Chick-fil-A, Cafe Rio Coming to Willston Center

by ARLnow.com November 3, 2011 at 10:59 am 8,330 74 Comments

Two new restaurants are coming to the Willston Center in Seven Corners.

A Chick-fil-A restaurant is under construction at 6108 Arlington Boulevard, not far from the Target store that anchors the shopping center. The 3,700 square foot restaurant is expected to open in April 2012, according to the Falls Church News-Press. Like last year’s Chick-fil-A opening in Crystal City, chicken fans can expect the restaurant to give away free food for a year to the first 100 people in line at the store’s opening.

Next to Chick-fil-A is Cafe Rio, which will be the second Northern Virginia outpost of the Utah-based Mexican restaurant chain. Cafe Rio says its restaurants “offer the highest quality, freshest food you will find anywhere.” As proof of the freshness, the company points out that its restaurants do not have freezers or microwaves.

Interior construction at Cafe Rio still appears to be underway. According to a counter on the Cafe Rio web site, the restaurant is expected to open on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

The Willston Center is located just across the Arlington border in Falls Church.

Photo courtesy Clarendon Culture

  • ArlingtonCountyTaxpayer

    is this now SevenCornersnow.com? This is in Fairfax. and pretty un interesting.

    • TJ

      Sorry, but any story about a closer CFA makes news…

      Besides, haven’t we adopted the Target and Home Depot shopping centers as our own?

    • close enough

      In fairness, maybe this is falls church or fairfax… but for those of us between EFC-VA Square this is A LOT closer to us than the Crystal City one… I know there’s one in Ballston but that means going into a paid lot (though totally reasonable, not complaining about price) to go multiple floors through mall traffic and then into a food court… often to only remember that it’s Sunday (haha). I live in Westover(ish) just before Ballston and I can easily zip around the corner away from the crowdedness of B-R corridor and hopefully get into the awesome Safeway I like to use there and maybe stop by Chick-fil-A for an occasional junk food treat. 🙂 Anyway, my point is, I live in Arlington, born and raised, and this is interesting to me. Don’t be so quick to judge.

    • Love it! Thanks for reporting on this ARLNow!

      ACT, get lost sourpuss.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      Good coverage – things in the FC/Fairfax border zone affect what happens in our Arlington Neighborhoods – and probably 1/2 the patrons in the stores are Arlingtonians. And since the CB intends to push every real retailer out of Arlington- we are stuck patronizing businesses outside Arlington.

    • ArlintonCountyTaxpayer

      just busting arlnow’s chops.
      i completely believe the arlington boundary to arbitrary.
      i love this shopping center and drive to it weekly.

      • Tabby


  • Steve

    Yeah, this isn’t about Arlington.. BJ’s club is right accross the border as well, and that’s hugely impacted my life, but sitll isn’t about arlington.

  • Rick

    It means I don’t have to fart around looking for parking in Ballston or Crystal City if I want my CFA fix. The no extra food tax is a nice kicker too. If you took the customer demographics from that target and petsmart I would bet with certainty that its a majority Arlington crowd in there..

    • drax

      McDonald’s southern chicken is exactly the same. Unless you really really like waffle fries, just go there.

      • SB

        Um. I really really like waffle fries. And polynesian sauce.

      • Joe Hoya

        McDonald’s “Southern” chicken sandwich is a pale imitation.

        I saw the small Chick-fil-a sign on the window of that empty storefront a few weeks ago and have been eagerly anticipating it’s arrival. It’s the one fast food place that’s worth a damn.

        • DarkHeart

          Waffle Fries > McDonald’s Fries > Tebow

        • Saul

          Good heavens, there is no comparison between McD’s disgusting chicken and CFA. They are prepared completely differently which is why CFA’s remains so juicy inside. It is amazing that someone would actually say they are EXACTLY the same, just ignorance.

          • drax

            They’re both crappy fast-food chicken sandwiches. Get over yourself.

          • Saul

            You get over yourself.

          • drax

            Already did. Got me a delicious McD’s southern chicken the other day.

  • CW

    Cool beans. I didn’t ever notice/remember the name of that shopping center so thanks for that as well!

    Now, after I drive all the way out there only to find that Target is sold out of whatever it is I need and that none of the employees can communicate with me, I can allay some of my frustration with CFA.

    • close enough

      I totally agree with their quality… I think a lot of us have a mentality when they have what we want and it’s convenient, it’s Arlington, when they don’t, blame Falls Church. 😉

  • tastyhappy

    Everyone <3s Chick-Fil-A! This is as close to Arlington as you can get without being in the county. Thanks for the heads-up, ArlNow!

  • Johnny Utah

    that “C” in Cafe Rio is part of the hyperlink..and it is bothering me.

  • hoooos

    If only the CFA would have a drive thru…sigh

    • ArlG

      No drive thru? Oh bummer! Are you sure – the picture there is of the Cafe Rio space I think – maybe they are building it in the lot or something?

