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Carrabba’s Italian Grill has officially shuttered in Reston after more than two decades of business.

A sign on the door of the chain restaurant at 12192 Sunset Hills Road thanks customers for their “support over the past 21 years” and directs them to the company’s Centreville location at 5805 Trinity Parkway.

The Burn reported earlier that the Reston location was no longer listed on the company’s website.

It’s part of a series of closures under parent company Bloomin’ Brands, which also owns Outback Steak House, Bonefish Grill and Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar. The company plans to close 41 locations across its portfolio, Nation’s Restaurant News reported.

“We periodically review our asset base and, in our latest review, we made the decision to close 41 underperforming locations,” Bloomin’ Brands CEO David Deno said when announcing the closures during an earnings call last Friday (Feb. 23).

According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Deno said most of the locations targeted for closures “were older assets with leases from the ’90s and early 2000s.”

Per its website, Carrabba’s has 11 locations remaining in Virginia, though the Centreville restaurant is the only one left in Fairfax County. The chain can also still be found in Dulles International Airport.

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The installation “Red Dirt Rug” by artist Rena Detrixhe, whose work will be featured in the Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art’s upcoming “Pressing” exhibit (courtesy Tephra ICA)

The Tephra Institute of Contemporary Art is gearing up for its next art exhibition in Reston Town Center.

Scheduled for March 16-May 19, the exhibit, titled “Pressing,” features work by Kansas-based artist Rena Detrixhe and D.C.-based painter Katherine Tzu-Lan Mann. An opening reception and artist talk is set for Saturday, March 16 from 5-7 p.m. at Tephra’s gallery (12001 Market Street, Suite 103).

“Each of the works in this exhibition is a landscape — a vision of a place formed through careful observation and mark making,” Tephra Associate Curator Hannah Barco said. “And each artist’s departure from traditional modes of landscape painting offers a lesson in how to reconfigure our relationship to the natural environment.”

Here’s more from Tephra on the exhibition:

At a moment when much of the social discourse around climate change is politicized, reactionary, and focused on increasingly concerning storms, sea levels, fires, and heatwaves, Detrixhe and Tzu-Lan Mann create intricate and meditative works that reinsert slowness and contemplation back into the conversation about human impact on the environment. While the exhibition title points to the urgent need to address environmental preservation and climate change, it also refers to the gesture of a hand, an intimate touch, that as exemplified by these artists can have great significance.

Detrixhe’s work combines repetitive processes and scavenged materials to produce objects, installations, sculpture, performances and drawings. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas in 2013.

Tzu-Lan Mann got her bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a master’s degree from the Maryland Institute of College of Art. She received a Fulbright grant to Taiwan and has exhibited across the world.

According to Tephra, “Pressing” will be presented in conjunction with “Double 194 Years,” a 2019 drawing by artist Steven L. Anderson that the gallery has loaned from the Microsoft Collection.

“Anderson describes his Tree Rings series as ‘a way of growing a drawing,’ mimicking the growth patterns of trees adding layers of bark season after season,” Tephra said in a press release.

The exhibition is supported in part by Lindy and Richard Brewster, ArtsFairfax, and Reston Town Center Association.

A nonprofit formerly known as the Greater Reston Arts Center, Tephra offers free admission to both its main gallery and a second space, Tephra ICA at Signature (11850 Freedom Drive). The main gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday, though Saturday visits must be scheduled in advance.

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Perhaps the commercial building at 234 Maple Avenue East in Vienna is just not meant to be a ramen shop.

Its current occupant, Akai Tori Ramen & Yakitori, will dish out its last noodle soup bowl today (Thursday) before permanently closing its doors at 7 p.m. The restaurant announced the closure “with a heavy heart” via social media on Monday (Feb. 26), and it was first reported by Patch.

“This decision was incredibly difficult, but necessary given the current circumstances,” Akai Tori said in a message to customers and supporters. “…We are immensely grateful for your unwavering support over a year and cherish the memories we’ve created together. Thank you for being a part of our journey. Take care, and we hope our paths cross again in the future.”

