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Future of Anthony's in Falls Church Looking Grim

With the possible arrival of Harris Teeter, 40-year-old restaurant could be odd man out when lease expires in March.

(Correction: City of Falls Church only owns the land the old post office sits on, not the lot Anthony's sits on. City Manager Wyatt Shields said the landlord who owns the building the restaurants sits at, plans to sell his property to the developer buying the land from the city."

When Anthony Akis opened his restaurant in May of 1972, he just wanted to have a place families could come and have a meal.

Now, 40 years later, some of those same families still mosey into Anthony’s for a meal, and those little kids that came in with mom and dad are now coming in with children of their own.

But since the City of Falls Church’s Economic Development Authority has agreed to sell the land the old post office sits on and the owner of the building Anthony’s is in plans on selling his land to the developer, Akis’ future in the city is not looking good.

“We’d like to stay within the city if we can,” Akis said. “Some people are trying to get signatures on a petition.”

On Oct. 9 the EDA agreed to sell the 1.3 acres to Rushmark Properties LLC for $4.3 million. The developers plan to build a mixed-use building over the two lots that will include Harris Teeter, retail space and residences. City council could consider the second reading and approval of the sale on Oct. 22 at their regular meeting.

Attempts to reach EDA Director Rick Goff and City Manager Wyatt Shields on Monday were unsuccessful.

The lunch crowd was sparse at Anthony’s on Monday afternoon but the sounds of mumbled chatter and clinking of forks on plates could still be heard throughout the restaurant. Akis, 67, sipped on a cup of coffee as he recalled some of his favorite memories over the 40-years he's run the restaurant.

With his wife, Faye, by his side, Akis — once a 19-year-old kid from Greece that migrated to America in 1964 — said he has mixed feelings about having to leave.

Akis said he thinks it would have been different if he owned the building. He has leased the spot since he opened in 1972 and that lease expires in March.

“City council has said they’d like us to stay,” Akis said. “I don’t think the city cares if I stay or go to hell.”

For the last 18-years, Akis has owned a second Anthony’s in Manassas that his daughter and son-in-law operate. That restaurant will remain open, he said. Finding another affordable place to move to in the city could be difficult, Akis said.

If he can’t find a place to move to in the area, Akis said he will have to close the Falls Church location. Along with the memories will go several staff members that have been with him for more than 20-years.

“What about those families,” Akis said. “It will be sad if I can’t find somewhere near here.”

Carol Mallory October 17, 2012 at 05:10 PM
The developer would be wise to designate a portion of the new project as a new location for Anthony's. It would assure people coming to the new development immediately & in large numbers. Anthony's would have a short "vacation" and then move into the new place. Rent could be controlled on the new space to match current level for Anthony's as long as managed by his family. A dream solution? Maybe, but is there someway to make it happen?
Chris McMaugh October 17, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Falls Church City is systematically tearing down the small town feel piece by piece and trying to make itself into something it will never be. Breaking down small businesses one by one and dropping in big business and mix use buildings, which in turn overfills our schools which are already above capacity and turn an even larger strain on the local infrastructure. Personally, I was born and raises in Falls Church as well as my wife, we both grew up going to Anthony's and Anthony's has watched us grow, never forgetting our names or asking how our parents were doing,
Chris McMaugh October 17, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Anthony's is part of the fabric of Falls Church of which they are trying to tear apart. My wife and I still live in Falls Church and are now raising our two children in the city we still continue to go to Anthony's restaurant partly for the good food but also because they are like family they are now watching our children grow just as they Sid with us more than 20 years earlier. Lastly if the "little city" continues to dismantle itself as a small town surrounded by big cities they will lose what character this city was built on. In addition I agree with the above statement that Falls Church City is in a tail spin and someone needs to take hold before we crash and burn!
mrgroinarea October 19, 2012 at 03:57 PM
wrong, they don't own the land! their lease is up in january. why can't people get their facts straight?
simpletonsofknow May 12, 2013 at 04:36 PM
by the way none of the city officials including that degenerated mayor have ever given business to anthony's. i loved the lies, enjoying the b.s. media about it and the fact i only seen the mayor at anthony's ONCE! to give tony the BAD NEWS! FC government is packed with scum! (you should see what kind of sleazes these officials are.)

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