Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].
Happy week 2 all your home schooling parents!
I say that with the enthusiasm of someone who’s had two cups of coffee today (and it’s not even noon yet). Regardless of your child care situation right now, everyone I know is under more stress lately than ever, myself included, and I wanted to help offer up some opportunities to combat that cortisol!
- I did a post a few months ago about the best hidden walking trails. Still an option, especially on Monday afternoons like today where the work at home is light.
- Outdoor fitness classes: Orange Theory, Pure Barre and Yoga just to name a few, are all doing an outdoor fitness class if you have an interest and comfort level with being outdoor.
- I read online, reducing caffeine intake helps with reducing stress. This might be one of those do as I say, not as a I do… you could try a Viva Sol smoothie, South Block smoothie or SweetLeaf smoothie (fruit, kale or sweet mix-in).
- The total opposite of that is a decadent treat — Crumbl, Pie Gourmet, Kiln and Co, etc.
Hang Out With Friends
- Lots of socially distanced options right now — outdoor tables at many of the eateries, wineries/breweries, apple picking, pumpkin picking — so many options.
- Organize an outdoor “playdate” on the grass at a school or the blacktop
As the weather begins to finally (thankfully) turn to the fall, I look forward to getting back outside when my own kids are off the screens. Happy fall!
Hawk & Griffin, a new British pub coming to Vienna will offer guests the chance to enjoy British culture.
Located at 405 W. Maple Ave, 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
Two Candidate Forums Set for Special F.C. Council Election — “The Falls Church Chamber of Commerce and the Falls Church League of Women Voters have each announced forums to hear from the three candidates running to fill the F.C. City Council seat vacated by the July passing of Daniel X. Sze.” [Falls Church News-Press]
FCPS Extends Breakfast and Lunch To Go–“Fairfax County Public Schools announced they will continue free breakfast and lunch to go starting Tuesday through December 31.” [Local DVM]
McLean Firm Wins $7.3M DARPA 5G Security Contract — “McLean-based computer and network security company Kryptowire LLC won a four-year, $7.3 million contract to help the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) conduct research and development services for 5G mobile network security, according to a Department of Defense statement released Tuesday.” [Virginia Business]
Kids of All Ages on What They Miss Most About Dining in Restaurants — “The flaming onion volcano wouldn’t make it through the car ride. Marcus, who is 8 and lives in Tysons Corner, misses dinner and a show at his favorite restaurant, Sakura.” [Washington City Paper]
Capital One May Find Its Way Into the McLean Metro Station’s Name — “Fairfax County is weighing a proposal to rename the McLean Metro station as “McLean-Capital One Hall,” which, if approved, would become the first station to include a company’s name in its title.” [Washington Business Journal]
Easter is usually the busiest time of year for the Polish Market in Vienna, but this year, the family-owned grocery store couldn’t invite customers inside and instead offered curbside pick-up due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Oskar Skrzeszewski, who helps his parents run the business, told Tysons Reporter that they had to “do a 360” with operations when the pandemic hit.
“We were one of the first stores to implement safety glass in the beginning of the pandemic,” Skrzeszewski said. “We soon realized this wasn’t enough and we had to close the store completely to foot traffic. We operated on a curbside pick basis only, which was extremely difficult since we’ve never done anything like that before.”
Located at 431 Maple Ave W., the market has served Polish customers and people of Polish heritage for six years, selling pierogis, kielbasa, cabbage rolls, packzi, beer, New York cheesecakes and more, Skrzeszewski said.
The last few months have taken a toll on the business by completely changing its operations and taking a financial hit.
“Our revenues are about 30% down and we have fewer customers coming into the store,” Skrzeszewski said.
At the start of the pandemic in Northern Virginia, Skrzeszewski said that they had trouble finding personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies, but eventually were able to order gallons of hand sanitizer from a company. Masks were also hard to come by, but customers who worked in the medical field were able to help.
Currently, customers can only access about half of the store and safety glass is everywhere inside. The limited capacity has led to a dramatic decrease in the shelf space.
“We have to pick and choose the items we order a lot more carefully now,” Skrzeszewski said.
Despite the inconvenience, the Skrzeszewski said shoppers seem to be taking the public health measures well: “Our customers have been tremendously supportive and we’re very grateful for that.”
