(Updated at 5:40 p.m.) Caffe Amouri wants to reduce close contact between the people coming to the Vienna coffeehouse, as concerns spread about the coronavirus outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people stay six feet away from each other to lower the risk of spreading the virus.
“Helping everyone ‘Keep their distance,'” the cafe tweeted along with a video showing large “X”s made of masking tape on the ground leading up the cafe.
In another video, owner Michael Amouri shared that the “X”s, which are six feet apart, lead to a window counter — formerly the front door — where people can place their orders and pay. The orders will be filled inside and then brought outside to the customers.
At the window service, one cashier wearing gloves places the order, while another person goes to get the coffee, Amouri told Tysons Reporter. Each drink is brought out on its own pedestal so that customers won’t touch the tray, he said.
Amouri said that he ordered 10 stylus pens that will be sanitized after every use so “no customer will be touching a pen that a previous customer touched.”
Tuesday evening, the coffeehouse announced on Instagram that it won’t accept cash while the coronavirus concerns are growing.
- in-house cups won’t be used
- cups that people bring won’t be used
- all drinks will be served in paper to-go cups
Amouri said that people who don’t want to come to the shop can order beans online — “We’re getting hit by a ton of those” — and buy gift cards for future visits.
Amouri said that the cafe’s staff keeps stepping up its coronavirus-related efforts. At first, the employees were sanitizing the shop shift by shift and the hour by hour.
As more and more people started to telework, Amouri noticed that the shop was getting more crowded, which prompted him to switch to the outdoor counter last Saturday — an idea from one of his employees.
“The danger shifted from their workplace to our shop,” he said. “I’m really concerned about our staff.”
Amouri said that he has given his employees two weeks paid vacation so that they can stay home if they feel sick.
“I just want to keep my staff working. That’s really important to me,” he said. “Even if we don’t break even, which we probably won’t, if I can minimize the loss and keep them around, then that’s my goal.”
No matter what, he plans to keep the coffeehouse open, he said.
“We’re open,” he said in one of the videos, urging people to support their local businesses. “We’re going to get through this everybody.”
— Caffe Amouri (@caffeamouri) March 17, 2020
Image via Caffe Amouri/Twitter
Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:
Tysons-Based TV Company May Be Acquired — “Signaling ongoing consolidation of the broadcast business, Gray Television has made an $8.5 billion bid for larger rival Tegna, according to Reuters, sending Tegna stock up by more than 30% in premarket trading Friday in what looks set to be an otherwise down market.” [Deadline]
New Coffee Spot Eying Tysons — “[The owner] says For Five is also planning to open a location in Tysons within the next three to four months.” [ARLnow]
Founders Row 2.0 Planned in Falls Church — “The Economic Development Committee of the Falls Church City Council got the news at its meeting last Thursday… that the 4.3 acre Founders Row mixed-use project now coming out of the ground at West Broad and N. West Streets may be augmented with a two-acre “phase two” right across the street.” [Falls Church News-Press]
McLean Student Finalist in National Portrait Contest — “McLean High sophomore Libby Eick, a Photography 2 student, was one of 15 finalists nationwide in the National Portrait Gallery’s 2020 National Teen Portrait Competition. Eick’s work was selected from among 629 entries around the U.S. Her artist statement is below.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
New Store in The Boro — The Shade Store is now open in The Boro. [The Boro/Instagram]
Updated at 6:45 p.m. — A spokesperson for The Meridian Group, the developer behind The Boro, said that the coffee shop has not signed a lease at the mixed-use development.
An Arlington-based coffee-and-alcohol joint wants to expand into Tysons with a new location.
While the website for East West Coffee and Wine says it is “coming soon” to Tysons, a representative for the cafe told Tysons Reporter that no plans have been finalized for a Tysons location.
The online menu features coffee, espresso, red and white wine and beer.
The new Dunkin’ Donuts near the Spring Hill Metro station plans to offer a free donut deal on Friday.
The coffee and donut chain recently arrived in Tysons West Phase III — a redevelopment that added new retail buildings across from Walmart — along with other food and drink options, including Smoothie King and B.GOOD.
The celebration on Friday (Nov. 22) is set to take place from 7-11 a.m. Attendees will be able to get a free donut — excluding fancy and speciality ones — with any purchase and can enjoy a Dunkin’ prize wheel, photo opportunities with Dunkin’ mascots Cuppy and Sprinkles, an on-site DJ and customizable screen-printed donuts that guests can put their face on. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m.
The store (1495 Cornerside Blvd, Suite 1C) is open 5 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m.-8 p.m. on weekends.
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!
