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Jiwa Singapura has closed in Tysons Galleria (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) Tysons Galleria has lost another dining option.

Jiwa Singapura, which sought to blend Singaporean street food with a “high-end” setting, closed its doors on Monday, Dec. 4 after less than 10 months of operations.

The closure was first reported by Eater DC and announced on Instagram yesterday (Tuesday) by chef Pepe Moncayo, who also runs the Spanish-Japanese fusion restaurant Cranes in D.C.

“With a heavy heart, we are sad to share that Jiwa Singapura will be closing in its current location at Tysons Corner,” Moncayo said. “…But we are looking forward to bringing the Singaporean food and culture to another location in the future. We are incredibly grateful to our guests and especially our talented, wonderful team who supported us throughout this journey. Thank you all and hope to see you soon.”

A spokesperson for Brookfield Properties, which owns Tysons Galleria, said the restaurant didn’t gain the traction in the community that the mall had hoped.

“Unfortunately, the concept did not resonate with our community. This happens sometimes in our industry,” Lindsay Kahn, Brookfield Properties director of public relations for retail, said.

Jiwa Singapura opened on Feb. 15 on the mall’s third floor as part of a new wing that replaced Macy’s, which closed in January 2019.

Purportedly the first Singaporean fine-dining establishment in the D.C. area, Jiwa Singapura drew approving reviews from critics at the Washington Post and Northern Virginia Magazine. In his spring 2023 dining guide, The Post’s Tom Sietsema highlighted the restaurant’s luxurious setting and food.

The menu featured items like Hainanese chicken rice and chili crab, taking inspiration from the family recipes of Moncayo’s wife, Aishah Moncayo, a native of Singapore.

Designed by the architectural firm //3877, the 10,000-square-foot restaurant could seat 170 people in its main dining room, along with a 10-seat bar, a “semi-private” dining room and an outdoor terrace with 80 seats.

When Jiwa Singapura opened, Moncayo told FFXnow that he felt Tysons “would be the perfect place to open this new and exciting concept” because it “has an urban presence with a small community feel.”

Moncayo was also developing a Spanish restaurant called Santi at Capital One Center, but he confirmed in August that those plans had been put on hold, citing the current economic climate and rising construction material costs.

Jiwa Singapura’s departure follows the loss of Tysons Galleria’s food hall operator, Urbanspace, earlier this year. Andy’s Pizza and Empanadas De Mendoza were joined in the third-floor hall last month by Shotted, a coffee shop that has gained a strong following at nearby Tysons Corner Center.


Good Tuesday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar.

🕗 News recap

The following articles were published earlier today — Dec 5, 2023.

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Wednesday throughout the county, from our event calendar.

🌨️ Wednesday’s forecast

Scattered rain and snow showers are expected before 11am, followed by a slight chance of rain showers between 11am and 1pm. The day will be mostly cloudy with a high near 43, accompanied by a northwest wind of 6 to 14 mph and gusts up to 22 mph. The chance of precipitation is 40%. For Wednesday night, the weather will be partly cloudy with a low around 28 and a northwest wind of 7 to 13 mph, gusting up to 21 mph. See more from

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss the day’s happenings in the comments.


Santa Claus has already taken up temporary residence at Tysons Corner Center, but that won’t stop him from dropping by a couple of other spots around Tysons this week.

Coming up first, a particularly debonair St. Nick will host an evening of cocktails, cinema and charity on Friday (Dec. 8) at CMX Cinebistro in Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive).

The character of Fashion Santa was created in 2014 by runway model Paul Mason, whose career has included work with designers like Gianni Versace, Dior, Dolce & Gabbana and Armani — brands that can all be found at Tysons Galleria, either through their own stores or department stores like Neiman Marcus.

Mason says the character emerged during a somber period in his life when he stopped shaving out of grief over his mother’s death. Realizing that his beard made him resemble Santa, he decided to use the look for a good cause.

“The Fashion Santa character has had a really positive reception,” he told FFXnow by email. “It’s just a lighthearted new approach to jolly old Saint Nick. Fashion Santa brings awareness to different charitable initiatives and causes instead of making toys. It’s a new take on holiday giving.”

Fashion Santa previously visited the mall last year for a holiday reception that included a sneak peek of the restaurant Jiwa Singapura, which opened this past February. Attendees were encouraged to donate to the Capital Area Food Bank.

