The Sandlot is coming to Tysons.

The Boro announced on Thursday (June 24) that the space in front of its new mural will soon be occupied by the outdoor bar concept that currently has two locations in D.C.

Ian Callender, co-creator of The Sandlot and owner of Suite Nation, describes the pop-up amenity as “a cultural arts facility with intersecting industries of commerce derived from community engagement.”

“It’s the ideal environment to bridge the gap between culture and community authentically,” Callender told Tysons Reporter.

The focus of The Sandlot is to give a space for the community to interact. There are tables and chairs for guests to come have a drink and chat with neighbors.

“The retailers and restaurants at The Boro will be the highlighting culinary and cocktail component,” Callender said. “We’re just bringing the vibes.”

The Sandlot operates booths out of shipping containers, similar to the plans for ShipGarten, the restaurant/beer garden that’s supposed to open in Scotts Run any day now.

The offerings are tailored to the specific neighborhood where each site is located. For example, Sandlot Southeast has a designer shoe booth, and Sandlot Georgetown has cold-pressed juice cocktails.

The Sandlot started as an idea of Kevin Hallums, Callender’s childhood friend of 30-plus years. The idea was to create a pop-up to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the movie “The Sandlot” down on Half Street near Nationals Park.

Hallums has said that the movie is about more than baseball, it’s about a space for friends to hang out, and that’s the space they were trying to create. The first location, Sandlot Southwest, opened in March 2019 but closed in June 2020.

All Sandlot locations are temporary and contingent on the weather. Once the development where The Sandlot is located decides they want that space back, the containers have to pack up and move on.

The Boro has said the development in front of the mural is years down the road, so Sandlot Tysons will occupy the space for the foreseeable future.

The Sandlot Tysons will open July 9 with a grand opening celebration on July 11 that will include a free concert from the D.C.-based band Black Alley.

Along with their kick-off event, The Sandlot has announced a lineup of weekly programs:

  • Car wash and cocktails with Xact Detail (Fridays)
  • Free outdoor fitness and workout sessions, courtesy of the gym Sweat DC (Saturday mornings)
  • Live regional DJs from Rock Creek Social Club, Joy Club, Adobo DMV, and more (Saturdays)
  • Sunset Sip & Paint sessions with renowned artist Lex Marie (Sundays)

“This Sandlot concept will be different from other existing locations with the specific programming for the community and its collaboration with existing Boro restaurants and retailers,” a spokesperson from The Boro said.

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Tysons is now home to the largest mural in the D.C. region — at least according to the development that commissioned it.

While its size and vivid coloring makes the mural difficult for any passersby to miss, The Boro will officially unveil the artwork with a party this Saturday (June 26).

The afternoon celebration will take place at Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) right in front of the mural, which graces the Leesburg Pike side of The Loft.

Baltimore artists Jessie Unterhalter and Katey Truhn started working on the mural in May. The finished product is over 4oo feet long and 70 feet tall, making it one of the largest pieces of public art in the D.C. area, according to The Boro.

“The mural brings a feeling of joy and excitement to the neighborhood,” a spokesperson for The Boro said. “The Boro values community and we love bringing people together, so we’re proud to offer this new piece of public art that people can enjoy from down below with a coffee, or while passing by on the highway.”

The celebration will feature interactive color walls, lawn games, and giveaways as well as an “Art Hut” where guests can pick up art supplies to create their own mini-murals.

There will also be cocktails for the adults from local restaurants and family-friendly events. A DJ will perform throughout the event, which will last from noon to 4 p.m.

The event is free to attend, but guests are asked to register in advance on Eventbrite or through The Boro’s website.

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Production of the new mural by artists Jessie and Katey to be unveiled at The Boro this week (courtesy The Boro)

(Updated at 12:15 p.m.) The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve searched the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean, and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (June 22)

  • Duck Harbor (Online) — 8 p.m. — A heartwarming web series about a bi-coastal love story written by E.M. Lewis and Bob Bartlett, this online, live theatrical performance from 1st Stage airs for free every Tuesday at 8 p.m. All aired episodes and bonus content will also be available through Duck Harbor ALL ACCESS for $15.

