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Developer: Toby Keith’s ‘failed in their promise to us’

© Leesburg Today - 06/24/2015

Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center hopes to bring in a new entertainment-based business to the space left when Toby Keith's closed.

There's been plenty of interest in the space left vacant by Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, which abruptly shut its doors early last month, according to Richard Lake, a founding partner of Roadside Development.

Lake said Roadside Development, which built Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center, has heard from at least six outlets interested in the empty restaurant space -- one of the largest in the new shopping center.

Lake said he hopes the space will continue to be used as a performance venue, but has nothing to confirm as yet.

Lake blamed the demise of Keith's chain restaurant not on the site or the market, but rather on the management of the chain, which he noted has been struggling elsewhere in the country.

Boomtown Entertainment, which manages the restaurant chain under the country music star's name, has closed at least three other restaurants this year, according to industry reports.

Lake said Toby Keith's did well when they had live entertainment. ""But when they didn't, it was just a big empty restaurant,"" he said.

""In my opinion, they completely failed in their promise to us,"" he added. ""It did not achieve what they told us they would achieve.""

Lake said he doesn't expect that the space will become another retail store but hopes to attract another performance or entertainment-oriented operator.

""We spent millions of dollars creating [the performance space],"" he added. The loss of Toby Keith's, he said, ""pained us too."" 

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