Taste of Reston Kicks Off Tomorrow in Reston Town Center

Northern Virginia’s largest outdoor food festival, Taste of Reston, returns to Reston Town Center this weekend.

The family-friendly event, which is organized by the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce, will include nearly 30 restaurants, a craft beer lounge, cooking demonstrations, beer on tap, live entertainment and a family fun zone tomorrow (June 14) and Saturday, June 15.

Festivities kick off tomorrow from 4-11 p.m. and on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Entrance to the festival is free, but food tickets are $1 per ticket or $20 for 24 tickets. Tickets can be purchased online.

Restaurants participating for a taste include Cooper’s Hawk, Not Your Average Jow’s and the Wine ‘n Dine Market Place. Live entertainment will be provided by Cherry Crush Band, New Blue Soul, Delta Spur and Vinyl Rhino.

The local YMCA will offer games and prizes in a family fun zone.

Parking is free for the duration of the event.

More information about the festival, which is expected to draw thousands to the town center, is available online.

Photo via Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce

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The Glossary Nail Spa Aims for to Open This Weekend in Reston Town Center

The Glossary Nail Spa is expected to open on Saturday in Reston Town Center. 

The nail salon, which is located at 1771 Library Street, takes the former spot of Obi Sushi, which closed in December.

Hollee Ho, an employee at the spa, told Reston Now that she hopes the business will clear all inspections soon.

The salon offers manicures, pedicures, eyelash extensions, microblading and more.

Photo via Glossary Nail Spa/Instagram

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Herndon Police Department Investigates Car Crash — Local police are investigating a car crash that left the driver of the vehicle, a juvenile, dead on Sunday (June 9) at 2 a.m. The cause of the crash is unknown. Three passengers were transported to area hospitals where they remain in serious condition. [Herndon Police Department]

Democratic Party Primary Set for Today — Polls opened at 6 a.m. for the primary today. Five candidates are vying for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor after veteran legislator Cathy Hudgins announced her intentions to retire earlier this year. [Fairfax County Government]

Farmers and Makers Market in Reston Town Center Today — The market, which runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, features farmers and artisans selling a mix of items, including produce and vintage items. [Reston Town Center]

Local Company Works to Reduce Electric Vehicle “Range Anxiety” — Electrify America is expanding its partnership with Walmart to a create a cross-country network of fast-charge station for electric vehicle owners. The partnership aims to tackle “range anxiety” with 120 fast charging stations at Walmart stores in 34 states. [WTOP]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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EXCLUSIVE: Reston Town Center’s Vapiano at the Center of Alleged International Money Laundering Scheme

For weeks, Reston Town Center’s Vapiano has suddenly and sporadically shuttered its doors amid allegations of an international money laundering scheme and attempts to disrupt operations of countrywide locations of the fast-casual restaurant chain.

In a May 27 complaint filed in U.S. District Court in the Central District of California, Plutos Sama Holdings, Inc. (PSH), a Delaware-based corporation that bought shares of Vapiano’s parent company earlier this year, alleges that individuals seeking to take control over the chain attempted to jeopardize its legal acquisition and operation of three Vapiano locations in Florida and Reston.

A legal representative for PSH told Reston Now the Reston location expects to open in about a month as litigation continues. The Reston location closed last month due to what company officials called “major restructuring” and “operational changes.” The restaurant had on-and-off closures in March because of training and delays in the processing of paychecks.

The lawsuit, which was obtained by Reston Now, alleges that a group of individuals, including Jurg Widmer, worked together to launder money through a restaurant location in Doral, Florida. PSH says it has uncovered evidence indicating that restaurant was funded by an international money laundering scheme disguised as a trust to “mask the funds unlawful origins.” The complaint further alleges that Widmer, who is described in the document as “the King of Ports,” amassed his fortune through corrupt shipping transactions in Guatemala.

Widmer moved to Switzerland to escape allegations of being involved in an illicit bribery conspiracy, according to the document.

The suit also alleges that he worked with a friend to create a shell company, VAP Invest, LLC, and VAPvest Corp. to funnel and hide illicit proceeds in legitimate enterprises. Attempts were made to obtain a franchise license to operate the restaurant in Doral despite the franchisor’s refusal to grant “anyone associated with the Widmer family a franchise license.”

