William Jeffrey’s Tavern, a new “eclectic American” restaurant and 16-tap watering hole on Columbia Pike, represents a huge bet on the Pike’s future by three successful local restauranteurs.
Wilson Whitney, Adam Lubar and Chris Lefborn — who own Rhodeside Grill (1836 Wilson Blvd), Ragtime (1345 N. Courthouse Road) and Dogwood Tavern (132 West Broad Street, Falls Church) — are plowing some $2 million into the elaborately-decorated, nearly 200 seat restaurant at 2301 Columbia Pike, on the ground floor of the Siena Park apartment building. They’re in it for the long haul, too, after signing a 20-year lease on the space.
“We’re really out there,” Whitney said of their investment.
The partners say they’ve been following the Pike’s redevelopment for some time, and decided to act now (after saving up for a few years) to grab “one of the better spaces” before the pace of change accelerates.
“We looked at this area for probably eight years, as a place to come and bring our style of restaurant to,” said Lubar. “But we didn’t really think it was ready for it until all this new development came down here.”
The partners are hoping to quietly launch the restaurant with a “soft opening” on Dec. 12, though that date is still in flux. Lubar said he is actually looking forward to the openings of the other two new restaurants on the block: Eamonn’s and Taqueria Poblano.
“We’re excited about that, we don’t want to be the only kids on the block,” he said. “We want this to be a destination. We want this area to be a place where we keep the residents here instead of sending them to North Arlington or across the river.”
The planned Columbia Pike streetcar was also a deciding factor in launching the restaurant.
“We’ve been waiting for it. I think it’s going to be really, really cool when it comes through,” said Lubar. “That was one of the selling points to this area, that that should be down here some day. I think connecting this area with Fairfax and making it a little more Metro accessible can only help develop this whole area.”
William Jeffrey’s will feature 16 beers on tap, including a “microbrew of the month,” and more than a dozen beers in bottles and cans. It will have “Prohibition-style” specialty cocktails, featuring fresh juices and homemade bitters and simple syrups.
The food menu includes appetizers, soups, salads and sides; seasonal entrees priced between $18 and $25; and wraps, sandwiches and burgers priced between $9.50 and $12. There will also be an emphasis on daily specials. Though the menu is pretty standard “American-style” fare, chef Sam Adkins — formerly of Jackie’s Restaurant in Silver Spring and Cashion’s Eat Place in the District — said there will be an emphasis on homemade ingredients, including homemade bacon, pickles, spice rubs, dressings and mayonnaise.
(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) Health care advocate and Democratic activist Kim Klingler (right) announced her candidacy for County Board this afternoon, bringing the already-crowded field of
Democrats candidates hoping to replace state Senator-elect Barbara Favola to six.
In her announcement, Klingler said she’s running because she wants to “serve and represent our community.”
“I want to continue to work on putting people first,” she wrote. “I want to do this in a fiscally responsible way, promoting efficiency, transparency, and our values.”
Klingler also posted a YouTube video to accompany the campaign announcement.
The field of announced County Board candidates now includes Klingler, nonprofit project manager Melissa Bondi, Arlington County Planning Commission member Peter Fallon, Iraq war vet Terron Sims II, Arlington NAACP president Elmer Lowe, and — as of last night — school board member Libby Garvey.
The candidates will face off in a special election next year. The exact timing of the special election depends on when Favola formally resigns her County Board seat.
Up to 250 runners will participate in the Fast Feet for Foot 5K tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in Bluemont Park.
The race is held by D.C. Capital Striders to benefit D.C. Central Kitchen. Participant are encouraged to bring granola bars, packaged fruit snacks and canned goods to donate before the race.
The USATF certified course will take runners out-and-back on a paved trail through Bluemont Park.
Registration is $20 and must be done online; there will be no race-day registration.
Editor’s Note: This column is the first in a series of sponsored articles written by Doug Rosen, owner of long-time Arlington wine store Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).
Every year around late November, the phrase “Okay, you bring the wine for Thanksgiving” strikes fear into the hearts of millions of Americans. Thanksgiving dinner is the culinary equivalent to Dante’s Inferno and poses a distinct pairing challenge.
Why is Thanksgiving dinner so difficult? Well, let’s face it — turkey is pretty bland. We brine it, marinate it, stuff it, spice it, and perhaps even deep-fry it. Then we throw the entire kitchen pantry at it in an effort to add some flavor to the Thanksgiving meal.
