Tysons, VA

Now that Thanksgiving is over, many people are beginning to put up holiday decorations — including Christmas trees.

There are several places around the Tysons area that carry a variety of tree types to fit the needs of decorators.

McLean

Saint John’s Academy is hosting a Christmas tree sale for people who want their purchase to benefit a good cause. Until Dec. 22, Saint John the Beloved Catholic Church (6420 Linway Terrace) will be selling trees Wednesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Tree prices start at $50. Garland and wreaths will also be available.  All proceeds will benefit students at the church’s school, according to the website.

The Trinity United Methodist Church (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd) will also be selling trees. Hours of operation are Thursdays and Fridays from 5 to 7:30 p.m., Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sundays from 12 until 6 p.m. Proceeds from this sale will benefit the church’s youth group and Boy Scout Troop 869.

Merrifield 

The Merrifield Garden Center (8132 Lee Hwy) offers shoppers eight different types of Christmas trees, including Scotch Pine, White Pine, Blue Spruce, Douglas Fir, Nobile Spruce, Turkish Fir and Fraiser Fir as well as artificial trees.

The center is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. The store also has locations in Fair Oaks and Gainsville, according to the website.

The Home Depot in Merrifield (2815 Merrilee Drive) has a selection of fake trees that customers can pick up at the store or order online for home delivery. Though they do not have live trees available at individual stores, they will ship them for free from a storage warehouse for free, according to the website.

Photo via Annie Spratt/Unsplash

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Kids looking to write and mail letters to the North Pole ahead of the holidays can head to the U.S. Post Office in Merrifield on Saturday for an event.

The location at 8409 Lee Why plans to host Santa letter writing from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday (Nov. 30), according to a press release.

Postal workers will be on-site to help as part of Operation Santa program, which lets individuals and organizations adopt the letters and send responses and gifts in Santa’s place.

More from the press release:

The Postal Service began receiving letters to Santa Claus more than 100 years ago; however, it was in 1912 when Postmaster General Frank Hitchcock authorized local postmasters to allow postal employees and citizens to respond to the letters — this became known as Operation Santa…

The letters — minus any personal information — will be posted at USPSOperationSanta.com, our new web address for letter adoption. Customers nationwide are searching now for letters to Santa to adopt online at the website. Children’s personal information remains anonymous.

USA Today reported that the program ran out of letters earlier this week. As of today (Tuesday, Nov. 26) letters were on the website.

Families and kids who can’t make the event can still send a letter to Santa’s new address: 123 Elf Road, North Pole 88888.

Image via Google Maps

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Before and after Hozier’s show at The Anthem in D.C., the “Take Me to Church” singer and his band were backstage playing with puppies from Wolf Trap Animal Rescue.

The local animal rescue, which has a mailing address in Merrifield and remote locations across the country, is a nonprofit that works to transport, foster and adopt rescued puppies and kittens at risk of euthanasia by states in the South.

About a year ago, Wolf Trap Animal Rescue (WTAR) created a puppy therapy program, which helps to lower humans’ stress and increase their endorphins, Sarah Barker, the foster and volunteer coordinator for WTAR, told Tysons Reporter.

Lizzo’s performance at The Anthem in September was the first time that WTAR partnered with the D.C. music venue to bring its puppy therapy program to performers. Since then, WTAR has brought its puppy therapy to about half a dozen artists, Barker said.

“It’s nice to see these people who get so stressed to play with puppies,” Barker said.

When Andrew John Hozier-Byrne, known professionally as Hozier, came to perform at The Anthem last Monday (Nov. 18), representatives at the D.C. music venue suggested that WTAR bring its puppies back.

Barker said that Hozier and his band weren’t told about the puppies until after their soundcheck. They spent about an hour with the puppies both before and after the show, she said.

Hozier tweeted about the experience: “Thanks to the Wolf Trap Animal Rescue for introducing us to these beautiful pups. Please check them out if you’re in the DC area and looking to give a dog a home for life!”

