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T E E N R U G BY STA R S • G O L D E N E M PA N A DA S • C LO S E T KO N M A R I

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MARCH-APRIL 2019

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INTRODUCING ASHBURN MAGAZINE

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The Ashburn Pub

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Briar Woods grad talks life outside football


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Ashburn

FROM THE PUBLISHER VOLUME I, ISSUE 1 PUBLISHER

Bruce Potter publisher@ashburnmagazine.com 571-333-1538 EDITOR

Chris Wadsworth editor@ashburnmagazine.com ADVERTISING

Sales Leader: Connie Fields cfields@insidenova.com Account Executive: Judy Harbin jharbin@ashburnmagazine.com 703-727-1321 ART DIRECTOR

Kara Thorpe kara@piedmontpub.com CONTRIBUTORS

Erica Garman • Ed Felker Mike Conway • Doug Graham Angela Marsh PUBLISHED BY

Rappahannock Media LLC InsideNoVa 1372 Old Bridge Road, Suite 101 Woodbridge VA 22192 (703) 318-1386 PRESIDENT

Dennis Brack dbrack@rappnews.com BUSINESS OFFICE

Carina Richard-Wheat accounting@piedmontpub.com ON THE WEB

www.ashburnmagazine.com Facebook and Twitter: @ashburnmagazine Ashburn Magazine is published monthly and distributed to over 13,000 selected addresses. While reasonable care is taken with all material submitted to Ashburn Magazine, the publisher cannot accept responsibility for loss or damage to any such material. Opinions expressed in articles are strictly those of the authors. While ensuring that all published information is accurate, the publisher cannot be held responsible for any mistakes or omissions. Reproduction in whole or part of any of the text, illustrations or photographs is strictly forbidden. ©2019 Rappahannock Media LLC.

4 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

WELCOME TO THE PREMIERE EDITION OF ASHBURN MAGAZINE! After moving to this community about five years ago, I was struck by how few people are actually “from here.” Most of us moved to Ashburn from somewhere else – from all over the world, in fact. But that diversity is part of what makes Ashburn a great place to live (commuting challenges aside!). With fantastic schools and beautiful neighborhoods, it’s no wonder our area is growing so rapidly. Our goal with this magazine is to help expand our sense of community, learn a little bit more about our neighbors and the local businesses we frequent, and understand what made Ashburn what it is today. Plenty of lifestyle-type magazines are around that will teach you how to train your dog, provide the latest fitness or diet tips, or give you generic redecorating ideas. That is not what Ashburn Magazine is about. In the pages that follow, you will read about a few of the people, places and businesses that make our community special, and you will see faces of Ashburn residents – your neighbors. You’ll learn about two new parks opening in our community within the next couple of years –with some incredible amenities. You’ll meet the Briar Woods grad who’s preparing for April’s NFL Draft. And you’ll chuckle along with an Ashburn homeowner trying to adopt the principles of KonMari. We’re fortunate to have as editor of the magazine a veteran journalist and Ashburn resident, Chris Wadsworth. You may know Chris through his popular news site, “The Burn,” which

covers local restaurant and retail openings and closings, along with other breaking news. Our partnership includes a taste of The Burn’s latest content, on Page 46. Chris is joined by a number of local writers and two advertising account executives with decades of experience working with Loudoun County businesses, Judy Harbin and Connie Fields. Behind the scenes is a locally owned multimedia company that produces three other community magazines (serving Gainesville, Haymarket and Warrenton), five local weekly newspapers (Prince William, Stafford, Culpeper, Rappahannock and Fort Belvoir), and the region’s largest news website, InsideNoVa.com. At the outset, Ashburn Magazine will be published every other month; look for the next issue (May/June) around May 1. We are mailing the magazine to about 13,000 households in the 20147 and 20148 Zip codes, with several thousand additional copies available at over 100 locations in and around Ashburn – all for free. And, of course, we’re online (www. AshburnMagazine.com) and on Facebook and Twitter (@AshburnMagazine). Most importantly, we want this to be your magazine. Tell us what you like and what you don’t, suggest story ideas, support the businesses that advertise in these pages, and help us connect with other local businesses and institutions. Thank you for reading our first issue!

Bruce Potter, Publisher publisher@ashburnmagazine.com


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contents

38 34

16

12

business boom

20

08 amazing kids INTERNATIONAL ‘RUGGERS’ Local teens, rugby stars BY ERICA GARMAN

12 our neighbors NFL HOPEFUL TRACE MCSORLEY He answers our random questions BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

6 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

CHEERS! POW! BAM! Pub owner pursues his inner superhero BY MIKE CONWAY

20 cover story SUPER PARKS Two amazing parks coming to the area BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

26 feature story CHALKOHOLIC The art of Tonia Priolo BY ED FELKER

30 home sweet home KON MARI What brings you joy? BY ANGELA MARSH

34 wine & dine THE ART OF EMPANADAS Latin American comfort food

44 time travel RACING PAST HISTORY Next stop… Ashburn! BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

46 the burn The latest restaurant, retail and other cool news

BY MIKE CONWAY

38 great escapes CROATIA Jewel of the Adriatic BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

ON THE COVER: Beaverdam Reservoir. Photo by Helmuth Humphrey.


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amazing kids

Axel Arias (left) and Fernando Anduaga (right) with the trophy they won playing rugby for Mexico.

