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Morning Notes

The crowds returned for the first Taste of Vienna since the COVID-19 pandemic started (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Reminder: FFXnow Wants Your Input — FFXnow is conducting a survey to learn more about our readers and help shape future coverage. What kinds of stories interest you? Have strong feelings about the Tysons Reporter and Reston Now merger, or the length of our stories? Let us know before the survey closes after Sunday, May 15.

Former Falls Church Bicycle Shop Owner’s Mythology Unravels — “We’re not just talking about one man’s fabrications, but the ripples from those fabrications: a team of riders that allege abuse at [Nick] Clark’s hands, a series of embellished life events stretching back to the 1990s, ties with the political and military elite, alleged misrepresentations across multiple industries, and possible stolen military valour.” [Cycling Tips]

Police Thanked for Catching Victoria’s Secret Thieves — “The Fairfax County Police Department’s Tysons Urban Team (TUT) was recognized by executives from Victoria’s Secret on Friday for breaking up a retail theft ring. The thieves are believed to be responsible for the loss of more than $250,000 of merchandise from stores throughout the southern U.S.” [FCPD/Facebook]

Woman Who Sold Mantua Home With Squatter Speaks — “After days of speculation about the identity of the person living in the basement of a viral Zillow listing, the woman has come forward to tell her side of the unusual story. Last week, her Fairfax, Va., home…sold for more than $800,000 with the condition that it came with a person living in the basement who did not have a lease.” [WUSA9]

FCPD Seeks Person Behind Clifton Starbucks Vandalism — “Officers responded to the Starbucks at 5748 Union Mill Road in Clifton for a burglary report on April 27, when someone broke the front window and stole a Progress Pride flag from inside and left. The following morning, officers responded to the same Starbucks for a similar incident.” [ABC7]

Metro Shares Plan to Electrify Bus Fleet — “Metro expects to purchase 12 electric buses and associated charging equipment this year as part of the Battery-Electric Bus Test and Evaluation Program. The buses will begin arriving late this year and go into service in 2023 out of the Shepherd Parkway Bus Division.” [WMATA]

Man Convicted of Killing Fairfax Couple Denied Parole — “The Maryland Parole Commission denied parole to Sifrit, in his first parole hearing, since being sentenced to 38 years in prison, after he and his then-wife Erika killed and dismembered Martha Crutchley and Joshua Ford, of Fairfax City, over Memorial Day weekend almost 20 years ago.” [WTOP]

Capital One Center Named “Best New Development” — The Washington Business Journal has given its “Best New Development” award to Capital One Center, which is bringing 1.47 million square feet of construction to the financial company’s Tysons headquarters. The Reston Gateway office high-rises in Boston Properties’ Reston Town Center expansion was named a finalist. [WBJ]

It’s Monday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 76 and low of 60. Sunrise at 6:11 am and sunset at 8:03 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Work continues on the Perch Putt mini golf course and food trucks (courtesy Capital One Center)

Perch Putt is on its way.

The public will get its first look at the 18-hole mini golf course and food trucks being set up at Capital One Center’s The Perch skypark (1805 Capital One Drive) in Tysons on May 21 and 22 as part of a weekend-long “Perchfest Spring Edition” celebration.

“Capital One Center is delighted to celebrate the next phase of The Perch, which has become an unparalleled rooftop experience and dynamic gathering place for our community and Capital One associates,” Capital One Center Marketing and Community Affairs Manager Meghan Trossen said in a statement.

Similar to last fall’s grand opening party for The Perch, this iteration of Perchfest will feature live music, lawn games, community vendors, and a new “Perchfest Session IPA” from Starr Hill Biergarten, according to a media release.

The festival will also once again benefit the nonprofit Best Buddies of Northern Virginia and D.C. Community members are encouraged to donate to the organization, which provides support services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Perchfest will take place from noon to 11 p.m. on May 21 and noon to 5 p.m. on May 22. It will include a “Kids Party” from noon to 3 p.m. on May 21 that will have face painting and a “puppy party” hosted by the Merrifield-based nonprofit Wolf Trap Animal Rescue.

