Taste of Istanbul is set to open at 11190 Explorer Street in Reston Town Center on May 16.
The restaurant will serve authentic turkish food like baklava, döner (seasoned meat), dolma (stuffed grape leaves), shepherd’s salad, Turkish pizza, and Turkish coffee.
Taste of Istanbul’s arrival was first announced in November. It is replacing Midtown Kabob, which closed last year.
The owners told Reston Now in November that they were prepared to open despite the uncertainty of the pandemic.
“This is a time where people don’t know what’s going to happen next,” they said. “But we believe we are prepared for this.”
They will continue to have a presence at those markets, a restaurant representative confirmed to Reston Now in an email.
The restaurant is family-owned and operated. Chef Ercan Karaman and his wife Hacer grew up in Turkey and learned how to cook for a big family, according to EatLoco market’s website. Their children also help with the family business.
Taste of Istanbul is 100% halal and will also provide catering.
Reston Town Center is seeing a gradual increase in restaurant openings as the pandemic appears to be waning. True Food Kitchen opened at 11901 Democracy Drive late last month as well after initially planning to open late last year.
Photo courtesy of Taste of Istanbul
A new seafood ghost kitchen is coming to Reston.
Willie T’s Seafood Shack is opening in the Reston-area but will only be available for delivery through Ubereats, GrubHub, and DoorDash, a company spokesperson tells Reston Now.
While the hope is to start delivering “in a few weeks,” there are plans to open a dedicated brick and mortar in the coming months also in the Reston area.
The current concept of delivery-only, says the spokesperson is to “build branding” as they prepare for a more permanent restaurant opening.
Willie T’s Seafood Shack is owned by Reston-based Thompson Hospitality, which owns a number of restaurants across the region and the country.
This includes Makers Union at Reston Town Center (which replaced American Tap Room), Big Buns in Arlington, and Hen Quarter in Alexandria. Late last year, the company bought out Matchbox Food Group, which owns all of the Matchbox locations.
Thompson Hospitality also owns Homewood Suites in Reston, off of Sunset Hills Road.
According to the restaurant’s website, the menu is simple. For soups, there are lobster bisque and clam chowder. Entrees include sandwiches and baskets of grilled and fried fish, which includes catfish, whiting, and shrimp. There’s also crab cakes.
At least one job is currently available as well at the delivery-only establishment, kitchen supervisor.
Photo via Thompson Hospitality
Effective Mar. 1, Virginians will be able to buy and drink alcohol at restaurants, food courts, breweries, distilleries, and wineries until they are required to close at midnight.
The changes to the current executive order come amid declining rates of hospitalizations and infections and rising vaccination rates in the Commonwealth, Northam said during a press conference this morning (Wednesday).
Northam is also easing restrictions on outdoor entertainment and social gatherings, where evidence shows the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19 is lower.
“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of all Virginians, hospitalization and positivity rates across the Commonwealth are the lowest they have been in nearly three months,” Northam said in the press release. “As key health metrics show encouraging trends and we continue to ramp up our vaccination efforts, we can begin to gradually resume certain recreational activities and further reopen sectors of our economy.”
He attributed the rise in cases over the winter to cold weather and the holidays.
The state’s Safer at Home strategy will remain in place, along with its accompanying requirements for physical distancing, mask-wearing, gathering limits and business capacity restrictions.
“Even as we take steps to safely ease public health guidelines, we must all remain vigilant so we can maintain our progress — the more we stay home, mask up, and practice social distancing, the more lives we will save from this dangerous virus,” he said.
The current modified Stay at Home order will expire on Sunday (Feb. 28).
The full press release from the governor’s office is below.
Gov. Ralph Northam today announced that as COVID-19 hospitalizations and infection rates continue to decline and vaccinations rise in Virginia, certain outdoor sports and entertainment venues may begin to operate at increased capacity starting Monday, March 1. He amended Executive Order Seventy-Two with the next steps of the “Forward Virginia” plan to safely and gradually ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of the virus.
“Thanks to the hard work and sacrifice of all Virginians, hospitalization and positivity rates across the Commonwealth are the lowest they have been in nearly three months,” said Governor Northam. “As key health metrics show encouraging trends and we continue to ramp up our vaccination efforts, we can begin to gradually resume certain recreational activities and further reopen sectors of our economy. Even as we take steps to safely ease public health guidelines, we must all remain vigilant so we can maintain our progress-the more we stay home, mask up, and practice social distancing, the more lives we will save from this dangerous virus.”
