Tysons, VA

(Updated 3:55 p.m.) Madison Reed will start selling hair color products and open its Color Bar this weekend in the Mosaic District.

Madison Reed will open at 2921 District Avenue, Suite 130 on Saturday, July 11. Customers will be able to book color service and free color consultations, buy products and participate in the Unlimited Roots Membership.

Because of the pandemic, clients will be spaced every other chair and appointments will be staggered to allow for cleanings, Mary O’Connell, a company spokesperson, told Tysons Reporter. People will have to book appointments in advance — and will get “texted in” to their appointments when they show up — but can walk in for retail purchases, she said.

Additionally, the new stores will have new HVAC systems to help with air quality control, and clients can expect masks, gloves, social distancing and temperature checks.

Instead of a grand opening party, the store will give away a free color service and blowout to the first 100 people who email them.

“We couldn’t have a party as much as we would love to have a party,” O’Connell said.

The pandemic did not significantly delay the Mosaic location’s opening, which was set for early June, she said. In addition to the Mosaic District location, Madison Reed is also opening locations in Reston Town Center and Rockville on Saturday.

Clients can expect reduced hours from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday at the Mosaic District.

While many businesses have struggled during the pandemic, O’Connell said that Madison Reed saw sales increase 1,300% — “just a huge number” — due to customers purchasing kits to color their hair at home. At one point, boxes of color kits were selling every five seconds, she said.

Because of the boom, Madison Reed did not furlough any employees and instead had them help with the orders, she said.

“Hair color matters to women,” O’Connell said, adding that the company attributes the sales to brand loyalty and “looking at yourself on Zoom.”

Photo via Mosaic District/Facebook

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As of today, South Block is now open to the public in the Town of Vienna.

The juice and smoothie bar has outdoor patio seating, along with indoor seating at half capacity, at 207 E. Maple Avenue, according to a spokesperson. South Block was previously located at Jammin Java.

The menu includes cold-pressed juice, toast and salad, smoothies and bowls, along with smoothie bowl kits that don’t require a blender, the spokesperson said.

Customers can place orders for pick-up and delivery via the South Block and Uber Eats.

Leading up to this week, South Block held a soft opening last week.

Photo via South Block/Facebook

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A new pizza joint is here: baddpizza has officially opened its doors in McLean.

The pizzeria held a private pre-opening event on Friday and Saturday, according to a Facebook post. Now, the eatery at 6263 Old Dominion Drive is open for business, baddpizza tweeted today.

Baddpizza, which also has locations in South Riding and Falls Church, offers Buffalo-style food. The menu isn’t only pizza — diners can find hot wings, salads, subs and desserts as well.

Joel Salamone, the eatery’s owner, previously told Tysons Reporter that baddpizza has a sweeter sauce than most pizzerias and places toppings up to the edge.

The McLean location is open from 3-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, according to its website.

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The Town of Vienna can soon expect a new smoothie and juice bar along Maple Avenue.

Viva Sol Juice Company is planning to open this July, according to a Facebook post yesterday. Tysons Reporter spotted permits for the business earlier this year.

Viva Sol Juice Company is set to come to 124 Maple Ave W. in the Vienna Shopping Center.

The business’ Facebook page describes it as “Vienna’s original superfood cafe” and claims that the location will offer 100% cold-pressed juice, bowls, smoothies, doughnuts, an espresso bar and brunch.

The Facebook page says that Viva Sol Juice Company is focused on plant-based, gluten-free food and drinks.

Image via Viva Sol Juice Company/Facebook

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As Virginia rolls back COVID-19 restrictions, stores and services are returning in Tysons.

The Boro has been sharing on its social media accounts when retailers and restaurants in the development have reopened.

According to The Boro’s Facebook page, businesses that have opened their doors again include:

Tysons Reporter verified that the stores listed above have reopened.

Whole Foods has outdoor seating on the ground level and reopened its coffee bar, according to The Boro. The grocery store’s website says that it’s offering shopping hours from 7-8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for customers ages 60+, at high-risk of severe COVID-19 complications or with disabilities.

F45, which has been hosting outdoor boot camps in Boro Park, is planning to reopen on Saturday, June 20, according to a Facebook post from the gym.

