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A sign indicating that a new store is coming soon to Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The roster of retailers coming to Tysons Corner Center continues to grow.

A fast-casual Turkish restaurant that specializes in chicken, fashion designer Kate Spade and a fitness clothing brand are all slated to open locations in the mall at 1961 Chain Bridge Road later this year, according to a press release.

Gagawa, the restaurant, started life in 2012 and has since opened more than 275 restaurants in Turkey, where its name Tavuk Dünyası translates to “World of Chicken,” per its website. The company adopted Gagawa as its global branding and began expanding outside Turkey around 2021, adding locations in Cyprus and Madrid, Spain.

Tysons Corner Center will be Gagawa’s first location in the U.S. It will be located on the mall’s first floor across from California Pizza Kitchen, replacing the Panera Bread that closed in late 2022.

Inspired by cuisines around the world, Gagawa marinates its chicken for 12 to 14 hours and serves it with pasta or rice and a Mediterranean salad. The menu also includes red meat fillets and a variety of starters, such as hummus and feta cheese and olives.

“We are very excited to open our first restaurant in the U.S. in Tysons Center,” Gagawa Chairman Ahmet Faralyalı said. “Our mission is to provide everyone with the opportunity to enjoy a high quality, delicious, affordable meal in an environment where one can feel appreciated. Our local consumer research shows that both our concept and product are very much desired by consumers, and we thrilled to unveil a new, unique experience soon.”

The restaurant will be preceded by Kate Spade New York, which is expected to open on Tysons Corner Center’s second floor near Nordstrom this summer. Launched in 1993, the women’s fashion store sells seasonal collections of handbags, ready-to-wear, jewelry, footwear, gifts home décor and more.

Kate Spade can currently be found in Tysons Galleria at 2001 International Drive, Suite 1430. An employee confirmed to FFXnow that the outlet is relocating from the smaller mall, where it will close sometime in June.

“When customers walk into the store, we want them to feel that they are walking into a uniquely Kate Spade world,” Kate Spade New York CEO and Brand President Liz Fraser said. “…Designed to evoke the feeling of a great escape, this newly designed retail location at Tysons Corner Center will offer both comfort and possibility, inviting customers to feel instantly transported, while still feeling right at home.”

The final newly announced tenant is Vuori, a fitness, surf and yoga apparel store based in Encinitas, California.

Founded in 2015 by Joe Kudla, whom it describes as “an active yogi and surfer,” the company has stores in almost 50 cities around the world, including in Georgetown and Bethesda. Made with an emphasis on sustainability, its clothes can also be found at other retailers, such as Potomac River Running and CorePower Yoga.

Vuori is scheduled to open on Tysons Corner Center’s second floor near Macy’s in the third quarter of 2024.

“Tysons Corner Center is proud to offer our customers an expanded mix of sustainable focused brands like Vuori, who share our commitment to sustainability and corporate social responsibility,” said Jesse Benites, director of property management for Macerich, the mall’s owner and developer.

The mall has already welcomed a few new retailers this year, including the shoe store Rothy’s, the Pakistani clothing store Khaadi and the Indian restaurant Dhoom. Still in the works are fashion retailers Primark and Mango and Level99, a 40,000-square-foot playground for adults that’s coming in 2025.

In addition, the chain restaurants Maggiano’s and Cheesecake Factory will join Kate Spade in making the jump from Tysons Galleria. Maggiano’s is expected to move this summer, while the Cheesecake Factory is on track to follow in the fourth quarter of this year.

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The Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is set to return to Tysons Corner Center (via Tysons Corner Center)

Spring has officially arrived, and in Tysons, that means the Hello Kitty Cafe Truck is on its way.

The popular mobile shop will pull into Tysons Corner Center this Saturday (March 23), setting up on the Plaza near Shake Shack from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“Fans of Hello Kitty can look forward to edible goodies and limited-edition merch and best-selling items like Hello Kitty Cafe Plush Toys and giant Hello Kitty Cafe chef cookies,” the mall said on the event page.

Launched by Sanrio in October 2014, the Hello Kitty Cafe Trucks tour dozens of cities around the U.S. every year. Tysons Corner Center has become a regular stop, usually getting a visit in March.

