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Down the Line Sports Center’s Fairfax location has five indoor pickleball courts (courtesy Fairfax City Economic Development)

Professional pickleball players, local officials and community members are expected to turn out in abundance for the upcoming grand opening of Down the Line Sports Center in Fairfax City.

After a soft opening in early February, the indoor pickleball facility at Courthouse Plaza (10390 Willard Way) will officially introduce itself to the city tomorrow (Thursday). The event will kick off at 5 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting, followed by a meet-and-greet with six pro athletes visiting from around the country.

Those players — Rafa Hewett, Connor Garnett, Dylan Frazier, Pablo Tellez, Lea Jansen and Etta Wright — have also been enlisted for an evening of exhibition games that will start at 7 p.m. The $50 tickets for the exhibition include food and drinks at Chubby Squirrel Brewing Company, which is next door to Down the Line.

As of this morning (Wednesday), fewer than 20 tickets were left, according to Down the Line owner Jenni Bae.

“We’re really excited about our grand opening tomorrow,” Bae told FFXnow. “…Having six Major League Pickleball players here at one time to do an exhibition is a really big deal and something really special that we wanted to bring to the community, so we’re hoping that they enjoy it, and these are the kinds of things that…we want to bring to this area moving forward.”

Located in a former CVS, Down the Line Fairfax features three full-sized pickleball courts, one half-sized court and a short practice court, along with a players’ lounge and mini pro shop. Each of the full courts has a scoreboard that can be updated live, and courtside TVs will soon allow players to watch instant replays.

Bae says the soft opening has gone “really well,” describing the center’s members as already feeling like family.

Down the Line’s memberships cost $45 per month and come with discounts on private court and open play fees, a two-week window for booking private courts in advance and other perks.

“We’ve already built a community here. People have been really welcoming and excited to have this extra space as an option to play pickleball, so we felt very welcome,” Bae said.

Support for Down the Line has also come from local leaders. The facility won the Fairfax City Council’s approval in December, and construction costs were partially covered by a Façade and Interior Improvement Grant from Fairfax City Economic Development (FCED).

Being able to form those relationships, including the FCED, in advance resulted in a “very, very smooth” build-out, according to Bae, who’s excited that Mayor Catherine Read, FCED President and CEO Christopher Bruno and other city officials will participate in tomorrow’s ribbon-cutting.

“I am blown away by the unwavering commitment and dedication shown by Jenni Bae and her family to reach this milestone,” Bruno said. “Their vision and determination are commendable, and I am thrilled that Fairfax City will now reap the benefits with the unveiling of this newly activated destination for all of Northern Virginia.”

Down the Line’s arrival in Fairfax is a prelude to plans for a second, even larger facility in Annandale.

Replacing the vacant Kid’s Choice Sports Center at 4311 Ravensworth Road, the 50,000-square-foot center will feature 18 full-sized indoor courts, six golf simulators, a sports bar with food and drinks, and a pickleball and golf shop.

Bae’s team hopes to open the Annandale location around the end of 2024 or early 2025. Members of the Fairfax center will get priority access to a membership in Annandale, along with other benefits, though the details are still being worked out.

Bae says her goal is to ensure all members and customers have a “high-quality experience” at Down the Line, whether they visit the Fairfax center or the future one in Annandale.

“We’re excited to see more people come in, experience our center and the different things we have to offer,” she said. “…Everyone who comes in here, the first thing they notice is the atmosphere and the vibe here is very welcoming, makes you feel very at ease and at home, and that’s exactly what I wanted to provide for the people that come in here.”

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The Pakistani clothing store Khaadi will open at Tysons Corner Center on Feb. 24 (courtesy Khaadi)

(Updated at 2:30 a.m. on 2/22/2024) A Pakistani fashion company will soon leave its first footprint in the U.S. with the unveiling of a new Tysons store.

