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Toby’s Ice Cream found viral success in summer 2021 with limited-time cicada sundaes (courtesy Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream/Facebook)

Hold your cicada sundaes, Vienna. Despite the rumors that have been flying around town, Toby’s Homemade Ice Cream has not opened its new shop yet — at least not officially.

As reported yesterday (Thursday) by Patch, the Arlington-based ice cream eatery hopes to officially open its location in the Cedar Park Shopping Center (280 Cedar Lane SE) this May, with no exact date determined yet.

If you pass by at the right time, however, you might get a scoop, as some visitors discovered this past weekend (April 23-24).

“We hope to open with regular hours about mid-May,” Toby’s co-owner Toby Bantug told FFXnow. “Right now we are soft opening on the weekends, and during the weekdays we’re making ice cream, working out the menu and procedures and training staff, in addition to running the Arlington shop.”

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(Updated at 7 p.m.) Tysons shoppers will soon be able to dress like Justin Bieber — provided they have a spare $1,000 to spend on a pair of sneakers.

The luxury fashion house Balenciaga will open a boutique store at Tysons Galleria tomorrow (Thursday), its first in Virginia and the D.C. area, a spokesperson confirmed to Tysons Reporter.

Located on the mall’s second floor by Saks Fifth Avenue, the store is 133 square meters in size (or 1,431 square feet) and will sell the brand’s ready-to-wear clothing as well as bags, shoes, eyewear, and accessories.

A news release highlights the store’s “intentionally eroded concrete façade” and “deconstructed” architecture that Balenciaga says makes for a more environmentally friendly design.

“The resulting structures inherently require fewer virgin materials,” the press release says. “In keeping with Balenciaga’s policies, new stores and renovations aim to reach the highest standards in sustainable practices.”

Balenciaga was founded by Spanish designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, who opened the house’s first official store in Paris, France, in 1937. His work was distinguished by its clean lines and full silhouettes, serving as an inspiration for Paul Thomas Anderson’s film “Phantom Thread.”

The company now operates over 100 stores globally, including 30 in the U.S.

Balenciaga joins the New Zealand-based clothing store Rodd & Gunn, which now appears to be open next to Kate Spade, and the restaurant Empanadas De Mendoza as the most recent additions to Tysons Galleria.

The mall is also expecting to add the furniture store CB2, a CinéBistro movie theater, Crate & Barrel, a Yard House sports bar, and more. Many of the newcomers will fill out the former Macy’s space, which has been redeveloped and divided into smaller units.

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Aritizia is now in business at Tysons Corner Center.

The Canadian fashion brand had a soft opening for its boutique at the mall — its first in Virginia — just before Christmas, but the arrival wasn’t officially announced by Tysons Corner Center until Thursday (Jan. 6).

“Aritzia is such a great brand to have at Tysons Corner Center,” Lindsay Petak, the mall’s senior marketing manager, said in a statement. “The Canadian-based retailer has gained such a large brand following with their offering of beautiful, everyday luxury fashion in aspirational spaces with exceptional service.”

Located in between Banana Republic and the Tesla showroom, the 7,741 square-foot retail store features a private shopping room and employs a dedicated “style advisor” who can provide one-on-one, personalized service to customers.

Aritzia sells various types of clothing, from T-shirts and blazers to accessories, shoes, and face masks. It launched in a department store in Vancouver, Canada, before the family that owned the store opened the first standalone boutique in 1984, according to the company website.

Aritzia operates more than 100 boutiques across North America. The new Tysons Corner store is part of a larger effort to expand the retailer’s presence in the U.S., which now has 40 stores, including one in Georgetown.

“We are thrilled about this new location [at Tysons Corner] as we continue to expand across the U.S.,” Aritzia spokesperson Marianna Lozowska said.

Aritzia’s arrival comes during a period of transition for Tysons Corner Center.

Property owner Macerich is gearing up for Phase 2 of its development plans, which will add office, retail, residential, and plaza space where the former Lord & Taylor store and a nearby parking garage are currently situated.

More immediately, anchor store L.L. Bean is set to close up shop next Monday (Jan. 17) after more than two decades at the mall. However, online rumors that Barnes & Noble is also on the way out are unfounded, according to both a store employee and the company.

“Our lease has not expired and we plan on continued operation and serving our Tysons customers,” Barnes & Noble’s public relations team told Tysons Reporter.

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A new technology repair store has arrived in Vienna, just in time to assist anyone already encountering issues with the phone they got for Christmas.

Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions — a national chain of electronics and appliance repair franchises — announced last week that it recently opened its latest location in Vienna Shopping Center (136D Maple Avenue). The store occupies the space next to Ben & Jerry’s that was previously filled by Motophoto.

The store is scheduled to host a grand opening celebration from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday (Jan. 8) that will include refreshments, discounts, giveaways, and other attractions, according to a press release.

