Reston, VA

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the restaurant industry hard, including many establishments in Reston and Herndon.

Two restaurants — which have delayed their openings by more than a year — are now firming up plans to open at Reston Station near the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station by May.

Big Buns Damn Good Burger Co.,  a DC-based burger and craft beer restaurant, is expected to open sometime in March, according to a company spokesperson for Comstock, the developer of Reston Station.

The business will take up roughly 3,000-square-feet at the BLVD, Reston Station’s first apartment tower. It was originally expected to open in late 2019 or early 2020.

Matchbox, DC-based wood fire pizza restaurant, plans to open sometime in May, but so far, there’s no set date, according to company spokeswoman Victoria Thornton. The 5,500-square-foot space was originally set to open in early 2020 at 1900 Reston Metro Plaza Drive, the building designed by Helmut Jahn that Google currently anchors.

‘Our Reston location is having some minor delays,’ she tells Reston Now.

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Monday Morning Notes

Local Podcast Explores ‘Gray Love’ — Reston resident Laura stasis is returning with the second season her podcast for people over the age of 50. The podcast is called Dating While Gray. [Reston Patch]

True Food Kitchen On Track for April Opening — The business is still on track for an April opening in Reston Town Center. It will be located at 11901 Democracy Drive. [The Burn]

Delayed Opening for Inova Vaccine Clinic — Because of yesterday’s wintry mix, Inova’s vaccination center is planning for a delayed opening today. All canceled appointments will be honored. [Inova]

School Board Approves Capital Improvement Program — The Fairfax County School Board approved the capital improvement program for FY2022-2026. The program includes partial funding for the Silver Line Elementary School. [FCPS]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Tiki Thai, a bar and restaurant, will officially open its doors at 11 a.m. today (Monday) in Reston.

The business, which combines elements of Polynesian and Thai culture, is located at 12100 Sunset Hills Road. The team behind Sense of Thai St. — a popular Thai food restaurant in One Loudoun — is also behind the latest venture in Reston.

Here’s more from the owners on what inspired the business:

While it’s fun to celebrate Polynesian culture, at TIKI THAI we also honor it.Without compromising of integrity and staying true to the history, we aim to deliver the same experience that historians like Ernest Raymond Beaumont Gantt (aka Donn Beach) feel in love with in the early 1930s while traveling the islands of Oceania . Around the same time the kingdom of Siam transitioned to what we know as Thailand today. Thailand’s deep culinary history pays homage to neighboring country’s like Malaysia, Indonesia and India that have heavy influence within every dish.

These two cultures carry a strong heritage worthy of respect and it is our pleasure to share our passion hospitality while honoring both cultures here at TIKI THAI.

This week’s soft opening hours are from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with a lunch special from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays and a brunch special on weekends from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Customers can place orders for curbside pickup and delivery.

Photo via Tiki Thai/Facebook

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As winter settles in and it gets a little colder outside, there’s a chance to reclaim a bit of the summer spirit with a new restaurant opening at Reston Town Center.

Playa Bowls will open its 101st location in the United States and Puerto Rico at 1820 Discovery Street on Saturday, Nov. 28, in partnership with Jeffrey Giuliani and Dave Eynon.

The acai bowl shop is based at the Jersey Shore and specializes in superfoods and healthy options including chia seeds, coconut, kale, bananas and pitaya. Playa Bowls offers a variety of acai bowls, smoothies, juices and poke bowls.

“Dave and I are excited to bring the beach vibes and delicious, healthy acai bowls, smoothies and fresh juices to the Town Center and can’t wait to contribute to this awesome community,” Giuliani said.

In recognition of the restaurant’s opening day, free bowls and T-shirts will be given to the first 50 customers in a socially distanced line beginning at noon on Saturday.

The 1,400-square-foot store will be open for restricted indoor dining while adhering to social distancing and requiring masks. The store will also offer takeout, no contact delivery and curbside pickup through DoorDash, Postmates and Grubhub.

Photo via Playa Bowls/Facebook

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Thursday Morning Notes

Reston Company Buys Matchbox –Thompson Hospitality, a Reston-based company, has brought Matchbox out of bankruptcy with new ownership. The company expects to open a new location at Wiehe-Reston East. [WTOP]

Herndon-based Company Acquires Maryland Cyber Defense Firm — “ManTech International Corp. (NASDAQ: MANT) has made its first acquisition move of the year, buying cybersecurity firm Minerva Engineering in a deal announced Thursday. The terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed, but it marks the Herndon information technology company’s first mergers & acquisition activity since 2019’s $115 million purchase of Kforce Government Solutions Inc.” [Washington Business Journal]

Fairfax County Park Authority Names New Director of Golf — “The Fairfax County Park Authority has selected Jesse Coffman to head operations at its eight public golf courses. Coffman will begin his duties as Director of Golf Operations on Dec. 7, 2020. He succeeds Todd Johnson, who will retire in December as Golf Enterprises Branch Manager after more than 32 years with the Park Authority.” [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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A new Turkish restaurant will replace Midtown Kabob next year.