Khaadi is set to launch a 5,500-square-foot “Experience Store” at Tysons Corner Center this Saturday, Feb. 24, a company spokesperson confirmed to FFXnow. The retail outlet will be located on the mall’s second floor near Barnes & Noble.

This will be Khaadi’s first physical location in the U.S., but it has already expanded outside of its home in Pakistan to the United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates, totaling 50 stores worldwide.

“Khaadi sees the US market as the next crucial step in its global expansion journey,” Khaadi spokesperson Tinath Saeed Fahd said. “The United States, with its vast retail landscape, presents abundant opportunities for brands offering unique and diverse products and Khaadi is prepared to embrace these opportunities.”

Tysons Corner Center was chosen as the site for Khaadi’s U.S. introduction because of its status as “Virginia’s premier shopping destination,” Saeed Fahd added.

“[It] highlights Khaadi’s ambition to expand its international presence and build connections with a wider audience that extend beyond shopping,” she said.

Here’s more from the company on its background:

Founded in 1998 by Shamoon Sultan, Khaadi is a leading retail brand which has experienced unprecedented growth from a single store selling hand-woven fabric to 50 stores spanning the globe from Pakistan to UAE, UK and now US.

Khaadi’s commitment to innovation and pushing the boundaries of fashion, means it’s always looking for ways to evolve designs. The brand’s designs are known for their vibrant colors, intricate craftsmanship and connection to Pakistani and Eastern culture and heritage. Khaadi’s aesthetic is a mix of traditional and modern elements, which help create a unique and contemporary feel, catering to a wider audience globally.

With the Muslim community as a primary audience, Khaadi sells both fabrics and ready-to-wear clothes, including kurtas, shawls, pants, shirts, skirts, jumpsuits, and other formal and casual items.

The Tysons store was “carefully” designed to celebrate “creativity, style and individuality,” according to Saeed Fahd.

“The modern, minimal space hosts a curated collection of everyday versatile ready-to-wear assortments along with accessories for an effortless style solution,” she said.

(Correction: This story previously said Khaadi will offer gift-wrapping options. A spokesperson says that won’t be available at the Tysons store.)

After making its introduction in Tysons, Khaadi plans to continue expanding in the U.S. with stores anticipated in Texas and New Jersey in the next two years.

Khaadi will continue a fashion-focused year for Tysons Corner Center, which welcomed Rothy’s last month and is set to add Primark and Mango.

The mall has also lured the restaurants Maggiano’s Little Italy and the Cheesecake Factory away from their longtime homes in Tysons Galleria. The chains are expected to move this summer and in the fourth quarter of 2024, respectively.

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The Beaufort Bonnet Company sells children’s clothes and accessories like baby swaddles (courtesy The Beaufort Bonnet Company)

Merrifield will welcome a new kids’ clothing store next month, just in time for parents to update their little ones’ wardrobes for the spring.

The Beaufort Bonnet Company will open its first retail store in the D.C. area on March 2 at 2920 District Avenue, Suite 143, in the Mosaic District.

Headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky, the business focuses on clothes and accessories for babies and young children, but it also stocks some shirts, swimwear and lounge wear for adults.

“The Beaufort Bonnet Company is a children’s lifestyle brand,” a company spokesperson said. “Our mission is to make babyhood and childhood special. We encourage parents to dress their little ones up and take lots of pictures. They are only little for a little while — we believe it’s important to embrace this sweet yet fleeting stage in life.”

Beaufort Bonnet originated as a small operation in Beaufort, South Carolina, that made baby bonnets. After getting a bonnet as a gift for her baby daughter, CEO Markey Hutchinson bought the business from the original owners in 2012 and renamed it in honor of its original product.

A stay-at-home mom in Lexington, Hutchinson initially worked out of her basement, but she soon struggled to keep up with demand, according to a profile by Smiley Pete Publishing. She found the support she needed in a partnership with Oxford Industries, a clothing company whose labels include Tommy Bahama and Lilly Pulitzer.

