__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

R E STAU R A N T ST R U G G L E S • M YST E RY AU T H O R • SO L D I E R S H O N O R E D

MARCH/APRIL 2021

bollywood beat POPULAR

CONNECTS

DANCE

KIDS

TO

STYLE

CULTURE


DISCOVER AWARD-WINNING COMMUNITY INSPIRED BY YOU. Come see for yourself how phenomenal life is in and around Brambleton. Thoughtfully designed with today’s lifestyle in mind. Enjoy Loudoun County living at its finest.

MODERN. CONNECTED. WALKABLE.

BRAMBLETON WELCOME CENTER 703-542-2925 Brambleton.com TOWNHOMES FROM THE UPPER $500s TRI POINTE HOMES 240-206-6432 SINGLE FAMILY HOMES VAN METRE HOMES 703-272-2752 TRI POINTE HOMES 240-206-6432

BIRCHWOOD CLUBHOUSE 703-722-2427 BirchwoodatBrambleton.com • New Floorplans Now Available • Virtual Or In-Person Model Tours • Verizon Fios Included In Each Home

• Miles Of Walking & Biking Trails • Year-Round Farmers Market • Shop & Dine Local At Our Town Center

55+ LIVING. LIFE REIMAGINED. CONDOS, VILLAS & SINGLES LOW $400s TO $700s TRI POINTE HOMES 240-471-6392 VAN METRE HOMES 703-764-5426

Brambleton is located within close proximity to Dulles Airport and will be impacted by aircraft overflights and aircraft noise.


Ashburn

VOLUME 3, 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

Jill Devine • Lori Kimball Will Pfeifer • Andrew Sample PUBLISHED BY

Rappahannock Media LLC • InsideNoVa 1360 Old Bridge Road Woodbridge, VA 22192 (703) 318-1386 PRESIDENT

Dennis Brack dbrack@rappnews.com BUSINESS OFFICE

Michelle Freeman accounting@insidenova.com ON THE WEB www.ashburnmagazine.com

Facebook and Twitter: @ashburnmagazine Ashburn Magazine is published every other month 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. ©2021 Rappahannock Media LLC.

FROM THE PUBLISHER A CALL FROM WAYDE During the winter, the calls from Wayde Byard come so frequently that he may as well be a member of the family. And they all tend to run together: Two-hour delay. Schools closed. Afternoon and evening activities canceled. But there is one Wayde Byard call I will never forget. It was almost a year ago – Thursday, March 12, 2020. The phone rang much earlier than normal – around 5 a.m. Not only would Loudoun County schools be closed that day and the next day, but they would also be closed the entire following week due to the threat posed by the novel coronavirus. Going back to sleep was impossible; in that moment, COVID-19 became real. The feeling in the pit of my stomach is something I have experienced only one other time: on 9/11, watching the second plane fly into the World Trade Center, making it clear this was not some horrible accident. Of course, we all know what has happened in the past year. Public schools are only just now reopening. One in every 18 Loudoun residents has tested positive for COVID-19. Over 800 of our neighbors have been hospitalized for treatment of the virus. And over 200 have, sadly, passed away. Businesses of all shapes and sizes were forced to close to slow the spread of the virus. As a result, over 46,000 initial claims for unemployment benefits have been filed by Loudoun residents. The impact has been felt hardest on the hospitality industry as traveling and dining out literally screeched to a halt. So I can only imagine how people like Jonathan Ball and Tony Stafford felt as the pandemic closed in around us. They are two of the many entrepreneurs who own and run restaurants here in Ashburn, who have dedicated their lives – and perhaps spent their life savings – so that we can enjoy a nice meal out in a place not called Applebee’s or Outback. In our “Wine & Dine” feature in this month’s issue, editor Chris Wadsworth talks to Ball, of One Loudoun’s new Lost Fox Hideaway, and Stafford, of longtime local favorite Ford’s Fish Shack, as well as other Ashburn restaurateurs about the effects of the pandemic and how they have survived. While their stories are heartbreaking, their resilience is inspiring and gives us all the more reason to support these local businesses. Elsewhere this month, our cover story explores the artistry and pageantry at another local business, Studio Dhoom, which teaches a Bollywood-style dance popular in South Asian countries. In normal times, Studio Dhoom’s dancers perform throughout the region, including at halftime of Washington Wizards’ basketball games, and it’s easy to see why. You’ll also meet Suzi Weinert, an Ashby Ponds resident who turned a trip to a garage sale into a series of mystery books that were made into movies on the Hallmark Channel. And take a trip back in time to learn about the history of the Waxpool Store, which was One Loudoun, Brambleton Town Center and Dulles Town Center all rolled into one. Finally, we’re excited to be wrapping up voting in our 2021 Best of Ashburn poll. Slightly more than halfway through this year’s balloting, which ended March 4, the number of voters had already exceeded the 5,400 who voted in our inaugural edition last year. The results will be announced in our May issue, spotlighting once again the perseverance and pride of the many local businesses that – despite all the challenges – help make Ashburn the great place that it is. BRUCE POTTER, PUBLISHER PUBLISHER@ASHBURNMAGAZINE.COM


REPAIR AND SERVICE

www ReWe're .NoDquestLocat uctWa FREed in L orkNE Estimeesbu eed ate! rg ed.c om

500

75

$50 on repair $300 to $499 $75 on any repair $500 & above

INSTANT REBATE

$

UP TO

________________

$

up to $ SAVE $35 on any repair up to $299

________________

INSTANT REBATE

________________________________

________________

____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________

250

____________________________ ____________________________ ____________________________ for HVAC & Water Coupon must be presented at time of service. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Expires 5/10/2021 703-840-2175

Coupon must be presented at time of service. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Does not apply to diagnostic. Expires 5/10/2021 703-840-2175

Coupon must be presented at time of service. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Expires 5/10/2021 703-840-2175

Request a FREE ESTIMATE

Heater Replacements Financing Available

CALL or TEXT us at 703-840-2175

www.meflow.com

We're Hiring! Visit our Website and Click on Careers!!


contents 08

BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

12 more amazing kids Highlighting local kids doing great things

14 business boom BETTER BIRTHS Local women create online counseling service for expectant parents BY JILL DEVINE

30 time of our lives feature

amazing kids A PENNY TO REMEMBER Briar Woods students honor our nation’s fallen heroes

24

18 cover story BOLLYWOOD BEAT Local dance studio combines Asian and American styles BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

24 wine & dine feature A WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN Ashburn’s restaurant community reflects on a year of turmoil BY CHRIS WADSWORTH

MYSTERY, SHE WROTE Hit books by Ashburn author inspire TV movies BY WILL PFEIFER

36 real estate round-up The latest facts and figures about home sales in Ashburn

38 local adventures LIVING HISTORY Experience colonial life in nearby Fredericksburg BY JILL DEVINE

42 time travel HEART OF THE COMMUNITY The Waxpool General Store served a vital role a century ago BY LORI KIMBALL

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

brighten up! Furniture | Interior Design Window Treatments Reupholstery 312 E. Market Street, Suite D | Leesburg, VA 20176 703.771.9484 | theguestroomfurniture.com 6 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

ON THE COVER Students from Studio Dhoom in Ashburn perform dances that mix the Bollywood style of dance with traditional South Asian dances and even hip hop and jazz.


The Premier Water Storage System! Designed by industrial engineers for superior durability, convenience, and quality! Made from high quality, durable materials, WaterPrepared tanks will help your family complete their food storage.

10% OFF Use Promo Code BEPREPARED2021 **Offer Expires April 30th, 2021**

Made In America

No Phthlates or Bisphenol-a


amazing kids

A Penny to T Remember Briar Woods students honor our nation’s heroes BY C H R I S WADSWO RT H

8 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

he old saying goes, “A penny for your thoughts,” but how about a penny for a memory? That was one way a unique group of Ashburn high school students honored soldiers during a recent event at Arlington National Cemetery. Students for the Troops was formed two years ago at Briar Woods High School. The club, with roughly 30 members, is dedicated to supporting and honoring current and former servicemen and women. In its short existence, the club has already pulled off some wonderful events, including holding a breakfast for veterans at the school pre-COVID and taking desserts and Valentine’s Day cards to the D.C. Armory for National Guard troops stationed there this winter. But perhaps most special was an event Students for the Troops held this past Veteran’s Day. The club came up with a heartfelt way to remember America’s soldiers.