Taste of Istanbul, which has typically limited its offerings to local farmers’ market for the last four years, is expected to open in the spring of 2021 at 11190 Explorer Street.

Taste of Istanbul currently takes part in the EatLoco markets at One Loudoun (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and Brambleton (Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) as well as Reston Farmers Market (Wednesdays, 3-7 p.m.). Orders can be placed online.

The owners say they’re prepared to open despite the uncertainty of expanding during a pandemic and particularly as cases rise in the county and throughout the country.

“This is a time where people don’t know what’s going to happen next,” the representative said. “…But we believe we are prepared for this.”

The business plans to take safety precautions and offer a safe environment for customers and employees.

Taste of Istanbul will offer doner kebabs, wraps, stuffed grape leaves, chicken shish kebabs, and other items.

Photo via Taste of Istanbul

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Foodies waiting for the opening of True Food Kitchen in Reston Town Center will have to wait longer for opening day.

The restaurant, which aims to offer healthy dishes, has delayed its opening to the spring of 2021, according to the company’s website. The company originally planned to open at 11901 Democracy Drive — space formerly occupied by M&S Grill — in early August.

Company representatives did not return requests for comment from Reston Now.

The chain currently has locations in Arlington and Fairfax, along with others around the country.

Andrew Weil, a doctor. Who supports healthy eating, founded the business in an effort to fight chronic inflammation. Many dishes are gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan.

Image via Google Maps

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Pupatella is targeting a late fall opening in Reston, according to a company in Reston.

The estimated opening date is “pending any unforeseen issues with buildout and inspections,” the company representative told Reston Now.

Construction began in early 2020 after The Pizza Hut, which first opened in 1977, closed its doors.

Pupatella, a Neapolitan pizza restaurant, announced had originally planned to open earlier this year.

The 2,700-square-foot restaurant will be located at 1921 Wiehle Avenue. A patio for outdoor planing is also planned.

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.

Photos via Chris Gieckel

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Reston will soon have its own destination for South Korean double-fried chicken. 

Bonchon Chicken, a global South Korean restaurant chain, is holding its grand opening in on Sept. 28 at 11652 Plaza America Drive.

As a part of the grand opening festivities, the restaurant will be offering specials including complimentary fries with any order of chicken strips. 

According to the website, Bonchon has more than 340 restaurant locations worldwide, with more than 100 across the United States. 

The restaurant’s hours are Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Bonchon is offering dine-in, take-out, and delivery. 

Photo via bonchonchicken/Instagram

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Clyde’s of Reston Town Center has installed plexiglass shields around their booths to better protect customers’ safety while dining during COVID-19. 

The plexiglass shields were installed in the first week of June, according to Molly Quigley, Clyde’s Director of Communications. 

“They are an additional layer of protection,” said Quigley. She added that the restaurant is still adhering to all other required safety protocols and social distancing requirements. 

Clyde’s Restaurant Group partnered with Lion’s Wood Banquet Furniture and purchased 15,000 square feet of plexiglass in May, according to a report from the Washington Business Journal. 

The restaurant is open for outdoor dining, indoor dining, pickup and delivery on Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m., Friday from 11 a.m. until 11 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. until 11 p.m., and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Photo courtesy of Molly Quigley

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As restaurants look to serve diners indoors safely during the pandemic, Silver Diner has started using a new system to keep the interiors of its restaurants sanitized.

The regional chain says that it is the first U.S. restaurant to install an air purification system that uses three technologies — ultraviolet light, bipolar ionization technology and HEPA filtration, according to a press release.

The systems were installed at all of Silver Diner’s locations by last Wednesday (Aug. 12), according to co-founder and head chef Ype Von Hengst.

“I think that in this world you’ve got to adapt and change to fit what’s needed,” Hengst said. “It’s our responsibility as restaurateurs to create a new norm.”

Already, Hengst said that both the Reston and Tysons locations have seen a substantial jump in customers who feel safe about eating inside.

Silver Diner spent roughly $500,000 on the system for the restaurants, according to Hengst, who added that the cost was worth it to protect staff and customers. The air purification system was designed by Veteran LED, a veteran-owned lighting and energy management firm.

The technology has been used before in hospitals, schools and medical care facilities but never a restaurant, according to a press release.

Depending on size, each location has a large air purifier filer that covers roughly 1,000 cubic feet of air and then smaller purifiers that support roughly 250 feet of additional cubic footage, according to Hengst.

