The Sandlot is coming to Tysons.
Ian Callender, co-creator of The Sandlot and owner of Suite Nation, describes the pop-up amenity as “a cultural arts facility with intersecting industries of commerce derived from community engagement.”
“It’s the ideal environment to bridge the gap between culture and community authentically,” Callender told Tysons Reporter.
The focus of The Sandlot is to give a space for the community to interact. There are tables and chairs for guests to come have a drink and chat with neighbors.
“The retailers and restaurants at The Boro will be the highlighting culinary and cocktail component,” Callender said. “We’re just bringing the vibes.”
The Sandlot operates booths out of shipping containers, similar to the plans for ShipGarten, the restaurant/beer garden that’s supposed to open in Scotts Run any day now.
The Sandlot started as an idea of Kevin Hallums, Callender’s childhood friend of 30-plus years. The idea was to create a pop-up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie “The Sandlot” down on Half Street near Nationals Park.
Hallums has said that the movie is about more than baseball, it’s about a space for friends to hang out, and that’s the space they were trying to create. The first location, Sandlot Southwest, opened in March 2019 but closed in June 2020.
All Sandlot locations are temporary and contingent on the weather. Once the development where The Sandlot is located decides they want that space back, the containers have to pack up and move on.
The Boro has said the development in front of the mural is years down the road, so Sandlot Tysons will occupy the space for the foreseeable future.
The Sandlot Tysons will open July 9 with a grand opening celebration on July 11 that will include a free concert from the D.C.-based band Black Alley.
Along with their kick-off event, The Sandlot has announced a lineup of weekly programs:
- Car wash and cocktails with Xact Detail (Fridays)
- Free outdoor fitness and workout sessions, courtesy of the gym Sweat DC (Saturday mornings)
- Live regional DJs from Rock Creek Social Club, Joy Club, Adobo DMV, and more (Saturdays)
- Sunset Sip & Paint sessions with renowned artist Lex Marie (Sundays)
“This Sandlot concept will be different from other existing locations with the specific programming for the community and its collaboration with existing Boro restaurants and retailers,” a spokesperson from The Boro said.
Last time Tysons Reporter checked in on ShipGarten, the unique restaurant/biergarten venture was expected to launch in early spring, but spring arrived and is now heating up into summer, and the shipping container doors remain fastened.
Rofougaran, who was CEO of the now-shuttered Tysons Biergarten, attributes the latest delay to several factors, including challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a delay in obtaining materials, a delay in getting Dominion Energy out to the site, and the overall size of the project.
“The project [is] bigger than expected by not just us but the contractor,” he said.
Developed by the same team behind Tysons Biergarten and the still-operating Hops N Shine in Alexandria, ShipGarten will be a pop-up biergarten with restaurants located inside four converted, 40-foot shipping containers.
In addition to the central biergarten, which will have 20 German taps as well as sausages and pretzels, the restaurants will include Chalkboard BBQ & Craft Beer, the Asian fusion fast-casual joint Rollbär, and the Persian fast-casual establishment Salamati Grille.
The delays that ShipGarten has encountered could ultimately turn out to be a boon, since starting on May 28, Virginia will lift the capacity and social distancing requirements that have limited operations at existing restaurants and bars for the past year.
Rofougaran says the current plan is to require masks for staff and encourage social distancing, but that could change depending on how the next month unfolds.
“We believe we are about a month until we open so we will reevaluate everything once we get closer to [the] opening date,” he said.
ShipGarten’s opening will be a key step forward for Scotts Run, a 40-acre mixed-use development focused around the McLean Metro station that currently consists of The Haden — an apartment complex — and the 14-story Mitre 4 office building.
The ShipGarten team saw Scotts Run as an ideal location to expand on the ideas that they introduced with Tysons Biergarten, which closed in November 2019 to make way for planned redevelopment around the Greensboro Metro station.
“The amount of room available allowed us to utilize the space to put together something that everyone in not just the tysons region but all of the DMV could come and enjoy,” Rofougaran said by email. “Plus being on top of a hill overlooking the Tysons Skyline was a great added bonus!”
Cityline Partners, one of several developers working on Scotts Run, says it looks forward to ShipGarten opening next month. The biergarten is expected to stay on the site as a pop-up for about three years as more of the surrounding development falls into place.
