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The cafe opened its Fairfax location on Jan. 18 (courtesy Milk & Honey Cafe)

A regional restaurant brand is opening another location in Virginia.

Milk & Honey Cafe, a Maryland-based company that was founded in 2016, opened on Jan. 18 at 9518 Main Street in Fairfax City.

The brunch-style restaurant has a total of 38 seats, a spokesperson for the company told FFXnow in a statement.

The cafe describes itself as a “New Orleans themed” Southern brunch restaurant. It’s part of Thompson Hospitality, a restaurant group whose other brands include Big Buns Damn Good Burgers, Matchbox Pizza and Makers Union in Reston.

Items on the menu include shrimp grits, deep-fried salmon hash, a crab cake sandwich, Belgian waffles, strawberry shortcake biscuits, and bread pudding.

The Fairfax location is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The business has other locations in Ashburn, Belle Haven, Maryland and D.C.

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The 137-unit Flats condominium building has been completed (courtesy Christopher Spillman)

The construction of a 137-unit condominium in the City of Fairfax — The Flats at Boulevard VI — is officially complete.

The condominium building is part of Boulevard VI, a mixed-use community by developer IDI on the former site of Paul VI High School in Fairfax.

Residents have started moving into the building, the developer announced on Friday (Jan. 20).

“We’re excited to see the plans come to life and to see the response to this new community,” IDI Managing Director Enrico Cecchi said. “The fact that The Flats outsold every other new home community in the region in 2021 and that there are only a few homes left as we open is a much appreciated testament to the vision we had for what this important site could be.”

The Boulevard VI development was approved in 2018 for 115 townhouses, seven single-family homes, the condominium building, 20,000 square feet of retail and commercial space, and 24,000 square feet of office and community space.

Work is still underway. IDI is selling two retail pads to two separate buyers. The first pad will feature a 20,000-square-foot Learning Experience, an early childhood learning and daycare center. The second pad will likely include a mix of retail operations, according to the company.

IDI says the condominium community is intended to “ground the community in both the history and the present of its surroundings.” The 18.5-acre parcel of land owned by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington was previously occupied Paul VI and Fairfax High Schools, along with George Mason University.

The building includes a fitness center, a party room, club room, work station, a fire pit, and an outdoor pool.

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DonorSee founder and CEO Gret Glyer (via DonorSee/YouTube)

An Arlington man was indicted by a Fairfax County grand jury yesterday for allegedly shooting and killing Gret Glyer, founder and CEO of the nonprofit crowdfunding platform DonorSee.

Joshua Danehower, 33, faces felony charges for murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, the Office of the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney announced today.

Fairfax City police found Glyer shot to death in his Bolton Village Court home on June 24, 2022. They were called to the house by Glyer’s wife, who was home at the time with their two children, according to NBC4.

Glyer was 32 when he was killed. It was the city’s first homicide since 2008, police said at the time.

Danehower was arrested at Dulles International Airport five days later. Police identified him as an acquaintance of the family — possibly through their church — though court documents indicated that he was an ex-boyfriend of Glyer’s wife and had been seeking to “reconnect” with her, FOX5 reported.

According to the commonwealth’s attorney’s office, detectives said at a preliminary hearing that they identified Danehower as the suspect “through analysis of the bullet casings found on the scene.”

“My office takes violent crimes like these very seriously, and we are grateful to Dets. Trey Lightly and Matthew Greene for their excellent work on this case in pursuit of justice for the victim’s family and the community,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said in a statement.

Glyer founded DonorSee in 2016, inspired by his time living in Malawi, where he helped start the Girls Shine Christian Academy, according to the nonprofit’s website. The platform supports donations to charity projects and nonprofits, raising $6 million for nearly 14,000 different projects.

The trial date for the case will be determined tomorrow (Thursday), according to Descano’s office.

Danehower is being represented by the Fairfax County Office of the Public Defender, which told FFXnow that it has no comment.

Photo via DonorSee/YouTube

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Heart-shaped platter of chocolates (courtesy City of Fairfax)

A local festival celebrating all things chocolatey is making a comeback in the City of Fairfax.

The Chocolate Lovers Festival is scheduled to launch the weekend before Valentine’s Day, running from Friday, Feb. 3, through Sunday, Feb. 4. This is the first time the festival has been held since the start of the pandemic.

The all-ages event — hosted by the Fairfax City Parks and Recreation Department and local chocolate confectioners — includes goodies to sample like cakes, candies, brownies fudge, ice cream and more.

