The company’s CEO Randy Barnette says plans fell through due to issues with securing financing for the project. The news was first reported by The Burn.
Inflation in the wake of the pandemic added 25% to the project’s costs, making a loan challenging and “adding uncertainty to the profitability of the location,” Barnette told FFXnow.
“The developer, The Ruth & Hal Landers Charitable Trust, was an outstanding partner in the pursuit of the location,” Barnette said. “I wish we could be a tenant for decades with them. Their charitable trust was built from the original cattle & dairy farm that occupied all that area up from the 50s until the early 80s.”
The brewery had hoped to open towards the end of last year, bringing a full-service restaunt and brewery with three barrels to the site. It was designed to be similar to the Fairfax location.
Arrowbrook — still a relatively new development south of the Dulles Toll Road near the Innovation Center Metro station — welcomed the bakery and restaurant Paris Baguette in November. Other upcoming tenants include a South Asian grocery story and a spin-off of a Peter Chang restaurant.
(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) An entertainment complex that brings puzzle and video game-like challenges to life is taking over the former Old Navy at Tysons Corner Center.
Next year, Level99 will open a 40,000-square-foot playground and restaurant on the mall’s second floor adjacent to Barnes & Noble, the company jointly announced today (Tuesday) with Tysons Corner Center owner Macerich.
Old Navy was relocated to the other end of the mall near Bloomingdale’s. Its previous space — the one that will be permanently occupied by Level99 — is currently filled by the temporary Hot Wheels Champion Experience.
Originally opened in Natick, Massachusetts, in 2021, Level99 describes itself as a “first-of-its-kind destination for live-action, challenge-based entertainment, craft beverages and farm-to-table dining designed for grown-ups.”
Visitors can work together to complete various physical and mental games in “challenge rooms,” or they can compete in duels. The Tysons location will have 40 rooms that can collectively accommodate up to 600 players, along with a 300-seat taproom and scratch kitchen.
The challenges vary from room to room, from obstacle courses to a life-sized version of “Rock Band” and “ninja training” for a battle against a samurai, according to Level99.
“Level99 offers mental, physical, communication and skill challenges in an open-world format for guests to discover and explore,” said Level99 CEO Matt DuPlessie, a former Disney engineer and owner of the production company, Box Fort, that designed Level99. “…We look forward to welcoming residents and visitors from the D.C. area to discover all that Level99 has to offer.”
Operated by Night Shift Brewing Kitchen & Tap, a Boston-based brewery, the restaurants serve beer hall-style food, including pizza, wagyu burgers and fries. Drinks include craft beer and cocktails. Level99 wasn’t immediately available to confirm whether the Tysons venue will have the same operator and menu.
Following the December opening of the toy store/entertainment experience Camp, the addition of Level99 continues Tysons Corner Center’s push into the realm of interactive retail.
A market study released last summer by the Tysons Community Alliance suggested the area needs more entertainment options — such as the virtual reality gaming venue Sandbox VR, which opened on Dec. 22 in The Boro — to meet demand as its population grows.
“Level99 created an impressive, innovative way for adults to have a memorable experience at its first space in the Boston area, and we know our active, sophisticated Tysons Corner guests will enjoy exploring all that Level99 has to offer,” Eric Bunyan, Macerich’s senior vice president of leasing for the east region, said. “It’s a great complement to our existing tenant base.”
Level99 is scheduled to launch in Tysons in 2025. More immediately, Tysons Corner Center is expected to open the clothing stores Khaadi and Mango this year after adding Rothy’s just last week.
The Dunn Loring Metro station’s new “beerstro” is set to pour its first official brew tomorrow (Thursday).
The Casual Pint, a pub specializing in craft beer, will throw a grand opening celebration for its Dunn Loring franchise (2676 Avenir Place, Unit F), starting with a first toast at noon, according to a media advisory.
