Reston, VA

Finn Thai plans on expanding from its original location in Reston to Great Falls.

The restaurant, which serves traditional cuisine from South East Asia, will take over the space currently occupied by Wild Ginger, according to Finn Thai’s owner Willy Chaokrajang. 

Currently, the new Finn Thai location is waiting for approval to serve wine and beer at 752 Walker Road, Suite A.

The eatery is expected to open in February, Chaokrajang said, adding that the location was chosen because he thinks it will be convenient for customers.

“The menu will be similar to what we have in Reston,” he added. 

Currently, the restaurant has three other locations scattered throughout the D.C. area.

Photo via Finn Thai/Facebook

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A two-car crash along Springvale Road has sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries and caused the road to close.

Fairfax County sent out an alert about the crash and road closure near the intersection of Parkerhouse Drive at 9:46 a.m. today (Friday).

Sgt. James Curry, a police spokesperson, told Reston Now that one person was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

The road is currently closed in both directions, Curry said that it is expected to reopen soon.

Image via Google Maps 

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Great Falls Library has reopened after a one-day closure yesterday (Thursday).

According to Fairfax County’s website, the library was closed due to lack of heat. Normal operations have now resumed.

The library is open today from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is located at 9830 Georgetown Pike in Great Falls.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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The new owners of Normandy Farm in Great Falls want to expand the current equestrian center on the property — with permission from Fairfax County.

The Youngkin family bought parts of the Normandy Farms property (681 Rossmore Court) in 2015 and 2019 before applying for the roughly 31 acres of land to be reclassified as an agricultural and forest district.

The family claims the land has no historical significance for the area but they hope to preserve the nine acres of forest on the property and enhance equestrian infrastructure on the property.

The land includes barns, indoor and outdoor riding arenas, boarding and training facilities, horse pastures, meadows and a pond, which is home to Canadian geese, a blue heron and turtles, according to county documents. The documents also noted that the family plans to maintain the natural importance of the land.

“The proposed application is in conformance with plan goals of preserving the rural character of this environmentally sensitive area,” the application said.

The Youngkin family requested a public hearing with the Fairfax County Agricultural and Forestal District Advisory Board and the Fairfax County Planning Commission to review their application, according to the documents, which likely won’t happen before spring 2020.

The Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to consider the application in February.

Image via Google Maps

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A ribbon-cutting ceremony will celebrate the completion of the Georgetown Pike Trail next week.

The new 4.2-mile-long pedestrian trail will allow passers-by to travel from River Bend Road westward to Seneca Road in Great Falls.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and other Fairfax County officials will be on-site at the intersection of Georgetown Pike and Falls Bridge Lane at 11 a.m. to announce the completion of the project, according to a press release.

All community members are welcome to attend the free event.

The project began in 2001 and was completed in four parts, according to Fairfax County.

Image via Fairfax County

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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

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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

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A Great Falls home fire on Saturday, Sept. 28 was caused by an electrical event, according to investigators.

An investigation by the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department found that the fire, which caused nearly $55,000 in damages, found that the fire was accidental in nature. It began on the outside of the one-story, single-family home after an electrical event linked to the outside flood. light.

Two residents, who were at home during the fire, were displaced. Red Cross assistance was offered but declined.

The fire happened at around 2:19 a.m. No civilian or firefighter injuries were reported

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A ceremony at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial will honor 9/11 victims on the 18th anniversary of the terrorist attacks.

“Six residents of Great Falls perished in the 9/11 attacks,” according to Great Falls Freedom Memorial.

The annual remembrance ceremony on Wednesday (Sept. 11) is set to start at 7 p.m.

Frank Sesno, the then-CNN Washington Bureau Chief on 9/11, will be the keynote speaker. The event will also have patriotic songs, a raising of the flags by the Boy Scouts and a candle-lighting, according to the Celebrate Great Falls Foundation.

In the case of rain, the event will get moved to the Great Falls Library (9830 Georgetown Pike).

Attendees can find parking in the library parking lot. While there will be limited seating, attendees are encouraged to bring portable chairs.

Photo via Great Falls Freedom Memorial/Facebook

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A new statewide progressive advocacy group for climate change is set to launch at Great Falls Library on Saturday (August 17).

The group, Earth Rise Indivisible, seeks to seeks to mobilize the public to address what it calls a “climate crisis.”

The science on the climate crisis is precise; climate change is happening, and can likely be attributed to human activities.  We are impacting every facet of life on our planet destructively.  However, we can take action to save our big blue marble.  Immediate action can stop or reduce potential adverse outcomes,” according to a press release issued by the organization today (Thursday).

