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by Ethan Rothstein — March 30, 2015 at 3:30 pm 2,847 0

(Updated at 7:00 p.m.) The Curious Grape, the wine bar and shop in Shirlington, closed Saturday night, but a new restaurant will be taking its place shortly.

Coming in to the location on 2900 S. Quincy Street will be Osteria da Nino Cucina Italiana & Bar, an Italian restaurant that plans to start its soft opening on Thursday, its owners told ARLnow.com today.

The restaurant is being launched by a pair of couples and helmed by Italian chef Nino Pino, who has worked at a number of restaurants in Northern Virginia, including Palio Ristorante in Leesburg. Crews will be working around the clock until Thursday night, when Osteria da Nino hopes to get in a few practice runs before a planned Easter brunch on Sunday.

The turnaround might catch some by surprise — many restaurant openings take more than a year in Arlington. Even more so because The Curious Grape had been a Village at Shirlington staple for more than a decade.

“As most people know, running a restaurant is really a 24/7 commitment,” Curious Grape owner Suzanne McGrath said in an email. “Actively managing the restaurant has also diverted my efforts away from wine education, which is really my career focus. We have so appreciated all the support of our loyal customers and the wonderful people who enjoyed The Curious Grape.”

Osteria is looking for waitstaff, bussers and kitchen staff to join the team immediately, and is asking those interested to apply in person.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — March 30, 2015 at 2:30 pm 351 0

Local Woof logo

Editor’s Note: The Local Woof is a column that’s sponsored and written by the staff of Woofs! Dog Training Center. Woofs! has full-service dog training, boarding, and daycare facilities, near Shirlington and Ballston.

More than half of the dogs in the U.S. are overweight. Much like with people, it is a result of too much processed food, large portion sizes, and just plain overeating.

What amazes me the most about this epidemic is the number of dog owners who simply do not know that their dog is overweight.  Check out this awesome chart at projectpetslimdown.com.  Once you know your dogs body condition score (BCS) you can make adjustments to their feeding.

The easiest way to tell if your dog is overweight is to feel for their ribs. I recommend placing your thumbs on your dogs back bone and using your fingers to feel for the ribs. You should be able to feel your dogs ribs through no more than about a 1/4 inch of skin, muscle and fat. If you cannot easily feel your dogs ribs, without having to push down, then your dog is likely overweight.

If you do find that your dog is overweight, simply cut down on the amount of food they get per day and increase their exercise. Sound familiar? A great way to supplement your dog’s meal is with green beans. Frozen or canned green beans help your dog feel full without adding too many calories.

Here are some common reasons our dogs end up overweight:

“But my vet says he’s fine”  If I hear this one more time… Please ask your vet for an honest opinion about your dog’s weight. I do not know why veterinarians are so afraid of talking about a dogs weight. I suspect it’s because it can be a touchy subject and they are afraid of losing your business. But in the interest of the health of our dogs (and cats), I implore vets to be more forthcoming and honest about talking about weight issues.

“The bags says to feed 4 cups a day” – I hate dog food bag instructions. The idea that every dog in a certain weight range should eat the same amount of food per day is ludicrous. A 12-year-old dog that weights 35 pounds should be eating nowhere near the same amount as a 35-pound dog who is 2 years old and hikes three times a week. In addition, keep in the mind that the goal of the company is to sell you more food. The faster you feed, the faster you buy another bag. The only measure of how much a dog should eat a day is their body condition. Just like people.

“She’s still just a puppy” – Where puppyhood ends can be debated, but the truth is that most dogs have reached 75 percent of their growth potential by the time they are 6 months old. The exception, of course, is large breeds (German shepherd size and larger), who may take up to 12 months to reach full size. That means that your dog’s growth will start to slow somewhere about 5 months of age. Most puppies start to pack on the pounds around 7 to 8 months of age because they are still being fed the same amount that they were eating when they were 5 months old.

“He’s not fat, it’s just his hair” – Yes, fluffy dogs can hide behind their fur more easily, but please don’t use it as an excuse. By palpating your dogs ribs you can just as easily asses the condition of a heavy-coated dog.

Bottom line, help your dog feel better and live longer by keeping them in shape. They’ll love you for it!

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm 1,218 0

Taste of Arlington 2014 crowds(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) The annual Taste of Arlington food festival in Ballston will be back for 2015 on Sunday, May 17.

Last year, the festival drew a record 40,000 attendees, according to its organizer, the Ballston Business Improvement District. This year, the BID hopes to surpass that mark, with new restaurants Pizza Vinoteca and Kapnos Taverna joining Taste of Arlington regulars P.F. Chang’s, Pete’s Apizza and Fuego Cocina y Tequileria.

There will also once again be a beer garden with brews from 24 breweries, plus wine from Barefoot.

All food and drinks can be tasted with the purchase of a ticket booklet, which costs $30 until May 1, when the price goes up to $35. Each booklet contains 10 tickets. Tickets to the VIP Pavilion, which includes unlimited beer, wine, champagne and appetizers, cost $75, and go up to $100 on May 1.

