Rahmein Mostafavi has been bringing headlining comedy acts to venues in Northern Virginia since 2011.
His shows at the Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton, in Arlington, Fredericksburg, and other locations have introduced area residents to acts who have been featured on Comedy Central, HBO, and others.
We talked to Mostafavi about his recent efforts to use laughs to raise money for a serious cause — helping children in war-torn Syria.
PL: What inspired you to start the “All for Aleppo” fundraising campaign?
Mostafavi: Quite simply the horrifying images of the country and it’s suffering people. Especially the children.
PL: How much money did you raise?
PL: What was the best thing about doing this campaign?
Mostafavi: Seeing the people come out for a cause that has nothing to do with their daily lives. We can all just watch the news and even get sad, but to take the time to go out and do something, even as simple as attending a comedy show, is action.
It was truly heartwarming to see people give, $5, $10, $20, and
often much more than that to people that, at this time, need if far more than we do.
PL: What’s a big challenge you had to overcome with this endeavor?
Mostafavi: Honestly, it didn’t take much. The DC comics are very supportive and wonderful people. The minute I put the word out about these shows, I had more than enough talent to produce great shows. Our talent pool runs extremely deep in DC.
I suppose the challenge was taking time away from my kids to do these non-profit shows. They are old enough to know when daddy is gone, so they got a bit less daddy time during this run. However, it provided me a perfect opportunity to sit them down to talk
about exactly what I was trying to do.
They are smart boys. They got it and became supportive too. When I’d get home from a fundraiser, they’d ask me how much I’d raised for
the people of Syria.
PL: Where are you performing next?
Mostafavi: I’m kind of all over. Locally my next shows are my productions that I’m hosting in Leesburg, Lorton, and Fredericksburg. Details at coolcowcomedy.com.
PL: Was it a bit awkward to use comedy as a way to raise funds for such a tragic endeavor?
Mostafavi: At first, I had those concerns as well. But it’s like any fundraiser. Whether it’s the Orlando shooting, Katrina, etc…we gather for the cause. While none of it is funny, comedy is simply the magnet that
gets people to stop talking or posting about a given situation and literally act.
PL: When did you start your business Cool Cow Comedy?
Mostafavi: About six years ago.
PL: What’s next for you and Cool Cow Comedy?
Mostafavi: More of the same I suppose.
PL: If someone wants to donate to your campaign how/where do they do that?
Mostafavi: At this point, no more fundraiser shows are scheduled. Please donate directly to whatever cause inspires you. The three I focused on where Islamic Relief, Doctors Without Borders (with Syrian focus), and Handicap International (with Syrian focus).
*This post is written by Rod Loges and Jenn Mathis, of One Degree Capital in Occoquan, in collaboration with Potomac Local.
Sponsored Post Manassas City businesses shine, take home top awards
This past Tuesday evening, the Prince William County Chamber of Commerce hosted its 6th annual business awards dinner at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas to honor the best of the local business community. Awards recognize excellence in business, innovative practices, outstanding contributions to the community and businesses/organizations that stand out among their peers.
The City of Manassas presented its first “Business of the Year Award” to Management and Training Consultants Inc. (MTCI). For more than 15 years MTCI has specialized in federal and military recruiting, retention and personnel management. MTCI is led by Dalena Kanouse, President and CEO. Under Dalena’s leadership, MTCI has received a number of national and international certifications. She is passionate about ensuring the principle upon which MTCI was founded — “maximizing human potential” is at the core of everything they do. She truly believes the greatest asset of MTCI is the people who carry out the mission. 76 percent of the company’s associates are veterans; of those, 50 percent are retirees and 26 percent are combat veterans.
Additionally, many of the City’s businesses were nominated in the eleven categories of Chamber awards, including local favorite Jirani Coffeehouse for its commitment to enriching the lives of those in our community as well as Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services for providing outstanding professional services in the Greater Manassas region.
Four City businesses received top honors:
- Tech Company of the Year: Aurora Flight Sciences
Headquartered at the Manassas Regional Airport, Aurora Flight Sciences is a world-wide leader in the research and development of unmanned aircraft systems, robotics and autonomous flight technologies.
- Emerging Business of the Year: KO Distilling
Craft distillery KO Distilling opened their doors in the City of Manassas on September 12, 2015 with a 12,000 square foot facility featuring a state-of-the-art distilling plant, barrel storage, and tasting room. Co-founded by college classmates and long-time friends Bill Karlson and John O’Mara, KO Distilling is part of the emerging craft spirits industry in Virginia, providing exports as well as tourism revenue.
- Business Excellence Award (11+ Employees): Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian, PC
From their start in 1986, one of Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian’s goals was to become a sophisticated law firm providing top-notch work for the community’s legal needs. Over the years, Vanderpool, Frostick & Nishanian has grown to include twelve practice areas and 29 employees who all work in concert to provide every client with the best possible outcome for their legal needs.
- Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Award, Arts and Education: Center for the Arts
The mission of the Center for the Arts is to enrich the creative community by engaging people of all ages; celebrating diversity, fostering innovation and cultivating collaboration and communication. Where similar organizations may be focused solely on visual arts, or dance, or theatre with programs for either adults or children; the Center for the Arts is proud to offer programs for all ages, in a multitude of mediums.
Additional Nominees from the City of Manassas:
Innovative Practice/Partnership of the Year: Historic Manassas Inc., Novant Health UVA Health System
Community Outreach Award: Jirani Coffeehouse, Mr. Handyman, Apple Federal Credit Union, Transaction Expert
Government Contractor of the Year: MTCI-Management and Training Consultants Inc.
Outstanding Professional Service: Weber Rector Commercial Real Estate Services Inc., Twin Air LLC, Mr. Handyman
Tech Company of the Year: Tracen Technologies Excellence in Small Business: Transaction Expert Business Excellence Award: Hepburn and Sons, Apple Federal Credit Union
Chuck Colgan Visionary Award: Mike Vanderpool
Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards: Health and Human Service: Action in Community Through Service (ACTS), Apple Federal Credit Union
Sponsored Post Have you financed your senior years yet?
Sponsored Post Winning spinach and chorizo soup now on Manassas menu
A frigid winter evening didn’t hold people back from coming to historic downtown Manassas for the 2nd Annual Souper Bowl, Friday, Feb. 5.
