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Dining in Tysons Corner Malls


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From people on the Board of the Tower Club, they are dreading the traffic snarl that the Metro construction will create, in an already too-congested Tysons, but they're not entirely certain what that will mean for restaurant traffic. For those who work in the Tysons area, it will probably mean hunkering down at local bars and restaurants until the traffic dies down at rush hour. For those outside of Tysons, it will probably mean avoiding Tysons like the plague for a few years....just passing along the Tower Club concerns....

Don't folks already avoid the area because of traffic now? I know plenty of folks that steer clear during rush hour. I cannot imagine the nightmare that a massive construction project will bring. That certainly cannot be good news for businesses in that area.

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How do you even know there will be a traffic impact other than conjecture and rumors? There will always be congestion because it is already a business destination and will become more of one when it gets more dense - just like getting into and out of DC, Crystal City, Rosslyn, etc. But to assume there is total gridlock is just an assumption that keeps popping up on this forum - the two largest construction projects on the East Coast, the Springfield Interchange and the Wilson Bridge projects have not created the "assumed" congestion everyone claimed about them - other than on very specific, short-term events. There is no proof that there will be any consequences at all - in fact, I think most of the analysis shows that construction will be staged in such a way that all the capacity that is there now will remain. Is there any real other proof other than information being produced as part of the on-going campaign to underground the Metro?

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Is there any real other proof other than information being produced as part of the on-going campaign to underground the Metro?

The underground metro will likely make for even worse congestion since it would likely be mostly a "cut and cover" tunnel project. Boring would cause less traffic impact, but it is very slow, and far more expensive than digging a really big trench.

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I drive through Tysons every day at morning and evening rush hour, and other than the occasional snarlup from an accident, like yesterday, the construction doesn't seem to have made much difference. There's certainly no reason to think that the sky is about to fall, or that Tyson's will suddenly become undriveable - in fact, one of the HOT lane construction reroutes has made the entrance from the toll road onto the outer loop of the Beltway better, and I wish they'd made that particular change years ago.

The only time Tyson's is a real traffic nightmare to be avoided at all costs is between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and that's not going to change no matter how much construction occurs or doesn't. :rolleyes:

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It's been over a year since my post about the graveyard for good restaurants that Tysons has become. We have seen the likes of Colvin Run, Maestro and Inox come and go. We also heard the Gordon Ramsay rumor come and go. I'm hoping for a positive turnaround in this area, and soon.

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Since I live and work in Tysons (get to work by 9 and leave the office usually around 6:30-7), traffic hasn't been worse than before with the construction. The economic implosion has thinned the traffic compared to 2007. There certainly isn't any traffic on weekends (except during holiday season). Yes, traffic is still bad during rush hours - with all the knuckleheads blabbing on their phones instead of paying attention to driving. However, I think the unsustainability of good restaurants here may have much to do with the economy - you need expense accounts to keep these restaurants afloat on weekdays. Also, most McLean residents seem to eat shit and like it. I can't figure out why J Gilberts is packed all the time...

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Rocks - yours is a very fair and reasoned assessment. I returned for a second visit and agree with your comments for the most part. However, I do not expect a great culinary experience here on par with an individually operated restaurant featuring an auteur feverishly using the whisk. Different caliber and focus = different expectations = different results.

My second visit this weekend comported with my first favorable impression. I was pleased...again. Personally, I will opt for S52 over Sandia and Coastal Flats (been there, did that, no repeats) on my next visit to Tysons 1.

We had a dreadful experience at La Sandia this weekend and I can't bear the thought of going back to Seasons 52. Wondering how bad Brio really could be...

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We had a dreadful experience at La Sandia this weekend and I can't bear the thought of going back to Seasons 52. Wondering how bad Brio really could be...

The one time I had a meal at Brio, it was quite nice. It's not going to be like Tosca, but certainly it was better than Carrabbas, I think. I actually had a nice meal and good service at Coastal Flats two years ago for lunch.

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The one time I had a meal at Brio, it was quite nice. It's not going to be like Tosca, but certainly it was better than Carrabbas, I think. I actually had a nice meal and good service at Coastal Flats two years ago for lunch.