WTAR also offers the program to corporations via donations that determine how many puppies they will bring.

For small events — like the Hozier one — Barker said WTAR will bring about four to five dogs, while a larger event can have up to 20.

For people who want to feel like a celebrity playing with puppies, WTAR will be bringing the puppies to Tysons Corner Center on Tuesday (Dec. 3) 4:30-7 p.m.

The animal rescue is also set to have its last adoption event of the year at the PetSmart (8204 Leesburg Pike) in Tysons at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7.

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Fairfax County police say a female pedestrian is in critical condition after being struck by a car along Lee Hwy in Merrifield.

Police received the call at 10:14 a.m. on Saturday (Nov. 23) for the crash involving a Toyota Solara and a female pedestrian, Sgt. James Curry, a police spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter.

Police tweeted about the crash shortly after 11 a.m, noting that eastbound Lee Hwy was closed at Cedar Lane.

“The pedestrian was taken to the hospital with injuries considered to be life-threatening,” the tweet said.

Shortly after 1 p.m., police tweeted again to say that Lee Hwy had reopened and that “the pedestrian remains in critical condition.”

Curry said that, as of 9:30 a.m. today (Monday), the police are awaiting an update on the woman’s condition.

The driver involved in the crash remained on the scene, Curry said, adding that no arrests have been made in connection to the crash.

The location of the pedestrian when the crash occurred and the cause of the crash are pending investigation, Curry said.

Map via Google Maps

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Two Merrifield restaurants now have Fairfax County approval for a plan to address parking problems.

The Board of Supervisors approved an amended parking plan today (Tuesday) for 8100 Lee Hwy — the site of TRIO Grill and Open Road, which are both operated by Metropolitan Hospitality Group.

Back in 2013, the board OK’d a parking reduction from 123 to 100 spaces on the site, with 98 spaces for customers and two spaces — one for an employee and another for a shuttle for employees, according to county documents. The board made the decision because of the restaurants’ proximity to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

Several conditions were put in place for the 2013 reduction to incentivize the employees to not drive, including a shuttle to and from the Metro station for employees and reduced-fare vouchers for public transit.

“However, soon after the restaurants opened, the operator discontinued the shuttle program and instead instituted valet parking on adjacent sites,” according to county documents.

To address concerns about the parking situation, the Zoning Administrator requested a parking study in July 2017. The study found that the site requires 123 parking spaces.

Roughly 50 employees are on the site during peak operating hours, according to county documents.

Now, the board approved changes that will have:

  • 100 spaces on the site of the restaurants
  • 23 spaces off-site for the restaurants
  • 74 spaces off-site “for additional parking demand”

The off-site spaces will be valet-parked at 2757 and 2843 Hartland Road.

“The total proposed parking supply of 197 spaces is adequate to meet the projected peak parking demand of 182 spaces, which is based on yearly sales data for the restaurants and potential parking demand associated with this data,” according to county documents.

Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth likened the situation to the children’s tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” saying that it’s important to get the parking numbers right — “not too much, not too little.”

“Parking is vital to the success of any business,” Smyth told her fellow board members. “This has been a dilemma here.”

Image via Google Maps

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After much anticipation from the Merrifield community, the new Popeyes is finally serving up the infamous chicken sandwiches alongside other menu items.

The location (2835 Gallows Road) opened last week. Nader Saleh, the location’s owner, said that business is booming and has been steady so far.

As of 12:05 p.m. today (Wednesday), the lunch rush line wrapped around the restaurant. Saleh stood behind the counter, yelling out names for pickup and assisting his staff to keep up with the rush.

The employees seemed to struggle to keep up with the orders, not to mention other duties like answering the phones.

Omar Nedjar, a Popeyes regular who said he eats there about two times per week, said he gets annoyed by the crowds that come with the infamous chicken sandwich.

