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Boston Properties Taps New Leasing Agent as Stores Shutter

Boston Properties, the owners of Reston Town Center, recently tapped Transwestern, a commercial real estate company, to provide leasing services for RTC.

The move comes amidst a flurry of recent business closures, from Williams-Sonoma and Pottery Barn earlier this month to nine retailers and restaurants last year.

“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).

While the controversial paid parking has driven some of the businesses out of RTC, six newcomers are slated to open there later this year, including Peet’s Coffee and DC Row.

“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 

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Peet’s Coffee, DC Row Among Six Newcomers Slated to Open in RTC

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.

File photo

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Plans for Jinya Looking More Uncertain for Reston Town Center

Plans for Jinya Ramen Bar to open at a vacant spot in Reston Town Center are still undetermined.

Reston Now previously reported in December that the Japanese ramen restaurant chain said on its website that it was “coming soon” to 11964 Market Street, the former spot of a Thai restaurant. 

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

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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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Monday Morning Notes

Restaurant Week starts today — Four restaurants in Reston will be serving up dishes for Winter Restaurant Week, which runs from today until Sunday (Jan. 20). [Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington]

Walmart is increasing tech jobs — In a battle with Amazon’s market share, the retailer announced it will add 2,000 tech hires this year. The expansion is likely to affect the Sunnyvale, Calif. and Reston offices. [Fortune]

Snow, snow, snow — Fairfax County Public Schools are closed today. ICYMI: Reston Now had weekend coverage of the snowiest D.C. area storm since 2016.  [Reston Now]

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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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Reston Restaurants to Cook up Food for ‘Winter Restaurant Week’

Updated at 9:35 on Jan. 10 — Includes McCormick & Schmick’s. 

Four restaurants in Reston are among the 250 places in Virginia, Maryland and D.C. on the roster for Winter Restaurant Week in January.

Winter Restaurant Week will run from Monday, Jan. 14, to Sunday, Jan. 20, with prix fixe menus — $35 dinner and $22 lunch.

Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington announced yesterday (Dec. 20) that Founding Farmers, The Melting Pot and PassionFish will offer both lunch and dinner during the event. McCormick & Schmick’s is also on the roster as of Jan. 10, 2019.

Two of the restaurants have certain restrictions.

Located at 1904 Reston Metro Plaza, Founding Farmers will have its regularly priced buffet brunch instead of the prix fixe lunch available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekend of Jan. 19.

The Melting Pot, a fondue restaurant located at 11730 Plaza America Drive, Suite 100, will not allow diners to share or split entrees or ask for substitutions.

Seafood-focused eatery PassionFish at 11960 Democracy Drive and McCormick & Schmick’s at 11920 Democracy Drive do not have any dining restrictions posted on Winter Restaurant Week’s website.

Photos via Passionfood Hospitality, PassionFish, Founding Farmers Reston and Google Maps

This story has been updated

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Crafthouse Plans to Open 100 New Locations Over 5 Years

(Updated at 3:20 p.m.) Crafthouse, a growing beer-centric restaurant chain with a prominent Reston location, recently signed a $250 million deal to start franchising across the country.

As first reported by the Washington Business Journal, Crafthouse owner Evan Matz signed a deal with development firm American Development Partners to provide site selection, acquisition, and construction services for more than 100 new Crafthouse locations over the next five years.

Crafthouse currently has locations in Reston, Fairfax City, and Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood.

It’s a turnaround for Matz, who started his restaurants as franchisees of Florida-based World of Beer before going independent and rebranding the locations as “Crafthouse.” The move prompted a lawsuit from World of Beer, which has since been settled, according to the Business Journal.

Matz told Reston Now that the core idea of Crafthouse is not just locally sourced beer, but entire menus built around local specialties.

“Eat local, drink local,” said Matz. “I want to try to showcase local craft beer or local spirits. As we go forward, if we open one in North Carolina or Tennessee, I want to focus on the local beers there, like their whiskey or wine, but they’re also known for their ribs. If we open in Maryland it might be crab cakes or conch in Key West.”

