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Updated: Fuddruckers Leaving Annandale, will be Replaced by Walgreens

The longtime hamburger restaurant will close by the end of the year. Walgreens has purchased the property.


Updated 10:23 a.m. Tuesday, March 20, 2012

According to Toni Niece, vice presdent of marketing for Fuddruckers, the Annandale location will close in late April.

"We are really sad [about leaving], but we appreciate everyone's comments," said Niece. The company has been actively looking for another property and has not ruled out staying in the Annandale area.

"We would love to relocate. We're working diligently to find another site. We just haven't been able to. We love Annandale. We don't want to leave, but unfortunately, we have no choice," said Niece.

Fuddruckers opened at their Annandale location in August of 1985.

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Original post 6 a.m. Monday, March 19, 2012

After more than 20 years in business, will leave Annandale.

A Walgreens will replace the family-friendly restaurant once Fuddruckers' current lease expires.

According to Rona Kramer, who owns the property at 4300 Backlick Rd., Fuddruckers will close before the end of this year.

Representatives for Fuddruckers did not return repeated phone calls from Annandale Patch.

Kramer, a former Maryland Senator, declined to disclose specific details about the terms of Fuddruckers' lease, but said she believes Walgreens will fit in with the Annandale community.

"They're a good a company. I have no reason to believe otherwise," said Kramer, who added that there was a “great deal of interest” in the property while it was on the market.

Some business leaders in the Annandale community disagree with Kramer. Representatives from Walgreens were met with animosity during their presentation to the Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday, March 13 outlining the company’s preliminary proposed site plan for the property.

“We’re losing our last big family restaurant. This is the place where kids go after soccer, football, and boys and girls clubs, so [Walgreens] is going to come in here and not be completely welcome… You can’t get a cheeseburger in Walgreens,” said Dan McKinnon, chairman of the Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee.

McKinnon said the community is concerned about a lack of balance in restaurants and services in Annandale; he pointed out there are already several pharmacies in Annandale, including the ones in grocery stores like Giant and Safeway and in . The 24-hour CVS on Little River Turnpike will be fewer than 500 feet from the new Walgreens.

“We’re a revitalization committee and we’re trying to improve Annandale. This is C-level retail,” said Vicki Burman, executive director of the . “Annandale isn’t going to improve its retailing base by having a Walgreens. It is nothing we need or want.”

Walgreens filed their site plan within the last month, according to Lawrence Leber, president and CEO of Upshire Realty Advisors who was one of three representatives that spoke at Tuesday’s ACBDPC meeting. The company anticipates the approval process will take six months and they hope to break ground once the site plan’s approved. (See the site plans in the images attached to this article.)

The proposed plan for the property shows that the current Fuddruckers 8,000 square feet building will be demolished and replaced by a larger 12,000 square feet building to accommodate the Walgreens. There will be a drive-thru component and 50 parking spaces.

Robert Brown, an associate with Urban, Ltd., said Walgreens completed a traffic analysis with Fairfax County representatives and with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to determine the best way to control the traffic flow. The principal entrance for the store will be accessible from Little River Turnpike. The store will also keep the existing sidewalks on Columbia Pike and Backlick Road.

In a letter to the community dated March 8, 2012, Mason District Supervisor Penelope Gross said the property owned by Kramer and occupied by Fuddruckers is a by-right property, which means the underlying zoning category permits certain development without Planning Commission or Board of Supervisors’ approval.

Gross also said she was “disappointed in this change in use” regarding the site plan for Walgreens.

“The transfer of private property ownership or use is a private business decision, not subject to public input. Although I am disappointed in this change in use, there are benefits from reinvestment at this location. The applicant has agreed to implement improved pedestrian facilities in accordance with the Annandale Streetscape Design Guidelines. The number of entrances will be consolidated from the current five, down to three, greatly improving site access to this congested area of downtown Annandale. The applicant also will provide an increase in green open space and pervious surface on the redevelopment parcel, which currently is almost entirely paved." (Read the full letter in the images attached to this article.)