When contacted by FFXnow, an Akai Tori employee said the team is unable to elaborate on the reasons for the closure at this time. She noted that a new tenant for the space is already lined up, but she doesn’t know who it will be.

Akai Tori opened on Jan. 28, 2023 in a 3,000-square-foot building previously filled by Shin Se Kai Ramen, which launched in February 2019 but never returned from an initially temporary closure during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Inspired by izakaya bars, the concept came from chef-owner Mark Liu, who also owns Sushi Yoshi on Church Street. It serves tempura, grilled meats (yakiniku), sushi and sashimi, and other Japanese dishes, including the ramen and yakitori skewers referenced in its name, which translates to “red bird.”

Before it opened, the business told FFXnow that its ramen broth would be made by hand using its own recipe, a “differentiator” from other restaurants in the area that rely on pre-made broth.

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Good Wednesday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar.

🕗 News recap

The following articles were published earlier today — Feb 28, 2024.

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Thursday throughout the county, from our event calendar.

  • No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.

☀️ Thursday’s forecast

Expect sunny skies and a high temperature near 45 degrees, accompanied by a northwest wind of 10 to 15 mph and gusts up to 24 mph. As the night progresses, the sky will be mostly clear with a low temperature around 31 degrees. The northwest wind will decrease to 5 to 7 mph before becoming light and variable. See more from Weather.gov.

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss the day’s happenings in the comments.

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Down the Line Sports Center’s Fairfax location has five indoor pickleball courts (courtesy Fairfax City Economic Development)

Professional pickleball players, local officials and community members are expected to turn out in abundance for the upcoming grand opening of Down the Line Sports Center in Fairfax City.

After a soft opening in early February, the indoor pickleball facility at Courthouse Plaza (10390 Willard Way) will officially introduce itself to the city tomorrow (Thursday). The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting, followed by a meet-and-greet with six pro athletes visiting from around the country.

Those players — Rafa Hewett, Connor Garnett, Dylan Frazier, Pablo Tellez, Lea Jansen and Etta Wright — have also been enlisted for an evening of exhibition games that will start at 7 p.m. The $50 tickets for the exhibition include food and drinks at Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company, which is next door to Down the Line.

As of this morning (Wednesday), fewer than 20 tickets were left, according to Down the Line owner Jenni Bae.

“We’re really excited about our grand opening tomorrow,” Bae told FFXnow. “…Having six Major League Pickleball players here at one time to do an exhibition is a really big deal and something really special that we wanted to bring to the community, so we’re hoping that they enjoy it, and these are the kinds of things that…we want to bring to this area moving forward.”

Located in a former CVS, Down the Line Fairfax features three full-sized pickleball courts, one half-sized court and a short practice court, along with a players’ lounge and mini pro shop. Each of the full courts has a scoreboard that can be updated live, and courtside TVs will soon allow players to watch instant replays.

Bae says the soft opening has gone “really well,” describing the center’s members as already feeling like family.

Down the Line’s memberships cost $45 per month and come with discounts on private court and open play fees, a two-week window for booking private courts in advance and other perks.

“We’ve already built a community here. People have been really welcoming and excited to have this extra space as an option to play pickleball, so we felt very welcome,” Bae said.

Support for Down the Line has also come from local leaders. The facility won the Fairfax City Council’s approval in December, and construction costs were partially covered by a Façade and Interior Improvement Grant from Fairfax City Economic Development (FCED).

Being able to form those relationships, including the FCED, in advance resulted in a “very, very smooth” build-out, according to Bae, who’s excited that Mayor Catherine Read, FCED President and CEO Christopher Bruno and other city officials will participate in tomorrow’s ribbon-cutting.

“I am blown away by the unwavering commitment and dedication shown by Jenni Bae and her family to reach this milestone,” Bruno said. “Their vision and determination are commendable, and I am thrilled that Fairfax City will now reap the benefits with the unveiling of this newly activated destination for all of Northern Virginia.”