“We are excited to bring Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions to Vienna,” Asurion District Manager Graham Pointer said by email. “It’s a rapidly developing area that combines a small-town feel with thriving businesses. We are eager to be at the forefront, anticipating and responding to the technological needs of this community.”

With more than 650 stores in the U.S., Asurion Tech Repair & Solutions fixes consumer electronics, including phones, computers, and gaming consoles, according to its website. The press release says diagnostics on all gadgets are free, and there is a 90-day limited warranty for all repairs.

The retailer was originally known as uBreakiFix but is now undergoing a nationwide rebranding after it was purchased by the global technology insurance company Asurion in 2019.

The Vienna store is Asurion’s 26th location in Virginia. The company also has venues in Fair Lakes, Falls Church, Springfield, and Herndon.

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A rendering shows what a transformed Tysons Galleria would look like with a new service center and electric vehicle business on the ground floor (via Fairfax County)

Luxury electric vehicle manufacturer Lucid Motors passed a crucial step yesterday (Wednesday) toward getting its first service and delivery center in the D.C. area.

The company is seeking to open a venue in the basement of the former Macy’s at Tysons Galleria, converting the store doors and indoor space to allow vehicles to drive inside for servicing.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission voted on Wednesday (Oct. 20) to recommend that the Board of Supervisors approve the special exception proposal, which would give Lucid Motors five service bays and two vehicle display areas. Delivery service would also occur there.

Outside, 10 electric vehicle charging stations would be available for customers and the public in a nearby parking area, bringing the mall up to 22 stations.

“Like Tesla and other companies, this will be a big step forward in helping to further improve the environment and offer customers and area residents an alternative choice to the internal combustion engine,” said Bernie Suchicital, a land use planner with the law firm Walsh, Colucci, Lubeley & Walsh.

The firm is representing the applicant Tysons Galleria Anchor Acquisition LLC, which is connected to Brookfield Properties, the real estate company that took over the mall in 2018.

“The architecture will be contemporary in style, in keeping with the rest of the building, and will include a glass storefront at the corner of the building as it wraps toward International Drive,” an Oct. 7 staff report said.

A Board of Supervisors public hearing on the application has been scheduled for Nov. 9.

Lucid Motors plans to operate seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with no on-site vehicle sales, according to the county. The company’s least-expensive vehicle starts at around $70,000 when a tax credit is applied, according to TechCrunch.

County staff recommend that the location also be restricted from offering rentals.

Walsh Colucci senior land use planner Elizabeth Baker noted in an Aug. 13 letter that the location will allow customers to configure and experience a new Lucid vehicle virtually as well as in person.

The company would also have 40 parking spots at the mall to store new and serviced vehicles.

The planned service center is part of the Tysons Galleria’s ongoing redevelopment of its former Macy’s store. Next to the proposed location, Bowlero opened earlier this month on the ground floor.

Lucid Motors is also working to open a studio this year at nearby Tysons Corner Center, which has asked Fairfax County to allow vehicle sales for up to eight businesses in its parking garages.

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While Bisnonna Bakeshop got the most high-profile welcome, the Italian bakery isn’t the only recent newcomer to Tysons Corner Center.

One week earlier, Extreme Halloween started haunting the mall’s large, vacant space next to Brandbox, opening its doors on Sept. 11. The pop-up store sells costumes, wigs, and decorations on a seasonal basis.

According to Extreme Halloween manager Dennis Bracey, the company previously visited Tysons Corner Center in 2009 and decided to return after getting a call from the mall about filling the open space. The pop-up will stick around until Nov. 2.

Tysons Corner is also preparing for the opening of Miniso, an international lifestyle retailer that sells toys, office supplies, and other low-cost goods. The store is located in the atrium centered around the conveyer-belt sushi bar Wasabi.

Though it describes itself as “Japanese-inspired” and sports an aesthetic sensibility similar to popular Japanese chains like Uniqlo, Miniso actually originated in Guangzhou, China, in 2013. The company now boasts more than 4,200 stores in over 80 countries and plans to double its U.S. presence this year, including with a new flagship store in New York City.

Last week, Tysons Corner Center said it expected Miniso to open that Friday (Sept. 17), but as of yesterday (Thursday), its doors remained closed. A spokesperson told Tysons Reporter that it’s “getting close” to opening.

Other recent changes at the mall include the addition of Middle Eastern eatery Marhaba to the third-floor food court, and furniture store Lovesac’s relocation to a spot near Wasabi that used to be occupied by sports gear retailer LIDS, which now has a permanent space by Hollister Co.

A Lovesac employee told Tysons Reporter that the relocation is temporary, anticipated to last about two months while its original space beside Claire’s gets remodeled. The renovated showroom will get a grand reopening in November.