AMAZING KIDS

Students from Briar Woods High School standing amongst the gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery this past Veteran’s Day. The medals they left to honor fallen soldiers can be seen on many of the gravestones. The students realized that today’s teenagers have passed a milestone — every student in the school was born after the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001. So Students for the Troops decided to honor fallen soldiers who passed away during those tumultuous post 9-11 years— namely 2002-2005. “They died in the years that we were being born, some of them the same month or even the same day that our classmates were born,” said Natalie Borsuk, 17, a senior and one of the founders of the club. “We hope the club will carry this forward and — with each new class — we will honor a new year.” The students sought the counsel of two U.S. Army veterans — Bronze Star recipient Scott Davidson and two-time Purple Heart recipient Pasha Palanker — on how to best honor a fallen soldier. What they came up with is a moving tribute indeed. A medallion was custom-designed, featuring the emblems of all five branches of the U.S. military, along with a note of thanks. The medals were cast, and in November, a dozen members of the club gathered their supplies and headed to the nation’s most revered cemetery. The medals were draped over headstones of servicemen and women who passed away between 2002 and 2005. A flag was placed on each grave with a note attached explaining how the students chose those years and the soldiers they were honoring. “Laying down those medals was my way of saying

Give your child a competitive advantage. Kindergarten - 12th Grade

DULLES CAMPUS 22870 Pacific Boulevard Near the intersection of Route 28 & Old Ox Road

703-759-5100

FairfaxChristianSchool.com ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 9


AMAZING KIDS (Below) Students from Briar Woods left medals, pennies, flags and notes on soldiers’ gravestones this past Veteran’s Day; (right) A close-up of the medal created by the Briar Woods High School group Students for the Troops.

thank you to those who've fallen for our flag,” said Ben Char, 16, a junior at Briar Woods and member of the club. And perhaps, most special — a penny was left on each gravestone. It comes from a military tradition the students learned about during their research, a tradition of leaving coins when you visit a soldier’s grave. A penny for a visit. A nickel if you went to boot camp with the fallen soldier. A dime if you served a tour with the soldier. And a quarter if you were with the soldier when he or she died. In all, more than 200 soldiers were honored with medals, flags and pennies on that special day. “It was very emotional and very touching,” Natalie said. “Walking through the cemetery, we would see an occasional coin that someone had left and just the realization that every one of those headstones represents a person that died fighting for our freedoms.” A

10 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021


CABINETRY • WINDOWS • DOORS • SIDING

(703) 720-5163 44031 Ashburn Shopping Plaza • 261/265 Ashburn, VA 20147 www.msbs.net


more

amazing kids

OK, we know all kids are amazing, but if you know of a kid who’s so amazing that he or she should be featured on this page, please email information to editor@ashburnmagazine.com.

BUDDING ASHBURN WRITER WINS POETRY CONTEST WITH HER MOVING WORDS

M

any Americans were inspired by Amanda Gorman, the 23-year-old poet who read one of her works at January’s inauguration of President Joe Biden. Now, Ashburn has a budding poet as well, one who has drawn comparisons to Gorman with her latest work, “Colors.” 15-year-old Zahria Ford is a 10th-grader at Rock Ridge High School. She recently was the Northern Virginia winner in the Strong Men & Women in Virginia History writing contest — one of only four students so honored in the state. The contest was sponsored by Dominion Energy and the Library of Virginia. Ford attended middle school in a different county, and she wrote about her experience as an African-American student in a predominantly white school — the unkind comments, the being ignored. “My experience was of being alienated in middle school because I looked different from everybody else,” Zahria said.

Shake off the winter blues. At Goldfish, your kids will learn skills that last a lifetime while your family relaxes in our state-of-the-art facility featuring winter-friendly amenities including hair drying stations, swimsuit dryers and private changing rooms.

• Lessons For Kids 4 Months - 12 Years • Confidence-Building Curriculum • Shiver-Free, 90-Degree Pool • Free Make-Up Lessons ASHBURN | 703.665.7647 21140 Ashburn Crossing Drive, Suite 115 goldfishswimschool.com |

12 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

Call TODAY to schedule a FREE trial lesson!


“I’m certain it didn’t just happen to me. It happens to people everywhere. The issue is universal.” “I also want people who read my poem to know that it’s OK for them to be themselves,” she added. “At the end of the day, changing yourselves to fit in with the norm is totally not worth it.” e xc e r p t f r o m

“COLORS” BY ZAHRIA FORD

With age comes wisdom, with wisdom comes power, with power comes responsibility, a new reality visited me. Reflection, connection, meditation. Writing is my therapy, my thoughts begin to speak. I hear and understand how depressed I used to be. Red, purple, green, blue, yellow, cyan and orange. Once a rainy day with dismay is engulfed in a color explosion! Living in different worlds makes me wiser now. With this new power, I hereby vow: To remember who I am, don't worry what others think. black isn't bad, the opposite, really. It's bold, beautiful, and unique. Blue sky, white clouds, color is back in stock. Brown feet taking steps to meet a dream down the sidewalk. You can read the complete poem “Colors” on our website at www.ashburnmagazine.com.

T OA STS made to order

B U Y A N Y T OA S T G E T ANY SMALL CLASSIC SMOOTHIE 50% OFF (TO REDEEM PRESENT AD IN-STORE)

43145 BROADLANDS CENTER PLAZA (Next to Parallel Whiskey Bar) One coupon per customer. Must present ad in-store to redeem the offer. No cash value. Cannot be combined with any other coupons or discounts. Valid at location listed only. Not valid for Online Orders. Expires 6/30/2021. ©2021 Robeks Corporation.

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 13

RBKS-0221-557 Print Ad - Toasts Ashburn, VA.indd 1

2/18/21 1:35 PM


business boom

Better Births Local women create online counseling service for expectant parents BY JI L L DE V IN E

(Left) Tara Campbell Lussier and Mari Stutzman Smith, co-founders of Arrow; (above) Arrow Advisor Wendy Dotson talks about the signs of labor in the Discover Birth Education Course.

C

ongratulations! The test came back positive, and you’re going to have a baby. Whether it’s your first pregnancy or your fifth, you will want support as you deal with a range of emotions, questions and decisions. Should you deliver at home or in a hospital? Will you choose natural birth or pain medication? What if you need a Caesarean section? How to calm a crying baby? How to balance life when returning to work? Parents have traditionally depended on books for answers — like the famous 14 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

“What to Expect when You’re Expecting” — covering everything from epidurals to toddler tantrums. Pre-COVID-19, they may have signed up for birthing classes, often presented in dreary hospital meeting rooms. Now, two longtime Loudoun County friends — both certified doulas — have combined their professional experience to launch a digital education platform called Arrow. The Ashburn-based company pairs a comprehensive catalog of educational videos with access to on-demand, one-onone virtual sessions with expert consultants.

IMPROVING BIRTH OUTCOMES Arrow co-founders Mari Stutzman Smith, who has three children and lives near One Loudoun, and Tara Campbell Lussier, who has four kids and lives in Purcellville, said they created Arrow to help busy parents they saw struggling to find convenient sources of information and support. Friends since high school, Smith and Lussier ran separate and solo doula practices for more than a decade before deciding in 2016 to combine their skills and


PHOTO COURTESY: ALEXA LANDRY

BUSINESS BOOM

REAL LIFE STORIES

When struggling with breastfeeding her daughter, Zosia, Arrow customer Alexa Landry connected with a lactation consultant on the Arrow platform to get quick and workable solutions. knowledge to build something new. “We liked the idea of running a business together,” Smith said. “I was exploring ways to create updated online education for my clients. And Tara was wanting to create a way for parents to connect with consultants to navigate important birthing decisions.” Smith and Lussier combined $65,000 of their money to start the company. They

spent 18 months assembling a network of expert advisors, including doctors, midwives, doulas, nurses, chiropractors, lactation specialists, psychiatrists and even lawyers. Then, using the experts, they created 35 videos covering every issue a parent might encounter before, during or after birth, ranging from birthing positions to legal rights when returning to work.

