Cash registers are ringing at the long-awaited Penrose Square Giant on Columbia Pike.
The store opened its doors to customers tonight in advance of its official opening Friday morning. Shoppers enjoyed free wine and food samples and the music of a live mariachi band.
Located at the corner of the Pike and S. Barton Street, the 52,000 square foot store is brand new, with a number of enhancements compared to its Adams Square predecessor. Among the new features:
- “SCAN IT!” hand-held devices, which allow customers to scan and bag their groceries while they shop
- “ORDER IT!” deli kiosk, where customers can digitally place deli orders and continue shopping until alert is received
- Full-service floral department
- “Enhanced and expansive” produce department
- Expanded selection of natural and organic food items
- Bakery with Madelyn cakes and lattice pies
- Full-service seafood department with “an expanded variety of items,” complimentary marinating and steaming
- Full-service meat department with expanded selection
- Energy Star-rated cooking appliances and equipment, heat reducing roof, low-e glass windows, skylights
- Expanded International section offering variety of Hispanic, Italian, and Asian products
- Complimentary cart-to-car service
- An integrated PNC Bank branch
At a 6:00 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony was held, featuring store employees, elected officials and neighborhood leaders.
“Welcome back to Columbia Pike,” said Takis Karantonis, Executive Director of the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization. Karantonis called the store opening a “critical moment” in the Pike’s continued development. He added that 7,000 households live within easy walking distance of the store.
The store will bring about 100 new jobs to the area, according to the company. Doors reopen Friday at 6:00 a.m.
More photos, after the jump.
Arlington resident and competitive cyclist Joe Praino has won a dream trip to the Tour de France after collecting the most votes in a nationwide contest.
Praino will join Team Liquigas-Cannondale at the Tour after winning the Facebook-based contest, which was sponsored by Cannondale and Peloton Magazine. As an honorary member of the U.S.-Italian team, Praino will travel in the team car and help out behind the scenes.
In addition to the all-expenses-paid overseas trip, Praino will receive a $6,000+ Cannondale SuperSix EVO road bike, cycling apparel, and a magazine subscription.
Praino won over voters on the contest’s Facebook page with a humorous, two-minute video (above) that explains why he’s always wanted to see the Tour de France up close.
Video courtesy Cannondale
Our partners at What’s the Deal (WTD) have just launched a revamped daily deals offering for Northern Virginia, and their first deal is for a restaurant ARLnow.com readers are familiar with: Mad Rose Tavern.
The Clarendon eatery has gone through well-documented management and menu changes since its February launch. Credit the changes or the warm weather — but it’s clear that, at the very least, Mad Rose has started attracting sizable crowds to its outdoor seating areas.
If you want to try it out yourself, WTD is offering 50% off food and non-alcoholic drinks at Mad Rose Tavern for the next two weeks.
Photo via WTD
Community leaders marked the grand opening of The Macedonian (2229 Shirlington Road), a new mixed-use affordable housing development in Nauck (Green Valley), with a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning.
The $12 million development consists of 19 one bedroom and 17 two-bedroom apartments, as well as 2,000 square feet of commercial space for the Bonder and Amanda Johnson Community Development Corporation (BAJCDC) and a planned business incubator/shared work space. It was developed by AHC Inc. on land owned by the next-door Macedonia Baptist Church with county, state, federal, private and nonprofit financing.
While some of the attention surrounding the Macedonian is due to its environmentally-friendly features — it has a green roof and other energy-efficient accouterments, earning it the first EarthCraft Virginia certification for a multifamily development — the building’s real mission is the preservation and economic development of the diverse Nauck community against the pressures of higher rents and gentrification. The church, the county and BAJCDC have been fighting to keep Nauck affordable, and speakers today described the Macedonian as an important step in that continuing effort.
“There are more sheep to tend, there are more neighbors to help,” said David Bowers, Vice President of Enterprise Community Partners, which helped to fund the development. “Our work is not done.”
