Matchbox Planning to Move In Near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station

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

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Indian Restaurant Bombay Velvet Nears RTC West Opening

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.

The restaurant will be the latest addition this year to RTC West’s food scene, which includes Honeygrow, Mezeh Mediterranean Grill and BGR The Burger Joint.

Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, is also set to open this month, an employee told Reston Now.

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Thai Restaurant Now Open in North Point Village Center

Finn Thai Restaurant and Bar officially opened in the North Point Village Center on Presidents’ Day (Feb. 18).

Finn Thai fills the former Payless spot at 1466 North Point Village Center. The spot has been empty since the discounted footwear retailer left in 2017.

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.

Finn Thai has two other restaurants — one in Purcellville and the second one in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Photo via Finn Thai Reston/Facebook

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True Food Kitchen Plans to Fill Former M & S Grill Spot in RTC

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

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Town of Herndon Boards Consider New Outback Steakhouse, Walls at Chestnut Grove Cemetery

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

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Finn Thai Restaurant Opening Soon in North Point Village Center

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.

The Reston opening will mark the third Finn Thai restaurant. Currently, one location is in Purcellville and a second one is in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Finn Thai will fill the vacant spot at 1466 North Point Village Center, which has been empty since Payless left in 2017.

Photos via Finn Thai website and 

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Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn Close Suddenly Last Night in RTC

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.

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Poll: Which Dining Option Are You Most Craving?

Who’s hungry for more dining options?

As Winter Restaurant Week winds down this weekend, foodies in Reston and Herndon may have noticed some changes to their dining options in an area. Over the last few years, the food scene has seen newcomers pop up and long-established restaurants close.

(For comparison, Winter Restaurant Week in 2016 featured eight Reston-area participants. That’s double the number of participants for this year and 2018.)

Last year alone, several restaurants and two dessert shops shut their doors in Reston Town Center at almost the same rate as new options — HoneygrowBalducci’sMason’s Famous Lobster Rolls and &pizza — popped up.

It’s a new year with new food. Openings already nearing for some of the seven restaurants coming to Reston and Herndon in the first three months of 2019.

Foodies, let us know your thoughts about which dining option the food scenes in Reston and Herndon really need.

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Jinya Ramen Bar ‘Coming Soon’ to Reston Town Center

The Reston Town Center spot vacated by a Thai restaurant in May now has a future tenant.

Jinya Ramen Bar, a Japanese ramen restaurant chain, is “coming soon” to 11964 Market Street, according to the website.

The move to Reston is part of a larger expansion, with more than 10 other spots slated to open across the country, including California, Georgia, Lousiana and Texas.

The chain has already set up restaurants in 12 states and has nearby locations in D.C. and Fairfax, Va. Jinya Ramen Bar also has five locations in Canada.

Busara Thai Restaurant closed on May 19 after 13 years of business at that spot, Reston Now previously reported.

Back in May, an employee with the restaurant told Reston Now the shift from free to paid parking in Reston Town Center drove the decision to shut down as “revenue just went down the drain.”

Photos via Google Maps, Jinya Ramen Bar/Facebook

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Seven Restaurants Slated to Open in Reston, Herndon in 2019

(Updated at 3:46 p.m.) Foodies who are hungry for more options can start craving these upcoming restaurant openings.

Italian, Thai and Afghan cuisine and more are heading to Reston and Herndon early next year.

Reston

Finn Thai Restaurant and Bar, a Thai restaurant, aims to open at 1466 North Point Village Center “around the beginning of 2019,” according to its website.

Bombay Velvet, a fine-dining, Indian restaurant, will open later in January at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, the restaurant confirmed on Facebook. Reston Now previously reported that the owner said the restaurant was planning to open sometime near Christmas.

Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, will open next in February or March at JBG Smith’s RTC West development at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Reston Now previously reported.

Fox Restaurant Concepts plans to open its North Italia concept at 11898 Freedom Drive in Reston Town Center by early 2019, Reston Now previously reported.

Herndon 

Ramen and Rice will open at 482 Elden Street in Herndon Centre sometime in January or February, Owner Sirinda Liw previously told Reston Now.

Kabobi by the Helmand, a restaurant serving Afghan cuisine, plans to open in February at 2321 Dulles Station Blvd, Suite A near the Innovation Center Metro station, Owner Khaleeq Ahmad told Reston Now.

Wooboi Chicken is coming to 139 Spring Street, Suite 1 in January, according to its Facebook page.

