Tysons, VA

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.

“Barbie is hitting the road with the Barbie Truck Totally Throwback Tour, celebrating over 60-years of Barbie’s iconic heritage and the fans who love her,” toy company Mattel said on Facebook. “Come check out limited edition retro-inspired Barbie merch only available at the truck. We encourage everyone to practice social distancing!”

The merchandise tour is a celebration of the brand’s 60th birthday, which was celebrated last year.

The company outlined on social media a series of sanitation procedures to help keep the transactions safe, including wiping down counters, points of service and payment readers with disinfectant every thirty minutes. Staff will also wear gloves and masks inside the trucks with an acrylic barrier separating them from guests.

The website indicates the van will have everything from Barbie stickers and accessories to vintage jean jackets with Barbie branding on them.

Photo via Barbie/Facebook

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The Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant had once taken up a key corner spot in Tysons Corner Center, right across from the Barnes & Noble. But while other restaurants are reopening from pandemic closures, Gordon Biersch is gone for good.

The closure is a latest for the franchise, which had four other regional locations close earlier this year. While the Tysons location was reportedly “not on the chopping block” in March, according to eater, the following months put additional challenges on many restaurants.

With the Tysons location gone, the closest Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant is in Annapolis, Maryland.

The Tysons location still held a special place in the heart of some locals, though, which took home the Great American Beer Festival gold medal in 2018 for a Czech-style pilsner, DC Beer reported. The Tysons Corner Center location brewed beer on-site and offered tours in pre-pandemic times.

Photo via Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant

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A new addition to Tysons Corner Center, Brookiegirl is a Black-owned, father-daughter run business that now offers shoppers specialty skincare products.

Dad and daughter duo Bobby and 16- year old Brooklynne Hand decided to start the business after Brooklynne struggled to find suitable products for her sensitive skin.

With two locations becoming increasingly popular in Maryland, the Hand family decided to open a third location in Tysons on Aug. 14, according to Bobby.

Products include bath bombs and teas, lip balms, body butter, hand soaps, body mists and even hand sanitizer. Offerings range in price from around $4 to $35.

For the pair, a location in Tysons Corner Center is a milestone since the traffic and notability of the mall will likely open doors in the future.

“If you’re a retailer, you want to prove yourself at Tysons Corner,” Bobby said. “Tysons is like our Times Square for the area. If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.”

Sales and turnout at the Tysons location so far have been great, according to Bobby, who added that foot traffic in the mall allows people to try out Brookiegirl’s products. “We are hitting the mark that we thought we might have hit, even if COVID wasn’t a factor.”

When it comes to product brand and identity, Bobby said that they think of a “Broookiegirl” as someone who “not only is a well rounded and empowered lady of various nationalities, ages and races but someone who is a defender of her own imagination, beliefs and is big on defending others’ individuality.”

Since they are a military family, Bobby said that individuality and hard work is an American trait they work to embody.

All of Brookiegirls products are produced locally by young adults looking to enter the job market, often in college or high school who want to learn about the business or the beauty industry, according to Bobby.

Despite the ongoing pandemic, the company’s growth means that Brookiegirl was able to bring back all of its employees to once again operate at full capacity.

“That made us feel great – not only that they felt we were able to take care of them and they trusted us to provide a safe space, but they wanted to continue growing the business,” Bobby said.

Bobbygirl is open seven days a week offers discounts for military, veterans and first responders.

Photo via Brookie Girl/Facebook

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BrandBox has been vacant since early spring, but that’s about to change for the pop-up focused space in Tysons Corner Center.

Located on the first level near Barnes and Noble, BrandBox targets digitally native brands for short-term leases often ranging from six months to a year. If they like the brick and mortar storefront, BrandBox works with the tenants to help them find a permanent spot in the mall.

“Needless to say, with the fate of retail as a whole up in the air due to Covid, especially in an indoor shopping center and people’s varying comfort levels,” Becca Willcox, BrandBox’s senior manager of product and brand success, told Tysons Reporter. “We are taking things slowly.”

BrandBox will soon welcome Tailor on Tap this month. Started by four college students, the business serves as personal stylists with custom high-end clothing for men and women.

“In a world where anyone can buy the same mass-produced outfit from a brick & mortar retail store, Tailor On Tap makes it possible for you to create and elevate your unique style,” according to Tailor on Tap’s website.

Willcox said that BrandBox will be the first store for the Tailor on Tap. “Along with tailored pieces, they will have some ready-to-wear items as well — perfect for those returning to the office, on virtual calls and meetings or just wanting to look great in their everyday dealings,” she said.

Willcox said that BrandBox has been vacant since leases for three brands expired in the early spring.

In the past, BrandBox at Tysons Corner Center has served as a temporary home for Nectar, Peloton, Seletti, Chubbies and Gilly Hicks.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the retail industry. Even with widespread inventory challenges and legacy stores suffering, Willcox said that BrandBox’s ability to pivot quickly, flexibility and creativity keep it going.

BrandBox’s strategy — helping young, online brands with physical retail space through flexible leases — has remained the same through the pandemic, Willcox said.

“This formula actually makes BrandBox the perfect option for post-Covid store openings, even in unpredictable times,” she said.

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SHOTTED Specialty Coffee is serving drinks from its new home in Tysons Corner Center.

The coffee shop originally had a kiosk on level two. Two weeks ago, SHOTTED held its grand opening for its kiosk on the first level outside Barnes and Noble.

The coffee shop has been active in the D.C. area, from supporting local Saudi student clubs to serving up pistachio lattes at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia, according to its Instagram.

People who stop by the new location in Tysons Corner Center can try a Spanish latte, which is usually sweeter than traditional lattes.

Photo via SHOTTED/Facebook

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Visitors to Tysons Corner Center can drop off canned food and snacks to help people facing food insecurity.

The mall teamed up with radio station WGTS 91.9 and the Capital Area Food Bank on a food drive.

The Capital Area Food Bank is looking for the following items:

  • canned or dry beans
  • canned vegetables (low sodium, no salt added)
  • peanut butter
  • hot and cold cereal
  • grains: brown and white rice, pasta, macaroni and cheese
  • canned tuna, salmon or chicken
  • 100% juice (all sizes)
  • canned fruits
  • healthy snacks like raisins and granola bars

Working with more than 450 nonprofit partners, the Capital Area Food Bank provides more than 30 million meals yearly, according to its website.

For communities across the U.S., the coronavirus pandemic has made it harder to access food and resources. A study earlier this year by Feeding America predicts that 17 million more people — including 7 million kids — will face food insecurity this year than in pre-pandemic times.

People will have until Sunday, Aug. 30, to drop off donations at either the concierge desk on the second level near Starbucks or at Bloomingdale’s.

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After delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, several new films are hitting the screens at newly-reopened movie theaters.

“Tenet,” “Wonder Woman 1984” and “Bill & Ted Face The Music” are some of the films poised to hit theaters soon.

In the Tysons area, ShowPlace Icon in The Boro and AMC Theatre in Tysons Corner Center recently reopened. Angelika Film Center’s website says the Mosaic District location is “coming soon.”

Gov. Ralph Northam forced movie theaters to close in the spring, but under Phase Three, which started July 1, movie theaters can open at 50% capacity.

Let us know in the poll and comments below if you are comfortable heading to movie theaters again.

Photo by Corina Rainer/Unsplash

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Electrify America plans to bring electric vehicle chargers to Tysons Corner Center as part of its plan to add hundreds of new stations by the end of next year.

The Reston-based company is working with the mall to bring an ultra-fast EV charging station to the mall in early 2021, Alyssa Schor, a spokesperson for Electrify America, told Tysons Reporter.

Electrify America, which Volkswagon launched in 2017, has more than 450 sites with about 2,000 direct-current fast chargers. The company has said it plans to invest $2 billion in Zero Emission Vehicle programs by 2027, with $800 million going toward programs in California and $1.2 billion around the rest of the U.S.

The company plans to install or have under development approximately 800 total charging stations with about 3,500 direct-current fast chargers by December 2021, Schor said.

“Electrify America conducts an extensive review and analysis to select locations for charging stations, working with a variety of site hosts,” according to a company statement Schor provided. “A large focus is on placing these locations where EV drivers can multitask while their vehicle charges — running errands, dining out, etc.”

Schor declined to share how many chargers the station will have or where they will be located at the mall.

A spokesperson for Tysons Corner Center said that the upcoming chargers will increase the property’s zero-emissions sustainability offerings.

“We look forward to welcoming locally based Electrify America to the center and working together in promoting customer-centric, energy management solutions for the community,” Todd Putt, the mall’s senior marketing manager, said in a statement.

Currently, EV drivers can find more than two dozen charging stations in Tysons from Tesla, Blink, SemaConnect, EVgo, Volta and ChargePoint. Electrify America has a charging station near the Walmart next to the Spring Hill Metro station.

Looking for a charging station? Here’s a map of current options in Tysons:

Photo via Electrify America

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The Tysons Corner Center theater is among the more than 100 locations AMC Theatres plans to reopen next week with one-day-only 15-cent tickets.

The movie theater chain announced the plans today, saying that the steeply-discounted ticket prices will celebrate AMC’s 100th anniversary by giving audience-goers ticket prices from the 1920s.

The more than 100 locations will offer the 15-cent tickets for their reopening on Thursday (Aug. 20).

“We are thrilled to once again open our doors to American moviegoers who are looking for an opportunity to get out of their houses and apartments and escape into the magic of the movies,” Adam Aron, the president and CEO of AMC Theatres, said in the announcement.

Roughly 300 other AMC locations are slated to reopen within the following two weeks — in time for Disney’s “The New Mutants,” which is expected to get released on Aug. 28, and Warner Bros.’ “Tenet” on Sept. 3, the announcement said.

The remaining one-third of the theaters will reopen “only after authorized to do so by state and local officials,” the announcement said.

Photo by Corina Rainer/Unsplash

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A woman- and veteran-owned business selling bath and body products is coming to Tysons Corner Center.

BrookieGirl Bath + Body Care plans to hold its grand opening at 6 p.m. on Friday at the mall.

BrookieGirl sells a variety of bath bombs, hand sanitizer, body wash, hand soap, beard oil and more. The collections offered online include men’s products; hand sanitizers; the “Soap Dessert” collection with soap shaped like cupcakes, macarons and cake; and several gift baskets.

The company currently lists two Maryland stores — one in National Harbor and another in Annapolis — on its website.

Photo via BrookieGirl Bath + Body Care/Facebook

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