News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, September 4, 2020

Wagyupocalypse Now: Despite Efforts to Attract Elite Retailers, Balducci’s Couldn't Make RTC Work

The whole, you know, global-pandemic-leading-to-massive-layoffs-and-maybe-another-great-depression thing has made harping about paid parking at Reston's plastic fantastic playground for the elite a bit boring and petty. But the news this week that Balducci’s Food Lover Market, the only grocery store that makes Whole Foods look like a purveyor of surplus government cheese cost-wise, is leaving Reston Town Center after being sued for (allegedly) not paying rent since December still evokes a bit of plaguenfreude.

We mean, the whole premise of RTC's strategy, such as it is, has been to position our Fake Downtown as an elite destination -- and attract more upscale midscale chain retail. But if a place selling $250/lb kobe steak and $40 bottles of olive oil can't make it there, can it make it anywhere? (The answer is yes—demonstrably more elite Bethesda and McLean, where Balducci's will still maintain stores and the Reston employees will be transferred).

To be fair to our Fake Downtown overlords, there is the whole plague thing going on. And Balducci’s had tried to make a go of Reston before -- in the demonstrably less elite spot where Petsmart now stands. And our betters can still drive in from "Great" Falls to get their kobe steak fix from Morton's, we guess. But it's going to be hard to find yet another nail salon to fill yet another roughly 20,000 square feet of vacant space.

In conclusion, pour one out for Balducci’s, and by "one" we mean a $140 bottle of Veuve Clicquot. And us non-elite folk can take some comfort from this: RTC's lawsuit said it was keeping Balducci's security deposit, just like the crisis-management-team-free landlords we've all had to deal with in our own lives always tried to do. $189,244.33 would pay for a lot of nail holes in the walls, the end.


  1. "A Dynamic Urban Destination Full of Possibilities," to quote RTC's corporate bs, seems to be getting a lot less dynamic.

    When does the tumbleweed start blowing down the streets there?

  2. Can we not live in a corporation and get rid of ra?

  3. The ailing Reston Town Center must be contagious, since the Best Buy across the way from it is also closing a few weeks from now.

  4. It's all the Restonian's fault with his doomsday clock that keeps on ticking, taking down the pillars of our fake utopia. Need a doomsday clock for the doomsday clock, that'll fix everything.

  5. Balducci’s didn’t work when it was over at the spectrum years ago. I don’t know what made them think that it was going to work a second time.


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