Down the Line’s arrival in Fairfax is a prelude to plans for a second, even larger facility in Annandale.

Replacing the vacant Kid’s Choice Sports Center at 4311 Ravensworth Road, the 50,000-square-foot center will feature 18 full-sized indoor courts, six golf simulators, a sports bar with food and drinks, and a pickleball and golf shop.

Bae’s team hopes to open the Annandale location around the end of 2024 or early 2025. Members of the Fairfax center will get priority access to a membership in Annandale, along with other benefits, though the details are still being worked out.

Bae says her goal is to ensure all members and customers have a “high-quality experience” at Down the Line, whether they visit the Fairfax center or the future one in Annandale.

“We’re excited to see more people come in, experience our center and the different things we have to offer,” she said. “…Everyone who comes in here, the first thing they notice is the atmosphere and the vibe here is very welcoming, makes you feel very at ease and at home, and that’s exactly what I wanted to provide for the people that come in here.”

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Good Tuesday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar.

🕗 News recap

The following articles were published earlier today — Feb 27, 2024.

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Wednesday throughout the county, from our event calendar.

  • No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.

⛈️ Wednesday’s forecast

Expect rain and potential thunderstorms throughout the day, with highs near 66°F and breezy south winds of 16-21 mph and gusts up to 37 mph. There is a 100% chance of rain, with new rain amounts between a quarter and half an inch. On Wednesday night, rain and possible thunderstorms will continue until 7 pm, followed by chances of rain until 10 pm. Lows will dip to around 30°F, accompanied by windy northwest winds of 16-26 mph and gusts up to 47 mph. The chance of precipitation on Wednesday night is at 80%, with new amounts of less than a tenth of an inch, or higher in thunderstorms. See more from Weather.gov.

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss the day’s happenings in the comments.

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OmBaked is organizing an inaugural Holi Festival at Lake Anne Plaza (courtesy OmBaked)

A traditional Hindu festival is set to light up Lake Anne Plaza next month.

The inaugural Holi Festival, which is sponsored by local CBD business OmBaked, will take place on March 23 from noon to 4 p.m.

“We’re thrilled to bring the joy of Holi to Lake Anne Plaza,” OmBaked CEO Radhika Murari said. “Rallying behind the Women Empowerment Foundation makes this celebration not just fun, but meaningful too!”

Holi — sometimes known as the Festival of Colors or Love — is celebrated across India. It often involves attendees throwing colored powder to mark the beginning of spring, the renewal of friendship, and letting go of resentment.

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Women Empowerment Foundation, a nonprofit that provides domestic violence counseling, educational programs, workshops and other support services to women.

The festival is free, and vendors can apply online. It will include traditional tunes, food vendors, crafts and henna.

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A band plays at Ned Devine’s during the second round of Herndon’s inaugural Battle of the Bands (photo by Laura Poindexter)

(Updated on 9:05 a.m. on 2/28/2024) The first-ever Battle of the Bands by Friday Night Live! in Herndon is underway.

The last of three preliminary rounds is set for March 9. Winners from each preliminary round — including two others that took place on Feb. 10 and this past Saturday (Feb. 24) — will compete in a final round on April 20. A wild card will also be selected.

The battle is set to take place at Ned Devine’s Irish Gastro Pub and Restaurant, which is located at 2465 Centreville Road in Herndon.

A portion of the $5 entry fee will be donated to several community organizations: The Closet, Herndon Community Television, Friends of Frying Pan Farm Park, and Arts Herndon.

The winner will be crowned with an opening slot for one of this year’s Friday Night Live! concerts on the Town Green and a future gig at Ned Devine’s.

The contest was organized by Friday Night Live! in response to demand from bands that wished to take part in the town’s popular summer music series.

“Friday Night Live! has a strong lineup of returning acts and each season we add new discoveries that our scouts have found throughout the year,” Friday Night Live! Chair Laura Poindexter said. “But we are approached by approximately 100 other bands each year to play our event. That’s why we created the Battle of the Bands, a chance for some of these local bands to showcase their talent to our team and to spread the word about Friday Night Live!’s upcoming 30th season.”

