WE ARE LOCAL News in Prince William, Virginia




Zandra’s Taqueria honors ‘Day of the Dead’ with free tacos


Don’t let the name fool you—Day of the Dead is not a morbid holiday, explains Miguel Pires, owner of Zandra’s Taqueria in Old Town Manassas. Rather, the holiday is a festive celebration honoring loved ones that are no longer with us. Family and friends come together for feasts, dancing and to make offerings to the deceased, such as sugar skulls and service in the form of cleaning and decorating grave sites. Pires says that it is in this celebratory spirit that he invites the community to gather at his taqueria and bar for a Day of the Dead charity event.

From 5 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 2, Zandra’s will be collecting food and raising money for SERVE, a program of Northern Virginia Family Service (NVFS), the largest private, nonprofit human service organization in Northern Virginia. NVFS addresses the challenges of systemic poverty on the community.

Each patron who donates nonperishable food items that evening will receive a voucher for a free taco, and the restaurant will also donate $1 from every margarita sale to SERVE. Additionally, the musical guest, Purpose, is donating its performance proceeds to SERVE.

Zandra’s Taqueria is located at 9114 Center Street in Manassas. For directions and menu items, visit www.zandrastacos.com or call 571-359-6767.

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.

Active Prince William Bikes and Beers social and bike ride in Lake Ridge on Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016


Come hang out, have a beer flight, and chat about bikes and biking in Prince William, Manassas, and Manassas Park. This social event organized by Active Prince William  will be at the recently opened Waters End Brewery in Lake Ridge, the first brewery in the area that you can safely bike and walk to. The event is FREE! PLUS: FREE Door Prize Raffles FREE Bike Valet Parking PRE-EVENT RIDE WITH POTOMAC PEDALERS 11:00 AM 12.5 miles The route will be only mildly hilly, following mostly quiet streets through Lake Ridge and Woodbridge. Meet in Waters End Brewery parking lot (in Dillingham Square).

For more info visit: potomacpedalers.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=866756


Kraze Burgers is now open at Manassas Mall


Manassas Mall is excited to announce that Kraze Burgers is now open in the new restaurant & entertainment wing.  At Kraze Burgers, you get premium burgers coupled with healthy alternatives that take casual dining to a whole new level! The mouthwatering burgers are 100% hormone free, grain fed, top-quality natural beef, served on fresh baked buns and charbroiled to perfection. For health conscious eaters, you will find various healthy alternatives on the menu, veggie burgers, grilled chicken sandwiches and salads. Kraze Burgers offers a diverse menu with savory choices from a wide range of menu options that will appeal to everyone.

Taste of Prince William County is Saturday at Manassas Mall

From Virginia StrEats: 

Manassas, VA, September 14th, 2016 – The Taste of Prince William County will occur on Saturday, September 24th, 2016 from 11AM-7PM at Manassas Mall in the Sears parking lot located at 8300 Sudley Road in Manassas, Virginia. The Taste of Prince William County is planned by VA StrEats, Northern Virginia’s premier producer of food truck events. This community event will feature local craft beers and spirits with plenty of live, local music including a Kids Stage.

The event is FREE to attend! For the craft beer & spirits lovers, drink ticket packages are now on-sale at Freshtix and cost $12 ($3 savings) for Full Pour Beer 3-Pack and $25 for Brew Crew Sampling for unlimited 4 oz. samples. Ticket prices will increase on the day of the event. Beer will be on-sale at the event for just $5. Beer options will include BadWolf Brewing, Ballast Point Sculpin, Firestone Walker Easy Jack, Parkway Majestic Mullet, Smuttynose old Brown Dog, Green Flash Passion Kicker, Left Hand Milk Stout, Crispin Blackberry Pear, and Narragansset.  Over 15 food vendors are expected to attend this event from across Prince William County and the DMV area. The event is sponsored by the New Manassas Mall and Sears.

A portion of the proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry. Share Our Strength® is a national organization that works hard to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry.

Drink tickets can be purchased online at https://www.freshtix.com/events/pwctaste

Attendees can RSVP on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/1659863534270717/

For more information on The Taste of Prince William County call Jacque Pitts, event organizer, at (202) 768-6676 or at info@VAStrEats.com.

Sugar Shack opens in North Stafford

Sugar Shack Donuts opened in North Stafford on Saturday, Sept 10 2016.

The Richmond-based chain chose to locate at a drive-through/walk-up stand located at 428 Garrisonville Road. The shop was once home to Brewsters Ice Cream, a pizza shop, and most recently a failed greek order-out eatery before Sugar Shack opened its doors.

