Talk: Zeynel Abidin Uzun

In this week’s TALK series, McLean Today sits down with Zeynel Abidin Uzun, owner of Kazan restaurant. Since opening its doors in 1980, Kazan has become a Washington institution and is deeply rooted in the McLean community. Still in its original location in downtown McLean, Kazan underwent a major renovation in 1999. The family atmosphere, emphasis on the freshest and finest ingredients, and friendly service have remained constants since the beginning.

Q. What led you to McLean, Virginia from Turkey to open Kazan?

I came to the United States in 1976 as a chef, a Mediterranean cook, for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line in Miami. On the ship I worked, I told people, I just want to open my own restaurant. They recommended this area, with the [U.S.] State Department , the British Agency, people who go to Turkey and enjoy the Turkish food live here. I came to Vienna, Virginia. We opened a Turkish restaurant there. It was a hole in the wall, small place. Now Kazan has been almost 44 years here.  I’m thankful, as I said, I asked all those people, they gave me the right address.

Q. Who taught you how to cook? Your mom, your dad, was it in your family?

My father was a chef. My father’s father was a chef. I went to chef school also. During the day I was working in a restaurant in Istanbul, the famous Topkapi Palace Restaurant, from there I took military service. I guess I loved cooking all my life. I still do. I don’t cook much as I used to but now, after the pandemic, because it’s hard to get workers, I do more and it’s still good.

Q. What’s the most challenging thing about owning a restaurant?

Well, the first thing I can say to you, I would only recommend to open a restaurant to my enemy. I can tell you that much. I love the restaurant but it’s the hardest business in the world. The riskiest business. One day you come in, maybe the cook has some problem and the next day you come in, maybe one of the waiters has an emergency, but you have to open the restaurant. I’m very lucky, I have a daughter and a son. And my son [40] has his own business and my daughter [32] works in a law firm but still they are helping me on the weekend. Sometimes when I need them during the week too. They want to help their dad so they’ll come in and help me out. My daughter wants to be more to be involved in the business side of the restaurant. She wants to open her own restaurant. It’s a tough business to be in.

Q. Does your wife come into the restaurant to help as well?

She does sometimes when we get busy, but my wife loves gardening. We have about 3,000 flowers around the house, in the yard. She plants all these flowers around all the gates and everywhere else. She is obsessed with the flowers and gardening. She loves that, all day long.

Q. I bet you have some loyal customers after all these years.

Some of the people I still have from the day that I open the restaurant. Sometimes people come in the restaurant and they tell their grandsons, I used to come here, I was just like you. They were little kids, they used to come in there, father, mother, dad sitting there, now they say We have the grandkids. They still come unless they move. Then Christmas time or any of the other holidays, people call me from all over the country and they say, Are you still there? We had some people from Hawaii and they call me, people from Alaska, from around the country, Jacksonville, Wyoming, they say: Are you still there? We are going to bring our family, our kids. They are coming back for reunion with family, friends in the area. This area is a very cosmopolitan area. People live here from all over the world and they know about the good food. In the almost 45 years, so many restaurants come and go. I know one thing, as long as you give people good food, consistency, good service, care about your business — people come back. Our business is 95% repeat business.

Q. What’s your favorite dish to eat at the restaurant, what do you suggest for someone new to Kazan?

The Doner Kebab . We make it Wednesdays and Fridays for lunch and Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays for dinner. People always mix it up with the gyro. It’s not a gyro. It’s thinly sliced lamb and veal cooked cooked over a vertical flame and served over pita bread and yogurt sauce or with rice pilaf and topped with a tomato sauce. That’s one of the most famous dishes people love. I love it. Fish wise, we make an excellent fresh swordfish. I never cook frozen fish. We make a very nice fresh swordfish kebab on a skewer, along with green peppers, tomato, onions. We’ve also lately been getting white sea bass from Turkey. It comes over on Turkish Airlines a couple times a week, Turkish Cargo and we cook it on the grill. Sometimes people call and say, Do you have white sea bass or Is it coming? Sometimes people say, Call us when you get it. We have it a couple of times a week.

1969 when Zeynel Abidin Uzun started cooking at Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. 

Q. When you’re not working, what do you like to do?

I like to go to the beach and whenever I get a chance also to, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. They have some nice Roman baths, natural water and it’s so relaxing. There’s some restaurants there I go to. I go the horse back riding. It’s a wonderful place, I can rest for a whole weekend.