The music lineup features six artists:

Saturday, May 21st

  • Noon — Pebble to Pearl
  • 2:30 p.m. — Nowhere Men
  • 5 p.m. — Bobby Ryan Band
  • 8 p.m. — KleptoRadio

Sunday, May 22

  • Noon — Run for Cover
  • 3 p.m. — Starting Early

Admission to all events will be free, but advance registration is required, due to limited space in the 2.5-acre park.

In addition, The Watermark Hotel, which opened adjacent to The Perch in September, is offering VIP packages for its guests that include a suite overlooking the park, welcome amenities from Starr Hill Biergarten and the restaurant Wren, and a future gift card for the food trucks.

Capital One Center hopes to make Perchfest a regular occurrence, stating that 10,000 people attended the inaugural edition in September 2021.

“Our intention with Perchfest is to create a signature spring and fall event our guests look forward to every year,” Trossen said. “We will build upon the success of our fall opening with a springtime festival full of surprises and unique experiences — and we are so proud to team up with Best Buddies and elevate their mission to support inclusive hiring and job training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

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Capital One Center plans to complete Phase 2 of The Perch and the “Block A” office and retail building (left) this year (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The second phase of The Perch in Tysons remains on track for completion later this spring, Capital One Center says.

The 2.5-acre skypark opened on top of the new Capital One Hall performing arts center (1805 Capital One Center Drive) in August. It currently features Starr Hill Biergarten as well as a dog park, bocce ball pits and an outdoor amphitheater.

Phase two will add “Perch Putt,” an 18-hole miniature golf course, and an adjacent food truck area, whose denizens were spotted being lifted 11 stories into the air on Nov. 16.

Details about those amenities remain scarce, but a permit request submitted to Fairfax County in January indicates that, in addition to the three vehicles that got airlifted up in November, the food truck area will include a one-story shipping container outfitted for bar service.

A Capital One Center spokesperson confirmed that the container will serve as a bar, but said the development is not ready to share more details.

Capital One Center officially announced on Wednesday (March 23) that it has signed three new restaurant tenants:

  • Stellina Pizzeria, which will take over the former Starbucks space in Capital One’s headquarters building. When it announced the lease in February, the restaurant said it hoped to open this fall, but Capital One Center now says it will arrive in 2023.
  • A Tex-Mex restaurant with a “strong coastal influence and a large al fresco bar.” The concept comes from the team behind The Salt Line, a seafood eatery in Ballston, as reported earlier this month by the Washingtonian.
  • An unspecified “new concept” from chef Pepe Moncayo, who runs a Japanese and Spanish fusion restaurant and lounge in D.C. called Cranes. The signing was first reported by the Washington Business Journal.

According to the press release, Moncayo’s restaurant will be located in the mixed-use retail and office tower still under construction across from the Capital One headquarters.

Capital One Center says in the release that it plans to deliver the “Block A” tower this year — earlier than the 2023 timeline previously anticipated.

“The latest additions at Capital One Center will enhance our growing collection of retail with acclaimed local restaurateurs and unique entertainment options for both our Capital One associates and our DMV community,” Capital One Center Managing Director Jonathan Griffith said.

Sisters Thai is also expected to open a new restaurant — its largest yet — at 7730 Capital One Tower Road later this year.

When fully built out, Capital One Center will cover 25 acres in Tysons East with 6 million square feet of development. It currently consists of the Capital One headquarters, Capital One Hall, Wegmans, The Watermark Hotel, and the nail salon Nothing in Between Studio.

