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Busara Thai Restaurant in Reston Town Center Has Closed

by Fatimah Waseem May 23, 2018 at 12:00 pm 54 Comments

Busara Thai Restaurant (11964 Market Street) has permanently closed its Reston Town Center location.

The restaurant, which served up authentic Thai cuisine, closed on Saturday, May 19, ending 13 years of business in Reston’s urban core. 

An employee with the restaurant told Reston Now the decision was driven by the shift from free to paid parking in Reston Town Center.

“Revenue just went down the drain,” the employee said. The owner was not immediately available for comment.

A representative for Boston Properties said a new tenant has not yet been identified. The restaurant has one other location at 8142 Watson Street in McLean.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

  • 30yearsinreston

    What a surprise

  • Nate_VA

    Boston Properties is killing the goose that laid their golden egg.

    • 30yearsinreston

      BPX laid an egg

  • JohnQPublic

    With authentic Thai options like NuNu’s Thai dishes & Thai Tada close by . I doubt many will miss this place

    • BXP

      Congrats to a long and prosperous career with us, we really needed your help!

    • Z R

      NuNus and Tada’s proprietors are nice folks. The quality simply is not equal.

  • Chuck Morningwood

    So, when is Red Velvet supposed to leave? I still have a Groupon from them which I need to redeem.

  • John Dell

    Good food at a good price. We will miss it. The town center really isn’t for the people of greater Reston anymore. Cash in on the real estate and move to greener pastures.

    • Nancy Jacobson

      Agreed … our fav restaurant at RTC … very disappointing.

  • Faye Talhame

    I don’t understand why Boston Properties is not fired yet??

    • Why do you bother?

      Um…..they OWN RTC.

      • tony hudgins

        ^^^^^^ Haha. Thank God for people with an education and common sense. Yes!!!! Let’s fire the owner! That solves everything.

    • boycott reston

      I know right. Such a shame they ruined Reston. Obviously being their own private property( NOT A town center) they are doing as they please, turning it into a big business focused corporate park.

      • RTC_Revival

        Is the boycott worth it? Costing a small business owner his business, and the people that work for them their jobs? Think about who you are really hurting, it’s not Boston Properties.

        • Why do you bother?

          The only way to get BP to rescind the ridiculous parking fees is to hit them in the wallet.

          BP has already lost several tenants in tandem with the boycott. It’s working.

          • RTC_Revival

            Once again, free parking from 5PM on… What is ridiculous about this? Once the Metro opens, they will have to have paid daytime parking, or the garages will be full with people parking there to get the train. See the Reston-Whiele Metro station.

          • Alan

            It is ridiculous because it’s Reston Town Center not Washington D.C. What kind of place has 24/7 enforced street parking excluding Sundays? Even Washington has ~8AM-5PM weekdays.

            With garage parking, there is no reason parking can’t be free for the first two hours as that will discourage people parking to get the train. It’s also not that close to the station.

            I want to see RTC thrive as I live in it and what they have done is very greedy. Mosaic is just about as close to the Vienna metro as RTC will be and you don’t see them implementing paid parking.

            On a side note, can’t say I will miss Busara. The food was pretty subpar Thai. Plenty of better options like Sister Thai.

          • Michael G

            We are so disappointed. Busara in Reston was our favorite restaurant. The Pad Thai, fried rice, and many other dishes were by far the best compared to other Thai restaurants that we’ve tried. We went regularly for years but did stay away from RTC for quite a while after they implemented paid parking, not just because of the price but the complexity and hassle of their parking system. When they started free parking in the evenings we went back but it has been obvious that the crowds were gone and the whole RTC seems fairly dead compared to just a few years ago. Such a shame to now have to drive to Tysons.

          • PolishKnightUSA

            I coined this nickname; “Reston Ghosttown Center”

          • Why do you bother?

            BP’s parking fee is pure greed. Period.

          • PolishKnightUSA

            Pure greed wouldn’t be too bad. Ok, charge for parking because you CAN. We got it.

            But the license plate tracking is like saying: “Eff you. We don’t want you here!” Imagine if a security guard walked around with you while shopping in a store.

            It’s worse than greed. It’s insulting. The worst parking system I’ve seen, ever.

          • Why do you bother?

            Couldn’t agree more.

          • jmsullivan

            Once the Metro opens, the garages will be full with people parking there to get the train, period. THERE’S NO PARKING AT THE METRO! THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT!

            BP isn’t trying to prevent Metro parking to protect the quaint charm of the town center. They’re trying to bleed it. Metro parking IS THE BUSINESS MODEL.

          • j

            This view explains BPX’s behavior.

          • PolishKnightUSA

            Indeed. It wouldn’t be ridiculous if the metro station was open but to do it now, and with a license plate tracker, just says “eff you” to the community.

            People will carry those bad memories after the metro opens and even if they park there, they can easily just drive home and eat at restaurants and bars along the way which, thanks to BP, have seen their revenues go up.

            Restaurants need either day revenue to keep up or if they function mostly from commuters, they need a significant value add. It’s not like an airport where you eat overpriced slop because that’s all you can do. Unlike an airport, you can LEAVE.

            The Wiehle metro station isn’t doing all that well. I use it daily and yes, there are a few businesses there but I honestly don’t see how they survive from the traffic I see. The starbucks does great, as always, but otherwise I see as many empty storefronts as Detroit.

        • Why do you bother?

