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The newest park in Tysons has arrived, though those prone to vertigo might want to exercise caution.

The Perch sits 11 stories in the air on top of the upcoming performing arts and corporate center Capital One Hall. The 2.5-acre space is filled with small trees, flowers, shrubs, and other greenery amid paths for strolling.

Anchored by the Starr Hill Biergarten, the park also includes stone-lined bocce ball pits, a dog park, and an amphitheater that is expected to be used for musical performances. A miniature golf course is slated to open this spring, lined with food stalls designed to resemble food carts.

“It’s unique,” said Rachel Obregon, who sampled beer from Starr Hill with Daniel Valcicak on Wednesday (Aug. 25).

The pair plan trips based on breweries and heard about the opening through a private Facebook group, DRINK NOVA. Valcicak, who was familiar with Starr Hill from its other Virginia locations and tried out some of the beer garden’s IPAs, said they would definitely bring friends there.

Other visitors remarked on how the spot worked well as a hangout, especially for those wanting to wait for evening rush-hour traffic to become less congested.

“Everyone has just been blown away,” Brian Griffin, Starr Hill Brewery’s Tysons general manager, said. “Families have come with their dogs.”

The brewery sells craft beer and food options ranging from burgers to arugula salad and kids’ meals. It also experiments with batches to provide beers that can’t be found in other spots.

The amphitheater will offer live music from Wednesdays through Sundays. Three booking agencies already have bands slated to play most days through November, Griffin said. Anticipated genres range from reggae to acoustic music, with a family-friendly focus on weekends during the day.

The Perch is part of Capital One Center, the mixed-use development where construction work continues on a retail-office skyscraper slated to open in 2023.

“Once this building is built out, we will be able to house 8,500 associates on site,” said Meghan Trossen, marketing and community affairs manager for Capital One Center. “We’ll have ground-floor and second-floor retail of this [upcoming] tower, so we want to have a lot of restaurant options here…That street-level pedestrian experience that we see in D.C. and a lot of fun neighborhoods, we want to bring that to Tysons.”

Future residential and office buildings are also planned.

The park will get a grand opening from Sept. 17-19 with Perchfest, a family-friendly event with games and activities for kids. Trossen noted that 10 superheroes will rappel from The Watermark Hotel as part of the festival, which will also feature face painting and an ice-cream cart.

Meanwhile, The Watermark Hotel is set to have a soft open on Sept. 21. The lobby is on the same floor as The Perch and will feature a Japanese-American small plates menu called Wren overseen by Executive Chef Yo Matsuzaki.

Drinks will range from sake to Japanese beers, and the hotel has arranged to get barrels of bourbon from Old Forester and another 127-proof bourbon from Elijah Craig, according to Luis Mantilla, the hotel’s beverage director.

“It’s really hard to get into a barrel program,” The Watermark Sales Director Tara McNamara said.

Capital One Hall will open on Oct. 2, and the popular grocery chain Wegmans opened late last year.

Block B of the Capital One Center, which contains the financial company’s headquarters, was completed in 2018, making it the tallest occupied structure in the DC region.

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Morning Notes

Starr Hill Biergarten OpensStarr Hill Brewery opened its new Tysons beer garden at 11 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 21) with live music, craft beer, and more. The 5,000 square-foot venue is part of Capital One Center’s The Perch skypark, which will celebrate its grand opening with a three-day music festival in mid-September. [Starr Hill/Instagram]

See FCPS Photos from First Day of School — “Today was a great day to be in Fairfax County Public Schools! Almost 180,000 students returned to our buildings this morning, excited and ready to learn. Enjoy some highlights from #FirstDayFairfax and #FCPSReturningStrong on social media, or visit our website for more photos.” [FCPS]

Construction Firm Adds Vienna OfficeSkanska USA has signed a five-year lease for a 3,129 square-foot office at 8521 Leesburg Pike in Vienna to expand its civil practice in the mid-Atlantic region. Executive Vice President Michael Viggiano says “the rapidly changing Tysons region has been an area of investment” for the construction company “for many years,” pointing to its involvement in projects like The Heming at Scotts Run and The Boro. [Commercial Observer]

Visit Fairfax Leader Details Pandemic’s Impact on Hospitality — “The COVID-19 pandemic still is wreaking havoc upon the region’s hospitality industry and full recovery may be a good distance off, the president and CEO of Visit Fairfax told Greater McLean Chamber of Commerce members Aug. 19…Biggar predicted it would be at least mid-2022 — and perhaps sometime in 2023 — before business travel recovered.” [Sun Gazette]

Falls Church Community Center Closed — “FYI: the Community Center is closed this week (Aug. 23 – Aug. 29) for their annual deep clean. It’s good timing, since the building has an eau de sweaty camper essence right now.” [City of Falls Church/Twitter]

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Virginia-based Starr Hill Brewery announced today (Wednesday) that it will be nesting in The Perch, the skypark atop Capital One Hall in Tysons.

