Temperatures may be dropping but it’s never too cold to go to the Clare & Don’s Beach Shack in Falls Church.
Open for about eight years – the first five and a half years in Clarendon and that rest in Falls Church – the beach shack serves up seafood, which ironically is somewhat how the name came to be.
“My friend Tom Fairchild had two fish,” said Rebecca Tax who co-owns the beach shack with her brother David. “One was named Clare and the other was Don.”
The Tax siblings have been in business together for about 17 years, first opening Lazy Sundae in 1996. That business, too, opened in Clarendon before moving to its Falls Church location in 2006. Rebecca said she and her brother lived in Florida for some time where beach shacks were a dime a dozen and they thought Northern Virginia was lacking in that area.
Beyond the wooden gate that surrounds the beach shack, there is a plethora of items that can help you mentally escape the cool confines of the north. A surfboard, a lifeguard’s chair, a fire pit and the walls are peppered with the official footwear of the beach, flip-flops.
“My brother David is the decorator and it’s ever evolving,” Tax joked. “I helped with none of the decorating, that’s all him.”
Hosting community events is something they like doing at the beach shack, Tax said. Most of their events are in the summer but they do a good amount in the colder months as well.
Over the summer, Tori McKinney, local owner of ROCK STAR Realty, hosted an event at the beach shack where the logo from her real estate agency was placed on the mixed drink glasses at the restaurant. The logo glasses are a mainstay at the beach shack.
“I love it,” McKinney said. “It’s sort of like my outdoor living room in the summer. They’re very accommodating there.”
The small town feel of Falls Church is something Tax said will keep she and her brother in the area. They know all of their customers and being a part of the community is another reason they want to stay.
“This is it,” Tax said. “This is our home. We’re never moving.”