Tysons, VA

Tysons Reporter reports local news for Tysons, McLean, Vienna, Falls Church and Merrifield.

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Mardi Gras is approaching and throughout the weekend leading up to Tuesday (Feb. 25), several local businesses and eateries around town are holding festive events.

Tysons Reporter rounded up where and when to Mardi Gras celebrations around the Tysons area.

Vienna and Merrifield 

On Friday, Feb. 21, Kim Stryker, a George Mason professor, will discuss holiday traditions and their origins during Folklore Friday at Bards Alley Bookshop (110 Church Street NW). The event is set to run from 7 to 8 p.m. King cake and Mardi Gras beads will be supplied. All are welcome to dress up in fun and festive attire for this event.

The Mardi Gras Bunco Party, hosted by the Vienna Arts Society (243 Church Street NW), next Saturday (Feb. 29) invites people to play Bunco, a dice game played with groups of 12 or more. A donation of $22 is suggested and refreshments will be served, according to the event page. This event runs from 7 to 9 p.m.

Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) is hosting a Carnival Celebration next Saturday from 7 to 10:30 p.m. The cover charge is $6 and includes an evening of dancing, drink specials and beads.

People looking for Mardi Gras-themed baked goods can visit Amphora Bakery in Vienna (405 W. Maple Ave) to purchase king cake or a variety of decorative treats, according to its website.

Falls Church

Foodies can participate in a free Free Mardi Gras Crawfish Eating Contest on Tuesday (Feb. 25) from noon to 10 p.m. The contest will begin at 6 p.m., but drink specials will be available all day. People can submit their names to become a contestant but participation is not guaranteed. People who place in the top three will receive gift cards.

The Fat Tuesday Beer Dinner at the Dogfish Head Alehouse (6220 Leesburg Pike) in Seven Corners offers guests a four-course meal for the price of $55. Admission includes beer pairings and a hurricane cocktail, according to the event page. This event begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.

Sol Roots Band with guest Ron Holloway will be performing Mardi Gras-themed music at JV’s Restaurant (6666 Arlington Blvd) on Tuesday beginning at 8:30 p.m. The groups will be performing a variety of funk, soul, deep blues, R&B and rock, according to the event page.

This Sunday (Feb. 23), JV’s Restaurant will be hosting another Mardi Gras celebration for the community. This event will feature a DJ and dancing from 4-7 p.m., the Facebook page said.

Photo via Kristina Evstifeeva/Unsplash

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Fairfax County police said that a 21-year-old man from Falls Church is facing felony charges for allegedly soliciting sex from minors via social media accounts.

Police said that they began their investigation last month after a minor told their parents about unwanted sexual contact with the man.

Detectives believe the man “used several social media accounts with false names while also misrepresenting his age to solicit sex from minors,” police said.

The man, who was arrested yesterday (Wednesday), is facing two felony charges of carnal knowledge and the use of a communication device to solicit a minor, according to police.

He was taken to the Adult Detention Center and released on bond, police said.

File photo

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Starting next week, pedestrians and cyclists along the Washington and Old Dominion will need to take detours from near Idylwood Park.

The Virginia Department of Transportation recently announced that the part of the trail that runs along the south side of the park will be closed starting Monday (Feb. 24) for utility work connected to the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.

People can expect the portion of the trail between Virginia Lane and the trail bridge over I-495 to be closed for about one week, according to VDOT.

Different detours will be in place, according to VDOT:

  • Pedestrians: detour through Idylwood Park during the park’s operating hours using footpaths and the parking lot
  • Cyclists: on-road detour to Virginia Lane and Nottingham Drive using W&OD Trail access at the end of Nottingham Drive

VDOT noted that the work is dependent on the weather.

The I-66 project is working to add new Express Lanes, change bus service and transit routes, add new pedestrian trails and improve interchanges. The part of the project outside of the Beltway is slated to finish in December 2022.

Map via VDOT

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Marshall High School’s parent-teacher-student association (PTSA) wants people to Zumba at Tysons Corner Center next Saturday to raise money for a graduation celebration.

Set for Saturday (Feb. 29), the dance party will feature Rochi Bracale and other Zumba fitness instructors, according to the event page.

