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Fairfax County police car with lights flashing (file photo)

A child has been hospitalized with serious injuries after he was hit by a sedan while riding his bicycle on Idylwood Road, police say.

“Officers are on scene of a serious crash involving a cyclist at Idylwood Rd and Greenbrier Way in Dunn Loring,” the Fairfax County Police Department said in a tweet at 1:04 p.m. “A juvenile male was taken to the hospital in serious condition.”

Police and medics with the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department were dispatched to the scene of a crash “involving a child” around 12:05 p.m., according to scanner traffic on Open MHz. The boy was taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital.

An FCPD spokesperson confirmed that the child was the cyclist.

“One vehicle was involved (which was a sedan),” the FCPD told FFXnow by email.

As of 3 p.m., Idylwood Road remains closed between Greenbrier Way and Gallows Road, according to police.

A portion of the road is completely closed off for most of this week (via VDOT)

A stretch of Idylwood Road will be closed to through traffic in Dunn Loring this week.

The road between Williams Avenue and Cedar Lane will be closed from today (Monday) to Thursday (Sept. 14) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for stormwater pipe replacement, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

Properties along Idylwood Road will have access, but traffic will not be able to go beyond the pipe replacement in both directions.

“Through traffic will be detoured via Idylwood Road, Williams Avenue, Electric Avenue (Route 697) and Cedar Lane back to Idylwood Road. Drivers are asked to follow posted detour signs,” VDOT wrote in a statement.

Myron Mixon Pitmaster BBQ specializes in Southern-style barbecue (courtesy Myron Mixon Pitmaster BBQ)

Dunn Loring diners will soon get a taste of the Southern-style smoked meats that have made Myron Mixon the self-proclaimed “winningest” man in barbecue.

Myron Mixon Pitmaster BBQ is slated to open a new restaurant at 2670 Avenir Place near the Dunn Loring Metro station this fall, its first expansion since launching in Old Town Alexandria in 2016.

“I’ve always found a special home in the DMV area because of the great community here who appreciate good barbeque,” Mixon said in a statement. “It’s very exciting to have the chance to bring even more pitmaster flavor and competition ‘que with this new restaurant in Dunn Loring, and I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone through our doors soon.”

A native of Unadilla, Georgia, where he has served as mayor since 2016, Mixon has earned acclaim on the competitive barbecue circuit with more wins than anyone else in the world, according to his official bio. His accolades have included five world championships and an induction into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in Kansas City.

He has also made TV appearances as a judge on Destination America’s “BBQ Pitmasters” and a competitor on the two-season show “BBQ Pit Wars.”

Even before opening his Alexandria restaurant, Mixon had close ties to the D.C. area as a regular competitor in the District’s annual Giant Barbecue Battle, where he and his team Jack’s Old South won 13 grand championships, according to the Washington Post.

Eric Cohen, a partner on Myron Mixon Pitmaster BBQ, says the business loves “being a part of the Old Town community” and has been eager to expand elsewhere in Northern Virginia “for a while.” When District Barbecue closed earlier this year, they decided it was time to make a move.

“We thought the opportunity was the perfect fit for the brand,” Cohen told FFXnow.

The Dunn Loring restaurant will take a fast-casual approach with counter service, and the bar will be more limited than the one in Alexandria, serving just beer and wine.

However, the food menu — which is still being finalized — is expected to be “very similar” to what’s on offer in Alexandria, a public relations representative said. Offerings include plate and a la carte smoked meats, sandwiches, salads, baby back ribs, chicken wings, and sides like mac and cheese and peach BBQ baked beans.

Cohen credits Mixon’s involvement with distinguishing the business from the “plethora of [other] delicious barbeque options” in the D.C. region.

“He’s incredibly hands on with our menu and team to ensure we serve our guests the best ‘que, worthy of a pitmaster,” Cohen said. “As the winningest man in competition barbeque, Myron is a trusted authority in the barbeque world, and his food reflects the high standards that he sets for each item that leaves the grill.”

An official opening date hasn’t been set, but Cohen says that and details of anticipated grand opening celebrations will be shared “soon.”