Centreville mom Molli Atallah took Arrow’s birth courses last year while pregnant with her now 1-year-old son. She said the service was especially helpful after birth. “I was told to expect high emotions when my milk came in, but I had real anxiety,” Atallah said. “I couldn’t sleep, had heart palpitations, and was constantly worried.” An Arrow social worker consultant met with her and her husband virtually, she added, “and followed up with a wealth of resources, guiding us to a healthy postpartum experience.” Another client, Danielle Leinemann, moved a long way — from Virginia to California — so she entered pregnancy at her home in Berkeley last year without a circle of family and friends. COVID-19 made matters worse when she couldn’t find any birthing classes. 

SPRING SAVINGS!

*

SAVE UP TO $1000 SPECIAL FINANCING

ASHBURN

PURCELLVILLE

loudounvalleyfloors.com

*

Now through May 4, 2021. To maintain social distancing, please make an appointment to visit our showroom. ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 15


BUSINESS BOOM PHOTO COURTESY: DANIELLE LEINEMANN

Arrow came to the rescue. “I watched all 35 videos sequentially while pregnant,” Leinemann said. “And then I watched each one again multiple times as I actually experienced individual topics in real life.” Leinemann found the segment that describes the stages of labor particularly helpful. “Information is power — and I felt not as scared during the birth, because I really understood the nitty gritty of what was happening to my body and the baby.” GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES Arrow launched online in spring 2019, and Smith said the company experienced “five-fold” growth between 2019 and 2020. Lussier said they based Arrow in Ashburn where Smith lives, because of its vibrant business community. In addition to the founders, Arrow is supported by an eight-person staff and a network of expert advisors and consultants, about 70 people in total. After rethinking an initial effort to raise seed funding, Lussier said Arrow is now focused on

Danielle Leinemann taking the Discover Birth Education Course in the comfort of her home in preparation for the arrival of her baby.

FREE AIR PURIFIER!

BIGGER SAVINGS.

BETTER LIVING.

Purchase a Carrier Infinity Heating & Air Conditioning System and receive a FREE Air Purifier (up to a $2000 value) for your home. Combat germs in your home and keep everyone safe during the pandemic and beyond.

571-291-3338 Call the experts at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning, a Modern Mechanical company to reserve yours while supplies last!

18 MONTHS NO PAYMENTS • NO INTEREST ON REPLACEMENTS OR REPAIRS MODERN MECHANICAL HVAC • PLUMBING • ELECTRICAL For qualified customers. Residential only.

16 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

Residential only. Valid until April 30. Not valid with any other offer or coupon. Other restrictions apply. Attractive financing packages available.


BUSINESS BOOM preparing for a larger round of funding later this year. Arrow services are available for purchase directly by individuals and healthcare systems, but Arrow is particularly excited to present Arrow services to corporate employers. Lussier said companies are realizing the value of adding family-friendly benefits to attract and retain top talent, particularly during challenging times such as COVID. “Working parents are leaving the workforce in droves — my job is to help employers improve the employee experience while keeping their workforce engaged and employed,” Lussier said. That philosophy extends to her personal life as well. “I could work 20 hours a day, and there would still be more to do,” Lussier said. “Mari and I have seven kids between us, so it’s important that we also take steps to balance work and family life — we must practice what we preach.” A Jill Devine is a freelance writer and former magazine editor from Loudoun County who writes for a variety of Virginia publications.

Spring into the Season at Stream Valley Vet! "All pets deserve Concierge Care. We have been the other family doctor for many local families spanning 20 years! We can assure your pet is not just a figure on a balance sheet."

- Mary A. Corey, D.V.M. Preventive & Diagnostic Medicine • Surgery & Dentistry • Obedience Classes • Boarding • Doggie Daycare • Professional Grooming

IN OUR NEXT ISSUE …

Emergencies Pet emergency? Let us triage and treat or stabilize!

Behavior Consultations

Exotic Care

Furry, feathered or Listening troubles? scaled pet not We'll "Better the Bond" by helping solve any feeling well? We will be their doctor too. behavior issues.

Hours of Operation Monday - Friday: 7 AM - 7 PM Saturday: 8 AM - 3 PM Sunday (boarder pick up only): 5 PM - 7 PM

Our Readers Have Spoken Meet the Winners in the May/June Issue Of Ashburn Magazine www.ashburnmagazine.com

We're just a few feet away! 703.723.1017 42902 Waxpool Road Ashburn, Virginia 20148 www.streamvalleyvet.com

Follow us!

@streamvalleyvet

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 17


18 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021


bollywood beat Local dance studio combines Asian and American styles

N

PHOTOS BY ANDREW SAMPLE

ikki Shah, 13, remembers the buildup vividly — the crowded backstage at a Washington Wizards basketball game in April 2018, everyone in their colorful costumes, stomachs flipflopping as they heard the voice of the announcer and the roar of the crowd. “Running out on the court was really nerve-wracking. There were cameras everywhere,” she said. “I don’t remember the actual performance. It went by so quickly — it kind of flew over my head.” Nikki and two dozen of her classmates at Studio Dhoom in Ashburn had just performed on center court during an NBA basketball game, doing a choreographed Bollywood-style dance with hints of other dance styles mixed in, including the allAmerican hip hop. “It was such a great experience,” the Eagle Ridge Middle School eighth-grader said. “I was extremely happy I got to represent my culture on such a big stage.” That’s what Studio Dhoom is all about —

PHOTO BY ANDREW SAMPLE

BY C H R I S WADSWO RT H

celebrating South Asian culture and dance in a fun, engaging environment. Even the studio’s name, “dhoom,” means “having a blast” in the Hindi language. It was chosen by the first class of students to train at Studio Dhoom more than a decade ago. Studio Dhoom was founded in 2009 by dance instructor Aanal Sheth. For years, she held her classes in rented spaces sprinkled around Leesburg and Ashburn. Finally, in 2017, when the studio was simultaneously renting space at three different locations, Sheth put down permanent roots and opened a single large studio in the Shops at Moorefield Village off Loudoun County Parkway. “Having your own studio is a big

financial commitment,” Sheth said. “It was a risk, and no one had tried that before [for Bollywood dance]. But it was a calculated risk that was worth taking. They say, ‘If you build it, they will come.’” And they have come — to the tune of some 1,200 students over the years. They come to learn the Bollywood-style dance, but with traditional Indian dance forms like Bharatanatyam, Kathak and Kuchipudi and folk dances like Garba and Lavani mixed in. And Western styles of dance such as the aforementioned hip hop and jazz have a role, too. That “unique blend” connects with the kids, Sheth says. 

(Left) Students from Studio Dhoom dance and pose in some of the colorful costumes they wear during performances. (Above) Aanal Sheth, owner and founder of Studio Dhoom. ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 19


“Modern Bollywood is a big melting pot of so many genres,” she added. “The latest trend currently is creating fusion choreography where you perform Indian semi-classical [dances to] popular songs like ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Despacito.’” For parents in Ashburn’s large Indian and South Asian communities, helping their children stay connected to family traditions and a faraway culture can be a challenge. Sruti Pandrangi and her husband, Mahendra, live in Ashburn’s Loudoun Valley neighborhood. Both are from the city of Hyderabad in southern India. Their daughters, Pranavi, 12, and Tanushree, 16, have danced at Studio Dhoom for three years.

