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Fill This Space: Champps at Plaza America

by Karen Goff — July 7, 2014 at 11:00 am 1,551 54 Comments

Reston's Champps closed in 2013It has been nearly nine months since Champps at Plaza America abruptly closed its doors.

There have been few signs of retail life there since, despite a rumor that Hooters was checking out the space for a Reston location.

The shopping plaza was sold last month to TIAA-CREF for $97.5 million.

Champps’ location is a piece of prime real estate. It is a large, two-floor restaurant space (Champps locations are all between 5,000 and 8,000 square feet, company officials said) located close to the future Wiehle-Reston East Metro and Reston Parkway.

Champps had occupied that location since Plaza America opened in 1995.

What would you like to see in the space? Tell us in the comments.

  • Anonymous

    A hooters or tilted kilt.

  • will

    nothing scummy and trashy ie not hooter or kilt

  • matt rinella

    Hard Times.

  • Susan B

    Barnes & Noble

  • Rob

    remind me again why it closed in the first place…

    • Karen Goff

      Many Champps around the country closed all of a sudden last fall. Companywide cutback.

      • Ouch

        The parent company filed Chapter 11, too.

  • I’d love to see a local entrepreneur with great local food in the space. We have way too many chains, Town Center is chains and I’d love to see more local, more like Vienna.

    • Bill

      Gregorio’s Trattoria in NorthPoint is the best independent in Reston

      • Sad we can likely count on 1 hand the number of locally owned and run restaurants in Reston.

        • Gavin

          Clydes (started in DC), Jackson’s (Great American started and still is only in VA), Santini’s (VA only), Gregorio Trattoria, Cafesano, Kalypso, Singh Thai, Lake Anne Coffee, Cafe Montmartre, Pho Reston, Mama Wok. And coming soon Red’s Table. I’m sure I’m missing a lot more.

        • Gavin

          Pollo Peru, Hibiscus Thai Cuisine, Mykonos, Perfect Pita (DMV only locations), Ledo’s Pizza (started at U of M), Five Guys (started in Arlington, Va.), PassionFish (group owns 7 restaurants in DC and Va.). Another coming soon Chinito’s Burritos (I’m really looking forward to this one!)

  • Karen Goff

    Remember this: Rent at Plaza America is very expensive. That is why there are so many chain stores. Very, very hard for a local shop/restaurant to be able to pay the rent on that space, which is about $6000 per sq foot.

    • DK

      $6000 per square foot??? I think you mean $60 per sq. foot. At 8,000 sq. ft, that would put it at about $40,000 per month. At $6,000, that is higher than rents in Hong Kong and NY combined.

      • Karen Goff

        Oops. It should say 600/sq ft. (I edited the comment to say so). Yes, 6k would be over the top!

    • Good point.

  • jessica

    I know it’s not a restaurant but i’d love to see a TJMAXX go in there!

  • Yum yum

    I would like to see a good Chinese place like the old Fortune. Not many good Chinese options in Reston now.

  • Charles E. Brie

    Dave & Busters

  • Josh

    B-Dubs

  • Gavin

    Hate to say it, because I’d never go, but a Buffalo Wild Wings would clean up in that location.

  • Scott

    An organic restaurant

  • Kurt Spindler

    Hooters, Tilted Kilt, Hard Times Cafe, or Uno’s Pizzeria and Grille.

  • ferReal

    Campaign head quarters for the T Party, so we know where the local terrorists hang out and what they are doing.

  • Debra J. Fidler

    I have not lived in Reston for about 2 years (plan on returning) and trying to remember the book store that was there??

    • Karen S.

      Books a Million was in that shopping center!

  • PL

    California Pizza Kitchen. Although I admit that I enjoy the parking situation better without anything in that space.

  • LC

    I would love a buffalo wild wing…we just discovered that place! I think the space is too big for hard times

    • Mike M

      The Hard Times that shut in Herndon was big. There was a pool hall in there. This could work.

      • LC

        oh wow I didn’t realize that…..a pool hall could be cool.

  • JD

    Barnes and Noble I miss the Reston one!

    • Karen S.

