Posts Tagged ‘McLean’

McKeever’s Pub celebrates its 40th—and last—St. Patrick’s Day today, plus a new winery from the owners

Posted by Editorial / Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

Photo Courtesy of McKeever's Pub

Corned Beef and Cabbage / Photo Courtesy of McKeever’s Pub

By Susannah Black 

After 40 years, husband and wife owners Lori McKeever and  Jeff Judge will close McKeever’s Pub‘s when the lease ends in June.

Originally opened as George’s Publik House in 1974, McKeever purchased the pub in 1984 and has been welcoming regulars to the McLean spot ever since.”One of my favorite customers is one of the last survivors of Iwo Jima,” says McKeever. “The pub has been a local gathering place for many locals, families, couples and singles.”

This fall, the husband and wife team will open Eagletree Winery Cafe on their personal land, Eagletree Farm (best known for blueberries), in Lucketts. Having experimented with grape growing and wine making for the past 15 years, they’ve been planning on opening a winery for about the past five. The winery will include a tasting room, commercial kitchen and will source much of its produce from the farm itself. “It’ll be farm to fork … we want to get back to the agricultural aspect,” says Judge.

On this final St. Patrick’s Day, specials include beef stew, Irish potato soup and corned beef and cabbage. “It’s been a way of life,” says Judge on running the pub. “The stories and experiences are incredible and endless.”  / McKeever’s Pub; 6625 Old Dominion Drive, McLean.

Explore New Reads at these 4 local used bookstores

Posted by Editorial / Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Used Bookstores in Northern Virginia

Photo courtesy of sheff/

By Victoria Gaffney

There’s no doubt that Northern Virginia is filled with a strong sense of the past, often influencing a lot of its activities. The area boasts countless events for the history buff, not least of which is a trip to a local used bookstore

With Kindles and e-books on the rise, many of these quaint shops are closing, but this area is still home to some unique spaces to explore timeworn tomes. Engaging with passionate owners and managers who enjoy discussing these works is one of the perks of these more intimate literary settings. Here are some local places to indulge your interests, each with a strong focus on history, but unexpectedly unique features as well.

1.   Prospero’s Books

Located appropriately in Old Town Manassas, Prospero’s Books is a must for the history aficionado. Housed in a 104-year-old building originally designed for men’s clothing, the store features large display windows and boasts 93,000 titles at any given time, says manager Bob Chase. The shop was named for the Shakespeare character Prospero from “The Tempest.” Chase explains that when Prospero was made Duke of Milan, he was given a library; “I prize (it) above my dukedom,” Prospero says of his library in the play.

The store specializes in rare and out-of-print books, as well as maps and prints. Set on the very landscape where the first and second battles of the Civil War took place, Chase explains that their location likely drives their focus on military history. The shop also has extensive children’s and Afro-American history sections. Their “discover local authors” area features 18 Virginia writers at any given time, and they often host talks and signings.

Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, noon-6 p.m.
Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

9129 Center St.
Manassas, 20110

2.   Already Read Used Books

Husband and wife Diane Wilson and Ken Mahnken run their 9-year-old shop,“Already Read Used Books” in Alexandria. With over 25,000 volumes, this cozy store doesn’t just house great literature; here visitors will get to meet and spend time with cats Sweetie Pie and Gwenie Bee as well. When they select works for their collection, Wilson explains that they try to look for the lesser-read classics by well-known authors.

What makes this place especially distinctive is their bookbinding business located in the next room. Unlike other services like this, Wilson’s and Mahnken’s “Alexandria Book Binding” offers affordable repairs for simple fixes, mostly for cookbooks and bibles, and occasionally texts run over by a car. “We’re more book doctors than conservators,” Wilson explains.

The store receives all kinds of visitors; “many people that come in still love the smell of books,” says Wilson. She also feels that the use of Kindles doesn’t necessarily mean the end of physical volumes, particularly since there are plenty of works not available on them. Wilson feels there’s still something to be said for coming in and exploring the shelves; Amazon doesn’t allow for that same sense of exploration.


Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday and holidays, noon-6 p.m.