This year’s event will consist of a meet-and-greet at CMX Cinebistro’s bar from 7-9 p.m. and a “special” 7:45 p.m. screening of the Disney movie “Wish.”

Meet-and-greet attendees will get a complimentary photo with Fashion Santa and sip “festive” cocktails, according to the event page. Admission is free, but reservations are required, and the mall is encouraging $10 donations to the Make-A-Wish Foundation’s Mid-Atlantic chapter, the event’s charity partner.

Access to the “Wish” screening comes with a $25 donation, which also includes a Santa photo and a “goody bag.” Last month, Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, a nonprofit that supports kids with critical illnesses, organized a preview of the animated film for local families at AMC Theatres in Tysons Corner Center.

Tysons Galleria Senior General Manager Rich Dinning says the mall is “always honored” to work with Fashion Santa “in support of important causes.”

“This year, Fashion Santa’s appearance at CMX CineBistro…promises to be a festive evening,” Dinning said in a statement. “Tysons Galleria has had an ongoing partnership with Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic and we are thrilled to close out the year with this fundraiser.”

Santa’s Workshop Holiday Extravaganza at The Boro

Santa is also scheduled to appear at The Boro (8350 Broad Street) this Saturday, Dec. 9 for photos, crafts, music and other free festivities.

“At Santa’s Workshop at The Boro, guests of all ages will be invited to enjoy a fun filled morning of holiday kids crafts, a DJ dance party, specialty hot chocolate bar with lots of fun fixings from Bluestone Lane, a holiday themed bounce house, and calligrapher on site to customize ornaments,” the event page says.

Santa will be available in his workshop at Boro Park from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The overall event will start at 11 a.m. and end at 2 p.m.

If the event gets rained or snowed out, it will be rescheduled for Dec. 16.

“If there is no need for an alternative date, there will be a Santa Pop-Up on December 16 in Boro Park as another chance for guests to come see Santa,” The Boro said.

Santa is also continuing to take photos at Tysons Corner Center through Christmas Eve on Dec. 24.


(Updated at 4:40 p.m.) After almost four years of dreaming, planning and building, the team behind Ometeo is ready to introduce its spin on Tex-Mex cuisine to Tysons.

The new restaurant will open to the public for the first time at 1640 Capital One Drive tomorrow (Wednesday), Long Shot Hospitality Partner Jeremy Carman confirmed to FFXnow.

Ometeo recently announced through Eater DC that it would open this week but hadn’t landed on an exact date yet. At least initially, it will be open at 4-10 p.m. on Sunday through Thursday and 4-11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, according to a public relations representative.

Ometeo will be the first ground-level dining option to arrive at Capital One Center since the pub City Works closed in 2020. Capital One’s headquarters campus is also home to the Japanese restaurant Wren in The Watermark Hotel and Starr Hill Biergarten, which will expand with a new, street-level brewpub next year.

(Correction: This story previously said Starr Hill is relocating to the new space. The existing biergarten in The Perch will still operate after the brewpub opens.)

“With the corporate density of Tysons and how much activity and…opportunity there is there, combined with the fact that there are a lot of residents in McLean and Great Falls that can access that campus pretty easily without even kind of venturing all the way into Tysons, we thought the location was really strong,” Carman said.

Carman says the partners at Long Shot Hospitality, the D.C.-based restaurant group behind The Salt Line and Dauphine’s, wanted to create a Tex-Mex concept that combines the comforts of a chain restaurant with a more “elevated” and “chef-driven” approach.

“We thought that it might be something that the area needed, and it was definitely something that we were passionate and excited about exploring,” Carman said. “So, that was several years ago, almost three or four years ago when we started talking about that…I think that we’re all really glad that we set out to execute it, and we’re pretty excited with how it turned out.”

For the chef who could propel their vision into a reality, the partners turned to El Paso, Texas, native Gabe Erales, who became the first Mexican American winner of the cooking competition TV show “Top Chef” in 2021.

In addition to already being acquainted with Erales on a social basis, the team felt he could bring “a lot of authenticity and a lot of knowledge to the concept” as someone who has built his career on exploring regional Mexican cuisine, Carman says.

Erales’s “Top Chef” victory was overshadowed by an Austin American-Statesman story that alleged he’d been fired from an Austin restaurant for “repeated violations of the company’s ethics policy as it relates to harassment of women,” including cutting a female employee’s hours after they’d ended a sexual relationship.

In that story and a subsequent public apology, Erales said he had a “consensual” relationship with an employee who was affected by “poor decisions” he made as a manager, but he denies that his actions reached the level of sexual harassment, as labeled by news reports.

