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by RestonNow.com February 6, 2017 at 4:00 pm 3 Comments

Wine being poured into a decanter (Wikimedia/suksim)

Valentine’s Day is just a little over a week away. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to make your dinner reservations soon, before the restaurants fill up and you’re left in the doghouse.

Here is just a sampling of some of the specials being offered by eateries around Reston:

  • American Tap Room (1811 Library St.) will offer a three-course dinner (2 entrees, 1 appetizer, 1 dessert) with a bottle of wine and a rose for $70, tax and gratuity not included.
  • Big Bowl (11915 Democracy Drive) is offering a special three-course Valentine’s Menu for Two from Friday, Feb. 10 to Tuesday, Feb. 14 for $44.95 per couple, not including beverages, tax or gratuity.
  • Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) will be offering its regular dinner menu along with a regional menu inspired by the region of Umbria, the birthplace of St. Valentine.
  • Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will offer music by Tula from 6-9 p.m.
  • McCormick & Schmick’s (11920 Democracy Drive) will have Valentine’s specials all weekend.
  • The Melting Pot (11730 Plaza America Drive) is offering a four-course prix fixe menu on Valentine’s Day. Cost is $80 per person, which includes all four courses and a complimentary champange toast.
  • Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive) offers more than 80 boutique French wine varietals that complement its menu of classic French dishes.
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse (11956 Market St.) is welcoming Valentine’s Day celebrants to enjoy their steak dinner.
  • Passion Fish (11960 Democracy Drive) will be offering a three-course dinner with a price range of $60-$90, depending on entree selection.
  • Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) is offering a Valentine’s Day “Duet Menu” for $55 per person. Details are available on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
  • Uncle Julio’s (1827 Library St.) will offer chocolate pinatas, filled with fresh fruit and house-made mini-churros. They are served with a trio of raspberry, chocolate and caramel sauces and homemade whipped cream.
  • Vinifera Wine Bar & Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) is featuring a $50 tasting menu with a wine pairing. The meal begins with an offering of baby red Russian kale salad, followed by house-cured Wester Ross organic salmon and grilled rack of lamb, and ending with dessert of pomegranate mousse and dark chocolate ganache.

Some information via OpenTable. Image via Wikimedia/suksim

by Dave Emke February 6, 2017 at 2:45 pm 22 Comments

Sign inside Reston Town Center Green Garage

More than 150 people say they will attend a protest of Reston Town Center’s paid parking, and that number is growing.

The scores of potential demonstrators have signaled their intention on a Facebook page titled Park Free RTC (Protest). The group’s organizers are planning the event for Saturday, March 4.

As of noon Monday, 155 people had indicated they would be attending. That number has nearly doubled since Friday. Nearly 400 more had marked that they are “interested” in the event.

Guarang Shah, a Town Center resident, is one of the organizers. He said he expects about 300 people to participate in the “peaceful protest.”

According to the event details listed on the page, which went live last week:

“It’s been almost a month since RTC and Boston Properties has started Paid Parking and nobody is happy about that. Also it is most expensive parking in Northern Virginia compare to any other malls and shopping centers. Now, Reston Town Center looks empty all restaurants, bars and local businesses are down. Reston town center parking been free for years and it should be forever.” [sic]

Dozens of comments from followers of the page detail their frustrations with and anger about the paid parking system, which went into effect Jan. 3.

Reston Town Center merchants have announced they are considering a lawsuit against property owner Boston Properties because of the paid parking, which they say has caused them a large chunk of their sales. Shah said merchants he’s spoken with have shared those concerns.

Shah said he organizes regular social meetups in the Town Center. He said turnout for an annual January charity event he hosts at Vapiano was down by half from last year — and many who came left early.

“Every weekend we have something, and we [would] bring a lot of crowds around the Town Center,” he said. “Right now, nobody wants to go to Town Center. I have events in Herndon and Tysons and Ashburn — we try to stay away from the Town Center.”

Shah said his group of concerned citizens has been holding meetings and plans to fight until paid parking is rescinded.

“We just want to get rid of this [paid] parking,” he said. “It’s been free for 25 years, and this is causing a lot of trouble.”

by Dave Emke February 6, 2017 at 1:30 pm 13 Comments

Tennis court upgrades, a proposed agenda item for the February meeting of the Reston Association Board of Directors, could cost nearly $800,000.

Garrett Skinner, RA’s director of capital projects, will bring the item before the RA’s Board Operations Committee at their meeting tonight. The BOC reviews and sets agenda items for the Board of Directors.