The brewery will lease a biergarten space with more than 5,000 square feet within the 1.2-acre skypark, which is expected to open this summer. Visitors will have access to an outdoor dining and lounge space as well as an amphitheater with lawn seating, which will offer live entertainment managed by Starr Hill.

Starr Hill will serve a biergarten-themed menu and stock a full bar highlighting its beers.

“We couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the growing development around the Capital One Center,” Starr Hill Vice President of Finance and Retail Josh Cromwell said. “The Perch is such a unique space and when we were approached about bringing to life a rooftop biergarten and amphitheater concept, we couldn’t turn it down. There will be tremendous energy at Capital One Center and we’re proud to bring Starr Hill into the D.C. metro area.”

Headquartered in Crozet, Virginia, Starr Hill has four locations in Richmond, Roanoke, Lynchburg and Charlottesville. The independent, regional craft brewery has won numerous awards in the U.S. and abroad.

“Capital One Center is thrilled to welcome one of the most-recognized breweries in Virginia, Starr Hill, to The Perch,” Capital One Center Managing Director Jonathan Griffith said. “Starr Hill’s brand and reputation within the craft beer community, as well as their experience in the live music scene, will further establish The Perch as a unique destination for Tysons and the Greater Washington region.”

In addition to the Starr Hill Biergarten, The Perch will feature food trucks, a games plaza, a sculpture garden and a dog park. The skypark is situated above Capital One Hall, a corporate and performing arts center set to open this fall, and adjacent to the Watermark Hotel, Capital One’s corporate lodging facility, opening in late 2021.

Starr Hill is not the only retailer to recently announce it would be setting up shop in the 6 million square-foot Capital One Center in Tysons.

Reston Skylines first reported earlier this month that the boutique nail salon and spa Nothing in Between Studio will be moving into the ground floor of Capital One Center.

NIB Studio confirmed the news to Tysons Reporter. This location marks an expansion for the salon, which also has a studio at 6410 Arlington Blvd in Falls Church.

The studio bills itself as a “healthy and clean nail salon” providing non-toxic nail care. It offers eco-friendly, non-toxic, plant-based, cruelty-free products.

“We are providing full spa services including body massage, body scrub and chair massage,” NIB studio told Tysons Reporter.

An opening date has yet to be announced, Capital One Center Manager of Marketing and Community Affairs Meghan Trossen says.

“Right now we have no other leases to announce,” she said.

Reston Skylines also reported that City Tap House, which has seven locations, including one in Loudoun, would be coming to Capital One Center. However, the brewery told Tysons Reporter that it does not have plans to set up shop in Tysons.

Photos courtesy Starr Hill Brewery

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(Updated at 11:15 a.m. on 4/5/2021) Springfest is coming to Caboose Commons (2918 Eskridge Road) in Merrifield, rain or shine.

Caboose Brewing Company will host the event at its Mosaic District venue on April 17. This year’s lineup of local breweries includes Alewerks, Right Proper, Väsen, Honor, Sinistral, and Rocket Frog.

This is Caboose’s second attempt at organizing a spring beer festival after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down what was supposed to be the inaugural Springfest last year.

Caboose instead put together a socially distanced Hop Harvest Festival in September based on feedback from customers about how to create a safe festival experience.

“We had a great time bringing breweries together with beer lovers and got some great feedback to make Springfest even more successful,” Caboose Brewing Director of Marketing and Events Courtney Beazell said.

Building off its experience with the fall festival, Caboose is expanding Springfest with a take-home option as well as more options for tasting at Caboose Commons, including more table sizes and different seating times.

Guests comfortable attending in-person can reserve two-hour time blocks starting at 12 p.m., 3 p.m., and 6 p.m. Reservations can be made for tables of four (for $200) or eight (for $360) people. Each seating will include “14 beer tastings per person and exclusive presentations with representatives from each brewery,” according to Caboose Commons.

Along with the beer tasting, Caboose Brewing is hosting its second annual Community Hops Project, which lets customers grow their own hops from April through September.

The harvested hops are then brought back to Caboose Commons and brewed into a Community Hops Pale Ale that is returned in cans to the customer. There will be a virtual instruction series about how to care for the hops plants.

For $25, Caboose is offering one hop rhizome, access to the virtual instruction series, and a four-pack of the Community Pale Ale. Packages can be purchased through the brewery’s website.

“Our Community Hops project invites everyone to participate in the creation of one of our beers. It is educational and unique, and way more fun than making sourdough!” Beazell told Tysons Reporter.

Photo courtesy Caboose Brewing Company

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Patrons of Caboose Tavern will soon be able to grab a breakfast sandwich and morning coffee from the Town of Vienna brewpub (520 Mill St. NE).

Caboose Brewing Company announced yesterday (Thursday) that it will launch daily breakfast service at the tavern on Monday (March 8). Breakfast hours will go from 8-11 a.m. every day.

To celebrate the service change, Caboose Tavern will provide a free coffee or espresso beverage with any breakfast purchase on Monday through Wednesday.

