Hair salons keep popping up in the Town of Vienna.
Along Maple Avenue, there are around two dozen hair salons and various types of beauty parlors offering personal care services.
While nearby Falls Church and McLean also have a plethora of salons, the ones in Vienna are concentrated mainly along Maple Avenue, with many hair salons working in close proximity to their competitors.
Along Maple Avenue by Nutley Street SW, the Village Green Shopping Center at one point housed three hair studios — Village Green Hair Salon, Avivo Salon and Day Spa and Dogan and John Hair Salon. (Avivo relocated to Tysons earlier this year.)
Tysons Reporter asked Lynne Coan, the town spokesperson, what might draw the appeal for owners to open up shop in this particular area.
“I did check with our planning department, and we really don’t have an explanation for why there are so many hair salons in Vienna,” Coan said. “There are no unique or ‘encouraging’ ordinances.”
Salon O Tony (130 W. Maple Avenue) has been open for 12 years because of its customer service and good reputation, Mustafa Demir, the shop’s spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter. When asked about competition among all the various hair salons, he said salon management doesn’t think it is an issue, but didn’t expand on why.
In 2019, at least three new salons and beauty relators arrived in the area — each one of them offering a variety of hair cuts and spa treatments.
Hair studio Sundown and Rise Up moved into the former space of Maple Avenue Market (128 E. Maple Avenue) this summer.
“It seems that, for whatever reasons, each community has a proliferation of some kind of business, be it pizza shops or nail salons or hair salons,” Coan said. For the Town of Vienna, it appears to be hair salons.
Tysons-based Curbside Kitchen imagines a food truck-friendly world where companies can easily coordinate with food trucks to cater events or just switch up lunch-time options.
Amy Katz, the CEO of Curbside Kitchen, founded the company around 2017 after talking to her husband Brian about his struggles in real estate and difficulty coordinating food trucks for events.
To solve the problem, she decided to create a technological platform that allows managers to schedule food truck arrivals for their business or building.
Katz described the company as “Uber for a food truck — with a ton of heart” and said that her company helps buildings maintain tenants by building a sense of community and diversity based on a shared love for food.
“Each truck has its own DNA,” Katz said.
When first starting out, the main obstacle was finding a way to coordinate with hundreds of food trucks with unreliable hours and various management types, she said.
“The biggest struggle is bringing the food truck owners up to the same standard,” Katz said, adding that there are many “unforeseen” circumstances around food trucks, including maintenance issues or poor weather.
But, despite the challenges, Katz is optimistic about the company’s growth. “I am so passionate about it that every day we learn something new,” she said.
Today, the company has around 300 food truck partners on call in three cities, but Katz said they plan to keep growing thanks to the Virginia Founders Fund from the Center for Innovative Technology, which recently granted Curbside Kitchen money to expand their venture.
Katz said she did not feel comfortable revealing the grant amount, but she did say that she plans to hire a few more employees and build an app.
The app will tell food truck patrons when their favorite trucks are nearby, allow trucks and managers to schedule gigs and remind trucks to show up at certain times. She said the app should be available for download within six months.
Though they are not the only company that works with food trucks, Katz said that Curbside Kitchen isn’t worried about competition.
“There isn’t really anybody out there with the technology and integration we have,” she said.
As Curbside Kitchen expands, they plan to keep their headquarters in Tysons — where the community is incredibly supportive of the food truck culture.
“I believe people have a close eye on what we are doing,” Katz said.
Photo courtesy Amy Katz
A new photo experience prepares to get people into the Halloween spirit at Tysons Corner Center.
American Scream, a self-described “selfie museum,” will allow guests to take spooky photos with a variety of props and interactive displays.
Patrons can visit the pop-up after Sep. 13 near the Lord and Taylor on the first level of the mall, according to a press release. General admission is $18.
Open until Nov. 3, this temporary museum will let participants experience horror themes such as morgues, clowns and haunted dolls.
“The American Scream Selfie Museum will feature unique, interactive exhibits that will make you both laugh and scream and the star of eye-popping selfies,” the press release said. “Visitors of this seasonal pop-up activation can be the star of their own horror movie.”
Photo courtesy of American Scream
Tysons may not have the liveliest nightlife at the moment, but that could soon change as more late-night restaurants and places to hang out open. “Tysons After Dark” will highlight a different spot every week.
Locals looking for some evening entertainment can watch the latest Cirque du Soleil show in Tysons until the end of September.
Cirque du Soleil’s production highlights adventure and street sports, Steven Ross, the show’s senior publicist, told Tysons Reporter.
When the creators of the show started brainstorming about two years ago, Ross said they wanted to try something new. “Sports is the one thing we haven’t done,” he said.