Admission to the event is free, but tasting requires the purchase of $1 “pogs” to be exchanged with vendors.

“We are extremely excited for the return of this flagship city event,” Parks and Recreation director Stacey Sommerfield said in an email. “We’ve had an outpouring of vendors both old and new who are excited to return. The event will feature new exciting events while once again gathering chocolate lovers from across the region.”

Events include a liquid chocolate demonstration in Old Town Square (10415 North Street), a mock trial at the Historic Fairfax Courthouse (4000 Chain Bridge Road), and a look at the history of chocolate at the Legato School Museum (4117 Chain Bridge Road).

According to organizers, the event will feature the same number of vendors as previous years, with growth limited by the size of Old Town Hall. A shuttle bus, the Chocolate Express, will be available on Saturday from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and on Sunday from noon to 3 p.m.

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Canines at Dogtopia (courtesy image)

Dog daycare, boarding and spa chain Dogtopia announced yesterday that it plans to open a new location at 11039 Lee Highway in Fairfax early next month.

Dogtopia offers areas for playtime and exercise with live camera feeds so pet parents can watch their pets while they’re away. The daycare will also have contact-free curbside drop-off and pick-up service.

Dogtopia’s Fairfax location is scheduled to open in early February. The location will be open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

According to the release:

Dogtopia’s environment allows dogs to feel comfortable, enjoy plenty of playtime and exercise, and the playrooms offer fun for dogs of similar size and temperament. Each playroom has compressed rubber flooring to ease joints, prevent slipping and promote safer play while trained Canine Coaches promot physical and mental activities throughout the day. Dogtopia maintains live camera feeds from inside their award-winning app allowing pet parents to watch and enjoy their dog’s playday at any time. The app is also how pet parents may reserve their play dates, overnight boarding visits, manage their account, and communicate with the daycare.

The company also has Fairfax County franchises in Falls Church, Tysons, Herndon, and Springfield.

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FCPD Lt. Dan Spital addresses a crash on Braddock Road in Fairfax that seriously injured a motorcycle officer (via FCPD/Facebook)

The Fairfax County Police Department’s motor squad encountered an emergency of its own while responding to an incident early this afternoon.

A motorcycle officer was seriously injured in a collision with a Jeep on Braddock Road that police believe was attempting to get out of the squad’s way, FCPD Public Affairs Bureau Commander Lt. Dan Spital said at a media briefing.

“Our officer had serious injuries,” Spital said. “At this point, he’s conscious and alert. We’re praying first for recovery for him, but we’re lucky it wasn’t more serious than it could’ve been.”

According to Spital, the motor officers were traveling west on Braddock near George Mason University’s Fairfax campus in response to an emergency situation elsewhere in Fairfax County.

When they passed through the Roanoke River Road intersection shortly after 12:30 p.m., a silver Jeep in the middle lane noticed the police lights and sirens and started to merge into the right lane, where two officers were riding.

“One of the officers was able to avoid the vehicle that cut in front of them. Unfortunately, one of our motor officers was unable to avoid a collision,” Spital said. “A motor officer did strike the back of a Jeep and was thrown from his motorcycle, and he hit the pavement.”

The injured officer was transported to a hospital, where police say his condition has stabilized. He is a veteran of the FCPD motor squad with at least 16 to 17 years of experience in the department, according to Spital.

Spital said the Jeep driver remained at the scene and is cooperating with the investigation. Police are also interviewing other witnesses to the crash to determine the circumstances that led up to it, though the FCPD seems to preliminarily believe that the driver wasn’t intentionally cutting off its officers.

Police haven’t determined yet whether the driver is a GMU student or why they were traveling in the area.

“Before we can make any determination on fault at this point, we do have to make sure that everybody is interviewed and we come up with a larger picture of exactly what took place,” Spital said.

Spital said he’s “not aware” of the Braddock/Roanoke River intersection being considered dangerous. Virginia data shows one other crash there this year in January and multiple crashes with injuries in previous years, but no fatalities have been reported since the interactive data report began in 2010.

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Rendering of the new South County Police Station and Animal Shelter in Lorton (via Fairfax County)

When Fairfax County’s new animal shelter opens next year, some of its first residents will likely come from across jurisdictional lines.

Last week, the Board of Supervisors approved an agreement with the City of Fairfax to provide services and housing to animals under their care. The city cares for fewer than 100 animals a year. In 2021, it cared for 31 dogs, 20 cats, and 11 other small animals.

