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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

An Anita's restaurant to open in the Ravensworth Shopping Center

Anita's on Maple Avenue in Vienna.
An Anita’s restaurant is coming to the Ravensworth Shopping Center in Annandale, in the spot that used to be occupied by Smith & Clarkson’s Deli.

The new place could open in early September, says Thomas Tellez, president of Anita’s New Mexico-Style Foods Inc. It will be the eighth Anita’s, joining restaurants in Burke, Fairfax, Vienna, Chantilly, Herndon, Ashburn, and Leesburg.

The Annandale restaurant will have the same menu as the others – featuring lots of different types of burritos, fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, chile relleno, and breakfast fare – and will also have a full bar like the restaurants in Burke, Ashburn, and Vienna. New menu items are planned, Tellez says, but he is not ready to reveal them.

Tellez is working on developing an “Express Anita’s” concept serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “Once we get that going, there will be many more,” he says. “It’s my intention to locate those restaurants in extremely high-traffic areas, nothing in the neighborhoods.” Annandale and Bailey’s would be possibilities for new locations, he says.

Tellez and his mother, the original Anita, opened the first Anita’s on Dec. 23, 1974, across from the Magruder’s in Vienna.

“Nine months after we opened, we hired a dishwasher to work Friday nights for two hours. I thought we were going big-time,” Tellez recalls. “It took us nine months to make enough money to take the donut sign off the roof. We actually took a magic marker and wrote ‘Anita’s’ on a poster board when we opened.”

“It was a pleasure working with my parents for 30 years,” he says. His mother, “the hardest-working woman, was a waitress her whole life until we opened. She worked until she was 71 and  passed in 2009. I miss her dearly.”

His father, Phil Tellez, worked at the Postal Service headquarters in D.C. before retiring. He unfortunately had Alzheimer’s for the past 20 years and just turned 90.

“We’ve come a long way. We own most of our properties and have just over 200 employees,” Tellez says. He feels blessed that his son is following in his footsteps, “so it looks like we’ll be around for another 40 years.”


  1. So when did early September become mid-summer? The window says opening mid-summer, very disappointed by this news!

  2. So excited by this news just disappointed also that we have to wait till September.

  3. Grace Charles6/15/16, 9:21 AM

    Come to Barcroft Plaza! It would be a perfect location for an Anita's.

  4. Not sure why you all are excited about this, their food is sooooooooooo bad.

    1. You get out of here with this nonsense! I live for breakfast burritos

    2. Nobody is forcing you to eat there wise guy! If you hate their food so much there is a McDonald's everywhere you turn around.

    3. Been a regular Anitas customer for over 25 years, their food never dissapoints, always great. I spent 15 years working in local popular Mexican restaurants, and would go to Anitas for dinner after work, that's how good The food is. Can't wait to have a location closer to home. The person criticizing Anitas food should stick to taco bell.

  5. Best burritos ever! Yippee!

  6. love Anita's food, so happy one is opening near home. years ago, when I worked in Tyson's, I used to go to the original Vienna Anita's (not the one in the picture, a little ramshackle building practically falling down.) And later, when working in Chantilly, would sometimes see the Anita herself, dressed to the nines, serving chips and salsa.

  7. It's now mid October so when is this place opening? It's a bit annoying when the sign says mid summer.