Fight Back Against Mold Illness with Help from Proactive Wellness Centers

CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment in Merrifield, VA

Experiencing mold toxicity is a terrifying thought for most people. Although it may seem like an interesting concept for a medical drama, nobody wants to experience the effects of mold exposure firsthand.

Mold is a fungus that thrives in wet environments, such as under tiles, wood floors, and ceilings, pipes, and roofs. While several types of mold exist, some are more hazardous than others, and some individuals may be allergic or sensitive to mycotoxins, the toxins that mold naturally produces. Exposure to excessive amounts of mold, or the types of mold that trigger health problems, can lead to mold toxicity and even CIRS - Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome. This acute and chronic systemic inflammatory response syndrome is typically acquired after exposure to mold or other producers of biotoxins, usually from damaged water buildings.

If you believe that you're suffering from mold toxicity or mold illness, it can seem like the world is folding in on you. No matter what you do, your symptoms persist, lowering your quality of life and eliminating your peace of mind. Fortunately, there is reason to be hopeful: Proactive Wellness Centers now offers a research-backed, highly effective mold illness poisoning treatment in Merrifield, VA for men and women just like yourself and your children as well if they have been impacted.

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CIRS and Mold Toxicity

CIRS and mold illness are on the rise, and accurate diagnosis of the issue plays a major role in this trend. Thanks to Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, there is a huge body of evidence that covers diagnosing and treating patients with CIRS. Dr. Lawson is one of less than 30 practitioners in the United States that are fully certified by Dr. Shoemaker for diagnosing and treating CIRS. The body of evidence by Shoemaker and many associates is the largest body of scientific evidence that is published in major medical journals. Around 80% of CIRS/Mold cases are caused by indoor air contaminated with mold toxins and other triggers. However, it's important to note that CIRS can also be caused by biotoxin producers such as cyanobacteria and a marine dinoflagellate that produces the Ciguatera toxin found in certain types of fish.

When mold or biotoxins are not processed effectively, a series of biochemical changes known as the Biotoxin Pathway occur. Genetic studies have revealed that approximately 24% of individuals have a genetic makeup that makes them susceptible to developing an illness related to mold or biotoxins. The remaining 76% of the population can typically eliminate these toxins from their system and avoid the development of the Biotoxin Pathway that can lead to various diseases.

CIRS Treatment In Merrifield Merrifield, VA

CIRS and Mold Poisoning Misdiagnosis

CIRS and mold exposure symptoms overlap with many other chronic illnesses, which makes diagnosis challenging and can even lead to missed diagnosis of CIRS. Based on research from Proactive Wellness Centers, CIRS is frequently misdiagnosed. Some of the most common misdiagnoses include:

  • Lupus
  • Chronic Pain Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • PTSD
  • More

Lyme disease, in particular, is often misdiagnosed. We have treated a number of patients whose symptoms were in line with Lyme disease. Fortunately, we were able to confirm the presence of CIRS and mold and were able to successfully help those patients using CIRS treatment in Merrifield, VA.

Note that many of these patients have CIRS and Lyme disease and in that case, it is necessary to treat both in order for full recovery. Treating one or the other will invariably leave the patient with debilitating symptoms and even more frustration with their medical team. At Proactive Wellness Centers, we are skilled In diagnosing and treating both.

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 CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment In Merrifield Merrifield, VA

CIRS and Mold Poisoning Symptoms

If you're reading this page, chances are you're concerned that you might have CIRS or some form of mold poisoning. You may be wondering what you have - is it CIRS, or is it something else like Lyme disease? We can't provide the answer to that question without consultation and testing at our wellness center in Virginia. However, there are common symptoms of CIRS and mold toxicity you should know.

Some of the most common symptoms of CIRS include:

  • Fatigue
  • Decreased Word Finding
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty Concentrating
  • Morning Stiffness
  • Tremors
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Tingling
  • Night Sweats
  • Frequent Urination
  • Confusion
  • Mood Swings

Proactive Wellness Centers'

Tools for Diagnosing Mold Sickness and CIRS

Identifying and confirming if a patient is being impacted by CIRS and identifying the cause and source of the biotoxin are the two main steps in diagnosing CIRS and Mold Exposure. To diagnose CIRS and Mold Exposure, the following diagnostic tools are commonly used:

To learn more about the debilitating symptoms of mold sickness and to find out whether you have CIRS or something else, contact Proactive Wellness Centers. Our team of medical professionals is here to help you every step of the way.

