Commuters driving down Route 123 in Tysons this morning (Tuesday) might have caught an unusual sight: a double-decker bus emblazoned with a Union Jack ascending into the air via a massive crane.
The bus was one of three vehicles installed in The Perch, the sky park that opened at Capital One Center at the end of August.
A post on the mixed-use development’s Instagram page also contains pictures and video footage captured by NBC4 of the crane lifting a 1947 Flxible bus and an Airstream caravan 11 stories in the air to the park on top of Capital One Hall.
A Capital One Center spokesperson confirmed that the vehicles will be repurposed as food trucks as part of The Perch’s second phase, which will feature an 18-hole “Perch Putt” mini golf course as well as the food trucks.
The tenant that will operate the food trucks remains “to be named,” the spokesperson said.
The second phase of The Perch is scheduled to open in spring 2022. The 2.5-acre park is anchored by Starr Hill Biergarten and already features bocce ball pits, a dog park, and an amphitheater.
Capital One Center in Tysons Corner welcomed three new permanant food trucks, hoisted via crane today onto "The Perch" rooftop venue. Here's the final installment, a double decker bus being lifted into place (in ~10x speed) #Chopper4 @nbcwashington @charlienbc pic.twitter.com/C21slpLWOR
— ʙʀᴀᴅ ꜰʀᴇɪᴛᴀꜱ (@Chopper4Brad) November 16, 2021
Capital One Hall is ready for its public debut.
The 125,000-square-foot performing arts venue at 7750 Capital One Tower Road in Tysons features a 1,600-seat performance hall, a 225-seat black box theatre, an atrium space for events and weddings with room for 500 people at tables, and an adjoining terrace with a standing capacity of 450.
The building’s façade is wrapped by a glass and Italian Carrera marble while the venue is topped by The Perch — a rooftop green space featuring a stage, Starr Hill Biergarten, and additional event space that opened in August.
“These openings are really a pathway to the future,” Capital One Hall Executive Director Dolly Vogt said at a media preview tour on Tuesday (Sept. 28). “It’s going to bring so much vibrancy and energy to the community…Theaters or arenas, venues like this really do help drive so much. It’s an economic driver in the community; it drives the arts in the community.”
The venue will host its inaugural performance on Friday (Oct. 1) at 8 p.m., courtesy of Grammy, Tony, and Emmy Award-nominated singer, songwriter, and actor Josh Groban. The country band Little Big Town will round out the grand opening weekend with its 2021 Nightfall Tour on Saturday and Sunday.
Since announcing its first booking in June, the venue has filled out its first season through May 2022 with a mix of shows, from pop stars and comedians to local orchestras. Next season’s events are in the midst of being finalized.
“You’ve got a world class entertainment venue that also serves the community,” said Bob Papke, vice president of theaters for ASM Global, which operates Capital One Hall.
“You can see ‘Waitress’ on one night, and you can go see the Fairfax Symphony on another night and a local dance troupe a night after that in this environment and this space, and they’re all sharing the stage and we’re all sharing the experience.”
The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra will be the first local group to perform in the venue on Oct. 9. The scheduled Broadway shows include the musicals “Waitress” from Oct. 29-31, “Fiddler on the Roof” from March 11-13, and “An Officer And A Gentleman” from May 13-15.
“Working with Capital One, it’s a Fortune 100 company, and you have ASM, which is the leader in facility management worldwide, we’re going to be interacting with not only the major promoters, but we’re going to be interacting with those local arts groups,” Papke said.
Community groups that use Capital One Hall are vetted by the nonprofit ArtsFairfax as part of Capital One’s development agreement with Fairfax County, which also includes a subsidized rate for local organizations.
“We’re going to be able to help them not only from the artistic side by giving them this great space to perform in, but also help them on the business side…helping those organizations with their marketing, their finance, with their long-range planning so that they continue to be a viable arts organization and continue to grow,” Papke said.
The venue will require patrons to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test 48 hours before an event. Masks are also required for everyone ages 12 and up.
(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) The Capital One Center development in Tysons is ramping up with lodging and dining.
The Watermark Hotel, featuring 300 luxury rooms, will open tomorrow (Tuesday), and the Wren — a Japanese-American bar and small plates restaurant — opens Friday (Sept. 24), said Tara McNamara, the hotel’s sales director.
“Our inspiration is derived from ‘izakaya,’ the Japanese concept of having a place to gather together to relax and chat while enjoying good food and drink,” chef Yo Matsuzaki said in a news release.