International ‘Ruggers’ Local high-schoolers help Mexican team win tournament BY E R ICA GAR M A N

8 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

Playing internationally was a dream come true”

Mexican team again this summer in Miami, where they will compete in this year’s tournament. “Playing internationally was a dream come true,” Anduaga said. “That level of play is what every rugby player dreams of as a little kid. I was so grateful to be one of the few that gets to live that dream.” For those unfamiliar with the game, rugby is often compared to football. Both are physically demanding 

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE ARIAS FAMILY

O

n any given spring weekend in Ashburn, local sports fields are bustling with youth soccer, baseball and lacrosse players. But the lesser known game of rugby is gaining steam in the area, and two local teens are making their mark (“mark” is a rugby term) — not just here, but internationally. Axel Arias, 17, a senior at Rock Ridge High School, and Fernando Anduaga, 18, a senior at Briar Woods High School, traveled to Mexico City in spring 2018 to play with the U19 Mexican National Rugby Team. The two Ashburn boys helped the team win the Rugby Americas North Championship last July. Both boys are expected to join the


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AMAZING KIDS

contact sports played on a similar-sized field with an oval-shaped ball. Rugby is fast-paced, combining the throwing of football, the speed of soccer and the transition of basketball. Arias and Anduaga are quick to add that rugby offers much more equitable play than football. Unlike the gridiron sport, rugby is based on evasive rather than aggressive play. “Everyone gets the ball, and everyone gets to be a playmaker,” Arias said. Rugby is also one of the more affordable youth sports because it doesn’t require expensive equipment. “All you need is a mouth guard, shorts and cleats,” Anduaga said. It’s no surprise that these boys were drawn to rugby — both their fathers played competitively in Mexico. It was this Mexican heritage that allowed the boys to play for the Mexican national team. After moving to Ashburn, the dads reconnected and enrolled their elementary-aged sons in the local youth rugby program. They also served as team coaches. According to its website, Loudoun Youth Rugby started eight years ago as part of the Western Suburbs Rugby Football Club, catering initially to high school-aged players. It now offers co-ed tag rugby for children in Pre-K to fourth grade, and regulation team play for boys and girls in fifth through 12th grades. Rugby isn’t a high school varsity sport in Virginia, but Arias and Anduaga are excited to continue playing locally with Loudoun Rugby, as well as with the more competitive Legion Rugby regional team, where they are both on the squad. “I want to see where the sport takes me,” said Arias, who hopes to play at the college level next year. Anduaga agrees. “I just want to keep playing,” he said. And in what could be a sign of things to come, Major League Rugby — the top-level rugby league in the United

10 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

States — recently announced plans to bring a professional team to the Washington area in 2020. Maybe, just maybe — we’ll be lucky enough to one day see these two Ashburn athletes — and other “ruggers” from our community — play at the pro level right here at home. A Erica Garman is an Ashburn-based writer who has previously contributed to Northern Virginia Magazine and The Washington Post.

Fernando Anduaga (top) and Axel Arias (bottom) in action during the 2018 U19 tournament in Mexico City.


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it an open inviting feeling, all within the same footprint while maintaining the existing hardwood flooring. They replaced the builder grade cherry cabinetry with bright, white, modern Shaker-style cabinets. They added shiny pulls to both drawers and cabinets that accented the modern look. The original countertops were replaced with white quartz to complement the clean modern feel and provide durable, maintenancefree surfaces. They also added a designer’s touch, with a shiny glass backsplash and under counter lighting to show it off and illuminate prepping areas. The importance of a professional design team Abbey Design Center’s team took a long hard look at the existing layout of the kitchen. They wanted to maximize storage and counter space for the homeowners while keeping the project within budget. They also knew that on the customer’s wish list was a mini-bar area, and they needed to add this, and still remain on budget and on time. To improve the kitchen workflow, the oven/microwave unit was relocated next to the refrigerator. This opened up more valuable counter space than the original layout. The old black refrigerator was replaced with a double-door, counter-depth stainless refrigerator. This along with the added counter space made the new kitchen even more user-friendly for cooking and entertaining.

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our neighbors

Trace McSorley (center) with (l to r) his dad Rick, girlfriend Kasey Morano, mom Andrea, and sister Micaela.

NFL hopeful Trace McSorley talks accounting, spiders and other random things BY C H R I S WADSWO RT H

Left: Trace McSorley in action during a Penn State football game. McSorley was a quarterback for the Nittany Lions from 2015 to 2018. 12 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

PHOTOS COURTESY OF PENN STATE ATHLETICS

J

ust about everyone in Ashburn knows about Trace McSorley. Star quarterback at Briar Woods High School. Led the Falcons to three consecutive state championships (2010, 2011, 2012). Followed up with a hugely successful college career at Penn State. Big Ten champion (2016). Fiesta Bowl champion (2017). Multiple MVP awards, conference records and school records. Next up, McSorley, 23, is preparing for the NFL Draft in late April in hopes of launching a professional football career. While we may know his football feats, most of us don’t know as much about McSorley himself. So we rang him up


OUR NEIGHBORS

in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where he’s been training this winter, to ask him some random questions. Some really random questions. ASHBURN MAGAZINE: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MEMORY FROM BRIAR WOODS? MCSORLEY: My

favorite memory from back in high school is winning the state championship my junior year — the year we went undefeated. A bunch of my best friends were seniors so they were getting ready to move on. It was great being able to celebrate that with them. WHAT WAS YOUR HARDEST CLASS AT PENN STATE?

The toughest class I took was Accounting 475, I think. It was a tax accounting course. There was a lot of detail and lot of looong projects. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN 10 YEARS?

In 10 years, hopefully, I’m still playing football, so I have an NFL career going. I like warm weather, so I wouldn’t hate being somewhere warm, but I’m open to anything (laughs).

IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE WISH, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

To be able to go back and experience some of the times I had with my friends in college, and some of the things with my high school friends. When you’re a kid, you don’t realize they’re going to be gone so fast. I haven’t seen some of those guys in a while so to be back together again would be really cool. WHAT’S YOUR MOST IRRATIONAL FEAR?

I would have to go with spiders. They freak me out and I want no part dealing with them. WHAT WAS YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT?

Back at school, I was getting a (therapeutic) massage and I fell asleep on the table. You know how sometimes when you fall asleep, you sometimes jolt — well, my leg kicked up real high. Fortunately, I didn’t kick the woman who was giving me the massage, but it startled her. It was embarrassing because everyone was in the training room and there were a lot of people around. WHO IS YOUR CELEBRITY CRUSH?

Jennifer Aniston. 

DOWNSIZING DILEMMA? Let’s talk about it.