Sugar Shack says its donuts are fresh baked in-store daily, and that they use fresh apples and berries in their products.

The North Stafford shop is open 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Nando’s PERi-PERi in Woodbridge giving away free food Tuesday


Because we just get a kick out of being generous, TOMORROW, September 13, we’re putting on a #NandosDash for you at our Woodbridge restaurant (locaated at 15001 Potomac Town Place.)

What’s a Nando’s Dash? Simply show up at Nando’s PERi-PERi in Woodbridge between 6 and 8 p.m. to get a free 1/4 chicken, chicken sandwich, wrap, or pita.*

You’ll have to get your dash on though it’s eat-in only, and first come, first served because there’s a limited number of seats available (though we’ll try and accommodate as many of you as we can).

So, what are you waiting for? Come and get some free chicken, on us!

*Terms & Conditions: Only available on 13th September 2016 between 6:00pm and 8:00pm at Nando’s PERi-PERi located in Woodbridge, Va. One free 1/4 chicken, chicken sandwich, wrap, or pita per person, on a first come first served basis, dine-in only. You need to pay for any extras, including sides or drinks (only if you want them!).

KO Distilling to celebrate 1 year in business


On Saturday, September 17th from 12:00-6:00 p.m. we will be hosting our 1st Anniversary Open House to celebrate our first year of operations.  It is our way of giving back to the local community, our loyal followers, business partners, and family and friends.  We encourage you and yours to come by our distillery that day.  We will provide complimentary admission, free guided tours, live music (a DJ and local performers Leon Rector and Harlen Simple), face painting and lawn games.  Tickets for meals (provided by Okra’s Cajun Creole), local beer (from BadWolf, Heritage and Tin Cannon Brewing companies), KO Distilling spirits tastings, and VIP packages will be available for purchase.    
We look forward to you, others from your business, and your family and friends coming out to celebrate with us — RAIN OR SHINE, as we have an outside Food & Beer Garden with a big tent to complement our 2,500 sq ft visitors center that day.  
Last month, KO Distilling announced it would triple production at its Manassas facility, and hire six new employees with the help of local and state grants.

Microbrewery explosion continues in Prince William

brew republic

A new microbrewery will open on September 24.

Brew Republic Bierworks in Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center is set to open its doors near Wegmans in Woodbridge.

Here’s an excerpt from an email newsletter sent Monday from Brew Republic Bierworks:

…assuming that we pass our remaining inspections and everything remains on schedule. But we wouldn’t ask you to pen (not pencil) 9/24 in your calendar if we didn’t have a high degree of confidence, and we’re aggressively preparing and planning for that day — so you can plan on it too.

The opening day shindig will begin at 11:00am and go until close. We will have live music, giveaways, food discounts, and oh yes, beer. Lots of beer! At least six on tap! We are a brewery after all. We’ll also have in-house made root beer for the kiddos (and anyone else who’d like something a bit sweeter).  

We first told you about Brew Republic Bierworks when the brewery announced late last year it would open in 2016.

Ornery Beer Company, located at 14389 Potomac Mills Road in Woodbridge will celebrate its one-year anniversary two weeks before the opening of Bierworks, on September 10. Nearly 15 local breweries will offer tastings during an outdoor festival from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Tickets to the festival are $25 each, include a souvenir tasting glass, and 10 tasting tickets.

Ornery sits inside what was once Hard Times Cafe.

The business touts itself as the first brewpub in Prince William County, serving both locally-brewed beer and chef-inspired meals.

Prince William County residents have seen an explosion in the number microbreweries that have sprouted up in the past two years. At least six breweries that bear such names as Tin Cannon, Growling Bear, Waters End have all opened in Prince William County in the past 24 months.

Changes in a county zoning ordinance allowed these businesses to open in suburban retail areas. Old rules forced breweries and distilleries to locate inside areas zoned as light industrial parks.

In Manassas City last week, KO Distilling announced it would triple its production of whiskey and gin, and source all of its grain, wheat, and rye for its products from producers in Virginia. Todd Haymore, Virginia’s agriculture secretary, joined the owners of KO Distillery and the Manassas City Council to award $50,000 in state and local grants to fund KO’s expansion, to include the hiring of six new employees. 

Chick-fil-A free food faithful expected in Haymarket

A new Chick-fil-A restaurant will open in Haymarket next week. That means hundreds are expected to pack the eatery’s parking lot for a chance to win free food for a year. 

