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by Dave Emke — April 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm 9 Comments

Locally owned café chain Sweet Leaf is looking to open its seventh Northern Virginia location later this year at Reston Station.

According to a permit filed with Fairfax County, the restaurant will open at 1908 Reston Metro Plaza as part of Comstock’s BLVD development. Maggie Parker, Comstock’s vice president of communications, says the restaurant should be open in the fall.

“We’re very excited,” she said. “It’s a great restaurant — small, family-owned.”

Sweet Leaf was founded in McLean in 1991. It currently has locations in McLean, Tysons and Vienna, as well as three in Arlington.

The menu features healthful sandwiches, salads and grain bowls, and it also has breakfast options. The restaurant offers a “wide variety” of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options, according to its website.

Parker also said Salon Nordine, which closed its Reston Town Center location in September, will open at Reston Station later this year. She said the full-service salon and spa will be the first street-front tenant on Reston Station Boulevard.

Salon Nordine currently has two locations, in Merrifield’s Mosaic District and in Gainesville.

by Dave Emke — April 27, 2017 at 9:00 am 4 Comments

Top Reston Volunteers to Be Honored — An awards ceremony to recognize individuals, families, groups and businesses who make a significant contribution to the Reston community through volunteer service will be held tonight from 6:30-9 p.m. at The Lake House (11450 Baron Cameron Ave.). [Reston Association]

Meeting on Glade Drive Bike Lanes Tonight — The Fairfax County Department of Transportation will host a community meeting tonight from 6:30-8 p.m. at Hunters Woods Elementary School (2401 Colts Neck Road) to discuss potential changes to Glade Drive, including the addition of bike lanes and sharrows. [Reston Now]

Fairfax Corner Art Festival (Sponsored) — Fairfax Corner will transform into an outdoor art showcase during the 2nd Annual Fairfax Corner Art Festival this weekend. Monument Corner Drive will feature more than 100 national and international artists, arranged in pop-up gallery style and filled with all mediums of fine art. Admission is free and it’s taking place this Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 4100 Monument Corner Drive, Fairfax. [Howard Alan Events]

Reston Couples Find Business Success with Mat — Gerald and Michelle Zingraf, along with Ben and Camille Arneberg, have made about 6,000 sales of their new product, TerraMat, since February. The ergonomic anti-fatigue desk mat is designed to provide exercise, stretching and therapeutic massage for the feet of those who spend hours at a time standing at a desk. [Fairfax County EDA]

Red’s Table Has New Top Chef — Adam Stein has left Red’s Table to open his own D.C. restaurant, The Eleanor. Kevin Ettenson, 28, is the new executive chef at Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive). Among his plans are an emphasis on housemade pastas and an expanded late-night menu. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

by Dave Emke — April 20, 2017 at 1:15 pm 14 Comments

Bakery-restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien is planning to move into Reston Town Center.

According to a permit filed recently with Fairfax County, the Belgium-based restaurant is looking to take over the site at 11909 Democracy Drive, between Potomac River Running and Banana Republic. That is the former home of Cosi, which closed in September when the company filed for bankruptcy.

The menu at Le Pain Quotidien (French for “The Daily Bread”) includes not just bread, but soups and salads, cheeses, sandwiches, desserts and more. The chain has more than 200 locations on five continents, including two in Fairfax County: at Tysons Corner Center and in Merrifield’s Mosaic District.

by Dave Emke — April 18, 2017 at 9:00 am 3 Comments

Local Resident Part of Climate Reality Leadership Corps — Christina Blocksom, of Reston, is one of several area citizens who recently participated in Climate Reality Training in Denver. Former Vice President Al Gore founded the project. [Inside NOVA]

Red’s Table Has New Seasonal Cocktails — Rhubarb purée is a special ingredient in one of the spring drinks at the restaurant, located at the South Lakes Village Center. [DC Eater]

comScore Working With Facebook to Improve Digital Ads — The Reston-based company is introducing new demographic metrics to help provide advertisers with “transparent, uniform measurement across all platforms and devices.” [Yahoo! Finance]

‘Guys and Dolls’ Coming to Herndon HS Stage — The theater department at Herndon High School will present the musical comedy this weekend. There will be shows Friday and Saturday night, and a Sunday matinee. Tickets are $15. [Fairfax Times]

by Dave Emke — April 17, 2017 at 1:30 pm 1 Comment

Hunters Woods Village Center has another new spot to visit.

