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by Fatimah Waseem March 15, 2018 at 6:45 am 3 Comments

Total Wine & More will open its doors at 9 a.m. today at 11620 Plaza America Drive.

The grand opening event, which runs through Sunday, features more than 20 wine tastings.

Customers will receive a free reusable wine tote with gifts, store information and savings worth more than $40, according to promotional information.

A portion of all grand opening sales will be donated to Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that aims to promoted self-sufficiency.

The schedule for featured producers and tastings starts at 4 p.m. and includes the following:

by Fatimah Waseem February 22, 2018 at 11:30 am 1 Comment

An opening day has been set for Total Wine & More. The beer, wine and spirit purveyor will open on March 15 at 11620 Plaza America, according to the the store’s Facebook page.

The grand opening day will include free wine tastings and opening specials. Details are expected by March 1.

Total Wine & More replaced Staples, which closed in October last year after opening in 2011. The store has other locations in Sterling, Fairfax and McLean.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

by RestonNow.com January 19, 2018 at 4:00 pm 2 Comments

Before we head off into the weekend, let’s take a look back at the biggest stories on Reston Now in recent days.

  1. Vehicle Crashes into Trader Joe’s
  2. Founding Farmers Close to Opening in Reston Station
  3. Total Wine & More at Plaza America Begins Hiring
  4. New Details Surface in the Murder of Reston Couple
  5. Tuesday Morning Notes

Feel free to discuss these topics, your weekend plans or anything else that’s happening locally. If you have ideas on stories we should cover, email us at [email protected] or submit an anonymous tip. Have a great weekend!

by RestonNow.com January 17, 2018 at 3:00 pm 11 Comments

Total Wine & More is eying open day at Plaza America.

Hiring has begun for all positions at the beer, wine and spirit purveyor, which will be located on 11620 Plaza America Drive.

Although hiring is in full-swing, a corporate office representative declined to indicate when the store will open. It was expected to open by the end of last year, according to the Washington Business Journal.

“At this time, the exact dates and locales have not been finalized,” the representative wrote in a statement.

The store will replace Staples, which closed in October after opening in 2011.

According to the Total Wine & More website:

Our typical store carries more than 8,000 different wines from every wine-producing region in the world, including more than 2,000 wines not available in any other store. The typical Total Wine & More also carries more than 2,500 beers, from America’s most popular brands to hard-to-find microbrews and imports, and more than 3,000 different spirits in every style and price range.

Total Wine & More is also located in Sterling, Fairfax and McLean.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

by Fatimah Waseem November 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm 33 Comments

Plaza America, will welcome Grill Kabob, an Afghan restaurant with other locations in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, soon. A sign announcing the arrival of the chain, which serves made-to-order kabobs and other authentic specialities, was posted in the vacant storefront yesterday.

Grill Kabob will replace Primo Italiano at 11888 Plaza America Drive. The pizza and sub restaurant, which had called the shopping center home since it opened in the 1990s, left in May 2015.

Since then, the location has remained vacant. Staples, which was located in the same shopping center at 11620 Plaza America Drive, also closed on Oct. 7. Total Wine & More, a beer, wine and spirit purveyor, plans to open by the end of the year.

A restaurant representative said it was unclear when Grill Kabob will open. The owner was unavailable for comment. The restaurant launched in 1998 with its first location in the food court at Springfield Mall and has since opened in 14 locations, including stand-alone restaurants.

Mahmoud Mahdjoub, a journalist in Afghanistan, immigrated to the United States, joining his two cousins who fled Afghanistan during the Soviet-Afghan war in 1980. The chain’s website describes Grill Kabob as one of the largest kabob chains in the country.

The restaurant in Reston is just under 4 miles away from another location in Herndon. Other nearby restaurants are located in Dulles Town Center,  Tysons Corner Mall and Manassas Mall. Its menu includes an assortment of kabobs, sandwiches, gyros, salads, falafel platters and more.

by Dave Emke July 5, 2017 at 10:15 am 41 Comments

(This article was edited at 2:45 p.m. Thursday, July 6. The Staples spokesperson had provided us with an incorrect date of the store’s closing. It will close Oct. 7, not Aug. 8 as originally reported.)