“Germicidal UV-C lights installed throughout the HVAC system work to disinfect air and surfaces inside the system. Heavy-duty handheld UV-C light sterilizers are being used on high touch areas as part of the closing duties of the staff,” the press release said. “At night, when the restaurant is closed, the interior is bathed in germicidal UV-C light to help kill pathogens in the air and sterilize surfaces.”

Hengst said that the UV-C ceiling fixture runs for one hour each night. The restaurant claims that the system gets rid of 99.9% of the encountered pathogens.

While UV-C lights have been used as a disinfectant for decades and researchers found it can deactivate coronaviruses, the dosage, time duration and distance from the source can all impact how effective the lights are, Discover Magazine reported.

It’s unclear how effective UV treatment is against COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency cannot confirm whether it may be effective.

Additionally, Silver Diner locations are going to continue using personal protective equipment, printing menus on anti-microbial paper, requiring temperature checks, social distancing and following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Hengst.

Before the pandemic hit the NoVA area, Hengst said that he was beginning to notice a roughly 10% profit increase at both the Reston and Tysons locations, which he attributed to population growth in the areas.

Since Silver Diner installed the new technology last week, Hengst said that more and more people are requesting to sit inside, though it is too early to see if sales are increasing again.

In the months to come, Hengst said he hopes more restaurants can use the technology to “help open up the world again.”

Photos courtesy Silver Diner

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A new smoothie and açaí bowl spot is coming to Reston Town Center soon.

Playa Bowls, a restaurant that sells smoothies and healthy bowls, plans to open at 1820 Discovery Street in the winter of 2021, according to a press release by Boston Properties.

The New-Jersey based business, which opened in 2014, has more than 80 locations across the country. Playa Bowls specializes in açaí, pity, coconut, green, chia, and banana bowls. It also offers smoothies, juices and poke bowls.

Other businesses are also opening their doors soon in the town center. Makers Union Pub for the People is aiming for a late summer opening at 1811 Library Street.

F45, a gym that focuses on High-Intensity Interval Training, functional training and circuit training, is slated to open in the fall at 11850 Freedom Drive. JINYA Ramen Bar opened its doors late last week.

Photo via Playa Bowls/Facebook

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JINYA Ramen Bar will open in in Reston Town Center this Friday (August 14).

The restaurant is takeout and delivery online due the COVID-19 pandemic at the new location (11964 Market Street). Orders can be placed online or via common delivery platforms like Uber Eats, DoorDash and Grubhub. Indoor dining is expected to resume in the fall. Items on the menu include mini tacos, rice bowls, ramen, curry, and salads.

For the first 10 days of business, the RTC location will offer a pork-based ramen bowl called Tonkotsu Black Ramen for $10. Other special crisis include $8 for three cocktails and $8 for chicken tenders with beers.

Here’s more from the company on the special items being offered:

The Tonkotsu Black Ramen boasts a satisfying pork broth simmered for 20 hours, balanced with fresh thin noodles and garlic oil, and topped with pork chashu, kikurage, green onion, nori dried seaweed, seasoned egg, garlic chips, fried onion and spicy sauce. JINYA provides a wide range of ramen bowls in addition to salads, rice and curry bowls, mini tacos, and small plates. 

JINYA’s selected cocktail specials include the Garden of Todai-Ji with matcha-infused tequila, rose water, basil, simple syrup, lime and prosecco. The other two options are the JINYA Manhattan with Filibuster Boondoggler Whiskey and the Purple Dragon Mule. 

The Reston location will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday through Sunday.

The chain has several locations across the country, including Fairfax, North Bethesda, and the District.

Photo via JINYA

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Another Reston Town Center restaurant has closed its doors.

Le Pain Quotidien, a French-style coffee shop and bakery, has closed its location at 11909 Democracy Drive.

The restaurant first opened in November 2017.

According to The Burn, a hyperlocal news blog, Le Pain Quotidien did not reopen after the first wave of coronavirus-related closures.

The company has slowly begun to reopen locations in New York and the West Coast.

A company representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

Photo via Le Pain Quotidien

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The regional Summer Restaurant Week — an event organized by Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington — returns August 17 through 30  with some modifications.

The week was extended to allow patrons more time to participate. Events DC and JBG Smith are also covering the costs for local eateries to take part in the regional event. Restaurants are also offering takeout deals in addition to dine-in specials.

Here’s a list of local restaurants joining:

Currently, only Founding Farmers at Reston Station and Morton’s The Steakhouse are offering to-go meals for the restaurant week. Both restaurants and The Melting Pot are also including a paired wine or cocktail.

Fixed-price offerings include $22 for brunch or lunch and either $35 for $55 for dinner. Family-style to-go dinner meals are also being offered.

More restaurants may be added over the next several days.

File photo

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