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Tysons Biergarten, left, and RollBar, right, operate out of shipping containers inside a tent at Shipgarten in Scotts Run (courtesy of Shipgarten/Instagram)

(Updated at 8:55 a.m. on 7/15/2022) After spending weeks perfecting various food and drink offerings, Shipgarten is ready to formally introduce its dining-in-shipping-containers concept to Tysons.

Launched on May 26 with its Tysons Biergarten revival, the Scotts Run pop-up will celebrate the completed rollout of its four restaurants and five bars with a three-day grand opening, starting at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Friday).

“We’ve been doing a soft opening for the past few weeks, making sure everything is perfect, especially the food, and things are looking very, very bright,” said Matt Rofougaran, managing partner for Creative Bar Concepts, which also developed Hops N Shine in Alexandria.

The festivities at 7581 Colshire Drive will include live music and local DJs, a moon bounce, face painting, various games and contests, a UFC Fight Night viewing, a ceremonial keg tapping, and at 3 p.m. on Saturday (July 16), a ribbon-cutting led by Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jeff McKay.

“I am thrilled to be attending the ribbon-cutting for the ShipGarten pop-up,” McKay said in a statement to FFXnow. “This is exactly the kind of innovative use of urban open space that not only creates jobs but is fun, unique, and responsive to what the community wants. I am looking forward to joining the founding team for a beer and perhaps a curry wurst or taco!”

Concluding with an adults-only stein hoisting competition at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, the full schedule of events can be found on the grand opening weekend’s Eventbrite page.

Since late May, Shipgarten has unveiled a different shipping container each week. The biergarten, which features German beer and cuisine, was followed by the Asian fusion restaurant RollBär in early June and the fast-casual Persian eatery, Salamati Grille.

The final concept, Waffles and Tacos, opened about 10 days ago. As suggested by its name, the restaurant features customizable Belgian waffles and street tacos, along with American craft beer, a whiskey bar, and a distiller bar.

Boasting three 2,500-square-foot tents and what it says is the largest outdoor patio in the D.C. area, Shipgarten used the prolonged soft opening to ensure the staff was fully trained and refine the food and drink menus, Rofougaran says.

In all, Shipgarten has more than 100 beer options and over 60 types of bourbon, whiskey and tequila, according to a press release. Supplementing the bars and restaurants are a dog park, a kids’ playground, TVs and a 24-foot-wide projector screen, and outdoor games, including a giant Jenga and water pong.

“It’s just a big theme park in the heart of Tysons,” Rofougaran said.

After the grand opening weekend, Shipgarten will begin its regular operating hours of 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., seven days a week.

Photo courtesy of Shipgarten/Instagram

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Morning Notes

Verizon truck drives through water while turning from Baron Cameron Avenue to Reston Parkway after rain (photo by Ed Schudel)

Fairfax County Rescue Dog Dies — “We regret to announce the passing of #canine Phayu after a long illness. An 8-year veteran, he deployed worldwide including to quakes in Haiti & Nepal, and hurricanes in the Bahamas & USA. We thank Phayu for his service and extend condolences to his family and our #K9 section.” [Fairfax County Urban Search and Rescue Team/Twitter]

County Firefighters Deliver Free Shoes to Kids — “The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department along with Firefighters and Friends to the Rescue on Thursday gave away more than 300 pairs of new shoes to children and families in need. The giveaways were held at Gum Springs and Lee District community centers in Alexandria.” [ABC7]

Route 28 Lanes Closed for Skewed Sign — A Route 28 sign for the Willard Road exit in Chantilly got knocked out of place during the morning rush hour yesterday (Thursday). Crews had to block off two southbound lanes for almost five hours while they addressed the situation, which required a removal of the sign pole. [VDOT/Twitter]

Free School Meals to End This Fall — “For the past two years, the federal government has provided no-cost meals to all public school students without the need to complete the annual Free and Reduced-Price Meal application. The extension of the no-cost meals benefit to all students is expected to expire at the end of this school year, meaning families must submit an application and be approved to be eligible for free and reduced price meals for the 2022-23 school year.” [FCPS]

McLean Rec Center to Close Tomorrow — “Spring Hill Rec Center will close June 4 through 7 to address electrical maintenance issues. This project was planned for August but has been moved up to ensure continuous site operation and safety.” [Supervisor John Foust/Twitter]

Herndon Man Charged With Assault — A 43-year-old man faces aggravated assault and burglary charges after Herndon police say he allegedly “entered a home in the 600 block of Center Street without permission on May 23 and assaulted one of it occupants.” The man is currently being held without bond at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. [Patch]