“We are delighted to have such an active and fun interim use at our development directly adjacent to the Scotts Run Stream Valley Park,” Cityline Managing Partner Tasso Flocos said. “The Shipgarten is a wonderful outdoor addition overlooking the urban neighborhood in the making and is an important venue to fill a much needed void for Tysons.”
Image via ShipGarten/Instagram
“As many can tell, the tent’s been put up, the shipping containers are being built as we speak, and everything is pretty much moving forward rapidly,” former Tysons Biergarten CEO and managing partner Matt Rofougaran said.
The pop-up will feature four specially-designed shipping containers where food and drinks will be prepared, along with three year-round tents where guests will sit at tables.
Originally, the new bar was slated to open in the spring of 2020, but it was pushed to the third quarter of 2020 due to the pandemic. Rofougaran also attributed the delays to the long processes involved in trying to do something this new.
“Our contractor has never cut up shipping containers before and converted them into bars,” Rofougaran said. “Fairfax County has never seen anything like this.”
Finding the right tent took a while too, and ultimately, they had to be ordered from Germany.
“Overall, everything about it is different than your normal restaurant-bar,” Rofougaran said.
The experience completely diverged from the process for Hops N Shine in Alexandria, which took six months from getting permits to opening, he said.
At ShipGarten, customers can choose from four mini-restaurants that will each operate in a shipping container: Salamati (which Rofougaran describes as “Persian-style Chipotle”), Tysons Biergarten (German fare like the old establishment served), Rollbär (Asian fusion) and Chalkboard (barbecue).
Customers will order from kiosks outside the containers and pick up their food from one of a half-dozen windows that are being cut into the containers. They will be able to sit at tables, spaced 10 feet apart, under the tent or in the field.
During non-COVID-19 times, Roufgaran says customers would be able to sit at the bar section of the shipping container.
“This will be the safest place for you to do social distancing because of how much land we have,” Rofougaran said. “We’re providing very good social distancing.”
For now, people can try offerings from Salamati and Rollbär at Hops N Shine. Kitchen staff will be preparing the Persian food for a pop-up on Feb. 10 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Asian fusion food will be served from noon to 4 p.m. on Feb. 13.
“The pop-ups are the best,” Rofougaran said. “We get people from Tysons showing up to these all the time.”
Images via ShipGarten/Instagram
(Updated 10/23) –Hawk & Griffin, a new British pub coming to Vienna will offer guests the chance to enjoy British culture.
Located at 435 Maple Avenue West, the restaurant and bar will offer a place for people to hang out with friends and family, according to co-owners Michael Burgess and Thomas Kyllo.
The space will feature amenities such as a stage for live music performances and viewing parties of sports like rugby and soccer, a regular dining area, a bar, an outdoor sitting area, an area for patrons to toss around some darts and two “snugs.”
Originally intended as a “proper” place for women to hang out in British history, Kyllo said that two snugs included in the space will be meant for small group gathering places where people can host book clubs, parties or even use as a space for musical jam sessions.
The exterior of the building itself is designed after the Edwardian Era, which ranged from 1900-1915, according to Kyllo.
Menu items will include traditional British fare, according to award-winning chief Burgess, who also owns Pure Pasty in Vienna.
Along with dinner and lunch, the pub will also offer brunch on weekends, the owners said.
The inspiration for the eatery came to the owners after they felt there was a gap in the market for a mid-range, mid-price place around town that emphasizes the comfort of its guests.
“We’ve got great restaurants in Vienna, there’s no shortage of that,” Burgess said, but added that there isn’t anywhere where people can feel like they’re walking into a small British village for a pint.
Tieing the eatery back to the community, the owners said they decided to name the pub after James Madison High School and Marshall High School, where Kyllo volunteers as a coach and whose mascots are the Warhawks and Griffen.
“We want everything down to the name to reflect the community we are in,” Kyllo said.
The anticipated opening date for the pub is March 1, 2021, according to Kyllo, who said that the COVID-19 pandemic threw a curveball into their plans.
“Early next year hopefully we’ll have a better path out of this and people will be used to going back into restaurants and indoors,” said Kyllo.
