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Italian Restaurant to Open in Reston Town Center Next Year

Fox Restaurant Concepts plans to open its North Italia concept in Reston Town Center by early 2019.

The new restaurant, which offers a contemporarily Italian model, will take up space at 11898 Freedom Drive in the Fountain One building. The space was previously occupied by Neyla Mediterranean Bistro, which closed earlier this year.

The North Italia restaurant concept is the second in the D.C.-region. The restaurant offers pizza, salads and home-made pizzas.

Boston Properties issued the following statement about the opening on Tuesday (August 14):

“We are delighted that North Italia will become part of the Reston Town Center community this winter.  Their passion for handmade Italian cuisine and heartfelt customer engagement is unparalleled.  They will be a compelling addition to our vibrant tenant mix,” said Stephanie Friedman, director of retail leasing at Boston Properties.

Other new tenants expected to open by next year include lululemon, Muse Paintbar, and Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls.

File photo

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Reston Eateries Take Part in Summer Restaurant Week Beginning Monday

Several Reston restaurants will participate in this year’s Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Summer Week, which begins on Monday (August 13).

Restaurants throughout the greater Washington region will offer three-course lunch and brunch menus for $22 and a three-course dinner for $35 at fixed prices. The annual event is sponsored by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, a regional trade association that represents restaurants and the foodservice industry in the DC-area.

Restaurants in Reston that are participated are:

Special menus for the week, which runs from Monday through Aug. 19, are available online.

File photo

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Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls to Open Next Month in Reston Town Center

Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls, an Annapolis-based restaurant, will open in late September, according to the company’s founder.

The 800-square-foot restaurant will be located at 11939 Democracy Drive, the former location of Red Velvet Cupcakery.

The restaurant would be the first Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls branch in Virginia. The company has four locations in Maryland, one in Delaware and another in South Carolina. The Reston location’s menu is modeled after the Delaware location.

An exact opening date has not been set yet.

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Save the Date: ‘Flavors of Fall’ Returns to Reston Town Center in October

It’s not too early to begin planning for the fall. Flavors of Fall, a free annual festival that includes live entertainment, dancing and family activities, returns to Reston Town Center on October 6.

Admission and parking are free for the event. Restaurants will serve up samplings of their favorite falls menus. Tickets are $1 each or $20 for 24 tickets. Most food tastings require between one and five tickets.

Beer prices are five tickets for a 16-ounce, mainstream beer, six tickets for a 12-ounce craft beer and three tickets for a five-ounce craft beer.  Wine is six tickets for a five-ounce poor and one ticket per wine tasting.

More information on the event will be released soon. The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce.

Photo via Facebook

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Photos: Mezeh Mediterranean Grill Now Open in RTC West

JBG Smith’s mixed-use development, RTC West, welcomed a new restaurant this week. Mezeh Mediterranean Grill is now open at 12130 Sunset Hills Road. 

The 44-seat restaurant offers a mix of build-it-yourself bowls, pita pockets and wraps. Other establishments are also on the way in the development, including Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel, and The Burger Joint. In recent months, Honeygrow, Starbucks and Nando’s were added to the mix of retail on the largely office-dominated site.

Although a soft launch was held on Tuesday, the restaurant’s grand opening day has not yet been finalized, according to Patrick Mika, Mezeh’s director of marketing and catering. On Wednesday (July 25), Mezeh will offer free chicken shawarma bowls – it’s inaugural opening promotion.

Beginning next week, Mezeh will also free promotions for different client bases in order to reduce overcrowding in the area, especially since immediate surface lot parking is limited.

The Reston location includes traditional elements of Mezeh’s nine other locations like a community bar and wrap-around seating. No paint is used anywhere on its mixed-media walls — except on the restaurant’s bathroom doors.

“More and more fast-casual restaurants I see are becoming more like a box,” Mika said. “Ours is more like a home.”

The restaurant will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Its first fundraiser for a local charity will be on August 7. Forty percent of proceeds from purchases made between 5:30 and 8:30 p.m. that day will go toward the fundraiser if customers mention “Solutions Street.”

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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BGR The Burger Joint to Open in the Fall

BGR the Burger Joint will open a new location in the fall in RTC West, JBG Smith’s new mixed-use development.

The restaurant, which offers burgers grilled over an open flame and hand-spun milkshakes, will be located at 12120 Sunset Hills Road.

An exact opening date was not available, although restaurants are opening their doors in development, which is already home to Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant, Nando’s, Honeygrow and Starbucks.

Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, which is located in the same development, is also expected to open this month. An exact opening date will be confirmed next week, a company representative told Reston Now on Friday.

Other businesses planned for the development include The Black Squirrel, an old-school gastropub, Forever Nails and Punjabi by Nature.

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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Save the Date: ‘Taste of Reston’ Set for June 15 and 16

Attention, food lovers: Taste of Reston, the area’s largest outdoor food festival, is coming to Reston Town Center on June 15 and 16.

The event features samplings from the region’s eateries, live music, beer and wine gardens and a family fun zone. Admission is free, but tickets for tastings can be purchased online or on the day of the event.

Garage parking will remain free throughout the event, which runs from Friday, June 15 from 3-11 p.m. and on Saturday, June 16 from noon to 11 p.m.

The event is produced by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce and was voted as the best food festival of Northern Virginia by Virginia Living last year.

Participating restaurants include Agora Restaurant, Choolah Indian BBQ, Founding Farmers Reston, McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant and Trader Joe’s.

Live entertainment will take place in several areas: the main pavilion, which will include regional bands; Library Street stage, which offers interactive entertainment for kids; and the Explorer Street Local & Live Lounge, which will feature acoustic artists.

Volunteers can sign-up online.

