Tysons, VA

The Vienna food scene has a new addition with the arrival of Box’d Kitchen, a fast-casual restaurant that specializes in Mediterranean cuisine.

Box’d Kitchen opened its doors on Dec. 1 in the Avalon Dunn Loring apartment complex at 2750 Gallows Road. This is the second location for Box’d Kitchen after founder and CEO Curtis Lee introduced the concept in 2018 with a venue near the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville.

“With extraordinary food offering at an affordable pricing, we are looking forward to becoming a great neighborhood restaurant in Vienna,” Lee said.

Open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week, Box’d Kitchen allows customers to build rice and salad bowls or flatbread gyro wraps with lamb, steak, chicken, pork, and vegetables.

Dishes are served with the restaurant’s version of Tzatziki sauce and an optional hot spice sauce. The spiciness level can range from mild to extra hot.

According to the restaurant’s new Yelp profile, Box’d Kitchen does not have outdoor seating, but it offers delivery, takeout, and curbside pick-up services along with sit-down dining.

It also has a contactless payment system, enforces capacity limits and social distancing, provides hand sanitizer, and requires masks as a safety measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Blend 111 is now offering express, to-go lunch options.

Launched yesterday (Tuesday), the CasArepa menu features Latin-inspired street food, including arepas in a variety of flavors, tequenos, and patacones. These are all popular dishes throughout Colombia and Venezuela.

The food is intended to be paired with a range of new Latin American “refresher” juices, including flavors like black currant, papaya, passion fruit and guava.

The lunch carryout options are available from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays through Fridays.

Orders should be submitted by smartphone and can be picked up from the restaurant’s front door at 111 Church Street. Guests are also welcome to eat on the restaurant’s outdoor back patio depending on the availability of space.

Blend 111 is a restaurant and wine bar that opened in the Town of Vienna in August 2019. It offers lunch and dinner menus with South American cuisine, wine from Spain and France, and coffee roasted in the store.

Photo courtesy Blend 111

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Since COVID-19 arrived in Fairfax County in March, creativity and community support have become critical for the many local businesses hustling to survive in a world where crowds and social interactions carry public health risks.

The Caboose Brewing Company hopes to harness both forces – innovation and the loyalty of its regular customers – by introducing beer, soup, and coffee subscriptions in time for the holiday season.

Owner of Caboose Tavern in Vienna and Caboose Commons in Merrifield, Caboose officially announced this morning (Wednesday) that customers who buy a Souper Sunday Subscription will get two quarts of soup delivered to them for free every Sunday for the next four weeks.

A subscription purchase will include discounts on packer and growler beer glasses. The soups will also be available for sale a la carte.

However, Caboose’s centerpiece offering is the 2021 Caboose Barrel Club, a year-long subscription that will give buyers access to eight brand-new barrel-aged or barrel-fermented beers developed by the brewery.

“We’ve been wanting to do more exciting releases and really cater towards kind of our number-one fans, the people that are buying all of our new releases and the real beer nerds out there,” Caboose Head Brewer Matt Furda said. “…This subscription really caters toward those people.”

Club subscribers will receive a four pack of beer roughly every other month throughout 2021, along with perks such as virtual tastings with Furda for each new release, 10% off dine-in draft beer at Caboose Commons and Caboose Tavern, and a fee waiver for a space reservation for a party of up to 30 people.

According to Caboose’s website, the eight beers in the series will be:

  • Rum barrel-aged tiramisu stout
  • Bourbon barrel-aged cherry pie Maibock
  • Cognac barrel-aged barleywine
  • Barrel-fermented mixed berry sour
  • Wine barrel-aged caraway rye strong ale
  • Scotch barrel-aged wee-heavy
  • Bourbon barrel-aged coconut vanilla wheatwine
  • Barrel-fermented Flanders red ale

The brews are all completely new for Caboose and will be produced in limited quantities. Barrel Club subscriptions will be available for purchase throughout December for $300.

