Piano Bar No Longer Plans To Open at Junction Square

The owner of an upscale piano bar has reneged on plans to open an upscale piano bar in Herndon’s Junction Square neighborhood.

Risky Ricky’s planned to open last year at 700 Elden Street. But after waiting for two years as the builder completed the project, the owner says he recently decided to pull the plug on the project, which would have featured an upscale wine and piano bar.

“At a later stage, the developer still had no idea as to when the project will finish,” Rick Khosla, the owner, told Reston Now. He originally planned to open in September 2017 — a date that was later pushed to late 2018.

Khosla says the property did not come with any dedicated parking spots — which also prompted him to back off on his business plans. He says the cost of completing the space was also too excessive “to make the numbers work.” Khosla also hinted “animosity from local businesses” because of his decision to sell wine.

Earlier this month, artist Trisha Adams opened up a new art gallery at Junction Square. Work to get other businesses in motion is ongoing.

Risky Ricky’s is still on the market for a new location in Herndon or Reston. Khosla is planning to move back to Herndon after two years in Sterling and hopes to see projects like Junction Square succeed.

“Herndon is close to my heart,” he said.

Image via Google Maps

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New Art Gallery Opens Up Shop in Herndon’s Junction Square

Painter Trisha Adams has opened up a gallery at Herndon’s Junction Square neighborhood, bringing some life to vacant storefronts in the new property at 708a Elden Street.

Adams, a Californian who started painting when she was 44, set up shop on May 1. She is known for her bright and colorful landscapes and still paintings.

“I love the look and location of Junction Square,” Adams told Reston Now. “The front windows are great to display new paintings.”

She says it took six months to complete build-out and she’s still in the process of outfitting the building.

Junction Square is a 55,000-square-foot mixed-use development that includes 20 luxury town homes and storefronts. It is located at the central intersection of Elden and Monroe streets.

Work continues on a new beauty and barber shop planned in the neighborhood. So far, there’s been limited activity where a new juice bar is planned to open at 702 Elden Street.

Visitors are encouraged to call 540-454-5922 before dropping in, Adams said. The gallery is typically open between noon and 6 p.m. on weekdays.

Photo via Trisha Adams

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Friday Morning Notes

“Storytime Social!” — Parents, caregivers and kids can join Scrawl Books’ storytime social hour, which includes coffee for the adults and stories for the kids. The event starts at 11 a.m. [Scrawl Books]

Reston Friends Children and Educators Book Sale — From 10 a.m.-5 pm., locals can browse and buy children’s book and teaching materials at the Reston Regional Library. [Fairfax County]

Herndon startup raised millions — Herndon-based DocASAP, which aims to streamline the process of scheduling doctor’s appointments and physician-to-physician referrals, has raised $14 million from multiple investors, which it plans to use to expand its network of healthcare providers. The health tech firm also recently partnered with the Florida Orthopaedic Institute. [DC Inno]

Darwin Martinez-Torres sentenced — The 23-year-old has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after pleading guilty to raping and killing 17-year-old Nabra Hassanen in June 2017. [WTOP, Reston Now]

Kids’ Trout Fishing Day recap — If you missed the Reston Association’s annual event at Snakeden Stream last Saturday (March 23), this article shares details about the day. [Connection Newspapers]

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Domino’s, Herndon Laundry Sign Leases for Pines Shopping Center

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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Weird Brothers Coffee Saving Coffee Grounds for Gardeners

Weird Brothers Coffee is saving up its coffee grounds and chaff for gardeners.

“Just bring your own bucket and scoop and help yourself!” the Herndon coffee shop posted on Instagram.

Weird Brothers Coffee is a disabled-veteran-owned, small-batch coffee roaster at 321 Sunset Park Drive that was started by two brothers.

Gardeners can use coffee grounds as fertilizer, help alter pH levels of the soil, deter pests and attract worms, according to CNET.

Photo via Weird Bros Coffee/Instagram

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Wooboi Chicken’s Chef Talks Secret Menu, Spiciest Nashville Hot Chicken Waiver

One month after Wooboi Chicken’s opening, Chef Minwoo says that the Herndon eatery still has lines out of the door in the late morning and even one diner who came down from New Jersey for a taste of the Nashville Hot Chicken.

