WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia




Occoquan will have Small Business Saturday gathering point

OCCOQUAN, Va. — Small business owners in Occoquan may visit the offices of One Degree Capital on Saturday, which will serve as a rallying point for Small Business Saturday activities in the town.

From a press release: 

Merchants in the Town of Occoquan, Virginia, will get a boost to their marketing efforts this Saturday as they prepare to entice local shoppers into their businesses. This Saturday, November 26, 2016, is a heavily promoted national day to ‘shop local’ thanks to the efforts of American Express Corporation’s Small Business Saturday® and Shop Small® initiatives.

From 8 a.m. until noon on Saturday, November 26, One Degree Capital will have over 300 pre-inflated blue and white helium balloons as well as a helium tank for use by town merchants who may need it. In addition, freshly brewed coffee from Stafford County-based Rick’s Roasters Coffee Company and donuts from Locust Grove-based Doughlicious Donuts and Bakery will be provided free-of-charge to town merchants. Occoquan town merchants can also register to win prizes.

Rod and his business partner, Jenn Mathis, routinely seek ways to give back to the communities in which their business serves, including donating goods, services and time as well as mentoring aspiring young entrepreneurs through their newly-launched scholarship program.

The One Degree Capital office is located at 204 Commerce St. in Occoquan.


NEW School closes, Manassas seeks to recoup funds

MANASSAS, Va. — Manassas City economic development officials will attempt to recoup $10,000 in funds from the NEW School.

The afterschool educational facility that opened in April has closed. The Manassas Economic Development Authority gave the business $10,000 for scholarships to make it easier for parents to send their children to the school.

Multiple attempts by the EDA to contact Alice Mergler, who is listed as the school director and owner on city documents, have been unsuccessful, said Manassas EDA Chairman Holmes Smith. Smith directed city Economic Development Director Patrick Small to send a letter to Mergler in an attempt to recoup the funds.

Under the terms of the agreement, The NEW School was to pay back the monies if it did close within its first five years of business. The business was also to provide a bi-monthly list of the names of students receiving scholarships.

The NEW School was located at 9830 Liberia Avenue. The non-profit business aimed to provide a place for students to do homework, take SAT prep courses, learn robotics, and prepare students for college and the workforce.

Nominations now accepted for Prince William Chamber Business Awards


The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for their 2017 Business Awards from November 16-December 21, 2016.  Each year the Chamber’s Business Awards are held to honor “business excellence” among the members of the Chamber, representing Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park. Industry-specific categories like the Tech Company of the Yearand the Government Contractor of the Year rotate to allow the Chamber to shine the spotlight on varying industry segments within the community.

“Our members do outstanding work, day in and day out; contributing so much to this community that often goes unnoticed. Our Business Awards allow us to give them the kudos they deserve,” says Chamber Director of Marketing & Communications Andrea Whaley. “Businesses can self-nominate or individuals may choose to nominate someone with whom they do business. I cannot think of a single professional who does not take pride in being recommended to others based on the quality of their services. I encourage everyone to think hard about a local business that has wow-ed you in the last year. A nomination for a Chamber award is a great way to say ‘thank you.’”

Nomination forms are available online at pwchamber.org/events/business-awards/. Business people and Prince William County/Manassas area residents are encouraged to nominate their favorite local businesses. Winners will be chosen by the Business Award Selection Committee, comprised of members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. Nominations containing testimonials or stories are typically well-received.

Categories include:

  • Excellence in Small Business Award (1-10 Employees)
  • Business Excellence Award (11 + Employees)
  • Emerging Business of the Year
  • Innovative Practice/Partnership of the Year
  • Community Outreach Award
  • Government Contractor of the Year
  • Outstanding Professional Service Award
  • Tech Company of the Year
  • Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards: Awarded to 2 not-for-profit organizations making a demonstrable contribution to the quality of life in the Greater Prince William region. Each award is accompanied by a check for $1,000 to continue the winner’s work. Awards are given in 2 sub-categories: Arts & Education or Health & Human Services. (Please note: In 2017 the Agnes Colgan Community Service Awards will be given out at a separate event highlighting the outstanding contributions of local not-for-profit organizations on April 4, 2017)

Business Award winners will be announced during the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Business Awards dinner on February 28, 2017, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. For more information or to purchase tickets to the awards dinner, call the Chamber at 703-368-6600.