Crowds filled the sidewalks and shops as they explored downtown and tasted 13 different soups. In the end there had to be a winner, and this year’s Souper Bowl Champion was Mariachi’s Tequileria & Restaurant with their homemade Chicken Tortilla Soup, featured at the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory.
Mariachi’s is a new restaurant in Manassas opening just over a month ago in the old City Square Café location on Battle Street. They featured two soups at this year’s event – the winning Chicken Tortilla Soup as well as a spinach and chorizo soup.
Originally, the spinach and chorizo soup wasn’t a regular menu item, but after such positive praise at the Souper Bowl, owner Antonio Escamilla added it to the restaurant’s daily menu.
“We’ve had a few different groups of people come in since the Souper Bowl, saying they learned about us and our location after attending the event,” Escamilla said. Mariachi’s is owned by Escamilla, Rafael Martinez, and Primo Castlan who says their goal was to bring authentic Mexican cuisine and traditions to downtown Manassas – “it’s the food your grandmother would make” said Escamilla.
Every Friday and Saturday night a live mariachi band performs in the restaurant but on this First Friday they traveled to both Calico Jack’s and the Center for the Arts to supply an added ambience as attendees sampled the soups from both locations.
Head chef L. Fernando Babadilla says the key to the winning Chicken Tortilla Soup is his homemade tortilla recipe that he has had perfected for nearly five years. Chef Fernando’s secret to the spinach and chorizo soup – homemade chorizo. The chorizo mixed with the creaminess of the spinach makes for a soup packed with flavors everyone can enjoy.
This year’s Souper Bowl saw nearly a 20 percent increase in attendance with many already talking of their excitement for next year’s event.
It was a great kickoff for this year’s series of First Fridays, the next of which is Friday, March 4. Don’t forget to mark your calendars and come out to enjoy a fun evening in historic downtown Manassas! For a comprehensive list of events going on in Manassas this year, go to www.visitmanassas.org.
This post is written as part of a paid content partnership between Potomac Local and City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city.
Ten years ago it might have been hard for many people to imagine being able to send a digital file to a printer and producing a three-dimensional object. However, this advanced technology is becoming more widely used in many different industries and is inspiring innovations like 3D-printed cars that can drive and medical devices that can save lives.
Today, Manassas-based Aurora Flight Sciences is taking this technology one step further. The company unveiled the world’s largest and fastest 3D-printed, unmanned aircraft at the Dubai Airshow in November. This high-speed, jet-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flies faster than 150 miles per hour.
Aurora partnered with Stratasys Ltd., a 3D printing and additive manufacturing company, to design and produce an aircraft using 3D-printed, lightweight plastics and metal. This UAV was developed in half the time it typically takes using traditional manufacturing methods.
By using 3D printers, Aurora’s aerospace engineers can build customized products quicker and produce them more cost effectively, which creates new opportunities for the company. For example, the U.S. Air Force recently announced an initiative called “Affordable, Attritable Aircraft” to significantly reduce aircraft procurement costs. The development of lower-cost, 3D-printed UAVs will make it more “affordable” for the military to lose a drone in combat situations.
“Part of the Air Force’s challenge is to separate manufacturing costs from production rate and quantity,” says Dan Campbell, Aerospace Research Engineer at Aurora Flight Sciences. “3D printing is a major enabler of meeting their needs.”
Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, uses a “materials printer” to produce a three-dimensional object from a computer model. The printer builds the object by placing layers of a material on top of each other. Aurora and Stratasys mostly used a strong thermoplastic that is resistant to heat and chemicals to build their UAV. The materials that they chose significantly reduce the aircraft’s weight but still meet the Federal Aviation Administration’s requirements for flame, smoke, and toxicity. The UAV has a 9-foot wingspan and only weighs 33 pounds.
“Whether by air, water, or on land, lightweight vehicles use less fuel. This enables companies to lower operational costs as well as to reduce environmental impact,” says Scott Sevcik, Aerospace & Defense Senior Business Manager for Stratasys. “Using only the exact material needed for production is expected to reduce acquisition cost by eliminating waste and reducing scrap and recycling costs.”
Aurora Flight Sciences and Stratasys began working together through the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory program. For four years, the two companies have been collaborating on developing novel materials and design methods for manufacturing small aircraft using 3D printing.
Having already achieved similar success with unmanned aircraft developed under Department of Defense-funded programs, the Aurora and Stratasys team is excited to publicly demonstrate their achievements. The internally funded UAV showcased at the Dubai Airshow was developed specifically to demonstrate their technology and show the world what can be done with 3D printing and aerospace engineering.
Aurora Flight Sciences, which was founded in 1989, has its headquarters in the City of Manassas and is a long-standing member of the business community. This leading developer and manufacturer of UAVs and aerospace vehicles has won industry recognition and awards for its cutting-edge technology.
Aurora is one of the top ten employers in the City with 188 staff members who are active volunteers with civic organizations and STEM education programs. Since 2003, Aurora has been giving back to the community by supporting the Team America Rocketry Challenge, a national student rocket design contest, through sponsorship and mentoring of local middle and high school teams.
The company has grown considerably over the years and has expanded several times to include production plants in West Virginia and Mississippi; a research and development center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where it collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT); and a new office in California’s Silicon Valley at Mountain View.
This post is written by the City of Manassas to showcase businesses and economic development in the city in a paid content partnership with Potomac Local.
Shop for olive oil, home décor, fashion, pottery, fair trade goods, jewelry, books, antiques and collectibles, musical instruments, quilting supplies, and spiritual items
When it comes to holiday shopping, you can choose between two completely different experiences next week.
On Black Friday, you can rise before the sun and get ready to fight frenzied crowds. You can endure long lines as you frantically attempt to snag limited-time, mega deals on big-ticket items.
Or, on Small Business Saturday, you can instead enjoy a leisurely day browsing independently owned businesses, discovering unique gifts and specialty items, enjoying attentive customer service, and sitting down for a relaxing meal with friends and family.
There are many independently owned shops across the City of Manassas where fantastic, one-of-a-kind gifts are waiting for you on Saturday, November. 28.