Photo by Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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Busara Thai Restaurant in Reston Town Center Has Closed

Busara Thai Restaurant (11964 Market Street) has permanently closed its Reston Town Center location.

The restaurant, which served up authentic Thai cuisine, closed on Saturday, May 19, ending 13 years of business in Reston’s urban core. 

An employee with the restaurant told Reston Now the decision was driven by the shift from free to paid parking in Reston Town Center.

“Revenue just went down the drain,” the employee said. The owner was not immediately available for comment.

A representative for Boston Properties said a new tenant has not yet been identified. The restaurant has one other location at 8142 Watson Street in McLean.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Honeygrow to Open in Reston Town Center West in May

Honeygrow, a Philadelphia-based, fast-casual restaurant, is opening in JBG Smith’s new Reston Town Center West development at 12100 Sunset Hills Road in May.

The restaurant sells made-to-order stir-fry, salads, cold-pressed juices. The store has no freezers in order to ensure ingredients are sourced locally and made from scratch on a daily basis.

Justin Rosenberg, the restaurant’s CEO, founded honeygrow in 2012. Since then, the restaurant has opened in Philadelphia, Boston, Chicago, the District, Pentagon City and other areas.

Photo via honeygrow

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Mezeh Mediterranean Grill to Open in the Spring in RTC West

Mezeh Mediterranean Grill is expected to open this spring in JBG Smith’s RTC West development (12130 Sunset Hills Road). 

A specific date has not been announced. Permits for the installation of the electric system were issued late last year.

The grill will join other establishments like Starbucks, Nando’s Peri-Peri and Cooper’s Hawk Winery as work continues on adjacent office buildings and ground-floor retail spaces. Other future businesses, as advertised on signage at the front of the new office building, include Punjabi by Nature, The Black Squirrel, The Burger Joint, and Honeygrow.

The first phase of development converts 15,000 square feet of office space into street-level retail and adds 25,000 square feet of new retail on the southwest corner of the nearly 14-acre campus. The buildings have structured surface parking for visitors and a four-level parking garage with a total of 1,619 parking spaces.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Now Open: Chick-fil-A, Run by Retired Fairfax County Firefighter, in North Point

After a windy campout that began at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, Chick-fil-A at 1494 North Point Village Center is now open.

The 2,800-square-foot restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.

Customers participating in Chick-fil-A’s promotional “First 100” event camped overnight at the location and received 52 chicken sandwich meals.

They were then ceremoniously welcomed down a red carpet to the sound of “When The Saints Go Marching In” and the banging of pots, pans and cowbells, according to a restaurant representative.

The store is run by Larry Everett, a retired firefighter who worked for the fire departments in Fairfax County and Montgomery County, Md. for more than 30 years.

Here’s more about Everett from the company:

Chick-fil-A is a family business for the Everett family. In addition to his son, Philip, a franchise owner in Rockford, his son, Joshua, will serve as facilities director at the new restaurant where Everett’s daughter-in-law, Stevie, will work as assistant human [resources] director and granddaughter, Evangeline, will be director of playground safety and designated Cow handler at North Point Center. 

During his 30-year firefighting career, Everett was a first responder to the Pentagon during 9/11 and spent most of his career serving the local community in Fairfax County. He and his wife, Andrea, and their family are looking forward to continuing that spirit of service among their friends and family in the Reston community. 

Photos via CP Communications

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Sweet Leaf Café to Open at Reston Station’s BLVD This Week

Locally owned café chain Sweet Leaf will hold its official grand opening on Wednesday (March 28) at Reston Station from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The restaurant will open at 1908 Reston Metro Plaza as part of Comstock’s BLVD development. Founding Farmers, Sweet Leaf’s neighbor, is set to open on April 11.

Sweet Leaf was originally set to open late last year, but co-owner Andre Matini said they delayed the opening to match the timing of Founding Farmers’ launch day.

“We’re basically trying to open up when the entire plaza is ready. It’s a better time to open as the weather turns warmer, as more people are out, and the plaza is activated,” Matini told Reston Now.

A soft opening will be held tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Around 300 people are registered for the booked event, which will include free lunch.

Sweet Leaf was founded in McLean in 1991 and has other locations in Tysons, Vienna, McLean and three in Arlington.

The menu includes sandwiches, salads, grain bowls and breakfast options. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

Customers can park in Reston Station’s garage. Two-hour parking will be validated at the store’s register. Two garage spaces will also be designated for customers who place online orders, Matini said.

Photos courtesy of Andre Matini 

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Herndon man arrested in connection with double homicide in Loudoun County — “The sheriff’s office said Brian K. Welsh, 38, of Herndon, was charged with two counts of first degree murder in the shootings in the Aldie area of the county. Officials said the killings appeared to be drug-related.” [The Washington Post]

Chef on Wheels seeks beer and wine permit — The restaurant, which was formerly a food truck, on 1810 Michael Faraday Drive is seeking the license to sell alcoholic beverages. [Reston Patch]

Preparing for the March on Washington — A former teacher who is running for Congress in Virginia’s 11th district is prepping for the march this weekend. [Jonathan Park via Eventbrite]

An argument between a bus driver and parent — A Herndon parent was served summonses for making threats to a school employee, assault and disorderly conduct last Tuesday after the parent boarded a local bus. [Herndon Police Department]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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Total Wine & More Kicks Off Grand Opening Event Today

Total Wine & More will open its doors at 9 a.m. today at 11620 Plaza America Drive.

The grand opening event, which runs through Sunday, features more than 20 wine tastings.

Customers will receive a free reusable wine tote with gifts, store information and savings worth more than $40, according to promotional information.

A portion of all grand opening sales will be donated to Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that aims to promoted self-sufficiency.

The schedule for featured producers and tastings starts at 4 p.m. and includes the following:

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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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