Images courtesy Hawk & Griffin Pub
Grab the shakers, mixers and some ice because today (May 13) is World Cocktail Day.
The holiday was popularized by Drinkaware, a United Kingdom-based charity that raises awareness of alcohol abuse and encourages responsible drinking practices.
Though there is no “official” way to celebrate the holiday, people around Tysons can get creative in a variety of ways. Options include picking up a to-go cocktail from dozens of different eateries and bars, supporting Virginia distilleries or even crafting their own cocktails from ingredients at home.
The term “cocktail” originated in the early 1800s and was defined as “stimulating liquor with a wide variety of sweets, waters, and bitters,” according to The Balance, and Columbian Repository. The drink type only reached peak popularity after prohibition when people didn’t have easy access to high-quality alcohol and wanted to make drinks more palatable, the Days of the Year website said.
“The ‘Bee’s Knees’ cocktail was actually created to mask and sweeten the taste of illegally brewed bathtub gin,” Days of the Year said. “The roaring twenties took the cocktail and shook it up into some of our most popular modern-day cocktails.”
Tysons Reporter previously did a roundup of local places offering to-go cocktails.
Falls Church Distillers sells bottles of whiskey, rum, vodka and brandy.
Peruvian restaurant Inca Social regularly posts bartending and cooking classes on Facebook. In past weeks, the staff taught viewers how to make things like “Passion Chilcano,” which contains pisco Peruvian liquor, limes, passionfruit syrup and ginger ale.
For anyone who doesn’t drink or is underage, there are also a myriad of mocktail options online too.
— Condé Nast Traveller (@cntraveller) May 13, 2020
Nightlife is zilch in Tysons at the moment due to the pandemic. After a brief hiatus, the “Tysons After Dark” series is back to highlight different online activities from local organizations and offerings from eateries that keep people busy once the sun goes down.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants, bars and eateries in the Tysons area are shifting their business models to offer patrons to-go cocktails and mixed alcoholic drinks.
Tysons Reporter compiled a list of spots where adults can pick up drinks to enjoy at home. Though this is not an exhaustive list, people can feel free to add other spots in the comments as well.
Thompson Italian offers six take-home drink kits, according to its website. Each kit ranges in price from $25-$40 and can serve up to five people.
Glory Days Grill announced the location is selling to-go bloody marys, mojitos, margaritas, various flavored crushes and sangria. Each option can be purchased in various serving sizes up to four drinks. Prices range from $4-$16 depending on the size.
Taco Bamba now delivers cocktails and cocktail mix. Single serving cocktails sell for $7 each, while non-alcoholic mixes start at $10 and serve up to five people.
Open Road Merrifield sells four different options for premixed cocktails and three different flavored fruity sangrias, according to its website. For example, its 16-ounce Blackberry Sangria contains Cabernet Sauvignon, blackberry, grapefruit, Aperol, and orange liqueur for $15.
Caboose Commons now offers bagged cocktails options including rum punch and “Lady in Red,” which contains Grand Marnier, cranberry juice and champagne. The brewery also offers various drink mixes and, of course, beer, its website said.
“Our Tropical Rum Punch is just the thing to get you through the rest of…whatever day it is. Stick it in the freezer to make it slushy,” Caboose’s Facebook page said.
Pazzo Pomodoro is also selling cocktail pouches, some of which include unconventional flavors. For example, the Jameson Green Tea is one of the five options and contains Jameson Irish Whiskey, peach schnapps and sour mix. The bags contain two drinks for $12.
El Sol Virginia offers a variety of margaritas, mojitos and other drinks for delivery and pickup, according to its website. They range in price from $11-$14.
Bear Branch Tavern sells brunch cocktails, traditional classic cocktails and other types of booze to-go. Each batch of the traditional cocktails costs $40 and includes four servings, ice and garnishes for the drinks, according to the website. Brunch cocktails vary in price depending on serving size.
Bazins On Church is yet another local spot where people can take advantage of house-crafted drinks. They offer people to-go margaritas, mojitos and sangria for $7-$10.
Clarity offers different takes on Manhattans and “signature” cocktails, according to its website. Prices range from $20-$35.
