Discover more from Braddock Buzz
Bunnyman Brewing to open this Thursday - Bloomie’s coming to Mosaic - Four FCPS grads to compete in Olympics
School Board meeting on transgender rights draws dueling protests - Superintendent to depart June 2022 - Pickleball study team to preview findings July 28
Welcome to Braddock Buzz, where we’re still recovering from the wildest party the Braddock District has to offer—the Wakefield Chapel Recreation Association’s annual, adults-only LollaPOOLooza, back from last year’s pandemic hiatus. Props to cover band Turtle Recall for keeping the party hoppin’ even after we had to vacate the pool for lightning.
We’d like to give a shoutout as well to a local Boy Scout, Kevin Read of Troop 1523. Kevin recently interviewed us for a Merit Badge—and came prepared with excellent questions about journalism and the state of local news. We wish him and his troop all the best.
A quick programming note: There will be no newsletter next week, as we’ll be traveling. We’ll be back in your inboxes Monday, Aug. 2.
Keep the news, tips, feedback, and more coming to email@example.com
Thank you to our sponsors:
Realtor Jennifer Mack, whose column this week answers a reader question about what to look for in an investment property. Reach out to Jennifer with column ideas or real estate questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
Bunnyman Brewing to open this Thursday
A sneak peek inside the new brewery on Guinea Road
After months of delays, opening week has finally arrived for Bunnyman Brewing, at 5583 Guinea Road in Burke. There was a “soft launch” this weekend, including several private parties, and the doors will officially open to the public this Thursday, barring any last-minute hiccups.
We recently got a tour from owners Sam Gray and Eric Barrett, pictured above—two Fairfax County natives who’ve already managed to generate quite a lot of buzz for their new business.
The buzz is in part because of the location—a residential area with few other drinking options that was once ranked one of the most boring places in Virginia, as they proudly acknowledge. But it’s also because of the name, Bunnyman—a reference to a spooky urban legend that originated in Burke about an axe-weilding man in a rabbit costume.
The brewery will offer 18 drink selections on tap, including two kombuchas and three hard seltzers. Patrons will serve themselves through a self-pour system intended to free up the staff to focus on customer interactions.
“We’re not doing it to take staff out of the mix,” Barrett said of the self-serve model. “We want to make sure we provide a really high-end customer service on the beer side—talking to customers about beer.”
Fairfax County prohibits breweries from having full-service kitchens, though Bunnyman does eventually plan to offer reheated food items such as hot dogs and brats.
To start, though, there will be food trucks in the parking lot.
The brewery also has an upper level, pictured below, that can be reserved for private events.
As of now, Bunnyman is still in the “experimental” phase—and its beers will not be given official names.
“We have some pretty cool marketing names for the beers, but we’re not using them yet,” Barrett explained. “We have great artwork and everything, but we’re holding off—everything’s experimental for now.”
He said he hopes to eventually have six to eight base beers in rotation that can also be canned and sold.
“This is a retirement thing for both him and I from other careers,” Barrett said. “This is about giving back to the community—building something in the community that's cool.”
Superintendent to depart in June 2022: FCPS Superintendent Scott Brabrand has announced plans to depart at the end of the coming school year. This is consistent with his contract, which was extended by a year to avoid a leadership change during the pandemic and to give the School Board time to conduct a search for his successor.
A news release announcing Brabrand’s departure lists several accomplishments during his tenure, including two that have proven politically divisive: “embedding an equity focus through the division” and “broadening access” to the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology through a new selection process that no longer includes an admissions test.
“In the best of times and the worst of times, I have always strived to lead with a steady hand and a full heart,” said Brabrand, who began his FCPS career as a social studies teacher in 1994.
School Board meeting on transgender rights draws dueling protests: The School Board voted last week to update its “Student Rights and Responsibilities” document to clarify the rights of transgender students. Under the new guidelines, they’ll be able to use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity, and FCPS employees will be required to address them by their preferred names and pronouns. As The Washington Post reported, the meeting drew dueling protests from parents and activists—with one side in support of transgender rights and the other side decrying critical race theory.
Four FCPS grads to compete in Olympics: FCPS boasts four former students who will compete in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, which begin this Friday:
Andrew Seliskar, a 2015 graduate of the Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, will swim for the Team USA 4x200 relay team.
Chioma Onyekwere, a 2012 Robinson Secondary School graduate, will throw discus for Team Nigeria.
Trevor Stewart, a 2016 South County High School graduate, will run track for Team USA in the 4x400-meter relay.
Lucas Kozeniesky, a 2013 Robinson Secondary School graduate, will compete for Team USA in Rifle Shooting: 10-meter air rifle, three-position.
