What to Know About Covid Vaccines for Young Kids — If recommended by the CDC and Virginia Department of Health, COVID-19 vaccines will be available from the Fairfax County Health Department with no appointments needed. Parents should contact their medical provider to see if they will carry the vaccines, which may be harder to find at pharmacies due to a state law that prohibits pharmacists from giving vaccinations to kids younger than 3. [FCHD]
Friends Stunned by Fair Lakes Shooting Deaths — “Now those who knew them are left to reconcile the image of three bodies with memories of an outwardly cheerful trio…who seemed to be always up for a boisterous evening out, for the karaoke nights they enjoyed at Fairfax bars, at Fat Tuesday’s and the Auld Shebeen.” [The Washington Post]
Mosaic District Restaurant Helps Worker After Crash — The Greek restaurant Our Mom Eugenia is helping share a fundraiser for an employee after her daughter was critically injured in last week’s fatal crash in Oakton. The business operator says Katya is “doing well” after being hit by a car while walking home from Oakton High School with her cousin and friend. [NBC4]
Annandale House Fire Started by Lights — Fairfax County fire investigators have determined that a house fire in the 3900 block of Terrace Drive on Saturday (June 11) was started accidentally “by an electrical event involving outdoor string lights” on the backyard deck. The fire displaced seven people and caused approximately $125,000 in damages. [FCFRD]
Victim Says County Prosecutors “Pressured” Her Into Plea Deal — “Julie, not her real name, said she’s been traumatized. First, by a manipulating online predator. Then, by the Fairfax County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.” [ABC7]
Prepare for Change at Springfield Town Center — “PREIT CEO Joe Coradino said his eye is on reshaping the property into something that more closely resembles its title as a town center, with a greater mix of uses. The introduction of additional components, including the planned Lego Discovery Center and seven-story hotel will help further that aim, he said.” [Washington Business Journal]
Historic Reston Distillery Gets Spotlight — “Thank you Virginia Department of Heritage Resources for promoting #Reston landmark A. Smith Bowman Distillery on #NationalBourbonDay! Read about the only legal whiskey distillery in Virginia in its day, which operated until the 1950s” [Supervisor Walter Alcorn/Twitter]
Restaurant Crawl Coming to Fairfax City on Saturday — The Old Town Fairfax City Summer Crawl is a timed, self-guided tour through participating restaurants, which will offer exclusive small plates and drinks from their menus. The free event will unfold from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., letting patrons “support local restaurants…while enjoying a variety of bites and beverages.” [Fairfax City EDA]
It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 85 and low of 69. Sunrise at 5:44 am and sunset at 8:37 pm. [Weather.gov]
Reston Kabob is getting a chance to uplift its immigrant-owned business through an accelerator program operated by DoorDash.
The Reston-based eatery is part of the first cohort for DoorDash’s Accelerator for Local Goods, an education program designed to support consumer-packed goods that are owned by entrepreneurs who are female, transgender, immigrants or people of color.
Through the program, Reston Kabob will get an extra boost to bottle its sauces, which are made from scratch.
Store manager Masoud Shoja says customers have been requesting the business, which opened in 2003, to bottle its sauces for years. He is an Afghan immigrant who came to the U.S. in the 1980s with his family as a baby. The family fled the Soviet invasion.
After reopening in January 2020, the business explored bottling its sauces, but the pandemic and associated supply chain issues derailed that opportunity.
“Earlier this year, we were finally able to source the bottles, make labels, etc and we started bottling the sauces to sell in store and potentially on 3rd party delivery apps or our website,” Shoja said. “Coincidentally, a week later we received an email to participate in the accelerator program and we saw it as a great fit. The accelerator program highlights packaged goods from local markets.”
Shoja said he opened up to the opportunity to sell beyond Reston Kabob’s platform because of the pandemic.
“The pandemic taught us to be versatile and adapt,” he said. “One way we adapted is to package our sauces where they can be shipped or sold to customers as opposed to customers coming into the physical brick and mortar restaurant location. The accelerator program essentially ‘accelerated’ this opportunity for us.”
