Poll: Pick the Names for Reston Town Center’s Peregrine Falcons

A joint effort between Reston Now and Boston Properties wants readers’ help naming the two falcons, who call Reston Town Center home.

Last week, Reston Now asked readers for their name suggestions for the two peregrine falcons that call Reston Town Center home.

The pair are both around 7 years old and are expecting four chicks. The dad hails from Maryland while the mom came from Pennsylvania.

About 60 people commented with name ideas below the profile last week and on Reston Now’s social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

From today (April 22) to the end of the week, readers can vote for the two names from this list of readers’ suggestions.

The winning names for the mom and dad falcons will get announced at the end of April.

Photo courtesy Boston Properties

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Local Muslims Set Sights on New Mosque Near RTC

A group of Muslims who live and work in Reston hope to open a permanent prayer space before Ramadan, the month of fasting, begins in early May. It will be located on the second floor of an existing building.

Organizers behind the Reston Islamic Center said the mosque serves a critical need: the closest mosque in the area is roughly 20 minutes away. For several years, the Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation (1441 Wiehle Avenue) has served as a satellite location for Friday prayers. The site is one of several set up by the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (46903 Sugarland Road) in Sterling — which will continue operating and is a separate initiative from the new mosque. Currently, there is no dedicated space in the area to offer the five daily prayers that are central to the religion.

The new location is opposite Reston Town Center at 11701 Bowman Green Drive, which is also home to a church on the ground floor, according to organizers. They hope the center will make offering prayer easy for RTC-goers and local Muslims.

In Northern Virginia, we have seen the Muslim community grow and the [mosques] grow with it. For Reston, however, we have yet to reach that point,” an organizer told Reston Now. Due to the busy nature of this area… we want to form a space for families, children, and individuals to be able to get a break from that lifestyle and get back to learning the [religion],”

Paperwork and permitting is underway. The group set up a LaunchGood campaign to raise $10,000. So far, $6,419 has been raised to finance the effort. The group hopes that donations from mosque-goers will sustain the mosque over the next couple of years. 

Photo via Reston Islamic Center

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‘LOVE’ is in the Air in Reston Next Month

“LOVE” will tour around Fairfax County this summer. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the “Virginia is for Lovers” slogan, the iconic letters will take a trip across the county to promote the message “Love is at the heart of every Virginia vacation,” according to the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

Fairfax County received a $10,000 grant from the corporation for its first permanent “LOVEwork” sign, which kicks off its tour in Tysons next month. It’ll make stops at Roer’s Zoofari (May 21-27), Reston Town Center (May 20 to June 4), and Frying Pan Farm Park (July 26 to August 4).

The tour concludes in August at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton — the permanent home of the letters.

Virginia’s slogan was coined by Richmond-based advertising agency Martin & Woltz in the late 1960s. After playing with different slogans like “Virginia is for History Lovers” and “Virginia is for mountain Lovers,” the firm chose the catch-all phrase “Virginia is for Lovers.” In 2009, the marketing campaign was recognized by Forbes.com as one of the top ten tourism marketing campaigns of all time.

Photo via Virginia Tourism Corporation

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Reston Then and Now: Reston

For the final Reston Then and Now — a series where we’ve used Fairfax County’s aerial photography to track changes in the area — we’re looking at the area overall and at how far it’s come since its founding.

Reston was founded in 1964, but some of the paths that are roads today — like Baron Cameron Avenue — are still visible in photography from 1937. Reston’s iconic man-made lakes are also absent, leaving most of the area that’s Reston today just open fields.

By 1976 though —  10 years after Reston was founded — the region was starting to take shape in the neighborhoods around Lake Anne and Lake Thoreau. The village design envisioned by founder Robert E. Simon is still apparent in those early aerial photographs showing retail and residential areas clumped together.

But over the years, those isolated communities start to become increasingly interconnected to the point of being almost indistinguishable from above. By the mid-1990s, the only major patch of green space around Reston is Colvin Run near Lake Fairfax and southeast of Lake Anne.

After the Reston Town Center starts showing up in aerial photography in 1990 (construction began in 1988) the development starts to shift west of the original area and more toward major transit routes.

In the photography from 1990, construction also starts to bunch around the Dulles Toll Road in the Reston Station neighborhood. The Toll Road was built in 1982, and by the early 2000s, the urban centers of Reston shift away from the villages to the north and south and more towards the developments along the major highway. This density starts to ramp up in 2011 as the area builds up for the Silver Line’s opening in 2014.