According to Sanrio’s website, this year’s food and drink menu includes macaron, cookie and madeleine sets, along with a “giant chef cookie.” The truck’s merchandise collection will include:

  • Treats & sprinkles glass mug
  • Ringer tee
  • Hoodie
  • Cup plush
  • Sprinkle mug
  • Truck lunchbox
  • Stainless steel thermal bottles (18 or 32 ounces)
  • 2-piece enamel pin set
  • Rainbow canvas tote
  • Charm keychain

As noted on the mall’s event page, the truck doesn’t accept cash, limiting payments to credit and debit cards.

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The Indian restaurant Dhoom has opened in Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

A local family with decades of culinary experience unveiled a new restaurant last week that serves Indian food, tapas-style, at Tysons Corner Center.

Dhoom opened this past Thursday (Feb. 22) on the mall’s second floor near Shilla Bakery. Paired with the counter-service eatery Naan & Beyond, which opened earlier this year, the sit-down restaurant is the latest establishment run by the Arora family.

They also own Diya Bistro in Ashburn, and their past ventures include Diya Tysons, which was located inside Tycon Courthouse, and the original Naan & Beyond in D.C., which shuttered in January 2022.

“Our menu features traditional Indian flavors with a modern twist, and our vibrant atmosphere is perfect for a night out with friends or a lively dinner with family,” Dhoom said in social media posts announcing its opening.

According to Dhoom’s website, the Arora family opened their first restaurant in New York City in 1982, but they’ve been based in D.C. and Northern Virginia “for decades,” even garnering some attention from Barack Obama when the then-president sampled food at D.C.’s Naan & Beyond in 2014.

Co-owner Ajay Arora, who works with his brother Rahul and their mother, Kusam, says the family decided to open Dhoom in Tysons “to do something different, to make people happy so they can appreciate the food and all the effort.”

Where Naan & Beyond takes a fast-casual approach, serving naan rolls and rice bowls, Dhoom aspires to be fine dining. It focuses on small, tapas-like platters of tandoori with both meat and vegetarian options, though there are also larger, “shareable” plates and even a $125 kabob feast that the menu says can feed three to four people.

Dishes include staples of American Indian restaurants, such as butter chicken, briyani and chicken tikka, which can come as a stuffed flatbread or as tacos. The restaurant also has a bar that serves beer, wine, spirits and cocktails.

Ajay noted that all of the food is made fresh.

“We are happy to be in Tysons,” he said. “We are just planning to stay busy and get some more business…and we are doing our best.”

Dhoom is located at 1961 Chain Bridge Road, Suite G21U, and operates from noon to 10 p.m. on Wednesday through Sunday.

The restaurant was one of two newcomers to Tysons Corner Center last week, preceding the launch of the Pakistani clothing store Khaadi on Saturday (Feb. 24). Tenants on their way to the mall include the fashion retailers Primark and Mango, and the chain restaurants Maggiano’s Little Italy and the Cheesecake Factory.

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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 Cheesecake Factory and Maggiano’s at Tysons Galleria (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Maggiano’s Little Italy and the Cheesecake Factory are swapping one Tysons mall for another.

The chain restaurants will both move their long-standing locations at Tysons Galleria (2001 International Drive) just down the road to Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road) later this year.

Tysons Corner Center owner and developer Macerich announced that the older, bigger mall has signed a lease with Maggiano during an earnings call with investors last Wednesday (Feb. 7), the Washington Business Journal first reported.

Confirming the move, Maggiano’s Vice President Larry Konecny told the WBJ that the restaurant “made itself a part of the McLean community since its opening at Tysons Galleria” almost three decades ago, but the new location will “be more accessible” to Metro riders and “those joining festivities in the plaza.”

Maggiano’s opened on Tysons Galleria’s second floor in the mid-1990s. It was the company’s fourth location overall and its first expansion outside of the Chicago area, according to a 1995 report by the Washington Post.

The transition to Tysons Corner Center is expected this summer, but a closing date at Tysons Galleria hasn’t been established yet, a Maggiano’s employee told FFXnow. A representative for Brookfield Properties, which owns the Galleria, didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry about when the lease will expire.

“Maggiano’s opening date is still tentative,” a Tysons Corner Center spokesperson said.