 VA Merrifield, VA

Hope for Patients with CIRS: Proactive Wellness Centers' Mold Illness Treatment in Merrifield, VA

Our approach to treating CIRS utilizes integrative and functional medicine, The Shoemaker Protocol along with the latest evidence-based approaches to treating mold illness and the related secondary issues that it causes. We begin by utilizing advanced diagnostics to confirm the presence of the condition and identify the specific environment causing continued exposure to biotoxins. Next, we take a stepwise approach to halt the progression of the disease, eliminate biotoxins from the body, and reverse any damage to cellular structures. Our goal is to help patients achieve a full recovery.

To do this, we not only have to identify the primary condition like CIRS or Lyme disease, but we then have to continue looking to see if you have any of the common secondary conditions like reactivated EBV, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome (MCAS), and others. Once we understand the totally of your condition, then we can implement a treatment plan tailored for you. Yes, it will leverage the Shoemaker protocol, but we have found that we have to extend the protocol to cover the secondary issues that we uncover.

The steps we follow to reach that goal include:

In order to initiate the recovery process, it is important to address and resolve any affected areas, or, alternatively, relocate the patient from that environment if necessary. Prolonged exposure to mold can hinder the success of the treatment plan and impede the healing process.

Two commonly used binding agents in the process of treating Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome are Welchol and Cholestyramine. Cholestyramine is particularly effective in binding biotoxins that are processed in the liver's bile ducts and helps to eliminate them from the body. It has been scientifically proven, through placebo-controlled studies, to reverse multiple aspects of the inflammatory process associated with CIRS.

Many individuals experiencing mold sickness and other chronic inflammatory illnesses may have a staph infection called MARCoNS (Multiple Antibiotic Resistant Coagulase Negative Staphylococci) residing deep in their nasal cavities. This infection is resistant to antibiotics and needs to be eliminated for the patient to fully recover.

Each patient requires a customized plan based on the affected areas and CIRS severity. Retesting is necessary after each step to confirm balance restoration. Testing may include some or all of the following:
  • VIP
  • TGF Beta 1
  • MMP9
  • ADH
  • Antigliadin
  • Androgen Imbalance
  • C4a
  • More

In order to halt the growth of mold fungi, patients need to avoid foods that can cause mycotoxins. Some examples of these foods include:
  • Barley
  • Cottonseed
  • Peanuts
  • Corn
  • Black Pepper
  • Figs
  • Rice
  • Bread
  • Beans
  • More
Proactive Wellness has a proven track record of treating patients who have experienced severe health issues without any clear explanation. Unlike other "syndromes," our diagnosis process involves specific tests to confirm a diagnosis rather than simply ruling out other diseases.
 CIRS Mold Poisoning Treatment In Merrifield Merrifield, VA

Fibromyalgia, Lupus, Chronic Fatigue, and Chronic Pain Syndrome are examples of illnesses that are often diagnosed without such confirmatory tests. If you are experiencing unexplained health issues or have been exposed to water-damaged buildings, it is possible that you are suffering from CIRS or a mold illness.

The good news is that we can diagnose and address this disease with a mold illness treatment program in Merrifield, VA tailored to your body and your symptoms. That way, we can help you regain your health as soon as possible.

Be Wary of These

5 Symptoms of Mold Exposure

Mold spores can easily be brought into your home on your shoes or clothing or through open windows or doors. If these spores can find a warm, damp, humid environment, they can begin to multiply. Soon, your home can be filled with toxic mold. If you think mold has invaded your home or another environment, like in an office or warehouse, it's important for you to know about the symptoms.

Unfortunately, diagnosing mold issues can be exceptionally difficult. But why? The answer can be quite frustrating.

