Tysons, VA

Jennifer McLaughlin, owner of the Caboose Brewing Company, is just starting to catch her breath and take a look back at the last few months of the local brewery not only trying to survive, but do some good for their communities.

It has not been an easy road for Caboose, which operates Caboose Tavern in Vienna (520 Mill Street NE) and Caboose Commons in Merrifield (2918 Eskridge Road).

“It’s been quite a whirlwind,” McLaughlin said. “Back in March, when this all went down, we had to let go of a lot of people. They don’t have a ton of resources. It was awful. We were letting go of people we weren’t sure would be able to pay rent and buy food and all those things. We lined them up with resources as best we could but that wasn’t really enough.”

As the pandemic worsened, McLaughlin said they began to hear stories about how hard fresh food was for people to come by. It was difficult for people to get to grocery stores and many food banks carried only canned goods, but McLaughlin said it occurred to them that they could access fresh food supply chains through their own vendors.

“So we started a grassroots effort with local schools and a couple of churches,” McLaughlin said. “At one point, we were doing hundreds of grocery donations a week.”

McLaughlin said Caboose was delivering milk, proteins, and produce to families in need. At its peak, the program was delivering hundreds of grocery boxes. In total, McLaughlin said Caboose has put together and delivered 915 grocery boxes.

The grocery boxes were delivered by volunteers and Caboose received donations, though never enough to fully cover the cost of buying the groceries.

“The numbers are way less than they used to be, ” McLaughlin said. “We’re now down to 10 families, which is down from 40 last week.”

Caboose also donated a total of 869 meals to Inova Hospital.

Caboose Tavern in Vienna was closed for a while when the pandemic started. Caboose Commons at the Mosaic district never closed, but it was also not very active during the worst of it. McLaughlin said the space gave management a chance to take a step back and assess the restaurant’s values and priorities.

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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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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

Many know the brewery and restaurant located on the W&OD trail, Caboose Brewing, which is a Vienna favorite for beer.

Like most businesses during COVID-19, they’ve also had to pivot their business model during this time. There are many restaurants doing grocery packs right now, but the ability to also buy a meal for your neighbors is a reason to celebrate this local company.

Grocery and Beer Pickup or Delivery:

  • They have many staples including steak, beef, poultry, seafood, fruits, veggies, dairy, meal kits and toilet paper (!), along with cocktails and beer. You can customize the delivery you want.

Donations:

  • You can pay $35 for a food pack they’ll deliver to community members in need of food, through InovaCares Clinics for Women and Children, FCPS and Food for Others.
  • You can pay $8 for a meal for INOVA staff.

If you want food take out or coffee, the Caboose Commons in Mosaic is also offering curbside pick up.

To follow more ways to give back to the community through food donations, or learn about new restaurants and the ways they’re conducting business right now, make sure you join the Vienna Foodies group on Facebook.

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Caboose Commons is ramping up its donation efforts to benefit Inova’s health care workers and low-income patients.

The Merrifield brewery has recently been collecting donations for the Falls Church-based Inova Health System, which serves the Northern Virginia and D.C. area.

Yesterday, Caboose announced on Facebook that donations will also benefit the Inova Cares Clinic for Women & Children.

“This donation will get struggling families the groceries they need!” the post said.

People can donate when they get to-go orders. Caboose Commons is currently offering a limited to-go menu that includes fries, burgers, grilled cheese and more, along with beer and grocery delivery. Its recently expanded delivery zone now stretches from Herndon to Bailey’s Crossroads.

Inova donation options include:

For $8 we will donate a meal to the INOVA staff. They are working tirelessly to keep us all safe and need as much support as they can get. Please give what you can.

Coordinated with InovaCares Clinics for Women and Children. Serving local low-income families that have lost their jobs, recently had a baby, or have children with special needs. Groceries include milk, eggs, produce, ground beef and a roll of toilet paper.

So far, Caboose said it has provided hundreds of meals to health care workers.

