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Restaurant trash piling up: How Manassas is working with businesses to streamline garbage collection

MANASSAS — Trash is piling up outside restaurants in Downtown Manassas.

The city not only wants to do something about it, but they also want to make it easier for the restauranteur to have someone come multiple times per week to haul away the garbage.

There is a lack of large trash dumpsters in downtown — this older section of town wasn’t built with dumpsters in mind. 

This has forced small shop and restaurant owners to use small, rollaway trash toters. Some businesses, especially restaurants, produce more trash than others.

“The volume of waste a restaurant generates: 10 pounds of trash per hour, and on a busy night it’s more than that,” said Manassas Refuse and Recycling Coordinator Monica Boehringer.

All businesses in Manassas pay a trash collection service fee, and American Disposal Services, the company the city contracts with to provide trash service, collects the garbage twice a week. But for some restaurants, that wasn’t enough. Many choose to pay for additional trash collection, multiple times per week.

In some cases, restaurants pay multiple trash haulers to make sure the trash is hauled away.

The City Council on Monday approved the changes to the city’s solid waste code that allow Boehringer and staff to work with city businesses to not only consolidate their trash collection services — think of it as having your cable TV, phone, and internet all one bill — but to also help customize a trash plan that works best for the business.

“If the business is happy with service, can keep that service. But if not, we’re working with Amercian Disposal to come up with new rates that businesses can take advantage of, so their trash collection service is streamlined,” said Boehringer.

Those rates are still being worked out and could be finalized by spring. In the end, the costs probably won’t change that much. Customers with twice a week collection won’t see a change in rates, and those who have city collection and pay for additional collection service should pay about the same, but they would now have the option of paying it all on one bill.

Boehringer also wants to help business owners join the ranks of city residents who are recycling more. She says putting dumpsters for cardboard only behind Mackie’s Pub, and behind the Harris Pavilion has helped increase the rate of recycling for the city.

“When I got there three years ago, those dumpsters were hard to get to and were being serviced once a month. We moved them, serviced them three times a week, and we saw a big change,” said Boehringer.

It proves a point: If you make it easy, accessible, and haul away the cardboard, people will use it. She hopes to duplicate efforts like these in the coming years throughout the city.

The revised code also addresses large furniture left on curbsides after people move out of their homes and apartment buildings. Last year, taxpayers were charged more than $8,500 over the past year by American Disposal to come out to collect couches, armchairs, and other large pieces of furniture.

Now the city can issue a fine to a landlord if these large pieces of waste aren’t removed within 24 hours. Under the old rules, the landlord had 10 days to throw out the trash.

Boehringer urges those who are moving to plan ahead and call a trash removal service or to rent a dumpster for their unwanted furniture or call her office well in advance of moving day for help.

Declining sales, lack of parking is what led longtime Occoquan jeweler Terry Quinn to close his shop

OCCOQUAN — Quinns Goldsmith has been making and selling jewelry at the corner of Mill and Union streets since 1990.

On Friday, he sent an email to his customers telling them his Occoquan store will soon close. All that will be left of Quinns is a 3,000-square-feet retail location in Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center in Woodbridge.

And that’s the way he wants it.

“It felt like I was running around between two stores for the past seven years, said Terry Quinn, owner of Quinns Goldsmith.

Quinn moved his jewelry-making shop out of the Occoquan store — where he once lived in the apartment above the shop — to the Stonebridge location when it opened in February 2011.

Consolidating the two shops will mean that everyone he works with will once again be under one roof, with more space. It was never his plan to open multiple locations and turn Quinn’s into a chain store, he said.

The jeweler said business at his Occoquan store began to slow down nearly 10 years ago, and that’s what led to him opening his second location. The decline in Occoquan has continued, but sales have steadily increased at his Woodbridge store.

Quinn blames the decline in his Occoquan shop, in part, on the parking situation in the small town just off Interstate 95.

“The town is 19 miles south of Washington, D.C., it’s quaint, it’s pretty, but they don’t have any parking restrictions,” he said.

That forces shoppers to compete with store owners for convenient parking spaces.

“If someone bought something big like a birdhouse at one of the craft stores, they don’t want to walk it three blocks to their car,” he said.

The town council this year commissioned a parking study to see what can be done to help the problem. One solution eyed was restriping parking spaces to fit more parking in the tiny town.

The study also found a parking structure would be too costly for the town, with an estimated price tag of $25,000 per parking space.

For Quinn, all of this comes too late. And, he says no one in town has asked him to stay.

“Good luck to Occoquan,” he said.

