News and notes from Reston (tm).

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Meat The New Midscale Chain Eatery, Same As The Old Midscale Chain Eatery, But What Does This Mean For Spectrum Redevelopment?

2014 12 19 15 29 28It's taken us nearly a week to process this terrible news: The Macaroni Grill really isn't coming back -- it's just not. We got our hopes up once, but as a great leader once said, we won't get fooled again.

You see, another midscale chain eatery -- some mere pretender to the chainy carbs-and-cheese-intensive throne -- is taking the Macaroni Grill's place in Reston Spectrum. Lerner can replace retail tenants, but nothing can replace that satiated feeling in the pit of our pendulous stomachs. Give us some LDL-raising blockquote, BFFs at Reston Now:

There’s a new restaurant coming to the former location of Macaroni Grill at 1845 Fountain Drive in Reston.
Not Your Average Joe’s, a Massachusetts-based restaurant chain, has signed a lease for the location and has filed permits for renovations.
Not Your Average Joe’s has 20 locations in New England, as well as in Bethesda, Gaithersburg, Leesburg and Woodbridge.
Not Your Average Joe’s is known for stone-hearth pizzas, salads, unique burger combos and other casual fare.
What's weird, though, is that this new midscale chain eatery signed what is presumably Not Your Average multiyear lease in the very corner of the Spectrum that we were told would probably be the first to be redeveloped. But what's the point of sourcing all that mass-produced vintage Americana and flair if you're just going to have to tear it down in a couple of years?

Like the Barnes & Noble-slaying Container Store, the Mac Grill-slaying Not Your Average Joe's seems to suggest we might be in for a longer wait than we expected to see the Spectrum fill up with bollardy high-rise goodness. Whether you consider that a good thing depends on your appetite for high-density construction -- or high-cholesterol appetizers, the end.


  1. With NYAJ's ho-hum menu it is hard to imagine they'll last long enough to be torn down.

  2. May I interest you good folks in a Russet Brown Burger with Mauve Salad-side?

  3. I'm still grieving the loss of the B & N! I stopped over there after work at least two to three times a week. Knew all the booksellers and they knew me. I can still go to the one up by Fair Oaks - but nowhere is it the same. I will NEVER EVER step foot in that Container Store!

    Linda in VA

    1. I am grieving with you and thousands of book lovers. I will never step into the empty containers either

  4. I was never a fan of MGrill do I rarely went. The acoustics in the restaurant were abusive with the sounds of the kitchen, and the loud clanking of everyone's utensils on plates. I do have a little nostalgia for it as it is the place I remember eating with my now-passed parents when visiting from Boston back in the 1990s before I moved to this area.

    I like The Who references in this article though :)

  5. Curiously my experience(s) with MacGrill were nearly identical to Bob's. The "clank" I remember distinctly. I had dinner there with my parents just before they retired/moved to Florida.

    Just when we thought Reston had engineered itself into a completely bleak and impersonal space . . . nostalgia arrives!

  6. Not Your Average Joe's is going to blow up in Reston! This town has never seen the customer service that this place specializes in! Can't wait until it opens Jan 4th


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