Another year of Little City council meetings, budget battles, development deliberation and everything else that makes Falls Church go ’round is just about in the books. As we say farewell to 2016, the News-Press looks back at the five most popular posts on FCNP.com over the last 12 months.
Falls Church has its own brew pub and, pretty soon, it’ll have its own distillery. In August, news broke that Falls Church Distillers signed a lease to take over the Mobu Kids space on S. Washington Street. Air Force vet and F.C. resident Michael Paluzzi is bringing the booze operation to life with plans for vodka, gin and blended whiskey at the start and then Italian-themed small plates down the road. Paluzzi tells the News-Press the beer and wine side of the operation could be here in February 2017 and the distillery could open by the end of March.
When plans were announced for a gun store to open across the street from St. James School and less than a half-mile from another firearms seller, controversy erupted. Concerned parents and citizens started a Facebook page in an attempt to block the upcoming opening while gun rights activists and some small business supporters rallied behind the new store. NOVA Firearms held its grand opening in February – complete with gift cards and a gun-themed mural on the building – but then just a month later, it suddenly closed. The only explanation was a sign on the door that read, “Regretfully due to recent neighborhood events and our desire to act in the best interests of the community in partnership with Falls Church Police, we have decided to close up this store in order to look for a more ideal location.”
As Falls Church City Public Schools celebrated the start of another new school year in September, the community was shocked when Superintendent Toni Jones announced she would be leaving the school system in December. However, Jones’ upcoming departure wasn’t the only breaking news on the day – City of F.C. Chief Financial Officer Richard LaCondre and F.C. Schools’ legal counsel and athletic director Tom Horn also announced their resignations.
News that a popular Arlington restaurant group would be bringing an eatery to the Little City sure did get Falls Church excited. The ownership group responsible for Clarendon’s Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hall purchased the historic American Legion Post 225 building, known as the Blue and Gray house, on Park Avenue. After a long-delayed start, construction is now underway on the new restaurant, a second location of group’s popular Northside Social coffee house. Opening is expected in spring of 2017.
And finally, the top story on FCNP.com in 2016 is all about a stuck truck. This past summer, a mail truck driver, who couldn’t put his vehicle in reverse, tried to turn around in an E. Broad St. homeowner’s muddy backyard and ended up getting stuck. Eventually, a tow truck had to be called out to remove the truck which had been sitting in the yard for over an hour. The ill-advised u-turn left the Falls Church homeowner’s property severely damaged after the ill-fated backyard cruise.