Columbus Day, a federal holiday that is also a workday for some, is on Monday. Here’s a look at what is open and what is closed for the holiday.
Fairfax County government offices and public schools are closed. Local libraries will also be closed on Monday. No in-person absentee voting will be offered at the Fairfax County Government Center. Reston Association offices, including the Walker Nature Center and Central Services Facility, will also be closed in observance of the holiday.
Reston Community Center Hunters Woods and Lake Anne are open, but check if your individual class or event is scheduled. Fairfax County parks and RECenter are also open.
Meanwhile, Metro will run on a Saturday schedule and Metrobus will operate on a modified Saturday schedule. MetroAccess and paratransit services will operate on a regular schedule.
The League of Fairfax Women Voters is hosting a candidate forum on Sunday, Oct. 13.
The forums is for candidates in Senate Districts 3 and 33, as well as the representative for the Hunter Mill District on the Fairfax County School Board.
The discussion takes place at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) from 3-5 p.m. Students interested in volunteering can sign up online. Registration for the event is encouraged, but not required.
After a moderated discussion, candidates will answer questions from the audience.
Two candidates — Laura Ramirez Drain and Melanie Meren — are running for the Hunter Mill District seat on the school board after incumbent Hunter Mill District Representative Pay Hynes said she will not seek re-election.
Photo via League of Women Voters of Fairfax County
A gourmet dive bar that originally planned to open over the summer will likely open at Lake Anne Plaza next month.
Owner Dylan Clark told Reston now that Local VA, plans to open by late November. The bar will be located at 1633 Washington Plaza-N.
Other details about the business have been under wraps. The business replaces Sing Thai, which closed in March.
Photos by Jay Westcott
Silver Line test trains are now running into Loudoun County.
Trains are making their way into the county from the aerial guideway on the Dulles Airport property through the Loudoun Gateway Station to the Ashburn Station.
Testing is underway using eight rail cars that were supplied by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
Metro asked for a pause in testing in mid-September after expressing concerns about the safety of trains when they switch tracks. Recent investigations found that the issue is not linked to possible derailment for test trains.
Although Metro signed off on allowing train testing to continue, a number of concerns with phase two of the project remain, including concrete panel issues.
Photo by Chuck Samuelson/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project
A new restaurant that pairs grilled cheese and wine is expected to open soon in Great Falls.
Bites Wine and Grilled Cheese Bar plans to open a 2,064-square-foot restaurant at the recently redeveloped Great Falls Center in mid-November, a restaurant representative told Reston Now.
The Leesburg-based restaurant, which opened in late 2017, pairs grilled cheese and wine.
Photo by Jay Westcott
A former landfill used by the CIA and the Russian embassy near Great Falls is looking to push past its complicated history and become protected agricultural land.
The current owners of Lockmoor farm (802 Utterback Store Road) went before the Fairfax County Planning Commission on Thursday (Oct. 2) to request that the county label the farm as an agricultural district — ultimately giving the owners a tax break as long as they do not develop the land. They plan to add goats, sheep, bees and possibly a vineyard to the property.
The landfill was in use from 1970 until 1989 and served as a place to dump old tree stumps, earning it the nickname “Stump Dump,” as well as a dumping ground for waste from the CIA and certain foreign embassies, according to a Fairfax County report.
Both the CIA and the Russian embassy used to dump garbage there.
“The Russians arrived every few months, paying the dump fee in cash or bottles of vodka,” according to the Washington Post. “A landfill employee would then call the FBI, whose agents would soon arrive to paw through the discards, usually restaurant receipts and parking tickets but once a stripped-down, brand-new Russian car.”
The almost 69 acres of land was also once a zoo with giraffes, zebras, kangaroos, gazelles, buffalos and other non-carnivorous creatures, according to Fairfax planners. The previous owner also wanted to bring lions and bears to the property, but Fairfax County wouldn’t allow it, Peter Murphy, the chairman of the Planning Commission, said.
Evidence of the zoo can still be seen from underground enclosures at the base of the hill on the property.
Despite previous uses, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality determined that the land is fit for agricultural use because the soil and water meet safety and health requirements. VDEQ stopped monitoring the area in 2016 and now requests that the current owners maintain the landfill cap, which sits on the top of the hill.
Partners John Nguyen and Hanna Chakarji bought the land two years ago in pursuit of their lifelong dream of farm ownership, Chakarji told the Planning Commission.
“When the opportunity presented itself to purchase this property, we jumped, we grabbed it and have no intention of developing it,” Chakarji said. “We want to keep it in its present state, which is beautiful.”
The land is now divided into five parcels. Onlookers can spot the growing Tysons skyline in the background of the property, as the farm sits on one of the highest points in Fairfax County.
Currently, the men own several cows and ducks, 20 chickens and 49 goats. They sell the goats to local restaurants in D.C. and produce more than 1,000 pounds of tomatoes, which they donate to local churches, according to county documents.
Chakarji said their top priority is to integrate the sheep and bees, saying they understand that a vineyard and winery would take time.
“The winery is an afterthought, I’m sure it will take a lot of zoning,” he said, adding that his top priority is to preserve the farmland for his family.
After an extensive discussion about goats, the Planning Commission recommended approval of the agricultural district proposal, which now heads to the Board of Supervisors next week.
