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The restaurant Basic Burger is coming to Tysons West (courtesy Jamie Mansy)

An Arlington-based gourmet burger eatery could make its way to Tysons later this fall.

Basic Burger, which boasts that if your burger isn’t made to your specifications, they’ll make it right or give you your money back, is preparing to open at Tysons West (1500 Cornerside Boulevard).

“We hope to have Tysons West open within 6 weeks (permits permitting) and continue our regional growth from there,” Jamie Mansy told Tysons Reporter on Friday (Oct. 22).

Signs that recently went up at the shopping center indicate that the restaurant will take over the space previously occupied by the fast-casual, healthy food chain B.Good.

“We are upgrading the kitchen to fit our needs as well as bringing in a muralist to do some art work for us outside,” Mansy said.

Founded in 2015, the company opened its first location in Courthouse before moving to Pentagon Row in 2018. Mansy says they were working on expansion plans when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, temporarily putting those on hold.

Basic Burger serves a range of burgers, shakes, and sides, in addition to chicken sandwiches, salads, and more.

According to Mansy, the restaurant uses locally sourced ingredients where possible, with certified Angus patties hand-pressed daily. Basic Burger also uses French brioche buns, makes its “Basic Sauce” in house and gets its spices from a spice maker in Woodstock.

This is the second restaurant started in 2015 to reveal plans to expand to Tysons West in as many weeks. Roaming Rooster is also slated to open there this fall.

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An Italian restaurant named after a Virginia-born cowboy and featuring a “Hell’s Kitchen” chef is slated to open on Nov. 8, Jack’s Ranch tells Tysons Reporter.

The restaurant, located at the Lumen apartments (1755 Tysons Central Street), will feature “smoked meats, salumi and cheeses procured from the finest artisans in the world and prepared by culinary masters,” along with hand-made pasta and certified Roman and Napolitano pizza, according to its website.

The executive chef is Declan Horgan, who has worked in Dublin and D.C. restaurants and appeared on the 19th season of “Hell’s Kitchen.” His past patrons have included former first lady Michelle Obama, who ordered fish and chips from a restaurant he ran before going to an Erykah Badu concert. His TikTok account has also turned heads.

Jack’s Ranch spokesperson Jennifer Grinnell shared the following:

We are happy to say that we are on track for opening to the public Monday, November 8. Our kitchen equipment is installed (including two giant smokers for smoked meats, our Stefano Ferrara pizza oven for certified Roman and Neapolitan pizzas and top-of-the-line pasta machine for house-made pasta), Executive Chef Declan Horgan is finalizing the menu and we are definitely hiring.

Job openings listed online include a bartender, dining room server, and dining room host.

The restaurant is named after John Omohundro, also known as Texas Jack, a 19th century figure who was born near Palmyra and ended up moving to Texas, where he found fame on the stage and had his life illustrated in dime novels. He also met and married an Italian dancer and actress, Josephine Morlacchi.

The addition comes from restaurateur Steve Roberts, an Air Force veteran who started Texas Jack’s Barbecue in Arlington. However, Texas Jack’s Barbecue partner Paul Capetanakis said the two restaurants are separate.

According to its website, the Tysons venue will also feature a Josephine’s Italian Market and Café with “gourmet smoked meats and cheeses, sandwiches, our fresh pasta and house-made sauces, salumi, coffee and wine selections.”

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Morning Notes

New Early Voting Sites Open Today — “Fairfax County will open an additional 13 early voting sites starting Thursday, Oct. 21. In total, there will be 16 voting locations available across the county until the last day to vote early on Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. Early voting began last month starting with three sites open.” [Fairfax County Government]

Gallows Road Bridge to Be Demolished This Weekend — “Southbound Gallows Road travel lanes will shift to a new Gallows Road bridge over I-66 during the daytime hours on or about Thursday, October 21. Pedestrian access across I-66 will shift to the sidewalk on the east side of Gallows Road, with detours using the crosswalks at Cottage Street and Avenir Place/Bellforest Drive.” [VDOT]