The Cheesecake Factory’s new Tysons Corner Center restaurant will also be a relocation, not a second site, an employee confirmed to FFXnow. The chain opened its 13,300-square-foot space on Tysons Galleria’s third floor — one level above Maggiano’s — in 2003.

“We’re not sure yet, but it might be at the end of 2024,” the worker said when asked about a potential closing date at Tysons Galleria.

The Cheesecake Factory anticipates opening at Tysons Corner Center in the fourth quarter of this year, the mall’s spokesperson says, adding that both new restaurants will be located on the east end near Coastal Flats.

The mall currently has two sizable vacancies on its first floor near Coastal Flats, one of which hasn’t had a permanent tenant since Gordon Biersch Brewery closed in 2020. Temporary pop-ups have included the locally owned Bisnonna Bakeshop and the art exhibit “Overboard.”

Maggiano’s only other Northern Virginia location is at Springfield Town Center, while the Cheesecake Factory can also be found at Fair Oaks Mall and in Arlington’s Clarendon area.

In addition to the two restaurants, Tysons Corner Center is slated to welcome the fashion retailers Khaadi, Primark and Mango this year after Rothy’s, the recycled shoes company, opened in January. Macerich also recently announced that Level99 will open a 40,000-square-foot gaming playground at the mall in 2025.

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The entertainment and dining venue Level99 will open at Tysons Corner Center in 2025 (courtesy Macerich Company)

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) An entertainment complex that brings puzzle and video game-like challenges to life is taking over the former Old Navy at Tysons Corner Center.

Next year, Level99 will open a 40,000-square-foot playground and restaurant on the mall’s second floor adjacent to Barnes & Noble, the company jointly announced today (Tuesday) with Tysons Corner Center owner Macerich.

Old Navy was relocated to the other end of the mall near Bloomingdale’s. Its previous space — the one that will be permanently occupied by Level99 — is currently filled by the temporary Hot Wheels Champion Experience.

Originally opened in Natick, Massachusetts, in 2021, Level99 describes itself as a “first-of-its-kind destination for live-action, challenge-based entertainment, craft beverages and farm-to-table dining designed for grown-ups.”

Visitors can work together to complete various physical and mental games in “challenge rooms,” or they can compete in duels. The Tysons location will have 40 rooms that can collectively accommodate up to 600 players, along with a 300-seat taproom and scratch kitchen.

The challenges vary from room to room, from obstacle courses to a life-sized version of “Rock Band” and “ninja training” for a battle against a samurai, according to Level99.

“Level99 offers mental, physical, communication and skill challenges in an open-world format for guests to discover and explore,” said Level99 CEO Matt DuPlessie, a former Disney engineer and owner of the production company, Box Fort, that designed Level99. “…We look forward to welcoming residents and visitors from the D.C. area to discover all that Level99 has to offer.”

The original Level99 drew over 400,000 guests in 2023 and recently expanded with 10 new rooms, according to Patch. The company also launched a second location in Providence, Rhode Island, last week.

Operated by Night Shift Brewing Kitchen & Tap, a Boston-based brewery, the restaurants serve beer hall-style food, including pizza, wagyu burgers and fries. Drinks include craft beer and cocktails. Level99 wasn’t immediately available to confirm whether the Tysons venue will have the same operator and menu.

Following the December opening of the toy store/entertainment experience Camp, the addition of Level99 continues Tysons Corner Center’s push into the realm of interactive retail.

A market study released last summer by the Tysons Community Alliance suggested the area needs more entertainment options — such as the virtual reality gaming venue Sandbox VR, which opened on Dec. 22 in The Boro — to meet demand as its population grows.

“Level99 created an impressive, innovative way for adults to have a memorable experience at its first space in the Boston area, and we know our active, sophisticated Tysons Corner guests will enjoy exploring all that Level99 has to offer,” Eric Bunyan, Macerich’s senior vice president of leasing for the east region, said. “It’s a great complement to our existing tenant base.”

Level99 is scheduled to launch in Tysons in 2025. More immediately, Tysons Corner Center is expected to open the clothing stores Khaadi and Mango this year after adding Rothy’s just last week.

