Local residents looking to get their farmers market fix and support small businesses can do so beginning next month.
Reston Farmers Market will return to the parking lot at Lake Anne Village Center on May 9 from 8 a.m. to noon. The Fairfax County Park Authority approved the opening of the market this week.
Organizers say the market will have a very different look and feel due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. Layout stands will be spread out in order to practice social distancing at the parking lot (1609 Washington Plaza-W).
The following new rules are expected to be implemented:
- Do not enter if sick
- Keep at least six feet apart from other people
- Everyone should wear a face mask or other facial covering
- No pets are allowed
- One customer at a stall at a time
- Do not touch products and surfaces. Vendors should manage bag purchases
- No on-site eating of purchases or sampling
- Payment by credit or debit card preferred
- Do not linger. Try to complete shopping as quickly as possible
- Leave by designated exits only
“It will be important that all customers adhere to them in order to assure that the Reston Farmers Market be permitted to stay open to serve you and to protect the health and safety of everyone in the market,” said John Lovaas, co-market manager.
Opening dates for other farmers market in Fairfax County have not been determined, but are expected soon.
Two months ago, Local VA, a gourmet dive bar, opened its doors at Lake Anna Plaza. The opening of the small business at 1633 Washington Plaza was marred by delays, but welcomed by customers and the Lake Anne community for its trendy aesthetic and varied menu.
But after a state order directed restaurants and other businesses to limit customers and shift to takeout and delivery, the recently-opened business is struggling to remain afloat. The owners say they’re in it for the long haul, despite financial setbacks.
When the nearly $350 billion stimulus package for small businesses launched, the owners said they immediately applied. One week later, the Small Business Administration assured them that a $10,000 forgivable loan would be on the way within three days of the receipt of a second application. The owners applied but heard nothing in return, despite multiple emails to the administration and their bank.
With federal funds exhausted for small business, Local VA is still optimistic about its future.
“Even when the pandemic forced us to switch to carry-out, your support kept us positive, enthusiastic and moving forward,” the owners wrote in a statement. “And now, we shall conquer this mountain, too. This is our room and its a livelihood for several good, caring and dedicated people.”
Local VA struggled to secure federal assistance is emblematic of other small businesses. The forgivable small business loan program quickly depleted in just under two weeks. It is possible that Congress will add additional money to the program, which was launched on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The business continues to take takeout orders.
“Be strong, be safe and let’s conquer this new world together,” the owners wrote.
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
Restonians broke from a 16-year-long tradition of celebrating Founder’s Day at Lake Anne Plaza this year.
With social distancing guidelines and a stay-at-home order in effect, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum encouraged residents to find ways to celebrate the birthday of Reston’s founder Bob Simon and the community’s founding.
Alexandra Campbell, the director of the trust and museum, said she was glad the community was able to find embody one of Reston’s founding principles — to live, work and play in the neighborhood — in a new but truly Restonian way.
“While we are sad we could not hold this event on the plaza and could not connect with the community face to face, it has been a reminder that we can enjoy Reston’s history every day in our own homes. The community reflected and celebrated Reston’s unique history with us in a variety of ways,” Campbell said.
Nonetheless, residents submitted videos uploaded social media posts showing how they celebrated Founder’s Day from home.
Foley Academy of Irish Dance, which was scheduled to perform during Founder’s Day, shared a performance from members at home.
Reston Community Center also encouraged residents to enjoy a film created by Rebekah Wingert of Storycatcher Productions for Simon’s memorial in April 2016. The film was commissioned by Reston Community Center.
Nonprofit organization Cornerstones — which has been on the frontline of offering financial assistance and resources to people affected b yCOVID-10 — also wrote the following about Founder’s Day:
When Robert Simon founded Reston in 1964, his pioneering vision helped create a compassionate, thriving, and equitable community where everyone could live and work. Today, during this unprecedented economic and health crisis, our community’s resiliency and generosity remains a shining example of his legacy. We are proud to join the Reston Museum in celebrating Founder’s Day and thanking the many individuals, faith-based organizations, and community partners who have supported Cornerstones over the past 50 years. Our continued work together will help sustain neighbors hurting today and begin rebuilding stability, empowerment, and hope so everyone has a bright, healthy future in our community If you know someone who needs a hand-up, please encourage them to contact us at 571.323.9555 or visit cornerstonesva.org. We are ready to help!