This summer, Friday Night Live! is set to celebrate 30 years with a new, to-be-announced roster of local acts on the East Coast. The season  will include 17 free concerts from May through August and draw over 35,000 patrons, according to a recent update sent to the program’s email list.

The event is produced by the Dulles Chamber Regional Chamber of Commerce through the work of the Friday Night Live! organizing committee.

The final preliminary Battle of the Bands round features bands Berlin Calling, Decibel Therapy, Tell Me More!, The Randos, and Twisted Flags.

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Businesses in and near Vienna will offer special deals during Vienna Restaurant Week, returning March 3-10, 2024 (courtesy Caboose Tavern)

(Updated at 4:30 p.m. on 2/28/2024) The Town of Vienna will kick off March with its third annual Restaurant Week.

More than 40 restaurants in the town will offer special deals during the promotional campaign, which will run from March 3-10. For the first time, the town will celebrate the week by hosting a drop-in social event near the Town Green on Tuesday, March 5 from 4-6 p.m. with giveaways and live music.

Sponsored by the Town of Vienna Economic Development Department, the program aims to boost resident and visitor activity in the town, while also boosting business for the participating restaurants, with a goal of increasing the number of patrons at each eatery during the week.

“While some restaurants are offering multi-course, prix fixe menus, others are offering exciting specials, or creating new menu items just for the week,” a press release says. “Alongside meticulously curated menus, local restaurants and eateries are introducing discounted à la carte dining and exclusive deals. These enticing options are designed to tantalize the palates of discerning food enthusiasts, encouraging them to explore new and delightful cuisines.”

Vienna introduced its own restaurant week in 2022 and revived the concept last year, when it more than doubled the number of participating eateries.

This year’s event will begin the same day that nearby Fairfax City’s Restaurant Week ends. From bakeries and cafes to fast-casual chains and fine-dining restaurants, the full list of participants is below, sorted by the type of food offered.

Asian

  • Burapa Thai And Bar (delivery, carryout, dine-in)
  • Chit Chaat Cafe (delivery, carryout)
  • Oh My Dak (carryout, dine-in)
  • Peking Express Of Vienna (curbside pickup, delivery, carryout, dine-in)
  • Royal Nepal Bistro (carryout, dine-in)
  • Sushi Koji (dine-in)
  • Sushi Yoshi (carryout, dine-in)
  • The Mixx Delight (carryout)
  • Viet Aroma Asian Cuisine (carryout)

American

  • America’s Best Wings (delivery, carryout, dine-in)
  • Bazin’s On Church (dine-in)
  • Bear Branch Tavern (carryout, dine-in)
  • Big Buns (curbside pickup, delivery, carryout, dine-in)
  • Caboose Tavern (dine-in)
  • Domino’s Pizza (curbside pickup, delivery, carryout)
  • Foster’s Grille (delivery, carryout, dine-in)
  • Maple Ave Restaurant (dine-in)
  • Social Burger (delivery, carryout, dine-in)
  • The Virginian Restaurant (carryout, dine-in)

Read More

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Good Monday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar.

🕗 News recap

The following articles were published earlier today — Feb 26, 2024.

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Tuesday throughout the county, from our event calendar.

  • No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.

⛈️ Tuesday’s forecast

Expect showers and thunderstorms, with a mostly cloudy high near 65. South winds will increase from 6-11 mph to 12-17 mph, potentially gusting up to 26 mph. There’s a 60% chance of precipitation, with new rainfall amounts ranging from a tenth to a quarter of an inch, potentially more in thunderstorms. At night, showers are likely after 7pm, with a low around 56. Breezy conditions with south winds at 16-24 mph and gusts as high as 37 mph. Chance of precipitation increases to 80%, with new amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible. See more from Weather.gov.

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss the day’s happenings in the comments.

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