Festivities are planned throughout the day, and supervisors Dalia Palchik (Providence) and John Foust (Dranesville) are expected to attend.
Franchise owners Jenn Longmeyer-Wood and Derek Adams previously told FFXnow that they hope to create a casual, family-friendly gathering spot where local residents can “hang out and just keep it easy.”
Residents of McLean, the pair worked at The Casual Pint in Seven Corners — the Tennessee-based company’s only other location in Northern Virginia so far — before deciding to open their own franchise.
In Dunn Loring, the 1,753-square-foot pub can seat 42 people indoors, including 10 at the bar. Outdoor seating is also available in The Shops at Avenir Place’s courtyard, which Adams and Longmeyer-Wood hope will host musical performances and other events in the future.
Here’s more from The Casual Pint on its food and drink offerings:
CASUAL PINT BEERS & BEVERAGES:
Casual Pint of Dunn Loring’s expertly curated selection of beers includes options from a 22-tap draft beer system, as well as single beer cans and bottles available for purchase to drink on-site or take home along with crowlers and growlers available to-go. According to Adams, their craft beer selection will always include IPAs, Pilsner and a dark brew or two on tap, as well as at least one cider and seasonal offerings. The restaurant also serves a curated range of wines, ciders, non-alcoholic beers, and various soft drinks for a diverse beverage experience.
CASUAL PINT MENU:
Casual Pint of Dunn Loring features a small menu of all-star classic fare, including 12-inch handmade German pretzels from woman-owned Prop and Peller, served with house made beer cheese. Additionally, customers can enjoy brats, burgers, flatbread pizzas, wings, salads and wraps. Eventually, the team will begin adding seasonal items and regional specialties, incorporating ingredients and items from local butchers, locally grown vegetables, and locally owned/small-business specialty items.
Diners can also take the full Casual Pint experience home with food and craft beer to go, including Growler Fills, Mix-A-Six Packs out of our bottle & can cooler or packaged beer off the dry shelves. Kegs are also available for any occasion with advance orders.
The Casual Pint of Dunn Loring will be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
An upcoming bar and restaurant hopes to turn the Dunn Loring Metro station into a hopping place.
On track to open in late October next to Quickway, The Casual Pint (2676 Avenir Place, Unit F) is envisioned as a family-friendly gathering spot, where community members of all ages can relax even as adults 21 and older savor a range of craft beers and wine — and yes, the brews will come in pints.
“It’s not a sports bar, but we will have sports. It’s not a music venue, but we’ll have music,” said Derek Adams, co-owner of Casual Pint’s new Dunn Loring franchise. “It’s in the name. It’s a casual place to just come in and hang out and just keep it easy.”
Based in Knoxville, Tennessee, The Casual Pint describes itself as a “craft beerstro” that serves up local, regional and national craft brews in a laidback environment more evocative of a coffee shop than a nightclub.
The company began in 2011 as a family-owned beer market that focused on selling take-home and packaged beer before evolving into more of a restaurant/bar. It has expanded to eight states through independently owned franchises, including one near Seven Corners where Adams and fellow Dunn Loring owner Jenn Longmeyer-Wood worked before deciding to open their own location.
For Longmeyer-Wood, who knows Adams as a longtime friend of her husband, The Casual Pint’s appeal stems in part from nostalgia for a now-shuttered gastropub called Pig & Fiddle that her family frequented when they lived in Minnesota.
“It had local craft beers, small menu, totally family-friendly, and it was the place to just go and hang out, have a good beer or hang out with friends, bring your family,” Longmeyer-Wood said. “When my husband and I moved back here with our kids, we were like, there’s nothing like that here. So, when Derek…started talking to my husband about [The Casual Pint], we were like, yes, this is the thing that we want to invest in and bring here.”
When looking for a site for their franchise, Adams and Longmeyer-Wood were drawn to the Shops at Avenir Place for its proximity to the Metro station, the new I-66 parallel trail and plenty of residences.
