F.C.’s Legendary Anthony’s Announces Closing, Last Day Set for June 2

May 8, 2013 12:17 PM11 comments

On the eve of a final approval of a new large scale mixed use project, including a Harris Teeter, on the site of the legendary, 40-year Falls Church institution, Anthony’s Restaurant, Ted Akis, son of Anthony founders Tony and Faye Yiannarakis, issued a statement by email today announcing that the restaurant will be permanently closing at that location as of June 2.

The following is the text in full of the statement: “Dear Patrons and Friends of Anthony’s, It is with a heavy heart and sincere regret that we inform you that Anthony’s Restaurant will be permanently closing our location at 309 West Broad Street, Falls Church, Virginia. As a result of our lease expiring, our last day of operations will be June 2, 2013. Although we have yet to find a suitable new location, we continue our search and we hope to find a new home for Anthony’s in Falls Church. After 41 years of serving our patrons at this location, we would like to say THANK YOU for being a special part of our family and for all the wonderful memories. We will continue to serve the community at our Manassas location. Warmest regards, The Anthony’s Family.”

  • Gary LaPorta

    We sadly say goodbye to a Falls Church favorite and hope they do find another location here in The Little City. We also look forward with excitement to a new and vibrant development that will, surely, transform our downtown. I offer my best wishes to all.

    • Gary LaPorta

      This comment was quoted in the print version of the FCNP and erroneously referenced me as the Chair of the Chamber of Commerce.
      For the record, I am on the Board of the Chamber, but not currently the
      Chair, and I posted this as a citizen of the City of Falls Church,
      which is the highest position one can achieve in our fair city, and our
      great country. We must always remind our elected officials and
      government employees that they work for us not the other way around. We
      may be the base of the pyramid, but without our solid base the summit collapses.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JamesMillerH James Miller

    So sad to hear this news. I have many fond memories of eating with friends and family at Anthony’s. I love Gyro’s, and every time I’ve had one someplace else I have the same reaction – “still not as good as Anthony’s”

  • Sgt. Hartman

    Somebody save Anthony’s. There’s still hope: “Although we have yet to find a suitable new location, we continue our search and we hope to find a new home for Anthony’s in Falls Church.”

    • JFallsChurch

      should the somebody be the city?

  • c0mment

    I wonder if Anthony would be willing to say publicly what would make a new location suitable. There are many existing options in the City and it’s not clear what is unsuitable about them. If we knew what Anthony was looking for maybe we could help?

    • http://twitter.com/poseidonguy1 PoseidonGuy

      The bottom line is that Anthony’s survives because it has a loyal customer base that has been eating there for a long time. The food is decent (not great), the prices are reasonable, and it’s convenient. Very few restaurants could survive in such a dilapidated, outdated building with limited parking–and with such inconsistent service. My guess is that once Anthony’s largely older customer base moves on, the restaurant would seriously struggle. (Yes, I’m aware that a lot of parents take their kids there, but it’s because they can run wild…it’s the Broken Windows theory in action). Can anyone imagine them lasting in North Arlington, for example?

      So my guess–and it’s only a guess–is that Anthony’s knows this. Any new location inside the Beltway is likely to be nicer and newer than the current location and, thus, more expensive. If they’re looking for something as cheap as their current rent, they’re not going to find it in FC or nearby.

      • Jeff Shuman

        I couldn’t agree more with the first and last lines of this post. Anthony’s has done well because of its loyal customer base and (hopefully) cheap rent in a building that won’t win any prizes. But I wouldn’t agree with the assertion that they’re dependent on an older customer base that’s headed for the graveyard (OK, ultimately we all are). I see sports teams, police and fire fighters in uniform, birthday parties — none of them are ordering off the senior menu. Pretty much the only demographic I don’t see in Anthony’s is the yuppie crowd looking for more of a bar scene, and childless professional couples (both of these groups have more money to spend and plenty of options now in Falls Church (4Ps, Dogwood, Mad Fox for example)). As for families with kids only going there because they can run wild — that’s not really why we go. Yes, the kids want to run wild but we don’t let them. We like going there with the kids because they get food they like and it’s obvious they are appreciated. The staff remembers when my kids were still fetuses, when they were coming in baby carriers, and when they started walking. The kitchen staff greets them by name. They ask about anyone who’s missing that night — again, by name. The waitresses know exactly who gets a cup with a top, and who will be offended if they don’t get a cup exactly like the adults. When we took the family to Pizzeria Orso, we paid 50% more than we paid at Anthony’s, and I had to resist pressure from the back seat driving home to swing by Taco Bell because everyone was still hungry. As for Anthony’s not surviving if they were in North Arlington, I don’t have a crystal ball, but restaurants with similar situations seem to do just fine. Caribbean Grill on Rte. 29 is in an older building, with limited parking, serving food (rotisserie chicken) that’s not exactly hard to find in this area — and they just expanded into the storefront next door. Or Linda’s Cafe down the street — an old, dingy, stand-alone building, with limited parking, patchy service, food that is far from gourmet — and has been there for years apparently with no problems. Anthony’s will be missed by many, and I’ll be very surprised if a grocery store in that location does well with Giant, Safeway, and even the Harrison Street Harris Teeter more convenient for many of the same customers.

  • diquihi

    this doesn’t make sense..

    get rid of a busy business and replace it with franchise bunk and more empty store fronts with lease signs that fall apart with age?

    don’t we have enough empty spaces around here collecting dust?

    i also dig the idea of the city getting rid of a mail sorting facility.. yes why do we need one anyways? not like we get mail delivered to us anyhow.

    falls church is a dump.

    • diquihi

      also, i hear the city again has more plans to get rid of popular points of interest and replace it with cookie cutter crap!

      horray! :(

      more empty storefronts… to come. don’t we have enough already that’s been sitting around for least 10 yrs just waiting for someone to lease?

      • JFallsChurch

        what are the “popular points of interest” they want to get rid of?

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