The complaint also claims Widmer and his partners launched a “smear campaign” designed to encourage restaurant employees to quit and refuse to cooperate with the company. The document states that Widmer’s representatives sent threats and intimidating notes that were so aggressive that they prevented the company from working with restaurant staff. In some cases, employees were encouraged to quit, strike or refuse to work with the company as the new manager of the business.

Payments to the restaurants and its employees were also interrupted as part of this effort, according to the complaint. In one instance, the complaint alleges one of Widmer’s partners removed a manager from the Reston restaurant without notice, leaving a “management vacuum” at the eatery.

Employees at the Reston location reported missed and delayed paychecks in previous weeks.

The company is seeking damages and demanding a jury trial. The 35-page complaint is below.

Complaint Vapiano by FatimahWaseem on Scribd


File photo

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Candidates for Hunter Mill District Supervisor Discuss Reston’s Future — Candidates running for the seat submitted answers to the Coalition for a Planned Reston’s questionnaire on the community’s future. Topics include whether or not the Fairfax County Planning Commission should increase the density of Reston’s Planned Residential Community and the elimination of waivers granting exceptions to open space requirements. [Coalition for a Planned Reston]

“Nutrition for a Wealth of Health” Event Tonight — An in-store nutritionist from Giant Foods discusses eight steps to a wealth of health at Reston Regional Library from 7-8 p.m. [Reston Regional Library]

Virginia’s “LOVE” Letters Say Goodbye to Reston Town Center — The iconic letters move from RTC, their home for two days, to the Fairfax County Government Center. Next, they’ll head to Wolf Trap from July 12-24 and Frying Pan Farm Park from July 26 through August 4. [Reston Patch]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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After Singer’s Tweet, Sephora Closing Stores for Inclusion Training

(Updated at 1:55 p.m.) Don’t be surprised if the Sephora in Reston Town Center is closed tomorrow (Wednesday).

The cosmetics chain plans to close its stores for training on Wednesday (June 5) after R&B singer SZA tweeted in April that she was racially profiled at a California store.

Sephora responded with tweets to the singer saying that they “take complaints like this very seriously and are actively working with our teams to address the situation immediately.”

The cosmetics company posted on Facebook on May 23:

On the morning of 6/5, every Sephora store, distribution center, and corporate office in the US will close to host inclusion workshops for our employees. These values have always been at the heart of Sephora, and we’re excited to welcome everyone when we reopen.

The stores will be closed for one hour, The New York Times reported. Sephora has a Reston Town Center spot at 11960 Market Street.

Image via Google Maps

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Monday Morning Notes

Pride of Herndon Band Leaves for D-Day Celebrations Tomorrow — “The Herndon High School band of Herndon leaves Tuesday to participate in 75th D-Day celebrations in Normandy. Band members will carry pictures and stories of crew members who served on the USS Herndon during the invasion.” [WTOP]

Candidates for Fairfax County Board of Supervisor Discuss Stances on Cycling Issues  The Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling caught up with two candidates running for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor. Candidate Walter Alcorn says he hopes to “accelerate existing plans to enable non-motorized access to transit stations and work centers” while candidate Maggie Parker discusses how biking is “a great equalizer.” Other candidates did not respond immediately to requests for comment. [Fairfax County Alliance for Better Bicycling]

Last Day for “LOVE” Letters in Reston Town Center Tomorrow — The iconic letters sign will leave RTC tomorrow as they tour 11 different sites in Fairfax County to celebrate the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s 50th anniversary of “Virginia is for Lovers!” [Reston Town Center]

Photo via vantagehill/Flickr

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Free Summer Concert Series Kick Off in Reston

Reston’s outdoor venues will come to life this summer as Reston Community Center puts on six entertainment series over the next several weeks.

“Everyone likes to get outside in the fresh air during the summer months,” said RCC Executive Director Leila Gordon. “RCC is taking our ‘show on the road’ with these series and bringing people together right where they are. We want families and friends to enjoy the spirit of Reston all summer long.”

In addition to traditional staples like Thursday dance nights at Lake Anne Plaza and performances at Town Square Park in Reston Town Center on Saturday mornings, RCC has added two new entertainment series to its line up.

In “Lunchtime with the Arts at Mason,” student performers from George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts offer free lunchtime concerts on select Thursdays until October 24 at Reston Town Center’s Town Square Park from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Performances range from show tunes to euphonium ensembles. The series kicked off  on May 9.