          The blame for the restaurant’s demise lies squarely with Boston Properties.

        • aschoen

          You keep mentioning the boycott, but I doubt you have evidence that the boycott is driving lower sales. I also doubt there are very many people who are consciously engaged in a boycott. I’m guessing (also without evidence) that most of the drop in business was just regular people who didn’t like paying $6 for parking on top of their meal. I can tell you that me and my colleagues stopped going to downtown Reston for gatherings after we had to pay for parking the first time. It wasn’t a boycott, just consumer preference. I bet most of the people who stopped coming have moved on with their lives and don’t even know that parking is free at certain times

          • j

            That’s it. BPX made a shoe with a the nail on the in side.

          • Why do you bother?

            I disagree. The boycott IS working – business is down even during free parking hours.

          • PolishKnightUSA

            Was talking with my realtor. He says that once people leave, it’s hard to get them back. They have new habits and once they start eating or shopping elsewhere, they at best may visit RTC but mix it in with their new rotation.

            Even with parking free at times, the ambiguity is tough. At least when there’s a gate and posted hours, you know what you’re up against but with their big brother parking system, you’re scared to even drive down the street.

            This was especially stupid since RTC’s primary leverage that BP bought into, the upcoming railstation, is still off in the future. At least if the station was there people could understand the “if you don’t like it, tough.” but otherwise it’s now just an overpriced business park. This negative energy will no doubt carry its way in even after the metro station opens.

            And… things get even better: We’re in for a major housing correction soon (Yes, I know, real estate in DC metro never goes down, right?) They’ve been overbuilding and not everyone has a million dollars for a 1 bedroom condo.

  • RTC_Revival

    Hope you are happy that your boycott has put another small business owner out of business and cost the people of Reston more jobs! Keep up the good work!

    • 30yearsinreston

      BPX are blameless!

      • RTC_Revival

        BPX are bad, but they succumbed and gave us free parking on nights and weekends. That isn’t enough for you come enjoy a meal and support the Reston Residents that work in Town Center, and the business owners that made Reston their home? That is short sighted. BPX isn’t going to suffer, they have plenty of money, its the little guys you are hurting.

        • 30yearsinreston

          Thats deflection
          BPX are responsible, not the boycott
          Direct your indignation at them

          • Generic User

            Why would he direct it at BXP? He works for them.

        • Why do you bother?

          Correction: BP is hurting them, not us.

        • j

          The boycott isn’t the only reason people don’t go to RTC. The parking situation was totally bungled; the app is an impractical and invasive nuisance, the pay kiosks were non existent, calling to pay by phone would end in a a disconnect. BPX’s incompetence is the primary factor repelling me.

        • Chuck Morningwood

          No, it’s not enough. They dump the paid parking, and I’ll consider coming back. Until then, they get bupkiss.

    • Why do you bother?

      No, BP’s asinine parking fees have put them out of business. Assign blame where it is due.

      • RTC_Revival

        People who haven’t come back to Town Center now that Parking is perfectly free after 5 on weekdays and all day on the weekends (no session needed) are the ones hurting Town Center and the people who work there

        • j

          Not so. The restaurants claim the reduction in lunch traffic drove the top line down 20% which is enough to close. The bike lane, who are moving next week, also said week day sales didn’t cover costs. You are incorrect.

    • 31337

      What some people do for free parking is beyond me.

  • Mary Cox-Childs

    Urggggg!!!! That Infuriates me!!! I love Thai Food, and when I stumbled upon BUSARA I was completely thrilled. The food was excellent and the service was worth the experience.
    I moved to Reston in 1973 and I’m extremely disappointed in what they have done with the, “RTC” Reston Town Center..
    What’s happening to Good Old Reston???

    • 30yearsinreston

      What happened?
      Hudgins was elected

  • Big Drop

    Four restaurants have now closed with their space still empty: M & S Grill, Neyla/Paolo’s, Il Fornaio and now Busara. Meanwhile Cooper’s Hawk, Nando’s and Honey Grow have free parking and have happily taken a great many customers who simply don’t want the complications of parking at Town Center. Four more restaurants are opening near them. At some point BPX will notice.

    • JoeInReston

      And also add Cava and Not Your Average Joes at the Spectrum. Coming soon, according to https://www.restonnow.com/2018/04/05/mezeh-mediterranean-grill-to-open-in-the-spring-in-rtc-west/, Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel, and The Burger Joint.

      If BPX hasn’t noticed by now, there may be no hope. They haven’t addressed the issues with their paid parking setup. I am curious what they are thinking.

      • 30yearsinreston

        They will convert to a boring high rise business center

  • 30yearsinreston

    BPX introduced parking fees at the same time construction ramped up
    They put up 2 new buildings with more onstream around Spectrum and Oracle

    The workers now park on North Shore Drive

  • Greg
  • RVA_101

    There goes my favorite restaurant. Day by day I slowly resent what BP is doing to RTC

    • Generic User

      Slowly?! Catch up the the rest of us.

  • New to Reston

    (New to the area) What is so horrible about parking?

    • Generic User

      You are perfect for RTC. BXP hopes that new people will move to Reston who have no history with parking being free and will just go and pay without making a fuss. BXP is just waiting for us locals to die. They are playing the long game.

  • Tom H

    Another one bites the dust. I visit rtc only at times when parking is free. I would bet this behavior represents the majority. Question is… is the business model for each proprietor at rtc built around this dynamic?


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