The Tysons Corner Center’s directory lists a number of other retailers as “coming soon,” including ones like Fantasticks and Chopathi Indian Kitchen that were announced this summer.

Other upcoming additions are ZWILLING, a German company that sells kitchen tools, and the luxury fashion store Aritzia, which is scheduled to open next to the Tesla showroom this winter, according to a large sign covering its storefront.

“Each Aritzia destination is considered individually in order to create resonant, welcoming places that provide for rich, memorable, human experiences — which is exactly why we decided to open at Tysons Corner,” Aritzia said in an emailed statement, adding that more details will be shared as the opening gets closer.

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Bloomie’s is officially opening for business.

Bloomingdale’s smaller, more curated retail concept will welcome its first customers at noon today (Thursday) to kick off a three-day grand opening event in Merrifield’s Mosaic District. The 22,000 square-foot store is the first Bloomie’s to open in the country.

“We’re excited to introduce ‘Bloomie’s,’ our all-new store concept that brings the energy of Bloomingdale’s to a smaller style and service destination,” said Susan Cannaday, the general manager for Bloomingdale’s Tysons Corner location and the new Bloomie’s store.

Cannaday says Bloomie’s is “designed to create a sense of discovery,” with a curated, rotating assortment of merchandise that includes contemporary and luxury brands for clothing, cosmetics, shoes, handbags, jewelry, and other beauty items and accessories.

According to a press release, women’s apparel brands include Ganni, Staud, Maje, Rag & Bone, Cult Gaia, Jonathan Simkhai STANDARD, LoveShackFancy, Moussy, Mother, FRAME, RE/DONE, and AQUA. Meanwhile, the men’s apparel, shoes, and accessories sections include brands like Vince, Helmut Lang, Salomon, Barbour, and McQ.

To mark the store’s launch, Bloomingdale’s is also reintroducing a “Bloomie’s” brand. The first collection includes 35 special pieces from varsity jackets to combat boots to a special edition Zippo lighter. It will be available at Bloomie’s, Bloomingdale’s 59th Street flagship, and online.

“We were strategic in selecting the right categories and brands that reflect the local lifestyle, and offer services that meet our customers’ needs,” Cannaday said. “Whether you’re exploring the latest fashion and beauty trends, grabbing a bite at Colada Shop or working with a stylist, all of this can be done at Bloomie’s.”

Bloomie’s also features a new location for the D.C.-based Colada Shop, a restaurant that specializes in cocktails, coffee, and Cuban-inspired food.

Services offered at the store include a returns drop box, curbside pickup, and an option to pick up online purchases in-person. A customization desk provides personalization, monogramming, and alteration services.

“Bloomie’s is designed to be a more convenient and casual concept that fits into our customer’s everyday lifestyle,” Bloomingdale’s CEO Tony Spring said in the press release. “With our staff of stylists, omni services, lively restaurant, and elevated assortment, Bloomie’s can be their favorite neighborhood store.”

While today is the official opening, Bloomingdale’s started introducing its Bloomie’s concept to the Mosaic District neighborhood earlier this month with a pop-up at the Sunday FRESHFARM markets. Cannaday says they were “thrilled with the engagement we’ve seen from the local community.”

EDENS, the Mosaic District developer and property owner, says it is excited about the partnership with Bloomingdale’s to launch “a bold new concept.”

“Consumer preferences continue to evolve, but retail’s role in bringing people together remains fundamentally unchanged,” EDENS CEO Jodie McLean said in the press release. “Bloomie’s is designed to engage people and will serve more as a hub for experiences, with a focus on fashion.”

Bloomingdale’s existing presence in the Tysons area made the Mosaic District an appropriate place to introduce the Bloomie’s concept, according to Cannaday.

“We have two powerful existing Bloomingdale’s stores in the area with our Chevy Chase and Tysons Corner locations, so Bloomie’s enters a market where customers know our brand,” she said. “We chose this location within Mosaic District…because it provides an approachable and convenient location for the local communities.”

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A rendering of the interior of the upcoming Bloomie’s store in the Mosaic District (courtesy Bloomingdale’s)

Bloomingdale’s is set to open its first-ever Bloomie’s in Merrifield.

Bloomie’s — a smaller, curated fashion and beauty store concept — will open to the public tomorrow (Thursday) at 10 a.m. in the Mosaic District.

According to a media alert, the store will host a three-day block party to kick off its grand opening, which will continue through Saturday. The festivities will begin at noon and run through 6 p.m. each day.

The party will be open to the public and will feature life-size outdoor games, beauty demonstrations, complimentary customization services with a Bloomie’s purchase, and various family-friendly activities, including sketch artists and a balloon artist.

In addition, the adjoining Colada Shop will serve happy hour food and drink specials from 3 to 6 p.m. during the party. Visitors can also get a ticket for a complimentary gift at the new clothing store.