Office supplies will soon be replaced by alcohol at Plaza America.

Staples (11620 Plaza America Drive) will close Oct. 7, a spokesperson for the company has confirmed to Reston Now. According to a statement:

We continually evaluate our store performance to ensure we’re operating the business in the best way. As customers shift online, we are taking aggressive action to right-size our retail footprint. We are committed to providing great service and every product businesses need whether it’s in-store, online or through mobile.

Our customers in this area can continue to shop with us at our Sterling and Vienna, VA locations and online at Staples.com.

The Staples at Plaza America opened in 2011.

The Washington Business Journal reported last week that Staples will be replaced by beer, wine and spirit purveyor Total Wine & More, which plans to open by the end of the year.

According to the Total Wine & More website:

We’re passionate about wine, and know many of our customers feel the same way. So we are committed to offering the nation’s best wine selection, with an emphasis on fine wines. Our typical store carries more than 8,000 different wines from every wine-producing region in the world, including more than 2,000 wines not available in any other store. The typical Total Wine & More also carries more than 2,500 beers, from America’s most popular brands to hard-to-find microbrews and imports, and more than 3,000 different spirits in every style and price range.

There are several other Total Wine & More locations in the area, including in Sterling, Fairfax, Chantilly and McLean.

by Dave Emke May 25, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

A business offering non-surgical treatments for skin and body issues is planning to open a location at Plaza America.

According to a permit application filed with Fairfax County, LightRx plans to move in at 11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 120. That space was formerly occupied by M. Beem Jewelers, which closed about two years ago.

According to the LightRx website, the business offers “the complete non-surgical solution to a new you.”

“Whether you want to drop a dress size, melt fat, target cellulite, tighten skin or turn back the hands of time, or say goodbye to unwanted hair, our team will customize a plan using the latest medical devices to help achieve your goals. The science behind our LightRx protocol combines leading-edge treatments for dramatic results. FDA-cleared, non-invasive, fast, safe, painless and effective. Treatments are performed by our highly-trained, professional staff and overseen by physicians.”

The chain has numerous locations across the nation, including locally at Fairfax Corner and in Alexandria.

No word yet on when the business hopes to open in Reston, a representative for property owner ARC Management said.

by Karen Goff August 22, 2016 at 1:15 pm 2 Comments

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Reston/Credit: Google mapsRecent cases of Hepatitis A may have started with strawberries used in smoothies at Tropical Smoothie Cafe locations in Virginia, state health department officials warn.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe has 96 Virginia stores, including one at Plaza America in Reston.

The Virginia Department of Health said testing indicates that frozen strawberries that originated in Egypt may be to blame for the illnesses. Four of the 10 cases in the commonwealth have occurred in Northern Virginia, the health department said.

Tropical Smoothie Cafe said it has stopped using those strawberries at all stores.

Tropical Smoothie said this in a statement:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe was notified by the Virginia Department of Health about several foodborne illnesses in the state linked to frozen strawberries sourced from Egypt.

Our cafes and their food handling practices have not been implicated in any way — the health department believes this is a single product issue (strawberries) sourced from Egypt. Egyptian strawberries represent a fraction of our overall strawberries purchased, and were predominantly distributed to stores in the Virginia market.

Today, our strawberries are primarily sourced from Mexico and California.

However, in an abundance of caution, we voluntarily pulled all strawberries sourced from Egypt from every cafe in our system, not only the Virginia cafes. Our primary concern is for the safety and well-being of our guests and crew members and we will continue to cooperate with the health authorities.”

Virginia health officials are encouraging anyone who consumed a smoothie with frozen strawberries at a restaurant in the last 50 days to watch for symptoms of Hepatitis A: jaundice, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine and light-colored stools.

Additionally, customers who consumed a smoothie from a Tropical Smoothie Cafe in Virginia that contained frozen strawberries between  Aug. 5 – 8 may still benefit from vaccine or immune globulin to prevent hepatitis A, the health department said.

