Hibiscus Thai Cuisine Closes After Six Years of Business

Hibiscus Thai Cuisine, a sit-down restaurant located at 11790-A Baron Cameron Avenue, has closed after six years of business.

The owners did not return requests for comment from Reston Now. A closed sign was taped to the door of the business today (Thursday).

The closure was announced on Facebook last night:

We regret to inform you that Hibiscus Thai Cuisine is permanently closed. We thank you for your patronage for the past 6 years of operation. It would not have been possible without you. Our family is so grateful to have served you our recipes of the most delicious Thai food. We hope you’ll always remember your experience here at Hibiscus Thai Cuisine.

County permits do not indicate what will occupy the space once it is vacated.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Pupatella Pizzeria is Coming to Reston Next Year

Pupatella, an award-winning Neopolitan pizzeria, is coming to Reston in early 2020, according to a company news release.

The 2,700-square-foot restaurant will be located at 1821 Wiehle Avenue. It will also include a patio for outdoor dining.

The news comes as the business eyes major expansion. Another new location will open in Arlington this summer. More openings could be on the way in the District and Montgomery County.

“As a native Restonian, I know all the wonderful things Reston has to offer, but one thing that has been missing is authentic Neapolitan pizza. I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Pupatella to the neighborhood,” said founding partner and head of real estate and supply chain, Michael Berger.

Enzo and Anastasiya Algarme started Pupatella as a food truck in 2007. The business has been named a top pizzeria, with recognition from The Today Show, The Washington Post, USA Today and the Washingtonian.

The location is currently home to Pizza Hut, which will remain open through the end of its lease, according to Eater.

This story will be updated.

Photo by Pupatella

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Local Couple of 40 Years Starts New Chapter with Famous Toastery Opening

From elementary school to George Mason University to the play pens of their entertainment businesses, Gary and Diane Reedy have been together. Instead of what was supposed to be a long awaited retirement ahead of the 41st anniversary, the couple decided to opt for something different: running a brunch and breakfast spot in RTC West (12100 Sunset Hills Road).

Famous Toastery had its first official opening on Monday (April 15), after a soft opening this weekend. All sales over the weekend were donated to Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that the couple said embodies their mission of serving the community. Diane brings a heightened awareness of socio-economic struggle after years of traveling Africa and Asia for the World Bank, while her husband, Gary, reflects on previous experiences as a high school teacher and coach. Their partnership roots back to years in high school when Gary, who calls himself a former jock, dated Diane, who was a straight-A student.

Before opening the 3,300-square-foot restaurant at the mixed use center, the couple built several businesses, including Planet Play in Plaza America, some of the first laser tags in the area, a carousel in Springfield Mall for 12 years, and other entertainment businesses. Since then, they’ve sold off their ventures and opted for Famous Toastery, which is open for breakfast and lunch.

“The problem is that we can’t ever stop. I can’t play golf every single day,” Gary said, chuckling. “We’ve had our careers and retirements and a couple of kids. Sometimes I wonder how we did it all, but we’re young at heart and we want to stay involved.”

Although he lives in Loudoun County, Gary says Reston is a special community because it combines what he says are the best elements of work and family life. His wife agrees.

“Simon’s vision for Reston was to include people from all different kinds of backgrounds, ” Diane said. “It was really meant to be an integrated community and its benefited from a lot of public involvement and will continue to benefit from a lot of public involvement.”

As the Famous Toastery kicks off, they hope to continue partnering with the community after spending most of their lives in Fairfax County. “We’ve gotten out of the night business,” Gary said. “Reston is still really growing and we look forward to growing with it.”

Famous Toastery has two other Virginia locations. It was started in 2005 in Huntersville, NC in a small house. The owners turned the concept into a franchise in 2013.

