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Gypsy Soul, Casual Upscale in Merrifield's Mosaic District with Chef John "Bull" Engle - Closed


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My wife spotted a large sign stating that an "RJ Cooper concept" is coming to the Mosaic District in Merrifield, VA. RJ - care to enlighten us? :D

Bullet Points on Mosaic:

  • yes I am working on a property in the Mosaic District.
  • why not the city first? Edens and their team are fantastic and it is a different branch for the brand
  • food: think back to vidalia days with less boundaries
  • price point: not cheap but not expensive either
  • size: 5200 sq ft main level 2100 sq ft roof top (140 seats & 70 on roof)
  • Roof top: bar and 3 wood burning grills
  • menus: will be different from roof top and the main dining room
  • cocktails and spirits: hell yes driven and curated by bryan and myself
  • wine & beer: yes
  • when will we open? some time between 1.13-12.13
  • is it going to be cool? yes not as interactive as rogue but we will not be hiding as well
  • name; GYPSY SOUL
  • why Merrifield: 10 minutes by harley from my house...and the property is cutting edge
  • will we do another property in the city? When we find the right building to buy.

Any other information is highly secretive (we are still working out the details)

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A couple of weeks ago, a trip to Leesburg brought the family past Gypsy Soul and naturally we had to stop for Sunday brunch. The donuts were crazy good. Crispy with a soft, lemony center. I had the ch

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We just saw Samsara at the new Angelika last Monday night. Beautiful space! Could not believe they had Bells beer at the concession stand. Mosaic District has turned out better than I thought in design.

I would have thought, you would have ended up in the Reston Town Center. Curious to see if the money demographic will support Mosaic coming down from Tyson's.

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Great name for a restaurant, Chef.

My wife lived near Merrifield off of Gallows road for almost twenty years before moving to Reston. For your "next" restaurant, like lion, we really wish you would look here (Reston). There is a need-and the ability to support a better restaurant! Until then, we wish you the absolute best of luck and look forward to visiting you.

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Traffic is incredibly bad these days, but at least it's not as bad as when they were shutting down the beltway after midnight and I had to routinely use every backroad driving trick to make it home in a reasonable amount of time.

I do agree with Joe, Reston Town Center has the financial ability to support a high end restaurant, so it would be great if it's your next stop or someone of your caliber.

However, we routinely drive out to Merrifield for it's good small restaurants like Elephant Jumps and Uncle Liu's. Mosaic District seems good and even though Target seems to be the main anchor, the building's design gives it, the appearance of an upscale version. There has been a lot of customer traffic at Sweet Water and Grevey's for decades now. Once the Mosaic District is fully operational, I'm curious to see how things shake out in that area. Will it become a destination hub or a remain a traveling stop?

Regardless, we look forward to trying to the new restaurant.

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We drove around a little more early evening before stopping at Mom's organic market and using a groupon discount there. The area did already have a bit of traffic without Target and the other stores being open. Artisan Confections opening a store is a plus since it's more accessible than the other location.

My concern was more towards the price point with location as a lot of high quality restaurants in Northern VA have not survived long term. I would like it and others to succeed as well.

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I just drove by Mosaic yesterday and I don't think there will be a problem attracting the price point needed to sustain a good restaurant. We are so desperate around here....that is 10 minutes from my house as well. With the exception of Target, the shops going into Mosaic will appeal to an upper scale clientele.

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I believe the area can support it and I can't wait for it to open. I do hope that it will be open for lunch as I work in this area. As everyone says it will be nicer once they finish the construction on Gallows and I hope they build some crosswalks so I can walk there without getting run over. Good luck RJ!

(oh and I'm pete's wife who let the cat out of the bag :rolleyes:)

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After experiencing the traffic at the Mosaic District last Saturday to see the new Artisan Confections store, my earlier concerns were definitely overstated. It was a madhouse over there with the amount of people and we almost got run over in a cross walk.

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Any word on what's going on here? Drove by last week, the windows were clear and empty inside.

I do! I do!

Our plans have been submitted. They have been sitting in limbo on a table at Fairfax County waiting for someone to look at them. They have been only approved by health. The communication that we received after our question of "why" was that they are back logged with the Tyson Project and it would be 10 weeks or more before someone looks at them.

So if any of you all know the county commissioner tell them they are worse to deal with the DC and I am just watching money sit in idle. Its like wine collecting hopefully the maturity of the concept will pay off with big rewards

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Great name for a restaurant, Chef.

Is that a nod to Into The Mystic, by Van Morrison?        

And I------ want to rock your gypsy soul

Just like way back in the days of old

And magnificently we will flow into the mystic

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source: Chef Cooper's signature line here on dr.com

Not sure if anyone else would disagree but the wind has been pretty damn chilly these past two days. So wassup out Merrifield way?

We are hung up the bureaucracy call Fairfax County. We have a meeting scheduled for December 2nd to finalize and get our permits stamped.

Construction has begun. We will start the usual network pages for folks to follow.

Teaser: Southern Ground Modern Interpretations of Regional Cooking

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We are hung up the bureaucracy call Fairfax County. We have a meeting scheduled for December 2nd to finalize and get our permits stamped.

Hopefully the County will read Rebecca Cooper's  article in the current Washington Business Journal and understand the cost of restauant opening delays.

Ginger Boutique, the women's apparel and gifts store that opened in Merrifield's Mosaic District last fall, has become the developments first retail casualty.

