Beer Bar Backs Away from RTC West Development

The Black Squirrel, a D.C beer bar that inked a deal to open near the Reston Town Center Metro Station two years ago, has backed away from plans to open in the area.

According to a spokesperson for JBG Smith, the developer behind RTC West, The Black Squirrel will no longer open at RTC West, which is anchored by Coopers Hawk Winery and Restaurant. The company did not indicate why this was the case.

Sense of Thai, a Thai restaurant, is expected to open in place of the beer bar by the first quarter of 2020. Infinity Spa and Nails is already open.

File photo

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Local Couple of 40 Years Starts New Chapter with Famous Toastery Opening

From elementary school to George Mason University to the play pens of their entertainment businesses, Gary and Diane Reedy have been together. Instead of what was supposed to be a long awaited retirement ahead of the 41st anniversary, the couple decided to opt for something different: running a brunch and breakfast spot in RTC West (12100 Sunset Hills Road).

Famous Toastery had its first official opening on Monday (April 15), after a soft opening this weekend. All sales over the weekend were donated to Cornerstones, a nonprofit organization that the couple said embodies their mission of serving the community. Diane brings a heightened awareness of socio-economic struggle after years of traveling Africa and Asia for the World Bank, while her husband, Gary, reflects on previous experiences as a high school teacher and coach. Their partnership roots back to years in high school when Gary, who calls himself a former jock, dated Diane, who was a straight-A student.

Before opening the 3,300-square-foot restaurant at the mixed use center, the couple built several businesses, including Planet Play in Plaza America, some of the first laser tags in the area, a carousel in Springfield Mall for 12 years, and other entertainment businesses. Since then, they’ve sold off their ventures and opted for Famous Toastery, which is open for breakfast and lunch.

“The problem is that we can’t ever stop. I can’t play golf every single day,” Gary said, chuckling. “We’ve had our careers and retirements and a couple of kids. Sometimes I wonder how we did it all, but we’re young at heart and we want to stay involved.”

Although he lives in Loudoun County, Gary says Reston is a special community because it combines what he says are the best elements of work and family life. His wife agrees.

“Simon’s vision for Reston was to include people from all different kinds of backgrounds, ” Diane said. “It was really meant to be an integrated community and its benefited from a lot of public involvement and will continue to benefit from a lot of public involvement.”

As the Famous Toastery kicks off, they hope to continue partnering with the community after spending most of their lives in Fairfax County. “We’ve gotten out of the night business,” Gary said. “Reston is still really growing and we look forward to growing with it.”

Famous Toastery has two other Virginia locations. It was started in 2005 in Huntersville, NC in a small house. The owners turned the concept into a franchise in 2013.

Photo via Carlos Banos

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Monday Morning Notes

Contractor Identifies New Problems with Silver Line Phase Two — “The contractor building Phase 2 of the Silver Line has identified another problem with the beleaguered project. This time it’s at the Dulles Airport station, where concrete pedestals designed to support the two-story structure’s glass walls and windscreens are cracking because they were built without proper internal reinforcement.” [The Washington Post]

Famous Toastery Now Open— The breakfast-focused North Carolina-based chain opened on Saturday (April 13) at RTC West (12100 Sunset Hills Road). Diane and Gary Reedy, both Reston natives, are the owners of the new Reston location.[Reston Patch]

Indian Restaurant Opens Today — Bombay Velvet will join other restaurants at RTC West. The chef and entrepreneur behind the venture, Rajiv Chopra, describes the new business as an “upscale” business that brings new tastes to the area. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner today. [DC Eater]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Bombay Velvet to Open in RTC West Next Week

Bombay Velvet, an Indian restaurant, will open at RTC West (12100 Sunset Hills Road) on Monday (April 15). The 2,500-square-foot restaurant, which the owner describes as “upscale,” can seat 100 guests between 22 indoor tables, three outdoor tables and one bar.

Rajiv Chopra, the chef and owner, is also behind other food ventures in the area like Punjabi By Nature and dessert shop Evergreen Sweets.

“We knew there was an opportunity to fulfill a missing need for a fine dining Indian establishment in the DMV,” Chopra said in a written statement. “Our new world approach to traditional cooking paired with our elegant food presentation gives us hope that locals and visitors who come into Bombay Velvet will expand their palates and try new regional Indian dishes that they have never experienced before.” 

