For two short, unannounced hours today, Courthouse’s new Bayou Bakery opened its doors and started serving customers. The soft opening will continue tomorrow, “from 8:00 a.m. until I have to say ‘Uncle,’” according to a Facebook post by owner/chef David Guas.
Guas had originally hoped to open yesterday, but that plan was foiled by a late Certificate of Occupancy.
Bayou Bakery, which is more of a cafe/restaurant hybrid, will be closed on Sunday. No word on when it will “officially” open with regular hours and a full menu.
Artisphere’s PR department says Red Baraat is the only dhol ‘n’ brass band in the U.S.
How there is only one domestic band that combines North Indian Bhangra and brass band funk is beyond us, especially considering the infectious energy that the culture-melding band brings to their shows.
New York-based Red Baraat features a rapping sousaphone player, three percussionists (counting the guy on cow bell), and a band leader whose collaborations have included performing with rapper Q-Tip and a fitness instructor known as “the Indian Jane Fonda.” That, combined with a five-piece horn section, produces a group that, in the words of the PR department, “plays fresh originals and Bollywood classics with an explosive stage performance and presence.”
Red Baraat is performing at Artisphere’s weekly Saturday night dance party this weekend. The performance will begin at 11:01 p.m. in the Artisphere ballroom. Tickets are $18 at the door, with sales starting one hour before showtime.
Planners revealed that the streetcar line is expect to go into service in 2016 and is expected to cost $160 million to build. Of that, Arlington will pay $135 million and Fairfax County will pay $25 million, according to planners. However, county staff warned those cost estimates will change as further planning is done. The Pike Transit Initiative, as the project is called, is also seeking funding from the Federal Transit Administration, which could cover part of the cost of construction.
The streetcar would travel east from Skyline/Bailey’s Crossroads, down Columbia Pike, past the Air Force Memorial to end at South Eads Street. The plan also calls for one of two extensions to be built, either to the NOVA Community College campus near Skyline or to Long Bridge Park, near the Pentagon, to accommodate a streetcar storage and maintenance shed.
The public forum was expected to be contentious, as a number of streetcar critics had announced in advance they would attend. There were no fireworks or shouting matches, but during a question and answer session a few people did pelt planners with questions about the value of having a streetcar line at all.
Steven Del Giudice, head of transit operations and planning for Arlington County, suggested that there were other means for critics to express their dissent and that this meeting was “not the forum” to discuss the value of having streetcars on the Pike.
“Reasonable people can disagree,” said Del Giudice after the meeting, shrugging off the criticism.
Streetcar skeptic and Pike resident John Antonelli said he was concerned about the project’s cost, which some critics believe could reach past $300 million (Del Giudice disputed this, saying a quoted $336 million figure included 30 years of operating costs).
Antonelli argued the streetcar won’t save much money on existing bus service (Del Giudice says it will likely eliminate two to three bus lines), and noted that service could easily be disrupted by road repairs, a traffic accident, or a stalled car. He called the forum “a typical Kabuki theatre Arlington meeting.”
(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) Clarendon’s Sette Bello Italian restaurant will serve its last customers Saturday, two sources tell ARLnow.com.
Owners told employees last night that the restaurant will be closing after tomorrow, and that an American Tap Room bar/restaurant will take its place after renovations, according to sources.
We’re told that the restaurant, which opened in 2005, enjoyed commercial success at first but later struggled to fill tables inside the cavernous space. It was co-owned by restaurateur Franco Nuschese, of Cafe Milano fame.
A restaurant source estimated that Sette Bello employed around 30 people.
Renovations are expected to take several months, but no formal time frame has been announced.
Replacing Sette Bello will be American Tap Room, a bar/restaurant that currently has locations in Reston and Bethesda, according to an employee who wished to remain anonymous because he was not authorized to speak on the record.
Although American Tap Room will have numerous TVs and a game time menu, it’s not a sports bar per se (as previously reported).
“Upscale comfort casual dining,” is the way the employee described the restaurant. “It’s going to be familiar and modern at the same time.”
Photo via Facebook
National Geographic is bringing a gigantic map of North America to Tuckahoe Elementary, part of an effort to get students more engaged with geography studies.
The map, measuring 26 feet by 35 feet and weighing in at 102 lbs., is one of the world’s largest maps of the continent. It will be on display from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10.
Students will be able to walk on the map, play interactive games and explore various geographic features.
“This is a unique and interactive opportunity to introduce and reinforce the geographic features of our great country with hands-on and feet-on instruction,” Tuckahoe principal Cynthia Brown said in a statement.
Screen capture via YouTube
The commercial real estate trade group NAIOP handed out its Best of Northern Virginia awards in Tysons Corner last night, and Arlington fared quite well.
Seven out of 17 awards went to Arlington properties.
The big winners included Courthouse’s new Fire Works Pizza restaurant and the county’s new Dept. of Human Services office, which both won awards for best interior.
Among the other winners were Monday Properties’ marketing effort for 1000 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, and Vornado’s renovation of 220 20th Street in Crystal City.
See the full list of winners in PDF form here.
Rep. Jim Moran couldn’t give a hoot about the controversial “naked” body scans and saucy pat-downs now in place at America’s airports.
The recently re-elected congressman told TBD’s NewsTalk that he supports measures to make air travel safer, even if they’re invasive or embarrassing.
“I could care less whether somebody feels me up or somebody sees what I look like without my clothes… I think it’s something you just have to live with.”
Do you agree?
Panel Discusses Energy Plan Options – The task force in charge of helping to craft a Community Energy Plan for Arlington met yesterday to discuss options for providing “district energy” in the county’s denser areas. District energy would centralize heating and cooling in an area, serving multiple buildings. One of the big questions posed to the task force by its energy consultant was whether the company that provides the district energy plant should be county-owned, a public-private partnership or privately-owned. More from TBD.
Gunston to Get New Field, But Board Cuts Canopies – On Tuesday, the board approved a $715,000 contract to replace the synthetic field turf at Gunston Middle School. But they stripped out $120,000 in funding that county staff had allocated for shade canopies over the bleachers. More from the Sun Gazette.
Hotel Protest in Crystal City Tomorrow — Workers are expected to picket in front of the Crystal City Sheraton tomorrow to protest supposed abuses of workers’ rights by the hotel’s parent company. The rally has the backing of local organized labor. More from dclabor.org