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M & S Grill in Reston Town Center Closes

by Fatimah Waseem January 2, 2018 at 1:40 pm 48 Comments

M & S Grill, a restaurant on 11901 Democracy Drive, is permanently closed, according to a restaurant representative.

The restaurant closed on New Year’s Day.

A representative from the public relations firm that is handling media inquiries was not immediately available comment, but a restaurant representative said the decision to shutter was made by corporate offices.

Last week, Appalachian Spring announced plans that it also plans to close its doors in Reston Town Center. The handcrafted gifts and handmade jewelry store opened up in the town center in 1990. Ann Taylor also announced the company will not renew its lease, which expired on Dec. 31.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

  • Mike M

    I have to agree with those rated this lowly. This place didn’t seem to move in any direction well. Food, service, ambiance, . . . Who were they? Being slightly more expensive than they were worth is not a value proposition. The question is who can BP draw and how long will it take.

    • Guest

      I was last there in the summer and the place was sparsely occupied at 7pm on a Friday nite. Food was mediocre, and the menu was no improvement over the “other” McCormick & Schmidt right across the street, only at a slightly higher price point. The dining room was still very noisy, my table service was fine, but it was everyone else who was poorly trained it seemed. Looked like the place had been slipping since the spring, if you ask me. I have not been back there in more than 6 months. What was the image or direction that the restaurant was trying to foster? Not sure about that.
      I am not worried about BP, it is a well -capitalized, very profitable, diversified real estate development and management company. I doubt that BP is worried about RTC in the long run, as the paid-parking “boycott” seems to be little more than an inconvenience to them. (of course to the actual tenants, it is something else altogether).

      • The Taxman Cometh

        It was one of the noisier restaurants in the RTC, especially when it was busy (not lately!) I don’t like listening to either Led Zeppelin or Motown Hits being piped in during my dinner hour–too many hard surfaces and all the sounds of ppl, the kitchen, etc bounced around–.I had to talk very loudly for ppl across my table to hear me. Not fun at all. I did not go back.

    • Tom H

      For who – I would say it would be a fast-casual restaurant that can survive on the lunch market for those working at RTC and hotel guests only. How long before open for business… guess is at least a year. I bet the timing would be accelerated if they backed off on paid parking. I no longer host lunches at RTC. Way too complicated for those coming in from out of town.

      • 40yearsinreston

        Not many office workers left around RTC
        Its all apartment high rises

    • 40yearsinreston

      A fried chicken shack

  • cRAzy

    Reston Town Center is dying from the ground floor up thanks to the greed of Boston Properties. Soon office space tenants will find a different place to lease instead of subsidizing their employees’ parking costs.

    You reap what you sew, Boston Properties. Stick that in your quarterly report.

  • johnQPublic

    Good start to the year with this place closing its doors. Curious as to why it took this long.

    • Corp Budgets Only

      Good point. Mediocre. Service ok but pushy. Food quality unknown.

  • JoeInReston

    1) RTC has more upscale options now than when M&S Grill opened. Jacksons, Passion Fish, M&S (proper), and Barcelona… and this doesn’t include semi upscale options like Ted’s Bulletin, Tavern 64, and Neyla. I am surprised M&S is still open.

    2) M&S and M&S Grill have a lousy location at the RTC – less foot traffic at that end of Democracy than on Market Street or Explorer where all the action is. Nobody crosses by the M&S restaurants while walking to or from the car in the parking garage.

    3) The obvious – Boston Properties “enhanced” parking policy

    • Douglas Thompson

      Neyla closed also!

      • ironclaynet

        Says who?

        • JoeInReston

          Checked the Neyla website, no mention of closing.
          Checked Yelp, no mention of closing.
          Checked OpenTable, “Unfortunately, this restaurant is permanently closed”.

          So it appears to indeed be the case. Must be a recent change.

          • Reston Roulette

            Without paying to park we will have to wait until at least 4 PM to check and see!

          • JoeInReston

            I’ll wait to 5PM. I believe you still have to register your car when you park at 4PM even though the parking is free. I am hoping that I am wrong on this one, but that’s my recollection.

      • Willie Reston

        NOOOO

    • Cheryl Gault Thompson

      Jacksons is a meat market, particularly for Cougars… and the staff has a very generous “give away” budget. Make them track their alcohol sales by the glass, and they’re in the same boat as everyone else. The bar keeps them afloat at this location

      • Cheryl Gault Thompson

        ….Barcelona is expensive, Ted’s is mediocre AT BEST! You’re calling them “upscale”? Not! Mon Ami Gabi, Passion Fish, Morton’s…. those are UPSCALE, but curious how long it takes them to ditch with the parking fiasco

        • JoeInReston

          I called Ted’s semi upscale, not upscale, going mainly by price.

          I did forget about Mon Abi Gabi and Morton’s. Also forgot about Obi Sushi in the semi upscale category, assuming that place is still open.