The menu includes dishes like “Calangute Beach Surf ‘N’ Turf” — a spicy chicken chorizo with Goan balchao shrimps — and “Khosla Ka Ghosla” — a dessert with vermicelli and dates. The restaurant takes its interior design inspiration from 1970s Bombay and 1930s American households.

Bombay Velvet is open from Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to midnight.

Photos via Bombay Velvet

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Q&A: Solidcore Manager Talks First Month at RTC West

RTC West welcomed the D.C.-based fitness chain Solidcore back in early March as part of a larger expansion in the D.C. area.

After one month in business at its new spot at 12100 Sunset Hills Blvd, Krystal Capasso, the studio manager for the Reston location, shared some details with Reston Now on how the pilates-focused fitness chain is faring in Reston.

Before coming to Solidcore, Capasso worked at pilates and barre studios in Arlington and Ashburn. She also served in the Marines for several years.

Reston Now: How has it been going since opening?

Krystal Capasso: We’ve had a lot of people come in. It’s a cool mix of people.

RN: Do you know why the Reston location was chosen?

KC: Not really, but I can tell you we are right next to Reston Town Center and then there are also some businesses right nearby.

RN: What is your customer base like at Reston?

KC: We’ve had a lot of people coming during lunch or right before or after work and also people who live nearby — Reston, Herndon and Fairfax. It’s more of a mix of people who are coming from work or who live in the area. I think we have a fair amount of men and women coming into the studio.

RN: What do you think is the appeal of the Reston location?

KC: The [D.C.-area] people are already familiar with Solidcore. This location may be more convenient for them than other studios in Northern Virginia — filing gaps between studios. I think also generally as a workout, the cool thing about Solidcore — it’s a workout that they can use as their primary workout, but it’s also a really good complimentary workout to something else that people are doing. It’s a good way to reach other people, people who are already fit and have a routine in place but want some diversity and change.

RN: Generally, do people who go to studios to work out stick to the same spot or do they frequent multiple ones?

KC: Usually, people come to a studio and stay there and only go to those studios. I think a unique thing about Solidcore is we do have people who do that exclusively, but then people who will use Solidcore as another thing to do to supplement their workouts.

RN: What do you enjoy the most about Solidcore?

KC: When I come into this studio and take a Solidcore class, I am always challenged. It doesn’t get easier. You are always going to get stronger.

RN: What do you think makes people return for more classes?

KC: The community keeps people coming back. We try to get people excited about working out together. It’s a really team-oriented environment.

For people who might be hesitant about trying out Solidcore, Capasso said at the end of the interview that there is a beginner’s class that moves at a slower pace to allow coaches to give more instructions and to demo moves before class starts so that people can feel more comfortable.

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Famous Toastery to Bring Brunch to RTC West This Month

A new brunch and breakfast spot is set to open in RTC West in less than two weeks.

Famous Toastery announced on Facebook yesterday that the sit-down restaurant will open on Monday, April 15.

The restaurant is currently hiring. Its next job fairs at 12100 Sunset Hills Road, R6 are scheduled for:

  • Today (April 2): 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Thursday (April 4): 4-8 p.m.
  • Saturday (April 6): noon-4 p.m.

The restaurant will join RTC West’s growing food scene, which includes HoneygrowMezeh Mediterranean Grill and BGR The Burger Joint. Fine-dining, Indian restaurant Bombay Velvet is also set to open soon at RTC West.

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Honeygrow Hosting Fundraiser Today for South Lakes HS Baseball

Diners today (March 20) at Honeygrow can support the South Lakes High School baseball teams.

You will need to choose the “cash” option when you order at the kiosk and then either show the flier or mention “giving local” to the cashier to have 20 percent of your order go to the baseball team.

Honeygrow is a chain that serves up locally-sourced salads, stir-fries and fruit-honey desserts.

The spot in RTC West at 12100 Sunset Hills Road is open until 10 p.m. daily.

If you want to catch one of their games, the next games are against Centreville High School on Friday (March 22). The Boys Varsity one is an away game, while the Boys Junior Varsity is on home turf.