Kung Fu Tea opened over the weekend at 2280 Hunters Woods Plaza. The “soft opening” of the shop is continuing, manager Jayden Park said, until a grand-opening event tentatively slated for early May.

The shop is a national chain that specializes in drinks such as bubble tea, milk tea and yogurt tea, as well as coffee and slush drinks. The application for the Reston location was submitted to the county in December.

King Pollo and Pista House Indian Cuisine have also recently opened in Hunters Woods.

Other area Kung Fu Tea locations include in Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) and in the Centreville Plaza (13830 Lee Highway).

Store hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. Check out the menu at the company’s website.

by RestonNow.com — April 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm 1 Comment

It’s Easter weekend, and it’s time to celebrate all things spring.

Whether outdoor activities are your thing or you want to sit and enjoy a good show, there are plenty of options in Reston and the surrounding area this weekend.

Here’s just a sampling of how you can have a good time this holiday weekend:

  • Lake Anne Brew House (11424 Washington Plaza W.) will celebrate its one-year anniversary all day Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., with music, food, drink specials and more.
  • The Herndon Municipal Center (777 Lynn St.) will host an Easter egg hunt from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The event will also include a coloring mural, petting zoo, photo op with the Easter Bunny and more. Registration is $9 in advance, $10 at the event.
  • Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares will perform at Reston Community Center’s CenterStage (2310 Colts Neck Road) at 8 p.m. Saturday. The group’s goal is “to enrich the heritage of the Bulgarian solo folk song with harmonies and arrangements that highlighted its beautiful timbres and irregular rhythms.” Tickets are $25 for Reston residents and $35 for non-residents.
  • The art exhibit “A Respite from Chaos” will remain on display at Reston Community Center’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery (1609 Washington Plaza N.) through the month of April.
  • Frying Pan Farm Park will pay a visit to Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The children’s event will be an opportunity to meet with baby chickens, hear a story and make a craft to take home. (Note: The library will be closed Sunday in observance of Easter.)
  • Reston Confections, a custom bakery, will have a pop-up shop at Pottery Barn (11937 Market St.) on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m.
  • Other events at Reston Town Center this weekend will include live entertainment at World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.) Friday and Saturday nights; a French cooking class at Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive); and exercise in the pavilion Sunday.
  • Tom Saputo and Friends will perform tonight from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Café Montemarte (1625 Washington Plaza N.), and a ukelele and slack-key guitar performance by Michael Keale is slated for 6-9 p.m. Sunday.
  • Vinafera Wine Bar and Bistro (11750 Sunrise Valley Drive) has live music every Friday and Saturday night in April, from 7-10 p.m.
  • NextStop Theatre Company (269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon) is performing “Boeing, Boeing,” and the show has been extended through May 7. Performances this weekend are tonight and Saturday at 8 p.m., along with a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday. Tickets are $35-$55.
  • First Blooms” by artist Dorothy Donahey remains on exhibit at Reston Art Gallery and Studios (11400 Washington Plaza W.), which is open from noon to 5 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.
  • Kalypso’s (1617 Washington Plaza N.) will have live music tonight, 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., from The Vandelays. DJ Kram will play Top 40 hits Saturday night.

by Dave Emke — April 11, 2017 at 2:45 pm 10 Comments

The Reston location of Willard’s Real Pit BBQ will open its doors to customers Monday at 10:30 a.m., “come Hell or high water.”