In Historic Downtown Manassas, retailers will open early at 9 a.m. to welcome shoppers through their doors. You can park once and stroll for hours while finding something for everyone. To get an idea of the wide range of retailers in the downtown, take a look at VisitManassas.org’s merchant directory.
Explore specialty boutiques that offer premium food from wine to olive oil, home décor, fashion, pottery, fair trade goods, jewelry, books, antiques and collectibles, musical instruments, quilting supplies, and spiritual items. Leave the stress of the season behind! In between your purchases, pick up a warm beverage, take a spin around the ice-skating rink at the Harris Pavilion, and enjoy lunch or dinner at one of the independently owned restaurants.
If you have history buffs on your list, there is no better place to visit than Echoes, the Manassas Museum shop. It features a wide array of merchandise that celebrates local history and culture. From children’s toys to Civil War collectibles to souvenirs – you will find many distinctive presents here that are not available elsewhere.
For shoppers pressed for time, a drive along Liberia Avenue to The Shops at Signal Hill, the Fairview Shopping Center, and the Davis Ford Crossing Shopping Center will offer you the convenience of running errands, buying groceries, and shopping “small.”
Discoveries here will delight the people on your list who hard to shop for. You can find gifts for antique seekers, archers, coin and military memorabilia collectors, art enthusiasts, cyclists, foodies, and cigar connoisseurs. And, you can save time by not cooking and stopping into one of the ethnic eateries or your other local favorites here.
If you are cruising down Centreville Road, don’t miss stopping into one of the antique shops that could very well have that rare piece you have been looking for. There are also several niche boutiques that can satisfy very specific wish lists – like bowling supplies, dancewear, signature pieces of jewelry, and vinyl records.
The desire to “buy local” has been growing in popularity over the years. American Express, the force behind Small Business Saturday, estimates that shoppers spent a total of $14.3 billion at independent businesses in 2014. This spending significantly impacts a community. Studies have shown that for every $100 that is spent at an independently owned business, approximately $45 is re-spent in the local community. This is often because those business owners live locally and recirculate their earnings back into their hometowns, conduct business with other local establishments, make charitable donations, and put local employees on their payrolls.
On the flip side, for every $100 spent at a national chain business, only approximately $14 goes back to the local community.
For shoppers who love spending time at independent businesses, shifting a portion of their holiday dollars will make a difference in supporting their community and their favorite merchants. Show your love for your favorite shops and choose Small Business Saturday next week!
- Home Instead Senior Care of Manassas
- Address: 9817 Godwin Dr, Manassas, VA 20110
- Phone: (703) 530-1360
- Website: http://www.HomeInstead.com/manassas-va
It can take weeks for someone to get used to being cared for inside of their home.
The needs of seniors can change from week to week, or instantly. Marcus Evans, a Care Giver at Home Instead Senior Care in Manassas, makes it his job to know his client’s needs and to make them feel right at home. A typical day for Evans consists of starting the day early and meeting with clients, many of whom he considers his friends.
“I grow very attached to people when I take care of them,” said Evans, “and it’s something that’s personal for me.”
Knowing the needs of the client
Evans reviews his schedule for that particular day so that he knows what client he is meeting what time he needs to be there. Evans arrives at the house often earlier than he is scheduled so that he can provide extra help.
“I think it’s a relief for them when I arrive,” said Evans, “because they’re just so used to not having helped or anyone around the house.” Evans introduces himself and evaluates the client’s Plan of Care, a guide that tells Evans what he needs to do for that client including small projects.
“It can be anything. Sometimes it’d be something as simple as putting in a light bulb that they couldn’t reach, or sometimes it might be helping them take a shower,” said Evans.
Each individual Plan of Care that Evans evaluates for his clients may differ. He works with some clients in the mornings, afternoons, or evenings.
“For my clients, sometimes they’ll need help with getting dressed in the morning, making sure they’re brushing their teeth, hair is washed and everything like that,” said Evans. “Getting out of bed. Sometimes they may need a change if they are incontinent. They may need breakfast made. The house to be tidied up and things like that.”
Clients also have to feel welcomed and comforted.
“Now if it’s an afternoon client, I might need to come in, and I’ll make lunch and help them run errands or something like that,” said Evans. An evening patient they’ll need probably dinner and they’ll need me to tuck them in… make sure the house is straight… make sure their bed is nicely and neatly done and things like that.”
Properly dispensing medication also falls under Evans’ duties. Meeting client needs Patience is “crucial” in the field of caregiving.
“If you’re not patient, people are going to sense it,” said Evans, “They’re going to be very closed off, and they’re not going to be inviting and warm.”
Willingness to adapt
As clients’ needs changes over time, Care Giver s must adapt. Changes can happen in a matter of hours, daily, weekly or monthly. “You have to hang in there. You have to be willing to adapt and accept change,” said Evans.
“That’s why I think that a lot of people aren’t comfortable with this field because they’re not used to adapting on the fly as they would with a normal job where you just go in, and you clock in and you do the same thing every day.”
Evans says that it may take up to a few days, a few weeks, or even a month before a client is completely comfortable with someone taking care of them inside of their home. In most cases, Evans’ clients have never needed extra help or someone taking care of their every need.
“Sometimes they’ll verbalize in it. Sometimes it’s as simple as a look where it’s just like they’re smiling and I can tell at that moment they’re really happy with this. They’re really happy to have this help,” said Evans.
A rewarding career
Evans is Care Giver of the Year at Home Instead Senior Care located in Manassas, providing care for three years. He chose to work at Home Instead after working multiple types of jobs, but none seemed to be the perfect fit. It was while Evans was at a trade school that he was introduced to the field of medical assisting.
“The first class I took I was drawn to it immediately and I was like ‘I want to do this from now on,'” Evans said.
He achieved a certification in medical assisting and began searching for jobs in his field. However, Evans wanted a more personal type of relationship with patients that he felt he couldn’t get working at a doctor’s office. It was Evans’ mother that recommended him to Home Instead.
“I felt good. I felt like I’m really doing something that’s important for this guy because there was no one else with him and I was the only one there,” said Evans, about working with his first client. “…I felt like I was representing something good in his life that could be of service and help to him.”
