Reston, VA

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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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Reston area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Monday (Nov. 23)

  • Thanksgiving Food Drive (November 1-23) — Patrons, businesses, and organizations are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food and other items at Reston Community Center Hunters Woods (2310 Colts Neck Road) and Lake Anne facilities, the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, and a variety of other drop-off points throughout the community, the website said. View this link to see the most needed items.

Tuesday (Nov. 24)

  • Spanish Chat (1-2 p.m.) — Residents can practice Spanish conversation informally online at this virtual event, which is organized by Great Falls Library. A Zoom invite will be sent to registered participants one day before the discussion.

Friday (Nov. 27)

  • Chocolate Factory Band (7 p.m.) — The Chocolate Factory Band will grace the stage of P.J. Mulligan’s once again. Patrons are encouraged to come early as COVID-19 restrictions will be in effect at the location (2310 Woodland Crossing Drive).

Saturday (Nov. 28)

  • Carriage Rides (November 28 – December 19) – 4-9 p.m. at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.) – For $30, enjoy a journey along the streets of Reston Town Center and benefit local charities, the website said. The carriage will depart from the Pavilion on Market Street. Groups are limited to five people and masks are required. To register, use this link.

Sunday (Nov. 29)

  • Train Rides (November 29 – December 20) – 12-3:45 p.m. at Reston Town Center (11900 Market St.) – For $20, enjoy a mini train ride with the family through the streets of Reston Town Center and benefit local charities, the website said. The train will depart from the Pavilion on Market Street. Groups are limited to four people and masks are required. To register, use this link.

Photo by Wade Gilley

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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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Microsoft Corp. plans to expand with about 45,000 square feet in Reston Town Center, according to a recent earnings call by landlord Boston Properties.

The expansion is an addition to the 400,000-square-foot tech hub that is planned for the development.

Here’s more from the Washington Business Journal on the expansion:

The new space adds to what Redwood, Washington-based Microsoft is already leasing at Two Discovery Square, which stands at 12012 Sunset Hills Road. It’s also separately establishing a tech hub at Two Freedom Square, at 11955 Freedom Drive, bringing its total footprint across those two buildings to above 600,000 square feet, according to earnings data and company officials familiar with the situation.

In late May, Microsoft announced that it would invest $64 million to establish a new tub hub that would bring 2,500 new jobs to the area.

Photo by Franck V./Unsplash

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Boston Properties, owner of Reston Town Center, held its Third Quarterly Earnings Call earlier this week where the current state and future of Boston Properties in Reston were discussed.

Chief Executive Officer Owen Thomas says Boston Properties (BXP) has performed well, despite the pandemic.

“Despite a challenging recessionary environment, BXP continued to perform well in the third quarter, demonstrating the durability of our business,” Thomas explained. “In the quarter, we collected 99% of our office rents and 97% of rents overall. We completed 811,000 square feet of leasing, 40% being either new requirements or expanding existing customers, and we increased our average net rental rates on our second-generation leases by 20%.”

BXP properties that have recently been sold was also discussed, including Patriots Park in Reston that was sold for $325 million, according to Thomas, or what equals out to $450 a square foot and a 5.6 cap rate.

“This 724,000 square-foot asset is fully leased and sold to an asset management company,” Thomas said. “BXP built and subsequently sold Patriots Park in 2014 at roughly the same valuation.”

President of BXP Douge Linde later chimed in to discuss leasing activity around the country. Northern Virginia is the second market that relaxed its restrictions since the start of the pandemic, following Massachusetts, according to Linde.

“In Northern Virginia companies are actually required just to social distance and there are no limits to the occupancy threshold, and employees drive to their office,” Linde said. “We estimate our census is well under 15%. At this time, the return to work is not about transportation constraints, and it’s not about elevator constraints either.”

BXP also finalized a few leases in Northern Virginia, according to Linde, including Microsoft in Reston Town Center.

“They leased an additional 45,000 square feet and extended the 2028 expiration on 164,000 square feet to 2033,” Linde said. “We’ve also completed another 96,000 square foot of leases, 8 transactions during the quarter there. We are in negotiation on 5 more leases, totaling 65,000 square feet, for vacant space in the Town Center.”

Restonians should expect to see Volkswagon in Reston as BXP recently signed a 20-year lease with the company.