The Shops at Avenir Place has recently started to fill vacancies that opened up during the pandemic. The retail center welcomed the tattoo and piercing shop Wicked Goddess this past spring, and the taiyaki pop-up Rice Culture hopes to start serving the Japanese treats out of its first brick-and-mortar store in October.


A popular taiyaki pop-up based out of Chantilly is settling down near the Dunn Loring Metro station for its first-ever permanent shop.

After working the D.C. area’s farmers market circuit since 2021, Rice Culture will start selling the fish-shaped, Instagram-ready Japanese treats out of a brick-and-mortar store in the Shops at Avenir Place — potentially as soon as this October.

The new location at 2672D Avenir Place will offer an expanded menu with taiyaki ice cream to take advantage of the space built out by Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, which closed in 2020, Rice Culture co-founder and baker MikkiJo Bayawa says.

“We’ll be serving Asian-inspired soft-serve flavors in the taiyaki, and the taiyaki will act as the cone,” Bayawa told FFXnow. “So, that’s something that’s going to be new and exciting, a menu item that we wouldn’t have been able to serve at farmers markets.”

Rice Culture began early in the COVID-19 pandemic out of a similar craving for comfort that spurred a national frenzy of bread-baking.

A native of New Jersey, Bayawa moved to Northern Virginia about five years ago to work on Amazon’s data centers. Upon arriving, however, she found no substitute for the taiyakis hawked at the Jersey-based Japanese grocery store Mitsuwa — a void that particularly stood out once the pandemic limited her and fiancé Kevin Tsai’s travel away from their Centreville apartment.

So, she decided to fill the gap herself, buying a machine that could make up to six taiyakis at a time. Though the waffles are traditionally filled with red bean paste or vanilla custard, Bayawa experimented with different flavors, from cream cheese and Nutella to ube jam — a nod to her mixed Japanese and Filipino identity.

Within a couple of hours of posting some of her creations on Instagram, a “complete stranger” reached out and asked if they were for sale, she says.

“I just got excited and I was like, yeah, sure, I’ll deliver them to you too,” Bayawa recalled, dating that first delivery to January 2021.

From there, the operation grew quickly. After five days, Bayawa and Tsai had to cut off orders, and within a week, baking and delivering the treats became an all-day affair, prompting a search for a professional kitchen and additional staff.

In March 2021, Rice Culture moved into Chantilly’s Frontier Kitchen, and since then, it has regularly appeared at farmers markets, festivals and shopping centers throughout the D.C. region, including the FreshFarm market at Merrifield’s Mosaic District and The Block food hall in Annandale.

Rice Culture can’t claim to have introduced taiyakis to the D.C. area. That honor appears to belong to the Lai family behind the now-shuttered Vietnamese restaurant Four Sisters, who offered taiyaki ice cream at their Boba & Bites shop that opened at the Mosaic District in 2018.

However, Rice Culture remains rare in the region for specializing in the desserts and serving a wide variety of flavors, with 10 or more on rotation every month.

“I think that’s really appealing to customers in this market who want to try something new,” Bayawa said. “They want to try something different, and they want to try also something that is Instagrammable, something they can share with their friends, and our product definitely meets that market need.”

With Rice Culture now successful enough that she could leave her Amazon job, Bayawa has big ambitions for where the business could go, looking at Loudoun County, Maryland, D.C. and even the New Jersey and New York area as potential areas for expansion.

But the temporary pop-ups will be paused once the Dunn Loring store opens, possibly returning in the winter or spring depending on how long it takes to “work out the kinks.”

“We’re trying to create a recipe and a process where anyone that we hire can make the taiyakis just as delicious as me and Kevin, so that me and him can look at growing and opening multiple Rice Culture stores,” Bayawa said. “So, if that means taking a step back from the farmers market, that’s something that we might have to do.”

Free shuttles are available from the Vienna Metro station until it reopens on July 17 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Train service will be back at the Vienna and Dunn Loring Metro stations, starting Monday (July 17).