The inaugural cohort includes a broad swatch of business owners from Chicago, New York City and the greater D.C. area.
In addition to a six-week education program, Reston Kabob will receive a $5,000 grant to support growth, access to marketing and sales support from DoorDash, and the chance to sell their items via DashMart, a DoorDash-owned and operated grocery and convenience store.
“We hope to gain new customers and grow from there,” Shoja told FFXnow. “If it’s successful, we can launch newer products and flavors and potentially rebrand it to have a more broad appeal as opposed to a localized one.”
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.
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]
(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
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.
Fairfax County Man Dies in Alexandria Jail — “Alexandria law enforcement is investigating the death of Anthony Mouf, a 25-year-old Fairfax County man in Alexandria’s William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. According to a city release, Mouf was found suffering from an apparent medical emergency alone in his cell in the jail’s booking area.” [ALXnow]
Fort Belvoir Housing Contractors Hit with Lawsuit — “After bouncing around houses near Fort Belvoir, pleading with Michaels for repairs and remediation and asking officials on the base for help, Roman filed a lawsuit on March 16 of this year, alleging the owner and manager of thousands of housing units on the base allowed safety hazards and other substandard conditions to persist for years.” [Bisnow]
Fairfax Diner Plans Comeback — After being destroyed by a fire before Thanksgiving last year, the 29 Diner will reopen on Oct. 10, owner John Wood announced earlier this month. Still serving “the thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, milkshakes, and Texas-style barbecue patrons know and love,” the restaurant will have an updated, open kitchen and restored furnishings that pay homage to its 1947 opening. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Tips for Handling the Baby Formula Shortage — “As the nationwide infant formula shortage continues due to a temporary shutdown of the plant that manufactures about half of the U.S. supply, local families are impacted, too. Our Health Department advises if you have any questions, check with your baby’s physician or healthcare provider, especially if your baby is on a restricted diet or has any medical conditions.” [Fairfax County Government]
Vienna Burger Joint Expands to Arlington — “HQ2 will be home to Arlington’s second Conte’s Bike Shop, a South Block, the second location of Vienna-based Social Burger and the first brick-and-mortar location of HUSTLE — a high intensity cycling workout business.” [ARLnow]
Capital One Sets Timeline for Office Return — The Tysons-based financial company announced that it will fully reopen all U.S. offices under a hybrid work model on Sept. 6, almost exactly a year later than previously planned. Capital One is one of the D.C. area’s largest employers, with 11,530 associates and contractors just for its headquarters, according to a spokesperson. [Capital One]
McLean Tennis Court Project Approved — The Fairfax County Park Authority Board “approved $650,000 in funding for court improvements at Lewinsville Park in McLean…FCPA anticipates the courts to be closed for up to four months, while these renovations and repairs are made.” [FCPA]
Reston Shop Hosts “Bike to Work Day” Stop — “National Bike Week happens to be this week with the 21st anniversary of Bike to Work Day in the National Capital Region falling on May 20…In Reston, bicyclists can head to a pit stop just off the Washington & Old Dominion Trail at The Bike Lane, 11150 Sunset Hills Reston, VA, 7 a.m.-9 a.m.” [Patch]
Annandale Food Festival Seeks Sponsors — “Now that planning is underway for the 2022 Taste of Annandale, the top priority is securing sponsors. The family-friendly community festival scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1 in the center of Annandale, is likely to draw at least 6,000 people.” [Annandale Today]
It’s Thursday — Rain in the morning. High of 79 and low of 61. Sunrise at 5:54 am and sunset at 8:19 pm. [Weather.gov]
Jack’s Ranch wants to reintroduce itself to Tysons, and this time, its full identity will be on display.
The Texas-barbeque-meets-Italian restaurant debuted at the Lumen Apartments (1755 Tysons Central Street) in November, but a combination of factors, including the surging omicron variant of the coronavirus, prompted a closure on Dec. 25.
