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Finnegans Tysons Grand Opening

June 30, 2013
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Northern Virginia Irish Firefighters playing traditional irish folk music, click to enlarge

I had a chance to head over to the Finnegans grand opening in Tysons on Saturday night. I didn’t have a chance to see what the late night vibe would be like on opening weekend, but the bar had about 30 to 40 people in it when I got there at 8, not to mention the Northern Virginia Irish Firefighters who were regaling the crowd with some traditional Irish folk music.

I was impressed by the pub fare, I got the fish and chips, which unlike some lesser pubs did not provide lead gut. It was flavorful and perfect with the two pints of Lost Rhino IPA. I had a chance to try out the blackened Mahi Mahi (not necessarily the most traditional Irish pub meal) and I am glad I did because the rosemary and sage seasoning and light lemon marinade was completely unexpected for bar food.

Finnegan's on Route 7, click to enlarge

There are some issues with Finnegan’s, none of which have to do with the bar itself, namely its location. I have no doubt that Finnegan’s will be as popular of a happy hour stop for employees around Tysons as similarly located Chef Geoffs, On the Border, and Capital Grille. Unfortunately, its prominent location on Route 7 puts it about as far away from the residents who live in Tysons as one can get. I tried to map a way to get from my location in North Tysons to Finnegans carless. A mile and a half later, and a crossing of International Drive, Route 123, and a walk along pedestrian unfriendly Route 7 and now I have to say its a bad idea for anyone who also wants to try it out.

Beer Trolley Pub in Arlington, courtesy Trolley Pub Facebook

Sadly, thousands of us in North Tysons still have no local pub to call our own which won’t require a drive in notorious traffic to get to. One would think with over 5000 residents within 1/4 mile of Westpark/International Drive intersection that someone would try to find a bar location to serve that population also. Heck a lot of us would settle for some sort of mobile solution.

All in all, I think Finnegan’s will be a popular location on weekend and happy hour nights. With everything from Karaoke to trivia night specials, I’ll likely find myself there from time to time also. Who knows, maybe in a couple years they’ll wise up and move over to North Tysons away from the traffic and Route 7, and over to where the people are.

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11 Responses to Finnegans Tysons Grand Opening

  1. RedFood737 on July 1, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    I don’t care about a pub, but more late night food options in Tysons is a plus. I’m used to driving from North Tysons to that area anyway – and know my way around enough that’s not too painful. Let’s be honest, it’s going to be a long time before Tysons becomes an “urban utopia” with legitimate transit options to reduce the mile – mile and a half walks. Not with the road infrastructure the way it is. I don’t believe Tysons will ever be integrated successfully as an urban center unlike say a real city like DC with the right kind of transit mix to make that a sustainable option without cars in 50+ years, and by then I’m pretty sure this pub will be closed by then given the lifespan of most.

    • Navid Roshan-Afshar on July 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm

      The idea I was trying to convey was, who cares about future development and modifying Route 7 when a bar or restaurant could move onto Westpark tomorrow afternoon and have a captive audience and customer base of over 5000 existing residents (within a 2 minute walk).

      These activity locations (food/drink/music/etc) keep picking bad locations along Route 7 and 123 where they are passed by vehicles and commuters when they could instead be looking where there are people and residents and offices (like along Westpark). Transit don’t matter if you can walk to the bar across the street.

      I appreciate the comment, and agree with a lot of your points about the long process necessary in Tysons (along Route 123 and 7… not so much in the parts where people already live)

  2. Sam on July 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Thanks for the review. How is the parking in that area?

    • Navid Roshan-Afshar on July 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm

      There are a few spots out front for Finnegans, otherwise there is below grade parking that they will validate. Most of the other businesses on the block should be emptied out around 6ish (happy hour times) so shouldn’t be too hard to find a spot. Worst case scenario there is the massive parking lot in front of Petsmart which is about a 3 minute walk away

  3. Tysonsmall visitor on July 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I was one of those curious ones on Saturday around 9 PM coming out of the mall noticing the big focus lights coming from 8150 building decided to stop by. I parked in the PNC Bank parking area by Turing left across Dunkin Donuts, all the spots though marked for PNC, were empty so I parked across the access door ( also entrance to fitness center). Took the elevator to level 1, walked out of elevator to find entrance right in the lobby, by the elevators!

    Given parking is still an area of concern , checked with David – one of the guys pouring beers from tap about any issues. He said, indeed Finnegan’s customers can park there with no issues. In addition he said, there are ample spaces reserved in ground level garage for its customers, parking will be validated.

    I think I focused on how I got there and where I parked than sharing my thoughts on this great happy hour place. My impression, it really has nice impressive interior, and everything looked nice from my point view though I have to check it again to share my thoughts. I am just not sure if it was those cold ones I had from the bar :)

    • Navid Roshan-Afshar on July 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      I agree that the bar itself is great, and I’ll likely be a frequenter on trivia night at a minimum. I think my jealousy comes from the lack of options on the other side of Tysons, but don’t disagree the bar itself was well put together and the staff was really friendly

  4. RedFood737 on July 2, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    An idea for potential Trivia team names:

    TNT! (Team North Tysons!)

  5. Ben on July 4, 2013 at 6:56 am

    It’s nice to have more bar options outside of the mall, but there are better nightlife spots in Falls Church City that are a short drive away.

  6. Local Guy on July 15, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Guess there are many options nearby but Finnegan’s Pride brings a local option for Tysons Corner area. Sitting in the patio watching traffic pass by on Rt 7 over a cold beer and not having to drive for just few minutes is great for me. Look forward to taking easy stroll in coming days….

  7. 11 on July 26, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    “maybe in a couple years they’ll wise up and move over to North Tysons away from the traffic and Route 7, and over to where the people are”

    Nobody wants to go there … it’s too crowded :)

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