McKinnon and other members of the ACBDP committee urged the representatives to utilize more of the Annandale Streetscape Guidelines and work closely with the community if Walgreens expects to be welcomed by residents and other businesses.

“Until land owners are willing to come to us and help work with us to develop the kind of retail that Annandale wants, you can’t blame us for not wanting Walgreens,” said Burman.

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TT March 21, 2012 at 02:00 PM
We should paint 'Go Away Walgreens!!' on the walls.. In fact, Fudds should put that up on their SignBoard!!
MT March 21, 2012 at 05:11 PM
It seems that our community lack the leadership both in attracting the right businesses and/or make the community aware of the situation before it gets this far. It appears that everyone on this thread is very passionate about the cause of saving Fuddruckers and Annandale from further spiraling. If that is so than I say we get organize as a group and move forward with this cause. My only concern is whether Walgreen purchased the property or is leasing it. Does anyone know the true status of the property?
Sherell Williams (Editor) March 21, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Hi MT. Thanks for your question. Rona Kramer would not clarify whether Walgreens purchased the property or is leasing it from her. However, property records list her as the owner.
Laurie March 21, 2012 at 11:50 PM
I agree!
Laurie March 21, 2012 at 11:53 PM
that would be a better place for Walgreens
A23 March 21, 2012 at 11:56 PM
How about Walgreen can move over where Bloom used to be or the old Pet shop behind Popeyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Laurie March 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM
The Annandale High School community got ripped apart by the school boards redistricting and now we are losing another part of our family community. It's just NOT RIGHT!!!
CD March 22, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Laurie - I 100% agree with you. I think we need new leadership because our current leadership just does not care about the Annandale community. Be is school board or district supervisor.
Common Sense March 22, 2012 at 01:37 PM
Its funny how I hear people talk about how there is a lack of leadership in the community, yet people still vote the incumbents in. Too many "blind" voters who just vote with the status quo. I heard one Gross supporter on another blog saying how she has done her best to revitalize the area. I wonder what their definition of 'best' is. I told him how one obvious way to revitalize the area is to make it more visually appealing. A big way is to clear day-laborers lining the streets. All the loitering affects the businesses in the area. Our leadership can help revitalize the area by considering this issue.
PC Motorhed March 22, 2012 at 02:32 PM
The real solution to day-laborers is to go to the source and stop those hiring them. That's not an easy issue. As long that it's an attractive way to get a job is to hang out along Little River Turnpike, this will not change. You can provide them a place to go to but where will that be and how will that be enforced. There's no easy solution unless there's a law against hiring them is the only way you'll stop the loitering.
Tim Kauffman March 22, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I just emailed the property owner and Penny Gross. My subject line was: Not another drug store! Would make a good hashtag for a Twitter campaign!
diane cairns March 26, 2012 at 02:58 AM
THREE CHEFS_remember them? they were once in the same spot as Fuddruckers! we need good american restaurants in Annandale! Boycott Walgreens! I think the Bloom space would be great for FUdds!
J.M March 30, 2012 at 06:38 PM
i worked in that building when it was Three Chefs Restaurant , will be sad seeing a great building torn down for some new eyesore.
KP April 08, 2012 at 06:11 AM
I think the old Roomstore location would be perfect.
PorterJervis April 09, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Maybe its not in the same league, but Silverado is a great family restaurant and is very busy most evenings. I have no problem with Fuddruckers, but don't forget the locally owned folks at Silverado.
CD April 09, 2012 at 01:46 PM
To:PorterJervis: I love Silverado's but if your kids are loud you do not feel as comfortable as you do at Fuddruckers. I love that Silverado's does give my kids balloons but life with young kids is less stressful at Fuddruckers.
PorterJervis April 09, 2012 at 06:33 PM
CD Agreed. Fudd is much more kid friendly.
John Kazaklis April 10, 2012 at 04:34 AM
