Reston, VA

Herndon officially has one less Starbucks location.

As of Dec. 27, the location at 13035A Worldgate Drive in Worldgate Centre shuttered its doors.

A spokesperson for Starbucks told Reston Now that the location was closed as part of a standard course of business” that aims to ensure a health store portfolio.”

“We look forward to continuing to serve the Herndon community and encourage our customers to visit us at our other stores in the area,” the spokesperson wrote.

Coffee lovers can still enjoy coffee at Weird Brothers, which has a location at 12825 Worldgate Drive in the Worldgate Metro Office Park. Starbucks also has other nearby locations at Village Center and on Elden Street.

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After nearly four years of waiting for approvals and other planning issues, Aslin Beer Company has finally opened its location in the Town of Herndon.

“We’ve waited almost four long years to share the Herndon taproom with you and we couldn’t be more excited and proud,” the business wrote on Facebook. “Thank you so much for your patience and support over the years and we hope you love it as much as we do.”

The Herndon taproom, which opened on Monday at 767 Elden Street, has the same hours as the Alexandria location. It is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, between 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Customers are allowed to bring outside food to the Herndon location and food trucks are planned to be at the site. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the taproom is open to individuals who are 21 or above. Dogs are welcome in the beer garden.

Masks are required except when seated.

Here’s what on draft today in Herndon:

  • Fragile Kind
  • That Shiz Slaps
  • Nope Rope
  • Karate in the Garage
  • Johann Needs A Bigger Broat
  • Bunk Beds
  • You Call That A Knife
  • Triple Orange Starfish
  • Sexy Time… I Like
  • How Now Brown Cow
  • Buku Mocha

The business also offers curbside pickup and next-day delivery in the Northern Virginia region and the District.

Photos via Aslin Beer Co./Facebook

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Company Buys Matchbox –Thompson Hospitality, a Reston-based company, has brought Matchbox out of bankruptcy with new ownership. The company expects to open a new location at Wiehe-Reston East. [WTOP]

Herndon-based Company Acquires Maryland Cyber Defense Firm — “ManTech International Corp. (NASDAQ: MANT) has made its first acquisition move of the year, buying cybersecurity firm Minerva Engineering in a deal announced Thursday. The terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, but it marks the Herndon information technology company’s first mergers & acquisition activity since 2019’s $115 million purchase of Kforce Government Solutions Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Fairfax County Park Authority Names New Director of Golf — “The Fairfax County Park Authority has selected Jesse Coffman to head operations at its eight public golf courses. Coffman will begin his duties as Director of Golf Operations on Dec. 7, 2020. He succeeds Todd Johnson, who will retire in December as Golf Enterprises Branch Manager after more than 32 years with the Park Authority.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Some new food options are coming to Herndon as Spice Village is set to open this month at the Village Center at Dulles.

Spice Village will function as a food hall featuring four restaurants and their takes on halal. There will be halal options with influences from China, Portugal, the United States and the Shinwari, a Pashtun tribe in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“Some people, they have their different tastes; some have a preference for Chinese, some want to have steaks,” owner Zayan Abbasi said.

“So, if there are five, six or seven family members, if somebody is not happy with one thing, there will be another option under the same roof and they won’t have to go to another location.”

Abbasi says he is aiming for Spice Village to have a soft opening in the middle of November. He’s been planning to open this space for two years.

The first of the restaurants inside Spice Village to open will be Peri Peri Original, an international chain restaurant. Abbasi plans to have Mandarin Halal Express open two weeks following the opening of the food hall.

Kallisto Steakhouse and Khybar Shinwari, respectively, will open over the next couple of months.

While the food hall has yet to open, Abbasi says he’s already received plenty of interest from the community.

“We have had a very good response so far,” he said. “I receive a lot of calls every single day and receive emails. People are ready for that concept, and they’re very excited.”

Abbasi is planning for a grand opening in about two or three months. He says he is holding off due to COVID-19 safety reasons and a desire not to create “long queues” at this time.

Photo courtesy Zayan Abbasi

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On Wednesday, Nov. 4, the Town of Herndon Architectural Review Board will be holding a virtual work session to discuss the signage of a new retail store called Herl’s Bath and Home Solutions.

Herl’s Bath and Home Solutions is a bathroom remodeling company with two locations throughout Maryland — one in Salisbury, and one in Columbia. The Herndon location will be coming soon. The business has been running since 1990, according to the company website. Reston Now did not hear back from them about an opening date. 