They also landed a space previously occupied by the kabob chain Moby Dick that faces directly out onto a courtyard with outdoor seating. The property owner is planning to refresh the space at the end of October with new furniture that will be available to all retail and restaurant patrons, Adams says, though he doesn’t know yet exactly how many seats there will be.
Inside, the 1,753-square-foot pub will have seating for 42 people, including 10 seats at the bar. According to its owners, the Dunn Loring franchise is pioneering a more modern look for The Casual Pint, eschewing the wood paneling that dominates in other locations for painted concrete walls and tiles.
As for what will be on tap, the team plans to bring in craft beers made by small or up-and-coming breweries from Virginia, particularly the central and southern regions, and across the country. When encountering breweries while on the road with her son, who plays travel hockey, Longmeyer-Wood says she would text Adams to see if they distribute in Virginia.
“Being able to bring that in here is really great, that we can expand beyond just the breweries in Northern Virginia,” she said.
In addition to beer, The Casual Pint will serve wine, cider, non-alcoholic beer and soft drinks. For food, the menu will be similar to the one in Seven Corners, featuring burgers, flatbread pizzas, wings, bratwurst, salads and wraps. Read More
(Updated at 1:25 p.m. on 9/21/2023) Tysons residents looking to usher in fall by tossing back some cold brews will have a couple of options this month.
Oktoberfest at The Boro
Update — The Boro’s Oktoberfest was scheduled for this Saturday (Sept. 23), but with rain in the forecast, it has been postponed to the following Saturday, Sept. 30.
The Boro’s annual Oktoberfest celebration is set to return from 2-5 p.m. with a biergarten at The Sandlot (1680 Boro Place), food trucks, live polka music, a beer stein-holding competition and some more kid-friendly activities, such as crafts, face painting and glitter tattoos.
Beers on tap at the biergarten will include:
- Eggenberg Helle Weizen
- Eggenberg Hopfenkonig Pils
- Tucher Festbier
- Weihenstephaner Hefe-Weissbier
- Solace Gute Nacht Oktoberfest
- Zero Gravity Oktoberfest
- Aslin No Backsies Hefeweizen
The winner of the stein-holding contest will be rewarded with a gift certificate to one of The Boro’s retailers. Some branded beer mugs will also be up for grabs, going to the first 150 people to show up at Oktoberfest.
In recognition of September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, The Boro is using the event “to raise funds and awareness” for a local chapter of Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, per a media alert. The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit supports cancer research and provides resources to families of children diagnosed with cancer.
The Boro’s Oktoberfest celebration is free to attend, but registration through Eventbrite is encouraged.
Oktoberfest Wine, Cider & Beer Festival
Running from 1-6 p.m., the festival will feature dozens of international and Virginian wines, spiked and bourbon apple ciders, and beers from both local and out-of-state breweries. Samples of the venue’s regular draft beers from Tysons Biergarten and Waffles & Tacos will also be offered.
Event highlights outside of the booze include bratwursts and other food, outdoor games, live music from 12:30 p.m. to 2 a.m., a kids’ corner with a moon bounce, face painting and more, and a whole lineup of apple and pie games:
- 1:15 p.m. — Apple bobbing competition
- 2 p.m. — Apple grabbing race
- 3 p.m. — Apple toss
- 4 p.m. — Pie toss
- 5 p.m. — Pie-eating competition
Admission is free, but tickets can be reserved through Eventbrite. With no parking on site, Shipgarten provides complimentary shuttle service from 1700 Old Meadow Road as well as $20 valet service.
For Oktoberfest celebrations outside of Tysons, G34.3 Brewing Company (8532 Terminal Road, Suite L) in Lorton is throwing a party from noon to 9 p.m. on Saturday with a beer release, German food and music. Tickets cost $29.99.
The Town of Vienna’s annual Oktoberfest is also returning on Oct. 7.