The Occoquan location will close Sunday, Nov. 11 to prepare merchandise for a closing sale. The doors will reopen on Friday, Nov. 17 for the start of the closing sale.

The Mantle Coffee Shoppe will offer drinks, snacks

A new coffee shop will replace the old Saladelis eatery at the Shoppes at North Stafford on Route 610. 

This will be the second business in the mostly vacant shopping center at the corner of Garrisonville Road and Tech Parkway. An Anytime Fitness location also sites inside the quiet shopping plaza. 

From The Mantle Coffee Shoppe:

Two pleasures we will always enjoy is sipping a good drink, whether hot or cold, and making memories with families and friends. The Mantle Coffee Shoppe is excited about offering both to the Stafford community. The shop will also be offering a variety of fresh baked goods from local vendors as well as sandwiches and salads made fresh daily to meet lunchtime needs.

The Mantle is a faith based shop which offers a cozy Kidz Korner for your child to play as you converse with your friends or listen to local Christian artists as they minister through their music. The Mantle is committed to offering careers and skill development in hospitality and their recruitment drive has hired twenty- five local people to meet the needs of the business.

In a time where coffee shops dominate the area, The Mantle is looking forward to delivering the ultimate family experience to include Afternoon Tea complete with scones, clotted cream and jam, and finger sandwiches. Friday nights will be exciting with karaoke for the local students. Hot dogs and drinks named after all the area schools will be featured. The Nosar family, the Tonkin family, and The Mantle employees are excited to be part of such a wonderful community and look forward to seeing you soon!

‘2 Silos Brewing and Farm Brew Live are excited to announce we will be opening on Wednesday’

From Facebook: 

2SilosBrewing and Farm Brew Live are excited to announce we will be opening on Wednesday, October 25th! Come join us from 11am – 11pm. Enjoy an amazing 2 Silos Beer and try some food from The Pour House tasting room menu or The PIT BBQ. The YARD will feature live music starting at 5pm.”

Photo: 2 Silos Brewing Company

‘…concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress’

On Friday, November 3, the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee will host renowned economist, Dr. Stephen Fuller of the Stephen S. Fuller Institute and members of the Prince William Board of County Supervisors for a discussion on regional trends and the economics of growing the commercial tax base in Prince William County.

Earlier this year, Prince William County approved their FY17-20 Strategic Plan which contains long-term goals for the Board of County Supervisors (BOCS) on topics ranging from economic development to public safety and education. Of particular interest to the business community is the economic development goal focused on increasing the ratio of commercial property tax to 35% of all collected revenues. Since the plan’s approval, the Chamber has hosted multiple meetings on this issue, hearing from County staff as well as industry leaders. 

View a September Opinion piece by the Chamber that explains more about the issue.

While growing business in the County is an important goal, and one which the Chamber supports, concerns have been raised within the business community regarding whether or not focusing on a real estate tax ratio is the best “measuring stick” for progress. The Chamber has invited the Prince William Board of County Supervisors to attend the presentation to hear from Dr. Fuller in hopes that the targeted discussion will provide the necessary economic framework to inform future policy decisions regarding the expansion of the commercial tax base. (more…)

Puzzle Palooza outgrows Occoquan, expanding to a second location

From Puzzle Palooza:

We are very excited to be opening our second location in Manassas at 9411 Main St. Suite 101, the Trusler Hall Building, next to Philly Tavern. Our goal is to be open at 10 AM Monday morning November 13. We will be spending the entire weekend moving in and setting up shop. We will be open seven days a week starting at 10 AM till 7 pm M-F, with later hours in the evening on weekends.

As with their initial space, we will be featuring Puzzles and Puzzle accessories, books, brain teasers and puzzle games from four pieces to 40,000 pieces ranging from ages toddler to elderly. We started our first location in Occoquan 2013 and have watched it grow over the past five years into our own little empire.

We are listed as # 1 in “Things to Do in Occoquan” on Trip Advisor and feel honored and proud of the support from customers and the community. Puzzle building Is a common hobby/love for us since childhood and after visiting several out-of-state Puzzle/hobby shops, we knew that it was what we wanted to do. We quickly learned that it reconstituted the ideal framework of “family fun” and supported longtime traditions.

‘But when BCM #137 Tom Bradley suggested “Whiteco[tt]” Amber as the new name and explained its inspiration, we instantly fell in love’

From the Waters End Brewery Facebook page

“This past Tuesday at our Beer Release Event, we received many great naming submissions for our new Amber Ale!

