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Thai Restaurant Now Open in North Point Village Center

Finn Thai Restaurant and Bar officially opened in the North Point Village Center on Presidents’ Day (Feb. 18).

Finn Thai fills the former Payless spot at 1466 North Point Village Center. The spot has been empty since the discounted footwear retailer left in 2017.

The menu includes curry dishes, noodles, fried rice and vegetarian selections, along with a kid’s menu and wine selection. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, selected steaks are half-priced on Mondays just for the Reston location.

Finn Thai has two other restaurants — one in Purcellville and the second one in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Photo via Finn Thai Reston/Facebook

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‘Bake for Good’ Program Heading to McNair Elementary School

An upcoming program at a Herndon public school is going against the grain of conventional education by teaching students the value of community service and baking.

Students at McNair Elementary School (2499 Thomas Jefferson Drive) can expect the Bake for Good Program to arrive at their school next month.

Meant for fourth- to sixth-graders, the free program teaches students “the value of giving back to their community while learning to bake bread,” according to Fairfax County Public Schools. Representatives from King Arthur Flour, the sponsoring organization, will present the cross-curricular program, which has three main goals: learn, bake and share.

“Students will use practical applications of math, science, and comprehension skills while learning how they can make a positive impact in their local community,” according to the FCPS announcement.

Each student will then bake two loaves of bread — one to take home and one to donate to LINK, which provides emergency food and financial help to people in the western part of the county.

The program begins at McNair Elementary School on March 12.

Image via Google Maps

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Reston, Herndon Schools Join Program Giving Students Free Snacks

Four schools in the Reston and Herndon areas are part of 39 Fairfax County public schools taking part in a new after-school food program that provides free meals or snacks to any student.

Fairfax County Public Schools’ Office of Food and Nutrition Services announced the sponsorship of the At-Risk Afterschool Meals Program yesterday (Feb. 4).

One school in Reston and three in Herndon requested that the program provide them with meals. They include:

  • Herndon Elementary School (630 Dranesville Road)
  • Herndon Middle School (901 Locust Street)
  • Hutchison Elementary School (13209 Parcher Avenue)
  • Dogwood Elementary School (12300 Glade Drive)

Alexandria topped the list with the most requests from 16 schools, followed by 10 in Falls Church.

The program is part of the Child and Adult Care Food Program, which is backed by the United States Department of Agriculture. It is managed by the Virginia Department of Health’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Photo via @fcpsnews/Twitter

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Wooboi Chicken to Bring ‘Nashville Hot Chicken’ to Herndon

Wooboi Chicken is set to hold a soft opening tomorrow ahead of its grand opening next week.

The grand opening at 139 Spring Street, Suite 1 — the former spot of Metro Cafe — is set for Feb. 5, Wooboi Chicken told Reston Now.

The chicken eatery posted on its Facebook page today that it plans to have a soft opening with a limited menu tomorrow (Jan. 30) from noon to 4 p.m. Government workers and law enforcement officers can receive 10 percent off of their entire order.

Wooboi Chicken had pop-up locations in Maryland and Virginia last summer.

The “Nashville hot chicken” is free-range, does not contain antibiotics and is fried in peanut oil, according to its website. For customers with peanut allergies, Wooboi Chicken has a separate fryer that uses canola oil instead.

Depending on how hot customers like their chicken, Chef Minwoo will offer six different levels of heat, along with five options for sides.

Image via Google Maps

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Reston Restaurant Feeds 100 Dulles TSA Workers, Offers Discounts to Furloughed Employees

Updated at 10:45 a.m. — Includes information about feeding the TSA workers from Gaurang Shah.

Vapiano in Reston Town Center has been pitching in to help government workers as the partial federal government shutdown looms on without an end in sight.

The recent efforts stemmed from a desire to “take care of those who take care of us during this political standoff,” according to a press release.

Earlier this week, the Italian restaurant at 1875 Explorer Street offered 50 percent off for furloughed federal workers on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Gaurang Shah, the local behind the Reston Going Out Group on Meetup.com and a Vapiano regular, approached the restaurant with an idea: ask for food donations to serve to TSA workers.