Asian Fusion Eatery Joins Tysons Biergarten — “RollBär, an Asian fusion restaurant, opens TODAY at @shipgarten! Shipgarten, a new pop-up located at the future site of Scotts Run’s ‘Taylor’ block, launched last Thursday with the reopening of #TysonsBiergarten.” [Tysons Partnership/Twitter]

The St. James Plans Maryland Expansion — After unveiling a performance club at Reston Town Center in April, the Springfield-based sports complex announced yesterday (Thursday) that it will bring a similar facility to downtown Bethesda this winter. The new club will be smaller than The St. James’ flagship site, which is the largest athletic facility in the region, but it will include a Vim & Victor Café. [Washingtonian]

Charcoal Chicken Restaurant Coming to West Falls Church — “Super Pollo Charcoal Chicken is moving into the spot vacated by DC Steakholders at 6641 Arlington Blvd…Juan Carlos Hernandez, manager of the Barcroft Plaza Super Pollo expects the new place will open in two to three months.” [Annandale Today]

It’s Friday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 75 and low of 63. Sunrise at 5:46 am and sunset at 8:31 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Shipgarten is coming to Scotts Run in Tysons (courtesy Shipgarten/Instagram)

(Updated at 9:15 a.m. on 5/25/2022) Land ho! After over two years of anticipated arrivals dashed against the rocky shores of the COVID-19 pandemic and various construction-related challenges, Shipgarten will dock at last in Scotts Run near the McLean Metro station on Thursday (May 26).

The team behind Alexandria’s Hops N Shine will introduce their new concept to the Tysons development with a soft opening for Tysons Biergarten, which will serve beer and German food out of a converted shipping container from 3-9 p.m. through Sunday (May 29).

Shuttle buses will be available to pick up visitors from the McLean Metro station and 1700 Old Meadow Road, and transport them to Shipgarten. (Update: The shuttle bus route has been corrected after this article previously stated it would travel from the McLean Metro to 1700 Old Meadow Road.)

Shipgarten thanked supporters for their patience when announcing the event on social media yesterday (Monday).

“We are just as exciting to build a community around Shipgarten as you are!” the business wrote. “We want to be your destination for a casual get together, happy hour, drink specials, corporate and private events, special occasions, sporting events, awkward first dates, proposals, and ultimately a good old fashioned good time.”

Shipgarten has been in the works since 2019, when the original Tysons Biergarten ended its run as a pop-up near the Greensboro Metro station.

The concept was supposed to open in the spring of 2020, but the rollout was prolonged by “a mix of everything,” from the pandemic to issues with getting contractors to the site, Creative Bar Concepts LLC Managing Partner Matt Rofougaran told FFXnow.

Now that Tysons Biergarten is ready, though, the community can expect 7581 Colshire Drive to get lively fast. Over the next few weeks, it will be joined by three other eateries, all inside reconfigured shipping containers:

  • RollBär — Asian fusion cuisine and Japanese whiskey, coming in early June
  • Salamati — fast-casual Persian food, described by Rofougaran as “Moby Dick meets Chipotle”
  • Waffles & Tacos — custom Belgian waffles and street tacos

The venue will also host a kid’s playground and a music pavilion with live entertainment, trivia, comedy, arts and crafts, karaoke, and other activities.

Rofougaran says the team decided to start with Tysons Biergarten, since it has an established fanbase, and many workers from the previous pop-up have returned.

However, he’s excited to debut new concepts like Waffles & Tacos, which replaces the planned Chalkboard BBQ.

“As time went on, we kept on thinking [about] what people like,” Rofougaran said. “We want to come up with something creative and fun, so these are the ideas we came up with. We think this is what’s really going to be successful.”

More food, drinks, and events will be added over the coming weeks, with the hours of operation eventually extending from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week.

Like the Greensboro Metro site, Shipgarten is a pop-up, so it won’t stick around forever. Located on currently undeveloped land opposite the Mitre 4 building, the site is part of Scotts Run’s “Taylor” block, which is planned for over 1 million square feet of primarily residential and office development.

Construction is currently underway on Skanska’s Heming apartment building, set to be completed next year. Master plan developer Cityline Partners also recently got Fairfax County’s approval to turn vacant land on Anderson Road into a temporary park.

Rofougaran says there isn’t an exact timeline yet for when Shipgarten will have to vacate the site, but it will hopefully stay for the next couple of years.

“The beauty is it’s been made out of shipping containers and tents,” Rofougaran said. “We can take everything and move it down the street.”