A vaccine or immune globulin given within two weeks of exposure to hepatitis A virus is effective at preventing the disease, health official said.

by Karen Goff August 2, 2016 at 2:45 pm 3 Comments

Brown Bag, a local chainlet of fast casual restaurants, has opened its newest location at 11692 Plaza America in Reston.

This is the eighth store (and second in Virginia) for the company, which prides itself on using local ingredients when possible, serving hormone-free dairy products and making food from scratch.

Several of the DC locations of Brown Bag are only open for breakfast and lunch to cater to an office crowd. The Reston location will be open Monday through Saturday until 9 p.m. to offer its options for dinner as well.

Here’s what is on the menu:

Breakfast:

Locally roasted coffee, omelets, breakfast sandwiches.

Lunch/dinner:

Sandwiches, both grilled (i.e. panini style) or stuffed. Sandwich options are in the $7.95-$8.95 range.

House made soups and chili

Salads — both speciality and made to order. The specialty salads are about $9.

Noodles — Both speciality bowls (i.e. Pad Thai, pomodoro, curry) or build your own with different pasta (whole wheat, quinoa and rice noodles too) and proteins.

See the full menu on Brown Bag’s website.

Brown Bag Reston is open Monday to Saturday, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

by Karen Goff June 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm 5 Comments

MOD Pizza in Reston

MOD Pizza, Reston’s newest restaurant, will have a series of grand opening events later this week to celebrate its arrival at Plaza America.

MOD Pizza is a national franchise that serves artisan-style pizza in a fast casual setting. Customers pick the toppings (Chipotle-style) to have a personal-sized pizza to order. The Reston location will also serve salads, MODshakes (milkshakes), wine and DC Brau beer.

Pizzas are $5.27 for a 6-inch and $8.27 for an 11-inch. The price stays the same no matter how many toppings.

On Thursday, June 30, MOD Reston (11642 Plaza America) will have pre-opening service. Lunch is from 11 a.m. to 2 pm. Dinner is from 5 to 8 p.m. All sales proceeds will go to the MOD Bridge Fund, which helps MOD workers with emergency financial help.

MOD’s grand opening is Friday, July 1. Doors will open at noon. One hundred percent of pizza sales Friday go to Generosity Feeds, a nonprofit that helps feed hungry children in America.

There will also be free pizza for the first 52 people in line, a retro photo booth, and prize giveaways — including the chance to win free pizza for a year.

by Karen Goff May 16, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

MOD Pizza at Plaza America

Two vacant spaces at Plaza America are deep into the renovation process and plan openings this summer.

The sign for MOD Pizza recently was installed — along with a wood-burning pizza oven and other fixtures — at the space at 11642 Plaza America. MOD Pizza signed a lease for the location, formerly occupied by Vie de France, last October.

MOD Pizza is a Seattle-based franchise founded in 2008. It opened its first Washington, D.C.-area store earlier this year in Silver Spring, part of fast growth that the company founders hope will be 100 stores by 2016. Another Northern Virginia store is planned for Gainesville.

Brown Bag at Plaza AmericaThe restaurant is a fast-casual concept. Customers choose from a variety of speciality pizzas or create their own. The pizza is ready in about five minutes. Pizzas start at $7.47.

The usual toppings such as pepperoni, cheese and sausage are available, but so are hot buffalo sauce, siracha, feta and arugula.

Over at the other end of the plaza, Brown Bag is hiring for its new location at 11692 Plaza America. Brown Bag, a local fast-casual chainlet, signed a lease this winter for the space formerly occupied by Salaadworks, which closed last year.

Brown Bag started in Bethesda in 2002. It still has a location there, as well as franchises in Arlington and several stores in DC.

Brown Bag says on its website it takes pride in:

  • Local artisan bakers producing multi-grain breads
  • Produce from local farms, when in season
  • All-natural dairy products
  • Hormone-free, all-natural meats
  • No trans-fats or processed ingredients
  • Fresh squeezed juices
  • Locally roasted coffee
  • Homemade soups & dressings

On its website, Brown Bag founder Erich Fuldner calls Brown Bag “the anti-sub shop.”

