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Tall Oaks’ Future: Mama Wok Ready to Close, Paisano’s Moving to Larger Space

by Dave Emke — June 1, 2017 at 4:00 pm 9 Comments

As redevelopment of Tall Oaks Village Center looms in the coming months, the few remaining restaurants in the plaza are looking forward to the future.

The first big change will come June 15 when Mama Wok closes its doors. According to owners Cheah and Lisa Lee, their lease is expiring and they will be retiring.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the plaza, Paisano’s Pizza plans to stay. Matthew Miller, area manager for the chain, said it has signed on to be one of the retail shops in the new development. The restaurant will move across from its current location to the building at 12056 North Shore Drive that most recently housed Curves Fitness and, before that, 7-Eleven.

“We’ll start construction on that space in about three weeks,” Miller said. “It’s going to have a bigger dining room, much better outdoor space with some seating that will be a little shaded. The building is going to look great.”

Miller said Paisano’s hopes to move into the new location in the fall of this year, closing up shop at its current location one night and opening in the new space the next day.

“We’re looking forward to the changes here,” Miller said. “I wish some of our neighbors were able to stay.”

Among the neighbors who will be leaving is the other pizza shop in the plaza, Vocelli Pizza. Sam Ostovari, part-owner and manager, said the business will stay open through at least October or possibly December. After that, though, he’s not sure where it will be.

“We have good business in Reston, so we’ll stay in Reston but [move to a] different plaza,” he said. “We’re working on it.”

Phở Reston 75 will be leaving Reston when Tall Oaks redevelopment gets underway. Manager Linh Dang said she will close up shop in December. A new location of the business, Phở Dulles 75 on Elden Street in Herndon, has already been opened.

The village center was bought in December 2014 by McLean-based developer Jefferson Apartment Group. Plans to redevelop the property into a mixed-use community were approved by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in July 2016.

Located on a dead-end of North Shore Drive off Wiehle Avenue, Tall Oaks Village Center struggled for many years before the redevelopment proposal arose. Its longtime anchor tenant, Giant Foods, closed in 2007 and further vacancies followed quickly afterward. The 70,000-square foot center was 86 percent empty by the time the redevelopment was approved.

The redevelopment will include approximately 5,800 square feet of office, 8,500 square feet of retail and 156 residential units.

  • vdiv

    Losing Mama Wok is a sad moment for Reston. It will be dearly missed.

    Thank you for the many delicious moments, for being so kind every time, and for being a great member of the community for so many years!

    非常感謝

    • Tim May

      Agreed. I need to go get some food there and wish them well.

  • Jason Rub

    Mama Wok had hands down the best Chinese food in the area. I hope the owners enjoy their retirement, they’ll be missed.

  • CE

    Mama wok is the best Chinese in the area. Where else can I get the kung pow chicken Chinese style? It is in my top 5 favorite things to eat ever. You will be missed. Their sushi was also great quality. I’m really disappointed they are the causality of progress. But enjoy retirement. You earned it in my eyes and stomach. Thanks

    • Mike M

      All the great reviews in here make me want to check this out before it goes.

  • Plumy

    Ken Plums Reston

  • meyerweb

    Oh boy! More apartments, more traffic, and more dollars in supervisor’s pockets.

  • Peter M. Stein

    This is the end of an era. For the last umpteen years, Mama Wok was the “go-to” restaurant for my parents and me, when I drove down to Northern Virginia to visit them. The food was always good, but what I will remember the most was their willingness to make General Tsou chicken AND shrimp combined as a “special” meal, and the fact that I always had to beg for a knife. Funny what you sticks with you. And though we still visit the place, as they’re closing in less than two weeks, and I’m in Connecticut, I know I won’t be back. 🙁

  • Peter Newman

    weihle ave will be absolute gridlock, cant wait! I will miss Ma Ma Wok tremendously, and Pho Reston 75 is an absolute gem.

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