“For us as parents, we feel it keeps them connected to their roots,” Sruti Pandrangi said. “Being so far away from home, this is one way to have them see and learn about Indian culture, but, at the same time, do it in a fun way.” Despite the huge diversity of languages, music and cultures across India and South Asia — Bollywood dancing works for everyone. “A beat transcends language. You don’t need to know a language [or a culture] to understand the beat. You just have to dance to it,” Sheth said. While many of the students are of South Asian heritage, not everyone is. Sheth says quite a few non-Asian students come to the

studio to explore Bollywood dance. Some have seen the style performed on television dance reality shows. Others have seen them in Bollywood movies, including students from the Middle East, Russia and Eastern Europe, where the films are popular. The students aren’t all children and teens, either. Sheth says age is no limit. Indeed, one of Studio Dhoom’s students, Barbara Mitchell, is in her 60s and currently taking classes via Zoom from Texas. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity to explore a neighbor’s culture,” said Mitchell, who moved to Dallas in 2018 after living in Ashburn for nearly two decades. “It’s great exercise. The music is so upbeat and lively, even if you’re having a down day. You start listening to the music and moving and your spirits just lift.” Students from Studio Dhoom perform on a variety of stages around the Washington area. Troupes have performed at the National Cherry Blossom Festival. They have performed as pre-show entertainment at Bollywood concerts. They perform at many South Asian festivals in the region and have even had students featured on the “Dance USA Dance” reality television show that 

LU X U RY L I V I NG I N L E E SBU RG

HAS NEVER BEEN MORE AFFORDABLE

It’s All Included

• Three delicious chefprepared meals served daily • Caring live-in managers available 24 hours a day • Scheduled local transportation • Planned activities, outings, and special events

• Weekly housekeeping and linen service • All utilities except telephone • Monthly rent - no buy-in fees or leases. • And so much more!

For more information, please call

© 2021 HSL

703-997-1848

19540 Sandridge Way, Leesburg, VA 20176 20 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021


Students from Studio Dhoom perform on center court during halftime at a Washington Wizards basketball game.

airs on Zee TV, an Indian channel available in the United States. And, of course, the Studio Dhoom dancers have put on many half-time shows for the Wizards. “I don’t want to jinx it, but we have a pretty good track record of Wizards wins when we perform,” Sheth said. Jimmy Shah is Nikki Shah’s mom. The family lives in the Broadlands, and Shah says her daughter has been studying dance at Studio Dhoom since she was 4 years old. Her 10-year-old son, Sajan, has been dancing there more than four years. Shah says opportunities to practice and perform complicated dance routines in front of crowds at festivals and Wizards games have made for

22 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

wonderful lessons for her children. “They have learned leadership, [public] speaking, teamwork and friendship skills — just to name a few,” she said. Indeed, Sheth says many students capitalize on those skills and go on to perform on college teams, which compete in Bhangra and Raas dancing as well as Bollywood dancing. “The beauty of these [teams] is that they are very multicultural and have big non-Asian participation at colleges,” Sheth said. “When our students go on to college, they have an easy way to socialize and make friends in their first year. They go to competitions … they take leadership

positions [with the teams] and learn about marketing, finance and corporate culture.” Of course, with the pandemic, nothing has been quite the same for the past year. When COVID-19 started to spread in early 2020, Studio Dhoom closed for six months. Recitals and shows were called off, venue reservations canceled, rental costumes returned. Sheth quickly rolled out a series of online dance classes and events that proved extremely popular, with 80 to 90 families taking part each week. In the fall, the studio slowly reopened, with safety measures in place, including reduced class sizes and increased space between dancers. Many families felt comfortable with the new protocols and returned for in-person classes. “It hasn’t been easy and, as a smallbusiness owner, this has been the most stressful time,” Sheth said. “But I am grateful to be doing something I love. Kids learn a lot of things … through the medium of dance. We give them a platform and a seed is planted.” A


B E AUTIF UL WIN CHE S T E R, V I RG I N I A’ S Most Desirable Senior Living Option

With Winchester, Virginia, as your home base, our senior living community puts you at the center of fun and fascination in every direction. Centrally located on the eastern seaboard, and only 90 minutes from Washington, DC, the tranquility of the Shenandoah Valley has surprisingly easy access to the rest of the country, whether by interstate or nearby access to airports. Offering the best of amenities along with the financial security of our Lifecare program, our residents live worry-free knowing a full continuum of care is here when it’s needed. To learn more, go to svwc.org/lifecare.

The Villas

PRIORITY DEPOSITS ARE NOW BEING ACCEPTED! The Villas at Shenandoah Valley Westminster-Canterbury will be a new independent living neighborhood - using environmentally sensitive principles - overlooking scenic ponds, woodlands, and meadows for picturesque living and entertaining with immediate access to every amenity on our campus. With 97 one- and two-bedroom residences slated for completion in 2023, the future at SVWC is definitely worth investigating now.

For more information,VISIT SVWC.ORG/VILLAS 300 WESTMINSTER-CANTERBURY DRIVE WINCHESTER, VIRGINIA 22603 • (540) 665-5914


wine & dine feature

A WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN Ashburn’s restaurant community reflects on a year of turmoil BY C H R I S WADSWO RT H

24 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021


(Clockwise) A team member at Ford’s Fish Shack packs up a to-go order; Staff at Scotto’s Rigatoni Grill in Brambleton take phone orders while wearing masks and gloves; a Scotto’s delivery driver heads out on another run.

J

onathan Ball had a big year The restaurant industry saw one of planned. He and his partners had the biggest impacts. Tens of thousands of just opened the One Loudoun restaurants across the country temporarily location of the restaurant brand closed as everyone tried to make sense of City Tap at the end of 2019, and the hot how to live in a pandemic. new restaurant was primed for growth. “It was clear this would be much more Even more exciting, Ball was going than a blip on the radar,” Ball said. The fallout JONATHAN BALL to open his own, separate restaurant was quick — it was literally sink or swim. upstairs — a classic American tavern unlike Many restaurants, including Ball’s City anything else in Ashburn. He was calling it the Lost Fox Tap, pivoted to a focus on carry-out food, family meals Hideaway and planned on opening it in early 2020. and delivery options. When they were allowed to And then the world turned upside down. welcome guests back in reduced numbers, few people “I first heard about the pandemic in mid-January,” wanted to be inside, so outdoor dining spaces were set Ball recalled. “At first it seemed like a far-off issue that up on sidewalks and in parking lots. Blue Ridge Grill in wouldn’t materially affect things here in the U.S. But Ashburn Village scrambled to build a new terrace by then the spread progressed.” its front door. Leesburg officials even closed off a main As everyone now knows, that spread continued, out street in the downtown to allow diners to eat outside. of control, across America and the world. Everyone’s Facebook groups popped up to help promote local lives were affected — from the tragedy of lost loved ones restaurants and encourage patrons to support them to lost jobs, lost graduation ceremonies, lost vacations through the crisis. As the year wore on, restaurants and lost time with family and friends. started adding “ghost kitchens” — entirely separate 

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 25


(Above) The Blue Ridge Grill in Ashburn built a patio for outdoor dining in front of the restaurant last summer. (Right) The Spinfire pizza restaurant at One Loudoun closed in 2020.

menus being offered from their kitchens — as a way to increase revenue. Tony Stafford, owner of the Loudoun County’s three Ford’s Fish Shack locations, recalls the panic that set in as daily revenues plummeted by 85% in the early weeks of the crisis. “We realized that we had to figure this out fast or we were going to lose everything,” he said. “I gave myself 72 hours — and then I called together my 21 salaried managers on a conference call. It was scary. I shed some tears. We were going to have to furlough all the hourly employees — 140 people roughly — all the cooks, servers, hosts. The managers were going to be kept on and become the cooks, the greeters and the order-takers.” Stafford and his team did their best to work with their laid-off employees to help them receive assistance and

make sure they were OK. Sadly, other restaurants soon started to close. Whether they were already in a precarious position pre-pandemic or whether the new restrictions were just too much for them to bear — local news seemed to be filled with restaurants TONY STAFFORD shutting their doors. In the Ashburn area alone, we lost Spinfire Pizza at One Loudoun, District Pollo in Old Ashburn, Il Dolce in the Broadlands, Chai Coffee Cafe at Loudoun Station and Sugar Shack in Lansdowne. Further afield, big guns like PF Chang’s at the Dulles Town Center and both of the county’s Ruby Tuesday locations called it quits. Even the iconic Mokomandy in Sterling — regularly named one of the Washington D.C. area’s top restaurants — said goodbye. 

Motherhood is a joy and blessing, yet pregnancy may result in significant physical changes to your body. Considering a Mommy Makeover? Dr Behzad Parva, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon offers an individualized surgical plan by combining appropriate procedures that can include tummy tuck, breast procedures and liposuction to help restore confidence and give a more youthful appearance.

