New Dessert Shop Opens at Lake Anne Plaza

A new dessert shop is serving up sweets at Lake Anne Plaza.

Teapot & Cake held a soft opening late last month at its new location on 11404A Washington Plaza-W.

The shop, which describes itself as a “custom cake boutique,” sells layer cakes, cheesecakes, cupcakes, cookies, dough, pastries, pies and bagel breakfast sandwiches.

It also has several gluten free, sugar free and vegan options.

A menu is available online.

Photo via Teapot & Cake/Facebook

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A New Stand-Up Paddle Board Triathlon is Coming to Lake Anne

Registration is now open for the first-ever Lake Anne Stand-up Triathlon.

The event, which replaces the traditional triathlon event, aims to introduce different sports to the community by replacing swimming with a stand-up paddle board experience. It will take place on Sunday, Sept. 15.

The triathlon will consist of a seven-mile ride on a New Trail Cycling stationary bike, a 5k run around Lake Anne on Reston pathways, and a one-mile paddle board. Paddle boards will be provided.

A celebration party at the plaza will follow the event. All proceeds will benefit CORE Foundation. Fundraising for the event is optional, but highly encouraged.

Athletes can take part in a solo or a three-person relay. The cost is $110 for solo athletes and includes a T-shirt, use of a New Trail Cycling bike for the event, use of a paddle board, craft beer after the race, and other prizes.

Partnering organizations include Surf Reston, New Trail  and Lake Anne Brew House.

Registration will be closed once 150 people register for the event.

Photo via CORE Foundation

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Monday Morning Notes

Flash Flood Warning in Effect — A flash flood warning is in effect for the area until 11:15 a.m. today. Drivers are encouraged to avoid flooded roads or roads with standing water. [Fairfax Alerts]

Lane and Ramp Closures This Week — Several roads, including Herndon Parkway, Edmund Halley Drive, and Sunrise Valley Drive will be closed for several hours this week due to construction on phase two of the Silver Line. All lane and ramp closures depend on the weather. [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]

The End of Small Change Consignment at Lake Anne Plaza — Susann Gerstein, owner of Small Change Consignment at Lake Anne Plaza, closed her business, which opened in late 1981. [The Connection]

Man Arrested for Threatening Reston Hospital Center Staff — Brian Baker, 47, was arrested on July 2 fro assault and disorderly conduct. Police said he threatened hospital staff and spat on a police officer. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Lake Anne Roots Music Festival Returns on July 13

Six folk, bluegrass and blues bands are in the lineup for the fourth annual Lake Anne Roots Music Festival.

The festival, which features a beer and wine garden and fun for the whole family, is set for Saturday, July 13.

The event kicks off with the opening of taps at 11:30 am. The following bands are scheduled to play through 8 p.m.:

  • 1 p.m.: Katie & Kelly
  • 2 p.m.: Annie Stokes
  • 3 p.m.: Minks Miracle Medicine
  • 4 p.m.: The High & Wides
  • 5 p.m.: The Woodshedders
  • 6 p.m.: Two Ton Twig

The event is sponsored by Friends of Lake Anne and Reston Community Center. It will take place at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza).

Photo via Lake Anne Roots Music Festival

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Small Change Consignment Says Goodbye to Historic Lake Anne Plaza After 37 Years of Business

Small Change Consignment, a relic of Reston’s history and Bob Simon’s vision for the community, is closing its doors at historic Lake Anne Plaza on Saturday.

The children’s consignment shop — home to hundreds of items and the hearts of consigning families — has cemented its role in the community as a place to buy used clothing and a community gathering place. On a recent Wednesday evening, customers and friends came in to say goodbye to owner Susann Gerstein, 70, who has operated the shop for the last 37 years.

A group of teenagers lined up empty hangers in rainbow form — an organizational style Gerstein loves. She spent most of the night on Tuesday packing away clothes and coordinating donation drop-offs with local nonprofits.

Not much has changed since three young mothers and friends  started the venture on Nov. 21, 1981 in the vacant offices of an optician across the lake. The friends embraced the dark interior — with its Marimekko wallpaper and lime green carpeting. Gerstein’s husband built wooden clothing stands. Gerstein stitched hand-sewn clothing tags.

