Grill Kabob is expanding its Tysons footprint beyond the mall food court.
With 17 years at Tysons Corner Center under its belt, the Afghan kabob chain is working on its first standalone location in the area at Pike 7 Plaza (8385 Leesburg Pike). An exact launch date hasn’t been set, but the restaurant will “definitely” be ready in June, co-owner Wais Shoja says.
“You have a wonderful location there,” Shoja said of Pike 7 Plaza. “You have the Metro close by, it’s a busy shopping center, you have a lot of residential, a lot of office space, so you’re pretty much getting…every kind of angle, every kind of avenue of people coming in.”
Started at Springfield Town Center — then called Springfield Mall — in 1998 by Shoja’s father and uncles, Grill Kabob has grown to 11 locations across the D.C. area, including the Tysons Corner Center stand that has been in the third-floor food court since it opened in 2005.
The Pike 7 site will be the chain’s 12th. Additional locations in Ballston and Ashburn as well as F Street in northwest D.C. will bring the total to 15 by the end of this year.
Shoja says the business has never juggled construction on this many new locations at the same time before, attributing the convergence to pandemic-related delays on the Ballston and F Street restaurants.
“That’s something new and different, but as an expanding family-owned business, there’s things you learn as the business continues to grow,” he said.
Starting with the new Tysons location, Grill Kabob is taking advantage of the major expansion to update its decor and overall aesthetic approach. Visitors can expect more mosaic tiles and “pops” of color in the furniture for a more modern design, according to Shoja.
The menu, though, will feature the same, reliable lineup of kabobs, wraps, rice bowls, and salads that the chain has been serving up for more than two decades now.
A worker in the family business since he was 13, Shoja says his whole family is proud to see how far Grill Kabob has come since that first restaurant in Springfield. While the focus continuees to be on the D.C. area, an expansion to other parts of the country isn’t out of the question.
“We’re always open to looking for new locations,” Shoja said. “If the location is right, if there’s a good opportunity, of course we would love to…We’re continually looking to grow.
Fairfax County Rescue Dog Dies — “We regret to announce the passing of #canine Phayu after a long illness. An 8-year veteran, he deployed worldwide including to quakes in Haiti & Nepal, and hurricanes in the Bahamas & USA. We thank Phayu for his service and extend condolences to his family and our #K9 section.” [Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team/Twitter]
County Firefighters Deliver Free Shoes to Kids — “The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department along with Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue on Thursday gave away more than 300 pairs of new shoes to children and families in need. The giveaways were held at Gum Springs and Lee District community centers in Alexandria.” [ABC7]
Route 28 Lanes Closed for Skewed Sign — A Route 28 sign for the Willard Road exit in Chantilly got knocked out of place during the morning rush hour yesterday (Thursday). Crews had to block off two southbound lanes for almost five hours while they addressed the situation, which required a removal of the sign pole. [VDOT/Twitter]
Free School Meals to End This Fall — “For the past two years, the federal government has provided no-cost meals to all public school students without the need to complete the annual Free and Reduced-Price Meal application. The extension of the no-cost meals benefit to all students is expected to expire at the end of this school year, meaning families must submit an application and be approved to be eligible for free and reduced price meals for the 2022-23 school year.” [FCPS]
McLean Rec Center to Close Tomorrow — “Spring Hill Rec Center will close June 4 through 7 to address electrical maintenance issues. This project was planned for August but has been moved up to ensure continuous site operation and safety.” [Supervisor John Foust/Twitter]
Herndon Man Charged With Assault — A 43-year-old man faces aggravated assault and burglary charges after Herndon police say he allegedly “entered a home in the 600 block of Center Street without permission on May 23 and assaulted one of it occupants.” The man is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. [Patch]
