Despite a few stalled plans, Pupatella, an award-winning Neapolitan pizza restaurant, is set to open in Reston this week.
The new site at 1821 Wiehle Avenue will host a soft opening on Wednesday, tentatively at 4 p.m. and will feature the local chain’s full menu.
Michael Berger, one of the partners of the business along with founders Enzo Algarme and Anastasiya Laufenberg, said the Reston location will only offer takeout service for the foreseeable future due to the pandemic. However, Pupatella looks forward to offering dine-in service at some point in the new year.
Pupatella already has locations in Arlington, Richmond and Washington, D.C. The Reston location marks the second Pupatella to open this year after one in Dupont Circle in the District opened in August.
The Reston restaurant was initially scheduled to open in early 2020, but was delayed by the county’s permitting process.
“It didn’t really ever cross our mind that we wouldn’t open them. We just decided to shift the service model for now and kind of go through this with everyone else that’s going through this too,” Berger said.
“We’re very fortunate. Our industry is definitely on some hard times. I really feel for a lot of our colleagues that didn’t have the ability to pivot as much in their business model just because of the style of service they were.”
After its soft opening, the restaurant will eventually feature an outdoor waiting area with benches and heaters, as well as tables with fire pits for on-site dining.
The importance of opening this location is more than just business for Berger, as it hits on a personal level.
A Reston native, Berger is a South Lakes High School graduate that grew up around the Tall Oaks area. He is also quite familiar with the location of this Pupatella as he was a regular visitor of the Pizza Hut that occupied the site until it closed late last year.
“I went to that Pizza Hut numerous times for Little League parties, swim team parties, general neighborhood gatherings,” Berger said.
“So I’ve told my friends that I almost feel like I’ve been entrusted with this historical site in Reston. Everybody that’s been in Reston for more than a few years knows that complex. It has almost a brand of its own.”
Hearkening back to Berger’s alma mater, the Reston restaurant will feature a graffiti art installation done by the South Lakes High School art department along with one of the school’s teachers.
As a throwback to the location’s time as a Pizza Hut, Berger said it will also feature a tabletop arcade game machine with Pac-Man, Galaga and other games.
“For years and years and years, that was just such a neighborhood gathering place,” Berger said. “It really was the neighborhood pizzeria, and we’re just so excited to bring back a neighborhood pizzeria to the community.”
Photos courtesy Michael Berger
Finn Thai plans on expanding from its original location in Reston to Great Falls.
The restaurant, which serves traditional cuisine from South East Asia, will take over the space currently occupied by Wild Ginger, according to Finn Thai’s owner Willy Chaokrajang.
Currently, the new Finn Thai location is waiting for approval to serve wine and beer at 752 Walker Road, Suite A.
The eatery is expected to open in February, Chaokrajang said, adding that the location was chosen because he thinks it will be convenient for customers.
“The menu will be similar to what we have in Reston,” he added.
Currently, the restaurant has three other locations scattered throughout the D.C. area.
Photo via Finn Thai/Facebook
(Updated at 2 p.m.) A Vietnamese restaurant, gym and nail salon are planning to come to a new development in Reston.
Alo Vietnam will occupy a 1,746-square-foot space, according to Renaud Consulting. Other newcomers will include A+ Nails and F45, Josh Weiner, the senior vice president of the commercial real estate firm KLNB, told Reston Now.
The Faraday Park development consists of multifamily buildings with ground-floor retail at 1831 Michael Faraday Drive.
More from the consulting firm about the restaurant:
The group comprising the team of Alo Vietnam is made up of 4 partners, which includes 2 established local businessmen and 2 famous chefs from Vietnam. Together this group owns and operates 4 well-known restaurants in Saigon, Vietnam.
Alo Vietnam also has a wine and beer license pending for its Herndon location at 2321 Dulles Station Blvd, Suite C.
Photo via Alo Vietnam/Facebook
A new chicken restaurant coming to the VY at Reston Heights will serve up food with a Peruvian flair.
Chicken Rico plans to open a new location at 11830 Sunrise Valley Drive, according to Fairfax County records.
It is unclear when the location will open for business since a company spokesperson declined to share any details, but those curious about the chain can check out the other location in Herndon (1254 Elden Street).
The chain offers customers fast food options including baked chicken, fried plantains, rice, various grilled meats and more, according to its Facebook page.
Chicken Rico is one of several eateries coming to the apartment building, including My Home Thai, Reston Kabob and California-based chain BurgerIM.
Great China appears to have closed its doors for good at North Point Village Center.
The restaurant had its windows papered last week, according to a reader-submitted photo. As of today (Sept. 9), the sign is now gone at the restaurant’s spot at 1484 North Point Village Center.
