Clyde’s of Reston, an American bar and restaurant, will permanently close its doors tomorrow, ending 31 years of business in Reston Town Center.
But even as it auctions off iconic memorabilia and customers flood in for the restaurant’s final days, the company tells FFXnow that a lease at an undisclosed location in Reston for a new restaurant concept is “very close” to finalization.
The closure of the business in what is the primary urban heart of Reston — the town center — is emblematic of how some say that the community has evolved with multiple mixed-use, high-density areas in development.
Clyde’s announced that it would shutter its location at 11905 Market Street earlier this year. Kevin Keller, the company’s operations director, says the decision was motivated by the company’s desire to grow as it neared the end of its lease.
“We felt that despite our 31-year-run, we were going to look at other real estate in the area,” Keller said. “Recently a lot has changed in and around the town center and we wanted to take this opportunity to look at other spaces.”
He added that high-density areas in Reston are continuing to expand, providing more options for businesses.
But the relationship between Boston Properties and the management team behind Clyde’s and other restaurant concepts continues to remain strong.
“We have a great relationship with Clyde’s and this was a sort of a mutual decision to move on,” said Jake Stroman, Boston Properties’ co-head of the Washington region and an executive vice president. “We remain strong partners and friends.”
Since it opened 31 years ago, Clyde’s of Reston became part of the fabric of the community.
Throughout the past week, the restaurant has seen a flurry of business, as customers relived birthdays, anniversaries, and other iconic celebrations. Visitors snapped photos and checked out the restaurant’s decor for one last time before the end of an area.
“When you close something after 31 years, you understand the impact it had the community,” Keller said.
Clyde’s has 13 locations across the D.C. area. The one in Columbia, Maryland — Reston’s sister city — also became a beloved fixture of a major urban center until it closed in 2020 after around 45 years of business.
Clyde’s of Reston is currently auctioning off most of its decor, with a bidding period closing on Wednesday (May 25). But a few pieces near and dear to staff and the community will remain with the company for its future concept.
The company declined to state where the expected lease is anticipated and whether or not its plan involves Old Ebbitt Grill — a concept that grew out of the original Clyde’s.
“We’re excited,” Keller said. “At the location we’re looking at, we’re close to signing a lease.”
The rumor mill in the community has been churning, with some anticipating a new lease at Reston Station, which is becoming another mixed-use neighborhood rivaling the town center.
On that, Keller could only say that there are plenty of “good rumors” are circling.
“It’s not about being in one central area anymore. There’s tons of opportunities for us to build a brand-new pretty penny,” he said.
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Couple Recalls Meet at Clyde’s in Reston — As Clyde’s prepares to close on Saturday (May 21) after 31 years at Reston Town Center, resident Kristin Simons reflects on having her first date with her now-husband at the restaurant. Since then, Clyde’s has become a go-to destination for the family for everything from brunches to work-related celebrations, she says. [Fairfax County Times]
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It’s Monday — Rain in the afternoon and evening. High of 74 and low of 62. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:17 pm. [Weather.gov]
Chico’s, a women’s clothing store, has officially shuttered its doors at Reston Town Center.
The business, which was located at 11910 Market Street, closed up shop last month.
It started off in 1983 as a small gallery and has since expanded across the country. There are several local locations, including McLean, Fairfax, and Leesburg.
There is no word yet on what will replace the store. The company did not return multiple requests for comment on why the store closed and when the last day of business was.
Just like that, Bow Tie Cinemas has left Reston Town Center, leaving Reston Association’s longest running program in limbo.
Reston Town Center owner Boston Properties confirmed last month that the movie theater chain hadn’t renewed its lease, but no firm closure date was given, beyond that it would be sometime in May.
The closure now appears to be official. No show times are listed on its website or the box office marquee, and the doors were locked today (Wednesday).
The company did not return multiple requests for comment on the last day of business. Boston Properties also did not respond to multiple requests for comment on when the company’s lease expired.
RA’s Senior Movie Day, which brings more than 100,000 patrons over the years, will be on pause, as the cinema changes theater companies.
The program begin in 1994 and is expected to resume later this year or in early 2023. RA says that roughly 315 people aged 55 and above attended the shows and enjoyed other Reston Town Center amenities after watching the movies.
Bow Tie Cinemas, which took over the theater in April 2011, will be replaced by LOOK Dine-in Cinemas, which plans to open its first location in Virginia in the last quarter of the year. The business declined to provide additional details about the theater beyond what was reported last month.
LOOK also declined to comment on whether or not it plans to continue the senior movie day tradition once the new theater opens.
Fairfax City’s Epicure is no more, a blow to the students and artists who had turned the independent cafe on Route 29 into the area’s go-to quirky-cool hangout spot.
Fortunately for the local LGBTQ community, the Palace still stands. The biweekly drag show, which was started last May by a pair of high school friends, has sashayed over to the Earp’s Ordinary pop-up bar at 3950 University Drive.
While thrilled with the new venue, Palace co-producer Alan Xtra is still reeling a little from Epicure’s sudden closure on April 6.
“Oh gosh, Epicure is just fantastic — was just fantastic,” Xtra told FFXnow by phone. “There’s nowhere else like it in Fairfax County that I’m aware of that has such a vibrant arts community and was so open to hosting shows…Our current venue is great, but Epicure was something special.”