To further complicate the Thanksgiving conundrum, the meal can be completely different in every home. It’s not easy to try to find the right wine for the hodgepodge that is each of our Thanksgiving dinners. Like a favorite pair of jeans, each of us has familiar and comfortable “traditional family” dishes, without which Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same.
From my experience, most Thanksgiving meals are distinctively sweet. Adding sweetness in any form — cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, marshmallows — changes the wine equation.
So here’s the vinous equivalent of a “Get Out Of Jail Free” card: If anything, and I mean anything, on your Thanksgiving table is sweet then you can’t serve a bone-dry wine. It doesn’t matter whether it’s red or white, if there’s anything sweet on the plate, a bone-dry wine will clash with the food.
A great wine selection would be a fruit-focused or fruit-forward California or Oregon pinot noir that is not oaky, like the 2010 Angeline (California) or 2009 Artisanal (Oregon). If you want a little wood, try a California zinfandel like the 2009 Quivira, which has lots of fruit.
If your Thanksgiving dinner is truly savory, then I would opt for a delicious glass of food-friendly Beaujolais like 2009 Chateau Prety, or Red Burgundy (Bourgogne) like 2009 Jean Michel et Laurent Pillot. Another delicious French pinot noir is the 2009 Grosbot-Barbara Chambre d’Edouard from the Loire Valley. Overall 2009 was an outstanding vintage throughout France.
Be sure to stay away from reds with aggressive grape tannins such as young red Bordeaux, Argentine malbecs or most California cabernets. The tannins make turkey taste metallic.
A crowd formed outside the store entrance at 1109 N. Highland Street this morning, awaiting the scheduled 8:00 opening. Following a brief “lei cutting” ceremony with County Board Vice-Chair Mary Hynes — which was held a bit early so as to not keep people waiting in the cold — shoppers flooded through the double doors and began christening the store with commerce.
‘Crew members,’ decked out in leis, the company’s signature Hawaiian shirts and — in one case — a turkey costume, enthusiastically greeted the first shoppers and began talking up the store’s wares.
“It’s never too early for cheesecake,” said one employee, who was handing out free samples. Hot cider samples, free leis and a reusable gift bag filled with treats were also handed out.
Hynes, meanwhile, used the opportunity to catch up on some shopping.
“I think it’s awesome… it’s great to have another grocery store choice,” she said. “People have been asking for a Trader Joe’s in our community for as long as I can remember.”
Trader Joe’s ‘captain’ (store manager) Perry Zettersten said employees will work hard to try to avoid the long check-out lines that plague the Trader Joe’s location in Foggy Bottom. The store has handheld “line buster” barcode scanners that crew members will be able to use to scan items while customers wait in line. Those customers will receive a receipt that they will then pay at the register. Still, Zettersten said the store’s popularity will make it hard to keep lines from forming.
“We don’t know if we can avoid it,” he said.
The Clarendon Trader Joe’s store is about 12,300 square feet and will carry approximately 2,500 items at any given time. In the U.S., the typical grocery store carries 15,000 to 60,000 items and has a median store size of 46,000 square feet, according to the Food Marketing Institute.
Garvey Announces For County Board — Arlington school board member Libby Garvey, who ran unsuccessfully for state Senate earlier this year, will formally announce next month that she’s running for Senator-elect Barbara Favola’s old seat on the County Board. In an email to supporters, Garvey also said that she will not run for re-election to the school board when her term is up in 2012.
Pike Streetcar Project Moves Forward — The Columbia Pike streetcar project is still on track. “We’re on a schedule to try to get a project going, and we don’t want this to take as long as Dulles rail,” County Board Chairman Chris Zimmerman told WAMU.
Arlington Buildings Recognized — The Northern Virginia chapter of NAIOP, a commercial real estate development association, held its annual awards ceremony yesterday. Among the Arlington winners was the 900 North Glebe Road building in Ballston, which won for “Best Building, 4 Stories and Above;” George Mason University Founders Hall in Virginia Square, which won for “Best Building, Institutional Facility over $20 Million;” and 2800 Crystal Drive in Crystal City, which won for “Best Interiors, Tenant Space 15,000-49,999 square feet.”
Lawyer: Bullying Led to Hawaii Shooting — The lawyer for an Christopher Deedy, a State Department special agent who lives in Arlington, said that Deedy was protecting others when he fatally shot a 23-year-old man in a Waikiki McDonald’s. [Associated Press]