Click to view photos and highlights from the last 5 years of Business Awards.

MTCI re certified as woman-owned business


MTCI, a government contracting firm, has been recertified as a business owned, controlled, and operated by a woman by the National Women Business Owners Corporation (NWBOC), the first national certifier of Women Business Enterprises. Certification of woman-owned business is the result of over 700 public and private sector individuals participating in the establishment of standards and procedures for this rigid certification review. The goal of the certification program (and recertification) is to streamline the process and increase the ability of women business owners to compete for contracts at a national level.

Dalena Kanouse, MTCI President and CEO, last year served as Chairman of the Prince William Chamber of Commerce.

*This post first appeared in Potomac Local Biz. 

New neighborhood emerging in Stafford with addition of Aquia Fifteen, planned stores

STAFFORD, Va. — There are more signs of life at Aquia Town Center now than have been in the past 10 years. 

A new apartment building called Aquia Fifteen opened for business and residents are moving in. 

The building’s bright exterior may be a metaphor for the good things to come for an old shopping center changing into an emerging mixed-use neighborhood. 

In recent years, Aquia Town Center has became known for dormant piles of dirt and rock as property owners decided what, and when redevelop Aquia Town Center. Now, with a new condo building, and the closure of the Regal Aquia 10 movie theater that will be demolished to make way for a new Harris Teeter grocery store, things are changing.

Here’s more from Christopher Beckwith, a spokesman for the Aquia Fifteen development:

The parcel [on which Aquia Fifteen sits] was rezoned to allow for a mixed-use development that could support up to 725,000 square feet of residential, office and retail. The REIT recently sold off the adjoining residential piece, which is currently being developed into a 256-unit Class A, multifamily project named, Aquia Fifteen Apartments at Town Center.

Aquia Fifteen Apartments began leasing June 2016, and as of today, the development is 50% leased, construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2016, and is expected to be fully leased by the end of Q1 2017. This apartment community offers one, two, and three bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $1,125 to $1,500 per month.

Apartment interiors feature fully-equipped kitchens with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops, energy-efficient appliances and digital programmable thermostats, and full-size washer/dryer included in each apartment home. Community amenities include a two-story state-of-the-art clubhouse featuring a fitness center, lounge, business center, conference room, and a resort-class swimming pool. 

Long before Aquia v was envisioned, Aquia Town Center was a bustling shopping center in the 1980s and 90s anchored by a Shoppers Food Warehouse and Rite Aid Pharmacy.

The center was a hub for artists, music lovers, and Java fans who were drawn to the center’s unique Gargoyles Coffeehouse.

Shoppers Food in 2003 moved to a new shopping center called Stafford Marketplace, less than a mile west of its old location. Dwindling traffic at the shopping center led Gargoyles to close its doors.

Today, with new owners, and many of the old shopping center buildings at Aquia Town Center razed, new stores — including a new Harris Teeter grocery store — will soon open.

From Beckwith: 

In May 2015, Mosaic purchased Aquia Towne Center (“Aquia”). Aquia is a 25-acre development site off the I-95 interchange at Garrisonville Road (Route 610) in Stafford County, Virginia. This I-95 exit is the southern terminus of the recently complete express lanes. Current tenants are Regal Cinemas and Rite Aid. A public REIT purchased the property in 2006 and partially razed what was was then a 200,000 square foot neighborhood shopping center. Before the redevelopment, this parcel was an abanded shopping center and parking lot that will now support dozens of new businesses and provide convenience for Stafford County residents.

Mosaic is bringing a 76,000 square foot grocery store that is new to the Stafford market to Aquia. The end result will be a 160,000 square foot, grocery-anchored town center with a total of 6 commercial buildings with an opening date of 1st Quarter 2018.

Existing businesses include:
· Aquia Fifteen Apartments at Town Center
· Exxon Gas
· Tires Plus
· McDonalds
· PNC Bank
· Carlos O’Kelly’s
· Ruby Tuesday
· El Gran Charro
· Mick’s
· Best Western

Delivering 3rd Quarter 2017 to 1st Quarter 2018:
· Harris Teeter Grocery
· Petco
· Hair Cuttery
· Coffee Cup
· Philly Subs
· Eyewear Etc.
· Buffalo Wings Sports Bar
· Rite Aid Pharmacy
· Burrito Border
· FroYo
· Salads and Wraps
· Fruit Smoothies


The Goddard School opening in Gainesville

GAINESVILLE, Va. — A new Goddard School location will open in Gainesville. 