The two stations at the western end of the Orange Line have out of commission since June 3 so Metro crews could replace a 40-year-old rail and install fiber-optics cables. The project also affected the West and East Falls Church stations, which reopened on June 26.

“Replacing this section of rail was critical to ensuring the Orange Line is safe and reliable for years to come,” Metro Chief of Infrastructure Andy Off said, announcing the project’s completion. “We appreciate our customers’ patience while we completed this important work to improve our system.”

The rail between the Vienna and Ballston stations was some of the oldest in the Metro system and needed to be replaced “to improve safety and reliability,” according to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

During the second phase of the project, workers replaced nearly 25 miles of rail and removed over 97,000 linear feet of vegetation around the Vienna and Dunn Loring stations. Another 15.5 miles of rail and 42,000 linear feet of vegetation was addressed during the first phase focused on the Falls Church stations.

“Overgrown plants and brush…could cause an obstruction during a storm,” Metro said in its press release.

After the Orange Line stations reopen, the transit agency will shift its construction efforts east to the Green Line between Fort Totten in D.C. and Greenbelt, Maryland:

Summer construction will now move to the Green Line beginning July 22, when Metro will install fiber-optic cable, replace platform edge lighting, and replace power cables and switch machines. Upgrading the switch machines and installation of the new cables will ensure reliable service for years to come.

Green Line stations between Fort Totten and Greenbelt will be closed from Saturday, July 22, to Monday, September 4. Green Line service at Fort Totten will be unavailable July 22 and July 23. Red Line service will remain available at Ft. Totten. Frequent free shuttle buses will replace trains between the affected stations. Customers are advised to allow extra time for their travel. In addition to prominent signage and announcements in the stations and on trains, additional Metro staff will be available to assist customers at the affected stations.

Metro’s train service runs from 5 a.m. to midnight on Monday through Thursday, 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Friday, 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday, and 7 a.m. to midnight on Sunday.

This weekend, free local shuttles between the Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church stations will continue to be available during those hours, along with express service between Vienna and West Falls Church.

Dunn Loring riders won’t be entirely free of construction next week. Work to replace two escalators at the station has been underway since mid-March and is expected to continue until the end of October.

Commuters wait at the closed Vienna Metro station for an express shuttle to Ballston (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Some good news is on the horizon for local Metrorail riders: the West and East Falls Church stations are set to reopen on Monday (June 26) after a 23-day closure.

The bad news? The Vienna and Dunn Loring stations will remain closed through July 16.

Orange and Silver line service at the four stations ceased on June 3 so Metro crews could replace a 40-year-old steel rail. The transit agency is also using the closures to install fiber optic cables and clear vegetation along or near the train tracks.

After laying down nearly 1,800 tons of rail and removing “more than 42,000 linear feet of trees, bushes, grasses, and invasive vines,” the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority says it will advance to the project’s second phase next week.

“Our team has made great progress on this work so far. As of last week, our team has replaced 15.5 miles of track, installed nearly 36 miles of fiber-optic cable, replaced two diamond interlockings, and installed 13 new switch machines,” Metro Chief of Infrastructure Andy Off said. “They are working to keep the system safe and reliable, and we thank our customers and visitors to the area for their understanding and patience.”

The extended shutdown has been a source of frustration for many commuters in Northern Virginia, despite Metro’s efforts to minimize disruptions by providing free shuttles.

After getting reports of long lines and wait times for the shuttles, particularly at the Vienna and Ballston stations, WMATA said on June 7 that it would add more buses, coordinate with police to ensure free movement through traffic and reevaluate routes through the more congested areas of Rosslyn.

However, the transit agency noted that wait times could still reach 20 minutes during peak rush hours “based on the volume of customers at these stations.”

Some waiting should still be expected at the Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church stations going forward, Metro says, advising riders “to allow extra time for their travel,” especially during rush hour.

From June 26 through July 16, free shuttles will be provided with stops at those three stations, arriving every 10 to 20 minutes. There will also be an Orange Line Express with service between Vienna and West Falls Church every eight to 15 minutes on weekdays.