“We have donated over 480 meals to our frontline heroes at INOVA!” Caboose posted on Facebook on April 24. “They are beyond grateful for the support from the community. Thank you so much to those that have already donated.”

Image via Caboose Commons/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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(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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Halloween is here and there are plenty of events around the Tysons area to get into the spooky spirit.

The Fairfax County Police Department will be handing out candy on The Plaza for Tysons Corner Center’s Malloween event from 3-5 p.m. tonight.

Also at the mall, Spirit Halloween is selling Halloween costumes and decorations until 9:30 p.m., while the American Scream Selfie Museum is offering attendees the chance to take pictures with various Halloween themed displays until Nov. 3.

Over in Merrifield, the Caboose Halloween Costume Contest will feature an extended happy hour at Caboose Commons (2918 Eskridge Road) as well as prizes for people with the best outfits from 3:30-9 p.m. tonight.

From pumpkin carving to costumes to eating lots of candy, let Tysons Reporter know what your spooky plans are.

Send photos of pets dressed in Halloween costumes to us for a story on Friday (Nov. 1) — tag or direct message us on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) or email us at [email protected].

https://twitter.com/FairfaxCountyPD/status/1189286152509022209?s=20

Ashley Hopko contributed to this story.

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Halloween is 10 days away and there are plenty of events around the Tysons area to help enthusiasts celebrate.

Tysons Reporter rounded up the spooky festivities, including community festivals and happy hour deals.

Tysons

At the Palladium’s (1524 Spring Hill Road) Halloween Costume Party, Eddie Attar, Morvarid and other guests will hit the stage for an evening of performances and live music. Admission is for people aged 21 and older and tickets are $40. This event will take place on Saturday (Oct. 26) from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m.

The Ritz Carlton ((1700 Tysons Blvd) is hosting a Halloween Tea on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $64 and costumes are encouraged.

There will be a Pumpkin Carving Class for kids on Sunday, Oct. 27, from 3-4 p.m. at Wildfire Steakhouse (2001 International Drive). Tickets are $20 per child.

From 4-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 30, TenPenh Tysons (7900 Westpark Drive) will host a Halloween Spooktacular happy hour with prizes for the best costume. Tickets are not required and this event is free and open to the public.

Tysons Corner Center will host a Malloween event from 3-5 p.m. on Halloween night (Thursday). The Fairfax County Police Department will be handing out candy on The Plaza and American Scream will be providing some spooky entertainment. Facepainting will be on-site and participating stores will be marked with a jack-o-lantern sticker in their window.

Also at the mall, Spirit Halloween is open for anyone in need of a Halloween costume or decorations. The store is open from 10 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sundays.

The American Scream Selfie Museum offers attendees the chance to take pictures with various Halloween themed displays. Admission is $20 and there are various time slots available until Nov. 3.

Vienna

The Vienna Halloween Parade will start at 7 p.m. along Maple Avenue on Wednesday (Oct. 23). This yearly event will celebrate its 73rd year anniversary and include a contest for the best band, float with music, youth performer, antique/classic vehicle, adult band, float without music and performer. This event is free and open to the public.

The Caboose Halloween Costume Contest at Caboose Tavern (520 Mill Street NE) will have prizes for people with the best outfits on Monday (Oct. 28). This event takes place from 4-9 p.m. All ages and dogs are welcome to attend. There will be a prize for the best adult, kid and dog costume.

Falls Church

The upcoming Halloween Carnival will give kids from preschool to fifth grade a chance to enjoy games, food, reptile demonstrations and face painting. It will take place at the Falls Church Community Center (223 Little Falls Street) on Friday, Oct. 25, from 3-6 p.m. Admission is $2 for kids over two years old.

McLean

Kids and their families are invited to a Trunk or Treat event from 4-6 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church (1724 Chain Bridge Road). There will be games and treats available.

Merrifield

The Caboose Halloween Costume Contest will feature an extended happy hour at Caboose Commons (2918 Eskridge Road) as well as prizes for people with the best outfits on Halloween night. This event takes place from 3:30-9 p.m. All ages and dogs are welcome to attend. There will be a prize for the best adult, kid and dog costume.

