Tysons Corner, VA

A new pizza place will join other eateries along Leesburg Pike near the Greensboro Metro station next weekend.

MOD Pizza at Pike 7 Plaza (8350 Leesburg Pike) plans to begin serving customers with a soft opening on Sunday, Aug. 25, and Monday, Aug. 26, according to Phil Singh, the location’s construction manager. The new pizza place is sandwiched between Cava and Honeygrow, which both opened last fall.

This location will feature an array of pizzas, salads, sides and soft drinks along with beer and wine.

During the soft opening, the pizza place will have limited hours from noon-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.

During these hours, customers will receive a 50% on all menu items with the exception of alcoholic beverages. All proceeds with go to a charity, but Singh said the company has not decided on one yet.

The eatery will officially open on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

MOD Pizza is currently hiring employees for its new location.

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A new restaurant serving up Italian cuisine will open next week in Falls Church.

Thompson Italian (124 N. Washington Street) comes to the area on Wednesday, Aug. 14, after owners and married couple Gabe and Katherine Thompson wanted to reestablish roots in the area. The owners previously owned four eateries in Manhattan, according to a press release.

“I grew up just a few miles away in Arlington, so when we had the chance to move from Manhattan back to this area with our kids, it was a true homecoming,” Katherine said.

The couple plans for the eatery to be a family-friendly environment and will offer a variety of seasonal dining options along with a kids menu.

The specials for the restaurant’s opening include ricotta gnocchi with lamb ragu, roasted garlic bread, “Summer Berry Pavlova” and mascarpone cheesecake. It will also serve wine — glasses range from $9 to $14 and bottles are around $40.

The restaurant will be open for dinner from 5-10 p.m every day except for Tuesdays. They plan to add a lunch and brunch menu within the coming months, the press release said.

“The Thompsons — who wrote the bestseller ‘Downtown Italian’ — are excited to serve casual Italian food that stirs the imagination in a family-friendly setting that they’re deeply connected to,” the press release said.

Photos courtesy of Thompson Italian

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What started as a Jewish bagel market in Tysons now serves up bagels and breakfast with a Korean twist.

The family-owned Tysons Bagel Market (8137 Leesburg Pike) began serving customers in 1994. Though ownership switched hands throughout the years, it is currently run by couple Nari Ha and Sang Sun Han, along with their daughter Jisoo.

The family acquired the business back in 2001 after the then-owner decided to sell the market and move onto another venture, according to Jisoo, who took on the role of company spokesperson.

Since then, they’ve incorporated their Korean heritage into their recipes, Jisoo said, adding that they are always trying out new things and making cultural changes to the menu, like their omelets.

Prior to the family’s acquisition of Tysons Bagel Market, her father always wanted to run a business, Jisoo said, but wasn’t sure how.

When they acquired the bagel market, the family “went in without knowing anything about bagels” — they were not even sure how to make a bagel or run a bakery, she said, adding that the previous owner gave them tips and tricks on how to be successful.

Today, Tysons Bagel Market operates seven days a week from 5 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekdays and 6 a.m.-4 p.m. on weekends. Jisoo said they bake thousands of bagels every week in a variety of flavors — her favorites are the blueberry and jalapeno ones.

The business continues to grow as they now offer wholesale production and see people from “different regions” frequenting their restaurant.

Jisoo said her family wants to continue serving the community with their fresh bagels made with wholesome ingredients.

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Tequila Grande will have a new home this fall as owners AJ Prakash and his wife Renu Prakash plan the restaurant’s relocation to Oakton.

They are currently awaiting a city permit so they can move into the former Bob Evans location at 10443 White Granite Drive. The owners hope the new location will be in a position to start serving food to customers by late October.

Tequila Grande announced the move on their Facebook page and asked for recommendations or feedback. Patrons commented on the post — almost all of them praising the current menu and asking to keep it as-is.

“We are super excited to be working towards our relocation,” the post said.

The decision to move comes after controversy when the Vienna Town Council slated and approved the restaurant’s current location (444 W. Maple Avenue) for redevelopment.

Council member Howard Springsteen expressed disapproval of the decision to remodel the existing buildings in the vicinity and turn it into a four-story mixed-use development.

“Look at the turnout tonight and the signs around town. People are not happy, so I’m not going to vote in favor of this,” Springsteen said before the vote passed 5-2.

For the time being, Tequila Grande is still open for business at their Vienna location 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Friday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. on Saturday and 11:30 a.m.- 9 p.m. on Sunday.

The restaurant offers guests a variety of Mexican cuisine and happy hour specials.

Image via Google Maps

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A clerical error has left Sweet Leaf Cafe in McLean in a three-year legal fight to not be zoned as a residential property.

The restaurant is currently operating in violation of zoning code. A non-residential use permit had been issued for the site for retail sales, but not to operate what the zoning law refers to as a fast-food establishment.

At a July 17 meeting, the Board of Zoning Appeals deferred Sweet Leaf’s appeal to Oct. 23, making this the 12th time the issue has been appealed since early 2016.

County staff said Sweet Leaf is pursuing a parking reduction to fall in-line with the zoning ordinance but has hit a few snags.

