Andy Ghuzlan, the restauranteur who’s established long-successful dining establishments in Leesburg and Lovettsville, purchased a nearly three-acre parcel in Hillsboro with plans to open another Mediterranean-style family restaurant called The Garden in the Gap.
The property, which includes a home built in 1800, is next door to the Stoneybrook Farm & Market, and just across the street from the town’s Old Stone School on Charlestown Pike.
Ghuzlan, known for his Andy’s restaurants in Leesburg and Lovettsville, intends to renovate the house, but will also build a dining barn and large outdoor patio area. His goal, he said, is to become “the go-to restaurant for outside, scenic dining.”
Ghuzlan, 56, a 28-year resident of Loudoun County, is an avid gardener. He plans an extensive series of gardens at the new location, both for the restaurant’s food and for aesthetic purposes.
He and his team have already begun repairing and renovating the property’s centuries-old spring house, an iconic landmark to locals. It was nearly destroyed by a tree that crashed on top of it during a summer storm in 2014. Ghuzlan and his workers are clearing and cleaning up the site, as well as stacking the stones and bricks to reassemble the spring house to its original condition.
“Hillsboro is a beautiful location, with stunning mountain views and a peaceful, rural landscape. I think it will be the perfect place to bring a family for an outdoor dining experience,” Ghuzlan said. “I’ll honor and respect this beauty, as well as the history and tradition of the town.”
Ghuzlan’s plans are subject to approval by zoning and regulatory processes managed by Hillsboro’s Town Council. But Mayor Roger Vance said he doesn’t foresee any “significant issues” with the process, noting the town is small, relatively quick with decision making, and encouraging of new businesses. He does think public hearings are likely, though.
“It’s not a very arduous process,” Vance said.
Vance added that, just as important, a significant infrastructure project will soon get underway that will provide major improvements to the town’s roads, sewers, and public water system. He believes these projects, which the town is trying to bundle together to lower costs and increase efficiency, are essential to attracting and keeping businesses in Hillsboro. If all goes according to plan, he said the work will be done by June 2020.
In that sense Vance is encouraged by Ghuzlan’s decision to pursue a business before that disruptive work is completed.
“Andy will be like a pioneer in that sense,” Vance laughed.
The mayor also noted Ghuzlan’s solid reputation throughout Loudoun County.
“Andy comes to town with a strong track record of being community oriented. His willingness to renovate the town’s landmark spring house on the property demonstrates that,” Vance said. “He also understands how important it is to our citizens that we maintain the historical integrity of the town. We’ve not had any alterations to our community in over a century. And some of our buildings are two centuries old, so the appearance of Hillsboro’s homes and buildings is tantamount to them.”
Ghuzlan has not announced an anticipated opening date yet, citing the town’s need to first approve his plans. From there, he admits he still has a lot of work ahead of him.
“We’ll move forward once the town has had a chance to review and approve my plans,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of work to get the property exactly where I want it, but it will be a true labor of love.”