“I’ve grown from it,” Erales told FFXnow. “I’ve taken a lot of steps in the last few years to just become a better leader, a better business owner and a better chef ever since.” Read More

Starbucks coffee shop in Reston Station (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated at 1:05 p.m. on 12/6/2023) Reston Station area residents and visitors will soon be able to return to Starbucks for their coffee fix.

The Starbucks at 1908 Reston Metro Plaza will reopen this weekend after closing on Nov. 26 for a renovation, a company spokesperson told FFXnow. Operations are expected to resume on Friday, Dec. 8, Reston Station said on Instagram.

The Starbucks spokesperson described the renovations as “standard” for a store.

(Correction: Starbucks initially told FFXnow that the Reston Station shop would be closed through “winter 2024” for ongoing renovations.)

“As a standard course of business, we continually evaluate our store portfolio, using various criteria to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers,” the spokesperson said.

All Starbucks employees that worked at the store got the chance to transfer to nearby locations until the location reopens, the company said.

Hat tip to Adam Rubenstein, and to commenters Allison Kinneberg and cosmo for pointing out the timeline error.


Good Monday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar.

🕗 News recap

The following articles were published earlier today — Dec 4, 2023.

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Tuesday throughout the county, from our event calendar.

  • No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.

🌦️ Tuesday’s forecast

Expect partly sunny skies and a high near 47, accompanied by a northwest wind at 3 to 7 mph. As night falls on Tuesday, scattered rain and snow showers may occur, primarily after 1am, with mostly cloudy conditions and a low around 35. Calm wind will shift to north at around 6 mph after midnight, and there will be a 40% chance of precipitation. See more from

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

Thanks for reading! Feel free to discuss the day’s happenings in the comments.

A menorah and light-up dreidel have been added to Vienna’s holiday displays in the Town Green (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) The winners of Vienna’s first-ever holiday display lottery have been revealed.

A menorah and illuminated dreidel were installed late last month at the Town Green, joining a live Christmas tree — also a first for Vienna — that was lit during the annual Church Street Holiday Stroll last Monday, Nov. 27.

A winter solstice display proposed by resident and town council candidate Shelley Mountjoy is expected to be added today, the Town of Vienna announced last week.

Commemorating Hanukkah, which will unfold this year from Dec. 7-15, the menorah was installed on Nov. 28, while the dreidel came into place the following day. They were submitted, respectively, by the Chabad Tysons Jewish Center and Jewish Moms of Vienna.

The winter solstice, which kicks off the season with the shortest day of the year, will arrive at 10:27 p.m. EST on Dec. 21.

“We live in a multicultural community, and we wanted to provide an opportunity for various winter holiday traditions to be honored in our public space,” Vienna Town Manager Mercury Payton said. “Residents from all walks of life gather on the Town Green for celebrations throughout the year, and we look forward to seeing various festive displays that represent our community during the season of peace and light.”

Announced in early November, the lottery gave residents an opportunity to submit their ideas for winter holiday decor that could be installed alongside the new Christmas tree. The submission period was open through Nov. 17, and the winners were notified by Nov. 22.

However, the town only received three submissions — the maximum number it planned to select — so no actual lottery was necessary for this first year.

At the Chabad Jewish Center’s request, the town will host a menorah-lighting ceremony at the Town Green (144 Maple Avenue) at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 10.

(Correction: This article initially listed the start time for the menorah-lighting ceremony as 4 p.m.)

All of the displays can remain up until Jan. 10.

In other Vienna holiday news, voting is underway for the town’s annual window decorating contest. Winners will be announced during a holiday reception at Town Hall (127 Center Street South) on Friday (Dec. 8).

The chain Poke Bros is opening its first Fairfax County location in Lorton Marketplace (courtesy Poke Bros)

(Updated at 1:30 p.m. on 12/8/2023) A growing chain restaurant that specializes in poke bowls is making its first foray into Fairfax County.

Poke Bros. says it anticipates a “large audience of hungry customers” for today’s grand opening of its new franchise in Lorton Marketplace. Doors will open at 9453 Lorton Market Street, Suite 17, at 11 a.m.

“Most fast food options out there are the same old fried food,” Poke Bros founder Xue Gong Chen said in a press release. “We’re proud that Poke Bros gives people something that’s quick and easy for lunch or dinner but with fresh, healthy ingredients and great flavor. Good food should be easy to grab on the go.”

