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Restaurant Replacing The Village Wharf Aims to Open in March

River Bend Bistro will seat 74 and have a full bar.

The River Bend Bistro is aiming for a spring 2013 opening in the Hollin Hall Shopping Center in the location formerly occupied for more than a decade by The Village Wharf.

Caroline Ross, a chef by training and former manager of Rick's Wine and Gourmet, co-owns the River Bend Bistro with her husband, Bill. The restaurant was originally scheduled to open in November 2012, but the Rosses are still making their way through various departments to get permits.

Rick's Wine and Gourmet recently closed after 20 years at its location at a shopping center off of Duke Street in Alexandria.

The Fairfax County Health Department has the blueprints for the restaurant and they still have to go through the Building Department, Bill Ross told Patch.

“With any luck, we’ll open in March,” Ross said. “It’s progressing at an incredibly slow pace.”

River Bend Bistro will offer casual fine dining and local foods. The restaurant will seat 74 and have a full bar. 

Gary G Russell January 11, 2013 at 12:07 PM
It seems that more often than not it takes longer to secure the required permits than it does to do the job -- months are the norm even with relatively simple reconstructions.
Jeffrey Pandin January 11, 2013 at 12:17 PM
This is a real problem. The county talks a good game about wanting to encourage business development in the South County area, but then they throw up unnecessary roadblocks. This process needs to be streamlined.
Kelly January 11, 2013 at 12:22 PM
It will be great to have another restaurant in that space! We wish the Ross family all the best and look forward to the opening! Stew & Kelly Brown
Kramer January 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Bring back the bumper sticker from 30 years ago, "I live in over regulated Fairfax County". The guy who created the bumper sticker was a genius!
Judy Lomago Gray January 11, 2013 at 04:18 PM
I look forward to the Bistro opening and wish the Rosses much success!!
Fawn Kildoo January 11, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Look forward to it! It will be nice to have a decent bar on this side of Alexandria too.
monkeyrotica January 11, 2013 at 06:00 PM
PLEASE don't be a sports bar with 387 televisions everywhere!
ET1221 January 11, 2013 at 08:00 PM
Am really looking forward to the River Bend Bistro! But Fairfax County really doesn't make it easy to get through the process, only the toughest can survive! Just when you think all the forms are in based on the last person you talked to, another individual has a "but wait, these forms are needed too!" list. Rinse & repeat & repeat! Something needs to be done in the county to streamline or at least clarify the process. The opening of ReReads, the new bookstore, went through many months of delay too. Very frustrating!
Bernie weeks January 12, 2013 at 12:46 AM
Being from Dublin Ireland of course I would love to see you having your grand opening on March 17 th !!! The very best of Irish luck to you Bernie Weeks
Kari Warren January 15, 2013 at 05:33 AM
"Play it again, Sam!" Planning and Zoning really does need to be overhauled. When the process gets so bogged down, they don't appear to realize how much revenue is lost...not just for the business owners, but for the county, state and feds...and EMPLOYEES. It's really too bad our system makes it so hard. In the end, it affects us all.

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