(Updated at 2:05 p.m. on 9/13/2023) The Commonwealth of Virginia will take center stage at Tysons Corner Center this Saturday (Sept. 16).
The first annual Celebrate Virginia festival will enliven the Plaza at Tysons Corner Center from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. with beer and wine tastings as well as live entertainment, an artisan market and a mural painted in real time.
“We are excited to bring the community together at our inaugural Celebrate Virginia event, which highlights everything that makes our home state special,” said Jesse Benites, the director of property management for the mall’s owner, Macerich. “We will be showcasing small Virginia-based businesses, artists, and talent and are thrilled with the support and collaboration from our public officials and community partners.”
Some of those officials are slated to make appearances, including Rep. Gerry Connolly, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay, and representatives of the county’s police and fire departments and George Mason University.
Organized in partnership with Visit Fairfax — Fairfax County’s official destination marketing agency — and the Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC), Celebrate Virginia will be generally open to the public and free to attend.
The only exception is the V.I.P. Wine and Wellness Tent, which requires $40 tickets. The tent will offer tastings from eight different Virginia wineries and access to a pop-up from the five-star resort and spa Salamander Middleburg, where attendees can create a personalized aromatherapy oil.
Proceeds from the ticket sales will go to the Merrifield-based nonprofit Food for Others.
As for the free attractions, there will be beer tastings from five breweries, including Chantilly’s Strange Fruit Brewing, Smartmouth Brewing from Hampton Roads and Brother Craft Brewing from Harrisonburg.
The musical line-up will feature:
- 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. — DanYko (Alexandria)
- 1-2:30 p.m. — Tejas & Felix (Fairfax City)
- 3-4 p.m. — Zac Quintana & Shawn Cody (Manassas)
The Artisan Makers Market will be similarly stacked with vendors based in Virginia, including many in Fairfax County:
- Inner Loop Coffee Roasters (Falls Church)
- Mother Cluster’s (Fairfax)
- Snugabutter (Annandale)
- Nordic Knot (Reston)
- River Sea Chocolates (Chantilly)
- The Humble Hustle Company (Roanoke)
- Trupti’s Craft: Quilling Gifts (Fairfax)
- Alyssa Mae Crafts (Tysons)
Throughout the day, visitors can also help paint a community mural with Loudoun-based artist Kevin Bednarz, whose work mixes street art, graphics and “original styles,” according to Tysons Corner Center.
“The design will be pre-sketched, and event attendees will be able to paint and bring the mural to life throughout the event,” the mall said. “The final product will be a large piece painted by the community to be exhibited within the shopping center.”
There will also be a “Spin the Tysons Wheel” with limited edition “Virginia is for Shopping Lovers” custom shirts, beanie hats, picnic blankets and other merchandise as the prizes.
“Virginia’s artisan, craft beer, and wine industries have become important drivers of Virginia’s tourism economy, making the Commonwealth an ideal destination for travelers who are seeking authentic, experiential attractions,” VTC Director of Communications Andrew Cothern said. “This event will provide an excellent locally made experience of everything Virginia has to offer firsthand.”
Visit Fairfax President and CEO Barry Biggar said in a statement that the agency is “thrilled” to help celebrate “talented artisans, makers and musicians” from Fairfax County and across the state.
Organizers hope Celebrate Virginia will become a recurring occasion. It will likely return annually to Tysons Corner Center, which was the “brainchild behind this event,” according to a Visit Fairfax spokesperson.
“We hope residents and visitors alike will come out to see what this amazing destination is all about and even take home a unique piece of Virginia,” Biggar said.
Plans for Herndon’s first beer garden — Herndon Biergarten — are still brewing, although at a slower place than previously anticipated.
In November 2021, the Town of Herndon’s Historic District Review Board (HDRB) reviewed the company’s plan to demolish a two-story building at 771 Center Street to make way for the business.
According to Town of Herndon spokeswoman Anne Curtis, the town is currently awaiting the resubmission of the plan by the applicant. The site plan is currently in the town’s review process.