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Morning Notes

Prices at a gas station in Tysons (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Regional Winter Clothing Drive for Ukraine Now Accepting Donations — “Northern Virginia localities are partnering together to collect donations for Ukrainians who fled their country amid the Russian invasion. Dozens of locations around Northern Virginia will begin accepting donations Wednesday [March 23] through April 15.” [Patch]

FCPD Officer Faces Trial for Taser Use — “Day two of the trial of a Fairfax County police officer accused of assaulting an unarmed and incoherent man has concluded…Defense attorneys insist Officer Tyler Timberlake was well within department guidelines when he tasered La Monta Gladney in Mount Vernon. Prosecutors call it a crime.” [WUSA9]

Youngkin Calls for Special Session — “The Republican governor issued a proclamation Wednesday saying that a special session will commence April 4. The move comes after the clock ran out during the regular General Assembly session without the Democrat-controlled Senate and GOP-controlled House reaching agreement on the state budget.” [Associated Press/WTOP]

FCPS Tests iPads for Kindergarteners — Fairfax County Public Schools began a pilot program this week to provide iPads for pre-K and kindergarten students in lieu of the heavier laptops currently used in those classrooms. The schools participating in the pilot are Lake Anne Elementary, Riverside Elementary, and Bailey’s Primary. [FCPS]

Fairfax Dems Call for Special Elections — At a March 22 general body meeting, Fairfax County Democratic Committee members voted 86% in favor of a resolution calling for special elections for the House of Delegates in 2022. The entire chamber was up for grabs last year, but a delayed redistricting process meant those legislators were elected based on now-outdated district maps. [Fairfax County Democratic Committee]

Michelin Starred Chef to Plans Mystery Tysons Restaurant — Chef Pepe Moncayo and his partners have leased for about 7,000 square feet at Capital One Center. He shared few details about the upcoming eatery except to say “it won’t be a carbon copy of Cranes,” the Japanese and Spanish fusion restaurant and lounge he opened in D.C.’s Penn Quarter in 2020. [Washington Business Journal]

GMU Performing Arts Venue to End Vaccine Mandates — “George Mason University will soon no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccines or negative tests for those attending events at the Center for the Arts in Fairfax and the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The policy change begins May 2.” [Inside NoVA]

Colvin Run Miller’s House to Reopen — “The public will be able to experience a slice of 19th-century middle-class life…when the Fairfax County Park Authority reopens the newly renovated miller’s house at Colvin Run Historic Site…The April 3 event will kick off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m., followed by refreshments in the garden, and festivities will continue until 4 p.m.” [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

Park Authority Plans “One Dark Hour” Event — To kick off International Dark Sky Awareness Week next month, the Fairfax County Park Authority will encourage all residents to turn off any outdoor lights between 9 and 10 p.m. on April 22. The event is intended to demonstrate the importance of using light only when and where it’s needed, so that wildlife and plants can thrive. [FCPA]

It’s Thursday — Light rain throughout the day. High of 66 and low of 56. Sunrise at 7:07 a.m. and sunset at 7:26 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

Deer by Vienna’s Wildwood Park trail in winter (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Statewide Tornado Drill Today — As part of its annual Severe Weather Awareness Week, Virginia will hold a statewide tornado drill at 9:45 a.m. today (Tuesday). The signal will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio and the Emergency Alert System, but there won’t be an actual tornado warning, which would mean that a twister is imminent or already underway. [Herndon Police/Twitter]

“Coastal” Tex-Mex Restaurant Planned for Tysons — “Long Shot Hospitality, which operates seafood-centric Salt Line and New Orleans hotspot Dauphine’s, is gearing up for a new project. Chef Kyle Bailey and partners will open an 11,000-square-foot Tex-Mex restaurant at the new Capital One Center in Tysons, Virginia, next year.” [Washingtonian]

Reston Company Carries Russian Propaganda — Reston Translator carries the FM radio signal in the D.C. area for the Capitol Heights station WZHF, one of just five U.S. stations that broadcasts Kremlin-approved “Radio Sputnik” programming. Despite Cold War-era tensions in the air, the owner of the South Reston-based company says he’s “a fervent believer in the First Amendment.” [The Washington Post]