The density continuing to focus around the Silver Line is poised to continue as developers plan new mixed-use buildings near Woodland Park by the planned Herndon Silver Line Metro station.

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Help Name Reston Town Center’s Peregrine Falcons

A joint effort between Reston Now and Boston Properties wants readers’ help naming the two falcons, who call Reston Town Center home. 

The story of Reston Town Center’s peregrine falcons started in June 2015 when two chicks were found on Market Street.

The pair was taken to the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, where they were rehabilitated and released, Steve Potts, a raptor biologist who monitors the falcons, told Reston Now.

“That was the first indicator that we had nesting peregrine falcons in Reston Town Center,” he said. Fast forward to 2019, and the birds are still calling Reston home.

“This is our fifth year of breeding and that’s a really high rate of having chicks,” Potts said.

While most peregrine falcons used to live near coastal plains, Bryan Watts, the director of the Center for Conservation Biology in Williamsburg, Va., told Reston Now that he has seen more move inland recently as bridges, buildings and towers mimic cliff faces overlooking a wide vista of landscape for hunting and have updrafts for flying.

“They are one of the most spectacular bird species we have on the planet,” Watts said.

Here are some peregrine falcon fun facts Potts and Watts shared:

  • wild peregrine falcons can live up to about 18 years of age
  • females are larger in size than the males
  • eggs are usually a brick red color and about the size of a small chicken egg
  • chicks fly for the first time at about 42-45 days
  • juvenile peregrine falcons wander and the chicks from the RTC pair may go up to Canada to the Gulf Coast

“The pair up there is incredibly productive,” Watts said. “The hope is that they will be there for a long time.”

Potts said that he saw four eggs in the nest earlier this week. (Reston Now isn’t divulging where the nest is to protect the falcons.)

“It’s in a really remote little spot,” Potts said. “It’s a perfect spot hidden from the rain and sun, and it faces south.”

About 20 days after the chicks are born, Potts plans to return to help band them, which will take place sometime in May.

While Potts said that some people are against banding birds, he argues that annual medical exams made possible by the banding help keep the birds healthy and also allow birders and conservationists to track nest changeover.

The parents — both around 7 years old — have been identified. The dad hails from Maryland while the mom came from Pennsylvania. Reston Now readers will get the chance to name the pair.

Between now and next Friday (April 19), comment below this story and on the Reston Now social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) your name suggestions. On Monday, April 22, readers will be able to vote for the two names out a list of the most upvoted and liked suggested names.

The winning names for the mom and dad falcons will get announced at the end of April.

Photo courtesy Boston Properties

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DC Row to Fill Appalachian Spring’s Former Reston Town Center Spot

DC Row is getting work done on its future Reston Town Center location ahead of an expected summer opening.

A building permit indicates that the rowing-focused fitness studio recently started interior alterations at 11877 Market Street. A spokeswoman for Boston Properties confirmed that DC Row will occupy the former spot of Appalachian Spring, which closed last January.

DC Row’s General Manager Brittany Brunch previously told Reston Now that the Reston spot will offer similar classes to the ones currently at the D.C. location (790 Maine Avenue SW), along with happy hour events for corporations and more time slots during the day for moms.

Locals can expect a pop-up before the grand opening, which has not been announced yet.

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Ben and Jerry’s Giving Out Free Cones in Reston Town Center Tuesday

With warm weather in store for this week, here’s the scoop on where to get free ice cream cones tomorrow.

Ben and Jerry’s will hand them out on Tuesday (April 9) at its Reston Town Center spot. “Free Cone Day” is set to last from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

The store at 11916 Market Street will also accept donations to benefit SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center.

File photo

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Scrawl Books Shares Favorite Books by Local Authors

(Updated at 10:45 a.m. on April 8) Scrawl Books, an independent bookstore in Reston, wants readers to pick up books written by local authors.

The book store first opened in 2015 at Wiehle Metro before moving to its current spot in Reston Town Center at 11911 Freedom Drive.

Along with its broad selection of titles for kids, teens and adult, Scrawl Books hosts weekly events to bring book lovers together for social hours, story time for kids and book clubs.