Over the last few months, Skrzeszewski said he’s seen consumer demand change a little as more shoppers stock up on kielbasa, beer and mustard for barbecues and camping.
Elsewhere in Vienna, a new small grocery store is also working to overcome the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Owner Rami El-Hasrouni told Tysons Reporter he was glad he converted Bey Lounge into the LB Food Market (303 NE Mill Street) in late 2019 after the lounge got in trouble multiple times over the Town of Vienna’s noise ordinance.
The market sells Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food and is right next door to Wooden Bakery. Both stores are operated by D.C.-based Woodfire Brands.
After deciding to end the lifespan of Bey Lounge, he decided to expand the small market that was in the bakery into its own concept
While he’s glad that he doesn’t have to worry about how the former restaurant and club would have stayed open during the pandemic, he said the grocery store transition has been tough.
El-Hasrouni said he was already in the process of rebuilding his customer base for the small supermarket — “Everybody is used to this location as a restaurant with nightlife, not a grocery location” — before the pandemic hit.
Night club aside, the location doesn’t help either.
“We are in a hidden location,” he said. “Nobody expects a grocery store to be in the warehouse district. That’s the toughest part for us. If we’re on the main street, people walking by them might see us.”
For the grocery shoppers the store has attracted so far, El-Hasrouni said that the fresh pita bread is the big draw. Shoppers can also find Mediterranean specialty items, like Lebanese olive oil, spinach cheese pies and homemade hummus, along with standard groceries: milk, eggs, vegetables.
Even though LB Market is essentially an expanded version of the grocery section in Wood Bakery, El-Hasrouni is hopeful that the name “is something new” that will also catch people’s attention.
As the pandemic continues, El-Hasrouni said he’s working to get online ordering available on the website, along with mailing people coupons and flyers to help spread the word.
Photos (1-2) via Polish Market/Facebook, photo (3) via LB Food Market/Facebook
The new location, which an employee at the Tysons location (1635 Boro Place) said opened today, is the sixth one all located within Whole Foods stores for Chef Spike Mendelsohn.
Mendelsohn, the D.C.-area restaurateur who competed during the fourth season of “Top Chef,” opened the first PLNT Burger in September 2019 in Silver Spring, Md. Mendelsohn also operates several other D.C. eateries, including Good Stuff Eatery; We, The Pizza; Béarnaise; and Santa Rosa Taqueria.
The employee said that the PLNT Burger location in Tysons is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
Hat tip Vernon Miles
Photo via PLNT Burger/Facebook
HAN Palace originally wanted to open its Tysons spot in April, but then the coronavirus pandemic hit Northern Virginia.
Now, the restaurant is looking to start serving its “traditional” Cantonese brunch and all-day dim sum in a few weeks. HAN Palace will have a bar, indoor dining and patio seating at the same building (7900 Westpark Drive) that houses Bourbon Coffee and Ahra Kitchen.
Owner Chris Zhu, who also runs China Garden in Rockville, Md., told Tysons Reporter in March that the restaurant’s all-day dim sum will stand out because D.C. restaurants usually only offer dim sum for lunch.
Diners can get complimentary garage parking for two hours during the day or after 6 p.m. on weekdays and up to six hours on the weekends.
Photo courtesy Chris Zhu
Hybrid Learning — “BASIS Independent McLean, which like all Virginia schools switched to online-only classes this spring because of the public-health emergency, on Aug. 25 reopened under a hybrid plan combining in-person and online learning.” [Inside NoVa]
Food Insecurity High — “Share of McLean is seeing twice its usual demand for food assistance, and several times its usual demand for emergency financial assistance, as the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to exact a heavy toll on the country’s most vulnerable populations.” [Connection Newspapers]
Calls to Remove Library Trustee — “A Fairfax County Library Board of Trustees member is facing criticism for comments about the diverse titles featured on the library’s online catalog. The Virginia Library Association expressed opposition to Phillip Rosenthal’s comments in a letter, while the NOVA Equity Agenda Coalition took it a step further and called for his resignation or removal.” [Patch]
Work Completed Along Route 7 — “The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Phase 1 crews have completed all work along eastbound and westbound Route 7 in Tysons.” [Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project]
Photo by Michelle Goldchain
Visitors to Tysons Corner Center can drop off canned food and snacks to help people facing food insecurity.