The Vienna Police Department also issued a set of tips to help people stay safe while celebrating Halloween.

Vienna police advise that drivers should expect extra pedestrian traffic and be on the look-out for kids in dark clothing, along with discouraging inexperienced drivers from being on the road.

For pedestrians and parents, the police suggest kids should wear brightly colored clothing or reflective materials, teach kids never to enter a stranger’s home, make sure everyone sticks together in groups and remain on well-lit paths and streets.

For people planning on taking the Metro, one Twitter user created a punny, Halloween-themed version of the map.

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Wednesday  (Oct. 16)

  • Panel Discussion on Human Trafficking — 7 to 9 p.m. at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, Second Floor (400 Center Street S.) —  This panel will discuss human trafficking in local neighborhoods and how to end it.
  • Boro Fall Festival — noon to 2 p.m. at Whole Foods (1635 Boro Place) — This free event offers attendees a chance to try fall foods, participate in crafts, enjoy live music and enter into a raffle.

Thursday (Oct. 17)

  • Avenir Pumpkin Festival — 5 to 8 p.m. at Modera Avenir Place Apartments (2677 Avenir Place) — This event is free to attend and features a Biergarten, music and pumpkin decorating.
  • Local Candidate Forum — 7 p.m. at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike) — This public forum will allow community members to gather and hear from local candidates running for office on Nov. 5.
  • Wild Game Beer Dinner — 7 to 10 p.m. at Caboose Commons (520 Mill Street NE) — This event will feature a five-course meal from chief David Rabin. Tickets are $90 and will include meat such as antelope, bison and goat.
  • Meet Author Bill Lewers — 7:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry Library (101 E. Maple Avenue) — This author will discuss his upcoming fiction book “Gatekeepers of Democracy,” which discusses those who serve on election day. Copies will be available for purchase during the book signing.

Friday (Oct. 18)

  • One Man, Two Guvnors” — 8 to 10:30 p.m. at Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE) — This play explores the life of someone who ends up employed by gangsters in England around 1963. Tickets start at $15.

Saturday (Oct. 19)

  • Vienna Halloween on the Green — 10:30 to 12:30 p.m. at the Vienna Town Green (144 E. Maple Avenue) — Kids ages two to 10 are welcome to join in some seasonal fun including trick-or-treating, crafts, games, pumpkin decorating and age-appropriate activities. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Recycling Extravaganza– 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Recycling Center (217 Gordon Road) — People are encouraged to bring things they may not be able to get rid of at the curb including toxic chemicals, shredded documents, and electronics. A list of accepted items can be found online and people wishing to drop things off must prove residency.
  • Party for a Cause — 9 p.m. t0 2 a.m. at Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) — This free event will raise money for breast cancer awareness and support for families.

Sunday (Oct. 20)

  • McLean Pet Fest — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) —  This event gives pet owners the chance to learn about opportunities that will enhance the lives of their furry friends while watching a pet-parade. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Ito’s Taste of Colombia — all night at Blend 11 (111 Church Street NW, Suite 101) — Chef Andrés Julian will prepare a five-course meal for guests that includes traditional Colombian dishes. The price is $55 with an optional $21 wine pairing.

Photo via McLean Community Center/Facebook

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To celebrate its one-year-anniversary, Caboose Commons is hosting an Oktoberfest in Merrifield on Saturday (Sept. 21).

Two families founded Caboose Brewing in 2013 — operating Caboose Tavern in Vienna — and opened Caboose Commons in Merrifield last fall.

The beer garden and coffee house regularly hosts events like dog-friendly happy hours and fitness classes.

The free event will feature the new Oktoberfest Marzen brew, Lone Oak Coffee, German food and live music by Cory Campbell and Jon Cresswell. People will be able to purchase food and drink tickets.

Attendees can also enjoy games like cornhole, life-size chess and life-size beer pong.

The event will run from noon-7 p.m. at 2918 Eskridge Road.

Photos courtesy Caboose Commons

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