Asian Fusion Eatery Joins Tysons Biergarten — “RollBär, an Asian fusion restaurant, opens TODAY at @shipgarten! Shipgarten, a new pop-up located at the future site of Scotts Run’s ‘Taylor’ block, launched last Thursday with the reopening of #TysonsBiergarten.” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]
The St. James Plans Maryland Expansion — After unveiling a performance club at Reston Town Center in April, the Springfield-based sports complex announced yesterday (Thursday) that it will bring a similar facility to downtown Bethesda this winter. The new club will be smaller than The St. James’ flagship site, which is the largest athletic facility in the region, but it will include a Vim & Victor Café. [Washingtonian]
Charcoal Chicken Restaurant Coming to West Falls Church — “Super Pollo Charcoal Chicken is moving into the spot vacated by DC Steakholders at 6641 Arlington Blvd…Juan Carlos Hernandez, manager of the Barcroft Plaza Super Pollo expects the new place will open in two to three months.” [Annandale Today]
It’s Friday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 63. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:31 pm. [Weather.gov]
Baby Born at Reston Fire Station Makes Visit — “Today, Station 25, Reston, B-Shift hosted Baby Ivy, who made her entrance into the world in Station 25 parking lot recently, and her big brother, mom and dad. 25-B were thrilled and presented the family w/station shirt/patch. Baby Ivy brought some goodies for the shift!” [FCFRD/Twitter]
TJ Students Reflect on First Year Under New Admissions System — “As the adults did battle in courtrooms, students such as Sarah Castillo were reconsidering their options. Hundreds of students who had neither thought of applying to TJ, nor felt they had a chance of acceptance under the old admissions system, now took the plunge — and some of them, including Sarah, got in.” [The Washington Post]
Burke House Fire Leads to Over $500K in Damages — Smoldering embers dropped in a pile of sawdust ignited a house fire in the 8900 block of Arley Drive on Thursday (May 26) that displaced two people and resulted in $516,075 in damages. Firefighters at the scene saw “heavy fire” through the two-story house’s roof, and one resident got minor injuries. [FCFRD]
Over a Quarter of Primary Mail Ballots Returned — “We’ve had about 28% of #votebymail ballots returned so far in the Democratic primary for the 8th Congressional District. Return your ballot now or #voteearly in person at the Fairfax County Govt. Center” [Fairfax County Office of Elections/Twitter]
West Falls Church Restaurant Closed Permanently — DC Steakholders owners Usman and Lilly Bhatti said in a May 4 message that “inflation, staffing shortages, and rising food costs have taken a toll on our business,” noting that their food trucks and catering business will continue. The restaurant first opened on Arlington Blvd. in April 2019 and served burgers and frozen custard. [Annandale Today]
Reston Food Delivery Business Plans Expansion — “Frolick is a fresh take on food delivery, offering a rotating menu of chef-prepared meals — delivered for now only in Northern Virginia but soon expanding to D.C. and then, perhaps, well beyond…Frolick was born in the summer of 2021 with a big assist from GateGroup, the Swiss-based airline catering giant whose North American headquarters is in Reston.” [DC Inno]
Future Springfield Town Center Hotel Site Sold — “PREIT…announced execution of a purchase and sale agreement for 11 outparcels that will generate gross proceeds in excess of $32 million. The Company also executed an agreement of sale for a vacant parcel at Springfield Town Center set to be developed into a hotel site for $2.5 million as the Company executes on its vision of delivering one-stop destinations for the communities it serves.” [PREIT]
Jefferson Manor Kids Start Pet Directory — “Two sisters in Alexandria, Virginia, created a directory of all the neighborhood pets to raise money for good causes and bring the community together.” There have been 144 different pets submitted to the directory so far. [NBC4]
Free Fishing Day This Weekend — The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources is helping people learn how to fish with an event from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. this Saturday (June 4) at Burke Lake. Equipment and bait are provided, and attendees don’t need to purchase a fishing license. [DWR]
It’s Wednesday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 87 and low of 73. Sunrise at 5:47 am and sunset at 8:30 pm. [Weather.gov]
