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Chantilly brewery seeks to expand food services to maintain competitiveness

Mustang Sally Brewing Company in Chantilly (via Google Maps)

Mustang Sally Brewing Company is hoping to serve up something new out of its brewery in Chantilly.

The business, which currently operates as a production brewery with a tasting room, hopes to expand its food service at 14140 Parke Long Court in an effort to become more competitive in the brewing industry.

Doing so would require Fairfax County’s approval of a special exception that would remove limits on the operating hours and equipment allowed for food service at the brewery.

Submitted to the county on March 1, the application contends that the county’s existing zoning ordinance “lags behind the competitive landscape of brewery tasting rooms” in terms of the food services that a brewery can conduct by right.

“Regardless of the business model or setting, customers have expectations about what tasting rooms offer and high among those expectations is food service. For a brewery to have a competitive tasting room now, it must have appealing food service,” the application says.

The business argues that the county’s zoning ordinance puts larger breweries at a “substantial disadvantage,” because they’re required to be located in industrial areas where there are limits on the food services they can provide in their tasting rooms.

According to the application, Mustang Sally is currently confined to offering pre-packaged food items that require limited preparation or reheating. In August 2021, the brewery began working with Eugene’s Sausages and Fries, which serves hotdogs and sausages made with traditional sandwich ingredients.

“Since introducing food service within the tasting room in August 2021, Mustang Sally’s tasting
room performance has improved considerably,” the application says.

But the county’s zoning administration determined that food could only be served Thursday through Sunday. The inability to offer food service outside of those days creates “significant challenges” for the brewery, according to the application.

Mustang Sally also wants to expand its current hours by opening earlier and offering food service during those hours as well — something that Eugene’s is reluctant to do, since it would increase their operating expenses and be challenging to staff, the application says.

“It is a daily occurence that people walk into Mustang Sally’s tasting room, realize they cannot get food and immediately walk back out,” the application states.

Started by a former corporate lawyer, Mustang Sally opened in May 2016 with a 4,000-square-foot tasting room. Its beers are also sold in draft and can form throughout Northern Virginia, and it regularly hosts events, such as trivia nights and dog adoption days.

Image via Google Maps

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