Tysons, VA

Virginia started Phase Three of reopening last week, opening the door to more options for indoor public spaces like restaurants and fitness centers.

The recent surge of coronavirus cases in California and Texas has led to growing doubts that indoor dining and bar services will — or should — open soon.

While Virginia is fortunate enough to see the number of new cases per day on the decline, some suggest that indoor dining should remain closed to further slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Bolstered by a growing body of research, public health officials say that indoor dining poses more dangerous health risks than other retail activities, even with social distancing. Patrons can breathe indoor air that is contaminated by the virus and air conditioning.

But restaurants — some of which are already struggling due to previous closures and restrictions — may need indoor dining to remain in-tact in order to survive.

Let us know what you think. Should Virginia continue with Phase Three restrictions or try to preempt a resurgence by closing indoor dining completely?

Photo via Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis on Unsplash

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BGR Burger Grilled Right is no longer open in the Mosaic District.

“Unfortunately we are permanently closed as we were unable to reach a reasonable settlement with our landlord like we did in our other locations,” Fred Glick, the president of Amergent Hospitality Group, Inc., told Tysons Reporter.

Glick said that the other nearby BGR locations are open. Now, diners can find BGR in Arlington, Reston and Springfield in Virginia.

Photo via BGR Mosaic/Facebook

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Owners and staff at Tysons-area restaurants have turned to fundraisers to help combat the financial hardships due to the coronavirus pandemic.

As of today, 15 GoFundMe fundraisers have raised a total of $236,110. Some of the fundraisers support employees, while others focus on the restaurants’ operations. Erica Hoffman, the co-owner of Galaxy Hut & Spacebar, created fundraisers for both staff and business operations.

The employee relief fund for Bottleneck Management, which operates now-closed City Works, raised the most out of the 15 fundraisers with more than $61,000.

Most of the fundraisers are still active, but a few, like the ones for Bear Branch Tavern in Vienna and Dogwood Tavern in Falls Church, are no longer accepting donations.

Tysons Reporter chronicled the local restaurant fundraisers that popped up on GoFundMe in March and April.

Here are the fundraisers — alphabetical by the restaurant names — still accepting donations:

Don’t see a restaurant’s fundraiser on the list? Email the link to [email protected] so we can add it.

Image via GoFundMe

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After temporarily closing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a Pizza Hut location in Vienna has shuttered permanently.

The location previously at 541 Maple Ave W. said on its Facebook page that it is “permanently closed,” but there was no post explaining why. Additionally, the location’s page was removed from the list on the eatery’s corporate website.

Just last year, the chain closed more than 500 locations nationally, according to USA Today.

People hungry for pizza in the area can check out a variety of other pizza parlors near Maple Ave, such as Lombardi’s and Church Street Pizzeria (115 Church Street) and the newly opened PizzaRoni (235 Maple Ave E.)

Photo via Pizza Hut/Facebook

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New Principal — “Hoang Nguyen, who has served as assistant principal of Kilmer Center since 2016, has been named the new principal of Kilmer Center, effective July 1. Nguyen began his career in FCPS as a special education teacher at Armstrong Elementary before moving to Marshall Road Elementary to serve as a crisis resource teacher where he remained for seven years.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Ramp Changes — “Starting around June 24, drivers on southbound Nutley Street in the Vienna area will use a new ramp and traffic signal to reach eastbound Interstate 66, Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials said.” [Inside NoVa]

Restaurants Team Up in Falls Church — “Open Kitchen D.C.’s gathering at Yayla Bistro back in March was just supposed to bring attention to another discrete treat buried within the region’s immigrant-owned restaurant scene, but it became one last gasp of normal life before the coronavirus pandemic hollowed out dining rooms across the nation.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Unemployment Problems — “Virginia has frozen unemployment benefits for more than 12,000 people who refused to return to work amid the ongoing public health crisis, the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced Friday.” [DCist]

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After opening a little more than a year ago, City Works in Tysons closed its doors, according to a company spokesperson.