Understanding the Difficulty of Diagnosing Mold Symptoms

Many doctors fail to recognize the impact of mycotoxins emitted by certain indoor mold species, which can lead to chemical and inflammatory reactions. While conventional medicine acknowledges that mold can cause allergies, it may overlook this crucial aspect of mold-related health issues.

This can happen for several reasons:

  • Standardized treatment protocols for mold toxicity are offered mostly by Functional/Integrative physicians as the conventional physicians are not on board despite over 20 years of published research. Due to this issue, patients spend precious months/years going from doctor to doctor in the conventional channel with no answers.
  • Though ERMI testing has been accepted in the integrative/functional medical community, there isn't a "gold standard" in mold testing that is universally accepted.
  • Mold symptoms can manifest in vastly different ways depending on the patient.
VA Merrifield, VA

After understanding the points above, it's no wonder that mold poisoning can be hard to diagnose. Fortunately, integrative and functional holistic medicine providers and wellness centers like Proactive Wellness are flipping the proverbial script. Unlike traditional clinics, our team considers environmental factors that can affect patient health and has advanced training to provide mold poisoning treatment in Merrifield, VA.

Now that you understand why mold symptoms are so hard to diagnose let's take a closer look at five of the most common indicators of mold sickness.

 Mold Toxicity Symptoms Merrifield, VA


Fatigue is probably the number one symptom of well over 90% of CIRS patients. The level of fatigue varies from 5 on a 10 point scale all the way to 10 on a 10 point scale. Many patients can no longer work or remain productive as in the worst cases, the fatigue is overwhelming. College students living in moldy dorms frequently have to drop out of school until the illness is treated effectively. Older adults have to retire or stop working due the fatigue. If you have overwhelming fatigue, CIRS may be a major contributor to your illness.

 Mold Poisoning Symtoms Merrifield, VA

Breathing Problems

Exposure to mold can cause a host of respiratory problems, such as breathing difficulties, allergies, and asthma, especially in individuals with a weakened immune system. Mold can worsen asthma, irritate the nasal passages, lungs, and throat, and lead to symptoms such as wheezing, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and nasal congestion. Other health issues such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis, sinus congestion, allergic rhinitis, asthma, and allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis have also been associated with mold sickness.

 Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Treatment Merrifield, VA

Sadness and Depression

Mold can cause a variety of illnesses that can show up in different ways, such as psychological symptoms like anxiety, depression, insomnia, concentration problems, and memory loss. It has been reported that nearly 40% of people who live in moldy homes experience depression. Researchers suggest that exposure to toxic mold and dealing with the physical symptoms of mold illness can contribute to mental health issues.

Due to this phenomenon, many mold patients are given antidepressant medications in the conventional channels.

 Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome Symptoms Merrifield, VA

Feeling "Pins and Needles"

Numbness, twitching, or tingling in the extremities, such as hands, feet, legs, and arms, is another symptom of mold illness. The sensation is similar to pins and needles, which are often felt when the body is held in an uncomfortable position for a long time. While this sensation can indicate serious nerve damage or disease, it can also be a symptom of mold sickness.

CIRS Treatment In Merrifield Merrifield, VA

Digestion Problems and Disorders

When exposed to mold, individuals may experience various digestive problems. Some may lose their appetite, leading to unintentional weight loss. Others may suffer from stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Furthermore, the influx of mold spores may trigger systemic inflammation, causing bloating and weight gain due to the digestive system's exposure to harmful mold.

Top Tips for

Controlling Mold in Your Environment

It's not possible to completely eliminate all mold and mold spores from your home or place of work. However, since mold spores need moisture to grow, the best way to prevent or get rid of growth is to reduce the moisture in your environment. If you already have mold growing there, it's important to clean it up and address the issue causing dampness. If you only clean up the mold and don't address the underlying problem, the mold is likely to return.

