Hibiscus Thai Cuisine Closes After Six Years of Business

Hibiscus Thai Cuisine, a sit-down restaurant located at 11790-A Baron Cameron Avenue, has closed after six years of business.

The owners did not return requests for comment from Reston Now. A closed sign was taped to the door of the business today (Thursday).

The closure was announced on Facebook last night:

We regret to inform you that Hibiscus Thai Cuisine is permanently closed. We thank you for your patronage for the past 6 years of operation. It would not have been possible without you. Our family is so grateful to have served you our recipes of the most delicious Thai food. We hope you’ll always remember your experience here at Hibiscus Thai Cuisine.

County permits do not indicate what will occupy the space once it is vacated.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Del. Ken Plum: A Crowded Field

This is an opinion column by Del. Ken Plum (D), who represents Reston in Virginia’s House of Delegates. It does not reflect the opinion of Reston Now.

If a sign of a healthy democracy is a lot of people running for elective office, we have become a true democracy in Virginia. This year is a busy year for elections because a lot of terms for elective offices are up this year. In Fairfax County, for example, all the seats on the County Board of Supervisors are up for election as is the chairman of the Board who is elected county-wide. The June 11 Democratic Party primary election has four contenders vying for the supervisor’s seat that is being vacated with the retirement of Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. I am not sure whether the Republicans intend to nominate a candidate to make for a race on November 5. For chairman of the Board there is a Democratic primary to pick the nominee who the Republicans will presumably challenge in the November election.

School Board members for Fairfax County also are up for election. A member is chosen for each magisterial district plus three at-large members. School board elections are non-partisan, but candidates seek endorsement of one of the major parties. Currently there is a scramble in Hunter Mill district to replace retiring member Pat Hynes. A broad and diverse field of candidates is seeking party endorsements.

Constitutional offices which in Fairfax County are the Commonwealth Attorney and the sheriff are also on the ballot this November. The incumbent Commonwealth Attorney must withstand a primary challenge in the Democratic Party before getting to the fall election. The sheriff is likely to move smoothly through the November election.

Adding to the number of candidates for whom you are likely to see ads, receive brochures or answer those pesky robo-calls are the candidates for the House of Delegates and the Senate, all of whom are up for election this year. While it is too early to know for sure who all the challengers will be as it is possible for political parties to name candidates up until early June, we already know the field is crowded. There is an unprecedented number of challenges in primaries and a larger than usual number of retirements of incumbents. On the State Senate side there are eleven Democratic and five Republican primaries that include challenges to four incumbent Democrats and three Republican incumbents.

On the House of Delegates side of the General Assembly there are 13 Democratic primaries involving five incumbents and seven Republican primaries with two incumbents being challenged. These numbers do not include districts in which conventions may be held to select candidates.

All this activity is good news for democracy but might seem overwhelming to voters. At this point in time races are not all set with candidates. After the June 11 primaries, the line-ups will be clearer. Party activists will be busy informing voters who their candidates are. In the meantime, please forgive me if any of my numbers are off as this story continues to emerge. The good news is there will be many choices that have the potential to lead to better government. Don’t be alarmed by this crowded field!

File photo

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Pupatella Pizzeria is Coming to Reston Next Year

Pupatella, an award-winning Neopolitan pizzeria, is coming to Reston in early 2020, according to a company news release.

The 2,700-square-foot restaurant will be located at 1821 Wiehle Avenue. It will also include a patio for outdoor dining.

The news comes as the business eyes major expansion. Another new location will open in Arlington this summer. More openings could be on the way in the District and Montgomery County.

“As a native Restonian, I know all the wonderful things Reston has to offer, but one thing that has been missing is authentic Neapolitan pizza. I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Pupatella to the neighborhood,” said founding partner and head of real estate and supply chain, Michael Berger.

Enzo and Anastasiya Algarme started Pupatella as a food truck in 2007. The business has been named a top pizzeria, with recognition from The Today Show, The Washington Post, USA Today and the Washingtonian.

