Email signup
The Vietnamese restaurant Four Sisters is closing this weekend after nearly 15 years in Merrifield (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Four Sisters will serve customers at the Mosaic District for the last time this Sunday (May 14).

The family-owned Vietnamese restaurant will permanently close after 30 years of business, about half of them spent anchoring the prominent corner of Strawberry Lane and Yates Way in Merrifield.

With the restaurant’s lease expiring, Four Sisters co-owner Lieu Lai says the family decided the time had come to wrap up their three-decade journey. She wants to spend more time at home with her kids, making Mother’s Day a particularly fitting final day.

In addition, Lai’s sister Le Lai — who has owned the restaurant with her since 2014 — and brother-in-law hope to travel, she told FFXnow.

Four Sisters has been a Merrifield mainstay since 2008, moving to what was then a mostly industrial area before it redeveloped as the Mosaic District in 2012.

Prior to helping jumpstart the mixed-use neighborhood, Four Sisters began life in 1993 as Huong Que at Falls Church’s Eden Center. Lieu and Le’s parents, Thanh Tran and Kim Lai, founded the modest restaurant with money they made selling hot dogs after they immigrated to the U.S. from Bien Hoa, Vietnam, according to the Washington Post, which broke the news of the impending closure.

Huong Que soon became a local favorite, expanding with a second restaurant in the Eden Center to accommodate its growing customer base and even appearing on the late chef Anthony Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” in 2008, according to Viva Tysons.

When the restaurant moved to the Mosaic District, the family renamed it as a nod to Lieu, Le and their two sisters, acknowledging that the original name was too often mispronounced by non-Vietnamese customers.

Since then, the family has extended their reach elsewhere in Northern Virginia, opening the fast-casual Four Sisters Grill in Clarendon and the 4 Sisters Snack Bar in Ashburn. Both of those locations, which are respectively run by oldest sister Ly and youngest son Thuan Lai, will remain open, per the Post.

An eventual return of Four Sisters hasn’t been ruled out either. Lieu says her sister and brother-in-law may open another restaurant in the future after they finish traveling.

“Deep down, I think that potentially I may open another Four Sisters somewhere,” Le told Post food critic Tim Carmen. “That would make my mom and dad really happy, for sure.”

For now, supporters still have a few more days to get in a final order of pho or a vermicelli rice bowl, among other dishes on the menu of Vietnamese staples. The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day except Mondays.


A Metro train-inspired restaurant in the Town of Herndon has officially gone off the rails.

Mellow Mushroom, a restaurant that serves handcrafted pizzas and wings, has permanently closed its Herndon location at 1030 Elden Street, according to signage posted at the restaurant’s door.

Although the company did not respond to a request for comment from FFXnow, signage at the door encourages customers to “keep on shroomin'” by visiting a nearby location.

“Thank you for your support, and we look forward to serving you at another Mellow Mushroom location soon,” the sign reads.

Mellow Mushroom customers can still get their fix at a location in Chantilly, along with others throughout the country. Virginia has locations in Charlottesville, Fredericksburg, Henrico, Richmond, Midlothian, Williamsburg, Newport News, Lynchburg, Virginia Beach, and Roanoke.

The Town of Vienna is slated to get a franchise as part of the upcoming 444 Maple Avenue development, though vertical construction on the project hasn’t begun.

There’s no official word yet on what will replace the business.

The Reston location’s closure follows the closure of the Elden Street location (courtesy anonymous tip)

Burger King has shuttered its doors in Reston.

The business — which also closed its Elden Street location on Tuesday (April 11) — was located at 2270 Hunters Woods Plaza.

“Thank you so much for allowing us to serve you and the community for so many great years,” a sign posted at the door of the Reston location said.

Its last day of business was April 9. The company did not immediately return a request for comment from FFXnow on the closure.

A local resident who describes himself as a regular customer said the closure appears abrupt.

He said the restaurant had a hiring notice posted a few days ago. The resident was also able to place an order via an app online, but when he went to pick up the food, a blue bench blocked entry into the drive-through. He was later told the location was closed.

“Their staff was very helpful and respectful,” the resident said. “Sad to see it shut down.”

Restaurant Business Magazine reported this week that Meridian Restaurants Unlimited — a Burger King franchisee — has plans to close 27 Burger Kings across several states. Locations in Virginia were not on the list.

Hat tip to Siraj Ahmed

The Point 50 shopping center location has closed (via Google Maps)

Slice of Matchbox, an offshoot concept of the Matchbox restaurant chain, has officially closed its doors at Fairfax City’s Point 50 Shopping Center (10408 Fairfax Blvd).

The business’s last day was March 20, a company representative told FFXnow. It closed after less than a year of operation.

Jamie Weber, a spokesperson for the company, told FFXnow that the offshoot — which offers a slimmed down version of Matchbox’s full menu — was created during the pandemic when customers sought quick alternatives to full-service restaurants.

“Post-COVID, the concept didn’t resonate with guests the same way our traditional Matchbox’s do,” Weber wrote in a statement. “We made the difficult decision to close Slice of Matchbox which has allowed us to focus on our sister restaurant in the Point 50 complex, Big Buns, which continues to thrive.”