Evans was named Care Giver of the Year at Home Instead and described the honor as both “overwhelming” and “unexpected”. Home Instead contacted Evans’ former clients and their families who gave glowing recommendations about Evans’ service and then interviewed Evans for the honor.
“To hear that I’m being esteemed in this way it blows me away…it was unbelievable to think that me just doing what I like doing people are going to recognize me in this way just for doing my job really,” said Evans.
Home Instead Senior Care provides in-home care to seniors in Prince William, Fairfax, and Fauquier counties, and the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park.
Sponsored Post How you can open your home to a cultural exchange student
Interested in hosting international high school students? Want to share a piece of American culture with your student and learn from your student’s culture?
Since 1951, Youth for Understanding (YFU) has been hosting students in the U.S. and sending students abroad for cross cultural exchange. YFU hosts thousands of international students from around 70 countries in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia every year.
Christina Cox is a local elementary school teacher in Northern Virginia and spoke about her and her family’s experiences hosting international students and why you should too.
1. What made you decide to begin hosting international students?
I was approached at work by a co-worker that said her son’s high school was looking for volunteers to host. My sister was [an] exchange student with AFS and attended the University of Neufchatel in Switzerland, and in the past, my family had hosted a girl from Dijon, France, and another boy from the south of France.
Also, throughout my growing years, we often had visitors from Ecuador and Colombia. It was common for friends and relatives to send their kids to us for the summer to practice their English and learn more about American culture. Those experiences, combined with our own experiences of living in Canada, Eastern Europe, and Germany, gave us a pretty good idea of what to expect.
2. What year did you decide to open up your house?
We hosted our first exchange student, a young girl from France, in the summer of 2007. Our son, Alexander, was in middle school and our daughter, Mercedes, was entering high school. While she was a very sweet and easy-going guest, she wrote on her application that she spoke an intermediate level of English.
In fact, she spoke nearly no English. I had to interpret for her so she could communicate with the rest of the family. Once, when we were out to lunch, she and Mercedes had shared some tacos. When I asked if she wanted another one, she said, “sure, sure.” When I brought three more to the table, she scoffed and said, “no, no, no,” holding her stomach and indicating she was full and couldn’t eat anymore. We continue to laugh about that to this day.
3. Favorite memories, moments?
The following year, we took a break from hosting, but the next year we were again approached by Terra Lingua [a different program], the exchange company, and asked to please consider taking a boy from Spain. He was Alexander’s age, was arriving in just over a week, and still had no host family. We accepted him, and that was the beginning of a long and lovely friendship between two boys and their families.
Inigo came to us from Bilboa, Spain. While he did speak a fair amount of English, he improved immensely through continued study in Spain as well as on his return visits to the U.S. Most recently, he stayed with us for his fourth time. He and his parents still communicate with us via Skype every few months. We keep up with each family’s happenings, as well as discuss what’s happening with each country’s politics, economy, and social issues. It makes for a candid and insightful exchange.
Alexander has also visited with Inigo’s family in Spain, even joining them on the family holiday to the Canary Islands. Some of our favorite memories were taking him camping for his very first time ever and introducing him to Dance Dance Revolution games.
Another funny memory is that we always thought we ate more than the Spanish family and that he was probably shocked. As it turns out, he now says he eats just as much and was always hungry, but didn’t want to be rude.
4. Why other families should consider becoming host families.
Other families should consider hosting a foreign exchange student because it allows you to share the best of American culture and the local area. Regardless of where you live in the U.S., this is simply a beautiful place, where people are kind, generous, and genuinely interested in creating positive relationships with people of other cultures. We have much to be proud of and much to share.
5. How rewarding is it to be able to host a student?
We loved being a host family. We know that there does not always exist an automatic chemistry between host and guests, but when there is such chemistry, it becomes an extension of your family. These are friendships that you can maintain for a lifetime.
6. How rewarding was it for your students? What do you think they gained?
I believe my children gained a great friend and extended family in Spain. I believe our guest gained an extended family here in the US and a much better understanding of the American way of life and culture. He can now speak from first hand experience about American culture and hospitality.
If you’re interested and want to learn more about being a host family with Youth for Understanding, please contact local Host Family Recruiter volunteer Amber Champ at firstname.lastname@example.org and/or visit www.yfuusa.org for more information.
The craft beer, wine, and spirits industry has been growing in leaps and bounds.
In the last few years, two breweries and a distillery have opened in the City of Manassas. While each place offers their own unique vibe and products, two characteristics unite and set them apart from the competition – a commitment to quality and local ingredients.
“Similar to the farm-to-table movement, people are excited by the grain-to-glass concept and high-quality products made from local grains,” says Bill Karlson, the co-founder and CEO of KO Distilling. “We make a point of telling people during tours that our wheat comes from Renwood Farms in Charles City and our rye came from Bay’s Best Feed Farm in Virginia’s Northern Neck.”
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KO Distilling opened in September and welcomed 450 people to its grand opening. During its first week, more than 100 people stopped by to sample its whiskey and gins. The distillery is a true agribusiness – the spirits are not just made in Virginia, but the majority of the grains used are sourced from local farms.
A Nielsen study found that “local, authentic” are qualities desired of beer and spirits growing in importance among consumers, most largely among the 21-34 demographic. Perhaps that is because today about 75% of adults over the age of 21 live within 10 miles of a brewery. The Atlantic reported that there were 70 small distilleries in the U.S. in 2003. Karlson says that KO is the 19th craft distiller in an industry of about 1000 microdistillers.
Customers seek quality and want to know how ingredients are sourced, says Sarah Meyers, co-founder of Manassas’ first craft brewery BadWolf Brewing Company.
“We try to source local whenever possible and at Little BadWolf they get to see beer being made right in front of them. Given how many craft breweries are popping up, we might hit a saturation point, so you need to make sure your quality is way up there and that is our biggest focus.”
The beer made at Heritage Brewing has a 100-percent organic base and 92 percent of all ingredients are either organic or locally sourced. Sean Arroyo, CEO of Heritage Brewing, explains, “Our approach is committing ourselves to the consistency and quality of our product and bringing the best ingredients that we can through organics and local aspects.”
