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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Annandale has seen a lot of change in the past few years

Fuddruckers, on Little River Turnpike and Backlick Road in Annandale, closed in May 2012. It was replaced with Walgreens.

The end of a year is a good time to reflect on the past, so we’ve gone through our photo archives and pulled together a collection of pictures of local businesses that have disappeared since the Annandale Blog was launched six and a-half years ago. This is just a sample; there are plenty of others that are gone, too, but we just don’t have pictures of everything.

The Sunset Grille, on Columbia Pike, was shut down in May 2012.  It was replaced with a new building, that is still vacant.
The Custom Carpet Shop, at 7301 Little River Turnpike, was demolished in winter 2010. A new building, housing Omni Financial and three stores, was constructed on that site. 
The old Trophy Mart store on Little River Turnpike is now a Loan Max. 
This store in the Annandale Shopping Center on Columbia Pike has been vacant since Bloom closed in January 2012. Before Bloom, it was a Magruder's. 
The Campbell & Ferrara plant nursery on Little River Turnpike closed in summer 2013. The site is now occupied by the Callaway housing development. 
Super Petz relocated from this spot on John Marr Drive in Annandale to the Ravensworth Shopping Center. This space now houses an expanded Party Co.
Borders closed in 2011 after the company filed filed for bankruptcy. This building, in the Crossroads Center in Bailey's Crossroads, is now an Ashley Furniture store.

Buenos Grill served Mexican food at 7023 Columbia Pike between October 2012 and August 2013. Before that, there was a Shell gas station on this spot. It's now Dice Burger. 
The Blockbuster video rental store in the Little River Shopping Center closed in March 2013. It's now an Advance Auto Parts store.
Black Tie Cleaners at 3037 Annandale Road, Falls Church, closed in fall 2013, and the building, which used to house a Red Barn restaurant, was demolished. A small strip mall with a Lee's Sandwiches restaurant is nearing completion on this site.
The former Jerry's Subs and Pizza building on Little River Turnpike is now a TitleMax. 
The original Annandale Florist closed in December 2012 after a 57-year run at 7224 Columbia Pike.
The old Westlawn Shopping Center on Annandale Road, Falls Church, was torn down in 2012 to make way for a new retail center developed by Bill Page Honda.
The School Box, at 7112 Columbia Pike, closed in 2013. Soricha Tea & Theater opened in that space in summer 2015.
The former Healthway storefront has been vacant since August 2013, except for a brief period this year when it was the headquarters for  Mason Supervisor Penny Gross' re-election campaign.
Anna N' Dale's Newsstand closed in spring 2013. The building, at 7025 Columbia Pike, is currently available for rent and is being renovated. For a while, a housed a botanica.
Rosslyn Auto Body on Columbia Pike moved out in summer 2014. The Ambrose Hills townhouse community is under construction on this site.
This gym in the Annandale Shopping Center on Columbia Pike closed in fall 2014.
After Fairfax Auto Parts closed in 2011, this building. at 7219 Columbia Pike, Annandale, housed the Joseph's Coat consignment shop for just over a year in 2012-13. The Tous Les Jours bakery opened here in August 2014. 
The site of a former 7-Eleven on Columbia Pike, Annandale, was taken over by the Columbia Pike Animal Hospital
The Flower Den, in the Bradlick Shopping Center, relocated last summer. The space is vacant.
The Frame Factory, at 7130 Little River Turnpike, burned down on Jan. 1, 2010. The building was demolished and the site is still vacant.
The former Room Store building on John Marr Drive, Annandale, has been a Goodwill retail center since winter 2013.
Loehmann's closed in February 2014. The building is now a Stein Mart, and Loehmann's Plaza shopping center on Arlington Boulevard has been renamed Graham Park Plaza.
The Han-Sung Oak restaurant in the Barcroft Plaza shopping center closed in August 2013. A DMV customer service center is relocating to this space.
The Something Special card shop closed in summer 2010 after 42 years in the Little River Shopping Center. This space was briefly occupied by the Try underwear store and will soon be a health clinic.
This building, at 7237 Little River Turnpike, is now occupied by Paisano's Pizza. The Pelican Seafood restaurant was here in 2012. Before that it was a meat shop and before that, a Fannie May candy store.
This building at 7262 Columbia Pike, Annandale, is being renovated. A T-Mobile store is expected to open here this winter.