Q. We keep hearing about the proposed redevelopment/renovation of the Giant shopping center that you are located in. Do you know what is happening, what is your future there?

I asked the man who owns the shopping center and he said they don’t know yet. They cannot answer to me. So we don’t know. Maybe in a year or so we know. Maybe sooner.  Would you believe that a United States Supreme Court judge comes in in the afternoon at the door and says, Zeynel, I read in the newspaper that something is going on in the shopping center, What can we do for you? That makes you feel good. And all these senators and congressmen and many of the agency people that eat here, they say, Zeynel, We want you to stay in McLean. I said, Whatever the future, that’s destiny. What will be, we don’t know. Still the flag of the Kazan will still fly in the future again.

Gayle Jo Carter is the editor of McLean Today.

Do you know someone in McLean who would make an interesting interview for TALK? Tap us at

Bug Fest

May 27: Bug Fest
Calling all bug enthusiasts! Bug Fest is back and bigger than ever. Have a passion for the creepy-crawly creatures? This event is fun for the whole family and is designed to appeal to learners of all ages who love insects! Bug Fest will feature lots of exciting and creepy bug-themed programs, activities and demonstrations.Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Lewinsville Historic House1659 Chain Bridge Road, McLean

Registration is required ($8 per person)Join an insect safari, explore live insects, observe insect collections, roll logs to find bugs, play in soil stations, go for a bug walk and even make your own bug! You can also use technology to explore the world of insects. For more information, visit the Park Authority activity webpage

Sunrise Senior Living’s new McLean village is now open to residents

Sunrise of McLean Village has officially opened.

Residents began moving into the new senior living community at 1515 Chain Bridge Road this week, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 27, Sunrise Senior Living announced May 10.

The facility can house 122 residents in 61 assisted living residences and 39 units for individuals with memory loss. It is Sunrise’s second community in the McLean area, joining an existing Sunrise of McLean in Odrick’s Corner that also provides short-term stays and hospice coordination.

Located on the edge of downtown McLean, the three-story, nearly 90,000-square-feet facility replaced the McLean Medical Building after the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors turned down Sunrise’s original proposal for a site on Kirby Road in 2017.

From Sunrise’s press release:

The building’s brick façade fits seamlessly into the surrounding area’s historic and traditional feel but brings a unique touch to the area with its large, picture windows and subtle modern design elements. Sunrise of McLean Village’s interiors were designed by Sunrise’s in-house design team that took every detail into account while designing the spaces. Using the natural light from the large windows, the common spaces are bright and stylishly decorated with curated furniture, built specifically for this community. Residents will enjoy the community’s sophisticated air paired with its cozy, home-like feel. A special piece of Sunrise of McLean Village’s design can be found along the interior walls which are lined with works from local artists and creators.

Sunrise of McLean Village offers several intentionally designed amenity spaces to promote activity and engagement throughout the community. These amenities include large common spaces like the dining room and the contemporary bistro, which will feature a bar for entertainment, social hours and events for residents and their families. Additional amenities will include a fitness center, library, two sunrooms, activity room, hair and nail salon and a massage room. A special element of the community is its emphasis on access to outdoor space. These amenities include five covered porches, a large outdoor terrace, two rooftop terraces, and a public-private heritage garden. This area will have sections for public use and a section for residents only. The garden will feature landscaping with native plants, benches as well as accessible walking paths. The community is pet-friendly so residents can look forward to enjoying this area with their own furry friend if they would like.

McLean Art Society: “Spring into Art” Show and Sale

McLean Art Society is thrilled to feature 25+ talented artists of the McLean Art Society at this year’s “Spring Into Art” Show and Sale on May 12–14 at Church of the Covenant in Arlington. With a wide variety of art genres on display —including oil, watercolor, pastel, and acrylic paintings, as well as sculptures, artists’ cards, and more— this show is the perfect place to find a unique and beautifully crafted gift for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day — or that special something to enhance a table, wall, or shelf at home — all while celebrating and supporting local artists.

McLean Art Society was founded in 1955 and continues to draw working artists, hobbyists, beginners, and connoisseurs who value how art can enhance life. The Society offers regular workshops and demonstrations by renowned local artists.

A reception will take place on Friday, May 12th from 5–8 pm, during which awards will be announced by Gavin Glakas, a nationally acclaimed portrait artist who will judge the works on exhibit. This event is free and open to the public.

