Tysons, VA

Two Merrifield restaurants now have Fairfax County approval for a plan to address parking problems.

The Board of Supervisors approved an amended parking plan today (Tuesday) for 8100 Lee Hwy — the site of TRIO Grill and Open Road, which are both operated by Metropolitan Hospitality Group.

Back in 2013, the board OK’d a parking reduction from 123 to 100 spaces on the site, with 98 spaces for customers and two spaces — one for an employee and another for a shuttle for employees, according to county documents. The board made the decision because of the restaurants’ proximity to the Dunn Loring-Merrifield Metro station.

Several conditions were put in place for the 2013 reduction to incentivize the employees to not drive, including a shuttle to and from the Metro station for employees and reduced-fare vouchers for public transit.

“However, soon after the restaurants opened, the operator discontinued the shuttle program and instead instituted valet parking on adjacent sites,” according to county documents.

To address concerns about the parking situation, the Zoning Administrator requested a parking study in July 2017. The study found that the site requires 123 parking spaces.

Roughly 50 employees are on the site during peak operating hours, according to county documents.

Now, the board approved changes that will have:

  • 100 spaces on the site of the restaurants
  • 23 spaces off-site for the restaurants
  • 74 spaces off-site “for additional parking demand”

The off-site spaces will be valet-parked at 2757 and 2843 Hartland Road.

“The total proposed parking supply of 197 spaces is adequate to meet the projected peak parking demand of 182 spaces, which is based on yearly sales data for the restaurants and potential parking demand associated with this data,” according to county documents.

Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth likened the situation to the children’s tale “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” saying that it’s important to get the parking numbers right — “not too much, not too little.”

“Parking is vital to the success of any business,” Smyth told her fellow board members. “This has been a dilemma here.”

Image via Google Maps

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TenPenh plans to stop serving up contemporary Asian fare in Tysons next week.

Known for its wide selection of drinks and $5, $6 and $7 bites for happy hour, the restaurant (7900 Westpark Drive) combines cuisines from Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea and the Philippines.

The restaurant’s last day will be next Friday, Nov. 22, according to a post on the restaurant’s website.

“Many thanks to all of our great guests and foodies who joined us over the past three years,” the post says. “We’ve loved getting to know and feed you all!  We hope you will stop by to bid us a fond farewell!”

“In addition to TenPenh, Passion Food Hospitality Group also owns connected spots District Common and Burger Tap & Shake and two locations of Passionfish, one in Reston and one in Bethesda,” according to Washington Business Journal, which first reported the restaurant’s upcoming closure.

The restaurant itself is inspired by the layout of a traditional Chinese courtyard house and even includes a contemporary moon gate, according to its website.

TenPenh is open 5:30-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 5:30-11 p.m. on Friday and 4-11 p.m. on Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.

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(Updated 10/26/19) MarginEdge, a Merrifield-based restaurant software startup, has raised millions of dollars in a recent funding round.

The company recently raised $5 million in Series A funding — bringing their total funding to $10.4 million, according to a press release.

“Osage Venture Partners led the round, with participation from In Good Company… and other restaurant owner investors,” the press release said.

Headquartered at 8315 Lee Hwy, MarginEdge processes invoices for restaurants. Restaurant employees send pictures of receipts and invoices to the company, which then processes them and connects the restaurant to point of sales partners.

“We’re excited to see this approach resonating, with a dozen of our clients investing in the company and a 12-month customer retention rate of 94%,” the company’s CEO Bo Davis said.

The company said in the press release that it plans to use the money to expand geographically and add new partnerships.

MarginEdge also recently signed its 1,000th restaurant, according to the press release.

Some of the restaurants the company works with include District Taco, Chef Geoff’s, South Block and Hank’s Oyster Bar.

“MarginEdge allowed our team to go from being an accounting department to being more of a finance department,” Javier Retamar, the chief financial officer of Maple Street Biscuits, said. “Now, it’s not just about inputting things after the fact; we have the time and tools to analyze.”

Photo via MarginEdge/Facebook

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Wednesday  (Oct. 16)

  • Panel Discussion on Human Trafficking — 7 to 9 p.m. at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, Second Floor (400 Center Street S.) —  This panel will discuss human trafficking in local neighborhoods and how to end it.
  • Boro Fall Festival — noon to 2 p.m. at Whole Foods (1635 Boro Place) — This free event offers attendees a chance to try fall foods, participate in crafts, enjoy live music and enter into a raffle.