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The recycled-shoes store Rothy’s is now open at Tysons Corner Center near Macy’s (courtesy Tysons Corner Center

A store that sells clothing made of recycled materials has opened its doors at Tysons Corner Center, kicking off what appears to be a fashion-focused year for the region’s largest mall.

Rothy’s opened a 1,815-square-foot store on the mall’s second level, near Macy’s, last Thursday (Jan. 25), Tysons Corner Center announced Friday (Jan. 26).

Originally launched in 2016, the San Francisco-based brand began as an online-only retailer focused on women’s shoes — specifically ballet flats — manufactured out of single-use plastic bottles. The company has since expanded into other types of shoes for men, women and kids as well as handbags and other accessories.

With the Tysons opening, Rothy’s also assembled 18 brick-and-mortar stores around the U.S., including one in Georgetown.

“We’re delighted to expand the Rothy’s retail portfolio to include Tysons Corner and grow our community in the greater DMV market,” Rothy’s Vice President of Retail Shaheen Mufti said. “Our newest store will serve as a platform to share our brand story and mission, offering comfortable, washable, sustainable footwear alongside thoughtfully designed handbags and accessories.”

In addition to announcing Rothy’s arrival, Tysons Corner Center confirmed two incoming tenants, both of them clothing retailers.

As previously reported, the Pakistani fashion brand Khaadi will open its first U.S. store at the mall this year, occupying 5,491 square feet on the second floor near Barnes & Noble. Mango, a fashion company based in Barcelona, Spain, will open near Macy’s this summer.

Khaadi is on track to open around the third week of February, a company spokesperson told FFXnow.

Other changes at the mall include a new location for Foot Locker, which has combined its existing regular Foot Locker and Kids Foot Locker stores into a new “Power Store” on the first floor near Wasabi.

According to Tysons Corner Center’s press release, the shoe company’s Power Stores offer customers “the largest product selection of any of the retail chain’s store concepts,” including “sneaker and apparel trends specific to the community where the stores operate.”

“Following a number of notable openings in 2023, we are thrilled to welcome a large number of new high-performing and well-known brands to our roster of tenants in 2024,” Jesse Benites, director of property management for Tysons Corner Center owner Macerich, said in the release. “As the #1 shopping destination in the region, and one of the nation’s top-performing centers, Tyson Corner Center continues to attract top brands with the high-volume productivity that retailers are seeking.”

A two-story outlet for the fast-fashion company Primark is also still under construction in the former L.L. Bean space near Bloomingdale’s. Macerich announced the deal back in 2021, and Primark said last August that the store — its 22nd in the U.S. — will open in 2024.

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The Spanish fashion company Mango opened its flagship U.S. store on Fifth Avenue in New York City in 2022 (courtesy Mango)

(Updated at 11:30 a.m. on 12/20/2023) A Spanish fashion brand that has started utilizing artificial intelligence to design its clothes is coming to Tysons Corner Center.

Mango recently announced that it will expand to the D.C. area for the first time with four stores opening in 2024, including one in the region’s largest mall. New locations are also planned at 950 F Street in D.C.’s Penn Quarter, the Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, and Pentagon City.

All of the stores will exclusively sell women’s clothes, except for the D.C. one, which will have both men’s and women’s lines.

The company’s expansion plan for next year also includes its first Pennsylvania store at the King of Prussia Town Center.

“We are very excited to bring the brand experience physically for the first time in Washington D.C. and in Pennsylvania as part of our ambitious development plan for the coming months in the United States, one of our key markets in the coming years,” Mango Director of Expansion and Franchises Daniel López said in a press release.

Founded by brothers Isak and Nahman Andic, Mango opened its first store in Barcelona in 1984 and has since expanded to over 2,500 stores worldwide, though its global growth came at a cost when a factory in Bangladesh collapsed in April 2013. The company now touts a commitment to sustainability and transparency in how its clothes are made.

Though Mango has had a presence in the U.S. since 2006, it launched an expansion plan in the country last year, opening a flagship store in New York City and setting a goal of 40 stores nationwide by 2024.

The Tysons store will be located near Macy’s, a Tysons Corner Center spokesperson says. A Fairfax County permit currently under review indicates that it will be 7,072 square feet in size and located in Suite G4U — currently home to the U.K. clothing company Superdry.

Other fashion brands scheduled to make their debut at Tysons Corner Center in 2024 include the Pakistani retailer Khaadi and the fast fashion company Primark.

