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Jason’s Deli will close its Idylwood Plaza location in December (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Jason’s Deli will close up shop for good next month after more than a decade at Idylwood Plaza.

The last day of business for the sandwich restaurant will be Dec. 12, though a separate location at Fair Lakes Shopping Center will remain open.

“It’s because of business,” said an employee at the Idylwood restaurant. Profits have been unable to keep up with rising rent for the over 4,700-square-foot space at 7505 Leesburg Pike, according to the worker.

A corporate customer service representative for Jason’s Deli confirmed that the location didn’t renew its lease because the landlord was seeking a rent increase.

“Our policy, out of respect and care for our merchant relationships, is not to comment on their leases and the terms of those leases,” Federal Realty, the property manager for Idylwood Plaza, said in a statement to FFXnow.

Founded by the grandson of Italian immigrants, Jason’s Deli started in Beaumont, Texas, in 1976 and now has 250 delis in 28 states. It’s known for using “real, clean” ingredients and offering free soft-serve ice cream.

The Idylwood deli opened in 2008, becoming the company’s first restaurant in the D.C. area. After the upcoming closure, the region will still have Jason’s Deli locations in Fair Lakes and Columbia, Maryland.

For residents of the Idylwood/Pimmit Hills area who want to grab a sandwich closer to home, though, it appears the Subway right behind Idylwood Plaza will soon have to suffice.

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A Fairfax County police SUV with lights on (file photo)

A 20-year-old man has been arrested for allegedly burglarizing two Latino restaurants in Mount Vernon earlier this month, Fairfax County police announced last week.

Police say surveillance footage showed the man, a resident of the county’s “Alexandria area,” breaking into Mezcalero Restaurant three times and Mana Pupuseria once from Nov. 13-18.

The Fairfax County Police Department had been investigating the burglaries since the first one at Mezcalero was reported on Nov. 13.

The man was arrested on Nov. 19 after officers in the Mount Vernon Police District responded to the Walmart at 7910 Richmond Highway for a larceny report.

“[He] was wearing clothing that matched images seen on surveillance footage from the four previous reported burglaries,” the police department said in its news release. “Through investigation, detectives determined Flores was responsible for the four commercial burglaries.”

According to the FCPD, videos showed the suspect using a brick to destroy the windows of the two restaurants. He stole merchandise and property, but the amounts are still being determined as part of the police investigation, the public affairs bureau told FFXnow.

The man has been charged with four counts each of burglary and destruction of property, vehicle tampering and petit larceny. The burglary charges are felonies, while the others are misdemeanors.

The Fairfax County General District  Court confirmed that the man is being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Jan. 4.

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Basic Burger is opening a bagel pop-up in its Tysons West restaurant (courtesy Basic Burger)

Basic Burger is circling the Tysons area as one potential location for a new, standalone bagel “concept.”

For now, the Arlington-based company will open a New York bagel pop-up in its Tysons West restaurant at 1495 Cornerside Blvd this weekend, Operations Director Jamie Mansy told FFXnow.

The “Basic Bagel” pop-up will sell bagels by themselves and in orders of a dozen or half-dozen. The menu also has fried egg sandwiches with sausage or bacon and different schmears, including butter, jelly, cream cheese and peanut butter.

It will operate only on Saturdays and Sundays for the foreseeable future.

“This is not a New York ‘style’ bagel, but actual bagel BOILED and BAKED fresh in New York City and shipped down to us every Saturday and Sunday,” Mansy said by email. “We have limited supply and when we sell out, we sell out.”

Launched in 2016, Basic Burger offers burgers, chicken and fish sandwiches, hot dogs, a couple of salads and sides.

The bagel pop-up was first introduced at Basic Burger’s Pentagon Row location, where it has seen “tremendous success,” according to Mansy. Prior to that, the company had been developing it as a standalone concept but put that plan on the backburner when COVID-19 arrived in spring 2020.

Mansy says the restaurant is “excited” to bring the pop-up to Tysons as it searches for a site for a standalone store. The first location will be in either the Tysons and McLean area or Arlington County.

“We are shopping spaces to bring the concept full time to northern VA so no exact timing on when it will stop being a pop-up, but we do plan to launch it as a standalone concept from our restaurant group in the future,” Mansy wrote.

Also on the horizon for the Tysons West shopping center is a PetMedic Urgent Care clinic that’s expected to open next year. Plans for housing in the former Sheraton hotel, which is part of the larger development envisioned by JBG Smith, are currently being reviewed by Fairfax County.

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The Roy Rogers on Belle View Blvd (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) On an April day in 1968, Roy “King of the Cowboys” Rogers and his wife — “Queen of the West” Dale Evans — appeared in front of thousands along Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads to open America’s first Roy Rogers.