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture throughout your home or office:

  • Use A/C or Dehumidifiers. This is especially important if you live in a hot, humid area of the United States.
  • Ensure A/C drip pans are clean, dry, and obstruction-free.
  • Thoroughly dry areas that are damp or wet within 48 hours.
  • Be sure to install insulation in cold areas like your home's exterior walls and windows. Doing so will reduce condensation.
  • Work with an HVAC company to check your HVAC system. Doing so can help ensure your unit is removing as much humidity as possible.
  • Keep the humidity in your home below 60% whenever possible.
 CIRS Mold Toxicity Treatment In Merrifield Merrifield, VA
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Here are some tips to help reduce moisture in your kitchen:

  • Check for leaks near your ice makers, sinks, and anywhere else water is present.
  • Make sure your exhaust fans are directing moisture outside, not into your attic.
  • If you notice your appliances are causing moisture on windows and other surfaces, turn them off as soon as you're done using them.

Here are some tips to help reduce moisture in crawlspaces:

  • Use a plastic covering on the dirt in your crawlspace. Doing so will prevent moisture from saturating the ground.
  • Ensure that your crawlspace or basement is ventilated well.
  • Check your home's gutters. Make sure they're directing water away from your property, not toward your foundation or crawlspace.

Your Top Choice for

Mold Toxicity Treatment in Merrifield, VA

Trying to "tough it out" through life with CIRS isn't any way to live. If you're suffering from the effects of biotoxin illness, you should know that there are solutions available to help you reclaim your health and your life. With the help of a can-do attitude, healthy living, and mold illness treatment from Proactive Wellness, there's light at the end of the dark tunnel you're trapped within. Contact our office today to get started on your first step toward recovery!

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Latest News in Merrifield, VA

Affordable Housing Converted From Office Planned Near Mosaic District

A former Inova office building near the Mosaic District is slated to become an affordable housing apartment community.MERRIFIELD, VA — As Fairfax County works toward a goal of adding 10,000 affordable housing units by 2034, an office-to-housing conversion is planned near the Mosaic District.Last week, the Fairfax County Board of Su...

A former Inova office building near the Mosaic District is slated to become an affordable housing apartment community.

MERRIFIELD, VA — As Fairfax County works toward a goal of adding 10,000 affordable housing units by 2034, an office-to-housing conversion is planned near the Mosaic District.

Last week, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved up to $8 million of the county's American Rescue Plan Act funds for 2990 Telestar Court, Falls Church, VA. The location, which was home to an Inova office building, will be acquired from Inova Health Care Services with the funds to help develop 80 affordable housing units.

The apartment community would be targeted toward households making between 30 percent and 80 percent of the Area Median Income. For a one-person household, the 80 percent Area Median Income limit is $66,750. For a family of four, the limit is $95,300.

"We believe that people should be able to live in their community of choice, so we are constantly seeking out innovative strategies to create and preserve affordable housing across Fairfax," said Lenore Stanton, chairman of the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority. "Purchasing unused office space in the Mosaic area and converting it into affordable housing will enable individuals and families with lower-income levels to access this highly desirable community."

The project would be a collaboration between the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority and Merrifield Housing, a developer team of Conifer Realty and Joseph Browne Development Associates. Merrifield Housing is seeking Virginia Housing for Housing Opportunity Tax Credits for the project. Once development and funding details are confirmed, the Fairfax County Redevelopment and Housing Authority will acquire the site and lease it to Merrifield Housing to develop and operate affordable housing.

Find out what's happening in Falls Churchwith free, real-time updates from Patch.

Amenities at the site will include a gym, laundry rooms, community space, public park space, and a location near bus routes and the Dunn Loring Metro Station.

Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and take 14 months, according to the housing authority.

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Your Guide to Mosaic District, Merrifield’s Trendy Town Center

The shopping center is full of lifestyle stores, community spaces, and modern dining.In stark contrast with the industrial sight of the highways and strip malls that surround it, Merrifield’s Mosaic District is trendy, walkable, and welcoming. For years, the mixed-use development from Edens has served as a shopping and dining destination, conveniently located between ...

The shopping center is full of lifestyle stores, community spaces, and modern dining.

In stark contrast with the industrial sight of the highways and strip malls that surround it, Merrifield’s Mosaic District is trendy, walkable, and welcoming. For years, the mixed-use development from Edens has served as a shopping and dining destination, conveniently located between Fairfax City and Falls Church. Here’s what you should know about the area.