2501 Duke St.
Alexandria, 22314

3.   Bookhouse 

One place that’s not to be missed for history enthusiasts and bibliophiles alike is “Bookhouse” in Arlington—an actual house for books. Owner Natalie Hughes has been with the business at this100-year-old building since she started it 45 years ago. Carrying titles published as far back as 1850, the shop has a wide array of old volumes, some with and without dust jackets. Specializing in American history, half of the store features this subject. Everything else—from world history to art to architecture and religion—is contained on the second floor.

Boasting valuable antiquarian titles, this place still has something for everyone with books ranging from $2 to over $5,000. Hughes, 84, will be closing Bookhouse in a few years. Before it closes, her goal is to make sure everything in their collection is sold; as a result, many of the works are affordable.

Tuesday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m.

805 N Emerson St.

4.   Claude Moore Colonial Farm Bookstore

Located in an idyllic location, the Claude Moore Colonial Farm Bookstore in McLean is a cozy spot to sit back and leaf through a broad collection of old volumes. Tucked away on a winding road, the shop is literally off the beaten path. The titles are inexpensive and Phil Hanson, manager, explains that people can leave with a box (or more) filled with books. Featuring a kitchen, the store offers a space to enjoy coffee and cookies next to a collection of cookbooks and gardening texts. There is also a place to sit outside where the nonfiction is located.

Hanson explains that the store features a theme with a related display that changes every two weeks. Given the time of year, it’s currently focused on Irish history. Oftentimes events will correspond with the theme; they once had a Japanese tea while displaying volumes related to Japanese history and culture. For fun they also have a typewriter set up where people can test out this now-antiquated machine. Hanson explains that it’s entertaining to read what various people write. The reactions of children, unsurprisingly, can also be funny. He once heard a child say “Hey, mom look, the keyboard’s attached to the printer.”

Wednesday-Saturday, noon-7 p.m.
6310 Georgetown Pike
McLean 22101

The Upcoming Shopping Events Worth Checking Out

Posted by Editorial / Friday, February 6th, 2015

By Angela Bobo

Allison Schroeder Exclamation Point Earrings available at the Jewelry Showcase; photo courtesy of the McLean Community Center

Allison Schroeder Exclamation Point Earrings available at the Jewelry Showcase; photo courtesy of the McLean Community Center


If you missed Wednesday’s Matilda Jane Trunk Show, there’s still a chance to score must-have items from 529 Kids Consign before they are all gone. Head over to the Winter Sale and receive an extra 15 percent off of sale items, ending Monday, Feb. 9.

Wearable art comes to McLean during a one-day pop-up sale at the McLean Community Center’s 8th Annual Jewelry Showcase. On Saturday, Feb.7, from 11 a.m to 5 p.m, participating vendors will present items made of semiprecious stones, 14-karat gold, precious metals, pearls and more to fit any budget and taste. Admission is $3, but early birds can visit the website for a special discount.

Valentine’s Day weekend, Feb. 13-15, visit the town of Middleburg for the  4th Annual Winter Weekend Sale. Visitors can expect discounts on children’s clothes and cold-weather fashion in addition to enjoying specials in local restaurants. Head over to the Middleburg website for event updates and specific shop hours.

Driss Zahidi Is Back at Evo Bistro; Will Continue at Le Mediterranean Bistro

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 23rd, 2015

Chef Driss Zahidi  / Photo Courtesy of Driss Zahidi

Chef Driss Zahidi / Photo Courtesy of Driss Zahidi

By Stefanie Gans

“It was too fast,” says Driss Zahidi of the sudden deal that led him back to Evo Bistro.

From 2007 to 2011, Zahidi was chef and majority partner in the McLean restaurant, but he left to start Le Mediterranean Bistro in Fairfax in April 2013.

After being approached three weeks ago by the current owners of Evo Bistro, Zahidi agreed to take over the restaurant. His first shift in the kitchen was last night. 

On Monday, Zahidi, a Moroccan native, will release his new menu, which shifts Evo Bistro from its current emphasis on American-Italian food to pan-Mediterranean cuisine pulling from Spain, Italy and Morocco. Dishes will include lobster ravioli — “House-made, of course,” says Zahidi — Mediterranean rockfish with saffron risotto, an appetizer of boquerones and a lobster and foie gras croquette, which debuts as a special tonight for $9.