Chuck Veatch, founding and current band member of the Reston Historic Trust & Museum, described this year’s founder’s day as the “most unusual” in Reston’s history. He encourages Rsetonians to continue to take part in celebrating the day.
“This is our 17th Founder’s Day and marks my 56th year living working playing and or serving in Reston. I will miss welcoming everyone in person to Founder’s Day this year but really want to see how each of us celebrates in this the most unusual Founder’s Day in our history.”
Photo via YouTube
While Reston’s annual Founder’s Day celebration will not take place in person, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum is still finding ways to make the community milestone and birthday of Reston’s founder Bob Simon special.
Founder’s Day will take place on Saturday, April 18. The museum, which organizes the annual celebration is asking Restonians to submit videos of up to 30 seconds showcasing how Founder’s Day is being celebrated in their home.
The museum suggests some ways to celebrate at home on its website.
Residents should tag the museum via Twitter or Facebook. Everyone who tags the museum will be entered tow in a personalized commemorative brick to be installed at Lake Anne Plaza next year. A winner will be selected on April 20.
Founder’s day is presented by Reston Historic Trust and Museum with support from Reston Community Center and Public Art Reston. It is hosted by Lake Anne Plaza.
A new salon is coming to Lake Anne Plaza soon.
County permits indicate that the salon, which is listed as “My Salon” in documentation, will open up at 1613 Washington Plaza.
An application for interior changes was processed by the county on Feb. 12.
The space was previously occupied by Zen Nail and Day Spa, which moved a few doors down from its current location in 2018, a business representative told Reston Now. That spa is now located at 1635 Washington Plaza.
No word yet on when the new salon is expected to open.
Photo courtesy Zen Nail and Day Spa
Lake Anne Plaza will welcome its first gourmet dive bar this week.
Local VA will hold its grand opening on Friday (Feb. 21) from 5-11 p.m.
The business takes the place of a Thai restaurant that closed last year at 1633 Washington Plaza.
The menu isn’t available to preview yet, but at a soft opening earlier four days ago, customers said the menu included steak frites, wings, macaroni and cheese, as well as other items.
Photo via Dylan Clark
Editor’s Note: This article was updated with new information about the temporary closure and comment from the owner.
Kiln & Co., a paint-your-own-pottery studio that also serves up custard, has temporarily closed for renovations, according to company owner Sarah Selvaraj.
The company, which first opened at Lake Anne Plaza in 2017, plans to reopen by the spring or summer of this year. Selvaraj said it is not unusual for the business at Lake Anne to go on hiatus for the winter.
The Reston location was forced to close overnight on Sept, 11 last year due to water damage. “We might have a relocation within Lake Anne due to the infrastructure issues as indicated… and if the real estate was sold,” she stated.
Lake Anne has been part of the Kiln & Co family ever since our first 2016 pop up covered by RestonNow’s Karen Goff on June 16, 2016. My relationship with Lake Anne dates back even before opening my first store. I have taken several sculpture classes and ceramic classes at the Reston Community Centre with amazing instructors like Guy Zoller and Marianne Cordyack that teach there to this day.
As of yesterday (Thursday), the company’s website lists the Reston location (1631 Washington Plaza-N) as “closed.”
Late last year, the owner expressed concerns about the lack of upkeep and maintenance at the plaza and several businesses.
Patrons of Lake Anne Plaza can enjoy a “Small Crawl” on Saturday, Nov. 30.
During the event, participants can join a group crawl — or walk — around the plaza to enjoy samples from several businesses.
The walk begins at the bronze sculpture of Reston’s founder Bob Simon and takes participants to the following businesses, which will offer special selections from the products they offer:
- Teapot & Cake – Snowflake cupcake $1
- Reston Historic Trust & Museum – Reston Sticker – FREE!
- Chesapeake Chocolates – Free wine tasting and Virginia treats 12 – 3pm and $1 Chocolate all day long. Write a letter to Santa at the North Pole Mailing station
- Reston Used Books Store– 50 perfect short stories
- Lake Anne Brew House – 1/2 price off of your first “Small Pour” (5oz size taster)
- Lake Anne Coffee House & Wine Bar – Small cookie for sale
The event takes place all day on Saturday in honor of Small Business Saturday.
