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Friday Morning Notes

Easy, fun and raw — A professor offers tips on how to add more raw food to your diet from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. tomorrow at Reston Regional Library. [Fairfax County Government]

Rename Rock N’ Skate — The Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion is looking for new names for its weekly ice skating series. The grand prize winner will receive 10 free admission tickets. [Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion]

Summerbration concert tonight — Enjoy Latin music with free dancing and instruction as part of the weekly “Summerbration” concert series. Parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. [Reston Community Center]

Nearby: If you have the energy for it — “Fairfax County has pledged to reduce the energy consumption of its facilities by 20 percent per square foot over 10 years as part of an operational energy strategy adopted by its Board of Supervisors on July 10.” [Fairfax County Times]

Search for missing woman continues — Susan Carstens, 51, was last seen in Reston on Wednesday. A search continues for the woman, who police believe may be endangered. [Reston Now]

Photo by Ruth Sievers 

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Friday Morning Notes

Silver Line concrete problem may not be criticalPreliminary tests on concrete panels show that major re-networking of the Silver Line extension to and beyond Dulles Airport might not be necessary. A whistleblower lawsuit raised concerns about improperly mixed concrete at Silver Line stations set to open in 2020. [WTOP]

Summerbration concert tonight — This week’s concert in Reston Station Plaza features the Jason Masi band. Parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. [Reston Community Center]

Local company cracks cases — Parabon NanoLabs has helped solve five cold cases since early May with a new approach to genetic analysis. [NBC News]

Nearby: Local weekender — Need a roundup of what to do this weekend? From ice cream making to a concert with a mix of jazz and Indian classical music, there’s a lot to do this weekend. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo of Lake Thoreau’s public art display, submitted by Russ Evans

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Friday Morning Notes

Discovering hidden gems — There’s a lot to discover at Reston Association’s trails, each of which is color-coded. [Reston Association]

Oasis Island Sounds concert tonight — In this week’s “Summerbration” concert, enjoy Reggae on the open-air plaza atop Wiehle-Reston East Metro. Parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for these concerts. [Reston Community Center]

Parked — July is National Parks and Recreation month, but Restonians actually live in a park 12 months of the year. [The Connection]

Nearby: New fire chief — John Butler, former chief of the Department of Fire and Rescue Services in Howard County will take on his new role. he hopes to address complaints that management isn’t doing enough to address sexual harassment and discrimination in county firehouses. [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo via vantagehill

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Construction on New Office Building in Reston Station Begins

Comstock has begun construction on the next office building in Reston Station, located on the southwest corner of the plaza. The eight-story structure, which has not yet been named, is a Class A office building with 180,000 square feet of office space and 8,300 square feet of retail space on the plaza.

The building is designed by HKS Architects with steel and glass structures. The company’s portfolio includes the design of Urumqi International Airport in Xinjiang, China and the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman, Jordan.

Office space will be restricted to six floors, which sit atop an eight-story, above-grave concrete parking deck. It will also include a private patio with a sky garden and gym.

Construction prompted Comstock to close four of eight kiosks on the plaza. According to Maggie Parker, vice president of communications and community outreach for Comstock, the kiosks were intentionally designed to be temporary. Some vendors will relocate into vacant kiosks.

“They’ve given many budding entrepreneurs an opportunity to test their business models and have added a lot of vitality to our emerging development,” Comstock wrote in a statement.

Photo via Comstock

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Friday Morning Notes

Day camps at Reston Association — Slots are available for RA’s day camps, which are offered in three sessions. The camp is geared toward children between the ages of 7 and 11. [Reston Association]

Tonight: Fun around town with community fitness — Celebrate the beginning of summer with a free community fitness activity tonight at Stonegate Community Center from 5:30-6:30 p.m. [Reston Community Center]

Summerbration with King Teddy — Enjoy a concert at the Reston Station Plaza featuring swing music by King Teddy tonight from 7-9 p.m. Swing dangers will offer free instruction. [Reston Community Center]

Happening nearby: sex education policy — “Parents are protesting a proposed new sex education policy in Fairfax County. Those opposed to it say the new curriculum would promote transgender issues and encourage the use of contraceptives instead of abstinence.” [FOX 5 DC]

Photo by Ruth Sievers

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Dance Instruction Added to ‘Summerbration’ Concerts

The “Summerbration” concert series at Reston Station Plaza will feature a new addition on Friday summer nights.

Professional dance instructors will offer lessons during select concert performances hosted by Reston Station. Lessons vary from swing dancing to African dance.

Reston Community Center’s executive director Leila Gordon said the center is “thrilled” to add professionals to the lineup. She said Reston Station Plaza is “becoming a destination experience for people.”

