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A seven-story building with apartments and businesses in the heart of Falls Church at Broad of Washington streets got the go-ahead from the city’s planning commission last night (Wednesday) after another round of tweaks.

The Broad and Washington project will replace existing buildings at a corner of the intersection with 334 residential units on five floors above ground-floor retail.

The development, which includes affordable housing, will feature a Whole Foods as the anchor for its retail/restaurant space and an 100-seat theater for live performances. It’s expected to be complete in 2024.

The project also involves replacing an existing public parking lot with a three-level parking garage with 684 spots, of which 64 will be public spaces.

Arlington-based developer Insight Property Group got the Falls Church City Council’s unanimous approval of its conceptual development plan back in January, half a decade after it first proposed the project in August 2015.

Falls Church City Planning Commission voted unanimously at yesterday’s public hearing to approve the developer’s site plan, which was originally submitted in June 11 before undergoing revisions and getting shared again on Sept. 15.

The commission’s discussion centered primarily on concerns about the proposed public parking spaces, which prompted the addition of a requirement that the developer provide an electronic display system to show the number of public spaces available and what floor they’re on.

Commissioner Tim Stevens, who pushed for the change, said he expects many drivers will be disappointed by the project’s public parking layout.

Susan Bell, a planning consultant, wrote in a Sept. 30 memo to city staff that the public parking meets the same number of spaces but is “not comparable to the existing surface lot in terms of ease of access to retail in the vicinity of the project.”

“While some of this is a function of moving the spaces into a garage, their distribution within the garage also makes them less convenient for patrons of nearby businesses,” Bell wrote, noting there will be 11 spots on the first level of the garage, 43 on the second level, and 10 on the third level.

Stevens also cited correspondence from the city’s zoning administrator, John Boyle, that said the “proposed plan scatters the public spaces throughout the parking garage and will be met by very strong public opposition.”

“I think he’s right, but at least I think we can assuage that a little bit by indicating to people before they have to make the effort to drive down the ramp that yes, there are spaces available, or no, there aren’t,” Stevens said.

The project also includes 76 spaces open to the public to share with retail, 210 spaces for Whole Foods, and 334 for residents of the development, according to the developer’s latest calculations.

Insight needs to submit a third version of its site plan that incorporates the planning commission’s feedback. That plan will be reviewed by city staff, with Planning Director Paul Stoddard getting final approval of the project.

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PLNT Burger has started serving up vegan burgers and beverages inside Whole Foods at The Boro development.

The new location, which an employee at the Tysons location (1635 Boro Place) said opened today, is the sixth one all located within Whole Foods stores for Chef Spike Mendelsohn.

PLNT Burger’s menu is vegan and features burgers, cheeseburgers, chili bowls, Beyond Meat sausage, oat milk-based soft serve, fries, Whisked cookies, a salad and more.

Mendelsohn, the D.C.-area restaurateur who competed during the fourth season of “Top Chef,” opened the first PLNT Burger in September 2019 in Silver Spring, Md. Mendelsohn also operates several other D.C. eateries, including Good Stuff Eatery; We, The Pizza; Béarnaise; and Santa Rosa Taqueria.

The employee said that the PLNT Burger location in Tysons is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.

Hat tip Vernon Miles

Photo via PLNT Burger/Facebook

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As Virginia rolls back COVID-19 restrictions, stores and services are returning in Tysons.

The Boro has been sharing on its social media accounts when retailers and restaurants in the development have reopened.

According to The Boro’s Facebook page, businesses that have opened their doors again include:

Tysons Reporter verified that the stores listed above have reopened.

Whole Foods has outdoor seating on the ground level and reopened its coffee bar, according to The Boro. The grocery store’s website says that it’s offering shopping hours from 7-8 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for customers ages 60+, at high-risk of severe COVID-19 complications or with disabilities.

F45, which has been hosting outdoor boot camps in Boro Park, is planning to reopen on Saturday, June 20, according to a Facebook post from the gym.

“The waiting area and 10ft ‘workout boxes’ have been marked out, and all our trainers have been trained in all safety and sanitization protocols,” the post said.

In addition to the reopenings, the development also recently welcomed a new business: Colour Bar Studio. The salon opened June 2 at The Loft (1640 Boro Place, Suite 204).

The salon is run by a mom and her two daughters, along with nine other employees, according to the business.

Services include hair extensions, coloring and styling. All of the employees are wearing face masks and disinfecting equipment after each client, according to the business. The studio is open by appointment-only.

Photo by Gordon Beall, courtesy Colour Bar Studio

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Updated 3/13/2020 — Adds Great Wall Supermarket and H Mart in Merrifield.

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.

For people who want to grab food late at night, several grocery stores are open late in the Tysons area.