In order to commemorate the grand opening of The Goddard School in Gainesville, owners Lisa and Greg O’Brien have scheduled a ribbon cutting ceremony and Fall Festival for November 12, 2016. The fun-filled family event starts at 9:45 a.m., with the official ribbon cutting happening at 10 a.m., and will be at The Goddard School, 7801 Heritage Village Plaza in Gainesville. Supervisor Pete Candland and Prince William Chamber of Commerce representatives will be on hand to assist with the ribbon cutting.

After the cutting of the ribbon, there will be a social time with light refreshments, and the following activities: horse-drawn wagon hayrides, raffles, petting zoo, pony rides, musical entertainment, balloon twisting, face painting and a lot of STEAM-related activities for children.

Greg and Lisa O’Brien strongly believe that community participation in ways more than just as the service it provides is vital to the community. The O’Briens believe that marketing collaboration amongst the local businesses and partnering with the local non-profits are two very important ways to boost the strength of the community. In those respects, the O’Briens have chosen to implement their convictions from the get-go of their new business.

At the event, The Goddard School will hold fundraising activities, with all proceeds to benefit non-profit CASA- Children’s Intervention Services of Manassas, which helps children who are abused, neglected or abandoned. CASA will be present, participating in the event with a table. As well, at the event, The Goddard School will host musical entertainment put on by Bach To Rock of Bristow, which is a music school for children of all ages.

Mark Gilvey Creative opens Woodbridge studio


Mark Gilvey Creative announces his new photo studio location in Prince William County, Virginia. Mark Gilvey has opened the (garage) door of his new 1,100 sq. ft. photo studio located in Great Oaks Business Park (part of PS Business Parks.) Located at 2809 PS Business Center Dr. in Woodbridge, VA (near Home Depot and Global Food) the studio will have ample space to handle catalog photo shoots of products as small as jewelry and as large as a motorcycle or small vehicle.

Gilvey recently signed a new client to photograph their line of plumbing supplies, photographing everything from small fittings up to large bathtubs.

Mark Gilvey Creative, LLC offers commercial photography studio and on location; “gorilla” video; and retouching and image compositing services. Mark Gilvey Creative is a member of the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce, the Professional Photographers of America, the Northern Virginia Professional Photographers Association, and Manassas Warrenton Camera Club. www.mgcre8v.com

Stafford says so long Food Lion, hello Weis Markets

STAFFORD, Va. — Food Lion has closed its doors in North Stafford.

The grocery store at 950 Garrisonville Road, at the Market at Shelton Shop, reopens on Friday as Weis Markets. The move comes as the Pennsylvania-based food chain purchased 10 Food Lion stores in the Stafford and Fredericksburg areas.

Other Food Lion stores in Stafford County to be converted are located at 2612 Jefferson Davis Highway, 736 Warrenton Road, and 282 Deacon Road.

More from Weis Markets:

The newly converted stores will offer a variety of local products in addition to the more than 3,000 Weis brand products, which offer brand name quality at an affordable price. Weis Markets has a long-standing history with local farmers and will continue to partner with local growers to provide shoppers with fresh and affordable food, including a wide selection of organic produce, baked goods, quality meats and fresh dairy items.

This is the Company’s second major acquisition in 2016. In August, it completed the conversion of five Mars Super Markets in Baltimore County, Maryland. Once the deals are complete, Weis Markets will have increased the number of its operating stores by more than 25 percent and will operate 204 stores in seven states: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Delaware and West Virginia.

Weis Markets plans to close and reopen each location quickly and efficiently to ensure that customers are faced with little inconvenience. This process is expected to take less than a week for each location. The following is a complete list of former Food Lion store locations Weis Markets intends to convert this fall.


Weis Markets states they will hire up to 2,000 current Food Lion employees as part of the overall purchase / conversion of stores in Virginia, Maryland, and Deleware.

Calico Jacks, Totally Vintage Designs changing spaces in Downtown Manassas

Calico Jacks and Totally Vintage Designs will expand their locations in Downtown Manassas. 