Zahidi will continue cooking at Le Mediterranean Bistro, but he is already wary of being able to keep both restaurants afloat. “I’m trying to make it work,” says Zahidi. But if he had to sacrifice one, it’d be Le Mediterranean Bistro. Says Zahidi, “Evo Bistro was my little baby.”


Investing 101 is Not for Dummies

For millionaires or wage slaves, the rules are the same.

Investing 101

Photo courtesy of annt/

By Darrell Delamaide

With algorithms determining what books we purchase and what films we watch, it was only a matter of time before these mathematical formulas programmed into software would tell us what stocks and bonds to buy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Beat the winter doldrums with Comedic Entertainment

Posted by Editorial / Friday, January 2nd, 2015

Winter doldrums call for hilarious theater, and the area’s production companies are offering up that and much more this season. From a case of mistaken identity to a trailer park community, you’ll find something that will have you laughing so hard you’ll forget how much snow is on the ground. —Lynn Norusis


The Arlington Players' ‘The Comedy of Errors’

Photo courtesy of The Arlington Players.

‘The Comedy of Errors’
The Arlington Players

The Arlington Players are taking on William Shakespeare’s slapstick tale of mistaken identity. The audience is taken to Chicago, where a man, Antipholus, and his servant, Dromio, are in search of Antipholus’ long-lost family. Unbeknownst to the two travelling men, they each have an identical twin that they were separated from at birth. As their journey continues, the two are caught up in beatings, seduction, theft and a father who is about to be executed. Not like many family reunions, it is a hilarious production having you be thankful for your own dysfunctional family.


 The LIttle Theatre of Alexandria's ‘The Game’s Afoot’

Photo courtesy of The LIttle Theatre of Alexandria.

‘The Game’s Afoot’
The Little Theatre of Alexandria

It’s a game of “Clue,” onstage. Ken Ludwig’s tale begins in 1936 when Broadway star William Gillette, known for playing Sherlock Holmes, invites fellow cast members to his castle for a weekend of festivities. Then, someone ends up dead. Gillette assumes the role that made him famous and begins to unravel the murder in a fast-paced, witty production.


‘The Great American Trailer Park Musical’ at Dominion Stage

Photo courtesy of Dominion Stage/Photo by Jake Carson.

‘The Great American Trailer Park Musical’
Dominion Stage

Welcome to Armadillo Acres Trailer Park, home to stripper-on-the-run Pippi, agoraphobic Jeannie and her tollbooth-collector husband, Norbert. After a shotgun wedding and a bad perm, Jeannie and Norbert’s baby is kidnapped, leading to the agoraphobia. Twenty years later, Norbert can’t take his wife’s shut-in life and heads out to a strip club where he meets Pippi. What ensues is an affair, a caught-with-the pants-down scene and a hurricane. The story is all wrapped up in country-rock and blues, flan, disco, spray cheese and lots of ‘80s nostalgia.


McLean Community Players' ‘13’.

Photo courtesy of McLean Community Players.

McLean Community Players

If someone showed you a film of yourself at 13 years old, it’s highly likely you would be laughing at your adolescent self. As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. The McLean Community Players bring us ’13,’ a hilarious musical about the coming of age of the protagonist, Evan Goldman, who is moved from New York City to small-town Indiana after his parents’ divorce. He has little time to establish his social structure before heading to high school. He finds a group of middle school friends and they all struggle with trying to fit in, and stand out. The score is by Tony Award-winning Jason Robert Brown and the book by Dan Elish and Robert Horn.

(January 2015)

Life, Family and Pornography

A memoir of growing up with ‘Deep Throat.’ –Lynn Norusis

The Pornographer’s Daughter

Photo courtesy of Kristin Batissta-Frazee.

All families come with baggage; it’s just the level of degree that makes one family’s story more book-worthy over another’s. McLean-resident Kristin Battista-Frazee’s story is a trifecta: a father on trial for his work with “Deep Throat,” his continuing business in the adult industry and a mother who tries to keep it all together only to attempt a suicide. Her story hasn’t just captured readers; actor and producer David Koechner (“Anchorman” and “The Office”) has optioned the rights to make it into a TV show. In her debut novel,

“The Pornographer’s Daughter”

Photo courtesy of Kristin Batissta-Frazee.