It’s a shopping center, but there’s also an abundance of community spaces that foster a sense of community and make the area feel more akin to a bustling city center. The central point of the area is a 2-acre green space, most often filled with people picnicking, kids playing, and dogs frolicking. The park is lined with a row of restaurants and flanked by a Target on one corner and an arthouse film center on the other.

As you make your way down District Avenue, which runs perpendicular to the park and holds most of the other dining and shopping locations, you’ll run into plenty of spaces to stop, sit, and chat – there are benches distributed throughout each block and circles of Adirondack chairs arranged on street corners. There’s even an outdoor community co-working space with Wi-Fi and tables, where people can set up to study or work.

The stores themselves lean toward luxury, lifestyle brands. There are high-end clothing shops, home and décor retailers, and an assortment of specialty boutiques. The restaurants are trendy and fun–nearly all of them have outdoor seating, decked out with colorful umbrellas or string lights. And you can even enjoy a cocktail as you shop (within the designated boundaries of the shopping district), thanks to Mosaic’s Sip & Stroll initiative.

On Sundays, FRESHFARM Mosaic Market takes over the district, and vendors sell fresh produce, baked goods, and beverages.

Mosaic is not just a place to shop: It’s a place to gather, to chat, and to peruse the newest fashion trends while you push a toddler (or a puppy) in a stroller with one hand and sip a green juice in the other.

A full directory of the shops, restaurants, and other amenities is on the Mosaic District’s website. To get you started, here’s a sampling of the shopping, dining, and entertainment to be found.

Angelika Film Center Catch a movie at the Angelika, a boutique cinema that features independent and foreign films as well as blockbusters.

Anthropologie This lifestyle store, a brand within URBN, has a distinct style – think an elevated take on bohemian aesthetics – which shows through in its selection of clothing, accessories, and eclectic home décor.

Bloomie’sAs the smaller, more curated offshoot of Bloomingdale’s, this miniature department store offers a more intimate version of designer stores. Collections of designer apparel and accessories are clustered together in small displays that show off the latest season’s styles.

Lather This shop sells natural soaps, lotions, and other skin care products that are free of parabens, sulfates, synthetic fragrance or colors, and more. Products are conveniently color-coded to indicate if they’re for face, body, or hair, or are wellness products.

Madewell The store has clothing and accessories in both men’s and women’s styles in classic, “unfussy” styles. The centerpiece of the store is the “Denim Bar.” It lays out all the different styles and fits of jeans. This is one of only two in the Northern Virginia area; the other is in Tysons Corner Center.

Swirl & Sip Swirl & Sip is a boutique wine shop, offering rows and rows of different types of wine. A wall of shelves spanning the full length of the store holds bottles of different variants and from different regions. There’s also cheese, charcuterie meat, and spreads that would pair well with a glass.

Tecovas It’s leather and suede as far as the eye can see in this Western-focused specialty apparel store. It carries men’s and women’s apparel; leather bags, belts, and wallets; and, of course, boots, boots, and more boots.

West Elm This is one of just two NoVA locations of the luxury home furnishings store (the other is in Alexandria.) Design experts will walk you through the store to help pick out the furniture and décor that will work with your space.

Colada Shop The only Virginia location of DC’s casual Cuban café, the Colada shop is conveniently located right next to Bloomie’s, attached by a connecting door. Taste classics like a Cuban sandwich or empanadas, coffee and pastries, or try out one of the signature cocktails.

Mom & Pop Directly at the foot of the green space, this coffee and gelato shop is small but mighty. It’s an offshoot of Dolcezza (which also has a storefront in Mosaic) that serves classic espresso drinks, prepackaged sandwiches, and has a freezer with pints of gelato.

Our Mom Eugenia This authentic Greek restaurant, which was named in Northern Virginia Magazine’s 2022 Best Restaurants list, is known for its traditional Greek cooking and Mediterranean atmosphere.

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Merrifield restaurant named among top 5 newcomers to D.C. area’s dining scene by Washington Post

Some of the D.C. region’s hottest new restaurants can be found right in Fairfax County, according to the Washington Post’s recently released spring dining guide.Restaurants in the county claimed four spots on longtime food critic Tom Sietsema’s round-up of his favorite newcomers to the regional dining scene — more than any locality other than the District itself.Leading the pack ...