Local DJ Brings New Restaurant to Tysons Corner — A new Spice Road-inspired restaurant from D.C.-based DJ and music producer Bikram Keith will open at Tysons Corner Center in early November. Located by Nordstrom’s, the 210-seat venue will serve cuisine from the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Northern India in a 5,000 square-foot dining room, lounge, and patio. [Patch, Northern Virginia Magazine]

FCPS Allows for Limited Snow Days — “FCPS has announced updates to its inclement weather policy for the 2021-22 school year. The first five inclement weather days will be traditional inclement weather days…Once these five days have been taken, FCPS will use the flexibility provided by the General Assembly to have unscheduled virtual learning days, wherever possible, to maintain continuity of learning.” [FCPS]

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Morning Notes

Metrorail Returns Normal Service After Train Derailed — “On Friday, October 15, normal service will resume on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines. Intermittent delays are possible as the investigation into Tuesday’s derailment continues.” [WMATA]

Vienna ExxonMobil Now Serves Up Indian Cuisine — “Raja and Bindu Puri opened Chit Chaat cafe inside the gas station at 200 Maple Avenue E a few months ago. The husband and wife do all the prep and cooking. Their children Neil, Maggie, and Nikki take on respective roles in operations, finance, and social media. Although it’s not the family’s first restaurant, it’s their first one surrounded by fuel pumps.” [DC Eater]

Sexual Assault Reported Near Bailey’s Crossroads — Fairfax County police are looking for two men who reportedly broke into a woman’s apartment in the 6000 block of Knollwood Drive around 5:10 a.m. yesterday morning (Thursday). The woman told police that she woke up to one of the men sexually assaulting her. He punched her, and they ran from the apartment. [WTOP]

Tysons Senior Living Development Lands Construction Financing — “Mather, an award-winning senior living provider, announces that it has secured $300 million in construction financing for The Mather, a luxury Life Plan Community being constructed in Tysons, Virginia, with the syndicated transaction led by The Huntington National Bank. Expected to open in 2024, The Mather is a $500 million development.” [The Mather]

I-66 Paving Work to Close Lanes and Ramps in Vienna — I-66 East will be reduced from four to three travel lanes throughout the day tomorrow (Oct. 16), with just a single lane open overnight today and tomorrow. The Nutley Street North and South ramps will also be closed from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. for paving work as part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project. [VDOT]

Tysons Consultant Plans Major Spending — “Tysons-based consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton plans to step up its spending on acquisitions over the next few years, targeting companies…in areas such as healthcare technology and cybersecurity services, the Wall Street Journal reported. Booz Allen plans to spend about $4 billion between April 2022 and March 2025, largely on acquisitions, executives said last week at the company’s investor day.” [Fairfax County EDA]

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(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) Step aside, Starbucks: Tysons has a new option for residents looking for a cup of coffee to start their day.

Bluestone Lane officially opened the doors of its cafe at The Boro yesterday (Wednesday), marking the first foray into Virginia for the New York-based but Australia-inspired company.

Located at 1671 Silver Hill Drive, Bluestone Lane Tysons operates from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, according to its website and Instagram announcement. In addition to coffee, the cafe serves tea, juice, and other beverages as well as lunch wraps, bowls, and burgers and all-day brunch — or “brekkie,” as it’s called on the menu.

“Bluestone Lane is a perfect fit for mixed use spaces, like The Boro’s local dining and entertainment district, because we provide business professionals, residents and visitors with delicious coffee and healthy meals in a vibrant, relaxed setting unlike anywhere else,” founder and CEO Nick Stone said by email. “We are expanding into Tysons Corner and other metropolitan suburbs to serve the droves of people moving into these lively, diverse communities.”

Bluestone Lane announces that its cafe at The Boro in Tysons is now open (via Bluestone Lane/Instagram)

Bluestone Lane is the brainchild of Stone, a former American Football League player who moved to New York City from Melbourne, Australia, in 2010, and Andrew Cook, who worked as an occupational therapist in Perth before becoming Stone’s business partner, according to The Sydney Morning Herald.