Curtis said that the resubmission was sought as a “standard part of a site plan application” in October.
“The various reviewers provided several comments regarding design elements that did not meet applicable standards. The applicant’s engineer and design team is working to revise the application at their discretion for resubmission and re-review,” Curtis wrote in a statement.
The owner of Herndon Biergarten indicated that an update would likely be available in a few weeks.
The plan reviewed by the HDRB in November included an open kitchen area, barn doors opening to the rooftop bar area and green house room, and two dining areas. At the time, the application was in its early staged.
The Herndon Biergarten is expected to host daily activities, games, events and beer festival. The Tysons location closed in 2018 due to property redevelopment.
Reston Now, a sister site of FFXnow, previously reported that the Herndon location was expected to open in the spring of 2021.
Something new is brewing in Old Town Fairfax.
Expanding operations from Virginia Beach, Commonwealth Brewing Company is gearing up to join the neighborhood with an anticipated Labor Day weekend opening at 10426 Main Street.
In honor of its opening, which will ideally come on Sept. 1, the brewery will offer a “pie and a pint” special associated with its participation in Fairfax City’s upcoming Restaurant Week. Customers can choose from one of Commonwealth’s eight signature pizzas and a draft beer for $25.
Fairfax visitors can expect “an even bigger implementation” of Commonwealth’s offerings in Virginia Beach (2444 Pleasure House Road), where the brewery serves 25 to 28 styles of beer crafted in house, owner Jeramy Biggie says.
The new Fairfax location will boast a 4,800 square-foot tap room with 48 taps, five of which will be dedicated to draft cocktails that are currently exclusive to Fairfax. It will also eventually add the coffee brand that Commonwealth recently launched in Virginia Beach.
“It’s a great, great spot right on Main Street, and it has a pretty expansive patio with outdoor seating where dogs are welcome,” Biggie told FFXnow. “I’m just really excited to see how people can respond to the beer.”
Along with specialty alcoholic beverages, Fairfax’s Commonwealth Brewing will serve freshly made food, like its signature Neopolitan wood-fired pizza, and it will experiment with “eclectic concepts” and “interesting ingredients,” such as Korean short rib and kimchi, Biggie says.
He plans to maintain a rotating menu by introducing three to five new beer styles every week and new food items every month.
“I think our ethos is all about being creative and trying to really foster an environment where people can come together and have a really enjoyable, hopefully world class product,” Biggie said.
Also new with the Fairfax location is a dedicated beer production space for Belgian-style, long-term, barrel-aged sour beers — the very beer that Biggie says first sparked his passion for becoming a commercial brewer. This particular style of beer is aged on wild bacteria for a year to three years, so it’s “a labor of love,” Biggie says.
“They’re not profitable at all, but they’re delicious, so we like to make them,” Biggie laughed. “…It’s a really small percentage of our total volume, but it’s a really important part of it.”
Beers have long since been a labor of love for Biggie, who began home-brewing around 13 years ago as a hobby while working full-time as a structural engineer.
“When I met my wife, she was studying abroad in Germany, and I flew over to Europe to spend Christmas with her over 20 years ago now, and she took me to all the hot houses and European beer gardens, and I was blown away by the food and the quality of the beer,” Biggie said. “That’s where it all kind of started for me. I came back and started seeking out more interesting beers and then that turned into home brewing.”
After a decade of home-brewing, Biggie and his wife Natalie decided to liquidate their retirement savings and “make the huge jump” into their “first-ever entrepreneurial endeavor,” Biggie recalls.
“I found I had a pretty natural ability to make recipes and really loved doing it,” Biggie said. “I loved all the social inspiration that I got from it, being able to invite the neighborhood over to come try the beers and just really got into it and got super passionate about it — basically filled my entire house with fermenters. After making all different styles over a decade and passively researching, we made a decision to open a brewery.”
