News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Lake Anne: New Businesses, Same Old Misspellings

Businesses continue to come and go at the Lake Anne Village Center, but fear not. With warm weather coming, the planned accordion and ukelele festivals are going to really pack the customers in. No, really:

Part of the merchants association’s plan to bring people to the plaza this spring and summer is an accordion festival, scheduled for May 22, and a ukulele festival, whose date has not yet been pinned down, Thompson said. The children’s concerts and “Take a Break” concert series will continue this summer, and last year’s Family Fun Nights, hosted by Washington Plaza Baptist Church, will be repeated. This weekend, auditions will take place for street performers, or buskers. Thompson said she was hoping to find acts like magicians and jugglers, as well as musicians.

The association is also working on improving storefront appearances and building a new Web site, and a new Lake Anne logo was just approved last week, Thompson said. Security cameras are also being installed in the wake of January’s purple graffiti spree.
Sweet! Maybe the roving gangs of mimes can scare away the spraypaint-wielding thugs the next time they want to tag the statue of Dear Leader.

Meanwhile, the ongoing shuffle of businesses has brought in a small sushi restaurant -- which, following the advice of commenters on this "web log" we tried and can attest is quite good -- and a dry cleaner's.
Jiang “Kenny” Gangmiao said business at his newly opened sushi takeout and delivery business at Lake Anne Plaza had been slow thus far, but he was hopeful that it would pick up as warmer weather brought more people to the plaza.

“My sushi is very good, but my business is not doing too good,” said Gangmiao, who opened G. Sushi next to the Reston Museum at the beginning of February. Marked by record snowfalls, though, last month was a difficult one for most businesses, and Gangmiao said business had improved this month.

Properties on the plaza continue to change hands, with Rita’s Express Alterations and Dry Cleaning opening at the beginning of the month in one of the two properties that comprised the former dry cleaners, at the same time that Salon Chakra, next door to G. Sushi, moved out.

“They had an ongoing dispute with their landlord, so that’s not a surprise,” said Eve Thompson, president of the merchant’s association, of the salon’s departure.

She said the potential buyer for the former Tavern on the Lake had been attending merchants’ meetings at the plaza, but a deal on the property had not yet been finalized.
And of course, the pharmacy is still for sale.

In the meantime, please to be enjoying the spelling on this sign for another "new" Reston business, the constantly shifting off-brand 7-11 at the edge of the parking lot:

You may not be able to tell thanks to the amazing photographic quality of this fancy "cellular telephone photograph," presumably snapped by one of those phones with a cord connecting it to a briefcase, but the word at the bottom is "Grosery." Slap a couple of buskers on the stoop, though, and no one will ever notice.


  1. Perhaps 'grosery' is a portmanteau of grocery and hosiery. That is, put a stocking over your head and jack those fools, sucka!

  2. I love it that my favorite blog incorporates busker and portmanteau in casual conversations. Any word on the yarn shop?

  3. Their prices are high for a delivery-only establishment.

  4. Accordion and ukelele festivals! At least the roaming mimes might be quieter.

    Things are starting to spin... I'm getting dizzy... OOOOOHHHHHH... (thump)

  5. What an eyesore --- the "fountain" is, once again, in disrepair, the benches scarred and missing slats, the lake its usual filthy shade of Reston brown -- the entire place should be torn down and redone.

    Put in some decent stores like PB, Apple, WS and some even better restaurants like Clyde's Macaroni Grill, Ruby's.

  6. Kids crawling all over the fountain assisted by stupid adults. We're lucky we don't have a gun shop opening on the plaza. Somebody is just liable to go postal.

  7. Broke in Charter Oak (BiCO): Soon-to-Be "Amongst the 'Hoods in Colvin Woods"April 4, 2010 at 7:31 PM

    Lake Anne needs a hug! ;-)

  8. Lake Anne needs something in the 50 kiloton range.

  9. The sushi guy is apparently Chinese.

    Not that there's anything wrong with that...

    I say tear down the concrete wasteland and build a huge recreation center that All the People can use, especially those who enjoy indoor tennis!

