Reston, VA

As state and local officials work to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus, uncertainty remains on when new restaurants planned in Reston and Herndon will open.

That includes Pupatella, an award-winning Neopolitan pizzeria, which previously planned to open at 1821 Wiehle Avenue in early 2020.

Although the McDonald’s in that fast food complex, which is known as McTacoHut, recently underwent renovations, Pupatella Founding Partner Michael Berger tells Reston Now it would be hard to offer an anticipated opening date.

The company hopes to begin construction once it receives a building permit from the county.

“We are currently in the final stages of obtaining our building permit from Fairfax County,” Berger said.

The building no longer bears the name of Pizza Hut, which closed late last year after its lease ended.

“We are thrilled to be joining the Reston community and plan to open as quickly as we are able,” Berger said.

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Sweetgreen has requested permission from Fairfax County to renovate property down the block from its current location 11935 Democracy Drive in Reston, according to county documents.

The chain salad restaurant submitted documents with Fairfax County to redesign the interior of a spot at 1824 Library Street in Reston Town Center.

A Sweetgreen representative said that a new location will be opening in the area, but did not specify what will happen to the current location.

The new location will include outdoor seating and a patio, according to the permits.

The eatery, with locations across the D.C. and Northern Virginia areas, serves a variety of seasonal salads and fresh eats, according to the website.

It is unclear when the new location will open.

Photo via Sweetgreen/Facebook

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A new chicken restaurant coming to the VY at Reston Heights will serve up food with a Peruvian flair.

Chicken Rico plans to open a new location at 11830 Sunrise Valley Drive, according to Fairfax County records.

It is unclear when the location will open for business since a company spokesperson declined to share any details, but those curious about the chain can check out the other location in Herndon (1254 Elden Street).

The chain offers customers fast food options including baked chicken, fried plantains, rice, various grilled meats and more, according to its Facebook page.

Chicken Rico is one of several eateries coming to the apartment building, including My Home Thai, Reston Kabob and California-based chain BurgerIM.

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For Little Leaguers, kids skipping school, and fast food lovers, McTacoHut — a fast food block that takes its name from food spots on Wiehle Avenue — has a storied past in Reston. For decades, the McDonald’s, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut cornered on that block have served up the finest in fast food and fast casual grub, becoming what former Reston resident Michael Berger calls a “monument” in the community.

In early 2020, Berger plans to bring some big changes: The Pizza Hut, which first opened in 1977 at 1821 Wiehle Avenue, will flip to a Neopolitan pizza restaurant, Pupatella. Berger is a founding partner and head of the company’s real estate and supply chain.

As a former Restonian who played table-top Pac-Man at the Pizza Hut and attended more birthdays than he would’ve liked at the McDonald’s former PlayPlace, Berger says he is excited to “bring back the neighborhood pizzeria” to a place he still calls home.

“The Pizza Hut is a different type of restaurant now than it was 25 years ago,” Berger said. “We’re trying to bring the ‘hut’ aspect of McTacoHut back.”

For the Washington, DC resident, the opening of Pupattella comes full circle. Berger graduated from South Lakes High School in 1998 after attending Sunrise Valley Elementary School and Langston Hughes Middle School. He hopes to preserve most of Pizza Hut’s roof to pay homage to its pizza past while renovating the interior.

“We’re entering something that is a monument,” Berger said. “We don’t take that lightly. It honestly sounds kind of cheesy but it is a great honor to come back to the area and bring our pizzeria to the community.”

The Pizza Hut will operate until its lease ends in early 2020.

Until then, Berger says the community has plenty of time to rename ‘McTacoHut.’ That stretch of Wiehle Avenue has already transformed in recent years due to Metro and transit-oriented development. More change is on the way, as the fire department opposite McTacoHut is rebuilt and the coming.

For the coming era, Berger suggests ‘McTacoTella.’

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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The Pines Shopping Center in Herndon has welcomed two tenants to help fill its empty storefronts.

Established in 1959, Pines Center was the first of the shopping centers to pop up along Elden Street.

For roughly the last decade, the shopping center at 690 Elden Street has faced continuing vacancies, which prompted talk in 2012 about revitalizing the center.

News outlets reported the shopping center obtained a new leasing manager — Vienna-based Renaud Consulting — in July 2015. Recently, the commercial real estate company announced that Herndon Laundry and Domino’s signed leases.

Domino’s has 1,600 square foot at the shopping center, while Herndon Laundry occupies a 2,270-square-foot space.

Domino’s lists a location offering both carry-out and delivery at 698 Elden Street on its website.

While Renaud Consulting did not provide the address for Herndon Laundry, its announcement features an image of the closed Coin Laundry at 692 Elden Street.

In its brochure, Renaud Consulting notes that seven out of 19 spaces at the shopping center are vacant, totaling 15,460 square feet of empty retail space.

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Quickway Japanese Hibachi is coming to Dulles Park in Herndon.

Quickway Japanese Hibachi combines the teppanyaki cooking technique — a type of grilling style — with a quick service restaurant setting, according to its website. The menu features different varieties of hibachi, bento boxes and sushi rolls.

The regional fast food chain leased a 1,200 square-foot space in the shopping center, according to a commercial real estate agency. An exact address has not been announced yet.

In addition to the Herndon spot, the hibachi chain also is “opening soon” in Silver Spring, Md. and Spotsylvania, Va.

Image via Google Maps 

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Who’s hungry for more dining options?

As Winter Restaurant Week winds down this weekend, foodies in Reston and Herndon may have noticed some changes to their dining options in an area. Over the last few years, the food scene has seen newcomers pop up and long-established restaurants close.

(For comparison, Winter Restaurant Week in 2016 featured eight Reston-area participants. That’s double the number of participants for this year and 2018.)

Last year alone, several restaurants and two dessert shops shut their doors in Reston Town Center at almost the same rate as new options — HoneygrowBalducci’sMason’s Famous Lobster Rolls and &pizza — popped up.

It’s a new year with new food. Openings already nearing for some of the seven restaurants coming to Reston and Herndon in the first three months of 2019.

Foodies, let us know your thoughts about which dining option the food scenes in Reston and Herndon really need.

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After weeks of renovations, Wendy’s at 1701 Bracknell Drive reopened today.

The first 100 people in line by 10 a.m. on Oct. 27 (Saturday) for the restaurant’s grand reopening event will have the chance to win free food for a year.

The newly renovated interior has larger windows, more open dining areas and updated menus, among other changes.

“This restaurant has bold curb appeal and features a compelling design―inside and out,” said

Arif Islam, Wendy’s Region Manager. “It’s very different from what our customers in Woodbridge are used to, but we think they’ll really like the fresh look and feel of the new Wendy’s.”

Photo via Google Maps

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