“This was probably the most interesting agriculture and foresting districting we’ve had in a long time,” Murphy said.
Images via Fairfax County
The Herndon Town Council is hosting a community roundtable later this month.
The roundtable, which is set for Oct. 23 from 7-9 p.m., is designed to give councilmembers and residents a chance to engage in an informal way.
Councilmembers will be available to answer questions about the redevelopment of downtown Herndon and listen to feedback.
The event takes place at the Trinity Presbyterian Church (651 Dranesville Road). It is made possible with a partnership with the church and Cornerstones, a local nonprofit organization.
Image via Town of Herndon
LA Fitness plans to open in Herndon by early 2020, according to a company representative.
The gym, which has more than 700 clubs around the country and Canada, is set to open on Feb. 1 in the Herndon Centre. A company representative told Reston Now the gym could open earlier depending on the speediness of construction and weather.
A number of new businesses are opening in the redeveloped center. Sprouts Farmers Market, an organic grocer, opened its doors earlier this week and IHOP plans to open on Oct. 10. No word yet on when MOD Pizza is expected to open.
The gym is currently seeking partnerships with local businesses to promote the new club. Members can enroll online to take advantage of pre-opening rates.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
In honor of National Coffee with a Cop Day tomorrow (Wednesday), police officers from the Herndon Police Department will host Coffee with a Cop.
The event is a national program that is designed to help officers interact more successfully with citizens they serve. Police meet up with members of the public for casual, one-on-one conversations between residents and district station officers.
The Herndon event will take place from 8-10 a.m. tomorrow at Starbucks, which is located at 1140 Elden Street.
Members of the Fairfax County Sheriff’s Office are also expected o be present at the event tomorrow.
Coffee with a Cop launched in Hawthorne, California as the Hawthorne Police Department sought to effectively engaged with local residents. Since its launch in 2011, the program has been hosted nationwide as part of the framework of community policing, a strategy that aims to establish trust between the community and police.
Jerry’s Subs and Pizza in North Point Village Center appears to have closed.
The restaurant’s signage was removed late last week.
Jerry’s was located at 1432 North Point Village Center. The Reston location reopened in the center in June after a fire forced the business to close in January.
No other information was immediately available.
The village center has several other vacancies. Great China closed in early September. A building permit indicates a new restaurant is expected to replace the Chinese restaurant.
Photo by Laura Crielly
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
A musical promising the audience a synthesis of comedy and murder is coming to Reston next month.
A local production of the Tony award-winning “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” will open at the Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) on Oct. 18 and run through Nov 3.
Here’s more about the plot from RCC:
Set in London in 1907, Gentleman’s Guide focuses on the low-born Monty Navarro, who suddenly learns that he’s ninth in line for an earldom in the lofty D’Ysquith family and sets out to speed up the line of succession by using a great deal of charm… and a dash of murder. Can he knock off his unsuspecting relatives without being caught and become the ninth Earl of Highhurst? And what of love? Because murder isn’t the only thing on Monty’s mind.
“A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder retains a classic aesthetic but with humor that is modern and relevant,” Rich Farella, the director of the production, said in a press release.
The production will be put on by the Reston Community Players, a local non-profit theatre group.
Tickets are available online and start at $24 for students and seniors. Showtimes will take place on the weekends and include matinee and evening performances.
Photos courtesy Reston Community Players
The Town of Herndon is kickstarting the annual fall clean-up week in October.
The week, which is designed to encourage residents to place large or bulky items outside for curbside pick-up, will happen from October 7-11.
Items that can be placed outside for curbside pick-up include appliances, furniture, vehicles parts and plumbing fixtures, tires, and a limited amount of building materials.
Only two tires can be disposed of per household and vehicle parts and plumbing fixtures must be under 50 pounds. Building materials cannot exit one cubic yard, with lengths under four feet.
The pick-up service, which is set for the same day of scheduled trash collection, does not include yard waste and electronics.
Items must be placed on the curbside by 7 a.m. on residents’ scheduled trash day.
For questions and concerns, email [email protected].
Photo via Patricia Valerio/Unsplash
Nashville-based candle company Paddywax is bring its do-it-yourself candle-making workshops to a new location in Reston Town Center.
Paddywax Candle Bar is expected to open in the winter this year, according to the storefront’s signage (1816 Library Street). Patrons can create their own candles during workshops while enjoying food and drinks.
It fills space formerly occupied by The Tasting Room Wine Bar, which left RTC in March this year.
The business has been rapidly expanding in the last year, with new locations coming to Madison, Wisc., Philadelphia, and the District. Paddywax currently has location in Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina.
Photo via The Candle Bar/Facebook
The Town of Herndon is working with Cornerstones to provide a free workshop for owners.
The workshop, which is set for Sunday, Oct. 6, will guide attendees through the many issues of owning and maintaining a home.
The event is set to take place at Herndon Community Center from 1-3 p.m. Contractors, housing specialists, real estate brokerage and attorneys will present information about preventive maintenance, home repairs, foreclosure prevention, and legal documents.
Attendees can RSVP by emailing [email protected]. Space is limited.
Cornerstones is a local nonprofit organization that helps resident overcome economic challenges.
Image via Google Maps