The Capital Area Food Bank is looking for the following items:
- canned or dry beans
- canned vegetables (low sodium, no salt added)
- peanut butter
- hot and cold cereal
- grains: brown and white rice, pasta, macaroni and cheese
- canned tuna, salmon or chicken
- 100% juice (all sizes)
- canned fruits
- healthy snacks like raisins and granola bars
Working with more than 450 nonprofit partners, the Capital Area Food Bank provides more than 30 million meals yearly, according to its website.
For communities across the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic has made it harder to access food and resources. A study earlier this year by Feeding America predicts that 17 million more people — including 7 million kids — will face food insecurity this year than in pre-pandemic times.
People will have until Sunday, Aug. 30, to drop off donations at either the concierge desk on the second level near Starbucks or at Bloomingdale’s.
As restaurants look to serve diners indoors safely during the pandemic, Silver Diner has started using a new system to keep the interiors of its restaurants sanitized.
The regional chain says that it is the first U.S. restaurant to install an air purification system that uses three technologies — ultraviolet light, bipolar ionization technology and HEPA filtration, according to a press release.
The systems were installed at all of Silver Diner’s locations by last Wednesday (Aug. 12), according to co-founder and head chef Ype Von Hengst.
“I think that in this world you’ve got to adapt and change to fit what’s needed,” Hengst said. “It’s our responsibility as restaurateurs to create a new norm.”
Already, Hengst said that both the Reston and Tysons locations have seen a substantial jump in customers who feel safe about eating inside.
Silver Diner spent roughly $500,000 on the system for the restaurants, according to Hengst, who added that the cost was worth it to protect staff and customers. The air purification system was designed by Veteran LED, a veteran-owned lighting and energy management firm.
The technology has been used before in hospitals, schools and medical care facilities but never a restaurant, according to a press release.
Depending on size, each location has a large air purifier filer that covers roughly 1,000 cubic feet of air and then smaller purifiers that support roughly 250 feet of additional cubic footage, according to Hengst.
“Germicidal UV-C lights installed throughout the HVAC system work to disinfect air and surfaces inside the system. Heavy-duty handheld UV-C light sterilizers are being used on high touch areas as part of the closing duties of the staff,” the press release said. “At night, when the restaurant is closed, the interior is bathed in germicidal UV-C light to help kill pathogens in the air and sterilize surfaces.”
Hengst said that the UV-C ceiling fixture runs for one hour each night. The restaurant claims that the system gets rid of 99.9% of the encountered pathogens.
While UV-C lights have been used as a disinfectant for decades and researchers found it can deactivate coronaviruses, the dosage, time duration and distance from the source can all impact how effective the lights are, Discover Magazine reported.
It’s unclear how effective UV treatment is against COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Environmental Protection Agency cannot confirm whether it may be effective.
Additionally, Silver Diner locations are going to continue using personal protective equipment, printing menus on anti-microbial paper, requiring temperature checks, social distancing and following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, according to Hengst.
Before the pandemic hit the NoVA area, Hengst said that he was beginning to notice a roughly 10% profit increase at both the Reston and Tysons locations, which he attributed to population growth in the areas.
Since Silver Diner installed the new technology last week, Hengst said that more and more people are requesting to sit inside, though it is too early to see if sales are increasing again.
In the months to come, Hengst said he hopes more restaurants can use the technology to “help open up the world again.”
Photos courtesy Silver Diner
An international ramen restaurant plans to start serving diners this week in The Boro.
Now, Santouka will open limited indoor and outdoor seating, along with pickup and delivery services, according to a press release. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.
Diners can find a dozen types of ramen, including shio, miso, pork and vegetarian, on the menu.
Started in Japan in 1983, the Hokkaido-style ramen chain has more than 60 restaurants in 10 countries, including 16 locations in the U.S., according to the press release.
Food’s Style USA, which is running the Tysons restaurant, said in a statement that the tables will be disinfected frequently and that the employees will have regular health screenings and sanitation training.
Santouka is the latest newcomer to the Tysons development near the Greensboro Metro station. FRESHFARM Farmers Markets opened at The Boro in July. Earlier this summer, Colour Bar Studio, Poki DC and Tysons Nail Lounge also opened in the development looking to become a new destination in Tysons.
Photo courtesy Santouka