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The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Tysons Corner Center’s Summerfest is back.

The annual line-up of free events at the mall’s Plaza ushers in Memorial Day weekend tomorrow (Friday) with a 7 p.m. screening of the Disney film “Encanto,” the first of five planned outdoor movies.

Scheduled for the last Friday of every month through September, the family movie nights will include complimentary popcorn and soft drinks as long as supplies last.

  • June 24: Karate Kid
  • July 29: Cruella
  • Aug. 19: Honey I Shrunk the Kids
  • Sept. 30: Raya and the Last Dragon

The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) will next come to furry life with Paws on the Plaza, a pet-centered festival that will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, June 4.

The event will feature a dog park and splash pad, a beer garden, free pet caricatures, a DJ, a photo booth, giveaways, and vendors.

Later this summer, the Plaza will travel back through time with a retro summer concert series. Each show will last from 7 to 9 p.m. and showcase a performer representing a different decade, per a press release:

  • June 25: So Fetch (2000s)
  • July 16: JParis Live (1990s)
  • Aug. 13: The Legwarmers (1980s)

For the younger crowd, the band Rocknoceros kicked off a series of kids’ concerts on May 11. The concerts will continue from 11 a.m. to noon on the second Wednesday of every month through September.

Tysons Corner Center has also partnered with the events company DC Fray for happy hour bingo, pingpong, and bean-bag-tossing tournaments at 6-8 p.m. on Tuesdays.

Other recurring activities include “Tysons Fit Club” workouts on Thursdays from 6-7 p.m. and live acoustic or DJ music in the evenings on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

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Morning Notes

Tysons Tales pop-up park outside The Boro (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Board Chair “Saddened” by Buffalo Mass Shooting — “I am both saddened and angered over the senseless loss of life that took place in Buffalo, NY. The racial hate that reportedly motivated this horrific attack is inexcusable. I am keeping the victims and their families in my prayers.” [Jeff McKay/Twitter]

Nearly Half of Metrorail Operators Lapse Recertification — “Metro management is taking immediate corrective action to remove from service 72 train operators who became out of compliance prior to May 2021. This will result in a temporary reduction in Green and Yellow line service from every 15 minutes to every 20 minutes due to an operator shortage…Service impacts are expected to continue until the end of May.” [WMATA]

Police Investigate Deaths Near Robinson Secondary School — “Detectives are on the scene in the 10400 blk of Stallworth Ct. in Fairfax after officers discovered two deceased persons following a welfare check. Preliminarily, this appears to be a domestic-related incident. There is no known threat to the public at this time.” [FCPD/Twitter]

FCPS Considers Co-Ed Sex Education Classes — “An advisory committee recently approved a plan to mix boys and girls in grades 4-8 during Family Life Education instruction; a practice that is done in some area school systems but not in others…Board members are expected to discuss mixing-genders in Family Life Education classes as early as June.” [ABC7]

Area Eagles Suffer from Lead Poisoning — “Toxins in the environment, and especially lead, [Jeff Cooper] suspected, were hurting bald eagles in Virginia more than ecologists realized…The findings went beyond Cooper’s fears: Nearly half of bald and golden eagles in the United States, and in the D.C. region, have chronic lead poisoning.” [The Washington Post]

Person Shot in Mount Vernon Near Richmond Highway — Fairfax County police officers responded to Buckman Road and Janna Lee Avenue on Thursday (May 12) after a person was shot in the upper body by someone “seen pointing a silver handgun from an older model black Toyota Highlander.” The victim’s injuries were not considered life threatening, and police don’t believe it was a random act. [FCPD]

Couple Recalls Meet at Clyde’s in Reston — As Clyde’s prepares to close on Saturday (May 21) after 31 years at Reston Town Center, resident Kristin Simons reflects on having her first date with her now-husband at the restaurant. Since then, Clyde’s has become a go-to destination for the family for everything from brunches to work-related celebrations, she says. [Fairfax County Times]

Princess Diana Exhibit Comes to Tysons — “The new experience, called Princess Diana: Accredited Access Exhibition, is said to be the world’s first-ever walk-through documentary by its creators…Tickets to the experience are now on sale…and the event’s first day open to the public will be on May 25 at Tysons Corner Center.” [WUSA9]

Tysons Pedestrian Bridge Falling into Place — “The perfect cure for a gloomy day? Check out the most recent progress pics of our new ped bridge over the Beltway in Tysons, opening this year!” [VDOT/Twitter]

It’s Monday — Rain in the afternoon and evening. High of 74 and low of 62. Sunrise at 5:57 am and sunset at 8:17 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Läderach opened a store at Glendale Galleria in California in March (via Läderach Chocolatier Suisse)

(Updated at 5:50 p.m.) The Swiss chocolatier that invented the modern truffle is bringing its sweet confections to Tysons Corner Center.