Here’s more in a press release: 

Local franchise owner Jason Ward will open Haymarket’s first stand-alone  Chick-fil-A restaurant on Aug. 4, bringing 80 new jobs, a chance for 100 adults to win free Chick-fil-A meals for a year and the opportunity for the community to donate children’s books to benefit Prince William County Schools.

              The family-friendly overnight First 100 party is expected to pop up in the restaurant parking lot at 15250 Washington St., 24 hours before the grand opening as guests try to be one of the first 100 adults through the door to win a year of free Chick-fil-A meals. This community event is open to guests residing in specific zip codes surrounding the restaurant. A complete listing of eligible zip codes and rules can be found at www.chick-fil-a.com/Locations/Openings.

The Chick-fil-A First 100

              A tradition going back more than 12 years, Chick-fil-As First 100 celebration has given away nearly $27 million in free food through 2015 and continues to be the chains signature grand opening event. Rain, snow and extreme temperatures below zero or above 100 do not deter fans who arrive with tents, chairs, TVs, computers and other gear.

              Each fan is hoping to win a digital offer card loaded with a one-year supply of free Chick-fil-A meals (52 meals with each consisting of a Chick-fil-A Chicken Sandwich, medium Waffle Potato Fries and a medium beverage) that will be awarded to the first 100 eligible adults — ages 18 and older with identification — in line when the doors open at 6 a.m. on Aug. 4. If more than 100 people are onsite when the line officially opens at 6 a.m. on Aug. 3, a drawing will be held to select the First 100. Those chosen will be required to camp out until the grand opening in order to secure their spot.

              “My team members and I cant wait to welcome our guests,” said Ward. “Were not just in the chicken business — were in the people business. Our goal is to provide a remarkable experience for every customer, every time, by serving food our guests can truly feel good about eating, providing sincere hospitality and being a good neighbor in the Haymarket community.”

Childrens Book Drive

              Reflecting his desire to have a positive impact on the surrounding community, Ward is inviting his First 100 guests and restaurant customers to celebrate the new location by participating in a children’s book drive for a local elementary school. Ward is collecting new and gently used childrens books on Aug. 3 and Aug. 4 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.  The donated books will be placed in a nearly 3-foot Book House to serve as a free library exchange and will be donated to Prince William County Schools. The Book House, built from reclaimed wood, is donated by the Chick-fil-A Foundation (http://www.chick-fil-afoundation.org/). Last year with the help of communities from coast to coast, Chick-fil-A collected more than 10,000 books, which were donated to 89 local organizations in 30 states and Washington, D.C.

Restaurant Details

The new Haymarket Chick-fil-A restaurant features a:

·       restaurant design using hand-made, authentic materials for a vintage-inspired interior, including a large gathering table made from reclaimed wood, subway tiles, and light fixtures made from recycled Coca-Cola bottles and peach baskets.

·       two-story interactive indoor play area for children and free Wi-Fi.

·       drive-thru service expanded to offer dual drive-thru ordering lanes and screens to enable customers to quickly move into a single lane for payment and pick up.

·       dining room with seating for 134 and additional outdoor patio seats

·       full-service menu including breakfast until 10:30 a.m., and will be open Monday through Saturday from     6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Like all Chick-fil-A locations, it will be closed on Sunday.

Stafford’s Adventure Brewing expands to Fredericksburg

In January 2016 Adventure Brewing Company purchased Blue & Gray Brewing Company, the oldest brewery in the Fredericksburg area. 

Since that time, the team from Adventure Brewing has kept the Blue and Gray moniker while the transition of federal and state licensing has taken place. As of July 16, the official name will become Adventure Brewing South.

The brewery celebrated the move at its first annual Adventure Summer Fest on Saturday, July 16 at the new location:, 3300 Dill Smith Drive in Fredericksburg. 

Beers from Adventure and other area breweries such as Foothills Brewing, N.C., James River Brewing; Maltese; Forge Brew were featured. 

Adventure Brewing Company opened in May 2014 as the first Stafford County brewery since 1766 and with a 3-barrel brewing system. Early into their second year of business, owners, Stan Johnson, Tim Bornholtz and John Viarella realized that the supply was not meeting the demand for their four flagship beers and the stream of seasonal and specialty beers that Adventure was producing under the guiding hand of Brian Link. 

They began to seek opportunities to increase production. Enter Blue & Gray and the rumors of a sale. The owners of Adventure and the owner of Blue & Gray found a clear way forward to expand the Adventure production capacity and provide a smooth pathway to retirement for Blue & Gray’s owner, Jeff Fitzpatrick.