But when BCM #137 Tom Bradley suggested “Whiteco[tt]” Amber as the new name and explained its inspiration, we instantly fell in love.

Tom noted that, back in 1959, Steve Whiteco[tt] built what would later become one of the busiest aviation airports in Virginia and one of the most popular training fields for pilots in the Washington area: Woodbridge Airport. (more…)

‘Bar Louie is bringing 73 jobs to the Stonebridge area with its opening’

The old Travinia Italian Kitchen at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center has become Bar Louie. Now open for business, the Woodbridge location joins another on Liberia Avenue just outside Manassas.

From an email: 

Bar Louie today announced the new opening of its eighth Virginia-based bar and eatery at the popular Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center retail center in Woodbridge, VA.

Bar Louie will…host an official grand opening event on Tuesday, October 17th with a grand toasting and happy hour celebrations starting at 4:00 p.m., as well as a ribbon-cutting ceremony taking place at 4:30 p.m. Bar Louie will also continue its popular weekly ‘Five-Dollar Burger Night’ special that evening from 5:00 p.m. to close.

Guests at Bar Louie Stonebridge will be able to enjoy 35 handcrafted cocktails — including signature martinis, margaritas and sangrias featuring fresh fruit and hand-squeezed juices. For example, Bar Louie’s Strawberry Lemonade Sangria or the Me & Julio margaritas are among the many guest favorites, as well as signature martinis including the smooth Clover Martini and the popular Diva. (more…)

‘Patients at the new Lake Manassas Health & Rehabilitation Center will be introduced to a variety of revolutionary equipment’

From an email: 

The newLake Manassas Health & Rehabilitation Center located at 14935 Holly Knoll Lane is set to open, with an innovative design that revolutionizes rehabilitation recovery services for patients in Gainesville and surrounding communities. The project represents a $22 million dollar investment in the local community through the creation of new jobs and services.

The center brings 120 new full and part-time jobs to the area. With high tech therapy gym, access to 120 private rooms and private bathrooms, restaurant-style dining and more, this new Center is unlike anything in the area.

The community is invited to an upcoming open house to help celebrate. The free event will be held on October 14 from 11:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. and will include tours, free health screenings, speakers, demonstrations, food, and giveaways. (more…)

‘SSI has created 16 new jobs in Manassas Park since locating there in 2014’

From a press release: 

Manassas Park-based Storage Strategies, Inc. (SSI) recently hosted a visit by Carl Knoblock, Richmond District Director of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Knoblock recognized SSI’s Career Resource Center, a community service project that SSI offers as part of its participation in a Manassas Park HUBZone.

Steve Mackie, President of SSI commented on the strong reception the Career Resource Center has received in the community, with demand for their services growing over time. SSI has created 16 new jobs in Manassas Park since locating there in 2014. SSI hires, trains, and certifies local residents as Microsoft Office Specialists. These employees then provide IT skills coaching, free of charge, to other local residents. The Career Resource Center’s one-on-one customized IT skills tutoring and fully equipped IT training lab provide Manassas Park with one of the most unique work force development programs in Northern Virginia at no cost to City residents.

Mr. Knoblock commented that the mutually beneficial relationship between SSI and the City of Manassas Park serves as an ideal model for other municipalities and businesses to followHe noted that these types of cooperative public-private partnerships are a great way for industry to contribute to workforce development, thereby spurring greater economic development. 

Mr. Mackie added, “It was a pleasure to put a face with the agency that certified our company as a Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) Small Business.”  HUBZones promote economic development in historically underutilized business zones through access to federal procurement opportunities.

Mr. Mackie said the long-term goal is for its part-time Career Resource Center employees to use the skills and experience gained to qualify them for full-time employment on a billing contract.  That goal was recently achieved by a Manassas Park resident who was hired by SSI as a high school student, trained and certified as a Microsoft Office Specialist, worked part-time during

high school and junior college, submitted for a security clearance, and recently transitioned to a full time job with benefits on an SSI contract supporting the Department of State. 

Photo: Carl Knoblock and Steve-Mackie

Sinistral Brewing Company plans to open with five signature beers on Nov. 1

Stacey and Blane Perry are about the open Manassas’ next brewery: Sinistral Brewing Company.

Like many in the craft brewing industry, the two are still working full-time jobs and never thought they dive headlong into beer as a business.

Blane is the brewer who got his start, like most, brewing at home.

“It was more friends were brewers, and I would go and watch them brew and be around it. I really started getting into it probably about six years ago…starting to brew at home and more and then we started filling up the house and she told me to get my shit out of the house.”