With the addition of the Mosaic District, Beaufort Bonnet will have just four corporate stores, including two in Florida and one in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. However, its products are sold by hundreds of boutiques nationwide, including Lemoncello in Arlington and The Purple Goose and Monday’s Child in Alexandria.

Designed with an Americana theme in a nod to its proximity to D.C., the 1,344-square-foot store at the Mosaic District will feature a miniature colonial house with a playhouse, kitchen and Lego wall.

“The beautiful seating area was designed in collaboration with Lauren Deloach, an Atlanta-based interior designer using a variety of patterns and textures that lend to the timeless but fresh style that is synonymous with T.B.B.C.,” the spokesperson said.

Other relatively recent openings at the Mosaic District include Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream, which had a soft opening last November. The Asian street food restaurant Hawkers is also expected to open in the former Four Sisters space later this year.

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Monte Nido, an eating disorder treatment provider, is now open in Tysons (courtesy Monte Nido & Affiliates)

A health provider that specializes in treating eating disorders has expanded into Tysons.

Monte Nido announced yesterday that it has launched a day treatment program for adolescents in Tysons. Located near The Boro at 8180 Greensboro Drive, the center is initially serving youth aged 11 to 17, but it plans to add services for adults “soon,” according to a press release.

“With eating disorders on the rise for both adults and adolescents, expanding access to care has never been more important,” Monte Nido & Affiliates CEO Cassie McLean said. “We’re striving to make treatment more accessible to everyone who needs it, and this new program will connect more individuals in the D.C. area to life-saving care and increase their opportunity to attain full recovery.”

Founded in 1996, Monte Nido & Affiliates now operates over 50 programs that provide treatment for people experiencing eating disorders. In addition to the new Tysons program, the company’s local centers include Clementine Fairfax in Fairfax Station and Clementine Twin Lakes in Clifton, which both offer residential services.

Monte Nido’s day program in Tysons is designed to help clients transition from more intensive, 24/7 care to outpatient therapy, according to the press release. Its approach to treatment for eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa and binge eating disorder, includes individual and group therapy, nutritional education and cognitive processing therapy to address trauma.

“Our program offers personalized treatment approaches tailored to meet the distinct needs of each individual,” Monte Nido & Affiliates Chief Clinical Officer Melissa Spann said. “We believe that equipped with the appropriate tools and support, recovery is achievable at any stage of an individual’s journey with their eating disorder.”

An estimated 28.8 million Americans, or 9% of the population, develop an eating disorder at some point in their lives, according to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), a nonprofit that operates free peer support services and a helpline at 888-375-7767.

Calls to national hotlines and hospitalizations related to eating disorders reportedly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, fueled by the additional stress and uncertainty. According to ANAD, over 70% of people with eating disorders have other conditions, particularly anxiety and mood disorders.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Week will be recognized this year from Feb. 26 to March 3. The annual campaign aims to educate the community about eating disorders and encourage those affected to seek help.

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The postpartum retreat Sanu operates in The Watermark Hotel in Tysons (courtesy Sanu)

(Updated at 6 p.m. on 2/9/2024) A former staffer for state Sen. Barbara Favola has ushered a new postpartum care center into the world.

Sanu Postnatal Retreat launched on Jan. 31 at The Watermark Hotel (1825 Capital One Drive South) in Tysons, offering stays ranging from three to seven or more nights to new parents in the post-hospital period of recovery from a pregnancy.

Founder and CEO Julia Kim, who previously worked as a chief of staff for Favola and former delegate Mark Keam, spent two years working with medical advisors to develop Sanu, which was inspired by Korean sanhujoriwon centers that provide postpartum care to mothers and infants.

“Sanu is driven by a mission to normalize a culture of postpartum care by providing foundational, focused support so families can thrive during this critical period and beyond,” Kim said. “Our signature postnatal retreat is anchored by the belief that a strong foundation for parenthood begins with judgment-free, mother-centered care, because a supported mother has whole-family benefits.”