Located right outside the Capital One headquarters, the American tap house and eatery (1640 Capital One Drive N.) first announced a temporary closure due to COVID-19, but a statement to Tysons Reporter today says there aren’t any plans to reopen the spot.

“With the challenges presented in the current environment, Bottleneck Management is focusing its energy into well-established City Works restaurants in other markets around the country, while remaining focused on future national expansion,” according to the statement from Bottleneck Management, which operates City Works.

It is unclear exactly when the company decided to permanently close the location or what will happen to the spot.

“City Works is proud to have served the Tysons community, and thanks their guests for their patronage,” the statement said.

Image via Google Maps

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On Tuesday, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors green-lighted a rezoning that will open parts of the Valo Park office complex up to the public.

Tamares, Valo Park’s owner, wants to add retailers and restaurants, renovate an existing rooftop terrace and open the complex’s current amenities, including a conference center, auditorium and fitness center, to the public. Tamares is considering attracting a rooftop craft brewery atop a parking garage.

“It is anticipated that these proposed changes will help to sustain the current Class A office use and energize this part of Tysons after business hours,” Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik said.

A separate comprehensive sign plan for the project was approved by the Planning Commission in May. Some McLean residents raised concerns about light pollution from the signs.

Currently, the office park (7950 Jones Branch Drive) is home to the headquarters of newspaper giant Gannett and cloud computing company Appian.

The Valo Park changes will now join upcoming changes to urbanize Tysons’ North Central neighborhood, which currently has the Park Crest and Highgate residential buildings.

Last summer, the Board of Supervisors approved the massive, mixed-use development called The Mile, which will transform 38 acres into 10 buildings with residential, retail, office, hotel and storage space, along with six parks spanning more than 10 acres.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said that people can now walk to Valo Park thanks to the new Jones Branch Connector, which includes sidewalks and bike lanes.

“But for the sign issue… this is a really good application that is exactly moving Tysons in the direction that we all want to see it go — developing this kind of mixed-use, reuse,” Foust said. “This is a really important piece in the Tysons puzzle.”

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After announcing a temporary closure on March 18, the Cheesetique Mosaic location has closed permanently.

An employee at another location in Del Rey said that the location will not reopen but added she wasn’t at liberty to give a reason.

The eatery used to serve lunch, dinner and brunch, the website said, adding that it also sold cheese for take-home consumption.

Tysons Reporter reached out to the location’s owner to find out why the location closed and is awaiting a response.

Only a few days before its then-temporary closure in March, the eatery posted on its social media page, asking people to purchase gift cards. It is unclear if these will be accepted at the other two Northern Virginia locations.

Photo via Cheesetique Mosaic/Facebook

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(Updated 6/10/2020) For people looking to support local Black-owned eateries, shops and services in the area, Tysons Reporter and Reston Now are working to compile a list of places open for business. 

Since this is a crowdsourced “living document” — it will be updated regularly by one of our reporters or editors.

Several blogs, websites and social media groups have rounded up lists of local Black-owned businesses, including Feed the Malik, Vienna VA Foodies, Reddit and the Northern Virginia Black Chamber of Commerce.

People can contribute to the list by sending an email [email protected] with the subject line “Black-Owned Eatery and Business List Addition.”

“The best way [to help business owners] is to give directly if you can, look at your black-owned business and order from them if they’re still open,” Sean Perryman, the president of the NAACP Fairfax County, told Tysons Reporter.

Like other local businesses, Black-owned restaurants have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, Perryman said.

So far, businesses include:

*temporarily closed due to COVID-19

Photo via Caribbean Plate/Facebook

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The Boston Market in McLean is closed for good, according to the property’s realtor.

Though it is unclear when or why the company decided to shutter the location (1408 Chain Bridge Road), another Boston Market shuttered recently in Arlington.

Tysons Reporter reached out to Boston Market’s corporate office for comment and has not received a reply.

The chain served home-style food like chicken, meatloaf and a variety of sides, according to the website, which no longer lists the Arlington and McLean locations. The closest one now is in Fairfax, according to the website.

Image via Google Maps

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