      • TJ

        CFA is right next door, you can see it in the pic.

    • CrystalMikey

      So dangerous…but oh so awesome.

  • Ewww

    Chik-Fil-A gives money to anti-gay hate groups. No thanks.

    • Carl

      Most Arlingtonians look the other way when it comes to their food.

      • John K.

        And their Tar-zhay

    • Gibby

      Anti-gay hate groups???

      • Ewww

        Yeah, you know, groups that hate gays.

        • Gibby

          “Anti-gay” and “hate” are polemical terms that people bandy around with too much ease. In the HuffPo article posted by RosslynNite below, the president of CFA Dan Cathy is quoted: “While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.” That doesn’t sound like hate to me. It is possible to love someone while disagreeing with their views, decisions, behaviors, etc. You clearly disagree with these Christian organizations (and obviously have the right to boycott CFA due to their affiliations). But does that make you part of an anti-Christian hate group?

          • Ewww

            So you simply judge it based on a quote?

            Many of these groups have plenty of evidence that they qualify as hate groups, if you bothered to look.

            Here’s a good source:


          • Gibby

            I bothered to look. Only one of the seven organizations supported by Cathy–Family Research Council–is mentioned in your list of 18 from SPLC.

          • AllenB

            Sorry, but when it’s your rights that are being infringed upon, the group working to deny them is a hate group. Period.

          • drax

            That’s not the full list, it’s just a detailed description of some. Nevertheless, one is enough. And the rest may not qualify as “hate” but any group that is working specifically to deny people their rights for something that is none of their business shouldn’t be supported.

      • Rosslynite
  • WentToUtah

    Cafe Rio is a poor restaurant. Worse than chipoltle. No reason to hurry to this place.

    • Glebe Roader

      Also — no beer, wine or maggies. No thanks.

  • DarkHeart

    Damn you CFA, seducing us with your tasty chicken sandwiches but then stuffing our pockets with your political pamphlets. Oh, and start opening on Sundays.

  • CW

    Just in time – CFA just sent out the announcement regarding their seasonal re-introduction of the mint chocolate chip shake! Yum!!!

  • T

    Chik-Fil-A is closed Sundays. No Thanks.

    • bred

      When I was a young kid growing up in Indiana there were “Blue Laws” which prevented almost ALL stores to be closed on Sunday’s. What’s wrong or the big deal if Chik-Fil-A chooses to be closed on Sunday?

      • bred

        I should have said that the Blue Law prevented almost all stores to be OPEN on Sunday.

        • Steve

          Funny how in most “secular” european countries, everything is closed on Sundays. When I was living in germany, and needed groceries on a Sunday, unless you treked it to a major trainstation, you were SOL.

      • drax

        Virginia used to have blue laws too.

      • DarkHeart

        I learned the Sunday thing the hard way when I saw the I-70 CFA sign outside Hagerstown, pulled off, got stuck in traffic and then discovered their Sunday rule. Maybe they can cover up their highway signs on Sundays.

        • CW

          Some of the interstate signs do say “Closed Sundays” at the bottom.

    • R

      I would think in such a progressive, pro-union, so in that case a so-called “labor-friendly” area as Arlington, we would appreciate and frequent a business that is closed on Sunday, as well as Thanksgiving & Christmas, in order to honor their long-standing principles of putting their worker’s personal lives in front of what might led to another dollar for the corporation. It’s smart business as far as employee relations goes, so I have no problem with them being closed on Sundays. I’m glad they will be opening a location in an easily accessible spot for those of us living in western Arlington.

      • drax

        Okay, but if you really think so, you should not shop anywhere on Sunday even at places that are open on Sunday. Do you?

        • R

          I’m not following your thought process on this. I’m the consumer not the business so why would I not shop anywhere on Sunday even if they are open. It’s not my decision for them to be open or closed on a Sunday, a Tuesday or any other day. I’m just appluading CFA for sticking to their principles that were set forth when they opened and being one of the few retail/restaurant businesses that does so instead of bowing to the draw of another buck that they surely would be earning on Sundays. If other businesses don’t do the same, which is generally the case, that is their choice and I have no issue with it. If the people working there don’t like it then they can look for a job elsewhere.

          • drax

            You really can’t make the connection? It’s pretty obvious.

  • Chick-Fil-A and Cafe Rio? Bleh. How about some good food in Arlington? But what the hey, it’s not like Seven Corners is a classy area anyway.

    Off topic: I live in Arlington and as far as I’m concerned, Seven Corners might as well be Arlington.

  • Eatmobeef

    after reading that Chick-fil-a contributes tons of money to hate organizations, i’m done with them.

    Chick-fil-A Gave Millions More To Anti-Gay Groups

    • Steve

      Kinda funny you think because they contribute to anti gay marriage groups they are “hate organizations” but the fact that they are responsible for the deaths of millions of chickens per year wasn’t enough to get you to boycott it. Seems to me killing things is a lot worse than opposing gay marriage.

