With several new tenants and a massive renovation of the anchoring grocery store, the South Lakes Village Center has been undergoing a bit of makeover.
As part of that makeover, two new stores will open their doors this week: Lakeside Asia Café and Mathnasium.
“It’s long overdue,” said James Wei, owner of Lakeside Asia Café. “It’s been under renovation for half a year.”
Excited about offering something different, Wei said his full-service, sit-down restaurant will include a fusion of Asian cuisine. “We’ll have Thai selections, a little bit of Japanese, and Chinese dishes,” said Wei, who lives just beyond the Reston border in Vienna. The restaurant, which took the location of KSB bagels, will include seating for about 50 people and will also offer carry out.
Since so many people walked by the restaurant with inquiries, Wei recently posted a menu on the window. “In the past two weeks, everybody has been knocking on the window and asking when will be opening, so a lot of people are excited,” said Wei.
The other store opening this week, Mathnasium, will offer area students a math learning center. With a personalized and prescriptive learning program, Mathnasium wants to not only boost children’s math skills, but also forge a positive attitude toward the subject.
Teaching math from Pre-K to the SAT, the store will operate like a gym or health club, allowing members to “drop in anytime.”
THE TWO NEW additions are just the latest in many changes to the shopping center.
Last September, Seafoodie, a new gourmet takeout seafood store at the center, had its grand opening. According to owner Kevin Mesiah, business has been very good.
With a motto of ‘we make it, you bake it,’ the store offers customers gourmet seafood dishes, such as jumbo lump crab cake, spicy barbecue shrimp and stuffed flounder, to be enjoyed at home. In addition to a large selection of seafood entrees, Seafoodie also has a selection of pre-made side dishes. All the seafood is prepared daily.
In early November, Cafesano opened its doors, offering quick, casual dining of Mediterranean cuisine as well as Italian, Greek and Middle Eastern fare.
"We all have restaurants we love but don't patronize that often. Maybe the food is too rich; maybe it's not that healthy. At Cafesano, the food tastes great and feels good, which keeps our customers coming back day after day," said Paul Swinley, founder of Cafesano.
The South Lakes Village Center also was a good fit for the restaurant.
“The abundance of both residential housing and commercial office buildings in the immediate area, combined with the restaurant’s excellent location on Lake Thoreau in a shopping center that has a great tenant mix, made our decision to locate at South Lakes Village Shopping Center an easy one,” said Joanne McDaniel, marketing director of Cafesano. “We feel very fortunate to be at the end unit with the view of the lake.” Owners are excited about opening the patio seating in the spring, which offers an outside dining area that benefits from the lakeside location.
FOR ABOUT THE last nine months, Safeway has been undergoing renovations and an expansion. Scheduled to be completed in March, the 22-year-old grocery store will adopt a “lifestyle” décor like the one at Hunters Woods Shopping Center and add about 20,000 square feet.
“We’ll do a grand reopening with marketing specials and sales, but it’s really to thank our customers for being patient during the long renovation process,” said Greg Ten Eyck, director of public affairs, Safeway Eastern Division. Ten Eyck added that the shopping experience and selection at the store will be vastly improved. For example, he said, while the store previously offered about 30 organic fruits and vegetables, it will soon offer about 90 selections.
A Starbucks coffee bar is already up and running inside the grocery store. Also inside, the store will feature a Bergmann’s Dry Cleaning store. Some of the other improvements include an expanded meat department, which will offer entrees ready for the grill or oven, and a bigger deli department, which will include an olive bar, a sandwich bar and home meal replacement.
The renovations also include 35 additional parking spaces.