This fall, Heritage is collaborating with The Bone, a barbecue spot in historic Manassas, on a bacon stout. And BadWolf is working with downtown Manassas restaurateurs on an “Old Town” Beer that will only be available in downtown establishments.
Experimenting with new creations keeps the excitement alive. Heritage, which is a 20-barrel brew house, also operates a small pilot system for making small batches of creative releases for the taproom. “It gives us a way to interact with our consumers and let them decide what our next big beers will be,” says Arroyo.
After BadWolf’s successful first year, Meyers and her business partner and husband Jeremy opened a 6,000-square foot production facility. Little BadWolf Brewing Company, the smaller, original location, is where people can try out the experimental batches and even suggest recipes, while the new Big BadWolf has space for special events and growler and kegs of their flagship brews.
“We are using our space for more than beer,” says Meyers. “We focus on giving back to charities and bringing people together for social events.” One look at BadWolf’s event calendar shows there is always something going on, including yoga, painting, and Craft Beer Bingo – all accompanied with a pint. Similarly, Heritage hosts trivia and live music nights in addition to special events like a new beer dinner series.
While all three businesses are committed to building a sense of community, they also take being a regional destination seriously. As Meyers says, “people won’t go to just a bar, but places like a brewery are something special they will seek out.”
Karlson says that he and his business partner, John O’Mara, always envisioned KO Distilling being a tourism destination by matching a great product with a great experience. “The minute visitors walk through our doors,” he says, “they know they aren’t in a warehouse anymore.”
KO Distilling’s tasting room has leather couches, a fireplace, and copper and oak design elements that mimic the copper pot still they use for distilling and barrels they use for aging. The atmosphere rewards locals as well as travelers for making the drive. Karlson, Meyers, and Arroyo all agree that Manassas, with its close proximity to I-95 and 66 and its abundance of historical sites and attractions, is an ideal location for attracting tourists from the metro area and beyond.
“What we want to do is bring in the community, produce a quality product, and have a great time doing it,” says Meyers.
Sponsored Post Delicious Downtown: Manassas Restaurant Week returns
Foodies have a great reason to get excited about fall!
September marks the return of Historic Manassas Restaurant Week. Restaurant Week is a tourism and marketing promotion celebrated throughout the U.S. to help bring in new customers and grow local businesses. Local restaurants feature their cuisine and offer a multi-course tasting experience for a special price.
Historic Manassas Inc. produces this event to showcase the City’s exciting culinary scene and encourage people to visit downtown businesses. Diners can try out places where they haven’t yet dined and regulars can score a great deal at their local favorites. Most Restaurant Week promotions are two courses for $25 or three courses for $35 and the specials run September 20 – 26.
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Insider’s Scoop on Restaurant Week Specials
Carmello’s (9108 Center Street) brings seasonal fine dining and an award-winning wine list to Historic Manassas. Their Restaurant Week dinner for $35 will offer a choice of a chopped house or caesar salad to start; a choice of gnocchi con carne, veal Napolitano, or marinated pork chops for an entrée; and either crème brule or chocolate hazelnut cake for dessert.
C.J. Finz Raw Bar & Grille (9413 West Street) is the City’s surf and turf destination. They have a fantastic deal that starts with your choice of a pint of beer or wine and is followed by a half-dozen shucked oysters or a half-pound of spiced shrimp. Your meal continues with your choice of several sandwiches, including a lobster roll, fried oyster po’boy, tuna tacos, salmon BLT, as well as non-fishy options like rib-eye steak, grilled chicken, or a burger on pretzel roll.
City Square Café (9428 Battle Street), where many enjoy artisan charcuterie and cheese boards, will entice diners with a choice of appetizer, entrée, and dessert for $35 during dinner. For $48, you can indulge on a wine pairing with your meal.
El Cactus (9406 Battle Street) offers fresh Tex-Mex favorites. During Restaurant Week, two can dine for $36. Pick one of five different appetizers to share, including the Manassas Soup Bowl-winning chicken tortilla soup. Entrees on special include carne asada, smoking fajitas, mole salmon, shrimp-topped tilapia, honey roasted cilantro chicken, and sweet honey salmon salad. Dessert features churros or the Taste of Manassas-winning tres leches.
Mackey’s (9412 Main Street), an American pub, is home to bourbon-glazed, “drunken” meats from the grill as well as plenty of “pub grub” favorites. They are offering an appetizer and entrée combo for $25.
Monza (9405 Battle Street) is where you can enjoy live music on the weekends and your favorite team on the big screens. They will be offering a choice of bruschetta, mozzarella sticks, arancini, or fried calamari for an appetizer and a choice of chicken picatta or pan-seared Atlantic salmon for an entrée for $25.
Okra’s (9110 Center Street) brings a taste of New Orleans to Manassas. This Cajun Creole favorite will feature a different dinner special each day of Restaurant Week. Swing by to see what the day’s special entrée will be and enjoy it with the choice of an appetizer and dessert for $35 during dinner.
Philadelphia Tavern (9413 Main Street) offers authentic Philly fare and boasts hoagie rolls that come straight from Amoroso Bakery. Grab a pal and enjoy two of their famous cheese steaks and two draught beers for $25 during both lunch and dinner.
The Bone (9420 Battle Street) is downtown’s home for smoky barbecue and hand-picked craft beers. Come by for a two-meat combo platter with Banana Puddin’ Pie for dessert and a local craft beer for $25. Choose from pork, brisket, turkey, chicken, or ribs and pair it with two sides and bread.
Note: The full menus at every restaurant will still be available in addition to the Restaurant Week special menu items, deals, and pricing.
- JTC Inc.
- Address: 9720 Capital Ct #305, Manassas, VA 20110
- Phone: (703) 794-1225
- Website: http://www.jtcinc.net/
When a lawyer walks into the courtroom, they need to know that they have all of their information and records they need. In many cases this is sensitive information that can have a big impact on a client’s case. But what if that information were to vanish during a system update?
This is something a law firm really can’t afford, when it comes to building their business, and providing a reputable service that clients can count on. And this is why law firms and lawyers need to have a good backup of all of their records and files available, in case something goes wrong.
“If you don’t have a backup, you’re taking a huge risk of losing data,” said JTC, Inc. spokeswoman Kristen Maxey.
