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Renovations turn old Mackey’s Pub into ‘Taps-N-Apps’

From a press release: 

We are very pleased to welcome the newest restaurant in Historic Downtown Manassas, Taps-N-Apps.  Located in the former Mackey’s space on Center Street, the new restaurant has been completely renovated from floor to ceiling.  Owner John Csoka has invested roughly $87,000 in paint, flooring, lighting and top-of-the line kitchen equipment to ensure that customers have a great experience in a family-friendly atmosphere.  

The menu features reasonably priced small plates for sharing, salads and sandwiches made with fresh ingredients in house as well as an extensive craft beer and cocktail list.  By spring the owner hopes to have outside dining available. 

Above Taps-N-Apps on the second floor is Atlas Club which holds up to 95 people and has also been renovated as an event space for corporate meetings, bridal lunches, holiday parties, etc.  Every weekend the lounge and bar at Atlas is open after 9 p.m.          

Because Taps-N-Apps is committed to building community, all uniformed police and fire personnel will receive a 50% discount on food for dining-in.

Check out the full menu and daily specials at or follow them on Facebook.  


Now you can grab a slice of pizza in the ‘Quan

It was once the Coffee House in Occoquan. Now, after lying dormant for many years, it’s now serving up some hearty slices of pizza. 

From Facebook: 

Third Base is Historic Occoquan’s newest specialty pizza and frozen custard parlor. Come join Kathy, Josh, and the team for a fun time with some great pizza and frozen custard.

This latest spot knocks it right out of the park and when asked about the name; Kathy says, ” This is the name of my father’s first restaurant, so we wanted to bring it back for old times sake.”

A true renovation has taken place in this historic building which also houses a three bedroom Air BNB called HOME. Come join us as we celebrate the opening of Third Base… The last stop before HOME!

Occoquan serves as a commuter cut-through route for people who live in Lake  Ridge but don’t want to sit in traffic on Route 123 to turn on Old Bridge Road. Hundreds of commuters will pass by the new pizza joint each weekday. 

The restaurant comes from the same team that reopened Bar-J Chili Parlor in Occoquan in 2016. 

Those KO Distilling guys have ‘nursed’ that win long enough. It’s time for a new round of nominees.

Bourbon makers KO Distillery in Manassas won the Prince William Chamber Emerging Business of the Year award for 2017 in February. 

Owners John and Bill Karlson have had nearly a year to ferment in the joy of winning both the award and recognition. There were 12 winners in as many categories at this year’s show.

Today, the chamber called for a new round of nominees for the next Chamber Business Awards to take place 

The Prince William Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for their 2018 Business Awards and Agnes L. Colgan Community Service Awards, now through December 31. Nomination forms are available online at Forms may be filled out online, or downloaded for later. Business people and Prince William County/Manassas area residents are encouraged to nominate their favorite local businesses and not-for-profit organizations.

Categories include:

  • Excellence in Small Business Award (1-10 Employees)
  • Business Excellence Award (11 + Employees)
  • Emerging Business of the Year
  • Innovative Practice or Partnership of the Year
  • Community Outreach Award
  • Excellence in Hospitality & Tourism Award
  • Excellence in F/I/RE (Finance, Insurance, Real Estate) 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.

 (For more information see the attached list of categories & criteria)

Business Award winners will be announced during the Prince William Chamber of Commerce Business Awards dinner on February 28, 2018, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The awards ceremony will feature guest MC Jennifer Nycz-Conner, Editor-at-Large, Washington Business Journal. For more information or to purchase tickets to the awards dinner, call the Chamber at 703-368-6600.

Winners will be chosen by the Business Award Selection Committee, comprised of members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors. For the 3rd year in a row the Chamber Board will also select the recipient of the Charles J. Colgan Visionary Award.

Cookies and Creme to host ribbon cutting at new Haymarket location

From a press release: 

Cookies & Cream, locally owned by Robyn & Pete Candland, will host a Ribbon Cutting and Grand Opening party to celebrate the opening of their 2nd location on Saturday, December 16 from 6-8pm. There will be games, giveaways, special treats, and pictures with Santa.

With their homemade cookies and award-winning ice-cream, Cookies & Cream has become a favorite dessert spot for families all over Northern Virginia. According to Robyn, “We are so excited to open up an additional location and grow the Cookies & Cream family.

We love being part of the community and appreciate all the support we’ve received.” Voted the #1 Ice Cream in Haymarket, Cookies & Cream will look to carry-on the tradition of bringing a local, hometown atmosphere to the new shop.

The location will feature both indoor and outdoor seating and is conveniently located near the intersection of Linton Hall Rd. and Devlin Road (behind Walgreens). Ice Cream flavors include Fly Fishing Fudge, Butter Pecan, Campfire S’mores and for a limited time seasonal flavors such as Apple Pie, Peppermint, Egg Nog, and Pumpkin. Homemade cookies include, lemon, chocolate chip, original sugar cookie, and more. Cookies & Cream’s signature item is the Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich that combines the best of both worlds.