That’s according to restaurant owner Chris Janowski, who has been working for a year to prepare the location at 11790-E Baron Cameron Ave., in the Home Depot Shopping Center. Janowski opened his first barbecue restaurants in Massachusetts in 1995 before moving to Fairfax County in 2002 and opening the flagship Willard’s in Chantilly’s Dulles Expo Center the next year.

“We have a good business going in Chantilly — we have tons of regulars,” he said. “We see some people every day for lunch or dinner.”

The restaurant’s menu includes a variety of sandwiches and ribs, along with a full assortment of specialty items and sides. There is a 30-person seating area inside, and takeout and catering orders will also be available.

Janowski said the secret to his barbecue is in the smoker, which uses hickory logs to enhance the meat’s flavor. He said while Virginia doesn’t have its own established style of barbecue, he is fond of vinegar-based sauces and it shows in the restaurant’s menu.

“Nothing too sweet. Some barbecue for me is too sweet and thick,” he said. “To me, that’s like kids’ barbecue, you know?”

There are still jobs available at the restaurant as well, Janowski said. Interested applicants should stop by for more information.

The restaurant will be open Monday through Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Janowski said. For more information, call 703-429-1755 next week.

by Dave Emke — April 5, 2017 at 1:30 pm 4 Comments

If you’ve visited the Hunters Woods Village Center recently, you may have noticed some new signs accompanied by delicious smells.

King Pollo opened recently at 2254-G Hunters Woods Plaza, between Elysium Nail & Spa and Blaze Cut. The space is the former home of Solar Plant Tanning Salon, which closed in 2014.

The restaurant, which offers Peruvian chicken and other Latin cuisine, began work on the location last year.

Early Yelp reviews of the restaurant show praise.

The chain operates five other locations in the region, including in Chantilly and Sterling. The restaurant is open at 10 a.m. every day. Catering options are also available.

King Pollo is the second new restaurant to open in Hunters Woods Village Center in recent weeks, after Pista House Indian Cuisine (2316 Hunters Woods Plaza) opened in February. In addition, signage is up and work is progressing on a Kung Fu Tea location at 2280 Hunters Woods Plaza.

by RestonNow.com — April 5, 2017 at 10:15 am 3 Comments

Ground was recently broken on the second stage of Herndon’s Junction Square neighborhood, which will feature an upscale wine and piano bar among its offerings.

Risky Ricky’s is planning to open around September at 700 Elden St. in Junction Square. The restaurant’s planned menu shows options including Australian lamb chops, grilled Alaskan Salmon fillet, braised short ribs and more. According to its website, its bar will feature private-reserve wine imported from Argentina.

Located at Elden and Monroe streets in the center of Herndon, Junction Square is a 55,000-square foot mixed-use development that will feature 20 luxury townhomes in addition to its storefronts. Work on the project, being done by Tradition Homes, began last February.

Image courtesy Town of Herndon

by Dave Emke — April 5, 2017 at 9:00 am 1 Comment

Document-Shredding Program Set for Saturday — The Fairfax County Solid Waste Management Program will sponsor a secure-document shredding event at the North County Human Services building (1850 Cameron Glen Drive) on Saturday morning. Residents can have up to four boxes of materials of a sensitive nature, such as tax documents and financial records, shredded. [Fairfax County]

Board of Supervisors Adopts Resolution on Diversity, Inclusion — At their meeting Tuesday, Supervisors voted to reaffirm that the county is “a welcoming and accepting community where residents of all backgrounds deserve to feel respected and safe.” [Sharon Bulova/Facebook]

Checkers to Expand in D.C. Region — The fast-food chain plans to open 20 locations in the Metro area and is currently in the process of seeking franchisees. [Washington Business Journal]

Longtime Coach Goes Into Local Hall of Fame — Al McCullock, who won 235 games and two regional championships in 15 years as Herndon High School’s baseball coach, was recently inducted into NOVA Baseball Magazine’s “Home Plate Club” Hall of Fame. [NOVA Baseball Magazine]

Beware of Bears as Weather Warms — The Fairfax County Police Department is sharing precautions for how to keep bears away and what to do should you encounter one. They say while bears tend to avoid humans, they sometimes wander into suburban areas in search of food. [Fairfax County Police Department]

Image via @NickDowsett on Twitter

by Dave Emke — April 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm 6 Comments

Cava Mezze Grill has plans to soon begin offering its Greek and Mediterranean menu at The Spectrum shopping plaza.