The idea for the brewery came while the couple was vacationing with their parents in Florida.

“We went out for a pretty, pretty fun night in Key West with [Stacey’s] father and stepmother. And got a little tipsy woke up the next morning went to a little Cuban coffee stand. They went to get Advil…and her dad and I sat and started drinking Bloody Marys, and he asked me what I wanted to do. And I thought that was a pretty odd question. Being that I’m already in my 40’s and I’m married to his daughter, and he’s asking me I think that should come before I marry her…but I think he was just genuinely asking ‘do you like what you’re doing? Do you want to keep doing what you’re doing? Or if you have an opportunity do something else. Would you do it?” said Blane.

Blane’s day job, which he still has, is the Director of Information Services for the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

Stacey has a background in event planning. (more…)

‘Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Woodbridge will hold its Grand Opening on Saturday, October 21’

From an email: 

The signs are up on the outside of the building, donations are coming in and the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Woodbridge will hold its Grand Opening on Saturday, October 21.

The new, 20,000 square foot home improvement store and donation center is located in the former Food Lion site at the corner of Minnieville Road and the Prince William Parkway, next to BJs.

The Habitat ReStore accepts building materials, tools, furniture and home décor as donations from members of the community. The donor receives a tax donation acknowledgment to use when they are filing their taxes.=

The donated merchandise is sold to the public at 40%-90% off retail prices. The constantly changing inventory offers deals for bargain shoppers, do-it-yourselfers, and treasure hunters. (more…)

Locally-grown Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation acquired by Boeing

Flying cars, anyone? The Boeing Corporation just acquired Manassas-based Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation to help it develop such a technology. 

From an email: 

Boeing plans to acquire Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation, a world-class innovator, developer and manufacturer of advanced aerospace platforms under an agreement signed by the companies. Aurora specializes in autonomous systems technologies to enable advanced robotic aircraft for future aerospace applications and vehicles.

Leveraging autonomous systems that include perception, machine learning, and advanced flight control systems, Aurora has designed, produced and flown more than 30 unmanned air vehicles since the company was founded in 1989. Aurora is a leader in the emerging field of electric propulsion for aircraft. During the last decade, Aurora has collaborated with Boeing on the rapid prototyping of innovative aircraft and structural assemblies for both military and commercial applications.

“Since its inception, Aurora has been focused on the development of innovative aircraft that leverage autonomy to make aircraft smarter,” said John Langford, Aurora Flight Sciences founder and chief executive officer. “As an integral part of Boeing, our pioneered technologies of long-endurance aircraft, robotic co-pilots, and autonomous electric VTOLs will be transitioned into world-class products for the global infrastructure.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed… Once acquired, Aurora will be a subsidiary under Boeing Engineering Test & Technology known as Aurora Flight Sciences, A Boeing Company. It will retain an independent operating model while benefiting from Boeing’s resources and position as the leading provider of aerospace products and services.

Headquartered in Manassas, Virginia, Aurora Flight Sciences has more than 550 employees and operates in six states in the U.S. including a research and development center located near MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, manufacturing facilities in Bridgeport, West Virginia and Columbus, Mississippi with offices in Dayton, Ohio, Mountain View, California and Luzern, Switzerland.

Aurora got its start with help from the Flory Small Business Center in Prince William County.  The company was recogonzied by the Flory Center last year:  (more…)

Value-oriented retailer, Ollie’s, coming to Manaport Plaza

“We buy bargains and sell cheap” is the business approach for Ollies, according to company spokesperson Jerry Altland.

Come Nov. 1, Ollies will be opening a 25,000 square foot store at Manaport Plaza at Sudley and Rixlew Roads, across from Manassas Mall.

Ollie’s, in business for over 35 years, is a value-oriented retailer, offering 30 to 70 percent off retail prices for all manner of goods, according to Atland. 

Ollies will be hiring 40 to 50 people for its opening. will be open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m, and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The stores will be open Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m, and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 


Calico Jacks ‘planning a mid-October move’

Calico Jacks in Downtown Manassas is moving to the corner of Cente and Battle streets, at 9115 Center Street. 

From an email: 

We’re very excited.  We’re planning a mid-October move.  The lease at our current Battle Street location is up in November, so when we heard the beautiful building was available we jumped at the chance to get in. 

It’s an amazing location and I love the building’s history.  The move will give us more space to add several new handcrafted items from local artisans as well as the expansion of our own products. 

We’d like to give a BIG thank you to our wonderful loyal customers.  When we made the announcement, many of them reached out offering to help us with the move. We love being a part of the historic Manassas community!

