Reston, VA

As Northern Virginia enters phase one of the reopening plan, Town of Herndon restaurants are starting to reopen with social distance guidelines.

Per Gov. Ralph Northam’s order, people must be at least six feet apart and restaurants can allow dining at 50 percent of their indoor capacity.

Unlike the rest of the county, local businesses had to apply for permits to allow temporary outdoor dining. Many businesses received approval from the town to expand outdoor seating over the weekend.

Taste of the World, which serves a variety of Phillipino, Indian, Thai and other cuisines, is open from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturdays, according to the Facebook page.

Russia House Restaurant announced on its Facebook page that it also reopened for outdoor dining. The location offers covered seating for guests and will continue to serve traditional Russian fare according to the eatery’s website.

It is open on Mondays from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m., the Facebook page said.

Other restaurants and brewhouses that are approved by Town of Herndon to open up for outdoor seating include:
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After Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon lost income from visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a fundraiser is working to provide care for the animals.

The park, known around the community as a public, livestock-friendly facility, offers classes and camps for kids, has an on-site equestrian center and hosts field trips and similar events, according to Fairfax County.

But since the annual Farm Day, which was scheduled to take place (May 2), was canceled, people are rallying to make up for this significant source of income, according to the fundraiser page.

Roughly 100 animals live on the property, according to Yvonne Johnson, the manager of Frying Pan Farm Park.

Community members have donated $27,062 of the $30,000 that is required yearly to feed the animals living on the property, the page said, adding that the budget to feed the animals doesn’t come from Fairfax County. Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park is hosting the fundraiser.

“The Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park own the farm animals and contribute significantly to the cost of their feed and care,” the fundraising page said. “The Park Authority operates and staffs Frying Pan Farm Park.”

The $30,000 includes things like vet bills, equipment to grow food and other necessities, according to Johnson.

Despite the revenue loss, the animals are still well cared for and “having babies left and right,” Johnson said, but added that the animals and the staff are missing the typical interaction from guests.

Since Northern Virginia started the first reopening phase that is easing COVID-19 restrictions, Johnson said that the parking lots and trails are open for visitors who want to view the animals from the “peripheral fields.”

On the donation page, one contributor commented: “Visited there many times when my son was growing up. It is a part of our community. Love the 4-H Fair and the concerts.” A kids’ book has even been written about the center and its relation to the area’s history.

As of today, 322 people have contributed to the fundraiser. It will run for another 30 days in case anyone would still like to donate.

Photo via Friends of Frying Pan Park/Facebook

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COVID-19 restrictions have started to ease up around Fairfax County today (Friday).

Now that the county is joining the first phase of Gov. Ralph Northam’s reopening plan, here’s what people who live and work around the Reston area need to know about county-operated facilities.

Parks and Recreation 

Parks and parking lots controlled by the Fairfax County Park Authority are open with the exception of dog parks, visitor centers, playgrounds and public restrooms, according to the website.

Athletic fields will officially open for unpermitted groups of 10 or less today under phase one of plans to reopen the county.

Both publicly and privately run pools are currently not allowed to open yet, the website said, adding that certain pools might open for lap swimming during phase one. Pools run by the Park Authority will not open at all this summer.

At schools in Fairfax County, both the tracks and tennis courts have been reopened but playgrounds, basketball courts and athletic fields will remain closed for the time being, according to the website.

Fairfax County summer camps have already been canceled, according to a press release.

For people indoor entering public spaces, the Virginia Department of Public Health announced that they are required to wear a mask or protective face covering. This order will go into effect on Friday (May 29) but the Centers for Diseases Control have suggested for weeks that people cover their mouths and noses to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Anyone with additional questions can check out the website or email staff members from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets will look different this year with the implementation of preorder options and social distancing guidelines.

Reston Farmers Markets opened earlier this month with new measures to guard against COVID-19 such as people being able to prepay and pick up groceries, the website said. The Reston Farmers Markets are held every Saturday from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.

In Herndon, it is still unclear when the market will reopen for the year, according to the website.

Libraries

All Fairfax County Public Library branches will be closed until further notice, according to the website — but this doesn’t mean that libraries aren’t offering online resources for patrons.

Anyone with a library card can check out digital resources such as e-books, audio files, online magazines and videos.

People can also pick up a new hobby like learning a new language, redesign their home using tips from the library and even learn about family heritage, according to the website.

Starting Monday, patrons can take advantage of some contactless services — including picking up holds — throughout the county.

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Updated at 12:15 p.m. on May 28 —  Though no one was injured, three people were displaced by the fire. 

Fire crews brought a townhouse fire under control yesterday afternoon in Herndon, according to the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department.

Units that first arrived on scene reported signs of fire from the two-story building at 13300 Schwenger Place.

Crews worked to extinguish the fire. No injuries were reported.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Twitter

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After closures promoted by COVID-19, golf courses around Reston and Herndon are starting to open back up with precautions.

The Herndon Centennial Golf Course, which has been closed since March, announced via press release that it will reopen today (May 27).

