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Oby Lee closes in Clarendon, Vietnamese restaurant expected to take its place

After more than 10 years in business, Oby Lee Winery and Coffee Shop has closed in Clarendon.

When it opened in 2012, we described the eatery at 3000 Washington Blvd as the “inland version of the small chain of eponymous coffee shops owner Oby Lee once ran along the Delaware Shore.” Its website says it specializes in crepes, wine, coffee and Polish food.

A sign on the door suggests that the business was purchased — it appeared to be for sale this past fall — and that a Vietnamese restaurant, Saigon Bistro, will be taking its place.

This will be a bit of a trend reversal from previous decades. Clarendon was once known as Little Saigon for all of the Vietnamese restaurants and businesses that opened after mass migration during the Vietnam war. Many of those eateries and shops closed after Metro opened in 1979 and the neighborhood redeveloped.

Asked about the closure, Oby Lee sent the following statement to ARLnow.

Our Clarendon location is our 7th successful business location of our small chain which commenced in 1989, and like the others, we have been so fortunate to garner a loyal community following over our eleven years at The Reserve At Clarendon Centre.

For as much as we have loved this space, we were approached with an offer that we simply could not refuse, to sell this location!

We wish to thank the wonderful community for welcoming us into their lives. We’re really going to miss seeing everyone each week, or everyday for many! It’s not going to be the same for awhile, without the daily Gluten Free crepes for Michael, the Matt & Ilona signature Latte’, Chai Tea for Lee, seeing John reading his books, enjoying long conversations with Sandy & Douglas, and preparing VeryBerry for Lauren & Ed,  jokes with Gearred and Pietro, Alan never missing a Wednesday Prix Fixe, Brunch with the McCabe family and solving all the worlds problems with Ginny & Ted, in addition to the many, many honored patrons we will always keep close to heart. Over the years we’ve witnessed many of you getting married, sending your kids to college, getting a new puppy, buying a house, or moving across the states. We feel we have become much more than just a restaurant, but a part of the Arlington family. We thank our committed staff, namely our manager Mr. Bo Smulskyi, from Ukraine, who opts to stick with us as forever family to follow his dreams and build his life in the USA.

The next chapter begins…

We don’t say goodbye~ but see you later friends!

The Oby Lee Team

Hat tip to Ray Caputo

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