Matchbox has other locations in Merrifield and McLean, along with several across the country.

Photo via Google Maps

The Walgreens in Culmore has closed (courtesy anonymous tip)

(Updated at 2:25 p.m. to correct photo) Walgreens in Culmore has officially closed its doors.

The location at 6053 Leesburg Pike closed a little over a month ago, a company representative tells FFXnow.

Prescriptions from the pharmacy were automatically transferred to the CVS Pharmacy at 3401 Charles Street in Baileys Crossroads.

It’s unclear why this specific store was closed, but Walgreens spokesperson Kris Lathan told FFXnow that the company considers “several factors” when deciding to close a location:

As we expand as a leader in healthcare, we are focused on best meeting the needs of patients and customers in communities we serve by creating the right network of stores in the right locations. When faced with the difficult decision to close a particular location, several factors are taken into account, including our existing footprint of stores and dynamics of the local market, and changes in the buying habits of our patients and customers.

With the closure, Walgreens no longer has any locations in Bailey’s Crossroads. The closest store is the one at 6715A Arlington Blvd in West Falls Church.

Courthouse Plaza shopping center in Fairfax (via Google Maps)

Fairfax City will soon be down one CVS drugstore.

The retail and pharmacy company will permanently shutter its store in the Courthouse Plaza shopping center at 10390 Willard Way on April 18, a spokesperson confirmed to FFXnow.

CVS Health says the move is a “difficult decision” made as part of a broader plan to focus more on digital health care services announced on Nov. 18, 2021.

“Maintaining access to pharmacy services in the communities we serve is an important factor we consider when making store closure decisions,” Amy Thibault, the lead director of external communications for CVS Pharmacy, said by email. “Other factors include local market dynamics, population shifts, a community’s store density, and ensuring there are other geographic access points to meet the needs of the community.”

The Courthouse Plaza store is one of roughly 900 locations that CVS intends to close by the end of 2024, as it evaluates “changes in population, consumer buying patterns and future health needs,” according to a press release on the new retail strategy.

Starting in spring 2022, the company has been closing about 300 stores a year, including a location in Seven Corners that let its lease expire in October. Thibault says no other stores in Fairfax City or Fairfax County are slated to close this year.

All prescriptions tied to the Courthouse Plaza store will be transferred to the CVS at 10090 Fairfax Blvd, though patients can opt to get their medications filled at another location or with a different pharmacy, according to Thibault.

CVS also provides home deliveries for some prescriptions through its website and mobile app.

Employees at the Courthouse Plaza CVS are being offered “comparable roles within the company,” she said.

“Our teams will continue to provide the community with outstanding service at our nine remaining CVS Pharmacy locations in Fairfax,” Thibault said.

Photo via Google Maps

Cold Stone Creamery’s Vienna shop is open for now, but its days are numbered (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

This summer will be Cold Stone Creamery’s last at Vienna Marketplace.

The ice cream shop will vacate 205 Maple Avenue by Aug. 31 to make way for fast-casual restaurant Taïm Mediterranean Kitchen, according to a leasing agent for KLNB, which owns the shopping center.

Joined by Chipotle and Noodles and Company, Cold Stone has been a mainstay of Vienna Marketplace since at least 2006, according to Yelp reviews. The 1,315-square-foot space is sandwiched in between the heavily frequented but still relatively new South Block and Crumbl Cookies.

It’s unclear whether the closure will mark an end to Cold Stone’s time in Vienna, or if a relocation is being considered. A media contact for the company didn’t respond to requests for comment by press time.

Once Cold Stone closes in about six months, Taïm will begin its build-out in anticipation of opening later this year.

“Mediterranean cuisine has emerged as a great option for the health-conscious consumer,” KLNB Principal Craig Cheney said. “Taïm Mediterranean Kitchen is a fresh, new, quick-service concept where consumers can build their own meal, and is bound to be a hit in Vienna. We’re pleased they chose Vienna Marketplace to be one of their first locations in Virginia.”

Started in New York City in 2005, Taïm has gained a following for its falafel, chicken shawarma and fries, now boasting 13 locations in the New York and D.C. areas, including one that opened earlier this year in College Park, Maryland.

Before coming to Vienna, the chain will venture into Virginia for the first time with a restaurant at Tysons Station in Pimmit Hills. That location remains on track to open late this spring, according to Phil Petrilli, founder and CEO of Untamed Brands, the restaurant group that includes Taim.

“Fans who have experienced taim in the city continue to ask us to bring our restaurants to more of the places where they’re hybrid working or moving with their growing families,” Petrilli said. “We’re really looking forward to meeting our neighbors and serving each community.”

For Vienna residents scouting out other places to get their ice cream fix, Bruster’s Real Ice Cream opened last week just on the other end of the block in Glyndon Plaza, joining Ben & Jerry’s, Toby’s Ice Cream, Rita’s Italian Ice and Frozen Custard, and more.