From Manassas City Economic Development Department: 

Both currently occupy spaces on Battle Street, but when the building was sold in January, each began exploring opportunities to grow, including potential relocations.  The City’s Department of Economic Development has worked very closely with these businesses to ensure they remained in Historic Downtown. 

Calico Jacks, which specializes in handcrafted natural products for your body and home, will move into a larger shop in the same building, 9413 Battle Street, currently occupied by Totally Vintage Designs.  Calico Jacks anticipates reopening no later than October 29, and will continue to accept online orders at www.calicojacksnaturals.com, during the move.   

Totally Vintage Designs, a boutique that retails faux mineral based paints, vintage furniture and home accessories will move to 9216 Center Street, the Rohr Building; many may recall when the Opera House Gourmet filled this prime corner spot at Center and Battle.  Totally Vintage Designs will reopen in its new location October 18th, please go to their website for additional information related to the move at


Center Street Gourmet had been located in the Rohr Building. Former shop owner Owner Darlene Sorge told us her landlord forced her out of the space.


Aroma Wine Tasting opens in Downtown Manassas offering tastings from Morais Vineyards and Winery

Aroma Wine Tasting is now open in Downtown Manassas. 

Here’s a bit about the new shop and its owners from Tasting Room Manager Ashley Mackaravitz: 

Potomac Local: What is Aroma Wine Tasting? Please tell us what customers should expect when they come to visit you.

Mackaravitz: Aroma is a satellite location for our main winery located in Bealeton,VA. Not a bar and not a restaurant, we want to offer a completely unique experience. Expect a relaxing and luxurious atmosphere where one can enjoy a tasting, glass or bottle of our award winning wine. We offer a variety of packages cheeses, meats and crackers pair with our wines.

Potomac Local: Who is behind Aroma Wine Tasting?

Mackaravitz: Jose Morais, owner of Morais Vineyards and Winery in Bealeton, VA

Potomac Local: Why did you want to open this new business in Downtown Manassas?

Mackaravitz: We wanted to offer both the local residents of Manassas as well folks from the DC metro area, an opportunity to conveniently enjoy a relaxing experience reminiscent of the Vineyards but without the hassle of the travel time.

Potomac Local: What makes you different from a winery?

Mackaravitz: A winery is where the wine is made. Aroma is simply a tasting bar which exclusively serves wine from Morais Vineyards and Winery.

Potomac Local: Do you have regular specials or events?

Mackaravitz: We offer Happy Hour on Fridays and are introducing Ladies Night on Thursdays. Additionally, from time to time we will offer special events.

Aroma Wine Tasting is located at 9249 Center Street in Downtown Manassas.

Manassas Councilman Ian Lovejoy holding community job fair


Manassas City Councilman Ian Lovejoy submitted this list of employers that are expected to attend the job fair: 

Adornable.u Accessories
Atlantic Sun Control
Birmingham Green
B-Just, LLC
Browns Manassas Kia
Care 4 U Pharmacy and Healthcare Services
Chick-fil-A Signal Hill
Chipotle Mexican Grill
Courtyard by Marriott
CVS Pharmacy
Dummars Consultants, LLC
Eagle Hoirzon Group
Fairfax County Department of Public Safety Communications
Fairfax County Government
Harris Teeter
Home Instead Senior Care
I & L Industrial Laundry, LLC
JK Moving Services
Keller Williams Realty
Lambert’s Cable Splicing
Mary Kay
New York Life
Prince William County Parks & Recreation
Prince William County Police Department
Re/Max Real Estate Connections
Reinhart Foods
Security Associates International, ltd.
Storage Strategies, Inc
The Skillsource Group
Thompson Creek
Urban Evolution
US Army
Via Satellite, Inc.
Virginia Tire & Auto
Wegmans Food Market
WSR Solutions

Original post


Looking to hire? Employers sought for October Greater Manassas Community Job Fair

The 2016 Greater Manassas Community Job Fair is seeking employers. Building on the success of last year’s fair, this year’s event will see hundreds of local individuals seeking employment and is a great opportunity for local businesses to connect with potential employees.