The restaurant is no longer listed in the shopping center’s directory.
A building permit indicates that the address will be home to a new restaurant.
Hat tip to Laura Crielly
Second photo courtesy Laura Crielly
A new barbecue restaurant chain is coming to a shopping center along Sunrise Valley Drive in the Herndon area.
Mission BBQ has a license pending to serve beer at 2445 Centreville Road, Suite 34B at the Village Center at Dulles.
Currently, Mission BBQ has locations in 16 states — with 16 spots in Virginia. The closest spots right now are in Chantilly and Sterling.
Photo via Mission BBQ/Facebook
A new burger joint is coming to Herndon’s Junction Square.
Headquartered in California, BurgerIM is a national chain spanning 15 states, with plans to operate about 500 spots by the end of the year, according to its website.
Renaud Consulting announced that it recently helped BurgerIM sign a lease for a 1,500 square foot space at 1700 Lynn Street, Suite A. No word yet on when it’s opening.
Local news blog The Burn reported in April that Burgerim is also planning to open in Reston.
Photo via BurgerIM/Facebook
Kabobi by the Helmand, a restaurant featuring Afghan cuisine, held its soft opening yesterday (May 29) in Herndon.
Owner Khaleeq Ahmad told Reston Now that the restaurant finally opened after delays with the permitting process. Ahmad said his restaurant offers “Afghan fusion” cuisine. It is located at 2321 Dulles Station Boulevard, Suite A — a short walk from the Innovation Center Metro station.
The restaurant in Herndon offers a mix of traditional Afghan cuisine as appetizers, salads, bowls and wraps. Items range from “kabuli pallow,” a traditional Afghan dish with rice baked with chunk of lamb, raising and glazed carrots — to eggplants and mushroom wrapped in fresh bread.
The chain of Kabobi restaurants started in San Francisco in 1982 and expanded to Boston, Baltimore and Chicago. It is modeled after a sister restaurant in Baltimore, Maryland called Kabobi from the Helmand.
Photo by Khaleeq Ahmad
The regional wood-fired pizza franchise Matchbox just announced plans to move into Reston early next year.
The franchise just signed a lease for 1900 Reston Metro Plaza Drive in Suite 100, according to a statement from a public relations agency representing Matchbox.
“The space is 5,500 square feet and offers expansive patio dining,” the agency said in an email. “The veteran D.C. restaurant group is currently focused on regional expansion within the DMV, targeting smaller, neighborhood-focused properties.”
The email says the restaurant is planning on opening in Reston Station in early 2020.
Other upcoming Matchbox locations include one in Silver Spring opening tomorrow (Friday) and ones in Penn Quarter and Bethesda opening this summer.
If you can’t wait that long, your best bet is the Matchbox locations in Ashburn (44720 Thorndike Street) or the Mosaic District (2911 District Ave).
Photo via Facebook
The wait is almost over for Bombay Velvet, a fine-dining, Indian restaurant, at RTC West.
With the inspections process winding down, the restaurant will open in late March at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Owner Rajiv Chopra told Reston Now.
Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, is also set to open this month, an employee told Reston Now.
Finn Thai Restaurant and Bar officially opened in the North Point Village Center on Presidents’ Day (Feb. 18).
The menu includes curry dishes, noodles, fried rice and vegetarian selections, along with a kid’s menu and wine selection. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, selected steaks are half-priced on Mondays just for the Reston location.
Photo via Finn Thai Reston/Facebook
Restaurant chain True Food Kitchen plans to open its Reston location at M & S Grill’s former spot in Reston Town Center.
The restaurant will fill the vacant spot at 11901 Democracy Drive, which has been empty since M & S Grill closed last year on New Year’s Day.
When True Food Kitchen will open, though, remains unclear.
Reston Town Center said a press release last month that the chain will be one of six newcomers slated to open this year.
The next day, a post on Reston Town Center’s Facebook page said: “True Food Kitchen, the award-winning restaurant that has pioneered health-conscious dining, will bring its seasonal menu offering brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails to Reston Town Center starting Spring 2020!”
A spokeswoman for True Food Kitchen told Reston Now she was not aware of an exact opening date and that the chain will announce its job fair as it gets closer to opening in Reston Town Center. The Reston address is not listed with the locations “coming soon” on the website, which includes spots opening in the spring, summer and fall this year.
Located across the country, True Food Kitchen focuses on offering food based Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. The chain currently has a location in Fairfax and plans to open in Arlington.
Image via Google Maps
Updated at 8:55 a.m. — Corrects Outback Steakhouse location.
The Herndon Town Council and two of its boards held work sessions this week, taking up proposals for a new restaurant building, a massive mixed-use development and more.