The new menu offers breakfast staples, such as pancakes and artisan bagels, as well as fried chicken and smothered meat lovers’ biscuits, a build-your-own charcuterie and cheese board, and “breakfast on a stick,” a pork sausage fried in house-made pancake batter, corn dog-style.

There are also pastries that were designed to pair with Caboose Tavern’s new coffeehouse beverages, which are all hand-crafted, according to a press release.

The breakfast items will be available for dine-in service, takeout, or delivery.

Caboose Brewing owner Jennifer McLaughlin says the company decided to expand its breakfast and coffee service based on its success at Caboose Commons, the brewhouse it operates in the Mosaic District.

“Introducing breakfast and coffee at Tavern will transfer the same values and energy to our Vienna location,” McLaughlin said. “Opening up a space for people to gather with friends, hunker down to work, and start the day off right with a hearty breakfast and a cup of coffee felt like the logical step to take in our constant effort to enrich our community.”

Photo by Courtney Beazell

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The food service industry is in survival mode this winter, as COVID-19 cases remain high in Fairfax County and around the U.S.

Increased flexibility for outdoor dining operations, along with a greater emphasis on takeout and delivery services, helped sustain many restaurants during the summer and fall, but the chillier weather has made convincing people to eat or drink outside a trickier proposition.

The National Restaurant Association reported in December that sales had dropped by $2.2 billion — or 4% — in November from the previous month and were expected to decline further over the winter. Overall, the food service industry has seen a nearly 20% drop in sales compared to business pre-pandemic.

To rally public support, local restaurants, breweries, and cafes have turned to a range of promotions, from restaurant weeks to a #BundleUp campaign led by Caboose Brewing Company, which runs Caboose Tavern in Vienna and Caboose Commons in Merrifield, and the the Lake Anne Brew House in Reston.

Have you been patronizing restaurants and other food and beverage establishments this winter? Are you sticking with delivery and takeout orders, or are you willing to try dining outside — or even indoors?

Photo via Spencer Davis on Unsplash

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Eating outdoors may not sound especially appealing when temperatures are hovering in the 30 to 40-degree range, but that is exactly what some local restaurants are urging patrons to do so they have a chance of outlasting a grueling winter.

With COVID-19 still limiting people’s ability and willingness to dine inside, Caboose Brewing Company, which runs Caboose Tavern in Vienna and Caboose Commons in Merrifield, joined forces with Reston’s Lake Anne Brew House in December to launch the #BundleUp campaign.

The grassroots initiative encourages customers to don blankets and winter clothing so they can eat and drink outside. It is open to all restaurants, breweries, coffee shops, and other food establishments, though the organizers are not keeping a tally of everyone who’s participating.

“A lot of people feel safer when they’re outside with people, so I think it’s catching on,” Caboose Events and Marketing Manager Courtney Beazell said. “It’s getting the response that we wanted. We’re hoping that more people will continue to promote it and continue to use it.”

Over the campaign’s two months of existence, it has evolved to include a “collaboration brew” that Caboose is offering to other restaurants and bars, along with a Bundle Up bike ride.

According to Beazell, Lake Anne Brew House owner Melissa Romano proposed developing a brew to spread the word about the Bundle Up campaign. Caboose was already planning to sell a “Wee Heavy” scotch ale for the winter before realizing that the new brew would be a perfect fit for the campaign.

The brewery started canning the ale on Jan. 5, producing 36 cases to sell to restaurants, breweries, and bottle shops. Wee Heavy is also available to customers on tap at Caboose Tavern.

Caboose sold out its supply, with buyers coming from across Northern Virginia and even as far away as Richmond, but the recipe is available on the company’s website for any breweries still interested in participating.

Caboose Brewing Company owner Jennifer McLaughlin says the collaboration brew has helped create a sense of community within Fairfax County’s craft beer industry.

“We’re all in this together, and everybody’s suffering right now,” McLaughlin said. “Just knowing that there are other restaurants and breweries out there that are going through the same thing and that you’ve got friends out there going through the same thing, that helps.” Read More

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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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Mad Fox Brewing Company closed in Falls Church back in July. Now, a new brewery is set to open in the vacant space in May.

Solace Outpost — a collaboration between Solace Brewing Company, H2 Collective from The Hilton Brothers and the Blackfinn Ameripub group of Northern Virginia — will occupy 444 W. Broad Street, Suite I, according to a press release from MoKi Media.

“The new brewery will feature experimental IPAs and other beers and methods, such as kettle sours and smaller batches but will keep a core quartet of Solace favorites — Sun’s Out Hops Out, Lucy Juicy, Partly Cloudy and Crazy Pils — permanently on tap,” according to a press release.

People can also expect a yet-to-be-announced independent pizza concept at the brewery.

“The Woodmont Properties owner of the space closed the deal earlier this month,” the Falls Church News-Press reported yesterday (Monday).

The new brewery is set to open in May, the press release said.

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