The store, looking to move to the Herndon Reston Industrial/Business Park (366 Victory Drive), proposed a sign with a font type and color that does not meet the standards required by the facility’s Master Sign Plan, according to a report released by the ARB. At the work session, the ARB will review their application.

The ARB will discuss the four motion alternatives: to deny the application, approve the application as submitted, approve the application with conditions, or continue the public hearing at another date, according to the report.  

After the work session, the Board can take action on the case at the Board Public Hearing on Nov. 16, according to Anne Curtis, the Chief Communications Officer for the Town of Herndon.

The work session will take place at Herndon Council Chambers Building (765 Lynn Street) tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m.

Photo via the Herndon ARB

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Several Reston and Herndon’s local officials came together virtually yesterday (Monday) to discuss the possibilities of what the retail industry will look like after the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce hosts “Metro Monday” on the last Monday of each month. This month Herndon’s Mayor Lisa Merkel, Fairfax County’s Director of Economic Initiatives Rebecca Moudry and other local business owners were present to talk about the future of retail in Reston and Herndon.

The possibilities of the future of retail include promoting more online ordering for food, creating new digital ways for businesses to interact with its customers, and merging more restaurant and retail places together.

Merkel believes “restaurants are becoming anchors for retail centers which promotes social engagements and draws in the office crowd during lunch hours.”

Although many local businesses received grants to help with its loss of income, Moudry said the coronavirus pandemic has particularly affected the retail system.

RISE grants have been awarded. We mailed postcards to every single business for local and federal grant programs,” Moudry said. “Economic Recovery Framework was recently launched to confront the economic shifts. That is the current task at hand.”

Job access and workforce development are essential factors in the framework. Moudry said the framework will work with the local transit system to improve both.

“The Reston bus plan will significantly improve bus transit and people’s access to jobs, as well as more opportunities for retail and people to come in and out,” Moudry said.

Tony Stafford, owner of Ford’s Fish Shack, said many businesses have had to take steps they thought they would never do.

“A lot of businesses had to reinvent themselves. We’ve seen a loss of lunch business because people aren’t going to work,” Stafford said. “This time last year, our takeout business was 7 p ercent of our overall sales, this year its 43 percent. of our overall sales. People are now comfortable ordering their meals off computer screens.”

Omar Aru, the owner of Escape Room Herndon, said setbacks posed by the pandemic have been significant, despite grants from the federal government and local assistance.

“There used to be a 15-minute wait period between each visit, but now it’s a 30-minute to an hour wait period between each visit to allow more time for proper cleaning and for rooms to air out,” Aur. said. “This means that we’re getting fewer games in and less people because we’re taking longer to clean.”

Photo courtesy of Omar Aru

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With many businesses shutting their doors for good during the COVID-19 pandemic, cigar aficionados will have a new place to get their tobacco fix in when Cigar Town opens a new store in Herndon next week.

The shop, located at the Franklin Farm Village Center, will hold its grand opening on Sept. 21 becoming the fourth store for the family-owned chain of cigar shops in Fairfax County.

Unlike their other stores, the new Cigar Town shop in Herndon will have a walk-in humidor and a public smoking lounge that will be open to costumers who want to sit back and smoke a cigar after purchasing one from the shop’s wide assortment, according to Hassan Hamdan, who helps manages the stores along with his uncle and father.

While social distancing concerns could keep cigar aficionados away from the store Hamdan said, he hopes the perks for the Herndon store will attract a new customer base. Following health guidelines, the shop will require costumers to wear a mask before entertaining and will limit capacity for the smoking lounge Hamdan said.

Cigar Town signed the lease for the shop in January before the pandemic and has had to push back the grand opening by a few months because of the economic downturn from the COVID-19 pandemic, Hamdan said.

“I mean, the challenges are obvious — they’re financial,” Hamdan said. “Just opening a store takes a lot of money for construction, a lot for product, a lot for advertising — all of that has kind of been scaled back and slowed down.”

Cigar Town was originally started by the Hamdan family over 20-years-ago slowly expanding their business of cigar shops with locations now in Tysons, Fairfax and Reston. While Hamdan said some costumers have been opting to purchase their cigars online and to smoke them at home, he said family’s business is banking on costumer-loyalty built over decades in Northern Virginia.

“We have lived in Fairfax and Herndon since 1987, so hopefully we’ve developed some skills in building a customer base,” Hamdan said. “We’re going to have to apply them now.”

