The coronavirus pandemic has forced local businesses to either shut down or add safety measures to stay open. For businesses that aren’t open yet, owners are facing new challenges to decide if or when to debut.
Tysons Reporter found out the new debut plans for three upcoming businesses, which were originally slated to open this spring.
The store was originally expecting to open sometime in May or June.
Dawn Eischen, a Virginia ABC spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter that plans are still on track to relocate the ABC store at 436 Maple Ave. E. to the Maple Avenue Shopping Center space this spring.
“We’re still moving forward with this relocation, but don’t have a firm date,” Eischen said earlier this week. “We’re still looking at the June time frame.”
Eischen previously told Tysons Reporter that the relocation to the spot with roughly 1,400 more square feet “will allow us to provide a wider selection of products, meet market demands and better serve our customers.”
The Palladium’s owners were planning to move their now-closed Arlington nightclub to the Tysons spot.
Currently, The Palladium is closed after the owners canceled the last few concerts in March.
The Salsa Room, which closed in Arlington in March, was supposed to open in its new 15,000-square-foot, two-level home (1524 Spring Hill Road) in late March. Grand opening events were set for the new Tysons nightclub from March 25-29.
Now, Victor Villarreal, one of the owners behind the nightclubs, said that he’s refunded all of the grand opening tickets and he isn’t sure when The Salsa Room will open in Tysons.
“We will open at some point,” he said.
Right now, Villarreal and his brother are working to come up with plans for opening that include different numbers of people allowed inside — 50, 100, 250 — along with other possible safety measures like masks, hand sanitizing stations and cashless payment options.
“I think we’re really considering looking at temperature thermometer you scan on the forehead,” he said. “Our whole plan is trying to keep our staff and our clients safe.”
When state restrictions get lifted, Villarreal said nightclubs will be one of the last businesses to open. “I don’t expect our business to be open until there’s a vaccine or no cases for a couple of weeks at least or a treatment,” he said.
Even if there’s only one COVID-19 case in Virginia, he expects “it’s going to take a long time for people to feel comfortable.”
“We’re the last thing that people are going to want to try to do,” he said, adding that the close contact typical of clubs is completely different from guidelines now for people to stay 6 feet apart.
As for staff, he said that they are waiting for the nightclub to open.
“We can’t pay afford to pay them right,” he said. “A lot applied for unemployment. I know some of them have gotten jobs doing other stuff.”
Villarreal said that he has been negotiating successfully with his landlord in Tysons and utility companies.
“We try to keep a positive attitude but we know nothing is guaranteed,” he said.
Originally slated to open this spring, The ShipGarten will now likely make its debut early summer, Matt Rofougaran, Tysons Biergarten’s CEO and managing partner, told Tysons Reporter.
The ShipGarten will consist of a number of themed 40-foot shipping containers, including:
- “The Biergarten” — German and Belgium beers and German food
- Roll Bär — Asian fusion cuisine and Japanese whiskey
- Chalkboard BBQ — a rotating menu of barbecue and international craft beer
- Tysons EuroBar — Mediterranean fare
The shipping containers will be outside, surrounded by a “quintessential biergarten area, family friendly kids area, a fenced in dog area, and entertainment venue,” according to The ShipGarten’s website.
Rofougaran said that patrons will be able to social distance — “Good thing about us is we will have a lot of space.”
He said staffing for The ShipGarten has not been impacted for the pandemic. “Staffing is going to be easy for me,” he said, noting that he’s been in the restaurant business since he was a teenager.
The only coronavirus-related obstacle Rofougaran said he’s noticed is the speed of the work — from architects to construction workers — on the new concept. “Everybody is working much slower,” he said.