A New Tiki Bar and Thai Restaurant is Coming to Reston Next Year

A new tiki bar and Thai restaurant is coming to Reston next year.

Tiki Thai, which describes itself as Virginia’s “first premier tiki bar,” plans to open at 12100 Sunset Hills Road in the spring of next year.

The restaurant and bar will join a number of ground-floor retail tenants, including Famous Toastery and BGR The Burger Joint, at JBG Smith’s RTC West development.

Permits filed with the county indicate the restaurant will also include outdoor seating. Tiki bars are often known for their exotic-themed drinks, especially rum-based mixed drinks.

Earlier this year, the Black Squirrel backed away from plans to open a new beer bar in the development. Details of why the DC-based bar backed out of a previously-inked deal were not made public.

Photo via Tiki Thai/website

 

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Fairfax County Board Approves Plan to Redevelop Old Reston Avenue Properties

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to redevelop a three-story office building on Old Reston Avenue into two, three-story office buildings and a campus-style setting.

American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association will redevelop its headquarters, which are located at 1856 Old Reston Avenue. The 5.2-acre site is home to a historic A. Smith Bowman Manor House.

A 45,000-square-foot office building is planned on the north end of the property and a 94,000-square-foot office is planned on the southern end. Both structures will be connected by an underground parking garage and a shared conference facility. A 6,600-square-foot rooftop terrace will also run between the two buildings.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the plan was a good balance of “old and new.” She also said the new buildings would complement the historic structures that are already on the site.

“I think it’s a great application,” Hudgins said at a board meeting earlier this week.

AAFMAA is working with DBI Architects to design the project. Modern-looking buildings will act a backdrop to the historic manor house, which was built in 1899 and is listed on the Fairfax County Inventory of Historic Sites.

It was originally constructed to be the Wiehle Town Hall and was used as a church, general store, and distillery.

AAFAA is a nonprofit organization that offers life insurance and survivors services to the U.S. Armed Forces communities.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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Herndon High School to Expand Afterschool Programs for At-Risk Students

Herndon High School and Cornerstones have received $191,000 from the Virginia Department of Education, a grant that will allow the school to expand afterschool activities for at-risk students.

The 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant will help the Herndon High School 21st Century Community Learning Center, which will provide afterschool programming to improve academic performance and support developmental wellbeing.

Students will receive guidance on college, careers, life skills, community involvement, and cultural awareness. An eight-week program will supplement the school-year program.

The program will be open to between 50 and 60 students. The success of the program will be measured through objectives like improved reading and math skills, increased family engagement, reduced dropout rate, and increased emotional and social learning competencies. Rising ninth-grade students will also be involved in the center.

The grant from the U.S. Department of Education covers 32 percent of the total cost of the three-year program. Additional funding will be provided from the following community partners:

  • Herndon High School
  • Fairfax County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services
  • Cornerstones
  • Fairfax County Neighborhood and Community Services
  • Childcare Resources
  • Herndon United Methodist Church
  • Town of Herndon

Cornerstones will help develop the curriculum and activities for the project.

Photo via FCPS

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Northam Appoints GRACE’s Board Chair to Virginia Commission for the Arts

State Gov. Ralph Northam has appointed Robert Goudie, board chair of the Greater Reston Arts Center to take part in the Virginia Commission for the Arts.

The commission is state agency tenant supports the arts by seeking funding from the Virginia General Assembly and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Goudie is also the executive director of the Reston Town Center Association, where he expanded the RTCA’s programming. He also helped found Public Art Reston and serves on its Board of Directors. He is also a member of ArtsFairfax’s advocacy committee.

GRACE wrote the following about Goudie:

In the six years that Mr. Goudie has served as GRACE Board Chair, GRACE has built out its exhibition and educational content and Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival in service of a new vision to identify GRACE as an important cultural destination along Metro’s Silver Line and grow its voice in the DC metropolitan region’s cultural conversation; added to its board depth and diversity; grown its financial capacity; forged new partnerships with prestigious downtown institutions like the National Gallery of Art and others; built a strong strategic partnership with George Mason University and added collaborations with other educational institutions; added a satellite gallery at the Signature building in Reston Town Center; and was recognized as one of only four visual arts institutions in the entire Commonwealth to receive a VCA 50th anniversary award.