The Pornographer’s Daughter,” Battista-Frazee takes us back to the early 1970s when pornography was going mainstream. It’s a memoir about the fascination of pornography, the ongoing battle of morality laws and the coming of age of a woman trying to figure out who she is based on her family’s involvement in the adult industry.

Throughout your life, you kept your father’s job a secret, not because you were ashamed but because others might take a different connotation of your life. Why put it out to the world now?

I’m 44, and I got to a point in my life where you think about who you are, and how you got to where you are. That is such a part of who I was, and addressed a lot of things I did in my life. It started as a way to document family history. I realized my dad is a part of something that was really a part of pop culture, history and such a famous case.

The timing is great. Netflix released “Lovelace” and Showtime has “Masters of Sex.”

The fascination our culture has had with Linda Lovelace has really endured for 40-plus years now, and our culture’s dissection of how we feel about sex and how our culture has handled that is still so present today. I’m the next generation after the ‘70s where pornography really grew as this industry.

People have these stereotypes about people in the adult industry, and what they should be like, and what their kids will turn out to be. Most often, when I tell people about what my dad does for a living, they look at me very skeptically, and say, ‘Really? You don’t look like the type.’ I said, what type am I supposed to be? Maybe lacking morals, not being able to be in a steady relationship, having a problem with drugs or alcohol, or maybe that I should been a stripper.

“The Pornographer’s Daughter”

Photo courtesy of Kristin Batissta-Frazee

The book was set up as your father’s job being the family secret, but it seemed that the secret was how your mom ended up reacting to your father’s career.

There are two stories there. The sensationalized story of my dad being associated with “Deep Throat,” but there is also this story about my mom struggling with depression, her suicide attempt. In the 1970s people were afraid to deal with that head on. They thought people like that were crazy and it was a weakness of theirs.

You learned out about your father at a young age.

When I was very young it wasn’t talked about. I would ask, “Dad where do you work? What do you do?” He would tell me it’s for adults only.

As you get older you can figure out what that is. You ask more questions, and you become more vigilant about your world and who your parents are. It’s that age where you begin to question and combat against your parents. You’re trying to become your own individual. That was all a part of me trying to figure it out. And they were very honest.

Have you taken the same tactic with your 12-year-old daughter?

I’ve told her she can’t read the book until she’s much older, at least 16. I’ve told her it’s for adults and Pepop does things that are just for adults. I’ve told her point blank that pornography is people having sex on film and that isn’t for kids. And she said, ‘Ew, gross.’

(December 2014)

Check It Out

Home libraries allow readers to rekindle romances with books.

Home design: home library

◗ The custom bookcases in this second-floor library was built into place. The open stairway was built using powder-coated steel and glass handrails with a wood rail cap. Photo courtesy of Greg Hadley.

Remember that awestruck feeling of walking into the public library as a child? An organized sea of books and more books, chock-full of ideas and characters and stories? Then the thrill of bringing them home to dive into—that love of reading, of learning, of finding yourself inside the pages of a novel.

Entering that playground of favorite authors and story lines, classic and new, may be what some book lovers seek to rekindle in their own home libraries.

Some swear by rigorous filing systems akin to the Dewey Decimal System. Others are more lax when it comes to their book organization. But all share an utmost respect for their voluminous favorite tomes of yesteryear, as well as an appreciation for more contemporary paperbacks.

Despite today’s WiFi-enabled homes and connections to sleek, hold-everything e-readers, experts say there’s still nothing like curling up with a good book in a comfy well-lit reading nook. 

“I think there’s something really relaxing about being surrounded by printed volumes,” says Shanon Munn, principal of Ambi Design Studio in McLean, who has fashioned a number of libraries, or combination spaces. “I don’t know if it’s just the physical books themselves or maybe it’s the mentality: You have to be quiet. You’re taught that very early on in your life.”Simply put, books equal comfort.

And it’s that space—that feeling—that’s exactly what homeowners want to create. 

Home design: home library

McLean. Photo courtesy of Angie Seckinger.

