Nearly 30 people spoke against the proposed business at Catesby Farm, about five miles west of Middleburg, arguing that the noise and traffic it would generate would disturb neighboring farms and overwhelm the narrow roads in the area. Some said that the traffic would also disrupt nearby Willisville, a small village settled by freed slaves after the Civil War.
The intrigue plays out several days a week in a studio apartment in downtown Leesburg, accessible only through a small parking lot and up a steep flight of stairs. It is a “safe house” for a spy — a Russian agent now cooperating with the U.S. government.
Across the hall, several wayward students are hatching a plot to escape detention from a classroom with furnishings straight from the 1980s.
The safe house and the classroom — in a suite of rooms above MacDowell Brew Kitchen — are not real. Nor are the scenes that unfold there. They are the “escape rooms” run by Exit Plan, a locally owned business that creates puzzle-filled adventure games for groups of people to solve.
One of the most valuable pieces of real estate in Loudoun County is a triangle of undeveloped land along the south side of the Dulles Greenway, bounded roughly by the Greenway, Old Ryan Road and the Loudoun County Parkway. The nondescript parcel — formerly not-very-good farmland — is desirable solely because of its location next to the future site of Ashburn Station, the western terminus of Metro’s Silver Line.
Loudoun County has recently been ranked among the wealthiest, happiest and best places to live in the country. But there is one list it is unlikely to make: places with the best nightlife. And that makes local business leaders unhappy.
The Virts family has been engaged in traditional farming (think heavy equipment, rigid growing seasons and cornfields stretching for acres) since it settled in Loudoun County in the late 18th century. Twelve generations later, things are beginning to change.
Donald Virts, who farms 1,000 acres in northern and western Loudoun, decided that he had to adapt his methods to evolving economic and environmental conditions. His new business model, which he is introducing at CEA Farms north of Purcellville, embraces concepts such as hydroponics (growing crops in water), controlled environment farming, renewable energy sources and marketing directly to consumers.
For the next week, the store windows of downtown Leesburg will be filled with ghosts, witches, bats and an assortment of other scary creatures, courtesy of local teens engaged in a friendly competition.
Dulles area residents want more roads to ease traffic and connect neighborhoods; biking and walking trails; access to government services; and options for shopping, entertainment and recreation — all while trees, streams and open space are protected.
City Tavern, which closed June 29 after more than two decades in Old Town Manassas, has reopened in a location less than a mile away, outside the city’s historic downtown.
The restaurant reopened July 22 in a renovated building at 9550 Center St. that formerly housed KC’s Restaurant. A co-owner of City Tavern’s former building, adjacent to the Olde Towne Inn, said he expects another restaurant to open there after major repairs are completed.