Both the Whole Foods stores in Tysons (1635 Boro Place) and the Falls Church area (7511 Leesburg Pike) are open until 10 p.m. daily. The Trader Joe’s at Tysons Station (7514 Leesburg Turnpike) is also open until 10 p.m. daily.

The Giant stores in Vienna (359 Maple Avenue E.) and Falls Church (1230 W. Broad Street) are open until midnight Monday-Saturday and until 11 p.m. on Sundays.

Meanwhile, the Harris Teeter stores in Tysons (8200 Crestwood Heights Drive), Merrifield (2675 Avenir Place) and Falls Church (301 West Broad Street) are open until midnight.

The local Safeway stores in downtown McLean (1330 Chain Bridge Road), McLean by Kirby Road (6244 Old Dominion Drive) and the Falls Church area (7397 Lee Hwy) are open until midnight, according to their websites.

In Merrifield, the Great Wall Supermarket (2982 Gallows Road) and H Mart (8103 Lee Hwy) are open until 11 p.m. daily.

Hungry after midnight?

Two grocery stores are open 24 hours in the Tysons area, according to their websites: the Giant in McLean (1454 Chain Bridge Road) and the Safeway in Tysons (1688 Anderson Road).

While it sells more than just groceries, Walmart in Tysons (1500 B Cornerside Blvd) is open 24 hours as well.

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Shoppers who bring their own bags to Whole Foods can help raise money for the Foundation for FCPS.

From now until June 30, Whole Foods’ “Nickels for Non-Profits programwill donate to the foundation every time shoppers re-use a bag.

The Nickels for Non-Profits program donates a nickel to a chosen local non-profit every time shoppers bring a reusable bag to discourage the use of new bags and to support local organizations.

Participating stores include the ones in Tysons (1635 Boro Place), McLean (7511 Leesburg Pike) and Vienna (143 Maple Avenue E.), along with the Whole Foods in Fair Lakes and Springfield.

The foundation helps provide teacher grants, employee recognition and funding for kids in need and for music education, according to its website.

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Happy Friday! Here are the latest stories about the Tysons area that the Tysons Reporter team has been reading:

The Hole Story Behind Doughnut Spot — Arlington Magazine profiled Curiosity Doughnuts inside the new Whole Foods in Tysons. [Arlington Magazine]

Driving Force Behind Road Civility Push — Here’s a profile on the Falls Church resident who is running a “campaign for road civility is rooted in awareness, compassion, and the humanization of drivers.” [Fall Church News-Press]

Tysons Spots Land Best Asian Restaurants List — Northern Virginia Magazine’s roundup of the best restaurants for Asian cuisine included several spots in Tysons like Asian Origin and Elephant Jumps. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Sneak Peek: Tuesday kicks off the first meeting for the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors (meet the new supervisors here) and Tysons Reporter will be following along.

Weekend Send Off: Let Tysons Reporter know what your plans for the weekend are in the comments section.

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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!

Tysons Reporter also complied a list of the upcoming holiday events, for those seeking festivities.

Monday (Dec. 9)

  • NVTC Tech 100 Party — 6 to 8 p.m. at Ritz Carlton Tysons Corner (1700 Tysons Blvd) — This event invites community members involved with technology to network and enjoy drinks and food. The cost of the event ranges from $195-$235.

Wednesday (Dec. 11)

  • Holiday Cooking Party — 7 to 10 p.m. at McLean Community Center (1234 Ingleside Avenue) — Attendees will learn how to create recipes including festive fruits, veggies and desserts. Registration is $80 for the public and $65 for district residents. Participants must be over 18 years old.

Thursday (Dec. 12)

  • Tysons Women’s Business Book Club — noon to 1 p.m. at 1751 Pinnacle Drive #600 — This book club invites industry professionals to come network and enjoy a new book. Attendees are encouraged to bring business cards and a lunch or snacks to share. It is not necessary to read the book beforehand.
  • Holiday Happy Hour — 4 to 7 p.m. at Whole Foods (1635 Boro Place) — High Point Pub will host a happy hour with live music and drinks from Tory Pratt of Pratt Standard Cocktail Company.

Friday (Dec. 13)

  • “The R-Word Film” Screening — 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Capital One Bank (1680 Capital One Drive) — The McLean CapAbilities chapter will host this free event to educate the community on the lives of people with disabilities, using key characters in order to shift the conversation and societal views. Lunch will be provided and attendees will hear from the director and people highlighted in the film.
  • Vienna Town Council Holiday Reception — 4 to 6 p.m. at Town Hall (127 S. Center Street) — Community members are invited to celebrate the holidays with the Vienna Town Council. This event is free and registration isn’t required.
  • Live Nativity Scene — 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (1325 Scotts Run Road) — This event will celebrate Christmas and the birth of Jesus with a nativity — including live animals petting zoo and actors. Cookies and hot cocoa will also be available.