Läderach Chocolatier Suisse will take over the mall’s former Godiva store on first floor, right across the hall from Macy’s. The new store will have a soft opening tomorrow (Friday) with an official launch on Saturday (May 7), just in time for Mother’s Day, according to Läderach spokesperson Ryan Bowling.

“Tysons Corner Center was seen as a good location due to the growing demand for premium fresh chocolate Läderach has seen online and through e-commerce, combined with previous results with the former Godiva location,” Bowling told FFXnow by email.

This will be Läderach’s 40th retail store in North America and one of 34 Godiva locations that it took over with a purchase agreement last year. The chocolatier has expanded significantly since arriving on the continent in 2019, per an April 28 press release that was reported earlier this week by DC Eater.

Shops at Union Station in D.C. and Pentagon City’s Fashion Centre in Arlington opened last year.

“As the demand for premium fresh chocolate continues to grow in North America, so should the experience, and that’s why we’re excited to continue to increase our retail presence coast-to-coast in the U.S.,” Läderach North America President Nathanael Hausmann said in the release.

According to its website, the family-run chocolatier was founded in 1962 in Glarus, Switzerland, by Rudolf Läderach Jr., who invented and patented a new, easier process for manufacturing truffles by filling “thin-walled hollow balls.”

Läderach is also known for its FrischSchoggi, slabs of chocolate bark that come in 20 varieties, according to the press release:

Each Läderach premium fresh chocolate retail store provides chocolate lovers with the opportunity to awaken their five senses through more than 85 varieties of fresh artisanal chocolate directly from Switzerland. The retail stores include Läderach’s iconic FrischSchoggi™ (fresh chocolate) counter at the front behind clear glass featuring multiple large slabs of fresh chocolate bark that can be hand-broken and enjoyed for gifting or everyday occasions.

The company says all of its chocolate is manufactured in-house at its laboratory in Glarus. The cocoa beans are sourced from farmers in Trinidad, Ecuador, Brazil, Madagascar, and Ghana.

For shoppers who won’t be satisfied with access to just one chocolatier, Venchi Fine Italian Chocolates remains on track to open a chocolate and gelato shop this summer, Tysons Corner Center spokesperson Maurisa Potts confirmed to FFXnow.

Venchi will be located on the mall’s second floor, almost directly above Läderach.

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Morning Notes

The crowds returned for the first Taste of Vienna since the COVID-19 pandemic started (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Reminder: FFXnow Wants Your Input — FFXnow is conducting a survey to learn more about our readers and help shape future coverage. What kinds of stories interest you? Have strong feelings about the Tysons Reporter and Reston Now merger, or the length of our stories? Let us know before the survey closes after Sunday, May 15.

Former Falls Church Bicycle Shop Owner’s Mythology Unravels — “We’re not just talking about one man’s fabrications, but the ripples from those fabrications: a team of riders that allege abuse at [Nick] Clark’s hands, a series of embellished life events stretching back to the 1990s, ties with the political and military elite, alleged misrepresentations across multiple industries, and possible stolen military valour.” [Cycling Tips]

Police Thanked for Catching Victoria’s Secret Thieves — “The Fairfax County Police Department’s Tysons Urban Team (TUT) was recognized by executives from Victoria’s Secret on Friday for breaking up a retail theft ring. The thieves are believed to be responsible for the loss of more than $250,000 of merchandise from stores throughout the southern U.S.” [FCPD/Facebook]