Tuesday (Oct. 22)
- Beer School 101 — 6 to 8 p.m. at Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant (7861 Tysons Corner Center) — Gordon Biersch’s head brewer is hosting an event to teach attendees how to start the beer-making process. Light appetizers are included with the $10 admission price. Tickets are $10 and can be found online.
Wednesday (Oct. 23)
- Startup Social — 6 to 9 p.m. at Office Evolution (8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 110) — Aspiring entrepreneurs are welcome to come and learn more about how to start a business from a panel of business founders. Attendees should register online beforehand.
Thursday (Oct. 24)
- Lauren Liess Book Signing — 7-9 p.m. at Ballard Designs (8084 Tysons Corner Center) — The HGTV host of “Best House on the Block” will be at the mall signing her new book and talking about her inspiration. This event is free and there will be light appetizers and drinks.
- Falls Church City Council Election Debate — 7 p.m. at Falls Church American Legion Hall, Post 130 (400 N. Oak Street) — In this debate, the candidates for the upcoming Falls Church City Council will face-off and discuss topics surrounding the community. This event is free and open to the public.
- Kirby Road Community Meeting — 7 p.m. at Chesterbrook Elementary School (1753 Kirby Road) — This meeting will discuss the flood damage in the area and cover what is being done to fix it. This event is free and open to the public.
Saturday (Oct. 26)
- Code and Coffee Meetup — 9 a.m. until 13:30 p.m. at NuAxis Innovations (8605 Westwood Center Drive) — This monthly event will provide people a chance to enjoy snacks, coffee, free wifi and the company of other coders. It is free, but participants are encouraged to RSVP.
- Wellness Fair — 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Church of the Holy Comforter (543 Beulah Road NE) — This event is open to everyone and will give people the chance to enjoy keynote speakers, try yoga, hang out with therapy dogs, have lunch and play in a bounce house. Tickets are $12 per adult, $5 for kids or $25 for the whole family and can be purchased online.
- Pup-Tober Fest — 5-7:30 p.m. at Dogtopia (1524 Spring Hill Road) — This event invites pet owners to gather for an evening of deals, food, a raffle and treats. This event is free and open to the public.
Sunday (Oct. 27)
- Spooky Yoga — 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — This seasonal event invites all ages to try out a yoga class. Tickets are $25. Attendees must bring their own mat and costumes are welcome.
Ready for spooky season? Tysons Reporter also rounded up Halloween events.
Image via Facebook/Dogtopia
Fairfax County police set aside some time today (Oct. 2) to hang out with locals around the county.
The annual “Coffee With a Cop” events are part of a nation-wide initiative to build a rapport with the public by sending police officers to coffee shops to chat with community members.
Over at the Merrifield event this morning, Lt. Tim Field and crime prevention officer Mario Colorado, both from the McLean District Station, fielded questions from locals at Starbucks (8104A Arlington Blvd) from 9:30-11 a.m.
“We are the public face of the county,” Colorado said, adding that the event allows people to approach police in a relaxed environment where they can “overcome the hurtle” of feeling like they are being a bother.
Therapy dog group Caring Angles brought Kyira, a 110-pound Rottweiler with an affinity for lap-sitting, to the Merrifield event this morning. An organization representative said they wanted to support the officers and also educate the community on the benefits of therapy dogs.
Field said he has been serving FCPD for around 33 years while Colorado has served for 22. Both men said they enjoy the event because it gives them an opportunity to visit with community members under happy terms, rather than during an emergency response.
Field said that people often want to talk about a wide variety of topics, ranging from quality of life concerns to fun philosophical ideas.
People will sometimes approach police at the “Coffee With a Cop” events and ask how to resolve personal dilemmas they are facing, like how to help a family member struggling with substance abuse, he said.
For anyone wanting to take advantage of this opportunity, there will be another chance to talk with Fairfax County police at Turkish Coffee Lady in Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) this evening from 5-7 p.m.
Tysons Reporter’s first birthday is next week.
To celebrate, editor Catherine Douglas Moran and reporter Ashley Hopko will be working at a different coffee shop each day next week, so come by and say hello. (There will be free swag!)
Here’s where to find the editorial team from 9 a.m.-2 p.m.:
- Monday (Sept. 30): Star Nut Gourmet (1445 Laughlin Avenue)
- Tuesday (Oct. 1): Caffe Amouri (107 Church Street NE)
- Wednesday (Oct. 2): Mom and Pop (2909 District Avenue)
- Thursday (Oct. 3): Republik Coffee Bar (7915 Jones Branch Drive)
- Friday (Oct. 4): Rare Bird Coffee Roasters (230 W. Broad Street)
In addition to the newsroom pop-ups at local coffee shops, Tysons Reporter’s editorial and business teams are hosting a happy hour party at Tysons Biergarten next Thursday evening.