Cirque du Soleil ended up sending talent scouts to sporting events to include sports athletes in the cast.
“We took sport athletes and taught them how to do sport moves in an artistic way,” he said.
In addition to the urban sports inspiration, “VOLTA” is also unlike traditional Cirque du Soleil shows with its “clear and very defined narrative,” Ross said.
“VOLTA” is Latin for “a sudden change,” and the contemporary plot focuses on self-empowerment and transformation while juxtaposing bicycles with ballerinas, he said.
The electronic music — common at sporting events — also adds a new twist to the show, he said.
More from Cirque du Soleil about the show:
Waz is a gameshow contestant that has lost touch with himself. He’s ashamed of who he is because of his difference. Follow him as he enters the show in search of fame, thinking that this will bring him love and acceptance from others. What he will find is something else: that fame is not the answer.
If fame doesn’t provide freedom and acceptance, then what does? Will Waz reconnect with his true self — and stand up for all that makes him truly unique? Will he realize that his difference is what makes him extraordinary?
The “big top” pavilion is located between Tysons Galleria and the Tysons Corner Metro station.
The show runs until Sept 29. Tickets start at $49 and go up to $495 for behind-the-scenes tickets.
Photos via VOLTA by Cirque du Soleil/Facebook
(Updated at 1:45 p.m.) Another painted bench commissioned by the Vienna Arts Society has gone missing in the Town of Vienna.
The Vienna Police Department said that a member of the Vienna Arts Society reported that one of their benches was stolen from in front of Ghaffari Orthodontics (100 Church Street NE) between Aug. 9-12 — nearly one month after another painted bench was reported stolen.
The benches are two of the 42 benches painted by local artist and placed around the Town of Vienna. The benches are slated to be sold at a charity auction in November.
The bench taken this month was called “Big Wave.” Artist Viktoriya Maslova painted an outdoor scene with a bridge leading to the water.
Kenneth Britz, the artist of another bench, told Tysons Reporter that the Vienna Arts Society is currently working on a way to deter any attempted thefts in the future.
“We are still trusting of the town,” he said, adding that “anything can be stolen from anywhere.”
Britz said that the arts group hasn’t determined yet if Maslova will paint another bench for the town.
He added that the arts group is cooperating with the Vienna Police Department.
The bench that disappeared from outside Grass Roots Fitness (512 W. Maple Avenue) in July was painted by Mary Ellyn Perkowski and featured pink and purple flowers against a black background.
Deborah Kennedy, a spokesperson for the Vienna Arts Society, previously told Tysons Reporter Perkowski plans to paint another bench similar in design to the stolen one — it is unclear when the replacement will be finished or where it will be placed.
Earlier in August, Britz published an open letter in the Sun-Gazette on behalf of the organization condemning the July theft as “an affront to the town and a show of blatant disrespect to its residents and visitors.”
Juan Vazquez, a spokesperson for the Vienna Police Department, said that the department cannot comment on the cases since they are still being investigated.
Photo via Vienna Arts Society/Facebook
The owner behind the Kiln & Co. custard-meets-pottery shops said being a mom-owned, local business has many perks.
Sarah Selvaraj told Tysons Reporter that she gets to spend time with her 9-year-old daughter, who helps paint the pottery and taste the custard.
“It’s definitely given me the freedom of having my daughter with me,” she said.
Selvaraj said Kiln started as a pottery spot that opened in 2013 in Vienna when her daughter was 3.
Three years later, Nielsen’s Frozen Custard closed nearby, leaving Selvaraj and her customers without a sweet treat after making pottery.
“A lot of our neighbors would do the pottery and then get the custard,” she said. So Selvaraj decided to start her own custard shop within the pottery location — and Kiln & Custard was born.
“It was to more to satisfy our needs because we had an addiction [to Nielsen’s] by then,” she said.
While some places serve custard in a soft-serve machine, she said Kiln uses an old-fashioned machine that makes the custard creamy. “We do over 12 flavors every day and they are all organic with no artificial colors,” she said.
Selvaraj then opened the Reston location (1631 N. Washington Plaza) in 2017, followed by the Falls Church spot (455 S. Maple Avenue) last year after the city approached Kiln. People can find custard and pottery at all three locations.
“They had a unique location they were trying to fill in,” she said, “The city had been extremely helpful… It just organically happened.”
The Vienna spot (138 Church Street NW), though, is the home-base. All of the custard gets made in the kitchen there and then delivered daily to the two smaller, satellite spots. The location also has a 3,000-square-foot party room, wheel room, kiln room and a back patio.
While Selvaraj doesn’t have plans to expand the store at the moment, she does have plans to expand the product. “We are stretched to the max with the three locations,” she said.