The grand opening events will be hosted in cooperation with SafeSpot Children’s Advocacy Center of Fairfax County, Inova Health Foundation, McLean Project for the Arts, and When We All Vote.

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Ulta Beauty is moving into the former Performance Bike Shop space in Tysons’ Pike 7 Plaza

Ulta Beauty will be the next addition to Pike 7 Plaza in Tysons, property owner Federal Realty Investment Trust announced yesterday (Wednesday).

Purportedly the nation’s largest beauty retailer, Ulta Beauty will open its new location in the shopping center at 8350 Leesburg Pike in the spring of 2022. Over 25,000 products from more than 600 brands will be available for purchase in the new 10,000 square-foot space, according to a press release.

The company sells cosmetics, fragrances, skin care and hair products, and other beauty-related items.

“We are thrilled to welcome Ulta Beauty to Pike 7 providing the Tysons community and surrounding neighborhoods with an unparalleled and comprehensive beauty experience in one convenient location,” Federal Realty Vice President of Asset Management Deirdre Johnson said. “Ulta has revolutionized the beauty experience by inspiring confidence and encouraging inclusivity with self-care options for everyone.”

Ulta Beauty will replace the old Performance Bicycle Shop, two doors down from Staples.

This will be Ulta Beauty’s fourth Fairfax County location. According to its website, the Illinois-headquartered company currently has stores in Fair City Mall, Fair Lakes, and Bailey’s Crossroads.

Federal Realty recently submitted a rezoning application to Fairfax County seeking to build a drive-through restaurant in the Pike 7 Plaza parking lot. The proposal is still under review by the county’s planning and development department.

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Bloomingdale’s is setting up shop at the Mosaic District — with a culinary twist.

The clothing retailer announced today (Wednesday) that it will launch a new concept for a smaller, more tailored store at the Merrifield mixed-use development on Aug. 26.

Dubbed “Bloomie’s,” the 22,000 square-foot venue will feature a rotating assortment of fashion brands as well as the first Virginia location of the Colada Shop, a Caribbean eatery and cafe that started in D.C. in 2016.

“Our new Bloomie’s store will deliver everything [customers] love about Bloomingdale’s in a highly edited, convenient, and unexpected way,” Bloomingdale’s CEO Tony Spring said in a press release. “We’ve been part of the Washington, D.C., metro area community for decades, and we are excited to welcome new and longtime customers to Bloomie’s to be the first to shop this fresh and casual experience.”

Bloomingdale’s plans to introduce a small-store concept at the Mosaic District this fall were first reported in January by the fashion magazine WWD and its sister publication Footwear News. The Mosaic District confirmed the news through social media.

According to Footwear News, Bloomie’s is part of a broader effort by Macy’s Inc. — Bloomingdale’s parent company — to adapt to an uncertain retail landscape that was shifting away from traditional department stores even before the tumult brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Macy’s Inc. laid off about 3% of its workforce last summer, including hundreds of Bloomingdale’s executives, and is in the midst of a three-year downsizing plan that involves shuttering 125 stores and eliminating 2,000 positions, moves that the company projects will save $630 million annually.

Bloomingdale’s Director of Stores Charles Anderson says the company’s familiarity with the D.C. area, which includes a store in Tysons Corner Center, made the Mosaic District a logical place to introduce the Bloomie’s concept.

“We have two powerful existing Bloomingdale’s stores in the area and a vibrant online business, so Bloomie’s enters a market where customers know our brand,” Anderson said in a statement. “We chose this first Bloomie’s location within Mosaic District…because it provides an approachable and convenient location for customers.”

According to Bloomingdale’s press release, the Mosaic District store will emphasize fresh styles, with deliveries of new apparel coming in multiple times a week.

A centralized front desk will provide various customer services, including a returns dropbox, in-store and curbside pickups for online purchases, and customization and alteration services. The fitting rooms will also be outfitted with digital intercoms that customers can use to request assistance.

Perhaps the most unusual aspect of Bloomie’s, however, is its partnership with Colada Shop, which will have an outdoor patio seating area in addition to its indoor dining room.

The restaurant serves coffee, cocktails, and a variety of Caribbean food, including Cuban sandwiches and empanadas, depending on the location. It currently has two sites in D.C. and one location in Potomac, Maryland.

“My team and I are incredibly excited to become part of one of the DMV’s most innovative retail and entertainment communities,” Colada Shop CEO and co-founder Daniella Senior said. “Not only are we energized to bring the Caribbean way of life to Virginia, but we are also honored to be side-by-side with our partners at Bloomie’s and committed to create the most vibrant and sophisticated experiences for our guests.”

The store will mark its arrival in the Mosaic District “pre-opening activations” throughout the month of August and various festivities during the week of its grand opening on Aug. 26, the press release says.

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