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Bronx Pizza, A-Town Bar & Grill to Open Next Week

by ARLnow.com — August 3, 2012 at 11:20 am 6,587 63 Comments

Update at 2:25 p.m. on 8/17/12 — Bronx Pizza is now expected to open on Wednesday, Aug. 22.

Local restaurateur Mike Cordero is planning a culinary one-two punch next week, with official openings scheduled for two Arlington restaurants in successive days.

First up is A-Town Bar & Grill, the renovated successor to Caribbean Breeze in Ballston (4100 Fairfax Drive). Cordero says the restaurant will likely start serving customers this coming Wednesday as part of a quiet “soft opening,” but will hold its official opening on Friday, Aug. 10.

A-Town will feature an expanded beer list; an “eclectic” menu including sushi, sandwich creations, flatbread pizzas and steaks; a redone outdoor patio; a birchwood bar; historic photos of Arlington on the walls; and lots of flat screen TVs.

Cordero says former Caribbean Breeze patrons “are not going to recognize the restaurant” when they walk in. He acknowledged that he’s taking a risk by replacing the successful Caribbean Breeze, but insists “the odds are in our favor to succeed here and increase our sales.”

“One of the reasons we switched from Caribbean Breeze to A-Town is that Caribbean Breeze was more of a specialty operation,” he told ARLnow.com. “I figured we could support the locals and cater to Arlington, not just to Miami… It will be a place you could eat at every day.”

Bronx Pizza (3100 Clarendon Blvd), which has been “coming soon” to Clarendon since February 2011, will open the doors to its first customers on Saturday, Aug. 11, according to Cordero.

Cordero, who grew up in the South Bronx and started working in a mom-and-pop pizza place at the age of 13, says the opening will feature something unique to Arlington: actual Bronx pizza makers.

“Old friends of mine who have been in the pizzeria business for 20 years, they’re going to come down and help [with the opening],” he said. “The reason we call it Bronx Pizza is I am from the Bronx, two blocks from Yankee stadium.”

In addition to bona fide Bronx natives, the shop will feature plenty of other touches from the northernmost New York City borough, including photos of the Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Michael Corleone (from the filming of The Godfather), and the George Washington Bridge.

Cordero is expecting late night food to be a big component of the shop’s business.

“It will be a big bang,” he said of the planned Saturday opening, “considering all those bars and clubs are going to get out at 2:00 a.m. and we’ll be open until 4:00 a.m.”

Interior construction on both restaurants is expected to wrap up by Monday.

Flickr pool photo (top) by Maryva2

  • http://purple.com/purple.html Captain Pup McPuppo

    N.G.A.F.

  • novasteve

    Finally a proper slice!

    • nunya

      looking forward to that coming soon pizza

    • Arlington Cat

      Will you slide me a slice, bro?

  • SMDC

    Woo! I hope the Bronx pizza tastes like pizza from the Bronx. We’ve all been waiting so long… they better make it worth it!

    • internet tourettes

      That is the least “Bronx” looking Pizzeria I have ever seen. Actually that is the least “South Bronx” looking Pizzeria, there might be one like that up around Riverdale but no way down in Hunts Point or on the grand concourse.

  • novasteve

    Will it be safe for me to wear Orioles gear in there?

  • E

    Anybody want to bet even money with me, that A-Town Bar will be the absolute worst bar in Arlington County? It might be so bad it could take the title from Green Turtle.

    It just, can not be good, nothing about it sounds right.

    • novasteve

      I doubt it, depends on what your opinion of worst is. Mine is a place that’s full of snobby douchebags there to show off instead of trying ot have a good time. Basically like any place on long island that isn’t a working class bar.

      • Grandstander

        Now I miss Tara’s in Port Jeff…

        • Scarlet O’Hara

          I miss Tara, too.

    • ballsteve

      I want to say Rhodeside, but I think you’re probably right that A-Town will win that bet.

    • JamesE

      worst as in service or worst as in clientele?

      • newty25

        Worst as in… I wouldn’t go there and I don’t know any that would. Nothing about it sounds appealing to me.

    • internet tourettes

      I’ll be sure to check it out on my way back from A-Whole Foods…

  • Southeast Ben

    Hopefully Trevor continues to go to Goody’s for his late night slices.

  • Yello

    Opened until 4:00 AM is good, but what about the garlic?

  • drax

    Pictures of the Bronx. Pictures of Arlington. Flat-screen TVs.

    Woohoo.

  • Swag

    The only thing worse than a bad logo is plastering it across your entire facade.

    • Swag

      …and not scaling it proportionally.

      • Not Me

        I agree on both of your points. Marketing fumble/fail.

        But the sign making company is probably thrilled. 1 sign X 5, and that’s just on one side!

    • herpderp

      A-TOWN
      A-TOWN
      A-TOWN A-TOWN A-TOWN
      A-TOWN
      A-TOWN

      Looks good to me.

      • Smitty

        First thing I thought was:
        HEAD ON – APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD.
        HEAD ON – APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD.
        HEAD ON – APPLY DIRECTLY TO THE FOREHEAD.

  • herpderp

    oh you’re from the bronx and that means you know how to make pizza. neat.

    I guess just being from Arlington makes me a world class politician.

    • Scott

      Never mind that it says he’s been working in a pizza shop in the Bronx since he was a teenager– that just clutters up the snark.

      • Herpderp

        Crap you are right. I should reed better.

    • nom de guerre

      Speaking of world class, today’s special on Sam’s Food Truck features Thai style grilled chicken satay infused with lemongrass, garlic and ginger topped with a carrot, cucumber and daikon radish slaw marinated in a rice vinegar and fish sauce vinaigrette on ciabatta bread with a spicy Siracha peanut sauce. I tried to sell the owners of A-Town this sandwich creation but they indicated it did not fit in with their “new concept.” Their “sandwich creations” are variants of grilled cheese.