Photo courtesy Shipgarten/Instagram

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A conceptual rendering for The Block at Scotts Run, which will occupy a currently vacant lot in Tysons (via Fairfax County/VIKA Virginia)

Will it be a hub for food trucks? How about an indoor spa, or a trampoline park with pop-up retail stalls? Why not all of the above?

Cityline Partners, the developer behind the Scotts Run neighborhood in Tysons, can let its imagination run wild — to a point — after the Fairfax County Planning Commission approved its proposal on Wednesday (April 27) to “activate” the 1600 block of Anderson Road.

Right now, the empty 3.5-acre lot is serving as a construction staging area while work continues on Heming, a 28-story apartment complex with retail set to open at Scotts Run next year.

Under the approved development plan, Cityline can add recreational, entertainment, and pop-up retail and restaurant activities to the site on an interim basis for the next 20 years.

“We think this is an exciting opportunity to bring life to this gateway at Tysons East,” said Holland & Knight land use attorney David Schneider, who represented the developer at the planning commission’s public hearing.

Located across the street from The Kingston and Haden apartment buildings and within a mile of the McLean Metro station, The Block at Scotts Run can host activations that fall under five categories:

  • Quasi-public park
  • Outdoor commercial recreation
  • Indoor commercial recreation
  • Retail
  • Restaurant

Those are broad categories, as defined by the county’s recently updated zoning code. Outdoor commercial recreation, for example, encompasses everything from mini golf to drive-in movie theaters and amusement park rides.

There will be a 90-foot height limit and a maximum of 30,000 square feet of gross floor area, but the plan is intended to be flexibile, allowing the site to change with the seasons and the community’s needs. Read More

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When it’s completed, Heming residents will be able to see all of Tysons from their home. On clear days, D.C. and even mountains to the west can be glimpsed from the top floors.

Those upper levels are now coming into place after construction workers reached the top of the 28-story luxury apartment high-rise on March 10, keeping developer Skanska on track to deliver its first units in mid-2023.

A centerpiece of the Scotts Run development emerging next to the McLean Metro station, Heming will feature 410 apartment units, including 82 affordable dwelling units and 12 larger, two-story apartments.

It will also boast 38,000 square feet of retail space and a three-floor outdoor plaza called “The Levels.” Two of the levels will be publicly accessible, while the third will have a swimming pool, outdoor gardens, and other amenities exclusive to residents.

“One of the things we focused on — and really, it kind of grew out of the master plan for Scotts Run — was a heavier focus on the retail component,” Mark Carroll, Skanska’s executive vice president of commercial development in D.C., told FFXnow during a tour of the construction site yesterday (Monday).

A rendering of “The Levels,” which encompasses a two-story public plaza and a residents-only terrace (courtesy of Skanska)

Expected to ultimately encompass 6.5 million square feet of development on 30 acres of land along Route 123, Scotts Run currently consists of the Mitre 4 office building, Archer Hotel Tysons, and The Kingston and Haden apartment buildings, which don’t include retail.

Before starting construction on Heming in August 2020, Skanska talked to retail brokers and consultants to gauge whether the COVID-19 pandemic had affected the viability of the planned commercial space, according to Carroll.

While some nearby developments have backed away from retail, Skanska decided to move forward without altering its plans. It envisions the 1800 Chain Bridge complex of restaurants, shops, and services as an alternative to Tysons’ malls for both Scotts Run residents and visitors from McLean and even Great Falls.

“It’s going to be a different concept than the mall,” Carroll said. “…We felt like there was still a large need that it could fill not only for this development, but also some of the other neighborhoods around the area.”

Carroll says Scotts Run’s accessibility to Tysons, nearby McLean, and the Metro station was a critical draw for Skanska, which announced its Heming project in 2019. The overall master plan was created by developer Cityline Partners and architectural firm SmithGroup.

In addition to the abundance of retail, Heming will be distinguished by an emphasis on outdoor spaces, inspired by its proximity to Scott’s Run Trail.

Along with “The Levels,” whose public areas will have outdoor seating, landscaping, and a water feature, the building will include an outdoor courtyard for residents on its 25th floor.

A private street that will be built on the Route 123 side could be blocked off for events, such as farmers’ markets. Dubbed Platform Avenue, the road will cut through what’s currently a gravel-covered construction site, connecting Colshire to Dartford Drive.

“One of the things we’ve tried to focus on is trying to create connections to the outdoors — outdoor spaces that are more walkable — while still getting the benefits of some of the density being around the Metro,” Carroll said.

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