I lived in Annandale all my life until I went away to college. I don't think there is really any other place like Fuddruckers in Annandale that has been a cornerstone to family and social life. You will hear and read of countless stories of people having childhood and family memories at Fuddruckers. It was literally the place to go with your soccer team after your ABGC season was over. It was the place to go to after church on Sundays. It was the place to go to on any night with the family. It was the best place to get a milkshake. It was the best place to run into old friends. There's no place like Annandale's Fuddruckers. One can go to any suburb, city, or town to find a Walgreens, but one will never find a place like Fuddruckers. Hope they still decide to keep it where it's been for almost 25 years.
HT April 10, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I am saddened by the news of Annandale's Fuddrucker's closing. This restaurant represented more than just burgers, salads and video games. It was the also the platform for fostering relationships and strengthening familial bonds; all done over great food in a warm atmosphere. I would doubt that a Walgreens could ever offer the same type of welcoming experience and somehow the smell the makeup and medication just doesn't compare to the that of baking rolls or hot chocolate chips cookies. Farewell, old friend! You will be missed.
Michelle Herrera April 10, 2012 at 05:14 PM
GREAT Idea! Oh I hope they will consider that!
Michelle Herrera April 10, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I hope that Walgreens offers the employees of Fuddruckers an opportunity to work with them. It would be sad to see the Fudds workers just put out on the street. I'm craving a Fuddrucker's burger now. Yum!
Sherell Williams (Editor) April 13, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Great to see the discussion still going strong here. Thank you all again! I just spoke with Toni Niece and she confirmed that Fuddruckers will close on Sunday, April 29.
Alexandra April 21, 2012 at 01:31 AM
I agree about the blooms location. Fudruckers needs to stay in annadale!! I grew up eating there and it is really the last family resturant in annandale. I hope they consider everyonea thoughts and keep fuddruckers in annandale.
Terrence Dankel April 22, 2012 at 04:22 AM
Why promote brick and mortor retail as more purchasing is conducted on-line? How many pharmacies does Annandale need? If telecommuting increases, less folks will be forced to wait while traffic chokes through 236...so why continue to promote that type of retail there
Ken May 06, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I'm a long time resident of Annandale, and a long time patron of Fuddruckers. My family and I miss it already. I consider their burgers to be the best in the gourmet burger business for your money. They are far superior to Five Guys, Red Robin, etc. What is especially galling is that Fudd's was one of the last American joints in town. Annandale's great if you want Korean, okay if you like Latino, and a non-entity for anything else. Let's face it, Annandale is not really an American town anymore, and it is not a place to consider moving into if that's the kind of place you want to live. My son and I pulled up into Fudd's parking lot the other day hoping for one more last hurrah there, but we were too late. Four cars pulled in right behind us. "It's closed?" one guy asked, "Where can I go around here for a good burger?" I went over his options now. He said he'd just moved into the area from Vienna, and I wondered why he would have done that. Further, I'm amazed that Walgreens would think this a place for a pharmacy, especially considering the fate of the Annandale Rite-Aid. I'm not inspired to go there. Already got to pass two pharmacies to get there.
Grant June 18, 2012 at 09:09 PM
The Bloom space is being taken by a Korean Nightclub
long nguyen June 28, 2012 at 03:29 AM
i have been going there since forever i totally going to miss it to bad we cant just go over there and protest
long nguyen June 28, 2012 at 03:32 AM
too bad we cant just march up there and protest
PatC June 29, 2012 at 01:44 AM
There's not much you can now that Walgreens already owns the property now. Protesting would be pointless.
Karen Margaret Fleming October 19, 2012 at 06:26 PM
I verry disappointed in wha they have done, Wallgreens hasn't done anything the empty fudruckers is still standing there looking deserted and deperssing remind me of I am missing. I wish Walgreens would make up its mind and start something. Karen Fleming

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