On track to open in the spring, the new South County Animal Shelter in Lorton is expected to provide plenty of space for these furry friends.

“[The Department of Animal Services] already has a long history of supporting the City with meeting their animal welfare needs,” a county staff report said. “With the opening of the second facility in Lorton in Spring 2023, DAS will have ample space and appropriate staffing to accommodate additional animals from the City.”

The 23,000-square-foot facility on Lorton Road will be the second county-operated shelter, joining the existing Michael R. Frey Animal Shelter on West Ox Road in Fairfax.

The South County Animal Shelter will likely begin operations in late spring when construction is completed, DAS Director Reasa Currier confirmed to FFXnow.

The board is expected to approve about $2 million to help provide services, staff and maintain the shelter as part of a fiscal year 2022 carryover package.

“This facility will allow us to substantially grow the geographic reach and impact of our work for the residents of Fairfax County,” Currier said by email. “Not only will we be able to create even more families through adoption, but the second shelter will provide a hub for essential services from behavior and training support, veterinary medical care, pet supplies, and other critical services that help keep pets together with their families.”

Currier says the Lorton shelter will be “similar in size and footprint” to the Fairfax one, with 88 dog kennels, 42 cat condos, 2 catios, and a “state-of-the-art” veterinary clinic. There will also be an 20,000-square-foot outdoor space for the animals.

Like other shelters nationwide, the county’s lone animal shelter has faced its share of capacity challenges. Even before recent influxes of rescued beagles as well as cats and rabbits, there was a clear need for more shelter space in the southern part of Fairfax County.

“For too long, the many services and resources provided by [DAS] have been inaccessible for the residents in South County,” Currier said. “We are very excited about the location and are looking forward to serving South County residents and their pets. We are already hearing from residents who live nearby the new shelter who are eager to begin volunteering and participating in our programs.”

The shelter will share a new $30 million building with the South County Police Station, which will be about 31,000 square feet and is expected to open at the same time.

The building will have a number of sustainability features, including electric vehicle charging stations and space for solar panels, and energy-efficient systems. Landscaping will be made up of native plants and be bird-friendly.

The facility is on Lorton Road between the intersections of Workhouse and Hooes roads. Called the “Triangle” by the county, the parcel was specifically acquired in 2001 for public safety use.

In 2015, voters approved a $151 million bond referendum that included money to fund the Lorton project, which broke ground last May.

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A popular Peruvian chicken spot — one of many in the area — is expanding with a fourth location in DMV region.

El Pollo Rico, an eatery that serves up pollo a la brasa or traditional Peruvian chicken, is celebrating its soft opening through Sept. 4. It’s located at 10801 Fairfax Blvd.

“We chose this location because of the format of the space was ideal and we felt there was a great opportunity to serve people in the Fairfax City area — especially with delivery service to the main [George Mason University]  campus,” John Lillis, a representative for the company, said.

Lillis noted that the Fairfax location is larger than its Woodbridge location with a smaller-sized kitchen and two identical ovens. The dining room and parking lot are slightly bigger.

Regular hours will begin on Labor Day (Sept. 5), running from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. El Pollo Rico has other locations in Arlington, Wheaton and Woodbridge.

The restaurant traces its beginnings to a strip mall in the 1980s on Wilson Blvd in Arlington, where Victor and Nelida Solano hoped to open a Peruvian rotisserie chicken restaurant.

Opened in 1988, the chain’s standalone Arlington restaurant on N. Kenmore Street was featured on the late Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” travel show in 2009 and recently got a visit from tennis great Serena Williams, who’s currently competing in her final U.S. Open.

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Wawa’s new Fairfax City store will open on Sept. 1 (courtesy Wawa)

Wawa will do its best Oprah impression tomorrow (Thursday) — only instead of giving away cars, it will serve up free coffee to all customers in Virginia.

The occasion prompting this caffeine-fueled largesse is the grand opening of Wawa’s first store in the City of Fairfax, the company’s 100th in the state.

Replacing the old Rodeway Inn, the new convenience store and gas station at 9700 Fairfax Blvd. will welcome its initial customers at 8 a.m. by handing out commemorative T-shirts to the first 100 people to walk through the door.

To mark the milestone opening, Wawa says all 100 of its stores in Virginia will provide free coffee of any size that day. At the Fairfax store, the coffee giveaway will continue through Sept. 11.

