Tysons Corner, VA

Around 25 years ago, Sherri Routt started working at the Fair Oaks Barnes and Noble. Now, she’s helping the book store chain launch a new prototype store in the Mosaic District (2921 District Avenue).

Tomorrow (April 24), Routt’s 8,300-square-foot Barnes and Noble will open its doors to the public. The store is considerably smaller than the usual stores.

Frank Morabito, Vice President of stores for Barnes and Noble, attended a special preview event at the store and said the new slimmer size is part of a shift towards a more cafe feel for the chain rather than sprawling brick and mortar stores.

The store would feel familiar to anyone who has visited the chain’s larger locations. Though the store is smaller, a quick check on obscure fantasy and historical titles showed that the store is still considerably well stocked.

But there are other differences immediately apparent when stepping into the store. Lower bookshelves in the building offer clear views from one end of the store to the other in contrast to the more labyrinthian, library-feel of many book stores.

Routt said that staff will be roaming the store assisting visitors with product selection and allowing them to purchase books without needing to visit a cash wrap. The store will also feature a self-serve kiosk so customers can research books on their own.

But as a person who has worked in local Barnes and Nobles for years, Routt said she wanted to include a focus on local authors. Routt said she knew several from her days working in Fair Oaks, and used those connections to help put together a lineup of book signings for the grand opening.

The book store also has a children’s section with a selection for younger ages along with toys and a special activity table for children to play with LEGOs.

“This is the cleanest this playspace is ever going to be,” one parent noted as the tour group passed the LEGO table.

Routt said there are many children’s book authors in the area, so moving forward she’s hoping to organize more reading events with writers and children.

“We’re really trying to make our store feel very localized,” Routt said.

The store also features a Barnes and Noble Cafe. While many locations include Starbucks, Morabito said the Barnes and Noble Cafes are company owned and feature Starbucks coffee, but may have a slightly different selection of baked goods.

Morabito said the Mosaic District was the perfect location to open a prototype smaller store, the second in the D.C. region.

“This is the ideal model [for the Mosaic District],” Morabito said. “It’s an amazing shopping experience here and they needed a book store.”

Routt said the store opening had been an easy and streamlined process, though she’s aware there are a lot of eyes in the corporate hierarchy trained on this store opening.

“I’m super excited for the opening,” Routt said. “We’re being watched because this is a new model. So there’s a pressure there, but it’s the good kind — not a stress pressure.”

The lineup of authors signing for the grand opening include:

The store will also host face painting and balloon twisting on Saturday (April 27) and Sunday (April 28).

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A new photography studio opening tomorrow (Thursday) in Vienna focuses on high-end, portraiture photoshoots.

The Melody Yazdani Studio at 144 Church Street NW. has a grand opening scheduled for 6 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting at 6:30 p.m.

The studio specializes in portraits of women.

According to the website:

Session fees start at $275, with hair and makeup services available. Clients typically invest $1400-$5000 on custom collections. Session fees do not include prints or digital files, and travel fees may apply for sessions further than 15 miles from Vienna, Virginia.

The studio advises potential subjects to book a session at least two weeks before the photo shoot, though during peak seasons some slots fill up months in advance.

Exterior photo via Google Maps. Studio photo via Facebook.

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Last August, the future looked uncertain for popular local nightspot Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike). But just a few months later, Biergarten isn’t just staying in place: it’s growing.

The Biergarten had been in-place on a month-to-month basis — a placeholder until the construction nearby extended into the lot. Owner Matt Rofougaran said the Biergarten will remain in place through the end of the year, if not longer.

But the extension doesn’t mean the Biergarten will remain stagnant. This past weekend, the Biergarten opened a new speakeasy-by-day and nightclub-by-night in the basement.

Where there were once German style long tables in the basement, fitting the German beerhall theme of the rest of the establishment, the room has been turned into a club called Room 7.

There are 50 beers available downstairs, both in bottles and cans, with a special table service being offered. The club is over-21 only and has a strict dress code.

During the speakeasy hours, the location is planned to offer “prohibition-type cocktails,” mainly custom house mixes with higher-end whiskey in a more relaxed atmosphere.

“I like the speakeasy trend,” Rofougaran said. “This is a good first-date spot. A lot of places you go are too loud and obnoxious.”

After a pause, Rofougaran added, “But then in the evenings, it’s going to get loud and obnoxious.”

Rofougaran said he’s also looking to get some of the big DJs from D.C. to make the trip across the Potomac to perform at the club. The club is also planned to host a variety of themed nights, like “Persian Night” on Thursdays or “Old School Hip Hop” on Fridays.

“It was time for a renovation,” Rofougaran said.

Rofougaran was frank that he hoped the change would generate sales, but also added that the higher end speakeasy and nightclub vibes were something he felt the Tysons area was lacking.

A grand opening celebration for Room 7 is planned for April 11.

Rofougaran also opened up a little about The Shipyard, a new location for the Biergarten planned for the Scotts Run development in Tysons East.

Early plans indicated that the new location near the McLean Metro station would replace the existing Biergarten, but according to Rofougaran, current plans have The Shipyard and Tysons Biergarten operating concurrently.

The Shipyard is planned to have four shipping containers modified into their own types of mini-restaurant or bar. One will be a branch of the Biergarten. Another will be an egg roll spot called Roll Bär. The other two have not been announced yet.

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of the most 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!

Monday (April 1)

Thursday (April 4)

Friday (April 5)

  • Board of Supervisors Breakfast — 7:30 a.m. at Fairview Park Marriott (3111 Fairview Park Dr) — Leadership Fairfax is presenting a breakfast with Fairfax County and regional leaders for a discussion with the Board of Supervisors regarding the state of the County. Tickets are $50 for class members, $75 for Leadership Fairfax members, and $100 for the general public.