The paint was still drying when the store first opened. From the first day, customers embraced the business as a place to buy used clothes, chat over the racks and build community. The store has averaged 1,200 consigning families annually.

Eighteen years later, the shop moved to its current location, giving it a bigger space to work with. Gerstein’s paper ledger and the same Rolodexes from its opening day sit on the counter.

“Friendships grow for me here and they’ve grown for me too,”Gerstein said. “That’s the hardest part of saying goodbye.” She said the store brought out the extroverted side of her otherwise introverted personality.

Rents, which had been steadily increasing over the years, skyrocketed this year, making it hard to make ends meet, Gerstein says.

“I tried and we just couldn’t make it work,” she said.

She describes herself as a Reston booster and a big believer in Simon’s vision. Her involvement with Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that promotes self-sufficiency; the Reston Historic Trust & Museum; and other organizations is clear in the store. She was the founding president of the Reston Museum and helped found the Reston Historic Trust for Community Revitalization.

A Cornerstones donation jar sits on the counter and Gerstein often donates clothing to local nonprofits and domestic violence victims through various community partnerships.

Politics entered her shop following the November 2016 presidential election. Gerstein put up a sign, “Stop Tearing Families Apart” in the window of her storefront. She began selling “Hate Has No Home Here” signs. A fabric banner of children holding balloons — which was made by the friend in the original space — hangs from the ceiling. On weeknights, she tries to ride with members of Herndon-Reston Indivisible to hold lighted letters at the White House several times a month.

“I wanted my store to be a safe space for everyone. Some people didn’t like it but everyone knows where I stand,” Gerstein said.

After receiving calls from Doug Bernstein from popular toy-making company Melissa & Doug for years, Gerstein began having the toys in her shop. She stopped taking used toys after federal regulators raised questions about the quality of plastic and lead used in toys. Her husband built a Melissa & Doug grocery stand, which children often played with as their parents shopped in the store.

Gerstein says running the shop, which she has done since 2002, has been extremely fulfilling and exhilarating. As her last day of business comes near, she hopes to spend more time volunteering in the community, which she did not realize she would warm up to after moving from New York City in the late 1970s. Her grandchildren and three children plan to come from the city for a send-off on Saturday.

On a recent evening, she gazed across the lake to where Simon’s monumental figure sits on a bench. She says she’ll keep her website’s domain running if she finds another place like Lake Anne for the next generation of consigning moms.

“It’s so hard to let go.”

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Thursday Morning Notes

Summer Food Service Program Kicks Off — County schools are participating in a program to ensure that students who qualify for free and reduced-price meals continue to receive meals when school is out of session. Meals will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis. [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Foster Care Information Meeting — Learn more fostering or adopting a child in during this information meeting at Reston Regional Library from 6:30-8 p.m. The meeting will be led by Patricia Aviles-Cubillos from the Fairfax County Department of Family Services. [Reston Regional Library]

Take a Break Concert Tonight — Bad Influence takes the stage today at Lake Anne Plaza from 7-9 p.m. The blues and roots performance is open to audiences of all ages. [Reston Community Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Spring Farm Day and More This Weekend in Reston

It’s Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park tomorrow (May 11).

Attendees will have the chance to watch sheep shearing and demonstrations of antique farm equipment.

Crafts, games and activities like cow and goat milking will also be onsite, in addition to a close-up introduction of the farm’s baby animals.

Walk-ins are welcome with a $8 registration fee at 2709 West Ox Road. The event begins at 10 a.m. Online registration is $7.

Tomorrow (May 11)

  • Snakehead Run (11 a.m. to 1 p.m.) — The band returns to play for the Reston Market in front of Reston’s Used Book Shop (1623 Washington Plaza-N).
  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.)  — Author Sue Fliess reads “The Earth Gives More” to young bookworms at Reston Regional Library. The bookclub explores a new theme each week.
  • Walking Tour of Public Art (2-3 p.m.) — Susan Becker takes walkers on an hour-long tour to scout for public art at Lake Anne Village Center (1609 Washington Plaza-W). The event is free and open to all.
  • Ramadan Cultural Festival (2-4 p.m.) — Representatives from the All Dulles Area Muslim Society host a family-friendly afternoon of activities and games at Reston Regional Library.