Call to Schedule a Complimentary Consultation Parva Plastic Surgery 224-D Cornwall Street, NW Suite 300 Leesburg VA 20176 www.parvaplasticsurgery.com 26 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

703-777-7477


Ashburn Volunteer Fire Rescue is seeking individual runners or teams.

The Race is May 1, 2021 so register early!

To register for the race go to: https://ashburnfirerescue.org/news-events/run-the-greenway-event/

To become a Fund Raiser go to: https://runsignup.com/Race/Donate/101871/BecomeFundraiser

*Founder and Managing Director, Andrew Lewis, CIMA®, AAMS® has earned Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors for 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

Is Your Investment Strategy Up To Date For 2021? Now is the time to review your investments and financial planning needs. We can help you plan for potential legislative policy changes as well as new economic developments. We provide independent advice, objective research and proactive service to help you build, manage and preserve wealth to achieve your lifetime goals.

Give us a call for a Complimentary Financial Review. LOCATED AT: One Loudoun 20755 Williamsport Pl STE 140 Ashburn, VA 20147 (703) 288-1272 info@LewisPrivateWealth.com TheLewisFinancialGroup.com We are a Coronavir us-safe environment. Proper PPE required with all appointments. *The Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors ranking algorithm is based on industry experience, interviews, compliance records, assets under management, revenue and other criteria by SHOOK Research, LLC, which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on a ranking. Investment performance is not a criterion. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN), Member SIPC. The Lewis Financial Group is a separate entity from WFAFN. CAR-0221-03348 ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 27


X

X

Business Directory Servicing Ashburn

DANCE STUDIO

PRIVATE SCHOOL

ROOFING

Offering 6-week Sessions this Spring!

Jazz Hip Hop Dance Team

Ashburn Studio (703) 724-4900 www.CDCdance.com FINANCIAL

WINDOWS/SIDING

Are Your Investments On Track? Get a Second Opinion. Don’t let market uncertainty prevent you from reviewing your retirement and investment plans. It’s important to consider your investing strategies and estate planning goals. To schedule a complimentary review, call 703-288-1272 or email info@lewisprivatewealth.com The Lewis Financial Group 20755 Williamsport Place, Suite 140 Ashburn, Virginia 20147 703-288-1272 www.thelewisfinancialgroup.com

To thank our nurses working on the front lines, we have made a donation to the American Nurses Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses.

Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN), Member SIPC. The Lewis Financial Group is a separate entity from WFAFN. 0221-01631

JUNK REMOVAL

DECKS/FENCE

HVAC

M.E. Flow, Inc.

12 Cardinal Park Drive Leesburg, VA 20175 www.meflow.com MOVING COMPANY

DONATE / THRIFT STORE

DONATE to the Home goods, furniture, appliances and building supplies.

Free pick-up of large items. Schedule online at loudounrestore.org or call 571-919-6330.

Tuesday - Saturday 12 p.m. - 4 p.m. | 700 Fieldstone Drive, Leesburg, VA 20176


Guests relax at the newly opened Lost Fox Hideaway at One Loudoun. “Honestly, it’s just heartbreaking,” said Krissy Coffey. Coffey is the general manager at Scotto’s Rigatoni Grill in the Brambleton Town Center. Her pizza and Italian KRISSY COFFEY cuisine restaurant was one of the lucky ones. Pizza restaurants and restaurants that were already set up for delivery have proven to be some of the most resilient during the pandemic. “We had delivery already set up in-house, and we have a pretty big area that we serve,” Coffey said. “We have actually done really well throughout it, thank God.” As 2021 gets rolling, the general mood in the restaurant industry seems to be one of optimism — that the worst is past. As of late February, infection numbers were dropping around the country, the number of people vaccinated was growing and a tumultuous presidential election was behind us. Plus, warmer weather is on the horizon. Still, Stafford says, the struggle is by no means over. He’s been meeting with other local restaurant owners each month to compare notes, share ideas and help each other. “Obviously, we are getting better. Every day, I’m hearing better news,” Stafford said. “But no one is back

to normal. A lot of us are 30% down in sales, and that 30% can represent 100% of the profitability.” Meanwhile, Jon Ball waited nearly a year to open his Lost Fox Hideaway — a decision he said broke his heart every single day. But this January, Ball finally started a “soft opening” — allowing small groups of guests to come to his restaurant by reservation only, for seating on the tavern’s two outdoor patios overlooking the heart of One Loudoun. “When you’re opening a restaurant, you only have one chance to do it right,” Ball said. “The environment seems to be improving. My hope is that we can do our part and remind everyone what it feels like to be excited to go to a local restaurant and feel normal again.” A

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 29


time of our lives feature

mys t e r y she

wrote Hit books by Ashburn author inspire TV movies BY W I L L PFEIFER

W

hen it comes to mysteries, the setting makes all the difference: Agatha Christie’s Orient Express. Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles. Arthur Conan Doyle’s London. And, of course, Suzi Weinert’s garage sales. For years, Weinert, who lives at Ashby Ponds in Ashburn, has been writing novels inspired by her passion for garage sales. And rummage sales. And estate sales. And any other event where old belongings are given a new life. Her debut novel, “Garage Sale Stalker,” was published in 2014, followed by “Garage Sale Diamonds” (2015), “Garage Sale Riddle” (2016) and 30 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

her latest, “Woman at the Garage Sale,” which hit the shelves in October. Four books in all. You might not think of garage sales as settings for murder and mystery. Weinert didn’t either, until one day, several years ago, when she stopped by a sale in rural Virginia — “unadvertised, no classified ad or Craigslist, just a sign in the yard,” she recalled. “I drove up the long, winding gravel driveway to an old, old house some distance from the road,” Weinert said. Knowing unadvertised sales hold the promise of offbeat items, Weinert was eager to check it out. She opened her car door and stepped into the driveway. And then... “I felt a prickle of electricity,” she said. “Like I was


getting a message. And that message said, ‘You could disappear right here, and no one would ever find you.’” Weinert “rocketed” out of there, mostly shaken, somewhat baffled and a bit inspired. When she got home and told her husband, Don, a retired Army general, he suggested she write it down. So, she did, with no plans to do anything but get the unnerving moment out of her head. “But once I started with that little one-pager, pretty soon I had six pages, then two chapters,” she said. And then, before Weinert realized it, she was writing a book. Something she’d never done — or even considered doing. But she was an avid reader, so she knew a book needed three things: “a main character, a plot and riveting excitement.” And she knew how she could deliver that excitement for her heroine, Jennifer Shannon. “Going to garage and estate sales could get her into terrible trouble,” Weinert said. “Anything she buys and anyone she meets could lead to mystery and excitement.” Weinert’s knowledge of those sales stretches back decades. Growing up as an Air Force brat and marrying a career Army officer meant plenty of time in military thrift stores, garage sales and rummage sales. She knew the territory. Now it  ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 31


Author Suzi Weinert (middle) on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 2013. She’s standing between actress Lori Loughlin and producer Jonathan Axelrod. was just a matter of putting it on paper. It took Weinert five years to finish her manuscript, then two more to find a publisher. Every time she considered giving up, though, “something kept drawing me back like a magnet,” she said. The work paid off in “Garage Sale Stalker,” which was inspired by that creepy moment years ago. Weinert conceived the plot by imagining what might have happened if she hadn’t driven away that day. To flesh out her story, she had to imagine a villain, which led her to research some dark aspects of human nature. Weinert didn’t want to write frivolous escapism. She wanted to address real issues, including child abuse, elder abuse and terrorism. “I write ‘big boy’ books,” she said. “Slices of life.” When the Hallmark Movie Channel discovered Weinert’s books, they knew they had an intriguing concept on their hands, but that “big boy” realism became an issue. 

Vibrant senior living for your loved one. Peace of mind for you. Life is about to get even better at Ashby Ponds, the premier senior living community in Loudoun County! Introducing Hamilton Way residence building and the Blue Ridge Clubhouse— opening this summer with new homes, restaurants, and more!

14384324

Don’t wait to learn more! Call 1-800-981-9329 for your FREE brochure.