Fueled by a desire to introduce Americans to Australia’s coffee culture, Stone and Cook opened their first Bluestone cafe in the Big Apple in 2013.

They now have 51 coffee shops and cafes across the country, including the Tysons cafe and seven spots in downtown D.C., along with a site in the Cayman Islands.

According to Stone, the company is best known for introducing the U.S. to flat white coffee and avocado smash, two staples of Australian cuisine.

“Bluestone Lane is leading the charge to modernize US coffee culture with an emphasis on the quality of our coffee, fresh healthy food and a hyperfocus on creating an optimal customer experience where we have ‘locals’ not customers,” Stone said. “We have enjoyed rapid adoption from Gen Z and millennials looking for superior coffee, an elevated experience and healthier menu options.”

DC Eater first reported the company’s plans to move into The Boro, which was still under construction, back in December 2018. The cafe anticipated opening in late 2019 or early 2020, but a prolonged permitting process and, later, the COVID-19 pandemic appear to have upended that timeline.

According to Fairfax County’s inspections database, Bluestone filed for a commercial interior alteration permit to construct a standalone building at the heart of The Boro in January 2019, but the permit wasn’t finalized until Nov. 30, 2020.

Construction brought its share of challenges as well, as a backlog of projects built up during the initial months of the pandemic limited the availability of workers and supplies when everything restarted at the same time, a contractor told Tysons Reporter in August.

Bluestone Lane declined to comment on the development process and delays.

However, The Boro believes residents will find the extended wait worthwhile.

“We’re excited to welcome Bluestone Lane to The Boro,” a spokesperson for the mixed-use development said. “We have been working with the Bluestone team to bring their Australian-inspired coffees, juices, meals, and more to our neighborhood, and we are sure they’ll be a fast favorite of our residents, tenants and guests.”

The Boro still has Circa Bistro, the Mexican restaurant El Bebe, and Caliburger on deck for next year. Circa and El Bebe respectively, are currently scheduled to open on March 1, 2022, according to the development’s site plan.

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The culinary scene at Cedar Park Shopping Center is about to heat up, with three new restaurants planning to open this winter, even after one tenant recently bowed out of the Vienna strip mall.

Crepes & Karak Cafe (280 Cedar Lane SE) shuttered on Aug. 30 after more than four years at the shopping center. A sign posted to the door indicates that the eatery will be moving to a new location but does not mention where that might be.

“We want to make sure that we have enough kitchen space to provide our services,” the sign says. “Thank you for your support and understanding.”

Crepes & Karak did not return requests for comment by publication time.

When Cedar Park celebrated the completion of an extensive renovation in November, Crepes & Karak owner Ashraf Hamid told Tysons Reporter that he hoped the shopping center’s new look would attract more customers and foot traffic after his business saw a 60% drop in sales following its two-week shutdown for the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Meanwhile, Cedar Park’s revitalization could soon kick into a near gear, as property owner First Washington Realty has leased more than 6,000 square feet of space combined to a trio of restaurants.

Sushi Koji

Sushi Koji (262H Cedar Lane) has been a decade in the making for husband-and-wife owners Hyung Joon Lee and Grace Park.

Though he’s Korean, Lee has spent years training and working as a chef at Japanese restaurants in the D.C. area, including Sushi Taro in D.C., where he learned from owner-chef Nobu Yamazaki. He has also won National Sushi Society competitions and other awards in both the U.S. and Japan, according to Park.

However, this is the couple’s first attempt at starting their own restaurant.

“Hyung Joon has always wanted to make good quality food and is excited that he is able to do so by opening his own restaurant,” Park told Tysons Reporter. “He will constantly develop and change the menu using fresh ingredients for every season.”

In addition to sushi, the menu’s primary focus will be on ramen, which will feature fresh noodles made from scratch. Dishes will use shio koji, the fermented seasoning that gives the restaurant its name.

Park, who is decorating and working with professional designers to set up the restaurant, says they started looking for possible locations in August. The Town of Vienna stood out for its budding foodie culture, but actually landing the vacant, 1,500 square-foot site in Cedar Park took some luck.

