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The inside of one of the Big Wonton locations (via Big Wonton)

A new Chinese restaurant is opening soon at Lake Anne Plaza.

Big Wonton, a Chinese restaurant that already has another delivery concept in Reston, will take up space at 14438 Washington Plaza, according to its website.

Items on the menu include street food, dim sum, dumplings, sushi and other traditional Chinese staples. Big Wonton has been selling frozen dumplings and other Asian food via home delivery throughout Northern Virginia.

The business has not yet announced when it plans to open, but its website says an opening is planned soon. The owner did not immediately return a request for comment from FFXnow.

Big Wonton has a sister location called The Kitchen at 2303-B Soapstone Drive. It also has a Book Cafe in Gaithersburg, Md.

Photo via Big Wonton

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Herndon government offices

A trio of candidates is seeking the position of mayor for the Town of Herndon, typically a non-competitive race.

Councilmembers Sean Regan and Jasbinder Singh are running against current Mayor Sheila Olem to fill the seat for the upcoming 2023-2024 term.

Election Day is on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and polling locations correspond with locations for the national elections.

Regan says he wants to create a collaborative environment where diverse opinions are heard and welcome. His top priorities are housing, the redevelopment of downtown Herndon, and traffic and parking.

“We will disagree at times but we don’t have to be disagreeable. We can argue joyfully,” Regan said.

Olem said she hopes to continue leveraging her 12 years of experience as mayor and council member going forward. 

“With the arrival of Metro, my goal is to keep the hometown feeling of community that brought many of us tot he Town of Herndon,” Olem wrote in a statement.

Singh did not immediately return a request for comment from FFXnow. In 2020, Olem faced Roland Taylor after longtime mayor Lisa Merkel stepped down.

On the side of the Herndon Town Council, nine candidates are running for six seats for the 2023-2024 term.

Current council members include Naila Alam, Cesar del Aguila, Pradip Dhakal and Signe Friedrichs. The other candidates are Clark Hedrick, Stevan Portr, Keven LeBlanc, Donielle Scherff and Roland Taylor.

The election is administered by Fairfax County.

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A malfunctioning battery pack caused a townhouse fire in Frying Pan on Saturday (via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department)

A malfunctioning battery pack has been ruled as the cause of a townhouse fire in the Frying Pan area of Fairfax County.

Fire officials say that the fire, which happened on Saturday (June 18) around 9:30 a.m., started in the third-floor bedroom of the townhouse on the 13000 block of Rose Petal Circle. A charging lithium-ion battery pack was to blame.

“No occupants were home at the time of the fire,” the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said in an update released yesterday (Wednesday). “The fire was discovered by neighbors who observed fire coming from the third-floor window. 9-1-1 was called. Smoke alarms were present and activated, according to witness statements.”

Two dogs were rescued from the home. No injuries were reported.

The fire displaced two residents and caused roughly $93,750 in damages. Red Cross services were offered and declined.

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A new social wellness club is coming to Springfield this summer (via Google Maps)

A new social wellness club is coming soon to Springfield.

Balian Springs describes itself as the first-ever, daily membership-based club that aims to curate “wellness journeys for those seeking a meaningful balance between mental, physical, person and social wellbeing,” according to marketing materials. It will be located at 6432 General Greenway near the I-395 and I-495 interchange.

The 100,000-square-foot club will include a beauty spa, eateries, a lounge, hydrotherapy pools, saunas and other facilities.

A business representative declined to comment on the new social wellness club but said details for the planned grand opening are expected soon and will be forthcoming via email updates.

The business conducted a hiring day on Monday (June 20) for licensed massage therapists, nail technicians, hair stylists, guest services, lifeguards, bartenders and other positions. More information on available positions can be found by emailing info@baliansprings.com.

Image via Google Maps

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A food donation drive is set for tomorrow at a Reston church (via Aaron Doucett/Unsplash)

A team of nonprofit organizations and a major, Reston-based company are partnering to bring food and other essentials to 400 families tomorrow (Thursday).

The tuna manufacturer StarKist Co., which recently relocated its headquarters to Reston Town Center, is working with Feed the Children and Cornerstones on a food drive from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. John Neumann Catholic Community (11900 Lawyers Road) in Reston.

Families will receive a 25-pound box of food, a 15-pound box of hygiene essentials, a box of Avon products, Disney storybooks and other items.