According to Furda, the idea for the Barrel Club grew out of Caboose’s other efforts to adapt its business model to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic.

In addition to offering grocery deliveries and opening up its parking lots to allow for socially distanced seating, Caboose started hosting virtual happy hours and developed a community hops program where people helped grow hops that were then used in one of the brewery’s beers.

“This barrel club again is kind of a way to connect with our community, with our most dedicated fans,” Furda said.

Courtney Beazell, events and marketing manager for Caboose, says the brewery will also offer a coffee subscription that will run similarly to the Barrel Club with subscribers getting a certain amount of coffee delivered regularly.

The coffee subscriptions will roll out within the next week, according to Beazell.

“It’ll be another gift-able option for people,” she said. “…We have a lot coming up to keep people busy and keep everything running on our end.”

Photo courtesy Caboose Brewing Company

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Updated on 12/1/2020 — The Church Street Holiday Stroll was moved online this year. The live stream of the event can still be viewed on the Town of Vienna’s Facebook page. Tysons Reporter apologizes for any confusion or inconvenience caused by the outdated information in the Weekly Planner.

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!

Monday (Nov. 30)

  • Church Street Holiday Stroll — 6-8:30 p.m. at Vienna’s Historic Church St. (131 Church St.) — Enjoy favorite holiday tunes performed by school choruses and others, along with s’mores, children’s activities, and more, the website says.

Tuesday (Dec. 1)

  • Holiday Gingerbread Decorating (Dec. 1-25) — 6:30-8 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Ave.) — McLean Community Center will provide a pre-built gingerbread house, traditional candy decorations, and frosting. To register, use this link.
  • Children’s Book Writing and Publishing Workshop (Online) — 7-9 p.m. — Learn how to effectively write, publish, and market a children’s book with a masterclass from Global Book Publishing CEO Sush Dutta. To register, use this link.

Thursday (Dec. 3)

  • The Boro Howliday Series — 5:30-7 p.m. at Boro Park (8350 Broad St.) — Pets and their owners can enjoy a dog pop-up zone. Toys and treats will be provided for the dogs, and guests can enjoy treats as well with specialty seasonal warm beverages, the website says.

Friday (Dec. 4)

  • Fairfax Virtual Employment Expo (Online) — 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — In lieu of its usual employment expo in Fairfax County, the Jewish Council for the Aging of Greater Washington is hosting several virtual events. Job seekers of age 50 or more can attend workshops and network with employers. To register, use this link.

Saturday (Dec. 5)

  • McLean Holiday Arts & Crafts Festival (December 5-6) — 9 a.m to 5 p.m. — The McLean Holiday Art & Crafts Festival is a juried arts show. See behind the scenes and watch how these artists create their masterpieces. Support the arts and buy a unique gift for someone special, the website said. Admission is free. To register, use this link.
  • Cookies with Santa — 11 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. at Vienna Volunteer Fire Department (400 Center St. S.) — Share holiday wishes and Mrs. Claus’s delicious holiday cookies with the jolly ol’ elf, the website said. The cost is $5 per person. To register, use this link.

Staff photo by Ashley Hopko

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Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA, D.C. and MD with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or [email protected].

This past holiday weekend kicks off some of the most treasured traditions around McLean and Vienna as we enter the holiday season. Even with the pandemic, the towns are finding ways to keep old traditions alive and create fun new ones.

I’m including some highlights around town, dates and places, but also pages to follow on social media to stay up to date if new ones pop up. Also, stay tuned next week for my list of must-see holiday light displays!

#WhereIsSanta Scavenger Hunt

Each Tuesday at 12 p.m., the town will announce a new clue to find Santa through December 22. Each location will qualify for an entry for a $50 Amazon gift card. Tag @TownofViennaVA and use #WhereIsSanta on social media to be entered. The clue can be found on the town website or the Facebook page.

Vienna Tinsel and Tacky Holiday Attire Contest

Categories for entry include Best Duo/Group, Best Adult, Best Kid and Best Pet! You can enter online. You must submit your application and photos by Friday, December 18, and the winners will be announced on Monday, December 21.