Photo via Carlos Banos

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Monday Morning Notes

Contractor Identifies New Problems with Silver Line Phase Two — “The contractor building Phase 2 of the Silver Line has identified another problem with the beleaguered project. This time it’s at the Dulles Airport station, where concrete pedestals designed to support the two-story structure’s glass walls and windscreens are cracking because they were built without proper internal reinforcement.” [The Washington Post]

Famous Toastery Now Open— The breakfast-focused North Carolina-based chain opened on Saturday (April 13) at RTC West (12100 Sunset Hills Road). Diane and Gary Reedy, both Reston natives, are the owners of the new Reston location.[Reston Patch]

Indian Restaurant Opens Today — Bombay Velvet will join other restaurants at RTC West. The chef and entrepreneur behind the venture, Rajiv Chopra, describes the new business as an “upscale” business that brings new tastes to the area. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner today. [DC Eater]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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‘Gourmet Dive Bar’ Coming to Lake Anne Plaza This Summer

Signs portending the opening of Local VA at Lake Anne Plaza have raised some eyebrows on what the new business will bring to the plaza.

The business takes the place of Singh Thai, a locally owned Thai restaurant that left the plaza it called home for nine years earlier this month.

Owner Dylan Clark described Local VA as a “gourmet dive bar, unpretentious and comfortable with a neighborhood appeal.” Clark says the service will be “relaxed, very friendly and correct, creating an informal, comfortable environment.”

In an effort to ensure most ingredients are sourced locally, Clark said he is working with brewers, farmers, bakers and other purveyors in the state. The opening date is not final, but Clark hopes to open by June 1.

Singh Thai closed in March after the chefs, the owner’s parents, decided to retire and move back to Thailand.

Photo by Eve Thompson

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Bombay Velvet to Open in RTC West Next Week

Bombay Velvet, an Indian restaurant, will open at RTC West (12100 Sunset Hills Road) on Monday (April 15). The 2,500-square-foot restaurant, which the owner describes as “upscale,” can seat 100 guests between 22 indoor tables, three outdoor tables and one bar.

Rajiv Chopra, the chef and owner, is also behind other food ventures in the area like Punjabi By Nature and dessert shop Evergreen Sweets.

“We knew there was an opportunity to fulfill a missing need for a fine dining Indian establishment in the DMV,” Chopra said in a written statement. “Our new world approach to traditional cooking paired with our elegant food presentation gives us hope that locals and visitors who come into Bombay Velvet will expand their palates and try new regional Indian dishes that they have never experienced before.” 

The menu includes dishes like “Calangute Beach Surf ‘N’ Turf” — a spicy chicken chorizo with Goan balchao shrimps — and “Khosla Ka Ghosla” — a dessert with vermicelli and dates. The restaurant takes its interior design inspiration from 1970s Bombay and 1930s American households.

Bombay Velvet is open from Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to midnight.

Photos via Bombay Velvet

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Singh Thai to Say Goodbye to Lake Anne Plaza Spot on Sunday

After nine years at Lake Anne Plaza, Singh Thai plans to close on Sunday (March 31).

The locally owned Thai restaurant has been in its current spot at 1633 N. Washington Plaza — the former spot of Jasmine Cafe — since 2015. Singh Thai was located at 11424 Washington Plaza for about five years prior to its move to the larger and more visible spot on Lake Anne Plaza, Reston Now previously reported.

The Thai restaurant shared its closing plans in a Facebook post earlier this month.

“We have enjoyed our time here on the lake and have come to cherish the special people who live and dine with us,” the post says. “Unfortunately it is time for our chefs, the owner’s parents, to retire and move back to Thailand, and for the owner, Chai, to spend a little time back in the homeland as well.”

The post urges customers to keep following the restaurant on Facebook for “updates on the next location and reopening dates.”

The Thai restaurant is offering half off of all of its wine, beer and liquor until Sunday — while supplies last.

Photo via Facebook

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Jinya Puts Reston Town Center Spot Back on Website

Jinya Ramen Bar looks like it’s back on with its plans to fill an empty Reston Town Center spot.

Back in December, the Japanese ramen restaurant chain posted on its website that it was “coming soon” to 11964 Market Street. Then in early January, a reader pointed out that the Reston location disappeared from the website.

An employee at the parent company of the Jinya brand told Reston Now that nothing had been finalized yet on the Reston Town Center location and that she wasn’t sure why the Reston address was posted on the website.

Fast forward two months later, and Jinya has the same address back up on its website and listed as “coming soon.”

“Reston Town Center is rooted in authentic, home-grown experiences that create special moments for all who visit and dine here,” Stephanie Friedman, the vice president of leasing for Boston Properties, the owners of Reston Town Center, told Reston Now through a spokeswoman. “JINYA Ramen Bar is our ideal partner, bringing their local success and unique menu offering to the Reston community.”

