Reston businesses, services and events were the recipients of nearly two dozen honors in Virginia Living magazine’s 2017 Best of Virginia awards.
According to the Eden Stuart, the magazine’s assistant editor, the awards issue, which is on newsstands today, is a “statewide guide to all that is ‘best’ in Virginia — from dining to shopping to doing.” More than 50,000 ballots were cast in a reader survey to find the honorees in 106 categories, Stuart said.
Lake Anne Plaza was particularly honored, with five businesses selected as being among the best of the best in the Northern Virginia region. Those winners include Lake Anne Brew House (first place, Best Local Craft Brewery); Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar (first place, Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop); Reston’s Used Book Shop (second place, Best Book Store); Small Change Consignments (first place, Best Children’s Clothing Store; second place, Best Consignment Shop); and Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts and More (third place, Best Chocolatier).
“Please join us in saying congrats to these awesome Plaza merchants,” reads a post on Lake Anne Plaza’s Facebook page celebrating the honors.
In addition, the Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne Plaza was honored with a second-place award for Best Farmers Market.
The full list of honorees from Reston in the 2017 Best of Virginia awards are:
Taste of Reston
Best Food Festival
Edibles Incredible Desserts (11917 Freedom Drive)
Best Dessert Menu
Bacon N’ Ed’s
Best Food Truck
Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.)
Best Local Craft Brewery
Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar (1612 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Locally Owned Coffee Shop
Life Time Fitness (1757 Business Center Drive)
CST Group (10740 Parkridge Blvd.)
Best Accounting Firm
Small Change Consignments (1629 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Children’s Clothing Store
Austin-Weston, The Center for Plastic Surgery (1825 Samuel Morse Drive)
Best Cosmetic Surgery Practice
The Eyewear Gallery at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.)
Best Eye Care Provider
Miye Wire LLC (1818 Library St.)
Best Financial Planning Firm
AKG Design Studio
Best Kitchen Design Firm
Davelle Clothiers (11921 Freedom Drive)
Best Men’s Clothing Store
Virginia Therapy & Fitness Center (1831 Wiehle Ave.)
Best Physical Therapy Group
Northern Virginia Fine Arts Festival
Best Art Event
Reston Farmers Market
Best Farmers Market
Small Change Consignments (1629 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Consignment Shop
Reston’s Used Book Shop (1623 Washington Plaza N.)
Best Book Store
Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts and More (11426 Washington Plaza W.)
Trader Joe’s (11958 Killingsworth Ave.)
Best Grocery Store
The Wine Cabinet (1416 North Point Village Center)
Best Wine Shop
Image courtesy Virginia Living magazine
The weather hasn’t been pretty for several days now, though, and it looks like rain will be prevalent again Saturday. We recommend you check the status of any scheduled outdoor activity before heading out.
Here is just a sampling of things to do in the area this weekend:
- Reston Association’s Community Yard Sale, originally scheduled for Saturday, has been rescheduled for Sunday from 8:30 a.m. to noon at 1900 Campus Commons Drive. Eighty-five families will be selling a variety of items. In case of rain, call 703-435-6577 that morning to check the event’s status.
- It’s pool season in Reston. The North Shore and Ridge Heights pools are scheduled to open for the season this weekend, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.
- The Reston Community Players will continue their staging of “Private Lives” this weekend. Performances will be tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., along with a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday. Tickets are $21, or $18 for students with ID and senior citizens. Shows take place at CenterStage at the Reston Community Center (2310 Colts Neck Road).
- The Reston Farmers Market is scheduled for 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Lake Anne Village Center.
- The South Lakes High School “Spirit of Reston” Marching Band will hold a rummage sale Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the school (11400 South Lakes Drive). The event is slated to be held on the east side of the school, along Seahawks Drive; however, it will be moved inside if the weather does not cooperate.
- The seventh annual “Be Amyazing!” Reston Youth Triathlon is scheduled for Sunday morning. It consists of a swim at Ridge Heights pool, a bike ride on roads near South Lakes High School and a run on Reston Association paths. Lengths are different for each age group.
- Langston Hughes Middle School (11401 Ridge Heights Road) is presenting “Willy Wonka Jr.” this weekend. The show will be performed tonight at 7 p.m., and at 3 and 7 p.m. Saturday.
- The NOVA Tour de Cure fundraising event of the American Diabetes Association is scheduled for Saturday, rain or shine, beginning at Reston Town Center.
- Reston Chorale will present its “A Season to Remember” show, celebrating 50 years of the group, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at South Lakes High School (11400 South Lakes Drive). Tickets at the door will be $30. Those 62 and over will be admitted for $25; youth 17 and under will be admitted free, as will active military.