The times of the show are as follows:

• Friday, May 12th, 5–8 pm (includes awards reception)

• Saturday, May 13th, 10–4 pm

• Sunday, May 14th, 10–2 pm

Location: Church of the Covenant is located at 2666 North Military Road, Arlington VA. To access parking, take the immediate right turn by the Church to go to the lower level leading to Exhibition Hall.InterestedReplyShare

MPA seeking submissions for MPAartfest

Exhibition Programming Policy

McLean Project for the Arts (MPA) is dedicated to presenting contemporary visual art. Quality of artwork, and the conceptual integrity of exhibition proposals (as well as the particular scope or focus of MPA’s exhibit schedule for that year) are the primary deciding factors in determining which artists are selected for exhibition.

MPAartfest 2023

McLean Project for the Arts currently seeks submissions for the 17th Annual MPAartfest, a one-day juried fine art and craft show and sale featuring the work of more than 40 local and regional visual artists. This year’s festival will take place on Sunday, October 1, 2023 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm in McLean Central Park. Artists retain 100 percent of in-park sales. MPAartfest 2023 is made possible with the help of the McLean Community Center, and our partnership with the Fairfax County Park Authority.

WHAT: MPAartfest 2023 Call for Submissions

WHO: Artists from across the mid-Atlantic region are encouraged to apply

WHEN: Early Application Deadline – May 20, 2023 ($300)
Deadline for Submissions – June 17, 2023 ($350)
Festival Date – October 1, 2023

WHERE: McLean Central Park; 1468 Dolley Madison Blvd; McLean, VA
Accepted artists will also be featured on the MPAartfest website


Talk: Debra Brosius

In this week’s TALK series, McLean Today sits down with Debra N. Brosius, a licensed clinical psychologist and co-owner of Integrated Psychology Associates of McLean. A practicing psychologist for more than 20 years, Dr. Brosius specializes in neuropsychological, psychological, and educational assessments. Taking an integrated approach to mental health services, Dr. Brosius provides care for children, teens, and adults. Her services include comprehensive assessment, psychology consultation, and teletherapy.

Q. What led you to open Integrated Psychology Associates? 

In 2017, I joined forces with Dr. Eva-Maria Theodosiadis,  a board certified child and adolescent psychiatrist, and together  we formed Integrated Psychology Associates of McLean. The practice is predominantly a child and adolescent practice, although we do see people across the lifespan. Our goal is to be a resource for families in this community. We joined  forces together to provide more integrated care — where individuals can come for testing, therapy, and/or medication.  Again, we’re trying to be a resource, where busy families can come, for “one stop” mental health services.

Q. How has the practice grown since it began?

Mental health has been on the decline for some time and particularly in the context of the pandemic,  especially with teenagers. Our practice has  changed in that we’ve added more providers. We added another board certified psychiatrist, a nurse practitioner, some excellent LPCs, and we are we’re doing a lot of training for doctoral students in psychology. We added another psychiatrist and a nurse practitioner. It started out with the two of us and now we’re  up to eight clinicians, student doctors and we have  two support staff. We can’t train people and hire people fast enough with what’s going on in  mental health today. Northern Virginia in particular has a higher influx of educated and accomplished individuals, ultimately creating a culture of overachievement, which unfortunately perpetuates anxiety, stress and depression in our younger population. 

Staff at Integrated Psychology Associates of McLean include from left to right : Dr. Brandy Dinklocker, Dr. Debra N. Brosius, Eva Theodosiadis, MD, Julia Liang, LPC-R, and Reyna Rice, LPC, LCPC.

Q. Do you agree with all the talk about social media hurting our kids as well?

Absolutely. Social media is complicated, in that is can be a resource for information and connectivity but it also can be detrimental to mental health, particularly when teenage self-esteem is contingent on “likes” and followers. In fact,  I’ve gone so far as to include in my diagnostic interview, — what is your TikTok diagnosis?  Our kids are sort of trying on these different diagnostic labels and they’re doing a lot of their own research. They have an abundance of access to information yet their brains aren’t developed enough to know what to do with it. So they end up internalizing a lot of the negative information and feedback from peers. It’s just a melting pot for more mental health challenges.

Q. You have two teenagers. How have you handled it in your own house?

We have tried to outsmart them in terms of technology, but the teenagers are savvy. We’ve put in some parental controls and discourage  screen time. Are we 100% successful all the time? No, because they are teenagers and they can jump on the neighbor’s wi-fi and other mechanisms for accessing the internet. You do what you can  by attempting to establish a boundary as a parent and hopefully their moral compass will dictate how much they challenge that boundary.

