(This article was updated at 7:45 p.m. with a statement from an Il Fornaio representative.)
Rumors circulating about the impending closure of Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) are true, employees say.
The California-based Italian restaurant opened its first East Coast location in 2007 in Reston. Now, as its 10-year lease comes to a close, the business will shutter rather than renew at an increased rate. Its last day of operation will be Friday.
Patrons have been learning the news in recent days.
— Patricia B. Vives (@angelwings0122) June 20, 2017
Melancholy. Our family's favorite restaurant, Il Fornaio, is closing in Reston next Friday. We enjoyed years of date…
Il Fornaio is located in the Retail at Midtown block of Reston Town Center, which is not owned by Boston Properties. JBG is the block’s landlord, and there is a free parking lot for customers.
Regardless, however, employees on duty Monday reported that business has taken a nose dive since Boston Properties’ paid-parking initiative went into effect in January and led to many customers staying away from Reston Town Center altogether. Lunchtime has been dead and dinner reservations have disappeared by the hundreds, they said.
A “Last Happy Hour” event, scheduled for Friday evening, has been set up by customers on Facebook.
Ted Laymon, vice president of sales and marketing for Il Fornaio, sent the following statement to Reston Now on Monday evening:
Since opening at the Reston Town Center, Il Fornaio has been a proud partner in the community as we strive to provide the most authentic Italian dining experience outside of Italy.
However, after 10 years in the Town Center, we will be closing our doors effective July 1st, 2017, as our lease is not being renewed. Our Senior Leadership at Il Fornaio worked diligently over the past several months to execute a new lease with the current landlord, and unfortunately, we were not able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement.
We have so many wonderful memories at the Town Center, and throughout the years have developed a loyal guest base who we know are going to be as sad to see us leave, as we are at leaving the Town Center. Most of all, we are saddened that we will be saying goodbye to many of our wonderful employees (many of whom have been with us for the entire 10 years!), while some will be moving back to our locations in California.
Il Fornaio takes pride in creating, developing, and strengthening relationships in our neighborhoods, communities, loyal guests, and most of all our employees. We know this closure is difficult for so many people, but we wish the Town Center, the greater Reston area, and most of all our loyal guests and wonderful employees, a wonderful second half to 2017 and beyond. We also hope that when you are in California, Las Vegas, Denver, or Seattle, you will visit one of our Il Fornaio or Canaletto restaurants to once again experience the most authentic Italian dining experience outside of Italy!
Grazie Mille Reston!