The spot has been empty since Busara Thai Restaurant left last spring after 13 years of business there.

Jinya has nearby locations in D.C. and the Mosaic District in Merrifield.

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Indian Restaurant Bombay Velvet Nears RTC West Opening

The wait is almost over for Bombay Velvet, a fine-dining, Indian restaurant, at RTC West.

With the inspections process winding down, the restaurant will open in late March at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Owner Rajiv Chopra told Reston Now.

The restaurant will be the latest addition this year to RTC West’s food scene, which includes Honeygrow, Mezeh Mediterranean Grill and BGR The Burger Joint.

Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, is also set to open this month, an employee told Reston Now.

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Thai Restaurant Now Open in North Point Village Center

Finn Thai Restaurant and Bar officially opened in the North Point Village Center on Presidents’ Day (Feb. 18).

Finn Thai fills the former Payless spot at 1466 North Point Village Center. The spot has been empty since the discounted footwear retailer left in 2017.

The menu includes curry dishes, noodles, fried rice and vegetarian selections, along with a kid’s menu and wine selection. According to the restaurant’s Facebook page, selected steaks are half-priced on Mondays just for the Reston location.

Finn Thai has two other restaurants — one in Purcellville and the second one in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Photo via Finn Thai Reston/Facebook

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True Food Kitchen Plans to Fill Former M & S Grill Spot in RTC

Restaurant chain True Food Kitchen plans to open its Reston location at M & S Grill’s former spot in Reston Town Center.

The restaurant will fill the vacant spot at 11901 Democracy Drive, which has been empty since M & S Grill closed last year on New Year’s Day.

When True Food Kitchen will open, though, remains unclear.

Reston Town Center said a press release last month that the chain will be one of six newcomers slated to open this year.

The next day, a post on Reston Town Center’s Facebook page said: “True Food Kitchen, the award-winning restaurant that has pioneered health-conscious dining, will bring its seasonal menu offering brunch, lunch, dinner and cocktails to Reston Town Center starting Spring 2020!”

A spokeswoman for True Food Kitchen told Reston Now she was not aware of an exact opening date and that the chain will announce its job fair as it gets closer to opening in Reston Town Center. The Reston address is not listed with the locations “coming soon” on the website, which includes spots opening in the spring, summer and fall this year.

Located across the country, True Food Kitchen focuses on offering food based Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. The chain currently has a location in Fairfax and plans to open in Arlington.

Image via Google Maps

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Finn Thai Restaurant Opening Soon in North Point Village Center

Finn Thai Restaurant and Bar is planning to open soon in the North Point Village Center.

An employee told Reston Now that the restaurant is almost finished with the inspections process. If everything goes as planned, the restaurant could open as soon as the middle of next week — right around Valentine’s Day.

An exact date, though, has not been set yet.

The Reston opening will mark the third Finn Thai restaurant. Currently, one location is in Purcellville and a second one is in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

Finn Thai will fill the vacant spot at 1466 North Point Village Center, which has been empty since Payless left in 2017.

Photos via Finn Thai website and 

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Reston Restaurant Feeds 100 Dulles TSA Workers, Offers Discounts to Furloughed Employees

Updated at 10:45 a.m. — Includes information about feeding the TSA workers from Gaurang Shah.

Vapiano in Reston Town Center has been pitching in to help government workers as the partial federal government shutdown looms on without an end in sight.

The recent efforts stemmed from a desire to “take care of those who take care of us during this political standoff,” according to a press release.

Earlier this week, the Italian restaurant at 1875 Explorer Street offered 50 percent off for furloughed federal workers on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Gaurang Shah, the local behind the Reston Going Out Group on Meetup.com and a Vapiano regular, approached the restaurant with an idea: ask for food donations to serve to TSA workers.

Vapiano then created a menu of homestyle Italian meals. Shah told Reston Now that he pitched in supplies and other food, along with reaching out to a TSA Supervisor at Dulles International Airport who agreed with the proposal.

Shah said that hundreds of TSA workers came to the restaurant for the food.

Image via Vapiano/Twitter

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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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