    • Ren

      Maybe not…but it definitely does offer the privilege of opining on:

      -Whether ‘A-Town’ is legitimate localist vernacular;
      -The merit or demerit of ‘N.’ v. ‘S.’ in all things criminal, commercial or cultural, and;
      -The appropriateness of fashion trends in open-toed footware.

      …which is nice! :D

      • JohnB

        A-Town is not legitimate localist vernacular.

        • internet tourettes

          “A” as in “A-Hole”?

  • NrNy2ArlVa

    What’s authentic New York Pizza without New York tap water in the dough?

    • Faye Jissette

      It’s trucked in.

  • DarkHeart

    I can’t stand the MLB Yankees. Will not go to Bronx Pizza.

    • Jane-Dallas

      Yes, because one is clearly related to the other.

      • FrenchyB

        “In addition to bona fide Bronx natives, the shop will feature plenty of other touches from the northernmost New York City borough, including photos of the Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, …”

        There’s your Yankees connection.

        • drax

          Yeah, like Pizza Hut displays black&white pics of Italians in aprons.

  • Borat

    Bronx Pizza is a very niiiice… A-Town Bar, not so much.

  • Craig

    looking forward to getting some pizza when i’m blacked out!

    • Clarendon

      Bronx is in the Olmstead building which bristles with surveillance cameras. Should make for some entertaining viewing for the security detail. Maybe they will youtube them.

      • Max

        Isnt that ending soon with BRAC?

        • Clarendon

          Well, its been ending soon for almost 20 years, but yes I think the current tenant will be moving out at some point. But the cameras are there so why not use them for entertainment?

  • SmartAhs

    I hope the employees of Bronx Pizza greet customers with “What are you lookin’ at?” and use plenty of “Fuhgetaboutit!” as well. If you ask for a subtitution, they could go “OOOooooh!” like the Mafia types do when you’ve said something they find offensive.

  • Confused

    I still don’t understand why one would close down a self proclaimed successful restaurant to open one that is seemingly so generic and bound for failure. Was Caribbean Breeze really successful? I really hope A Town is a hit even though that it seems impossible. The Ballston corridor needs more quality restaurants, the Clarendon area is getting too packed.

  • Clarendon Lover

    These comments railing small businesses in the area, even if they are “just another” pizzeria, cup-cakery, fro-yo establishment and the like are growing old.

    “We” sit in comfortable chairs, behind an office (or a cube), while an aspiring entrepreneur is quite possibly risking it all and attempting to live out their dream and carve out a sense of community in our neighborhood. Chances are..you, including me, aren’t exactly thrilled wearing a corporate suit and playing monkey while our dreams fade by the day.

    Let’s support those that actually follow their dreams, instead of stepping on them.

    • aspiring entrepreneur

      I’m risking it all and attempting to live out my dream of opening a business that has dozens of competitors before I even open, rather than filling a niche that nobody’s taken yet.

  • Trapper John

    As someone who was born and lived in the Bronx until eighteen; I have nothing but bad things to say about that borough. Basically, the Bronx is a place where dreams go to die. Rather turned off by the choice of name, but it’s OK I wish them luck.

    • DarkHeart

      I think you are confusing the Bronx with FedEx field.

      • Andy

        HA HA HA! Good one.

  • karzai

    Why don’t we all circle back in a few weeks and assess what is actually offered by these two places, rather than prejudge… They may both suck, they may both be fabulous, or we could get a mixed picture..

    • x

      That’s crazy talk! What would all of the people here living in mom’s basement do all day!

    • nom de guerre

      It’s been two weeks and Bronx Pizza has yet to open. They have rudely and disrespectfully ignored the community and have failed to communicate their opening date and hours.

  • Mc

    I imagine Bronx pizza creating Bronx-like litter in Clardendon. Any place that is hoping to do their prime business serving late night patrons who probably have had too much to drink is bad news.

    • Clarendon

      I don’t think you can blame any one factor. There is too much trash in the R-B corridor in general. In part, this is due to a lack of regularly spaced, and regularly emptied trash cans.

      The trash on the ground in front of most restaurants early in the morning seems to be gone later in the day, so I assume that many of the restaurants and other businesses clean up outside of their shops which is how it should be.

      The exception to this seems to be in front of places like the sidewalk in front of the car dealerships that still exist near 10th and Wilson. Trash that accumulates there (either from pedestrians or thrown from cars) will sit for weeks.

    • YTK

      Oh Tootsie Pie –PULEEEZE!!! Get real — I GREW UP in the Bronx- we did not have any “Bronx Type Litter”
      Look around you in Clarendon– is there a problem with litter? Report it.

  • J.k.

    I am wih you on that. Sushi? Seriously with a name like atown?

  • YTK

    OMG!!
    Bronx Pizza is ACTUALLY….OPENING???!!!!!
    Quick. someone hand me a Cannoli– I need to revive myself.

  • Deuce

    I don’t believe that the problem with Caribean Breeze was that it was a niche market, so much as the service was awful. The food was fantastic, but I found my self ordering takeout from there because I didn’t have 2 hours to kill every time I went there to wait for a server to bring me my tab in a deserted dining room or bar. I don’t think switching it up with Sushi to complete with Tara Temple across the street is the solution the owner is looking for.

  • E

    he is from Chantilly, what a lier. He might have spent a summer in the Bronx or even a couple years, but bro, you are from the sticks cordero.

  • YTK

    HAHAHA – today is August 15 — I went by Bronx Pizza yesterday — NOT open yet.

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