- Events at Reston Town Center this weekend include live music tonight from 6-10 p.m. at Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.) and from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. tonight and Saturday at Crafthouse (1888 Explorer St., formerly World of Beer); wine tasting at Il Fornaio (11990 Market St.) Saturday from 3-5 p.m.; a Mother’s Day brunch at Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive) Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., and more.
- Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) will host a special Mother’s Day “She’s Crafty” women’s beer event from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday.
- Frying Pan Farm Park (2739 West Ox Road, Herndon) has a free Spring Farm Day planned for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. The event will included hand-churned ice cream samples, a dairy exhibit, children’s activities and crafts, blacksmithing, and antique equipment demos.
- “Radcliffe Bailey: The Great Dismal Swamp” remains on display at Greater Reston Arts Center (12001 Market St.) through August.
- Lake Anne is hosting Sunday Yoga on the Plaza each week, at 9:30 a.m.
- Saturday from 2-3:30 p.m. at Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive), local historian Jim Lewis will share the story of Japan’s secret plans to attack the U.S. mainland during World War II.
- Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from Bushmaster with Gary Brown. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
- Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music from 7-10 p.m. every Friday and Saturday night. This week they have Hilary Veltri tonight and Jason Masi tomorrow night.
Whether outdoor activities are your thing or you want to sit and enjoy a good show, there are plenty of options in Reston and the surrounding area this weekend.
Here’s just a sampling of how you can have a good time this holiday weekend:
- Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) will celebrate its one-year anniversary all day Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., with music, food, drink specials and more.
- The Herndon Municipal Center (777 Lynn St.) will host an Easter egg hunt from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The event will also include a coloring mural, petting zoo, photo op with the Easter Bunny and more. Registration is $9 in advance, $10 at the event.
- Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares will perform at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 8 p.m. Saturday. The group’s goal is “to enrich the heritage of the Bulgarian solo folk song with harmonies and arrangements that highlighted its beautiful timbres and irregular rhythms.” Tickets are $25 for Reston residents and $35 for non-residents.
- The art exhibit “A Respite from Chaos” will remain on display at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through the month of April.
- Frying Pan Farm Park will pay a visit to Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The children’s event will be an opportunity to meet with baby chickens, hear a story and make a craft to take home. (Note: The library will be closed Sunday in observance of Easter.)
- Reston Confections, a custom bakery, will have a pop-up shop at Pottery Barn (11937 Market St.) on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
- Other events at Reston Town Center this weekend will include live entertainment at World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.) Friday and Saturday nights; a French cooking class at Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive); and exercise in the pavilion Sunday.
- Tom Saputo and Friends will perform tonight from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Café Montemarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.), and a ukelele and slack-key guitar performance by Michael Keale is slated for 6-9 p.m. Sunday.
- Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music every Friday and Saturday night in April, from 7-10 p.m.
- NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is performing “Boeing, Boeing,” and the show has been extended through May 7. Performances this weekend are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., along with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Tickets are $35-$55.
- “First Blooms” by artist Dorothy Donahey remains on exhibit at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), which is open from noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
- Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from The Vandelays. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.
Runners Marathon of Reston is Sunday — Some volunteers are still needed for the Runners Marathon of Reston, which will be held Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in South Reston. There are still a few slots available for runners as well. Drivers are reminded to be on the lookout for runners on roads including South Lakes Drive, Soapstone Drive, Lawyers Road and Sunrise Valley Drive. [Reston Now]
Brew House, Kiln & Co. Collaborating for Event — Kiln & Co. will officially open its pottery and custard shop at Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday during Founder’s Day. Tonight, however, it will be part of a special event at Lake Anne Brew House. Special beer and custard combinations will be served. [Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook]
Nats’ Opening Week Celebration at Reston Town Center — Fans are invited to get a picture with one of the Washington Nationals’ Racing Presidents today from 3-6 p.m., and special Happy Hour deals will be available at American Tap Room when the game starts at 3. [Reston Town Center/Facebook]
Open House Set for Preschool — Bright Horizons at Commerce Metro Center (11400 Commerce Park Drive) will host an open house event April 17-20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each day. Parents are invited to learn about what the school has to offer their children. [Bright Horizons]
Proposed Changes to South Lakes Fairfax Connector Schedule — The public is invited to give its feedback on a series of proposed changes to the Fairfax Connector schedule and routes in the county. One of the proposals is listed as “minor schedule adjustments to address crowding issues associated with ridership to and from South Lakes High School” on Route 551. [Fairfax County]
Local nanobrewery Lake Anne Brew House is partnering with beer historians to offer the frosty mugs of our ancestors.