Photos via Helmand Kabobi/Facebook, North Italia, Finn Thai and Wooboi Chicken

This story has been updated

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Ramen and Rice Restaurant Coming to Herndon Centre

Updated 10:45 a.m. – Ramen and Rice will be opening in Herndon (482 Elden St) early next year.

Sirinda Liw, owner of Ramen and Rice, said despite the company name being Oki Bowl of Herndon the restaurant shares no connection to the chain located in Washington, D.C.

“It’s going to be fusion ramen,” said Liw, “much tastier than regular ramen.”

Ramen and Rice will be located in Herndon Centre between The Deli and the Nail Villa. Additionally, the ABC permit in the window indicates the location will be serving wine and beer.

Liw said the construction process is still in discussion with a planned opening in January or beginning February. The interior is still vacant and decorated as Tipicos Gloria, a closed Central American eatery.

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Honeygrow Set to Open Friday in Reston

Reston’s newest restaurant, Honeygrow, is set to open this Friday, May 11 in the Reston Executive Center, 12100 Sunset Hills Road, suite R12.

Honeygrow is a fast-casual restaurant that serves up a menu of fresh stir-fry noodle bowls and salads, with made-from-scratch ingredients like egg noodles and salad dressings.

Founder and CEO Justin Rosenberg says all items on the menu are made-to-order, to ensure peak freshness–and ordering customized meals is easy thanks to Honeygrow’s touch-screen ordering kiosks.

Every location also boasts a signature “honeybar,” where guests can enjoy fresh fruits, local honey and toppings such as yogurt, dark chocolate chips, coconut shavings and house-made whipped cream.

One thing no other location will have yet, that Reston will, is catering.

“Honeygrow catering is perfect for offices and gatherings,” says Rosenberg.

Honeygrow was founded in 2012 in Philadelphia, and has since grown to a long list of locations, including Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Baltimore, and in the district.

“We’re beyond excited to continue our expansion within the Washington D.C. Metro market and into Reston,” says Rosenberg. “It’s a community that obviously values quality foods, and we’re excited to now be a part of that roster.”

To show its commitment to being good neighbors, Rosenberg adds that $5 from every salad or stir-fry ordered this Friday, May 11 on opening day will be donated to Back on My Feet.

“Back on My Feet is a national nonprofit that has helped thousands of men and women experiencing homelessness make the transition back into society with the foundation of a strong running program,” Rosenberg explains. “The program includes housing resources, as well as a job training and placement program, and Honeygrow is proud to employ many graduates of the program.”

In addition, the first 100 guests to visit the new Reston location this Friday, May 11 will receive complimentary meals of one stir-fry or salad and a beverage.

The Reston location will be open Monday through Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Photos: Stir-fry and salad entrees, courtesy of Honeygrow

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J-Petal Now Open in Reston

Are you looking for an all natural, gluten-free treat? J-petal’s Japanese crepes and Thai rolled ice cream could be just want you need.

Inspired by Japanese crepes, J-petal’s founders put a twist on their recipes, then tested them out thousands of times before bringing them to the market. The Brooklyn-based shop has a Reston location that serves its crepes made with fresh fruit, vegetables and meats.

The J-petal Special, for instance, is loaded with in-house seasoned beef, chicken, shrimp, carrots, peppers, spinach, Japanese mayo and more. The menu offers more than a dozen crepes from savory to sweet. Plus, each crepe is crafted by a skilled chef so it doesn’t just taste great, it’s visually pleasing too.

Customers also love the made-to-order Thai rolled ice cream. Try a traditional Thai ice tea flavor or delve into a strawberry, Nutella and matcha combination. There are more than a half dozen flavors to try or you can create your own.

And don’t forget about the lightbulb drinks — there’s everything from mango colada and honey green iced tea to mojito virgin and thai ice tea. The weather is finally warming up, these are good bets to cool you down.

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Japanese Creperie J-Petal Opened This Weekend

Japanese creperie J-Petal opened this Saturday, according to Jean Lin, the manager of the Harrisonburg, Va. location, who spoke with Reston Now on Friday.

The Hunters Woods Village Center location, at 2260 Hunters Woods Plaza, will be the fourth Virginia location for the small chain.

According to the creperie’s website, there will be fourteen total stores with the new addition.

Both sweet and savory crepe options are on the chain’s menu.

Customers can have their choice of anything from a chicken to a “fruit martini” crepe.

J-Petal also offers Thai ice cream, a rolled up variation of the global dessert.

Photo courtesy of Twitter/Prashant

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