As posted in the McLean Patch: October 24, 2013
Star Nut Gourmet has opened a second McLean location near the Tysons Corner area that features all the original has to offer and a whole lot more.
The restaurant, at the Regency Sport&Health Club, 1800 Old Meadows Road, held a soft opening earlier this month to get a feel for its new customer base.
It's open to the public, not just health club members, and will operate from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. seven days a week. A grand opening celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1, with champagne and finger foods.
"I'm very pleased to be associated with the Sport&Health management," owner Joe Shehadeh told Patch. "They've been terrific, they really have been. And they have been extending a lot of support to me, to my wife and to my staff. We're working nicely together. And we really look forward to a long relationship."
Star Nut Gourmet has been in downtown McLean for about 12 years, nine of those at its current location in the Palladium on Emerson Avenue.
The new location offers everything on the menu at the flagship restaurant and then some. Shehadeh hired an executive chef to create new dinner special menus nightly. A children's menu, game menu — to compliment the wide-screen televisions — and omelet menu have also been added.
"Our new partners at Sport&Health, they saw what we offered, and they liked what they offered, especially the healthy options," Shehadeh said. "And I told them I would duplicate what they saw and add to it."
Before the opening of the new location, Shehadeh set out a suggestion box to ask club members what they would like to see. The vast majority said they wanted what was at the original location, he said, though a number of suggestions also came in for items like french fries, expanded vegetarian and vegan options and power shakes and protein shakes.
"We listened to what they wanted and we've added that in addition to our flagship store…. because that's what the members have asked for," Shehadeh said.
Beer and wine also will be available on tap and in bottles.
Starting Nov. 1, Star Nut Gourmet will begin promoting a happy hour from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. weekdays.
"Regency Sport&Health welcomes the addition of this well-respected local business. We are thrilled to have high quality food offerings that can cater to the health-minded members we serve in McLean," the club's general manager, Bill Makrigiorgos, said in a statement.
The new restaurant is about 2,000 square feet, plus an estimated 1,400-square-foot balcony.
Star Nut Cafe has about 20 employees between its two locations.