Can’t make it but still want to chat with us?
Locals can learn about Turkish coffee at the Tysons Corner Center tomorrow (Sept. 26).
The Turkish Coffee Lady will host a pop-up truck event from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Plaza (1961 Chain Bridge Road) to share Turkish culture, educate the public on travel opportunities to Turkey and allow visitors to sample Turkish delicacies like specialized coffee, a press release said.
The truck is stopping by Tysons on part of a month-long non-profit tour around New York, New Jersey, Maryland and D.C.
Gizem Salcigil White is the owner of Turkish Coffee Lady and the director of the cultural initiative.
“Turkish coffee is the world’s first coffee brewing method invented by Turks in the 16th century, and it is recognized by UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a cultural inheritance that was passed on from generation to generation,” White said in the press release.
The project is sponsored by several companies and partners including the American Turkish Association of DC and the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
“The coffee truck will also participate in the 17th Annual Washington DC Turkish Festival organized by American Turkish Association of DC this Sunday and conclude the tour at ‘Study Abroad & Global Citizenship Influencer Summit’ in early October hosted by Hostelling International USA,” the press release said.
Photos via Turkish Coffee Lady
Blend 111, a new restaurant and wine bar, will celebrate its grand opening on Thursday in Vienna.
Touting itself as “the region’s first biodynamic restaurant and wine bar,” Blend 111 will feature food and wine from Spain, France and Venezuela, according to a press release.
The locally-owned restaurant (111 Church Street NW, Suite 101) will offer a prix-fixe lunch and dinner options, cold-pressed juices and a “micro-cafe” with organic coffee, pour-over-brewed coffee and espresso-based drinks.
Head Chef Nicolas Terrassin is from Châtellerault, a small village in France, and has worked in restaurants in France, Québec and the D.C. area. Michael Biddick is the restaurant’s owner, sommelier and chief coffee roaster.
“Everything from your morning coffee, post work out organic cold press juices, to weekend brunch, happy hour and late-night dining is available at Blend 111 — all offering unique experiences,” the press release said.
Photo via Blend 111/Facebook
Sometimes you just need to get some work done outside of the office.
At Tysons Reporter, we’ve spent a lot of time on the road around the area. So if you need to stop in, grab some coffee, and get some work done somewhere in the Tysons area, here are some places we go:
Stomping Ground in Tysons Galleria is the second location for the popular coffee-and-biscuits eatery in Alexandria. The location in the third-floor Taste of Urbanspace food hall brings the original location’s signature dishes to Tysons, but also expanded with a new evening menu and Southern cocktails — meaning you won’t have to leave to find a happy hour once work is over.
The coffee is top quality and, being at the Galleria, there is rarely a shortage of parking and seating space. The expansive interior of the food hall has ample tables and outlets. There are food options available around the food hall, though like much of the high-end retail at Tysons Galleria, they tend to be pricier than the average lunch. The music near Stomping Ground also tends to be louder than optimal for interviews or phone calls.
Star Nut Gourmet is a café tucked away just off the main drag in McLean at 1445 Laughlin Ave. As a result, it’s very accessible to other locations around McLean and has more parking and interior space than some of the other nearby options, like the Starbucks.
There’s plenty of seating inside and the music is kept at a manageable volume. But the café is more designed with meetings and socializing in mind than work, so outlets can be scarce.
Caffe Amouri boasts quality coffee and atmosphere in equal measure. The coffee shop at 107 Church Street NE has other dining options but focuses almost exclusively on coffee. Inside, the walls are lined with classic rock albums and coffee accouterment. The space is small, but with adequate seating — except for that time Vienna had no Starbucks and the coffee shop was overwhelmed with under-caffeinated customers.
Caffe Amouri also positions itself as a community gathering place, with the front walls of the cafe plastered with flyers and advertisements for local classes and activities. The cafe itself also hosts classes for various coffee-related activities, like teaching the fundamentals of brewing.
There are only a handful of parking spots in a very small lot behind the building, so time visits carefully to avoid peak hours and be prepared to make a tight U-turn if the lot is full.
Rare Bird at 230 W Broad Street specializes in coffee, but offers a well-rounded menu featuring a variety of teas and food. Space inside the cafe is limited, but if you can find seating, the mellow atmosphere caters to the mid-day laptop typist.
But parking for Rare Bird can be a nightmare, with restrictive parking in every block surrounding the building and confusing, and sometimes contradictory, signs directing visitors to phantom “public lots.”