Tysons, VA

The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tysons Corner Center is working with community members to help those in need by providing an &pizza meal to healthcare workers. Anyone who wants to sponsor a healthcare worker by providing a meal can text #FEEDTHEM to 200-03, the page said.

Those seeking live entertainment can choose to check out 1st Stage Theatre’s Facebook page, where the arts organization posts videos of its talented cast members posting videos of them performing various songs and acts.

Tuesday (May 19)

  • Stuff the Bus — People can drop off non-perishable goods to help community members in need at both the  James Lee Community Center (2855 Annandale Road) Falls Church and the Patrick Henry Library (101 Maple Ave E.) in Vienna from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
  • Virtual Mystery Fiction Book Group — At 7 p.m. people can join a virtual conversation about “My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel.” People must pre-register online to receive the link. This event is hosted by One More Page Books.

Thursday (May 21)

Saturday (May 23)

  • Performers in Quarantine — Starting at 2 p.m. 1st Stage Theatre will hold one of its community conversations via Zoom with performances by actors in the upcoming show “The Nance share.” The actors will share what their creative experiences have been like during the pandemic.

Photo courtesy Caboose Commons

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Though many in-person events are canceled, organizations and businesses are setting up digital events to keep people occupied.

Year-round, the McLean Community Center offers courses for adults hoping to pick up other workplace skills. People can take courses on things including digital marketing, computer science, education and even leadership. These online courses range in price but are available online.

Tuesday (May 12)

Thursday (May 14)

  • Limited Beer Release + Virtual Happy Hour — Caboose Brewing Company is offering a free evening of trivia while people enjoy a new beer that they can pick up and drink at home. People can find the event link on Zoom and log in using the meeting ID: 211 500 5344 and password: 2DdDa4.

Saturday (May 16)

Photo courtesy Caboose Brewing 

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Black Dog Beer Shop has been open for less than three months in Merrifield, but already its owner has seen a recent uptick in sales — partly thanks to a federal loan.

As craft brewers face coronavirus challenges and many breweries pivot to making hand sanitizer, Tyler Cohen says he thinks his new local craft beer store is faring well, all things considered.

While he doesn’t have months and months of data to compare, he said sales grew 10% from March to April: “That’s a good thing, I guess.”

Cohen, who lives in the Mosaic District, opened the store in February at 2672M Avenir Place near the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

Before the coronavirus pandemic prompted the governor to enforce restrictions on businesses, Cohen said 10-15 people would be at the store “at all times” on Fridays and Saturdays.

When businesses started to close or switched to delivery, take-out and curbside pickup services, Cohen said most of his customers initially ordered online, but now he’s starting to see more and more people trickle into the store.

“This last weekend we had to stop people from coming in,” he said.

What the Federal Loan Process Was Like

Receiving a loan during the first round of funding for the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program made a big difference to the store’s finances and ability to keep growing, Cohen said.

“We were getting close where we could probably survive another month and then need to pay payroll out of my own pocket, but as soon as we got that [loan], we were able to breathe a sigh of relief,” he said.

Cohen said M&T Bank was “awesome” with telling him what he would need to submit before the application became available and then communicating with him — even on weekends — about the process.

“It was a pretty quick process,” Cohen said, adding that it took about a week after he submitted the application to hear that he was approved for the loan and then another week to receive it.

Cohen said he’s been able to keep all of his staff employed. One employee, who used to work part-time, now has longer shifts and is covering for another employee, who is over the age of 65 and decided to stay home, he said.

As for rent, the store’s landlord offered delayed rent payments for a few months, but Cohen declined. “I think we can afford rent now.”

COVID-19 Changes 

The store already had a stockpile of personal protective equipment, but Cohen still teamed up with a friend to make homemade hand sanitizer when his supply got low.

“We went from cleaning a couple of times to cleaning all of the surfaces constantly,” he said.

Another change has been allowing people to buy single cans and bottles of beer.

