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Vienna restaurants Bazin’s on Church and Bazin’s Next Door (111 Church Street) will close later this month after the restaurant space was sold to new owners.

After 18 years, owner Julie Bazin said she and her husband were looking forward to traveling and spending time with family and friends, while new ownership takes over the location.

“Patrick and I have sold Bazin’s and Bazin’s Next Door and our last day will be Saturday, April 27th,” Julie Bazin said told FFXnow. “We will be forever grateful to this wonderful community and our team for an amazing 18 years!”

Julie Bazin said she’s excited for the new owners to come in and she’ll continue to support whatever restaurant comes next. No new restaurant concept has been officially announced.

The restaurant was known, in part, for its extensive gluten-free menu after Chef Patrick Bazin was diagnosed with Celiac disease, Patch wrote.

Julie Bazin said new ownership will take over on May 1.

Photo via Bazins on Church/Facebook

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Red Kimono in Herndon appears to have closed (staff photo by Fatimah Waseem)

Red Kimono in Herndon appears to have closed.

The Asian restaurant at 790 Station Street, which served up sushi, ramen and barbecue, did not return multiple requests for comment from FFXnow. Based on reports from customers and a look at the facade of the business, the restaurant appears to be closed.

The website of the restaurant was also taken down, and third-party companies like GrubHub are no longer accepting orders from the restaurant.

It’s unclear what will take over the restaurant. Readers tell FFXnow that requests from the business have been unresponsive for several weeks.

Red Kimono was typically closed for most of the day and opened between 3 and 10 p.m.

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Esposito’s Fairfax closed on March 10 after 40 years in Fairfax City (staff photo by James Jarvis)

After years of enjoying the homey Italian cuisine served at Esposito’s Fairfax, Colleen Lester and her family decided the time had come to give back to the woman behind the restaurant.

So, when they learned that Esposito’s would close for good on March 10, ending a 42-year run in Fairfax City, Lester created an online fundraiser to support owner Maria Esposito. The campaign has now raised $4,100 out of a $20,000 goal, as of press time.

Esposito previously told FFXnow that she was given just two weeks to vacate the building at 9917 Fairfax Blvd where the business had operated since 1982. The property had been sold and is being considered for a Tommy’s Express Car Wash.

According to Lester, the abrupt notice left Esposito with a significant financial burden.

“Since she didn’t have much notice, she didn’t really have time to prepare financially for the cost of moving out of the space,” Lester said by email. “She also wanted to provide some sort of severance for her employees, who all lost their jobs without much warning.”

She will also still need to pay business taxes and any debts resulting from food and equipment orders that were placed weeks to months in advance but then had to be canceled, added Lester’s mother, Brenda Halbrook, who remains in close contact with Esposito.

The GoFundMe campaign is intended to help ease the burden of those expenses. Boosted by multiple triple-digit donations, it will remain open until early July, according to Halbrook.

A native of Fairfax County, Lester says her family was “heartbroken” when they heard that their long-standing favorite dining spot was going to shutter.

“My parents have lived here for the past 40+ years. We have been going to Esposito’s together for decades and are long time customers/friends of Maria’s,” she wrote. “…Our family has been eating at Esposito’s since I was a child and now my kids love going there with my parents (their grandparents) so we are 3 generations of loyal customers.”

Esposito’s was “packed” during its final week of business, and based on their conversations with Esposito, Lester and Halbrook say the restaurant owner appreciated the outpouring of support.

Since the closure, Esposito has been working at the Italian Oven, which is owned by her cousin. The McLean restaurant reopened at 6852 Old Dominion Drive in June 2022 after a 20-year hiatus.

The possibility of a comeback for Esposito’s Fairfax in a new location isn’t out of the question, according to Halbrook.

“The sudden notice to close shocked Maria to her core, but the outpouring of support from her many fairhful customers has been incredibly helpful to her,” Halbrook said. “Maria is a ‘people person,’ who genuinely loves her ‘family’ of customers. Maria would like to open her own restaurant again, if she can get the needed support.”

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One restaurant has closed, but another will soon open in the Shops at Avenir Place near the Dunn Loring Metro station.

Burger 7 is no longer serving up patties and gyro wraps at 2670-A Avenir Place. The doors of the fast-casual eatery were fastened shut with a padlocked chain, and the interior looked partially deserted when FFXnow recently stopped by, though there was no sign announcing or explaining the closure.

A Burger 7 employee in Pimmit Hills (7505 Leesburg Pike) confirmed that the Dunn Loring location is permanently closed, but they didn’t know precisely when or why it shuttered, noting that the franchise has a different owner. Emails to the company weren’t answered by press time.

