The restaurant in the Courthouse Metro Plaza (2300 Clarendon Blvd.) has completely revamped. From appearance, to management and staff, to menu, Toscana Grill wants to make a new name for itself.
The new management abandoned the vegetarian menu, and now offers a variety of options for lovers of both meat and meatless dishes.
Operating Partner Joe Smith said, “You’ve always got plenty of vegetarian options in Italian cooking, so there’s plenty of variety.”
The switch happened in July and the restaurant has slowly been getting into a groove since then. Smith said the business needed many improvements, which can sometimes seem overwhelming. But he points out it’s important to focus on the overall goal and not become bogged down by everything that needs fixing.
The restaurant’s new focus is on making food in the classic Italian style. Smith, who moved to the area nearly seven years ago, claims to be a product of his New Jersey training. He aims to provide an experience he doesn’t believe can be found at any other Italian restaurants in the area.
Loyal customers are building up, and Smith says part of his enjoyment of running the restaurant is meeting all the patrons.
“I’m not sure if it’s this area or something,” he said, “but we have the best guests.”
While the atmosphere has become more casual, staff members work hard to ensure service isn’t lacking. Smith says he wants everyone who visits not only to enjoy high quality food, but also to have a good time.
He said, “We’re working hard, the food is great. Come say hi to Joe.”
The focus will be on the progress of the Columbia Pike Multimodal Street Improvements Project and what should be done next to reach its goals. The county started the project to analyze transportation along the 3.5 mile Columbia Pike corridor, and suggest improvements for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles.
Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting and offer feedback on the recommended design. It’s tonight from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at the Walter Reed Community Center (2909 S. 16th St.).
More information on the Columbia Pike Multimodal Street Improvements Project can be found here.
The Arlington Commission for the Arts has released the final version of its report for a long-term plan, called “Arlington Arts 2030.” The report outlines recommendations for supporting the arts in Arlington over the next 20 years, replacing the previous plan that was in place since the 1990s.
The year-long process of devising the report has involved several revisions based on comments gathered at public meetings and through emails. Committee members had noted during the public meetings that although it’s difficult to predict exactly what the county’s needs will be in 20 years, Arlington has experienced a steady push toward urbanization. The report assumes such a push will continue, and therefore arts programs should expand accordingly.
The report suggests that although desire for arts has increased in the community, avenues for acquiring funding have decreased. As a result, among the more than two dozen recommended actions listed is the idea of restructuring grant programs. Other suggestions include raising funds for an arts facility renovation, revising policies for renting facilites and marketing the arts to promote audience growth.
One overall goal of the revamped plan is to offer more low-cost, easily accessible and varied forms of performing and visual arts throughout the county. Another is to improve diversity among the arts community.
Artisphere received a specific mention in the report due to the challenges it faced at the start. However, it was noted that challenges will always present themselves, making government and community support of the arts vital. Despite the initial difficulties, the report deemed the opening of Artisphere a successful first step in implementing the county’s arts vision.
You can read the entire report here.
A mysterious green dye has been spotted in the water along Four Mile Run Dr. near S. George Mason Dr.
Arlington County Fire Department’s Hazmat team is on the scene. They say the dye is a non-hazardous drainage detection substance. Bags of this type of dye are sometimes released into a building’s drainage system to make sure there are no leaks or breaks. A nearby building performed this type of test today, and it drains into the creek at Four Mile Run.
The dye does appear to be moving downstream, so other areas may soon see a green hue in the water.
Metro leadership and members of the Accessibility Advisory Committee will be on hand at the meeting to hear what customers believe could be improved or changed. The meeting runs from 6:30-8:00 p.m., with an informational open house beginning at 6:00 p.m.
MetroAccess is a door-to-door shuttle service for people who have a disability preventing them from using rail or buses. The current MetroAccess contract expires on June 30, 2013.
Anyone who can’t make the meeting but has constructive comments to share can send an email to email@example.com or call 202-962-1141.
During its year in existence, Capitol Bikeshare has seen a rapid expansion, including planned expansions into Alexandria and in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Now you can help choose where that next wave of growth will occur.
By using a new interactive map, you can click on locations where you think Bikeshare stations should be built. The map also allows users to “like” or “dislike” suggested stations.
Staff will consider all of the suggestions and will base station decisions on criteria such as property ownership and feasibility.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Reed
The tricky merge from eastbound Columbia Pike to northbound Washington Boulevard has been made even trickier recently due to high grass.
The merge, which lacks an acceleration lane to get up to the speed of fast-moving traffic on Washington Boulevard, has been the scene of numerous fender benders. While it was still hard for drivers to see oncoming traffic when the grass was mowed, cab drivers tell us that it’s now even harder.
Luckily, the entire interchange is slated for replacement by 2015.
Arlington Wages High, Growth Low — Arlington residents earn some of the highest weekly wages in the nation ($1,549/week), but the county’s wage growth is slowing. [Sun Gazette]
Songwriters Come to Iota Club — A group of 9 singer-songwriters from around the region will be performing at Iota Club in Clarendon (2832 Wilson Blvd) tonight. Among the musicians scheduled to take the stage are Brittany Jean and Justin Trawick. [Facebook, Clarendon Nights]
Health Care Company Signs Clarendon Lease — A behavioral health care company called ValueOptions has signed a lease for 37,250 square feet of office space in the heart of Clarendon. [CityBiz Real Estate]
Flickr pool by Reid Kasprowicz