“Instead of buying a four-pack on something they haven’t had, people will try one or two,” he said.

And the store’s growler fill-ups are less popular too now that customers “want to avoid the touching and contact,” he said.

Speeding up some of his longer-term plans has been one of the biggest challenges Cohen’s faced due to the pandemic.

“The online store was something I was planning on rolling out later,” Cohen said. “[The pandemic] forced my hand.”

But, the pandemic did cause one positive thing Cohen’s black dog, Ash, who inspired the shop’s name — there’s now more time for hour-long walks.

“It’s been an interesting time with him because we’ll both get stir crazy,” he said.

Local Community Support 

To get ideas for how to manage the store during the pandemic, Cohen said he and his team talked to local businesses including nearby Inca Social and listened to podcasts about the beer industry.

“The store manager is constantly trying to come up with new ideas,” Cohen said.

Local businesses in the community are trying to show support, he noted.

“I probably buy more beer and take out food to support local businesses,” he said. “We’re trying to help each other.”

Photos via Black Dog Beer Shop/Facebook

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Now that winter is over and spring is finally here, people looking to sip on a cold beer or alcoholic drink outside can order from these local breweries and distilleries.

Sweetwater Tavern (3066 Gate House Plaza), a microbrewery in Merrifield, is offering curbside pick-up for growlers and carry-out beer and wine orders from 11:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m., according to its website. The online menu includes all-day lunch, kids meals and seven growlers to-go.

Over in Falls Church, Audacious Aleworks Brewery and Taproom (110 E. Fairfax Street) is open 2-7 p.m. daily for only carry-out cans and growlers, according to its website. The small craft brewery specializes in small batch ales, and the taproom has up to 20 beers on tap.

The Falls Church Distillers (442 S. Washington Street, Suite A) has closed its restaurant for right now, but the on-site ABC store is still open, according to a Facebook post. The distillery produces several small-batch spirits including vodkas, gins, rums and whiskeys.

Settle Down Easy Brewing Co. (2822 Fallfax Drive), a nano-brewery in Falls Church, is offering pick-up orders from noon-7 p.m. daily, according to a Facebook post.

The Caboose Brewing Company, a 15-barrel-brewhouse is behind Caboose Commons in Merrifield and Caboose Tavern in Vienna, is accepting to-go orders for both locations.

Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (7861 Tysons Corner Center) in Tysons Corner Center is temporarily closed.

While not a brewery, the newly opened Black Dog Beer Shop (2672 Avenir Place, Suite M) is offering curbside delivery and pick-up for beer and groceries. Near the Dun Lorring-Merrifield Metro stop, the shop is open from 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, from 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Photo courtesy Caboose Commons

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Just weeks after its official opening, the owner of the Bear Branch Tavern in Vienna made the “particularly heartbreaking” decision to temporarily close due to the coronavirus pandemic.

To help the restaurant’s employees, who are now temporarily jobless, owners Chris Lefbom and Adam Lubar created a GoFundMe page on Sunday (March 22) that has already collected roughly $1,200 and counting.

The page has a goal of $5,000 right now and the description said that the proceeds raised from the page will get split between full-time and part-time employees.

“We had to seriously consider our hourly (both in the Front and Back of the House) team members who rely on their paychecks and tips to live,” the owners wrote on the GoFundMe page.

It is unclear at the moment when Bear Branch Taven will reopen but an announcement on the eatery’s Facebook page said that the owners will do so when they feel the time is right — with respect to the health and safety of the community.

“The team at Bear Branch is a new family and we want to help make sure the family is taken care of and is there for you when we open our doors again,” the page said.

Photo via Bear Branch Tavern/Facebook

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(Updated 3/3/2020) Ahead of International Women’s Day this Sunday, Caboose Commons plans to host a market on Thursday where shoppers can support female-run businesses.

This will be the local brewery’s second year hosting the market, which will feature more than two dozen businesses. The market will be open from 5-9 p.m. at 2918 Eskridge Road.