Possibly soliciting public comment during the development of the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2020 was discussed at a Town Council work session on Tuesday (Feb. 5). The Town Council is set to take up the resolution next week on Feb. 12.
That same work session also held a public hearing on a comprehensive plan amendment for plans to revamp the South Elden area.
The Architectural Review Board on Wednesday (Feb. 6) discussed plans for a new Outback Steakhouse. (There’s one currently at 150 Elden Street.) The plan calls for a new 6,525-square-foot single-story commercial building and 82 parking spaces on an undeveloped site with 1.46 acres across from the Herndon Centre.
The board also continued the conversation about Penzance Properties’ redevelopment project, which would add three buildings in three phases at 555 Herndon Parkway.
The Planning Commission and Architectural Review Board previously provided dozens of suggestions and areas that needed improvement for the project, which is the first of its kind for Herndon. The Planning Commission will continue its consideration of the development plan at its public hearing set for Feb. 25.
Penzance’s redevelopment isn’t the only proposal that has hit some snags lately.
The Heritage Preservation Review Board held a public hearing on Wednesday (Feb. 6) revised plans for Aslin Beer Co.’s planned tasting room and bar at 771 Elden Street, which has recently faced design hurdles.
According to a staff report, the original application for the tasting room had a proposed deck area on the second floor that would inadvertently cover a stormwater management easement. The revised design takes away the deck, yet adds new elements that the staff report says need clarification.
“The Town and the applicant are working collaboratively to resolve this issue and a revision to the previous HPRB approval is being required as a component of this effort,” the report says.
Ira Saul, an attorney representing Aslin Beer Co., sent Community Design Planner Christopher Garcia a letter on Jan. 14 saying that all of the required materials have been submitted for the application to move forward at the Feb. 20 HPRB meeting.
“My understanding with [the Town Attorney] is that we are in a position to proceed with the HPRB application in tandem with the building permit revision, so that construction can begin expeditiously,” Saul wrote.
Later in January, the beer company told Alexandria Living Magazine that it plans to open a production facility and a 3,500-square-foot tasting room in the city’s West End neighborhood.
The board also held a public hearing on a proposal to add new retaining walls around a mausoleum and create new garden seating walls at the Chestnut Grove Cemetery (831 Dranesville Road).
The proposed retaining wall with an iron top rail is meant to minimize erosion, drainage and aesthetic issues, while the garden wall is set to be two feet high and be constructed in three separate segments, according to the staff report.
The Town Council is set for a public session next Tuesday (Feb. 12).
Images via Google Maps and Town of Herndon
Finn Thai Restaurant and Bar is planning to open soon in the North Point Village Center.
An employee told Reston Now that the restaurant is almost finished with the inspections process. If everything goes as planned, the restaurant could open as soon as the middle of next week — right around Valentine’s Day.
An exact date, though, has not been set yet.
Finn Thai will fill the vacant spot at 1466 North Point Village Center, which has been empty since Payless left in 2017.
Reston Town Center now has two large vacant spaces flanking the pavilion after two large, home goods retailers closed three days ahead of schedule.
Spokeswomen for Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma, which are both operated by Williams-Sonoma Inc., told Reston Now earlier this week that the stores were set to close on Sunday (Jan. 27). Yet surprised customers last night (Jan. 24) discovered that both stores planned to close for good by the end of the day.
Employees at both of the stores confirmed to Reston Now that Thursday was indeed the final day. Employees at the Williams-Sonoma said that the corporate office suddenly alerted them to the Thursday closing date after telling them that it would be Sunday.
A handful of customers were browsing the last few items left in Pottery Barn (11937 Market Street) when a store employee locked up the doors at 6 p.m.
The store had mostly barren shelves, a few barstools for sale and boxes of packaged merchandise. A sign in the storefront window that read, “Today is our last day!” advertised 70 percent off bedding, barstools, dining tables and dining chairs, along with 50 percent off everything else.
Down the street, the Williams-Sonoma (11897 Market Street) still had a selection of items ranging from kitchenware to candles. An hour before its closure at 7 p.m., about half of a dozen customers were still roaming the store, which offered 40 percent off everything. An additional 50 percent off was available for open cutlery, and furniture was 60 percent off.
The two closures are the first large retailers to leave Reston Town Center after several restaurants and small businesses left in 2018.
While replacements for the now-empty spaces haven’t been announced, Reston Town Center unveiled yesterday six newcomers slated to open later this year, including Peet’s, DC Row and True Food Kitchen.
The announcement did not indicate the expected opening dates or addresses.
Locals looking for another Williams-Sonoma store can find ones at Tysons Galleria, the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax and in the Mosaic District. Pottery Barn has locations in Tysons Corner and the Fair Oaks Mall.