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Indian Restaurant Bombay Velvet Nears RTC West Opening

The wait is almost over for Bombay Velvet, a fine-dining, Indian restaurant, at RTC West.

With the inspections process winding down, the restaurant will open in late March at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Owner Rajiv Chopra told Reston Now.

The restaurant will be the latest addition this year to RTC West’s food scene, which includes Honeygrow, Mezeh Mediterranean Grill and BGR The Burger Joint.

Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, is also set to open this month, an employee told Reston Now.

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Poll: Which Reston Town Center, RTC West Newcomers Are You Most Excited For?

Updated at 1:45 p.m. — Includes new information about Bombay Velvet’s opening. 

Spring is less than two weeks away, and the change in seasons will also coincides with some new nail salons, fitness studios and restaurants at Reston Town Center and RTC West.

A fine-dining Indian restaurant, a brunch place and a nail salon are expected to arrive soon at RTC West.

Bombay Velvet is expected to open in late-March. An employee at Famous Toastery told Reston Now that it is aiming for an opening this month.

Signs say that Infinity Spa and Nails is “coming soon” to 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 105. 

Over at Reston Town Center, several of the announced newcomers have told Reston Now when they plan to open their doors.

Peet’s Coffee will hold a pre-opening party on Saturday (March 9) ahead of its official debut next week at 11830 Freedom Drive. While Peet’s throws its party, fitness studio Solidcore is slated to open its doors for the first time.

Reston Town Center is also expected to welcome The Glossary Nail Spa and Fox Restuarant Concepts’ North Italia soon. Later this summer, Restonians can expect DC Row this summer.

Pick your favorite below and tell us in the comments which other ones you are ready for.

Second and fifth images via Solidcore and North Italia websites

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DC-based Fitness Gym Arriving Early March in RTC West

D.C.-based fitness chain Solidcore plans to open its doors in about three weeks at RTC West.

Solidcore plans to open its Reston studio at 12100 Sunset Hills Blvd on March 9, according to an email yesterday (Feb. 14) to potential customers.

The opening is part of a larger expansion of Solidcore, with more than a dozen new locations slated to open in the next year, along with ones in Arlington and D.C.

Started in D.C. in 2013, Solidcore offers pilates classes, along with a boot camp for full-body workouts. The fitness chain has more than 40 locations across the country, including nearby ones in Tysons Corner and the Mosaic District.

The schedule for the grand opening is set to get posted on Feb. 25.

Photo via Solidcore

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Infinity Spa and Nails ‘Coming Soon’ to RTC West

Infinity Spa and Nails is heading to RTC West.

Signs in the storefront at 12120 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 105 say that the nail spa is “coming soon.”

It will neighbor Mezeh Mediterranean Grill, which opened in July at 12130 Sunset Hills Road. 

The salon plans to offer manicures, pedicures, massage, facials and skin treatments, according to its website. A one-hour massage or facial starts at $297. The four-hour package — complete with massage, wrap, facial and pedicure — costs $500.

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DC-based Fitness Gym Coming to RTC West

Big plans are in the works to expand Solidcore, a DC-based fitness chain. Founder and CEO Anne Mahlum hopes to open 125 studios by 2022 and Reston is one location on the list.

The fitness company offers pilates classes, a boot camp for full-body workouts and other classes. It has locations throughout the country, including Arlington, Ashburn, Tysons Corner and the Mosaic District in Virginia.

Robin Diamond, a spokesperson for the company, told Reston Now that a location is planned for 12100 Sunset Hills Boulevard, JBG Smith’s RTC West Development. Thus far, several new restaurants have opened in the mixed-use development.

Diamond said Solidcore is likely to open sometime early next year. The studio will have 13 “sweatlanas,” a machine used for workouts.

An exact opening date has not been determined.

Photo via Solidcore

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New ‘Upscale’ Indian Restaurant Coming to RTC West

The food scene at RTC West, a small office park slated to become a major mixed-use project, is coming to life with the addition of another restaurant.

Rajiv Chopra, a chef-turned-owner, plans to open Bombay Velvet (12120 Sunset Hills Road), a fine-dining, Indian restaurant by the last week of November or the beginning of December. Chopra says the restaurant, which will be located next to Honeygrow, will offer a unique “upscale” dining experience with a full bar menu.

