Great American Restaurant Group’s three-piece culinary complex continued to come to life in Tysons Corner last week with the Friday opening of Patsy’s American, an old railway station-inspired venue for late-night comfort foods, seafood, and cocktails.
Best Buns Bakery & Cafe — an all-day extension of Shirlington’s Best Buns Bread Company — opened just before Memorial Day, and Randy’s Prime Seafood & Steaks is expected to arrive by late July.
Patsy’s (8051 Leesburg Pike, Vienna) imports some of the best-selling dishes across the prolific restaurant group’s regional portfolio of nine other brands — Sweetwater Tavern, Carlyle, and Mike’s “American” grill, for starters — into a cavernous 300-seat dining room.
The steak frites and French dip from Jackson’s appear on the menu at Patsy’s along with the Maine lobster roll from Coastal Flats. There are also barbecue baby back ribs from Sweetwater.
CEO Jon Norton says the raw bar, a new addition for GAR, has been “extremely popular.” Patsy’s offers three sizes of mixed seafood plates: a platter, a tower, and a triple decker. Norton reports that oyster shooters with Tito’s Vodka have been a surprise best seller.
Norton thinks there’s enough drinking demand in Tysons Corner to justify its 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. hours. Beyond the main dining room, a back 150-seat bar and patio also welcomes patrons for after-hours dining and drinking. Along with 40 beers on tap, an Old Fashioned recipe from Carlyle is also an early hit.
“It’s been pretty well received, and I think we are going to be popular late-night spot,” he says.
The kitchen is trying to keep up with demand for its new buttermilk fried chicken sandwich at lunch.
The fried poultry, which also makes it way onto the Charleston Salad with spiced pecans, is part of a late-night menu that kicks off at 11 p.m. with a pared-down selection of burgers and starters like spinach and artichoke dip.
Patsy’s is named after Norton’s mother, the matriarch of the 45-year-old Northern Virginia restaurant group that also includes Artie’s, Ozzie’s, and Silverado. The menu honors her signature desserts with hot fudge sundaes and warm bread pudding. Patsy’s father’s flag is on the wall from when he served in Army.
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While the decor is mostly built of kitsch — there are Terracotta warriors sporting Bart Simpson and Shrek heads and an iconic painting of Seinfeld’s George Costanza in his underwear — one art piece stands out. Norton says the charcoal Picasso on the wall is an original.
The main dining room is anchored at one end by a classic station clock, alongside lots of green ironwork detailing. The mix of artwork also includes New York City street art Norton personally sourced, along with skate decks from Orin Swift’s wine bottle labels.
Live entertainment could be added down the line, he says, as well as a beer garden out back next summer.
Norton says Patsy’s has attracted a “ton of regulars” and people who are unfamiliar with the group’s restaurants.
“New fans have been asking how did you do a restaurant this big and wonder how we’re doing so well,” he jokes.
Norton’s parents, Patsy and Randy Norton, started the decades-old restaurant group with a small pizzeria in Fairfax that’s since grown to a 14-business collection of Northern Virginia staples.
Their new complex in Tysons Corner is intentionally opening in phases to make sure each piece was running well before another was added. The last opening will be Randy’s, which plans to cater to a ritzier crowd than GAR’s other restaurants.
Expect coffered ceilings, green Mohair booths, and servers in black uniforms delivering wagyu steaks, branzino, and wines from an American-heavy list.
As a whole, the three-part operation will employ about 300 people once it’s up and running. Norton says the ample amount of parking nearby helped make the idea for a multi-part dining establishment a reality.