According to information provided in the agenda packet for tonight’s BOC meeting:

“During its December 15, 2016 meeting, Vice President [Michael] Sanio noted that tennis amenities are in need of improvement and requested that the board consider developing cost estimates for improvements including lighting, bathroom access and drinking fountains. The attached lighting and bathroom access cost estimates are based historical data and submitted costs from contractors. Costs for water fountains are rough estimates based on extrapolated estimates from Fairfax Water and unit cost estimation for construction. More concrete estimates will need to be developed based on design criteria needed for each location.”

Reston has 13 tennis facilities, six of which are lighted. The proposal has prioritized the five most in need of improved bathroom access; four most in need of improved water fountains; and four most in need of improved lighting, concurrent with planned court renovations.

The Shadowood facility (2201 Springwood Drive) is listed as Priority 1 for each category.

The cost estimates show improved lighting could cost a total of $624,000. The upgrades to water fountains and bathrooms could cost $108,000 and about $50,000, respectively.

Tennis court upgrade estimates, February 2017

Skinner will also give an update to the BOC on the status of the Central Services facility renovation. Scheduled to cost about $1.6 million, the project was put on hold last year pending review of the Tetra/Lake House purchase.

Pending BOC approval, the items will be placed on the agenda of the Feb. 23 meeting of the Board of Directors.

Graph via Reston Association

by Dave Emke February 6, 2017 at 11:30 am 11 Comments

Tetra building

Updated at 6:25 p.m. after the meeting time was changed from 3-5 p.m. to 3-8 p.m.

Reston Association members will have their chance later this week to address the firm hired by the RA Board of Directors to review costs associated with the Lake House purchase.

StoneTurn Group LLC will conduct the meeting Thursday from 3-8 p.m. at RA’s headquarters (12001 Sunrise Valley Drive). It was announced at the RA board’s Jan. 27 meeting that the firm would conduct a review of the board’s handling of the property, at a cost of $45,000.

RA members voted in a referendum in May 2015 to allow the association to purchase the Tetra property for $2.6 million — a cost more than double its tax assessment. Renovations made on the property, which were expected to cost $259,000, ended up costing nearly three times that.

In accordance with RA’s request for proposal document, StoneTurn Group is focused on “identify[ing] areas for process improvement, potential changes to internal controls and/or modification to governance procedures to help ensure situations like the Lake House cost overrun can be avoided in the future,” according to a press release from Reston Association.

The renovated Lake House was opened to members last year, and the association is actively promoting the facility to individuals and businesses looking to lease the space.

As with the member-comment period during RA board meetings, members who would like to speak at Thursday’s meeting will be given three minutes (individuals) or five minutes (if representing a group).

by RestonNow.com Sponsor February 6, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

This is a promoted post by Downtown Brambleton, a new development by Knuston.

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  • The Astra List Price: $639,900
  • Knutson Sales Gallery open daily 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • LiveDowntownBrambleton.com

The featured floorplan, The Astra, is a gorgeous 3-bedroom, 2.5-bath townhome with a 2-car garage. It has an open main living level and 9-foot ceilings on all levels, allowing for a spacious and airy feel.

With a ground floor recreation room, 5-star kitchen, all stainless-steel appliances and large private rooftop terrace, you will never want to leave your personal oasis. Convenient living is made even easier at Downtown Brambleton with the optional addition of a private elevator in homes from the $700s.

If you are looking to live in the center of a truly walkable community, these 48 new townhomes are located right in the heart of Downtown Brambleton. Directly out your front door is Legacy Park and immediately out your back door is Onelife Fitness, the taps of Lost Rhino Retreat, a date night at Fox Cinemas, the convenience of a 24-hour Harris Teeter, and over 40 other shops and restaurants.

Construction is now underway and Phase II has now been released. Schedule your appointment to visit Downtown Brambleton and discover the Knutson difference today.

Contact Joanne Fisher, sales manager, at 571-367-4778.

by Dave Emke February 6, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Morning Notes - Winter

Afghan Immigrant Shares Story — Today, he works out of government service provider SOS International’s headquarters in Reston, where he lives with his family. A mere two years ago, Naveed was an interpreter in his home country helping with counter drug-dealing operations. While he says daily life in Afghanistan is not the harrowing experience Americans may imagine, he is happy to have his family safe in the U.S. [Fairfax Times]

Community Services Discussion Slated — The Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board says it is taking a “fresh look” at how it prioritizes mental health, substance abuse and developmental disability issues. The board wants to hear the opinions of citizens regarding what matters most to them and how they feel it should be handled. The board is hosting a series of community dialogues on the topic, the first of which is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 16, at the Northwest Center in Reston. [Fairfax County]

Herndon Seeks Input on Proposed Budget — The Town of Herndon will host a public hearing Tuesday, Feb. 14, to discuss its FY2018 budget proposal. Comments may also be made online. [Town of Herndon]

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