Some of the D.C. region’s hottest new restaurants can be found right in Fairfax County, according to the Washington Post’s recently released spring dining guide.

Restaurants in the county claimed four spots on longtime food critic Tom Sietsema’s round-up of his favorite newcomers to the regional dining scene — more than any locality other than the District itself.

Leading the pack is Kirby Club, the eastern Mediterranean restaurant that launched in the Mosaic District late last year. The new concept from the restauranteurs behind D.C.’s Compass Rose and Maydān ranked no. 3 on Sietsema’s list, which highlights 25 eateries where he would “be happy to go on my own dollar.”

ICYMI: @tomsietsema has named Kirby Club as Number 3 in the @washingtonpost Spring Dining Guide!

Read what sets Kirby Club apart:

Tag a friend who needs to try their signature kebabs and dips this summer.

: @mariahmirandaphoto

— Mosaic (@mosaicdistrict) May 19, 2023

Opened on Dec. 20, 2022, Kirby Club drew praise for its “always sunny” atmosphere and menu of kebabs and dips, which Sietsema says remain “luscious” even though original chef Omar Hegazi has returned to his home base in New York.

He also highlighted the restaurant’s offerings of both share-able platters and plates fit for one:

Non-sharers will rejoice over the plates for one, featuring a variety of kebabs — chicken, lamb, oyster (mushroom) — that feel like a feast given the fluffy yellow rice, sumac-spiked onions and bright salad that accompany them. “Picnic platters” are a throwback to Previte’s childhood memories of Labor Day spreads with the Kirby Club, a Lebanese social group her maternal grandparents helped found in 1933 in Akron, Ohio. My ongoing fascination is the whole roast chicken, massaged with garlic, turmeric and oil and presented on a raft of flatbread with the aforementioned rice and salad, but also crinkle-cut fries sprinkled with za’atar and a rainbow of sauces.

After initially opening with evening hours only, Kirby Club has expanded its operations to include lunch and to-go options. A second location is in the works in Clarendon.

“We love being a part of the vibrant Fairfax County community and welcoming in so many local friends and family to Kirby Club in the Mosaic District every day,” Kirby Club owner Rose Previte said. “It’s wonderful to have the Washington Post celebrating so many restaurants we know and love.”

Unranked after the top five, the guide also gives some love to Ingle Korean Steakhouse and Jiwa Singapura, signaling that Tysons may at last be breaking free of its reputation as purely an American-steak-and-business kind of town.

Ingle Korean Steakhouse at Pike 7 Plaza instantly won the Post’s food critic over with elegant decor, attentive servers, “distinctive cocktails” and “delicious dips” for its array of grilled meats and seafood.

For Jiwa Singapura, which opened on Feb. 15 in Tysons Galleria, Sietsema emphasizes the luxuriousness of the food and the setting, which he says suggests “a fine-dining lair.” He points to the salted egg shrimp, chicken rice and chili crab as menu highlights, though the “beef rendang isn’t worth the 30-minute wait.”

Moving outside the Tysons area — and price range — Sari Filipino Kusina rounds out the Fairfax County entries in the guide. Sietsema says the fast-casual Filipino restaurant in Annandale stands out for the “haunting” flavors of dishes like kare kare stew and smoked chicken wings glazed with adobo, which draw on co-owner and chef Paolo Dungca’s childhood in Manila.

Four Sisters to Permanently Close Flagship Location in Mosaic This Sunday

Huong Que opened at Eden Center in 1993. Don’t remember it? That may be because it moved to Mosaic District in 2008 under a different name: Four Sisters.Tim Carman of The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the 30-year-old business will close permanently this Sunday after a Mother’s Day sw...

Huong Que opened at Eden Center in 1993. Don’t remember it? That may be because it moved to Mosaic District in 2008 under a different name: Four Sisters.

Tim Carman of The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the 30-year-old business will close permanently this Sunday after a Mother’s Day swan song.