        • 40yearsinreston

          Mon Ami Gabi, Mortons and Passionfish are chains
          Nothing ‘upscale’ about them, except maybe highpriced mediocre menus

          • JoeInReston

            Passion Fish a chain? Yea, they have a sister restaurant in Bethesda, does two make a chain?

          • Big Drop

            They are part of the group that started with DC Coast and now also owns Ten Penh and one or two others. Passion Fish is Town Center’s best restaurant.

          • JoeInReston

            I enjoy Passion Fish as well.

            Restaurant groups aren’t necessarily pejorative in the way one would think of ‘food chain’.

            Ashok Bajaj’s / Knightsbridge Management runs multiple highly regarded Indian restaurants in DC. Same with Jose Andres and the Think Food Group.

      • Mike M

        . . and what’s wrong with cougar markets?
        That bar is blown out so much of the year!

        • OneReally

          I was thinking the same thing about the cougars.

  • Anonymous Person

    I’m sure paid parking was entirely unrelated to this decision.

    • Mike M

      I’m sure paid parking didn’t make them lean toward staying open either. It was clearly a burden to the clientele and therefore to the ownership. So, unrelated? I doubt it was the main driver. But probably was a contributor.

    • Tom H

      ^Said the anonymous BP representative 🙂

    • Jackie Tidball

      You’re sure? Really?

  • Bethany

    I drove by there last February and only saw two tables occupied during a Friday evening. Prior to paid parking when I went by, it was much busier.

  • Chkitout1

    You have to give Boston Properties credit. When they screw something up, they really screw it up. While other shopping locations strive to encourage shoppers in order to compete against online buying, BP introduces paid parking. What boneheads.

    • jmsullivan

      I gather that was BP concluding that, in the long run, being the parking garages for the upcoming Reston Metro station was going to be more lucrative than renting out retail and office space.

      • Cheryl Gault Thompson

        Takes a helluva lot of parking to make up for the lost rent! Not sure that’s what they were going for. Either way, they gambled, and LOST!

      • 40yearsinreston

        They will ‘redevelop’ it with 20+ storey apartment blocks aka ‘iconic luxury’ homes once the pesky tenants have left
        Hudgens will be pleased

  • Chuck Morningwood

    I’m guessing Hen Penny across the street ate their lunch.

    • 40yearsinreston

      Fried chicken and kebab parlors are Restons iconic dining experiences

  • Tiffany G

    I had to buy makeup at Sephora – that usually includes a lunch break of coffee at Starbucks and possiblely a salad at Sweet Green. Because of the parking fiasco I opted to order online and this didn’t make the other 2 stops. Parking is definitely going to affect business

    • Mike M

      It’s good to be a “chick.”

  • wrxman

    Just Desserts should Open. Because that’s what the landlords are getting their Just Desserts.

  • Big Drop

    Open table confirms Neyla is “permanently closed. M&S Grill is closed. Teavana. Appalachian Spring. Bebe. I’l Fornaio. Also the storefront next to Teavana and Schwab’s original office. Plus the Signature apartments have set up in a formerly vacant storefront for leasing. That’s NINE empty spaces. (Out of ?)

    This will look awful.

  • 40yearsinreston

    Neyla (ne Paulos) wouldnt make it once it lost the happy hour trade

  • SuperCoop1280

    I was very sad to read this article as I met my wife there. We were just there on Christmas Day and it was packed. The staff was always professional and friendly but other than Christmas, every other time we ate there, it was always empty, even on the weekends when parking is free.

    RTC is a joke. The parking is a hassle and confusing as hell.

    I guess RTC will eventually become a solely a high rise apartment complex.

  • Tom

    Landry’s (the actual owner of M&S Grill), has too much saturation in RTC. They also own Morton’s and McCormick and Schmick’s. Frankly, we’ve not been impressed with any of the Landry’s chain since they bought the Morton’s brand.

  • I’d Rather Post As A Guest #2

    And Neyla has closed…and that does NOT surprise me at all! I dined there shortly after it opened and it was sooo disappointing. Went back there this October, and it was still just so-so Mediterranean food at a higher price point. We knew that it would never be a complete success without a struggle, and indeed, it never drew the crowd that its predecessor did at the same location. Maybe the parking situation at RTC has something to do with it, surely contributing factor!

  • jayfordtheman

    I am not Interrested in dealing with the parking over there. I don’t go there anymore, I don’t stop there in more. Too much hassle it’s as simple as that!

  • Hazmat

    M&S and some of the others mentioned can not blame their demise on the parking situation. The parking is free at night and on the weekends. I think it is rather an indication of the competition that all restaurants and retail uses face these days. New restaurants open every couple of months in RTC and turnover is very common for the food industry. Most restaurants close within 3 to 5 years. As someone who works in DC, but lives out here, the amount charged for parking at RTC by the owners is not nearly the same as I find where I work.

    • Why do you bother?

      I’d guess that their lunch business, which seemed pretty substantial, suffered hugely from the money grab.

  • Brenda Louis

    Actually McCormick & Schmicks is also pad-locked, they’ve also closed. Nuts.

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