      I TOTALLY AGREE…I MISS BARNES AND NOBLE! BUT I am willing to bet they will never rent space with Lerner Corp again!! Lerner screwed Barnes and Noble at the other shopping center. I am sorry but the Container store is just not the same. Starbucks is losing business because its there.

      • Mike M

        Could it be said that reality screwed Barnes and Noble?

        • TheKingJAK

          I’m not certain what you mean by that, but Barnes & Noble offered to pay higher rent, yet Lerner still told them to get lost for a store which pays less than the former’s original rental amount. If you’re curious as to why this occurred, it’s because the Lerner family has stock in the Container Store. I cannot envision the current arrangement at the Spectrum lasting very far into the future, as the Container Store only manages to bring in a fraction of the customers which Barnes & Noble did.

  • KSN

    Nine months is nothing. Lerner Corp has had the old Blockbuster in North Point vacant for nearly 5 years!! Come on Lerner. We need a new venue at North Point.

    • Karen S.

      They are putting a restaurant in where the Blockbuster used to be. It is supposed to be a Glory Days. They supposedly petitioned and got approved to add one story to it. But they said it was going to open by summer…still nothing. Maybe that fell through??

      • LC

        I was just wondering what was happening with glory days because there has been no movement

        • Karen Goff

          Still going to happen. They are in the permitting process. They said last year it would be at least this fall.

          • TheKingJAK

            Originally (A ways back) they stated a summer opening, but a fall opening makes more sense given football season as well as the baseball playoffs/World Series. I’ve noticed a new sound wall behind the place, but it’s a bit hodepodge IMO, and they completely covered up the nice stone wall behind the building. I’m hoping that in the near future they make something a bit more permanent looking. Either way, it’s about time that something other than a beauty parlor opens up at Northpoint Village Center (No offense, ladies).

  • Anonymous

    Cheesecake Factory or PF Chang’s.

  • A good point below regarding the size of the space and rent. Destined for a large chain. With so many folks wearing their “FitBits” (men and women) and looking for healthier options, casual and friendly without going off the other end of the spectrum with a vegan menu, what’s left?

    I’d still love to see great, locally sourced BBQ. We sorely lack a a great BBQ spot in Reston with great locally sourced products. The next concept that comes to mind is something I visited in Chicago, Weber Grill. Yes, home of the Weber Grill (they are manufactured near Chicago) there is a restaurant downtown that cooks on fire (http://www.webergrillrestaurant.com/aboutus/). Maybe we could get them to come east. 🙂

    Either of these could be cool, casual, healthier concepts.

  • ZZTop

    How about the Performance bike shop trades spaces with it. That two-story building would make a killer bike store. Or a teen night club – again, the space is perfect for it.

    To be honest though, the problem with Plaza America is that the road layout leading into and out of it is terrible. Two tiny, perversely curved access roads and a parking layout that’s just plain…weird. I would rather bash my head with the Reston Association’s rulebook than try to find a lunchtime parking spot in PA.

  • rls

    PF Changs or similar Asian restaurant

  • cosmo

    To all those who want Barnes & Noble, keep dreaming. They’ve closed numerous stores nationwide. They even shuttered their busy D.C. stores in Georgetown and Union Station. Not a chance they’re opening any new stores anytime soon.

    • TheKingJAK

      Almost everybody has closed stores recently, but it doesn’t detract from a solid business model. The current Barnes & Noble stores stay packed. Give them the right incentive, and they will be able to open another location up (Reston is a solid location, with a plethora of readers, writers, and those simply wanting for a spot to socialize at).

  • Jim

    I’d think that a “MATCHBOX” or a “Union Jack’s” would be nice there. I also think a mini Department Store (Macy’s) like they have done in Hawaii and other new locations in Virginia.

  • DisqStew

    Ruby Tuesdays or Red Robin

  • Liz

    Barnes & Noble or Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) or North Face

  • Mike M

    Hard Times! Indeed!

  • Nick Rudnev

    Multi level frozen yogurt and cupcake store.

  • Bussboys & Poets

  • Bitemore Gfotwo

    I avoid Plaza America like the plague because its parking lot is a ridiculous and confusing maze, with no logic to its stupid design! So, it matters not, to me, what they put in Champps’ place; I won’t even visit the stores I do like because of the horrible parking lot design. Fix that, first, and then worry about what to put in the Champps space.

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