“Inside the shoppe, Roy and Dale served up hot Roast Beef sandwiches to the first several customers,” promotional materials said at the time. “Over 5,000 autographed pictures of Roy and Dale were passed out to customers.”

Yes, despite the Old West motif and being named after a movie star cowboy, the fast food chain known for its roast beef and fried chicken began in Fairfax County, opening its first restaurant at 5603 Leesburg Pike.

Today, it’s now a McDonald’s set to undergo a revamp.

The story behind how Roy Rogers came to be born in Fairfax County starts with J. Willard Marriott, founder of the once-local but now-international hotel chain.

“Mr. Marriott wanted to get into the fast food business,” Jim Plamondon, co-president of Roy Rogers restaurants, told FFXnow. “Just like what Ray Kroc was doing with McDonald’s.”

Marriott began his career running a D.C. root beer shop before transitioning to a coffee shop-style eatery called Hot Shoppe. He opened his first hotel in Arlington in 1957.

But fast food was hot in the 1960s, and Marriott, an experienced restaurant owner, wanted a bite of that market too. So, when a new roast beef franchise called “RoBee’s House of Beef” opened in the Midwest, Marriott decided to acquire it, Plamondon explained.

Plamondon knows this history intimately. His father, Peter Plamondon Sr., was an executive in charge of Marriott’s restaurant division at the time, and he helped the hotel company launch its fast food business.

However, legal reasons prevented the company from acquiring RoBee’s trademark, so they needed a new name.

“One of the people on [Marriott’s] board of directors…said ‘Well, I know the agent for Roy Rogers, the cowboy,'” Plamondon said. “[Rogers] was a rock star back then. I mean, he was huge. He was as big as any movie star you would name today.”

Rogers was also very amendable to licensing his image and name to merchandise and businesses. At one point in the mid-20th century, more than 400 products had Roy Rogers’s name on them — second only to Walt Disney, per Rogers’s official website

Marriott and Roy Rogers struck an agreement, and the new fast food restaurant took on the Hollywood cowboy’s name. Read More

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Rose Kabob in Vienna before it closed permanently on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Another family-owned restaurant that felt like a mainstay of Vienna’s culinary scene is gone.

Rose Kabob had its final day of business yesterday after serving platters of chicken, lamb and kubideh (ground beef) at 126 Maple Avenue West for 16 years.

When the doors opened around 11:30 a.m. on Saturday (Nov. 12), the dining room was still empty, but owner Hassan Mostafavi and his daughter-in-law were already busy juggling errands and takeout orders. That left him little time to explain the closure beyond that they “unfortunately lost the lease.”

“We love the community. We’re going to be missing all the customers,” Mostafavi told FFXnow.

Located in the Vienna Shopping Center, Rose Kabob launched in 2007, as Mostafavi sought to “practice what he preached” as a former professor and business consultant for over 35 years, according to its website.

Run by Mostafavi and his family with the same chef for roughly 13 years, the restaurant was picked as a top “cheap eat” by Washingtonian multiple times in the early 2010s.

In a farewell message posted to the website, Mostafavi said he plans to travel and spend more time with family and friends, while urging customers to continue supporting local businesses.

Dear Vienna,

It is time for us to close the doors here at Rose Kabab Restaurant. We have loved the years of serving you and have made countless friends along the way.

Please never stop supporting local business. It is the fabric of our community. It is the strength of our local economy. While I will miss seeing many of your smiling faces and sharing conversation and laughter, it is time that I (Hassan) travel and spend sweet moments with my family and friends.

With love, Hassan and the rest of the Rose Kabab family

Zan, Zendegi, Azadi Women, Life, Freedom

Rose Kabob might be the longest-tenured restaurant to close in the Town of Vienna since Amphora bid adieu in January 2021, though Charles’ Barber Shop in the Cedar Park Shopping Center had been around since the 1980s until its last owner decided to retire in August.

Construction is currently underway to turn the former Amphora building at 377 Maple Avenue West into a new restaurant called The Maple Room.

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McLean Pizza and Subs is permanently closed (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

McLean Pizza and Subs has served up its last slice.

The Italian and Greek restaurant at 1434 Center Street is permanently closed after supplying the neighborhood with pizza, pasta, subs and more since 1962, according to its website.

A notice posted to the door states that the business “has closed for good” and apologizes for the inconvenience, but it doesn’t elaborate on what led to the closure. FFXnow didn’t receive a response to its attempts to contact the owner.

