A growing fast-casual, Mediterranean restaurant chain that started in New York City will open a location in Pimmit Hills next year.
Taïm Mediterranean Kitchen will bring its lauded falafels to Virginia for the first time with a 1,849-square-foot restaurant in the Tysons Station shopping center at 7502 Leesburg Pike. The company anticipates opening the new location this coming spring, possibly April.
“People are craving better, more flavorful meal options and we knew this busy area serving residential and office communities would be a perfect fit,” Untamed Brands founder Phil Petrilli said. “…Whether guests are heading out for a quick lunch or looking for a family-friendly dinner option, taïm is versatile and unique.”
A former Chipotle regional manager, Petrilli created Untamed Brands with fellow veterans of the fast-casual scene to support restaurants seeking to grow long term. The company partnered with Taïm in 2018 as the eatery embarked on an expansion.
Run by chef Einat Anthony and her husband, Taïm launched as a modest, all-vegetarian storefront focused on Israeli street food in New York City’s West Village in 2005. It gained a following for its falafel, adding more locations and a food truck in the Big Apple, and was named the eighth best restaurant in the West Village by GrubHub in 2018.
With a New Jersey restaurant that opened in June, Taïm now has a total of eight locations and is planning to double that this year with added sites in New York, New Jersey and Maryland, according to QSR Magazine.
The Pimmit Hills Taïm will be adjacent to China King in a newly subdivided space that once housed Pet Supplies Plus. Two other suites created out of the former pet supply store — one with 1,518 square feet of gross floor area and one that’s 2,130 square feet — are still available, according to property manager Federal Realty’s site plan.
Petrilli says the menu of build-your-own pita and rice bowls will complement the existing tenants at Tysons Station, which is anchored by Trader Joe’s, and retailers like Whole Foods in Idylwood Plaza across the street.
Outdoor seating will be provided, according to Petrilli.
In addition to falafel, the menu includes chicken and cauliflower shawarma — a fan favorite, Petrilli says — as well as crispy eggplant, roasted meatballs, vegan kebabs, and a variety of sides, such as fries. Dishes come as rice bowls, pitas and salads.
“We introduce new menu items, seasonal dishes, and toppings or sauces around three times per year,” Petrilli said. “We just introduced sweet potato fries with whipped garlic. There are family meal options and menu items for kids.
According to Petrilli, all dishes are made from scratch with ingredients “sourced from the best growing regions in the world,” including 18 herbs and spices that are all imported and pita sourced from a baker.
“There are few options in America like taïm where craveability meets better for you with high quality, scratch-made menu items served quickly at an affordable price,” he said. “We offer the rare intersection of what people want and what’s good for them and the first bite always leaves customers raving about the quality.”
A planned street that will eventually connect Tysons East to Pimmit Hills could bring some major changes to Magarity Road, the border between the two neighborhoods.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation shared a conceptual design for Lincoln Street last month that proposed adding two mini-roundabouts on Magarity, including one at the Peabody Drive intersection in front of Westgate Elementary School.
The other potential roundabout will be at the Violet Ridge Place intersection.
Each roundabout will have a pedestrian refuge and crosswalks. A raised median down the center of Magarity will require Lincoln Street drivers to turn right and go through the roundabout at Peabody in order to go east into McLean, according to a presentation at a virtual community meeting on May 19.
FCDOT staff said computer simulations have indicated that the roundabouts will be able to accommodate larger vehicles, such as school buses, fire trucks, and snowplows.
“This dual mini roundabout alternative will accommodate all vehicles,” FCDOT project manager Caijun Luo said.
Acknowledging that the roundabouts will create some inconvenience by requiring U-turns for left turns onto Magarity Road, county staff said it emerged as the best option for connecting Lincoln Street from a safety standpoint. It would also maintain access to the single-family homes lining the road’s east side as well as the existing curbside parking.
With more development coming into place in Tysons East, Lincoln Street will connect Magarity and Old Meadow Road with a bridge over Scott’s Run in an effort to divert some neighborhood traffic away from Route 123.
Though FCDOT previously suggested traffic signals were being considered at both intersections, Capital Projects Section Chief Michael Guarino said at the meeting that there will be stop signs instead, since “the volumes projected right now don’t warrant a traffic signal.”
Lincoln Street will consist of two 11-foot-wide lanes — one in each direction — with a 10-foot-wide asphalt sidewalk on the north side and a 6-foot-wide concrete sidewalk on the south side. In the preliminary design, the sidewalks are separated from the road by grass buffers.
The travel lanes will each expand to 13 feet wide at the bridge over Scott’s Run, which will have concrete sidewalks on both sides. Staff said the bridge will have at least a 10-foot clearance for Scott’s Run Trail.
FCDOT confirmed that crosswalks and curb ramps will be added on Old Meadow Road, but many details — such as the possibility of connections from Lincoln Street to Scott’s Run Trail or flashing beacons at the Westgate Elementary crosswalks — will be worked out once the project progresses to the final design stage.
Staff promised to also examine how the new street will affect other intersections on Old Meadow and Magarity outside of the immediate project limits, particularly where Old Meadow meets Chain Bridge Road to the north.
That intersection already experiences traffic and speeding issues, community members said during the virtual meeting.
“That can be kind of busy and kind of hard to see, because…there’s a curve in the road at that point,” an attendee identified as Greg said. “Adding another road coming out there would certainly complicate that intersection further down, so it’s an impact that I’m glad you’re at least starting to think about.”
Following the community meeting, FCDOT is accepting input on the proposed concept through June 6.
Though the project is already fully funded, a final design isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2024. Land acquisitions could start that year, with construction starting in mid-2026 and finishing in late 2027.