With three stages, there will also be music pumping throughout, including from Arlington bar staples Jumpin’ Jupiter, White Ford Bronco and Burnt Sienna.

There will again be a KidZone and a Bark Park and World Pup Tournament, so families with pets and children can all have something to participate in. There will also be a Girls on the Run 5K race in the morning, before the main event, which runs from noon to 6:00 p.m.

The actual event is free for all to roam around Wilson Blvd and surrounding streets that will be closed to traffic for the afternoon.

File photo. Disclosure: Ballston BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 30, 2015 at 12:00 pm 516 0

Startup Monday header

Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Outl.it co-founder Lucien ZeiglerAs more and more news websites are embracing paywalls — restricting access to online content to those who pay a subscription fee — one Arlington startup is trying to break them down.

Lucien Zeigler and co-founders William Treadway and Christian Zeigler (Lucien’s brother) founded Outl!t for just that purpose. Zeigler works for the Saudi-U.S. Trade Group and compiled a daily newsletter on U.S.-Saudi business interests. His credit card bill showed he was spending more than $100 a month, simply for access to a variety of newspapers.

“Paywalls are becoming more and more common, and they’re essentially roadblocks for consumers,” Zeigler told ARLnow.com last week. “I thought, why can’t readers pay very small amounts of money, double or triple what advertising would pay, to get access to paywall content?”

Starting next month, readers can. Outl!t will be available to the public under the idea that readers can pay for what they read and nothing more. A user will launch an account with a set amount of money. Outl!t partners with news organizations to bring them content, and, if the content costs money to read, pennies will be deducted from the user’s account. Most stories will cost 1 to 5 cents, Zeigler said, unless they’re free or exceptionally long.

“We’re anti-subscription,” Zeigler said. “We feel those are really inefficient. You’re essentially paying for a lot of content you’re not really getting to see. You can see more if you don’t have to pay bulk subscription costs, you can just get things à la carte.”

The function of à la carte news reading is just one plank of the Outl!t platform. It will also allow independent writers to publish on their own, and allow readers to see their work for free, or for a fee. Zeigler said eventually he plans on launching original content, produced by Outl!t staffers, to add to the mix of voices users can find.

Zeigler said he’s loath to use the “disrupt” buzzword, but he thinks that’s exactly what Outl!t is capable of doing to the news industry.

An example of Out.lit's platform“We took a look at the media industry in general, used a lot of open data and what we saw was an industry that was spiraling downward pretty quickly,” he said. “We thought we needed not just a Band-Aid, but a totally disruptive type of solution, where we rebuild everything from the ground up.”

There will be no advertisements on the network, and each user can choose which news outlets stories will appear on their home page. After seeing the headline and first line of text or so, readers can decide whether they want to spend the money to read the full article.

Outl!t has received a seed investment for an undisclosed amount from an undisclosed investor, and has already lined up partnerships with 20 or so news organizations. For every purchase of a story, Outl!t and the news organizations divide the revenue.

Customers can join for free on Outl!t’s website now in anticipation of the company’s launch next month. Their initial deposit will be matched to encourage more use and demonstrate the product’s viability.

Although making money is the goal of any new business, Zeigler is a lover of news and passionate about the potential for Outl!t to reverse the downward trend of the industry. The company is based out of Zeigler’s Arlington home, but it will be looking for Arlington office space soon.

“Just like iTunes did with the music business, we aim to provide marketplace efficiency for providers of all sizes, from the largest newspapers to the blogger, writer, or journalist that has something of value to contribute to the world,” Zeigler said. “That’s our goal with Outl!t — to level the playing field in this business.”

by Ethan Rothstein — March 30, 2015 at 11:00 am 2,125 0

South African comedian Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart as host of The Daily Show, and next week he’s coming to Arlington.

Trevor NoahNoah, 31, is scheduled to perform seven shows at the Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse starting Thursday, April 9. He’s set to perform two shows apiece on Thursday, Friday and Saturday and one show on Sunday, April 12. As of this morning, all of the shows are sold out, according to the Drafthouse’s website.

Noah has been a Daily Show correspondent for two months on the show, but according to his biography on the Drafthouse’s website, he’s performed sold out shows across the globe, discussing everything from his upbringing in South Africa during Apartheid to the American “sports industrial complex.” It was announced this morning that Noah has been tapped as the Daily Show’s new host.

Noah is currently wrapping up a tour of the Middle East. He performs in Oman — the country bordering Saudi Arabia and Yemen — tomorrow.

by ARLnow.com — March 30, 2015 at 10:00 am 357 0

Crystal City 5K Friday race t-shirtIt’s almost April which means it’s almost time for Crystal City’s 5K Fridays to start up again.

Starting this week, four 5K races will be held on consecutive Fridays — April 3, 10, 17 and 24. The races kick off from 2121 Crystal Drive at 6:30 p.m. each Friday, with a course that runs up and down Crystal Drive and Long Bridge Drive.

Registration for a single race is $20. Registration for all four races is $60. Runners can register online.

Drivers should expect road closures in the area during the race.