“EMPTY NESTING” OR SIMPLY READY TO DOWNSIZE? Take a leap to a Smaller Home. Talk with Bonnie...Have Less & Experience more! ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 • 13


OUR NEIGHBORS

The best advice I ever got was don’t listen to anything that goes on in the media.”

ARE YOU A DOG PERSON OR A CAT PERSON?

Dog. I have a little one back at my parents’. He’s a mix of everything. His name is Koda. IF YOU COULD HAVE YOUR DREAM VACATION, WHERE WOULD YOU GO?

I’d probably go to Hawaii. I went once when I was little and I’ve always wanted to go back. LAST TIME YOU WORE A HALLOWEEN COSTUME, WHAT WERE YOU DRESSED AS?

Last time I wore a costume was in college and I was dressed as a mob boss. WHEN YOU’RE SPENDING TIME IN ASHBURN, WHERE DO YOU LIKE TO HANG OUT?

I’m pretty much just at

my house or hanging out at a buddy’s house. My parents hang out at the (All American) Steakhouse a lot so I’ll go with them. A lot of people from my neighborhood go there. WHAT’S THE BEST PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED?

The best advice I ever got was don’t listen to anything that goes on in the media. If it’s good, you’re going to think you are better than you are. If it’s bad, you’re going to think you are worse than you are. It’s just going to mess with your head. Just stay the course. Control the things you can control and don’t worry about any of the outside noise.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite City: Philly Favorite Movie: “Remember the Titans” Favorite TV Show: “Game of Thrones” Favorite Book: “Lone Survivor” Favorite Performer: Eminem Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving Favorite Season: Summer Favorite Color: Red Favorite Food: Anything Mexican Favorite Beer: I’m not really particular. Probably Bud Light Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Cookies and Cream A

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business boom

COURTESY OF KEVIN BEDNARZ

Cheers! Pow! Pub owner goes from ‘bar rescue’ to comic-con organizer BY M I K E CO N WAY

E

very community needs its local watering holes — bars and taverns where friends hang out and “everybody knows your name.” That reference to the popular TV show “Cheers” is intentional because when you ask people about the Ashburn Pub, they bring up “Cheers” over and over again. “It’s all the friends. They’re family,” said Ashburn resident Tom Carroll, a longtime regular at the Pub where everyone calls him “Tango.” “Everyone knows you. They know your business. They know what you do.” The Ashburn Pub opened in 1995 in the Ashburn Village Shopping Center and has been serving cold beers and hot food to local neighbors ever since. It came under new ownership in 2013, when longtime bartender Kevin Bednarz had enough sweat equity in the Pub that he decided to buy out the previous owner. 16 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

I know right now there are two multimillionaires sitting at the bar.”

Bednarz loves being the “Sam Malone” to his crazy mix of regulars who stream in each afternoon. “All the Redskins coaches come here, the Redskins scouts … we have blue-collar, rednecks, DEA [agents], government workers,” Bednarz said in his rapid-fire way of talking. “I know right now there are two multimillionaires sitting at the bar. I know it for a fact.” But being a pub owner isn’t all mixing drinks and talking sports. There was real work to be done when Bednarz first bought the bar. “I cleaned it up. It’s gone through two remodels, a new menu. It was kind of like a bar rescue,” Bednarz said. “It was a new era, a new time. And sales went up like 30 percent.” Despite being a corner bar, Bednarz speaks with a business acumen you’re more likely to hear in a boardroom. When asked about


BUSINESS BOOM

COURTESY OF KEVIN BEDNARZ BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

Far Left: Kevin Bednarz, owner of the Ashburn Pub and local entrepreneur. Left (Top and Bottom): The Ashburn Pub has been a popular local watering hole since it opened in 1995. It’s been owned by local businessman Kevin Bednarz since 2013.

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the secret to his bar’s success, he quickly rattles off his formula: “clean,” “functional” and “relevant.” “When I did the first remodel, I made sure the bathrooms were super clean — because women, right. They say if the bathroom’s not clean, then the kitchen isn’t clean,” he said. “Functional means if something is broken, you’ve got to fix it. I went out to a place last night where one of the TVs was broken and it’s been broken for two months.” Finally, there’s “relevant.” Bednarz says he has found great success using social media to reach his regulars as well as new customers — but it takes some time and sophistication. “People think they can run an ad on Facebook and show a picture of a burger — no!” said Bednarz. “I’ll stay up until 3 in the morning messaging all 300 people who liked my post on the Pub’s page and I’ll engage with them.” With that type of dedication  ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 • 17


BUSINESS BOOM

Right: Ashburn businessman Kevin Bednarz has used his life-long love of art as the inspiration behind his Ashburn comic book shop and an annual comic convention he organizes.

COURTESY OF KEVIN BEDNARZ

COURTESY OF KEVIN BEDNARZ

BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

COURTESY OF KEVIN BEDNARZ

BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

and time commitment, it’s tough to imagine that the Ashburn Pub is just one of several businesses with which Bednarz is involved. His other passion is art. He grew up in upstate New York and went to college in Buffalo. He had his own art design business for awhile and has kept his hand in ever since. His specialties are murals and handdrawn artwork for businesses. Some of his talent is on display at the Ashburn Pub. “Since I was a kid — Star Wars, Marvel, DC, Batman comic books — that’s probably where I learned to read and where I learned to draw,” he said. “And that is a thread that has stayed with me my whole life.” So in 2015, Bednarz teamed up with Ashburn resident Rob Kaylin to open Comic Logic, a quintessential neighborhood comic shop, also in the Ashburn Village Shopping Center. Row upon row of shelves are filled with colorful comic books and graphic novels featuring superheroes, zombies, aliens and more. “Kevin is an interesting person,” said Michael McNutt, one of Bednarz’ good friends. “He’s a restauranteur, entrepreneur, and jack-of-all-trades, but more than that, he has a motor that keeps going.” In his newest endeavor, Bednarz partnered with McNutt to create the All Star Comic Con in 2018. The weekend-long convention in Northern Virginia features comic book vendors, celebrity guests and artists, plus gaming, toys, pop culture and more. “Our first year, we saw about 3,000 people. This year we are expecting to double that,” Bednarz said about the 2019 event, June 7-9 at the Sheraton Hotel in Tyson’s Corner. From popular bar to comic books to putting on an event for thousands of people — when a local businessman has so many proverbial irons in the fire, there’s only one logical question: What’s next? “Well, I’ve always had a dream of opening a second pub in Purcellville,” Bednarz said with a wink. “We’ll see if we can make that happen.” A