Thursday (June 24)

  • Summer Live Music: Zach Cutler — 5-8 p.m. at the Upper Promenade near Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — This week’s live music series at The Boro features local guitarist Zach Cutler. RSVP to receive more information.
  • Films in the Park: The Birdcage — 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Strawberry Park (2910 District Ave.) — The Mosaic District’s Films in the Park series continues this Thursday with The Birdcage starring Robin Williams and Gene Hackman. The film is rated R and will run for one hour and fifty-seven minutes. Grab your picnic blanket and join your neighbors at Strawberry Park for a movie night!
  • Concerts in the Park — 7-9 p.m. at Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave.) — This week’s Concert in the Park in Falls Church features local cover band Nomad. They’ll be playing classic rock songs from artists like The Beatles, Rolling Stones and more. Email [email protected] with questions or concerns.

Friday (June 25)

  • Wolf Trap Salon Series (Online) — 7 p.m. — A series of online opera recitals curated by the artists in the show. The virtual performance gives “an intimate look into artistry…providing a unique glimpse into how they interpret art, songs and the world around them.”

Saturday (June 26)

  • Drag Storybook Hour10:30 & 11:30 a.m. at Dolley Madison Library (1244 Oak Ridge Ave.) — Come join one of two drag storybook hours to celebrate Pride Month. This event is free and appropriate for all ages. It’s co-sponsored by Fairfax County Public Library and the McLean Community Center.
  • Mural Unveiling at The Boro — 12-4 p.m. at The Boro (8350 Broad St.) — Muralists Jessie Unterhalter & Katey Truhn have finished their mural at The Boro, and there is a party to celebrate its completion. RSVP to see the unveiling, eat snacks, games, arts and crafts, live music and more fun!
  • ShowPlace ICON F9 Car Meet — 4-8 p.m. at the ShowPlace ICON Theatre parking lot (1667 Silver Hill Dr.)Join other car enthusiests to celebrate the release of “F9: The Fast Saga.” The car meet-up is free and will happen rain or shine.
  • Mosaic Skateland Grand Opening — 5:30-10 p.m. at Mosaic Skateland (2910 District Ave.) — The Mosaic District invites the community to a “disco-inspired celebration” at its new roller rink, featuring live music from the band Groovalicious. In honor of Pride month, 50% of roller rink tickets sales will be donated to Fairfax County Public Schools Pride, which works to make an inclusive and respectful  enviornment for all students. Purchase tickets in advance or on site.

Sunday (June 27)

  • Summer Sunday Concert: JoJo & The Pinecones — 5 p.m. at the McLean Central Park gazebo (1468 Dolley Madison Blvd.) — McLean’s Summer Concert series continues this Sunday with a free, family-friendly show by the New York City based group, JoJo & The Pinecones.
  • 1st Stage Celebration at The Boro Benefit  — 5-8 p.m. at Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — A live concert reading of “A New Brain” by William Finn and James Lapine will be preformed as the 2021 benefit for 1st Stage. In-person tickets are sold out, but the event will also be available for free online. Register online for a link to the live-stream. There is also an option to donate to the theater.
  • Aspirations to Reality — 7 p.m. at Church of the Holy Comforter (543 Beulah Rd.) — Artists from HALO Inc. will sing in a variety of styles and deliver a spoken narrative at this free outdoor concert on the church’s front lawn. The concert is part of the Town of Vienna’s Liberty Amendments Month festivities.
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The Boro Tower is going to get a little more crowded in the upcoming months, even as uncertainty persists over the COVID-19 pandemic’s long-term impact on the demand for office space.

The Meridian Group and Rockefeller Group, the developers behind the Tysons office building, announced yesterday (Wednesday) that the law firm Williams Mullen and defense contractor Hanwha Defense International will both be relocating to the tower later this year.

According to a press release, Hanwha will lease 2,768 square feet on the 440,000 square-foot tower’s 18th floor starting in June as it seeks to expand its U.S. presence.

The South Korean conglomerate, which employs approximately 44,000 people across 22 countries, currently has an office in Crystal City, Arlington.

