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The McDonald’s in Vienna’s Cedar Park Shopping Center has permanently closed (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Town of Vienna is now down to just one McDonald’s.

The fast-food chain’s eatery in the Cedar Park Shopping Center (282 Cedar Lane) permanently closed earlier this week, leaving the town with only the drive-thru site at 544 Maple Avenue.

News of the closure spread through the Vienna VA Foodies Facebook group on Wednesday (June 1) after Toby Bantug, who owns the adjacent Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream, posted photos of workers removing signs from the building.

By yesterday morning (Thursday), all of the signs, including Mickey D’s golden arches logo, were gone or had been covered up with paper.

“We would like to express our sincere thank you to all our customers who visited our Cedar Lane McDonald’s!” a sign posted in the front window said.

According to the sign, the restaurant’s employees had been transferred to other locations in Idylwood (7101 Leesburg Pike) and the Fairfax Circle area (3195 Old Lee Highway).

“McDonald’s reviews its restaurant portfolio on a regular basis to make the best decisions for our business moving forward,” McDonald’s USA said in a statement to FFXnow. “Closing a restaurant is a difficult decision but we look forward to continuing to serve our customers at our other McDonald’s restaurants in Vienna.”

The chain hasn’t recently closed any other sites in Fairfax County, according to company spokesperson Steve Kramer.

FFXnow was unable to reach First Washington Realty, which owns the shopping center, for comment on what will be next for the now-vacant, 1,353-square-foot suite.

McDonald’s had held down the eastern end of Cedar Park for over a decade, becoming a regular spot for nearby residents and students who otherwise had few food options within walking distance.

The shopping center is starting to address that gap. Since undergoing a multimillion-dollar renovation that finished in November 2020, Cedar Park has added Simply Social Coffee, Sushi Koji, El Sabor Grill, the Mediterranean restaurant Lezzet, and Toby’s Ice Cream.

Work is also still going to remodel a space for the chain America’s Best Wings.

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Morning Notes

Media crews wait outside the Fairfax County Courthouse for jurors to deliver a verdict in the defamation trial involving actors Amber Heard and Johnny Depp (staff photo by David Taube)

Baby Born at Reston Fire Station Makes Visit — “Today, Station 25, Reston, B-Shift hosted Baby Ivy, who made her entrance into the world in Station 25 parking lot recently, and her big brother, mom and dad. 25-B were thrilled and presented the family w/station shirt/patch. Baby Ivy brought some goodies for the shift!” [FCFRD/Twitter]

TJ Students Reflect on First Year Under New Admissions System — “As the adults did battle in courtrooms, students such as Sarah Castillo were reconsidering their options. Hundreds of students who had neither thought of applying to TJ, nor felt they had a chance of acceptance under the old admissions system, now took the plunge — and some of them, including Sarah, got in.” [The Washington Post]

Burke House Fire Leads to Over $500K in Damages — Smoldering embers dropped in a pile of sawdust ignited a house fire in the 8900 block of Arley Drive on Thursday (May 26) that displaced two people and resulted in $516,075 in damages. Firefighters at the scene saw “heavy fire” through the two-story house’s roof, and one resident got minor injuries. [FCFRD]

Over a Quarter of Primary Mail Ballots Returned — “We’ve had about 28% of #votebymail ballots returned so far in the Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District. Return your ballot now or #voteearly in person at the Fairfax County Govt. Center” [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]

West Falls Church Restaurant Closed Permanently — DC Steakholders owners Usman and Lilly Bhatti said in a May 4 message that “inflation, staffing shortages, and rising food costs have taken a toll on our business,” noting that their food trucks and catering business will continue. The restaurant first opened on Arlington Blvd. in April 2019 and served burgers and frozen custard. [Annandale Today]

Reston Food Delivery Business Plans Expansion — “Frolick is a fresh take on food delivery, offering a rotating menu of chef-prepared meals — delivered for now only in Northern Virginia but soon expanding to D.C. and then, perhaps, well beyond…Frolick was born in the summer of 2021 with a big assist from GateGroup, the Swiss-based airline catering giant whose North American headquarters is in Reston.” [DC Inno]