A mother of two, Kim pivoted from a 15-plus-year career in politics and policymaking after experiencing a “difficult postpartum journey,” according to a press release.

To develop Sanu, she worked with physician and postpartum wellness consultant Dr. Kristal Lau, mindfulness expert Lisa Abramson and nursing educator Dr. Esther Park.

Modeled after the traditional Korean concept of “sam-chil-il,” a 21-day resting period following a pregnancy, the retreat’s 24-hour, customized services include a nursery, feeding assistance, mental health services, parenting classes, IV therapy and postnatal massages.

According to the press release, The Watermark Hotel was chosen as Sanu’s first location for “its elevated residential-style suites” that, in some cases, have kitchenettes.

All suites feature extraordinary beds dressed in luxury linens for a well-deserved rest experience, fine bassinet linens, and luxury personal care, as well as high-tech nightlights and baby monitors. In addition, rooms are stocked with clean, high-performance diapers and wipes from Coterie and other premium baby care products. The floor also houses a tranquil parents-only lounge and a separate 24-hour nursery staffed with medically accredited caregivers.

During their stay, guests can get chef-prepared breakfasts and dinners from Wren, the Japanese restaurant in the hotel lobby, and lunches from the meal delivery service MightyMeals.

Sanu is currently open for reservations, which can be booked through its website and start at $975.

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A “self-care” provider, newly identified as SkinSpirit, is coming to Chesterbrook Shopping Center in McLean (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

(Updated at 10:30 a.m. on 2/7/2024) Chesterbrook Shopping Center is bringing in a pair of beauty services retailers to complement its ongoing exterior makeover.

This summer, the McLean shopping center will welcome the first Virginia location of SkinSpirit, the nation’s “leading provider of Botox and filler,” property owner Federal Realty announced last week.

Also offering facials, body contouring and laser services, SkinSpirit launched in Silicon Valley in 2003 and now has 41 clinics across the U.S., including ones in Georgetown and Gaithersburg. Its McLean location will occupy 2,898 square feet at 6224 Old Dominion Drive.

SkinSpirit will be joined at Chesterbrook in early 2025 by Bluemercury, which sells makeup, skin care, cosmetics, perfume, hair, and bath and body products, Federal Realty says, confirming a merchandising plan that indicated a lease was in the works.

Founded in Georgetown in 1999, Bluemercury has about eight stores in the D.C. area, including ones at the Mosaic District in Merrifield and in Fairfax Corner. Its store at Chesterbrook will be 2,236 square feet in size.

“We are pleased to welcome SkinSpirit and Bluemercury to Chesterbrook Shopping Center,” Federal Senior Vice President of Asset Management Deirdre Johnson said. “These luxury self-care service providers will be outstanding neighborhood additions, further enhancing our patrons’ unique shopping experience.”

Previously confirmed tenants coming to Chesterbrook this year include Small Door Veterinary, which is on track to open this summer, and the restaurant Sorn Thai, which is still projected to launch in late 2024.

The bagel shop Call Your Mother is also expected to relocate soon from the “Lil Deli” truck that arrived last May to a 1,405-square-foot, permanent space next to Le Village Marché.

“The ‘Lil Deli’ will remain in operation until the new space is ready in the spring of 2024,” Federal Realty said.

This summer will also see the completion of Federal Realty’s multi-million-dollar renovation of the shopping center, which was originally built in 1967. Under construction since August 2022, the project is refreshing the storefronts and adding landscaping, decorative lighting, wider sidewalks and outdoor amenity spaces.

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Perspire Sauna Studio is expanding to Virginia with three franchises planned in Fairfax County (courtesy Perspire Sauna Studio)

An expanding chain of sauna studios is targeting West Falls Church for its introduction to Virginia.

Local entrepreneurs Michael Sobhi and Michael Baffa will open three Perspire Sauna Studio franchises in Fairfax County under a recently signed agreement with the California-based company, which offers infrared sauna and red-light therapy services.