Mike Conway is a freelance writer and Loudoun county resident who has previously written for Northern Virginia Magazine. 18 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019


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ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 • 19


SUPER PARKS

Two Amazing Parks in Ashburn’s Future BY CH RI S WADSWO RT H

L

ike any parent of young children, Jason Pualoa knows the value of getting his kids away from toys and television and outside into nature. “They absolutely bounce off the walls when they are trapped inside all day,” said Pualoa, who lives in the Broadlands with his wife, Lindsay, and their sons, Dominic, age 5, and AJ, 2. So when the weather is nice they head to one of Ashburn’s many parks. “They love climbing on the playgrounds — running up and down them, running through them,” Pualoa said. “It’s imaginary play. Dominic likes to pretend he’s working a drive-through.” Ashburn has some great parks — no doubt about it. Many are small parks built by individual neighborhoods. Many are playgrounds attached to local schools. And Loudoun County has a growing number of its own parks around Ashburn. But two new parks currently in the works for the Ashburn area are something special — and unlike anything seen before in this area. We’re talking about the Hal & Berni Hanson Memorial Regional Park and the Reservoir Park on the Beaverdam Reservoir.

20 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

Above: The Pualoa family having fun at Hillside Park in the Broadlands.

What’s amazing about them — beyond the features and amenities they will bring to our community — is that they are truly a yin and yang when it comes to parks. They are completely different — with different vibes and different missions — but they will both add so much to life in Ashburn. 


BY HELMUTH HUMPHREY COURTESY OF BEKAH ELMORE BY DOUG GRAHAM

A peaceful day on the Beaverdam Reservoir (left); families play and explore at parks around Loudoun County (above).

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 • 21


Parking Table

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222 Spaces

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MASTER PLAN

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HAL & BERNI HANSON MEMORIAL REGIONAL PARK The folks at Loudoun County Parks & Rec have their own lingo. They have “neighborhood parks,” “community parks,” “district parks” and “regional parks.” Regional parks are the big boys — at least 200 acres plus — and there are currently only three in Loudoun — Claude Moore Park in Sterling, Philip A. Bolen Memorial Park in Leesburg and Franklin Park, west of Purcellville. The Hal & Berni Hanson Park will be the fourth when it’s completed along Evergreen Mills Road just south of Brambleton. “This is probably the largest project in Loudoun County other than roads,”

said Mark Novak, the chief park planner for Loudoun County Parks, Recreation and Community Services. “This is our biggest project. It’s massive.” The specs for Hanson Park certainly are impressive. Its 257 acres will include five fishing ponds, two baseball diamonds and two softball diamonds, four tennis courts, 11 soccer/lacrosse fields, Loudoun’s first dedicated cricket field, a disc golf course, a mountain bike trail, a kids splash pad, a skateboard park and not one, but two dog parks. There will also be a nature center, concession stands, picnic pavilions and a waterside lodge that can be

Above: An artist rendering showing the proposed layout of the Hal & Berni Hanson Regional Park, including multiple ponds, playing fields and other features. rented for special events such as conferences and weddings. “The lodge is the first of its kind for us,” Novak said. “It will provide a more old-fashioned park feel. If you go to a national park, they have these lodges. You go in and they have a nice, big fireplace. We thought it would be a good opportunity for us to put a lodge like that in near the pond with a view looking out over the park.”

Who were the Hansons? Haldore “Hal” Hanson was a foreign correspondent in the 1930s who covered the Japanese invasion of China. He went on to work for the U.S. State Department and then international aid organizations, focusing on economic development and agriculture issues overseas. In the 1950s, Sen. Joseph McCarthy accused him of being a communist sympathizer, which he adamantly denied. He was cleared after a Senate subcommittee found no corroborating evidence. Hal married Bernice Brown in 1939 and they lived and traveled all over the world. She was involved in developing rural cooperatives to help local artisans sell their work. Hal passed away in 1992 and Bernice in 2007. Their family agreed to sell the Hanson’s Loudoun County land on the condition that it be turned into a park to benefit the entire community.

22 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

COURTESY OF LOUDOUN COUNTY PARKS, RECREATION & COMMUNITY SERVICES

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COURTESY OF LOUDOUN WATER

Hanson Park will also include a special playground for children who are differently abled. It will have specialized equipment and features that are inclusive to all children. Possibilities include ramps that don’t require climbing or a swing set that can accommodate a wheelchair. Lisa Rios lives in Ashburn with her husband, Julius, and their three children. Her youngest, Luka, is 1½ years old. He has spina bifida and uses a wheelchair due to limited mobility in his legs. But that doesn’t stop him from playing at parks. “We go to the playground, and I carry him so he can chase his brother and sister, so he can get in on the playing,” Rios said. But the many stairs and the uneven ground and the wood chips that cover local playgrounds all are obstacles to kids such as Luka. So his mom is excited about the new park. “I hope it’s a place where kids of all different abilities can come together,” Rios said. “For him to be able to play

with all types of kids — I think it will be really enlightening for the community as a whole.” Hanson Park is still a couple of years out. The current timeline calls for construction to start later this year and for it to be fully open by 2022. While that may seem like an eternity, especially to eager kids — it sounds like it’s going to be worth the wait. “It’s going to be our ultimate facility,” Novak said. “It’s going to have a lot of unique recreational opportunities not afforded in our other regional parks. It’s just going to be a neat place.”