“Hanwha Defense International is excited about the opportunity to continue its growth inside the United States, in particular at Boro Tower in Northern Virginia,” Hanwha Defense Senior Executive Vice President Bernard S. Champoux said. “Our new offices in The Boro offer us the ability to further demonstrate another step in our commitment to our U.S. defense clients. We look forward to joining the already impressive tenant base inside The Boro.”

Hanwha will be joined in September by Williams Mullen, which is leasing 14,950 square feet on the Boro Tower’s 16th floor.

The full-service law firm primarily operates in the mid-Atlantic region with about 240 attorneys in offices across Virignia, D.C., North Carolina, and South Carolina. Its new offices in the Boro Tower will replace its nearby existing office in Suite 100 of 8300 Greensboro Drive.

“Williams Mullen is thrilled to be making the move to Boro Tower,” Woody Fowler, the law firm’s president and CEO, said. “It’s a terrific location and it’s move-in ready with excellent amenities.”

With the new additions, the Boro Tower will be 80% leased with 89,000 square feet of office space still available. Existing tenants include Alion Science and Technology, the accounting firm KPMG, media company TEGNA, and the law firms Hogan Lovells and Womble Bond Dickinson.

Located at 8350 Broad Street, the 20-story Boro Tower was completed in 2019 and includes lobby-level retail space in addition to office space. It is part of The Meridian Group’s 15-acre The Boro mixed-use development near the Greensboro Metro station and Tysons Galleria.

Rockefeller Group Senior Managing Director Hilary Allard Goldfarb says Hanwha and Williams Mullen will make “outstanding additions” to the Boro Tower.

“They demonstrate the kind of interest Tysons has continued to experience from prospective tenants in the DC metro market,” she said. “Companies and organizations are looking forward, especially in the DC metro, to the workplace requirements of the future. Boro Tower, with its ease of access and really exceptional on-site amenities, checks a lot of boxes for organizations in the market today.”

Photo courtesy The Meridian Group

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The first in-person show for 1st Stage since the COVID-19 pandemic began is coming to The Boro in Tysons.

The theater is holding an outdoor performance of the off-Broadway musical and book, “A New Brain,” in the form of a concert reading at 5 p.m. on June 27 at Boro Park, an outdoor space of the development located at 8350 Broad St.

“For over a year now, we’ve been looking forward to bring live theater back to our beloved audiences,” the nonprofit said in a news release. “We’re so excited to see you again and to offer this wonderful musical experience of hope, recovery and rediscovery.”

With a book by William Finn and James Lapine, “A New Brain” follows a composer who undergoes a surgery while trying to create a song for a children’s TV show. The concert reading will be directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer with music direction by Walter “Bobby” McCoy.

The event will also be livestreamed. In the case of rain, it will only run online.

Organizers hope to bring the community together and raise money to support 1st Stage’s safe return to in-person theater. Donations will be matched up to $20,000, thanks to a reciprocal gift.

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, the theater company announced in March that it was canceling in-person shows for the remainder of the 2020-2021 season, though it has provided some online performances and classes. The organization hopes to return to its space this winter.

“‘The 1st Stage Celebration at The Boro’ will be one of the first live cultural experiences in the Tysons region following more than a year of cultural drought,” organizers said. “With an outdoor in-person audience, and a free companion livestream, this will be the first opportunity for our full community to gather together since our last production in February 2020.”

The event is currently selling $500 sponsorships, which includes seating for two as well as with food and drinks.

Tickets will be available June 1 for $20 each, with attendees allowed to bring a chair or rent one for $10. Food can be brought or possibly bought — the group is working on food possibilities with restaurants. A cash bar will also be available.

“Four of our incredible donors got together to provide this [$20,000] to aid the theatre and inspire others to give,” Heidi Fortune Picker, director of engagement for 1st Stage, said. “Honestly, we have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our 1st Stage family during this time.”