Selvaraj said she wants to offer a ceramic line by Christmas so that people looking for holiday gifts can purchase items from Kiln.
“We do get a lot of custom orders. We might have a small, curated selection that people can buy off the shelf,” she said.
Whether or not that ceramic continues after the holiday season will depend on customer demand, she said, adding that Kiln appeals to parents to kids.
“Some of the most loyal followers for the custard are seniors who come religiously on a daily basis,” she said. “Moms and kids — if they are coming to paint pottery, they end up getting custard regardless.”
Being a mom herself, Selvaraj understands the appeal of having a space where parents can hang out with their kids during the summer.
“It definitely helps being mom-owned,” she said.
A new convenience store may soon open in Merrifield.
The Bodega will move into a space at 2730 Gallows Road near the Dunn Loring Metro station.
It is unclear when the business will open, but the owner recently placed a banner outside the shop announcing the new location saying the bodega is “coming soon.”
A pending liquor license application indicates that the shop wants to sell beer and wine.
Tysons Reporter reached out to but did not hear back from the owner.
Catherine Douglas Moran contributed to this story.
A used bookstore in the City of Falls Church plans to close at the end of the month, but comic book fans should plan on visiting the store before Monday.
“It’s a retirement closing” and “Thank you Falls Church for 40 years” signs currently hang on the store’s door.
After 40 years, Hole in the Wall Books plans to sell its comic books in a few days — less than two weeks before the store is packed up for good.
Owner Edie Nally told Tysons Reporter that her husband Michael ran the store for the first 20 years and she’s been in charge for the last 20 years.
After commuting a little more than 100 miles per day and getting stuck in I-66 traffic, Nally said she’s going to be “so glad to be out of that.”
But while Nally said that she feels “wonderful” about her upcoming retirement, several patrons who stopped by the store Thursday told Tysons Reporter that the closure will impact the Falls Church community.
Chris Messick said that the multi-generational store is part of the “citadel for nerd culture.”
“It’s a sanctuary for people to look for really cool, old books. They are not coming here just for a bargain,” Messick said.
Taylor Holland, a 48-year-old Arlingtonian who said he’s been coming to the store since he was 8, said that the closure is “costing Falls Church a piece of its soul.”
“Every community needs to have a place like this. It’s a repository of ideas,” Holland said. “It’s a forum where ideas can be exchanged. It’s the closest thing we have to a Roman forum or French salon circa the days of Versaille.”
Holland, who was unable to find a copy of “The Great Gatsby,” had a stack of at least two dozen paperbacks and comic books he had picked out for himself and his family.
“I buy a whole variety of things,” he said. “I have two kids ages 11 and 13.”
Shoppers can find a wide selection of books from mysteries to horror, from graphic novels to literature.
As for Nally’s favorite reads? “The very best books ever are Shakespeare and the Russians — Dostoevsky, Tolstoy,” Nally said. “What’s better than that?”
Signs outside the store say, “50% off. Going out of business sale discounts.” Nally said the half-off discount applies to “pretty much everything.”
Come Monday (Aug. 19), Nally said that a man will buy and haul away 191 long boxes containing “thousands and thousands of comics.” People looking for comic books should stop by the store this weekend, Nally suggested.
Hole in the Wall Books is open from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on the weekends. The store plans to close for good on Saturday, Aug. 31.
Whatever doesn’t get sold by the closing date, Nally said will end up on the Advanced Book Exchange, a Canadian e-commerce site better known as AbeBooks.com.
Nally said that people should come to store before it closes “because we’re giving a great deal.”
A new pizza place will join other eateries along Leesburg Pike near the Greensboro Metro station next weekend.
MOD Pizza at Pike 7 Plaza (8350 Leesburg Pike) plans to begin serving customers with a soft opening on Sunday, Aug. 25, and Monday, Aug. 26, according to Phil Singh, the location’s construction manager. The new pizza place is sandwiched between Cava and Honeygrow, which both opened last fall.
This location will feature an array of pizzas, salads, sides and soft drinks along with beer and wine.
During the soft opening, the pizza place will have limited hours from noon-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.
During these hours, customers will receive a 50% on all menu items with the exception of alcoholic beverages. All proceeds with go to a charity, but Singh said the company has not decided on one yet.
The eatery will officially open on Tuesday, Aug. 27.
MOD Pizza is currently hiring employees for its new location.
A new chicken-focused restaurant plans to open just a short walk away from the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.
Building permits indicate that GAMA Chicken & BBQ is coming to 2727 Merrilee Drive, Suite G.
The eatery is looking to serve wine, beer and mixed beverages, according to the liquor license application in the window of the spot.