The restaurant’s fare includes oysters, sashimi, baby beet salad with yuzu pistachio vinaigrette, and grilled Black Angus ribeye — all of it prepared in front of guests. It will be open to the public from 5 to 10 p.m. with the bar operating from 3 to 11 p.m.
The Wren is located on the 11th floor by the hotel’s lobby, overlooking part of Tysons as well as The Perch, the recreational space featuring a park, brewery and other amenities that opened in late August. The park is located above Capital One Hall, a new performance venue opening Oct. 1 with Josh Groban.
This past weekend, a three-day festival showed off the sky park’s amenities. Superheroes rappelled down a side of the hotel to wash windows for the event.
Grab-and-go options in food truck façades are slated to be added by The Perch in the coming spring in a portion of the roof that construction crews are still preparing.
Capital One Financial owns The Watermark Hotel and is rolling out its debut with rooms for employees as the company navigates a return-to-work policy this November that keeps telecommuting in place on Mondays and Fridays.
The hotel’s suites feature local artists’ works that adorn everything from soap holders to wallpaper sponge paintings.
Jonathan Lee with B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, which is operating the hotel, shared with visitors how Capital One executives tested out which mattresses to pick for the hotel.
One was a base model, another was the kind used at the Ritz, and a third was ultra luxury: Without knowing which was which, the executives’ preferences centered on one choice, Lee said, causing the mattress budget to go through the roof.
A Capital One Center spokesperson later denied that executives had tested the hotel mattresses, calling the account inaccurate.
The newest park in Tysons has arrived, though those prone to vertigo might want to exercise caution.
The Perch sits 11 stories in the air on top of the upcoming performing arts and corporate center Capital One Hall. The 2.5-acre space is filled with small trees, flowers, shrubs, and other greenery amid paths for strolling.
Anchored by the Starr Hill Biergarten, the park also includes stone-lined bocce ball pits, a dog park, and an amphitheater that is expected to be used for musical performances. A miniature golf course is slated to open this spring, lined with food stalls designed to resemble food carts.
“It’s unique,” said Rachel Obregon, who sampled beer from Starr Hill with Daniel Valcicak on Wednesday (Aug. 25).
The pair plan trips based on breweries and heard about the opening through a private Facebook group, DRINK NOVA. Valcicak, who was familiar with Starr Hill from its other Virginia locations and tried out some of the beer garden’s IPAs, said they would definitely bring friends there.
Other visitors remarked on how the spot worked well as a hangout, especially for those wanting to wait for evening rush-hour traffic to become less congested.
“Everyone has just been blown away,” Brian Griffin, Starr Hill Brewery’s Tysons general manager, said. “Families have come with their dogs.”
The brewery sells craft beer and food options ranging from burgers to arugula salad and kids’ meals. It also experiments with batches to provide beers that can’t be found in other spots.
The amphitheater will offer live music from Wednesdays through Sundays. Three booking agencies already have bands slated to play most days through November, Griffin said. Anticipated genres range from reggae to acoustic music, with a family-friendly focus on weekends during the day.
The Perch is part of Capital One Center, the mixed-use development where construction work continues on a retail-office skyscraper slated to open in 2023.
“Once this building is built out, we will be able to house 8,500 associates on site,” said Meghan Trossen, marketing and community affairs manager for Capital One Center. “We’ll have ground-floor and second-floor retail of this [upcoming] tower, so we want to have a lot of restaurant options here…That street-level pedestrian experience that we see in D.C. and a lot of fun neighborhoods, we want to bring that to Tysons.”
Future residential and office buildings are also planned.
The park will get a grand opening from Sept. 17-19 with Perchfest, a family-friendly event with games and activities for kids. Trossen noted that 10 superheroes will rappel from The Watermark Hotel as part of the festival, which will also feature face painting and an ice-cream cart.
Meanwhile, The Watermark Hotel is set to have a soft open on Sept. 21. The lobby is on the same floor as The Perch and will feature a Japanese-American small plates menu called Wren overseen by Executive Chef Yo Matsuzaki.
Drinks will range from sake to Japanese beers, and the hotel has arranged to get barrels of bourbon from Old Forester and another 127-proof bourbon from Elijah Craig, according to Luis Mantilla, the hotel’s beverage director.
“It’s really hard to get into a barrel program,” The Watermark Sales Director Tara McNamara said.
Block B of the Capital One Center, which contains the financial company’s headquarters, was completed in 2018, making it the tallest occupied structure in the DC region.