The Commonwealth will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued strict health and safety protocols including physical distancing, mask-wearing requirements, gathering limits, and business capacity restrictions. The current modified Stay at Home order will expire on February 28, 2021.
Governor Northam is beginning to ease public health restrictions by taking steps to increase capacity limits in outdoor settings, where evidence shows the risk of airborne transmission of COVID-19 is lower. The key changes in the Third Amended Executive Order Seventy-Two include:
- Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase from 10 to 25 people for outdoor settings, while remaining at 10 persons for indoor settings.
- Entertainment venues: Outdoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate with up to 1,000 individuals or at 30 percent capacity, whichever is lower. If current trends continue, these venues may be able to operate at 30 percent capacity with no cap on the number of people permitted to attend starting in April. Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues must continue to operate at 30 percent capacity with a cap of 250 people. All entertainment venues were previously limited to a maximum of 250 individuals.
- Dining establishments: The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol will be permitted until midnight, extended from 10:00 p.m. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms still must be closed between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
- Overnight summer camps: As of May 1, overnight summer camps will be able to open with strict mitigation measures in place. Registration can begin now.
The new guidelines will be effective for at least one month and mitigation measures may be eased further if key health metrics continue to improve. Current guidelines for retail businesses, fitness and exercise, large amusement venues, and personal grooming services will remain in place. Individuals are strongly encouraged to continue teleworking if possible.
Last week, Governor Northam amended Executive Order Seventy-Two to increase the number of spectators permitted at outdoor youth sporting events to 250.
Visit virginia.gov/coronavirus/forwardvirginia for more information and answers to frequently asked questions.
Image via Virginia Public Media/YouTube
Makers Union is striving to embody the moniker “Pub For The People” with an offering of local products and community engagement throughout Reston Town Center.
The restaurant’s general manager, Alex Brown, bills the establishment’s concept as an effort to provide a welcoming atmosphere and traditional American dishes “with a twist.”
“We wanted to really kind of create a space where everyone feels comfortable celebrating whatever life’s occasion is,” Brown said.
The menu reflects a variety of the restaurant’s ideals with trying something a bit different while paying homage to the local makers of the area. The menu features a diverse sampling from 30-layer deep-fried lasagna to yuzu lemon drop martinis.
“An occasion doesn’t have to be a birthday or anniversary. We really believe that when you go out to dine, whether it’s for lunch, brunch, dinner, celebrating happy hour with friends or maybe it’s just a casual lunch or dinner during the week or on the weekend, it’s a celebration.”
Makers Union offers an eclectic menu for lunch and dinner options as well as its happy hour, “The People’s Hour.” It also features a brunch with à la carte and family-style options.
“We wanted to bring the idea of a pub into the modern day… so food, beverage and décor while still holding true to traditional pub value – welcoming, energetic & celebratory environment,” Brown said.
The menu items feature a sampling of local wares from makers when possible for food and drink. A list of those makers can be found on the restaurant’s site.
“Obviously being a local Reston based restaurant, we really wanted to feature and celebrate local makers,” Brown said.
“Everybody who kind of had a piece in helping put this restaurant together is a group of makers. Everybody has different backgrounds in different areas, whether it be breweries, roasters, chefs, distillers, farmers. So a group of makers came together to kind of create this pub for the people.”
That celebration of local makers has spilled into the restaurant’s work to try and create a familial feel within the community.
The restaurant, like so many others in the area and country, was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to adhering to local, state and federal guidelines for safe business practices, Brown said the restaurant has significantly leveraged its to-go program to aid in establishing itself in the community. It has also offered free delivery within Reston Town Center.
Makers Union has also hosted a ghost kitchen pop up for another Thompson Hospitality restaurant, Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co.
“We say we’re made in Reston for Reston,” Brown said.
“We really wanted to look at what Reston Town Center was missing and what we felt the community was looking for, and then use that to kind of ideate the restaurant.”
Makers Union hosted a soft opening with a to-go event in August. It has since had a dog costume contest for Halloween and a “Yappy Hour” that allowed patrons to bring their dogs to the patio introduce the restaurant’s happy hour.