  1. What about a story about all the new businesses that have opened up?

    1. New businesses like the 200%+ interest rate, super predator car loan, and cash for gold "creative financing" stores shepherded here by our very own state senator Saslaw and his helpers in Fairfax County? At least we still have Kmart. Remember when Annandale had two movie theaters? Progress, Mason District style, sucks. Good government is not all about having excellent excuses for abject failure. The next election is less than four years away. Lets get started now so we don't get fooled again. Start rebuilding your destroyed neighborhood associations and get involved. That is how you get the stores, schools and neighborhoods you want. It doesn't have to be like this. It was designed and managed to be a community disaster.

    2. Ellie already covered new businesses:
      -Car Loans-

      -More Title Loans-

      -Car Title and Payday Lenders-

      -Title Max Replaces Jerry's Pizza-

      -Supervisors Approve Donation Drop Boxes for Mason District-

      And more to come.

    3. @ 154, I dont think you actually read the subtitles....there's a lot here that isnt title max bro.

    4. Send all the damn smokers to the DMV, collect the butts and make art. Thats about all it will be good for.

    5. Maybe their butts will blow up the DMV, we can only hope.

  2. Annandale, Lolz. Most of those spots are still empty. What a dump. The entire 236 stretch is an eyesore. More vagrants weekly. Name one shopping plaza in Annandale that doesn't have a vacancy. Go.

  3. Sheesh. I wouldn't call this progress. Junk out, junk in. How is it possible that there are NO BARS in Annandale?

    1. Cue Club has some of the best bulgogi in town!!

    2. There are no bars in Virginia. There are restaurants that serve alcohol.

    3. Unnecessarily pedantic 928, I think you know what he meant. Pete, I like cue club. It doesn't necessarily have the polish, but the owner/bartenders are class acts. What it lacks in shiny countertops it makes up for with a good beer list and friendly people.

    4. Adam I have to disagree with you. The patrons of the Cue Club stand outside and smoke and the rest of us who visit this shopping center are stuck breathing in their smoke and walking through the huge cloud of smoke. When there is no place else to park except near the Cue Club your car when you get in also smells like smoke. That behavior is not too friendly or courtesy to non-smokers and children.

    5. Ugh, get over yourself, and get a bubble to live in. Let me tell you about a time when people smoked everywhere, all the time! Inside and outside.

    6. @1:13 - I was around when people smoked inside and outside and I did not enjoy it then either. Today people are more educated about the effects of smoking to themselves and others and they know how bothersome it is to others and some people still do not care to show courtesy. If they want to smoke that is their choice and I am all about choice but do not interfere with my choice of not smoking.

  4. Why is it that within feet of the Arlington and/or Alexandria borders its like stepping into paradise. Something is just not right. Mason District is like sour cream that rises to the top of fresh milk.

    1. ah yes, the paradise of Landmark mall, how could I forget?

    2. The mall owner is in the process of closing it down and rebuilding a town center w Macy's and Sears as its anchors. Being on the border of the Mason Mess, a change in demographics and market demands has contributed to its demise.

      Alexandria and Arlington are reveling in growth because its leadership and populace are better engaged and informed to support sustainable smart growth.

    3. Not always. When Wally's Aquarium closed (replaced by a laundromat) and Super Petz lost their fish store when they were forced to move (I guess we really need yet another Partyco), the only place inside the beltway that you could get marine fish was Pristine Aquariums in Alexandria. Very nice fish store, and we went there regularly. Then one day, we went there and they had been replaced by a dollar store outlet. Just like that. No going out of business sales or anything.

      We met one of their former associates and he said the landlord just suddenly cancelled their lease and gave them like a week to get out.

    4. I don't know if El Oscuro will read this but actually, Party Co is the only party store in Annandale and very convenient for people who don't want to go out to Springfield or Arlington. Super Petz ran out its lease and party Co jumped on the idea to expand. Then Ann Sandra tore down the wall between its store and old party Co to expand also

  5. While the Annandale Frame Factory location is gone, they're still alive and well in Alexandria, next to Marlo's, and in Vienna, across from the red caboos.

  6. There are no saloons anywhere in the Commonwealth. Only restaurants are licensed to sell liquor by the drink and then only if they earn at least 45% of their income from the sale of food.

  7. our area is such a mess with no vision or leadership. no quality biz every attracted, just more junk!

  8. Annandale has always been just a patchwork of buildings. No planning at all. Not a great town center. Looks like you guys need a historian...the last picture here was a 5 and dime store back in the 50s...used to sell penny candy...REAL penny candy. Yum. lol. Thanks for the pics. :)

  9. The problem with Mason District is the bulk of the commenters on this site (with the exception of Adam Goldberg) who bitterly complain about any change.

    Reading the post above, two very successful new developments are the Calloway single-home development on Little River Turnpike, and the Ambrose Hills townhouse development on the site of the former eyesore (but beloved for its long history) in a residential community, Rosslyn Auto Body.

