Tysons, VA

Monday Morning Notes

Fairfax Connector Launches New Service for CIA Employees — “We need to find solutions to get ppl out of cars and into public transit. Access to transit is important for our fed workers who come from around the region. Now, we have a @ffxconnector service for CIA employees that will connect more essential fed workers to transit.” [Twitter]

Regional Leaders Host Roundtable on Transportation After COVID-19 — “The three top leaders in the D.C. metropolitan region talked about the coronavirus pandemic, racial and social injustice and transportation Friday during a Capital Region Business Forum.” [Washington Informer]

Busy Opening at Han Palace — Dim sum fans lined up in Tysons for the opening of new restaurant Han Palace [Twitter]

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As Han Palace, a new dim sum restaurant, makes its debut today in Tysons, the location announced it’ll be hosting a grand opening party this evening.

Those who want to celebrate are invited to do so from 5-9 p.m. at 7900 Westpark Drive tonight (Thursday), a flyer said, adding that complimentary wine and champagne will be available for those over 21.

As a type of traditional Chinese-style brunch, Dim Sum is typically enjoyed by a large group of family and friends.

“Unlike most Dim Sum restaurants, diners will not find any pushcarts at Han Palace,” a press release said. “All Dim Sum will be made to order and the menu will be overseen by Executive Chef Kenny Lei, whom Zhu (the owner) recruited from New York City.”

Specialty dishes at this location will include steamed shrimp dumplings, baked barbecue pork buns and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaves, according to a press release.

“Dim Sum desserts include an intricate Purple Gold Yolk Bun and Almond Ball with Custard Yolk Heart, both filled with an oozy, soft egg custard and for the very adventurous, a Deep Fried Durian Cake,” the press release said.

The location will also offer cocktails, including Japanese whiskey and a variety of liquors.

Both indoor and outdoor seating will be available.

Going forward, the eatery will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m., the Facebook page said.

Photo via Han Palace/Facebook

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Outside of the occasional bomb threat, life in the southern corner of the Leesburg Pike and I-495 intersection is pretty quiet. The Board of Supervisors is hoping the new Mint Cafe can help bring a little life to the area — but not too much, because they’re not permitted to have live entertainment or music.

The new cafe is planned to replace the first floor of the vacant United Bank at 7787 Leesburg Pike, while the office use on the second floor will continue. The new cafe was unanimously approved at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.

“Replacing a vacant business will help to rejuvenate this prominent location,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said. “The planting of 16 new trees will help to spruce up this property.”

The block along Ramada Road currently features an office building and The Westin Tysons Corner.

The cafe is planned to be a primarily late-evening venue, meaning it won’t impact the notoriously atrocious rush hour traffic along that stretch of Leesburg Pike.

Palchik said the cafe will fit in well with other planned uses in the area, including a planned Residence Inn by Marriott planned to fit behind the cafe.

“A new restaurant and retention of an office use on the second floor will fit well with the pending construction of a new hotel behind this property,” Palchik said.

There’s no word yet on how soon Mint Cafe plans to open.

Photo via Google Maps, rendering via Fairfax County

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Hawk & Griffin, a new British pub coming to Vienna will offer guests the chance to enjoy British culture.

Located at 405 W. Maple Ave, the restaurant and bar will offer a place for people to hang out with friends and family, according to co-owners Michael Burgess and Thomas Kyllo.

The space will feature amenities such as a stage for live music performances and viewing parties of sports like rugby and soccer, a regular dining area, a bar, an outdoor sitting area, an area for patrons to toss around some darts and two “snugs.”

Originally intended as a “proper” place for women to hang out in British history, Kyllo said that two snugs included in the space will be meant for small group gathering places where people can host book clubs, parties or even use as a space for musical jam sessions.

The exterior of the building itself is designed after the Edwardian Era, which ranged from 1900-1915, according to Kyllo.

Menu items will include traditional British fare, according to award-winning chief Burgess, who also owns Pure Pasty in Vienna.

Along with dinner and lunch, the pub will also offer brunch on weekends, the owners said.

The inspiration for the eatery came to the owners after they felt there was a gap in the market for a mid-range, mid-price place around town that emphasizes the comfort of its guests.

“We’ve got great restaurants in Vienna, there’s no shortage of that,” Burgess said, but added that there isn’t anywhere where people can feel like they’re walking into a small British village for a pint.

Tieing the eatery back to the community, the owners said they decided to name the pub after James Madison High School and Marshall High School, where Kyllo volunteers as a coach and whose mascots are the Warhawks and Griffen.

“We want everything down to the name to reflect the community we are in,” Kyllo said.

The anticipated opening date for the pub is March 1, 2021, according to Kyllo, who said that the COVID-19 pandemic threw a curveball into their plans.

“Early next year hopefully we’ll have a better path out of this and people will be used to going back into restaurants and indoors,” said Kyllo.

Images courtesy Hawk & Griffin Pub

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A new cafe could be coming to a former drive-thru United Bank at 7787 Leesburg Pike.

Applicant Mohamed Rafaei is seeking a permit from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, Sept. 15, to convert the first floor of the building (built in 1980) into a restaurant.

“The proposed sit-down restaurant will replace the first-floor financial institution,” a report on the project noted. “The proposed hours of operation for the restaurant are 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 a.m., 7 days a week. Approximately 4 employees and a maximum of 72 patrons are proposed.”

The application noted that the second floor of the building is currently an office, which would continue to be in use after the restaurant change. Given that the site is zoned for office buildings and hotels, a special exception is required for a restaurant use, but a staff report said the restaurant could support the surrounding offices and is “in harmony” with the Comprehensive Plan.

There was once a local Tysons establishment called Mint at 8346 Leesburg Pike, next to the former Tysons Biergarten, but it’s unclear if the two are related.

