|A model of Buenos Grill|
The new Mexican restaurant under construction on the corner of Columbia Pike and Evergreen Lane in Annandale is tentatively scheduled to open July 1. Earlier plans to open in April fell through because the permit approvals took longer than expected.
Buenos Grill will be a “family-oriented fast food-casual restaurant” serving burritos, tacos, and salads as main entrees, along with nachos, wings, and ceviche, said Simon Yi, who will handle day-to-day operations as the restaurant’s manager.
Yi and Charles Lee, the owner-operator who also owns Annandale Catering on Tom Davis Drive, gave a presentation on their plans to the Annandale Commercial Business District Planning Committee April 10.
|There used to be a gas station on this site|
The committee reviews proposed projects in central Annandale to ensure they meet certain design guidelines for features like landscaping, signage, and egress, and to ensure developers install “acorn” street lights.
Several members of the committee expressed concerns with some of the plans for Buenos Grill about whether there will be enough parking spaces, why there will be a delay in installing the three acorn lights along Columbia Pike, and why it won’t serve beer and wine when it opens.
The plans call for 27 parking spaces, and Matt Flis, a planner with the Fairfax County Office of Community Revitalization, said county regulations on parking for restaurants require one space per four seats and one space per employee.
The restaurant will have 60 seats inside and 36 outside on the front patio. There will be a maximum of 10 employees during the busiest times. It will be open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
The restaurant is likely to attract a lot of customers when it first opens, several members of the committee said, but having beer and wine is important if they want return business.
Buenos Grill will eventually offer beer and wine but “we want to see how the business goes” before seeking an ABC license, Lee said. Applying for an ABC license at the outset would mean more requirements, which could lead to more delays, he said.
The front of the building will be stucco with stonework on the bottom. The patio will have brick pavers with an embedded cactus design. There will be a brick sidewalk along Columbia Pike.
The rear of the property will be landscaped with gravel covering the ground. Yi said workers removed 13 tons of beer cans, bottles, tires, and other debris from that area. Additional outdoor seating or an another 15 to 20 parking spaces will be provided back there later if needed.
Yi said the conduits for the acorn lights are already in, but he and Lee don’t want to install them until later because getting the permits now would delay the opening by two or three months. “It’s going to happen,” he said.
In another issue discussed by the committee: The owners of Yechon restaurant on Hummer Road applied for a special exception to provide additional parking on the property of the house next door, which they own. The house, now vacant, is the site of a 2009 murder. They don’t plan to use that house, but cannot let it fall into disrepair.