Around Town

Circa and Él Bebe are finally opening today at The Boro in Tysons

The wait for new restaurants at The Boro in Tysons is over at last.

Circa bistro (1675 Silver Hill Drive) and Él Bebe (8354 Broad Street), a Mexican restaurant and bar, will open their doors to diners at 4 p.m. today, said the Metropolitan Hospitality Group (MHG), which owns both brands.

This is the fourth Circa overall and second in Virginia, after an Arlington restaurant opened in 2011. Specializing in tacos and tequila, Él Bebe launched at D.C.’s Navy Yard in 2019, making the Tysons location its first expansion.

“We think in many ways, we’re kind of bringing the city out to Tysons,” MHG President Matthew Carlin said. “We have Circa and Él Bebe at the Navy Yard, here in Nats Park, so we’re most excited to bring some of our D.C. concepts…to Tysons and The Boro.”

When MHG announced in November 2019 that it was bringing two restaurants to The Boro, the company anticipated that they would open in late 2020 or early 2021. At that time, Él Bebe was going to be joined by Open Road, another American bistro concept that has a location in Merrifield.

Then, COVID-19 showed up.

Construction took “much longer than we ever imagined,” Carlin told FFXnow. Global supply chain issues resulted in equipment, particularly if it involved computer chips, taking months to arrive.

At the same time, the initial pause in construction in spring 2020 gave MHG and The Meridian Group, the developer behind The Boro, an opportunity to revise their plans.

“The longer we talked with The Meridian Group, they felt like Circa would be a better fit [than Open Road], because it’s a little more contemporary and would be a better fit for some of the office tenants,” Carlin said.

The company is also working on an Open Road Distillery and a “speakeasy” restaurant called Heirloom at Reston Town Center, so it wanted to bring something different to Tysons, he added.

Circa and Él Bebe are located in adjoining 5,000-square-foot suites in Boro Tower, directly across from ShowPlace ICON Theatre with a view overlooking Boro Park. They both allow outdoor dining, including on a 2,000-square-foot patio for Circa with an awning and bar seating.

Carlin says MHG had been interested in expanding to Tysons and specifically The Boro for a while.

“The Boro market for us is a perfect demographic, where it has really extraordinary commercial, office and residential demographics, and we think with the Silver Line and Greensboro Metro [station] right here, it’s easily accessible,” he said

The restaurants will open at 11 a.m. daily with happy hours from 4-7 p.m. on Monday through Thursday.

Here’s more from MHG and The Boro on what to expect from the eateries:

Circa is characterized by an engaging bar scene, effortlessly elegant dining room and alfresco dining opportunities unique to the area. Circa’s brunch, lunch, and dinner menus will feature the brand’s signature contemporary American cuisine that guests have come to crave over the years. Menu items by Culinary Director Michael Huff will be a combination of familiar favorites and new, seasonal dishes. Signature items like the Tuna Poke Nachos, Braised Short Rib and Wild Mushroom Flatbread will appear on the menu next to new dishes that will combine seasonal flavors with local and regional ingredients. The beverage selection by Beverage Director, Paul Williams, includes handcrafted cocktails, low-proof cocktails, mocktails, beer and wine. Exclusive cocktails include the Boro Spritz, a low-proof twist on an Aperol spritz and the Maple Old Fashioned, a house-barreled and six week aged old fashioned crafted with maple syrup.

At Él Bebe, a sense of play is encouraged with bright and colorful décor, including a neon sign that reads, “You Can Dance ~ Tequila.” Él Bebe menu items, by Michael Huff, focus on bold creations inspired by Mexican flavors and include exciting new and classic entrée platters in addition to tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas, burritos, and desserts. Signature items on the menu include Birria Tacos and Carne Asada. The beverage selection, also by Paul Williams, includes handcrafted tequila-infused Mexican cocktails, frozen margaritas, beer and wine. Signature cocktails include Hasta La Vista, crafted with chipotle-infused Banhez mezcal and the Tequila Old Fashioned; a classic cocktail with a Mexican twist.

The restaurants will also offer two exclusive beers developed by D.C.-based Atlas Brew Works: a light, dry-hopped Atlas Tropic Thunder IPA, and an Uno Mas Mexican Lager. A portion of all dessert sales will go to Inova Children’s Hospital, according to the press release.

Circa and Él Bebe are the first retail tenants to open at The Boro since Bluestone Cafe arrived in October 2021.

Still to come is Caliburger, which will bring its burger-flipping robot to 8301 Greensboro Drive. The restaurant was once expected to open in spring 2020, but it’s now on track to arrive late in the first quarter of 2023, according to The Meridian Group Vice President of Asset Management Charlie Schwieger.