“It actually is kind of competitive,” Park said of finding retail space in the town. “We were surprised we were able to open the restaurant in Vienna, so we’re very excited about that.”

Fairfax County issued electrical and plumbing/gas permits to Sushi Koji on Sept. 9. Lee and Park hope to open the restaurant in early December. Read More

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A sign at Tysons West shows the restaurant Roaming Rooster is coming soon (courtesy anonymous tip)

A D.C. restaurant that started as a food truck has chosen Tysons West as the site of its first location in Virginia.

The family-owned Roaming Rooster is slated to open a 2,000-square-foot space this fall in the shopping mall at 1500 Cornerside Boulevard, property management company Rappaport confirmed.

“Roaming Rooster will be a great addition to the line-up of fast-casual dining options in Tysons and we are looking forward to announcing additional retail and services opening at Tysons soon,” Henry Fonvielle, president of Rappaport, said in a statement.

Existing restaurants at Tysons West, which is situated near the Spring Hill Metro station, include the fast-casual District Taco and Moby Dick Kabob. The health food-oriented chain B.Good opened an eatery at the mall in 2019, but it appears to have permanently closed during the pandemic.

According to its website, Roaming Rooster launched in 2015 and quickly expanded from one to three food trucks. It now has four locations in D.C., with an expansion into Maryland also coming this fall.

The company says its restaurants use free-range chickens that aren’t given antibiotics or chemicals.

The menu primarily features different flavors of chicken sandwiches, including fried chicken, buffalo fried, Nashville hot, and honey butter fried. There are also salads, wings, chicken tenders, and various comfort food sides.

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Cha Tea House started from a place of familial love and a bit of naiveté.

Co-owners Sofhia and Usman Qamar and Suhail and Saba Kamran launched the family-run business with two food trucks and some outdoor seating behind Springfield Town Center on Oct. 17, 2020 out of a desire to recreate the relaxed, sociable atmosphere of the roadside eateries common in their native Pakistan.

However, none of the owners had any previous experience in the food industry, admits Sofhia Qamar, a high school teacher. Her partners in the venture are an accountant, a wedding decorator, and an entrepreneur.

As a result, the group had to learn to adapt quickly, a necessary skill for any small business owner even without the new anxieties introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The first weekend, we prepped enough for a thousand orders. We thought, okay, this will last us three days,” Sofhia said. “We ran out of food after two hours of being open on the first day, and it hasn’t stopped…The feedback that we’ve gotten has been absolutely amazing.”

Cha Tea House has proven so successful in its first year that the team is now preparing to open its first brick-and-mortar location at Tysons Corner Center, potentially as soon as the first week of November before the holiday season kicks into gear.

Located on the mall’s second floor between &Pizza and Cava Mezze Grill, the cafe will offer indoor and outdoor seating with a patio that will be outfitted with lights and heaters for when the weather gets colder.

While the menu will be mostly the same, with paratha rolls and other entrees, snacks, milkshakes, and mojitos in addition to the signature teas, the Tysons site will allow Cha Tea House to expand its offerings with more fresh pastries, desserts, and salads, Sofhia says.

The company also hopes to expand its customer base outside of the community of South Asians, many of them immigrants, that have coalesced around the cafe in Springfield.

“Part of our drive to open it was to be able to share that feeling of home with people who are expatriates, who are foreign and miss that from the country that they left behind,” Sofhia said. “But the other part was to share it with people who don’t know a lot about Pakistan, so we thought Tysons would be a great place for that, because it is still very diverse.”

The dhabas that inspired Cha Tea House are roadside restaurants or food stalls that sell tea and snacks to patrons who consume them while sitting outside. They tend to be modest in appearance, but Sofhia says they’re “the best places to get food.”

She describes their function as closer to that of a bar than the on-the-go mentality of an American coffee shop. With tea substituted for alcohol, particularly in Muslim-majority countries like Pakistan, patrons visit as much for the opportunity to socialize as the food and drink.

