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Praline Bakery has closed in the Mosaic District (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Praline Bakery is no longer serving up cake, macarons and other pastries in the Mosaic District.

The bakery closed for good this fall after its lease ran out, according to a farewell message posted to the door at 2987 District Avenue, Suite 160.

“We have so appreciated your business these last five years,” the Praline Mosaic team wrote in the message. “Your support has meant the world to us. We have loved getting to know you, petting your pooches, and watching your kids grow up. We hope that we provided a little bit of sweetness to your lives.”

Specializing in French baked goods, Praline came to the Merrifield neighborhood in 2016 as the first expansion of Praline Bakery & Bistro, a Bethesda, Maryland-based business started in 2006 by former White House pastry chefs Susan Limb and Patrick Musel.

Praline’s original Bethesda store in The Shops at Sumner Place shopping center and a location at The Wharf in D.C. remain open.

While the Mosaic location is permanently closed, the closure letter suggested the team may have another venture in the works.

“While the shop won’t be open anymore, there are still cookies to be baked! If you would like to reach out and learn about what we are doing next, email info@bookgirlbakes.com or ally@bookgirlbakes.com,” the letter said.

FFXnow attempted to contact Praline by email and phone but hasn’t heard back, as of press time. However, a Shopify store called Book Girl Bakes appears to be coming soon.

In other Mosaic District developments, BASH Boxing is now open at 2905 District Ave, Suite 195. The Arlington-based company officially opened the doors of its newest gym on Sept. 23 and will have an opening party event on Oct. 27, according to its Instagram.

BASH didn’t return FFXnow’s requests for comment.

H/t to Adam Rubinstein

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PetMedic Urgent Care will open a clinic in Tysons in 2023 (via PetMedic)

Tysons’ gradually expanding network of health care services will soon include a new option for pets.

PetMedic Urgent Care, a small but growing franchise based in Massachusetts, will open its first location in the D.C. area at Tysons West (1495 Cornerside Blvd) next year, the company announced yesterday (Tuesday).

The clinic will operate similarly to human urgent care centers, providing medical services for non-life-threatening conditions after regular business hours and on the weekends, according to the press release, which was previously reported by the Washington Business Journal.

“We are thrilled to be offering veterinary urgent care in Virginia,” PetMedic founder and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Nir Ben-Ari said in a statement. “The need for urgent care in the veterinary space is high to alleviate burnout in our teams and to provide a stronger continuum of care.”

From the news release:

The clinic is staffed by an experienced emergency medicine team and is complete with a modern surgical suite, laboratory, digital X-ray, ultrasound, and cutting-edge software that allows for an efficient workflow for team members.

PetMedic won’t offer vaccinations, wellness visits and other “routine” services provided by veterinary practices. Patrons will be able to make same-day appointments online.

Founded in January 2020, PetMedic currently has three locations: two in Massachusetts and one in Portland, Maine. According to its website, the business has four new clinics in the works, but the Tysons one is the only expansion outside of those two states.

“Pet parents love the after-hours and weekend options, and our healthcare network appreciates the extra hands when they’re overloaded,” Ben-Ari said. “It’s a win-win for the community in every respect.”

To address humans’ medical needs, Tysons welcomed an emergency room from Reston Hospital Center this summer to support the area’s growing population. The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine also opened a primary care office in McLean in February.

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A new fitness center is coming soon to Great Falls’ Seneca Square.

Orangetheory Fitness, a national fitness boutique that focused on training endurance and strength building, has signed a lease for 4,726 square feet of space at 1025 Seneca Road in the commercial plaza.

According to the company’s website, the location is expected to open soon. A company representative did not immediately return a request for comment.

The company has locations throughout the country, including several in the area. Local locations include Ashburn, Reston and Potomac Falls.

Photo via Google Maps

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Like any cliff worth ascending, bringing the first indoor rock climbing gym to Tysons required perseverance, patience and a little faith in the process.

Once expected to launch in December, Vertical Rock Climbing and Fitness Center had a soft opening this weekend. After 10 months of supply chain and permitting delays, it welcomed founding members only on Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 8-9) before expanding to all patrons yesterday (Monday).

“It’s definitely exciting that we’ve been able to do this,” Ethan Ford, Vertical Rock’s operations director, told FFXnow. “It’s come a long way from the furniture store that used to be here, and we’re hoping it does bring something great to this area.”

A smaller, bouldering-focused expansion of the company’s flagship center in Manassas, Vertical Rock Tysons occupies two floors in the back of a shopping strip at 8461 Leesburg Pike anchored by Best Buy and The Container Store.