Zoom with Santa

This FREE event requires tickets, so you must register on the Vienna webtrac system. Many slots are already full, so sign up soon for December 9.

Light Up Vienna

This is a town-organized porch parade for decorated homes AND businesses! You must enter by December 7 and vote by December 16. Find more information on Vienna’s website.

McLean Volunteer Fire Department Santa Tracker

Santa and his elves begin their journey to visit residents TOMORROW! Follow the Facebook page for neighborhood schedules, and the website has the tracker.

McLean Gingerbread House Decorating

Order a pre-built gingerbread house with a variety of candy decorations. Share your work of art on social media with #MCCGingerbreadHouse.

Photos with Santa at MCC

Families with children ages 2 to 8 can get contactless, outdoor photos with Santa. This is also an opportunity to donate new and unwrapped toys to their Toys for Tots Campaign.

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A flood warning is in effect until noon today (Monday) for central Fairfax County, including Tysons, Vienna, Dunn Loring, and Merrifield.

As of 8:43 a.m., over an inch of rain has fallen in the county since late last night, according to the National Weather Service.

Old Courthouse Road has been closed at Besley Road in Vienna due to high water from Wolftrap Creek, and drivers should expect delays. The NWS says that Beulah Road at Browns Mill Road by Wolftrap Creek could also be prone to flooding.

“Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads,” the NWS says. “Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.”

Here is more from the NWS flood warning alert:

…FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST TODAY FOR CENTRAL
FAIRFAX COUNTY…

At 843 AM EST, Over an inch of rain fell in central Fairfax County
late last night and early this morning. This resulted in Old
Courthouse Road in the area of Wolf Trap being closed. Stream gauges
in the area appeared to have crested and only minor additional
rainfall is expected through the remainder of this morning.

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The Women’s Center in Vienna will be able to continue providing critical mental health services for the foreseeable future, thanks to a $50,000 donation from Major League Baseball.

Located on Park Street with a second facility in Washington, D.C., the nonprofit announced today (Wednesday) that it is one of 11 organizations to receive a Healthy Relationships Community Grant from MLB and the MLB Players Association as part of a philanthropic initiative that the professional sports league and players’ union launched at the beginning of 2020.

“We are very grateful to be partnering with MLB and MLBPA for the first time, especially during such a tumultuous time,” The Women’s Center CEO and Executive Director Rachna Singal Krishnan said.

Founded in 1974, The Women’s Center offers mental health counseling, supports for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, clinical training, and education and career services to over 1,600 low-income, uninsured people in the D.C. metropolitan region annually.

On its website, The Center says it relies on philanthropic support in order to provide subsidized and free services to the community. Its mental health services are also partly funded by Fairfax County, and it is a co-founder and member of the Fairfax County Domestic Violence Action Center.

The MLB and MLBPA grant will help The Center make up for revenue lost from other funding areas, Singal Krishnan says.

“This $50,000 award has made it possible for us to continue to operate at full capacity this year and provide life-saving services to people who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic,” The Women’s Center communications specialist Rebecca Ballinger said.

MLB and the players’ association started the Healthy Relationships Community Grants initiative “to address positive relationship health” with a focus on nonprofit programs that address mental health resiliency among vulnerable populations, youth relationship skills, and domestic violence, according to MLB.

For the initiative, MLB and MLBPA have committed to allocating $3 million to U.S. nonprofits and global non-governmental organizations across 2020 and 2021. Grants are given out on a quarterly cycle with a maximum award of $50,000.

So far, the initiative has distributed a total of $1.5 million to 32 organizations around the U.S., according to a press release from The Women’s Center.

The 11 grant recipients for the third quarter of 2020 also includes the Oakton-based Northern Virginia Family Service, which provides assistance with basic needs like housing, food, and healthcare. NVFS specifically received the grant for its multicultural mental health services.