Future Springfield Town Center Hotel Site Sold — “PREIT…announced execution of a purchase and sale agreement for 11 outparcels that will generate gross proceeds in excess of $32 million. The Company also executed an agreement of sale for a vacant parcel at Springfield Town Center set to be developed into a hotel site for $2.5 million as the Company executes on its vision of delivering one-stop destinations for the communities it serves.” [PREIT]

Jefferson Manor Kids Start Pet Directory — “Two sisters in Alexandria, Virginia, created a directory of all the neighborhood pets to raise money for good causes and bring the community together.” There have been 144 different pets submitted to the directory so far. [NBC4]

Free Fishing Day This Weekend — The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is helping people learn how to fish with an event from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. this Saturday (June 4) at Burke Lake. Equipment and bait are provided, and attendees don’t need to purchase a fishing license. [DWR]

It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 87 and low of 73. Sunrise at 5:47 am and sunset at 8:30 pm. [Weather.gov]

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The family-owned restaurant Rubino’s Pizzeria marks its last day of business today in Herndon (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) The final hour has descended upon a popular pizza spot in Herndon’s Clock Tower plaza.

Rubino’s Pizzeria‘s last day of business in the location at 2415 B-9 Centreville Road is today (Tuesday), ending a 17-year blitz in the plaza. (Correction: The number of years Rubino’s Pizzeria has been in business has been fixed.)

The restaurant’s other locations in Ashbrook Commons and Broadlands remain open, and catering orders will be accepted online via www.getrubinos.com.

“The Rubino family would love to thank everyone for your continued support for over three decades,” the business wrote in a statement.

The business was founded in 2005 by the Rubino brothers — Stephen, John and David — who graduated from George Mason University and are Loudoun County residents. The Herndon location was pizzeria’s first, according its website.

A request for comment from FFXnow was not immediately returned.

The restaurant serves pizzas, cheesecakes, calzones, stromboli, hoagies, salads, pasta and other items.

Image via Google Maps

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After nearly three years of business, a locally-curated restaurant at Lake Anne Plaza has officially closed its doors.

Local VA, a gourmet dive bar that opened in 2019, permanently closed earlier this month, the business confirmed in a statement to FFXnow.

The spokesperson for the business declined to comment further on the closure, citing legal reasons.

The doors of the spot are blocked off with chains, and multiple white signs indicating the closure are plastered over the storefront.

The business tells FFXnow that the closure will be permanent for this location, but there’s no word yet on what’s in store for Local VA’s future in the region.

Owner Dylan Clark prided the business for bringing neighborhood appeal to the plaza in a relaxed and homey environment.

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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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Morning Notes

Tysons Tales pop-up park outside The Boro (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Board Chair “Saddened” by Buffalo Mass Shooting — “I am both saddened and angered over the senseless loss of life that took place in Buffalo, NY. The racial hate that reportedly motivated this horrific attack is inexcusable. I am keeping the victims and their families in my prayers.” [Jeff McKay/Twitter]

Nearly Half of Metrorail Operators Lapse Recertification — “Metro management is taking immediate corrective action to remove from service 72 train operators who became out of compliance prior to May 2021. This will result in a temporary reduction in Green and Yellow line service from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes due to an operator shortage…Service impacts are expected to continue until the end of May.” [WMATA]

Police Investigate Deaths Near Robinson Secondary School — “Detectives are on the scene in the 10400 blk of Stallworth Ct. in Fairfax after officers discovered two deceased persons following a welfare check. Preliminarily, this appears to be a domestic-related incident. There is no known threat to the public at this time.” [FCPD/Twitter]

FCPS Considers Co-Ed Sex Education Classes — “An advisory committee recently approved a plan to mix boys and girls in grades 4-8 during Family Life Education instruction; a practice that is done in some area school systems but not in others…Board members are expected to discuss mixing-genders in Family Life Education classes as early as June.” [ABC7]

