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The shop 520 Ice Cream and Tea has closed at the Mosaic District after five years (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Mosaic District is no longer home to the self-proclaimed first Thai-style rolled ice cream shop in Virginia.

520 Ice Cream & Tea permanently closed on Dec. 30, according to an Instagram post. A notice posted to the door at 2985 District Avenue, Suite 160, said the shop wouldn’t reopen in 2023.

“We thank you for five years of incredible support!” the notice said.

Billed as the first “Thai-inspired” ice cream establishment in Virginia and Maryland, the business had a location in Springfield that appears to have closed in 2019. Its Maryland locations in Rockville, Bethesda and College Park still seem to be open.

Several of the more recent Yelp reviews for the Mosaic shop complain about half-hour-long waits for ice cream. FFXnow was unable to reach 520 Ice Cream for an explanation of the closure.

The Mosaic District recently welcomed Kirby Club, a Mediterranean restaurant that opened in late December. Construction is underway in the neighborhood for three new tenants: a Pottery Barn furniture store, the jewelry business Brilliant Earth and the clothing store Faherty.

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Panera has closed its Tysons Corner Center location (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Panera Bread has left Tysons Corner Center.

The fast-casual bakery’s first-floor location by McDonald’s is permanently closed after at least 14 years at the mall, according to Yelp.

A worker at the nearby Panera in Pike 7 Plaza confirmed to FFXnow that the closure came shortly before Christmas.

“I heard it’s because they didn’t have enough workers,” the employee said.

Panera’s corporate office didn’t respond to requests for comment by press time.

A notice posted to the storefront encouraged customers to visit the chain’s Pike 7 Plaza or Falls Church City locations. The company also has a bakery at 136 Maple Avenue in Vienna.

Other recent developments at the mall include the arrival of a stall for Donutchew, a growing mochi doughnut business that also has a location in Vienna. A temporary exhibition of art rescued from Afghanistan or created by evacuated artists is also now on display outside Macy’s.

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Signs for Chopt have already been removed after the restaurant’s Vienna location closed on Dec. 18, 2022 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Chopt quietly put its Vienna location on the chopping block over the weekend.

The fast-casual salad eatery had its final day of business in the town on Sunday (Dec. 18), according to a notice posted to the door at 160 Maple Avenue West. Employees at the McLean location (1449A Chain Bridge Road) confirmed that the closure is permanent.

The notice didn’t provide a reason for the closure, and the company’s corporate office didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Chopt can still be found in McLean, Fairfax’s Pickett Shopping Center, and Kingstowne Towne Center. Just last month, the business moved and downsized its location in Rosslyn.

Chopt opened at the Vienna Shopping Center in May 2016, joining a row of fast-casual restaurants that moved in after the local grocery chain Magruder’s shuttered in 2013. The strip also features Mod Pizza, Taco Bamba and Cava, which may soon depart as well.

Cava confirmed that it’s replacing the recently closed Zoës Kitchen at 418 Maple Avenue East, but didn’t say whether the restaurant will be entirely new or a relocation of the existing site.

With Chopt’s departure, the Vienna Shopping Center has four vacant spaces available for lease, including a 6,005-square-foot suite and the former Rose Kabob space, according to a site map. After Magruder’s closure, the 73,852-square-foot center underwent a renovation and reopened in April 2016.

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A man walks by trash bins next to the curb (via Trinity Nguyen on Unsplash)

(Updated at 1:25 p.m.) The service and staffing challenges plaguing trash collectors throughout Fairfax County have prompted one company to call it quits, leaving thousands of residents in limbo with little notice.

Haulin’ Trash LLC has permanently shuttered, informing customers by email Wednesday (Nov. 30) that it will cease operations effective yesterday.

“We have faced many challenges over the past several weeks that we simply cannot overcome. This decision has not only affected our customers but it has affected dozens of employees and their families,” owner Bobby Frazier said in the message, apologizing for the resulting inconvenience.

Frazier said that the “keys to the business” will transferred to a court-appointed trustee “over the next couple of weeks,” who will be in charge of giving out credits or refunds.

Started in 2017, the Leesburg-based company served around 3,000 customers in the county, including homeowners’ associations and 1,800 single-household customers, the Fairfax County Department of Public Works and Environmental Services (DPWES) says.

The county has over a dozen private, licensed haulers that serve about 90% of residents and businesses. The rest get waste collection services from the county government.

DPWES says its Solid Waste Management Program contacted Haulin’ Trash on Tuesday (Nov. 29) after receiving “a surge in resident complaints about missed collections.” The company told staff that it was “experiencing operational and financial difficulties,” but said it was looking at options to address the reported concerns, according to the county.

A day later, though, Haulin’ Trash notified the county that it had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and would close on Dec. 1. An email sent to customers on Nov. 30 said plans to “catch up” on missed collections proved impossible because it had only four trucks — half its fleet – available.

Shared with FFXnow today, the email has a timestamp of 4:29 p.m. The announcement that Haulin’ was permanently closing went out at 9:39 p.m. that same day. The company didn’t return a request for comment.