McLean Pizza appears to have shuttered in late October, though an exact date is unclear. Twitter user Thomas Malloy alerted FFXnow on Oct. 28, and a Yelp reviewer said on Oct. 18 that it was closed when they went by to order a pizza.

“Sad. Great food and really nice people,” the reviewer wrote.

Renovated in October 2021, the dining room was still fully furnished when FFXnow visited Sunday (Nov. 6), with tables, chairs and even ketchup bottles visible through the darkened storefront windows.

Located in Old Dominion Shopping Center, McLean Pizza occupies a sizable space next to McLean Hair Center, which was established in 1956 and is McLean’s oldest barbershop, according to a sign by the door. The strip mall also houses Chesapeake Bagel Bakery, McLean Shoe Store and Repair, and Comfort One Shoes.

According to Fairfax County records, Old Dominion Shopping Center was built in 1956 and has been owned by McLean Properties since Feb. 28, 2007.

The landlord has reportedly opted not to renew leases for longer-term tenants or only offered renewals by the month.

FFXnow has reached out to McLean Properties and is awaiting a response.

McLean Properties also owns the McLean and Chain Bridge shopping centers. A redevelopment is in the works for the latter that would renovate Giant Food, its anchor store, and reposition the buildings along Beverly Road.

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Blackfinn Ameripub in Merrifield is closing this weekend (image via Blackfinn Ameripub/Facebook)

The Blackfinn Ameripub in Merrifield (2750 Gallows Road) will serve its last beer this weekend, according to staff at other franchise locations.

The pub featured classic Americana fare, like burgers and fries, a broad selection of ales, and a specialized “gameday menu“.

In addition to football games, Blackfinn Ameripub is also locally known for its New Year’s Eve parties.

Merrifield’s Blackfinn Ameripub will reportedly be open through the weekend and shut down on Sunday (Oct. 30), staff at two other Blackfinn Ameripub locations confirmed. The Merrifield location could not be reached by phone.

There are two other Blackfinn Ameripub locations in the region — one in Ashburn and one in D.C. just north of the White House — and one in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Photo via Blackfinn Ameripub/Facebook

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Taco Bell in Reston could see a facelift as part of a demolition proposal. (Image via handout/Fairfax County Government)

(Updated, 10/28) The county has officially okayed a new and improved Taco Bell in Reston.

At this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, officials unanimously gave the green light to demolish the existing Taco Bell on Roger Bacon Drive just off Wiehle Avenue and replace it with a modern version with an additional drive-thru lane. At just over 2,700 square feet, the restaurant will also be slightly larger than the previous iteration.

The go-ahead came on the heels of recommendations from both the staff and the county’s Planning Commission last month.

The Taco Bell that sits there now was first built in the 1980s, according to a presentation made by the applicant at the meeting earlier this week.

Franchise owner Summerwood Corporation bought the site last August with the intention of updating the fast-food restaurant. Aesthetically, it does not align with Taco Bell’s current branding and it’s not conducive to traffic best practices.

It’s in what the county terms a “fast food park” with Taco Bell, McDonald’s, and Pupatella (which used to be a Pizza Hut) all sharing various exits and entrance points. To locals, that block was known as “McTacoHut.”

Concerns were brought up over the summer by the Reston Planning Commission about increased traffic and back-ups that an additional drive-thru lane might bring to that block in Reston.

The report and presentation provided to both the Planning Commission in September and the one made to the Board of Supervisors earlier this week looked to alleviate some of those concerns.

A formal traffic study was conducted that showed that Taco Bell currently contributes about a quarter of the traffic along that section of Roger Beacon Drive during the peak lunchtime rush. It’s estimated that a new modern building and a second drive-thru lane will lead to an increase of about 5% in traffic.

Summerwood is also in discussions with the McDonald’s next door, which shares a one-way drive aisle with Taco Bell, about making it two-ways which could help with traffic flow. Plus, increased signage is being planned which might assist motorists.

An additional drive-thru lane will decrease back-ups by increasing queue capacity to 19 cars, per the applicant.

“This is due to customers increasingly using the drive-thru instead of parking and entering the facility,” said Matt Roberts of Hirschler, on behalf of the applicant. “This is not a new phenomenon that was basically accelerated during the pandemic.”

About 79% of peak-hour transactions are currently happening through the existing, single-lane drive-thru, he also noted.

The new Taco Bell will also have 23 parking spots, “sufficient” bicycle parking, electric vehicle charging stations, LED silver certification, a rainwater garden, and a 12-seat outdoor cafe.

31% of the site will be open space as well, about double what’s required by the county.

With the project now approved by the county, FFXnow has reached out to Summerwood Corporation about a timeline in terms of demolition and construction but has yet to hear back as of publication.