If a lawyer is utilizing legal billing software or an electronic records platform, you’re going to have to update these programs from time to time, as updates and patches are released. And if you don’t utilize the services of an IT company, like JTC, Inc. you may end up accidentally wiping some of these crucial records.
Especially when you’re doing a big update to one of these databases, it’s important to have both a local and off-site backup of your records. That is something that JTC, Inc. can manage.
“You have the potential for corrupting files. Because when you’re updating a database, there are sometimes what’s called ‘schema’ changes, which is changes to the format of the database itself. When you do a large update like that, there’s always a risk or potential for corruption because you’re doing mass changes to the database,” said JTC, Inc. Solution Architect Chris Dittrich.
JTC, Inc. will not only help with installation, but they will manage and alert you about system updates, assist with the updating process, and maintain an off-site copy of the records you need.
As a growing business, don’t risk losing your data. Legal billing software can save you time, and JTC, Inc. can keep your software and databases backed up and secure.
Sponsored Post Manassas a magnet for creative, performing arts
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The Arts and Tourism District is in Historic Downtown Manassas.
Manassas already boasted the renowned Center for the Arts where visual and performing arts are taught, practiced and displayed as well as the highly regarded local studios and galleries, Creative Brush and ArtBeat. But local artists and community leaders wanted more.
The city council has a vision for Manassas to become known as an arts and cultural center in Northern Virginia, and beyond.
Last year the city converted the hallway on the first floor of City Hall into an art gallery aptly named “The Hall at City Hall.” The gallery has featured paintings, photographic art and works by local art students at Osborn High School and changes artwork every six weeks so there are regularly new displays.
Another example is the banner art displayed on light poles throughout Historic Downtown. The juried competition attracted artists from throughout the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Sixty of the more than 130 entries were transformed into public art that is on display seasonally until winter.
Historic Manassas Inc., the city’s Virginia Main Street Program, oversaw the project and intends to repeat it annually. The top -ranked submission, as judged by a panel of professional artists, received a $1,000 cash prize and at the end of the season one artist will be awarded the “People’s Choice” prize of $500. Ballots for this are included in a brochure describing each piece and available at the City’s visitor center in the historic train station adjacent to the municipal parking garage.
But it’s not all just about the visual arts.
Manassas also boasts the second largest ballet company in Virginia. The work of the Manassas Ballet Theater is recognized in the national and international press.
This attention helps contribute to Manassas becoming known as a regional arts and tourist destination. Further, Manassas worked closely with George Mason University, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and Prince William County to bring the Hylton Performing Arts Center from dream to reality. The city continues to provide support to ensure the performing arts venue remains an asset for the citizens of Manassas and the surrounding area as well as attracting visitors.
There are many other local performing and visual arts groups and businesses in the city too numerous to mention in this article; all of which exist to teach, promote or display the vibrant culture of this historic yet modern city.
Looking to savor great seafood without having to go very far to get it? These hidden hideaways right here in Prince William & Manassas, will transport you to a seaside retreat to indulge in fruity cocktails and fresh seafood. With a wide variety of activities, live music and more there is sure to be something for everyone at one of these local eateries.
Tim’s Rivershore – Located in Woodbridge, this waterfront restaurant sits on one of the widest points of the Potomac River and offers panoramic views of the river. The view can be enjoyed from inside the restaurants dining room, on the outdoor deck or at the torch-lit tiki bar and beach.
From monthly full moon bonfires on the beach to their annual “Not on the 4th” fireworks display there is a constant flow of events, live music and festivals held here every year. Serving fresh crabs, oysters, scallops, shrimp, mussels, and fish as well as steaks, burgers, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches this family-friendly restaurant is a must visit.
Blue Ridge Seafood – Find a southern twist on traditional seafood dishes in Gainesville, at Blue Ridge Seafood. From fried frog legs to alligator bites and crawfish you are in for a treat when visiting this southern seafood hideaway. More traditional fare such as fresh crabs, seasonal fish, hush puppies and french fries are also offered.
Plan a night out with family and friends to enjoy live music on the back deck or stop in and pick up crabs and hush puppies to enjoy at home. Their backyard tiki bar is the perfect backdrop to any happy hour too!
Crosby’s Crab Co. – Rated one of the best places to find fresh fish, lobster, crabs and oysters in Northern Virginia by Washingtonian Magazine, Crosby’s Crab Company prides itself on its fresh seafood selection. In addition to a variety of local seafood to choose from they also have alligator, frog legs and octopus available for the brave and curious.
A more traditional seafood market, they offer carry out service only and can often be found at the Historic Downtown Manassas Farmers Market on Saturdays during the summer months. Crosby’s is open year round to satisfy any seafood cravings.
CJ Finz Raw Bar & Grill – A surf and turf restaurant offering coastal dining with a hometown feel, is what guests will find at CJ Finz Raw Bar & Grill in the heart of Historic Downtown Manassas. Offering a hint of the Outer Banks in Northern Virginia, diners can relax on the rooftop deck while enjoying freshly shucked oysters or a beer from one of the local breweries.
This family friendly restaurant offers a wide variety of seafood and southern style dishes from fried pickles to oyster po-boy sandwiches. It is a must visit next time you are in the mood for a convenient get away with great food and amazing views.
Madigan’s Waterfront – Whether you are looking for a special place for date night or a unique location for your next private event, this waterfront retreat can accommodate both. Overlooking the Occoquan River and marina patrons can select from a variety of seafood dishes and seating options that are sure to please.
The topside deck and tiki bar play host to live music and entertainment throughout the summer months, making it the perfect spot to sit back and relax. From candlelit riverside dining to karaoke and dancing there is a little something for everyone at this restaurant on the river.
To discover more about where to dine and shop visit discoverpwm.com.
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An Air Force veteran was able to honor a fallen Army soldier using skills from his side business – Baret Bats.
Juan Baret, a former Air Force sergeant and current office engineer for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Fort Belvoir, started his business, Baret Bats, from his home in Lake Ridge.
Baret stated that the company started when he learned he could no longer play baseball due to chronic pain.
“It was crushing blow to know that I could no longer do something that I loved so much, especially at a relative young age of 33… But rather than focusing on the things I could no longer do, I focused my energies on my strengths. My strengths are passion and determination. So once I made the decision to get back in the game, I looked into making baseball bats at home,” said Baret.