The purchase of Blue & Gray increases Adventure’s brewing capacity from a 3 barrel to a 20-barrel system. The advantage of the larger systems was immediately felt. 

Stafford County is now a growing name within the Virginia craft brewery scene, with Adventure beer being served in restaurants around Stafford County and Fredericksburg. Adventure Brewing is ready and has the capacity to share their love of beer to a wider audience.

Wasabi Express opens in Manassas Mall food court

Manassas Mall Marketing Director Kelly Gilfether sent us this email: 

Manassas Mall is excited to announce that Wasabi Express is now open in the food court. Wasabi Express has earned a solid reputation by providing quality menu items and excellent service. The food is made fresh daily from scratch using only the finest ingredients for the freshest taste. Wasabi Express prides themselves on authentic Japanese cuisine and appreciation for a memorable dining experience that offers quality food and affordable sushi to the public. The menu consists of many traditional Japanese dishes that include, Nigiri, Uramaki, Futomaki, Hosomaki, Cup Bap, Miso Soup,Edamame and Seaweed Salad.

The love for authentic Japanese cuisine and appreciation for a memorable dining experience is what inspired Wasabi Express to bring quality and affordable sushi to the public; Integrity, Simplicity, Quality and Creativity is the inspiration behind Wasabi Express.

Wasabi Express has locations at Manassas Mall and in Centreville.

Waters End Brewery: We see a little healthy competition as a necessary part of the craft beer movement

Water’s End Brewery will open this August in Lake Ridge. It will join a host of new breweries in Prince William County.

Josh Fournelle, of Waters End Brewery, answered our questions.

PL: Who owns / founded the brewery? What are their names and quick background story?

WE: In addition to a small team of investors that will likely make guest appearances in the taproom, Water’s End Brewery will be predominantly owned and operated by three long time friends, Zach Mote, Josh Fournelle, and Ryan Sharkey. Mote and Sharkey grew up together and Fournelle joined the friendship back when the three were still in college at UVA, Hampden-Sydney, and JMU respectively. Much like other craft breweries, the business plan and itch to brew all started with a homebrew kit that Zach, the Head Brewer, received as a birthday present. From there, the three began to turn the hobby to a profession through courses by the Siebel Institue and Cicerone Certification Program. Water’s End investors like Fournelle and Sharkey were ultimately sold on the beer and vision of the brewery that Mote pitched over informal homebrew tastings held on his back deck.

PL:  Why open a brewery in Lake Ridge? What do you hope to accomplish with your business?

WE:  We actively targeted Prince William County, and specifically the Lake Ridge area, to take advantage of the forward thinking approach that the County took when passing legislation to allow craft breweries to open in retail and commercial zones. Although we don’t think that there are many bad places to open a brewery in Virginia right now, we knew that we wanted to have a convenient neighborhood brewery feel, while also appealing to craft beer lovers across the region. The response that we’ve gotten from the community is pretty amazing. The emails and constant impromptu visits by customers to the brewery just to ‘check progress’ and ‘say hi’ are infectious and extremely motivating. Virginians are clearly excited and passionate about craft beer and we can’t wait to join and contribute to the community.

PL: What were some of the hurdles you had to jump through / challenges before getting your business to where it is now?

WE: Like many breweries, we’ve had our share of challenges and hoops to jump through so far. Some of our bigger challenges to date have arisen recently during the buildout of our space, and as a result our build timeline has been lengthened. Along with some smaller speed bumps, the largest issue that we’ve encountered recently is the requirement, due to zoning regulations, to build a 2-hour rated firewall between us and our adjacent neighbors. This not only added significant cost but also about 3.5 weeks to our overall build, due to the additional permitting, construction, and inspection that was involved. Regardless of the challenges with the space and build, when we met the team at Dillingham Square, we knew we had our spot. Their excitement of having a brewery join the shopping center went past initial conversations and they really worked with us to get the deal signed. We couldn’t be happier with the location that we ended up with and those feelings have only been strengthened by the warm welcome that we’ve received from the surrounding community.

PL: When will you open? Big celebration planned? What will be your days / hours of operation after you open?

WE: After a few milestones have stretched further than expected, we’re currently targeting an August grand-opening date. We’ll certainly be planning to celebrate with everyone once we clear a few more hurdles and are comfortable setting an exact date. Out of the gate, we’ll be open Friday – Sunday with exact hours TBD. We do plan to extend that over time and with demand as we ramp up our production and inventory.

PL: How many beers do you plan to have on tap when you open? Plans to expand that list later on?

