Restaurant Tuscarora Mill was well ahead of the curve when it opened in Leesburg, Virginia, in the early 1990s. Draught 'craft' beer was more difficult to come by than it is now, but Tuskies (as locals affectionately refer to it) was offering good draught beer in both a casual cafe setting and a more formal room with 'white-tablecloth' service.
In the 2000s, proprietors Kevin and Shawn Malone (the latter, pictured above, carrying a firkin), opened a second restaurant, Magnolias, even more beer-centric, also in a converted mill, but further west, in Purcellville, Virginia.
In 2007, they opened a third, much smaller location, in the same historic mill building in Leesburg as Tuskies. Called Fire Works, the intimate pizzeria featured a domed wood-burning oven for making Neapolitan-style pizzas, and a fascinating array of import and 'craft' draughts. It would prove to be a harbinger of the direction the brothers would take.
A second Fire Works American Pizzeria & Bar opens tonight in the Court House district of Arlington, Virginia.
To call it a 'second' location, hides Fire Works' extent. Seating over 200, inside and out, it features 30 draught beer lines, 2 dedicated cask-conditioned ale lines, (yes, a wine list), and, again, a domed wood-burning pizza oven.
The glassed-in refrigerated keg room is situated just inside the front door. The kegs and maze of lines and gauges are clearly visible though large windows.
Large metal pipes carry the draught lines overhead to the bar.
Fire Works also has an extensive bottled beer list, and will offer 2-liter resealable bottles of draught-beer-to-go, called growlers.
Here's a photo of the crowd, and the brewery banners festooning the ceiling, taken during a preliminary 'soft opening' on Thursday, 19 August:
And, here's the vegetarian Siciliana pizza pie (Grilled artichokes, spinach, roasted eggplant, black olives, roasted garlic, crushed red pepper, white sauce, and, upon request, white truffle essence.)
- According to Fire Works' Facebook page, the public grand opening is scheduled for 5pm tonight. The address is 2350 Clarendon Boulevard, Arlington, Virginia, at the intersection of Clarendon Boulevard with Adams Street. The phone number is 703-527-8700.
- The cask ale lines may not be operational tonight, but beer manager Jesse Prevatte promises soon!
- See a slideshow of construction and pre-opening: here.
- Caveat lector: As a representative of Select Wines, Inc. —a northern Virginia wholesaler— I sell wine and beer to Fire Works.