According to Baret, one of the main goals of the company is to provide players with customized bats that make them feel like a professional.
“For most of my baseball playing life I used a wooden bat for practice and to play in games. Using a wood bat felt more comfortable and I performed much better when compared to using aluminum bats…the best wood went to the professional baseball players while the amateurs were left with little options but to swing subpar bats,” said Baret.
While he’s made bats for several baseball players across the country, an order that was close to him was one placed for Sean Cutsforth, an Army specialist that was killed serving in Afghanistan in 2010.
Cutsforth grew up in Prince William County, and was an avid baseball ball player.
The Brentsville District High School actually renamed their baseball field Army Specialist, Sean Russell Cutsforth Memorial Field in his honor, following his passing.
Baret was approached by Andrew Widiker, a family member of Cutsforth, and asked to make a special bat in honor of Cutsforth.
“[Widiker] found me thru my Instagram account after looking at several bat makers and decided that he wanted an actual person not a machine to make such special bat to honor his cousin Sean,” said Baret.
Baret created a custom design for the bat, titled ‘Swinging for Sean’, which featured an image of a soldier and red, white, and blue details.
Currently Baret takes orders for the bats via email or in person, but will be launching his website in August.
Baret stated that customers can order custom bats from T-ball for $35, and adult bats in the $75 to $85 range.
Sponsored Post Manassas awarded for Civil War Sesquicentennial celebration
The City of Manassas, along with Prince William County, were the recipients of the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission’s Leadership Award for the area’s efforts in commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War during the past seven years.
The City of Manassas partnered with Prince William County, the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division and many area museums, parks, and historic sites to coordinate dozens of local events that brought history to life for thousands of residents and visitors from across the country. The Prince William County/Manassas Committee began meeting in 2007, and helped plan and promote the signature 2011 Sesquicentennial commemoration at multiple sites across the city and county.
The local committee also fostered a strong partnership with the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission. The Manassas Museum hosted both the Commission’s traveling exhibit, An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia, and the Legacy Project, an effort to scan and archive the Civil War-era documents of local residents. The city also twice hosted another of the Commission’s traveling exhibits, the award-winning Civil War 150 HistoryMobile.
On average, more than 11,000 visitors a day attended events in the city during the four-day July 2011 Sesquicentennial commemoration despite an average heat index of 103 to 105 degrees. The city saw a 14% increase in meals taxes and a 55% increase in sales taxes during the month of the event, and garnered significant national media attention for its expansive free programs.
The annual Manassas Civil War Weekend, scheduled for August 21-23 this year, was created as a result of the popularity of the 2011 and 2012 Sesquicentennial commemorations held throughout the City of Manassas. The Weekend’s program tells the story not just of Civil War battles, but of the War’s impact on civilians and African-Americans.
The Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission was created by the General Assembly to plan and commemorate Civil War events in the Commonwealth. The Commission officially ended its work this year with a Memorial Day award ceremony and concert on the Capitol steps in Richmond. Virginia House Speaker William J. Howell served as Chairman, and State Senator Charles J. Colgan, Sr., served as Vice-Chairman of the Commission.
Sponsored Post You’ll be surprised at the local artifacts featured in the ‘Hometown Tourist’ exhibit in Manassas
Manassas Museum ‘Hometown Tourist” exhibit coming to Bull Run Regional Library
Trade your suitcase for some walking shoes and be a Manassas hometown tourist this summer. If walking shoes aren’t an option, take a virtual tour.
The new Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour lets you click on a map to find in-depth information about the city’s eight historic properties. The tour includes photographs, little-known stories about people and places associated with the site, behind-the-scenes glimpses, and information about visiting in person. Visit manassasmuseum.org/tour to access the tour.
The Manassas Museum is taking to the road for a new summer travelling exhibit, Hometown Tourist, at the Bull Run Regional Library. The exhibit features artifacts, old post cards, and archaeology from nine area historic sites: The Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, the Stone House, the Manassas City Cemetery, the Manassas Museum (built on land where Eastern College once stood), the Manassas Industrial School, the former Grace United Methodist Church (now Bull Run Unitarian), and the Albert Speiden House.
Most of the City’s nationally significant historic sites are open free every day and offer interpretive signage that tells their story. Take along the mobile version of the Manassas Historical Sites Map Tour as you visit the Manassas Museum, the Southern Railway Depot, the Hopkins Candy Factory, Liberia Plantation, Mayfield and Cannon Branch Earthwork Forts, and the Manassas Industrial School/Jennie Dean Memorial to enhance your experience.
If you would like to learn even more about the sites, guided walking tours of Historic Downtown Manassas are offered every Thursday and Friday at Noon, and Liberia House tours are offered Sundays at Noon through the summer. Meet at the Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William Street, for the Downtown tours, and at Liberia, 8601 Portner Avenue, for the Sunday tours.
Call 703-268-1873 or visit manassasmuseum.org for more information.
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine paid a visit to Stafford County, where he led a roundtable discussion at the Stafford Economic Development Authority on April 8. More than a dozen business and political leaders were present, including Stafford County supervisors Jack Cavalier (Griffis-Widewater) and Laura Sellers (Garrisonville).
The group touched on many different topics, but the need to fund cyber-security initiatives and the effect of BRAC got much of the attention.
BRAC stands for base realignment and closure. According to the U.S. Department of Defense website, BRAC is “the congressionally authorized process [the DOD] has used to reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support [U.S.] forces, increase operational readiness and facilitate new ways of doing business.”
Kaine said: “BRACs are obviously very tough. I mean, nobody wants to contemplate dramatic scale-downs of infrastructure when they’re such significant job creators, economic centers of gravity for communities where a military installation is [located]. At the same time, the defense budget Priority One is not a job creator. Priority One is national defense. And if you spend more on installations than you need to, then you’re spending less on something else [like cyber-security].”
“I’m not sure the BRAC process is really the best way to come at the rationalization of physical infrastructure,” he added.