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Morning Notes

McLean Resident Killed in Hit-and-Run — 43-year-old Allen Romero died on Sunday (May 16) after being hit by a 2011-2015 Ford Fusion while crossing eastbound Leesburg Pike just before the Redberry Court intersection in Great Falls. Officers responded to the scene around 5:21 a.m. and are now looking for witnesses. This is Fairfax County’s fifth pedestrian fatality so far in 2021. [FCPD]

Man Stabbed in Tysons Galleria Area — A man was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after being stabbed during an argument in the 1700 block of International Drive around 7:56 p.m. on May 7, police say. 40-year-old Atef Shaker-Armanuos of Falls Church was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. [FCPD]

Hearing Scheduled in Bijan Ghaisar Case — “A federal judge in Alexandria on Friday set Aug. 23 as the date for a hearing on whether manslaughter charges against two U.S. Park Police officers, for the 2017 fatal shooting of Bijan Ghaisar, should be dismissed. A Fairfax County prosecutor told the judge the hearing could last five days.” [The Washington Post]

Live Music Returns to The Boro — “Get your dancing shoes ready — live music is back at #TheBoroTysons! Plan an alfresco evening complete with free music from local performers every Thursday, 5:30pm-8pm this summer, starting on June 3rd.” [The Boro/Twitter]

New Soccer Field Opens on Graham Road — Fairfax County officials, including Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik and School Board Representative Karl Frisch, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday (May 15) for a new soccer field at the Graham Road Community Building in Falls Church. [Rachna Sizemore Heizer/Twitter]

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Residents of The Boro’s Rise and Bolden Apartments will soon be treated to the luxuries of a hotel to go with the units’ $5,500-per-month price tag.

Pop-up hotel operator WhyHotel announced this morning (Tuesday) that it has formed a partnership with The Meridian Group, the real estate company that owns and manages The Boro, to introduce a “hospitality-infused apartment living concept” to the Tysons development.

WhyHotel has run a temporary pop-up hotel out of Rise since December 2019, allowing guests to occupy unleased units in the 33-story building, but this partnership will give the company a permanent presence in The Boro.

“The Meridian Group and The Boro are excited to continue our partnership with WhyHotel in their new phase,” The Meridian Group Partner and CIO Gary Block said. “We believe this new residential offering will enhance our residential community at The Boro and will continue to provide the highest placemaking environment in Tysons.”

The Rise and Bolden high-rise buildings opened in September 2019, bringing more than 500 residential units to Meridian’s 3.5 million square-foot mixed-use complex on Greensboro Drive.

According to WhyHotel’s press release, its “Hospitality Living” concept will essentially bring hotel-style services — such as on-demand cleaning and linen and laundry services — to Rise and Bolden residents. Other new amenities will include furnished units for both residents and guests and a customized design through furniture rental option.

The new concept will officially launch at the Rise and Bolden Apartments in June.

WhyHotel says it is “pursuing additional opportunities to expand” after bringing a new pop-up hotel to Miami on May 1. The company will also open a pop-up hotel in D.C. — its fifth in the region — on June 1.

“This partnership is an important step in the future of the intersection of residential living and hospitality as it is the first property to house the WhyHotel Hospitality Living experience,” WhyHotel CEO Jason Fudin said. “We’re proud to work with The Meridian Group to bring this innovative asset class to life for residents.”

Photo courtesy WhyHotel

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Morning Notes

Virginia to Lift All Capacity Restrictions on June 15 — If COVID-19 cases continue to decline, Gov. Ralph Northam will lift all remaining capacity limits on businesses on June 15, as suggested last week. He has not decided whether to extend the state of emergency set to expire on June 30, a move that would be necessary to keep mask requirements in place. [WTOP]

Metro Will Expand Bus Service in June — Starting June 6, Metrobus will provide late-night service until 2 a.m. on 36 of its busiest routes, and some other routes will have service increased, in some cases to pre-pandemic levels. The changes will bring the overall bus system to 85% of its pre-pandemic service levels after Metrobus averaged about 180,000 passenger trips per day on weekdays in April. [WMATA]

Citizen Catches Rabid Cat in Falls Church — Falls Church City is urging residents to contact the police or Fairfax County Health Department if they’ve been bitten or scratched by a cat in the past two weeks after a stray gray-and-white domestic long-haired cat tested positive for rabies. The cat was first spotted “in the 100 block of Gresham Place on May 2 and again in the 100 block of W. Jefferson Street on May 3 where it injured a citizen who was able to capture it.” [City of Falls Church]