  10. Grosery? How 'bout Grossery: specializing in exotic foreign foods?

  11. They need something that contrasts with the family-oriented Reston Town Center. Put in a high class gentlemen's club, several seedy strip joints, adult video rental stores, and gay bars. Redirect North Shore Drive through middle of the plaza so people have a place to go cruising.

  12. Ahhh, it seems I have been remiss is defending my beloved. I will do so thusly with the following Ad Hominem attacks on these shitwads that dare denigrate The Plaza:

    Let me begin with a hearty Go Fuck Yourself! to Anon 10:51 (Go stuff your stupid fat face with your "upscale" macaroni grill)

    Carol Bruce, I do believe that you have aggression issues and hate children. If that is your real name, I'd report you to the FBI for profiling

    Anon 8:58 you are an atomic asshole.

    Anon 2:00 I guess you are an insomniac meth addict. Just say no to indoor tennis!

    BiCO Yes Lake Anne, and I need hugs.


  13. Wow, HKCD. Was today a "meds optional" day today? ;^}

  14. lol!=) and hugs to all

  15. The sushi is excellent. I agree it is a little pricey for delivery only, but they've been good about distributing coupons, and if you pick up, you save on tips if you were in a restaurant. It won't make us forget about Yama, Hook'd or Sushi-Ko, but it's a nice option when we don't feel like going out but want some great sushi.

  16. I think HCKD is the one who needs the hugs.

    I agree with Anon 5:51 about the sushi. I've only had it once, but it was very good. I don't think it was pricey, but I just had an appetizer. I've not had a lot of cheap sushi that I'd call excellent! I too miss Yama, but haven't tried those others, are they in DC? Maybe I have tried Sushi-Ko, sounds familiar.

    Anyway, the owner at the sushi place is super nice - kept wanting to give my picky (as most are) four-year-old new things to try when all she wanted was plain rice. I had to restrain him as I felt bad he was giving away his food. Little did I know that business was bad and that my four-year-old might be contributing towards putting him out of business!

    I do wonder if they occupied the place next door and became a sit-down place, whether that might drum up more business, enough to actually make it work?

    Maybe Maple Ave can branch out and put a second location at Lake Anne. That place seems to be packed even on a random weeknight, but maybe that's because they can only fit about 15 people in the whole place!

    Problems I see with Lake Anne is that it is hidden. Unless you know about the place, you'd never find it just driving around. Thus the main people who are going to patronize the place are people who live in and around Lake Anne, perhaps pushing out a little to other areas in Reston. The youngins and tourists are going to flock to the chains in nearby RTC and the surroundings. Lake Anne needs to seriously clean itself up if it wants to appeal more to people going out at night. It's like a sleepy fishing village to RTC's South Street Seaport.

    During the week of course, things are bad because there are no office buidlings within earshot of the place. Not that you'd have to travel a great distance, but it sure would help if Lake Anne had some office complexes within walking distance so that people would opt to walk to a local eatery rather than drive 10 or 15 minutes to one. Not sure how to solve that except to redevelop the space a bit and I don't know if that's in the cards or not...

    Believe it or not I think they could also bring in a lot more people if they expanded the hours of those boat rides. It's a cool semi-touristy thing to do, and something that you'd otherwise have to go how far - all the way to DC's tidal basin to do? Yet half the time I've wanted to do it, it was either off-season or it was not the right day or hour. Is it really that costly to expand the hours a bunch if it means attracting a few dozen more families per week, especially during off hours that otherwise would be slow-business time?

  17. Just to set the record straight, Salon Chakra did not leave because of "an ongoing dispute with the landlord" like Eve Thompson said. The unit is filled with black mold and water damage that the condo ass. cannot afford to fix. The space was unhealthy to work in and the owner and her staff did not wish to subject themselves to migraines and bronchial issues anymore.

  18. This house is tough. Reston is the only place that I know of where the bldg super can be called the condo ass.

  19. Does anyone know where Salon Chakra moved to?

  20. the majority of the staff went to vienna, a salon called rodi salon & spa....very nice, but not the same cute setting.=) hope this helps

  21. Such negativity! Why would anyone wan to to move to Reston!


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