Newsletter

Morning Notes

McLean Soccer Field Conversion Reaches Completion — “The Fairfax County Park Authority, in collaboration with the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors and McLean Youth Soccer Association, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the grand opening of Holladay Field in McLean, Virginia. The celebration begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.” [FCPA]

Town of Vienna Downsizes Planning Commission — “Seeking to bring the Vienna Planning Commission’s membership in line with those of similarly sized nearby jurisdictions, the Vienna Town Council on Oct. 11 agreed to reduce the commission’s size from nine members to seven…Three Planning Commission members have departed this year.” [Sun Gazette]

Celebree School Tysons to Hold Grand Opening — “Celebree School, a preschool and infant and toddler care center, is celebrating its grand opening in Tysons with a fall festival on Saturday, Oct. 16. The preschool and child care center announced its opening in September at Valo Park, 7950 Jones Branch Drive, McLean.” [Patch]

Fairfax County Urges Flu Shots — The Fairfax County Health Department is encouraging everyone 6 months of age and older to reduce their risk of contracting the seasonal flu by getting vaccinated, ideally before the end of October. Public health nurse Alisa Brooks talks about what people should know about this year’s flu season in a YouTube video. [FCHD/Twitter]

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Heale Medical reception desk rendering (courtesy Heale Medical)

A new primary care medical office is having its grand opening in Tysons today (Tuesday).

Heale Medical is opening at 8300 Boone Boulevard, an office building just south of the Chain Bridge Road and Leesburg Pike interchange, at 11 a.m.

Founder Dr. Amit Newatia told Tysons Reporter that, despite the area’s swelling population, there’s limited access to primary care treatment. There are, at least according to Google, around a dozen medical clinics or general practitioners in Tysons, along with a new emergency room opening next year.

“Despite this population growth, the area suffers from a dearth of options for modern primary care offices that customize care to the individual,” Newatia said. “Traditional primary care offices fail to fully cater to this evolving group of highly discerning patients, especially when it comes to long-term and preventative care. Heale Medical offers a unique perspective on primary care where patients are treated with great dignity and are given incredible empowerment over their health.”

According to the Heale Medical social media page, the office works with all major insurance carriers, though co-pays apply depending on the insurance.

Annual membership fees for Heale Medical are $199, but a press release said the practice is offering free membership for the first year for locals who sign up between Sept. 1 and Dec. 1.

The press release noted that patients have access to health an wellness support services, as well as “health screenings, management of acute and urgent illnesses or injuries, and chronic conditions.”

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Morning Notes

Virginia Prepares to Vaccinate Kids Against COVID-19 — “Northam said during a news conference that the state Department of Health is working with local school divisions and superintendents to roll out the vaccines as soon as they are available and that administering shots in schools would be equitable and efficient. The Pfizer vaccine is expected to be approved for children ages 5-11 in late October or early November.” [Inside NoVA]

Fairfax County Schools Vandalized for TikTok Trend — Falls Church High School and Rocky Run Middle School in Chantilly are casualties of the social media site’s “devious licks” challenge, which involves students vandalizing school property, often bathrooms. A Fairfax County Public Schools spokesperson said discipline has been and will be taken in response to the damage. [WTOP]

County Fire and Rescue Recruits GMU to Save Honeybees — “Recently, a honeybee hive was discovered at #FCFRD USAR Training site. Instead of killing the bees, George Mason University was contacted to see if they knew of an option to facilitate a relocation. The Honeybee Initiative at GMU came out and relocated the hive! A future without bees would really sting! Great to BEE a part of a positive solution!” [FCFRD/Facebook]

Longtime Vienna Jewelry Store Celebrates Reopening — Achikian Goldsmiths, a jewelry store that has operated in the Town of Vienna since 1990, will hold a grand opening celebration to mark its relocation to 110 Pleasant Street NW. Starting at 5 p.m. today (Tuesday), the ceremony will include a ribbon-cutting by Mayor Linda Colbert and a “diamond giveaway,” according to signs on the storefront.

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(Updated at 9:05 a.m. on 9/23/2021) Nicole Liberatore has come a long way from handing cannoli to customers in a parking lot.

Less than two years after they started selling traditional Italian baked goods out of their Annandale home, Liberatore and her husband Dominick have turned their Bisnonna Bakeshop into a brick-and-mortar store at Tysons Corner Center, which welcomed its new arrival on Saturday (Sept. 18) with much fanfare.

“This has definitely been a real Cinderella story for us,” Liberatore told Tysons Reporter while piping creamy ricotta cheese filling into tubes of fried pastry dough.

The fairy godmother came in the form of Tysons Corner Center’s first-ever DreamStart competition, a “Shark Tank”-style contest where entrepreneurs pitched a product, service, or business concept for the opportunity to get three months of free rent at the mall, among other prizes.

Tysons Corner Center launched the competition in May with the dual goal of supporting local businesses and attracting new tenants to fill its vacant spaces, including the corner spot across from Barnes & Noble that Bisnonna has taken over from the Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant.