In a statement, Goudie described the appointment as an “institutional honor.”

“We have a very dedicated and talented Board of Directors, a superb staff led by our Executive Director and Curator, Lily Siegel, and fantastic supporters,” he said. 

Photo via GRACE

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Del. Ken Plum: Afraid of an Unknown Future

Del. Ken Plum/File photoThis 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.

Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg sailed across the Atlantic on a zero-emissions sailboat to speak at the United Nations Climate Action Summit this week. Thunberg has a strong reputation as a climate activist having staged weekly sit-ins outside the Swedish Parliament resulting in a growing movement of youth climate activists holding their own protests in more than 100 cities worldwide. Having a young person speak about climate issues is appropriate considering the higher-level interest shown by young people over adults on climate-related concerns. After all, it is their future that is being discussed.

Results of a Washington Post-Kaiser Family Foundation poll released last week found that young people include climate change among the issues they think are most important facing the country. Eighty-six percent of youth think that human activity is causing climate change. Of considerable concern is the finding that 57 percent of the youth polled said that climate change makes them feel afraid. It is their future, and they feel afraid of the future we adults are leaving them. The good news is that 54 percent feel motivated to do something about it.

But young people fortunately are not alone in being fearful of climate change and motivated to do something about it. The 2019 Virginia Climate Crisis Forum held at the First Baptist Church in Vienna attracted nearly 300 activists to focus on climate justice. The forum was moderated by William Barber, III, son of the famous Rev. Dr. William Barber II, and Karenna Gore, the eldest daughter of former Vice President Al Gore. Reflecting the broad interest in the issue, panelists included representatives of the Green New Deal of Virginia, People Demanding Action, Young Evangelicals for Climate Action, the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions and others. Emphasis of the discussion was on working together to repair a damaged climate while ensuring that everyone most impacted–including low-income people, people of color, the vulnerable, and those on the front lines–are part of every solution and not disproportionally impacted.

Coming out of the Virginia Clean Energy Summit also held last week was an announcement by Governor Ralph Northam that the goal in Virginia is that by 2030, 30 percent of Virginia’s electric system will be powered by renewable energy resources and by 2050, 100 percent of Virginia’s electricity will be produced from carbon-free sources such as wind, solar and nuclear. In his Executive Order establishing the goals, the Governor expressed the concerns being heard from the young people and in the various meetings on the issue: “Climate change is an urgent and pressing challenge for Virginia. As recent storms, heat waves, and flooding events have reminded us, climate disruption poses potentially devastating risk to Virginia.” Reflecting the concern about economic justice, the Governor’s Executive Order stated that “These clean energy resources shall be deployed to maximize the economic and environmental benefit to under-served communities while mitigating any impact to those communities.”

Young people remind us that there are ample reasons to be afraid of an unknown future with climate change. The best response to that fear is to intensify the discussions such as have been going on while taking positive steps like that by the Governor to reverse impact on climate change.

File photo

 

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Association Board to Discuss Budget — RA’s Board of Directors will discuss the first draft of the upcoming budget at a meeting today (Thursday) at RA headquarters. Issues related to boat and dock policies, as well as path lighting near Hunters Woods Village Center, will also be discussed at the meeting, which begins at 6:30 p.m. [Reston Association]

Burglary Reported at Forest Edge Elementary School — Police believe some broke into a school trailer and damaged property. The incident happened between Sept. 20 and Sept. 23. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Spots Available on Fairfax County Chaplain Corp. — The Fairfax County Community Chaplain Corps works as part of an emergency disaster team to provide chaplain care to community members impacted by the effects of a disaster or emergency. Register for an orientation session to meet current community chaplains, learn more about what it means to serve as a community chaplain and learn how to apply. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo by Jay Westcott

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