What to Know About Monkeypox — “More monkeypox cases have been reported in the United States since the first illness was reported in Massachusetts last week. But there’s no need for Virginia residents to panic, health officials say as they learn more about how the viral disease is spread.” [Patch]
County to Talk About Youth Mental Health Issues and Drug Use — “As a parent, our kids’ wellbeing is my top priority. Today, the Board supported my motion to convene a roundtable with reps from [Department of Family Services], our Opioid Task Force, clinical pros, the BOS and school board to directly tackle youth mental health & substance use.” [Jeff McKay/Twitter]
McLean Woman Settles Fraud Case — A McLean resident has agreed to pay $107,347 to settle allegations that she falsified information to obtain two Paycheck Protection Program loans, totaling $42,601, federal prosecutors said yesterday (Tuesday). The Justice Department prosecuted the woman as part of its efforts to crack down on fraud related to COVID-19 relief funds. [DOJ]
Arlington Doughnut Shop Plans Tysons Kitchen — “Good Company Doughnuts & Café has inked a lease for roughly 5,000 square feet at 8524-G Tyco Road…for a kitchen commissary, where it will produce and assemble its products for off-site retail sale…Good Company hopes to have the commissary operating by the end of 2022, [co-owner Charles] Kachadoorian said.” [Washington Business Journal]
Metro Introduces Navigation App to Help Blind Riders — “Metro has partnered with Waymap, a new UK-based start-up, to bring the technology to the Brookland, Silver Spring, and Braddock Road Metro stations…The app will be available in at least 30 Metro train and nearly 1,000 bus stops by September; the entire system is scheduled to be brought online by early 2023.” [DCist]
Cybersecurity Company Moves Within Tysons — “Codehunter…relocated from 1660 International Drive to 1775 Greensboro Station Pl. and expanded their corporate headquarters. Codehunter, represented by Timothy Jacobs and Edward Saa, needed to expand their office footprint due to business growth while also needed to re-strategize their office footprint to support their hybrid work model.” [CityBiz]
New School Board Student Representative Chosen — “Michele Togbe, a junior at South County High School, has been elected by the countywide Student Advisory Council (SAC) to serve a one-year term as student representative to the Fairfax County School Board, beginning July 1…Togbe has three main focuses as student representative: transparency within students’ voices, furthering civic education, and maintaining an equitable lens.” [FCPS]
Local Students Relax with Yarn — “About a dozen third, fourth, fifth and sixth graders gather at lunch several times a week at Little Run ES to knit and loom together. The program was initially launched as an after-school effort paid for with Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief aid, or ESSER III funding.” [FCPS]
It’s Wednesday — Overcast throughout the day. High of 64 and low of 56. Sunrise at 5:50 am and sunset at 8:25 pm. [Weather.gov]
Fairfax County Man Dies in Alexandria Jail — “Alexandria law enforcement is investigating the death of Anthony Mouf, a 25-year-old Fairfax County man in Alexandria’s William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. According to a city release, Mouf was found suffering from an apparent medical emergency alone in his cell in the jail’s booking area.” [ALXnow]
Fort Belvoir Housing Contractors Hit with Lawsuit — “After bouncing around houses near Fort Belvoir, pleading with Michaels for repairs and remediation and asking officials on the base for help, Roman filed a lawsuit on March 16 of this year, alleging the owner and manager of thousands of housing units on the base allowed safety hazards and other substandard conditions to persist for years.” [Bisnow]
Fairfax Diner Plans Comeback — After being destroyed by a fire before Thanksgiving last year, the 29 Diner will reopen on Oct. 10, owner John Wood announced earlier this month. Still serving “the thick slices of applewood-smoked bacon, milkshakes, and Texas-style barbecue patrons know and love,” the restaurant will have an updated, open kitchen and restored furnishings that pay homage to its 1947 opening. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Tips for Handling the Baby Formula Shortage — “As the nationwide infant formula shortage continues due to a temporary shutdown of the plant that manufactures about half of the U.S. supply, local families are impacted, too. Our Health Department advises if you have any questions, check with your baby’s physician or healthcare provider, especially if your baby is on a restricted diet or has any medical conditions.” [Fairfax County Government]