The event runs from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and features a vegetarian bag lunch, a celebratory happy hour at Old Brogue (760 Walker Road), skill-building workshops, yoga breaks and presentations by Climate Reality and Green New Deal VA.

Registration is open online.

Photo via Fairfax County Government

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Eight Native American tribes from the state are set to take part in the Virginia Native American Festival at Riverbend Park in Great Falls next month.

The festival — which includes hands-on activities and live demonstrations — is set for Saturday, September 7 at the park from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Demonstrations include storytelling, fire making, archery, spear throwing and making stone tools. Attendees will also get the change to help build a dugout canoe. Vendors will also be on-site to sell Native American crafts, pottery and jewelry.

Registration is $8 online and $10 at the gate.

The Rappahannock tribe dancers and drummers are also scheduled to perform at the event.

The festival is organized by the Fairfax County Park Authority and Riverbend Park, which is located at 8700 Potomac Hills Street in Great Falls.

Photo via Fairfax County Park Authority/Facebook

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Colvin Run Mill Historic Site’s barn will be renamed in honor of two local parks advocates.

The Fairfax County Park Authority voted on July 25 to rename the barn in honor of Robert and Marjorie Lundegard. The board described the Lundegards as advocates who were “a major influence in getting park recommendations for Colvin Run implemented.”

FCPA wrote the following about the couple:

Robert Lundegard and his wife, Marjorie, spent much of their retirement time volunteering and spearheading preservation fundraising efforts at Colvin Run Mill. After Mr. Lundegard’s death in May of this year, he was hailed as a park icon and an “amazing guy” who would be remembered for his love of parks, in particular, Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. He was known as a dedicated and visionary leader who saw the importance and value of educating the public, especially school children, about Fairfax County’s colonial and 19th Century heritage. He pushed for the restoration of the mill and miller’s house, efforts which led to today’s fully operational facilities.

The barn will officially be renamed the Marjorie and Robert J. Lundegard Education Center. Park staff will work with the Friends of Colvin Run Mill to schedule a public ceremony to celebrate the facility’s naming.

The couple raised more than $50,000 to support Colvin Run Mill’s capital improvement plan, which includes renovation of the Miller’s House on the site and the building of a planned visitor education center. They were among the first members of the Friends of Colvin Run Mill when it formed in 1997.

They also raised funds for the mill through a partnership with a local consignment shop in McLean and through Marjorie’s written work about mills in the region.

Photo via FCPA

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Lake Anne Brew House and Great Falls Reston Soccer are partnering up on Sunday, August 4 for a special event.

From noon to 5 p.m., residents will get the chance to take part in a meet and greet with Washington Spirit, an American professional soccer club based in Germantown, Md.

The event, which will take place at the brew house, is being held to celebrate Great Falls Reston Soccer Club Day.

Participants can also donate used soccer gear to the club, which will be selling spirit wear.

The meet and greet will also include a raffle.

Photo via Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook

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Update on Friday, July 26 at 8 a.m.: The road was reopened early Friday morning.

Commuters passing through Georgetown Pike at Seneca Road should plan to take a detour today (Thursday).

The Fairfax County Police Department indicated that the road is shutdown due to emergency repairs.

It is unclear how long the road will remain shutdown.

No other information was immediately available.

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Trustar Bank will open in Great falls on July 10, making it the first new bank to open in the Washington area in more than a decade.

The Washington Business Journal reports that it is the first bank to receive approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate and open its doors since FVCBank opened in November 2007.

Here’s more from the report:

Trustar most recently received approval from Virginia, which also made it the first bank since 2008 to get state consent. Meanwhile, other banks in organization are also working on their own approvals, including Tysons-based VisionBank, which hopes to open its doors in the coming months, D.C.-based Founders Bank started by Bank of Georgetown alums, and District-based Moxy Bank, which recently received its conditional approval from the District.

Trustar recently closed on more than $50 million in new funding, above the high end of the $35 million to $50 million it had originally intended.

The bank has also fleshed out its advisory board, recently adding Ryan Kerrigan, a star outside linebacker for Washington’s NFL team, and former Republican congresswoman Barbara Comstock, who lost a 2018 bid for reelection in Virginia’s 10th District.

The bank is rapidly expanding in the area. It has signed a letter of intent at The Spectrum at Reston Town Center (11846 Spectrum Center) and plans to open a lending office in McLean.

Logo via Trustar

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