Two sisters, Lieu Lai-Williams and Le Lai, have owned the business since 2014. Their mother, Thanh Tran, founded the Vietnamese restaurant along with her husband Kim Lai and created the recipes that have made the restaurant a NoVA favorite until the end.

The Lai sisters say that a number of factors led to the decision not to continue with the family business at the end of the lease. Those included an impending increase to the rent, inflation, labor shortages, and Lieu’s desire to spend more time with her school-aged children.

“I feel like we have succeeded. We have made our mark. I’m ready for the next chapter, whatever that may be,” she told Carman.

Before the final meal on Sunday, diners will have the opportunity to enjoy the dishes that have made Four Sisters so treasured across the decades. Pho — simmered with beef or chicken stock — is the mainstay, but the restaurant has other, harder to find noodle soups, such as shrimp-filled hu tieus that are fan favorites. Additional menu highlights include clay pot dishes, such as fish that sizzles and caramelizes at the table and pork short ribs in black pepper sauce.

The Lai family won’t leave the restaurant business entirely. In Ashburn, 4 Sisters Asian Snack Bar, run by youngest son Thuan Lai, serves banh mi and vermicelli bowls alongside bubble tea. Ly Lai, the eldest sister, and her husband own Four Sisters Grill in Clarendon, where diners can get the family’s famous pho and appetizers such as papaya salad. The rich history of one of NoVA’s great restaurant families will live on.

Feature image courtesy of Four Sisters

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All-you-can-eat Korean BBQ coming to Merrifield from Centreville’s Meat Project

Centreville’s Meat Project is preparing to fire up a grill at Halstead Square in Merrifield.The all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant is expanding for the first time to The Lofts apartment building at 2727 Merrilee Drive, where it has leased a 3,456-square-foot, ground-floor space, per a site plan from retail broker Rosenthal Properties.Co...

Centreville’s Meat Project is preparing to fire up a grill at Halstead Square in Merrifield.

The all-you-can-eat Korean barbecue restaurant is expanding for the first time to The Lofts apartment building at 2727 Merrilee Drive, where it has leased a 3,456-square-foot, ground-floor space, per a site plan from retail broker Rosenthal Properties.

Construction has begun on the new location, Meat Project owner Sam Kim says. The business is aiming to open in early December.

“We are an all-you-can-eat, Korean meat-focused place,” Kim told FFXnow. “There’s places that have a la carte, there’s places that have different Korean food, but for us, it’s more so that people can try different things when they just pay per person. It gives them the opportunity to try different things.”

The possibility of expansion wasn’t guaranteed for Meat Project, which opened at 5825 Trinity Parkway in Centreville in July 2020 — right as Virginia was easing restrictions imposed on businesses to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Kim and his mother, Grace, created the restaurant to expand their reach after gaining a foothold in Annandale as the longtime owners of Rainbow Food Catering and Manoa Bakery Cafe, Northern Virginia Magazine reported at the time.

Launching in the middle of the pandemic, pre-vaccinations, “was very hard for us,” Kim says, but after two rocky first years, the business has now settled down.

“Now, we’re getting more regulars. We’re getting more people in, so we felt like now is a good time to expand,” he said.

Located across the street from Lost Dog Cafe in the former Gama Chicken & BBQ space, Meat Project’s Merrifield restaurant is smaller in size than its standalone Centreville location, but the menu and bar will have more items, according to Kim.

In Centreville, the menu features a variety of beef, chicken, pork and seafood options, from staples of Korean barbecue like bulgolgi and galbi (short ribs) to more unusual items like honey butter octopus. The bar will serve “cocktail items and stuff like that,” Kim says.

The restaurant charges a flat $30 per person for all-you-can-eat meals, though kids shorter than 4-and-a-half feet can eat for $20 and kids under 3 feet are free.

Kim says the Merrifield location will likely follow the same operating hours, opening at noon every day and closing at 11 p.m. or midnight.

Korean barbecue options are limited in Merrifield, at least compared to Centreville. Right now, the closest restaurant to Meat Project’s upcoming site is Puzukan Tan in Yorktowne Plaza Shopping Center at 8114 Arlington Blvd.


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