Saturday (April 6)

  • Annual Easter Egg Hunt and Petting Zoo — 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church (1301 Trap Road) — The Andrew Chapel United Methodist Church is hosting a free Easter Egg hunt for children. Kids can bring their own basket or one will be provided. In addition to the egg hunt, a petting zoo will include rabbits, ducks, chickens, guinea pigs and a pig.
  • Art Blooms in Mosaic 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Mosaic District (2910 District Ave) — The Mosaic District is hosting a cherry blossom-themed event in partnership with the National Cherry Blossom Festival this Saturday and Sunday. Activities include a painting class focused on creating a cherry blossom vase and artwork from Torpedo Factory artists.

Sunday (April 7)

Image via Facebook

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After some delays, Virginia Tire and Auto, at 141 Maple Ave in Vienna, is finally open for business.

The shop opened today (Thursday) and while an employee said he wasn’t aware of any grand opening celebrations planned, the store is currently in the middle of a hiring fair.

The employee said the store is looking for people to fill a variety of vacancies, from sales to technicians, and one general service manager position. The fair run until the business closes at 6 p.m. today.

While the store looks to add more people to the crew, the facility is currently operational. The shop has already had a few cars dropped off for repairs and the employee said the first oil checks and tire changes are starting today.

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Nothing Bundt Cakes has been baking in 129 Maple Ave W. in Vienna for two months, but a ribbon cutting on Tuesday (Jan. 29) and celebrations this weekend mark the official grand opening for the bakery.

Tomorrow (Friday), 20 percent of sales at the store will go to Amy’s Army, a non-profit dedicated to cancer research.

From 5-7 p.m., the store will also host a wine and cake tasting. Nothing Bundt Cakes’ most popular flavors will be specially paired with selections from Vienna Vintner.

On Saturday, the first 50 guests will receive free bundtlets — small bundt cakes — for a year. This offer is limited to one bundtlet cake per month for 12 months. The store opens at 10 a.m.

From 12-2 p.m., Nothing Bundt Cakes will host a “Cake-A-Palooza,” with a variety of free samples of various types of cakes.

Photo via Facebook

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Pokéworks, a Hawaiian-inspired poke bowl and burrito eatery, is hosting its grand opening in the Tysons Corner Center mall today.

Today from 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m., visitors who purchase one poke meal can get a second one free.

Pokéworks is a nationwide chain founded in 2015. The Tysons location is run by local entrepreneurs Mark and Annie Chi and David and Viengkeo Tzong. According to a press release:

After noticing the rise of Poke restaurants and the need for more diverse food options in the area, the Chis and Tzongs found the fresh, light and flavorful ingredients at Pokéworks to be unmatched by any other poke restaurant. Eager to expand their business in the Northern Virginia area, these entrepreneurs have recently signed a second Pokéworks location in Chantilly and expect to open summer of 2019.

The restaurant held a soft opening Nov. 12 in the mall’s first-floor food court.

Photo courtesy of Pokéworks

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Inca Latin Kitchen, a new South American restaurant at 2670 in Merrifield, is hosting a series of pre-opening events this weekend and next week before its grand opening on Feb. 1.

Today (Friday) and tomorrow, the restaurant will host its final Machu Pisco tasting. No reservations are required and the event is free to attend. Parking is also free after 6 p.m. in the nearby Metro station lot.

“We will be featuring our Machu Pisco collaboration beer that can only be drank at Inca or Crooked Run Brewing,” the restaurant said in a Facebook post. “You will also be able to enjoy our Pisco Sours as well as some of our classic Latin American cocktails like a Chilcano and our tasty sample menu for you to taste many of our menu items like Lomo Saltado, Inca Balls, Ceviche and so much more!”

The restaurant will have a soft opening Wednesday (Jan. 9) from 4-9 p.m.

Inca Latin Kitchen is also currently open to applications for positions from bartenders to managers.

Photo via Facebook

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(Updated 3:30 p.m.) Ribbon-cuttings usually mark the grand opening of a new facility, but that’s not quite the case for McLean Community Center’s Ingleside Avenue Facility.

The project, which first broke ground in March 2017, is not fully completed yet but an invitation-only ribbon cutting ceremony will still be held tomorrow (Wednesday) at the McLean Community Center at 1234 Ingleside Avenue.

Sabrina Anwah, director of communications for the McLean Community Center, said the renovations are mostly complete and the facility is scheduled to open Jan. 2.

The $8 million project is a complete overhaul of the facility. Administrative offices are consolidated, ADA and fire compliance issues are addressed, and the facility’s lights, walls, and flooring are all updated or replaced. The renovations include two new multipurpose rooms and an enclosed courtyard.

Photo via McLean Community Center

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Cava, a Bethesda-based Mediterranean restaurant chain, has just opened in Tysons at 8350 Leesburg Pike.

The restaurant officially opened today (Monday) near the Greensboro Metro. The Cava is located right next door to Honeygrow, a stir-fry restaurant that opened last month.

The Cava on Leesburg Pike will be open daily from 10:45 a.m.-10 p.m. Be warned though, despite the large lot in Pike 7 Plaza, parking tends to fill up quickly around lunch.

This isn’t the first Cava in the area, with locations in Vienna, McLean and another inside Tysons Corner Center. The chain has been expanding rapidly over the last year, including a deal in August that led to the company acquiring Texas-based Mediterranean chain Zoës Kitchen.

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