I had lunch with a group of friends at Brio a few weeks ago. The service was very nice, it wasn't bustling in there that day but the noise level was low enough we could converse easily enough, and the food was pleasant but not special.

---

Street Kitchen (@Lf82)

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I had no idea Tysons Corner Center is the 13th-largest mall in America - I thought for sure Potomac Mills was bigger, but Tysons Corner Center is 50% bigger than Potomac Mills.

Scarier still: The Mall of America is only the 31st-largest mall in the world - the Persian Gulf Complex in Iran has *2,500 stores*; the Dubai Mall in Dubai is over *12,000,000 square feet*, and the SM City North ESDA mall in the Philippines has almost *1,000,000 customers per day*!

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1 hour ago, DonRocks said:

I had no idea Tysons Corner Center is the 13th-largest mall in America - I thought for sure Potomac Mills was bigger, but Tysons Corner Center is 50% bigger than Potomac Mills.

Scarier still: The Mall of America is only the 31st-largest mall in the world - the Persian Gulf Complex in Iran has *2,500 stores*; the Dubai Mall in Dubai is over *12,000,000 square feet*, and the SM City North ESDA mall in the Philippines has almost *1,000,000 customers per day*!

The following has nothing to do with food.

In the early 1980's I worked as a commercial real estate agent for one of the big firms in the area.  Our offices were set up as a bullpen of sorts with 32 built in cubicles for sales agents and management offices and several conference rooms surrounding that large space.  The office set up was corporate and designed to enhance and support interaction and teamwork between agents.  It was also set up to allow electric excitement to permeate throughout the space.

I was more or less a newbie.  One afternoon one of the experienced big hitter agents was on the phone, standing and speaking with someone.  Out of the corner of my eye I could see he was both agitated and excited.   When he got off the phone he said in his most manly tough guy, deal making voice.   "WE GOT IT".  Another of the big hitters was in the office and stood up and the two had this enormous he-man handshake.  They were part of a threesome.  They had sold Tysons Corner Mall.  (I think the third member was out on an appointment.).

It was SO ELECTRIC.  Those guys just transacted the biggest (or one of the biggest deals) in the region.  By FAR.  HUGE DEAL.  A monster.  I recall hearing the price.  I'm not going to reference it...but it was big...and remember this was early 1980's.  Lots of differences in Tysons then and now.  I went to the Wikipedia listing on Tysons for some history.  Per that report it was built at the end of the 1960's and was originally 1.2 million sq feet...and now its either 2.2 or 2.4 million feet, depending on which source you read.  They sold the project when it was still a paltry 1.2 million square feet.  Per the wikipedia article the project is assessed at $1 billion now, but I have no idea what it might sell for.  (sales price is value--not assessed value). 

Tysons:  Its a big mall.  Always was and still is.  From its early days it drew traffic from Maryland.  It draws traffic from DC.  It sucks up shoppers from the entire region.  The Galleria was built.  Holy crow.  Two big malls in one little area.  That is close to unprecedented.  Some chains have stores in both malls with the Galleria one carrying fancier pricier merchandise. 

Tysons:  Its a big mall.  Its surrounded by about 27 million feet of office space, which is larger than most downtowns in most cities in the nation.  Its a freaking monster of an area.

And its really not a great destination for great great dining.  But there are a lot of people there.  If you can work your way through the traffic.  An amazing phenomena. 

 

 

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19 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

[Your insights on the real estate market are *always* welcome here (as long as you talk about Sports once in awhile).] :)

hey, Don.  It wasn't even really about real estate.  It was more a memory of electricity in the air.  Like watching great sex, a great performance, an amazing athletic feat.  Electric.  Not doing it--watching it.  :D  Quite honestly I think it spurred me to work harder and smarter.

I think those guys bought drinks for the house that night.   Hahaha. 

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We're off-topic a bit on Brio.

The CEO is Brad Blum, who ran Olive Garden. From the FoodFirst press page:

"If anyone has the resume to do it, it might be Blum, who ran Olive Garden for seven years. After that he was CEO at Burger King and Romano's Macaroni Grill before spending three more years back at Darden on its board of directors until he resigned in March (2018) to embark on his new venture."