    It is very simple. The development of more modern housing will bring more people with more discretionary income into Mason District. While more people will increase demands on public infrastructure (transit and good schools), which will be built because of the growing demand by more people for those services; it will also make Mason District more attractive to businesses who will want to locate in the district to serve its growing population with growing discretionary income.

    The Know-Nothings who dominate the comments on this board campaign against any new housing development - whether it is million dollar homes in Lake Braddock or a modern apartment building on the site of abandoned buildings that serve as hotspots for crime in the center of Bailey's Crossroads.

    These ignorant people get exactly what they deserve - a brand new DMV Customer Service Center in a large storefront in Mason District that has remained vacant for over two years.

    1. Anonymous12/31/15, 12:08 PM: You may have a beef with the so called Know Nothings, but at least they know enough to have an opinion. That's in sharp contrast to the vast majority of voters who showed up at the polls without having the foggiest idea about what's going on in Mason. If you question my conclusion, feel free to drop by any precinct on election day and strike up a conversation with a few of these guys. What you'll quickly discover is that the vast majority of them are voting solely based on party affiliation. In other words, they vote for Penny, Sharon, etc. for the same reason they vote for the President. Until that disconnect is remedied, you can assume that the current clique of Dems running the BOS will continue to rule by fiat. And therein lies the problem. If you'd been listening instead of name calling, you'd have realized that the biggest complaint registered by the so called Know Nothings is the unwillingness of Penny et al. to consider citizen input on local planning matters. And that is unlikely to change anytime soon thanks to the real Know Nothings who uncritically keep reelecting the same gang of unresponsive politicians. So, congrats. You may not be getting the government you need, but you're certainly getting the government you deserve.

    2. There have been a number of new home developments built within spitting distance of my home in the years that I have lived here, and I live in a newer home myself. Not a single one of these home developments has brought enough "people with more discretionary income" to make a damn difference in anything.

  10. Well, Silverado has a nice bar, so does Cue Club and you can get drinks now at Dice Burger, but it would be great to have another live music venue like Sunset Grill in one of those empty storefronts--NOT karaoke, please, we have plenty.
    Can vacant space be rented cheaply and temporarily to artists while owners seek higher-paying permanent tenants? Or can vacant space be used for pop-up restaurants until permanent tenants are found? Can organic groceries (Trader Joe's, While Foods, Mom's Organic Market, e.g.) create mini stores with a "just the basics" inventory in a smaller space? Vacant space is more of an eyesore than title/payday loan places.
    Other entertainment/sports options would also be great--indie/documentary film mini theater, indoor mini golf, batting cages, mini Discovery Zone-style kids play place, dinner theater, Ping pong bar.
    I love that we have the awesome Lambros jewelers here, but maybe we can attract more high-end clients with more high-end residents. The homes in the Campbell & Ferrara space are gorgeous, and the townhomes in the Rosslyn Auto Body space should also bring wealthier residents.

    1. Um, there have been many new home developments coming into the area since I moved in many years ago.

      River Downs
      Madison Lane
      Barcroft Mews
      Reserve Hill Court

      And there are a handful of others that I won't even bother to name.

      Stop falling for developers' and politicians claptrap that this one new development of homes or that one new development of townhouses will spur a revival. It won't. Things just don't work that way.

  11. Exactly, crap in and crap out. And the Mason Dumping ground has become the crapper for all of those leaving the wealthier surrounding communities for a cheap place to drop their dumps including the DMV. The biggest dump of them all.

  12. Some good changes, some neutral, others bad. Love dice burger, and I dont mind an auto parts store close by. the bill page honda expansion was also nicely done. Definitely don't like to see businesses pushed out and then the land sit vacant though, or worse yet, get infilled with predatory cesspools like titlemax.

    I will say I'm sad to see same old sniping commentary from anonymous commentators on the board. Ellie, I renew my request for anonymous commentary to be disabled. You have some great posts here and some good comentary by those who are willing to be tracked, but vitrol from anonymous posters is just not needed. i think it would be a great new years resolution :-)

  13. Thank you to all the folks that pointed out that there are no "saloons" in Virginia. But, I think most of you know what I mean. Would it be too much to get something along the lines of an Irish bar / restaurant or a decent place to watch a game, sip a beer and order some food? Something along the lines of Dogwood Tavern.

    Something needs to be done to incentivize desirable businesses (retail, restaurant) and disincentivize crap like Title Loans and window-tinting.

  14. Remember that the shopping center owners declined an offer for a nice bar/restuarant - Glory Days and instead screwed the community with DMV.