Photo via Cigar Town

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Camp David Dog Resort & Day Care is seeking the county’s approval for an outdoor play area on its property in Herndon.

The business, which is located at 13806 Redskin Drive, is seeking the county’s approval for the outdoor kennel after receiving a violation notice for operating the outdoor area in June.

The outdoor area is roughly 7,100 square feet and is bordered by the walls of the main building.

Since 2018, the kennel was offered dog boarding services, daycare, and training services, with an average of roughly 25 customers per day. The business scaled back its staff from three to two employees due to COVID-19, according to the application.

The application is in its early stages and was submitted on August 10. It was head to the Fairfax County Planning Commission for a vote at a date that is to be determined, followed by the consideration of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.

Photo via Camp David/Facebook

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In Forbes’ second annual ranking of America’s Best Employers by State, several Fairfax County businesses topped the list. 

In the Virginia state ranking, Reston’s Science Applications International Corporation, or SAIC, ranked #55 (12010 Sunset Hills Road). 

Peraton, the Herndon based IT company founded in 2017, was ranked #78 (12975 Worldgate Dr.).

Reston’s Leidos, a holding company involved in defense, intelligence, civil and health markets ranked #87 (1750 Presidents St.). 

The list was compiled by surveying 80,000 Americans, according to Vicky Valet’s article on Forbes. Surveys were conducted on a rolling basis from October 2019 through May 2020.

Additionally, responses about the same employers were compared to make up for any variation before and after the onset of the coronavirus, according to Valet. 

Photo by Peraton via Google Images

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Several employers in Reston and Herndon ranked high in Military Times’ annual ‘Best for Vets’ list.

The ranking determines how companies nationwide have expanded efforts to recruit and retain former service members into the job market.

Of the 14 companies in Fairfax County that made it to the list, five are in Herndon and Reston.

Here’s a list of the local companies that made it to the list:

  • ManTech International Corporation (2251 Corporate Park Drive) – #15, 48 percent veterans
  • Leidos (1750 Presidents Street) – #39, 22 percent veterans
  • MAXIMUS (1891 Metro Center Drive) – #54, six percent veterans
  • Peraton (12975 Worldgate Drive) – #87, 19.6 percent veterans
  • Constellis (13530 Dulles Technology Dr) – #133, 25 percent veterans

A total of 144 employers took part in this year’s survey. Military Times conducted the survey with ScoutComms, a marketing and research firm that focuses on the military community. The firm recently ceased operations due to COVID-19, according to its company page.

Firms responded to nearly 100 questions detailing their policies and practices related to veterans.

Here’s more from Military Times on the project:

The success in recent years is evident in veterans unemployment figures, which have fallen steadily from their peak a decade ago. Even with this year’s spike in joblessness due to the coronavirus, unemployment among veterans remains lower than among their civilian counterparts.

In recent years, more companies are focused on not just hiring veterans but making sure the veterans who are hired succeed in the long term.

“It’s not about a job. It’s about a career. It’s about fit,” said Rosalinda Maury, who serves as IVMF’s director of research and analytics.

Comcast NBC Universal topped the list, followed by Southern Company.

Rendering via Boston Properties

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A Sterling man allegedly used four corporations — including two in Reston and Herndon — in a $21 million H-1B visa fraud conspiracy.

According to court documents, Ashish Sawhney, 48, used the corporations to submit fraudulent applications for H-1B work visas. He was arrested yesterday (Thursday) on charges of conspiracy to commit visa fraud. Two of the companies include Value Software Products, Inc. in Herndon and Business Pointers Inc. in Reston.

Court documents indicate Sawhney allegedly used the companies to provide information technology staff and software development services. Authorities believe the Sterling man submitted applications for H-1B visas, which stated that the foreign workers would fill jobs that did not exist at the time of filing.

According to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Sawhney’s companies may have generated $21 million in gross profits from 2011 to 2016. The indictment also stated Sawhney, who is an Indian national, attempted to naturalize as a U.S. citizen by submitting an application with false statements.

Here’s more from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia:

The case is being investigated by the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force, which is comprised of multiple agencies including the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations, the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Office of Fraud Detection and National Security that coordinate investigations into fraudulent immigration documents. 

If convicted, Sawhney faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. He was charged with two counts of conspiracy, three counts of inducing an alien to come to the U.S. for commercial advantage or personal gain, and one count of attempted naturalization fraud.

Photo via Google Maps

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Herndon welcomed Cardamom Cupcakes, a new Indian dessert vendor, to the community last month. 