“Workout attire is ideal but not required,” the event page says. “As long as you can dance, move, twirl, jump and sway in your street clothes, you will be good!”

The family-friendly event is scheduled to take place at the Fashion Court near Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s in the mall on the lower level from 3-4:30 p.m. Tickets are $20.

The money will go to the All Night Graduation Celebration (ANGC), which is a drug- and alcohol-free party for graduates hosted by the Marshall High School PTSA, according to the event page.

People who can’t make the party can still donate until March 9 to the graduation celebration.

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Tysons’ new school board member supports efforts to have Fairfax County Public Schools go green, but has concerns about how the goals are being met.

Karl Frisch, the newly elected school board representative for the Providence District, held office hours with community members last Friday (Feb. 13) in Merrifield to discuss the progress of ongoing initiatives.

The changes include Dominion Energy testing eight electric school buses around Fairfax County and the county installing solar panels at roughly two dozen schools in the Providence District, according to Frisch.

The decision to install solar panels was made possible by Fairfax County’s new Solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA), according to Frisch’s newsletter.

Around 60% of Providence District public schools have cleared the first step to receive solar panels, Frisch said.

As for the school buses, Frisch said while running for office that they were one of his top goals. (The initiative also supported by Del. Mark Keam (D-35th District) and groups like Mothers Out Front Fairfax.)

Now, as the program is becoming a reality, he said it is a “fantastic” opportunity for the district.

“Dominion Energy will cover the difference in cost so that school districts pay no more for electric buses than they would for diesel models,” according to the FCPS website, which added that the company will also cover the cost of the charging stations.

For the news buses, FCPS will only be paying around $150,000 of the $325,000 for an electric school bus, plus the added cost of seat belts and the cost of electricity to run the buses in place of diesel fuel, Peggy Fox, a Dominion Energy spokesperson, said.

By replacing diesel school buses with an electric option, FCPS will save 60% on maintenance costs, according to Fox.

But, Frisch also told Tysons Reporter that he is hesitant about Dominion’s potential long-term control over the bus program and said he would prefer to see a competitive bidding process before FCPS agrees to work with the energy company to electrify the school’s remaining 1,600 bus fleet.

Fox said that Dominion approached FCPS with the initial opportunity and those within the district were enthusiastic to accept the offer. “We are doing it on our dime because we think it is so great,” she said.

An electric bus bill that was originally sponsored by Keam was shut down — the bill that would have allocated more state funds toward this initiative and eased the pressure to involve Dominion Energy, according to Frisch.

“The bill that made it through the House [of Delegates] was a different bill,” Frisch said. “If that’s what ends up becoming law, then our electric school buses will be tied to the hip to Dominion.”

Despite the concern over the cost, Frisch said he still supports the initiative and wants to move forward toward carbon-neutrality.

“If this is the only way we can get it done — fine,” he said. “But it is not the best way to do it.”

By 2030, Dominion wants 100% of the school buses in the company’s service zone in Virginia to be transitioned into an electric fleet, according to Fox. “We are thrilled the legislature is helping to move this forward,” she said.

Both Frisch and Fox agree that electric buses will be healthier for the school kids who depend on them and will help ease the carbon imprint on the environment.

Going forward, Frisch said he isn’t sure when the electric school buses will officially join the fleet, but Fairfax County said they’d likely hit the road by the end of the year.

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The team behind the now-closed Tysons Biergarten plans to bring the beer garden back as part of a new pop-up concept near the McLean Metro station.

Tysons Biergarten closed near the Greensboro Metro station in November to make way for a redevelopment that will add a new office tower at 8332 Leesburg Pike.

The team behind the beer garden has said it plans to debut a new concept consisting of themed, 40-foot shipping containers:

  • “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

Matt Rofougaran, Tysons Biergarten’s CEO and managing partner, shared with Tysons Reporter more details on what people can expect when The ShipGarten opens this spring.

Like Tysons Biergarten, which had a three-year-lease, The ShipGarten will plans to be a pop-up for three years at the Scotts Run development, Rofougaran said.