Area Eagles Suffer from Lead Poisoning — “Toxins in the environment, and especially lead, [Jeff Cooper] suspected, were hurting bald eagles in Virginia more than ecologists realized…The findings went beyond Cooper’s fears: Nearly half of bald and golden eagles in the United States, and in the D.C. region, have chronic lead poisoning.” [The Washington Post]

Person Shot in Mount Vernon Near Richmond Highway — Fairfax County police officers responded to Buckman Road and Janna Lee Avenue on Thursday (May 12) after a person was shot in the upper body by someone “seen pointing a silver handgun from an older model black Toyota Highlander.” The victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening, and police don’t believe it was a random act. [FCPD]

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]

Princess Diana Exhibit Comes to Tysons — “The new experience, called Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition, is said to be the world’s first-ever walk-through documentary by its creators…Tickets to the experience are now on sale…and the event’s first day open to the public will be on May 25 at Tysons Corner Center.” [WUSA9]

Tysons Pedestrian Bridge Falling into Place — “The perfect cure for a gloomy day? Check out the most recent progress pics of our new ped bridge over the Beltway in Tysons, opening this year!” [VDOT/Twitter]

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]

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Chico’s in Reston Town Center has closed (staff photo by Fatimah Waseem)

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.

The closure comes amidst a flurry of recent changes in the town center, including the departure of Bow Ties Cinema and the addition of a new athletic facility from The St. James.

The center’s public spaces are slated for a facelift starting this spring, and tenants like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Fogo de Chao — among others — are slated to open up their doors this year.

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Bow Tie Cinemas appears to be closed at Reston Town Center (staff photo by Fatimah Waseem)

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.

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Now at Earp’s Ordinary, the Fairfax-based Palace drag show started at Epicure in May 2021 (photos by Matt Briggs)

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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Morning Notes

Looking up at Tysons Central office building on an overcast day (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Saturday Morning Shooting in Herndon Under Investigation — “Officers are investigating a shooting in the 2100 block of Astoria Circle in Herndon. One person taken to the hospital with serious injuries. Suspect(s) believed to have left the area in a silver sedan.” [FCPD/Twitter]

New Route 123 to I-66 Ramp to Open Tomorrow — “The new permanent ramp from Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) South to I-66 West is planned to open during the early morning hours on or about Tuesday, April 19. The current temporary left turn and connector ramp from Route 123 South to I-66 West will close as part of this work.” [VDOT]

Fight Leads to Stabbing Near Fairfax Circle — “Officers were called to the location for reports of a group of men fighting. When they arrived, the victim was found with a stab wound to the upper body. The victim was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries. The victim’s condition was later upgraded, and the victim remained hospitalized. Preliminarily, this does not appear to be a random act.” [FCPD]

Seven Corners Alehouse to Close — “Dogfish Head Alehouse in Seven Corners is closing. Its last day is May 15. A message from the restaurant on social media says ‘Upon renewal of our lease, we were not able to come to terms with the property owner and as such our time has come to an end.'” [Annandale Today]

T-Mobile Might Be Coming to McNair — Multiple commercial real estate firms reported that telecom giant T-Mobile has signed a lease for almost 200,000 square feet at 2340 Dulles Corner Blvd. An update from one firm suggested the deal had not yet closed, but if accurate, it would be the largest first-quarter lease in Northern Virginia. [Washington Business Journal]

Walkability Still a Challenge in Tysons — “The area known to county planners as Tysons East…has seen significant investment over the past decade…But those areas are separated from each other and neighboring developments like the Tysons Corner Center Shopping Center and Tysons Galleria by major highways, limiting the suburb’s ability to truly feel like an urban center.” [Bisnow]

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]

FCPS Hires New HR Assistant Superintendent — “Superintendent Scott S. Brabrand has named Sherry Wilson, who currently serves as director of Human Resources in Chesapeake (Va.) Public Schools, to the role of assistant superintendent, Department of Human Resources, effective June 1, 2022.” [FCPS]

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]

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