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The McDonald’s at 6729 Arlington Blvd in West Falls Church is set for a revamp (image via Google Maps)

The county’s oldest McDonald’s is slated for a facelift.

At Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting, commissioners voted to approve a significant refresh of the McDonald’s at 6729 Arlington Blvd in West Falls Church.

It’s the county’s oldest McDonald’s, first built in 1958, and, possibly, the second-oldest in Virginia. This McDonald’s is run by franchise owner Rajesh Sainani, who owns a number of other McDonald’s in Northern Virginia.

The planned improvements for the fast food restaurant in the Mason District include adding a drive-thru, something that this location has never had. Other work also to be completed includes renovating the interior, modernizing the exterior, adding space to the freezer section, and reconfiguring the parking.

The project is now set to go to the Board of Supervisors for a public hearing, but a date has not yet been set for that.

This recommendation from the commission came after they initially deferred a decision last month. This was due to some concerns about pedestrian safety, the drive-thru line, and protecting the forested area between the parking lot and the nearby stream Tripp’s Run.

In the intervening several weeks, staff noted that the applicant – Sainani – addressed these concerns. One was by reducing the number of parking spaces to allow for additional landscaping that would create more of a buffer between the restaurant and Tripp’s Run.

Additionally, the applicant made a commitment to add a high-visibility crosswalk to “ensure pedestrian safety.”

There were also some questions about how crowded the drive-thru might get since it would have an entrance and exit to a main thoroughfare (Arlington Blvd).

But, per a department of planning and development staff member, the applicant has agreed to work with county staff on mitigation efforts if the queue does end up impacting the access point. The applicant will provide a reliable contact to Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross’s office if any complaints do arise.

Overall, the commissioners were pleased with the updates and noted that the improvements coming to this McDonald’s could be a model for others along Arlington Blvd.

“I’m very happy about the high visibility crosswalks. I hope other projects follow suit, like other drive-thrus I see coming up,” said Mason District commissioner Julie Strandlie. “I do think.. the way this is laid out and the traffic patterns, this will be a better circulation pattern than at least other McDonald’s drive-thrus on Arlington Blvd.”

The restaurant sits right off Arlington Blvd with its distinctive golden arches, which date to the 1960s per Annandale Today. Those arches are currently not scheduled to be impacted by the renovation.

Another piece of local fast food history also came up during the discussion. The McDonald’s on Leesburg Pike in Bailey’s Crossroads, which is also planning a revamp, was the site of the first Roy Rogers ever, according to that fast food restaurant’s website.

“We are trying to figure out how to mark that at a competitor’s site since Roy Rogers is still in business,” she said.

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The bakery Madeleine Proust has permanently closed in Vienna (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Another local French bakery has closed its doors for good, leaving the Tysons area with dwindling options for macrons, cookies and other Parisian desserts.

Madeleine Proust shuttered on Oct. 1, only about a year after it first opened in Vienna’s Wolftrappe Shops at 448 Maple Ave East. The business didn’t provide an explanation for the closure but confirmed it would no longer be operating in any capacity after that date.

“We would like to thank all of our customers that we have done business with over the years. We could not have been as successful as it was without your loyalty. Thank you!” the bakery said in a message on its website.

FFXnow was unable to reach the owners for comment.

Madeleine Proust opened in October 2021 as the creation of couple Jesse and Scarlet Woo, according to Patch. As suggested by the name, its specialties included shell-shaped madeleines, Chiffon cakes and Sablé cookies.

The bakery also offered brilles, a madeleine covered in flavored chocolate developed by Scarlet Woo, a pastry chef, according to Northern Virginia Magazine, which dubbed the shop “a must-try for serious food lovers” in a review last December.

Madeleine Proust appears to have closed around the same time as Praline Bakery, the similarly French-inspired bakery from former White House pastry chefs that opted not to renew its lease at the Mosaic District in Merrifield.

Just a couple of doors down from Madeleine Proust, the fine dining restaurant Clarity has temporarily closed.

The restaurant announced on Oct. 3 that it would be closed until Nov. 2 as “our Chef Bryant is reimaginating the unique fine dining experience of Clarity.”

A Clarity employee told FFXnow that, in addition to hiring a new chef, the restaurant is training new servers and managers. The interior is also getting cleaned and refurbished with new lights, among other changes.

While the menu will be tweaked slightly, the restaurant has retained most of its kitchen staff, and the hours of operation will be unchanged once it reopens.

Dinner will return on Nov. 2 from 5-10:30 p.m., seven days a week, while lunch will restart on Nov. 8 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays.

“The menu is going to be a little different, but in a good way,” the employee said. “…It’s going to be a good experience to enjoy with us for sure.”

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