The neighborhood gathering space for sports fans and teams has been a mainstay in the Yorktowne Shopping Center on Gallows Road, Merrifield, for 37 years.
There will be farewell party Dec. 10, 7 p.m.-2 a.m., with four bands and food and drink specials, says manager Sue Gonzalez.
Kevin Grevey is sad about the closing, noting that he opened the restaurant when he was 27, using the money he got from the Bullet’s NBA championship win in 1978 for the deposit.
The bar is closing because Grevey’s lease expires Dec. 31, and Kevin Grevey was unable to negotiate with the owner of the shopping center, the Zeigler Co., to avoid a steep rent increase.
“This is the fourth time I’ve gone through this,” Grevey says. “I’ve got the feeling with the rent increase and the way the landlord was treating me he wanted to go in a new direction. He wants to breathe more life into that shopping center.”
Grevey suspects the owner wants to redevelop the property, noting that “it’s been dark more than occupied in the past 10 years.” The grocery store closed years ago, Staples closed earlier this year, and there’s been a lot of turnover.
He says Grevey’s has been one of the bright spots in the center. “We were able to keep our business pretty viable,” thanks to a loyal customer base. “I have regulars who call in sick when they can’t get to the restaurant,” he says. “We’re the home away from home for Buffalo Bills fans,” among other sports fans and alumni groups.
“We’re looking to open up another Grevey’s,” he says. “We want to stay in this area.” He’s keeping the catering business open while exploring options for new locations in Arlington, Falls Church, Merrifield and Annandale. Meanwhile, Grevey’s sports memorabilia collection will be put into storage.
“Serving Merrifield has been a pleasure and a privilege,” Grevey said in a press release. “There is something gratifying in being part of the fabric of a community for over three decades. I will miss the camaraderie with our staff and regulars. I’ve made lifelong friendships along the way and seen countless life events, ranging from the routine to the extraordinary.”