Ethan Landis, co-owner of Washington, D.C.-based Landis Architects/Builders, recalls a recent whole-house renovation of a historic home on Capitol Hill. The homeowners wanted a light-filled library, and that’s exactly what they got. Landis added a skylight that pours natural light into the room, which includes three walls of custom floor-to-ceiling built-ins of American cherry.

But besides books, what goes into a great home library? Experts agree: solid shelving, good lighting and a sweet spot to plop down with an open book. 

Home design: home library.

McLean. Photo courtesy of Angie Seckinger.

Landis ticks off a few more specifics: It’s “the idea that the room is a happy place for you, a place you really want to be in, whether you’re selecting a book or browsing. Or whether you want to sit in it and really read.”

Among the libraries Landis has worked on, he says there’s one common theme, and that’s showing off one’s books in a space that is crafted, not just utilitarian. A home library should, he says, “look pretty and elegant and well-balanced, and also have some space for knickknacks, photographs and a little bit of art, and, of course, is well-lit.”

Recessed lights illuminate the Capitol Hill homeowners’ collection of books at night; other beloved objects are artistically placed among the books in the shelving throughout: a well-tended showcase of sculptures, paintings, bowls, vases—life’s building blocks. 

Making the shelves even more individualized is a design technique Munn refers to as “Pottery Barn-ing.” And it’s something she’s done for many such spaces. Filling in the shelves with eye-catching works of art or heirloom family photos makes a library space feel even more thoughtfully curated.

Home Design: home library

Springfield. Photo courtesy of Angie Seckinger.

Munn also offers a handful of tips for those looking to create libraries out of found spaces. If space affords, consider constructing a nook from a small, unused closet. Remove the doors and fill the niche with shelves of varying heights, accounting for oversize art books and the smallest paperbacks. Renovating? Consider the space between studs as a recessed alcove for books. And a favorite tip: don’t be afraid of going vertical. Think about the option of space above your head, says Munn. For a project in Silver Spring, the owner envisioned his home’s turret as his office. He had wanted to line those walls with books, but the octagonal shape proved too challenging. Instead, Munn turned the home office’s book-lined hallway into a library. High above on a catwalk shelf she stashed his collection of stained glass houses.

A happy marriage of books and collectibles. Playful, but not too serious. “No matter how old you are, you still have books,” she says. “It’s human nature to want to collect things,” says Munn. -Jennifer Shapira


(November 2014)

Concert For Valor guide of events; McLean teens plead guilty for nude photo cache

By Carten Cordell

Concert For Valor guide of events

McLean teens plead guilty to creating cache of nude photos
(The Washington Post)

Virginia legislators nix plan to borrow from highway fund
(The Washington Post)

Marshall Pushes To Reinstate Transportation ‘Kill Switch’ In Virginia

Seven Boozy Milkshakes to Try This Weekend

Posted by Editorial / Friday, August 22nd, 2014

By Allison Michelli

Whether stepping out for a night on the town or enjoying with burgers and fries, adult milkshakes are the ideal way to turn up while also satisfying your sweet tooth.


  • 1. FANFARE eatery, Spiked Shakes Add a shot of Kahlua, Frangelico or Bailey's Irish Cream to any regular milkshake on their menu for $4.00 more. Coming soon to their menu will be “Specialty Adult Milkshakes” like Hot Fudge Bourbon and Salted Caramel. / Photo courtesy of FANFARE eatery.

  • 2. Joe's Amazing Burgers, Bourbon Caramel Adult Milkshake A strong blend of Jack Daniel's whiskey, caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. $10/ Photo by Jill Laroussi.

  • 3. Ray's to the Third, Shake and Bake Vanilla ice cream blended with caramel and chocolate sauce and a shot of Jim Beam bourbon. Don't forget the bacon on top! $10. / Photo by Cristian Cguilar.

  • 4. The Counter, Salted Caramel Adult Milkshake The best of both worlds: salty and sweet. Vanilla ice cream blended with Stoli Vanil, Baileys caramel and pretzels. $9. / Photo courtesy of The Counter.

Still feeling thirsty? Three more places for adult shakes.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, 20575 E. Hampton Plaza, Ashburn.

Ted’s Bulletin, 11948 Market Street, Reston.

Vivefy Burger and Lounge, 314 William Street, Fredericksburg.



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