Announcing the winners of Braddock's Best!

Suspect arrested in Burke double homicide - Article delves into the hidden history of our area - What happens if a student tests positive for COVID-19?

Welcome to Braddock Buzz, where our hearts go out to the people of Afghanistan and the many refugees now in temporary housing throughout Northern Virginia. Via Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw, here are links to the primary resettlement organizations in our area for those who’d like to provide support: Catholic Charities Diocese of Arlington County, Lutheran Social Services National Capital Area, and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.

Thank you to our sponsors:

  • Realtor Jennifer Mack, whose column this week answers the question: Is staging necessary when listing a home? Reach out to Jennifer with column ideas or real estate questions at

  • WorkAway Solutions, your neighborhood coworking space in Ravensworth. WorkAway offers long-term and short-term coworking space for individuals and teams—along with meeting rooms, business mail service, and more. Book a tour today!

  • We’re looking for a third regular advertiser for this space. If interested, email us at

Announcing the winners of Braddock’s Best!

Big thanks to the 142 readers who cast votes to help decide the best restaurants, coffee shops, and breweries in our area. We look forward to doing this again next year with some of the same categories and a few news ones.

Without further ado, here are the winners of our inaugural reader survey:

Best Pizza

  1. Giardino Italian Restaurant in Springfield (29 first place votes)

  2. Mamma Lucia in the Fair City Mall (27 first place votes + 16 second place votes)

  3. Villa Bella in Burke (14 first place votes + 15 second place votes + 11 third place votes)

Best Burger

  1. Five Guys (multiple locations) (40 first place votes)

  2. Silverado in Annandale (10 first place votes + 18 second place votes)

  3. Elevation Burger (locations in the Turnpike Shopping Center, Falls Church, and the Fair Oaks Mall) (15 first place votes + 12 second place votes + 16 third place votes)

Best Date Night

  1. Hamrock's Restaurant in Fairfax City (17 first place votes)

  2. Bartaco in Mosaic (12 first place votes + 20 second place votes)

  3. [tied] Sisters Thai (locations in Mosaic and Fairfax City) (13 first place votes + 11 second place votes + 12 third place votes); Trummer's Restaurant in Clifton (15 first place votes + 11 second place votes + 10 third place votes)

Best Family Friendly Restaurant

  1. Spartans Family Restaurant in Burke (21 first place votes)

  2. Sweetwater Tavern in Falls Church (16 first place votes + 18 second place votes)

  3. Coyote Grille in Fairfax City (12 first place votes + 13 second place votes + 18 third place votes)

Best Coffee Shop/Bakery

  1. Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop in the Ravensworth Shopping Center (54 first place votes)

  2. Peet's Coffee (locations in Springfield, the Fair City Mall, and Fairfax Corner) (15 first place votes + 17 second place votes)

  3. Foundation Coffee Roasters in the Fair City Mall (14 first place votes + 11 second place votes + 6 third place votes)

Best Brewery

  1. Caboose Commons in Mosaic (33 first place votes)

  2. Bunnyman Brewing on Guinea Road (22 first place votes + 15 second place votes)

  3. Ornery Beer Company in Fairfax City (15 first place votes + 10 second place votes + 17 third place votes)

Local History

Article delves into the hidden history of Oak Hill, Ilda, and more: Braddock District resident Tom Shoop, the former editor-in-chief of Government Executive Media Group, has published an article delving into some of the hidden Black history of our area. The article, published in Route Fifty, shines a light on Moses Parker and Horace Gibson, two formerly enslaved men who founded the Ilda community after the Civil War, and discusses the increased attention now being paid to the many people who were once enslaved at the Oak Hill Plantation House. 

Here’s an excerpt:

State and local government officials around the country are reevaluating the past, paying more attention to stories that have been discredited as unverified and removing monuments to those who betrayed their country to fight for the right to hold human beings as property. In the process, they’re often accused of erasing history. In fact, says [Braddock District Supervisor] Walkinshaw, “we’re bringing to light a history that has been erased.”

You can read the full article here.

What happens if a student tests positive for Covid-19?

The first week of school saw small numbers of students test positive for COVID-19 at Woodson High School, Canterbury Woods Elementary, and other schools in our area, according to the FCPS pandemic dashboard.

To understand what happens when a student tests positive, here’s an excerpt from a COVID-19 notification letter sent last Wednesday by Braddock Elementary School Principal Keesha Jackson-Muir:

Dear Braddock Staff and Community:

In cooperation with the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD), this letter is to inform you [that a] student at Braddock Elementary School has reported testing positive for COVID-19. 

The FCHD will identify and communicate with close contacts of this individual and tell them what action to take, such as testing or quarantine. 

If you do not receive a call from the Health Department, you have not been identified as a close contact to this case. A close contact is any person, regardless of vaccination status, who is within six feet of a COVID-19 positive individual for equal to or greater than 15 minutes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) K-12 Exception states students will not be identified as close contacts if they are at least three feet apart and consistently wearing masks (adults are not included in this exception).

When the FCHD has completed its contact tracing and investigation of this case, FCPS will send an email to notify you the FCHD has closed the case. ...