Reminder: Wolf Trap Tickets Go on Sale Today — Tickets for Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts’ initial batch of summer performances will be on sale starting at 10 a.m. Highlighted by a 50th anniversary gala concert, these will be the first live, in-person events at the venue since December 2019. [Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts]

New Mural Coming to The Boro — Work has begun on a mural by Baltimore artists Jessie and Katy that will grace the Leesburg Pike side of The Loft, an office building in the Tysons mixed-use development. Expected to be completed later this spring, the mural will be among the largest in the D.C. area at 400 feet long and 80 feet high. [The Boro/press release]

Falls Church Dentist Moves to Larger Location — “Congratulations to Dr. Ramineh Kangarloo and the team at Gentle Touch Dentistry For All Ages for expanding to a larger location in the Providence District! Thank you for serving the community and finding ways to give back.” [Supervisor Dalia Palchik/Twitter]

Photo by Joanne Liebig

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Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams — a Ohio-based ice cream franchise — has opened a new scoop shop in The Boro in Tysons.

According to a press release, the 1,400-square-foot shop is located at 1669 C Silver Hill Drive. The shop has the classics, like salty caramel, as well as new flavors like buttercream birthday cake and dairy-free options, like cold brew with coconut cream

Jeni’s has been available at area Whole Foods, Harris Teeter, Giant Food, Safeway, Fresh Market, Wegmans, Butcher’s Alley, Pescadeli and UPtown Market, but McLean residents will now enjoy Jeni’s beloved flavors in scoop form,” the press release said. “Pro tip: we highly recommend the freshly made waffle cones.”

Doors are open for customers, but ice cream can also be ordered via app.

“The Boro is excited to welcome Jeni’s to Tysons!” The Boro said in a statement to Tysons Reporter. “Especially in the heat of the summer, Jeni’s will be the perfect addition to our growing community of popular restaurants and retailers for people to walk around and enjoy.”

Photo courtesy Jeni‘s Splendid Ice Creams

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The ShowPlace ICON Theatre at The Boro is set to reopen on Friday, April 23.

The Tysons theater had its grand opening in February 2020 but closed shortly after due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened in August 2020 with new safety protocols to keep patrons safe, but movie release dates kept getting pushed back.

“That, coupled with mandated operating restrictions, did not make it financially viable to stay open,” ShowPlace ICON Marketing Director Jim Nowicki said.

The theater closed again in September. Now, with the population of vaccinated people increasing and box office numbers growing again, ShowPlace ICON is reopening its doors to the public.

To celebrate the reopening, the theater will be having a “Welcome Back” promotion. Matinees will be $8 per person, and evening shows will be $11 for adults and $8 for seniors, military, students, and children. All food and drinks (excluding alcohol) will be 20% off.

Like last time it reopened, ShowPlace says it is participating in the National Association of Theatre Owners’ CinemaSafe program, which commits theaters to adhering to federal, state, and local health guidelines and implementing “enhanced safety measures,” such as mask requirements, regular cleaning, and staggered showtimes.

ShowPlace will require customers to wear face masks except when in the act of eating or drinking, and guests are encouraged to order tickets and concessions by using the theater’s lobby kiosks or the company’s ICON Extras mobile app.

“We truly believe we have the best moviegoing experience in the market, and now we made it even better for you to come out and enjoy a movie back on the big screen,” Nowicki said.

In addition to starting regular screenings, ShowPlace will have a private screening and gaming program where customers can rent out an auditorium, a concept that has proven popular at other local independent theaters as they adapt to capacity limits.

At ShowPlace, private screenings start at $99 and can accommodate up to 20 people. Customers can screen a movie chosen from a list of current films or plug in a gaming console for up to two-and-a-half hours.

For regular screenings, tickets for Mortal Kombat are already on sale ahead of next week’s reopening. More information on tickets and COVID-19 guidelines can be found on the ShowPlace ICON website.

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