RESERVOIR PARK ON THE BEAVERDAM RESERVOIR Three miles up the road sits Ashburn’s mighty Beaverdam Reservoir. The preliminary plans call for Reservoir Park — as it’s currently named — to be built on 70 acres on the southern shore of the reservoir. If Hanson Park is a park on steroids

Above: A proposed design for Reservoir Park to be built on the southern shores of the Beaverdam Reservoir. — with ball fields, playgrounds, concessions and more — Reservoir Park is quite the opposite. It’s all about peace and quiet, connecting with nature and — most importantly — the water. The planned park is coming together under a partnership between Loudoun Water, which owns and maintains the 300-acre reservoir as a source of drinking water for local residents and NOVA Parks, the regional park authority in Northern Virginia. “Our mission is to be ready to serve and support the county’s growth,” said Susan Crosby, the director of communications for Loudoun Water. “But we also want to go beyond our role as a service provider and be an educator that helps people understand the value of water to everyday life. Beaverdam can be a showcase to highlight the water  ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 • 23


Deer, Foxes and Snakes … Oh, My! Many an Ashburn resident has encountered deer sauntering through their backyards or spotted a fox zipping across Claiborne Parkway in the early morning light. Despite heavy development around our community, there are more wild animals here then you might think. “Eastern Loudoun is still very wildlife rich,” said Joe Coleman, one of the founders of the Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy. We asked Coleman to tell us more about some of the most common creatures spotted around Ashburn. BALD EAGLE There are bald eagles in Loudoun County. In the Ashburn area, they are most likely to be seen near Lansdowne due to the proximity to the Potomac River. However, they have also been spotted near the Beaverdam Reservoir. RED FOX If you see a fox in the area, it’s almost certainly a red fox. Loudoun’s history is full of fox hunts, and foxes appear in many area business names and logos. Foxes thrive in suburban environments and are mostly nocturnal. If you pay attention after a snowfall, you’ll probably find fox tracks. WHITETAIL DEER Deer thrive in urban communities. There is some control in rural communities due to hunting, but in a suburban community, deer view people’s yards as wonderful salad bars. They’re most active around dusk and dawn. NORTHERN BLACK RACER Ashburn residents are very unlikely to come in contact with a poisonous snake. Much more common is the harmless black racer. The juvenile black racer often looks like a little copperhead and even shakes its tail like a rattlesnake, which often scares people. Ashburn’s healthy mouse population is a food source for area snakes. BLACK BEAR The most likely bear to show up are 2-year-old black bears who have been pushed out by their mother to make way for younger cubs. There is a population of black bear near Ashburn — possibly along the banks of Goose Creek and Broad Run. They’re usually not dangerous to humans unless you surprise them or block their exit from an area. SPOT AN INJURED ANIMAL? Occasionally, an Ashburn resident might

spot an injured animal — a deer with a lame leg, a bird with a broken wing. It’s heartbreaking. So what should you do? Who can you call for assistance? Your best bet is to call the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center Hotline at 540-837-9000 or Wildlife Veterinary Care at 540-664-9494.

24 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

cycle and everyone’s part in it.” The plans for Reservoir Park are still in the “concept” stage. That means everything that’s proposed is just a preliminary idea at this point. Once the necessary approvals come through, designers will create a more detailed plan and put it into motion. But if even only some of what’s proposed comes to pass, it sounds like a beautiful space is in Ashburn’s future. Picture wooden boardwalks stretching across marshlands and extending out over the dark blue waters of the reservoir, connected to a maze of trails winding their way through a shoreline woods. The park will also probably feature picnic shelters, boat launch docks and possibly even boat rentals — all nonmotorized, of course. The reservoir is first and foremost a source of clean water for Loudoun residents. Another component will be instructional — teaching visitors about water, the importance of the reservoir and its ecology. “We would love to work with teachers to create portable lessons for students on water quality and water conservation and help coordinate visits to this ‘outdoor living lab,’” Crosby said. The reservoir has been closed since 2017, due to construction on the dam at the north end. For much of that time, the water level in the reservoir was dramatically lowered. But that work is wrapping up this spring, and activities on the water, such as canoeing and kayaking, should resume this summer. As for Reservoir Park itself, Loudoun Water officials estimate it could open sometime in 2021 or 2022. For the Pualoas, the timing couldn’t be better. Their pre-school kids will be in elementary school when Ashburn’s amazing future parks come online — and they’ll grow up with them as part of the community. “It’s a real positive for us,” Jason Pualoa said. “To have public parks that are free is really, really nice. We’re definitely looking forward to those parks as the kids get older and can enjoy more things.” A


ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 • 25


CHALKOHO

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LIC

The art of Tonia Priolo adds color to Ashburn BY ED FELKER PHOTOS COURTESY OF @C HALKOH O L IC

I

f you’ve been to Lost Rhino Brewing Company in the past seven years or so you have, no doubt, been introduced to the captivating art of Tonia Priolo. Upon entering the popular tasting room in Ashburn, the first thing customers see is the draft board with colorful illustrations for each of the beer offerings. Elsewhere around the brewery, oversized portraits, movie-themed event boards; and special event announcements are on display. High on one wall, Napoleon Dynamite’s portrait draws attention to the upcoming live music lineup. Some of the blackboards are bright and playful, others dark and soulful. All are created in chalk. Priolo, known around the area and on social media by her moniker, “Chalkoholic,” has been drawn to art since childhood. Her favorite Christmas gift was always Crayola crayons. “My mom let me draw on the wallpaper in my bedroom,” she said. “I remember drawing a giant kangaroo and a mountain lion with crayons and colored pencils.” In middle school and high school art classes she used pastels. It was much later, working for a brewpub that needed large menu boards designed for a festival, when her love affair with chalk took hold. “I realized how much I loved working with chalk and how much people enjoyed the artwork,” she said. It was fun to use her lifelong passion for art at her job, even if it meant designing only menu boards from time to time. After five years there, then eight years of being home with her kids, Priolo was going through major changes in her life and needed to take on some outside work. She had enjoyed the fun atmosphere of the brewing industry, so she started by looking there. As luck would have it, Lost Rhino had advertised that they needed some chalkboards done.  ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 • 27