Sponsor Message

WorkAway Solutions offers flexible coworking space in Ravensworth

Book a tour with WorkAway Solutions today, or contact owner Susan King Glosby with any questions you might have about coworking at


Suspect arrested in Burke double homicide

An update on the tragic events that occured in Burke earlier this month, via the Fairfax County Police Department blog:

A 33-year-old man is in custody and awaiting extradition at the Baltimore Central Booking Intake Facility for the murder of Susan Lister, 67, and Amber Currie, 41, both of Burke. Bradley Lister, 33, is facing two counts of second-degree murder and two counts of use of a weapon in the commission of a felony.

Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau determined Bradley Lister killed his mother and sister in the home where they all resided in the 6100 block of Eagle Landing Road. Officers discovered the victims on the morning of August 20 following a request for a welfare check. Detectives immediately sought Bradley Lister for questioning, but he could not be found or contacted.

Bradley Lister was located [Aug. 23] by the U.S. Marshals Service at a hospital in Baltimore and was taken into custody for charges unrelated to the homicides. Detectives responded to the Baltimore City Police Department Headquarters to interview Lister and determined he shot both victims on August 17.

Following the murder, Lister fled to Baltimore City. Detectives believe Lister removed multiple firearms from the home. Lister will remain in custody at the Baltimore Central Booking Intake Facility until he is extradited back to Fairfax County.

News in Brief

  • The School Board last week approved one-time, $1,000 bonuses for FCPS employees, to be paid out at the end of November.

  • The board also increased starting pay for school bus drivers to $22.91/hour, in addition to a $3,000 recruitment bonus, amid a national shortage of commercially licensed drivers.

  • Fairfax County has recorded its first death of a minor from COVID-19 since the pandemic began, The Washington Post reports. Officials described the child as younger than 10.

  • A child died last Wednesday from drowning in a residential pool in Braymore Circle in Fairfax Station, WTOP reports.

Real Estate

Sponsored Content

Jennifer Mack column: Is staging necessary when listing a home?

A reader asked whether staging is necessary when listing a home. The answer, as usual, is that it depends. 

A vacant home will typically show better with some furniture in it. Staging makes the photos more visually appealing and enticing to buyers. It adds warmth and character to a home, which can help a buyer feel that ever-important emotional connection. Additionally, some homes have floor plans that make it difficult for a buyer to imagine the purpose of each room, and furniture can help delineate this. Some rooms are unusually small or large or irregularly shaped—and staging can help overcome potential objections buyers may have. 

An occupied home may need little to no staging, depending on the type of furniture the owners have and their style of decoration. The most important thing is to keep in mind the probable demographic of the buyer and cater the staging to appeal to them. For example, when we have a home with seniors in it, their style may not appeal to a family in their 30s. I usually recommend that sellers pack up quite a few of their belongings, to include collectibles and accessories so there is a more minimalist look. 

When buyers look at photos, the goal is for them to notice the features of the room such as flooring, windows, and light fixtures. If the personal items are too overwhelming, they can take over the photo so that the buyer doesn’t notice anything else. Sellers who plan to dispose of some of their furniture before moving should go ahead and do that before listing in most cases. I ask sellers to do the majority of the work for their move before they go on the market so the actual move is not painful. We walk our clients through this step by step so they know exactly what to do to show their home in its best light.

Sometimes we have sellers who do not want any type of staging done. I do understand this and am happy to accommodate as long as the seller understands that it could impact the sale price. One of the goals of staging is to get the home sold faster so that a seller doesn't have to live with the inconvenience of their home being on the market any longer than necessary.

Staging isn't limited to just the interior either. For example, a small backyard can be transformed in the buyer's mind by having a beautifully staged patio where buyers can imagine themselves entertaining and relaxing. Staging doesn't have to feel like an overwhelming task for the sellers. With proper planning and execution we can prep the home to appeal to the majority of buyers.

Jennifer Mack has more than 16 years of experience in the real estate industry, with her team servicing Virginia, Maryland, and D.C. Contact her at or by calling 703-672-0038.

Featured New Listings

8927 Burbank Rd, Annandale | 5 beds, 3.5 baths, 3,872 sf | $949,500

4305 Wakefield Dr, Annandale | 4 beds, 3 baths, 2,800 sf | $865,000

4907 Hollybrook Ln, Fairfax | 4 beds, 3.5 baths, 3,976 sf | $824,900

10318 Collingham Dr, Fairfax | 4 beds, 3.5 baths, 2,187 sf | $785,000

5212 Noyes Ct, Fairfax | 4 beds, 3 baths, 2,168 sf | $759,714

Top Sales

4335 Amnesty Pl, Fairfax | 6 beds, 4.5 baths, 4,564 sf | 2 days on market | $985,000

9706 Doulton Ct, Fairfax | 5 beds, 3.5 baths, 3,600 sf | 5 days on market | $980,000

4226 Rose Thickett Ln, Fairfax | 6 beds, 5.5 baths, 3,835 sf | 6 days on market | $975,000

5605 Glanmore Ct, Fairfax | 4 beds, 2.5 baths, 2,284 sf | 5 days on market | $837,500

4826 Ponderosa Dr, Annandale | 5 beds, 3 baths, 1,961 sf | 5 days on market | $750,000