Signage is up in the windows at the future location of the restaurant, 1815 Fountain Drive. The storefront near Best Buy had been the home of a Lane Bryant clothing store before it closed last year. A permit to allow renovation by the new tenant was issued by Fairfax County last month.

Cava Mezze Grill is an offshoot of Rockville-based Cava Mezze restaurant, which has five locations in Maryland, Virginia and D.C. There are currently about two dozen Cava Mezze Grill locations nationwide, with the Reston location one of about a dozen more planning to open soon. There are already several locations elsewhere in Northern Virginia, including in Tysons, Vienna and Merrifield’s Mosaic District.

The eatery is described as “a fast-casual spin-off” that “serves fresh, healthful and savor-worthy meals.”

A request for information about an opening date for the restaurant has not been answered at this time.

by Dave Emke — April 4, 2017 at 2:45 pm 23 Comments

A new promotional program this month is designed to help hungry Reston Town Center visitors learn a little more about restaurant offerings.

Savor The Town began Monday at the Town Center and has participants visiting 10 different eateries to gain stamps in a passport. To gain a stamp, customers ask their server or bartender about the “Savor the Town” special when making a purchase.

Those who receive all 10 stamps by May 1 will be eligible to attend a free Happy Hour celebration.

Restaurants participating in the promotion are:

  • American Tap Room (1811 Library St.)
  • Big Bowl (11915 Democracy Drive)
  • Busara Thai Cuisine (11964 Market St.)
  • M&S Grill (11901 Democracy Drive)
  • Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive)
  • Neyla Mediterranean Bistro (11898 Market St.)
  • Tavern64 (1800 Presidents St.)
  • The Tasting Room Wine Bar & Shop (1816 Library St.)
  • Uncle Julio’s (1827 Library St.)
  • World of Beer (1888 Explorer St.)

Information provided within the passport recommends stopping at World of Beer for “your last call” and receiving free parking validation there. A number of the other restaurants on the tour also offer parking validation.

The celebration for those who complete the tour will be from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, May 10 at American Tap Room. Those who do not finish the tour are also welcome to attend and “take advantage of special pricing on food and beverage offerings,” according to information provided within the passport.

“Savor the Town is a fun way to increase visitor frequency and attract new patrons to the many great restaurants at Reston Town Center,” said spokesperson Kathy Walsh on behalf of RTC owner Boston Properties. “Look for additional creative events like this coming to RTC throughout the rest of the year.”

As part of the program, RTC is also offering $5 one-trip vouchers for Uber. A new promotional code is scheduled to be released each week on the RTC website as well as its Facebook page.

Passports can be picked up at RTC’s Information Center (1818 Discovery St.) or concierge desk (11951 Freedom Drive), or from a participating business.

by Dave Emke — April 3, 2017 at 2:45 pm 35 Comments

A new restaurant that opened Monday at Reston Town Center is offering fast meals in a familiar space.

Hen Penny is now open at 1820 Discovery St., offering chicken sandwiches, salads and more to its customers. Wesley Albright, the restaurant’s assistant manager, said the Southern country-fried chicken restaurant uses a special recipe to give its meat a unique taste.

“It’s a special flour that we use, and we put all our chicken in a pressure cooker so it keeps it really nice and juicy and moist,” he said. “Our menu is pretty small, but we have excellent food here.”