Details an online registration can be found here: yourmanassas.com/employers.html

Job Fair Details:

When: Tuesday, October 25th from 1pm – 6pm (we ask employers to commit to the entire time)
Setup: Employer registration and setup begins at 11am. Tables assigned on a first-come-first-serve bases.
Where: Gym at Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, 8712 Plantation Ln, Manassas, VA 20110
Cost: $10, payable by check at registration- this covers the table rental fee
Table: 6 foot folding table provided (does not include covering)

How is the job fair being advertised to the community? Print advertisements in regional print media in late September. Flyers will be distributed throughout the community in late September/Early October. The event will be registered on the VEC website. Social media and local press coverage. Direct mail to some households in region.

‘Escape Room’ opens in Lake Ridge October 15


Two local businesswomen are first to bring new live action entertainment trend to the area

Escape Rooms – the hottest new trend in entertainment – are arriving in Woodbridge! Escape Room Woodbridge is scheduled to open October 15th, at 12668 Darby Brook Ct. in Woodbridge. With three differently themed rooms, each accommodating up to ten people, Escape Room Woodbridge will be the first to offer this kind of interactive live gaming in Prince William County.

An escape room is a physical and interactive adventure game where players are locked in a room and have to use elements of the room to solve a series of puzzles and clues in order to escape within a set time limit. The games are physical versions of “escape the room” video games.

Co-Owners, Angela Curtis and Birgit Campana, have each lived and worked in PWC for over 20 years. “We are bringing fun to Prince William County. PWC is our home and a place we want to help continue to grow. It’s a great place to live and play.” says co-owner, Campana. “Excitement and adventure are right here in our neighborhood. Stay home and play in PWC.” Escape rooms started gaining attention in the U.S. about two years ago as locations first appeared in large cities and quickly became wildly popular. Before that, they were all the rage overseas, and it doesn’t appear their popularity will fade anytime soon.

Each room at Escape Room Woodbridge is themed differently, such as “Adventures in Wonderland”, “Lights, Camera, Murder” and “Dr. Jones’s Apprentice.” Co-owner Curtis says they are ready to help coordinate corporate events and personal celebrations, as well as individual players. “We would love to help you plan your team building event or party.”

The price for the Escape Room Woodbridge adventure is $28 per person for 60 minutes of puzzle and clue solving, and takes place Wednesdays – Sundays. Their motto is find the clue, solve the puzzle, play the game. For more information and convenient online scheduling visit them at http://www.escaperoomwoodbridgeva.com/.

Cash in hand: Prince William County Science Accelerator gets $50,000

The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded $50,000 to the Prince William County Science Accelerator on Thursday.

The accelerator was chosen from a list of more than 800 applicants seeking the funding from the agency’s third annual Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The funding will be used to continue research happening at the center, located near the Science and Technology Campus of George Mason University just outside Manassas.

Carl Knoblock, from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Richmond office, said he worked with many tech start-ups in Pennsylvania before coming to Virginia.

“When I came to Virginia from Pittsburgh for years ago, I thought it would be on the same playing field, and it wasn’t. I kept hearing about biotech business, but I didn’t see it,” explained Knoblock. “Now we can say we have the resources to the compete with North Carolina and Maryland.” 

Overall, the region should position itself as a hub for science and IT businesses, he added. 

Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman, At-large Corey Stewart said the Science Accelerator is now, for the first time, full of start-up companies doing research at the center. He called it the perfect match between “government and the private sector working to create jobs.” 

From Prince William County Economic Development: 

Prince William County prides itself on being home to the first and only public-private, commercially available wet lab space in Northern Virginia, which is uniquely located within Innovation Park, anchored by the George Mason University Science & Technology Campus. The Prince William Science Accelerator was created to provide the catalyst for a growing life sciences industry cluster.  The SBA grant will strengthen the Accelerator’s graduation program so each startup can successfully exit and function independently in the small business economy, which is achieved by addressing two key issues for scientists: resource constraints; and speed-to-market.

Bret Michaels’ guitarist is opening a new candle shop in Downtown Manassas

The ribbon cutting for this new shop, located at 9109 Center Street in Manassas, will take place 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30, 2016. 


Historic Manassas, Inc. will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome Shining Sol Candle Company to Historic Downtown Manassas on Friday, September 30, 2016 at 5:00pm.