Burke Brewery Toasts “Bunny Man” Legend — “The Fairfax folklore of the Bunny Man has brought scary stories to generations in Northern Virginia. Now, you can hear this wild tale over a pint of Bunnyman beer from a brewery celebrating this creepy story. Bunnyman Brewing, on Guinea Road in Fairfax, is just a few miles from a bridge at the center of an urban legend about a hatchet-wielding man in a bunny costume.” [NBC4]

Driver Evades Drinking-and-Driving Charge in Vienna — Vienna Police attempted to issue a summons to a driver who committed a traffic violation in the 2100 block of Chain Bridge Road at 1:53 a.m. on Feb. 25. The driver failed sobriety tests, but police learned that he had full diplomatic immunity. [Sun Gazette/Inside NoVA]

County Park Welcomes Baby Sheep — “It’s a sure sign of spring: baby animals at Frying Pan Farm Park! Fluffette delivered triplet rams (boys) on February 28. Lane delivered twins (one boy/one girl) on March 1. The sheep are all in Kidwell Barn and will go outside near the barn on nice days.” [Fairfax County Park Authority/Twitter]

Social Worker at Springfield School Awarded — “Claudia McDowell, a school social worker at Lynbrook Elementary School, has been named the 2022 National School Worker of the Year by the School Social Work Association of America (SSWAA) for her commitment to the profession and for positively impacting the lives of the students, families, and staff of the communities she serves.” [FCPS]

It’s Tuesday — Today is mostly sunny, with a high near 53. Northwest wind 7 to 11 mph, with gusts as high as 20 mph. The low will be around 37. The sun rose at 6:29 a.m. and will set at 6:09 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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Stellina Pizzeria will open a restaurant at Capital One Center in Tysons, its fourth location (photo by Rey Lopez/Stellina Pizzeria)

A popular D.C. area pizzeria plans to open a new location in Tysons this fall.

Stellina Pizzeria will take over a 4,100-square-foot space on the ground floor of Capital One’s headquarters at 1610 Capital One Drive, the business announced today (Thursday).

According to a press release, this will be the pizzeria’s fourth location since its original 2019 opening in D.C.’s Union Market. It expanded to Arlington in February 2021 and will add another D.C. venue, this time in Mount Vernon Triangle, this spring.

Co-owned by restaurateur Antonio Matarazzo and chef Matteo Venini, Stellina will offer neo-Neapolitan pizza, sandwiches, handmade pasta, salads, and street food from Italy’s southern coast, where Matarazzo was raised.

In addition to the main dining room, the Tysons location will feature a bar, an Italian cafe with coffee and pastries, an open-air patio and a commissary kitchen stocked with pasta, sauces, pizza dough and toppings, and other pantry and frozen goods.

The kitchen was inspired by the success of monthly subscription packages and a vending machine that Stellina introduced to serve customers during the pandemic.

“We anticipate 2022 to be a year of growth for Stellina,” Matarazzo said in the news release. “The Capital One Center is a natural fit for our second Virginia location, with its close proximity to shoppers, office workers and local neighbors, and we’re excited to be joining so many other homegrown DMV restaurants in the space.”

Stellina will move into the space that was occupied by Starbucks until the coffee shop closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, first temporarily and then permanently.

With no definitive date yet for Capital One workers to return to the office, retail options have been slow to emerge in the mixed-use development on the financial corporation’s headquarters campus, now known as Capital One Center.

The past year, however, has seen some progress on that front, with the addition of Starr Hill Biergarten in The Perch, the nail salon Nothing in Between Studio, and the Japanese restaurant Wren in The Watermark Hotel.

Capital One Center also installed food trucks in The Perch, though the tenants have not been announced, and the restaurant Sisters Thai is expected to open later this year.

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