“I’m not here for the sandwich. I’m here for the drumsticks,” he told Tysons Reporter.

The location is open until 11 p.m. every day.

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Tysons Reporter is back with its new monthly crime map showing where the incidents occurred in Fairfax County Police Department’s McLean District Station.

We went ahead and pulled together all of the incidents noted for the McLean District Station in FCPD crime recaps from Oct. 1-31, weeded out the ones that are not in the Tysons Reporter coverage area and plotted them in the interactive map above.

The McLean District Station covers crime in Merrifield, Dunn Loring, Falls Church, McLean, Tysons and Great Falls.

The map only includes information from FCPD and does not include reports to the police departments in the Town of Vienna or the City of Falls Church.

Use the icon in the top left corner of the map to toggle between the various types of crimes displayed.

Fairfax County’s weekday police recaps are not comprehensive lists of every incident and the addresses are approximate. FCPD also notes that information in the recaps “is generally based on initial reports made to the police department.”

Anyone with information about any of these crimes should call 703-691-2131 or 1-866-411-TIPS(8477).

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Crescendo Studios opened a few months ago in Merrifield. Now, the education-oriented music studio can expand into a nearby space.

The music studio plans to use a currently empty space adjacent to the studio’s existing location (8101 Lee Hwy) to increase their clientele and take on around 90 students. The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved the expansion on Tuesday (Oct. 29).

“The majority of the students are expected to be between the ages of 7 and 17, though some adults may also enroll,” according to county documents.

“We talk about repurposing office buildings a lot,” Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross said. “I think this sounds like a cool idea and it’s right there near Mosaic, which is terrific.”

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Bruster’s Real Ice Cream on Avenir Place is closing for the winter later this week.

A sign on the door says that the location (2672 Avenir Place) by the Dunn Loring Metro station will temporarily shut down beginning Thursday (Oct. 31).

The chain serves up a variety of cold treats including ice cream, shakes, floats, sodas and cakes.

Partons can grab a sweet-treat on Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-9 p.m. before Bruster’s closes for the season.

The shop will reopen on March 1, 2020, according to the sign.

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Tysons may not have the liveliest nightlife at the moment, but that could soon change as more late-night restaurants and places to hang out open. “Tysons After Dark” will highlight a different spot every week.

The Washington Nationals are back in D.C. for the third game tonight in the World Series.

As D.C.’s baseball team prepares face the Houston Astros at 8 p.m., Tysons Reporter has found some places around the Tysons area offering specials or hosting watch parties for the World Series — including new ones since last week’s roundup.

Here’s where to bring the “Natitude” tonight (Friday).

The Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) plans to have a watch party tonight with $8 food specials. The watering hole was four projectors — two outside and two indoor inside — for people to watch the game, along with 17 TVs.

The Town of Vienna is hosting a “Big Game Watch Party” starting at 7:30 p.m. tonight (Oct. 25) in the main gym at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE). Chairs will be provided, but attendees are encouraged to bring their own chairs, blankets, food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Taco Bamba spots in Falls Church (2190 Pimmit Drive) and Vienna (164 W. Maple Avenue) has the “Baby Shark Taco” for $4.50, according to a press release. The taco will include Venezuelan spiced fish “cazón” style with guacamole, green goddess-dressed cilantro and cabbage.

Meanwhile, pizza chain Matchbox will give diners wearing Nats gear on game days food and drinks at happy hour prices. Matchbox has a local spot in the Mosaic District at 2911 District Avenue, Suite 120.

Caboose Tavern (520 Mill Street NE) is offering $2 off of growler fills on game days and plans to hold watch parties from 8-10:30 p.m.

Settle Down Easy Brewing (2822 Fallfax Drive) in the Falls Church area plans to have a watch party with free pizza and $1 pints anytime a Nats player hits a home run. “We will extend our hours until the end of the game,” according to the Facebook event.

#StayintheFight

Photo via Caboose Tavern/Facebook

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