Top Stories This Week

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now this week.

  1. Matchbox Planning to Move In Near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station
  2. Here Are Restaurants With Live Music Around Herndon
  3. Police Investigating Man’s Death Near Downtown Herndon
  4. Famous Toastery to Bring Brunch to RTC West This Month
  5. Lake Anne Hair Design Being Sold Following Death of Owner

If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip.

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally in the comments below.

Photo via Facebook

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Founder’s Day and More This Weekend in Reston

Robert Simon founded Reston in 1964. For the last 54 years, the community has celebrated Founder’s Day in the spring, around the date of Simon’s birthday.

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum is hosting the 55th annual anniversary on Saturday (April 6) with festivities around Lake Anne Plaza.

Founder’s Day this year will include a moon bounce, children’s activities, face painting, a public art tour and exhibits at the Reston Historic Trust and Museum and RCC Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery.

Attendees can also share their Reston stories with recorded oral histories from 1-3 p.m. at RCC Lake Anne. Meanwhile, exhibit enthusiasts can find several around the area including “Fine Lines” at the Jo Ann Rose Gallery, which features artists’ interpretations of lines.

Tomorrow (April 6)

  • Run or walk (8 a.m.) — The Reston Runners will go for a 3-mile walk or 5-mile run starting at South Lakes High School.
  • You Gouda Brie Kidding!” (11 a.m.-2 p.m.) — Frying Pan Farm Park will celebrate National Grilled Cheese month with cooks frying up sandwiches and a variety of cheeses to sample. Attendees can also learn how to make fresh cheese at home and about cultural takes on different melted cheese treats. Tickets are $3.
  • Kwame Alexander and Randy Preston (4-5:30 p.m.) — Newbery award-winning author Kwame Alexander and musician Randy Preston will team up for a performance at the Reston Regional Library. The free show will celebrate the paperback release of Alexander’s “Booked” and “The Crossover” in addition to the release of Alexander’s newest picture book called “The Undefeated.”

Sunday (April 7)

  • Bird walk at Bright Pond (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Bird enthusiasts can search for birds at a variety of sites around Reston.
  • History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Harry Butowsky from George Mason University will present the fourth part of his six-part lecture series at the Reston Regional Library.
  • Liner Notes” (3 p.m.) — A show combining live music, poetry and a multimedia design will perform at CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods. Tickets are $15 for Restonians and $20 for non-Restonians.

Photo via Reston Historic Trust and Museum

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Reston Then and Now: Icons at Lake Anne Plaza

The Reston Then and Now series is going back to where we started for our penultimate episode: Lake Anne Plaza.

Anyone flicking through the photos overhead — taken from Fairfax County’s Historic Imagery Viewer — might have noticed that very little has changed at the plaza itself over the years.

But as the Lakeside Pharmacy icons show, there’s been plenty of changes in tenants and aesthetics over the years. While he’s somewhat dismissive of them as historic relics, Wayne Schiffelbein, a local artist and architect who once repainted and fixed up the icons at the owner’s request, said the icons and the damages to them tell the story of earlier unease between Reston and Herndon.

“We had people that lived in and around Herndon who did not take kindly to Reston being there, especially ‘northern folk’, like Jews and Blacks being there,” said Schiffelbein. “The people [in Reston] had college degrees. Not only were the houses more expensive, but they were driving better cars, and people knew that.”

Back in the 1960s, as Reston was first getting started, Schiffelbein said there was a lot of tension between Restonians and Herndon residents who would come into areas like Lake Anne Plaza and cause trouble.

Schiffelbein remembered summers where kids from Herndon would come over to his house by Lake Anne, climb onto the roof and jump out into the lake. Not exactly a campaign of terror, but Schiffelbein said the Reston residents were annoyed by the constant footfalls on the roof.

It was during these early years of class-tension that Schiffelbein said the drug store icons obtained the damages some of them still show.

“They discovered they could carry a sheath knife around,” Schiffelbein said. “The drug store had… soft wood. So the knifes would stick. There were tables in front of the drug store where you could have sat and had coffee while playing chess. They would throw their knives at the walls. It took a couple years, but it took chunks out of pieces of wood from the backing and pieces that were there. Toothbrush took a bunch of hits. Comb didn’t do much better. They dinged the bandaid.”

