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Maggie McFly’s Eatery and Bar: "When we say local, we mean local."

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The fire gives a warm welcome as you enter Maggie MacFly's Eatery and Bar, which has been imported from Connecticut to the new location at 6797 Springfield Town Center, Springfield, Va.

The door opens to an atmosphere that says “Happy.” The smiles of the welcoming waiters say “Just Relax.” The center-piece bar hums with connections and the bright lighting adds to the fun…

If there is a color that stuck in my mind and could describe the experience, it would be orange: it is the color of the seats, the logo of the Maggie’s McFly’s, the fire that greets you at the entrance and the freshly made tomato sauce of my Cajun jambalaya dish. Orange is considered the perfect color for a healthy appetite too. Be ready, their menu is huge with 180 plus options.

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Maggie McFly's has adopted an open-line, or "display," kitchen. Kitchen Manager Brian Solito, has been working with the company for four years . When asked about a really special dish on their menu, he said: “We do have the shrimp and scallops alla vodka here, this is really good. We have fresh scallops with marinated shrimp. They are marinated in olive oil with garlic in an herb mix that we have. We sauté them with a vodka sauce as well, and then we have some crème sauce with marinara -- all of our sauces are made in house-- and then we finish it with some penne pasta and some Asiago cheese.”

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Maggie and Nicole

“I am Maggie (from left) and I love aviation, so Maggie McFly’s (laughs). I heard about the grand opening, but I have seen it in Virginia Beach. I never went to the one in Virginia Beach, but I wanted to go. So when I saw that it was coming, I wanted to come here. The reason? The menu, the cocktail menu is extensive and it looks fun. I got the Barbie Dream House with the lights and everything.”

Nicole added: “I came here because we wanted to celebrate her [Maggie’s] birthday a little bit early. I saw the menu when she shared it with me. I was like ‘Oh, my gosh, this looks really good and plus the happy hour is special, so we decided; ‘why not?’”

I stopped at the newly opened restaurant on a Friday night, just two days after its grand opening on Feb. 13. Marketing Manager Carrie Koscal was there to share the background story:

KOSCAL: We started in Connecticut in 1993. Exactly 25 years ago. The first location was in Middlebury, Connecticut. We have five locations in Connecticut now and only one and a half years ago, we branched out to another state, which is Virginia. Virginia Beach was the first.

Owner, Raymond Harper, has been to a conference with a celebrity chef who was talking about how the D.C. market is blowing up like crazy. And how it is going to be the next hot spot for celebrity restaurants, celebrity chef owned restaurants. So, coming to the area, he found this great spot and here we are!

Why is it a great spot?

KOSCAL: Fairfax County apparently is very affluent and its residents want to try something new, something cool, something different and delicious! And they are willing to take chances and explore new things. Honestly it’s not like that in every market. In a lot of markets, they stick to what they know. Not in Fairfax!

What makes your place different and delicious? What is your philosophy behind it?

KOSCAL: We are all about local and scratch. So everything is made fresh, nothing is frozen. All of our dressings, sauces and everything are made in the kitchen every morning from scratch. Also, we pride ourselves on sourcing everything that we possibly can, locally, so whether it is from a local distributor or local farm. We go out of our way to find kind of Mom and Pop’s kind of companies that will bring something extra to our dishes.

For example we work with a honey company, Sweet Sophia, in Lake Ridge, owned by John and Elsa and their daughter is Sophia, and on their property they have ten million honey bees. It’s so cool, right? Actually I am sitting at the bar right now with the owner of Logan’s Sausage and Logan’s is in Alexandria and a lot of our products have his sausages in it.

Last night, Tanya, from Soul Cakes by Tanya, was sitting right over there, having dinner with her family. So, when we say local, we mean local. When we build partnerships with the products that we’re using from the companies that we are using, those are real partnerships; they are like family to us. Like you saw on our huge menu, which is almost like a bible, each company that we use, we dedicate a page to them like an advertisement or we tell their story. We give their web address, so you get a sense of who they are, what you are eating, what you are seeing. We are really, really try to drive it home.

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“I was in the mood of both: Southern and sea food, so, I tried the out of this world Cajun jambalaya dish!” said Hanan Daqqa.

If you want to know the story behind the logo and the name, “Maggie McFly’s focus on an array of global influences is how the name figures into its mission: the mythological ace aviator ‘Maggie McFly’ is continuously circumnavigating the globe in search of the best food and drink. Dishes are inspired by some of the world's finest culinary cultures and creations. Example: bang bang shrimp + chicken from Thailand, spicy Latino hanger steak from Cuba, sausage + cavatelli with broccolini and sun-dried tomatoes from Northern Italy,” explained Koscal. “The full logo at one point contained an image of aviator Maggie in the center - however, in the past year we’ve removed Maggie who you now can find on limited materials, as well as a separate image on building exteriors. The logo in the past year has also been changed from dark green to a copper. The change-up was due to not wanting to be associated as an ‘Irish Pub’, especially moving into new territories where Maggie McFly’s brand is new and unknown.”

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Kisha heard about Maggie McFly’s from her friend Frank, who saw it pop up on his Facebook feed and he figured it would be a good place for a happy hour, “just give it a try,” he told her. “The service is really good, so I like that. I ordered the bacon egg burger and that was really good. I would recommend the egg to be fried a little more,” said Kisha.

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