Shining Sol Candle Company was founded in 2012 by Manassas native and resident, Pete Evick, an award winning musician, producer and author. The company formation came while Pete was on break from a nine month tour of the United States as the guitar player and music director for rock icon Bret Michaels, with whom he’s performed with for the last 12 years.

As an advocate of ‘going green’, Evick decided to use soy wax and wooden wicks allowing them to source all of their ingredients from farms across America. As the company grew, Evick enlisted the expertise of Sara Rodriguiz to continue moving the company forward with new candle scents as Evick returned to tour. Shining Sol’s newest partner is Deron Blevins, a local Manassas native and childhood friend of Evick. Blevins has since strengthened Shining Sol’s web development, graphic design and marketing.

Shining Sol Candle Company is thrilled to open their first retail location here in Historic Downtown Manassas.

$50,000 SBA grant to be awarded to Prince William Science Accelerator

The Prince William Science Accelerator will be the recipient of a new $50,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

The awarding ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, 2016, at the accelerator located at 9385 Discovery Boulevard just outside Manassas.

Less than 20 miles from the nation’s capital sits Innovation Park, which houses the Prince William Science Accelerator a premier life sciences start – up incubation facility. These facilities house the only public-private, and commercially available wet lab space in Northern Virginia.

U.S. Small Business Administration Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho presents a $50,000 check, September 22, to the Center; one of two Virginia winners of the agency’s Growth Accelerator Fund Competition. The core capabilities of the accelerator are information technology and life sciences.

“Promoting entrepreneurship is core to the President’s national innovation strategy,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Natalia Olson-Urtecho. “We are excited to have so many Accelerators in the Region empowering and engaging organizations with the sole purpose of helping start-ups create economic growth, innovation, and inspire and empower diverse a community of great American companies.”

The contest provides winners with critical, supplemental capital to operating budgets of entrepreneurial systems across the U.S. Through this highly competitive process, applicants have greater opportunity to scale up, or launch something completely new.

In accepting funds, the Science Center commits to quarterly reporting of metrics including jobs created, funds raised, startups launched and corporate sponsors obtained. This allows SBA to continue building upon its database of accelerators and their impact, and to develop long-term relationships with the startups and constituents in these innovative and entrepreneurial communities.

Hobby Lobby, Uptown Alley to open in Prince William County

Two new large stores are expected to draw customers from Prince William County. 

Oklahoma-based Hobby Lobby will open in an old Shoppers Food Warehouse location on Prince William Parkway in Woodbridge. 

Here’s more in press release from the company: 

Hobby Lobby  Stores, Inc., a  privately held  national retail  chain of craft and home decor stores, opens in Woodbridge, Virginia,  with a ribbon  cutting ceremony and official grand opening celebration on Monday, August 29, at 9 a.m. The Woodbridge store is Hobby Lobby’s ninth location in Virginia.  

Eric Sisk is the store manager of the 64,000 square-­?foot  retail facility at Prince William Parkway and Smoketown Road in Smoketown  Station. The store’s grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony is open to the public.

Local dignitaries, ambassadors from the Prince William Chamber of Commerce and other business leaders will attend  the  celebration.    

“We  offer  a  wide  and  ever-­?changing  variety  of  craft  and  home  decor  products   including  many  exclusive  Hobby  Lobby  brands,”  stated  John  Schumacher,  Assistant   Vice  President  of  Advertising.  “First-­?time  shoppers  in  Woodbridge  will  be  pleasantly   surprised  at  the  large  store  and  exceptional  service  provided  by  our  associates.”        

Hobby Lobby has over 700 stores across the nation. Each store offers more than 75,000 crafting and home decor products including floral, fabric, needle art, custom framing, baskets, home accents, wearable art, arts and  crafts, jewelry making. 

Just outside Manassas on Tuesday, Uptown Alley opened its doors at Manassas Mall. 

From the company: 

The newest location of the nationally acclaimed Uptown Alley concept will open its doors at the recently renovated Manassas Mall (8300 Sudley Road, Manassas, Va.) on Tuesday, August 23, at 11 a.m. The $11.5 million, 46,000 square foot entertainment and restaurant venue features 24 high-tech bowling lanes, a professional sound stage for live entertainment, three high-energy bars, laser tag, interactive games with prize store and Red Embers Bar & Grill, with a menu highlighting the best in Americana cuisine, created by award-winning Chef Brad Rishmany.