A grand opening will likely be held sometime near Christmas, Chopra told Reston Now.  Chopra also owns three other Indian restaurants called Punjabi By Nature in Leesburg, Chantilly, and Vienna, but Bombay Velvet offers “a completely new concept” that differentiates itself from Chopra’s other businesses, he said.

The Indian restaurant adds a new mix to existing area restaurants, including Honeygrow and BGR The Burger Joint.

Photos by Fatimah Waseem

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Famous Toastery Coming to RTC West Early Next Year

A new sit-down restaurant is joining the food scene at JBG Smith’s RTC West development (12120 Sunset Hills Road).

Famous Toastery, a breakfast and brunch restaurant, will open next to BGR The Burger Joint in February or March next year.

Gary Ready, the Reston location’s owner who was born and raised in Fairfax County, said the restaurant is currently in the process of receiving permits from Fairfax County. Ready, who has been behind several businesses over the last 25 years in Fairfax and Loudoun counties, said he was intrigued by the restaurant’s high-quality ingredients and speed of service.

“The average ticket time is 10 minutes. A lot of other restaurants in Reston Town Center give you quick service. This is one of the few sit-down restaurants in Reston where you can get the sit-down experience and still be in and out in 30 minutes,” he told Reston Now.

Ready said the restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can seat between 100 to 105 people.

County records indicate the building plan is under review.

Photo via Famous Toastery

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New Expansion for RTC West Approved by County Board

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a nearly 1.4 million square feet addition to RTC West, a mixed-use project bounded by the Washington & Old Dominion Trail to the north and Reston Town Center Parkway to the east. The vote on Tuesday (Sept. 25) brings yet another major neighborhood near the future Reston Town Center Metro Station.

JBG Smith will add up to 576 multifamily units, 700,000 square feet of office space, and some retail. The site is currently home to three six-story office buildings, two parking garages and retail tenants like Cooper’s Hawk Winery, honeygrow, and the recently opened BGR The Burger Joint.

Bailey Edelson, JBG Smith’s senior vice president of development, said a common green at the center of the property will offer a “convening location” for the public. The company also paid careful attention to balance the distinctiveness of each building whilst still creating a neighborhood-like appeal, Edelson said.

The expanded version of the project, which is adjacent to the Reston Gateway project, adds another mixed-use neighborhood near the Metro station. The site design incorporates the future Town Center Parkway underpass that would connect Sunset Hills Road to Sunrise Valley Drive through an underground tunnel across the Dulles Toll Road.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said the project offers a suitable mix of commercial, retail and residential that allows people to “observe and participant” among higher buildings planned and approved near the future Metro station. She also said the underpass will help alleviate traffic and congestion in the immediate area.

A new right-only entrance from southbound Town Center Parkway at the north of the property line will be added to the development. The site design also incorporates bicycle lanes that provide an improved connection to the Washington & Old Dominion Trail.

The Planning Commission approved the project on Sept. 13. Edelson offered the following statement in response to a request from Reston Now: 

“The Master Plan for RTC West will enable JBG Smith to transform the existing predominantly suburban site into a more urban neighborhood, and enhance the connection between the new metro station and Town Center. The new retail has brought significant amenities and activity to the existing office buildings and we intend to build on that momentum as we bring the Master Plan online over time.”

The plan, which includes 3.4 acres of open space, is as follows:

  • Buildings 1, 2, and 3: Existing six-story office building with retail on the ground floor will remain. 
  • Building 4: A one-story freestanding restaurant, Cooper’s Hawk Winery, will remain.
  • Building 5: A new eight-story office with 160,000 square feet, including 10,000 square feet of retail.
  • Building 6: A new 22-story office building with 396,000 square feet, including 16,000 square feet of retail.
  • Building 7: A 20-story residential building with 293 multi-family units.
  • Building 8: A new 22-story residential building with 283 multi-family units. This building wraps the north facade of a second parking garage.
  • Building 9: A new seven-story office building located on top of a current parking structure.
  • Building 10: A one-story freestanding restaurant located on the common green.

The developer did not provide the timeline of the project or the anticipated cost, as that information has not yet been finalized.

Photos via handout/Fairfax County Government

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