Burger 7 opened at Avenir Place in 2017, replacing a Smashburger, according to its first Yelp review. In addition to Pimmit Hills, where the business originally started in 2011, Burger 7 can still be found in Alexandria and Arlington.

The 2,094-square-foot space is now listed as available on the Shops at Avenir Place’s retail site plan.

New Japanese restaurant on the way

The transit-oriented development won’t be down a restaurant for too long, though. On the other end of the strip, near Salon Lofts and The Casual Pint, signs advertise the impending arrival of Japomen.

This will be the first standalone location for the sushi and ramen restaurant, which can currently be found in the Pike Kitchen Food Hall in Rockville, EpiQ Food Hall in Woodbridge and Lotte Supermarket’s food court in Sterling, co-owner James Park says.

“Fairfax County has demographics to fit [the] Japomen concept,” Park told FFXnow.

Park joined Japomen, which was started by sushi chef Peter Yoo at Pike Kitchen in 2018, during the COVID-19 pandemic. The partners expanded to Woodbridge in summer 2022 and to Sterling when Lotte opened there last year.

Park and Yoo are also behind Tilly Kitchen, a small food hall in Chantilly that complements Japomen’s menu with Korean and Vietnamese dishes.

Expected to open at 2767-J Avenir Place in May, Japomen will serve food similar to what can be found at the EpiQ Food Hall, including sushi rolls, ramen and udon noodle soups and rice bowls. Park says the team will also “continue to innovate new menu items in catering to Dunn Loring customers.”

“We are very excited and look forward to serving the Dunn Loring community,” he said.

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The Esposito’s Fairfax in Fairfax City will permanently close after this weekend.

Owner Maria Esposito told FFXnow that the property owner notified her last Thursday, Feb. 28, that she had two weeks to vacate the premises because the property has been sold.

Located at 9917 Fairfax Blvd, the Italian restaurant first opened over four decades ago in 1982 and will welcome its final customers on Sunday, March 10.

It’s unclear who bought the property, but the Fairfax City Council is currently mulling a special-use permit to repurpose the 1.15-acre site for a Tommy’s Express Car Wash.

D.C.-based private equity firm Olympus Pines, which submitted a pre-application in November 2021, is behind the car wash proposal. The Board of Architectural Review Board and City Council members reviewed the application at two separate work sessions held last December and this past January.

A public hearing date, required before any vote, has not been set.

Last month, Esposito assured FFXnow she had no plans to close the restaurant, but the decision was ultimately out of her hands.

“It breaks my heart, this is like a family to me,” she said. “You become family after so many years. I’ve known all the customers since before 1982 in the ’70s. We share good news. We share sad news. We have shared tears. You know, we have a history over here… It’s been very sad, but it’s not in my control.”

Esposito says she plans to work temporarily in McLean, stating that she needs “a job, but right now we don’t know what the future holds.”

When reached for comment, Fairfax City Economic Development (FCED) said it has been working with the restaurant owner to make sure they’re aware of the resources it offers to local businesses.

“Esposito’s is a long-standing Fairfax City business and we have been working with the ownership to ensure that they have access to our resources and programs designed to help businesses remain and stay in Fairfax City, regardless of the location,” FCED President and CEO Christopher Bruno said.

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Lezzet Restaurant’s Vienna location has closed permanently (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Lezzet has closed its Vienna restaurant after less than two years in the town.

The location closed for good “last week unfortunately,” a spokesperson for the Mediterranean restaurant confirmed to FFXnow by email on Friday (March 1), though they didn’t elaborate on what led to that decision.

A notice taped to the restaurant’s front door was similarly opaque, saying only that it was permanently closed.

An expansion of a popular restaurant that started in Centreville in 2020, Lezzet opened in the Cedar Park Shopping Center (262-G Cedar Lane) on April 10, 2022. It was accompanied by El Sabor Grill, a Mexican restaurant and bar also operated by general manager Burcin Can.

El Sabor opened in March 2022 and closed after less than a year of business.

Lezzet was founded by chef Serkan Gozubuyuk, who had more than three decades of experience cooking Turkish cuisine. An immigrant from Turkey, his previous work included stints as an executive chef at Ankara in Dupont Circle and a sous chef for Agora Tysons.

The Centreville location (13850 Braddock Road, Suite E) remains open. It has the same menu as the Vienna location, serving kabobs, flatbreads, wraps and other Turkish and Mediterranean dishes.

Lezzet joins a growing list of restaurant closures in the Town of Vienna, following in the more established footsteps of Noodles and Company and preceding last week’s shuttering of Akai Tori Ramen & Yakitori. The family-owned store Princess Jewelers is also set to close after 38 years on March 16.