“In our culture, tea is basically the thing that you surround yourself with when you’re having social gatherings, so our tea houses are where everyone goes to connect and talk and hang out,” Sofhia explained to Tysons Reporter.

In that same spirit, Cha Tea House hosts performances by local musicians and other artists every Saturday night, a tradition that will carry over to the Tysons Corner Center location with an emphasis on young students, singers, poets, and writers.

Cha also strives to cultivate a feeling of community by donating a portion of its profits to select nonprofit organizations. The current beneficiary is the Karachi Down Syndrome Program, which provides support and resources to individuals with Down syndrome who live in the Pakistani city.

Sofhia, whose daughter has Down syndrome, says the program seemed appropriate for their mission and background, but Cha hopes to support more organizations as it expands.

“We’re looking forward to making partnerships at Tysons and being not just in the community, but being a member of that community,” she said.

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Proposed location for Capo Deli in Tysons (staff photo)

An old school Italian-style deli is looking to transform a vacant restaurant space in Tysons previously occupied by Jimmy John’s.

The D.C.-based Capo Deli is moving forward with the planned new location, but the timeline is unclear, spokesperson Natalie Flynn said. It will be located at 8359B Leesburg Pike near the Greensboro Metro station.

“We are opening a spot in Tysons,” she said. “As we look to expand our business, Tysons is a great opportunity.”

Fairfax County began processing an interior alteration permit in July and approved it on Sept. 16. Passersby can see an empty restaurant inside and notices posted on the storefront.

“It’s a vastly populated part of northern Virginia,” Flynn said of the company choosing the Tysons market. “It’s a huge hub for shopping, dining, eating out.”

The company had not yet made hires for the new location as of Thursday (Sept. 23).

Originally started in Florida in 1985, Capo Italian Deli opened in D.C. in June 2017. The eatery is known for its sandwiches, “secret” cocktail bar, and most recently, the “Fauci Pouchy” — a line of pouched cocktails named after National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci that has kept the business afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Per the company’s DC website:

Reminiscent of the old school, traditional Italian deli’s found in NY, Philly and Boston, Capo Italian Deli is opening in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, D.C. No gimmicks, no fancy names or unheard of ingredients, just traditional classics found in your hometown deli. Capo will feature our special homemade Italian dressing, freshly made seeded sub rolls, Boar’s Head meats properly sliced in front of you, in-house cooked roast beef, chicken parmigiana, meatball subs, homemade Marinara sauce, Italian combos, pre-made salads and Italian specialties and desserts. We do not compromise on quality and we do not take short cuts.

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The vacant storefront where Shack Shack could open in the Mosaic District

Shake Shack wants to take over a closed restaurant in the Mosaic District.

The burger-and-shake chain has been working through Fairfax County’s permitting process to move into the former Choolaah space at Suite 110, 2911 District Avenue, but it still lacks health, building, and other approvals.

Construction Journal and the Washington Business Journal previously reported the news, though the latter noted that plans could fall through. That was the case with a former Arby’s location that Shake Shack had planned for North Bethesda.

According to the WBJ, Shake Shack’s plans include an outdoor patio and bar-style seating inside:

Per the Mosaic plans, drawn up by Gensler, the Shake Shack will break down as 4,070 square feet inside and 668 square feet on the outdoor patio. Inside there will be bar-style, linear and open seating and four order kiosks. In addition to Gensler, the team includes Henderson Engineers, engineer KPFF and TriMark, a food service consultant and supplier.

An email sent to a Shake Shack spokesperson yesterday (Wednesday) wasn’t returned by the time this article was published.

The company’s only other location in Fairfax County is at Tysons Corner Center. It opened in 2014.

Choolaah, an Indian fast-casual food chain, opened in the Mosaic District in 2016 and temporarily shuttered amid the pandemic before announcing in January that the closure would be permanent.

Health, building, mechanical, and other reviews are listed as incomplete after Shake Shack saw permitting setbacks in September. Its application to the county was processed July 13 and is still listed as pending.

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