Reston Now asked Scrawl Books to share some favorite books about Reston or written by local authors. Here’s what the staff recommended, including two authors from Great Falls — L. M. Elliott and Angie Kim, and another book by Reston author Kwame Alexander.

“Hamilton and Peggy” by L. M. Elliott  

Description: L. M. Elliott has researched and written several historical fiction novels for Young Adults, but they are fantastic reads for anyone who loves a great story, history and suspense.

Why we like her: Her book “Hamilton and Peggy” tells about a relatively unknown figure from the Hamilton narrative, Peggy Schuyler. Through Peggy, Elliott proves that girl power was always a thing — even during the Revolutionary War.

The book costs $17.99 at Scrawl Books.

“Miracle Creek” by Angie Kim 

Description: This debut author’s first book, “Miracle Creek” hits the shelves in April, and it is an outstanding, character-driven drama. The story is told through a murder trial, but delves deep into the back story of each character and offers several different perspectives on a controversial medical treatment, cultural differences and our perceptions or misperceptions of people and circumstances.

Why we like her: Her characters are fascinating and the mystery holds up right to the end.

The book costs $17.99 at Scrawl Books.

“The Undefeated” by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Description: The Newbery winner composes novels in verse and poems for a younger audience (mostly middle grade and Young Adult), but his work is so compelling that readers of all ages find it difficult to resist and impossible to forget.  His latest book, “The Undefeated” is based on a poem about black life that originally aired on ESPN and made an incredible impact.  The book is even better!

Why we like him: His writing style is unique and his ability to tell a story is amazing. His support of the local community is immeasurable, and he goes out of his way to inspire kids (and adults) to read and write.

The book costs $17.99 at Scrawl Books.

Photos via Scrawl Books

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The Glossary Nail Spa Pushes Reston Town Center Opening to May

Reston Town Center’s new nail salon has pushed its opening from April to mid-May.

The Glossary Nail Spa plans to open by the second or third week of May, Hollee Ho, an employee at the nail spa, told Reston Now.

The newcomer will occupy 1771 Library Street — the former spot of Obi Sushi, which closed in December.

The new business is one of several retailers and food establishments slated to open in Reston Town Center later this year.

Image via Google Maps

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Where to Watch Live Music and Grab a Bite to Eat Around Reston

Several restaurants around Reston regularly offer performance venues for DJs, touring artists and local bands.

Reston Now rounded up some spots offering a range of food and live music.

Lake Anne 

Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 Washington Plaza N.)

What’s on the menu: Greek, Italian and American fare on the menu. Happy hour is from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays.

Live music: Kalypso’s hosts live bands and DJs from 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m. on Fridays. Diners on Wednesdays and Saturdays can partake in karaoke from 9:30 p.m.-1:3- p.m. All of the events are free, according to Kalypso’s website.

Cafe Montmartre (1625 Washington Plaza N.)

What’s on the menu: French and Vietnamese cuisine for lunch, brunch and dinner.

Live music: Tom Saputo & Friends perform the second Friday of every month, letting diners enjoy singing and dancing from 7:30-10:30 p.m. Other upcoming shows include The Get Down Band from 5-8 p.m. on March 29 and New Blue Soul Band from 7-10 p.m. with a $10 cover charge on April 5.

Lake Anne Coffee House and Wine Bar (1612 Washington Plaza N.)

What’s on the menu: Locally sourced American fare and coffee.

Live music: The live music usually takes place upstairs by the wine bar Wednesdays-Saturdays. Until May, locals can listen to jazz with half-priced bottles of wine on Thursdays and music ranging from classical guitar to jazz on Saturdays.

Reston Town Center

Crafthouse (1888 Explorer Street)

What’s on the menu: American pub food: burgers, sandwiches, salon, steak. Happy hour is from 3-9 p.m. on weekdays.

Live music: The growing beer-centric restaurant chain usually has a live band or DJ playing at 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Karaoke starts at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

South Lakes Village Center

Red’s Table (11150 South Lakes Drive)

What’s on the menu: American fare with a focus on meat and seafood. Happy hour is from 3:30-7 p.m. every day, featuring $4 for the daily beer on tap and $5 cocktail of the day.

Live music: Red’s Table hosts weekly live music performances. Upcoming ones include Bad Influence Band on March 30 and singer and musician Ted Garber on April 19.

Did we miss a spot? Let us know in the comments. Check back next week for our roundup for places with live music and food in Herndon.