Lane and Ramp Closures This Week — Several ramp and lane closures are planned this week due to ongoing work on the extension of the Silver Line. Changes are planned along the Dulles Toll Road, Sunrise Valley Drive, Sunset Hills Road and Moran Road. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]
County Plans to Repurpose Unused Parking Spaces at Malls — “A proposed Fairfax County amendment aims to lessen the parking requirements for large retail centers, allowing unused parking lots to be repurposed. It’s an issue the county has been talking about for the past year and a county report said there’s been a decline in shopping malls since the 1990’s.” [WUSA 9]
Reston Witches Rules the Water on Hallow’s Eve — A playful coven of Halloween witches on stand up paddle boards skim the waters of Lake Anne to kick-off an evening play and spooky brews. [The Connection]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The South Lakes High School PTSA is sponsoring a 0.5k run to help support the school’s food pantry this Sunday. From 3-5 p.m.
Proceeds from the event will go directly toward the pantry, which provides students in the SLHS pyramid food and toiletries.
The run is titled, “The Best 650 Steps You’ll Ever Take.” The run begins and ends at the Lake Anne Brew House, with a stop in between for donuts and water.
To prepare for Halloween, organizers will be offering medals for the biggest team, best costume, most exuberant, best-dressed team and any other categories the judges “deem worthy,” according to organizers.
Registration is open online. Individuals can register as a student, adults, teams or families.
Raffle prizes include a diamond necklace with a value of $1,500 that was donated. Aspen Jewelry Designs. Other prices include a gift basket from Custom Ink, peanut putter basket, gift cards and a massage by Meg Donnelly.
The race is sponsored by Lake Anne Brew House, Reston Community Center, Restoration Church, Century 21 Redwood, CustomInk, Aspen Jewelry Designs, Dev Technology, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Del. Ken Plum, OmMade Peanut Butter, AKG Designs, and Friends of Lake Anne.
Photo via Roberta Gosling
A gourmet dive bar that originally planned to open over the summer will likely open at Lake Anne Plaza next month.
Owner Dylan Clark told Reston now that Local VA, plans to open by late November. The bar will be located at 1633 Washington Plaza-N.
Other details about the business have been under wraps. The business replaces Sing Thai, which closed in March.
Photos by Jay Westcott
The annual Reston Multicultural Festival is set to celebrate the community’s rich diversity tomorrow (Saturday) from 11 a.m. to6 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza.
The festival offers a mix of song, food, dance and art at the plaza. It is hosted by Lake Anne Plaza and co-sponsored by Reston Association.
Attendees are encouraged to dress in their multicultural attire at the free festival. This year’s event includes a naturalization ceremony, three performance stages, family arts and crafts, a global cafe, and a global market.
More information about the event is available online.
- Beer Run (9:45 a.m.) — Join the Lake Anne Brew House for a weekly Saturday morning beer run around Lake Anne. The lake loop is 1.5 miles and all ages and paces are welcome.
- Reston Friends Semi-Annual Book Sale (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) — The book sale continues today and tomorrow (Sunday) at Reston Regional Library. Thousands of gently-used books will be available for purchase.
- PSV Race to Make It All Better (8:30-11:30 a.m.) — Pediatric Specialists of Virginia will host their fifth annual fundraiser and 5k in Reston Town Center to support patients and families in need. The race and health fair also includes booth with giveaways, health tips, activities and prizes.
Sunday (Sept. 29)
- Walk to End Alzheimer’s (1;30-4:30 p.m..) — The Alzheimer’s Foundation hosts its annual walk, to raise funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. The event is open for all and there is no fee to register. Participants are encouraged to fundraise to take part in the walk.
- Shear Madness (2-5:45 p.m.) — Enjoy a trip to see Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center. The trip begins with bus pick-up at Reston Association’s headquarters. Tickets are $51 for RA members and $56 for all others.
Photo via RCC
After more than a year of restoration and fundraising, the Reston Historic Trust & Museum has installed new historic icons to honor Lakeside Pharmacy, one of the first businesses to open at Lake Anne Plaza.
The pharmacy, which operated in the plaza for nearly 50 years, closed after owner and pharmacist Larry Cohn retired in 2014. The icons, which were previously used to advertise for the pharmacy, were removed last year to make way for new businesses.
The new icons were installed a few steps away from their original location, despite a cease and desist request from the owner of Kiln and Co., a pottery business that also serves up frozen yogurt and is located next to the exhibit.
