If you have ever driven around the Merrifield area the past few years, you noticed one constant: construction. Everywhere. From holes being dug to roads being expanded, the intersection of Route 50 and Gallows Road has been one massive project after another.
However, if you take a trip there now, you’ll see something completely different. An entire mixed-use development coming together, one that had restaurants, retailers and residents flocking to the area. It’s also got an entirely new name: The Mosaic District.
A trip to the Mosaic District is a high-end delight. The developers of the area have hand-picked national boutique retailers and some of D.C.’s most popular restaurants and shops to be early adopters of the area. And bigger than a city block, the district can keep you occupied for almost a full day.
Part of what grabs your attention is the beautiful construction. All the Mosaic District’s buildings have a fresh, modern feel, with lots of reclaimed wood, as well as glass, steel and concrete. The development is the first neighborhood to be part of the United States Green Building Council’s LEED for Neighborhood Development. That means the entire space was designed with the environment in mind. Not only did it garner a LEED Silver certification, the owners of the Mosaic District work to make sure the stores they add use environmentally sustainable business practices.
Thus, at the Mosaic District, you’ll see shops like Taylor Gourmet. The fast-growing sandwich shops store interiors are all about recycling. Light fixtures are made from old 5-gallon buckets. Countertops are built with recycled wood. You may even see a used tire or two when you head there.
And it’s not just in the design. The Mosaic District has one of the first outposts of Red Apron Butcher, this area’s most environmentally-friendly butcher shop. All of Red Apron’s cut come from farms around the area and their meats are cured in-house. The result, if you’ve never been there, are delicious. But if you aren’t a carnivore, right next to Red Apron is Mediterrafish, a unique seafood store which offers cooking demonstrations for shoppers.
And locals near the Mosaic District are eagerly waiting for another tasty newcomer, R.J. Cooper, a farm-to-table restaurant from one of D.C.’s most well-known chefs.
Eating isn’t your only option at the Mosaic. The anchor for retail is Target, but that’s the one of only a few big-box you’ll find. Much smaller retailers like Timothy Paul, a carpet and bedding store, as well as Lou Lou, a women’s accessories boutiques, dot the streets.
Prior to the construction project, the lone reason to head to Merrifield was the old movie theater. That’s now been replaced with a gleaming new spot to catch films.
The Angelika Film Center is the antithesis to the AMCs of the area. It’s an eight-screen cinema that shows both independent and blockbuster movies. There’s also a top-notch kitchen, where you can purchase food to take to your seats that’s much more refined than typical nachos and popcorn.
All this is to say that the Mosaic District, while still developing, is already one of the neatest neighborhoods around, and will be a spot to visit for years to come.
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