32 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021


Spring is in The Ashburn Air • Covid-19 Sanitization • Repair Moisture Source Basement/ Crawlspace Sealing / Encapsulation • Treat to Kill All Mold / HEPA Vacuum

$5 OFF $25 *

*Valid only at the Ashburn Wild Birds Unlimited location. One discount per purchase. Offer not valid on previous purchases, gift cards, purchase of DSC memberships or sale items. In-store or online (use code: GET5). Offer valid thru 3/31/21.

• Remove Damaged Debris Off-Site • Reinstall Drywall / Baseboard

Call Today to Schedule a FREE NO OBLIGATION In-Home Evaluation and Estimate

44110 Ashburn Shopping Plz Plz, Unit 174, Ashburn, VA 20147 44110 Ashburn Shopping Unit 174, Ashburn, VA 20147 687-4020 • mywbu.com/ashburn (703) (703) 687-4020 • www.wbu.com/ashburn BIRD FOOD • FEEDERS• •GARDEN GARDEN ACCENTS • UNIQUE GIFTS BIRD FOOD • FEEDERS ACCENTS • UNIQUE GIFTS

Historical murder mystery in-person at StageCoach Theatre, Ashburn and via livestream March 13 – April 11 Children’s classics with a twist – in-person at StageCoach Theatre, Ashburn and via livestream March 20 – April 3

Murder mystery dinner theatre in-person at Oatlands in Leesburg, catered by Pure Perfection LLC April 17 – May 2 Fast-paced, witty comedy in-person at StageCoach Theatre, Ashburn and via livestream May 8 – 23 Monthly magic (ages 12+) and improv (adult) shows in-person and via livestream.

Summer Camps now open for registration.

Acting, Improv, and Musical Theatre including Shrek the Musical and Les Misérables: School Edition.


Suzi Weinert poses with her books and promotional materials at an author event.

Though the producers knew the books would provide ideal inspiration for TV movies, the stories would have to be toned down. Way down. “Hallmark has a different policy,” Weinert said. “Offend no one.” So, the channel brought writers to make the novels what Weinert calls “Hallmark acceptable.” The result? Fifteen movies that aired between 2013 and 2019, featuring Weinert’s Jennifer Shannon as the heroine, played by none other than Hallmark staple Lori Loughlin. The series was so successful

34 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

that the channel eventually changed its name to “Hallmark Mysteries & Movies.” But that success collided with the real world when Loughlin, in Weinert’s words, “became a naughty girl,” pleading guilty in a college admission scandal. That meant an end to the “Garage Sale Mysteries” movies, at least for now. “Hallmark is careful not to align itself with anything suspect. But she’s paid her dues to society,” Weinert said. “Whether Hallmark will see it that way, who knows?” As for the books, Weinert isn’t sure what

the future holds, either. She’s always open to new ideas, but turning those ideas into actual novels is time-consuming. “It’s a commitment,” she said. “As you get older, you become thoughtful about how you want to spend your time. Writing can be fun, but real life is where it’s at.” Still, Weinert encourages people to write, especially about themselves, no matter their age. After all, her debut novel wasn’t published until she was 75. “My story reminds people that it’s not too late to start,” she said. “Nobody is going to be you. You need to share the story of your own life. If you don’t, when you’re no longer here, we just see the evidence of your existence at a garage sale or an estate sale. But we really don’t know your story. The person is gone, and it’s just their items that go on.” A Will Pfeifer is a freelance writer. He spent more than 20 years in newsrooms as an editor and columnist and has written comic books for Marvel and DC.


Falcons Landing is delighted to announce the opening of The

settle for

Terrace Homes! With the best features of apartment and cottage living, The Terrace Homes offer a new take on Independent Living for military officers who have honorably served and senior level federal employees. No matter how you spend your days, Falcons Landing gives you the freedom to enjoy all of the activities that define who you are. Only four remain in the first Terrace Home! Call us now to learn more.

ACT FAST! CALL (703) 688-8263 BEFORE THE LAST 10 APARTMENTS ARE RESERVED! FalconsLanding.org | Falcons Landing is proud to be a non-profit Life Plan Community.


real estate roundup

ASHBURN’S

TOP 10

After a slow spring due to the pandemic, the Ashburn real estate market heated up in the summer and didn’t slow down for the rest of 2020. December marked the seventh straight month of year-over-year growth, according to the Dulles Area Association of Realtors, and inventory remains very low. Home sales in December were up 4.9% in the 20147 Zip code, although the median sales price was down 9.5%. In the 20148 Zip code, sales were up 24.2%, and the median sales price was up 18%. Countywide, sales were up about 11% for the entirety of 2020, and the median sales price was up about 6.5%. Pictured below are the five highest-priced homes that sold in each of the two Zip codes between Dec. 18 and mid-February, along with the sales price and other key information. Data from Realtor.com.

19722 WILLOWDALE PLACE

20147

41178 ABBEY KNOLL COURT

$1,420,000 Sold: Feb.. 11 5 bedrooms 5½ bathrooms 8,139 square feet

$1,800,000 Sold: Dec. 18 5 bedrooms 4½ bathrooms 7,775 square feet

20137 BLACK DIAMOND PLACE

41933 CLOVER VALLEY COURT

$1,387,500 Sold: Feb. 18 7 bedrooms 6½ bathrooms 9,612 square feet

$1,525,000 Sold: Dec. 28 5 bedrooms 4½ bathrooms 7,630 square feet

44341 LORD FAIRFAX PLACE

21864 PARSELLS RIDGE COURT

$919,000 Sold: Jan. 8 4 bedrooms 3½ bathrooms 3,720 square feet

$1,510,000 Sold: Jan. 15 6 bedrooms 6½ bathrooms 8,812 square feet

20260 NORTHPARK DRIVE

22770 MOUNTVILLE WOODS DRIVE

$886,000 Sold: Jan. 4 4 bedrooms 4½ bathrooms 3,165 square feet

$1,390,000 Sold: Jan. 12 6 bedrooms 6½ bathrooms 8,937 square feet

NO PHOTO AVAILABLE

19680 STANFORD HALL PLACE

21589 BURNT HICKORY COURT

$870,000 Sold: Dec. 29 4 bedrooms 4½ bathrooms 4,813 square feet

$1,300,005 Sold: Jan. 11 7 bedrooms 6 bathrooms 6,303 square feet

36 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

20148


When the later years are the best years, it’s Harmony.

Find Harmony They taught you to never settle for less than you deserved. Now that your roles are changing, and you’re the one looking out for them, make sure they have the life they deserve: a place where they can relax, knowing that everything is just the way they like it. Let us help you Find Harmony.

INDEPENDENT LIVING | ASSISTED LIVING | SECURED ASSISTED LIVING Call 571.266.0274 today to schedule a tour • HarmonyatChantilly.com 2980 Centreville Road | Herndon | VA | 20171

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 37


local adventures

Living History Experience colonial life in nearby Fredericksburg BY JI L L DE V IN E

MARY WASHINGTON HOUSE 1200 CHARLES ST.

E

very summer, tens of thousands of tourists head to Williamsburg to see the historic colonial sites and buildings and go on tours led by actors — called “historical interpreters” — wearing tri-corner hats or linen aprons. From Ashburn, it’s roughly 175 miles to Williamsburg. But you can cut 100 miles off that drive and still have an authentic colonial experience by stopping in Fredericksburg instead. Many travelers drive past Fredericksburg without realizing it was one of the most important cities in Colonial America. Fredericksburg was established in 1728 as a port on the Rappahannock River. President George Washington grew up in Fredericksburg, and many of his colleagues and family members lived in homes that still stand along the town’s original eight-street grid. In fact, 86% of the buildings in Fredericksburg’s 40-block historic area are original construction. The city’s Washington Heritage Museums are a “must see” for visitors who, like me, appreciate historic authenticity, such as original creaky floorboards, weathered stone steps, and tarnished door knobs. Currently, three of its four museums can be toured in one afternoon, with time for dinner before the drive back home. (St. James House, the fourth museum, is not currently open for tours.) 38 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

Maybe it’s because I graduated from a college named in her honor, but the Mary Washington House is most dear to my heart. In 1772, George Washington was searching for safer accommodations for his mother, Mary, who was struggling to manage their family property across the river at Ferry Farm. He bought a small home for her in town, close to his sister Betty’s estate at Kenmore Plantation. My husband and I always smile when the guide mentions this, because we realize that even centuries ago, George and his sister faced the same concerns of an aging parent that many of us deal with today. Mary was widowed when George was a boy, so she had raised her family alone. She made the unusual decision to never remarry so she would retain ownership of her deceased husband’s property and estate. George visited his mother’s new house often, sleeping in a loft in her attic. Before he had stairs built leading to the second floor, George would climb a ladder to the attic through an opening in the ceiling near her bedroom fireplace. I never tire of standing below that spot while imagining our first president pushing his tall frame up through such a small space. Mary lived in the house for 17 years before dying in her bed of breast cancer at age 81 in 1789, not long after George’s last visit to ask for her blessing before his presidential inauguration. The house retains much of its original construction, which miraculously was spared during the Civil War. Ask to see Mary’s dressing mirror and teapot, both on display, and read a facsimile of her will, hung on the wall upstairs.