“The waiting area and 10ft ‘workout boxes’ have been marked out, and all our trainers have been trained in all safety and sanitization protocols,” the post said.

In addition to the reopenings, the development also recently welcomed a new business: Colour Bar Studio. The salon opened June 2 at The Loft (1640 Boro Place, Suite 204).

The salon is run by a mom and her two daughters, along with nine other employees, according to the business.

Services include hair extensions, coloring and styling. All of the employees are wearing face masks and disinfecting equipment after each client, according to the business. The studio is open by appointment-only.

Photo by Gordon Beall, courtesy Colour Bar Studio

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After the coronavirus pandemic altered plans to open Super Bit Video Games, owner Chris Jackson decided to temporarily shift his model so he could safely supply customers with video games and toys.

Instead of inviting people into the store (101 E. Broad Street), which sells retro video games and other similar items, Jackson said he set up a curbside pick-up system so customers could limit in-person contact.

“We were pretty much in a bad spot,” he said but added that between pick-up options, eBay sales and Instagram advertising, the business still ended up being sustainable.

Now, two weeks after customers have finally been welcomed into the store, sales have “substantially” picked up, according to Jackson.

“It’s been awesome to finally get to meet these people,” Jackson said. “The first two weeks have been outstanding.”

Though people were still stopping by for curbside pickup, many customers were awaiting the day when they could visit the interior of the store, he said.

“A lot of the people coming by seem to understand who we are and what we do,” he said. “Because of that, we have a good chance of this level of interest being maintained over a period of time.”

Since people aren’t really out-and-about like they used to be before COVID, Jackson also expects foot traffic to pick up in several months.

As a “destination retail location,” Jackson sees customers stopping by from all over the greater D.C. area, including Falls Church, Vienna, Arlington and even Maryland.

Because the store wasn’t open before the pandemic, Jackson isn’t sure if sales picked up because of quarantine boredom, but he did say the community seemed very supportive on social media before the pandemic hit Northern Virginia.

“One of the biggest reasons I wanted to open this place was to provide a place for the retro gaming community,” he said. “There aren’t a lot of places in this area that do this.”

Bestsellers so far, according to Jackson, include older Nintendo gaming systems along with GoldenEye, Super Mario 64 and even Sega systems, which he said he grew up with.

To keep customers safe, Jackson requests that customers wear masks and social distance while they browse.

“So far everyone has been great with that stuff,” he said, adding that they allow roughly four people maximum in the shop at any one time.

If people want to check out the shop, they can visit Wednesday-Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m. The shop is closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

Photo courtesy Chris Jackson  

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Fairfax-based Simply Social Coffee has plans to bring new roasts to Vienna.

The coffee store posted on Facebook yesterday that work is underway at its upcoming location in the Cedar Lane Shopping Center.

“We got framed. Just waiting on permits,” the post said. “Vienna here we come.”

The online menu for the Fairfax location includes a long list of drinks: dark and white mochas, hot chocolate, drip coffee, espresso, lattes, frappes, chai, teas and more. Breakfast and lunch sandwiches along with Belgium waffles are also on the menu.

Hat tip to Vienna VA Foodies

Photo via Simply Social Coffee/Facebook

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Seva Beauty, a company that offers fast-casual spa treatments, is looking to come to Tysons Corner Center.

Its spot will be on the second level of the mall near Nordstrom, according to the mall’s directory. Seva Beauty offers brow shaping, facial hair removal, facial and lash “boosts,” makeup application and more, according to its website.

Currently, Seva Beauty is hiring full-time and part-time employees, a hiring manager told Tysons Reporter.

While the mall says Seva Beauty is “coming soon,” the studio probably won’t be open until Labor Day, the hiring manager said.

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The coronavirus pandemic has put a damper on baseball season, but a Vienna family won’t let the virus strike their plans to launch a business selling baseball training equipment.

John Morabito, 53, and his two sons Nick, 27, and Dominic, 25, are the three founders behind Perfect Swings USA.

John, who grew up in McLean, told Tysons Reporter that he has been coaching baseball in McLean and Vienna since 1991. Nick and Dominic both grew up playing sports in Vienna, he added.

All three men have played at the collegiate level and have coached teams from little league to minor league players, according to the company’s website.