      • Eatmobeef

        i’ll kindly refer you to what they’ve replied already.

        and the whole killing chickens o please.. we are carnivores. it’s called nature. same with gays, nature.. don’t hate on nature!

  • “hate organizations” = “things we disagree with, so must be hate” ??

    I’m sure this will really fire people up, but just because an openly christian values based business donates funds to organizations that hugely impactful christian organizations does that mean they’re “hate organizations”? I mean I don’t agree that supporting a christian mentality of family values sees the full picture of what “family” can mean to others, but does that mean they’re hate groups? Yes, they’re against gay marriage and some maybe more extreme and against a gay lifestyle all together, but “hate” really is a word that people turn around and bash organizations with when really all it means is that the group doesn’t share your opinion and isn’t “pro” the same things that you are. It doesn’t mean they’re hateful. Every group on any list I’ve seen published with these articles this week (bad timing for the new store because it was bound to come up) includes christian based organizations that support A LOT more than just taking a stance on being anti-gay marriage.

    Again I’m not on “their side” or trying to start fights, but having a one liner of “they support hate” and then a link to a biased one sided article who says nothing about the organizations themselves isn’t really going to keep me away from some delicious chicken nuggets when I’m in the mood. They donate a lot of money to a lot of great causes also, and just because their views don’t match yours doesn’t mean either one of you are better.

    • Christian?

      Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. So how can you say being anti-gay is a “Christian” value? Because of some crazy business in the Old Testament? Well, guess what: It also says you should stone adulturers to death.

      I would almost concede your point on the word “hate”–but a law that forbids one spouse from being the lawful heir of the other, forbids hospital visitation between spouses–if that’s not hate, it might as well be. If you don’t consider CFA’s funding of groups that want gays to have fewer rights than straights to qualify as hate, you could just as easily claim that the pro-secessionists didn’t “hate” blacks but just wanted them to be without equal rights. Probably some of them would’ve claimed that very thing.

    • Ewww

      No, that’s not why they are considered hate groups.

      There are very specific things they have said and done that make them hate groups. Not all christian or anti-gay marriage groups are hate groups – but some on this list are. A good source:


    • Eatmobeef

      i don’t have time to go off on crazy rants like you and give you a full lesson, do your own research, that link was your starting point not the full biography.

  • jslanger

    Why is it I always think about getting Chick-fil-a on Sundays? I used to head out to one, get all the way there, and wonder why it was closed! Doh!

    • Ballstonian

      I’m the same way. I think its because you associate it with being closed on Sundays, so its in the background of your mind on Sundays. Sunday triggers a thought, which triggers a desire, which you can’t fulfill because its Sunday, which reinforces the notion that its closed on Sunday, etc.

      • drax

        That’s a noted psychological effect. It’s like when you tell someone something untrue and then the truth, they’ll remember only the first one because it came first, even if you clearly explain the second is true.

        • jslanger

          Good thoughts. I used to get Chick-fil-a at the GW student cafeteria area (after working over 24 hours at the GW Hospital), but they closed it over the summer and put in a burrito bar or something. BOOO.

  • North A-Town Snob

    Now if we would only truly honor our south of the Mason-Dixon line “Dixie” roots and have someone open up a Bojangles in Arlington. Their chicken, biscuits & fries crush Popeye’s or KFC…and breakfast, forget about it. Trekking down to the basement of Union Station or less than desirable areas of PG County just aren’t cutting it.

  • John Fontain

    Who would have thought that the idea a new Chick-fil-A would produce almost as much vitriol as the idea of a new Wal-Mart.

    • Carl

      Well, a lot of progressives see Chick-fil-A as the Walmart of fast food.

      • Rick

        It couldn’t be anything further

  • wheaties

    Ahh! Finally a Cafe Rio in the area! Thanks for the heads up ARLNow. Can’t wait to get a sweet pork burrito!

  • Steve

    Okay, if 7 corners if fair game, what is that Viva Tequila II place that took over Mr. Pho’s space?

  • Preschool Mom

    Any word on if it will have a play area? Their play areas beat the pants of Mickey Ds.

  • TMP

    Only ArlNow.com trolls could take a benign story about a wonderful chicken fast food option opening up and twist it into rants about hate groups and being closed on Sunday. Dan Cathy addressed this controversy: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/dan-cathy-president-and-coo-of-chick-fil-a-clarifies-recent-news-coverage-114872034.html In regards to being closed on Sunday, so what? They very clearly state that their founder “…believes that all franchised Chick-fil-A Operators and their Restaurant employees should have an opportunity to rest, spend time with family and friends, and worship if they choose to do so.” I say kudos to them! So what if the Cathy’s operate Chick-fil-A as a Christian business. It’s a private company and they can do what they want. Should I stop going to Sami’s Hot Dog cart by where I work because the guy stops business temporarily throughout the day to pray to Mecca?

  • Agent Zero

    Chick-Fil-A is currently #1 in the Power Ranking of Fast Food.


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