According to Fairfax County spokesperson Brian Worthy:

Sweet Leaf needs a non-residential use permit for a restaurant, and this is the current issue involved in the zoning appeal. However, the restaurant cannot get this permit until it applies for a parking reduction that the Board of Supervisors must approve. Therefore, the July 17 Board of Zoning Appeals public hearing for this case was deferred because the applicant is working to apply for the reduction. The business requires at least 14 parking spaces based on zoning rules, but the site can only physically accommodate the existing 12 parking spaces. If this reduction is approved, the applicant can get its non-residential use permit. Previous public hearings were deferred at the applicant’s own request.

While Sweet Leaf works with the county government to find a solution, staff said the restaurant has been allowed to continue operating.

“Sweet Leaf has been allowed to stay open without the non-residential use permit for a restaurant because they are working to acquire the proper zoning permit,” said Fairfax County Public Information Officer Crystal Santos. “Unfortunately, a previous administrative error allowed the restaurant to operate as a retail establishment for zoning purposes. However, Sweat Leaf has been subject to all health regulations and licensing requirements related to owning and operating a restaurant in Fairfax County since they opened in 2009.”

Prior to Sweet Leaf, the space was operated under a similar food use for seven years, according to Sweet Leaf owner Andre Matini.

“Sweet Leaf completed all the proper paperwork and was issued a zoning permit… to operate as a food use,” Matini wrote in an email. “We are not exactly sure what has transpired since we opened over ten years ago but this issue seems to be an oversight by the issuer… Unfortunately, this has been an extremely costly process for us.”

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said it was an innocent error and staff has been working to make sure the restaurant can continue operating and obtain the proper zoning.

“Basically it’s come down to a parking issue,” Foust said. “[Staff] is continuing to search for a solution. They think they have one, and it’s a little creative, but they’re trying to work through it.”

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BGR The Burger Joint is no longer at Tysons Corner Center.

The eatery (8056 Tysons Corner Center) is listed as “closed” in the Tysons Corner Center directory.

An employee at a nearby BGR The Burger Joint told Tysons Reporter that the Tysons location closed last Friday (July 19).

The burger chain has other Virginia locations in Arlington, the Mosaic District, Reston Town Center and Springfield.

Photo via BGR The Burger Joint/Facebook

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It’s not just another workday in the middle of the week — today (Wednesday) is National Tequila Day.

While the origin of National Tequila Day seems to be a mystery, the liquor has been around since the 16th century. A couple of restaurants around the Tysons area are pouring specials and deals today.

La Sandia

The Mexican eatery at 7852L Tysons Corner Center plans to feature its new special — the Pisco Margarita — and customizable tequila flights from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Caboose Brewing Company

A local brewery is taking part in the event with Vampiro cocktail and taco specials at its Vienna and Merrifield locations. The celebrations will take place at Caboose Tavern (520 Mill Street NE) from 4-11 p.m. and Caboose Commons (2918 Eskridge Road) from 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Taco Bamba

The Falls Church (2190 Pimmit Drive) and Vienna (164 W. Maple Avenue) locations will be offering $5 draft margaritas.

Photo via La Sandia/Facebook

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The Fairfax County Police Department is investigating a robbery, an attempted robbery and three burglaries that occurred in Tysons and McLean last week.

On Thursday (July 18), a man reported to police that he was walking around the 8300 block of Leesburg Pike around 10 p.m. when a man demanded money from him.

“The suspect took the victim’s money and left the area,” police said. “The suspect is described as black, 5’10, in his late teens and wearing a white tank top.”

The next day (Friday), an attempted robbery occurred around 11:30 a.m. in the 1700 block of Pinnacle Drive.

More from FCPD:

A woman was sitting in her car when a man approached, demanded her property and attempted to open her door. The man did not take anything and left the area. The suspect is described as white, in his 30’s, with a crew cut and wearing a large backpack.

Sometime between Friday and Saturday, two Chinese restaurants in McLean were burglarized, police said.

An employee at House of Fortune (6715 Lowell Avenue) reported to the police that someone entered and took property from inside. Nearby, someone broke a window and took property from inside Wok N Roll (1371 Beverly Road).

On Saturday, someone entered the Caliber Collision (1572 Spring Hill Road) in Tysons overnight and stole several sets of car keys, police said.

Image via Google Maps

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

If you’re looking to try something new, and into the idea of customized pasta dishes, you should try Dal Grano in the Langley Shopping Center in McLean.

They have over 50 pasta combinations that you can create and eat in, take out or cook at home! In addition to just pasta, they have salads, sandwiches, desserts (the gelato!) and veggie side dishes.

Another reason to support Dal Grano is their involvement in the community. They sponsor the Fish swim team and McLean Little League.

Follow their Facebook page for daily specials. You can also use GrubHub to order for delivery.

Dal Grano is open Monday — Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m., and Sunday 12-8 p.m.

Located at 1386 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Virginia 22101.

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The Town of Vienna received reports in June about embezzlement involving two local restaurants, according to the Vienna Police Department.

Police said that reports to the town’s Finance Department said that Amphora Restaurant (377 W. Maple Avenue) and now-closed Falafel Street (235 E. Maple Avenue) failed to remit their meals tax for several months.

For Amphora, police said that “a check was later received from the restaurant to cover the tax.”

Photo via Facebook

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