When Jack’s Ranch reopens on Friday (May 20), as first reported by Eater DC, it will have an expanded, barbecue-focused menu that owner Steve Roberts says is more in line with his original intent, though some pasta, pizza, and other Italian dishes have been retained.
“It’ll be an excellent addition to Tysons, given the menu that we have available for everyone,” Roberts told FFXnow. “We do just amazing smoked meat, Texas-style craft barbeque, just like what you would get if you were visiting Austin at one of the best barbeque restaurants there.”
The restaurant’s unusual mix of food was inspired by the marriage between 19th-century cowboy John B. Omohundro (a.k.a. Texas Jack) and Italian ballerina/actress Josephine Morlacchi, according to its website.
According to Roberts, who also owns Texas Jack’s Barbecue in Arlington, the smoked meats were always supposed to be the centerpiece of his new venture, but delays in getting permits from Fairfax County for smokers forced the restaurant to initially launch with only half of its menu available.
After about a month of operations, Roberts says the team decided it “didn’t make sense to continue that approach,” especially with COVID-19 cases rising in the area. They opted to shut down until the smokers were officially approved, which took about seven months.
Open from 5-10 p.m. daily for dinner, with a 4-7 p.m. happy hour, Jack’s Ranch has a 300-seat dining room and a bar that serves beer, wine, and cocktails. Takeout is also available from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Later, the restaurant will add lunch and brunch hours, an 80-seat outdoor patio, and live music performances on its second floor, which has space for private and special events.
Now that the smoker situation has been addressed, giving Jack’s Ranch the ability to cook 100 briskets a night, Roberts says he’s on the lookout for outdoor patio furniture that can withstand the wind that sometimes hits the site, which is just west of the Route 7 and Route 123 interchange.
“We don’t want it blowing all over the place, but I think people will really enjoy it,” Roberts said. “It’s a fun, casual, but beautiful spot.”
Outdoor dining is here to stay in the Town of Vienna — except at 111 Church Street NW.
The new regulations that the Vienna Town Council agreed to after a public hearing on Wednesday (May 11) are mostly straightforward, simplifying the permitting process for permanent and seasonal outdoor dining while setting clear standards for the number of seats allowed, operating hours, and other considerations.
However, in a change from the draft ordinance presented in April, the council voted 6-1 to allow outdoor dining within 60 to 75 feet of a residential property if the patio or tent meets certain conditions:
- No alcohol served
- No waitstaff or servers allowed
- A maximum of eight seats
- Hours of operation, including any time to set up or take down furniture, end at 7 p.m.
Town staff had proposed a prohibition on outdoor dining within 75 feet of residential properties. They said it would affect three of the 22 businesses where the practice is currently allowed under temporary measures introduced in response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Simply Social Coffee, Blend 111, and Bazin’s on Church.
The Vienna Planning Commission unanimously recommended the amendment, arguing that people drinking or eating outside at a cafe poses less potential for conflict between residents and businesses than at a sit-down restaurant.
Staff confirmed that the conditions would let Simply Social retain its outdoor seating, but not Blend 111 and Bazin’s, whose shared patio at the back of 111 Church Street has drawn numerous noise complaints from neighbors.
“That was supposed to be parking,” Councilmember Howard Springsteen said of the restaurants’ outdoor dining area. “We’ve had major complaints, and they just seem to ignore it.”
While the restaurant owners said at a November public hearing that the patio has proven popular, becoming a “lifeline” during the pandemic, residents testified last week that the level of noise had become untenable.
Howard Uman and Theresa Ayotte, whose house is directly behind 111 Church Street, told the town council and planning commission that the noise remains “unacceptable,” even under a temporary ordinance established in December that limited the hours and number of seats for outdoor dining.
“We hear everything and anything that’s in our backyard,” Uman said. “I think there were only one or two people in there, and there was a kid back there screaming his head off and we could hear every single word, so it’s really intrusive.”
Councilmember Nisha Patel made what she called “a last-ditch attempt” to find a compromise between the residents and restaurants, proposing allowing outdoor dining within 75 feet of a residential property under more limited hours and requiring a conditional use permit for more than 12 seats.