Earls, beyond wine and beer from its new grocery section, now offers cocktails including mojitos and margaritas, according to its website.
Barrel and Bushel is not only offering packaged cocktails but rail drinks and happy hour specials as well. A prepackaged cocktail costs $20 and contains two servings. The location also offers mixers to-go, according to the website.
Finally, Founding Farmers offers over nine different premixed cocktails for $25. Each batch includes six to eight servings.
People are encouraged to check with their favorite local restaurants not mentioned above to see if they are offering cocktails to go or drink kits.
The Virginia ABC issued the following guidance on restaurants selling mixed drinks to go:
In order to maintain public safety, there will be restrictions placed on the service of mixed beverages in this fashion. Below are the highlights of the temporary regulation adjustment.
- Distillery licensees are limited to a maximum of two mixed drinks per delivery or takeout order that contain 1½ ounces or less of spirits per drink.
- Mixed beverage restaurants and limited mixed beverage restaurants are limited to four cocktails for each delivery or take out sale. Each order for delivery or takeout of cocktails must include a meal for every two cocktails purchased.
- Cocktails shall be packaged in a glass, paper or plastic container (or similar disposable container) or in a single original metal can with a secure lid or cap designed to prevent consumption without removal of the lid or cap (lids with sipping holes or openings for straws are prohibited).
- All recipients of delivery orders must be at least 21 years of age.
Photo via Caboose Brewing Company/Facebook
More and more states are ordering eateries and entertainment venues to close or switch to delivery and take-out only to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
When the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to declare a local emergency earlier this morning, several supervisors mentioned how the county has limited authority to plan restrictions on eating establishments.
“We don’t have as much authority as people think we do,” Vice-Chair Penny Gross said. “We’re also at the mercy of the governor.”
A few days ago, D.C.’s mayor imposed new restrictions on restaurants and bars, prohibiting table seating and allowing them to offer delivery or take-out options. The restrictions also force nightclubs, theaters and health clubs to close for at least two weeks.
Municipalities have limited authority to take action because Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, Arlington Magazine reported, adding that Gov. Ralph Northam could issue a statewide declaration similar to Maryland’s.
Northam said this morning that the state will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendation to prevent gatherings of 10 or more people, but that he does not plan to place restrictions on restaurants, WHSV reported.
“Northam is “asking them to abide by the ‘rule of 10’ and… encouraging them to focus on delivery and takeout options, instead of in-house dining,” according to WHSV.
Northam says he doesn't anticipate shutting restaurants down in the future, saying 45% of Virginians get meals from restaurants.
"I think we've got to be very careful, very prudent. We want to keep Virginia healthy. But we also know that they need to eat."
— Graham Moomaw (@gmoomaw) March 17, 2020
“At least 20 states have ordered that their restaurants and bars close to in-person diners amid the coronavirus pandemic,” The Hill reported earlier today.
The limited authority didn’t stop neighboring Arlington County to plead with restaurants and bars to “take responsible action and switch from dine-in service to only offering carryout and delivery.”
While the statement noted that Arlington County does not have the legal authority to force the changes, it said that COVID-19 cases could overwhelm Arlington if restaurants don’t limit community contact.
As of Monday, the Virginia Department of Health says there are 10 presumptive cases of COVID-19 in Fairfax County — a number that officials say is expected to grow.
Updated 10:50 p.m. — Corrects proposed performance times.
British music enthusiasts may soon be able to enjoy food and drink at an upcoming restaurant in Vienna.
The Hawk & Griffin Pub wants to offer guests a place to listen to live music while grabbing something from the bar or kitchen at 405 W. Maple Ave, according to town documents.
Currently, a brick building built-in 1988 occupies the site.
The owners are hoping to include options for indoor and outdoor performance space on a patio for both solo and small group acoustic performances, the documents said.
“Musical performances will be a way to help create the authentic British public house atmosphere,” the application for zoning approval said.
Proposed performance times would be Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 6 to 9 p.m. or 9 p.m. to midnight, depending on the season.
The proposal is set to go before the Vienna Planning Commission tomorrow (Feb. 26).
Photo via Google Maps
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.
The new Whole Foods in The Boro has caught the attention of people looking for happy hour deals after work with its brand new bar High Point.
