Maybe the best news of the New Year so far for the City of Falls Church was the announcement this week that a three-way partnership of highly-regarded regional restaurateur and brewery interests has signed a lease to move into the 11,000 square foot space vacated by the closing of Mad Fox in the 400 block of West Broad smack in the middle of the Little City.
Publicist Mia Svirsky of Moki Media sent out the following statement Tuesday after the News-Press first broke the story Monday based on permit filings at City Hall:
“Beer lovers, rejoice — Falls Church is getting a new brewery this spring. Solace Outpost will open in May in the space that was formerly home to Mad Fox Brewing, which closed last summer after nearly a decade. The upcoming Solace Outpost at 444 W. Broad is a new collaboration between three local hospitality powerhouses: Solace Brewing Company, H2 Collective (The Hilton Brothers) and Pub Partners (Blackfinn and Freebyrd Chicken).”
Mike Arms, one of three principals who founded Solace Brewing Company in Loudoun County two years ago, told the News-Press yesterday that “there is a lot of work to do” at the former Mad Fox location, but his partnership is hoping to open in the late spring or by summer.
“It is definitely exciting and will bring a lot to the Falls Church neighborhood,” he said. A lease has been signed with Woodmont Properties that is in charge of all the commercial spaces at the Spectrum site and a sign permit was submitted with the F.C. City Hall last week.
The three partners in the venture are all well known names in the Washington, D.C. area, especially the Hilton brothers, Ian and Eric, who opened Parc de Ville, a French bistro in the Mosaic district of Merrifield, in November modeled on their similar effort, Chez Billy Sud, in Georgetown.
Steve Ryan is another partner, known for his Blackfin Ameripubs on Gallows Road in Merrifield, D.C. and Ashburn serving American fare.
Arms told the News-Press the partnership grew out of a number of years of ongoing working relationships among the partners. “Everybody is going to do what they’re good at,” he said.
Arms’ brewery part, in collaboration with Solace partners Jon Humerick and Drew Wiles, will feature experimental IPAs and other beers and methods, such as kettle sours and smaller batches but will keep a core quartet of Solace favorites — Sun’s Out Hops Out, Lucy Juicy, Partly Cloudy and Crazy Pils — permanently on tap, according to Svirsky’s statement.
The space’s previous occupant, Mad Fox, closed last July after nine years in business because of, among other reasons, increased competition in the area.
The food at Solace will center on “a yet-to-be-announced independent pizza concept” when the brewery opens.
According to the City’s Economic Development Office chief Becky Witsman, there is progress on other fronts in the neighborhood, too. Namely, she said that no lease has yet been signed, but there is considerable interest in the now-vacant Locker Room location a block up from where the Solace Outpost will soon go.
“There is a letter of intent,” she reported, “and I think when the word can go out about who will be going in there, folks will be excited.” She could not provide more information, except to say that the likely tenant “has a couple of existing, successful locations in the area.”
A major buzz developed with the opening of a new Jersey Mike’s franchise last week in the Falls Plaza East shopping center next to the Staples. Lines were long the first days as local residents took advantage of some promotional discounts being offered.
Just a couple doors away, the Tasty Dumpling has opened, as well, offering a variety of options of Chinese dumplings.
Witsman said a more complete listing of new and planned openings in the City will be ready in time for next week’s monthly meeting of the City’s Economic Development Committee.