Reston Station will be home to the “Summerbration Fun Brunch” series, which brings entertainment and activities to Reston Station Plaza starting tomorrow (June 1). Attendees will get the chance to enjoy music and engaging activities on Saturdays and Sunday through August 25. The program takes place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Parking is free on weekends in the Metro garage.

Summerbration” concerts, which take place on Fridays from 7-9 p.m. at Reston Station, will continue this year. The concert schedule includes familiar groups like Scott Kurt & Memphis 59 and the band Oasis Island Sounds. Several concerts will also include professional dance instruction. Three hours of validated parking is available in the ParkX garage. The series ends on August 23. RCC presents this series in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc. and Reston Station, the event’s host.

A Family Fun Entertainment Series in Reston Town Center’s Town Square Park also continues on Saturdays from 10-10:45 a.m. This series is geared toward kids and begins on June 15. The series is presented by RCC in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc. and is hosted by Reston Town Center Association. Garage parking is free on Saturdays.

On Sundays, Sunday Art in the Park with the Shenandoah Conservatory continues at Town Square Park. The first performance is set for Sunday (June 2) from 7-8 p.m. This series is presented by RCC and Reston Town Center Association in cooperation with Shenandoah University.

All series are free and open to the public.

Photo courtesy Reston Community Center

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True Food Kitchen in Reston Town Center Targets 2020 Opening

M & S Grill’s former spot in Reston Town Center will likely remain vacant for more than two years.

True Food Kitchen, a restaurant that aims to offer “healthy, chef driven, seasonal food,” will not open until June of next year. The chain will fill the vacant spot at 11901 Democracy Drive, which has been empty since M & S closed last year on New Year’s Day.

A spokesperson for the company told Reston Now now that opening day could be delayed if there are any construction hiccups over the next several months.

The restaurant offers food based on Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet. The chain has locations across the country, including one in Arlington and Fairfax.

Image via Google Maps

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Poll: What Improvements Should Boston Properties Make to RTC’s Common Areas?

Last week, we learned that Boston Properties plans to upgrade Reston Town Center’s common areas.

The company will pour in about $5 million to upgrade several areas in order to “soften existing spaces” and modernize the town center, according to a representative for CBRE, who represents the property in lease deals.

While Reston Now hasn’t heard back from CBRE, Boston Properties about what’s planned, we would love to know what kind of improvements our readers are most looking forward to.

Plans are still in the design phase, but the company has already hinted at what could be coming. No changes to parking systems are proposed.

RTC-goers, please let us know your thoughts below.

File photo

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Tuesday Morning Notes

Lifeguard Shortage Prompts Pool Schedule Change — RA changed the schedule of its pools over the weekend due to an unexpected shortage of lifeguards. The organization is actively hiring lifeguards for this year’s season. A job fair is set for Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at a local pool. [Reston Association]

The Washington Post Releases Endorsements for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors — The paper endorsed Walter Alcorn for the seat of Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins, calling him a “formidable land-use expert.” [The Washington Post]

INOVA Blood Drive is Today — Stop by the bloodmobile truck next to the pavilion at Reston Town Center to date blood between 1 and 6 p.m. today. Registration is available online and on site. [Reston Town Center]

Explore Reston Association’s Home Inspection Process — Dive into the exterior inspection process that is required by RA before selling your home. [Reston Today]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Reston Live and More This Weekend in Reston

CORE Foundation hosts “Reston Live,” a music festival featuring live bands, a talent competition, local market and foods vendors, on Sunday.

The event, which takes place at Lake Anne Plaza from 3-8 p.m., will also include a magic show and face painting. Attendees should bring their own lawn or tailgate chair to enjoy the festival.

So far, the following performers are confirmed:

  • Actress and singer Sissy Sheridan
  • Magician Derek Jasper
  • Singer and songwriter Lindsey Hirchfeld
  • Catchin Toads

More information is available online.

Tomorrow (May 25)

  • Bookworms Club (11 a.m.) — Bookworms will dive into “The Little Red Fort” and “Fort Building Time” at this weekly book club at Reston Regional Library. Young readers will then get the chance to build something themselves to take home.
  • College Application Essay Workshop (3-4 p.m.) — College applicants will learn more about what college admission officers expect during this free essay workshop at Reston Regional Library.
  • A Star-Spangled Salute (7-8:30 p.m.) — Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a free patriotic concert at Reston Town Center’s Pavilion. The event features The Reston Chorale and Brass of the Potomac. You can also support troops serving overseas by donating items for the Chorale’s Operation Care Package drive.