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Hot Wheels Champion Experience will open at Tysons Corner Center on Dec. 15 (courtesy Mattel and SEE Touring Exhibitions)

Mattel is ready to hit the gas pedal on its new Hot Wheels Champion Experience in Tysons.

The interactive exhibit will open to patrons at Tysons Corner Center at 9 a.m. tomorrow (Friday), a week later than previously anticipated. It’s located on the mall’s second floor in the former Old Navy space next to Barnes and Noble.

The temporary, 16,000-square-foot pop-up will combine physical and virtual environments to enable visitors to design, drive and race Hot Wheels vehicles “without headsets, goggles, or other equipment,” according to a press release.

To bring Hot Wheels to life, Mattel partnered with SEE Touring Exhibitions Inc., a themed entertainment provider that also brought a Sistine Chapel exhibit to Tysons in 2021. The companies say the concept responds to a demand for interactive events in retail as an alternative to “passive consumption.”

“We recognize the importance of spending quality time together during the holidays,” Mattel and SEE Touring Exhibitions said. “Hot Wheels Champion Experience provides an opportunity for families to come together, regardless of their age, to enjoy a shared, nostalgic, and thrilling experience.”

Attractions include augmented reality rooms, a monster truck competition, a game where participants can defend Hot Wheels City from monsters, and Hot Wheels Central, where patrons can track how they’re performing on the various challenges and collect digital memorabilia.

Some exclusive clothes, toys and other merchandise will also be available.

Tickets for 90-minute time slots are currently on sale, starting at $32 for teens and adults and $25 for children. An end date for the experience hasn’t been announced yet, but the ticket vendor currently shows available dates through Feb. 25.

Hot Wheels is rolling into Tysons Corner Center one week after the arrival of CAMP, a toy and entertainment retailer whose new, permanent store is currently accompanied by an interactive, “Encanto”-themed experience. Disney Encanto X Camp opened on Friday, Dec. 8 and appears to be sold out for the rest of this year.

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A Make-A-Wish family attends an advance screening of the Disney movie “Wish” in Tysons (courtesy Walt Disney Company)

Some local families got an early holiday present this past weekend, courtesy of the Mouse House.

Disney offered an advance screening of its latest animated film — appropriately titled “Wish” — at Tysons Corner Center on Saturday (Nov. 18) to beneficiaries of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the nonprofit that grants requests from kids with critical illnesses.

The 11 a.m. screening at the AMC Theatres in Tysons drew more than 150 attendees, according to a Disney spokesperson.

“At Disney, we’ve always believed in the magic of making wishes come true,” Lisa Haines, senior vice president of corporate social responsibility at The Walt Disney Company, said in a statement to FFXnow. “Our relationship with Make-A-Wish has spanned over four decades, and it’s a testament to our commitment to delivering joy to children and their families.”

Launched in 1980, Make-A-Wish began in Phoenix, Arizona, after the community united to support a 7-year-old boy with leukemia who wanted to become a police officer. The nonprofit has now granted more than 520,000 wishes worldwide, according to its website.

The Mid-Atlantic chapter, which encompasses the D.C. area, was founded in 1983 and has granted more than 11,000 wishes to kids diagnosed with cancer, heart disease and other serious illnesses.

According to Make-A-Wish, it has been partnered with Disney since its inception, and one out of every two requests from kids in the U.S. are fulfilled by the company that has become synonymous with childhood entertainment.

Disney conceived of “Wish” as an homage to classics like “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and “The Little Mermaid” to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Walt Disney Animation Studios, though early critical reviews suggest it struggles to capture that past magic.

Directed by “Frozen” alums Chris Buck and Fawn Veerasunthorn from a script by Jennifer Lee and Allison Moore, “Wish” follows a girl voiced by Oscar winner Ariana DeBose who must save the fictional kingdom of Rosas from its villainous king. She gets help from “a little ball of boundless energy called Star” that she brought into existence with the titular wish.

The movie officially opens tomorrow (Wednesday), but screenings will get underway at the AMC in Tysons and other local theaters this afternoon in anticipation of Thanksgiving weekend, which is typically a busy period for moviegoing — at least in pre-pandemic times.

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