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 new Whole Foods in The Boro has caught the attention of people looking for happy hour deals after work with its brand new bar High Point.
Located on the top floor inside Whole Foods, the bar offers guests 16 regional beers and ciders along with a variety of cocktails and wine. People can enjoy their drinks at the bar, anywhere throughout the store while they shop or while they play shuffleboard and various arcade games like pinball.
High Point also offers happy hour deals Monday through Thursday, including $1 off ceratin pours. For those who don’t want to commit to a full drink, the bar also offers sample size tasters for $3 — all day, every day.
Last Friday night, Tysons Reporter decided to enjoy a 16-ounce pumpkin favored Wild Hare Hard Cider from Leesburg, which cost $7, while people-watching.
By 5 p.m. the bar was getting busy and seats were scarce. Young professionals in their mid-20s’ to early-40s’ enjoyed the hangout spot.
Tysons residents Tim McCall and Miguel Barrios told Tysons Reporter that the new Whole Foods is two blocks from their apartment, so they decided to try it out as a pregame spot before they went for a night out in D.C.
“This is going to make us sound old, but it seems like a quiet place for a drink,” McCall said.
Around five different bartenders assisted customers throughout the evening, each staying busy and serving customers in rapid succession. For those who don’t want to wait for a drink at the bar, the self-serve wine and beer stations were a popular option, even though they had a narrower selection.
ESPN was playing on the flat-screen TVs scattered throughout the area for all of the sports fans.
By 5:30 p.m. there was only standing-room at the bar, and different groups were sharing nearby tables. Things began to get rowdy as people raised their voices to compete with the conversations going on around them. Laughter echoed around the room and people seemed eager to kick off their weekend.
A bartender told Tysons Reporter that business has been extremely steady all week and the spot is pretty popular, especially around lunchtime.
The energy in the room stayed pretty consistent until 8 p.m. Then things began to slow down, and people went about their evening.
High Point is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.
Last August, the future looked uncertain for popular local nightspot Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike). But just a few months later, Biergarten isn’t just staying in place: it’s growing.
The Biergarten had been in-place on a month-to-month basis — a placeholder until the construction nearby extended into the lot. Owner Matt Rofougaran said the Biergarten will remain in place through the end of the year, if not longer.
But the extension doesn’t mean the Biergarten will remain stagnant. This past weekend, the Biergarten opened a new speakeasy-by-day and nightclub-by-night in the basement.
Where there were once German style long tables in the basement, fitting the German beerhall theme of the rest of the establishment, the room has been turned into a club called Room 7.
There are 50 beers available downstairs, both in bottles and cans, with a special table service being offered. The club is over-21 only and has a strict dress code.
During the speakeasy hours, the location is planned to offer “prohibition-type cocktails,” mainly custom house mixes with higher-end whiskey in a more relaxed atmosphere.
“I like the speakeasy trend,” Rofougaran said. “This is a good first-date spot. A lot of places you go are too loud and obnoxious.”
After a pause, Rofougaran added, “But then in the evenings, it’s going to get loud and obnoxious.”
Rofougaran said he’s also looking to get some of the big DJs from D.C. to make the trip across the Potomac to perform at the club. The club is also planned to host a variety of themed nights, like “Persian Night” on Thursdays or “Old School Hip Hop” on Fridays.
“It was time for a renovation,” Rofougaran said.
Rofougaran was frank that he hoped the change would generate sales, but also added that the higher end speakeasy and nightclub vibes were something he felt the Tysons area was lacking.
A grand opening celebration for Room 7 is planned for April 11.
Early plans indicated that the new location near the McLean Metro station would replace the existing Biergarten, but according to Rofougaran, current plans have The Shipyard and Tysons Biergarten operating concurrently.
The Shipyard is planned to have four shipping containers modified into their own types of mini-restaurant or bar. One will be a branch of the Biergarten. Another will be an egg roll spot called Roll Bär. The other two have not been announced yet.
Stomping Ground, the go-to coffee and southern-style biscuits eatery in the Tysons Galleria, opened today (Tuesday) with a new mix of cocktails and more to come.
Becca Leisch, general manager for the Tysons location of Stomping Ground, said the eatery currently has both Bloody Marys and Mimosas — in keeping with the brunch vibe — as well as classics like Dark ‘n’ Stormys and a collection of sipping bourbons.
For Leisch, the pride and joy of the new menu is Oban Scotch, a fine single-malt whiskey from a Scottish distillery that dates back to the late 18th century.
Other offerings include a white cranberry hibiscus cocktail with a live flower in the drink and an Earl Grey-egg white cocktail. The bourbons and cocktails average around $10 each.
In addition to the whiskeys and cocktails, Leisch said the location will have a small selection of beer and wine. For Stomping Ground, the focus is going to be on going as weird as possible, with gluten-free options and a collection of pineapple or blood orange ciders, she said.
“Andy’s Pizza has the lock on the craft beer scene,” said Leisch. “We’re going strange.”
Stomping Ground oversees a large seating and sofa section of the Taste of Urbanspace Food Hall, and Leisch said the restaurant is embracing that to cater the menu towards a lounge atmosphere.