As they begin looking at locations throughout the country, Matz said he’s excited by the variety of different locales and what they have to bring to the table.

“People love the concept, so I wanted to bring it to other possible franchisees to expand it throughout the country,” said Matz. “There’s a lot of exciting markets out there. Each one is unique in its own right.”

Crafthouse has arranged with American Development Partners to provide 100 percent funding for franchisees planning on placing a Crafthouse inside newly built, freestanding buildings.

While Matz said he plans to go to every location as they open and make sure they are being properly run, he said the emphasis is going to be on local owners independently owning and operating the restaurants.

Matz said Crafthouse is already beginning to get inquiries from across the country about potential new locations, and that he aims to have a franchised location open by late 2019 or early 2020. Matz said interested parties should reach out to Crafthouse through email at [email protected] or through the website.

Among the requirements for a new franchise location is at least $300,000 in liquid assets, a net worth over $1 million, and a credit score of 700 or above. But just as importantly, Matz said he’s looking for franchise owners who understand their community and are committed to it.

“Being directly involved as a local owner is key,” said Matz. “You have to be in touch with the community. Be involved and listen to what the customer wants. Forming your Crafthouse around the local area is key to success.”

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Founding Farmers Reston — Now Open!

Founding Farmers Reston is now open and has all of your lunch needs covered! Get out of the office and take a real break while you lunch or meet with friends for some light bites and drinks at the bar.

Located on the Silver Line at the Wiehle-Reston East Station, the restaurant is just steps from the Metro. With validated parking and $3 valet, parking is easy! Reserve your table today.

They’re also open for full service breakfast Monday through Friday at 7 a.m. with complimentary Wi-Fi, or grab & go style at their First Bake Café. The café is your on the go, one stop shop for coffees, teas, cold pressed juices, breakfast burritos, donuts and more!

Open seven days serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner and a can’t miss Farmers Market Buffet Brunch on weekends. Make your way over to Reston Station to see all that Founding Farmers has to offer. To view menus or to make a reservation, visit WeAreFoundingFarmers.com.

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Founding Farmers Reston — Opening Next Week!

Dining in Reston just got more delicious!

Founding Farmers Reston is opening next Wednesday, April 11, and they offer something for everyone. Their full-service restaurant and bar is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and a decadent Farmers Market Buffet Brunch on weekends. The restaurant’s beautiful design, comfortable spaces and original art are worth the trip alone. Reserve your table today.

Or stop by their Founding Farmers First Bake Cafe for freshly-made Grab & Go goodies.

  • Get your day going with a quick and healthy breakfast.
  • Quench your thirst with a farm health fresh-pressed juice.
  • Grab a dozen donuts and a carton of their specialty-roasted Compass Coffee to share with everyone at the office.
  • Enjoy an afternoon treat with a fresh-baked cookie or their house-churned ice cream.

As a farmer-owned restaurant, almost all of Founding Farmers food and drink — even the Founding Spirits they use in their craft cocktails — is made from scratch, using high-quality ingredients from American family farms.

Make your way over to Reston Station to see all that Founding Farmers has to offer.

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Founding Farmers is Coming to Reston

The most booked restaurant in the Nation on Open Table is opening their latest restaurant at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station.

Founding Farmers Reston has something for everyone.

Their full-service restaurant and bar is open seven days a week serving breakfast, lunch, dinner and a decadent Farmers Market Buffet Brunch on weekends. The restaurant’s beautiful design, comfortable spaces and original art are worth the trip alone. Reserve your table today.

You could also stop by their Founding Farmers First Bake Café, located within the restaurant, for freshly-made Grab & Go goodies.

  • Get your day going with a quick and healthy breakfast.
  • Quench your thirst with a farm health fresh-pressed juice.
  • Grab a dozen donuts and a carton of their specialty-roasted Compass Coffee to share with everyone at the office.
  • Enjoy an afternoon treat with a fresh-baked cookie or their house-churned ice cream.

