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‘Hello, Goodbye’: Restaurateur closes Domestic, opens restaurant in Frederick

By Tabitha Johnston - Chronicle Staff | Oct 9, 2020

Doug Vaira, the former owner of Domestic, has opened Truth and Beauty Bar and Kitchen in Frederick, Md. Bill Green

SHEPHERDSTOWN — This summer, Domestic became the second restaurant in Shepherdstown to close this year. However, its reason for closing had nothing to do with financial struggles related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

According to owner Doug Vaira, the business’ closure was a necessary step, in his preparation to open a restaurant in Frederick, Md.

“It’s honestly something that has kind of been percolating for, I’d say maybe about seven or eight years,” Vaira said. “And we fortunately, or unfortunately, happened to find the right spot when the whole pandemic hit.”

Vaira’s new restaurant, Truth and Beauty Bar and Kitchen, is located at 110 Carroll Creek Way, in a restaurant front that formerly housed Doner Bistro.

Vaira began renovating the space for his new restaurant in March. However, he didn’t immediately decide to close Domestic, which was located at 117 East German Street, at that point in time. Throughout and following the months of the COVID-19 business shutdowns, Domestic offered curbside takeout. And after the state shutdown ended, on May 21, Vaira reopened Domestic.

Domestic was closed this summer, as its owner prepared to open a new restaurant in Frederick, Md. Tabitha Johnston

In the end, however, Vaira realized it would be in his best interest to close Domestic and focus on his next restaurant venture.

“When we found this space, I think it really became clear that this is where we wanted to be,” Vaira said. “I’m really looking forward to becoming a part of what is already like a really cool, vibrant scene in downtown Frederick.”

In 1998, Vaira moved from his home in Colorado to West Virginia. After settling in Jefferson County, Vaira opened up two sister restaurants which he ran, for a period of time, simultaneously — Domestic and Dish, located at 213 West Washington Street in Charles Town. Dish was closed several years ago, after a few years in operation.

All of Vaira’s restaurant menus have held something in common — Vaira’s appreciation for fresh, local produce and American cuisine. The current menu at Vaira’s new restaurant, which offers takeout and indoor seating, is very similar to Domestic’s, for community members who might want to get a final taste of Domestic’s heartwarming flavors.

“Truth and Beauty Bar and Kitchen was established in 2020, as a beacon for folks searching for the comfort and joy of times past,” Vaira said. “The menu features new twists on old classics and new fusions. In a world of uncertainty, you can count on us to provide you both truth and beauty.

“We’re never going to call ourselves fine dining or a white table cloth restaurant. That’s just not what we do,” Vaira said. “Our whole thing is basically just trying to make people feel welcome, and we just try to get that vibe across in what we do and what we deliver.”

To learn more, visit truthandbeautymd.com or call 301-682-2480.