Closing Soon: Chili’s in Reston

by Karen Goff December 11, 2014 at 9:30 am 4,202 30 Comments

Chilis in Reston

Chili’s Bar & Grill’s Reston location will likely close in the next few months, a company spokesman said.

Chili’s has been located at 11840 Sunrise Valley for nearly two decades. Mike Huffman, director of operations for Chesapeake Restaurants, Chili’s parent company, said there  is not yet an exact closing date.

“We are on a very short time frame,” he said “I think from our best understanding, it will be this spring.”

The International Center area, where Chili’s is located, is slated for major redevelopment.

In summer 2013, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved a mixed-use plan for the 10-acre site that current is a surface parking lot, a small strip mall, the stand-alone Chili’s, and office space.

Developer JBG’s plans call for a 15-story addition to the Reston International Center and four new buildings: a six-story residential building, a 15-story residential building, a five-story building that incorporates a parking garage with residences and retail space; and a 10-story building that mixes office space, parking and retail space. 

The plan includes 145,000 square feet of above-grade retail, 100,00 square feet of below-grade retail, 428,225 square feet of office and 498 residential units.

JBG first had a plan for the area approved by the Board of Supervisors in 2008. That plan featured 498 residential units, 245,000 square feet of retail and nearly 430,000 square feet of office in six buildings. In the newer plans, the numbers are similar, but the design has changed to better engage with the surrounding environment.

There will be an entrance to the development from the Reston Parkway side, something the area currently lacks.

In a presentation to the Reston Association Design Review Board in 2013, Cunningham Quill Architects and Olin, a landscape architecture firm, said they were seeking a design that engages with the landscape and connects with the Wiehle-Reston East Metro station via bike and foot paths.

The new plans will also be harmonious with the adjacent Reston Heights project, also built by JBG. That includes the Westin Reston Heights hotel and the Mercer Condominium, as well as office space.

A Wells Fargo branch in the same development closed in August and sits empty as the center gets ready for the development. Under the current plans, only the stand-alone Popeye’s restaurant will be incorporated in the redevelopment.

JBG has not said when construction will start on the new development.

  • FooManChew

    that really sucks, one of our favorite hideaway spots away from the town center madness..and redevelopment will take a few years.

    • KM

      Luckily the grand opening of Reds Table at South Lakes shopping center is right around the corner!

      • FooManChew

        indeed..looking forward to that!

      • J P

        Now all they need is decent parking at South Lakes. Way too small & cramped a parking area for the business that shopping center does. I’ve started going elsewhere for that reason.

  • mix0mat0sis

    From your last paragraph, does this mean that Reston Kabob may need to find a new home?

    • Karen Goff

      Not sure of their plans yet, but will check with them for a follow up story. For now, they are open at International Center — and the renovations might not even start for a while. They would be wise to find a new Reston location as they have a good following! That small strip they are in is definitely set to go away.

    • Grizzle

      I’ve heard from one person that everything up to the gas station will be torn down, including the 7/11 and Reston Kabob strip but I can’t find any verification.

      • John Farrell

        Everything except Popeye’s & the gas station goes.

        • JMK

          Like we want to keep Popeye’s..ugh.

        • Mark Rcca

          too bad, I would want to keep existing buildings as much as possible. There is plenty of space for new structures, without having to tear down existing ones.

  • Mary

    Most of our local business areas are being developed into this sort of thing. Reston is no longer anything like it was originally supposed to be. If there is all this development, I don’t think it’s fair that we continue to pay those high ‘dues’ to have a rural like setting (trails, etc.). If these companies are taking that feel away, then what are we paying for? If they are going to profit from our ‘loss’, they should at least pay our dues.

    • clambj

      What other local business area? They are going to redo the Lake Anne area (with the founders approval). This current spot is an eye sore, it’s mostly just a paved over dotted with pot holes. It needs to be redeveloped. The original design was for high density housing with plazas dotted throughout. This fits that model along with walkable access to mass transit. The suburbn neighborhoods aren’t going anywhere. Plus, I would never call Reston rural. But then again, as is the only constant in life, this is change and people do not like change.

      • Ben

        I disagree. Reston in itself isn’t rural, but there are several pieces of a rural environment that it tries (or tried) to preserve: winding roads, thick forests, and open space. I think if we have a mix of rural, suburban, and urban land (much like the county), we’ll have a better quality of life and a broader appeal. It helps make our community unique and balanced.

  • Mike M

    Will there be new roads to accommodate the traffic? Widening of Sunrise Valley? It’s already approaching major mess status at rush hour in this vicinity.

    • Grizzle

      Approaching?!? It can be migraine-inducing driving between the intersections of Sunrise Valley/Colt’s Neck to Sunrise Valley/Reston Parkway!!!

    • KenD78

      Road improvements? Of course not!

      Fairfax Supervisors: The best government money can buy.

  • Rosie

    Chilis is closing on the 28th of December

    • Karen Goff

      Thanks. That’s the word on the street. Company spokesman would not confirm that, so had to officially go with “this spring.” So we’ll see (By stopping by on the 29th probably).

      • Rosie

        I work at that Chilis, and that’s the official date they gave us

        • Karen Goff

          Thanks, Rosie. I hope you find a new job pronto then.

  • Cluster Tycoon

    Carve a studio size apartment into a block of cement, install five heavy door frames for closets and utility then fill the space with surplus appliances. Voila – a three bedroom luxury suite branded by JBG. How many more?

  • RestonRed

    I’m worried about adding another entry (aka stoplight) onto Reston Parkway, especially between Sunrise Valley and the Toll Road. It is so jammed there during rush hours.
    Adding all these high rise residential towers is going to jam our roads. Yes, people may take metro to work, but they are still going to be using their cars to run to Target, home goods stores, or other errands.

  • Mark Rcca

    Good idea to develop that huge useless parking lot. But, I would keep existing buildings, not just Popeyes! Don’t raze buildings, integrate new architecture with the old, whenever possible.

  • Carbone

    Damn. That’s sad. I remember going to movies at the old Reston Twin Cinema in the building where chilis stands. It was always a hotspot, but since town center has become the corporate magnet that it is, it has died. So sad.
    Reston is being destroyed buy The corporate world. 🙁
    That wasn’t in the the plan Robert E Simon.

    • Karen Goff

      But isn’t Chili’s a corporate owned chain restaurant?

  • Sunny Butter

    Can’t say I’m surprised–food and service was shite.

    • KMK

      That has nothing to do with why they’re closing, prepare yourself for more chain like shite to come. Of the better than fast food affordable family chains, they were pretty good.

  • WW

    Funny. Just the other day I was looking at Chili’s thinking “does anyone even go to that place anymore?” Pretty sure the only people who ate there were bank employees on their lunch break, and now the bank is gone. That whole plaza is so ready for redevelopment. It’s clear the existing structures have been neglected for a while now. And in a few years they’ll have a Metro stop 200 yards away. Good call on increasing density.

  • Bowling 4 Bollards

    Chili’s is a shadow if its former self, circa 1980’s-early 90’s. It is now just another burger/casual dining place with neither special character nor particularly distinctive menu. I recall its original incarnation as a smaller fast casual place, with a simpler décor and 3-for-$4.95 soft veggie tacos. Nothing like that on its menu now. Of course, it had to be “improved” to meet the competition, right? Oh well. I haven’t been there in years, no reason to go at all.

  • KenD78

    All a front to build more residences . . . and of course no more roads or road improvements to accommodate the tons of new traffic. How much do the developers around here pay the county supervisors for these sweet rezoning deals? Must be a lot.


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