Like many millennials, Xtra first encountered the world of drag through the reality TV show “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” which launched in 2009. Instantly entranced, the Vienna native started performing in and organizing drag shows at his college in upstate New York.
Upon returning home, however, he found that there were no shows in Fairfax County, though D.C. has a rich history of drag culture.
Xtra brought up the idea of starting a show to Chase, a friend from their days in high school theater. She instantly got on board, as did the owner of Epicure when asked if they could use the cafe, and the Palace was born.
Hosted by MasVusi, a George Mason University student who got involved after seeing a show, the Palace’s drag and variety shows received a “great” reception from the start and have only grown since then, Xtra says, though he anticipates a slight drop in numbers with the venue and time shift.
The first show at Earp’s Ordinary was held on April 12 and the next one is scheduled for 9 p.m. on Tuesday (April 26). Going forward, they will take place on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month — a change from the usual Wednesday time slot at Epicure.
Face masks are also no longer required, in keeping with Earp’s mask-optional approach, but people are still welcome to wear them. Xtra acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges and likely reduced attendance.
“Pretty consistently, I still have people say, ‘Hey, I’m not very comfortable doing in-person events still.’ That’s just where we are,” he said.
While the Palace is open to straight, cisgender individuals, it’s envisioned as a space explicitly by and for LGBTQ people — something that feels especially precious at a time of increasing homophobic and transphobic violence.
From prohibitions on discussions of gender identity and sexual orientation in schools (dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida) to the criminalization of gender-affirming health care, state legislatures have introduced record numbers of anti-LGBTQ bills this year. Many young people, particularly transgender and nonbinary youth, have reported negative mental health impacts as a result.
Xtra sees the Palace not as a distraction from those urgent issues, but as an alternative, a space that gives LGBTQ people the sense of acceptance and belonging they’re often denied elsewhere.
“I think that a drag show is a place for queer joy,” Xtra said. “It’s a place for us to come together and celebrate each other as we are, as we’re meant to be, in our fullest selves, and love each other and give each other dollars and buy each other drinks. It’s a space for joy.”
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New Reston Fire Station Celebrated — “Thank you @ChiefJohnButler and @ffxfirerescue for a great grand opening of the new Reston Fire Station this morning (4/16) We appreciate all you do for our community!” [Walter Alcorn/Twitter]
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It’s Monday — Rain starting in the afternoon. High of 47 and low of 39. Sunrise at 6:29 am and sunset at 7:50 pm. [Weather.gov]
The lights are about to go dark at Reston Town Center’s longtime movie theater.
Bow Tie Cinemas did not renew its lease for this year, according to a representative for Boston Properties.
The movie theater did not return multiple requests for comment, although a source who chose to remain anonymous says the theater is expected to close some time in May.
But moviegoers have no reason to fear: Boston Properties says that another theater is coming to the town center.
“We completed a lease with a new theater operator late last year,” said Sapna Yathraj, a spokesperson for BP.
The company did not immediately release any other information and declined to comment on the name of the new theater.
Moviegoers have reported that the longtime tenant has struggled with delayed showings and maintenance issues for the past year or so.
A slushy machine from Tysons’ original steakhouse could be yours for a little over $200.
Run by Rasmus Auctions on behalf of J.R.’s Custom Catering, the event is being held online, but potential buyers can make an appointment to inspect the wares in person at the historic restaurant between 9 a.m. and noon on Monday (March 14).
Located at 8130 Watson Street, J.R.’s Stockyards opened in 1978 as one of Tysons’ first restaurants outside of Tysons Corner Center, according to its website. The venue ceased its restaurant operations in 2011, evolving to become a private banquet hall and caterer.
J.R.’s got Fairfax County’s approval to redevelop the site in October 2020, but it sold the property to an apparent affiliate of Tysons Corner Center owner Macerich in December. Macerich has not revealed yet whether it will move forward with the planned residential building or pursue a different development.
Stockyards Inn items up for auction include cookware, stoves and refrigerators, signs that once decorated the restaurant’s walls, cotton candy and popcorn carts, ceramic cows dressed like chefs, and a snow plow.
The auction will close at 10:07 a.m. on March 15.
Walgreens in Reston has officially closed its doors.
The business, located at 2260A Hunters Woods Plaza, had its last day of business on Monday (Feb. 28), a company representative told FFXnow.
“As we continue to execute our strategy to expand Walgreens role as a leader in the delivery of healthcare, we are focused on creating the right network of stores in the right locations to best meet the needs of the communities we serve,” spokesperson Kris Lathan said. “There are a number of factors that we take into consideration when opening and closing locations, including dynamics of the local market and changing buying habits of our customers.”
The company did not comment on the specific decision to close its Reston location on the southeast corner of Hunters Woods Plaza. Currently, the plaza has six vacancies, the largest of which is 8,614-square-feet.
Walgreens has multiple locations in Virginia, including Herndon, Fairfax, Falls Church and Leesburg.
Walgreens directed customers to pick up pending prescription orders at a nearby CVS Pharmacy.
“Prescription files for this location will automatically transfer to other nearby stores,” Lathan said. “Pharmacy patients will receive a letter in the mail providing more information about their prescription records.”
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