Q. Where are your clients coming from?

It’s really interesting. While we do have McLean clients, we get a lot of people from the surrounding areas,  Vienna, Falls Church and North Arlington. I think a lot of it has to do with privacy in that  people want to be one step removed from their community when they’re experiencing hardships in the mental health space.

Q. How did your journey into psychology begin?

I studied psychology as an undergraduate in college and then took a couple years off. I grew up on the West Coast so as a young adult, I decided I wanted to move to Seattle and explore the booming tech industry in the 90s, which didn’t work out. I moved back and eventually went to graduate school. So that was my path but I’ve always been interested in psychology, particularly motivation behind behavior. For a while I was interested in criminal activity and forensic psychology,  completing some training with juvenile delinquents and prisoners, although I was trained as a clinical neuropsychologist.

Q. What else are you seeing in the mental health space of your McLean clients?

One of my passions is suicide prevention, particularly in young people. The rates of self harm behavior and suicidal ideation are alarming, even in our own community. During the pandemic, I began volunteering with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In fact I’m doing a “More Than Sad” talk at the temple Rodef Shalom [2100 Westmoreland Street, Falls Church] Sunday evening, May 7 for anyone that might be interested. I would love to be doing more of those talks, particularly at the middle and high school venues. Unfortunately, I think the stigma associated with suicide has put up some roadblocks in terms of getting the schools to engage in this way but that’s not going to stop me. I’m going to keep trying.

Q. People are afraid that talking about suicide, will put thoughts into their kids’ heads that weren’t there… Is that the concern?

That’s the myth. The myth is that if we start talking about suicide, we’re going to “plant seeds and ideas” in teenagers heads about suicide. Nothing can be further than the truth. At the end of the day, as adults, it’s our responsibility to be starting these conversations with our kids. Whether it’s commenting on their affect or their demeanor or just asking how they’re doing, the goal is to be actively listening and seeking information, to open up those lines of communication. The message is, if we’re not starting conversation, then who is starting the conversation? We have wonderful school counselors as well as pediatricians in our community and they  are doing an excellent job screening for anxiety and depression, especially during the pre-adolescent, adolescent years. Schools typically do an October screening and pediatricians are asking parents to step out of the room during well-checks, asking kids to fill out short questionnaires as a first line defense — which is helpful, but we just need more of this. 

Q. What’s your biggest challenge since starting your own business in McLean? 

Interestingly in graduate school, at least in psychology,  we don’t have training in business so it’s kind of a learning process as you go —  trying to figure out how to manage people, how to manage money, how to set fees, network and market yourself. None of that happens in graduate school for us. That’s been a lot of learning as you go and really just collaborating with other professionals to learn how they’re doing things. That’s been the biggest challenge.

Q. What do you and your family like to do in McLean?

We do a lot of hikes. We really enjoy Great Falls, Scotts Run and the surrounding nature preserves and parks.  We like to tap into the natural resources locally, even just  the Pimmit Run creek behind the house, especially with the dogs. I am definitely a Greenberry’s regular. I’m there on a daily basis. The surrounding restaurants, both local and in  the Tysons area for family dinners. We definitely are a fan of the Great American Restaurants, Patsys;  Lebanese Taverna is a favorite. It just depends on the mood. Having lived abroad, we love Asian foods. We often seek out Korean barbecues and Thai foods.

Gayle Jo Carter is the Editor of McLean Today.

Do you know someone in McLean who would make an interesting interview for TALK? Tap us at

MPA: Spring Solo Exhibitions

McLean Project for the Arts Spring Solo Exhibitions

April 13-June 10, 2023

Closing Exhibition Artist Talk: Thursday, June 8, 2023 at 7pm

Concerns: Sculpture by George Lorio
In George Lorio’s sculptures, tree-like forms are presented as metaphorical references to the possibility of healing and regeneration. Built from a combination of plywood armatures and found bark and twigs, the works exemplify a partnership between human effort and the natural world. Exuding a calm beauty, and both complexity and simplicity, these sculptures inspire a meditation on the necessity of valuing our environment.

Industry Standards: Works by Chris Combs
Chris Combs’ sculptures are made from reclaimed or surplus industrial components. Pulled together to both perform a task (of the artists’ making) and draw the viewer in aesthetically and technically, the pieces seem almost familiar and yet strangely new. While addressing themes of technology, surveillance and the destruction of the environment, Combs creates sculptures which are at once ominous and distinctly playful.