Photo via Google Maps

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Wednesday Morning Notes

Tysons Partnership Celebrates Tysons Corner Metro Station Renaming — “This is an important step forward in the effort to unify the Tysons brand and foster a cohesive sense of place across our rapidly urbanizing neighborhoods…The new station name reflects our new urban, transit-oriented reality.” [Tysons Partnership]

Post Office Collection Box Thefts Reported in Vienna — “The incidents impacted collection boxes at Church Street and Lawyers Road, which is near the Vienna U.S. Postal Service location at 200 Lawyers Road NW. According to the police department, the most recent incident occurred overnight on Nov. 22 to 23.” [Patch]

Falls Church City Councilmember Participates in Vaccine Trial — “Falls Church City Council member David Snyder, who has served on the Council since 1994, announced last week that he participated in a trial of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Tysons-based Alarm.com Concludes Virginia’s First Tech Apprenticeship Program — “Alarm.com recently wrapped up the first state-sponsored apprenticeship program for a tech company in Virginia. It included 10 weeks of technical instruction at Northern Virginia Community College, and nine months of on-the-job training.” [WTOP]

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A renovated Vaden Drive Bridge over Interstate 66 in Vienna will be open to vehicle traffic by Wednesday (Nov. 25) after being closed for more than a year for construction.

With the bridge reopening, vehicles on Vaden Drive will no longer have to detour onto Nutley Street, but pedestrians will still have to use the nearby Vienna Metro station’s pedestrian bridge until a planned shared-use path and sidewalk on the bridge is finished in December.

Other ongoing construction activities around the Vaden Drive Bridge involve:

  • A redesign of the entrances from Vaden Drive to the Metro parking garages, which is expected to finish in December
  • A new sidewalk on the bridge’s east side scheduled to open in summer 2021
  • New ramps to and from the future I-66 Express Lanes

The Virginia Department of Transportation warns drivers to use caution as construction activities continue, and people adjust to new travel patterns.

The new Vaden Drive Bridge is part of VDOT’s Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project, which is widening the interstate with 22.5 miles of express lanes from I-495 in Idylwood to University Boulevard in Gainesville.

The part of the project around the Vienna Metro station also involved improvements to the Nutley and Saintsbury Drive intersection and the closure of the Saintsbury ramp to I-66 East.

VDOT says the rebuilt Vaden Drive Bridge “will improve access to the station for vehicles, commuter buses, cyclists, and pedestrians.”

As part of the Transform 66 project, VDOT is also rebuilding the Cedar Lane bridge over I-66 to accommodate the interstate’s expansion. The bridge was closed on May 15 for demolition, and the new one is expected to reopen in mid-December.

Photos via Google Maps, VDOT

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Founded in Vienna, Virginia, by an immigrant black woman from West Africa, The Scripture Company is the embodiment of a mission driven company. In the founder’s words, “Our mission is to create products that inspire women to seek spiritual wholeness, practice self-care and improve well-being.”

Their all-natural scented soy wax candles are inspired by powerful women whose legendary stories of survival, bravery, intelligence, tenacity and success are told in the Bible.

The four debut fragrances Queen of Sheba, Ruth, Hadassah and Proverbs 31 contain notes like bergamot, sandalwood, zesty lemon, florals like blue lilies and heavenly honey. These are the type of candles that you can smell through packaging and leave a room with hints of its presence long after the wick is snuffed.

The founders have perfected their signature candle making formula making them a strong contender against high-end designer brands. The candles are hand-poured in small batches and allowed to cure for several weeks before they are sold. They burn cleanly and evenly and infuse a room with exceptional scent.

It’s refreshing to see such mission-oriented brands emerging during this tumultuous COVID-19 period. Scripture is one such company that gives us all hope that there are still rainbows at the end of the storm.

Their holiday line themed Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh is now available for sale and pre-order via their website. Holiday pop-up shops will also be announced soon via their website.

Follow them on Instagram @thescripturecompany, or shop online at www.thescripturecompany.com.

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