The future of BXP in Reston was also discussed by Chief Financial Officer Mike LaBelle.

“We’ve already signed leases for this space in Reston, and we expect it to be occupied in 2021,” LaBelle explained. “We partially offset the impact of the occupancy decline with revenue growth from a full quarter of contribution from our 100% leased 1750 Presidents Way development in Reston that we delivered in the second quarter, and $2 million of growth in our parking revenues.”

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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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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The Spectrum is Reston Town Center will have a major vacancy next month.

Best Buy, which is located at 1861 Fountain Drive, will close on Oct. 31, a company official told Reston Now.

A spokesperson said the company decided against renewing its lease.

“Our customers have shown us that they prefer to shop at other stores in the area, including the Tyson’s Corner store nearby, which is just seven miles away, as well as our Sterling and Fairlakes stores.”

The last day of business is Saturday, Oct. 31.

A store employee said increasing rent prices prompted the decision. Currently, the store is opened every day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Image via Google Maps

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Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market will shutter its doors in Reston Town Center permanently on Sept. 20 following a lawsuit by Boston Properties over unpaid rent.

All employees will be relocated to nearby McLean, Bethesda and Alexandria stores, according to a company spokesperson.

“With their incredible fresh food selections, chef-prepared offerings, top-notch catering team, as well as award-winning wine, beer and cheese departments, these stores really showcase what Balducci’s does best,” said Judy Spires, CEO of Balducci’s Food Lover’s Markets.

The New-Jersey-based grocery store allegedly failed to pay more than $225,000 in rent since December, according to a lawsuit by Boston Properties filed in June.

The store opened on the ground floor of The Signature apartments in June 2018. The company declined to comment on the reason for the closure or the pending lawsuit.

Boston Properties says that it sent three default notices to the company, which signed a 19,930-square-foot-lease at 1871 Fountain Drive.

Photo via Balducci’s 

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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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Maker’s Union, which markets itself as a “pub for the people,” is officially opening its doors on Thursday in Reston Town Center.

The restaurant replaces American Tap Room on 1811 Library Street. The project was launched by Thompson Hospitality, a Reston-based company.

In a statement, business representatives recognized it is “a bit of a weird time” to open a restaurant. In fact, Maker’s Union considered passing construction until there was less uncertainty in the restaurant industry.

But the business team ultimately decided to move forward with opening the restaurant because Reston “needs a special local gathering place.”

Beginning tomorrow and Wednesday between 5-8 p.m., patrons can stop by for a preview event. Tickets are $5 for a slider and a can of craft beer or wine. The restaurant will be set up outside with six-feet spacing markers. All items will be served to-go, but patrons can take a peek into the new space.

Masks are required to take part in the preview event, a company representative told Reston Now.

Photo via Thompson Hospitality

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Monday Morning Notes

Reston Town Center Updates Information on COVID-19 Safety — The town center now has 15-minute parking spots for curbside pickup. Additional seating is also available in the pavilion and Town Square Park. RTC has also increased the frequency of cleaning in all public spaces. [Reston Town Center]

Metro Ridership Increases as Agency Begins Restoring Service — “Daily ridership during Metro’s first week of nearly normal service in five months was up by several thousand, according to preliminary agency statistics. Ridership remains significantly below pre-pandemic levels, but the consistent daily increases show that more Washington-area residents are venturing out and resuming normal activities.” [The Washington Post]

Resources for Assisted Living Concerns — The Northern Virginia Longterm Care Ombudsman Program helps longterm care residents and their families resolve quality of care and quality of life issues at no charge. [Fairfax County Government]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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An in-person event in Reston will explore the past and future of Reston Town Center, which is now in its 30th year.

Robert Goudie, the Reston Town Center Association’s executive director, will offer a glimpse at what the town center will look like in the future. RTC is slated to double in size over the next 15 years.

The free event, “Reston Town Center: Its Past and Future,” takes place on Wednesday, Sept. 16 from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Community Center Lake Anne’s Jo Ann Rose Gallery. Chairs will be spaced out to facilitate social distancing.

Those interested can register online or in-person at RCC. The event is hosted jointly by Reston Historic Trust & Museum and Reston Community Center.

Tickets will go on sale on Sept. 1. No photography or video recordings will be allowed.

Photo by R. Dawson/Flickr

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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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