Tysons Corner, VA

VivaTysons Magazine filed for bankruptcy last month after running up hundreds of thousands in debt, but the publication is now seeking to have its case dismissed.

An attorney for VivaTysons filed a motion asking a federal bankruptcy judge to dismiss the Chapter 11 case, arguing VivaTysons can better function and pay its debts outside of the bankruptcy process.

Among other reasons for exiting bankruptcy, the filing says an unnamed magazine competitor tried to use the bankruptcy to poach advertising clients from VivaTysons. (For the record, it wasn’t us. -Ed.)

From the filing:

The Debtor seeks to dismiss its case “for cause” for the following reasons: (i) the Debtor believes that it is losing essential advertising revenue as a result of its filing for bankruptcy; (ii) the Debtor is experiencing difficulty complying with the administrative burdens of chapter 11; and (iii) the Debtor is hopeful that it can achieve settlements with its creditors outside of bankruptcy. The Debtor believes its creditors will obtain a greater dividend outside of bankruptcy than pursuant to a plan in the bankruptcy case.

After the Petition Date, at least one of the Debtor’s competitors contacted the Debtor’s advertisers and falsely stated to the Debtor’s advertisers that, as a result of the bankruptcy filing, the Debtor was “closed.” The Debtor’s competitor used the bankruptcy filing and alleged “closing” to implore the Debtor’s advertisers to advertise in the competitor’s magazine instead of the Debtor’s magazine. The Debtor believes that it has lost essential advertising revenue because of the actions of its competitors as a result of the bankruptcy filing.

VivaTysons says in the filing that it owes four small business lenders and banks more than $250,000 collectively. It also owes money to its printing company, the printing company’s owner and potentially two other financial companies. The parent company of Washingtonian Magazine also filed a claim, saying it is owed $50,000 by Tysons-based Johnny Hanna & Associates, which owns VivaTysons.

VivaTysons is published every other month. It is mailed to readers and distributed to local businesses in Tysons, McLean, Falls Church, Vienna, Great Falls and Oakton.

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The Persian New Year is just around the corner on Thursday (March 21), which means that many Iranian-Americans will also soon celebrate the coming of spring.

For many locals who rely on Middle Eastern markets — specifically Persian markets — to supply them with groceries, baked goods and other assorted supplies, Vienna has several places to buy all of the necessities for parties and family gatherings around the Persian New Year.

These small bodega-like markets are important to the Persian community as they act like microcosms of classical Middle Eastern bazaars. Many of the customers that go to the stores are able to speak in Persian, Arabic and Turkish with one another and get ingredients not common in most grocery stores.

Here are three favorites among Iranian-Americans in the area:

Assal Market (112 Glyndon Street NE)

The first shop on the list is Assal Market. Assal Market is one of the oldest middle eastern grocery stores in the area, having first opened up in 1986. Customers can shop for various meats, nuts, fruits and other grocery essentials for festive dinners and other occasions. Most specifically, Assal offers a wide range of halal meats for kabobs, beef stews, and all sorts of Persian classical dishes.

Yas Bakery (137 Church Street NW)

Located in the heart of Vienna, Yas Bakery is owned by Maryam Tabrizi and has been around since 2003. Yas, which means “Jasmine” in Farsi, offers an impressive amount of many sweets, all of which are made fresh in house daily. Zoolbia bamieh — fried honey pastries — are a stable and customer favorite among the sweets offered.

Shiraz Market (8486 Tyco Road G)

Shiraz Market, owned by Mahnaz Hooshmand and located in the Tysons area, is the largest of the three markets and offers fresh produce, baked goods and a small in-house café with homestyle Persian food. Customers often come in to shop for their groceries and also get a lunch of koobideh kabob with saffron rice. The market also sells a variety of glassware, including Persian teacups, hookahs and other china for decorating and serving dishes.

These stores are not exclusive to Persians or other Middle Eastern shoppers, and many of the people that go to these stores come from all sorts of backgrounds. All the shop keepers emphasized just how glad they are that their stores not only provide essentials to Middle Eastern homes, but also introduce the entire community to their food and culture.

Whether or not you celebrate or know someone who is celebrating the Persian New Year, these stores all offer something new and exciting to all local residents.

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The MacMillan Whisky Room is set to bring a high-end neighborhood bar offering international whiskies to the Mosaic District at the beginning of May.

Derek Anderson, who co-owns the bar along with his wife Emma Hand, told Tysons Reporter that they have seen construction move along quickly since they received their permits on Jan. 30.

Construction updates on the restaurant and bar’s Facebook page celebrated the recently built bar and drywall. Anderson said the contractor expects the work finalized by mid-April.

“If our schedule holds, we anticipate a week or two soft opening and then a big weekend grand opening between Friday, May 3, and Cinco de Mayo,” Anderson said.

Along with a variety of whiskies, scotches, vodkas and other liquors, the MacMillan Whisky Room (2920 District Ave) plans to serve burgers along with classic British bar fare like scotch eggs, fish and chips and other dishes.

After opening, Anderson said that the Kentucky Derby on May 4 is the next big event to look forward to with the “big hats and bigger mint juleps.”

A sign in the storefront window says that the MacMillan Whisky Room is hiring bartenders, servers, kitchen staff and supervisors.

Last two photos via Facebook

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A combination of a bubble tea shop and electronic dance music lounge is set to arrive soon along Maple Avenue.

Currently in Falls Church at the Eden Center, TeaDM Lounge plans to open a new location at 142 Maple Ave W. — the former spot of E.G. Comics.

A TeaDM Lounge employee told Tysons Reporter that a grand opening is expected near the end of April.

Locals who don’t want to wait the month can head to 6765 Wilson Blvd for a taste of the bubble tea, flavored tea, coffee and smoothies paired with electric beats.