Standard buses from Metro and other transit services, including Fairfax Connector, will be available as well: Read More

Vienna Metro station bus shelter (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Metro will assemble an armada of shuttles this summer to support travelers during its multi-week shutdowns of several stations on the Orange, Silver and Green lines.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced yesterday that free shuttle buses will be available throughout the closures, which will begin on May 12 and roll out to Fairfax County’s Orange Line stations starting June 3.

During the closures, the agency will conduct maintenance work at each of the stations and modernize their facilities.

“Continued maintenance work is essential to safe and reliable rail service,” WMATA Chief of Infrastructure Andy Off said in the press release. “We are working strategically to target maintenance locations and minimize the impacts on customers as we conduct this critical work to upgrade systems, improve reliability, and modernize station facilities.”

In Fairfax County, the closures will take place in two phases.

First, the Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church stations will close from June 3 to 25 so that Metro can replace the 40-year-old train rails and add fiber-optic cables.

“Replacing the track in this section is a top priority to ensure safety and increase reliability,” WMATA said.

A combination of local, express and limited-stop shuttle service will be offered:

Orange Line Shuttle: Local service between Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church, East Falls Church, and Ballston-MU stations.

  • Local service between McLean, East Falls Church, and Ballston-MU stations.
  • Every 5 minutes during rush hours. (6- 9 a.m., 3-7 p.m.)

Orange Line Express: Express service between Vienna and Rosslyn stations.

  • Service every 5 minutes during rush hours. (6-9 a.m., 3-7 p.m.)
  • Service every 10 minutes during non-rush hours. (9 a.m.-3 p.m., 7-9 p.m.)

Silver Line Limited: Limited-stop service between Washington Dulles International Airport, McLean, and Rosslyn.

  • Service every 5 minutes during rush hours. (6-9 a.m., 3-7 p.m.)
  • Service every 10 minutes during non-rush hours. (9 a.m.-3 p.m., 7-9 p.m.)

Silver Line riders will need to take a shuttle to bypass the East Falls Church transfer station. Trains between Ashburn and McLean will run every eight minutes, except after 9:30 p.m., when they will operate every 10 minutes.

Both of the Falls Church stations will reopen on June 26, but the Vienna and Dunn Loring stations will stay closed through July 16 to finish the rail replacement and cable installation.

Free local shuttle service will be provided betwen the Vienna, Dunn Loring and West Falls Church stations, operating every 5 to 10 minutes on weekdays and every 10 minutes on weekends while Metrorail is open.


As Wicked Goddess readied for its March 1 opening in the Shops at Avenir Place, founder Rachel Mantha admits she was nervous about how the community would react.

To her relief, residents and other businesses have been fully supportive of the tattoo and body piercing shop since it opened at 2672 Avenir Place, where it sits between a Tropical Smoothie Cafe and MyEyeDr just steps from the Dunn Loring Metro station.

“The local neighborhoods have been super welcoming of us, actually,” Mantha told FFXnow last week. “I was a little concerned whether or not we’d be accepted. You know, tattoo shops…kind of get a bit of a bad rap, but the locals have like been super, super great [about] our presence and stuff there.”

An 11-year veteran of the body art industry who specializes in piercings, Mantha hopes to foster a similarly accepting environment at Wicked Goddess for customers and her all-female team of artists.

As an independent contractor, she was already working under the company name while employed by a different tattoo shop in Fairfax County, but about four years ago, she started contemplating launching her own brick-and-mortar location.

At the time, the body art world was grappling with allegations of abuse, racism and sexual misconduct, as the #MeToo movement spurred customers and artists to share their experiences in an industry that prides itself on being self-regulating and “edgy.”

While she didn’t detail specific experiences, Mantha says many of the artists now at Wicked Goddess came from shops “where not-so-great practices have been established.”

“There’s been a lot of unfortunate events, I guess, is the best way to put it,” she said. “…Unfortunately, a lot of our clients have kind of been in that same boat too, where they came out of a tattoo or a body modification situation feeling like they weren’t heard or like they weren’t actually represented appropriately in their service.”