The new space was recently vacated by Cutrate Barbershop.

Built in 1910 and assessed at $157,500, the building is considered one of the most visible retail buildings in Downtown Manassas.

With the recent closures of the barbershop, and Malones restaurant, we hear there is a lot of shuffling of small businesses happening in Downtown. If you’re opening a new business in Downtown Manassas (or anywhere in our coverage area, for that matter), send us an email with details and a photo of your storefront and let our readers know.

‘Donut Island’ will offer klobasnek: ‘It’s kind of like pigs in a blanket’

Here’s  a tasty bit of news: Sam Hem will open a new doughnut shop on Route 28 in Manassas.

“Donut Island” is located at the intersection of Route 28 and Cockrell Road.

In addition to morning pastries, the shop will offer klobasnek, a popular dish in his native southeast Texas which is bread filled with sausage links, or ground sausage.

“It’s kind of like pigs in a blanket…That’s popular it’s Texas. Now I brought over here so people can enjoy,” said Hem.

Hem hasn’t announced when he will open the store, though it could open as early as this month. When it opens, the store will operate from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, and from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekends, he said.

The shop will open inside what was the old Express Food Mart. The business is also the recipient of a $1,725 facade improvement grant awarded by the city. 

The business is also the recipient of a $1,725 facade improvement grant awarded by the city. Hem will replace the old wooden shingle facade with new slate shingles made from recylcled materials.

About a mile west from Donut Island, Paradise Donuts tried to make a go of it in 2015 before it closed the same year.

Supercuts opens on Liberia

From an email: 

We are a family owned and operated small business. We offer special discounts to seniors, juniors, and, of course, our Heros (military, veterans, police and fire). Supercuts offers quality haircuts and color services for men, women, and children at an affordable price. 

(Next to Navy Federal Credit Union)

9755 Liberia Ave., Ste. 105, Manassas, VA 20110

Dan’s Wellness Pharmacy to celebrate 10 year anniversary

Dan’s Wellness Pharmacy of Stafford will be celebrating it’s 10 year anniversary this Saturday, September 30th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be free food, a raffle to win one of two smart TVs, face painting, a chiropractor, and a vascular health check.

Dan Singh wants to show his appreciation for his customers “First, I’d like to thank Stafford County and the local community for supporting me for the last 10 years, and making my pharmacy a success.”  

He also would like people to know that the neighborhood pharmacy offers medical and home health care supplies, a drive-through service window, and home delivery service.  (more…)

Lidl opens first DC area store outside Manassas

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Lidl opened its first grocery store in the Washington area on Thursday near Manassas.

The store located near the intersection of Sudley Manor Drive and Ashton Avenue opened at 7:40 a.m. The first 100 customers in line were offered a wooden coin, and the chance to win up to $100 in Lidl gift cards, as well as reusable shopping bags.

This is the 12th location the German grocer has opened in Virginia. The grocery chain placed its U.S. corporate headquarters in Arlington and is a fierce competitor of ALDI.

Four other Lidl locations are planned to open in Prince William County, to include stores at the intersection of Minnieville and Old Bridge roads, on Route 234 near Dumfries, and on Route 28 in Bristow.

Lidl will also open a location on Route 17 in southwest Stafford County.

Here’s more on what the store offers in a press release. (more…)

Iron Mountain opens data center near Gainesville

PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY — Data firm Iron Mountain Inc. on Thursday held a grand opening ceremony of its newest data center in Prince William County.

The center will private businesses and government agencies. The new center is a 165,000 square-foot, 10.5-megawatt multi-tenant, and cloud facility located on 83 acres of land.

This is the first of four five new centers slated for Northern Virginia, which is Iron Mountain’s fifth U.S. data center market, joining Boston, Denver, Kansas City and Western Pennsylvania.

Governor Terry McAuliffe, U.S. Representatives Robert Wittman, Gerry Connolly, and Kevin Yoder, Virginia Senator Jeremy McPike, and Prince William County Supervisor Jeanine Lawson.

Iron Mountain posted to its website about its new data center:

Why choose Manassas over an Ashburn data center? Iron Mountain VA-1 customers benefit from increased protection (perimeter offsets and secure access controls that meet law enforcement and intelligence standards), reduced taxes, lower power costs and dark fiber cross-connect access to the entire Northern Virginia data center market. This includes round-trip latency to the main peering fabric and data centers in Ashburn VA in under 0.5 milliseconds.

The center is located at 11680 Hayden Road, just off Wellington Road near Gainesville. 

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