Robyn continued, “We are committed that hometown values will stay at core of every location, and it’s our hope that Cookies and Cream will be a gathering place for everyone in the community.”

Puzzled? You will be after you visit this new store in Manassas.

puzzlepalooza1 - Edited

Puzzle Palooza opened its second location in Manassas.

The store sells, you guessed it, puzzles. And they have shelves and shelves of them.

Puzzle Palooza originally opened in Occoquan in 2013.

Historic Manassas, Inc. hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Manassas location, at 9411 Main Street, Suite 101, on Friday, Dec. 1.

The first BadWolf Brewing Company location is about to sour

There are changes in the works for the very first BadWolf Brewing Company. 

“Little BadWolf,” as it’s known to customers and owners Jeremy and Sarah Meyers, sells brewing supplies and is still home to some small batch brewing operations for BadWolf. It was replaced by “Big BadWolf” when the company expanded in 2015 to a new location at KAO Circle in Manassas.

Today, the Meyers’ announced new plans for the Little BadWolf location, also dubbed “pH+unk House.”

Here’s more in an email:

It is time to start off 2018 with a fine sour beer in your hand! We are moving into the final phase to transform pH+unk House (9776 Center St) into an ALL SOUR BEER facility!

It will be the first ALL SOUR brewery in [the Prince William County region]. We will bring you kettle soured beers as well as blended sour kegs fresh off the taps and in small batch bottle releases.

We are also continuing to build our **solara brewing program.

During this time, we will also complete much-needed maintenance to our brew system. In order to to do so the pH+unk House (9776 Center St) will be temporarily closed starting Sunday, December 17 until we re-open Wednesday, January 3rd

EXCEPTION: Friday, Dec 22nd – open from 3pm to 6pm for a special bottle release TBA!

The Brew House (8420 Kao Cir) location will continue to be open seven days a week. Thank you for your patience and continued support during this time. Check out our website and social media pages to see behind the scenes looks into what is going on and what we will be able to offer you in the new year.


The BadWolf Team

Children at wineries and breweries: It’s not only legal, it’s encouraged

As Virginia’s wine and craft beer industries continue to grow, many of the millions of annual visitors to establishments throughout the state bring their children.

It’s not only legal but encouraged by many wineries and breweries.

Barrel Oak Winery & Farm Taphouse in Delaplane is known for encouraging children to join their parents. Alcohol is peripheral when families visit, said proprietor Brian Roeder.

“We are more like them visiting a park with the extra fun of tasting and learning about great Virginia wines,” Roeder said. “We do not believe that you should have to remain at home just because you have kids. We treat parents and their kids with respect – and we just ask that they do the same for the people around them.”

With more than 260 wineries, the wine industry contributes nearly $1.4 billion annually to Virginia’s economy, according to a 2015 study. The law on who can visit those wineries – and breweries – is straightforward, said Taylor Thornberg, public relations specialist for Virginia ABC.

“There are no ABC laws or regulations restricting children and minors from entering any establishment that sells or serves alcohol,” Thornberg said. “It is entirely at the discretion of the business. The only ABC law regarding children and minors is that it is prohibited to sell or serve alcohol to persons under 21.”

Many of the wineries and breweries that allow children do so because they also serve food or provide a family-friendly atmosphere, Thornberg said.

“Since all our mixed beverage licensees – ones that serve liquor or spirits – are required to serve food on-premises, they are considered restaurants, not bars,” he said. “Regardless of the type of license, it is up to the business as to whether they allow persons under 21 inside.”

The state’s official tourism travel blog makes it clear kids are accepted at many of the wineries that dot the Commonwealth: “If ever you were in doubt about whether children are welcome at wineries (a la the ABC store), query no more. Your children are welcome with open arms and greeted with their own ‘juice’ and acres of green to run off steam.”

Virginia Wine, the online home of the Virginia Wine Marketing Office, allows users to filter for “child-friendly” wineries when searching for places and events.

Many of the more than 200 breweries throughout the state also allow children when they’re accompanied by an adult. Water’s End Brewery in Lake Ridge has positioned itself as a neighborhood brewery and community gathering place, which extends to young families.

“One of the coolest things we’ve been able to offer our community is an outlet for young parents to feel like adults again,” said co-owner Ryan Sharkey. “We are surrounded by neighborhoods and many of our customers can easily walk a few hundred yards to the brewery. For young parents, this offers an opportunity to get out of the house without a babysitter and have a couple guilt free beers without navigating the dangers and concerns of getting back home safely.”