Vapiano then created a menu of homestyle Italian meals. Shah told Reston Now that he pitched in supplies and other food, along with reaching out to a TSA Supervisor at Dulles International Airport who agreed with the proposal.

Shah said that hundreds of TSA workers came to the restaurant for the food.

Image via Vapiano/Twitter

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Peet’s Coffee, DC Row Among Six Newcomers Slated to Open in RTC

Reston Town Center unveiled today (Jan. 24) six newcomers slated to open later this year.

“It is our mission to continue to enhance the RTC experience and provide the community with brands that excite and entice all,” Retail Leasing Director Stephanie Friedman said in a press release.

The newcomers are the following:

The new dining and retail will provide “a diverse mix of shopping and restaurant options,” according to the press release, which does not include their expected opening dates or addresses.

Peet’s Coffee has already posted job openings for its future spot in Reston Town Center.

Located across the country, True Food Kitchen focuses on offering food based Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, according to its website. In Virginia, the chain currently has spots in Arlington and Fairfax.

Reston Now previously reported that Fox Restaurant Concepts plans to open its North Italia concept in RTC at 11898 Freedom Drive — the space Neyla Mediterranean Bistro previously occupied before it closed in 2018.

While Boston Properties originally said North Italia would open in the winter, an employee told Reston Now that it will open later this spring.

Muse Paintbar also planned to open in the winter after it blew past its original fall date, Reston Now previously reported. Its website says that the Reston spot at 11943 Democracy Drive is “coming soon.”

The store combines painting instruction with a beer and wine bar and will host daily painting sessions.

Meanwhile, the Glossary Nail Spa wrote that it is “coming soon” to 1771 Library Street in a Facebook post on Dec. 20.

DC Row will offer high-intensity, low-impact group workout training. This will be its second location after launching at District Wharf in May 2018, according to the press release.

The press release says that various other tenants will be announced in the following months.

File photo

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‘Time Stands Still’ Auditions and More This Weekend in Reston

There’s plenty to do around Reston this weekend in addition to the many events for Reston’s 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday Celebration.

If you’re looking to avoid the cold weather, plenty of indoor activities are scheduled for this weekend.

Tomorrow (Jan. 19)

Stuff the Bus (9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.) —  Head Herndon’s Fox Mill Giant (2551 John Milton Drive) to support Helping Hungry Kids as a part of “Stuff the Bus,” which takes place at various locations around the county to benefit local nonprofit food pantries. Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova will join the event at 11 a.m. to assist with the food collection and also discuss the county’s resources for people impacted by the federal government shutdown.

Fantastic Films at Reston: A Wrinkle in Time (11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.) — The Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) plans to show the 2018 movie, which is based on the classic book by Madeleine L’Engle, with warm cocoa.

“Time Stands Still” auditions (1-4 p.m.) — The Reston Community Players is looking for people to come audition for a show that examines the lives of one couple making a living out of documenting the horrors of war. The auditions, which will be held at 266 Sunset Park Drive in Herndon, will consist of cold readings provided that day. Auditions will also be held at the same time and place on Sunday.

Chess club (1-2:30 p.m.) — Locals can learn chess from experienced instructors at the Herndon Fortnightly Library (768 Center Street).

Sunday (Jan. 20)

Crys Matthews performance (2 p.m.) — Matthews, a singer-songwriter from Herndon, is scheduled to perform her songs at CenterStage at RCC Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road). Tickets cost $15 for Reston residents.

Winter Restaurant Week ends (all day) — Sunday is the last day for locals to enjoy prix fixe menus at the four Reston restaurants that are participating in Winter Restaurant Week.

Photo via Reston Community Players/Facebook

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Plans for Jinya Looking More Uncertain for Reston Town Center

Plans for Jinya Ramen Bar to open at a vacant spot in Reston Town Center are still undetermined.

Reston Now previously reported in December that the Japanese ramen restaurant chain said on its website that it was “coming soon” to 11964 Market Street, the former spot of a Thai restaurant. 

A reader pointed out yesterday (Jan. 17) that the Reston location is no longer listed.

