News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

At Lake Anne, So Much for Naughty Nighties, Seriously Good Sushi

Lake Anne-nighties.jpgThe big "for lease/sale" sign in the window of what was going to be Maria’s Passion Paradise makes it look like the lingerie store isn't going to open, ever. So much for it opening at the beginning of the month. Guess we'll just have to go look for a dog-eared copy of Looking for Mr. Goodbar at the bookstore and then maybe take a hit off a hookah when we want to let our hair down. Two doors down, a similar sign is up in what used to be G Sushi, one of just a handful of Official Restonian Recommended Restaurants (the Macaroni Grill, naturally, being another on the list). G Sushi closed earlier this month when it couldn't agree on lease terms with the property owner; scuttlebutt has it that the owner wanted to double the lease on the tiny storefront. Now both places are empty, as is the vintage clothing store on the other side of the plaza that shut its doors a few months back. Who knows what new establishments will take their place? Based on the current retail trajectory, we'd guess a Penguin Feather, but they've been out of business for more than a decade.

We love Lake Anne and want to see it succeed, but the ongoing turnover is troubling. The fancy report on Lake Anne retail done by the county earlier this year hints at a couple of reasons for the problems: multiple commercial landlords, lease structures that don't match up with commiserate sales volumes, and low expectations by propertyholders. Too bad the consultants who did the report weren't prescient enough to foretell the rise and fall of Reston's first (and only) sex shop, unless you count the scandalous undergarments section at Target, the end.

Update: A Confidential Restonian Operative tells us that the FOR LEASE/SALE sign disappeared from Maria's Passion Paradise shortly after this "web log post" was posted. Might this not be the last mention of Maria's unmentionables?


  1. Seems like the property owners decide to lower the price a lot due to not wanting to be vacant, but at the first opportunity they raise the rate, hoping that the business will cough up the money because they don't want to go out of business. This happened with another Reston business, but not in Lake Anne - At Play Cafe. They had good business, but seems like landlords would rather raise rents to unsustainable levels and keep getting revolving businesses than keep a solid business for many years while only gradually raising it. Dumb, if you ask me...

  2. Kmart shopping center in Herndon is infamous for that also. Gold's gym said no and left.

  3. There is one business that Reston dearly needs in order to become a full life cycle community: a funeral home. I can't think of a better place to put it than Lake Anne because it seems that so many businesses go there to die and the landlords seem to have a death wish for their properties

    It's the perfect place, if you think about it. There's easy access from the residential parking lot; you might be able to rent either GRACE or the Reston Community Center if you want some place really snazzy for your viewing or ceremony; after the interment, the mourners can congregate at any number for restaurants and drown their sorrows.

    I know that we don't have a graveyard, but I'm thinking that we could repurpose all of these urban garden plots. And there's that really nice wildflower media down the middle of Reston Parkway which would make a very unique last resting place. And if your heart yearns for cremation but you don't want to haunt your loved one from the fireplace mantle, well, with so much construction going on around the new Metro stations, we could pack your ashes into a brick and you could become a permanent fixture on the Reston skyline.

    And we could do something really novel that would set up apart from the rest of the area. With a lake right next door, we could specialize in Viking funerals. There's nothing so spectacular as going to your watery grave in a burning long boat.

    Live. Work. Play. Die.

  4. What The Convict said, in addition to "Reston: Live. Work. Play. Die." And thou shalt have NO FUN in the process! I move we move a brothel into our fair, 21st-century Camelot and dub it The Reston Piece. And why not repurpose the garden plots and wildflower medium-strip per Convict's brilliant idea, simply naming it Reston Peace?

    Reston Piece, Reston Peace: Two ideas whose time has come!

  5. Apparent reason given by the landlord to G Sushi for doubling the rates: "I have to double the rates because of the fishy smell wafting up to the apartments"

    at least the 'classy' citizens of Reston can sleep peacefully again...

  6. Real estate hijinx (especially rental) have killed many a community. Reston Town Center is on the uptick - but who knows what will happen when Pizzeria Uno (who have closed many of their mall locations), Victoria's Secret, Talbots and McCormick & Schmicks decide the rent is too high for the amount of business they get in the gritty fake downtown......?

  7. Why not combine a graveyard and a garden plot? The bodies would make great compost. Look Mom! A potato! No Jimmy, that's Uncle Joe's big toe.

  8. I'd love a Chess King at Lake Anne.

  9. How about an Orange Julius?

  10. Road Worrier ..

    The way they pack those places at the RTC, you wont have to worry aobut any one going out of business any time soon. Lake Anne wishes they had 1/100th the foot traffic they get at the RTC.

  11. Dona Flamingo said, "I move we move a brothel into our fair, 21st-century Camelot and dub it The Reston Piece."

    In the spirit of Reston, it'd have to be a co-op. All the mommies would take turns.


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