Brown Bag said in a press release its plans to open the Reston store “this summer.”

by Karen Goff March 29, 2016 at 1:10 pm 40 Comments

Plaza America Champps 20161

The former Champps restaurant at Plaza America is close to becoming Reston’s version of a white elephant.

The 11,963-square-foot space remains unoccupied since Champps closed in October of 2014. That makes it Reston’s longest and largest commercial vacancy. Added bonus — the smaller adjacent spot, which formerly housed Saladworks, is now also for rent.

So what gives? The property is actively being marketed by CBRE. It’s in a prime location. Marketing materials highlight these demographics:

  • Underserved retail market within 3 miles where demand exceeds retail sales annually by an estimated $984 million
  • Strategically located off Dulles Toll Road with over 117,894 VPD and access to over 255,042 VPD in 1/4 mile
  • Strong daytime population of 37,869 within 1 mile and average incomes above $119,600

Rental rates per square foot are not made available in the marketing materials and representatives marketing the property generally won’t comment on why no tenant has signed.

A lot of retail and restaurant can fit into close to 12,000 square feet and a lot of money is available to be spent at a shopping plaza that includes a Whole Foods, a Starbucks and generally upscale retail.

So, for the 23rd month, what do you think should fill this space?

by Karen Goff February 29, 2016 at 4:30 pm 2 Comments

Brown Bag location in DC/Credit: Brown Bag via Facebook

A new restaurant has filed permits to open at 11692 Plaza America.

Brown Bag, a local fast-casual chainlet, has signed a lease for the space formerly occupied by Salaadworks, which closed last year.

Brown Bag started in Bethesda in 2002. It still has a location there, as well as franchises in Arlington and several stores in DC.

Brown Bag says on its website it takes pride in:

  • Local artisan bakers producing multi-grain breads
  • Produce from local farms, when in season
  • All-natural dairy products
  • Hormone-free, all-natural meats
  • No trans-fats or processed ingredients
  • Fresh squeezed juices
  • Locally roasted coffee
  • Homemade soups & dressings

On its website, Brown Bag founder Erich Fuldner calls Brown Bag “the anti-sub shop.”

The other area Brown Bag stores are open 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and include breakfast and lunch items. Check out the whole menu on Brown Bag’s website.

by Karen Goff February 11, 2016 at 4:30 pm 7 Comments

Triangle Park/Credit: Fairfax County

A Reston developer has filed a rezoning application in order to develop a parcel of land adjacent to Plaza America.

Linden Development owns the 6.3-acre property known as Triangle Park, as well as several other Reston office buildings.

Triangle Park currently contains two office buildings directly adjacent to the side of Plaza America where Starbucks, Loft and Staples are located. The land also borders Sunset Hills Road to the north and the Dulles Toll Road to the south and is within a half-mile of the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Linden is seeking to rezone the property from office-industrial to mixed use. It says it plans a 75/25 mix of residential and non-residential (office, retail), though plans have not yet been made public.

Fairfax County Planning staff is currently reviewing the application.

Meanwhile, plans for the Soapstone connector include a route that goes almost right through this property.

by Karen Goff October 7, 2015 at 11:00 am 9 Comments

Mod Pizza in Irvine, Ca./Courtesy Mod PizzaA new pizza place is coming to Reston’s Plaza America.

MOD Pizza has filed permits to renovate the space at 11642 Plaza America, which was vacated by Vie De France in October 2014.

MOD Pizza is a Seattle-based franchise founded in 2008. It opened its first Washington, D.C.-area store earlier this year in Silver Spring, part of fast growth that the company founders hope will be 100 stores by 2016. Another Northern Virginia store is planned for Gainesville.

The restaurant is a fast-casual concept. Customers choose from a variety of speciality pizzas or create their own. The pizza is ready in about five minutes. Pizzas start at $7.47.

The usual toppings such as pepperoni, cheese and sausage are available, but so are hot buffalo sauce, siracha, feta and arugula.

Photo Courtesy of MOD Pizza

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