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Aug 24, 2008 08:26 AM

Has Four Sisters opened in Merrifield yet?

I've checked the usual Boards, and found nothing definitive about an ETA for door opening. Before I make the trek to Merrifield, I need someone with "eyes on" to confirm that the kitchen is open for business! Thanks!

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  1. I posted information that was reliable as of the end of July.

    Here's what I wrote: "Tonight, my husband and I had dinner at Four Sisters. The manager seated us so we took the opportunity to get some good intelligence. When we asked our question -- THE question -- he grimaced and answered, "September." Then, he went on to say that the hold-up was related to the required inspections. Apparenty, it's very difficult to get on the inspection schedule. The first one, with the fire inspector, is scheduled to take place August 25. Three or four additional inspections must take place after that. None of these can take place until the fire inspection has occurred."

    Anyone who has ever lived through contruction knows that the best predictions for completion are rarely accurate. I'd be surprised if the restaurant were opened by the third week in September, and I wouldn't be the least surprised to learn the restaurant wasn't open by the the end of September.

    1. Drove by yesterday (saturday) and the doors were wide open and there were crews inside working. I couldn't get a really good look, but it certainly wasn't finishing touches. Looked more to me like they were finishing the space, i.e., building out and painting the walls.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Meg

        Thanks for the responses. What is the new address?

        1. re: BigEats

          The address probably isn't relevant unless you want to send them a letter. It's at the corner of Strawberry Lane and The Parking Lot Behind The Building.

          Here's a link to the Google map:

      2. Official and definite: The new Merrifield location will open October 1. Tonight, one of the sisters was walking through the dining room handing out new business cards along with the explanation that tomorrow, Sunday, would be the last meal served in the Eden Center location. That location will go dark and the new restaurant will open October 1.

        The menu will be somewhat shorter at the new location. Apparently, the Eden Center menu inclues over 200 choices. The new menu will include "only" 160 choices.

        We also learned more about Sea Pearl. One of the four sisters is married to a chef who had worked for 20 years in California doing Cal-American (which, by definition, includes a healthy dose of Asian) cuisine. The sister and husband have opened Sea Pearl.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Indy 67

          I walked by the new place one day this past week and there was still plenty of work in progress, but they might make it by October 1.

          Where is Sea Pearl? Is it in the other building of that complex, the one with Chipotle on the corner?

          1. re: MikeR

            Yes, Sea Pearl is in the other building, at the corner facing Gallows Road.

            1. re: dpan

              I've driven by this place plenty of times and it appears DEAD!

              I surfed their website, and almost 1/2 of the items are not SEA related.

              I could barely read the menus because the font was illegible.

              I think the biggest mistake for this restaurant is that they don't offer sushi, and even if they did, 10,000 sq. ft is too large unless you are opening a chinese buffet.

              There's just not enough foot traffic in this deserted area, and I fear this place might close down before the area catches up with the restaurant.

              1. re: Chownut

                The Downtown Merrifield development has been affected by the real estate collapse. I don't think the planned development will materialize for many years, if ever. The developers are now desperately trying to rent out the condos that were built on top of the restaurants. The Chipotle there has pretty good business from what I can see. But there's not enough foot traffic to support all those businesses.

                1. re: dpan

                  I'm sure the 4 sisters crew got a good lease deal because they have 2 restaurants as anchors to this condo complex.

                  Plus, there's nothing going on in that area besides 3 asian grocery stores, 2 gyms, a home depot, industrial stores, and merrifield garden center. It's just not a walkable area.

                  Sure, there's a movie theatre, but they don't have stadium seating and I'm sure they lost most of their business when AMC opened up in Tysons.

                  The owner/chef of Sea Pearl used to be the executive chef of Sequioa, but Sequioa typically got really bad reviews from Tom Sietsema (Wash Post).

                  Even though the nearby KFC is now closed down, it's hard to justify putting a high end priced restaurant there when directly across the street is a silver diner and a texaco.

                  Also, down the street, you have Grievey's, Chevy's, Uno's, Panda, etc clustered together in a restaurant row.

        2. Since no one has mentioned it yet, I'll just note that Tom Sietsema gave Four Sisters three stars on Sunday, which is quite the stellar (LOL) review from him.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Bob W

            The Four Sisters in Eden Center was an excellent restaurant, probably the best in the Center for a real sit-down dinner. If the new version hasn't lost any quality (apparently they've made the menu more mainstream-hip) in the transition, three stars is most likely valid.

          2. Parking may be an issue. We were in the mood for pho today and actually drove there. There's an indoor lot which probably is not free and lots of spaces across the street in the movie theater lot. Having had to pay a tow truck $80 cash once just for them to release my car instead of taking it to the pound, I was not going to take the remote chance of getting towed.

            Ended up going down the street to Pho Cyclo for some satisfying pho on this cold day.

            3 Replies
            1. re: ffxjack

              I feel your pain. More than once, I've passed on a place to eat because I either couldn't find a free parking space or was unsure of the parking arrangements.

              I've been to that restaurant strip a few times at lunch time and have always found space in the parking lot on the back side of the building where Four Sisters, Noodles, Pastry Xpo, Cold Stone, are. Not great on a rainy day because you have to either walk to the end of the lot (the 4 Sisters end) to stay on the pavement or walk across the grass. But I've never had a ticket, a tow, or even seen a sign indicating that those spaces were reserved for other businesses.

              When walking aound the building once to see what else was there, I walked through the garage in the building and remember thinking that I could have parked in here. But check the signs.

              1. re: ffxjack

                I've parked in the lot in the building across the street next to the Chipotle. AFAIK it's a free lot and there's always plenty of parking during the day.

                1. re: ffxjack

                  The indoor garage is free. It's free both daytime and nighttime hours (In contrast, the Crystal City lots near the restaurants on 23rd Street are paid lots during business hours and free lots after business hours. ). In fact, there's not a parking attendant booth in existence.

                  Farther downthread, someone wrote about the parking garage garage in the building housing Chipotle; I'm talking about the parking garage in the building that houses Four Sisters.