Woman Who Sold Mantua Home With Squatter Speaks — “After days of speculation about the identity of the person living in the basement of a viral Zillow listing, the woman has come forward to tell her side of the unusual story. Last week, her Fairfax, Va., home…sold for more than $800,000 with the condition that it came with a person living in the basement who did not have a lease.” [WUSA9]

FCPD Seeks Person Behind Clifton Starbucks Vandalism — “Officers responded to the Starbucks at 5748 Union Mill Road in Clifton for a burglary report on April 27, when someone broke the front window and stole a Progress Pride flag from inside and left. The following morning, officers responded to the same Starbucks for a similar incident.” [ABC7]

Metro Shares Plan to Electrify Bus Fleet — “Metro expects to purchase 12 electric buses and associated charging equipment this year as part of the Battery-Electric Bus Test and Evaluation Program. The buses will begin arriving late this year and go into service in 2023 out of the Shepherd Parkway Bus Division.” [WMATA]

Man Convicted of Killing Fairfax Couple Denied Parole — “The Maryland Parole Commission denied parole to Sifrit, in his first parole hearing, since being sentenced to 38 years in prison, after he and his then-wife Erika killed and dismembered Martha Crutchley and Joshua Ford, of Fairfax City, over Memorial Day weekend almost 20 years ago.” [WTOP]

Capital One Center Named “Best New Development” — The Washington Business Journal has given its “Best New Development” award to Capital One Center, which is bringing 1.47 million square feet of construction to the financial company’s Tysons headquarters. The Reston Gateway office high-rises in Boston Properties’ Reston Town Center expansion was named a finalist. [WBJ]

It’s Monday — Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 76 and low of 60. Sunrise at 6:11 am and sunset at 8:03 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Tysons Corner Center plaza entrance (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Updated at 8:10 p.m.The power outage in Tysons has been isolated to Tysons Corner Center, with Dominion Energy identifying a failed piece of equipment as the cause.

“Repairs are underway,” Dominion spokesperson Peggy Fox said at 7:44 p.m. “We’re hoping to have power back on within the hour.”

Tysons Galleria was able to restore electricity sooner.

Earlier: Both of Tysons’ primary malls have lost power.

Dominion Energy’s outage map indicates that the outages in Tysons are only affecting 17 customers, but two of those customers are Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria, the utility company confirmed to FFXnow.

“Our crews are arriving to locate the problem and isolate the issue so we can switch back on as many people as possible,” Dominion Energy spokesperson Peggy Fox said.

According to a tipster, Tysons Corner Center lost power starting around 5:30 p.m.

Tysons Corner Center and Tysons Galleria are experiencing power outages (via Dominion Energy)

As of 6:50 p.m., Dominion estimates that power will be restored between 8 and 11 p.m. for Tysons Galleria and between 9 p.m. and midnight for Tysons Corner Center.

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A Malibu Barbie truck will visit Tysons this weekend (courtesy Malibu Barbie Tour)

Perhaps lured by yesterday’s 80-degree temperatures, a truck hawking Malibu-themed Barbie swag will swing by Tysons Corner Center on Saturday (April 16), kicking off a four-stop tour through the D.C. area.

The Malibu Barbie Truck Tour will be parked in the mall’s Events Plaza (1961 Chain Bridge Road) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., bringing an array of merchandise paying tribute to the oft-criticized yet still-popular plastic doll from Mattel.

Coming on the heels of a similar visit by the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck, the pop-up Barbie truck will sell beach apparel and accessories designed to evoke the 1970s, though no actual dolls appear to be offered.

According to a press release, available products will include:

  • Barbie-logo embroidered denim jacket
  • Pink Barbie-logo hoodie
  • Tie Dye bucket hat
  • Ringer T-shirt
  • Embroidered patch set
  • Enamel pin set
  • Burlap Shopper Tote
  • Stainless thermal bottle
  • Beach Towel
  • Malibu Barbie Necklace
  • Malibu Barbie Logo Mug

The “2022 Barbie Truck Totally Throwback Malibu Tour” kicked off on the West Coast last year to mark the 50th anniversary of Malibu Barbie’s introduction in 1971.

After hitting up Tysons, the truck will also visit Bethesda on April 30, Pentagon City in Arlington on May 7, and Columbia on May 14.