Photo via Facebook 

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The Town of Vienna is poised to rev up public parking discussions again, after recently dropping a plan that would have made it easier to park in the town’s central business district.

One month ago, the Town of Vienna said it had dissolved an agreement to use a four-story commercial building on Church Street as a public parking garage. Now, the push for public parking is making a comeback.

The Town Business Liaison Committee and Mayor Laurie DiRocco are set to host a community brainstorming session about public parking.

The meeting later this week aims to gather feedback from business owners, problem-solve and consider future options, the event description says.

Anyone interested in going can head to the Town Hall (127 S. Center Street) from 6-7 p.m. on Thursday (March 14).

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As is the eventual fate of all pop-ups, locally owned boutique Park Story could be relocating from its Mosaic District home.

Owner Meghan Evans launched her own clothing line in August 2017 and opened the store in the Mosaic District in October 2018.

“I am hoping for a more permanent home that caters to local designers and independent caterers,” said Evans. “Something permanent than a pop-up. I’m expecting to be here through July.”

Evans said she’s currently in discussions with the Mosaic District about trying to stay in that area, but either way, she hopes to remain somewhere in Northern Virginia.

Evans started her clothing line after being frustrated with the lack of selection for tall women. The Park Story boutique was designed to not only showcase her collection, but work from other local and independent creators. Evans said the store hosts everything from local lipstick to jewelry and art.

“People are surprised there’s such quality on the local market,” Evans said. “People don’t expect to find us here. We’re surrounded by bigger box stores, but we’re local and independent.”

Evans’ clothing line is manufactured in D.C. She knows most of the other vendors at her store following years of building connections and seeking out brands that she believes are complementary to the shop aesthetic.

“We are clean and modern with a feminine touch,” Evans said. “The shop has more of a minimalist feel: light, bright and airy.”

Evans said she hopes to know by April whether or not the store will be moving so she can begin to let her customers know her plans.

Photo via Facebook

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One week after Republik Coffee (7915 Jones Branch Drive) was scheduled for eviction, the local coffee shop is still serving coffee.

A manager at the location confirmed that the location plans to remain open but could add no details about how the coffee bar evaded the eviction.

Owner Talha Sarac had previously told Tysons Reporter that the eviction notice was part of a misunderstanding with Kettler, which owns the Highgate at the Mile building, and that he would meet with Kettler representatives to sort things out.

Kettler declined to comment, but whatever Sarac and Kettler discussed, it was enough to keep the location open for the time being.

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(Updated 2:40 p.m.) — The Boro, the Meridian Group’s 1.7 million-square-foot development that aims to compete with Tysons Corner Center Mall as the commercial heart of Tysons, is inching closer towards completion.

The first opening is Boro Tower, which has already started opening to tenants.

“As of right now, we’ve delivered the Boro Tower,” said Caroline Flax, senior analyst for the Meridian Group. “Tegna moved in January.”

The Boro Tower is part of Block C, which includes the Showplace Icon theater building. Flax said the movie theater building is complete, with tenants finishing their build-out inside the space.

The residential and retail towers of Block A at the development’s northern point are scheduled for an opening later in the summer. Flax said the 25-story luxury condominium “Verse” tower, a collaboration between the Meridian Group and Kettler, is planned to open this fall. Pre-leasing for residential units for “Rise,” a 27-story apartment tower, will begin in the spring with move-in scheduled for the summer.

Much of the site’s premier retailers are located along Boro Place, the pseudo-main street of the Boro development. The street is currently undergoing its final round of paving.

Flax said many of the openings on Boro Place hinge on the timing of the region’s largest Whole Foods opening.

“Boro Place is going to open in coordination with Whole Foods, which is looking at late summer, early fall,” said Flax. “A lot of tenants don’t want to open until they do.”

Flax noted that most of the restaurants and retail in the development have already been announced, but that the company is still working on a couple contracts for retail occupants.

“We’re excited to get everything open and ready for the general public,” said Flax.

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The publisher of VivaTysons Magazine has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

As first reported by the Washington Business Journal, Tysons-based Johnny Hanna & Associates LLC filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this month, citing assets of $100,001-500,000 and debts of $500,001-1,000,000.

Among the biggest creditors are George Stephenson and his Alexandria-based Stephenson Printing, which are collectively owed nearly $400,000. A handful of business lenders are also listed as creditors.

VivaTysons is published every other month. It is mailed to readers and distributed to local businesses in Tysons, McLean, Falls Church, Vienna, Great Falls and Oakton.

Hanna told WBJ that he has struggled to sell ads in the magazine as digital advertising continues to overtake traditional media.

“People have shied away from print for a while,” Hanna is quoted as saying. “Not many people want to immerse themselves in the community.”

A projected budget filed in federal bankruptcy court says Hanna’s company expects revenue of around $120,000 and expenses of around $190,000 over the next 12 weeks. The expenses include more than $75,000 in compensation for employees, writers and graphic designers; $50,000 for printing; and $25,000 for postage.

Hanna told WBJ that he expects to get “back to normal” after the bankruptcy process.

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The Greater Merrifield Business Association is “shaking off its low-tech past and ramping up efforts to connect with members and promote the community,” the Sun Gazette reports.

Among its recent efforts are a new website, pictured above, and the recruitment of younger members.

More from the Sun Gazette:

The organization is making its board larger, trying to diversify and get younger, Thompson said…

“We had an older-age demographic in the organization,” he said. “Not very many young people. Nobody had e-mail, nobody had Twitter. We were so far behind with the times and we were suffering from it. There are so many things that we do well, but we need the Millennials with us in this organization.”

The organization’s mission is “to build a strong network of local businesses, support our local community, and increase the customer traffic to our businesses,” according to the GMBA website.

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