While sudden, the closure doesn’t appear to be a total surprise to Haulin’ customers. One told FFXnow that the company’s service “had degraded to almost nothing this month,” while an Oakton resident said it missed three consecutive pickups in their neighborhood in November.

“The delayed/missed pickups have caused trash/recycle bin(s) and yard waste bag(s) sit on the curbside/street for weeks,” the resident wrote in an anonymous tip. “As a result, the neighbor looks disorganized with unpleasant smell, trashes littering on street, in storm drainage, on lawn(s).” Read More

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Jason’s Deli will close its Idylwood Plaza location in December (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Jason’s Deli will close up shop for good next month after more than a decade at Idylwood Plaza.

The last day of business for the sandwich restaurant will be Dec. 12, though a separate location at Fair Lakes Shopping Center will remain open.

“It’s because of business,” said an employee at the Idylwood restaurant. Profits have been unable to keep up with rising rent for the over 4,700-square-foot space at 7505 Leesburg Pike, according to the worker.

A corporate customer service representative for Jason’s Deli confirmed that the location didn’t renew its lease because the landlord was seeking a rent increase.

“Our policy, out of respect and care for our merchant relationships, is not to comment on their leases and the terms of those leases,” Federal Realty, the property manager for Idylwood Plaza, said in a statement to FFXnow.

Founded by the grandson of Italian immigrants, Jason’s Deli started in Beaumont, Texas, in 1976 and now has 250 delis in 28 states. It’s known for using “real, clean” ingredients and offering free soft-serve ice cream.

The Idylwood deli opened in 2008, becoming the company’s first restaurant in the D.C. area. After the upcoming closure, the region will still have Jason’s Deli locations in Fair Lakes and Columbia, Maryland.

For residents of the Idylwood/Pimmit Hills area who want to grab a sandwich closer to home, though, it appears the Subway right behind Idylwood Plaza will soon have to suffice.

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Rose Kabob in Vienna before it closed permanently on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Another family-owned restaurant that felt like a mainstay of Vienna’s culinary scene is gone.

Rose Kabob had its final day of business yesterday after serving platters of chicken, lamb and kubideh (ground beef) at 126 Maple Avenue West for 16 years.

When the doors opened around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday (Nov. 12), the dining room was still empty, but owner Hassan Mostafavi and his daughter-in-law were already busy juggling errands and takeout orders. That left him little time to explain the closure beyond that they “unfortunately lost the lease.”

“We love the community. We’re going to be missing all the customers,” Mostafavi told FFXnow.

Located in the Vienna Shopping Center, Rose Kabob launched in 2007, as Mostafavi sought to “practice what he preached” as a former professor and business consultant for over 35 years, according to its website.

Run by Mostafavi and his family with the same chef for roughly 13 years, the restaurant was picked as a top “cheap eat” by Washingtonian multiple times in the early 2010s.

In a farewell message posted to the website, Mostafavi said he plans to travel and spend more time with family and friends, while urging customers to continue supporting local businesses.

Dear Vienna,

It is time for us to close the doors here at Rose Kabab Restaurant. We have loved the years of serving you and have made countless friends along the way.

Please never stop supporting local business. It is the fabric of our community. It is the strength of our local economy. While I will miss seeing many of your smiling faces and sharing conversation and laughter, it is time that I (Hassan) travel and spend sweet moments with my family and friends.

With love, Hassan and the rest of the Rose Kabab family

Zan, Zendegi, Azadi Women, Life, Freedom

Rose Kabob might be the longest-tenured restaurant to close in the Town of Vienna since Amphora bid adieu in January 2021, though Charles’ Barber Shop in the Cedar Park Shopping Center had been around since the 1980s until its last owner decided to retire in August.

Construction is currently underway to turn the former Amphora building at 377 Maple Avenue West into a new restaurant called The Maple Room.

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McLean Pizza and Subs is permanently closed (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

McLean Pizza and Subs has served up its last slice.

The Italian and Greek restaurant at 1434 Center Street is permanently closed after supplying the neighborhood with pizza, pasta, subs and more since 1962, according to its website.

A notice posted to the door states that the business “has closed for good” and apologizes for the inconvenience, but it doesn’t elaborate on what led to the closure. FFXnow didn’t receive a response to its attempts to contact the owner.

McLean Pizza appears to have shuttered in late October, though an exact date is unclear. Twitter user Thomas Malloy alerted FFXnow on Oct. 28, and a Yelp reviewer said on Oct. 18 that it was closed when they went by to order a pizza.

“Sad. Great food and really nice people,” the reviewer wrote.

Renovated in October 2021, the dining room was still fully furnished when FFXnow visited Sunday (Nov. 6), with tables, chairs and even ketchup bottles visible through the darkened storefront windows.

Located in Old Dominion Shopping Center, McLean Pizza occupies a sizable space next to McLean Hair Center, which was established in 1956 and is McLean’s oldest barbershop, according to a sign by the door. The strip mall also houses Chesapeake Bagel Bakery, McLean Shoe Store and Repair, and Comfort One Shoes.