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Venchi Fine Italian Chocolates will open a store at Tysons Corner Center this summer (courtesy Venchi Fine Italian Chocolates)

A 140-year-old Italian chocolate manufacturer is setting up shop in Tysons — and no, a golden ticket won’t be required for entry.

Venchi Fine Italian Chocolates will open a boutique store in Tysons Corner Center, its first outside of the New York tri-state area, the company announced yesterday (Tuesday).

Expected to open late this summer, the store — or ChocoGelateria, to use the company’s term — will occupy approximately 470 square feet on the second floor near Macy’s. A spokesperson confirmed the shop will take over the Blue Nile showroom, as Fairfax County permit records indicate that the jeweler is relocating within the mall.

“As Venchi continues to expand its footprint outside the NYC area, we selected Tysons Corner Center because of its proximity to Washington D.C. and the complementary mix of brands within the Center,” Venchi CEO Davide Cravero said in an emailed statement. “We look forward to becoming the go-to fine Italian chocolate and gelato choice in the area.”

According to its website, Venchi can trace its origins back to 1878, when 20-year-old founder Silviano Venchi started experimenting with making chocolate in two bronze cauldrons in his Turin, Italy, apartment.

The company now boasts 150 retail boutiques in 70 countries and sells 50 chocolate recipes, along with 90 Gelato flavors. The Union Square store in New York City includes a 45-foot-long, 10-foot-high chocolate waterfall, which it claims is the largest in North America.

Venchi says it uses entirely raw ingredients, a reduced amount of sugar, and no artificial ingredients, citing its values as verissimo (authentic), allegrissimo (fun), and buonissimo (delicious).

Recent arrivals at Tysons Corner Center include the toy store Egg-cellent and the Canadian fashion boutique Aritzia. Other upcoming tenants include the fast-casual Chopathi Indian Kitchen, which was first announced last summer, and a stall called Soricha Tea & Theater.

The mass COVID-19 vaccination center in the mall’s former Lord & Taylor store delivered its last shots on Friday (March 25).

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Morning Notes

American flag blows in wind at Wolf Trap National Park (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

FCPD Officer Found Not Guilty in Taser Incident — “A jury found a Fairfax County, Virginia, police officer not guilty of using excessive force against a man in a June 2020 incident caught on body camera. The officer, Tyler Timberlake, who is white, had faced three misdemeanor assault and battery charges for tasering Lamonta Gladney, who is Black.” [NBC4]

Community Members Rally in Support of FCPS Librarians — “Nearly 70 people participated in a rally to support school librarians March 24 before a school board meeting at Luther Jackson Middle School. At the meeting, several people attacked librarians for supporting LGBTQ students’ rights.” [Annandale Today]

Fairfax County Plea Deal for Shootings Suspect Scrutinized — Recently arrested for allegedly shooting five homeless people, Gerald Brevard III previously faced charges in Fairfax County for assaulting a hotel worker and breaking into an apartment. Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares argues that county prosecutors’ plea deal was too lenient, while Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano says weaknesses in the case meant it was the ‘best outcome’ his office could’ve gotten. [The Washington Post]

Armed Carjacking Reported in Mount Vernon — “Detectives on scene of armed carjacking in 3700 blk of Rolling Hills Ave. 4 suspects described as black men 18-20 yo in dark clothing driving bro Nissan Altima. Suspects displayed firearm, assaulted the victim & took a 2017 gray Toyota Corolla. Call 911 w/info.” [FCPD/Twitter]

Capitals Star Relocates Within McLean — “Washington Capitals forward T.J. Oshie…and his wife Lauren paid $7.5 million earlier this month for a newly constructed 9,890-square-foot home on Dogue Hill Lane, according to public records. The five-bedroom, eight-bath home is within the exclusive Langley Farms community.” [Washington Business Journal]

Crumbl Cookies to Open Reston Store Friday — “To celebrate the April 1 grand opening of [its] new location in Reston, Crumbl Cookies will be giving away a year’s worth of free cookies to one lucky person.” [Patch]

Tysons Corner Center Announces Spring Events — “Easter festivities have begun as April approaches. Families can get the traditional Easter Bunny photos, and there’s even an adults-only egg hunt…From May to September, shoppers can find events like monthly outdoor movies, game night tournaments, live music and more.” [Patch]