28 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

BY ED FELKER

“I went there with my tiny portfolio and got the job to do some artwork for them,” she said. “A month later, they expanded their hours and I found myself working there full-time, doing chalk art and helping to manage the tasting room.” Almost seven years and more than 1,000 chalkboards later, Priolo’s style has become an integral facet of the brewery’s brand identity. “Tonia’s work provides an organic and personal touch to the entire identity of the brand,” said Logan Martin, the brewery’s in-house graphic designer. “It helps Lost Rhino stand out amongst the cookiecutter establishments.” While Lost Rhino does keep her busy, Priolo finds time for additional corporate clients as well as doing animal portraits and other projects. Balancing her growing career with being a mom is challenging, to say the least. “Luckily, most of the projects that I do are based on things that I love,” she said. “Passion is an incredible driving force.” One recent work that’s getting much attention is a mural (in paint, not chalk) on the wall of the dining room at Ashburn’s Buffalo Wing Factory. The mural depicts a row of beer taps, each with a different glass of local craft beer beneath it. The painting is extremely realistic. “So many times we have had guests stop on their way in or out of the restaurant to check out the mural, often going up to touch it because the ‘wood’ frame looks so real,” said Nikki Sicilian, the restaurant’s director of communication and public relations. “She was so committed to getting this project perfect we even went to the breweries to get photos of the beers in their proper glassware.” Sicilian admitted that particular field trip for research and development was not a painful one. Restaurants like the Buffalo Wing Factory can buy wall art from anywhere to decorate their walls. But to collaborate with a local artist to create something utterly original is more meaningful to customers and staff alike. Just as people desire quality local beer, they enjoy the connection with local art as well. The appeal of Priolo’s work is not just local, though. The advent of social media – Instagram in particular – has been most valuable to artists like Priolo, bringing a huge community together in one place, including other local chalk artists. “Instagram is so helpful for sharing work, tips, tricks, and coordinating events and collaborations,”

she said. “It has also put me in direct contact with people all over the world, providing me with unique opportunities to travel and do what I love.” Instagram has opened unexpected doors for Priolo. She was contacted by a professional skateboarder in L.A. who wanted her to do some artwork for his company’s social media outreach. Having been a part of the skateboarding community


since she was a kid, she was understandably ‘stoked’ to do work for them. Thanks to connections made through Instagram, she is also working on a project with a tour manager of one of her favorite bands. “I’ve been able to see shows from backstage and meet people I never thought I’d meet,” she said, grinning. “It’s incredible.” Priolo is excited to be a featured artist at Northern Virginia’s All Star Comic Con this summer, displaying and selling prints of her work as well as doing live demos at the Chalkoholic booth. “The people that are involved in this Comic Con are some of the most fun, creative, and genuinely nice people I have ever known,” she said. “It is a true family.” When doing live demos, Priolo sketches out a design ahead of time, then draws live for up to five hours. “I really love doing live art projects,” she said. “Feeling the energy from a crowd and seeing the response from people is truly a fun and rewarding experience.” Watching Chalkoholic at work is mesmerizing. Working mostly on textured plywood that she paints with chalkboard paint, she builds layers upon layers of colors that might not seem right at first but blend perfectly on the board. Details, highlights, shadows, all unfold before your eyes. Music is a major component of the creative process for Priolo, helping her focus during those long live sessions as well as when she’s working alone. If she has chalk in her hand and a board in front of her, her signature Bose headphones are sure to be on her head. “Listening to music during a project not only provides me with a certain kind of creative energy while I’m drawing, but also helps to basically transport me into a working zone that can last for hours,” she said. “It allows me to be fully emerged into my work without any distractions.” Her music of choice: punk rock. Chalk by nature is not a permanent medium. Undoubtedly, many of her signature pieces will stand the test of time, whether hanging on a wall out of reach, or fixed with a sealer (Priolo is always experimenting with materials and methods of preservation). But inevitably, some work is erased to make room for something new. “Erasing my work is always kind of sad, but I take hundreds of photos and always have a plan in mind for what’s next,” she said. “Chalk allows me to have a never-ending platform to always be creating and learning.” A

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home sweet home

AFTER

KonMari Who knew folding clothes could be so fun?

STORY AND PHOTOS BY ANG EL A MARSH

BEFORE

30 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

I

n the past few months, Marie Kondo has been everywhere. The Japanese organizing expert has written four best-selling books and has a hit show on Netflix — all focused on tidying up your home and other spaces and bringing some peace and balance to your life.


HOME SWEET HOME

Her method and tips — known by the name KonMari — involve identifying items that bring you joy and getting rid of just about everything else. So when Ashburn Magazine asked me to undertake a KonMari project in my own home and write about it, I knew just where to start: our dreaded master closet. I read everything I could find about how to KonMari the heck out of my shelves and drawers and hangers. From sparking joy to folding clothes into teeny, tiny rectangles, and repeating the mantra “clothing, books, paper, komono, sentimental.” Did you know “komono” more or less means “miscellaneous” in Japanese? I didn’t. Here are five things I learned while transforming our closet. Folding clothes in tiny packages is fun. Laundry is the bane of my existence. I don’t like it and it doesn’t like me. However, our relationship may be turning a corner. I genuinely like folding the clothes the way Marie suggests. It’s cute in the same way that tiny bottles of ketchup make your heart skip. It’s a laundry craft project! The whole family is making clothes origami. Perhaps laundry and I won’t need couples counseling after all. I want my socks to be happy! Marie says

that our possessions spark joy through their energy and the way they bring us comfort. In order to bring out the best of our things, we need to treat them with respect. My sweet little socks, who carry all weight of the world, are much happier now that they are gently folded and stored neatly away. Thank you so much, ankle cut crew socks! You were real troupers today. Buy all the things… that bring you joy (and you can afford)! One of Marie’s lessons is to keep what you love with confidence. My daughter told me that she will never again buy something she’s not 100 percent sure about. It must be right or it’s not coming home with her. Even more importantly, she’s going to seize the day when she falls in love with an item. Brilliant idea! Why do we talk ourselves into things we don’t love and talk ourselves out of the things we do? Your closet can punch you in the face. My previous experience with getting dressed was so negative. “Nope. I don’t fit into that anymore.” “No, that is ugly.” “Where did that sin-of-the-devil shirt come from anyway?” By the time I settled on an outfit, I didn’t like anything — neither my clothes nor myself. Now I can go into my closet and know that what I pick out will fit and I will like it. It’s simply a matter 

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019 • 31


HOME SWEET HOME

The Main Principles of KonMari Envision your ideal home first. Commit to tidying up completely. of what is appropriate for the occasion. No more beating myself up through my wardrobe. Tidying up really is magical. Like most of us, I have a lot going on — an empire to build; teenagers, husband, and animals to look after; and TV shows to binge watch. There is too much to think about all day.