Vienna Burger Joint Expands to Arlington — “HQ2 will be home to Arlington’s second Conte’s Bike Shop, a South Block, the second location of Vienna-based Social Burger and the first brick-and-mortar location of HUSTLE — a high intensity cycling workout business.” [ARLnow]
Capital One Sets Timeline for Office Return — The Tysons-based financial company announced that it will fully reopen all U.S. offices under a hybrid work model on Sept. 6, almost exactly a year later than previously planned. Capital One is one of the D.C. area’s largest employers, with 11,530 associates and contractors just for its headquarters, according to a spokesperson. [Capital One]
McLean Tennis Court Project Approved — The Fairfax County Park Authority Board “approved $650,000 in funding for court improvements at Lewinsville Park in McLean…FCPA anticipates the courts to be closed for up to four months, while these renovations and repairs are made.” [FCPA]
Reston Shop Hosts “Bike to Work Day” Stop — “National Bike Week happens to be this week with the 21st anniversary of Bike to Work Day in the National Capital Region falling on May 20…In Reston, bicyclists can head to a pit stop just off the Washington & Old Dominion Trail at The Bike Lane, 11150 Sunset Hills Reston, VA, 7 a.m.-9 a.m.” [Patch]
Annandale Food Festival Seeks Sponsors — “Now that planning is underway for the 2022 Taste of Annandale, the top priority is securing sponsors. The family-friendly community festival scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 1 in the center of Annandale, is likely to draw at least 6,000 people.” [Annandale Today]
It’s Thursday — Rain in the morning. High of 79 and low of 61. Sunrise at 5:54 am and sunset at 8:19 pm. [Weather.gov]
Renovations are underway on Clark Construction’s massive new office at Tysons’ Silverline Center (7900 Westpark Drive).
The Bethesda-based construction firm announced today (Tuesday) that it will move into the center’s 12-story office tower this fall, the first public confirmation of an expansion plan that FFXnow previously reported in early March.
“Clark Construction has played an important role in infrastructure development for Fairfax County and the region,” Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay said in the news release. “Their projects have helped move our commuters along faster and strengthen our local businesses. We welcome them to Tysons and look forward to continuing this cooperative effort.”
Founded in 1906, Clark’s major projects in the county have included The Boro in Tysons, the Inova Schar Cancer Institute in Merrifield, the first skyscrapers at the Reston Town Center expansion, and improvements in the Route 28 corridor.
The company’s Tysons office will be 128,000 square feet in size and serve more than 550 employees, according to a zoning application currently under review by Fairfax County.
The application concerns proposed signage to advertise Clark’s presence at the Silverline Center. It’s scheduled to go before the county’s planning commission for a public hearing on Sept. 14.
“The new space is designed to provide a modern and collaborative hub for Clark’s infrastructure, building, and asset solutions teams along with many of Clark’s corporate departments that serve the company’s projects nationwide,” the company said.
The Tysons office will be Clark’s second in Fairfax County, joining an office owned by affiliate Shirley Contracting Company in Lorton. The company also has an office in Sterling for afflilate Clark Water, and it’s planning to add a location in Central Virginia to support projects in the Richmond area.
Clark also announced that it will maintain its corporate headquarters in Bethesda and double the size of an office in downtown Baltimore.
After first setting its roots down in Falls Church, Settle Down Easy Brewing is planning to open a second location soon.
The brewery, which describes itself as a “nano brewing operation” on its website, plans to open up shop at 2952E Chain Bridge Road in Oakton.
A summer opening is anticipated, a business representative told FFXnow. The owner was not immediately available for comment.
Established in 2018, the brewery serves a variety of beer and food items. Its flagship beers include No. 1 Dry Hopped Kolsch, hop Was Phonic, and 2 Cloud 9.
The new location will be next to Oakton Chesapeake Cafe.