Consolidated on the top floor, the gym contains 9,000 square feet of bouldering walls with 14-inch-high safety padding on the floor as well as weights and exercise equipment. A Kilter Board with holds that light up based on a route that users can choose with an app is available for training.

The bottom floor is devoted to Basecamp Coffee Roasters, a 2,000-square-foot cafe open to both gym members and the general public. Unique to the Tysons location, the coffee shop reflects the area’s more urban environment and is intended to foster a sense of community, Vertical Rock co-owner and CEO Ian Colton previously told FFXnow’s sister site Tysons Reporter.

“Hopefully, we’ll be able to make one in Manassas,” Ford said. “Right now, this is the first one, so we are kind of hoping to bring that same community feeling we have at Manassas over here.”

After following truncated hours for its soft opening, Vertical Rock will operate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. A grand opening date will likely be set this week, Ford said.

The gym offers individual, family, student and military/police memberships, along with camps and youth teams.

Started in 2012, Vertical Rock is part of a wave of indoor rock climbing gyms that has already taken hold of nearby Arlington County and Alexandria City. However, this is first such facility in Fairfax County, which has been exploring ways to boost sports tourism in recent years.

“There’s gyms popping up everywhere, so being able to bring the first gym to this area is something really special,” Ford said. “I think that it’s going to make a great fit for this area.”

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Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust and others cut a ribbon to celebrate The Residence at Colvin Run’s opening (photo courtesy of The Residence at Colvin Run)

A much-discussed senior living community is now open in Great Falls.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held last month to open the Residence at Colvin Run at 1131 Walker Road. In attendance were a few local officials, including Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust.

The 53,000-square-foot facility is being run by IntegraCare, which also operates a senior living facility in Hunters Woods on Colt Neck Road.

The one on Walker Road is on nearly three acres of land near the Colvin Run Mill historic site. It has 62 units in a mix of assisted living apartments and memory care residents for adults 65 and older.

Amenities include a fitness center, an art studio, a theater with an audio system that pairs with hearing aids, an aviary with finches, a rustic-inspired pub, and a trail connecting to neighborhood businesses. It will also bring more than 50 jobs to the community.

The facility fills a need for senior housing in Great Falls, where more than a third of the population is over 55 years old. Residents 65 and older make up about 14% of Fairfax County’s total population.

“In our experiences, we’ve found that seniors want to continue to live in the communities that they raised their families in,” IntegraCare CEO Larry Rouvelas said at the groundbreaking in April 2021. “The need to build senior housing communities in the specific neighborhoods that people grew up in is an important part of their quality of life.”

The project was first proposed more than four years ago and got the county’s approval in early 2019.

Foust has been a supporter of the project since the beginning. He told Reston Now last year that the current demand for senior living communities “far exceeds any supply that we’ve been able to create.”

Having grown up in Great Falls, Rouvelas said in the press release that the Residence at Colvin Run is a community that “will make the parents of my friends proud.”

“The parents of my friends here carpooled me and fed me at their dinner tables,” he said. “Decades later, when the opportunity arose to run a senior housing community in Great Falls, I jumped at the chance. We will run a community that will make the parents of my friends proud.”

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Amir Mostafavi always knew he would eventually open a South Block juice bar in his home of McLean.

The McLean High School graduate worked at the now-defunct Box Office Video chain that was owned by his parents for about two decades. Those days of stocking shelves, having an encyclopedic knowledge of actors, and ordering hard-to-find movies for customers were his first lessons in entrepreneurship.

“We were a local, family-run business that competed with Blockbuster, but what set us apart was our connection to the community,” Mostafavi told FFXnow. “People coming in, they knew me or my mom or my dad. We knew what our customers wanted…If someone came in and asked me about where a movie is, I could tell them it’s three rows over, three shelves down, and three videos over.”

In the years since, he has taken that experience and has applied it to create his own business. Mostafavi first opened his first juice bar on the campus of George Washington University in 2006 called “Campus Fresh.”

If working at Box Office Video was the entrepreneurial equivalent of an undergraduate education, Campus Fresh was like graduate school.

“I always joke with people that’s where I got my Ph.D. in business,” he said.

Five years later, in 2011, Mostafavi opened South Block was in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood. While it wasn’t an immediate success, as the company’s website notes, they kept building the company “one block at a time” and eventually opened a second location in 2015 in East Falls Church.

There are now 13 South Block locations across the D.C. region, including one in Vienna.