“Come sip some bourbon and catch up with friends,” said Leisch. “It’s a reclined atmosphere here, good for dates.”
The restaurant is currently open until 7 p.m. on most nights, or around 8 p.m. on Fridays or Saturdays. Leisch said those hours might creep slightly later, but that the general target for the evening menu is local workers who aren’t quite ready to go home yet or want to avoid rush hour traffic.
The bar side of Andy’s Pizza, a by-the-slice eatery on the Tysons Galleria’s third floor, is now open as a bar.
In a space next to the window where Andy Brown sells fresh pizza, his cousin, Emily Brown, is leading the bar.
For Emily, beer is a passion, and for every patron that visited the bar in its opening couple days, Emily helped walked them through the selection to see what beer was best for their palette.
While there is National Bohemian in stock, a regional go-to drink, Emily says the focus of the bar is on its variety of specialty beers. The bar is planned to have a seasonally rotating menu, with new inventory being brought in as they are announced.
So far, Emily said the most popular drink so far has been “old fashioneds,” a whiskey cocktail with a twist of citrus rind.
Andy’s Pizza is one of the new restaurants that’s transformed the upper floor of the Tysons Galleria and it isn’t the only one getting a new alcohol selection.
Looking for a way to kick off the last month of 2018 in style?
There are plenty of holiday and nightlife events around Tysons this weekend, including McLean’s annual WinterFest and an auction featuring a Star Wars Episode IV movie poster signed by the original cast.
Tomorrow (Dec. 1)
22nd Annual ReinDog Parade (8-9:30 p.m.) — In exchange for two cans of dog food, the community is invited to bring their dogs and costumes to a dog parade at the Langley Shopping Center (1398 Chain Bridge Road). The parade, hosted by the McLean Animal Hospital, will include gift bags, hot chocolate, and donuts.
Sensation Saturday Grand Opening (6 p.m.-2 a.m.) — The Palladium (1524 Spring Hill Road), Tysons’ newest club, is hosting its first “Sensation Saturday.” The event will be DJed by Jeff Carr and DJ Pootie.
Wilder vs. Fury Live at Tysons’ Biergarten (7 p.m.-1 a.m.) — The Tysons Biergarten will host a cover-free viewing of the boxing match between Tyson Fury and Deontay Wilder. Sound will be on for the event. Registration is required.
Merry & Bright Bash (8 p.m.-11 p.m.) — The Junior League of Northern Virginia, a women’s organization devoted to voluntarism, is hosting a gala in the Sheraton Tysons Hotel (8661 Leesburg Pike). The event will feature an open bar, a DJ, and an exclusive auction and raffle. Items at the raffle include the aforementioned Star Wars Episode IV poster, as well as an NHL hockey puck signed by Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin and an autographed Taylor Swift album. The event is black tie optional and tickets are $90, with proceeds going towards the Junior League’s community and leadership development programs.
Sunday (Dec. 2)
Santa Breakfast (8-10 a.m.) — Tysons Corner Center is hosting its 2018 Santa Breakfast. Guests can bring their own camera to get a picture with Santa or have professional photographs taken. Those attending are encouraged to bring unwrapped toys for the mall’s Help Through Holiday Giving program. The breakfast is first-come, first-serve at 8 a.m. and Santa is scheduled to leave promptly at 10 a.m.
After Thanksgiving Healthful Hike (1-2:30 p.m.) — The Friends of Wolf Trap are hosting a group hiking tour through the forests and trails around Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. The event is free, but attendees can bring canned or non-perishable food items for humans, dogs or cats to be donated to local food pantries and animal rescues. The group will meet at the Ranger Station to the left of the Filene Center Box office for an easy-moderately paced three-mile hike.
McLean WinterFest Parade (3:30 p.m.) — McLean’s annual parade starts at the Langley Shopping Center, with pre-parade entertainment beginning at 2:30 p.m. before the parade’s start at 3:30 p.m. Be aware, there may be road closures along Old Chain Bridge Road as a result of the parade from 2-5 p.m.
Also this weekend, Santa will be traveling McLean via fire truck, courtesy the McLean Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD). Tomorrow he will be in the Kings Manor/Dolley Madison Library area and on Sunday he will be at Churchill Road in the McLean Central Park area. The MVFD’s Santa Tracker will allow locals keep track of where they can find Santa.
The nightclub boasts 5,000 square feet of dancing space and a second-floor VIP room. The space is also available for private events like weddings, business lunches, dinners or cocktail receptions.
Dining is also available, with menu options including Mexican and Peruvian cuisine.
The Palladium isn’t the first nightclub to occupy 1524 Spring Hill Rd. Iris Lounge occupied the site before it filed for bankruptcy in 2016.
The new club has a series of events lined up for November, including the four below.
- Nov. 2: The first of “The Social” Fridays, a dance party with a live DJ that’s cover free for those who register in advance
- Nov. 3: Sabado con Xavi Hernandez
- Nov. 13: Salsa Palante Tuesdays
- Nov. 16: The Reflex Takes Over Tysons! (80s Night!)
Photo via Facebook
Don’t let grumbles about a lack of local nightlife scare you, there’s still plenty to do around Tysons for Halloween tomorrow.
The Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) will be hosting a night full of Halloween festivities. An in-house trick-or-treat runs from 3-7 p.m. with candy given out to children and adults. A Halloween-themed trivia night will start at 7 p.m., then at 9 p.m., Chuggalug will be performing live music until 2 a.m. Admission to the Halloween festivities is free, with registration available online.
Meanwhile, Greenhouse Bistro and Tea Lounge (2070 Chain Bridge Road) will be hosting a Stranger Things-themed Halloween costume contest. The grand prize is $500, with 2nd place winning $250 and 3rd place winning $100. Drink specials will also be available all night.
For those looking for a healthier alternative, Tysons Sport & Health (8250 Greensboro Dr) will be hosting a Zumba Halloween Party from 7:35-8:45 p.m. The event is open to non-members. Attendees are welcome to wear a costume and invite their friends.
The AMC in Tysons Corner Center will have a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, a bizarre cult-classic musical, at 10 p.m. The movie is rated R and tickets are $5 for adults.
In nearby Vienna, the Blackfinn Ameripub at 2750 Gallows Road will be hosting a Hallowine and Whiskey party from 5-9 p.m. The bar will feature a selection of spooky specialty cocktails with half-off all whiskey and bottles of wine. Costumes are optional.
Photo via Greenhouse Bistro and Tea Lounge
Only 6.5 percent of responders at the website said Tysons has an active nightlife, though 56.2 percent said it’s starting to get better. While the “getting better” number is encouraging, the overwhelming lack of satisfaction is a sign that Tysons still has some rough spots to work out as it tries to morph into “America’s Next Great City.”
A notable bright spot, according to several Facebook commenters said, was the Tysons Biergarten.
Commenters described the Biergarten as the kind of casual and affordable late-night activities the area needed more of, so we reached out to Biergarten owner Matt Rofougaran to get his thoughts on the current state of local nightlife and how to make it better.
Rofougaran was a managing partner with Washington, D.C. nightlife hotspots like Ultrabar for years and was eager to move that scene to where he grew up: Tysons. But when the Biergarten started two and a half years ago, Rofougaran said there local nightlife scene was scarce.
“There was none,” said Rofougaran. “You had no real place for nightlife unless you wanted to sit in a bar or restaurant, and that’s not everyone’s scene.”
Rofougaran said the late-night locales in the area catered to specific interests, like the now-closed international hookah bar Babalu and Iris Lounge, which catered to an older, wealthier crowd.
“The difference with Tysons Biergarten was we were aiming for all ages,” said Rofougaran. “You can be 21 or you can be 65. That was our main aim and focus.”
Fast forward to today and Rofougaran says the nightlife scene has hardly improved. Tysons Biergarten and the nearby Greenhouse Bistro are two of the only thriving late-night spots in Tysons, but Rofougaran said their popularity is mainly because they’re one of the few options available, not an indicator of market interest for late-night activities.
“A lot of people leave here,” said Rofougaran. “They’re done with their job at 6:30 or 7 p.m. and they go home. They don’t come back. If they want to go out, they go to Arlington. If we had ten places here open late night, all of them would sink. They would all be empty. There isn’t that crowd of people that want to go out at night in Tysons.”
Andrew Taherzadeh, digital communications manager for Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, reiterated that Greenhouse is a popular hub of activity on Friday or Saturday evenings, but that aside he admitted that local late-night entertainment is sparse.
“Currently nightlife in Tysons is minimal,” said Taherzadeh. “That should change in the upcoming years with new development.”
New late-night options are coming in with developments like The Boro, which will also bring with it more housing — crucial for making Tysons a more vibrant place at night and not just a daytime destination for workers. But Rofougaran says nightlife in Tysons faces an uphill battle against the more entrenched establishments in Arlington and the more lax alcohol laws in Washington, D.C.
“In D.C., you can be open until 3 a.m.,” Rofougaran said. “Here, we do last-call at 1:30 a.m. and our doors are locked and closed by 2 a.m.”
But like Taherzadeh and 56.2 percent of Tysons Reporter’s readership, Rofougaran said it’s going to get better.
“Tysons is heading that way, it’s just not there yet,” said Rofougaran. “In another five years, it’ll be a different story. It just takes time.”
Photo via Facebook
There’s a lot of new stuff in Tysons, and plenty of people come here to work or shop, but what about nightlife?
We posed a question on Facebook earlier this week: is Tysons is a fun place to go out at night?
The overwhelming response thus far is no. With nearly 70 people voting, only 20 percent agreed that it was fun to go out in Tysons.
Though new developments like The Boro will be bringing new dining and entertainment options, those commenting on our Facebook post said that the current options are limited.
“Could use more bars/restaurants in between fast food and $$$$ places,” said one commenter.
“[Tysons] Biergarten is a perfect example of what I think we need more of here… a super social place without needing to spend too much,” said another. We’ve got plenty of swanky places… we just need more places that offer a casual atmosphere to hang out with neighbors and friends, and get some decent food and beer.”
Didn’t get a chance to weigh in on Facebook? Let us what you think below.
Photo via Tysons Partnership