Past base closures didn’t save money, they cost money, said Kaine. He told roundtable that the Pentagon claimed BRACs that didn’t save money weren’t done efficiently. And when a BRAC is announced, every community hires attorneys and lobbyists to try and protect what they have, even in communities where the installation is not at risk. It becomes a massive check to the lobbyists and lawyers, said Kaine.
“You’re never out of the woods if you have an installation in your community.”
Also present at the meeting were Stafford EDA Chairman Joel Griffin, Curry Roberts, Howard Owen, George Judd, Patrick J. Gallagher, Ken Fried, Gen. E. Gray Payne, Rich Sackette, Suzanne Milem, Martin Arase, Cristina R. Barnes, Kent Farmer, Mark Kavanaugh, Ken Farquhar, Gabe Patricio, Joshua Kovacs, Jeff Speights, Shannon Howell, Sarah Kirkpatrick, and M.C. Moncure.
Sponsored Post Manassas Airshow Bringing in the Big Jets
On May 2, 2015, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Manassas Airshow is bringing in Breitling Jet Team, the largest professional civilian flight jet team. This team demonstrates aerobatics with precision, speed, mastery and style. The Breitling Team coordinates a meticulous ballet in which planes sometimes fly within three meters of each other at speeds of over 700 kilometers per hour.
They are really a sight to see and the event is free to the public.
Also performing this year are the 3rd Dimension Parachute Team, the American Helicopters Demonstration Team, Andrew McKenna P-51 and T-6 Aerobatics, the Flying Circus Stearman Flight, Scott Francis MXS Aerobatics, Jack Knutson Extra 300 Aerobatics, Matt Chapman CAP 580 Aerobatics, Randy Devere CJ-6 Aerobatics and there will be an RC Modeler Jet Demonstration. Along with these performers, the Manassas Airshow offers aircraft displays, military re-enactors and much more.
Also at the Manassas Regional Airport on April 26 at 7:30 a.m. runners will be getting ready to race the Manassas Runway 10K/5K presented by the Bull Run and Manassas Rotary Clubs. This is the flattest run in the area, being held on the actual runway.
The Texas Raiders B-17 will be at the Manassas Regional Airport from May 3 to 6 offering rides on their B-17, which is one of only eleven B-17 flying fortresses still flying today. On May 8 from noon to 1 p.m. 15 historically sequenced warbird formations will participate in the World War II Victory Capitol Flyover in honor of the 70th Anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day. While several of these majestic warbirds are visiting the Manassas Regional Airport, they will be giving tours, May 9-10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information on any of these events, visit manassascity.org/airportevents.
Sponsored Post Manassas celebrates Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3
When you say the words “Founders’ Day” it brings back images of a kinder, gentler time when people shared stories on front porches. The City of Manassas is celebrating Founders’ Day on First Friday, April 3, with restaurant specials, shops staying open late and, of course, birthday cake.
Stores and restaurants will be focusing on the history of the city and the buildings they inhabit.
This celebration is the brainchild of Councilman Ian Lovejoy. He was curious about the actual date the town was founded and in researching that date, found that the City was recognized as a town on April 2, 1873 by the General Assembly. The area was known as Tudor Hall, prior to that, until William S. Fewell, who owned the land, laid out the first six blocks and began selling lots.
The first official council meeting was held on May 17, 1873. Due to the town’s growth over the years, the town submitted a request to the General Assembly and in 1975 officially became the City of Manassas. From humble beginnings in 1873 as a half mile town concentrated along the railroad tracks, the City of Manassas grew to 10 square miles of homes, schools, shops and restaurants and more than 40,000 residents.
This Founders’ Day, come celebrate with the City of Manassas in Historic Downtown from 6 to 9 p.m. The Manassas Museum will host a City of Manassas trivia contest and a book signing. Love, Charley will offer cake, The Bone will have a beer garden and City Square Café is offering a three course dinner special and encouraging diners to dress in period attire. These are just a few of the offerings for First Friday. For more offerings and information, visit visitmanassas.org.
Sponsored Post Manassas City Hall art exhibit: Water, water everywhere
Have you ever watched the Ebb & Flow of water as it laps against the bank, whether it is a river or the ocean? Photographer Hannele Lahti explores the visual fabric of life that is water in the next exhibit at The Hall at Manassas City Hall. Ebb & Flow is a photo exhibit capturing the fleeting moment when all of the variables meld together and are stilled. The exhibit opens on March 17 and runs through April 24 at City Hall, 9027 Center Street in Manassas, Virginia.
Hannele Lhati is a nationally-recognized documentary and fine art photographer who creates images that explore the wonder and fragility of the natural world. She is the owner of Hannele Lahti Photography and a contract photographer for National Geographic. As a child, Lahti grew up on a lake and learned to respect the natural world, to honor its beauty as she sat by the water’s edge with her grandfather.
Exhibits in The Hall rotate on a monthly basis and include different forms of visual art. Visiting The Hall is free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and later when evening meetings are held in the building.
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital and its outlying health centers at Dumfries and Fairfax are OPEN and non-emergency employees have the option for UNSCHEDULED LEAVE or UNSCHEDULED TELEWORK. All appointments remain on schedule; however, we encourage patients and staff to first take their safety into consideration before driving into work or coming in for an appointment. If the roads are dangerous to drive on, patients can contact the clinic where they have an appointment scheduled to cancel or reschedule. Military and civilian staff who may have difficulty reporting to work must contact their immediate supervisors to coordinate unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.
The Fort Belvoir Community Hospital is closed due to flooding inside the building.
Officials at Fort Belvoir issued this statement:
URGENT NOTICE: Hospital Closing Due To Basement Flooding
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital is CLOSED today due to water supply and plumbing problems that are impacting healthcare operations and network capabilities. All routine and acute appointments as well as elective surgeries are CANCELLED.
Emergency Room services are CLOSED as well. Patients should contact the Tricare Nurse Advice Line at 1-800-TRICARE (1-800-874-2273) and select option #1 to speak with a team member about an urgent care need. Patients can also visit the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center emergency room for assistance.
Hospital staff will contact patients to reschedule appointments; however, patients can also contact the Integrated Referral Management Appointing Center at 855-227-6331 to rescheduled appointments.
The $1 billion hospital opened in August 2011. The project devised in most recent round of BRAC replaced Dewitt Army Community Hospital at Fort Belvoir.