Vegan Restaurant Closes After a Year

By Stephen Siegel
Falls Church Times Staff
October 27, 2015

Barely a year after Native Foods Cafe opened in the former Pie-Tanza space at Falls Plaza, the national vegan chain has closed the door to its only Virginia location.

It seemed surprising at the time that the chain picked Falls Church City for its first location in the state, and its closure so soon suggests that the decision to open was not well thought out.

That said, it’s not clear if there was sufficient demand here for the trendy vegan food, which offers meals with no animal products at all — not even butter, milk, or cheese — or if the closure was related to the quality of management and customer service.

A reader who first tipped the Times to the closure said the food was good and the service poor, and he expected that it would close. Yet it would seem that if there was sufficient demand for the product, those issues could be fixed.

The company never opened a planned Fairfax location, and also has closed a store in its home state of California, so it may have problems beyond the Falls Church location.

It’s unknown if anyone else has come knocking on the doors of Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns Falls Plaza. Pie-Tanza always did a brisk business there before retreating to Arlington because of high lease costs in 2014.

October 28, 2015 


6 Responses to “Vegan Restaurant Closes After a Year”

  1. Edwin Fields / Falls Church on October 29th, 2015 12:48 pm

    I was also surprised of the FC location. As a frequent customer, I noticed that they were experiencing issues from their early days of opening. Throughout their short FC life, they had gone through multiple onsite managers and experienced difficulties maintaining and/or hiring quality staff. One thing that’s well known in any business especially food service is that when you grow from a single store to many and well established operating procedures aren’t in place, quality tends to drop-off due to management’s focus on building/expanding the concept.

  2. Alan Frank on October 29th, 2015 2:11 pm

    Sorry to see Native Foods go, but never fear because there is a new place in town. A Thai Spoon vegetarian restaurant recently opened at Eden Center. The restaurant faces Wilson Blvd, at 6795 Wilson, store 1B.
    Together with the vegan Thanh Van Restaurant (6795 Wilson, store 11) Eden Center now has two places to enjoy vegetarian cuisine. Thanh Van has a 4 star Yelp rating.

  3. Drew Haldane, Falls Church on October 29th, 2015 6:40 pm

    It’s unfortunate Native Foods closed – my family liked it.

    From a purely selfish perspective, I hope the space gets taken by either a BBQ joint or a bar – or both!

  4. Another FCC Resident on October 29th, 2015 11:18 pm

    Speaking of restaurants we’d like to see – is there any update on 205 Park/Liberty Tavern-owned place? I thought I read it’d be ready winter 2015/2016 but when I drove by a while ago it didn’t look like anything had even been started. That’s one place I’m very excited about, based on Northside Social/Liberty Tavern/Lyon Hall!

  5. Steve Wisemiller Falls church City on October 31st, 2015 11:15 pm

    Maybe Mike’s Deli/Lazy Sundae could take over?

  6. Another FCC Resident on November 1st, 2015 3:45 pm

    If the rent was too exorbitant for Pietanza to swing, it may be too high for a mom-and-pop operation like Mike’s. Although would be great to see!

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