While the 53-year-old shopping center has been insulated from some of COVID-19’s effects, the past year has still required a whirlwind of adjustments, as the pandemic accelerated some trends, like the shift to online shopping, that were already challenging traditional retailers and the malls that relied on them.

“Everybody’s been affected in different ways, so it’s all about being nimble and making sure we’re able to adapt not just to the pandemic, but all the things that change in the retail industry,” Tysons Corner Center Senior Manager of Business Development Services Becca Willcox said.

After the competition’s 21 applicants were whittled down to nine finalists, Bisnonna was named the grand prize winner on Aug. 11. The runners-up were fashion boutique Garçon Melanie, which opened on Aug. 28, and The Popcorn Bag DC, which is still in the works.

Willcox says the winners stood out as much for the narratives that their owners told as the products they sell. The property team from Macerich, which owns Tysons Corner Center, was especially drawn to Liberatore’s story of starting Bisnonna with recipes passed down from her and her husband’s grandparents.

“The family roots that they have…the way they take a traditional Italian pastry and infuse the cultures that are prominent here in the Northern Virginia area really stood out to us,” Willcox said. “It made us see that there was a big hole in what we offered here in Tysons and an opportunity to be able to really connect with the community through delicious food and product.” Read More

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Morning Notes

Health Department Tweaks Approach to Quarantined Students — Starting today (Thursday), students who have been exposed to COVID-19 can complete wellness checks and get guidance from the Fairfax County Health Department online instead of having to wait for a phone call. The change is part of an ongoing effort to speed up the contact-tracing and quarantining processes so students can return to school buildings. [FCHD]

Local Arts Groups See Bright Spots Amid Upheaval — “Fairfax County’s art scene is under-funded, under-capacity and still weathering the pandemic, but several upcoming projects will bring it closer to its potential, the president of ArtsFairfax said. The county’s prospects are changing more quickly than at any other point in her 12 years with the organization, Linda Sullivan told the Greater Tysons Citizens Coalition during a Sept. 9 roundtable.” [Sun Gazette]

Vienna Schedules Meeting on Economic Strategy — The Town of Vienna will hold a public meeting from 6-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 for residents to discuss a draft economic development report that looks at how the town could more effectively attract and support businesses. The town hired a consultant in January to conduct a market study and propose an economic development strategy that were released in June. [Patch]

Italian Bakery Sets Tysons Corner Grand Opening — “Handcrafted Italian pastry is coming to Tysons Corner Center! Celebrate the Grand Opening of DreamStart Winner Bisnonna Bakeshop on Saturday, 09/18 with family-friendly activities starting at 10am” [Tysons Corner Center/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Republican Gubernatorial Candidate Stops by Dunn Loring — Glenn Youngkin, the Republican nominee for Virginia’s governor, announced his policy priorities yesterday (Monday) outside the construction company CJ Coakley Co. Inc. in Dunn Loring. The package includes $1.8 billion in one-time tax cuts, a pledge to create 400,000 new jobs, raises for school teachers, and the addition of 20 new charter schools. Opponent Terry McAuliffe called the plan “out of touch the state’s fiscal reality.” [The Washington Post]

Nonprofit to Open Office in Vienna Church — “A nonprofit focused on providing a day program for adults with disabilities is opening a new administrative office at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Vienna. The grand opening of the SPARC office will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at the church, located at 2351 Hunter Mill Road.” [Patch]

Mosaic District Gym to Host Vaccine Clinic — “@fairfaxhealth will have a Pop-up COVID-19 Vax Clinic at nearby XSport Fitness (8190 Strawberry Lane) on Tuesday, 8/31 from 3PM-7PM. The 1st (or 2nd) dose Pfizer jab will be available to anyone ages 12+ for free. Walk-ins welcome, or make an appt” [City of Falls Church/Twitter]

Vienna Ben & Jerry’s Offers Free Ice Cream for Solar Art Contest — The Ben & Jerry’s in Vienna has partnered with Ipsun Solar on the solar panel company’s fourth Sunny Summer Art Contest, where kids can submit artwork inspired by the sun and the need to find solutions to climate change. All participants will get a coupon for a free ice cream cone from Ben & Jerry’s Vienna, and winners will get gift cards. [Ipsun Solar]

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A rendering of the interior of the upcoming Bloomie’s store in the Mosaic District (courtesy Bloomingdale’s)

Bloomingdale’s is set to open its first-ever Bloomie’s in Merrifield.

Bloomie’s — a smaller, curated fashion and beauty store concept — will open to the public tomorrow (Thursday) at 10 a.m. in the Mosaic District.

According to a media alert, the store will host a three-day block party to kick off its grand opening, which will continue through Saturday. The festivities will begin at noon and run through 6 p.m. each day.

The party will be open to the public and will feature life-size outdoor games, beauty demonstrations, complimentary customization services with a Bloomie’s purchase, and various family-friendly activities, including sketch artists and a balloon artist.

In addition, the adjoining Colada Shop will serve happy hour food and drink specials from 3 to 6 p.m. during the party. Visitors can also get a ticket for a complimentary gift at the new clothing store.

The grand opening events will be hosted in cooperation with SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center of Fairfax County, Inova Health Foundation, McLean Project for the Arts, and When We All Vote.