But it was Vietnam that partially put an end to the local turmoil, with many of the young men from Herndon swept up by the draft.

“Tensions with Reston and Herndon went down over time,” Schiffelbein. “Some of the Herndonites were drafted and some of them just grew up, and we’ll leave it at that. It’s something you do as a 15- and 16-year-old is not as appealing when you’re 22.”

In the 1990s, Schiffelbein said he was contracted to repaint and fix the icons after years of neglect.

“If I squint, it’s a flashback to the drugstore,” Schiffelbein said. “It was a real drugstore. It had a counter, some seats at the counter. It was old fashioned drug store. It was very nice. It was small, everybody knew everybody. But as the community grew that ebbed away.”

In the early days of the pharmacy, Schiffelbein said it catered mainly to the older residents at the Lake Anne Fellowship House.

“The older people used a lot of prescription drugs and that was before insurance companies required you to go to their pharmacy,” Schiffelbein said. “In the early years, they would amble across the road and fill 50 or 60 scripts a day. There was a stream of people going into the drug store. A lot of New Yorkers and New Jerseyites moved to Reston in the early years. There was an old man there who played the races. The owner got racing forms every year. I remember that as clear as a bell, I can still see the man’s face.”

The Reston Historic Trust and Museum currently has a GoFundMe set up to preserve the icons, but it’s not going particularly well.

For more Reston Then and Now, check out these earlier stories and come back next week for final Then and Now:

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Police Investigating Man’s Death Near Downtown Herndon

Police are investigating the death of a man who was reportedly suffering from “upper body trauma” near downtown Herndon, according to the Herndon Police Department.

Around 1 a.m. today (April 5), police responded to the 600 block of Clearwater Court for a report of an unresponsive man with trauma to his upper body, according to the report. The 45-year-old man was pronounced dead around 2 a.m. at the Reston Hospital Center, police say.

Police say there is no known threat to public safety and are asking for anyone with information regarding the incident at contact Detective Miranda at 703-435-6843.

File photo

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New Private Preschool to Add 35 Jobs to Reston

A new preschool on North Village Road is bringing 35 jobs to the Reston area.

Primrose Schools, a private preschool franchise, recently expanded its reach by opening at 1309 N. Village Road in January.

In addition to the nearly three dozen jobs, Rina Patel and Urvi and Beau Athia, the franchise owners, have invested more than $5.5 million in the local economy through building renovation costs, according to a press release.

“We’re thrilled to bring new life to this space in the Reston community and provide a much-needed service for parents in the area,” Athia said in the press release.

With 10 classrooms and a playground, the 10,000-square-foot offers early education and care to more than 150 children and their families, the press release says.  The new facility — the 16th for Virginia — is part of a franchise that has more than 400 schools in 29 states and is accredited through AdvancED.

The school will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday (April 6) from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Photo via Primrose Schools 

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New Business ‘Coming Soon’ to Singh Thai’s Lake Anne Plaza Spot

(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) A new business is gearing up to take its formerLake Anne Plaza spot of Singh Thai, which closed five days ago.

Lake Anne Plaza posted on Facebook that a business called “Local VA” has a “coming soon” sign up on the door at 1633 N. Washington Plaza.

“Oooh! Looks like we’re getting a new neighbor!” the post says. “Welcome to the neighborhood!”

Local VA describes itself on Instagram as “the next go-to spot for local food, drinks and positive vibes.”

After nine years at Lake Anne Plaza, the locally owned Thai restaurant closed on Sunday (March 31).

File photo

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Friday Morning Notes

Artsplay at the library — A Wolf Trap teaching artist and library staff will share music, drama and movement to encourage self-expression and imaginative play in a series of five classes at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. Today’s class runs from 1:30-2:15 p.m. [Fairfax County]

Arbor Day — Restonians can plant native trees and shrubs in various locations around Reston, which is a certified Tree City USA. A presentation and flag-raising ceremony will take place at 11:45 a.m. at the Walker Nature Center, followed by a free pizza lunch for volunteers. The event last from 9:30 a.m.-noon [Reston Association]

Open mic poetry — Author Sid Gold and poet Sally Zakariya will share their work at an open mic from 7-9 p.m. at ArtSpace Herndon. [ArtSpace Herndon]

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