May 12

  • Bird Walk (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Beginning and expert birders will search for birds from Glade Stream Valley to Sapsucker Woods. The walk begins at the Glade Recreation Area (11550 Glade Drive).
  • Reston Youth Triathlon (8 a.m.) — In this event, which is open to athletes between ages 6 and 15, participants will run, swim, and bike a combination of sets. Police and volunteers will be around in multiple areas to direct race traffic.
  • Sunday Afternoon Dance (2:30-4:30 p.m.) — Dancers of all skill levels are invited to foxtrot, swing, cha-cha and waltz their way into two hours of dance practice at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods. Door prizes and light refreshments will also be offered.
  • Mountain Stories and Songs with the Dulcimer (3-4:30 p.m.) — Local musicians Ralph Lee Smith and Madeline MacNeil play traditional songs and share stories of the dulcimer.

Photo courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority

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New Trail Celebrates Half-Year Anniversary with ‘Ride for a Cause’

New Trail Cycling Studio is hosting a charity ride to celebrate six months of business at Lake Anne Plaza.

On Saturday, May 18, the business will host its “Ride for a Cause” from 7:30 a.m. to noon. All proceeds from rides will go to local non-profit organizations.

“New Trail is about community and helping other people,” owner Liz Kamp said. “Whether we’re helping someone get healthy or we’re improving a local organization, I want to make sure that New Trail is improving the lives of people around us.”

The event kicks off with six 30-minute rides in the morning. New Trail’s coaches will choose a different organization to benefit from each ride. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase leading up to the event in order to raise funds for each organization.

Riders of all levels are welcome to join for all or one of the rides, but bikes must be booked in advance. Fundraising credits are available online.

As a bonus, any individual or business sponsoring a ride with a mile-to-dollar match will earn a free private ride for up to 20 people.

Giveaways and refreshments are also planned for riders. So far, the lineup is as follows:

Photo courtesy Liz Kamp

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Reston Tailoring’s Disappearance Leaves Clients Hung Out to Dry

Several clients’ clothes are missing following what appears to be the abrupt closure of Reston Tailoring, a local business that has called Reston home for more than 30 years.

An associate for Just Cats Clinic, which neighbors Reston Tailoring at Lake Anne Plaza, told Reston Now that many people have been calling their business to track down their clothes, following Reston Tailoring’s disappearance over the weekend.

“We have no idea what happened,” the associate said.

Reston Now was unable to reach the owners, Berta and Wagner Cordova, after multiple attempts. The property owner of the building also did not respond to requests for comment. Reston Tailoring’s website also went down over the weekend.

The shop moved from Hunters Woods Village Center, its home since 1984, to Lake Anne in 2013.

The store in Lake Anne is empty and no signs indicate what may have happened. It is unclear if the closure is temporary or permanent.

What is known is that Reston Tailoring has been woven into the fabric of the Reston community, serving three generations of customers.

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Kalypso’s Kicks Off Friday Music Series

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern is kicking off a live music series this week.

The business, which is located on historic Lake Anne, released its lineup of bands, which will play on a dedicated stage from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. every Friday through July 28.

The complete line up is below:

  • May 10: Free Soul
  • May 17: Bobby Thompson & Friends
  • May 24: Full Plate
  • May 31: Something’s Brewing
  • June 7: The Jones
  • June 14: The Vandelays
  • June 28: Holly Montgomery Band
  • July 5: Chris Timbers Band
  • July 12: Sista Pat’s One Vibe
  • July 19Free Soul
  • July 28: Run For Cover

“Spring and summer is the best time of the year on Lake Anne,” says Kalypso’s owner Vicky Hadjikyriakou. “We look forward to welcoming guests, familiar and new, to enjoy this great free music lineup and our menu of flavorful Greek and Italian food.”