People looking to book a timeslot should reserve and pay online, the press release said, adding that only credit cards will be accepted and people may not use rain checks, gift cards or discounts at this time.

Due to social distancing suggestions, “the clubhouse, restrooms and Egg Karne Café will remain closed until further notice,” according to the press release.

The Reston National Golf Course remains open for guests but with altered requirements, according to the website.

Changes include face shields and new cleaning protocols for staff, removal of indoor seating, discounts for those who walk the course rather than use a golf cart, elimination of cash payment and elimination of walk-up reservations, the website said.

For members wishing to play at Hidden Creek Country Club, both the golf courses and tennis courts are open, the website said. But, the clubhouse will remain closed until further notice with the exception of take-out food.

Photo via Reston National Golf Course/Facebook

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Residents of Lake Anne Fellowship House will soon benefit from new facilities after a company closed on a $86 million deal.

The new development will be located on empty property adjacent to the existing building and create 240 affordable apartments for low-income residents, according to a press release.

Amenities at the new location will include a fitness center, an arts and crafts room, a social hall, a sunroom, a game room and an outdoor terrace and wellness clinic.

To fund the project, “Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority awarded the project 122 project-based vouchers with HUD providing the rest,” the press release said. “The project financing incorporated $46.5 million in tax exempt bond financing from the VHDA as well as a $700,000 loan from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund.”

Other sources of funding came from Capital One, Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority, the Enterprise Community Loan Fund and Enterprise Community Development, according to the press release.

The pre-existing building will be demolished and sold for townhomes once all the existing residents are transferred over to the new facility, the press release said.

A groundbreaking for the project is expected to be held later this year. Development will likely open in June 2022.

Photo via handout/Reston Association

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After someone spread hateful symbols and messages across Reston, a social media group decided to rally and reject the graffiti with colorful, inclusive and tolerant messages of their own.

Chalk Hooligans, a social media vigilante-type group founded in 2016, decided to revive its mission and stand alongside community members of Reston by spreading words of love, appreciation and hope along with pleasant pictures drawn with chalk on public sidewalks.

In the past, the group posted photos of support in places of worship that were being targeted by hateful acts.

“When your neighbors have hate thrown at them, cover them with a blanket (or sidewalk) of love,” said one post.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn released a statement yesterday thanking the people who removed the hateful graffiti.

“What heartened me and I hope it will you, too, is that neighbors came together and bought food for the workers who were removing the spray paint,” Alcorn wrote.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine also condemned the hate with a post on Twitter, praising a sign put up in a local window about loving your neighbor and staying “Reston Strong.”

Photo via Chalk Hooligans/Twitter

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(Updated to include new information about a dog park, green space, and a clarification about the starting prices).

Construction on a new set of townhomes in Reston is slated to begin in the coming weeks.

Union Towns near Reston Station will consist of 26 new units, according to the developer’s website, adding that prices start in $800,000s.

Lauren DeSomma, the vice president of marketing for Knutson, said that she expects hard-hat tours of the property to be available to interested buyers as early as the end of June.

Knutson received building permits just last week according to DeSomma, who added that the company is in the process of setting up a sales trailer as well.

“In the community there will be a dog park and green space for homeowners to enjoy,” DeSomma said. The community is only a five-minute walk from the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station, which features shopping, dining, salons, specialty fitness and more.  

Once moved in, people will have access to amenities like public art, green spaces, a nearby pool and a dog park, according to DeSomma.

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To help fill the South Lakes High School Food Pantry, Lake Anne Brew House (11401 North Shore Drive) is hosting a luau themed food drive over Memorial Day Weekend.

People are encouraged to bring items to the brewhouse from May 21 through 24. The location will be accepting donations on Thursday and Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 to 5 p.m., according to the event page.

Requested items include canned goods, nonperishable things like beans and rice or toiletries and personal care products.

Food and donations will go to vulnerable members of the community, the event page said, adding that customers are also encouraged to pick up to-go food and drink since a portion of the proceeds will also go towards the cause.

Image courtesy Lake Anne Brewhouse

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For nonprofits struggling to make money off of fundraising events, Reston-based FrontStream just released a new product allowing groups to raise money through remote events.

Panorama allows nonprofits to host walks, runs and other athletic events and track the participants’ distance and time, which is a feature completely unique to the company, according to Terry LoPresti, FrontStream’s chief technology officer.

To help keep event participants engaged, the software offers gamification and real-time competition with others involved in the fundraiser, according to LoPresti, who said examples include the ability to earn special badges or set the view so users can pretend to be in the Swiss Alps.

Event organizers can also host auctions, crowdfund, coordinate sponsors and purchase items through the tool, the website said.

Instead of canceling events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, people are contacting FrontStream to host events digitally and learning how this software can simplify the fundraising process, according to LoPresti.

Once a client contacts the FrontStream team about hosting an event, she said they can “have them up and running within an afternoon.”

Given the complexity of the app, users and event organizers can customize features to suit their needs, according to the website.