Brown says the restaurant is eyeing future opportunities to connect and serve the community, including offering Super Bowl Sunday dining packages and Valentine’s Day weekend specials.
“We just want to continue to get to know the community and really just grow the business through excellent food and high-level service in an amazing, clean environment with welcoming décor,” Brown said.
Photos courtesy Makers Union
Reston Association Encourages Residents to Take Pledge — “Reston became a member of the Biophilic Cities Network in 2018 and continues its efforts to advocate for the natural environment that is the centerpiece of our community. Part of those efforts to raise awareness of our environment includes asking Reston Association members take the Biophilic Pledge.” [RA]
DMV Black Restaurant Week Includes NoVa Participants — “DMV Black Restaurant Week kicked off Sunday and will be held through Nov. 15, showcasing specials at Black-owned food and beverage establishments in the DMV, Emily Leahman of Patch writes. Reston’s Makers Union is taking part in the week. [Reston Patch]
Applications Accepted for Energy Assistance — The county is offering eligible households with low-income help to cover expenses associated with heating or cooling their homes. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors is considering a move to allow closed or partially-closed tents for outdoor dining in Fairfax County as temperatures continue to dip in the coming weeks.
At a board meeting on Tuesday, Board Chairman Jeff McKay proposed an emergency ordinance that would allow restaurants and fitness businesses to set up the tents.
“This is an important step we can take to safely help our local restaurants through this difficult time,” McKay wrote.
Currently, restaurants and fitness businesses are allowed to use outdoor areas, including portions of parking lots and sidewalks. That ordinance is set to expire six months after the county’s state of emergency ends.
A public hearing on the matter is set for Oct. 20.
Today, I asked that the Board to authorize a public hearing to extend the ordinance and to allow tents to be partially or completely closed to help as weather cools. This is an important step we can take to safely help our local restaurants through this difficult time. (2/2) pic.twitter.com/nmZ7DBuXde
— Jeff McKay (@JeffreyCMcKay) September 29, 2020
Photo via Melissa Walker Horn/Unsplash
“Shop local” has become a popular refrain during the pandemic as small businesses struggle with the economic fall-out and health risks from the coronavirus pandemic.
Several small businesses have permanently closed during the pandemic, but many have found ways to keep their doors from shutting. Owners have said over the last few months that affluent residents, loyal customers and community support give Reston-area businesses advantages.
Fundraisers to support businesses’ operations and employees, social media efforts by residents to promote local eateries and loans and grants from the government also aim to keep small businesses alive.
Let us know in the poll and comments below how much you have been spending at small businesses during the pandemic.
Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos/Unsplash
As restrictions ease, restaurants around Reston Town Center are starting to reopen for in-house dining with alternative services to keep customers and staff safe.
Many restaurants in the area are taking to social media letting customers know that they’re open for business. Still, for those who don’t feel comfortable dining around other people yet, many locations are also offering takeout and delivery.
Here is a list of updates from eateries around Reston Town Center.
Sit Down Options:
Barcelona Wine Bar (2900 Larimer Street) has reopened on-site dining with five tables that are available on a first-come-first-serve basis, according to one of the location’s staff members.
Clyde’s (11905 Market Street) is now offering both indoor and outdoor seating, its Facebook page said.
Crafthouse (1888 Explorer Street) is open for indoor dining, its Facebook said, adding that the location will be operating with alternative hours which can be found on the restaurant’s social media sites.
Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls (11939 Democracy Drive) is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday. The restaurant offers takeout, outdoor seating and limited indoor seating.
Mon Ami Gabi (11950 Democracy Drive) is another eatery at Reston Town Center which has opened for indoor and outdoor dining, according to a post on Facebook.
North Italia (11898 Market Street) is open for indoor and outdoor dining, a staff member told Reston Now.
PassionFish (11960 Democracy Drive) is open for patio dining, according to a Facebook post.
Ted Bulletin (11948 Market Street) opened its dining room and outdoor seating at varied capacity, the website said.
The Capital Burger (11853 Market Street) offers indoor seating, outdoor dining options and take-out, according to a staff member.
The Counter (11922 Democracy Drive) is also open for limited indoor and outdoor seating, an employee told Reston Now.
&Pizza (1826 Library Street) is open, according to the Facebook page. But, it is unclear if they offer seating at this time.