Photo via Settle Down Easy/Facebook
Bode Technology, which assists Fairfax County and Virginia with forensic services, will spend $2 million to hire more staff to meet its growing needs.
Announced today (Monday) by Gov. Glenn Youngkin and the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority, the investment will help the company hire “additional senior and entry-level laboratory technicians, information technology and engineering professionals and other business support roles,” the news releases said.
“For more than 25 years, Bode Technology has called Virginia our home, and today’s announcement is a testament to that bond,” Bode Technology CEO Mike Cariola said. “To help fight crime, we need to hire the most talented scientists in the world, and the universities in Virginia and surrounding areas have been essential to our success.”
Located at 10430 Furnace Road, the company will get support from the Commonwealth through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, where state funding helps businesses recoup costs of adding jobs.
“Bode Technology is eligible to receive up to $850 per job, for a total of up to $60,350 for 71 net new jobs, from the Virginia Jobs Investment Program (VJIP),” Virginia Economic Development Partnership spokesperson Suzanne Clark told FFXnow in an email. “VJIP is a performance-based incentive. Once a designated funding amount is approved, companies do not receive reimbursement until they have created the minimum net new, full-time jobs to qualify for funding and the new hires have been on the company’s payroll for at least 90 days.”
The company currently has 250 employees.
The governor’s news release noted that the state’s economic development authority worked with the Fairfax County EDA through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program, which provides consultative services and funding to companies creating new jobs to support employee recruitment and training activities.
Bode Technology uses DNA to help law enforcement agencies track criminals, and it also reduces backlogs by processing sexual assault kits, among other services. According to the company, it helped identify victims of the 2001 World Trade Center attacks and the remains of U.S. soldiers dating back to World War II.
“Demand for our services has increased, and today we are recruiting talented scientists from across the country to join us here in Fairfax County so that we can continue our mission,” Cariola’s statement said.
Photo via FCEDA
Mars, Inc., the company that owns both M&M’s and Pedigree Petfoods, is planning to expand its existing headquarters in McLean.
According to an application submitted to Fairfax County on March 30, the American multinational manufacturer of candy, pet food, and other food items says that its current corporate home no longer meets its needs.
Since it started calling McLean home in 1984, the company has seen the number of employees at its office grow from 55 to over 150, according to the application.
Mars purchased a neighboring parcel next door at 6867 Elm Street in July 2020. It plans to demolish the building on that parcel and expand the existing building at 6885 Elm Street.
According to the application, the company plans to renovate the interior and exterior of the building with a more modern look.
“The new Mars Building will also feature a myriad of green building features in keeping with the values of both Fairfax County and Mars,” the application states. “At the same time, the architecture will remain respectful of its surroundings and be a building of which all of McLean will be proud.”
The expansion would add a little under 50,000 square feet to the Mars headquarters.
Surface parking will be replaced with garage parking, accessed via Elm Street.
Two curb cuts on Elm Street will be narrowed and utilities on the street will move underground. An arrival plaza is also planned to serve visitors dropped off by Uber and Lyft.
The project is in early planning phases and has not yet been accepted for review by the county.
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority store in North Point Village Center is temporarily closed.
But customers need not worry for long. The ABC store, located at 1454 North Point Village, is undergoing renovations and will expand from 2,500 square feet to 3,700 square feet.
Dawn Eischen, public relations manager for the authority, said no reopening date has been set yet.
“In the meantime, we recommend customers shop at the nearest store at 378 Elden Street in Herndon,” Eischen told FFXnow.
The landlord of the property is currently conducting construction work to prepare the store for expansion.
The authority plans to install fixtures and shelving once that work is completed.
The store closed on Jan. 28.
All of the state’s ABC stores resumed normal operating hours at the end of February as COVID-19 case numbers continued to fall in the region.
The village center recently saw its Subway close and Matsutake Sushi & Sake Bar open, replacing a former Boston Market. Bb.q Chicken — a Korean fried chicken spot — opened last July, replacing Jerry’s Subs.