The store quietly closed in July due to a lack of sales volume, said Ginger owner Gretchen Hitchner. She attributes the closure to the delay of some of the project's restaurants.

Mosaic has been open for about a year, but full service restaurants there have been slow to open. Local pizza chain Matchbox opened this past spring and was the only full-service restaurant until last week when the long-awaited Mexican spot Cyclone Anaya's opened to the public.

"I do think that it will be bustling, at some point, when those final restaurants get open," said Hitchner. "I should have come in after the restaurants."

Matchbox partner Ty Neal echoed her comments about the lack of full-service restaurant offerings at Mosaic last week.

"You want to have other choices so that the whole destination works," he said. "The pie gets bigger with more operators." Chef R.J. Cooper of Rogue 24 has a restaurant, Gypsy Soul, in the works for Mosaic, but the opening date has been pushed back to 2014. Phoenix-based Fox Restaurant Group has also committed to bringing its True Food Kitchen concept to the site.

Hitchner, meanwhile, is back to running her store in Bethesda and has no plans to expand beyond that at this point.

"I believe it will be successful," she said of Mosaic. "I was just not in a position to wait it out. I put so much time and energy and money into that place "¦ I was very sad to have to close it. But when you know, you know."

Edens, Mosaic's developer, didn't respond to a request for comment.

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RJ what's going on with Gypsy Soul?  The signs are down, the BobCat is gone, the dirt and gravel floor is still there but the only thing there now is a realtor's sign. You have to open somewhere in NoVA, I miss your food.

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Since its late I am waiting for a reduction of huckleberry vinegar and wild hare cuison to redux for the wine dinner for tomorrow evening.

Some quick facts about GS:

135 seat on the main floor dining room

18 to 20 bar stools around an open chef-tender curated bar

the bar frames the open kitchen and chefs island

hand crafted spirits only with classic and modern cocktails (yeah no absolute)

we will have beer with flavor however we will have land shark (everyone who knows me knows i don't like beer with flavor would be much happier with a land shark then some craft something or other)

there will be NO reclaimed lumber

there will be NO edison lights

there will be NO exposed brick the building was built in 2012

the food will be SOUTHERN GROUND MODERN INTERPRETATIONS OF REGIONAL COOKING

we will have a somm driven wine program

there is a roof deck

this is for DINING not dude lets go do shots and drink beer

70 seats or so

food to be determined but only cooked in on or around a wood hearth

cocktails will be picnic tiki and outside focused

Gypsy-the traveler to find food stuffs (me)  Soul-the soul of the community (food, dining)

And throwing around ideas for bluegrass brunches on the deck

PEACE

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we will have beer with flavor however we will have land shark (everyone who knows me knows i don't like beer with flavor would be much happier with a land shark then some craft something or other)

Everyone who know me knows I don't like Land Shark, so I appreciate the effort to include other options. If you need a local to taste your beers with flavor, give me a call. I'm close by! Love the idea of bluegrass on the deck. There aren't enough places for that, plus the 20 somethings that live all around won't be packing the deck so maybe I can get a seat.

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Not to pick on Gypsy Soul, since this is a widespread sin, but can't we all agree that calling a restaurant a "concept" is pretentious and dumb (and corporate-sounding)?

Sorry RJ (or your PR team).

Charles as you know I just go with the jam.......let the  music never stop......concepts are cliches made up for media so they can catagorize

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I heard from a very reliable inside source that the soft (repeat: SOFT) opening of Gypsy Soul is currently scheduled for July 15th.

What this does not mean is that the world should stampede the restaurant on July 15th, and overwhelm them with grand expectations. It means that if you're in the area, they're currently planning to be open at limited capacity.

A lot can change in a month, so you owe it to yourselves to double-check as the date gets close. (Note that if this wasn't a very reliable source, I wouldn't even be saying this, but it is.)

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I heard from a very reliable inside source that the soft (repeat: SOFT) opening of Gypsy Soul is currently scheduled for July 15th.

What this does not mean is that the world should stampede the restaurant on July 15th, and overwhelm them with grand expectations. It means that if you're in the area, they're currently planning to be open at limited capacity.

A lot can change in a month, so you owe it to yourselves to double-check as the date gets close. (Note that if this wasn't a very reliable source, I wouldn't even be saying this, but it is.)

My parents and sister are coming in that weekend...just sayin'.

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Was walking by there at lunchtime today, looks like construction is going at a pretty fast pace. Looking forward to trying it out. Unfortunately the deck looks like will be later developed since didn't see any work on the roof being done.

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Was walking by there at lunchtime today, looks like construction is going at a pretty fast pace. Looking forward to trying it out. Unfortunately the deck looks like will be later developed since didn't see any work on the roof being done.

Yes the roof deck is still hung up in the great Fairfax bureaucracy. We will be finishing it in the second phase.

rj

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Yes the roof deck is still hung up in the great Fairfax bureaucracy. We will be finishing it in the second phase.

rj

Thats too bad. It would have been fun later in the summer, hearing some bluegrass and drinking some beer.

Luckily picked up some Dogfish Head 120 minute IPA at Mom's, so will listen to some bluegrass while grilling this coming 4th week.

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Good to hear. We stopped by on Thursday afternoon for lunch, July 24th. Unfortunately, they were still putting everything together. It looked quite nice with the brushed bronze style artwork outside and the counter space on there perimeter of the kitchen.

Looking forward to reading some reports and checking out the menu.

Edit: Found the website. http://gypsysoul-va.com

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