Opera House Stages a Move

A Manassas retailer's business will no longer be in the old opera house, but the Opera House Gourmet will still sell gourmet goodies after it relocates Monday.

The business is moving one block down Center Street, to the shop recently vacated by Brown's Wood Stuff in Old Town Manassas.

Owners of the furniture store had announced their plans to retire a few months ago, so gourmet shop owner Jan Alten decided to peek into the store, at Center and West streets. Alten said she wasn't planning on moving but wanted to be able to recommend the location to potential tenants of Old Town.

"I walked in and it just smacked me, 'Why not you?' " said Alten, who opened the gourmet store more than seven years ago. She originally leased the building that once housed the Conner Opera House, which was built in 1906. That prompted her to name the business Opera House Gourmet.

The 2,400-square-foot building, at 9126 Center St., won't give her much more space from the two shops she merged into one at the old location, at 9084 Center St. Instead the purveyor of cheeses, chocolates and coffee will be in one large rectangular room on a busy corner of Old Town.

"We're excited about the move because we think that the visibility for the store on the corner will be great," said Alten, who expects to reopen the store by Aug. 1.

The Virginia wines, peanuts and chips will be packed Monday for the short move.

Moving upstairs from the gourmet shop will be the Yoga Connection, now operating out of the top floor of Bull Run Unitarian Universalist Church, 9061 Church St.

Owner and instructor Marsha McClellan said the yoga studio will relocate from a 900-square-foot space in the church to 2,400 square feet, allowing for two classes at the same time. Every week, she must stash her yoga mats and blankets so a religious service can be held in the space on Sundays.

"It will be really nice to have a place that we can call ours," said McClellan, who opened the studio three years ago. She offers about a dozen yoga classes at the church, including yoga for kids and seniors.

McClellan said having yoga classes on one floor and Alten's chocolates and wines on another floor will give consumers choices to help them relax.

With those shifts, downtown will have two vacant commercial spaces, said Tricia Davis, executive director of Historic Manassas Inc.

Lockheed Lands Contract

Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors in Manassas won a $152 million contract to develop and maintain a new internal Web portal for the U.S. Army.

The Army Knowledge Online portal, which is used by 1.8 million people worldwide, provides soldiers access to logistics and combat support applications and e-mail.

The one-year contract comes with six option years, and the work should be completed in 2012. The contract calls for one company to take over the management and administration of the portal to cut costs.

Office Building in Works

There's more office space coming in Manassas.

Mid-Atlantic Real Estate Investments Inc. recently broke ground on its Signal Hill Professional Center, 9161 Liberia Ave. The four-story, 11,000-square-foot building is expected to be complete by the first quarter of 2006.

Help for Home Buyers

ERA Tynes Realty will sponsor a seminar on buying a first home for Spanish-speaking customers from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at its offices, 4207 Dale Blvd., in Woodbridge.


E-mail news about Prince William County business to morenoj@washpost.com.

Jan Alten is moving her Opera House Gourmet one block, to Center and West streets in Old Town Manassas. Her new location had been the home of Brown's Wood Stuff.