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Clyde's to Bring Inn to Broadlands

In 2004, residents working at the future Broadlands office complex can escape the busy-ness of suburbia for a country meal at a Clyde’s restaurant.

Not named yet, the restaurant will be fitted to a 19th century tavern and inn Clyde’s Restaurant Group purchased in Vermont in 1983. Two years earlier, a company called Weather Hill Restoration disassembled the Samuel French Tavern, built in 1804, and two barn structures associated with the tavern, labeled each piece and placed them in storage. Clyde’s purchased the tavern and barns with the intention of reassembling them into a restaurant in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

Broadlands Associates agreed to allow Clyde’s to build the restaurant on 11 acres near the Dulles Greenway and Claiborne Parkway in the middle of the Broadlands 1,500-acre, 3,500-home planned development. The 25,000-square-foot restaurant will be near a 3 million-square-foot office complex. The Board of Supervisors approved a special exemption for the restaurant at the Sept. 2 public hearing, permitting development of the property in an area designated for office use. A site plan still has to be approved by county staff.

“We view Clyde’s as a major amenity to the commercial property we have for sale in terms of providing high quality dining for prospective tenants,” said Gary Modjeska, manager of commercial sales for Terrabrook, Reston developer of Broadlands, along with Van Metre Companies in Burke.

CLYDE’S will be near a 112,000-square-foot shopping center. Saul Centers in Bethesda, Md. will develop the Broadlands Village Center, which will be anchored by Safeway once it is completed in mid-2003. Construction is planned to begin later this year.

“Saul’s will provide the convenient lunch alternative. Clyde’s offers a first-class sit-down alternative,” Modjeska said.

About 1,000 yards from the future restaurant are two existing early 20th Century dairy barns and a silo. Clyde’s plans to stabilize the buildings for storage and outside entertainment, preserving them as a landscape feature.

“That plays into the comprehensive plan very well,” said Kathryn Miller, chairperson of the Loudoun County Planning Commission. “We ask people who have old structures to adaptively reuse them. … That keeps our agricultural history on our landscape. As people drive the Greenway, they are used to seeing that barn and silo as a landmark and that will remain there. Only it will be in a little better shape than it is now.”

In addition, the tavern originally had two barns attached to it that Clyde’s will reassemble as part of the restaurant.

“From the outside, you will notice there are two big buildings, but inside it will be one big restaurant,” said Mark C. Looney, attorney with Cooley Godward LLP in Reston, representative of Clyde’s Restaurant Group.

Looney said the restaurant’s design will bridge the past and the future with a country setting that “hangs on” to Loudoun’s rural community within a commercial area.

“It’s a new restaurant made out of old buildings, so the historic and older feel of the restaurant really will be authentic,” Modjeska said.

SET TO A COUNTRY farmhouse theme, the restaurant will have traditional restaurant seats and banquet facilities for meetings, business luncheons and small wedding receptions, along with outdoor seating on a porch area overlooking Stream Valley Park. The linear park runs through Broadlands and includes streams, trails, educational markers and park space.

“Broadlands embraces the natural theme. … Clyde’s overlooks the park, which is the classic setting for a country inn type of restaurant. They go hand in hand,” Modjeska said.

Clyde’s plans to begin construction within the next year and open the restaurant by the end of 2004. The Broadlands development is about 50 percent completed with full build-out expected in the next four to five years.

“It also will be an attraction to bring people to Loudoun,” Miller said. “People will go out there to have more of an experience.”

Clyde’s Restaurant Group operates 10 restaurants in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan are and plans to open an eleventh restaurant in Rockville. The restaurant in Broadlands will be the company’s 12th restaurant.