Patel said she “would love to just side with the residents” but couldn’t ignore emails that the council has gotten supporting the restaurants, including one read by Mayor Linda Colbert from her predecessor, Laurie DiRocco.
“Noise is one of the things we get probably the most complaints about, but that’s also living in a community,” Colbert said, noting that the town still hears from people who only feel comfortable eating outside.
Colbert voted for Patel’s proposal, which failed on a 5-2 vote, as well as the final ordinance with the planning commission’s recommended amendment.
The town council will formally adopt the new outdoor dining ordinance on June 6, and it will take effect in July, after the current temporary ordinance ends. Businesses that currently have waivers for outdoor dining will have 60 days after the adoption to apply for new permits.
Blend 111 owner Michael Biddick confirmed to FFXnow that his restaurant’s outdoor patio will revert back to a parking lot.
“We are deeply saddened and shocked by the decision of the Vienna Town Council to eliminate our outdoor dining patio,” Biddick said by email. “For many, it is an essential location to enjoy dining safely and a bright spot from the devastating pandemic over the past two years. We regret that the Council did not consider a compromise solution that further limited the hours on the patio and other reasonable steps to mitigate noise concerns from residents living in a nearby home.”
Autopsies in Fairfax County Murders Still Pending — “Autopsies have been unable to determine how three victims of suspected ‘shopping cart killer’ Anthony Eugene Robinson died…Robinson is suspected of killing at least four people whose remains were found in Alexandria and Harrisonburg, Virginia, as well as the District.” [WTOP]
Spring Farm Day Canceled at Frying Pan — This year’s Spring Farm Day at Frying Pan Farm Park on Saturday (May 7) has been canceled due to rainy weather in the forecast. Anyone who registered in advance should receive an email with more information. [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]
The Boro Restaurants Aim for July Openings — Despite a broker site plan that lists June 1 opening dates, the restaurants El Bebe, Circa, and Caliburger aren’t expected to be ready until mid-July, a spokesperson for the Tysons development recently told FFXnow. The Boro will, however, bring back its simultaneous chess tournament on May 21. [The Boro, Tysons Today]
Congress Members Urge Action on Ghaisar Case — “Seven members of Congress, including six from the D.C. area, are asking the Justice Department to revisit the case of Bijan Ghaisar, the Virginia motorist who was shot and killed by the U.S. Park Police in 2017.” [WTOP]
Herndon Police Find ATM Skimming Device — “Subjects will install a panel containing a pin-hole camera that records you entering your PIN number while another device reads your card number. Please be diligent when using ATM machines. Always use a hand to cover the pad when entering your PIN number; and if you notice a camera…please contact #HerndonPD immediately” [Herndon Police Department/Facebook]
Maximus Leaves Reston Station for Tysons — “The $4.5 billion federal contractor that specializes in the administration of government programs like Medicaid, Medicare, federal student loans and veterans services said Tuesday it formally made the move to Lerner Enterprises’ 1600 Tysons Blvd. The company said the new space is 90,000 square feet across five floors.” [Washington Business Journal]
Back Away From the Fawn, Police Say — “It is common for people to encounter white-tailed deer fawns motionless and without their mother, then mistakenly assume it is orphaned or abandoned. In almost all cases, fawns are only temporarily left by their mothers for protection and just need to be left alone.” [FCPD]
Great Falls ArtFest Returns This Weekend — “Great Falls Studios will hold its annual Spring ArtFest May 7 and 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at four locations in Great Falls. Venues will include The Grange and Old Schoolhouse at 9818 Georgetown Pike, plus three art studios in the Village Center.” [Sun Gazette]
Tennis Court Repairs Restart Next Month — Contractor ATC will resume resurfacing tennis and pickleball courts at Linway Terrace in McLean and Wakefield Park in Annandale in early June. Work at both sites began in the fall but was suspended due to unfavorable weather conditions. [FCPA]
It’s Thursday — Possible light rain overnight. High of 66 and low of 55. Sunrise at 6:07 am and sunset at 8:06 pm. [Weather.gov]