Insider’s Guide: Bryn Johnson shares his favorite hidden gems

The owner of Bryn Keith, a custom-made clothing store in Arlington, advises to focus your style on “classic staples that will be in vogue years beyond the initial purchase.” He also lets us know about his favorite designers and his hot spots in NoVA.

Photo by Aaron Spicer

When shopping locally for casual gear, Nordstrom in Pentagon Mall is my favorite to find shoes; ask for Kathleen K., she’s awesome. You can also find me at the Ralph Lauren store in Tyson’s Galleria. I’m 6’8” and Ralph Lauren Polo produces fashionable and quality clothes for tall guys who care about both style and fit.


Brioni Boutique seemingly approaches suit making as if it truly is an art form. Paul Smith accessory and clothing designs are all classics with a twist. Kenny Flanagan KAS designs [make] incredible red carpet looks and styles celebrities from [the] NoVA area to California and back. Jewell Green of Studio Twenty8 Fifty7 has a background in interior design [and] uses that same eye when selecting clothes and accessories for her clientele.

Photo Courtesy of Salamander Resort, Photo by Justin Kriel

The Salamander Resort. I attribute the feeling of escape to the over-the-top customer service and care. Whether I’m in one of the restaurants, library, patio or sitting by one of the outdoor fire pits, all of the stresses of the world seem much further away than the short drive from the hustle and bustle of the Metro.


When it comes to shaving accessories (badger brush, straight razor, razor strop, etc.) The Art of Shaving is my go-to. Spa services I prefer Massage Envy in Burke, I see their esthetician, Beysith N., every month like clockwork. Massage Envy carries the Murad line and right now, it’s my favorite.

© Joshua Resnick, Adobe Stock

Ray’s the Steaks. I first ate at Ray’s not long after the first location opened in Arlington. At that time, the owner was the primary grill chef and he taught me a lot about various beef cuts and the best temperatures for eating each. [As a result, I] developed a true appreciation for his attention to cooking detail, the art of a good steak and the approach to customer care and attention. My favorite breakfast place, [besides my] wife’s cooking, is Ted’s Bulletin in the Mosaic District. The Dirty Chai there is the absolute best in NoVA.
Two guilty pleasure places: Danielle’s Desserts in Tysons Galleria and Best Buns Bread Company in the Village at Shirlington.

(January 2018)