Soon, the juice bar’s 14th location is set to open in McLean’s Chesterbrook Shopping Center in early 2023.

Bringing his company home has Mostafavi reminiscing about working at his parents’ video store.

“It’s come full circle. I feel a sense of accomplishment,” he said on working in McLean. “I think about my dad.”

Amir Mostafavi with his dad, sister, and mom at Box Office Video (courtesy Amir Mostafavi)

Mostafavi is now 47, the same age as his dad when he opened Box Office Video in Langley Shopping Center — only 2 miles from the site of the new South Block.

“Me having that same experience at the same time in my life and opening in the same place where he opened it, it’s just kinda…” he said, trailing off and clearly emotional about the thought. “My dad lives in Vienna now and owns a Persian restaurant there. That’s kind of his retirement.”

When noted that owning a restaurant doesn’t sound like much of a retirement, Mostafavi laughed, “He works more than I do.”

Beyond the personal connection, he believes McLean is a perfect place for a South Block. He says the community is “underserved” in terms of food choices and is always “so supportive” of local businesses.

“Even though it isn’t [techincally] a small town, it still has that small-town, community vibe in that people want to support small businesses,” he said.

South Block is moving into Chesterbrook Shopping Center, which was first built more than 50 years ago. It’s now undergoing an $8.5 million facelift. Mostafavi said the renovation is “much needed for the community” and one of the big reasons why they choose to move in.

Just like Box Office Video, South Block is a family affair with his brother serving as vice president of the company. For Mostafavi, that was the only way to go, considering how much he learned from his parents about what it takes to run a small, local business.

“It’s from [them] that I learned work ethic, being resourceful, persistent, and not giving up,” he said. “That’s all huge in being a successful business.”

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A pet care business that brings grooming, dog walking, pet sitting and other services directly to owners has expanded into McLean.

Launched earlier this month, Woofie’s of McLean introduced itself to the community on Saturday (Sept. 17) at the kick-off for Shipgarten’s seven-week Oktoberfest celebration in Tysons. The “Dogtoberfest” event on Oct. 22 will serve as a grand opening.

Dogtoberfest festivities will include baths, nail trims and a raffle for a free grooming. Woofie’s will also offer a $5 discount on a first walk or 10% off a first grooming appointment, the company said.

Franchise owner and operator Ana Hul, a McLean resident, credits her 10-year-old Yorkie with inspiring her to become an owner after patronizing Woofie’s for years.

“I have been personally impacted by the way Woofie’s has taken care of my dog Pepper, and I wanted to provide that same level of care to pets in my own city of McLean,” Hul said in a press release.

Based initially out of Hul’s home, Woofie’s offers home visits for dog walking and pet-sitting services, including overnight care, as well as pet spas out of a mobile van that can stop at customers’ houses and community events.

The franchise’s service area includes McLean, most of Tysons east of Route 7, and northern Arlington. Its operating hours are from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

Founded in Ashburn in 2004, Woofie’s began franchising in 2018 and now has five locations, all in Northern Virginia. A Reston-Herndon franchise launched in April 2019.

The company was acquired by the franchisor Authority Brands in January.

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A new bakery has opened on Elden Street in the Town of Herndon (courtesy France Saunders)

Another dessert shop has officially opened at 332 Elden Street in Herndon.

Nothing Bundt Cakes is slated for a grand opening on Oct. 7 and 8 following a soft opening that happened in early September.

The first 75 guests on grand opening day will receive a free coupon for one mini bundt cake — known as a bundtlet — every month for a year, along with drawings for other prizes.

Store owner France Saunders also plans to have balloon art and face painting for children.

Our goal is to create a cake that not only reminds you of home, but also opens you to a new world,” Saunders said. “All of our cakes and frosting are made in each bakery. Each of our recipes uses the freshest of ingredients to include real eggs, butter and cream cheese.”

The bakery first opened in 1997 in Las Vegas and has since expanded to over 400 locations across the U.S. and Canada.

Saunders also owns the company’s Dulles franchise, which opened in 2017.

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A new nail salon has opened in Reston (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A new nail salon has opened in Reston.

Beauty Nail Bar opened at 1675 Reston Parkway this month. The nail salon first called Tysons home. 

The plaza, which is anchored by Home Depot, has several empty spaces available for leasing. 

The nail bar was started by owner Nam Huynh of Wolf Trap in 2014. It offers manicures, pedicures, nail extensions and waxing services. 

The owner was not immediately available for comment.

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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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