As a farmer-owned restaurant, almost all of Founding Farmers food and drink – even the Founding Spirits, made in their DC distillery and used in their cocktails – is made from scratch, using high-quality ingredients from American family farms.

Make your way over to Reston Station to see all that Founding Farmers has to offer.

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Northern Virginia Restaurant Week Begins on March 19

The Northern Virginia Restaurant Week is back this year. The annual event, which runs from March 19-26, offers reduced price at more than 50 restaurants in Northern Virginia.

Customers are strongly encouraged to make reservations.

Several eateries in Reston and Herndon are participating in the event, including:

For a complete list of all eateries taking part, visit the event’s website.

Photo via Northern Virginia Restaurant Week

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Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls Is Coming to Reston Town Center; Red Velvet Cupcakery Says Goodbye

Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, an Annapolis-based restaurant, will replace Red Velvet Cupcakery (11939 Democracy Drive).

Buildout for the 800-square-foot restaurant will begin in late summer, according Dan Beck, lobster maven and the company’s founder.

The news comes as Aaron Gordon, owner of Red Velvet Cupcakery, announces plans to shutter his business at Reston Town Center on May 27 — a move he hinted at last year.

Gordon has vehemently and visibly opposed Boston Properties’ paid parking structure — a program that drove his decision to close his store.

“I have no interest in staying with our current landlord, which in my opinion, completely disregards it’s retail partners,” Gordon said. He may reconsider finding another location in Reston in the future.

Late last year, Mason’s opened its first franchise locations in Baltimore, Md. and National Harbor. Masons’ serves lobster rolls, lobster bisque, clam chowder, salads, and more.

Beck said his company selected Reston Town Center because the franchisee lives in Reston and because the community’s urban core has “strong foot traffic and strong demographics,” especially customers from nearby offices.

The store will be similar to other locations, but will also include a “very strong Monday through Friday lunch business.” Customers will be able to place online orders through an app.

Plans for build-out are still on the drawing board as the company works through the permitting process. The restaurant’s sign should be up in the coming weeks.

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Reston Eateries Participate in Winter Restaurant Week

Foodies can enjoy discounted prix fixe meals through Sunday, Jan. 28 during this year’s Metropolitan Washington Winter Restaurant Week.

More than 250 restaurants in the District, Maryland and Virginia are participating in the event, which kicked off on Monday.

In Reston, four eateries are also taking part. Restaurants will offer three-course lunch and brunch menus for $22 and a three-course dinner for $35. The annual event is sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Participating Reston restaurants include:

  • McCormick & Schmick’s (11920 Democracy Drive)
  • Morton’s The Steakhouse (11956 Market Street)
  • The Melting Pot (11730 Plaza America Drive)
  • Passion Fish (11960 Democracy Drive)
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Today: Grand Opening of Le Pain Quotidien in RTC

The Belgian bakery and restaurant Le Pain Quotidien will celebrate its opening earlier this month at Reston Town Center today through a grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Light refreshments will be served from 5 – 7 p.m. The formal ribbon cutting ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. Complimentary garage parking is available after 5 p.m.

The cafe opened on Nov. 2 at 11909 Democracy Drive. It is open from 7 am. to 9 p.m. daily. It will offer special seasonal items throughout the year. For the fall, they plan to offer treats such as a turmeric latte, spiced apple cider, Turkey Bánh Mì, a roasted pear and spinach salad, chicken “zoodle” soup and “Speculoos Tiramisu,” which the cafe describes as “a Belgian twist on the classic Italian treat.”

According to promotional material, LPQ is a privately-held company with headquarters in New York City and more than 200 locations on five continents. Its signature loaves come from the experiment of Alain Coumont, a young chef in Brussels, who opened a small bakery where he could knead flour, salt and water in 1990. Coumount struggled to find the right bread to serve at his restaurant.

For more information, visit the cafe’s website.

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