With My Face Against the Future: Paintings by Josh Whipkey
Josh Whipkey’s paintings explore anxiety from physical, experiential, and philosophical perspectives. His smaller abstractions are full of high frequency color and dynamic geometric lines and shapes. Energy is built both within the edges of each individual painting and in each painting’s relationship to another. The exhibit features both smaller works that are more compressed compositions to recent paintings that are larger, more spacious and leave room for thoughtful philosophical contemplation upon the nature of reality itself.

Visiting Our Galleries

The Emerson Gallery is open Mondays through Saturdays from 10am – 4pm.
The Atrium Gallery is available during McLean Community Center operating hours.

Learn more at

MCC Governing Board Election

MCC Governing Board Election 

Absentee Voting Is Under Way

MCC Governing Board Election 
Absentee Voting Is Under Way

Fifteen District Residents Have Qualified to Run for Seats on McLean Community Center’s Governing Board
Three Adult, Two Teen Positions Available

McLean Community Center (MCC) has certified 15 Dranesville Small District 1A residents, five adults and 10 teens, to run for seats on the McLean Community Center Governing Board. The all-volunteer Board sets goals and aligns strategies for MCC programs and facilities, which include the Robert Ames Alden Theatre and the Old Firehouse Center.

Absentee Balloting
Absentee Balloting is under way. Residents may vote in person or by mail. To request a ballot for your household, you may fill out the online ballot request form, phone 703-744-9348 or email Absentee balloting ends on Wednesday, May 17, at 5 p.m. All absentee ballots must be received at MCC by 5 p.m. to be counted.

Community Open House: McLean Design Guidelines

A Community Open House for the McLean Design Guidelines will be held on Tuesday, May 2 at The Signet (6900 Fleetwood Road, McLean).  McLean residents and property owners are encouraged to stop by from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. to learn more about the latest draft of the Guidelines, ask questions, and share feedback. There are no formal presentations but expect to spend about 30-60 minutes walking through the displays and talking with staff.
Last year, Fairfax County began the process to update the Design Guidelines for McLean’s Community Business Center (CBC). The Guidelines will provide design direction to property owners when they redevelop properties in McLean. They will describe how streetscapes, landscaping, building features, parks, and plazas should be designed to enhance the appearance of the community and to ensure that all projects work well together.  Based on community feedback provided at the kick-off workshop last spring, the Guidelines are being written to communicate community desires for a walkable, small-town feel with brick sidewalks, street trees, outdoor cafes, lively park spaces, and lush landscaping.  Review the draft Design Guidelines; Share feedback through the online survey and comment page The review and comment period for the draft Design Guidelines will close on Sunday, May 14. All community input will be reviewed by staff to inform any additional changes. The draft is anticipated to be finalized this summer. Then, the Design Guidelines will be presented to the Board of Supervisors for their endorsement.  The Guidelines are a crucial step in communicating the urban design vision for the area as described in the McLean CBC Comprehensive Plan, adopted in the fall of 2021.  Parking for the Open House is available at The Signet and on the street. Learn more about this effort and get the latest details:  For more information contact Ben Wiles in my office at or (703) 356-0551 if you have any questions or comments. 

Arbor Day Cherry Tree Planting: Volunteers needed

The Tysons Community Alliance (TCA), the nonprofit community improvement organization formed to replace the Tysons Partnership, has partnered with the National Cherry Blossom Festival to obtain and plant 17 cherry trees around the urban center.

The trees will be planted at Tysons Corner Center and Scotts Run this Friday (April 28), which is not coincidentally also Arbor Day.

About 50 volunteers are needed for the plantings, according to the TCA. They can participate in one or both of the two scheduled shifts:

Shift 1
Location: Scotts Run, 1651 Old Meadow Rd, Tysons, VA, 22102
Volunteer arrival time: 7:30 a.m.
Training session: 7:45 a.m.
Planting begins: 8 a.m.
Shift 2
Location: I-495 pedestrian bridge (Tysons Corner Center side)
Volunteer arrival time: 11:30 a.m.
Training session: 11:45 a.m.
Planting begins: noon
An official ceremony to celebrate the plantings is scheduled for 9 a.m. at the Scotts Run trailhead.

The Arbor Day event extends a collaboration between the TCA and the festival that began earlier this month with the first annual “Pedal with Petals” family bicycle ride. The partnership was announced at the alliance’s official launch in February.

Held from March 20 to April 14 this year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival works with the nonprofit Casey Trees to plant trees around the D.C. area. The TCA will be responsible for maintaining the new trees in Tysons going forward, according to a spokesperson.