After pop-up locations around Maryland and Virginia last summer, Wooboi Chicken officially opened a brick-and-mortar spot in early February at 139 Spring Street, Suite 1.

The 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.

The concept is based on Nashville Hot Chicken, which has its roots in a woman’s attempt to get back at her cheating man by serving him a super spicy chicken.

Minwoo told Reston Now that he has thrown in his own twists, including D.C. mumbo sauce made from pineapples, distilled wine, vinegar, tomato paste; Japanese-influenced brine; and a unique breading that Minoo calls a “fusion of fine dining and generic KFC and Popeyes.”

The chicken eatery offers six different levels of heat depending on how hot customers like their chicken — the code red and code blue options are the hottest and require an extra warning: a “waiver” on a chalkboard-painted wall where diners have signed their names.

Minwoo estimates that about 10 percent of the customers try either the red or the blue option, and about 5 percent of those “brave people” successfully finish their food. (If you’re not a spice person, don’t go above a level two, Minwoo says.)

This Reston Now reporter chickened out and tried one of the milder items from the secret menu instead — the Merkaroni Salad. (Town of Herndon Mayor Lisa Merkel took to Twitter to share her excitement about having a secret menu item named after herself.)

Other secret menu items to ask for include The Kracken, which is a double chicken sandwich inspired by Paul from Weird Brothers Coffee, and the Choi Fries, which are fries with D.C. mumbo sauce, chicken, cheddar cheese and mustard.

The secret menu isn’t the only surprise. The recipes change a little bit every day, Minwoo adds.

“I’m just going to try to make the best chicken sandwich I can.”

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Ramen and Rice Bowl Adds ‘Coming Soon’ Sign at Herndon Centre

Ramen and Rice Bowl now has a “coming soon” sign up at its Herndon Centre spot.

No word yet, though, on an opening date for the fusion ramen restaurant at 482 Elden Street. The spot used to belong to Tipicos Gloria, a Central American eatery, before it relocated about 150 feet away to 470 Elden Street last year.

The restaurant currently has a liquor license pending for wine and beer.

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Herndon Tech Company Serco to Add 200 Jobs

Herndon-based tech company Serco Inc. announced on Friday (March 8) that it would hire 200 new employees to support a new program.

Serco said in a press release that it was awarded a contract to provide field office support services to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, a federal agency that protects the retirement incomes of workers in private-sector defined benefit pension plans.

The new jobs will help Serco manage records and documents, conduct data analysis, build databases, provide customer service and more for the PBGC field offices.

Serco Inc., a subsidy of Serco Group PLC, provides technology and management services by advising, designing, integrating and delivering solutions to clients. The Herndon-headquartered company has roughly 6,000 employees, according to its website.

Image via Google Maps

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Friday Morning Notes

Celebrate International Women’s Day — Head to Lake Anne Plaza tonight for a kick off of weekend events honoring the women who helped shape the plaza. A free event tonight at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery includes a gallery reception and panel discussion starting at 7:30 p.m. [Reston Now]

Call for candidates — The Reston Association’s Design Review Board is looking for a member to fill a design professional volunteer position. Architects, land planners and landscape architects are encouraged to apply. [Application]

Done deal — Herndon-based Tyto Athene recently bought Island Information Technology Consultants in a move meant to continue the Herndon company’s strategy of building mid-market tech solutions and managed services. [Washington Business Journal]

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Thursday Morning Notes

Tai chi — The Reston Regional Library will a tai chi fitness class led by local instructor Susan Shen from 6:30-7:30 p.m. tonight. [Fairfax County]

Sinking solution — “Officials have finally repaired a $52 million parking garage along Phase 2 of Metro’s Silver Line expansion that was sinking, but the garage is greatly behind schedule, according to a report. NBC Washington transportation reporter Adam Tuss reported that the parking garage slated for the Innovation Center Station has been repaired and work on it has resumed, but it is now 8-10 months behind schedule.” [Patch]