Dance instruction begins with Friday’s King Teddy Concert.  Each concert runs from 7-9 p.m. and parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. during the concerts.

The complete lineup, which includes dancers and instructors, is below:

June 15
King Teddy
Swing dancers – dancing and instruction

June 22
Cedar Creek
Country line dance instruction

June 29
Elikeh
African dancers – dancing and instruction

July 6
Four Star Combo
Sock hop dancers – dancing and instruction

July 27
Alfredo Mojica & Friends
Latin dancers – dancing and instruction

August 10
Scott Kurt & Memphis 59
Country dancers – dancing and instruction

August 24
The Swingin’ Swamis
Swing dancers – dancing and instruction

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Happening Tonight: Screening of Washington Capitals Game at Reston Station Plaza

Looking for a big screen to watch the Washington Capitals play in game five of the Stanley Cup finals?  A free screening will be held tonight at Reston Station’s plaza (1904 Reston Metro Plaza) from 8-10 p.m.

Parking is $4.75 daily.

Here’s a previous video of a viewing on May 28:

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‘Summerbration’ Series Kicks Off Today at Reston Station Plaza

Over the last several months, new eateries like Founding Farmers and Sweet Leaf Cafe have opened up shop in Reston Station Plaza.

Now, as summer approaches, the open-air plaza will be the home of “Summerbration,” a free summer concert and entertainment series. The event is intended to activate the space.

The first concert, featuring classic rock band Battery Lane, will take place today from 7-9 p.m. Complimentary parking is available from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for the concert series. Attendees should follow signs to ParkX.

The complete line-up is below:

The event, which is free and open for all ages, is hosted by Reston Station and presented by Reston Community Center in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc. 

File photo

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New Public Art Installed at Reston Station Plaza

A cast bronze sculpture inspired by the power of Mother Nature was installed at Reston Station Plaza this month.

The piece, “The Force of Nature,” is by artist Lorenzo Quinn and is located on the north side of Wiehle-Reston East Station.

A statement from the artist is below:

“We humans think of ourselves as supreme beings, above all others and in absolute control of our destiny and our surroundings. We live with a false sense of security only to be awakened by Mother Nature’s fury, almost as if she needs to remind us of her presence and our responsibility towards her child (The Earth).

After having seen the ravaged coast of Thailand and the Hurricane that affected the Southern States I decided to create a sculpture dedicated to Mother Nature. This would be reminiscent of the early statues made as peace offerings to the Gods in the hope of quenching their anger.  

In essence, people are not very different today from the people who lived thousands of years ago. We still devote ourselves to symbols in order to escape our destiny.”

Photos via Public Art Reston

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Some Metro Users Scramble for Parking Space at the Wiehle-Reston East Garage

Some Metro users say the Wiehle-Reston East garage is becoming increasingly difficult to navigate. Limited spaces are available during weekday morning hours as construction continues in the area.

Beginning at 9 a.m., few non-reserved parking spots are available in the 2,300-space garage, Metro users said. The garage (11389 Reston Station Boulevard) includes reserved spaces, which open up to the public at 10 a.m. if they are unused.

Garage users said some drivers park their cars in reserved spots not assigned to them due to the challenge of finding space. Jude J. said police often issue tickets to those individuals ten minutes before the parking space opens up to the public.

“You’re lucky if when you enter the ‘lot full’ light is on, otherwise you’re stuck in a dangerous situation with cars going every direction trying to find a spot,” said Jude. She has been commuting for past year and a half from Leesburg to Washington D.C..

County and transit officials pointed to several possible explanations for the scramble for space. County data indicate the average paid utilization rate in March was 88 percent. The rate for reserved parking is $65 a month and $4.95 on weekdays, except Thursday when the rate is $3.

Robin Geiger, head of communications for the Fairfax County Department of Communications said temporary construction in the garage may explain why spaces are limited. Construction is expected to end next month, Geiger said.

In response to space constraints, the county is promoting other alternatives like the Reston South Park and Ride, as well as Fairfax Connector Routes 553, 557, 559 or 585 to Wiehle.

Comstock, the developer behind Reston Station which sits above the garage, built the garage through a public-private partnership with Fairfax County. The county retains garage ownership while the Washington Metropolitan Area Authority operates the facility.

Maggie Parker, a spokesperson for Comstock, said space may also be limited due to “increased activity” with events like the cherry blossoms in the District. WMATA indicated they have seen an increase in parking demand as a result.

Signs in the garage are programmed to display “lot full” when 15 spaces or less are available.

Parker also said it is possible that people are not driving down far enough into the garage, especially three levels down in the ParkX parking area.