Photo via Ted Garber/Facebook

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Apple Store’s ‘Music Lab’ and More This Weekend in Reston

Apple is bringing the beats to its Reston Town Center store tomorrow.

People can sign up to explore how to make beats in GarageBand, a digital audio workstation, on iPads. Producer Swizz Beatz and “Apple Creatives” will show participants how to create their own vibes, ranging from hip-hop to EDM to  R&B beats.

People can bring their own iPads or have one provided to them.

The event runs from 3-4:40 p.m. at 11949 Market Street.

Tomorrow (March 23)

  • All Gardeners’ Meeting (10 a.m.-noon) — All users of community garden plots in Reston can attend the annual All Gardeners’ meeting at the Reston Association’s headquarters. The meeting will include discussions on soil management, gardening with return on investments and gardening tips.
  • Dog Tales (10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.) — Kids ages 5 to 12 can read to a trained therapy dog for 15-minute sessions at the Herndon Fortnightly Library. Kids can bring their own books or choose one from the library.
  • Fundamentals of Figure Drawing (2:30-4:30 p.m.) — Participants can pay $200 for an eight-week drawing at ArtSpace Herndon. This week’s session, taught by John Koebert,  will focus on human figure drawing using a live model in the studio.

Sunday (March 24)

  • Walk or run (8 a.m.) — The Reston Runners will go on a 3- and 6-mile walk and a 10-mile run. The group will meet at North Point Village Center.
  • History of World War II (2-4 p.m.) — Harry Butowsky from George Mason University will present the second part of his six-part lecture series at the Reston Regional Library.
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Jinya Puts Reston Town Center Spot Back on Website

Jinya Ramen Bar looks like it’s back on with its plans to fill an empty Reston Town Center spot.

Back in December, the Japanese ramen restaurant chain posted on its website that it was “coming soon” to 11964 Market Street. Then in early January, a reader pointed out that the Reston location disappeared from the website.

An employee at the parent company of the Jinya brand told Reston Now that nothing had been finalized yet on the Reston Town Center location and that she wasn’t sure why the Reston address was posted on the website.

Fast forward two months later, and Jinya has the same address back up on its website and listed as “coming soon.”

“Reston Town Center is rooted in authentic, home-grown experiences that create special moments for all who visit and dine here,” Stephanie Friedman, the vice president of leasing for Boston Properties, the owners of Reston Town Center, told Reston Now through a spokeswoman. “JINYA Ramen Bar is our ideal partner, bringing their local success and unique menu offering to the Reston community.”

The spot has been empty since Busara Thai Restaurant left last spring after 13 years of business there.

Jinya has nearby locations in D.C. and the Mosaic District in Merrifield.

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Where to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Around Reston, Herndon

Looking for St. Patrick’s Day celebrations? You’re in luck.

Whether you want to enjoy a pint of Guinness or dance an Irish jig, locals in Reston, Herndon and Great Falls have a variety of events to choose from.

Reston

The Foley Academy of Irish Dance will give a dance performance and lessons at the Reston Regional Library (11925 Bowman Towne Drive) on Saturday (March 16) from noon-1 p.m. All ages are welcome to attend.

Over at Reston Town Center (11911 Democracy Drive), a Lucky Leprechaun 5K will take place at 8 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day. Registration costs $40 until Friday (March 15) and then the price hikes up to $45. Online registration will remain open until 7:30 a.m. on the morning of the race.

The Kalypso’s Sports Tavern (1617 N. Washington Plaza) plans to host a St. Patrick’s Day Weekend that kicks off on Friday (March 15) with a classic and modern rock performance. On Saturday, the tavern will have face painting from noon-4 p.m. before the Irish dance demonstration by the Foley Academy of Irish Dance begins.

The schedule for the Irish holiday itself is packed:

  • DJ Crisis Panic: noon-8 p.m.
  • face painting: noon-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
  • Irish dance demonstration by Foley: starts at 4 p.m.
  • Sam Gunderson & the Cactus Groove: 8 p.m.-midnight

The Lake Anne Brew House (11424 W Washington Plaza) will offer an Irish brunch on Sunday from 11 a.m.-noon. The menu will feature new twists on Irish favorites for $39.

Herndon

Over in Herndon, Ned’s Devine (2465 Centreville Road) will throw a party starting at 10 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day featuring back to back live acoustic acts, Irish dancers and party favors.