After each race there will be a post-race party at a local watering hole, with special deals for participants.

More information about the race is available on the Pacers website.

Disclosure: The Crystal City Business Improvement District is an ARLnow.com advertiser

by ARLnow.com — March 30, 2015 at 9:00 am 1,446 0

First bloom of the season (Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf)

Wounded Marine’s Golf Clubs Stolen – Retired Marine Lt. Col. Justin Constantine had a couple of his beloved, custom-made golf clubs stolen from Arlington’s Army Navy Country Club after accidentally leaving them at the driving range. Constantine was shot in the face by a sniper in Iraq in 2006. So far, one of the clubs has been returned while two remain missing. [Marine Corps Times]

Video: iPads in Use at APS — Arlington Public Schools has posted a new “#digitalAPS” video that shows iPads in use in a middle school science class. [Arlington Public Schools]

APS Community Engagement Juggling Act — Arlington Public Schools is planning a community engagement blitz as it seeks to keep up with rapidly rising school enrollment by building new schools. This comes in the wake of the County Board putting the brakes on a plan, unpopular with some residents, to build new elementary school next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School. APS is trying to juggle getting community consensus with the need to build new capacity quickly. [InsideNova]

Dremo’s Owner Dreams Up ‘BeerDisneyLand’ — The owner of the late, lamented Dr. Dremo’s in Rosslyn is proposing to build a two-acre “BeerDisneyLand” on D.C.’s Anacostia River waterfront near Navy Yard. [Hill Now]

Flickr pool by Kevin Wolf

by Ethan Rothstein — March 30, 2015 at 5:00 am 326 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.


1600 Wilson Blvd, the location of Skyline WellnessSkyline Wellness Happy Hour*
Skyline Wellness Center (1600 Wilson Blvd, Suite 320)
Time: 5:00-7:00 p.m.

The acupuncture, chiropractic care and massage center hosts a happy hour, include a giveaway of a year of free massage. Cocktails and “yummy bites” are free.


mrkrabbAll-you-can-eat Crab Legs*
Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 5:00-9:00 p.m.

For $22, patrons can eat all the snow crab legs they want, plus enjoy happy hour specials on domestic bottles, Fireball, sangria, mojitos and margaritas. Reservations are recommended.


Networking Seminar
Arlington Chamber of Commerce (2009 14th Street N., Suite 100)
Time: 4:00-5:00 p.m.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce hosts a free network seminar, designed to help business owners meet and engage with new clients. Led by the chamber’s director of membership.


CherryBlossomsArt Exhibit Opening
Gallery Underground (2100 Crystal Drive)
Time: 5:00-8:00 p.m.

The opening of the “Spring Light” exhibit, which runs from March 30-April 25. The exhibit is a celebration of spring, and the light it brings to replace the cold dark of winter.


20140419-East-Side-of-CabinBall-Sellers House Open House
Ball-Sellers House (5620 3rd Street S.)
Time: 1:00-4:00 p.m.

On the 40th anniversary of the Arlington Historical Society’s acquisition of Arlington’s oldest building for $1. Free tours will be given all afternoon, with colonial snacks and beverages.

DomLaNena_EventLive Music: Dom La Nena
Artisphere (1101 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 8:00-10:00 p.m.

Cellist and Vocalist Dom La Nena takes the Artisphere stage, bringing her blend of Brazilian, Argentine and French influences. Tickets are $12.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by Ethan Rothstein — March 27, 2015 at 4:45 pm 1,996 0

Burn & Brew, a new shop that specializes in tobacco and coffee, is open on 23rd Street S. in Crystal City.

Owner Taha Humayun opened the doors to his new shop on March 18, just a few steps away from another smoke-themed store, Smokey Shope III. He said his shop sells the cheapest cigarettes in Arlington — $5 a pack — because of deals he’s supposedly worked out with a variety of cigarette and rolling paper companies.

In the five minutes an ARLnow.com reporter was in the shop, in the former expansion space of the Gossip boutique next door, a customer came in a bought a pack of Marlboro Lights. When Humayun told her the price, she said “wow, that’s crazy.” Most of the cigarettes sold in the county cost at least a dollar more per pack, we’re told.

Burn & Brew sells bags of coffee beans and drip coffee — “no lattes or shots of espresso or anything like that,” Humayun said — as well as vaporizers, vaporizer juice, “every rolling paper on the market” and all different kinds of pipes.

“A majority of the people who smoke drink coffee,” Humayun said. “And a lot of the people who drink coffee also smoke cigarettes.”

Humayun is still waiting for a number of products to come in. When he’s all stocked — he expects that to be complete by next week — he also will sell newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today.

He wants to be a daily stop for the smoking and drinking crowd of south Arlington, many of whom, he said, are bartenders and waiters. The Crystal City location is his second shop — he’s operated the first store in Annandale for six years.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm 650 0

The real estate inventory in Arlington is booming, and this week’s listings include a two-bedroom condo in Virginia Square for $435,000 and a new four-bedroom townhouses near Columbia Pike for…


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