The location is currently home to Pizza Hut, which will remain open through the end of its lease, according to Eater.

This story will be updated.

Photo by Pupatella

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Heritage Preservation Review Board Flags Design Concerns about Junction Square

The Town of Herndon’s Heritage Preservation Review Board is taking issue with several design elements of the newly constructed Junction Square neighborhood at 700 Lynn Street.

At an HPRB meeting last night (April 17), no resolution was reached. Andrew Garcia, the Town of Herndon’s deputy zoning administrator, said the developer has not responded to the board’s comments and requests for information. The applicant did not attend the meeting.

Local staff said parts of the building are different from the design previous approved by the town. The commercial building at 700 Lynn Street has different window and door openings, as well as a different downspout configuration, according to staff. The color of windows on the second floor of the same building are tan instead of dark brown. Flood lights have also been above five Elden Street storefronts and the Lynn Street building. The base of two storefronts on Elden Street also do not match HPRB-approved drawings. Awnings along the facade of the commercial building and one Elden Street storefront has not been installed, staff indicated.

The board deferred discussions about the issue to a May 15 public hearing. The seven-member entity issues “Certificates of Appropriateness” for exterior alterations, additions, new construction and demolition of structures in the Heritage Preservation Overlay Districts. Properties in these districts are scrutinized by the town more closely than others in order to preserve the town’s traditional neighborhoods and maintain a community identity apart from the “suburban growth of the urbanizing region,” according to the town’s policies.

But it’s unclear how town officials will ensure the development conforms with heritage preservation guidelines. Garcia said the developer could consider deconstructing part of the building to fix the downspout configuration. Legal action could be an option, but its likely the applicant could challenge that course of action, Garcia said.

“There may not be a reasonable solution at this point,” he said.

Photo via Google Maps

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Local Muslims Set Sights on New Mosque Near RTC

A group of Muslims who live and work in Reston hope to open a permanent prayer space before Ramadan, the month of fasting, begins in early May. It will be located on the second floor of an existing building.

Organizers behind the Reston Islamic Center said the mosque serves a critical need: the closest mosque in the area is roughly 20 minutes away. For several years, the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation (1441 Wiehle Avenue) has served as a satellite location for Friday prayers. The site is one of several set up by the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (46903 Sugarland Road) in Sterling — which will continue operating and is a separate initiative from the new mosque. Currently, there is no dedicated space in the area to offer the five daily prayers that are central to the religion.

The new location is opposite Reston Town Center at 11701 Bowman Green Drive, which is also home to a church on the ground floor, according to organizers. They hope the center will make offering prayer easy for RTC-goers and local Muslims.

In Northern Virginia, we have seen the Muslim community grow and the [mosques] grow with it. For Reston, however, we have yet to reach that point,” an organizer told Reston Now. Due to the busy nature of this area… we want to form a space for families, children, and individuals to be able to get a break from that lifestyle and get back to learning the [religion],”

Paperwork and permitting is underway. The group set up a LaunchGood campaign to raise $10,000. So far, $6,419 has been raised to finance the effort. The group hopes that donations from mosque-goers will sustain the mosque over the next couple of years. 

Photo via Reston Islamic Center

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Thursday Morning Notes

Herndon’s Farmers Market Opens Today — The market kicks off the 2019 season today. As usual, it will be held on Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Lynn Street from April to November. [Town of Herndon]

Reston Association Volunteer Service Awards Reception Set for Tonight — “Two individuals were named as Volunteers of the Year. Doug Britt, who has been instrumental in collecting environmental data, and Cindy Metcalf, who coordinates and leads class instruction on how to start a garden, both won the top honor.”  [Reston Association]

Evelyn Mo Returns to CenterStage Tonight — In this “Meet the Artists” event, the Harvard junior and pianist returns to CenterStage. The event starts at 2:15 p.m. and is open to all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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