Tysons, VA

Construction on the new Bowlero that will occupy part of the shuttered Macy’s in Tysons Galleria is scheduled to commence around next Monday (March 29), a spokesperson tells Tysons Reporter.

Bowlero Senior Public Relations Manager Jillian Laufer says the bowling alley operator hopes to finish construction in late November.

This will be Bowlero’s fifth location in the D.C. area. The company currently operates venues in Arlington, Bethesda, Centreville, and most recently, Annandale, which had its grand opening in February 2020.

“Tysons Galleria is situated in one of the country’s most well established and affluent markets, and we saw an underrepresentation of family fun options in the community,” Laufer said. “Bowlero is a one-stop entertainment destination for all ages complete with signature blacklight bowling, interactive arcade games, and extensive food and beverage offerings which make it a great fit for Tysons Galleria.”

The Washington Business Journal first reported Bowlero’s plans to move into the former Macy’s at Tysons Galleria in January.

The space has been vacant since the clothing store closed in 2019, as Tysons Galleria owner Brookfield Properties has been working to redevelop the 300,000 square-foot, three-floor building so that it can accommodate multiple tenants.

According to the Washington Business Journal, Apple, Tiffany & Co., Balducci’s, and iPic Theaters have all been in discussions about potentially getting space in the converted building, but Brookfield has not released any new information about those plans.

The new Bowlero will occupy 39,851 square feet on the first floor of the former Macy’s, and it will feature 36 bowling lanes, along with arcade games, a full-service kitchen, and a sports bar, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Bowlero has applied for licenses to serve wine and beer on its premises and to have a mixed beverage restaurant with a capacity of up to 100 seats. Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority records indicate that its applications have been pending since Feb. 22.

Photo courtesy Bowlero

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A new store that specializes in eco-friendly custom furniture will open its doors at Tysons Galleria on Monday (Feb. 1).

Whom will be located in Suite 1126 on 2001 International Dr. Its operating hours will be 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, and 12-6 p.m. on Sundays.

This will be Whom’s second brick-and-mortar location after the flagship store opened in Los Angeles, Calif., last year.

“We’re eager to expand our showroom concept on the East Coast and have found a great partnership with [Tysons Galleria owner and manager] Brookfield Properties,” Whom CEO and founder Jonathan Bass said.

It is a division of the furniture design company Innova Luxury Group Inc. and the manufacturer PTM Images, which owns and operates a 300,000 square-foot factory in Mexico that produces all of the furniture sold by Whom.

Whom consists of a showroom where customers can browse home furniture and decor that they can then order custom-made. The company says it uses sustainable hardwood, materials from recycled polystyrene pulled from the ocean, and non-toxic paints and finishes. It also offers more than 50 easy-to-clean fabrics.

“Our customer is not only concerned about the initial impact their purchase makes, but the subsequent impact of landfilling their home products,” Bass said. “Consumers increasingly want furniture that will last longer, so they don’t need to replace it as often due to the effects on the environment.”

Photo courtesy Whom Home

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Fairfax County police received multiple reports of robberies and larcenies in the McLean District this week.

According to the Fairfax County Police Department’s weekly recap, two men shoplifted merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue (2051 International Dr.) at Tysons Galleria around 4:04 p.m. on Jan. 10. When leaving, they threatened to assault a store employee.

Then, at 8:15 p.m. on Jan. 14, a man and a woman took two carts of merchandise without paying from Safeway on 6244 Old Dominion Dr. in McLean. They reportedly assaulted two employees while leaving the grocery store.

No injuries were reported in either incident.

The FCPD also confirmed today that it received two separate reports of larceny on Jan. 13 from people whose vehicles were robbed at Clemyjontri Park in McLean around 5 p.m. that day. In both cases, the vehicle windows were broken, and personal items were taken.

“We would like to remind our community members to hide valuables that must be left in a vehicle, even if you are stepping away for just a few minutes,” FCPD Sgt. Tara Gerhard said.

Fairfax County police suggest placing purses, laptop bags, and larger items in the trunk of the vehicle and hiding loose change, phones, or other small valuable items “that could make your vehicle an easy target for a criminal.”

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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Monday Morning Notes

Second Dead Capitol Police Officer Was Madison Alumnus — The Capitol Police announced on Saturday (Jan. 9) that officer Howard Liebengood had died — reportedly by suicide — after being on the scene when a mob breached the U.S. Capitol last week. Liebengood attended Vienna’s James Madison High School in the 1980s and participated in the school’s wrestling team. [The Washington Post]

Fairfax County Libraries Return to Curbside Service Only — “Effective Monday, Jan. 11, all Fairfax County Public Library branches will provide curbside and virtual services only. Please stay home if you’re sick, if you’ve been exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19 or if you’re awaiting your own COVID-19 test results.” [Fairfax County Public Library]

Bowlero to Move into Former Macy’s at Tysons Galleria — “Bowling alley operator Bowlero plans to open its fifth location in Greater Washington this November at Tysons Galleria…The new location will house 36 bowling lanes, more than 70 arcade games, a full-service kitchen, sports bar and audio-visual capabilities including hi-definition video screens above the bowling lanes.” [Washington Business Journal]

Construction on New George Mason High School Nearly Complete — “The new school set to replace the old George Mason High School in the City of Falls Church will be opened in the coming weeks, but in-person learning may not be allowed despite a recently announced reopening plan.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Fairfax County Requests Flexibility and Funding from State — During a public hearing on Jan. 9, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay told the county’s General Assembly delegation that localities need the flexibility to determine their own priorities as they try to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. [WTOP]

Staff photo by Jay Westcott

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As the holidays approach, Tysons Galleria has announced that it will display a new interactive art installation called “Warm for the Winter.” The installation serves as a coat drive to benefit Alexandria’s Volunteers of America and their donation initiatives.

Through this initiative, Tysons Galleria is collecting new coats, scarves, and gloves for Northern Virginia families in need from Nov. 20 until Dec. 11. The art installation was designed by Richmond-based artist Noah Scalin and utilizes the donated coats before they are given to the families, according to a press release from Tysons Galleria.

“It has been a challenging year for so many, and we are excited to be part of this initiative to support our local community,” Tysons Galleria Senior General Manager Rich Dinning said.

Volunteers of America has helped underserved people for 125 years, the press release says. According to CEO Mike King, the partnership was a “natural fit” since Brookfield Properties — the real estate company that owns Tysons Galleria — is one of the largest mall operators in the U.S.

“Our goal is to collect as many donations in as many communities possible, and we are able to maximize those efforts through their shopping centers across the country,” King said. “We look forward to working with them in the coming weeks and look forward to the opportunity to give back to American families this holiday season.”

Scalin will design a custom installation with more than 3,000 coats that will be displayed through Dec. 31 before the coats are donated to those in need. Scalin’s work is interested in reorganizing the noise of American culture into recognizable signals by “illuminating people, moments, and objects that should be prioritized over the distracting spectacle of society,” according to the release.  

Community members can donate new coats, scarves, and gloves at collection points throughout the mall near Maggianos, PF Chang’s, and on the lower level near J. Crew. Organizers are requesting new items because of COVID-19 restrictions. 

Photo by Joshua Hanson/Unsplash

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With colder weather approaching, Tysons-area restaurants are preparing for a warm, socially-distant eating experience for their guests.

Last week, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors voted to approve an ordinance amendment that allows enclosed tents with heaters, both inside and outside, for outdoor dining, fitness, and exercise activities, and a few local restaurants are planning to take advantage of the ordinance.

Founding Farmers (1800 Tysons Blvd.) is planning to follow the ordinance by creating an outdoor-dining space. Majority-owned by American family farmers, Founding Farmers serves American dishes, along with seasonal fruits and vegetables from Virginia farms.

“We’re working through the final details of our tents but we do plan on installing some soon,” Farmers Restaurant Group Vice President and Marketing and Communications Specialist Meaghan O’Shea said.

“What we’re hoping to achieve is to continue to offer safe dining options both inside and outside through the cooler weather months,” O’Shea said. “If you want to be outside, we want to be sure we can accommodate that request and that it’s an enjoyable experience for both the guests and our team.”

Tyson’s first annual Restaurant Week earlier this month (Oct. 12-18) was a huge success, according to many local restaurant owners and managers.

Urban Plates (1782M Galleria at Tysons II), which participated in Tyson’s Restaurant Week, currently has an outdoor heated patio, so no further accommodations need to be made, according to General Manager Tony Bass.

“We also always have inside seating available, following Fairfax County COVID-19 guidelines — less than 10 people at one table, sitting six feet apart,” Bass said.

The Town of Vienna has not yet permitted restaurants to use closed tents for outdoor dining. The town council most recently re-adopted an emergency ordinance allowing institutions and businesses to get temporary waivers from zoning regulations on outdoor activities on Oct. 5, but the measure still requires tents to “remain open on all sides.”

Still, that limitation has not stopped the town’s restaurants from proactively preparing for the winter months.

Vienna’s Blend 111 (111 Church St. NW), a food and wine bar that specializes in Latin dishes, has already began “winterizing” its patio, according to owner/sommelier Mike Biddick.

“We added gas heaters, pop-up tents for use when it is rainy, and blankets,” Biddick said. “We are also working with a firm to design eco-friendly, heated chair cushions for later into the winter.”

Biddick says over 90% of his customers choose to enjoy their meals outside, but the restaurant has still worked to create a safe, socially-distant dining experience for the customers that choose to sit inside.

“Inside, we set up only eight tables,” Biddick said. “…While our open kitchen required that we installed very robust air ventilation when we opened last year, we also installed air particle filters next to each of the tables for added airflow and circulation. Masks are mandatory, as are gloves for our staff.”

Photo courtesy Jennie Kuperstein

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When Andy’s Pizza had to close, along with dozens of other restaurants and stores in Tysons Galleria, co-owner Emily Brown figured it would be around three to six weeks before they reopened. Seven months later, the restaurant has reopened, but the local pizza spot that had a steadily growing business at the start of the year is now fighting for survival.

“We worked really hard to build what was starting to take off,” Brown said.

Brown said shutting down was the right decision, but it was still hard on small businesses. Even with Andy’s Pizza officially reopening around two weeks ago, Brown said the office lunch crowd that was a mainstay of the business has all but disappeared.

“90% of our business was lunch, and the happy hour was starting to take off, all from offices,” Brown said.

Andy’s Pizza was one of the restaurants that helped launch Taste of Urbanspace in Tysons Galleria in 2018, a replacement to quick collapse of Isabella Eatery that put together smaller outlets of beloved restaurants and food vendors throughout the region.

Throughout late 2018 and 2019, restaurants like Stomping GroundDonburi and Andy’s Pizza built a community on the upper floors of the mall and established a dedicated local following. Andy’s Pizza even launched a pop-up with Stomping Ground’s Del Ray location. But that community is now in jeopardy as the local hospitality and office markets remain devastated as a result of the pandemic. Read More

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Golden Goose is planning to bring its high-end sneakers and clothing to Tysons Galleria.

The Italian brand sells sneakers for men, women and kids, along with leather jackets, t-shirts, knitwear and dresses for adults. Inspired by American basketball and ’80s culture, the Ball Star sneakers are made of goatskin and feature a star on the side ($400-$600). Meanwhile, the Stardan ones are based on 90s basketball shoes ($500-$700).

Fairfax County permits indicate that Golden Goose is looking to arrive at Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive). Tysons Reporter obtained an email by a Golden Goose employee confirming plans are underway for the Tysons store.

“The focus for us is on the Galleria continuing to be the point-of-entry venue for relevant brands opening in the D.C. area,” Tysons Galleria said in a statement through a spokesperson.

Golden Goose’s website list locations across the U.S., from San Francisco to Dallas to New York City. No stores are currently listed in the D.C. area.

Photo by Michelle Goldchain

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Lady M Cake Boutique is now located in its new, permanent location in Tysons Galleria.

The cake boutique extended its pop-up in A Taste of Urbanspace last year while looking for a new spot in the mall. Lady M Cake Boutique first arrived in Tysons Galleria in December 2018.

The boutique officially opened on the second level of the mall on Tuesday (July 14), according to a press release.

More from the press release:

From the iconic Signature Mille Crepes to fan-favorite Green Tea Mille Crepes, and much more, Lady M Tysons Galleria offers a daily rotating and seasonal selection of handmade Lady M cakes. This boutique location also offers a full beverage menu featuring tea and coffee, alongside custom drinks like Green Tea Latte and a notably decadent Hot Chocolate.

Lady M Tysons Galleria is a full-service, dine-in boutique location. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, takeaway will be offered exclusively for the time being. Guests may order in person at the boutique or place pre-orders online (for same day pickup) at ladymcakes.square.site.

For those who prefer to enjoy cake at home, Lady M has also partnered with Chowbus to offer fast and easy delivery from this new Tysons Galleria boutique location. Lady M continues to also offer nationwide shipping of whole cakes at LadyM.com.

The store is open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., according to Lady M Cake’s Facebook page.

Photos via Tysons Galleria/Facebook

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Treasure Shop Closing in McLean — “The Treasure Shop in McLean announced it will close after 49 years in business due to the COVID-19 situation and increasing costs. The last day is June 30.” [Patch]

Latest on COVID Cases — “The Virginia Department of Health reported 551 additional cases of the coronavirus Sunday, a lower increase after four consecutive days of new daily cases increasing. The latest cumulative totals are 57,994 cases, 5,840 hospitalizations, and 1,611 deaths.” [Patch]

Restaurant Struggling — “A longtime business in McLean seeks support to avoid closing due to the coronavirus pandemic’s financial impact. McLean Family Restaurant, a 51-year Kapetanakis family operation, made the plea to customers Wednesday on Facebook.” [Patch]

FCPS May Add Holidays to Calendar — “The Fairfax County School Board is considering a 2021-22 Standard School Year Calendar… Version A has the school year beginning on Monday, August 23, 2021, and ending on Thursday, June 16, 2022. Four religious holidays would be observed: Rosh Hashanah on September 7, 2021; Yom Kippur on September 16, 2021; Diwali on November 4, 2021; and Eid  al Fitr on May 3, 2022.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]

Mall Issues — “Brookfield is chasing small retailers to pay thousands of dollars in rent on outlets that were forced to close during the coronavirus pandemic, even as the Canadian investment group skips payments on its mortgages and asks lenders for forbearance… Brookfield has requested forbearance from lenders who are owed payments on a dozen of its malls, according to reports circulated to credit market participants who have bought the debt.” Brookfield operates Tysons Galleria. [Washington Business Journal]

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