Reston activist dies — Barbara Freeman, a civic and community activist, died Jan. 26 at her home in Reston at the age of 91. Her daughter told the Washington Post the cause was pneumonia. Freeman volunteered with the Reston Community Association, Reston Interfaith, the League of Women Voters of Fairfax County and youth soccer. [The Washington Post]

Scavenger hunt in Herndon — “During February, teachers at Herndon Community Center Preschool taught their young students about community helpers, the given individuals traditionally seen working in public service roles of safety, health and education.” [Connection Newspapers]

Herndon company acquired — A Texas-based software provider acquired Herndon-based MicroPact, which currently serves NASA, the Social Security Administration and the Justice and Treasury departments, in a $185 million deal. [Washington Technology]

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Check your smoke alarm — When you move your clocks forward by one hour on Sunday, the fire department wants you to also check to make sure that your smoke alarm is working with these tips and tricks. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue]

Spring Flea Market — Missed the flea market? This recap shares locals’ reactions and experiences at the event last weekend. [Connection Newspapers]

Herndon, Fairfax companies join — “On the heels of a promising earnings report, ManTech International Corp. announced an agreement Friday to acquire Kforce Government Solutions Inc. for $115 million — expanding its federal civilian services portfolio… The acquisition adds more than 500 KGS employees, who are mostly based in Greater Washington and Austin, Texas, to ManTech’s 7,800-person team.” [Washington Business Journal]

Grow with Google — Attend free workshops and one-on-one coaching focused on digital skills, job searching and small business growth and marketing tools today at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. The all-day event is in partnership with Google. [Fairfax County]

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Mascot Books Shares Favorite Books by Local Authors

Looking for some reading suggestions? Mascot Books has some recommendations for books by local authors.

The full-service hybrid book publishing company (620 Herndon Parkway #320) started in 2003 with a self-published book about a collegiate mascot. Since then, it has published more than 2,500 fiction, nonfiction, children’s and cookbooks since then, according to its website.

Reston Now asked Mascot Books to share some favorite books about Reston or written by local authors. Here’s what the staff recommended, along with reasons for why they are worth reading.

“Ruby Foo and the Traveling Kitchen: Finding the Foo Identity” by Tiffany Foo

Description: Ruby Foo may seem like your middle schooler, but in the kitchen, she turns into a culinary superhero called the Fantastic Foo! When a mysterious photograph leads her out of her own kitchen and into her grandfather’s, she must use her culinary skill and courage to uncover some long-hidden secrets about her family’s storied past.

Why we love it: Part history, part culinary adventure (and including several kid-friendly recipes!), “Ruby Foo” is perfect for chefs of all ages — she is as smart as she is fearless and is a great role model for middle school-age kids. Tiffany Foo is a Herndon resident.

“Reston A to Z” by Watt Hamlett

Description: “Reston A to Z” takes young readers on a tour of America’s first modern planned community. Guided by Robert E. “Bob” Squirrel (reminiscent of Reston’s beloved founder, Robert E. Simon), readers will undoubtedly recognize the town’s many landmarks in the photos of the places, activities and nature that make Reston a treasure to families.

Why we love it: Reston was one of the first planned communities in the state, and “Reston A to Z” does a great job not just showing off the local sites, but also talking about the history of this great town. We particularly love the piece about the town center — it’s amazing to see how it’s changed! Hamlett is a Reston resident.

“Hoos in the Kitchen” by Melissa Palombi

Description: Inspired by the flourishing food scene and endless pride of the University of Virginia, “Hoos in the Kitchen” features more than sixty recipes from members of the UVA community. This collection is perfect for UVA fans everywhere, with recipes designed to incorporate Virginia-based ingredients to those of international origins.

Why we love it: Melissa grew up in Reston and moved to Charlottesville to work for the University of Virginia. Hoos in the Kitchen does a great job of showing the local culture and community through food. We’d love to see a “Reston Kitchen” cookbook one day, too! Palombi was raised in Reston.

