UFC Gym Set to Bring Martial Arts, Boxing to Plaza America

Locals getting or staying in shape can expect new work out options like jiu-jitsu and boxing at Plaza America.

UFC Gym recently signed a lease for a 4,834 square-foot space at 11710 Plaza America Drive, Suite 40.

The fitness franchise has more than 70 locations spanning the country, along with a handful in Canada. The gyms offer a range of mixed martial arts, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing classes for individuals and groups, along with standard gym equipment like ellipticals, bikes and treadmills.

Currently, there is a UFC Gym in Woodland Park Crossing at 12973 Highland Crossing Drive, Suite C.

Photos via UFC Gym Reston Herndon/Facebook

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SunTrust Undergoing Demolition Inside Hunters Woods Plaza Safeway

The SunTrust branch inside the Safeway at Hunters Woods Plaza recently closed.

The branch at 2304 Hunters Woods Plaza shut its doors on Tuesday, Jan. 29, Hugh Suhr, a spokesman for SunTrust, told Reston Now.

The closure is unrelated to the recent announcement that BB&T will buy SunTrust Banks for about $28 billion, Suhr said.

While the spokesman did not confirm that the branch was getting demolished, a torn apart space and posted permit indicate just that.

Locals can find nearby SunTrust locations at Plaza America, South Lakes and the Safeway in Herndon.

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Performance Bicycle Shop to Close in Plaza America Shopping Center

Performance Bicycle Shop is closing at 11634 Plaza America Drive in the Plaza America Shopping Center.

The Reston location’s plans to shut down comes nearly two months after its parent company filed for bankruptcy in November.

An employee at the store was not able to share any information about the closing date. The store currently has sales with 30 to 50 percent off items.

Performance Bicycle Shop started as a bicycle catalog company in 1982. Currently, the national chain sells bikes, bike gear, accessories and cycling apparel in more than 20 states across the country.

Image via Google Maps

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Blackboard Plans to Move Its Headquarters to Reston This Year

(Updated at 9:15 a.m.) The education technology company Blackboard Inc. announced today (Jan. 2) plans to move its global headquarters from D.C. to Reston this year.

“The new location will combine the company’s existing D.C. and Reston offices into a new modern office in the heart of Northern Virginia’s tech corridor,” according to a press release.

Blackboard, currently headquartered at 1111 19th Street NW, will relocate to the Plaza America complex (11720 Plaza America Drive), where its Reston office is already located, Washington Business Journal reported.

The company’s D.C.-area workforce is currently divided between its D.C. and Reston offices.

“We are excited to bring our Metro D.C. area workforce together into a new global headquarters in the vibrant Northern Virginia tech corridor,” Blackboard Chairman, CEO and President Bill Ballhaus said in the press release.

Ballhaus said that the new office space will offer “convenient access” to dining, shopping and transportation.

“We are delighted that Blackboard chose Fairfax County for its global headquarters and will expand its footprint here,” Catherine Riley, the interim president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, said in a press release.

Riley added that Blackboard’s decision to be based in Northern Virginia’s “technology corridor” is “an additional confirmation of the value of Fairfax County for innovative companies from across the technology spectrum.”

Blackboard joins several other tech companies that have recently decided to move their headquarters to or expand in Reston, including IDEMIA, Refraction and 1901 Group.

Image via Google Maps

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Fall Fest at Plaza America Set for Saturday

As fall season descends onto the area, Plaza America will host a fall fest in the retail area of the plaza this weekend.

The event is set for Saturday (Nov. 3) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Plaza America (11700 Plaza  America Drive).

The second annual event will include sweet treats, fall-themed arts, and crafts and a petting zoo. Other activities include pumpkin bowling and face painting.

The event is free and open to the public.

Photo via Plaza America/Facebook

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Thursday Morning Notes

Foulger-Pratt plans new development — The Potomac-based developer has submitted plans for a 1.5 million-square-foot development near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station. Plans include up to 907 units, an assisted living facility and an office building with ground-level retail. [Washington Business Journal]

Outdoor movie postponed — Plaza America’s outdoor movie night has been postponed to Friday, September 14. The featured movie is Despicable Me 3 and the movie will begin at 8:45 p.m. at the SunTrust Bank. [Plaza America]

If you’d rather avoid DMV offices — A wireless office for the DMV will be on-site at Reston Town Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. today. Services offered include driver’s license and ID applications and renewals, driving records, vehicle titles, license plates, decals and more. [Reston Town Center]

Creative response tonight — Kimberly Battista leads this month’s creative response at the Greater Reston Arts Center. Creative responses allow a creative professional to respond to work on view in the gallery. [Greater Reston Arts Center]

Yoga workshop this evening — Local yoga and wellness coach Rupa Shah discusses the ins and outs of yoga at this free event at Reston Regional Library from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Attendees will also get to practice a few techniques. [Reston Regional Library]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Total Wine & More Kicks Off Grand Opening Event Today

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:

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Total Wine & More to Open in Plaza America Next Month

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

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Weekend Discussion Topics

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!

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Total Wine & More at Plaza America Begins Hiring

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

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Afghan Restaurant Coming to Plaza America in Reston

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.

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Staples Closing at Plaza America; Total Wine & More Reported to Replace It

(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.

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Body Sculpting Business LightRx to Move Into Plaza America

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.

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Hepatitis A Cases Linked to Virginia Tropical Smoothie Cafes

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.

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Now Open: Brown Bag at Plaza America

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.

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