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream shop (11916 Market Street) is open, according to its website.
Pitango Gelato (11942 Democracy Drive) is open for takeout, its website said.
Starbucks (1444 North Point Village Center) is open for takeout, its Facebook page said.
Sweetgreen is also open at 11935 Democracy Drive, according to Facebook.
Community Canteen is still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic according to the Facebook page. It has not yet announced a reopening date.
Le Pain Quotidien is also still closed, according to its website.
Peet’s Coffee is also temporarily closed, according to its Facebook page.
Big Bowl at the Reston Town Center said on its website that the location closed permanently.
Photo via Mon Ami Gabi/Facebook
As Northern Virginia enters phase one of the reopening plan, Town of Herndon restaurants are starting to reopen with social distance guidelines.
Per Gov. Ralph Northam’s order, people must be at least six feet apart and restaurants can allow dining at 50 percent of their indoor capacity.
Unlike the rest of the county, local businesses had to apply for permits to allow temporary outdoor dining. Many businesses received approval from the town to expand outdoor seating over the weekend.
Taste of the World, which serves a variety of Phillipino, Indian, Thai and other cuisines, is open from 11:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturdays, according to the Facebook page.
Russia House Restaurant announced on its Facebook page that it also reopened for outdoor dining. The location offers covered seating for guests and will continue to serve traditional Russian fare according to the eatery’s website.
It is open on Mondays from 5:30 to 10 p.m., Tuesday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 10 p.m., Saturdays from 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m., the Facebook page said.
Around Reston and Herndon, community members are setting up GoFundMe pages to support servers and other workers affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reston Now has rounded up GoFundMe pages that are working to support restaurants and staffers who were recently laid off. Some crowdfunding campaigns are run directly by restaurant managers and owners. Others may be run by various community members as well.
Here are the latest fundraisers we found:
Uncle Julio’s of Reston employee relief aims to collect $20,000 to help employees who no longer have jobs or health insurance, according to the page. If people would prefer to support the restaurant in other ways, it is also still open for take-out and delivery, the website said. People can check out the website online.
“Some of you may recognize the friendly faces of our servers, bartenders, and hosts- but the most important part of the Uncle Julio’s family is our dedicated back of house staff,” the page said.
Cooper’s Hawk in Reston has almost already met its fundraising goal of $4,500. Currently, people have donated a total of $4,055 so far, according to the GoFundMe page.
All the proceeds will go to the nine bartenders at the location who rely so heavily on tips, according to the page. “Not just the best bartenders in town, but also our friends,” someone who commented on the page along with a $50 donation said.
Sweet Green created a pack on April 6 and has raised $245 of its $5,000 goal, according to the page, which added that “The funds will be divided equally amongst all 19 workers.”
Edwin Thorpe, a member of Morton’s Steakhouse bar team in Reston, created a page to support himself and his colleagues, the page said, which added he hopes to raise $5,000.
Pica Deli in Reston is also asking for financial support. So far, only one person has donated to the page.
Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern in Herndon is putting together a digital employee tip pool where patrons can help out staff and servers during this time. Of it’s $10,000 goal, 101 people have already donated $9,695 as of this writing.
“Each and every one of our employees is invaluable to us and we care deeply for their safety and their financial well-being,” the page said. “Some of our key employees have voluntarily left the company so that others can continue to work. Sadly, we’ve had no choice but to lay off a handful of our colleagues.”
Crafthouse is also asking for donations. The location’s GoFundMe has raised $6,167 raised of $20,000 goal so far, according to the page. One donor even gave $1,000 to the cause roughly a month ago.
“Ensuring the well-being of our guests and staff meant that we could no longer open our doors to the community we have served for 10 years,” the page said, adding that donations will go to bartenders, servers, cooks, dishwashers and managers.
On The Border in Reston is trying to raise $4,000, according to its GoFundMe page, which appears to be organized by the manager at the restaurant who was also laid off due to COVID19.
This week, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam extended restrictions for non-essential businesses, which were set to expire next week, to May 8.
Small businesses based in the county can also apply for county loans of up to $20,000. The program was approved by the county’s board this week.
Photo via Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern/Facebook
Fatimah Waseem contributed reporting.
Kabobi by the Helmand, a restaurant featuring Afghan cuisine, plans to start serving diners in May.