Praize the Maize, which will be tapped Thursday evening at the pub (11424 Washington Plaza West), has been brewed using the 1912 recipe of a German immigrant brewer — with ingredients that have been sourced from the locations called for in the recipe as well.
“We’re just really excited about it,” said Melissa Romano, the brew house’s co-owner. “We’re going to be doing a whole series of these recipes over the coming year — or years, who knows?”
The Heritage Lager series is a partnership between Lake Anne Brew House and Lost Lagers, the team of beer historians Michael Stein and Peter Jones, whose mission is to recreate the beers of days gone by.
“[They were] able to take this recipe, translate it into English, and then we were able to work on sourcing period-accurate ingredients,” Romano said. According to information provided by Lost Lagers, that involved tracking down appropriate hops from New York and California.
Romano said the recipe for Praize the Maize, as well as the other beers that will be brewed as the series continues, came from the notebooks of a brewer who arrived in the U.S. around the turn of the 20th century. A distant relative of the brewer is a friend of Romano and has done graphic design work for the brewpub. The recipe books, family heirlooms, have been loaned to the brew house for the project.
According to Lost Lagers’ research, Praize the Maize was likely — in its past life — a beer called Erlanger Light by Philadelphia’s Weger Brothers Brewery. Romano said it is “light” and “fresh,” with “a little bit of sweetness” and “some nice herbal qualities.”
“I think [customers] are going to really like it,” Romano said. “I think it’s going to be a very approachable and easy-drinking beer.”
The beer will be tapped and ready for consumption at 7 p.m. Thursday. Stein and Jones from Lost Lagers will be present, along with the family that provided the recipes, to answer any questions from visitors and to discuss the process.
“It’s a really unique recipe,” Romano said. “It’s just going to be kind of a cool thing, I think.”
Monthly ‘Beer Run’ is Tonight — Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W., at Lake Anne) will be the meeting point for anyone looking to combine some exercise with some cold ones this evening. The event, scheduled for 6:30 p.m., involves doing laps around the lake, followed by imbibing in the taproom. [Lake Anne Brew House/Facebook]
Metro Inviting Feedback on Budget, Service — The public is being asked to share its thoughts on Metro’s FY2018 budget proposal, fare adjustments and service changes. Comments can be made by filling out an online survey, providing feedback to staff in person or attending an open house Monday at Metro Headquarters. (Don’t forget, Virginia’s WMATA board members will be in Reston tonight to discuss these matters as well.) [WMATA]
Virginia Senate Votes on Knives for Kids — The difference between suburban and rural Virginia played out on the state Senate floor Tuesday, as legislators debated a bill that would make it legal to provide children with switchblades, Bowie knives and other such implements. Rural senators argued about the practicalities of having such a tool when hunting, while at least one Northern Virginia senator is reported to have been “aghast.” [Washington Post]
Melissa Romano, the co-owner of Lake Anne Brew House, said she has had interesting experiences with women coming into the pub.
They didn’t want beer, and she wanted to change that.
“Guys would come in with their girlfriends on their arm, and the girlfriends wanted wine,” she said. “When we were able to actually bring them into the bar and let them taste our local, hand-crafted beers, we were typically able to find a beer they liked as much as the wine that they claimed was the only thing they were going to drink.”
Romano owns the brewery along with her husband, Jason. She has made educating women about beer her mission, and part of that goal is the implementation of women’s-only nights at the pub, dubbed “She’s Crafty” nights. The first one took place in December, and the next is scheduled for Sunday night.
“I’ve always been very interested in making sure women are comfortable around craft beer,” she said. “It’s kind of a male-dominated field, and we want to make sure the women get their time to shine in the brewery, to ask questions and learn.”
Lake Anne Brew House, which opened in April, also has a female assistant brewer, Tracy Converse. Romano said with so much female influence on the beer, it is important to the brewery to keep women engaged in their process.
“We wanted to make sure that we made special time for women,” Romano said.
Romano said the women who frequent Lake Anne Brew House have organized as an affiliate of Barley’s Angels, an international organization dedicated to helping women explore and appreciate craft beer.
“Girls can really enjoy this experience too,” she said.
Romano said the first “She’s Crafty” event was very successful and she is hopeful this weekend’s will be as well.
“We just want to give women a little bit of a foothold, so they can walk in [to a brewery] and say, ‘This is what I like,'” she said. “We give them a knowledge base to work from, as it relates to beer.”
This weekend’s event will include pairings of three specialty beers with different plates of food, Romano said.