An employee for La Brea Dining Group, the parent company of the Jinya brand, told Reston Now that nothing has been finalized yet on the Reston Town Center location. The employee said she wasn’t sure why the Reston address was posted on the website, since the plans are still in the process.

When contacted by Reston Now, Jinya Ramen Bar said, “We are looking for better opportunities in that area!”

The chain has nearby locations in D.C. and Fairfax, Va.

Photo via Google Maps

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Poll: Which Dining Option Are You Most Craving?

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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Realtors, Lake Anne Brew House Collect Donations for South Lakes HS Food Pantry

Updated at 2:35 p.m. — Includes updated numbers for the food pantry.

The holidays may be over, but one business at Lake Anne Plaza is continuing the season of giving and holiday spirit into 2019.

The Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) hosted an ugly sweater fundraising party yesterday (Jan. 6) to benefit the food pantry at South Lakes High School.

Several realtors, including Rob Cox, Mary Miceli, Carol Welsh and Ben and Kristi Guidry from Long & Foster Real Estate, helped host the party, according to a Lake Anne Plaza Facebook post.

The Lake Anne Brew House credited Long & Foster in Reston with the idea for the party and sponsorship of the pizza.

The event collected non-perishable food items and personal products — along with a nearly $500 donation — for the school’s food pantry, where nearly 730 students can “shop” for food and toiletries.

The food pantry is designed to help close the hunger and nutrition gap for the 30 percent of South Lakes High School students who are on the free and reduced lunch program, according to the school. The food pantry distributes more than 175 bags of groceries and toiletries to more than 95 families each week.

Roberta Gosling, one of the founders of the pantry, told Reston Now that students from Langston Hughes Middle School, Terraset Elementary School and other South Lakes High school pyramid schools are coming to the pantry.

Since opening in March 2017, the food pantry has given out more than 8,000 bags of food, she said.

Photo via Lake Anne Plaza/Facebook 

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Seven Restaurants Slated to Open in Reston, Herndon in 2019

(Updated at 3:46 p.m.) Foodies who are hungry for more options can start craving these upcoming restaurant openings.

Italian, Thai and Afghan cuisine and more are heading to Reston and Herndon early next year.

Reston

Finn Thai Restaurant and Bar, a Thai restaurant, aims to open at 1466 North Point Village Center “around the beginning of 2019,” according to its website.

Bombay Velvet, a fine-dining, Indian restaurant, will open later in January at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, the restaurant confirmed on Facebook. Reston Now previously reported that the owner said the restaurant was planning to open sometime near Christmas.

Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, will open next in February or March at JBG Smith’s RTC West development at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Reston Now previously reported.

Fox Restaurant Concepts plans to open its North Italia concept at 11898 Freedom Drive in Reston Town Center by early 2019, Reston Now previously reported.

Herndon 

Ramen and Rice will open at 482 Elden Street in Herndon Centre sometime in January or February, Owner Sirinda Liw previously told Reston Now.

Kabobi by the Helmand, a restaurant serving Afghan cuisine, plans to open in February at 2321 Dulles Station Blvd, Suite A near the Innovation Center Metro station, Owner Khaleeq Ahmad told Reston Now.

Wooboi Chicken is coming to 139 Spring Street, Suite 1 in January, according to its Facebook page.

Photos via Helmand Kabobi/Facebook, North Italia, Finn Thai and Wooboi Chicken

This story has been updated

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Reston Restaurants to Cook up Food for ‘Winter Restaurant Week’

Updated at 9:35 on Jan. 10 — Includes McCormick & Schmick’s. 

Four restaurants in Reston are among the 250 places in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. on the roster for Winter Restaurant Week in January.

Winter Restaurant Week will run from Monday, Jan. 14, to Sunday, Jan. 20, with prix fixe menus — $35 dinner and $22 lunch.

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington announced yesterday (Dec. 20) that Founding Farmers, The Melting Pot and PassionFish will offer both lunch and dinner during the event. McCormick & Schmick’s is also on the roster as of Jan. 10, 2019.