The immersive entertainment experience features Brunswick® regulation-sized bowling lanes, including ten private lanes, designed for all types of bowlers, from beginner to experienced league bowler. Uptown Alley’s lanes have all the latest in the modern day bowling experience, including 15-foot projection HDTVs, black light party bowling experience, music videos, state-of-the-art scoring system and gutter bumpers for beginners.

Uptown Alley also boasts a bar a grill, billiards, and a laser tag arena inside its Manassas-area location. This is third Uptown Alley to open, following locations in Arizona and a location outside Richmond.


Gabes to open store at Featherstone Square in Woodbridge

Discount clothing retailer Gabriel Brothers, also known as Gabes, will open at Featherstone Square shopping center in Woodbridge.

The nearly 40,000 square foot store will replace an old antique shop that used to be located in the shopping center. In the 1980s, the now defunct Dart Drug and Trak Auto chain stores operated stores there.

Gabes sells designer clothing for up to 70% off retail prices. The company operates 58 stores in the U.S., including a location on Route 3 in Spotsylvania County just outside Fredericksburg.

Building plans for the new clothing store are under review at the Prince William County Development Services Office, said branch chief Chris Roop.

Gabes has not announced an opening date for the new location, said Roop.

The clothing retailer did not respond to a request for comment for this story.

Last year, we reported the owners of Featherstone Square and county officials were in talks to remake the shopping center and give Featherstone Square a more upscale look.

A total of 118 homes were built next to the shopping center. The homes sold quickly, according to shop owners at Featherstone Square.

Proposed sign for Uptown Alley ‘doesn’t look like a cheap, blinking, neon billboard’

Prince William County Supervisors on Wednesday will vote to allow a large metal sign, shaped like a bowling pin, at Uptown Alley. The new entertainment destination will mix bowling, food, and live entertainment.

Supervisor Jeanine Lawson said the new destination is all about fun.

“Of course, everybody likes bowling. It’s so Americana…. This is a mall that is going to draw people from across our county borders. It’s not going to be just the Manassas or western Prince William folks. My hope is that we’re going to draw people from Fairfax who want to come to Prince William to have fun.”

It’s the latest offering from the Pyramid Companies, a New York-based firm that bought the nearly 50-year-old Mananasss Mall and began making renovations to the shopping center in 2015.

Uptown Alley’s Manassas location will be its second. The company operates a similar venue near Richmond.

Lawson says she’ll support the new signage because it’s unlike anything else in the area and because it’s changing the look and feel of the neighborhood.

“It’s done in a classy way. It doesn’t look like a cheap, blinking, neon billboard. It fits with the look of the mall itself,” said Lawson.

Uptown Alley will join several new businesses that have opened at Manassas Mall, including a new indoor go-kart track, and new restaurants. The Prince William County Board of Supervisors will hold a public hearing about the sign at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3.

National Religious Broadcasters headquarters leaving Manassas, bound for Washington, D.C.

From NRB: 

Starting Monday, July 25, the headquarters staff of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) will be operating from the association’s new office space in Washington, D.C.

Located at the corner of Massachusetts Avenue NW and North Capitol Street, the office suite is in the National Guard Memorial Museum Building – one block west of Union Station and just a few blocks from the United States Capitol building.

Commenting on the move, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, said, “This action is both historic and timely.”

“Now, more than ever, our first freedoms — of religion, speech, and the press — must be defended vigorously before members of Congress, federal government regulatory agencies, and in the courts,” stated Dr. Johnson. “Our new headquarters on Capitol Hill will more effectively allow us to address our members’ concerns and work with policymakers on these critical issues.”

Since 1992, the NRB has operated out of its headquarters in Manassas, Va. In 2003, NRB opened an additional office on Capitol Hill to maintain a strong presence in close proximity to America’s decision-makers. This past February, the NRB Board of Directors approved a recommendation to relocate the corporate headquarters to Capitol Hill.

In an announcement, Dr. Johnson noted the “growing concerns among our members about their First Amendment rights to proclaim the Gospel.” For more than 70 years, NRB has faithfully represented its members’ public policy concerns in Washington. NRB’s mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech.

On Monday, the NRB headquarters staff will join Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations, and James A. Smith, Sr., Vice President of Communications, who have been operating out of the new office since June 27.

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