Now, they are looking to sell hitting tools — the Swing Path Trainer and the Tempo Trainer — to help players improve.

Turning Their Passion Into New Products

Nick told Tysons Reporter that his family came up with the idea for the tools about 10 years ago to help him and his brother get better at baseball.

“Before we ever became a business, bringing homemade Swing Path Trainers around got great feedback from baseball and softball coaches,” Nick said.

The family originally developed the trainers from PVC pipe and wood they got at Home Depot, he said.

“We had no aspirations of turning it into what it is today,” Nick said. But that changed after Dominic graduated and encouraged his family to turn their idea into the business.

“[Dominic] was either like, ‘I’m going to find a corporate job or let’s start this business,'” Nick said. “My dad was getting ready to retire… We took this on full time.”

In the last year, they’ve been working with an engineer and Boston-based Gamut Run Partners, LLC. Nick said that they have three patents for their products.

The family started to manufacture the products about a year ago, Nick said. Since then, they’ve showcased the trainers at conventions around the U.S. late last year and early 2020, according to the website.

The Swing Path Trainer ($349) helps the athlete to keep the bat in the hitting zone with the proper angle, while the Tempo Trainer (undecided price) helps the athlete’s tempo and rhythm during a swing, according to their product descriptions.

“It’s almost like a self coach for the kid or the trainer or the coach,” Nick said, adding that the products help improve players’ swing mechanics.

The products are geared towards little leaguers all the way through high school and college, Nick said, adding that “everybody” can use the products.

While they haven’t sold any of the products yet, Nick said that they have given four away — one to the UCLA softball team, another to a high school in California, a third to a man who runs a show in Texas and the fourth to “my little cousin.”

In the future, Nick said they are looking to release more products and features in the future once they finalize prototyping.

Challenges of Starting a Business During the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Trying to start up the business has been challenging at times for the family.

Production, which involves some parts that come from China, was delayed earlier this year due to a shutdown for Chinese New Year and then slow down several weeks later to add extra precautions for workers due to the coronavirus, he said.

“We’re supposed to go into production tomorrow to start shipping May 1,” he said.

While they are aiming to start selling the products in May, that date could change. “It’s been hard to finalize and put on a date on anything,” he said.

The pandemic affected their plans to travel to conventions and tournaments around the U.S., he added.

As for marketing, Nick said that he’s trying to get the word out in magazines and publications, but has faced some challenges with collegiate baseball publications now that the season is over.

The biggest challenge, though? Nick said that making changes to the products within certain timeframes has been hard.

“We’ve run through six to seven different prototypes,” he said. “This is new for us.”

Despite their obstacles, Nick is staying optimistic.

“We’ll get through this,” he said, adding that coaches might have more time now to watch product demos than if they were traveling with their teams during the season.

Working as a Team 

The whole family works together on the new business, Nick said, adding that most of the financial investments have come from him and his father.

“Dad kind of oversees everything,” he said. “He’s mentoring us along.”

While Nick focuses on the sales and marketing side, he said his brother takes care of the operations and engineering while his mom asks people for reviews and manages the product photo shoots.

“We’re a local family. We have a lot of great relationships with local little leagues,” Nick said. “We’re looking to give back.”

Photos courtesy Nick Morabito

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(Updated 3/31/2020) A new local “toy library” plans to open tomorrow (March 31) in Falls Church — offering families the chance to refresh their toy supply, according to owner Lisa Bourven.

The Toy Nest (98 N. Washington Street) will let shoppers who have memberships rent toys, games and puzzles for up to two weeks, according to a press release, which added that people may also purchase and trade toys.

“The service will feature online reservation and curbside pickup of over 1,000 disinfected toys,” the press release said.

Once concerns around COVID-19 ease, the Toy Nest will also include open play spaces where members can enjoy 2,100 square feet of play space that can be booked for parties and other events, Bourven said in the press release. The location will not accept reservations until mid-May.

Memberships range from $25 to $45, the website said. “All members, monthly and annual, are able to use our online and curbside service,” Bourven said.

The hours of operation will be from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.

“Toy libraries foster family connection and play-based learning while reducing expenses, waste, clutter and environmental impact,” the press release said. “They have a long history in the United States, dating back to the Great Depression, and are popular in other parts of the country and the world.”

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