The policy is similar at the recently opened 2 Silos Brewing Co. just outside Manassas.

“It’s not only a brewery, it’s a destination experience,” said Meredith Arnest, director of brand development for the Villagio Hospitality Group, which oversees the entire project. There is food plus the Farm Brew Live music venue. On live music nights, after 9 p.m., anyone under 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

“We have the live music aspect that during the day is a really great thing, especially when the weather is nice, to be outside with family and friends and sharing the entire experience,” Arnest said. “We do have the option to have a great time, and alcohol’s not even involved at all, and it’s just a family event. Or it gives the option to be able to have a beer or two and the whole family’s involved.”

Some patrons like Dan Donohue, of Bristow, believes breweries and wineries have the right to allow children at their establishments. “It encourages a family-friendly atmosphere, and increased traffic,” he said.

But not all wineries and breweries encourage parents to bring their children. Some don’t allow minors at all. Chateau O’Brien at Northpoint Winery and Vineyard in Markham has a strict policy: “Only 21 years of age or older permitted on premises for safety reasons.”

Two other wineries in Delaplane also prohibit children. Delaplane Cellars says all guests must be over the age of 21, while RdV Vineyards requires that “all guests be age 21 and over (this means no infants and children).”

Many wineries and breweries allow children in specified areas but restrict them in others, such as production facilities. Another concern is whether children will bother other customers.

Several establishments address that directly in their policies, such as this from the Winery at La Grange in Haymarket: “We are a family friendly winery, however, we do insist that all children are under direct adult supervision at all times. Keep in mind that some of our patrons desire a quieter winery experience so please be respectful of our other customers and our property.

Despite such concerns, those places that allow children believe the policy benefits both their business and their customers. Barrel Oak’s family-friendly atmosphere has drawn widespread notice, earning it top mention in Wine Enthusiast magazine’s worldwide list of “6 Top Family-Friendly Wineries” in 2012.

“I personally love it that parents trust us to be a place where they can bring the most precious thing in their lives – their kids,” said Roeder. “I love it that we are a safe place for families to hang out.  I love that friendships are created because of that. We would not trade being kid-friendly for anything in the world.”

Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center leads the mission for women and family-centered care

Newly renovated rooms, family birthing units and an open floor plan is transforming the patient experience for expectant mothers. 

On Thursday, November 30, 2017, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center officially launched its Women’s Health Center. The hospital recently celebrated 45 years of serving the community. This latest development showcases Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s commitment to women and families.   

For decades, we’ve served the community as Women’s and Children’s services.  As we look towards the future, we are focused on the comprehensive needs of women in Northern Virginia. The new Women’s Health Center provides the infrastructure we need to expand our services and care for women throughout their lifetime,” explains Kathie Johnson, President, Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

The new Women’s Health Center offers 27 newly renovated rooms. These private rooms feature a contemporary, open floor plan with an ensuite bathroom, infant warming beds and room for family and friends, all in close proximity to nursing staff. State of the art nursing stations allow caregivers to monitor mothers’ labor and symptoms as they occur and allow immediate response. This, coupled with Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center’s level 2 NICU, supported by our partnership with Children’s National Health System, enables us to ensure 24/7, top of the line, neonatology care, all to benefit the tiniest members of our community.

“The location of our NICU allows babies who require extra support to be cared for at a neonatal facility close to home. Our goal is to provide seamless, coordinated care to make this a positive experience for mother, child and family,” explains Johnson. 

This full-service center supports our goal, which is to provide the highest quality of care. An extension of our Women’s Health Center features access to a team of female Nurse Navigators specializing in Obstetrics, Cardiac, Orthopedics, Urology, Bariatrics and Oncology. This group of women clinicians understands and will support you through your health journey, with a full range of preventative health screenings, education program and support groups for every phase of your life. 

“Our new name says to everyone, including the moms, that you and your family are first. It demonstrates our unique needs as women and how we need to make our health a priority,” adds Florence Pullo, RN, Interim Director, Women’s Health Center at Sentara Northern Virginia Medical Center.

To find a physician to care for you, through every stage of your life, call 1-800-SENTARA.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And that’s the way he wants it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Good luck to Occoquan,” he said.

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

The Mantle Coffee Shoppe will offer drinks, snacks

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

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

From The Mantle Coffee Shoppe:

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

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

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

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

From Facebook: 

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

Photo: 2 Silos Brewing Company

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

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

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

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

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

Puzzle Palooza outgrows Occoquan, expanding to a second location

From Puzzle Palooza:

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

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

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

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

From the Waters End Brewery Facebook page

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

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

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

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

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

From an email: 

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

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

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

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

From an email: 

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

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

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

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

From a press release: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: Carl Knoblock and Steve-Mackie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From an email: 

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

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

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

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

Locally-grown Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation acquired by Boeing

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

From an email: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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