A ‘Big Ten’ sports bistro coming to Village at Leesburg

LTM - TenSpotTen Spot sports bistro will open in Village at Leesburg next March. Times-Mirror/Christie Boyden

A new eatery is coming to the Village at Leesburg. Ten Spot Kitchen & Tap, an American bistro hoping to blend in the energy of a sports pub, will open in March 2016 next to Travinia Italian Kitchen and Wine Bar.

“I was looking for an awesome sports bar to watch Big Ten games but wasn’t thrilled with the ambiance or food options,” owner Melia Wilder said. “I wanted to open a restaurant that filled the gaps I saw and serve a growing community of sports fans.”

A native of Ohio and Ohio State alumnae, Wilder now calls Northern Virginia home. After considering other areas closer in to D.C., Wilder saw the Village at Leesburg as a better fit.

“There is a strong presence of Big Ten alumni and fans in our area,” Wilder said in a statement. “I also notice a presence of local school spirit, and the trend of eating cleaner and healthier. Ten Spot is bringing all of those interests to life in one destination.”

With her husband Van, a 20-year veteran of Anheuser-Busch, by her side, Wilder wants Ten Spot to change the stereotype of a sports bar with fewer beer signs on the wall and fresh food.

The first restaurant Wilder will wholly own, Ten Spot will source its food both locally and from regions in the Midwest where many of the Big Ten schools are located, including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ohio.

“We’re putting food first instead of sports first and pulling the common thread of the Big Ten conference through with food and drink sourced from those regions,’’ Wilder said.

While Ten Spot’s cleaner, fresher menu will still include the guilty pleasures associated with watching college sports, Wilder plans to stay away from high-processed, genetically modified foods.

“We’re not claiming to be healthy and organic, but we want to have the best clean, fresh, ingredients possible,” Wilder said.

Ten Spot is also re-envisioning the interior decor of a sports bar. With a design philosophy focused on re-purpose, restyle, and restore, Wilder is sourcing fixtures from Loudoun County to find rustic and chic items like reclaimed lumber and century-old fixtures like fireplaces and antiques.

“We won’t be the sports bar with memorabilia plastered on the walls,” Wilder said. “By re-purposing materials, we’re trying to minimize our footprint while also giving the place a vintage, hip feel.”

Ten Spot replaces Thai restaurant Faang, which closed in early 2014, and joins several nearby restaurants like Smokehouse Live!, BurgerFi, King Pinz and Firebirds.

Article published by the Loudoun Times-Mirror >>

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