According to Fairfax County records, Old Dominion Shopping Center was built in 1956 and has been owned by McLean Properties since Feb. 28, 2007.

The landlord has reportedly opted not to renew leases for longer-term tenants or only offered renewals by the month.

FFXnow has reached out to McLean Properties and is awaiting a response.

McLean Properties also owns the McLean and Chain Bridge shopping centers. A redevelopment is in the works for the latter that would renovate Giant Food, its anchor store, and reposition the buildings along Beverly Road.

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Blackfinn Ameripub in Merrifield is closing this weekend (image via Blackfinn Ameripub/Facebook)

The Blackfinn Ameripub in Merrifield (2750 Gallows Road) will serve its last beer this weekend, according to staff at other franchise locations.

The pub featured classic Americana fare, like burgers and fries, a broad selection of ales, and a specialized “gameday menu“.

In addition to football games, Blackfinn Ameripub is also locally known for its New Year’s Eve parties.

Merrifield’s Blackfinn Ameripub will reportedly be open through the weekend and shut down on Sunday (Oct. 30), staff at two other Blackfinn Ameripub locations confirmed. The Merrifield location could not be reached by phone.

There are two other Blackfinn Ameripub locations in the region — one in Ashburn and one in D.C. just north of the White House — and one in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Photo via Blackfinn Ameripub/Facebook

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The bakery Madeleine Proust has permanently closed in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Another local French bakery has closed its doors for good, leaving the Tysons area with dwindling options for macrons, cookies and other Parisian desserts.

Madeleine Proust shuttered on Oct. 1, only about a year after it first opened in Vienna’s Wolftrappe Shops at 448 Maple Ave East. The business didn’t provide an explanation for the closure but confirmed it would no longer be operating in any capacity after that date.

“We would like to thank all of our customers that we have done business with over the years. We could not have been as successful as it was without your loyalty. Thank you!” the bakery said in a message on its website.

FFXnow was unable to reach the owners for comment.

Madeleine Proust opened in October 2021 as the creation of couple Jesse and Scarlet Woo, according to Patch. As suggested by the name, its specialties included shell-shaped madeleines, Chiffon cakes and Sablé cookies.

The bakery also offered brilles, a madeleine covered in flavored chocolate developed by Scarlet Woo, a pastry chef, according to Northern Virginia Magazine, which dubbed the shop “a must-try for serious food lovers” in a review last December.

Madeleine Proust appears to have closed around the same time as Praline Bakery, the similarly French-inspired bakery from former White House pastry chefs that opted not to renew its lease at the Mosaic District in Merrifield.

Just a couple of doors down from Madeleine Proust, the fine dining restaurant Clarity has temporarily closed.

The restaurant announced on Oct. 3 that it would be closed until Nov. 2 as “our Chef Bryant is reimaginating the unique fine dining experience of Clarity.”

A Clarity employee told FFXnow that, in addition to hiring a new chef, the restaurant is training new servers and managers. The interior is also getting cleaned and refurbished with new lights, among other changes.

While the menu will be tweaked slightly, the restaurant has retained most of its kitchen staff, and the hours of operation will be unchanged once it reopens.

Dinner will return on Nov. 2 from 5-10:30 p.m., seven days a week, while lunch will restart on Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays.

“The menu is going to be a little different, but in a good way,” the employee said. “…It’s going to be a good experience to enjoy with us for sure.”

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Praline Bakery has closed in the Mosaic District (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Praline Bakery is no longer serving up cake, macarons and other pastries in the Mosaic District.

The bakery closed for good this fall after its lease ran out, according to a farewell message posted to the door at 2987 District Avenue, Suite 160.

“We have so appreciated your business these last five years,” the Praline Mosaic team wrote in the message. “Your support has meant the world to us. We have loved getting to know you, petting your pooches, and watching your kids grow up. We hope that we provided a little bit of sweetness to your lives.”

Specializing in French baked goods, Praline came to the Merrifield neighborhood in 2016 as the first expansion of Praline Bakery & Bistro, a Bethesda, Maryland-based business started in 2006 by former White House pastry chefs Susan Limb and Patrick Musel.

Praline’s original Bethesda store in The Shops at Sumner Place shopping center and a location at The Wharf in D.C. remain open.

While the Mosaic location is permanently closed, the closure letter suggested the team may have another venture in the works.

“While the shop won’t be open anymore, there are still cookies to be baked! If you would like to reach out and learn about what we are doing next, email info@bookgirlbakes.com or ally@bookgirlbakes.com,” the letter said.

FFXnow attempted to contact Praline by email and phone but hasn’t heard back, as of press time. However, a Shopify store called Book Girl Bakes appears to be coming soon.

In other Mosaic District developments, BASH Boxing is now open at 2905 District Ave, Suite 195. The Arlington-based company officially opened the doors of its newest gym on Sept. 23 and will have an opening party event on Oct. 27, according to its Instagram.

BASH didn’t return FFXnow’s requests for comment.

H/t to Adam Rubinstein

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