Tysons, VA

Abandoned shopping carts are likely to stay put in Fairfax County.

County staff is recommending against adopting any legislation that would allow the county to remove abandoned shopping carts and charge a maximum $300 fine to the owner.

The Virginia General Assembly enacted legislation this year enabling jurisdictions to adopt stricter legal measures to contain the spread of carts in the area.

If the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approves the measure, the county can warn the owner of a cart to remove it after fifteen days. The owner would be charged a fee of up to $300 per cart. If someone is using a cart outside the premises of the cart owner, the county could collect a fine of up to $500.

It’s unclear how pervasive the abandoned shopping cart problem is in the county.

County staff note the legislation could help reduce the “visual clutter” of unused and neglected shopping carts in the area, especially if they’re in the way of roads and sidewalks, but it would also be incredibly challenging to enforce the legislation and keep shopping carts at bay.

“Enabling legislation falls short of that needed to establish an effective shopping cart ordinance for the county,” according to meeting materials.

Staff suggested that the county consider new legislation that would require businesses to monitor, control, and prevent cart removal.

More outreach and education about the issue, along with the voluntary implementation of an “abandoned cart prevention plan,” was also suggested.

The board’s Land Use Policy Committee is expecting to take up the issue at a Dec. 8 meeting.

Photo via David Clarke/Unsplash

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With Thanksgiving over and Christmas music on the airwaves debate-free, local nonprofits and nurseries are starting their annual sales of Christmas trees and other holiday greenery.

People getting into the festive spirit can choose from many local organizations, which will use the money to fund everything from scholarships and Boy Scout Troop outings to youth ministry programs and community health programming.

Trinity United Methodist Church in McLean (1205 Dolley Madison Blvd) kicked off its sales right after Thanksgiving Day, and they will continue through mid-December. The sales benefit Trinity youth ministries and Boy Scout Troop 869.

Hours for the sales vary depending on the day:

  • Thursday & Friday: 4-6 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Sunday: 12-5 p.m.

St. John Academy in McLean (6422 Linway Terrace) is launching its Christmas tree sales this Thursday (Dec. 3). A tree lot will be set up in the school’s lower-level parking lot through Dec. 20.

Trees start at $50, and garlands and wreaths are also available. Sale hours are 4-7 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday and 10 a.m.-7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

The Optimist Club of Greater Virginia is selling Christmas trees, wreathes, roping, and tree stands at the corner of Maple Avenue and Branch Road near PNC Bank and Giant in Vienna. Weekday hours go from 4-8 p.m., and weekend hours are from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Tree sales fund awards, scholarships, and honoraria for students from James Madison, George Marshall, and Oakton High Schools, as well as their school pyramid, scout troops, sports teams and youth groups, according to the Vienna Business Association website.

The Vienna Lions Club has Fraser Firs for sale with costs ranging from $65 to $115. The club will also be selling wreaths, ropage and related holiday goods in the Walgreens parking lot at 225 Maple Ave.

Hours are:

  • Weekdays: 2 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

According to its website, the Vienna Lions Club expects items to be gone before Dec. 13.

“We will remain open until we sell out,” the club said. “We anticipate a strong and brisk tree sale and remind our loyal customers of just how quickly our inventory can diminish.”

Proceeds from the sale benefit local, national, and international LIONS Sight and Hearing Foundation activities, along with several organizations, community, and individual betterment activities.

Local nurseries in Fairfax County have also decked out their socially distanced halls with greenery to buy.

In Vienna, shoppers can stop by DePaul’s Urban Farm (2599 Chain Bridge Rd) for trees and a holiday market.

The Merrifield Christmas shop looks more spread out this year to allow for safe social distancing, but it is still offering the same selection of Christmas decor, plants, and greens.

Orders must be placed before arriving at one of the store’s three locations in Falls Church, Fair Oaks, and Gainsville. Once shoppers arrive at the loading station, they can remain in their vehicles while staff loads their purchases.

Meadows Farms has trees, poinsettias and wreaths galore, with locations in Chantilly, Falls Church, Annandale, Vienna and Herndon, and 16 other shops. It also has an online library with decorating tips and care instructions.

If you know of any other location, please let Tysons Reporter know!

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Tysons Corner Center is making the best of the holiday season with socially distanced, masked versions of traditional mall festivities.

“It’s no secret that 2020 has been a difficult year, especially among food and beverage, retail, and service-based sectors,” Todd Putt, the mall’s marketing director, said.

