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Tropical Smoothie Cafe Opens in Virginia Square

by Katie Pyzyk — August 28, 2012 at 10:58 am 4,413 13 Comments

There was no fanfare for the opening of Tropical Smoothie Cafe (3811 Fairfax Drive) in Virginia Square on Monday because it was a surprise for everyone — including the owner.

Owner Marcus Barnett said after the typical county permitting delays, he finally received word yesterday that the restaurant could open. He hurried to the bank, and had the doors open for customers by 4:00 yesterday afternoon. Today is the first full day of operation.

Barnett noted two things that set Tropical Smoothie Cafe apart from its smoothie competitors: the restaurants serves food and uses natural ingredients.

“I know everyone says that,” Barnett said. “But even in our smoothies, we don’t use concentrates. It’s all real fruit that you can see and we blend it up.”

The menu includes salads, sandwiches, wraps and flatbreads. In keeping with the healthy theme, there’s also a focus on portion control.

“It’s just enough, not to overdo it,” Barnett said. “That’s the reason I got into this, to do something healthy. I wanted to find a place that had good food and good quality as well.”

Barnett is a Virginia native who attended The College of William and Mary, where he met his friend and current business partner, Manish Singh. The two frequented a Tropical Smoothie Cafe there and became friends with the owner. For years, the goal has been to eventually open a location of their own in the D.C. metro area.

The two were particularly drawn to Arlington because they notice residents making efforts to lead healthy lifestyles.

“We love how Arlington is very active. We see people run in front of our store all day long, Gold’s Gym is there, Sport and Health and all these bikers,” Barnett said. “I think that goes hand in hand with what we’re doing.”

The restaurant will have its grand opening from Thursday, September 20 through Saturday, September 22. All customers who purchase a smoothie those three days will receive a free food item. Barnett hopes that helps people realize the restaurant serves more than just smoothies.

Starting now, anyone who follows the restaurant on Facebook or Twitter will get 10 percent off their purchase when they mention it at the register.

Although there are no immediate plans for area locations other than Virginia Square, Barnett is leaving it open as a possibility.

“If we can win over Arlington we can do anything,” he said.

  • Arlingtonite

    So I can now get my Meth and smoothie at pretty much the same time? NICE!

  • Alex

    Lots and lots of sugar does not make an already sugary fruit smoothie ‘healthy’.

  • Clarendon

    I kind of like these places. The ones that are well run with good employees have decent sandwiches.

  • Alrington Love

    Hey there Marcus. How YOU doin’?

  • Novadweller

    I love Tropical Smoothie! Thanks for bringing one to Arlington!!! Blimey Limey I’m coming for you!

  • Ryan

    Sounds like a meth lab

  • b-money

    So did Pines of Florence close?

    • Ren

      Looks like there was another lobby level retail spot (unoccupied) on the west side of the 3811 office entry, unless the map picture is old.

    • No

      Pines of Florence is on the right side of the building when you are looking at it, Tropical Smoothie is on the left. I wish Pines of Florence would close for something better.

  • Mary-Austin

    They had one of these at my college too. Always got the mango magic.

  • DarkHeart

    First Pyzyk post this month. Nice vacation perks at ARLNOW.

  • CrystalMikey

    Love the Tropical Smoothie out by my job in Fairfax, so really loving the fact there is one in Arlington now!

  • DarkHeart

    Jamba Juice > Robek’s > everything else

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