Starkist president Andrew Choo said the company looks forward to beginning an alliance with Cornerstones, which he called an “extraordinary organization” that has been serving Northern Virginia for more than 50 years.

“There will be more empty plates this summer season than ever before, and it is estimated that one in four children will be food insecure,” Choo said in a news release. “We believe that no child should go hungry in this country, and we are aware that the need is great.”

Cornerstones CEO Kerrie Wilson said that the lingering impacts of the pandemic, including the rising cost of groceries and gas, have lead to more insecurity for families.

“For our June Food Pantry Distribution event, we are proud to partner with StarKist and Feed the Children to help stabilize people living in crisis today,” Wilson said in a statement. “Their commitment to community engagement and volunteerism plays an essential role in helping Cornerstones ensure the economic and health stability, equity, and resiliency of Northern Virginia.”

Cornerstones’ food pantry has already seen a growing number of people in need of services.

“Having served 1,347 households with 10,480 bags of food/toiletries, benefiting close to 5,000 people in FY21 (an average of 450+ households per month), Cornerstones anticipates even more people — particularly low to moderate-income families with children and seniors — will seek food pantry assistance,” wrote Margaret Anne Lara, the organization’s vice president of marketing and communications.

During the pandemic, the number of food-insecure residents has doubled in Fairfax County, which houses the largest number of food-insecure residents in Virginia.

Tomorrow’s event will include remarks by local elected officials and community representatives, including Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn and Victor Hoskins, president and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.

Photo via Aaron Doucett/Unsplash

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A vacant bank at Reston’s South Lakes Village Shopping Center could become a new fast food restaurant (via Google Maps)

A new future could be in store for a drive-in bank at South Lakes Village Center in Reston.

The owner of the nearly 10-acre retail center is seeking the county’s permission to convert a drive-thru bank on the property into a drive-thru fast food restaurant, according to a June 15 application.

“By converting this site into a fast-food restaurant, the applicant seeks to maintain the structure of the building and ensure that the building remains a vital component of the South Lakes Village Center,” the application says.

But the application does not disclose the future tenant, which would be located at 11120 South Lakes Drive. Materials simply note that the existing building will “support a new restaurant tenant while carefully fitting into the surrounding context of the existing South Lakes Village Center.”

The 1,675-square-foot-space was previously occupied by a drive-thru bank. The interior of the space will be repurposed for restaurant use, but the tenant will use most of the previous bank’s sidewalks, landscaping, utilities, drive-thru and parking areas.

South Lakes Village Center and the Chevy Chase Land Company did not return a request for comment from FFXnow. The center is anchored by Safeway and includes tenants like Starbucks, Chipotle, Red’s Table, Custom Ink and Truist.

Photo via Google Maps

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Artist Hamilton Glass created the mural at Dogwood Elementary School in late May (via Reston Association/YouTube)

Richmond-based artist Hamilton Glass has brought a lively display of his mission for community change and social justice to the external walls of Dogwood Elementary School.

The bright outdoor mural depicts the school’s motto — Peace, Equity, Access and Connection (PEACE) — in colorful letters and designs next to the school’s kiss and ride lane.

The project was born out of an activity during the pandemic two years ago when students worked on a collaborative artwork designed by Glass during distance learning.

“Students each received a small section of the design by snail mail at home and after it was colored in, it was pieced together into a cohesive image,” Andy Siegel, the school’s family and community liaison, wrote in a statement to FFXnow. “The students so connected with the project that in 2022, we commissioned the artist to re-work the design to fit an exterior brick wall so the entire Reston community could enjoy the artwork — and the message.”

Glass, a mural artist, worked in the architecture field for seven years, after which he moved into a career as an artist. His work is inspired by messages related to the community in which the artwork lives. It’s characterized by bright vivid colors and sharp lines. He graduated from Hampton University  in 2005.

He created the mural at the school’s first multicultural festival on May 25. Reston Association recently featured his work in a Reston Today video.

The project was developed with support from Reston Community Center and Public Art Reston.

Photo via Reston Association/YouTube

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Preliminary plans call for a park at the site of the Lorton landfill (via Fairfax County)

The Fairfax County Planning Commission has given the green light to preliminary plans to convert the closed Lorton Landfill into a public park.

Dubbed Overlook Ridge Park, the park would house the highest point in Fairfax County, hiking trails, picnic areas, an amphitheater, bathrooms and bird sanctuaries.