Sunday (May 26)

  • Bird Walk through Stratton Woods (7:30-10:30 a.m.) — Adults can take a stroll through Stratton Woods. Walks are sponsored by the Audubon Society of Northern Virginia and The Bird Feeder store. No registration is required. Attendees should park at Stratton Woods Park.

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Report: Facelift Planned for RTC’s Common Areas

Boston Properties plans to upgrade Reston Town Center’s common areas in an effort to modernize the 30-year-old, mixed-use center, according to a report.

Over the next 18 months, the company plans to spend up to $5 million to upgrade some of the areas, the Washington Business Journal reported today (Wednesday).

The project is still in the design phase.

Here’s more from the report:

The improvements will include the installation of artificial green turf on the area where the ice skating rink is set up in the winter. There’s the possibility for some kind of outdoor beer or wine garden setup there, said Lisa Stoddard of CBRE, who represents the property in lease deals. 

The project will aim to soften existing public spaces, and make them more modern and contemporary, so that people are more inclined to hang out. The plan includes creating more programs and events to engage people, so that there is always “interactive things going on on the green,” Stoddard added.

Stoddard also told the Washington Business Journal that more restaurants aren’t expected to fill several vacancies in the town center. North Italia and True Food Kitchen are slated to open later this year in former restaurant space.

The report states the company is seeking more entertainment use, clothing, and “on-trend brands.”

File photo

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Reston Town Center’s Vapiano is Temporarily Closed Again

In a flashback to “store closed” signs that sporadically appeared and disappeared in March, Reston Town Center’s Vapiano is temporarily closed once again.

The Reston location (1875 Explorer Street) is facing potential litigation, according to an attorney representing the restaurant chain’s new owners. 

Details of the complaint — which will be filed over the next two days in either the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California or U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida — have not been made public, Andrew Corcoran, a managing partner for Wilson Keadjian Browndorf LLP told Reston Now.

The location has faced a rocky transition after Vapiano SE, which operates the international restaurant chain, announced it would sell shares of Vapiano Holding USA and seven of its U.S.-based subsidiaries to Plutos Sama Holdings, Inc. earlier this year.

Corcoran said he could not explain why the restaurant is temporary closed due to attorney-client privilege.

“I can’t speak further on any issues,” he said.

In a tweet posted yesterday (May 20), the company wrote that it is “currently in a major restructuring phase” and is “undergoing operational changes” at the Reston location.

“We are doing our best to restore normality as soon as possible,” according to the tweet.

In March, the restaurant closed due to management changes and payment delays for staff. Store representatives told Reston Now that the location was transitioning to a new general manager and that payroll delays have been resolved.

The restaurant has been closed since at least May 9.

File photo

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Gardens of Note Tour Set for June 1

The Reston Chorale is presenting a self-guided tour of private gardens on Saturday, June 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The third annual event, which is called Gardens of Note, will also feature pop-up performances by members and friends of The Reston Chorale and a Hidden Lane Garden Party at the end of the day.

Tickets, which are $22, can be purchased online in advance or in-person at the following locations:

  • Mayflowers (11959 Market Street)
  • Chesapeake Chocolates, Wine, Gifts & More (11426 Washington Plaza W)
  • The Wine Cabinet (1416 North Point Village Center)
  • Reston Farm Market (10800 Baron Cameron Avenue)

Prices rise to $25 on tour day. All proceeds benefit The Reston Chorale.

Visitors will pick their first stop after receiving a list of the gardens on this year’s tour. Tickets will then be exchanged for a program guide with a tour map and more information.

The event concludes with a Hidden Lane Garden Party at 4 p.m., which features light refreshments, guided tours of the property, and ensemble performances by The Reston Chorale. The party is hosted by Hidden Lane Residential Landscapes on their grounds.

This year’s gardens of note were selected by tour organizers and garden specialists:

  • The Agnew garden in North Point
  • The Over and Vongsavat gardens at Lake Anne
  • The Horr garden and West Market
  • Pond in Reston Town Center
  • Fannie Mae gardens and ponds
  • Reston Association Garden Plots in Hunters Woods

Attendees can also purchase the perennial of the year — wood betony — at the event.

Photo via Carol Nahorniak

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