Formerly based in Alexandria’s Del Rey neighborhood, the couple found no better place to break ground on their brewery than where they first met: Virginia Beach.
Now, after experiencing success by the ocean for the past eight years, the Biggies are heading back to Northern Virginia, where they hope to “create a bigger and stronger nightlife scene” in Old Town Fairfax, Biggie says.
“We know the area, we know that people up there really appreciate high-quality products,” Biggie said. “We came across the Fairfax property, and it was just amazing, and we really liked the building owner, and we loved it being in a really cool main street.”
As Commonwealth prepares to open in Fairfax at the beginning of next month, Biggie says he’s focused on integrating the brewery into the Fairfax community and involving George Mason University students, who he hopes will become regulars.
His goal, he says, is to make Commonwealth a close-knit community hub that promotes interpersonal connection.
“We want to be a community center. We want to be a place where people can come every week and meet and see each other,” Biggie continued. “…We’re the antithesis of a sports bar. We have no screens anywhere, and we really want you to focus on the beer you’re enjoying, the food you’re eating and the people you’re with.”
Halley Rise, a mixed-use development in Reston, is hosting an inaugural event with craft brews, live music and bouquet-making.
The first-ever Beer in the Garden event is in partnership with Lost Rhino Brewing Company, a brewery located in Ashburn. It will take place at the farm at Halley Rise, a pop-up urban farm at 2025 Fulton Place that is the site of community events.
The event is set for Sept. 16 from noon to 3 p.m. Open to guests ages 21 and up, tickets are $10 and include a custom pint glass, a flower bouquet, root beer and a $5 donation to the nonprofit Cornerstones.
In addition, food, beer and other drinks will be available for purchase. Attendees under 21 are free but must register online through Eventbrite.
The farm opened in 2022 and grows fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers. Produce grown on the farm is donated to Cornerstones.
Mustang Sally’s (14140 Parke Long Ct A-C) will host a dog adoption and fundraising event on Saturday, Sept. 9 in collaboration with Forever Home, according to a Facebook post.
In honor of the event, Mustang Sally’s will brew a one-of-a-kind beer that will be on sale just for that day. Its name will be chosen by Forever Home, which is currently collecting submissions from the public that can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org by Saturday (July 22).
Once the beer is named, Forever Home plans to create a web page where community members can pay a small donation fee to enter their dog’s picture into a prize drawing for the chance to have their pooch’s face featured on the label of the specialty beer.
All proceeds from the contest will go back to the dog rescue, though Forever Home representative Patti Stinson noted that exact details have yet to be “finalized.” After submissions close, Forever Home will choose its top five pictures and leave the final choice up to Mustang Sally’s.
For every four-pack of beer sold, Mustang Sally’s will donate a portion of the sales to Forever Home, Mustang Sally’s spokesperson Eric Javage told FFXnow. Javage also hinted that the limited beer would likely be a hazy IPA because “everyone likes a good IPA.”
In addition, event attendees will have the opportunity to meet and apply for ownership of Forever Home’s foster dogs on site. Stinson says Forever Home’s goal is to process all paperwork and send each dog home with its new owner within a week of an application submission.
For Mustang Sally’s, this joint initiative joins a long lineup of what Javage affectionately dubs “Yappy Hour” events. Just around the corner on Saturday, July 22, Mustang Sally’s will host a similarly structured dog adoption event with local animal rescue organization Mutt Love.
Javage, the proud owner of a rescue dog from Fairfax County Animal Shelter, told FFXnow that he has made it Mustang Sally’s mission to partner with at least one new local animal shelter every month.
Unsurprisingly, then, Stinson credits Javage for initiating the partnership and being “fabulous” in handling most of the leg work setting up the event.
Javage plans to continue using the brewery to “give out more brand awareness” to small, community-oriented organizations around Northern Virginia, he says.
“Our big vision is to use Mustang as a vehicle to help the community,” Javage said. Read More