Shoppers can find the pop-ups in Caboose’s lofts, according to the event page. Some of the stores are:

In addition to the market, Caboose Commons will be canning a new IPA made with the 2020 Pink Boots blend from Yakima Chiefs Hops on Thursday morning, the brewery said on its website.

“This blend will create tropical, citrus and piney aromatic qualities,” according to Caboose Commons. The beer will be available for purchase at the market.

“For every one pound of hops sold, $3 goes back to the Pink Boots Society,” according to the event page.

Image via Caboose Commons/Facebook

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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

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A craft beer store inspired by the owner’s dog has delayed its grand opening near the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

Owner Tyler Cohen, who lives in the Mosaic District and has been blogging his tours of breweries across Virginia, previously told Tysons Reporter that his black dog, Ash, inspired the name Black Dog Beer Shop.

The store is now set to hold a grand opening at 2672M Avenir Place on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), according to the website.

More from the website:

Black Dog Beer Shop has a robust selection of craft beers from around Virginia as well as regional and national craft brands. We have 16 taps for growler fills and tons of cold refrigerator space. Whether you’re looking for a good, local cider of the newest double dry-hopped DIPA, we’ve got you covered.

The store plans to be open from 9:30 a.m.-9:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday and from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays, according to the website.

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For the first time, City Works will soon host “Brew U Beer School,” a free four-week event teaching guests about different types of beer.

The “school” will have four sessions, each from 6-7 p.m. on Mondays, from Feb. 10 until March 2 at the restaurant (1640 Capital One Drive North), according to a press release.

Each session will be led by beer industry experts and breweries. The event is for “anybody and everybody who wants to learn about beer,” according to spokesperson Colleen Rooney.

“We really want to engage the local community and get them more interested in beer,” Rooney said.

While people can choose whether or not to attend all of the sessions, the more workshops attended will increase people’s chances of winning a raffle for either a $100 City Works gift card or tickets to the Washington Nationals Home Opener and World Series Ring Ceremony.

Here are the topics attendees can expect to learn about at each of the sessions:

  • Feb. 10 with Allagash Brewery: the history of beer and how to pour and serve beer correctly
  • Feb. 17 with Vasen Brewing: different styles of beer, how to pair beer with food and how to cook with beer
  • Feb. 24 with DC Brau: how beer is made with different brewing processes and ingredients
  • March 2 with Old Ox and Premium Distributing: beer distribution and draft systems

The sessions are free “to make it accessible to the wider community,” Rooney said. People interested in “Brew U Beer School” can register online.

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A new beer garden in a sky park plans to open next year atop Capital One Hall.

Construction is underway on the Capital One Center — the second phase of Capital One’s campus in Tysons, which is set to be completed in 2021.

Called “The Perch,” the outdoor space on top of the parking podium and Capital One Hall — 10 stories above the ground — plans to offer interactive art sculptures, a park, activities like yoga and beer at The Perch Biergarten, according to the website.

The Perch is set to open in the fall of 2021.

The “serene village green” will join Capital One’s planned additions for the Tysons East urban campus:

In addition to the upcoming beer hall, Capital One is looking to change a previously approved — yet unbuilt — hotel into a new office building, according to Fairfax County documents.

Capital One says that the change would allow for more open space, jobs and retailers:

Consistent with well settled planning and economic development objectives, this application presents an opportunity to further add employment opportunities and vitality at the headquarters campus in a location immediately adjacent to the McLean Metro station…

A lower level lobby and retail uses along Capital One Drive North and Scotts Crossing Road will wrap the parking garage. The approved drop-off area for the previously contemplated hotel use will be removed and replaced with public open space to enhance and activate these ground floor uses…

Additional retail use is proposed for Building 3 in the location of the previously approved garage entrance that will be shifting eastward.

Image via Capital One Center  

Hat tip to Chris H.

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