The first location will be in West Falls Church, though a specific site is still being identified, according to a public relations representative for Perspire. The locations for the other two studios are also being determined.

Sobhi and Baffa, who have a combined 20 years of experience in the real estate and construction industries, hope to eventually expand the company’s presence in the area to 10 spas.

“We’ve always been health-conscious and familiar with the benefits of saunas, though our experiences have been limited to gyms and public facilities, where truly enjoying the experience can be challenging,” Sobhi said in a press release announcing the franchising deal. “The concept of Perspire, with its private and personalized approach to wellness, immediately resonated with us. We saw it as something we would personally use and benefit from if it were available in our area.”

Started by CEO Lee Braun in Costa Mesa, California, in 2010, Perspire Sauna Studio says it utilizes “age-old” sauna heat therapy practices that can help cleanse the body, ease joint and muscle pain, encourage relaxation and assist with weight loss.

The cedar-paneled saunas generate heat with colored lights that warm up the body, rather than the air, according to the company’s website. Available services include red light therapy, which is used in treatments for skin conditions, hair loss and other health needs, and chromotherapy, which can supposedly be used to treat diseases.

Perspire currently has 49 studios, with another 20 in development and 170 signed franchise agreements. Sobhi and Baffa’s franchises will be Perspire’s first locations in Virginia.

“At the crux of our brand is the intent to ignite a passion in our members and our communities for a more relaxing, health-conscious lifestyle,” Braun said in a statement. “That passion starts by introducing the science-backed approach of infrared and red light therapy to new people and new places; something both Michaels are now playing a pivotal role in seeing through.”

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Miyu Beauty and Wellbeing, a nail salon that also offers yoga and pilates classes, is opening at Idylwood Plaza (courtesy Federal Realty)

(Updated at 8:30 p.m. on 2/6/2024) Idylwood Plaza is shaking up its retail mix to start 2024.

The shopping center on Leesburg Pike in Idylwood will usher in its newest tenant, MIYU Beauty & Wellbeing, with a grand opening celebration at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow (Friday). Falls Church City Vice Mayor Letty Hardi and Councilmember Marybeth Connelly are expected to attend.

Miyu occupies a 2,545 square-foot space next to Whole Foods Market at 7505-P Leesburg Pike, where Honest Soul Yoga used to be. The salon offers non-toxic, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free manicures and pedicures, along with yoga and pilates classes.

The business comes from neighbors Zeina Chouman El Eid and Karen Abouzeid, who both have experience in the beauty industry and decided to combine their skills to “help individuals tap into their inner essence, promote well-being, and bring beauty into everyday chaos,” according to Miyu’s website.

“We offer a tranquil haven and safe space to empower everyone,” Abouzeid, now a managing partner at Miyu, said. “MIYU’s skilled and experienced staff will guide our clients towards self-realization and unmatched confidence, while connecting them with like-minded individuals who share a passion for holistic living.”

Later this year, Miyu will be joined at Idylwood Plaza by First Watch, the daytime cafe, and Fairfax County’s first Chicken Salad Chick.

First Watch aims for summer opening

First Watch confirmed to FFXnow in November that it was looking for a new site in the Falls Church area, but the lease hadn’t been finalized at that time. The 4,000-square-foot restaurant at 7501 Leesburg Pike was officially announced last week.

Known for its seasonally rotating breakfast, brunch and lunch menus, which include items like avocado toast and lemon ricotta pancakes, First Watch is expected to open its Idylwood location in late summer 2024, according to public relations manager Hunter Carpenter.

The cafe will be open seven days a week from 7 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. for pickup, delivery and dine-in service. It will employ approximately 30 people.

First Watch can currently be found in Fairfax City, Chantilly and Bailey’s Crossroads, where it opened in 2021. Additional locations are slated to open this spring in Franconia’s Festival at Manchester Lakes and this summer in the former TGI Friday’s in Fair Lakes.