For example, credit card companies often charge processing fees with any system that uses card transactions, but users can choose to cover these minimal fees so their donation goes directly to the charity, LoPresti said. If given the chance, almost all of the donors will choose to cover the transaction fee, ultimately saving the nonprofit money, according to LoPresti.

Though FrontStream wouldn’t share how much it costs to host a certain event on Panorama, LoPresti said that without customizations, it could theoretically be done for free.

LoPresti stressed that the software isn’t a temporary trend, but instead a long-term, fundamental shift for fundraising that works for organizations of all sizes.

“Taking your event digital is not temporary,” LoPresti said. “It isn’t here just cause of COVID. It is here to stay. It has forever changed the face of fundraising because we can engage on so many levels.”

Photo courtesy Panorama

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As the Silver Line extension project continues through the COVID-19 pandemic, the Town of Herndon’s Economic Development Manager Dennis Holste, reflected on the state of other local transportation projects and changes to the town at the public Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce metro meeting last night (May 18). 

By 2021, he said that the Reston Town Center, Herndon and Innovation Station stops should be complete, but the plans for the new update bus routes for the Fairfax Connector are up in the air. 

There are currently 30 routes being proposed for the Herndon community but these cannot be finalized until public forums are held, according to Holste.

“They were supposed to hold community meetings in late March and early April,” he said. “But obviously due to COVID they were postponed.”

Though no new dates have been set for these meetings, Holste said they will likely be hosted in late summer or fall.

Currently, a survey is circulating online allowing people to view the proposed bus routes and submit feedback on their thoughts.

Also brought up in the meeting, the new environmental remediation work in Downtown Herndon, which has been completed according to Holste.

“The next step would be demolition of the building,” he said. “I don’t have an exact date but it should be shortly.”

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Beginning today (May 18), the Virginia Department of Transit will be restriping road lines on northbound Wiehle Avenue in Reston, according to a press release.

Crews will be working between North Shore Drive and Inlet Court daily from 9:30 until 3 p.m. until Friday (May 22), the press release said, adding that drivers can expect lane closures during these times.

“The restriping work involves converting the northbound Wiehle Avenue left through lane to a left-turn lane at the Fairway Drive and Inlet Court intersections,” according to the release. “This aims to improve safety and operations by making it easier to turn left from northbound Wiehle Avenue onto Fairway Drive and Inlet Court, and vice versa.”

Image via Google Maps

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Fairfax County police have suspended the search for a missing Reston man.

Michael Delaney, a 75-year old man, went missing Sunday night (May 10), according to Fairfax County police, who announced this afternoon that they are haunting the active search but will continue to follow up on leads.

A 6′ 3″ male with blue eyes and grey hair, weighing about 170 pounds, he was last seen wearing a yellow hospital gown, jeans and a black jacket, according to authorities.

Delaney’s stepdaughter posted in a community board and noted that he walked out of Reston Hospital after he was admitted for a fall, adding that he is at-risk due to Alzheimer’s disease.

“Micheal is so kind and has been a loving stepfather for 44 years,” she wrote.

Anyone with information is asked to call 703-691-2131.

Photo via Fairfax County Police/Twitter

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One of the most popular food festivals in Northern Virginia is getting delayed by a few months to reduce the risk of spreading the novel coronavirus.

Instead of its original date in June, Taste of Reston will be held on Friday and Saturday (Sept. 25-26) at Reston Town Center, according to a press release.

“Planning for this year’s event includes the qualities that Taste of Reston is renowned for — plenty of food and beverage tastings, activities for all ages, and live music — while being thoughtful of physical distancing,” the press release said.

Still, guests can expect the same level of entertainment and quality from years past, the press release said.

“The 30th annual Taste of Reston will offer two days of numerous food vendors, local wineries, three beer zones with craft and seasonal brews, a sponsor showcase, and live entertainment on four stages.”

Admission and parking will be free, according to the press release, which added that guests can purchase food and drink tickets for $1 each or 24 for $20.

Photo via Chip McCrea on Taste of Reston/Facebook

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Passers-by might notice a new mosaic art installation outside the Lincoln at Wiehle Station.

After facing delays due to COVID-19, artist Valerie Theberge expects the piece of vibrantly colored glass tiles to be completed by the end of today (May 13).

The project was commissioned in coordination with the Lincoln’s developers and ultimately approved by Public Art Reston. It consists of two pieces — a bench and a 75-foot long wall, according to Theberge.

When designing the geometric art, Theberge said she wanted it to “harmonize” with the surrounding area.

“There are highlights of red on the building so we added red highlights to play with the building,” she said, adding that the geometric shapes also “talk with the architecture.”

For the community, Theberge hopes that people will enjoy the art as they pass by the building on an afternoon stroll or on their commute into work. “I wanted something you could look at over and over,” Theberge said.

Especially since people can’t visit museums during the pandemic, Theberge said that public works of art are more important than ever for people’s mental health and overall enjoyment.

Photo courtesy Valerie Theberge

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