Here is more on what to expect from the grand opening from a press release:

Friends and neighbors are invited to count down the exciting moment to when the doors open for the very first time at 8:00 a.m., followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 9:00 a.m., with Wawa mascot Wally Goose, oversized scissors, red ribbon, confetti and fanfare.

As part of the grand opening festivities, Wawa will present at $30,000 grant from The Wawa Foundation to Special Olympics Virginia to support the Law Enforcement Torch Run, which unites officers from law enforcement agencies and corrections departments across the state to raise more than $1 million annually for Special Olympics Virginia. Each summer, law enforcement officers carry the Flame of Hope across Virginia, culminating with the Torch Run Final Leg and the lighting of the Olympics cauldron to officially open the Summer Games.

The day will also bring a hoagie-building competition between the Fairfax City Police Department, City of Fairfax Fire Department, and George Mason University Police Department, with $1,000 checks going to charities chosen by each department.

In addition, Wawa says it will recognize a member of the local community who has had a positive impact with a ceremony and gift basket. The gesture is part of the company’s “2022 Day Brighteners” initiative, which celebrates standout employees and community members.

“At Wawa, our core purpose is fulfilling lives every day and since our first store opened, we’ve believed that we all have a role in making this world a better place,” Wawa President and CEO Chris Gheysens said in a statement. “Our store teams and Associates deliver experiences and emotional connections with customers that go beyond what traditionally happens in a retail environment. Simply put, they help make their communities happier and more connected.”

Joining locations in Vienna and Chantilly, the 6,049-square-foot Fairfax store has 12 gas pumps and will offer hot food from its kitchen, including the chain’s signature hoagies and customizable burgers. There are also drinks and ready-to-go items.

Services include mobile ordering, curbside pickup, delivery options and catering.

The store has about 50 full-time and part-time employees. All of the positions are newly created, per the press release.

Started as a dairy processing plant in Pennsylvania in 1902, Wawa evolved into a grocery business with the opening of its first market in 1964. In recent years, the chain has been rapidly expanding beyond its core Pennsylvania and New Jersey service area, with a total of 52 new stores expected to open in 2022.

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Another medical cannabis dispensary is opening this week in Fairfax.

Beyond/Hello will open its second local dispensary at 10521 Fairfax Blvd in the City of Fairfax. The new location will begin serving patients on Wednesday (Aug. 29) at 10 a.m.

Beyond/Hello, owned by Flordia-based Jushi, is one of the only four companies currently allowed to sell cannabis in Virginia. FFXnow first reported the news of the company’s plans in April.

Fairfax County got its first medical cannabis dispensary in late July, with Beyond/Hello opening a site just off of Richmond Highway in Huntington.

The new 10,500-square-foot Fairfax dispensary is located in a former RiteAid. It will feature a licensed pharmacist, 26 patient checkouts, and 45 parking spots with “easy in-and-out access.”

In July, Chief Commercial Director Trent Wolveck told FFXnow that the attraction of this particular spot was its parking and proximity to the highway. Jushi CEO and founder Jim Cacioppo noted in a press release that the closeness to George Mason University was a selling point as well:

Known for its hallmark landscaped and leafy street medians, Fairfax is recognized by Forbes as one of the top places to live in the nation. Beyond Hello™ Fairfax is in a prime location, located in close proximity to George Mason University, a host of shopping centers and independently owned retail shops in the heart of Northern Virginia, and nestled in the suburban expanse of the Washington, D.C. metro region. We are very excited to serve patients in this region and deliver a retail experience that exceeds expectations.

A new state law that took effect July 1 makes it easier for Virginia residents to purchase medical cannabis, removing a requirement that patients register with the state. Now, patients just need written certification from a licensed practitioner. The law passed this year with bipartisan support.

Passed earlier this year with bipartisan support, the law is expected to encourage more residents to obtain their medical cannabis certification and greatly expand the industry.

However, retail sales of cannabis remain illegal after another bill failed in the General Assembly. As of now, cannabis retail sales won’t be allowed in Virginia until Jan. 1, 2024.

Meanwhile, Beyond/Hello is continuing its expansion in Northern Virginia. A location in Clarendon is expected to open by the end of the year, with a Woodbridge dispensary starting to serve patients in early 2023.

The Fairfax location will be Beyond/Hello’s fourth dispensary in Northern Virginia, joining ones in Huntington, Manassas and Sterling. The company also has dispensaries in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Pennsylvania.

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