Thursday (Oct. 17)

  • Avenir Pumpkin Festival — 5 to 8 p.m. at Modera Avenir Place Apartments (2677 Avenir Place) — This event is free to attend and features a Biergarten, music and pumpkin decorating.
  • Local Candidate Forum — 7 p.m. at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike) — This public forum will allow community members to gather and hear from local candidates running for office on Nov. 5.
  • Wild Game Beer Dinner — 7 to 10 p.m. at Caboose Commons (520 Mill Street NE) — This event will feature a five-course meal from chief David Rabin. Tickets are $90 and will include meat such as antelope, bison and goat.
  • Meet Author Bill Lewers — 7:30 p.m. at Patrick Henry Library (101 E. Maple Avenue) — This author will discuss his upcoming fiction book “Gatekeepers of Democracy,” which discusses those who serve on election day. Copies will be available for purchase during the book signing.

Friday (Oct. 18)

  • One Man, Two Guvnors” — 8 to 10:30 p.m. at Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE) — This play explores the life of someone who ends up employed by gangsters in England around 1963. Tickets start at $15.

Saturday (Oct. 19)

  • Vienna Halloween on the Green — 10:30 to 12:30 p.m. at the Vienna Town Green (144 E. Maple Avenue) — Kids ages two to 10 are welcome to join in some seasonal fun including trick-or-treating, crafts, games, pumpkin decorating and age-appropriate activities. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Recycling Extravaganza– 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Recycling Center (217 Gordon Road) — People are encouraged to bring things they may not be able to get rid of at the curb including toxic chemicals, shredded documents, and electronics. A list of accepted items can be found online and people wishing to drop things off must prove residency.
  • Party for a Cause — 9 p.m. t0 2 a.m. at Inca Social (2670 Avenir Place) — This free event will raise money for breast cancer awareness and support for families.

Sunday (Oct. 20)

  • McLean Pet Fest — 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at McLean Central Park (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd) —  This event gives pet owners the chance to learn about opportunities that will enhance the lives of their furry friends while watching a pet-parade. This event is free and open to the public.
  • Ito’s Taste of Colombia — all night at Blend 11 (111 Church Street NW, Suite 101) — Chef Andrés Julian will prepare a five-course meal for guests that includes traditional Colombian dishes. The price is $55 with an optional $21 wine pairing.

Photo via McLean Community Center/Facebook

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To better fit in with nearby urbanization, the owners of Valo Park want to open the office complex to the public — and add restaurants, a 9/11 memorial and a bocce court.

The roughly 785,000 square-foot office park is currently home to the headquarters of the newspaper giant Gannett and cloud computing company Appian. The building currently has a fitness center, conference facilities, a 300-seat auditorium and lots of open space.

London-based Tamares acquired 7950 Jones Branch Drive for $270 million four years ago.

The private investment group is now looking to redesign roughly 19,000 square feet of the ground floor space and some areas of the garage to accommodate new retail and restaurants, according to the applications submitted to Fairfax County.

The developers are considering repurposing two corner areas of the building into restaurants — one would take 7,000 square feet of front corner space and the second would occupy 12,000 square feet of rear corner space. Meanwhile, 5,000 square feet of the garage’s rooftop would get converted into a craft beverage production establishment or restaurant.

The plans also include an outdoor gaming area with a bocce court, horseshoes, cornhole and a fire pit. The public would be able to use a 20,000-square-foot health club, along with a possible rock climbing facility.

“A 9/11 memorial is currently under construction on the property for further activation of open space,” according to the application.

The office park is located in the North Central neighborhood of Tysons, which has a luxurious four-building residential project at Park Crest, office space at Tysons Overlook and the residential Highgate. A massive mixed-use development called The Mile was approved earlier this year for the area.

“The underlying objectives for the proposed applications is to better incorporate Valo Park into the surrounding neighborhood fabric and better align the site with the goals of the Tysons Plan,” according to the application.

More from Tamares about how the changes fit the comprehensive plan for Tysons:

The proposed applications would render the site more compatible with the Comprehensive Plan’s goals for the North Central District to redevelop as a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood with local-serving retail. The proposed restaurants and site modifications would create a more outward facing development that is more accessible to the surrounding community.

A public hearing for the Planning Commission has not been announced yet.