Wicked Goddess aspires to provide an alternative, inclusive space for female and LGBTQ individuals, as well as people from different cultures. Many of Mantha’s Muslim clients, for instance, will only work with female artists, she says.

Mantha started planning the shop and researching potential locations in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when businesses were required to close. The lack of existing tattoo or piercing shops in the Dunn Loring area and its proximity to Metro made Avenir Place a good fit.

“We wanted to be in a place that was underserved more or less,” Mantha said, noting that many clients and even some staff members “don’t necessarily drive…So, we do get a lot of clients that just having Metro access is super important to them.”

Open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, Wicked Goddess has six service bays and currently employs three tattoo artists, along with Mantha as the piercing specialist and a shop manager who’s also Mantha’s apprentice.

The shop is open to walk-in customers, but Mantha recommends that anyone interested in a specific artist make an appointment, since they can get booked up quickly.

While there are no plans at the moment for additional locations, the shop could expand as it adds more artists and potentially outgrows the approximately 1,500-square-foot space.

“Our base has grown in the last few weeks, it seems, and our presence is much better known, which is just really exciting,” Mantha said. “I think everybody is just excited to kind of take on this new project and be a part of something that’s not common in the industry.”

A sedan crashed into a jersey wall and caught fire in the northbound I-495 Express Lanes at the I-66 exit (courtesy Virginia State Police)

The Virginia State Police is seeking the public’s help to identify a driver who died after crashing an allegedly stolen car into a cement wall on the I-495 Express Lanes near I-66 this morning (Friday).

The black 2018 Maserati Quattroporte sedan was headed “the wrong way at an excessive rate of speed” when it hit the cement jersey wall in the northbound express lanes at Exit 49 at 4:30 a.m., police said.

“The impact of the crash caused the vehicle to immediately catch fire,” VSP said. “The driver did not survive the crash and the body is being transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas for autopsy, examination and positive identification.”

The driver was the only occupant of the sedan, which had been reported stolen in Prince George’s County, according to police.

The state police asks anyone who might’ve seen the Maserati driving south in the northbound toll lanes before the crash or who has information on the driver’s potential identity to call 703-803-0026 or email

Dunn Loring Metro station entrance (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) The family of the man who died after being dragged by a Metro train at the Dunn Loring station yesterday (Wednesday) has launched a Gofundme to cover their memorial service expenses.

The man has been identified as 50-year-old Harold Riley by one of his daughters, according to reports by FOX5 and NBC4, which say that he had two daughters and four grandchildren.

The daughter, who organized the fundraiser, told FOX5 that her dad’s dog, Daisy, is a service animal and was wearing a service animal vest when her leash got caught in the doors of the train — contradicting the Metro Transit Police Department’s initial statement that the dog “does not appear to be a service animal.”

“We tragically lost my father today in a train accident. As he was exiting the train the doors closed while his service dog was still inside. The train took off and my father was taken with it,” the Gofundme page says. “We want to raise money to be able to have a nice service and have him cremated. My father loved his grand children and his dog more than anything and he was such an amazing ‘PanPaw.'”

The fundraiser has a set goal of $3,000.

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority confirmed this afternoon that Daisy is indeed a service dog in a statement first reported by NBC4’s Adam Tuss.

“The dog found by MTPD officers, now identified as Daisy, had a sweater vest on when she was initially found, covering a harness that read service dog,” a spokesperson said. “Again, we send our condolences and sympathies to the family of Mr. Riley.”

Just this morning, WMATA told FFXnow that its police department “found the dog without ID and did not find any vest or markers to indicate the dog was a service animal.”

In a statement yesterday, Metro Police said they received a report shortly before 1:30 p.m. that a person had been hit by a train at the Dunn Loring station.

Based on the preliminary investigation, Riley had exited the train, but the doors closed on his dog’s leash before the animal was able to deboard. When the train started moving, Riley got pulled along the platform and onto the tracks.

Riley was transported to a hospital, where he died. Daisy was found unharmed on the train at the West Falls Church Metro station.

The police department said the train operator had conducted two “safe door checks” before moving the vehicle.


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