The situation has some hoping for other parking alternatives, especially as summer swings in and the recent opening of restaurants like Founding Farmers and Sweet Leaf attracts more customers.

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Now Open: Founding Farmers at Reston Station

Founding Farmers, a 13,000-square-foot restaurant, is now open at 1904 Reston Metro Plaza.

The restaurant by Farmers Restaurant Group is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch.

Founding Farmers also offers on-the-go breakfast for customers at the “First Bake Cafe.” Reservations are available online. Validated parking is available in the Wiehle-Reston East parking garage, as well as valet parking for customers who pull up their vehicles to the plaza.

Here’s more from the restaurant:

Founding Farmers Reston will have many guest favorites, such as house-made pastas and our Southern Fried Chicken & Donut. Our chefs are also particularly excited to share a nice range of cuts from our Steak House, such as our classic 48-Hour Salt-Cured Prime Rib. Some of us can’t wait for the comforting and wholesome grain and protein bowls, or the decadence of our homemade desserts and hand-churned ice cream. Of course, we will be serving our large selection of craft cocktails made with spirits from our own distillery in DC, Founding Spirits.

The restaurant has been is built with the same sustainably-minded practices we use across Farmers Restaurant Group, pursuing LEED and Green Restaurant Association certifications. We also have amazing artwork from a great group of original artists to share with our guests and to help tell our story.

Sweet Leaf, a cafe adjacent to the new restaurant, also recently opened at Reston Station Plaza.

Photo via Founding Farmers Reston

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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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After Delays, Founding Farmers at Reston Station to Open Next Month

Founding Farmers, a restaurant owned by Farmers Restaurant Group, will open on April 11 at Reston Station, a major mixed-use development by Comstock.

The restaurant, which pushed back its opening date several times since 2016, will take up a two-level, 10,000 square foot location at 1904 Reston Metro Plaza.

The location features a private dining space to seat 40-50 people, a large mezzanine, and a bar with cocktails from their D.C.-based distillery. Their First Bake Cafe will offer freshly-baked goods, sweets and a Compass Coffee blend. The cafe is designed for Metro users and others who looking for a quick bite.

The second floor is dedicated to the kitchen, requiring staff to speed up and down stairs to serve orders.

The build out was complicated by a lengthy permitting process and the unique design of the restaurant, which requires an elevator due to limited space for loading fresh deliveries, staff said.

Founding Farmers relies on daily fresh deliveries and has limited kitchen space for freezing products. It serves weekday breakfast, lunch and dinner and a weekend buffet brunch. According to promotional material, the restaurant’s dishes are made with “pure ingredients honoring the farmers and their hard-earned bounty.”

Parking, which is not free at Reston Station, will be validated. Valet parking will be offered for $3, allowing guests to pull up their vehicles at the plaza.

No word yet on when Sweet Leaf, a community cafe near the Founding Farmers location, will open.

The restaurant has other locations in the District, Tysons Corner, Montgomery County, Md., and King of Prussia, Pa.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Founding Farmers Close to Opening in Reston Station

Founding Farmers plans to open its Reston Station location in early 2018.

The opening of the restaurant, originally set for summer 2017, was delayed due after plans to the 10,000-square-foot location (1901 Reston Metro Plaza Drive) were revamped.

No firm opening date has been made public, although the company has begun hiring for all positions and expects to open in the first quarter of this year. In August, a company representative told Reston Now the restaurant will open next month.

A spokesperson for Comstock Partners, the owner of Reston Station, said the company went back to the drawing board to improve the design and layout of the restaurant after opening a new location — Farmers & Distillers — in the District.

“After opening their downtown D.C. restaurant a year ago, they decided to make some major changes to better improve operations,” said Maggie Parker, vice president of communications and community outreach for Comstock Partners. “They can’t wait to open.”

The Reston restaurant rests on the ground floor of a planned 200-room hotel at Reston Station and on top of the 3,500-space Reston Station Transit Facility. A large mezzanine is planned at the site, which sits next to the 45o-unit BLVD at Reston Station.

The farmer-owned restaurant include a full-service menu and bar with breakfast, lunch and dinner and a Farmers Market buffet brunch on weekends. A “First Bake” menu will offer takeaway breakfast and coffee on weekday mornings, according to the restaurant’s website.

Founding Farmers is owned by more than 47,000 family farmers of the North Dakota Farmers Union and is supplied by hundreds of family farms, according to its website.

No update was available on when Sweet Leaf, a locally owned cafe chain scheduled to open next to Founding Farmers will open. Signage on the store front indicates an opening in the winter of last year.

(This post was updated on Friday, Jan. 12 at 10:29 a.m. to include background about Founding Farmers). 

Photo by Fatimah Waseem

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