Hen Penny is a spinoff of Pheast Food Group’s Hen Quarter restaurants in Alexandria and Silver Spring. Ashraf Mokhtar, the restaurant’s general manager, said the company hopes to open 20 to 25 more locations of Hen Penny in the future.

The location is the former home of burger restaurant BRB, which Pheast Food Group closed in January with a plan to bring a “new concept” to the space. That new concept is the only place like it in the Town Center, Albright said.

“When it was BRB, there’s tons of places you can go and get burgers,” said Albright, who served in the same position at that restaurant. “But around here, this is the only place that has this type of chicken.”

The restaurant is not validating parking, Albright said, but he encouraged use of online and pickup orders for people who want to get in and out quickly. Albright said regular customers had been asking for updates about the location since BRB closed and there was already a healthy crowd in the eatery during the early lunch hour Monday.

“We have a lot of regular guests here — a lot of people who work in the Town Center, live in the Town Center, people who come across the street from the offices,” he said.

The restaurant is providing free samples at its front door as it celebrates its opening. In addition, Mokhtar said special discounts can be provided for catering orders.

by Dave Emke — February 16, 2017 at 11:30 am 31 Comments

Day Without Immigrants sign at SweetgreenA number of restaurants and other businesses across D.C. and the nation are closed or operating on restrictions today as part of the “Day Without Immigrants.” The protest is part of an effort to show the impact immigrants have on daily lives of Americans, and was spawned out of President Donald Trump’s new immigration policies.

At least two Reston restaurants are showing their support. Sweetgreen (11935 Democracy Drive) is closed for the day, as are all of the company’s 18 locations in the Metro area.

“Our diversity is what makes this family great, and we respect our team members’ right to exercise their voice in our democracy,” reads signs posted on the restaurant’s doors Thursday. “We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and hope you understand our commitment to our people.”

Meanwhile, PassionFish (11960 Democracy Drive) says its menu options may be limited Thursday as part of the protest.

A representative for PassionFish owner Passion Food Hospitality said the Reston restaurant is “not particularly affected” and “most staff” would be working Thursday.

“[Management is] supportive of their staff on whichever decision they choose,” said spokesperson Meg Malloy.

by Dave Emke — February 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm 11 Comments

Former BRB location, Reston Town Center

Pheast Food Group will bring a new Southern-style restaurant to Reston Town Center.

The subsidiary of Thompson Hospitality has posted on its website that it is seeking a general manager for a restaurant called Hen Penny. The job is also cross-listed on websites including Indeed, where the listing includes a bit more information about the restaurant:

Pheast Food Group has another new concept coming to town!

Hen Penny is our quick-service version of our full service concept, Hen Quarter.

And we need a General Manager to lead our very first location opening in the Reston Town Center!

Southern-style Hen Quarter restaurants in Alexandria and Silver Spring were opened last year by Pheast, both in former locations of Tex-Mex restaurant Austin Grill. The restaurant is described by Pheast as “an ode to the best of Southern fare and classic cocktails” with “dishes full of flavors that can only come from the best in farm to table design.”

A third location is scheduled to open in D.C.’s Penn Quarter — again, in a former Austin Grill space — later this year.

BRB ClosedThe new Reston Town Center restaurant will be located at 1820 Discovery St., according to a permit processed last week in Fairfax County. That’s the former location of burger restaurant BRB, which was closed last month by Pheast. Signage on the storefront indicated “another exciting concept” would be coming soon.

Calls to Pheast for comment about the new restaurant have not been not returned.

Pheast also manages The American Tap Room, which has a Reston Town Center location. It was announced this week that The American Tap Room location near Richmond would be renovated and re-opened as Addie Mae’s Southern Cuisine and Raw Bar.

While no information is available about the future status of The American Tap Room at Reston Town Center, Pheast’s website reads that it manages “The American Tap Room, Austin Grill, Willie T’s Lobster Shack and Be Right Burger holdings and will be updating those concepts in 2017.”

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