Photo via Valo Park

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Where Kids Eat Free Around Tysons

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

So this fall schedule of back to school, fall sports and oh yeah, the fall real estate market, has begun to really mess with my ability to plan for dinner!

I don’t own an instant pot, and I barely use our crockpot, so I’ve been looking for other ways to feed my boys (well, okay, one of them survives on air somehow but the other kid actually eats). I’ve put together some deals around town that offer a “kids eat free” option or a cheap incentive to bring you in. As always, if I have left something off the list, please drop it in the comments to share with other readers!

Falls Church

  • Pizzeria Orso, Falls Church — Kids eat free Tuesday for lunch and dinner kids 10 and under get one free item from the children’s menu for each traditional or house specialty pizza ordered. Dine in only.
  • Chevy’s Fresh Mex, Falls Church — Kids eat free all day Tuesday. Two free kids meals per regular priced adult entrée. Dine in only.
  • Pizzeria Uno, Falls Church — Kids eat free on Tuesday.
  • Liberty BBQ, Falls Church — Kids 3 and under free at Bottomless Brunch on the weekends AND on Monday nights, kids 12 and under eat free (Pulled Pork Sandwich, Pulled Chicken Sandwich, or a Hot Dog with a side of fries, fruit or tomato soup).
  • Jason’s Deli, Falls Church — Kids eat free on Tuesday from 5-10 p.m. Dine in only, 1 kid’s meal per each adult entrée for kids 12 and under.

Vienna/Oakton

  • IHOP — Kids eat free from the children’s menu everyday, 4-9 p.m. with the purchase of 1 adult entrée.
  • Anita’s Mexican Grill, Vienna — Kids under 10 eat free all day on Tuesdays.
  • Foster’s Grille, Vienna — Kid’s meals for 10 and under are 1/3 off the regular price with the purchase of an adult entrée. Dine in only.
  • Ledo’s Pizza, Vienna — Kids eat free on Thursdays with 1 adult entrée.
  • Dickey’s BBQ, Vienna — Sundays, kids eat free 12 and under if an adult spends at least $10.
  • California Tortilla, Oakton — Free kid’s meal with adult entrée purchase.

McLean

  • Lebanese Taverna, McLean — Kids age 12 and under eat free off the kid’s menu with adult entrée purchase on Thursdays 11 a.m. to close.
  • Silver Diner, McLean — Kids eat free on Tuesday.
  • Rocco’s Italian Restaurant, McLean — Kids eat free (1 per adult entrée), or 1 free kid’s meal with a medium pizza, or 2 kid’s meal with a large pizza over 25. Dine in only. Mondays and Tuesdays.
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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.

As mocktails become increasingly popular around the country, diners and happy hour-goers can enjoy alcohol-free cocktails at Tysons-area restaurants.

According to CNBC, fewer Americans are drinking alcohol. In 2018, alcohol consumption fell by 1.6% across the globe. To meet the growing demand for alcohol alternatives, many restaurants are adding mocktails to their menus so they can cater to “sober-curious” customers.

Tysons Reporter compiled a list of local places now offering booze-free adult beverages.

  • True Food Kitchen (2910 District Avenue Suite 170): The Mosaic District spot offers a variety of mocktail-type drinks that offer guests refreshing beverages without the ABV. Their drinks range from $4-$7.50 and include mixed teas, fruit juices kombucha, herbal essences and soda waters. For example, the “Original Ginger” — or the “O.G.” — drink includes lime, honey and bubbly water. Another option for guests is the “Hangover RX,” which includes pineapple, orange, honey and coconut water.
  • American Tandoor (7943B Tysons Corner Center): Staff at the Tysons Center Corner location on the first level offer guests eight different mocktail options, including flavored sodas and a blackberry or mango lassi.
  • Earls Kitchen (7902 Tysons One Place): Located on The Plaza by the mall, Earls Kitchen has six non-alcoholic drinks. One of the first options on the menu is the “Calamansi Caipirinha,” which includes Calamansi, pomegranate, green tea and fresh lime juice. Prices range from $4-5.
  • La Sandia (7852 Tysons Corner Center): Diners have a choice of seasonal mocktail or other traditional Mexican non-alcoholic drinks such as Horchata at the Mexican restaurant.
  • ENTYSE (1700 Tysons Blvd): The wine bar and lounge at the Ritz-Carlton serves up seasonal mocktails. The menu currently features the “Pretty in Peach” with peach nectar, raspberry, blackberry shrub and lemon; the “Tire Swing” with strawberry, mint, lemon and club soda; and the “Kernel of Truth” with ginger, pomegranate shrub, lime and Himalayan salt. Prices range from $14-$16.
  • Founding Farmers (1800 Tysons Blvd): The farmhouse-inspired restaurant offers an alcohol-free drink called “Today’s Rickey” that is made with lime juice, jerk soda and the syrup of the day for $5.50. (The raspberry version is apparently popular.) Diners can also find cold-press juices and sodas made from scratch on the menu.