Photos via Mascot Books

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Town of Herndon Continues Work with Comstock on Downtown Plans

Comstock’s newest redevelopment plans for downtown Herndon are moving forward.

Town Manager Bill Ashton told the Herndon Town Council at its public session last night (Feb. 26) that the staff has finished reviewing the fourth resubmission of the site plans. The staff began the review at the start of February.

Now, the staff is preparing to send a consolidated list of questions back to Comstock.

“It’s something we’re working on diligently, but it’s deep in the staff weeds right now,” Ashton said.

The next step will involve the Heritage Preservation Review Board, he said.

At the meeting, the Town Council approved a special exemption to increase the number of nonresidents from four to seven in a 24-hour period at a home-based business.

The change affects a hair salon at 767 Monroe Street. The salon’s website says:

The salon is located in an English basement on a private residence. Please park in the driveway.  On the left side of the house you’ll see a fence gate, if it is closed please let yourself in, then follow the concrete sidewalk all the way around back where you’ll find a staircase down to the salon.

“We really want to make it easier for home-based businesses to thrive in Herndon,” Councilmember Cesar del Aguila said, urging locals to share any advice they may have.

The Town Council also approved an amendment to the town’s Comprehensive Plan to create a design concept for improvements on South Elden Street between Sterling Road and Herndon Parkway.

“I know this is the first step, and we need to secure the funding so we can get into the nitty-gritty with trash cans and raised medians,” Mayor Lisa Merkel said. “As the Metro station opens, this does need to be a more walkable and friendly area.”

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After-Hours Urgent Care Center for Kids Now Open in Herndon

PM Pediatrics held a ribbon-cutting ceremony last night (Feb. 26) to celebrate its new Herndon spot.

The ceremony came about two weeks after PM Pediatrics opened at 905 Herndon Parkway on Saturday, Feb. 16, according to a Facebook post.

The after-hours urgent care center advertises itself as an alternative to the emergency room for children and young adults. The staff of pediatric emergency specialists can treat kids in urgent situations, including earaches, fevers, infections, asthma, wounds and more.

PM Pediatrics has 39 locations spanning Alaska to New York and 10 more “coming soon,” according to the website. The Herndon location is open every day until midnight.

Image via Google Maps

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Crime Roundup: Reston Man Charged for Valentine’s Day Assault

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a Reston man on Valentine’s Day after he allegedly assaulted a woman in Sterling.

Deputies responded around 1 p.m. on Valentine’s Day to the 400 block of Bailey Court — the area where a female reported that a man she knows unlawfully entered her residence twice that day.

The man woke up the woman after entering her home in the morning and then fled with the woman’s purse after another resident in the home confronted him, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

“He then returned later in the day and again entered the home unlawfully,” the report says, adding that the man grabbed the woman and would not allow her to use her phone to call for help.

“The suspect then pushed the victim and a brief altercation ensued” before the man fled the area, police say.

Police arrested 20-year-old Chester S. Wesley of Reston and charged him with two counts of burglary, two counts of simple assault, trespassing, stalking, petit larceny, grand larceny, abduction and robbery.

Wesley is being held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on no bond.

The Fairfax County Police Department’s Reston District Station reported the following incidents in recent days:

LARCENIES:

11100 block of Saffold Way, wallet from vehicle

6500 block of Springfield Towne Center, cell phone from location

12100 block of Sunset Hills Road, wallet from location

STOLEN VEHICLES:

11000 block of Saffold Way, 2014 Hyundai Sonata

Herndon police are trying to find the armed robber who took off with an undisclosed amount of cash from a Herndon business.

The robber entered the business in the 1100 block of Crestview Drive shortly after midnight on Feb. 10, according to the Herndon Police Department. The suspect then “displayed a weapon and indicated to the victim he wanted cash” before getting away.

“The suspect is described as possibly a black male, wearing all black, a mask, and gloves,” according to the Herndon Police Department.

The case is currently under investigation.

Herndon police say an unknown number of suspects broke a basement window and entered a Herndon home in the 800 block of Locust Street sometime between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8. Nothing was reportedly taken from the home. Police are currently investigating the case.

File photo

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