I can’t put that much thought into menial tasks! I just need to be able to find my vegetable peeler. Having a place for everything and everything in its place allows me to only focus on what’s important – like the next Netflix series. A

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Above: One of the tenets of the KonMari method involves folding clothing in a very specific way so all items are neat and visible.

Let go of things before you start organizing.

Angela Marsh lives in the Broadlands with her husband, Dan, and their two children. She owns CoolMama, a local purveyor of gourmet granola products.

Tidy things up by category, not by location.

If an item doesn’t bring you joy, you should likely get rid of it.

Follow the correct order: clothing, books, paper, komono (accessories), sentimental mementos.


wine&dine

The Art of Empanadas Tumi Urban Kitchen specializes in Latin American comfort food BY M I K E CO N WAY A mere glimpse is enough to stir the heart and the stomach — the half-moon shaped golden pockets of dough, swelling with savory fillings. Ubiquitous across much of Latin America, the empanada is to those regions what apple pie is to America — a staple, a comfort food, with recipes handed down from generation to generation. And now Ashburn has a new source for these delicious creations: Tumi Urban Kitchen. “What most people in Latin America look for is the traditional beef empanada,” said Ricardo Cavero, the owner of Tumi Kitchen and a resident of Martin’s Chase in Ashburn. “The beef empanada is the measuring stick for all of Latin America.” A versatile pastry found in Latin-influenced cuisine

34 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

The beef empanada is the measuring stick for all of Latin America.”

around the world, empanadas can be made with surprising combinations of meats, cheeses and seasonings — chicken, pork, chorizo. Still, Cavero’s beef empanada represents the best traditions of his native Peru. “We use several different onions, raisins, a little bit of egg and traditional Peruvian seasoning. Then we add a few things to give it sweet 


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WINE&DINE

and savory accents,” he said. “Finally, we top it with a slice of lime, because a squeeze of lime can add an extra element of flavor to the experience.” Tumi was launched at the ChefScape commercial kitchen on Ashburn Road in old Ashburn. It recently moved to the new ChefScape site at the Village at Leesburg, where Cavero is operating one of the kiosks in the food hall. The kiosk has the new Tumi Urban Kitchen name. Tumi is one of two brands Cavero has created in Ashburn. In 2017, Cavero launched the Rocoto Gourmet food truck offering Peruvian cuisine at locations around Northern Virginia. During down time this winter, the truck is getting a makeover and will reappear

36 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

this spring as Rocoto Peruvian BBQ. Ashburn Village resident Roxce Castillo is of Peruvian heritage, and she and her husband and their three children are always looking for authentic Peruvian cuisine. So she was thrilled when she learned about Tumi and its signature empanadas. “They are something your mom makes, your grandma makes — ever since you were a little kid,” Castillo said. “They just make you feel like home.” The Tumi menu goes far beyond the beloved puffed pockets. “We have a build-it concept,” Cavero explained. “You select your base, which can be garlic and onion-infused jasmine rice, or a salad, or a sandwich, which comes on a big, butter-toasted Peruvian-French roll, and then you can choose from any of our meats.” The selection of meats includes crispy, sweet “chifa” pork — representing the influence of thousands of Chinese immigrants to Peru — and a spicy chorizo seasoned with aji panca, a Peruvian red pepper. “We also do a sloppy Inca, which is a creamy, pulled chicken with a little cream and cheese—a nod to the ‘aji de gallina,’ which is a traditional Peruvian dish,” Cavero said. Courtenay Jeffers, ChefScape’s marketing manager, said, “Tumi Kitchen brings a unique twist to ChefScape. Authentic Peruvian cuisine can be hard to find in this area, but we are fortunate to have it.” You’ll get no argument from Castillo, who has already enjoyed the new Tumi empanadas — both the traditional baked kind and the crispy fried versions — dipped in a traditional spicy sauce. Her verdict on Tumi Urban Kitchen is as American as they come: “I think it’s a home run.” A Mike Conway is a freelance writer and Loudoun county resident who has previously written for Northern Virginia magazine.


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great escapes 1

Croatia The Jewel of the Adriatic

Right: The Owen family visiting a 4th-century palace in the Croatian city of Split. Jeff and Lindsay, Tuck (6), Yates (8) and Ravello (4).

BY C H R I S WADSWO RT H

38 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

“Hvar is the prime spot for uberboating including massive yachts, lots of millennials and gorgeous scenery. Boats tie up to one another to create artificial ‘islands’ for boat-party hopping. Hvar can get intense in spots with partiers at night, so we stayed for the day and the took the last evening ferry back to Split.” 

1

PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE OWEN FAMILY

T

here’s an old saying that everyone has a cousin in Miami, but how about a cousin in Croatia? Ancestral ties led Ashburn resident Lindsay Owen and her family to take a whirlwind vacation to the European nation along the Adriatic Sea. “My grandparents immigrated from there when it was still part of Yugoslavia,” said Owen, who lives with her husband, Jeff, and their three children in the Village of Waxpool. “I’ve always wanted to go — especially since I’ve got lots of cousins there. That’s why we went all over the place.” Lindsay Owen shared some of her favorite photos and memories from the trip last summer and her favorite tips for anyone headed to Croatia — a land many travelers call “the jewel of the Adriatic.”


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GREAT ESCAPES

Krka Falls must be seen to be believed. The colors of the water, the trees — everything is so vibrant.”