A traditional Hawaiian cuisine, poke originated in pre-colonial days as cut-up raw fish that was eaten with fresh seaweed and preserved with sea salt. Influenced by Japanese immigrants, the dish evolved into its present-day form around the 1970s, becoming trendy in the mainland U.S. over the past decade — to some disapproval from Hawaiians.

Poke Bros was started in 2016 by Chen and two friends who first encountered the dish during a trip to California, according to its website. They opened the first restaurant in December of that year in Columbus, Ohio, with the goal of bringing “an inexpensive and accessible product” to the Midwest.

The fast-casual chain has now expanded to 72 locations in 13 states. The Lorton franchise is just the company’s second in Virginia, joining a location in Midlothian, and its first in the immediate D.C. area.

The menu features signature bowls — such as a “Johnny Utah” with salmon, avocado, edamame, cucumber, masago, Sriracha aioli and the chain’s exclusive, soy-based OG sauce — as well as a build-your-own option with rice and salad bases. There’s also mochi ice cream.

Anchored by Amazon Fresh, Lorton Marketplace is one of three main commercial centers emerging in the area once dominated by Lorton Prison. Other dining options in the shopping center include Glory Days Grill, Chipotle, Tropical Smoothie Cafe and the Japanese restaurant Tokyo One.


Good Friday evening, Fairfax County. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar.

🕗 News recap

The following articles were published earlier today — Dec 1, 2023.

Since it’s Friday, we’ve also compiled a list of the most-read articles of the week, below.

  1. Replacement of Lee, Lee-Jackson highway street signs underway (9779 views)
  2. Police investigate reports of multiple gunshots in Reston (5671 views)
  3. FCPS reveals more details of planned Dunn Loring Elementary School (4778 views)
  4. Man suffers life-threatening injuries after scooter crash near Reston Hospital (4356 views)
  5. Paris Baguette is now open in Herndon’s Arrowbrook Centre (3783 views)
  6. Steak and seafood restaurant with bar opens in Vienna at former Amphora diner (3760 views)
  7. Reston Association approves fee increases in 2024 budget (3369 views)
  8. Saudi-inspired coffee shop Shotted expands with second Tysons location (3197 views)
  9. Korean fried chicken eatery, bb.q Chicken, is now open in Tysons (2727 views)
  10. Redevelopment of Food Star site in Bailey’s Crossroads approved (2376 views)

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on Saturday throughout the county, from our event calendar.

Here are the events planned for Sunday:

🌧️ Saturday’s forecast

Rain may occur after 1pm, with patchy fog clearing by 10am and a high temperature near 60°F. Winds will be calm, and the chance of precipitation is 30%. For Saturday night, expect rain, primarily after 1am, and patchy fog after 10pm. The temperature will drop to around 53°F, with a wind shift to the northeast and a 60% chance of precipitation. New rainfall amounts could range between a tenth and a quarter of an inch. See more from

🌅 Tonight’s sunset

We hope you have a great weekend, Arlington! Feel free to discuss the most-read stories of the week, the upcoming weekend events or anything else of local interest in the comments. 👋

Makers Union in Reston Town Center will feature a special holiday bar (courtesy Thompson Hospitality)

Makers Union, a restaurant and pub based in Reston Town Center, is welcoming the holidays with a twist to their traditional offerings.

The Blitzen Bar opens today (Friday) and will continue through Dec. 25. A playlist with holiday tunes ranging from classics to Snoop Dogg will be featured at the bar.

Makers Union is offering 12 crafted cocktails as part of the festive pop-up. Customers can order a “naughty or nice” cocktail, and a team of elves will offer them an envelope sealing their fate as naughty or nice.

“It wouldn’t be the holidays without a holly jolly cocktail, and lucky for you Makers Union is offering twelve crafted cocktails full of holiday cheer,” a spokesperson for Makers Union told FFXnow.

The bar kicks off tonight with holiday karaoke from 9 p.m. to midnight.

Thompson Hospitality, the Reston-based restaurant group behind Makers Union, will also kick off at the location in The Wharf on tomorrow (Saturday). Other restaurants in the group include Hen Quarter, Milk & Honey, and The Delegate.

Cocktails include white Christmas, sugar cookie martini, apple crisp martini, and mistletoe fizz.

Makers Union is located at 1811 Library Street. It’s open from 11 a.m. to midnight on Fridays, though hours vary on other days of the week.


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