In the meantime, the Vienna Cold Stone remains open from noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays through Thursdays and until 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Masala Wok has vacated its Fairfax Marketplace space at 10940 Fairfax Blvd (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Masala Wok has bowed out of Virginia.

The fast-casual Indian chain closed its Fairfax restaurant at 10940 Fairfax Blvd when its lease term expired on Jan. 31, real estate broker KLNB confirmed to FFXnow.

The restaurant had occupied Suite J in Fairfax Marketplace since at least May 2009, according to its Yelp page. Masala Wok previously also had a location in Herndon that shuttered earlier in the pandemic.

With the Fairfax City restaurant gone, Masala Wok appears to have limited its reach to Texas, where it’s headquartered in Plano. FFXnow was unable to reach a company representative who could comment on its decision to leave Virginia.

Fortunately for local diners, though, Suite J in Fairfax Marketplace won’t be vacant for too long.

As shown on a site plan for the shopping center, Masala Wok will be replaced by Songbird Asian Cafe and Bar, a new concept from the owners of McLean’s New Star Asian Bistro.

“The owner of Songbird is a proven operator with a successful restaurant in McLean,” KLNB Principal Billy Kelly said. “We feel the concept will be a great addition to the Fairfax community and provide a great new restaurant option.”

Songbird will have a similar focus on classic Chinese cuisine as the existing eatery, but many dishes will be updated so they won’t “leave you feeling heavy,” according to co-owner Angela Zhang, who has been running New Star with her mom for the past 10 years.

The new restaurant is projected to open at the beginning of this fall.

“We live in the area and we feel Fairfax is really exciting right now and we can contribute something a little different,” Zhang said. “Our current restaurant is a neighborhood staple in the McLean area so we hope Songbird will also be an important part of Fairfax community.”

Hat tip to Sriram Sridharan


Several Bed Bath & Beyond locations in Fairfax County will officially be put to bed before the summer.

The company’s locations in Mount Vernon, Fairfax, and Springfield are slated to close before the summer, according to store representatives.

Earlier this month, the company revealed a list of the 149 locations it plans close.

“We have been conducting a comprehensive, store-by-store analysis of our portfolio to ensure we can grow profitably while best serving our customers,” a company representative told FFXnow.

The locations in Mount Vernon (7690 Richmond Highway) and Fairfax (12100 Fairfax Towne Center) will close at the end of March, according to store representatives. Liquidation sales offering discounts of 10 to 30% off on all items in the stores are now underway.

A date for closing the Springfield location (6642 Loisdale Road) has not been determined yet.

The store in Bailey’s Crossroads will remain open. The home decor company also used to have a store in Tysons until it closed last February after just over a decade on Chain Bridge Road.

Overall, the company will slash the number of Bed Bath & Beyond stores by around 400. Other locations that are slated to close include Harrisonburg and Roanoke.

In an attempt to avert bankruptcy, Bed Bath and Beyond has reportedly raised $1 billion through offerings of preferred stocks and warrants to buy the company’s common stock, according to the Associated Press.

Voilà Pastry & Café near the Huntington Metro is closing this summer (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Voilà Pastry & Café near the Huntington Metro is planning to close this summer.

The well-liked neighborhood, French-inspired bakery in Huntington Station Shopping Center on N. Kings Highway is shuttering in July, a cafe employee confirmed to FFXnow.

“We decided to not renew our lease after July due to an ongoing unworkable issue with the landlord,” a restaurant spokesperson told FFXnow via email.

The leasing company and landlord A.J. Dwoskin corroborated this as well.

“We are disappointed [Voilà] is leaving,” Chief Operating Officer Tom Regnell told FFXnow. “But we were unable to come to terms on a new agreement.”

There’s already a “for lease” sign hanging above the bakery’s door.

When asked whether Voilà might move elsewhere in Fairfax County, the spokesperson said the team has “not found a suitable location yet, but will notify our customers via social media about our future plans.”

Voilà opened at least a decade ago, according to Yelp, and is owned by pastry Chef Mimi Mekdes. She learned the art of pastry baking and decorating from her mother and grandmother, per the website.

“To this day, they are her greatest inspiration. Her grandmother went to a French school in the early 1900’s; she cooked, baked, crocheted, knitted, and more, and always presented the finished product with the word ‘C’est Voila,'” it reads.

Mekdes began her career in financial management before having children and rediscovering her passion for baking. She attended L’Academie de Cuisine in Maryland prior to opening this shop.

Of the 202 reviews on Yelp, nearly 70% give the small, local bakery five stars.

“Nestled in the center of a run of the mill strip mall, this little slice of heaven is a must visit,” one reviewer said last year. “Seriously, if you blink you will miss this place, which is a shame because its a true hidden gem.”

“A magical place that transforms you from Alexandria Virginia to Paris with just one bite,” reads another from 2021.

The area around the Huntington Metro station is in the midst of a major redevelopment. A much-discussed comprehensive plan was approved late last year.  The Arden — a 126-unit affordable housing development — opened earlier this year, and a mixed-use apartment building adjacent to the station called the Aventon will start leasing this year as well.


Subscribe to our mailing list