“Krka Falls must be seen to be believed. The colors of the water, the trees — everything is so vibrant. Krka has a set of trails to take you up and around the falls to a restaurant at the top. Worth every minute. The trails are not difficult — our then 3-year-old easily hiked them.”

2

“We visited distant relatives in the tiny seaside town of Ra ise. They rolled out the red carpet and served us homemade rakija — a strong fruit brandy made from figs from their own fruit trees. Despite the major language barrier, they were so proud to host us. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip.”

3

2

“Dubrovnik does not disappoint. The beautiful old city is surrounded by the famous Walls of Dubrovnik — some dating back to the 12th century. We walked for hours — you truly feel like you’ve stepped back in time.” 

4

3

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40 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019


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GREAT ESCAPES

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42 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

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“A 35-minute boat ride away from Dubrovnik is the island of Lokrum, home to an abandoned monastery that has been used to film scenes in the popular HBO show ‘Game of Thrones.’ The island is uninhabited except for a native population of wild rabbits and peacocks.�

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The harbor at Ra is e.

TOP TIPS FROM THE OWEN FAMILY Visit the island of Korcula for its stunning views, beautiful waters and wonderful wines. Try the fresh octopus, black risotto and definitely the “frigane sitna riba� — small fish fried in lemon and served with Croatian sea salt. Purchase snorkel gear when you arrive to take advantage of the many “drop in� points along the coast. “This was one of the most magical parts of the trip — parking, hopping out and snorkeling anywhere we wanted,� Lindsay said. A

If you’ve taken an amazing trip somewhere recently and have beautiful photographs, drop us a line at editor@ashburnmagazine. com. We may just share your adventure in a future issue of Ashburn Magazine.

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time travel

Racing Past History BY C H R I S WADSWO RT H

W

hen you’re running or biking along the W&OD Trail in Ashburn, you pass several historical markers that highlight the trail’s past as a busy railway corridor. But lots of folks probably don’t want to break their stride or interrupt their rhythm for an impromptu history lesson. To help solve that problem, we thought we would share these markers with you in the pages of this and future issues of Ashburn Magazine. First up, imagine you’re standing next to the Carolina Brothers barbeque restaurant in the heart of Old Ashburn.

ASHBURN STATION

At least two different railroad stations stood where you are now standing. When the Alexandra, Loudoun & Hampshire Railroad (later the W&OD) arrived in 1860, the aptly named crossroads of Farmwell became one of the many rail stops that served agrarian Loudoun County. In 1896, after an ash tree caught fire and supposedly burned for a week, Farmwell changed its name to Ashburn.” Loudoun County had more than 1,200 farms at the time. The railroad transported the cash crops of wheat, corn, and oats as well as livestock and dairy products. By 1891, early morning trains through Farmwell carried some 4,000 gallons of milk to Washington each day.” Not all milk reached its destination. Certain crewmen sometimes churned milk into butter during the trip, sold it at the next stop, kept the money, and discarded the empty milk cans in Goose Creek.”

44 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019


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the burn A ROUND-UP OF THE LATEST RESTAURANT, RETAIL AND OTHER COOL NEWS FROM ASHBURN AND BEYOND. CHECK OUT THE BURN AT THEBURN.COM AND FOLLOW IT ON FACEBOOK, TWITTER AND INSTAGRAM.

CHICK-FIL-A GETTING UNDERWAY IN HEART OF ASHBURN The longanticipated Chick-fil-A drive-thru restaurant in Ashburn is finally becoming a reality. The owners announced construction would hopefully begin in midMarch with a target opening sometime in September. Ashburn’s newest Chick-fil-A is going in the vacant lot next to Red Robin and behind the Panera Bread bread in the Shoppes at Ryan Park shopping center.

SILVER DINER OPENING ASHBURN LOCATION The first Silver Diner location in Loudoun County is scheduled to open in 2020 in Ashburn’s Commonwealth Center. That’s the development at the intersection of Loudoun County Parkway and Russell Branch Parkway. When it’s built, it will sit next to the

CVS that recently opened there. Silver Diner is a Maryland-based restaurant chain with locations around the Washington region.

PATEL BROTHERS OPENING ASHBURN LOCATION Patel Brothers, a national grocery store brand specializing in Indian foods, is taking a spot in the Ashburn Farm Village Center. It will take roughly 27,000 square feet of the current Global Foods location. The Illinoisbased chain has more than 50 locations in 21 states. The closest location to Ashburn currently is in Fairfax.

TEXAS ROADHOUSE, SHEETZ COMING TO ASHBURN Monument Realty announced that the first two tenants for its new Riverside Square shopping center will be a Texas Roadhouse restaurant and a Sheetz gas station and

46 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2019

convenience store. The new center will be built on the north side of Route 7 near the intersection with Ashburn Village Boulevard. A fitness center is also planned for Riverside Square.

ASHBURN MOM COMPETES ON ‘SURVIVOR’

Reem Daly, who lives in Ashburn’s Loudoun Valley Estates with her husband and three children, was a contestant on the current season of CBS’ “Survivor” that premiered in February. In 2018, she traveled to an island in Fiji to compete in the long-running reality game show. Unfortunately, Daly rubbed her fellow islanders the wrong way and was voted out in the first episode.

However, a twist this year opens the door for eliminated contestants to return and, as of press time, Daly had chosen this option and could be back.

FIRST ZAXBY’S IN DC AREA COMING TO LOUDOUN The first Zaxby’s restaurant location in the greater Washington market is coming to South Riding — just a 10-minute ride from the southside of Ashburn. Zaxby’s is a fast-food restaurant and drive-through with locations across the Southeast. It specializes in chicken tenders, chicken sandwiches and chicken wings, along with fries, shakes and other goodies. Zaxby’s is expected to open sometime later this summer in the Shoppes at East Gate near the intersection of Highway 50 and Tall Cedars Parkway. A


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Ashburn Magazine  

The debut issue of Ashburn Magazine, mailed to thousands of residents, with additional copies available for free pickup at area stores, rest...

Ashburn Magazine  

The debut issue of Ashburn Magazine, mailed to thousands of residents, with additional copies available for free pickup at area stores, rest...

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