After finding success in Bailey’s Crossroads (5880 Crossroads Center Way), First Watch decided “it was about time to bring our experience closer to home for our neighbors further north,” Carpenter said.

“Though we may be relative newcomers to Fall Church, that doesn’t mean we’re strangers to Fairfax County,” Carpenter told FFXnow by email. “As we quickly approach two decades in the region, we look forward to expanding our presence not only in Falls Church but also in Fair Lakes and Franconia and inspiring a new morning routine for our customers with each new opening.”

Chicken Salad Chick makes way to D.C. area

Started in 2008 by Stacy Brown, a stay-at-home mother in Auburn, Alabama, Chicken Salad Chick announced last May that it had signed a development agreement with Devon Chamberlin and her family, who will open eight franchises in Fairfax and Arlington counties over the next five years.

The first franchise is slated to open at Idylwood Plaza this spring, according to Chicken Salad Chick Chief Marketing Officer Tom Carr.

An Arlington location is also planned. FFXnow’s sister site ARLnow previously reported that that site would open this spring, but Chick Salad Chick now says the Idylwood Plaza restaurant will be the first to open.

The 2,717-square-foot restaurant will be located at 7505 Leesburg Pike, Suite 120A, replacing Loyal Companion after the pet wellness chain shuttered all of its local shops last year, according to Federal Realty, the property manager for Idylwood Plaza.

Chicken Salad Chick sells Southern-style chicken salads made from scratch, sandwiches and pimento cheese. The company has 258 locations right now, including six in central and southern Virginia, but it has wanted to expand into new regions of the U.S., according to Carr.

“The demographics of Northern Virginia, generally, and Falls Church and adjacent areas specifically, make it well-suited for Chicken Salad Chick and its healthy menu options,” Carr said.

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Dripbar officially opened its doors in Reston on Jan. 10 (courtesy The Dripbar)

Another intravenous hydration clinic has opened its doors in Reston.

The Dripbar opened earlier this month on Jan. 10 at 11790 Baron Cameron Ave in Unit D.

The business offers IV vitamin and hydration therapy. Another business with a similar concept is slated to open next month on Reston Station Blvd.

“Through our IV Hydration services, we aim to offer a convenient and effective way for community members to replenish essential nutrients, rehydrate, and revitalize their overall well-being,” Louise Smith, co-owner of the Reston location, said. “Whether it’s recovering from a strenuous workout, combating dehydration, or seeking a wellness boost, our IV’s are designed to cater to diverse needs.”

The Dripbar says its IV drip therapy services provide health benefits, from nutrient boosts to support during cancer treatments. It has 99 locations across the U.S., but the Reston franchise is its first one in Northern Virginia.

The business is closed on Mondays but operates from 10-7 p.m. on other weekdays. It’s also open on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 pm and on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

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Duck Donuts is wading into the Town of Vienna.

A spokesperson for the North Carolina-based donut chain confirmed it will open a new franchise at 256 Maple Avenue East, filling a space vacated by T-Mobile. The shop will join Smoothie King, MetroEyes and Sweet Leaf Cafe in the retail building.

“We are in the early stages of permitting to begin moving forward with construction, and unfortunately, at this time, do not have an expected opening timeframe to share,” the Duck Donuts spokesperson told FFXnow.

The company says it’s “excited to continue” expanding into Virginia with the Vienna location, which is owned by first-time franchisee Matthew Yiengst. This will be the first new Duck Donuts since a Springfield shop opened at Old Keene Mill Shopping Center in October 2022.

Shops can also be found in Herndon and Fairfax City.

Deriving its name from its original location of Duck, North Carolina, Duck Donuts was founded in 2007 by Russ DiGilio, who saw a lack of donut options in the Outer Banks while vacationing there with his family. Since then, the business has grown to more than 100 locations, including ones in Egypt, Qatar and Thailand.

The menu offers both prepared and made-to-order donuts that can be customized with various coatings and toppings. Shops also sell breakfast sandwiches, ice cream and coffee.

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