Saturday (Dec. 14)

  • Another Silent Night – The Musical” — 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Columbia Baptist Church, The Sanctuary (103 W. Columbia Street) — This musical invites families to hear about an Army officer who returns from WW1 during the Christmas Season.  Childcare for kids ages 5 and under is available with preregistration. Tickets are $5 per person or up to $20 per family.

Photo via Ed Robertson/Unsplash

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Just a few weeks after opening a new store in Tysons, Whole Foods is gearing up to come to the City of Falls Church.

The grocery chain signed a lease in early November to anchor the redevelopment of the corner of E. Broad and N. Washington streets, Falls Church News-Press reported.

The upcoming 50,000-square-foot store will be a part of a mixed-use project that also plans to include a 5,000-square-foot community theater space that will be occupied by Creative Cauldron, according to a press release from Arlington-based Insight Property Group.

Broad and Washington LLC, a venture of Insight Property Group, signed the 20-year-long lease for Whole Foods, Falls Church News-Press reported.

Approved by the City Council last year, the “plan was derailed a little over a year ago, when developer Todd Hitt pleaded guilty in November 2018 to investor fraud,” the paper wrote.

Now, Whole Foods will come to a spot just a little over a block away from Harris Teeter (301 W. Broad Street).

“Whole Foods Market will bring an incredible amount of activity to downtown to both complement and help support the existing and longstanding businesses that make Falls Church so unique,” Maury Stern, a principal at Insight Property Group, said in the press release.

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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.

The new Whole Foods in The Boro has caught the attention of people looking for happy hour deals after work with its brand new bar High Point.

Located on the top floor inside Whole Foods, the bar offers guests 16 regional beers and ciders along with a variety of cocktails and wine. People can enjoy their drinks at the bar, anywhere throughout the store while they shop or while they play shuffleboard and various arcade games like pinball.

High Point also offers happy hour deals Monday through Thursday, including $1 off ceratin pours. For those who don’t want to commit to a full drink, the bar also offers sample size tasters for $3 — all day, every day.

Last Friday night, Tysons Reporter decided to enjoy a 16-ounce pumpkin favored Wild Hare Hard Cider from Leesburg, which cost $7, while people-watching.

By 5 p.m. the bar was getting busy and seats were scarce. Young professionals in their mid-20s’ to early-40s’ enjoyed the hangout spot.

Tysons residents Tim McCall and Miguel Barrios told Tysons Reporter that the new Whole Foods is two blocks from their apartment, so they decided to try it out as a pregame spot before they went for a night out in D.C.

“This is going to make us sound old, but it seems like a quiet place for a drink,” McCall said.

Around five different bartenders assisted customers throughout the evening, each staying busy and serving customers in rapid succession. For those who don’t want to wait for a drink at the bar, the self-serve wine and beer stations were a popular option, even though they had a narrower selection.

ESPN was playing on the flat-screen TVs scattered throughout the area for all of the sports fans.

By 5:30 p.m. there was only standing-room at the bar, and different groups were sharing nearby tables. Things began to get rowdy as people raised their voices to compete with the conversations going on around them. Laughter echoed around the room and people seemed eager to kick off their weekend. 

A bartender told Tysons Reporter that business has been extremely steady all week and the spot is pretty popular, especially around lunchtime. 

The energy in the room stayed pretty consistent until 8 p.m. Then things began to slow down, and people went about their evening.

High Point is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 10 p.m.

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Tysons’ first Whole Foods officially opened its doors today.

The 70,000-square-foot store in The Boro development by the Greensboro Metro station is the Mid-Atlantic flagship store for the Texas-based grocery chain.

People on social media captured the long line of people early this morning awaiting the store’s opening at 8 a.m.

For the first 200 people who showed up, Whole Foods promised to offer a savings card ranging from $5 to $100 along with a reusable canvas tote bag featuring the Tysons store, according to a press release.

Inside, customers can find self-serve machines that slice pineapples, squeeze fresh orange juice and offer wine and beer that shoppers can sip while shopping.

A fresh bakery, premade meal options and a bar with happy hour specials and on-site dining also are available.

A bevy of food and drink options include a food hall featuring Officina, Genji IzakayaCuriosity Doughnuts and Rappahannock Oyster Co., along with self-serve hot and cold bars. There’s also an in-house bakery, butcher and seafood departments, a specialty foods section, an Allegro coffee and tea bar and a JRINK juice bar.

This location also features a bar called High Point — the largest bar in any Whole Foods, according to the store manager — on the second floor, along with a game room.

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