Fire and Rescue Department Wins Charity Hockey Game — “A hard fought 6-2 victory for #FCFRD @FairfaxCountyPD Chief Davis will look good in an FCFRD hockey jersey! Great game for great causes! Fantastic crowd! In the end, #FCPD and FCFRD remain one public safety team!” [FCFRD/Twitter]

It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 32 and low of 23. Sunrise at 7:01 a.m. and sunset at 7:30 p.m. [Weather.gov]

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The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will visit Tysons Corner Center on Saturday (courtesy of Sanrio)

A familiar cartoon character will swing by Tysons Corner Center this weekend, with a slew of new merchandise in tow.

The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck will set up shop in the mall’s Plaza at 1961 Chain Bridge Road from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday (March 26), marking its first appearance in Fairfax County since March 2021.

More recently, the truck, which sells Hello Kitty-themed food and collectibles, popped up in Arlington County in July.

New items for this year’s tour include a Hello Kitty Cafe lunchbox, a lavender T-shirt, and a canvas tote bag. The truck will also carry a stainless rainbow thermos, hand-decorated cookie sets, and madeleine cookie sets.

The cookies and plush animals are among the stall’s best-selling items, according to a press release.

The truck only accepts credit and debit card payments.

Sanrio, the company behind Hello Kitty, launched the cafe truck in October 2014 as part of its first venture into the food world. Since then, the trucks have visited more than 100 cities in the U.S.

The upcoming Tysons stop is one of the truck’s five scheduled appearances in the D.C. area for its 2022 tour. There are also planned visits in April to Bethesda and Columbia in Maryland as well as the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival in D.C. during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The Hello Kitty cartoon character is actually a young British girl, not a cat, but because of her appearance and name, is known to many as an adorable feline that adorns outerwear and accessories.

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The Tysons Community Vaccination Center will close on Friday (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The Virginia and Fairfax County health departments are shutting down two COVID-19 vaccination sites that have delivered thousands of shots during the pandemic.

The Tysons Community Vaccination Center will close at 4 p.m. on Friday (March 25) after administering roughly 58,000 doses since it reopened in Tysons Corner Center’s former Lord & Taylor store on Oct. 8, the Fairfax County Health Department announced today (Monday).

With the capacity for 3,000 shots a day, the mass vaccination site was organized by the Virginia Department of Health and operated by contractors AshBritt Inc. and IEM Health. It was first established in April 2021 and provided more than 50,000 doses during Phase 2 of the state’s vaccination campaign before closing in June.

A vaccination site at Springfield Town Center will also wind down operations this week. The facility will open from noon to 4 p.m. for one final weekend before closing at 4 p.m. on Sunday (March 27).

Only open on weekends, the Springfield vaccine site was less extensive than the Tysons one, but it “has been critical in helping to close the equity gap” as part of the FCHD High Risk Communities Task Force’s efforts to address disparities in access for low-income and minority individuals, the county health department says.

The county partnered with Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and Safeway Pharmacy to open the site in April 2021. The space was provided rent-free by Springfield Town Center property manager PREIT.

“Due to the highly vaccinated population, decreased demand from the community, and ample supply of vaccine widely available at doctor’s offices and pharmacies, there was a diminished need for large-scale public vaccination sites,” an FCHD spokesperson said of the decision to close the site, adding that the department “is grateful” to PREIT for its generosity.

The vaccination rates for the Fairfax Health District, which includes the cities of Fairfax and Falls Church in addition to the county, are roughly in line with those for Virginia as a whole.

According to FCHD data, which is updated at 11:30 a.m. every weekday, 964,980 district residents, or 81.5%, have received at least one vaccine dose, including 90.6% of people 18 and older, as of Friday (March 18).

About 871,643 residents, or 73.6% of the population, are fully vaccinated, including 82.4% of adults.

Vaccines remain available at numerous sites throughout the county, including from pharmacies, private health care providers, and mass vaccination sites at the Fairfax County Government Center and Hyland South County Center.

“The Health Department is also continuing its outreach and collaborative work, with multiple community partners, to provide vaccinations clinics at sites across the county, including houses of worship, daycares, schools, businesses, and special events,” the FCHD spokesperson said.

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