Two of the restaurants have certain restrictions.

Located at 1904 Reston Metro Plaza, Founding Farmers will have its regularly priced buffet brunch instead of the prix fixe lunch available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekend of Jan. 19.

The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant located at 11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 100, will not allow diners to share or split entrees or ask for substitutions.

Seafood-focused eatery PassionFish at 11960 Democracy Drive and McCormick & Schmick’s at 11920 Democracy Drive do not have any dining restrictions posted on Winter Restaurant Week’s website.

Photos via Passionfood Hospitality, PassionFish, Founding Farmers Reston and Google Maps

This story has been updated

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Restaurants and Stores Shuffle, Reopen in Herndon Centre

Shoppers at Herndon Centre might have noticed a few recent changes to its food offerings.

Several locations in the shopping center have welcomed new grocery stores and restaurants this year — some of which relocated there — along with closures.

Mayuri Indian Restaurant moved to Herndon Centre in July to 390 Elden Street after it closed its Hunters Woods Village Center location in 2016. The restaurant closed its original spot of 10 years after the lease ended, according to the restaurant’s website.

Mayuri’s Herndon Centre spot used to belong to Baker’s Inn Indian Bistro & Cafe, which opened in 2016, according to its Facebook page. While its closing date is unknown, the restaurant was still open in late June, according to Yelp reviews.

Tipicos Gloria relocated about 150 feet from its spot at 482 Elden Street to 470 Elden Street about five months ago, an employee told Reston Now. The Central American eatery’s vacated spot is slated to open early next year as Ramen and Rice, Reston Now previously reported.

As for grocery options, ethnic grocer Lotte Plaza Market opened Dec. 7 at 490 Elden Street.

Sprouts Farmers Market grocery store is expected to take over part of the former Kmart space at 494 Elden Street. Demolition is still underway for that site.

Florida-based real estate investment firm Sterling Organization is dividing the former Kmart spot, Reston Now previously reported. Renderings of the project submitted to the Town of Herndon show the site will be the future home of LA FitnessMOD Pizza and IHOP.

Curry Leaf Fresh Market closed at 378 Elden Street earlier this year. A sign on the door, as of Dec. 17, indicates that the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority “is considering establishing a retail store at this location.”

380 Elden Street, which used to be a Sprint store, has signs indicating the space is available for retailers.

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App Fighting Food Waste Looks to Expand Reach Around Reston

An organization combatting food insecurity with an app is looking to serve more people in and around Reston

Food Rescue US uses an app to target local sites around the country, including Victorville, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and New Haven, Conn.

Here’s how the app works — restaurants, grocers and food providers can list surplus food for donation. Then, volunteers follow directions in the app for picking up and dropping off the food to receiving agencies like food pantries and community kitchens, which indicate in the app what they need.

Kate Urbank, the D.C. site director for Food Rescue, told Reston Now that the D.C.-area community started in October 2016. Since then, the efforts have helped redistribute nearly one million pounds of food. “We get hundreds of pounds a day,” Urbank said, adding that donors include Capital One and Boeing.

Last year, Food Rescue started bringing food to the Embry Rucker Community Shelter from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which has food prepared by FLIK Hospitality.

The Reston nonprofit Cornerstones (11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 210), which provides support for people in need of food, shelter, affordable housing and other services, helps to operate the shelter at 11975 Bowman Towne Drive.

Volunteers pick up food five days a week from Freddie Mac and then drop off at the shelter twice a week. As the site director, Urbank operates the app, determining the type of food, amount and proximity for volunteers to take to receiving locations.

The app has had the “hottest growth” in Northern Virginia, which currently has 50 active volunteers with five from Reston and two from Herndon, Urbank said.

“I’m very open to branching off the Northern Virginia piece,” Urbank said. “It’s so ripe.”

Urbank said that she met with Food for Others, an organization in Fairfax that helps distribute food., as she looks to expand the efforts in Northern Virginia. Last week, she hired a woman in Tysons who will help with community outreach in the area.

Ultimately, Food Rescue US aims to reach all 50 states, Urbank said.

Photo via iTunes store

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