Anchored by CVS Pharmacy and Simply Social Coffee, Cedar Park Shopping Center’s remaining dining options include Sushi Koji, America’s Best Wings, Hunan Delight, Pizza Boli’s and The Red Bird, a hot chicken eatery that opened in December.

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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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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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Princess Jewelers owners Lee and Lim Nguonly join their staff for a final photo before the Vienna store closes permanently on March 16 (courtesy Princess Jewelers)

The family that has run Vienna’s Princess Jewelers for nearly four decades is stepping down.

The retail jewelry store at 529 Maple Avenue West will permanently close on March 16, as owners Lee and Lim Nguonly retire after 38 years in the business. A liquidation sale is underway and will continue through that final day.

In a public announcement of the impending closure, the Nguonly family expressed “deep gratitude” to their customers and supporters, many of whom have already reached out in appreciation.

“Our customers were like family to us. Our children grew up alongside theirs. We shared in countless milestones in our customers’ lives — engagements, anniversaries, births,” Lee Nguonly said. “It’s been an honor and joy to share these momentous occasions with so many customers. We are very grateful for their loyal patronage.”

Located in the Village Green Shopping Center, Princess Jewelers first opened its doors in 1986. In addition to selling engagement and wedding rings and other diamond and gemstone jewelry, it offers repair, appraisal and custom design services.

With a staff of certified gemologists and goldsmiths, the business says it was able to build up a reputation for quality craftsmanship and customer service over the years, earning Lee Nguonly the title of “Business Person of the Year” for 2000 from the Vienna Chamber of Commerce (now the Vienna Business Association).

In a blog post for Patch in 2013, one customer gushed that they were treated “like I was a princess” when they visited Princess Jewelers to get their wedding ring fixed. The shop not only repaired the ring, but also created a second ring with diamonds they had from their mother.

“The key to our success was the mutual interest and trust — be it on the broad level of community and business, or between jeweler and customer,” Lee said in a press release.

As it prepares to close its doors for the last time, the business is selling all of its diamond and gemstone jewelry at a discount, with prices starting at 50% off for in-stock inventory. The sale doesn’t include loose stones or custom designs, according to a public relations representative.

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Noodles & Company has closed its doors in the Town of Vienna.

The fast-casual noodle chain had anchored the Vienna Marketplace shopping center at the corner of Maple Avenue and Park Street for nearly 20 years. Now, the windows at 201 Maple Avenue East have gone dark, the linguine-ladling storefront sign stripped down.

“We’re sorry to say, this Noodles location is permanently closed,” a flyer posted to the eatery’s door says. “We’ve thoroughly enjoyed serving you and appreciate all your support.”

The notice encourages customers to visit the company’s closest remaining location, which is in Idylwood Plaza at 7501 Leesburg Pike.

An employee at that location confirmed to FFXnow that the Vienna restaurant closed Wednesday, Jan. 24 due to the high rent. Press contacts for Noodles & Company and KLNB, the retail broker for Vienna Marketplace, didn’t immediately return requests for comment.

Noodles & Company had been in Vienna since at least 2007, the days of its earliest Yelp reviews, though one reviewer said they’d previously ordered from that location “years ago.” That makes the Vienna restaurant one of the brand’s first sites in the D.C. region after it arrived in Fairfax City in 2002 and began more rapidly expanding a decade later, according to the Washington Post.

In addition to Idylwood and Fairfax City, Noodles can still be found in Kingstowne, Mount Vernon, Chantilly, Fair Lakes, Herndon, Reston and Springfield. It has 26 Virginia locations.

Though it’s not clear yet what will replace Noodles & Company, The Burn reports that the vacated Cold Stone Creamery two doors down will be filled by the D.C. deli Call Your Mother — not Taïm Mediterranean Kitchen as previously confirmed.

According to The Burn, the deli “swooped in” to take over the 1,300-square-foot space after Taim’s deal “fell through.” FFXnow has reached out to both Taim and KLNB for confirmation.

Known for its bagels, Call Your Mother entered Northern Virginia last May when it launched a “Lil Deli” at Chesterbrook Shopping Center in McLean. The business is expected to move out of the mobile truck and into a permanent, brick-and-mortar location later this year.

Taim, a fast-casual Mediterranean eatery that originated in New York City, opened restaurants in Pimmit Hills last July and at Plaza America in Reston on Dec. 5.

Remaining tenants in Vienna Marketplace include Crumbl Cookies, South Block, Chipotle, AT&T and Lacrosse Unlimited.

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