But the shopping center is moving forward by focusing on seasonal activities, new store openings, and other initiatives, Putt says.

There are many new events on the roster, but customers will recognize one familiar tradition: Santa.

“Everyone is looking for something that feels normal, and Santa in malls is one of those traditions that people associate with normal,” Putt said. “We didn’t want to give it up. We wanted to have it fit the moment and focus on the health of our guests.”

Santa will be seated at a distance from his guests with a physical barrier. Guests will be asked to wear masks, and hand sanitizing stations will be plentiful. Reservations are recommended, but not required.

From Friday, Nov. 27 to Dec. 31, guests will also be able to meet and greet The Grinch in his cave next to A Christmas to Remember, one of the new stores in the mall. Admission includes a free printed photo and a collectible Grinch ornament.

After Santa and The Grinch, shoppers can visit stores that have been reopening since the summer, with some opening as recently as two weeks ago. New brands include Purple Mattress, Elite Jewelers, Brow and Body Spa, A Christmas to Remember, Tailor on Tap, Lids, See’s Candies, Neuhaus Chocolate, Therabody, and Tonal.

Some — such as Purple Mattress, Therabody and Tonal — are digital brands that are just starting to have brick-and-mortar locations, Putt said.

“There is something to be said about a physical retail presence, and brands recognize that,” he said. “It’s a great way to communicate about their brand.”

The stand-out categories for shopping this holiday season are fitness, home furnishing, electronics, and athleisure apparel, which “makes perfect sense,” Putt says.

Tysons Corner will also be awarding $500 to a deserving person who stepped up for their friends, family, or community during this year. Those who nominate someone could win $500. Read More

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Shop small from the comfort of your home this holiday season at the Creative Collective Virtual Holiday Pop Up, starting November 20.

For the past two years, Creative Collective has held a holiday pop-up at Tysons Corner Center featuring small, local businesses. This year, due to the pandemic, they are moving the pop-up online.

The Creative Collective Virtual Holiday Pop Up will feature videos from local creative makers, designers and curators.

“Our customers love meeting the people behind the products, learning about what inspires them and about their creative process. These videos help our customers make that personal connection with our local business partners,” said Aurelou Cole and Wendy Whittleton, owners of Creative Collective.

The Creative Collective Virtual Holiday Pop Up will showcase products from these local, predominantly women- and minority-owned businesses. “We love supporting small, local businesses. They have great products, and we hope this virtual holiday pop-up will help them during this very difficult time to continue to grow,” Cole and Whittleton said.

The Creative Collective Virtual Holiday Pop Up begins November 20. Follow the action at Creative Collective’s Instagram and Facebook pages (@creativecollectivepop).

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(Updated at 12:05 on 10/30/2020) Town of Vienna residents and visitors are invited to enjoy the crisp fall weather and live entertainment while supporting local retail during the town’s first-ever Vienna Shop & Stroll.

It is the biggest and longest initiative organized by the Town of Vienna Economic Development Office, which will soon celebrate its one-year anniversary after being formed in November 2019. The town’s business liaison committee and the Vienna Business Association are partners on the event series.

Each Saturday through Dec. 12, designated shopping centers will host safe and socially distant seasonal activities and in-store promotions. Locals and visitors are encouraged to meet business owners and learn more about the history of the shopping centers.

“It grew out of the fact that we need to come up with creative ideas throughout this time,” said Natalie Monkou, the economic development manager for the Town of Vienna. “The more creativity, the better.”

The Vienna Shop & Stroll kicked off last Saturday (Oct. 24) at the Vienna Shopping Center (180 Maple Avenue), where seven businesses participated. It featured two pop-up opera concerts by emerging artists at the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera. The singers performed two micro-concerts from the Concert Truck, a Maryland-based pop-up truck that aims to make classical music more accessible.

“I’m actually pretty pleased with what happened on Saturday,” Monkou said. “It was set at one of the busiest shopping centers in town, so it was a great place to kick off what we could do for other locations.”

The pop-up concert truck was “a great way to remind people that Vienna is accessible to all,” Monkou said.

Future special programming will remain in the realm of music and art to avoid direct competition with the shopping centers. Concerts are also family-friendly and a great way to manage social-distancing guidelines, Monkou says.

“If we are going to provide something, we want it to be something that we can count on families to enjoy with little ones,” she said.

