Banks and Eateries Play Musical Chairs in Vienna

Banks and Eateries Play Musical Chairs in Vienna

Some here are switching places while other bank branches are closing across the country.

The walk-in bank seems to be on the wane with the advent of online banking and the internet. In many cases, bank branches are closing and the centrally located building is turned into a restaurant or coffee shop. But in the Town of Vienna, it seems to be a game of musical chairs.

On Maple Avenue, a Chase Bank branch is being built on the site that was Outback Steakhouse, and a Burke and Herbert branch is going in at 332 Maple Ave E in a space that used to be a Peet’s Coffee.

In three other locations around town, it's the opposite, and bank spaces are becoming restaurants. In the Cedar Park Shopping Center, the BB&T bank branch is now Simply Social restaurant, the Cardinal Bank at 133 Maple Ave. East is now the Bear Branch Tavern. A Yellow Diner has been proposed at the former SunTrust Bank on the corner of Nutley and Maple.

According to the Federal Reserve, branches of commercial banks, credit unions, savings banks, and savings and loan associations have been steadily closing since 2011. Between 1990 and 2008, "bank branches increased steadily," said Kimberly Kreiss, who looked into several studies about the pandemic's effects. But the closings started before the pandemic, she notes. "This is in line with trends in recent years, where consumers increasingly report higher usage of online or mobile banking services and banks have steadily closed branches," she wrote.

On WalletHub, they are finding the same. "U.S. banks are closing because of an increase in internet and mobile banking, a rise in bank mergers, and unprofitable branches," it stated. They had a list of nationwide institutions closing as an example. Between 2017-2020, more than 4,400 bank branches have closed in the United States.

The former site of SunTrust Bank, and after the restaurant transformation, from a presentation shared by Yellow Diner at the Board of Architectural Review work session on March 11.