Attendees this morning included Rep. Jim Moran, County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman, Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin of the Macedonia Baptist Church and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker — a former Arlington resident and friend of Rev. Hamlin.
Work is wrapping up on the new Clarendon location of Cava Restaurant.
The upscale Greek eatery, located on the 2900 block of Clarendon Boulevard, is about two weeks away from opening, says owner Ted Xenohristos. There are only “a few small things” that need to be completed before it can open its doors to customers, he said.
This will be Cava’s third location and its first Virginia outpost.
Fans of the District Taco cart won’t be able to get their lunchtime burrito fix today.
The cart flipped over this morning on the ramp from Lee Highway to I-66/Roosevelt Bridge in Rosslyn. On Twitter, District Taco blamed a broken tow hitch for the mishap.
“The life of a food trucker is not easy,” @districttaco lamented. “This is one of the problems that we have to face.”
No one was hurt in the incident. District Taco’s brick-and-mortar restaurant at 5723 Lee Highway is, of course, still open.
Photo via @districttaco
County transit contractor Forsythe Transportation has fired 35 ART bus drivers who went on strike to protest alleged sexual harassment and other grievances.
In a statement, Forsythe said the drivers were fired for violating a clause in their contract that prevented them from striking unless the company violated terms of an arbitration.
“We knew that this could happen, but we were surprised by the number of terminations,” Arlington County Transit Bureau Chief Stephen Del Giudice told ARLnow.com. “It’s a regrettable situation all the way around… It’s regrettable that drivers took the job action, and its regrettable that Forsythe felt the need to terminate the employees.”
Del Giudice said that the county was “not a party to the contract between Forsythe and its drivers” and therefore was limited in terms of what it could do to help resolve the conflict.
“It would be inappropriate for us to interfere in their labor relations,” he said.
The initial service disruption caused by the sudden strike last Monday was quickly resolved as Forsythe managers stepped in to handle the routes of striking drivers. The company then went on a hiring spree to fill the bus driver positions left vacant by the strike. Full service was restored by Friday, Del Giudice said.
One of the new drivers was involved in a minor accident yesterday, but Del Giudice said that the new hires are all licensed and experienced bus drivers who have been drug tested and “given training in Forsythe’s operating procedures and our [ART] routes.”
“We’re going to continue to insist on Forsythe providing the highest standard of safe and reliable service for our customers,” Del Giudice said.
A 13-year-old girl was touched inappropriately while walking home from school on Tuesday. From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
SEXUAL BATTERY, 06/21/11, 5500 block of Columbia Pike. On June 21 at 2:50 pm, a 13 year-old girl was walking home from school when an unknown male jogged toward her and touched her chest. The victim yelled and ran home. The suspect is described as a white Hispanic male in his 40’s of average height and build. He had a shaved head and was wearing a loose fitting blue t-shirt with white writing on the front and khaki shorts.
The rest of the crime report, including a man accused of setting his roommate’s car on fire, after the jump.
Pentagon Suspect Suspected in Shootings – The man whose arrest prompted authorities to shut down Washington Boulevard during the Friday morning rush hour is now being investigated for a possible connection to a mysterious series of incidents of shots fired at the Pentagon and various Northern Virginia sites linked to the Marine Corps. Yonathan Melaku, a 22-year-old Marine reservist, is currently being held at a Loudoun County jail. [Inside Nova]
Arlington Cabbies Stage Sit-In — Arlington taxi drivers surprised county officials by packing into a Arlington County office yesterday in protest of regulations that they say give the owners of taxi companies too much control over drivers. [Washington Examiner]
Pike ‘Bike Boulevards’ Generate Opposition — Some residents are upset about what they see as a lack of advanced notice regarding Arlington’s plan to build ‘bike boulevards’ on two streets that run parallel to Columbia Pike. Also: more details on how the bike boulevards would work. [Greater Greater Washington]
Bishop O’Connell Teacher Missing — A popular English teacher at Bishop O’Connell High School has gone missing. Tom Duesterhaus was last seen on Friday in Virginia Beach. [Patch]
Photo courtesy James Mahony