Now, there's a resume for you! Burger King, Romano's Macaroni Grill, and Brio. He definitely knows his fine food.

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On ‎1‎/‎28‎/‎2020 at 4:03 PM, Kibbee Nayee said:

We're off-topic a bit on Brio.

The CEO is Brad Blum, who ran Olive Garden. From the FoodFirst press page:

"If anyone has the resume to do it, it might be Blum, who ran Olive Garden for seven years. After that he was CEO at Burger King and Romano's Macaroni Grill before spending three more years back at Darden on its board of directors until he resigned in March (2018) to embark on his new venture."

Now, there's a resume for you! Burger King, Romano's Macaroni Grill, and Brio. He definitely knows his fine food.

He may not know food but I bet he made amazing money all those years.

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Brad Blum resigned as CEO and Chairman of the Board of the parent company, FoodFirst. He was replaced by the former CEO of Applebee's as well as Pizza Hut, the latter his most recent position. This change was announced yesterday, January 21. Blum remains a co-owner.

I checked the website and The Annapolis and Tyson's locations are scrubbed and the new CEO is already listed. The change was announced by the capitol firm partner that gave Blum the funding.  They paid 100 million for the two concepts, Brio and Bravo. They want to move upscale. 

 “I would like to personally thank Brad for his outstanding leadership and contribution in setting up the foundation for FoodFirst’s success,” said Mr. Bonchristiano." 

Bonchristiano is CEO of the main partner in Food First, apparently the one who put up the 100 million.. That is standard corporate speak for "don't let the door hit you on your way out". A CEO and  COB change and several store closings seems like a bloodletting. "Remaining on as co-owner and involved" but without a mention on the parent company's website and without a job tittle usually translates to "The dude has an employment contract and we can't get his butt out of there any time soon, plus buying him out is putting more money into an under-performing venture. 

Just a guess.

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My wife works at a well-known kitchen wares store in in Tyson's Galleria, and last night I learned Andy's Pizza recently reopened. We have enjoyed Andy's on a few occasions, and it's always been quite good (and much better than anything around Ashburn), so she brought a pizza home for dinner.

I'm glad to report their New York style pizza is better than ever. We ordered a half margherita and half sausage and jalapeno pizza. The 18 inch pie was perfectly cooked.. The crust was relatively thin, a bit crispy, and a bit chewy. Andy's uses a relatively light hand with the sauce, cheese, and toppings, which is to my liking, and the ingredients are top notch. Highly recommended!

 

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2 hours ago, reedm said:

My wife works at a well-known kitchen wares store in in Tyson's Galleria, and last night I learned Andy's Pizza recently reopened. We have enjoyed Andy's on a few occasions, and it's always been quite good (and much better than anything around Ashburn), so she brought a pizza home for dinner.

I'm glad to report their New York style pizza is better than ever. We ordered a half margherita and half sausage and jalapeno pizza. The 18 inch pie was perfectly cooked.. The crust was relatively thin, a bit crispy, and a bit chewy. Andy's uses a relatively light hand with the sauce, cheese, and toppings, which is to my liking, and the ingredients are top notch. Highly recommended!

 

Big fan of Andy's here. I'm sorry that the pandemic has ripped through the Galleria, and I thoroughly enjoy the Lebanese Taverna outpost there. But Andy's is my go-to for pizza in that area. Good to hear they're back into action.

(Your wife must be working at Williams-Sonoma? I heard that Sur-la-Table was closing stores. Good online bargains right now at both.)

 

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34 minutes ago, Kibbee Nayee said:

Big fan of Andy's here. I'm sorry that the pandemic has ripped through the Galleria, and I thoroughly enjoy the Lebanese Taverna outpost there. But Andy's is my go-to for pizza in that area. Good to hear they're back into action.

Also a huge fan of Andy's. They were not open last weekend, but pleased they are now. Think they must be the first business back open in the food hall, or whatever they are calling that third floor space now.

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