Located on the top floor inside Whole Foods, the bar offers guests 16 regional beers and ciders along with a variety of cocktails and wine. People can enjoy their drinks at the bar, anywhere throughout the store while they shop or while they play shuffleboard and various arcade games like pinball.
High Point also offers happy hour deals Monday through Thursday, including $1 off ceratin pours. For those who don’t want to commit to a full drink, the bar also offers sample size tasters for $3 — all day, every day.
Last Friday night, Tysons Reporter decided to enjoy a 16-ounce pumpkin favored Wild Hare Hard Cider from Leesburg, which cost $7, while people-watching.
By 5 p.m. the bar was getting busy and seats were scarce. Young professionals in their mid-20s’ to early-40s’ enjoyed the hangout spot.
Tysons residents Tim McCall and Miguel Barrios told Tysons Reporter that the new Whole Foods is two blocks from their apartment, so they decided to try it out as a pregame spot before they went for a night out in D.C.
“This is going to make us sound old, but it seems like a quiet place for a drink,” McCall said.
Around five different bartenders assisted customers throughout the evening, each staying busy and serving customers in rapid succession. For those who don’t want to wait for a drink at the bar, the self-serve wine and beer stations were a popular option, even though they had a narrower selection.
ESPN was playing on the flat-screen TVs scattered throughout the area for all of the sports fans.
By 5:30 p.m. there was only standing-room at the bar, and different groups were sharing nearby tables. Things began to get rowdy as people raised their voices to compete with the conversations going on around them. Laughter echoed around the room and people seemed eager to kick off their weekend.
A bartender told Tysons Reporter that business has been extremely steady all week and the spot is pretty popular, especially around lunchtime.
The energy in the room stayed pretty consistent until 8 p.m. Then things began to slow down, and people went about their evening.
High Point is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.
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.
As mocktails become increasingly popular around the country, diners and happy hour-goers can enjoy alcohol-free cocktails at Tysons-area restaurants.
According to CNBC, fewer Americans are drinking alcohol. In 2018, alcohol consumption fell by 1.6% across the globe. To meet the growing demand for alcohol alternatives, many restaurants are adding mocktails to their menus so they can cater to “sober-curious” customers.
Tysons Reporter compiled a list of local places now offering booze-free adult beverages.
- True Food Kitchen (2910 District Avenue Suite 170): The Mosaic District spot offers a variety of mocktail-type drinks that offer guests refreshing beverages without the ABV. Their drinks range from $4-$7.50 and include mixed teas, fruit juices kombucha, herbal essences and soda waters. For example, the “Original Ginger” — or the “O.G.” — drink includes lime, honey and bubbly water. Another option for guests is the “Hangover RX,” which includes pineapple, orange, honey and coconut water.
- American Tandoor (7943B Tysons Corner Center): Staff at the Tysons Center Corner location on the first level offer guests eight different mocktail options, including flavored sodas and a blackberry or mango lassi.
- Earls Kitchen (7902 Tysons One Place): Located on The Plaza by the mall, Earls Kitchen has six non-alcoholic drinks. One of the first options on the menu is the “Calamansi Caipirinha,” which includes Calamansi, pomegranate, green tea and fresh lime juice. Prices range from $4-5.
- La Sandia (7852 Tysons Corner Center): Diners have a choice of seasonal mocktail or other traditional Mexican non-alcoholic drinks such as Horchata at the Mexican restaurant.
- ENTYSE (1700 Tysons Blvd): The wine bar and lounge at the Ritz-Carlton serves up seasonal mocktails. The menu currently features the “Pretty in Peach” with peach nectar, raspberry, blackberry shrub and lemon; the “Tire Swing” with strawberry, mint, lemon and club soda; and the “Kernel of Truth” with ginger, pomegranate shrub, lime and Himalayan salt. Prices range from $14-$16.
- Founding Farmers (1800 Tysons Blvd): The farmhouse-inspired restaurant offers an alcohol-free drink called “Today’s Rickey” that is made with lime juice, jerk soda and the syrup of the day for $5.50. (The raspberry version is apparently popular.) Diners can also find cold-press juices and sodas made from scratch on the menu.
Photo via True Food Kitchen/Facebook