Owner Khaleeq Ahmad told Reston Now that the permitting process has led to delays. The restaurant’s next inspection is this Friday (April 12). If all goes well, Ahmad said he expects the restaurant to open next month.
Ahmad previously told Reston Now that Kabobi by the Helmand will offer Zeke’s Coffee in the morning for commuters and locals before switching to Afghan cuisine for lunch and dinner. The menu in Herndon will resemble the one from the restaurant’s partner, Kabobi from The Helmand, in Baltimore, he said.
The restaurant’s spot at 2321 Dulles Station Blvd, Suite A is a short walk from the Innovation Center Metro station.
Boston Properties, the owners of Reston Town Center, recently tapped Transwestern, a commercial real estate company, to provide leasing services for RTC.
“The new leasing engagement by Boston Properties comes at the same time as a major rebranding initiative at Reston Town Center,” Transwestern announced in a press release today (Jan. 31).
“This year will hold exciting changes for Reston Town Center,” Katie Yanushonis, the vice president of leasing at Boston Properties, said in the press release. “Our investment in the branding and placemaking of Reston Town Center will help maintain its place as the leading mixed-use development in the United States.”
Transwestern will be responsible for leasing RTC’s “urban core,” which consists of more than 2.5 million square feet of office space and 450,000 square feet of retail space in the mixed-use development.
“Significant” availabilities are expected in the next few years, partly from Leidos’ consolidation at 1750 Presidents Street, the press release says.
The upcoming Silver Line Metro station in Reston and the neighborhood’s changing shopping and dining scene are also expected to boost RTC’s attraction to employers, Transwestern said.
“Transwestern is honored to have the opportunity to lease the most important urban mixed-use project in all of the Washington region,” Senior Vice President Alex Hancock, who is leading the office leasing team with Executive Vice President Joe Ritchey, said in the press release. “Reston Town Center has always been a location with unparalleled ability to help organizations recruit, retain and maximize the productivity of their world-class workforces.”
Ritchey has worked on Reston Town Center for more than 29 years.
Image via Transwestern Commercial Services
Reston Town Center unveiled today (Jan. 24) six newcomers slated to open later this year.
“It is our mission to continue to enhance the RTC experience and provide the community with brands that excite and entice all,” Retail Leasing Director Stephanie Friedman said in a press release.
The newcomers are the following:
The new dining and retail will provide “a diverse mix of shopping and restaurant options,” according to the press release, which does not include their expected opening dates or addresses.
Peet’s Coffee has already posted job openings for its future spot in Reston Town Center.
Located across the country, True Food Kitchen focuses on offering food based Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, according to its website. In Virginia, the chain currently has spots in Arlington and Fairfax.
Reston Now previously reported that Fox Restaurant Concepts plans to open its North Italia concept in RTC at 11898 Freedom Drive — the space Neyla Mediterranean Bistro previously occupied before it closed in 2018.
While Boston Properties originally said North Italia would open in the winter, an employee told Reston Now that it will open later this spring.
Muse Paintbar also planned to open in the winter after it blew past its original fall date, Reston Now previously reported. Its website says that the Reston spot at 11943 Democracy Drive is “coming soon.”
The store combines painting instruction with a beer and wine bar and will host daily painting sessions.
Meanwhile, the Glossary Nail Spa wrote that it is “coming soon” to 1771 Library Street in a Facebook post on Dec. 20.
DC Row will offer high-intensity, low-impact group workout training. This will be its second location after launching at District Wharf in May 2018, according to the press release.
The press release says that various other tenants will be announced in the following months.
Plans for Jinya Ramen Bar to open at a vacant spot in Reston Town Center are still undetermined.
A reader pointed out yesterday (Jan. 17) that the Reston location is no longer listed.
An employee for La Brea Dining Group, the parent company of the Jinya brand, told Reston Now that nothing has been finalized yet on the Reston Town Center location. The employee said she wasn’t sure why the Reston address was posted on the website, since the plans are still in the process.
When contacted by Reston Now, Jinya Ramen Bar said, “We are looking for better opportunities in that area!”
The chain has nearby locations in D.C. and Fairfax, Va.
Photo via Google Maps
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.
Last year alone, several restaurants and two dessert shops shut their doors in Reston Town Center at almost the same rate as new options — Honeygrow, Balducci’s, Mason’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.