Sarah Selvaraj, the owner, said the installation of the icons on the wall — which is showing signs of disrepair — could cause further damage to area businesses. The museum did not formally respond to a Sept. 12 letter from Selvaraj’s attorney and a declined to offer public comment on the issue.
Hirad Najafbagy offered a significant donation in honor of his parents, Hooshang and Farah Najafbagy, who operated Calvert Gourmet Shop at the plaza for many years after immigrating to the United States. The exhibit was installed earlier this week with the help of Krohn Design and Capitol Museum Services.
A ribbon-cutting to celebrate the museum’s 22nd anniversary and the dedication for the new exhibit was held yesterday (Wednesday). More than 80 donors helped make the new exhibit possible.
Photos by Charlotte Geary Photography
The owner of a business at Lake Anne Plaza has filed a cease-and-desist order urging the Reston Historic Trust & Museum and the Lake Anne Condominium Association to temporarily halt the installation of the historic Lakeside Pharmacy icons on a damaged wall at the plaza.
Sarah Selvaraj, the owner of Kiln and Co., says that installing the icons — which where removed last year from their original location at the plaza — could cause further damage to the wall near her business. She says the board has not adequately maintained the wall or addressed her concerns about the damage, which she says has stalled her ability to install a much-needed air conditioning unit in her business for almost two years.
“The internal structure of the wall is already deteriorating and the addition of any signage or other load-bearing material to the wall is going to further add pressure and cause significantly more damage to the wall… the ramifications of this would be significant and detrimental to all property with exposure to or supported by the Wall and their property owners,” wrote Maria Simon, managing partner of The Geller Law Group.
A spokesperson for the Reston Historic Trust & Museum said the museum is expected to provide a statement on the issue sometime today. The board did not respond to a request for comment from Reston Now. The icons — which served as advertisements for the former Lakeside Pharmacy — were expected to be installed over the weekend, according to an email received by Reston Now.
The letter also asserts that the board has “ignored repeated requests to make any repairs.”
“When such harm occurs, the LARCA Board and the Reston Museum will be facing significant liability to all parties who have been harmed as a result.”
Selvaraj says she is concerned about a pattern of issues related to maintenance and repairs at the plaza and its businesses.
Her business — a shop that combines the worlds of pottery and custard — is currently closed due to structural damage. A pipe burst last Wednesday caused major damage to the shop. It’s unclear when the business will reopen.
She says operating the Reston location of her business is especially challenging. Kiln and Co. has other locations in Vienna and Falls Church.
“When you look at the empty storefronts at the plaza, you walk around and wonder why. Then, when you own a business here, you no longer wonder.”
Photos via Sarah Selvaraj
The first-ever Lake Anne Stand Up Paddle Board Triathlon is set to take place on Sunday (September 15) at Lake Anne Plaza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
New Trail Cycling Studio, Lake Anne Brew House, Surf Reston, and CORE Foundation are teaming together to bring the multi-sport event to the plaza. The event features a one-mile paddleboard, a seven-mile ride on a New Trail Cycling stationary bike, and a 5k lap around Lake Anne on Reston pathways. Proceeds benefit the CORE Foundation.
The event is completely sold out, but volunteers are needed and attendees are welcome to watch the festivities.
- ChalkFest at Reston Town Center (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) — Amateur and professional artists will bring Reston Town Center’s walkways to life with chalk drawings. Prizes will be awarded for different categories. The program is presented by Reston Community Center and Public Art Reston.
- Book Launch Party (11 a.m.) — Authors Tracey Kayle and Marcie Atkins launch their books at Scrawl Books. The party includes games, cookies and giveaways.
- Geocaching (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — Representatives from the Northern Virginia Geocaching Organizations give an overview of an outdoor hunting game that requires GPS-enabled devices and apps at Reston Regional Library. Participants will then get a chance to find their first geocaches.
Sunday (September 15)
- Bird Walk (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Beginning and expert participants can search for birds during this guided walk at Stratton Woods Park. The walk is co-sponsored by Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store.
- Apple Picking at Stribling Orchard (Noon to 4 p.m.) — Spend the afternoon picking apples in Markham. Tickets are $8 for Reston Association members and $12 for all others.
- Chess Club for Kids (2-3 p.m.) — Players will get a chance to play against players who are at their level at Reston Regional Library.
- The New Negro (7 p.m.) — Author Jeffrey Stewart sits down with Dr. Jane Censer, a George Mason University professor, to discuss his Pulitzer-Price winning book, “The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke.”
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr