Tysons Corner, VA

BAE Systems announced its new Robotic Operations Center in Tysons yesterday (Monday).

The new center will “customize and deploy suites of software robots that automate high-volume, repetitive tasks in support of U.S. national security missions,” according to a press release.

“The emphasis on security is driving a significant increase in the collection of data across the IT enterprise, giving analysts access to more data in greater detail than ever before,” Peder Jungck, the vice president of intelligence solutions at BAE Systems, said in a press release.

Known as ROC, the new center stems from BAE Systems’ partnership with UiPath to increase machine learning in the U.S. defense and intelligence communities earlier this year.

“The ROC streamlines IT operations, helping customers to take advantage of the vast sea of information to improve responsiveness while reducing cost and security risk,” Jungck said.

The multinational defense, security and aerospace company has a Tysons office at 1676 International Drive, Suite 1000.

Image via Google Maps 

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Tysons-based Curbside Kitchen imagines a food truck-friendly world where companies can easily coordinate with food trucks to cater events or just switch up lunch-time options.

Amy Katz, the CEO of Curbside Kitchen, founded the company around 2017 after talking to her husband Brian about his struggles in real estate and difficulty coordinating food trucks for events.

To solve the problem, she decided to create a technological platform that allows managers to schedule food truck arrivals for their business or building.

Katz described the company as “Uber for a food truck — with a ton of heart” and said that her company helps buildings maintain tenants by building a sense of community and diversity based on a shared love for food.

“Each truck has its own DNA,” Katz said.

When first starting out, the main obstacle was finding a way to coordinate with hundreds of food trucks with unreliable hours and various management types, she said.

“The biggest struggle is bringing the food truck owners up to the same standard,” Katz said, adding that there are many “unforeseen” circumstances around food trucks, including maintenance issues or poor weather.

But, despite the challenges, Katz is optimistic about the company’s growth. “I am so passionate about it that every day we learn something new,” she said.

Today, the company has around 300 food truck partners on call in three cities, but Katz said they plan to keep growing thanks to the Virginia Founders Fund from the Center for Innovative Technology, which recently granted Curbside Kitchen money to expand their venture.

Katz said she did not feel comfortable revealing the grant amount, but she did say that she plans to hire a few more employees and build an app.

The app will tell food truck patrons when their favorite trucks are nearby, allow trucks and managers to schedule gigs and remind trucks to show up at certain times. She said the app should be available for download within six months.

Though they are not the only company that works with food trucks, Katz said that Curbside Kitchen isn’t worried about competition.

“There isn’t really anybody out there with the technology and integration we have,” she said.

As Curbside Kitchen expands, they plan to keep their headquarters in Tysons — where the community is incredibly supportive of the food truck culture.

“I believe people have a close eye on what we are doing,” Katz said.

Photo courtesy Amy Katz

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The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

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

Tuesday (Aug. 20)

  • Tysons Comedy Regional Showcase — 7-9 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — This free event brings local comedians to the stage for an evening of laughter. There will be happy hour specials until 9 p.m.

Wednesday (Aug. 21)

  • Quarterly Fit Club: Powerwave by Crunch Fitness — 5:30-6:30 p.m. at Tysons Corner Center (The Plaza) — This free workout invites everyone to try a bodyweight and rope exercise class. Equipment is provided.
  • Charity Guest Bartender Event — 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — All tips and a portion of the sales will be donated to Second Story — Tysons Partnership’s charity partner for the Tysons Tailgate. The goal is to raise $1,000. Some of the guest bartenders will include Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and Borzou from The Falcon Lab.

Thursday (Aug. 22)

  • Big Screen on the Green: Disney’s “Moana” — 7:30 p.m. at Town Green (144 E. Maple Avenue) — The Town of Vienna will host a free movie for the community along with popcorn. They invite attendees to bring lawn chairs or blankets.
  • Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals — 7:30 p.m. at Wolf Trap (1551 Trap Road) — Ben Harper & The Innocent Criminals combine blues, soul, reggae and rock while Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue will bring funky jazz rhythms. Tickets are $35.

Saturday (Aug. 24)

  • Maggiano’s Back To School Little Chef’s Cooking Class — 8:30 a.m. at Maggiano’s Little Italy (2001 International Drive) —  This event invites families to learn how to make back to school snacks, including an Italian grilled cheese, while interacting with chiefs from the restaurant. Tickets are $25, but free for parents with their kids.
  • All ’80s All Night — 7:30 p.m. at The Palladium (1524 Spring Hill Road, Suite LM) — This free event will feature an ’80s themed DJ dance party. Prizes will be given to attendees with the best ’80s outfit.

Sunday (Aug. 25)

  • AIR at Tysons Biergarten — 8 p.m. at Tysons Biergarten (8346 Leesburg Pike) — Tysons Biergarten will host an outdoor DJ and dance party featuring current hits from across the world. There will be drinks, food and hookah. Tickets are $5 beforehand or $10 at the door.
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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in McLean. Reach the office at 703-790-9090.

I meet a lot of people who want a large piece of land with their house in the Tyson’s Corner area.

For many, a quarter acre lot (about 10,000 sq. ft.) isn’t enough. But did you know the larger the lot size in Vienna and McLean, the higher probability the house is on well water and/or a septic system instead of public utilities? That’s the funny thing about land, once you get over about a half acre, you’re leaving behind Fairfax County water/sewer.

If you’re looking for land or already own a house with land, don’t forget about these maintenance items and some pros and cons.

Well Water

Pro: Water is free! Many people say it also tastes better.

You should check your pH level regularly, along with other possible contaminates. There’s a small cost associated with maintenance on a well — neutralizer, water filtration system, water softener, etc. If the well ever gets contaminated past the point of safe usage, you may have to drill new one. Learn more about Wells.

Septic System

Septic systems are in place of public sewer, which handles all water and organic matter that runs down the plumbing system. The septic tank is buried in the yard and flows to a drainfield.

Maintenance: The septic tank should be pumped every 3-5 years. When you’re buying a home, you should be doing a septic tank inspection where they check to make sure the size of the system is adequate for the house (usually this is measured by the number of bedrooms).

To learn more about septic systems, read here.

My go to contractors for each are Bell Pump and Well and Five Star Septic.

If you have more questions on this topic or others related to home care, buying or selling, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at [email protected].

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Vienna Man Arrested After Chase — “State police arrested a Vienna man early Wednesday following a high-speed chase and crash in Shenandoah County.” [Inside NoVa]

Billions for Booze — “The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority has reported annual revenue of more than $1 billion, up $71.8 million over the previous year.” [Inside NoVa]

Tysons Company Growing Quicky — “Inc. Magazine compiled the 2019 list of companies based on the percent of revenue growth from 2015 to 2018. Qualifying companies must be based in the U.S. and be privately held. The 12th spot belonged to Urgently, a global mobility and roadside assistance app.” [Tysons Patch]

Falls Church Candidate Drops Out — “Thomas Cash, a candidate for one of three contested Falls Church City Council seats up for bid this November, announced [Friday] that he is dropping out of the race.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Rep. Wexton Joins “Play Date” in McLean Park — Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) joined families “Aug. 9 at Clemyjontri Park in McLean as part of a ‘play date’ organized by Little Lobbyists, an advocacy group dedicated to supporting and sharing the stories of families with children who have complex medical needs.” [Fairfax County Times]

Grocery Store Scales Back Hours — “Touting its 24-hour service when it opened three years ago in the middle of downtown Falls Church, the Little City’s Harris Teeter will no longer be open for all-hour grocery shopping starting next week.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Little Leaguers Interrogate Nats Player — “The Washington Nationals’ Trea Turner met with Falls Church Kiwanis Little Leaguers Thursday and fielded some questions from the young players that were surprisingly hot to handle in an event aimed at boosting Fall Ball participation.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Falls Classes Available in McLean — “Registration is now open for McLean Community Center’s (MCC) fall session classes and activities.” [McLean Patch]

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Tysons may not have the liveliest nightlife at the moment, but that could soon change as more late-night restaurants and places to hang out open. “Tysons After Dark” will highlight a different spot every week.

Locals looking for some evening entertainment can watch the latest Cirque du Soleil show in Tysons until the end of September.

The acrobatic troupe returned this year with a new sports-themed show called “VOLTA.”

Cirque du Soleil’s production highlights adventure and street sports, Steven Ross, the show’s senior publicist, told Tysons Reporter.

When the creators of the show started brainstorming about two years ago, Ross said they wanted to try something new. “Sports is the one thing we haven’t done,” he said.

Cirque du Soleil ended up sending talent scouts to sporting events to include sports athletes in the cast.

“We took sport athletes and taught them how to do sport moves in an artistic way,” he said.

In addition to the urban sports inspiration, “VOLTA” is also unlike traditional Cirque du Soleil shows with its “clear and very defined narrative,” Ross said.

“VOLTA” is Latin for “a sudden change,” and the contemporary plot focuses on self-empowerment and transformation while juxtaposing bicycles with ballerinas, he said.

The electronic music — common at sporting events — also adds a new twist to the show, he said.

More from Cirque du Soleil about the show:

Waz is a gameshow contestant that has lost touch with himself. He’s ashamed of who he is because of his difference. Follow him as he enters the show in search of fame, thinking that this will bring him love and acceptance from others. What he will find is something else: that fame is not the answer.

If fame doesn’t provide freedom and acceptance, then what does? Will Waz reconnect with his true self — and stand up for all that makes him truly unique? Will he realize that his difference is what makes him extraordinary?

The “big top” pavilion is located between Tysons Galleria and the Tysons Corner Metro station.

The show runs until Sept 29. Tickets start at $49 and go up to $495 for behind-the-scenes tickets.

Photos via VOLTA by Cirque du Soleil/Facebook

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Updated at 4:25 p.m. — Fairfax County is now under a Flood Warning. 

Earlier: Fairfax County and surrounding areas could see some major thunderstorms and damaging winds this afternoon (Thursday).

The National Weather Service recently issued a Severe Thunderstorm Warning that will last until 4 p.m.

More from the National Weather Service:

Until 400 PM EDT.

* At 316 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm was located over Chantilly, or near Centreville, moving southeast at 15 mph.

HAZARD…60 mph wind gusts.

SOURCE…Radar indicated.

IMPACT…Damaging winds will cause some trees and large branches to fall. This could injure those outdoors, as well as damage homes and vehicles. Roadways may become blocked by downed trees. Localized power outages are possible. Unsecured light objects may become projectiles.

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A new pizza place will join other eateries along Leesburg Pike near the Greensboro Metro station next weekend.

MOD Pizza at Pike 7 Plaza (8350 Leesburg Pike) plans to begin serving customers with a soft opening on Sunday, Aug. 25, and Monday, Aug. 26, according to Phil Singh, the location’s construction manager. The new pizza place is sandwiched between Cava and Honeygrow, which both opened last fall.

This location will feature an array of pizzas, salads, sides and soft drinks along with beer and wine.

During the soft opening, the pizza place will have limited hours from noon-2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m.

During these hours, customers will receive a 50% on all menu items with the exception of alcoholic beverages. All proceeds with go to a charity, but Singh said the company has not decided on one yet.

The eatery will officially open on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

MOD Pizza is currently hiring employees for its new location.

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The Boro in Tysons is one step closer to completion.

Businesses moving into the area are starting to put up signs and advertise apartment rental opportunities — the 70,000 square-foot flagship Whole Foods no longer has its sign saying “Whole Foo.”

Patrons can expect more than a dozen stores and businesses to start opening this fall, Caroline Flax, a spokesperson at The Meridian Group, said. Options for hungry diners include smoothies, Italian cuisine, ramen, poke and Starbucks.

A Tysons Reporter poll recently asked readers which restaurant or grocery store they were most excited for — 59% of participants voted for the new Whole Foods location.

In a different poll asking about upcoming entertainment opportunities, 54% said that they are most excited for ShowPlace ICON to open.

For business owners looking to rent offices or commercial retail space, there are still spots available.

In addition to the new retail, the sprawling development’s two luxury apartment buildings named Rise and Bolden will have one and two-bedroom apartments available for rent starting in September, according to a press release.

Comment below and let Tysons Reporter know if you plan to check out The Boro once construction is finished.

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New details have emerged about the “boutique hotel” in the upcoming Scotts Run development in Tysons East.

Archer Hotel recently released more information about the hotel’s design and offerings.

Situated adjacent to the McLean Metro station, the seven-story, 178-room hotel will have a bar and restaurant operated by chef Charlie Palmer, along with rooftop event space, a fitness studio and underground valet parking, the press release said.

The hotel is designed by LK Architecture — the same firm behind the Tysons Walmart and Hyatt House in Merrifield.

The hotel will be a part of the southern portion of the 8 million-square-foot mixed-use development, which is split into Scotts Run North and South.

Scotts Run South includes several apartments and office buildings — including the completed 425-unit apartment complex called The Haden and the 14-story office building Mitre 4 — the Archer Hotel and retail space.

Meanwhile, Scotts Run North proposes a high-density mix of residential and office buildings.

“The Tysons locale boasts megacity attributes and infrastructure, while retaining welcoming touches like tree-lined streets and a lower-stress lifestyle,” the press release said.

The Tysons location will be the seventh Archer Hotel and is slated to open in summer 2021.

Image via Cityline Partners, map via SmithGroup 

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