WE :We plan to have 5-6 beers on tap when we open and will likely add to that number as demand and production capacity grow. We’ll be able to provide a constant variety to customers due to our smaller batch size and the rate at which beers will turnover.

PL: Finally, what do you think sets Water’s End apart from the other breweries we’ve seen open in the area in the past two years? Do rising tides raise all ships, or will there be one winner in the local brew game?

WE: Like the many breweries that we’ve gotten to know and admire, we absolutely want to be part of the craft beer community, where those who make good beer and serve customers well succeed. At the same time, we see a little healthy competition as a necessary part of the craft beer movement. Without it, innovation would likely slow and that would harm one the biggest competitive advantages that craft has over other mass-produced beer.

As far as things that set us apart, in addition to opening in a retail shopping center and positioning ourselves to be convenient to customers, we also launched our W.E. Brew Beer Club at the end of April. Unlike the traditional mug club, our Beer Club is a complete package of discounts, merchandise, and exclusive perks to optimize our members’ brewery experience. When designing the Beer Club, our goal was to provide value (via discounted beer and merchandise), a great customer experience, and exclusive, craft beer-focused events like beer/food pairings, member first beer releases, and other unique events, in a comprehensive membership program. We plan to match our customers’ annual commitment with a similar one, which provides year-round perks.

Cookies & Cream ice cream parlor opens in Haymarket

Submitted by Jennifer Loeffler: 

Cookies & Cream, a vision of locals Robyn Candland and Cheryl Landry, opened its doors on Saturday and has already become a favorite spot for families in Prince William County. It’s a unique story to say the least – Robyn loves baking delicious cookies and as a New England native, Cheryl grew up enjoying Gifford’s Famous Ice Cream of Skowhegan, Maine.

The building that Cookies & Cream inhabits is the Haymarket Historic Harrover House. The building was moved in April to its current location and has been completely restored. The Harrover House was saved by the purchase of the team, as it was scheduled to be demolished since its current location lies on the future Harrover Park.

The location features both inside and outside seating, as well as close proximity to a full playground and county-leased recreation fields. Robyn has perfected multiple cookie recipes over the years, and Gifford’s is a New England Award-Winning Ice Cream. Scrumptious ice cream flavors are available such as Maine Wild Blueberry, Mississippi Mud Pie, and Campfire S’mores. C&C’s signature item is an Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich that combines the best of both – hence the name of their creation and unique idea.

Chipotle expanding in Woodbridge

Stafford, chipotle, virginia

More from Chipotle spokeswoman Danielle Moore:

That is correct, we are opening a new restaurant in Woodbridge early next year. It’s a bit too far out to pin a specific date but please feel free to reach out later this year for more information.

What's your favorite quick-service chain burrito spot? 

Celebrate dad this weekend with these fun events








Dunkin’ Donuts to be co-located wtih El Taco in Yorkshire

A new Dunkin Donuts store will open at the corner of  Route 28 and Leeland Road  in Yorkshire. It will be c0-located with the El Taco restaurant that has been in this location for years.

More  from Marnie Baddock, who works in public relations for the corporation: 

The restaurant is slated to open by the end of the month

The restaurant will employ 20 crew members

The store is locally owned and operated by franchisees David, Andy, and Marylou Cabral of Vigario Management Corporation. Vigario Management Corporation is Dunkin’ Donuts franchise group in Manassas, VA.

The new store will join at least 10 others in the region.

The new store will sit inside the old El Taco location that was listed for sale in 2014.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the Dunkin’s Store would replace El Taco.

Tin Cannon releases ‘Heart of the Lion’ brew in honor of fallen Prince William County Police officer

Submitted by Tin Cannon Brewery in Gainesville:

We recognize that many eager and willing officers are selflessly committed to doing whatever it takes to protect the general public, even it means sacrificing their own lives.

We would like to pay tribute to those officers with a special release beer called “Heart of the Lion,” recently brewed in honor of fallen [Prince William County police] Officer Ashely Guindon.

This event is geared toward people of all ages because our local police protects people of all ages. We hope to make this an annual event where the funds raised will go to support injured or exceptionally deserving officers.

This year, injured[Prince William County police] Officers, David McKeown and Jesse Hempen, will be in attendance and recognized for their service during this inaugural event.

We are hosting our first ever fundraiser called “For Those That Wear the Blue – We Salute You” on Sunday, June 26 from 2-6 p.m.! We’ve invited the entire community to come together to show our support and appreciation for the work that is being done everyday by our police department.

Donations are being accepted via our Eventbrite link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/for-those-that-wear-the-blue-we-salute-you-tickets-25873250589

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