You can find profiles and photos of the four athletes here.
Bloomie’s coming to Mosaic: WTOP has the story:
Bloomingdale’s is embracing its own nickname for the first time, opening the nation’s first Bloomie’s store in Fairfax, Virginia. And it will have a Colada Shop.
The 22,000-square-foot store, about a tenth the size of some of the largest Bloomingdale’s department stores, opens Aug. 26 in the Mosaic District. Bloomingdale’s describes the Bloomie’s concept as a new store experience with design concepts and a distinct assortment of contemporary and luxury brands across women’s and men’s fashions and beauty products. …
The Mosaic District Bloomie’s will have a Colada Shop location as well, serving a full menu of signature cocktails, roasted coffee and Caribbean-inspired small bites.
WorkAway Solutions offers flexible coworking space in Ravensworth
Pickleball study team to preview findings July 28: County officials are scheduled to present the findings and draft recommendations of a comprehensive pickleball study at the Park Authority Board’s July 28 meeting. Pickleball advocates have high hopes for the report—and are pointing to Wakefield Park as a prime location for more dedicated courts.
“The pickleball study team is finalizing its analysis now, and is scheduled to share the findings and draft recommendations with the Park Authority Board at its regular meeting on July 28,” Park Authority spokesperson Judy Pedersen said in an email. “We anticipate finalizing the study this fall.”
County to share Accotink dredging alternatives at two upcoming meetings: The county has scheduled two meetings to review a study into alternative dewatering sites for the Lake Accotink dredging project. As we reported in our last edition, several sites are under consideration, including Howrey Field Park—which has led to protests from the Annandale-North Springfield Little League that operates there.
An in-person meeting will be held July 29 at 7 p.m. in the Annandale High School auditorium, and a virtual meeting will be held Aug. 5, also at 7 p.m.
The alternatives analysis is expected to be posted online today.
News in Brief
The Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Annandale will soon get a $1.2 million renovation including new offices and a multipurpose room, the Annandale Blog reports.
Also from the Annandale Blog: The Board of Supervisors has approved a rezoning application to allow Annandale United Methodist Church to expand the operations of a social services center off Heritage Drive.
The county is considering a tax on plastic bags used by grocery stores and retailers—a measure put forward by Braddock District Supervisor James Walkinshaw, according to Tysons Now.
The county has committed to being carbon neutral by 2040, meaning it will remove as much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as it emits through government operations such as facilities and transportation.
A task force will kick off the process of renaming Lee Highway and Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, the latest effort to rid Fairfax County of tributes to the Confederacy, The Washington Post reports.
The Fairfax County Police Department will offer free safety checks for children’s car seats this Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at 3911 Woodburn Rd., Annandale.
Jennifer Mack column: What to look for in an investment property
Thank you to our readers for all the great real estate questions you submitted for the giveaway! We’re sending out gift cards to the first three people who responded.
One of the questions we received was about investment properties for people who live in our area. Here are my thoughts on that question:
Rentals are in high demand right now. Many buyers who are not able to compete in this market are renting instead—and they are well qualified and probably make great tenants. Although there are plenty of rentals available, the quality of many of them leaves a lot to be desired and picky renters are passing them up.
My top recommendation would probably be to purchase a townhouse in a good school district. Maintenance on a townhouse is less than a single family house and you can still charge a good rental amount. Pick one in a good location with decent parking but don't get in a bidding war for it. This may mean you need to put some money into making updates, but you can do this in a budget-friendly way. When you look for one, be especially cognizant of the things you can’t change, such as the location, the lot, and the floorplan. Look at the rental history on MLS for homes in the same neighborhoods you are targeting and see which ones rented quickly and for the most money.
Another option for a rental property is to purchase a property to use as a short-term vacation rental. First, identify a property in an area you would like to vacation—whether that’s the mountains, lake, beach, etc. You will need to research how saturated the market is and what types of homes are in demand. You will also need to research local restrictions to be sure you’re allowed to rent out the property. You will need to decide whether you need a property manager or intend to self-manage.
These types of properties can be very lucrative since you are charging a premium for the short-term rental period. For example, if you can charge $500 a night and you keep it rented 20 nights a month on average, that is $10,000 in monthly revenue, which is far more than you would make renting it long-term. You can charge additional for a cleaning fee so you don't have those extra costs incurred.
There’s a lot to consider with short-term rentals, so feel free to reach out with any questions. My family owns one and rents it out on AirBnB—and I’m happy to help you get started if you’re interested.
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 email@example.com or by calling 703-672-0038.
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