The tavern already offers acoustic music on the lakefront patio on most weekend afternoons and evenings. Reston Community Center’s Take a Break Concert Series also returns on Thursdays.

File photo

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RCC Seeks Entertainers for 2019 Reston Multicultural Festival

Reston Community Center is seeking performing arts groups of all ages and cultures for the 19th annual Reston Multicultural Festival. The event takes place on Saturday, September 28 at the historic Lake Anne Plaza.

Applications are due by June 14. Interested groups or individuals should submit RCC’s entertainment application form, which is available online.

All application packets should include audio and video sampling the group’s work. Instead of requiring auditions, RCC will use submission materials to select artists. Samples should be recent and represent work that the individual or group will perform.

The festival’s entertainment committee will review submissions using criteria like artistic merit, production value, evidence of authentic traditions and forms of specific cultures, and overall merit of the performance to the festival. Performances geared toward a specific religion are allowed, but the act should not “proselytize or overtly promote any faith over another,” according to event organizers.

Material should also be suitable for all ages and free of content would be “inappropriate for a diverse, multicultural and multigenerational audience,” according to RCC. Special consideration will be given to Reston-based organizations.

Artists selected for the festival will be notified by July 12. Art vendors, community organizations and food vendors must also submit applications by June 14.

Photo by Reston Community Center

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New Monthly Event Aims to Bring Remote Workers to Lake Anne Plaza

Starting this Friday (May 3), a monthly series will encourage remote employees to bring their work to Lake Anne Plaza.

Lake Anne Brew House will have high-speed wi-fi available for people who decide to work there from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on the first Friday of each month.

“This event is the perfect solution for remote employees looking for a collaborative environment to connect with a new coworking network,” the brewery wrote on Facebook.

Workers based in offices can also take advantage of the recurring event to shorten their time working in a cubicle.

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Lake Anne Plaza to Host Second Annual Reston Pride Festival

After a successful inaugural event last year, the Reston Pride Festival is moving from its small home in the Unitarian Universalist Church to Lake Anne Plaza. The event is set for June 1 from 2-7 p.m.

“Last year’s response was so great that we opted for this new location and businesses and the plaza have been very supportive and involved,” Amiee Freeman, one of the festival’s organizers told Reston Now.

Delta Knyght, a DC-based drag entertainer, and Ken Williamson, minister of music for Washington Plaza Baptist Church and a former Las Vegas entertainer, will emcee the event. Elected officials scheduled to speak include Del. Ken Plum and Del. Danica Roem, according to event organizers. Interfaith leaders from the United Christian Parish, the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation and Restoration Church, will also give remarks at the event.

“Our hope is that this event will not only be awareness-raising, but also a fun and engaging expression of inclusion,” Freeman said.

Last year’s event attracted more than 1,200 people and was co-sponsored by more than 20 community organizations. The event is the brain child of Rev. Debra Haffner, a minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Reston and co-chair of Reston Pride.

She says the festival aims to “break silence in the greater Reston/Herndon area about LGBTQ+ people and issues.”

“We are thrilled that so many organizations are working together to bring the community the second Pride festival and to launch what we hope will be an annual event,” she said.

Photo by Debra Haffner

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‘Gourmet Dive Bar’ Coming to Lake Anne Plaza This Summer

Signs portending the opening of Local VA at Lake Anne Plaza have raised some eyebrows on what the new business will bring to the plaza.

The business takes the place of Singh Thai, a locally owned Thai restaurant that left the plaza it called home for nine years earlier this month.

Owner Dylan Clark described Local VA as a “gourmet dive bar, unpretentious and comfortable with a neighborhood appeal.” Clark says the service will be “relaxed, very friendly and correct, creating an informal, comfortable environment.”

In an effort to ensure most ingredients are sourced locally, Clark said he is working with brewers, farmers, bakers and other purveyors in the state. The opening date is not final, but Clark hopes to open by June 1.

Singh Thai closed in March after the chefs, the owner’s parents, decided to retire and move back to Thailand.

Photo by Eve Thompson

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