LOCAL ADVENTURES HUGH MERCER APOTHECARY SHOP 1020 CAROLINE ST. Built in 1772, this museum represents the offices of Dr. Hugh Mercer, who practiced medicine in Fredericksburg for 15 years. Visitors are transported back to a time when colonists relied on ingredients foraged from nature to effectively treat every illness from “stomach gripe” to fever. Since the doctor always seems to be “presently away,” his assistant offers a tour of his medicine shelf while we wait. I love learning the source and purpose of his entire collection of treatments, stored on long shelves in colorful bottles and jars. Fragrant dried roots, flowers and plants are bundled with twine and hang from the ceiling, and it’s fun to see rose water drip from the steamy still in the fireplace. You will learn how the doctor blended ingredients like ground crab claws and horse hooves to cure ills, and how he packed wounds with the cobwebs that he stored on small sticks.

It takes a strong stomach to visit the doctor’s examination room to discuss whether it’s time to adjust one of our “humors” by being bled, using one of the various lances or the enormous live medical leeches stored in glass jars. A friend visiting with me jumped when the guide lifted a slippery 6-inch leech out

of the water for us to take a closer look, not expecting it to be real. If things get serious, the doctor has every tool necessary for pulling teeth or amputations. No worries, he is trained to handle such things quickly to minimize pain. Check out the doctor’s “Physick Garden” out back, where he grows his medicinal botanicals. 

COMMERCIAL & RESIDENTIAL

QUALITY • RELIABILITY • SERVICE

FENCES: WOOD • CHAIN-LINK • VINYL • PRIVACY • DECORATIVE • ORNAMENTAL ALUMINUM • DRIVEWAY GATES • CONTROL GATES AND MORE! WE ALSO DO DECKS!

CONTACT FREE estimates year round!

10% OFF M AT E R I A L S

WITH ANY FENCE INSTALL Up to $200 Value. Not valid on repairs. Cannot be combined with any other offers.

703.263.8437 BEITZELLFENCE.com ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 39


We’re

here for you now and for

what’s

next

Now Open in One Loudoun! 20400 Exchange Street Ashburn, VA 20147 nwfcu.org 703-925-5146 Insured by NCUA

At Northwest Federal Credit Union we know that every day you are striving to protect and provide for your family—all while facing new financial challenges. You can count on us to be here for you now—and for what’s next. We’ve been serving the community for more than 70 years providing financial services, guidance, and personalized member service. We have the solutions you need with our free checking options, low rate loans, great savings rates and convenient Online and Mobile Banking. Visit us today at nwfcu.org.


LOCAL ADVENTURES

PLAN EARLY FOR YOUR

ASPHALT PAVING

10

SPRING SEASON SALE

%Off with ad

Winter cracks and pot holes?

RISING SUN TAVERN 1304 CAROLINE ST. This structure was built in 1760 as the home for George Washington’s youngest brother, Charles, who later moved to what became Charles Town, West Virginia. The property converted to a tavern in 1792, and for 35 years this comfortable building offered weary travelers a place to rest and refuel. Fredericksburg residents also gathered there to dine, socialize and exchange ideas about politics and current events. Ducking under the low door frames, one can easily imagine what it was like to be a colonial guest here, because most of the tavern’s structure, trim and woodwork are original. The liquor shelves in the tap room are safely guarded by cage bars – perhaps to prevent imbibed colonial guests from helping themselves. Check out the upstairs sleeping quarters, where multiple travelers would sometimes share a single mattress. You might even encounter the spirit of the first tavern keeper, John Frazer, who died there in 1793 and is said to sometimes create harmless mischief. A Jill Devine is a freelance writer and former magazine editor from Loudoun County who writes for a variety of Virginia publications.

IF YOU GO What: Washington Heritage Museums Where: Fredericksburg More Info: www.washingtonheritagemuseums.org or 540-373-5630 During COVID-19: Check the website for days and hours of operation, which are subject to change. Because of increased costume laundering requirements, some interpreters may not always be able to dress in period costumes.

Plan ahead for a Spring Estimate. Take advantage of this Spring Season Sale and replace your winter worn asphalt. Free Estimates - just a phone call away. With our crew and equipment close by, we are offering prompt service and reasonable rates to all area residents.

WE DO:

HOUSE DRIVEWAYS • PARKING LOTS FARM LANES • LONG LANES • DRIVEWAYS PRIVATE ROADS • PATCHWORK NEW HOMES GRADEWORK • SEAL COATING BASEWORK • ASPHALT MILLINGS

Tired of a Dust Bowl in the Summer and a Mud Hole in the Winter? Don’t Fuss ... CALL US!

Full-Service Asphalt Paving Please call

John Donohue

for a FREE ESTIMATE (571) 255-9187

Licensed and Insured

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 41


time travel

(Top) The shelves of the old Waxpool Store at the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum are filled with the kinds of products the store would have carried a century ago. Some of the items were actually found in the store, while others are reminiscent of the era. (Bottom) Both a recreated interior and exterior of the Waxpool Store are on display at the museum in Sterling.

42 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021


TIME TRAVEL

Heart of the Community The Waxpool General Store served a vital role a century ago BY LO R I K IM BAL L Not all that long ago, every village had a general store that was the heart of its community. The Waxpool General Store was that heartbeat for Waxpool, now part of the broader area known as Ashburn. The store was at Belmont Ridge Road and Waxpool Road and also housed the community’s post office and voting precinct. Samuel E. Munday purchased the store in the late 1800s, and his family operated it until it closed in 1943. In 1906, he turned it over to his son —

S.E. “Ed” Munday Jr. — who ran the store with his wife, Lillie Carter. As a store owner in a rural area, Ed was also the postmaster, pharmacist, money lender, shopkeeper and telephone operator. He dispensed dozens of medicines like Ramon’s Relief, which was guaranteed to stop all internal and external pains, and Lightning Hot Drops, taken to cure colic in children. As Ed’s health deteriorated, his daughter, Tessie Penn Munday Tillet, took over. Another daughter, Dora, was a clerk in the

post office. A son was a barber in Leesburg, and he gave haircuts to customers at the store. Tessie operated the shop Mondays through Saturdays. Locals gathered to gossip, catch up on news, enjoy a cold drink or make a phone call from the only telephone in town. STORE OPERATIONS The Mundays bought merchandise from over 165 companies all over the country. Goods were delivered to the store by horse and wagon, after coming in on the

Ashburn Magazine 1-4 Page ad for (3-2020)_Virginia Run l1/4 Page ayout 2

Academy Door Has Over 48 Years Of Satisfied Customers!

GARAGE DOOR PROBLEMS FIXED FAST! ASHBURN HOMEOWNERS CALL ACADEMY DOOR TODAY AND TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR SPRING MONEY SAVING GARAGE DOOR EVENT... WHY PAY MORE?

Savings Coupon UP TO

$200 OFF

*

SELECT NEW GARAGE DOORS FROM ACADEMY DOOR & CONTROL

Savings Coupon

$20 OFF TUNE-UP SERVICE FROM ACADEMY DOOR & CONTROL

Voted Once Again for 2021 . . . Best Garage Door Company In The Washington Area!