Photo via Google Maps

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An international ramen restaurant plans to start serving diners this week in The Boro.

Originally, Hokkaido Ramen Santouka wanted to open at 1636 Boro Place in April, but the pandemic delayed the eatery’s debut. The soft opening is set for tomorrow (Wednesday).

Now, Santouka will open limited indoor and outdoor seating, along with pickup and delivery services, according to a press release. The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Diners can find a dozen types of ramen, including shio, miso, pork and vegetarian, on the menu.

Started in Japan in 1983, the Hokkaido-style ramen chain has more than 60 restaurants in 10 countries, including 16 locations in the U.S., according to the press release.

Food’s Style USA, which is running the Tysons restaurant, said in a statement that the tables will be disinfected frequently and that the employees will have regular health screenings and sanitation training.

Santouka is the latest newcomer to the Tysons development near the Greensboro Metro station. FRESHFARM Farmers Markets opened at The Boro in July. Earlier this summer, Colour Bar StudioPoki DC and Tysons Nail Lounge also opened in the development looking to become a new destination in Tysons.

Photo courtesy Santouka

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After the closing of Cenan’s in Vienna, a new bakery and cafe is set to take its place in Danor Plaza.

Called the SugarBox Cafe, the new spot will serve Korean-French style food and drinks at 122 Branch Road SE, according to Lydia Russo, an administrator of the Vienna VA Foodies Facebook Page.

Future diners can expect to choose from brightly colored macaroons, according to the bakery’s Instagram account.

“They will have breakfast and sandwiches too,” according to Russo in a Vienna VA Foodies announcement.

There is no set opening date yet, Russo said, adding that the owners are waiting for construction to be completed.

Tysons Reporter reached out to the bakery’s owners for a comment but never received a reply.

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Chef Eugenia Hobson and her sons opened Our Mom Eugenia in Great Falls in 2016. Now, the restaurant’s Greek cuisine has arrived in Mosaic District.

Our Mom Eugenia opened Monday (Aug. 3) at 2985 District Ave, Suite 185 — the former spot for Little Dipper Hot Pot House.

Born and raised in Greece, Hobson has been a chef for the last 30 years, working at several local Greek restaurants — Mykonos Grill in Rockville, Athenian Plaka in Bethesda and Nostos in Tysons — before opening Our Mom Eugenia with her sons.

The menu on ChowNow for the Mosaic District location includes daily specials and the option to buy a meal for local healthcare providers and first responders ($12). “We will match every meal you buy and donate them to regional hospitals on a weekly basis,” the menu says.

Diners can choose from various spreads and appetizers including spanakopita, feta with olives, grilled octopus and keftedakia. The “Lamburger,” chicken wrap and an 80 oz. filet mignon with grilled shrimp and asparagus are a few of the entree options.

Desserts include baklava, loukoumades with honey, apple cake a la mode, Greek yogurt in a Martini glass with honey and walnuts and more. Family trays, a kids’ menu, beer, wine and a bottle of the house-made extra virgin olive oil are also on the menu.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and Sundays and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Diners can make reservations through OpenTable, where the restaurant has its safety precautions against COVID-19 listed.

Photo via Our Mom Eugenia/Facebook

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(Updated 3:10 p.m.) Island Fin Poké plans to bring Hawaiian-style poke bowls to Falls Church and Vienna.

The eatery is set to open in the fall at 7501 Leesburg Pike, Suite 129 in Idylwood Plaza. That location will be the first one in Virginia for the Florida-based fast-casual chain, according to a press release.

“We are excited to expand to Falls Church because of the amazing food scene,” Co-founder Mark Setterington said in a press release. “We believe that the local residents will appreciate our family-oriented culture and personal attention given to every guest.”

Sarah Richter, a spokesperson for Island Fin Poké, told Tysons Reporter that the owner of the Falls Church location has signed a deal to also open the Vienna location.

“Plans won’t be made for Vienna until the Falls Church unit is up and running, so Vienna will be much later down the line, maybe in a year or so,” Richter said.

When the Virginia locations open, diners can expect build-your-own bowls that can be customized with eight proteins, sauces and more than a dozen toppings.

The Idylwood Plaza location will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. every day, according to the chain’s website.

Founded in 2017, Island Fin Poké currently has eight locations across the U.S., from Nevada to Massachusetts. The chain opened an eatery in Bowie, Md. in January and is looking to grow in the D.C. area, the press release noted.

“Our Bowie location has been very successful and our expansion to Falls Church is just the beginning for the D.C. metro area,” Setterington said.

Island Fin Poké has 26 locations “in various stages of development across the country,” the press release says, noting that the chain is looking to rapidly expand by seeking franchisees.

Photo courtesy Island Fin Poké 

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LEON, a natural-based fast food restaurant, is finally arriving in the Mosaic District. The restaurant plans to open its doors on Thursday, Aug 6.

Originally, the restaurant was aiming to open in the winter at 2905 District Avenue, Suite 160. It’s unclear what caused the delay.  

To celebrate their opening, LEON is holding a giveaway contest, according to a post on their Facebook page. The winner will receive free LEON through the end of the year. To enter, participants must download the app and create an account. 

The restaurant aims to provide a natural take on fast food, offering many options to accommodate people with dietary restrictions, including vegetarians, pescatarians and vegans. Their goal is to “make it easier for everyone to live and eat well,” according to their website

The online menu includes breakfast items like shakshuka and avocado toast, along with all-day dishes ranging from salads to the “LOVe burger” made with a beetroot-soy patty.

LEON was founded in 2004 and has more than 60 locations across the world, including Norway, the U.K. and the Netherlands. 

Photo via LEON/Facebook

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