Nehad Javid, the founder of Cardamom Cupcakes, came up with the idea during the pandemic. She wanted to take classic Indian desserts and converting them into something more Western, such as a cake. 

“It’s a new and interesting twist. It’s a nice introduction to Indian culture and Indian food,” said Javid. 

The cake flavors include ras malai, gulab jamun, jalebi, and mango kulfi. All desserts are made from scratch, according to Javid’s comment on her Facebook post

Javid runs her business from her home in Herndon and offers both pick-up and delivery. She requires that customers wear a mask when receiving, and she will wear a mask as well. 

The opening happened “completely by surprise.” The idea for the business came out of her family’s inability to celebrate Eid due to the pandemic. She wanted to do something nice for her friends and family and decided to make cupcakes with an Indian twist. After receiving good feedback from her friends and family, she decided to create a business out of it.

At the same time, Javid works at a gym experiencing setbacks due to the pandemic. 

“Our hours have been really affected, and we have to take a lot of precautions into account,” said Javid about the adjustments. 

Javid said she doesn’t plan on adding new items to the menu right now, but that is subject to change.

“You never know what the future holds,” said Javid.

Photo courtesy of Nehad Javid

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Friday Morning Notes

A Reminder about School-required Immunizations — Immunizations remain mandatory for school enrollment.  The Fairfax County Health Department is offering nine additional community childhood vaccination clinics and has also expanded office hours. [Fairfax County Government]

Columbus Day Renamed to Indigenous Peoples’ Day — “The Fairfax County School Board has voted to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day for the previously approved 2020-21 Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) school year calendar as well as the yet-to-be approved 2021-22 school year calendar. The 2021-22 calendar is scheduled to be adopted in September.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Herndon Company Operates New Satellite Technology — “HawkEye 360, a radio frequency (RF) data analytics company based in Herndon, operates a first-of-its-kind commercial satellite constellation to identify, process and geo-locate a broad set of RF signals especially for defense, security and intelligence missions. John Serafini, chief executive officer, spoke to the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority about HawkEye 360, including the applications of its satellite technology operations, hiring projections, and why Fairfax County is a great place for the company’s headquarters.” [Fairfax County Economic Development Authority]

Transportation Service for Oakton, Vienna, Reston and Herndon Residents Returns — “The Board of Directors of Shepherd’s Center serving Oakton-Vienna-Reston-Herndon (SC) has announced that their face-to-face medical and companion transportation service are now being offered.  Due to virus safety concerns for their clients and volunteers, SC had put that service temporarily on hold. If you are a current client and you live in Oakton, Vienna, Reston or Herndon, SC is available to, once again, provide this invaluable service for seniors.” [Shepherd’s Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Fairfax’s Edge in Flagging Office Market — Microsoft’s 400,000-square-foot-deal at Reston Town Center was one fo the biggest leasing wins for this region this year. But county business leaders see more deals coming, despite a slowdown created by the coronavirus pandemic. [Bisnow]

Reservations for Ridge Heights Pool Open Tomorrow — Reston Association is now offering members and non-members a chance to reserve a spot at the pool. The updated pool schedule is also available online. [Reston Association]

Herndon-based Company Offers Virtual Learning for Students — “Herndon-based online education provider K12 Inc. announced Wednesday it plans to hire more than 1,300 educators for the 2020 through 2021 school year, in light of a massive push to move education online during the pandemic. Across Virginia, schools have been making decisions regarding reopening in the fall, with some already opting for full online learning.” [Virginia Business Monthly]

Photo via Marjorie Copson

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A new shop selling cannabidiol, a natural remedy commonly known as CBD, has officially opened its doors in the Town of Herndon.

Root Source CBD opened last week at 1108 Herndon Parkway. The store — which has another location in Falls Church — offers products that are infused with CBD, including edibles, beverages, topicals, tincture oil, vape cartridges and smokeable hemp flower.

CBD is a chemical compound called cannabidiol, which can be extracted from marijuana or hemp.

Here’s more from what the company told Reston Now on why they chose the Town of Herndon for a CBD spot:

We chose Herndon because we love the tight-knit feel of the community, its surrounding area and what it has to offer. It’s an area that is continuing to grow. It provides a diverse mix of businesses, families and young professionals. We felt we could have a positive outreach here allowing us to promote the benefits of CBD for improved health and well being in people’s lives.

The store opened on Thursday, July 9.

Photos via Root Source CBD

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