• Professional and Certified Technicians • We Fix Any Garage Door Problem You Have • We Install New Garage Doors • We Install New Garage Door Openers • We Replace Broken Springs • We Replace Broken Cables • We Replace Garage Door Rollers • We Offer An Unbeatable Guarantee

SAME DAY & 24 HOUR EMERGENCY SERVICE 365 DAYS A YEAR!

Have A Question? We’re Here TO HELP YOU...

703 912-0455

ACADEMY DOOR & CONTROL CORP. SINCE 1973

www.AcademyDoor.com

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 43


TIME TRAVEL The old Waxpool Store, seen standing abandoned at the intersection of Waxpool Road and Belmont Ridge Road. Parts of the facade and interior were saved and are on display at the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum in Sterling.

Old Dominion Railroad. The general store carried nearly everything: fresh and canned goods, medicine, candy, chewing tobacco, children’s toys, fabric and sewing notions, guns and ammunition and farm tools. Most purchases were made on credit, and customers, all well-known by the shopkeeper, settled their bills weekly or monthly. The few people who paid in cash were strangers passing through the area. WAXPOOL POST OFFICE It was not uncommon for the local post office to be located in the community’s general store. It benefited the store owner because people who came to pick up their mail might buy something at the shop. Besides running the shop, Ed Munday

44 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

was appointed postmaster of Waxpool in 1909. He served in that capacity until 1940 when daughter Tessie was appointed. She operated the post office from the store until 1942 when she closed the store and moved the post office to her house across the street. Tessie’s son, Bill Tillet, who still lives in Ashburn, remembers the mailman bringing the mail into their house and his mother sorting it into piles on their dining room table. People would stop by, mostly in the evening after farm work was done, to pick up their mail. Tessie closed the store at the start of World War II because she did not want to deal with ration coupons. The post office in her house closed when services moved to one of the larger regional post offices.

SAVING THE STORE By the late 1990s, the former Waxpool Store was in bad shape after standing empty for decades. Plans for the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum in Sterling were underway, and the museum’s board decided to partly re-create the store inside the museum as a hands-on exhibit. The Tillet family donated the remains of the store to the Museum. The storefront was re-created, and interior furnishings, such as counters, shelves and storage bins were refurbished. Thousands of records from the operation are now in the Farm Museum’s archives, including ledgers, receipts, order forms, promotional materials, postal documents and poll books of registered voters. A piece of Loudoun’s past — now preserved for future generations. A Lori Kimball is the former executive director of the Loudoun Heritage Farm Museum, a museum dedicated to preserving Loudoun County’s agricultural history. The museum is at Claude Moore Park in Sterling.


Eagle Ridge Middle School

We’re in your neighborhood! And, would love to work with you! Offering Full Service Landscape Maintenance and Landscape Enhancement, details include: ANNUAL LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE LANDSCAPE DESIGN & ENHANCEMENT • Walkways & Patios • Plantings • Drainage Systems & Grading • Nightlighting • Water Gardens

• Mowing & Leaf Removal • Spring Clean-Up & Mulching • Garden Bed Maintenance • Pruning & Turf & Tree Care Programs• Seasonal Flower Rotation

Hello! I’m Daryl Schauss, owner of Cedar Run Landscaping, a national award winning company specializing in creating, installing, and maintaining attractive and beautiful landscapes in Ashburn. For more than 25 years, we have Hello! I'm Darywww.cedar-run.com l Schauss, owner of Cedar Run Landscaping offered high quality work with exceptional Company, a natioffice: onal award 703-327-7500 winning company specializing in service. Give us a call. creating, installing, and maintaining attractive and beautiful

landscapesemail: for single fInfo@cedar-run.com amily homeowners in the Ashburn area. Over the past 24 years, we've been quietly building a company that offers high quality work with exceptional service. If you're looking for a low cost landscaper, then we're not the company for you.

We're in your neighborhood offering full service landscape maintenance packages and landscape enhancement services and would love the opportunity to work with you!

BEFORE

ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021 • 45


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.

KidCreate Studio has announced its first Ashburn location will be in the Goose Creek Village lifestyle center. It will be opening on the ground floor of one of the Heights apartment buildings. The studio features art classes,

46 • ASHBURN MAGAZINE • MARCH/APRIL 2021

U

VI L

E BLV D . L AG

PARKW

WA XP O OL

2

EN WA Y

After waiting years to get their own gas station, residents of the huge Brambleton community in Ashburn now have two new stations in the works. The Filling Co. Gas & Grub gas station and convenience store in the Brambleton Town Center is already half built. Meanwhile, work has started on a second Filling Co. location near Northstar Boulevard and Evergreen Mills Road. 6 CRUMBL COOKIES COMING TO ASHBURN VILLAGE A new sweet shop specializing in warm, fresh-baked cookies is opening soon in the Ashburn Village

267 5

RYAN ROAD

Shopping Center. Crumbl Cookies has a chocolate chip cookie and a sugar cookie always available, and then features a rotating menu of different specialty cookies each week. Ice cream will also be available. The shop hopes to open in late May or early June. A

OU

D

L

LES

Y ARKWA O UN COUNT Y P

D BURN AS H RO A

O

AY

ASH BU RN

IBOR N E PARK WA Y

OAD

C LA

STUDIO COMING TO GOOSE CREEK VILLAGE

6

1

AY

SECOND GAS STATION IN THE WORKS

W

The top secret Oak Health Club has announced via its website that it should be opening in May. Oak Health Club is a first-in-the-nation fitness club from AARP, the organization for older Americans. They are launching the brand in Ashburn in the Riverview Square shopping center on the north side of Route 7. 4 NEW KIDS ART

BBQ Chicken & Beer has signed a lease for a space in the Loudoun Station center off Shellhorn Road. The restaurant specializes in Korean fried chicken

5 BRAMBLETON’S

7

AN CH RK PA

CHICKEN RESTAURANT LEASES SPACE

4

E GR

2 KOREAN FRIED

art-themed birthday parties and art camps for pre-teens.

DU L

The eagerly anticipated Lost Fox Hideaway has quietly started taking reservations and welcoming small groups to its new One Loudoun location above the City Tap restaurant. The Lost Fox is a classic American tavern with a giant fireplace, huge bar and two large outdoor patios. It was supposed to open in 2020 but was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

BR

ER

TARGETING MAY OPENING

3

ST CE

3 OAK HEALTH CLUB

RUS SE LL

GL

and a wide selection of beer and has roughly 60 locations in 15 states. It’s opening in the space that was previously home to the Basil Leaf Grill.

BELMO NT RID GE R

1 LOST FOX HIDEAWAY HOLDS SOFT OPENING

R


Your Community Contractor

Serving Northern Virginia for more than 30 years

If winter weather was rough on your roof, call for a free repair or replacement estimate.

>

MENTION THIS AD TO RECEIVE ALL SERVICES

5% OFF

ROA D

28

ROOFING | SIDING | WINDOWS | GUTTERS | SKYLIGHTS | SUN TUNNELS Replacement | Repair When you need someone you can count on, give us a call.

703.230.ROOF (7663) www.dryhome.com Ad-AshburnMag MarApr21 FP 0221.indd 1

2/3/21 10:25 AM


Ashburn

Presort STD US Postage PAID Permit #21 Freeport OH

Published by

P.O. Box 3632. · Warrenton, Virginia 20188 703.318.1386 · ashburnmagazine.com

Spring Time Means Tick Time - Protect Your Loved Ones

Call Now to make your yearly Appointment We Are Your Other Family Doctors

• Blood work & In-house Laboratory • Preventative care • Vaccinations • Surgery • Nutrition counseling • Digital Radiography • Ultrasound • Acupuncture • Herbal and Homeopathic Medicine • Board Certified Surgeon Available • Dentistry and Dental Radiographs

Ashburn Farm

43330 Junction Plaza Blvd. Suite 172 Ashburn, VA 20147

(703) 726-8784

Brambleton Office

42385 Ryan Rd. Suite 112 Brambleton, VA 20148

703-327-8471

WE ARE OPEN WITH CURBSIDE SERVICE!

Profile for InsideNoVa

Ashburn Magazine | March/April 2021  

Ashburn Magazine | March/April 2021