Performances include:

  • Brian Franke: noon- 3 p.m.
  • Laura Farrell: 3-6:30 p.m.
  • Levi Stephens: 6-9 p.m.
  • Screaming Monkeys: starting at 9:30 p.m.

P. J. Mulligans (2310 Woodland Crossing Drive) will feature Irish food and music over the weekend. On Saturday, a midnight Guinness toast will kick off St. Patrick’s Day.

Great Falls 

The Old Brogue (760 Walker Road) will celebrate its 38th anniversary with four shows and a pub bash.

Reservations are required for the four concerts by Tam McGeady and the Mostly Irish Band. The shows include food and range from $40 each for the two lunch-time shows to up to $50 for the last of the two evening performances.

Diners over the age of 21 also have the option of enjoying all-day entertainment by Ted Garber in the pub where traditional Irish beers will be served from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. There will be a $10 cover charge.

Photo courtesy PRRacing

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Here’s Why You’re Seeing ‘Store Closed’ Signs at Reston Town Center’s Vapiano

Locals may have noticed that Vapiano, a restaurant chain that serves up Italian food in a fast-casual setting, keeps posting “store closed” signs at the Reston Town Center restaurant.

The closures are temporary as the Reston location (1875 Explorer Street) undergoes management changes and payment delays for staff, which have now been resolved.

Back in January, Vapiano SE, which operates the international restaurant chain, announced it would sell its shares of Vapiano Holding USA, LLC and seven of its subsidiaries in the U.S. to Plutos Sama Holdings Inc.

An attorney representing Vapiano’s new owners told Reston Now that the temporary closures are due to a transiton to a new general manager at the restaurant.

“We wanted to make sure that we trained him properly,” said Matthew Browndorf, the founding partner at Wilson Keadjian Browndorf LLP. He added that training has caused a “little bit of a disruption.”

Training is not the only reason why tensions have flared at the restaurant.

Andrew Corcoran, a managing partner for Wilson Keadjian Browndorf, LLP, told Reston Now that a transition in the payroll system caused a “slight delay” for employees who tried to cash their checks on payday, but that the payment problems and confusion have now been addressed.

Both Corcoran and Browndorf say that all of the staff have been paid now. Each Vapiano location has about 40 employees, Corcoran said.

Corcoran said he saw the “store closed” sign, which urged locals to go to the two locations in D.C., on Saturday (March 9) morning. The sign came down and the restaurant opened up that night and remained open over the weekend, Corcoran and Browndorf said.

Then during the late afternoon on Monday (March 11), Vapiano closed again.

Reston Now spotted a new sign on the door on Tuesday afternoon saying that the restaurant was set to open at 5 p.m. Corcoran said training was why the restaurant planned to open later that day.

The restaurant didn’t reopen, though. A local sent Reston Now a photo of a new sign on the door Tuesday evening that said in all capital letters: “Store closed. Vapiano will return to regular business hours Wednesday March 13, 209. Sorry for the inconvenience,” signed “Management.”

“The schedule was thinly staffed to begin with and some staff unexpectedly called out for illnesses and other personal issues, leaving the location unable to open,” Corcoran told Reston Now this morning.

Now, the restaurant is expecting to reopen today at 11 a.m., Corcoran said.

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Victoria’s Secret Gone for Good at Reston Town Center

Victoria’s Secret no longer calls Reston Town Center home.

Signs on the front doors say that the location at 11929 Market, Suite 50 is permanently closed. Black tarps were hanging in the storefront’s windows, and the prominent “Victoria’s Secret” sign had already been taken down by the time Reston Now made a visit this afternoon (March 12).

Aba Kwawu, a spokeswoman for Boston Properties, told Reston Now that Victoria’s Secret’s departure from Reston Town Center was a part of a larger pattern of closures expected for around the country.

Victoria’s Secret announced earlier this year that it plans to close more than 53 stories, according to CNBC.

“While it is unfortunate to see this iconic brand face difficulties, we look forward to replacing them with an exciting new tenant soon,” Kwawu said. No word yet on who that new tenant is for that spot, although several newcomers expected to arrive this year have already been revealed.

Locals who miss the lingerie giant can find the familiar pink and black store in Tysons and Dulles. “Please visit our other area Victoria’s Secret stores,” the signs say.

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