The Rub: FC Massage Business Kneads Plenty of Customers

Attracting business amid an economic downturn is a tough job, but one sector seems resilient – “body shops.” According to the City’s Economic Development Office, two more massage parlors are opening soon, as well as a “Jazzercize” studio on the second floor of the Byron condominium.

The Yellow Pages list a dozen massage therapists inside the City; add to them “Massage Envy,” opening in the old Hallmark store in Falls Plaza, and “Venus and Mars Spa,” planned for the Pennsylvania Avenue side of the Panera building. And there should be no lack of trained therapists: although the Heritage Institute, formerly on South Washington Street, relocated to Manassas some time back, strokes for folks are still being taught at the Northern Virginia School of Therapeutic Massage on Little Falls Street.

Those who won’t take it lying down can choose from three City gyms: In addition to the new Jazzercize in the Byron, Vantage Fitness is midtown in the Read Building (it’s on the second floor, but an elevator is available), and on the eastern tip of the City is Planet Fitness across from Eden Center.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, for Tomorrow . . .

After a good workout, you’ll want to replace lost calories, and three new establishments will oblige. Strategically located between Vantage Fitness and Jazzercise will be “Foster’s Grille,” planning to open in the Spectrum building in August. Foster’s Grille (Home of the Charburger) is a franchise endeavor targeting “middle Americans” with household incomes over $50,000. Locations are all on the East Coast, with 15 shops in Virginia, the closest being Vienna. More info at

Right next door to Foster’s, the EDO bulletin cautiously states, “another prospective tenant has reportedly signed a letter of intent for the former ‘Not Your Average Joe’s’ space.” But there’s no secret about the “prospective tenant”: just click on to learn all about the “Mad Fox Brewing Company.” The EDO explains their caution is because, so far, only a letter of intent has been signed, not an actual lease (as erroneously reported elsewhere). Brewmaster Bill Madden and investor Rick Garvin plan to brew up to 2,000 barrels of beer a year (sung to the tune of “2,000 barrels of beer in a year, 2,000 barrels of beer . . .”) . Thus Falls Church City checks another box in its quest for “Shirlington II” status.

Oh, and the third new establishment: Pizzeria Orzo plans a July opening in the Tax Analysts building next to Pearson Square.

Art Illuminates Pearson Square

Speaking of Pearson Square, it was good to see some activity in one of the vacant South Maple Avenue storefronts. An art show entitled “Illumination” features 68 local artists. The show opened at Don Beyer Volvo but moved last weekend to Pearson Square. Amid the air conditioning ducts and concrete floors, the easels of art create an avant garde impression that a New York designer would pay a fortune to achieve. The show continues this weekend (March 6-8).

March 3, 2009 


2 Responses to “The Rub: FC Massage Business Kneads Plenty of Customers”

  1. Rick Garvin on March 3rd, 2009 5:28 pm

    George, thanks for the note about Mad Fox. We’re working with Waterford on the lease and plan on starting the buildout process around May with a November opening.

    Cheers, Rick

  2. Gary on March 3rd, 2009 10:36 pm

    In the current economy, our city needs (or kneads) all the revenue we can get. The market will weed out those businesses that who have not done their proper competitive analysis. While we wait for that to happen, we should be happy to take their money and hope that the attract lots of customers from out of town who might spend their money with other businesses in our lovely city.

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