“We’re going to talk about beer and food pairings and educate the women about not only the styles of beers they’re drinking, but why they taste good with a particular style of food,” she said.
The brew house plans to continue hosting the events monthly, Romano said.
Sunday’s event is scheduled for 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the pub, located at 11424 Washington Plaza West in Lake Anne Plaza. There is no cost, other than the accrued tab. Romano said the event is “come as you are,” with no RSVP required.
Lake Anne Brew House will have its grand opening in a little over two weeks, co-owner Melissa Romano confirms.
Romano told Reston Now previously that the business was eyeing a mid-April opening.
The grand opening has now been set for Saturday, April 16.
The Brew House — Reston’s first nanobrewery — will be open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., with a special ribbon-cutting ceremony at noon, Romano wrote on the company’s Facebook page.
The Brew House will also be open Sunday, April 17 from noon to 5 p.m.
Romano and her husband, Jason, purchased the former Singh Thai space at 11424 Washington Plaza W at Lake Anne Plaza nearly a year ago. They have done extensive renovations to the space and patio, but Melissa Romano said in October the permitting process took longer than expected because a nanobrewery is new territory for the county.
Photo courtesy of Lake Anne Brew House Facebook page.
The owners of the Lake Anne Brew House are calling on the community to get involved in the nanobrewery that will open this fall at Lake Anne Plaza.
Melissa and Jason Romano, who have been renovating space at 11424 Washington Plaza since last spring, expect to open Reston’s first nanobrewery in October.
They have started a Kickstarter campaign, offering would-be contributors perks from a special mug to a beer named after them.
“Our dream is to create a place for community, just like [Reston founder] Bob Simon did,” Melissa Romano says in a promotional video (see above).
As of Tuesday, the Romanos have 61 backers and have raised more than $11,000, well on the way to their goal of raising $15,000. While the Romanos have invested lots of money in the endeavor, Melissa Romano says an additional $15,000 will allow them to purchase more equipment and better serve customers.
Here’s what you get for various contribution levels:
$25 – Light Beer Contributor — Invitation to opening night and a Lake Anne Brew House car sticker.
$40 – Malt Liquor Contributor — Name on the Wall of Fame, sticker, opening night invitation, special Lake Anne Brew House Executive Founders Club signature pint glass for home use.
$75 – Pale Ale Contributor — Name on the Wall of Fame, sticker, opening night invitation and special Executive Founders Club T-shirt.
$100 — Imperial Stout Contributor — Name on the Wall of Fame, sticker, opening night invitation, special Lake Anne Brew House Executive Founders Club signature pint glass for home use and special Executive Founders Club T-shirt.
$125+ – Two For the Road — Two signature logo pint glasses and a Founder Club stainless steel 32-oz. growler (with initial fill up at pick up).
$150+ – Beer Appreciation Event — Entry to a special tour and into to brewing event.
Click through to the Kickstarter page to see high-level perks, such as sponsoring a tap or what you have to contribute to get a brew designed just for you.
Andrew Kelley and Kai Leszkowicz have signed a lease for 257 Sunset Park (that’s the retail and industrial park where Amphora Bakery, Taste of the World restaurant and Rhythm Street dance studio are located).
They plan to brew five kinds of beer and serve it in a 28-seat brew house called Aslin Beer Company, said Kelley. A nanobrewery — a growing segment of the craft beer market — is a small microbrewery operation, typically producing fewer than three barrels at a time. A barrel is around 31 gallons or two kegs.
“Kai and I have been brewing together since 2011,” he said. “We found a common interest and we want to share it with the community.”
This announcement comes at almost the same time as that of Lake Anne Brew House, another local start-up that will open on Washington Plaza this summer, if all goes according to plan.
Kelley, a 27-year-old management consultant who lives in Clarendon, and Leszkowicz, a 29-year-old Fairfax County employee who lives in Herndon, have named the business after their wives’ family name, Aslin.
The two brewers will keep their day jobs for now, says Kelley. A third owner, Richard Thompson, will run the operation full time.
Kelley said they are in the process of building out the space and will soon install brewing equipment. They plan to make five flagship beers: an American IPA; a Double Rye Pale Ale; a West Coast IPA; an Imperial Stout; and a Czech Pilsner.
He says the 2.250-square-foot location would be a great spot for private parties. They also hope to partner with Sunset Park NextStop Theatre for special events in the space.
Start-ups costs are expected to top $150,000, Kelley said. The owners have a group of investors but are also crowdfunding on a Go Fund Me page.
Photo: Aslin Beer Co. founders Andrew Kelley (left), Kai Leszkowicz and Richard Thompson/Courtesy Andrew Kelley