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The Perch (courtesy Capital One Center)

(Updated at 9:30 a.m. on 8/24/2021) The Perch is ready for its close-up.

Capital One Center will formally introduce its 2.5-acre urban park in the sky with a three-day family friendly music festival next month that will serve as a grand opening event.

Perchfest, which will run from Sept. 17-19, will feature local bands, activities, games, a sneak peek at The Watermark Hotel, and a new beer release from Starr Hill Biergarten, which officially opened to the public on Saturday (Aug. 21).

The free event is limited to guests, who must register online to reserve a ticket. Located at 1803 Capital One Drive in Tysons, the event runs from 4-10 p.m. on Sept. 17 (Friday), noon to 11 p.m. on Sept. 18 (Saturday), and 12-5 p.m. on Sept. 19 (Sunday).

The festival will benefit Northern Virginia and D.C. chapters of Best Buddies, an international nonprofit that works to improve the lives of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Organizers are encouraging people to donate directly to the organization through its website.

“Capital One Center is excited to present Perchfest, the first of many diverse and dynamic events planned for ‘The Perch,’ a rooftop experience like no other,” Capital One Center managing director Jonathan Griffith said in a news release.

Construction work is continuing for the mixed-use development by the Capital Beltway in Tysons, but The Perch is complete. It sits atop Capital One Hall and features a Sky Bark dog park, an 18-hole mini golf course, a sculpture garden, an amphitheater, and more.

“To mark the occasion and celebrate the grand opening of the newest community gathering place, Starr Hill Biergarten will release a bespoke beer, Perchfest Session IPA,” a news release said. “The distinctly versatile brew features a refreshing citrus hop combined with grapefruit zest.”

The biergarten is currently open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday, 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday.

Kids-centric offerings will include face painting, superheroes, and games. My Gym Vienna/Tysons will also facilitate a children’s music and movement program throughout Sept. 18 (Saturday) on the half-hour from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

The boutique nail salon and spa Nothing in Between, the newest business to open at Capital One Center, will offer complimentary chair massages for guests from 4-7 p.m. on Sept. 17.

When fully built out, Capital One Center will encompass 6 million square feet of development. The Watermark is scheduled to open on Sept. 21, followed by Capital One Hall — a new performing arts venue — on Oct. 2.

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The local “mom-owned” business Kiln & Co. has relocated its main store to a new spot on Church Street in Vienna.

After more than seven years at 138 Church Street NW, the pottery/frozen custard shop reopened on July 2 at 115 Church Street, the space previously occupied by Church Street Pizza, which moved around the corner to a Maple Avenue address earlier this year.

Sarah Selvaraj, who started Kiln & Co. in 2013 as a pottery shop, says the relocation was one of several changes to the business brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“COVID was a challenge for us like many small businesses,” Selvaraj said. “When the inside of the studio was closed, we had to get creative in order to still be able to serve our customer base.”

In addition to downsizing to the smaller Vienna venue, Kiln & Co. sold its Reston location. Selvaraj confirmed that the Lake Anne Plaza store has closed permanently, though it is listed as just “closed for the season” on the company’s website.

When the pandemic shut most retail businesses down in the spring of 2020, Kiln & Co. created a monthly subscription service and a delivery service for custard and do-it-yourself pottery kits.

While Kiln & Co. is now open again for walk-in customers at its Vienna and Falls Church (455 South Maple Avenue) studios, staff are still required to wear masks at all times, and the business is “following all of the CDC guidelines to provide a safe environment for all,” Selvaraj says.

Details for a grand opening celebration for the new Vienna location on Sept. 6 will be announced through the company’s social media.

“We are now right off of the bike path making it easy for people to stop in to enjoy some custard and the space gives us the perfect amount of room for our studio as well as a separate area for classes, birthday parties and events,” Selvaraj said.

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Lidl will officially open its new store at Merrifield Plaza this coming Wednesday (June 30), the grocery retailer announced today (Friday).

Located at 2901 Gallows Road, the store will operate from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week. It took over a 30,000 square-foot space that had been occupied by Office Depot until that company’s lease ran out at the end of 2020.

“I welcome Lidl to the Merrifield area and look forward to the grand opening,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said in a statement. “I am confident that this new Lidl store will serve the local community and join the diverse businesses representing our vibrant community here in the Providence District of Fairfax County.”

According to a press release, the grand opening celebration will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony from 7 to 7:30 a.m.

The first 100 customers will receive a gift card that could range in value from $5 to $100 each. There will also be a raffle for a $500 Lidl gift card and “special giveaways,” the press release says.

As part of a partnership with Capital Area Food Bank, Lidl says that, for the first five days of operations, it will donate 50 cents to the food bank for every customer who signs up for a myLidl membership and sets the new Merrifield store as their home store.

The Merrifield Plaza store is Lidl’s first in the Tysons area. Currently, the closest locations are on Lee Highway near Fairfax City and Pinecrest Plaza in Annandale.

A Lidl spokesperson confirmed to Tysons Reporter in March that the chain is planning to move into the building on Chain Bridge Road in McLean that Safeway vacated on April 30.

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