

Tastee Diner also has locations in Silver Spring and Laurel.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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