But concerns about the safety of the site — particularly issues related to methane gas — dominated the discussion at a meeting on June 15. Braddock District Commissioner Mary Cortina led a line of questioning concerning whether the landfill was determined safe for park use and what parameters were used to come to that conclusion.

County officials and representatives from the Fairfax County Park Authority repeatedly stated that the site was deemed safe for use as a park, according to an analysis by a third-party consultant hired by applicant and property owner Waste Management.

David Kaasa, district manager of the Lorton Landfill, said the applicant would ensure that safety is a top priority.

“If it’s not safe for me to go up there, then we’re not sending anyone up there,” he said.

The applicant is working on a shared agreement to sort out unidentified issues related to the site. A similar plan was discussed in 2007 but stalled due to a number of issues.

County officials encouraged the applicant to determine if there’s a way to avoid potable water at one of the bathrooms at the park. Commissioners also wondered if access to drinking water could be provided at the top of the park — including installation of a water line or a well.

Waste Management’s plan includes two main access roads, a cultural garden and overlook, an amphitheater with benched seating, and 120 parking spaces.

If the planning process moves forward, the park would open to the public as early as 2025. The application has to clear several more steps before official approval, including a site plan. The landfill officially closed in 2021 after operations ceased in 2018.

Despite the possibility of hiccups, Kaasa said the applicant intends to move forward with the proposal.

“Waste Management is committed to this project and its obligations at the landfill both locally and at the state level,” he said.

Mount Vernon District Commissioner Walter Clarke said he is eager for the park to open to the public.

“It’s really amazing up there so once it’s built and if it does come to fruition, we should all please make an effort to enjoy that park,” Clarke said.

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Clyde’s of Reston closed in May (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

The now-vacant shell of Clyde’s of Reston — which closed last month after more than three decades of business in Reston’s urban heart — will soon be filled by a new wine-focused restaurant.

According to a report by the Washington Business Journal, the Dallas-based restaurant Sixty Vines has signed a deal with Boston Properties for roughly 10,000 square feet of space at 11905 Market Street.

Other restaurants that are planned in Reston Town Center include Fogo de Chão and Open Road Distillery.

WBJ reports that the restaurant will have indoor and outdoor seating that overlooks the Fountain Square Pavilion, which is currently undergoing a major makeover.

Here’s more from the report:

Sixty Vines emerged as the best fit for the prominent Reston Town Center space through a larger, nationwide search, according to Jake Stroman, executive vice president and co-head of the D.C. region for Boston Properties. The restaurant will have indoor and outdoor seating looking out toward the Fountain Square Pavilion, which is part of a larger makeover of the town center’s common areas. The restaurant’s concept, which features small plates, great wines and communal seating, was part of the appeal, he said.

“Sixty Vines is kind of integral to that placemaking effort,” Stroman said. “We view that space as the best restaurant space in all of Northern Virginia, so we wanted to come up with a really great concept that was new to market and just brought a lot of energy to the area.”

Sixty Vines is housed under the FB Society, a hospitality group that rebranded in December 2020. It plans to promote its Whiskey Cake and Sixty Vines concepts to new markets, including Reston.

A spokesperson for Clyde’s of Reston told FFXnow that a lease for a new space in Reston will be announced soon, but no information was immediately available for publication. One of the town center’s first tenants, the restaurant closed on May 21 after 31 years of business.

Sixty Vines currently only has locations in Tennessee, Texas and Florida. Its menu — which is centered around wines — includes pizza, pasta, shared plates, cocktails, desserts and wines. Other locations serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The concept is broadly marketed as cuisine with a focus on “wine culture,” according to its website.

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A barbershop and lounge is coming soon to Reston Town Center.

Hammer & Nails plans to open in the Signature at 11830 Freedom Drive on June 30, according to its social media platforms.

Ilona Kirzhner, the company’s head of franchising, said by email that the business chose Reston as a location because of its standing as an “incredible part of Northern VA.”

The diversity of residents and businesses is second to none in our area,” Kirzhner, who is also a Fairfax County resident, wrote in a statement.

The business will feature a one-stop-shop mens’ grooming lounge. It offers camp services, men’s facials, razor shaves, beard grooming, and manicures and pedicures in its man cave.

Patrons will also be able to enjoy adult and non-alcoholic beverages in a lounge with oversized leather chairs, TVs, and noise-cancelling headphones “all built around the needs of our men,” Kirzhner adds.

Hammer & Nails already has locations in Gainesville and Leesburg.

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