Because the Economic Development Department is so new, “everything we’re doing is a pilot,” Monkou said. “Depending on the participation from tenants and property managers, we’ll see if the [Shop & Stroll] is an annual thing.”

She emphasized engaging property owners because they have a role to play in the success of the town.

“When their businesses don’t do well, we all suffer,” she said. “We all benefit when we come together to do something that’s off the beaten path.”

Here are the dates and locations for upcoming Shop & Stroll Saturdays:

Correction: This article previously described the Vienna Business Association as the organizer of Shop & Stroll. The VBA is a partner with Vienna’s economic development office as the main organizer.

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Gov. Ralph Northam Shows Up to Fairfax County Early Voting — “I was glad to see voters and election workers in Fairfax today staying safe, wearing masks, and practicing social distancing” [Twitter]

Reminder: Barbie Truck Coming to Tysons Corner Center This Week — “A Barbie truck is crossing the country on a tour that will stop at Tysons Corner Center late next month to sell limited edition retro Barbie material. The truck is scheduled to stop at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) on Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.” [Tysons Reporter]

Vienna Launches ‘Stop and Stroll’ Initiative — “Starting on Oct. 24, a different shopping center will be featured on select Saturdays. The shopping centers will host socially-distant seasonal activities and in-store promotions.” [Patch]

Cut Cable in Vienna Cancels Arlington Classes — “Our ISP notified us of a major fiber cut in Vienna causing a service disruption for APS. The vendor is working to restore service, but there is no estimate for restoration.” [Twitter]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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Chicabika Masks & More is hiring for its location in Tysons.

A Fairfax County permit indicates that Chicabika will be a mall cart in Tysons Corner Center.

The retailer posted a job application for a sales associate about two weeks ago on Indeed. The position pays $9-$10 per hour.

Tysons Corner Center does not have the retailer listed in its directory yet. The mall is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon-6 p.m. on Sundays.

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Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria are enticing shoppers back as Virginia moves forward with easing COVID-19 restrictions on businesses.

Both malls are offering curbside pick-up for certain retailers and people can also order food for take-out or delivery from their restaurants.

The malls are open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays, according to their websites.

While shoppers can go to some stores inside Tysons Corner Center, Tysons Galleria’s website says that the inside of the mall is still closed — shoppers can use the curbside pick-up option or visit stores and restaurants with exterior-facing entrances.

Northern Virginia is poised to reopen soon, while the rest of the state has already started the first phase of easing restrictions. The governor’s orders from late March never fully closed the state, though, and non-essential businesses have been able to stay open as long as they limit customers to 10 people or less.

Let us know if you’ve been to either mall recently, and, if so, tell us in the comments what the experience was like.

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Shoppers can now get curbside pick-up from certain stores at Tysons Corner Center.

The mall’s website says that the retail to-go option is available for select retailers and restaurants.

“Contact the store directly to find out merchandise availability, payment options, and to place an order,” the mall’s website says. “Stores with exterior entrances may have their own curbside pickup locations.”

Participating stores include:

Currently, people can find curbside pick-up at the entrances between Macy’s and Pottery Barn, next to Coastal Flats and valet and between California Pizza Kitchen and Panera.

Nearby Tysons Galleria rolled out its curbside pick-up earlier this week.

Tysons Corner Center recently announced that it fully reopened to shoppers. The mall is open from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and noon-6 p.m. on Sundays.

In addition to the retail to-go, Tysons Corner Center also has a list of its restaurants that are offering delivery and take-out and a list of nearly two dozen stores allowing in-person shopping.

“We continue to promote a healthy shopping environment for our guests and employees through intensified cleaning procedures and proper social distancing signs,” according to the mall’s website.

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People can now shop at Tysons Galleria with a new curbside pick-up program for the mall’s retailers and restaurants.

The mall rolled out its new Retail-to-go initiative yesterday, according to a press release.

“Retail-to-go is a mall-wide Curbside Pickup program to support the needs of tenants and the shopping community,” the press release said. “This initiative will keep customers and staff safe during these unusual times.”

Customers can pick-up items from restaurants including Wilfire, P.F. Chang’sLebanese Taverna, the Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s, along with items from the following stores:

Curbside pick-up is available from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday and from noon-6 p.m. on Sundays at two locations in the parking lot closest to the entrance off of International Drive, the press release said.

“Once guests park in the appropriate retailer zone, then they will call the retailer for further instruction,” the press release said, adding that shoppers must pay for their items over the phone or online.

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