With an interest in fine art and a dream of owning his own business, Rick Turner felt like he didn’t quite belong at his job with the federal government. So, in 1973, Rick left his office gig behind and took a risk by opening his own shop. Settling into a quaint historic building, Rick enlisted his sister Lorraine to work in the shop. When the two started feeding large frame mouldings through a back window, they realized they needed a bigger space.
Today, at Turner Framing locations in Sterling and Seneca Square, the certified picture framers preserve children's artwork, needlepoint pieces, photographs, diplomas, and hole-in-one golf balls with museum-quality materials similar to those used in protecting King Tut's vacation photos.
The owners of First Break Sports Bar & Grill turned a tragic fire into an opportunity. After the loss, they took time to update the space beyond its original condition, and today gleaming granite tops the bar and hardwood floors shine throughout. A typical night sees the latest sports events flickering on 25 HDTVs, while smokers retire to a separate lounge where they can throw darts through the smoke rings they blow. Players send billiard balls cracking at 9-foot Diamond Pro-Am tables, and on Wednesday nights, participants count their chips during Texas Hold 'Em tournaments. But whether they're spectating or playing, diners can fuel up with selections from the bar's menu with sandwiches, wraps, and pasta until 2 a.m.
At Sterling Golf and Swim Club, golfers send balls sailing down the tree-lined fairways of an 18-hole, par 54 golf course, and swimmers backstroke across two 25-meter pools. For nearly half a century, club-wielders have traversed past water and dodged bunkers at the executive course, giving the pines and weeping willows ample time to flourish, and the nonprofit club itself has existed for four decades. Two kiddie pools flank the club’s two larger pools, enabling wee ones to practice breathing through their gills while their older siblings butterfly down lanes, and a game room provides indoor entertainment. An adult lounge lets weary golfers relax in peace, and the clubhouse’s pro shop outfits players searching for golf balls whose dimples perfectly match their own.
Movable walls, luminous rocks, mirrors, ramps, and unexpected dead ends. These are just a few of the obstacles players face at Ultrazone Laser Tag, a multi-level arena that, much like a spring-break DJ?s apartment, is always flooded with black light and fog. Before separating more than 66 players into mulitple teams and setting them loose in the arena, a game master delivers rules and moves teammates to the vesting room, where they grab laser guns and flashing vests. As the beat of pulsing music hammers the arena, players stream into the field, launching beams at opponents and attempting to seize their strongholds. When players are hit they aren't eliminated from the action; a computer keeps a running tally of points throughout the mission and awards champion status to the team with the highest count after the game. The facility also includes an arcade and a snack area.
Laser tag typically summons images of bulky plastic guns, LED vests that flash red like broken alarm clocks, and cheesy black lights. In the parlance of machismo, Sudden Combat eats joints like that for breakfast. Its extreme laser-tag skirmishes are closer to real military sorties than strip-mall fracas. Sudden Combat is the first gaming spot in Northern Virgina to employ the iCombat/irTactical system?the same laser-training system used by military and law-enforcements agencies and featured on the Outdoor Channel's Elite Tactical Unit: SWAT. Locked and loaded with realistic gear that has the look, feel, and recoil of military M4s and M16s, the advanced weaponry enhances the game's intensity and realism. For the electromagnetic averse, Sudden Combat ups the paintball experience with indoor paintball Reball, which delivers the thrills and stings of a paintball match, but doesn't leave players looking like the ate at a Sherwin Williams buffet.
Rebounderz's facility features more than 16,000 square feet of springy trampoline surfaces. And that's not even counting vertical space, which is just as important considering that the main event here is launching oneself off the trampoline floors and soaring through the air. Inside of the jump arenas, trampoline floors give way to angled walls made of the same springy material, creating a safe and spacious atmosphere where high-flying acrobatics are the sport of choice. The open jump arenas allow for freestyling acrobatics; friendly competition, however, occurs in air dodgeball contests and on the basketball slam court. At the latter, kids can summon their inner NBA stars by flaunting their reverse dunk skills or pretending they're driving a Lamborghini during the offseason. Things take a mellower turn in the video arcade and in the WiFi?equipped lounge and cafe, where parents can relax and kids can snack between turns on the trampolines.