Photo via True Food Kitchen/Facebook

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Diners can spot Stanley Cup champ Alexander Ovechkin’s signature on a painting of himself at Randy’s Prime Seafood and Steaks in Tysons.

A spokesperson for the restaurant confirmed to Tysons Reporter that the Washington Capitals captain signed the painting.

The painting — one of five paintings in the restaurant by artist Jack Gable — depicts Ovechkin on the ice holding the Stanley Cup triumphantly above his head.

Randy Norton, the CEO of Great American Restaurants and the restaurant’s namesake, previously told Tysons Reporter that the Ovechkin painting “was the easiest one to pick” when he planned the paintings with the artist.

Norton called the Washington Capitals winning the Stanely Cup last year as “such a wonderful event.”

“I can still see the people celebrating in the streets on the streets around the arena,” Norton said.

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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.

Known for their signature dog-themed art and extensive specialty sandwich options, one of the local Lost Dog Cafes has a lively spot in Tysons.

Lost Dog Cafe started in Arlington’s Westover neighborhood in 1985 by two animal lovers, the cafes have grown to five locations owned and operated by former employees, according to its website. The Tysons spot at 1690A Anderson Road opened in 2011.

Located in the shopping center with the Safeway behind Mitre, Lost Dog Cafe was filled with about two dozen diners when Tysons Reporter visited around 8:30 p.m. on a Tuesday.

Jumping from the canvas onto the wall, the art gives nods to Tysons area history, including Northern Virginia’s trolley line in the early 2oth century, the amusement park at Great Falls, the opening of Tysons Corner Center in 1968 and the early stores at the intersection of Route 123 and Leesburg Pike.

The menu boasts 32 types of gourmet pizzas and 50 specialty sandwiches — all of the sandwiches are under $10, while the pizzas cost around $12 (small), $17 (medium) and $20 (large).

Diners can also chow down on salads, pasta, soups and make-your-own sandwiches. For drinks, Lost Dog Cafe offers extensive draft and bottle lists featuring local brews.

People at the Tysons spot can expect trivia from 6-8:30 p.m. every Tuesday, along with tap takeovers by local brewers and open mic nights a couple of times a month, an employee told Tysons Reporter.

For fans, the cafe sells Lost Dog-branded t-shirts, hoodies and hats in the $25-$50 range.

The Tysons location is open from 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. on Sundays.

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The company behind A Taste of Urbanspace in Tysons Galleria is facing a lawsuit for allegedly stealing a retail brokerage firm’s “intellectual capital.”

District Equities filed a lawsuit Monday alleging that Urbanspace Tysons LLC, “entered into an agreement with District Equities to help find retail vendors for the food hall, utilized the brokerage firm’s proprietary market knowledge and business relationships, and then terminated the agreement,” Bisnow reported.

District Equities was started by Great Falls resident Steve Gaudio in 2015.

The two companies worked together from the fall until Urbanspace terminated District Equities’ agreement, activating the noncompete clause that said District Equities cannot work on another food hall for two years, the article said.

District Equities “says the damages would be at least $75,000, a threshold that gives it jurisdiction in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia,” according to the Bisnow article.

Urbanspace Tysons LLC opened A Taste of Urbanspace in December, replacing celebrity chef Mike Isabella’s series of restaurants known as Isabella Eatery.

Recently, A Taste of Urbanspace has seen some changes.

Danielle’s Desserts closed for good at the mall earlier this month after its owner told Tysons Reporter that she wants to focus more on her health and family.

Meanwhile, Eater reported that Ice Cream Jubilee seems to have disappeared from the Tysons spot and is no longer listing it as one of its locations.

Lady M Cake Boutique is moving from its pop-up in A Taste of Urbanspace to a permanent spot on the second level of the mall.

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