“We want to do pop-ups all over the [D.C. area],” he said. “What we want to do is avoid having to leave everything in one building and start all over.”

Rofougaran said that using shipping containers will allow for mobility — what he calls “a traveling beer service.”

“Our landlord owns multiple properties throughout Tysons — The Mile and near [Tysons] Galleria,” he said.

Meanwhile, the new spot means that The ShipGarten will have three times the space — and three times the number of people — that Tysons Biergarten had at its old spot.

The ShipGarten will also fill a currently empty space that is slated to house a high-rise later on.

Rofougaran said he hopes the nearby restaurants and bars in the area, which include City Works and an upcoming beer garden called The Perch, will encourage people to move around from one spot to another.

“We love it,” Rofougaran said about the new location. “The more restaurants and bars near us, the better. It takes us away from being a destination location.”

Plans for The ShipGarten started two years ago and were inspired by similar concepts in New York and California, he said.

“What we are doing is a little bit different,” he said, adding that the ShipGarten will be on a larger scale. “It’s a cross between stuff you see in New York and what the real, true Oktoberfest is like in Germany.”

Rofougaran said he wants The ShipGarten to attract the same, wide range of people — “from college students to 70-year-old executives” — that Tysons Biergarten brought in, along with an emphasis on being family-friendly.

“Surrounding those containers will be your quintessential biergarten area, family friendly kids area, a fenced in dog area, and entertainment venue,” according to The ShipGarten’s website.

When The ShipGarten arrives in the spring, Rofougaran said that people can expect all four concepts to open at the same time.

Currently, Roll Bär is scheduled to take over local bar Hops N Shine (3410 Mt Vernon Avenue) from 1-6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, for a pop-up event to showcase items from the upcoming Roll Bär menu, like hand-rolled sushi.

“The goal is to test these concepts out in Scotts Run and if they work well, we put them everywhere,” he said.

Photo via The ShipGarten/Facebook

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Conte’s Bike Shop is moving into Falls Plaza in the City of Falls Church.

A sign indicates that the new store will occupy a 3,767-square-foot space in the shopping center.

Conte’s has a store nearby at 7121 Leesburg Pike, Suite 101. A sign along the Washington and Old Dominion Trail points cyclists and pedestrians to the Leesburg Pike store.

Conte’s offers bikes, gear, car racks, lighting, maintenance and other things for bicycles. People can find stores in Florida, Virginia and D.C.

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Luxury for Less: February 19

Welcome to Luxury For Less, a weekly column highlighting the best deals in luxury real estate. Written by Brandy Schantz of TTR Sotheby’s International Realty, Luxury For Less offers tips and tricks navigating the competitive real estate market and securing the home of your dreams. To learn more, visit ttrsir.com.

Different week, same story. Inventory is terribly low. Homes are selling fast meaning there are very few homes that get reduced in price.

This week in the Tysons area, there were 24 homes reduced in price. Of those homes reduced in price, nearly 65% of them are over $1 million and 45% are over $1.5 million which tends to be a bit softer market. The feature property this week is a lot of bang for your  buck though.

If you are looking for a remodeled home and having trouble finding anything below $1 million, this home just outside the Town of Vienna provides plenty of space and comfort on a .53 acre lot. 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms are located on the main level providing a rare option for 1 level living. A large deck with gazebo makes this home a great option for outdoor entertaining.

To see this beautiful home or any of the other homes on the market in the D.C. area, please contact Brandy at [email protected] or 571-263-0206.

2404 Carey Lane Vienna (Reduced $15,000)

Check out the rest of this week’s Luxury for Less listings:

The properties listed are a small selection of properties available in the Tyson’s Corner area. For a full list of properties listed on MLS and private exclusives, please contact Brandy Schantz.

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Rania’s Love Vegetarian Restaurant is now serving up Vietnamese vegetarian food in Falls Church.

Located near Staples in Falls Plaza (1200 W. Broad Street), a banner outside of the restaurant says that a grand opening was held earlier this month.

The menu includes starters, like salt and pepper oyster mushrooms, and noodle soup, including lemon leaf chicken soup and beef meatball noodle soup.

The restaurant is open from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sundays, according to signage on the door.

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