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by ARLnow.com — August 30, 2012 at 4:35 pm 3,473 21 Comments

Arlington is attracting a growing number of start-up and tech companies, and the co-owner of a new coworking space in Rosslyn is placing a big bet on that trend continuing.

Raymond Rahbar, a Courthouse resident, is a founder of UberOffices, a shared office space located on one floor of a high-rise at 1400 Key Boulevard. The office opened in July and already a number of young companies now call home.

Rahbar says he was able to attract a number of companies from other parts of the D.C. area thanks to a number of factors, including: Rosslyn’s central location relative to federal offices in D.C. and Northern Virginia; an abundance of nearby transportation options; proximity to the homes of potential employees; and relatively low taxes in Virginia.

“Arlington makes the most amount of sense for start-ups,” he said, before rattling off some additional advantages of Arlington in general and Rosslyn in particular. “The educated workforce… major highways all around us… the high average salary, so that means people have a savings and can take risks.”

Unsaid in that list is the fact that rent is generally lower outside the District, a key consideration for start-ups looking to conserve cash. The rent for a desk at UberOffices starts at $300 per month, compared to $700+ per month in many D.C. coworking spaces. Private offices range from $1,000 to $3,600 per month, and are large enough to host 2 to 8 employees respectively.

Among the companies that have set up shop at UberOffices are Votifi, which moved from Bethesda, and Lemur IMS, which moved from D.C. Votifi seeks to provide a “platform for modern political exchange,” while Lemur IMS promises to save the retail industry money and increases its profits via a “revolutionary inventory management system.”

Even though one might think of the District as more of a tech hub — it’s home to Living Social, perhaps the most high-profile local tech firm — Rahbar says Northern Virginia offers distinct advantages that large companies already are well aware of, but which the start-up community is beginning to recognize.

“Our taxes are lower, our crime is lower, our government is more stable,” he said. “They’re completely different environments. I’m sure D.C. has a couple of its own advantages, but I would bet on this area before I would bet on D.C.”

All that might explain why Northern Virginia has four times as many Fortune 500 headquarters as the District, he said.

Rahbar says he thinks the entire D.C. region is going to continue to continue to experience economic growth, even if the federal budget is cut. Among the factors contributing to that growth is the increasing amount of money flowing into politics.

“The size of government might be shrinking, but the size of politics is also increasing at the same time — campaigns and committees and all sorts of things,” he said. “So now we have more media firms, more PR firms, more lobbyists, more lawyers. Everything is just growing, even if government contracting ends up slowing down.”

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by ARLnow.com — August 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm 3,837 32 Comments

Arlington County Police have released surveillance video from the botched armed robbery of the 7-Eleven store near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.

The robbery attempt happened at about 3:25 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 19.

The video shows an approximately 5’8″ tall white male enter the store wearing a hooded sweatshirt and a bandana over his face, while pointing a handgun at the store clerk. A second suspect, a 5’7″ tall black male in a white v-neck t-shirt, then enters the store behind the first suspect and appears to throw some sort of firecracker.

The fireworks made a loud bang and startled the suspects, the clerk later told police, and the two men ran from the scene empty-handed. Arlington police are asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspects.

“Anyone with information on the identities of these individuals is asked to contact Detective John Donaggio at 703.228.4167 or investigations@arlingtonva.us,” a police press release said. “To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).”

by ARLnow.com — August 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm 1,036 2 Comments

The Arlington-based contemporary opera company UrbanArias will be performing a new opera just in time for election season to start heating up.

“Photo-Op” is an hour-long opera that tells the story of a presidential candidate and his wife who “approach a political campaign with naiveté and ambition and come to realize that the campaign is a crucible from which they emerge fundamentally changed; their relationship is no longer a love match but a political alliance.”

The end result is a performance that’s about “the absurdity of modern presidential politics.” From a media release:

All of the obligatory campaign events are included: stump speeches, rope lines, debates, sound bites, and, of course, photo-ops — but James Siena’s text reduces them to the absurd, taking familiar “politician-speak” and turning it on its head. Photo-Op’s music is by Conrad Cummings, composer of UrbanArias’ April hit Positions 1956. Cummings’ minimalist-influenced score is hard-hitting but harmonious. UrbanArias’ new production, directed by Alan Paul of The Shakespeare Theatre, is a DC-area premiere. Photo-Op is also the second collaboration between UrbanArias and Bowen McCauley Dance. Lucy Bowen McCauley serves as choreographer, helping to provide an artistically complex and engaging production. Soprano Laurie Williamson (Ragtime and King David) and baritone Michael Mayes (Central City Opera, Fort Worth Opera) star in this production, which also includes an ensemble of dancers and an unamplified orchestra of four.

Tickets to Photo-Op are $22 online, or $17 for seniors and students. The showtimes for the limited engagement are Sept. 8 at 8:00 p.m., Sept. 9 and 2:00 p.m., Sept. 14 at 8:00 p.m. and Sept. 15 at 8:00 p.m. All performances are at Artisphere’s Black Box Theater in Rosslyn (1101 Wilson Blvd).

by ARLnow.com — August 30, 2012 at 12:05 pm 15,339 56 Comments

Fuego Cocina y Tequileria, a new Mexican restaurant in Clarendon, has started hiring and is hoping to open as soon as Oct. 1.

The restaurant is opening in the former Market Tavern space at 2800 Clarendon Blvd. Interior construction is still underway, but the restaurant started accepting applications from job candidates this week. Job applications — for server, bartender, cooks and other positions — will be accepted through Sept. 7, according to the Market Common shopping center website.

Like Market Tavern (formerly Harry’s Tap Room), Fuego will have two levels: a tequila bar featuring more than 120 tequilas on the first level, and a restaurant serving Mexican small plates and entrees on the second level.

“Fuego [Cocina] y Tequileria will be a temple of traditional Mexican cuisine serving in-your-face-food with authentic, robust, not-for-the-faint-of-heart flavors and textures,” according to the restaurant’s new website. Once it opens this fall, Fuego will serve dinner seven nights a week and will also be open for weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday.

Fuego is owned by the Passion Food Restaurant Group, which also owns DC Coast, Acadiana, Ceiba, District Commons and Burger Tap and Shake in the District, and Passionfish in Reston. The new restaurant will be helmed by Chef Alfredo Solis, who has been the chef at District Commons and Burger Tap and Shake.

by ARLnow.com — August 30, 2012 at 11:32 am 3,321 31 Comments

One local man is hoping that the movie “Magic Mike” can be his magic love connection.

A 42-year-old guy posted on the Craigslist Missed Connections page in an effort to connect with a woman he sat next to at an Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) screening of the movie, which follows the travails of a group of male strippers.

From Craigslist:

It was a packed movie Monday night. I arrived a couple minutes before the movie started and you offered the empty seat next to you. We talked for a couple minutes. I thought you were intriguing, but regret not having the chance to get to know you more. I liked how you laughed at certain parts of the movie. Email me back if you are curious.

Flickr pool photo by wfyurasko

by ARLnow.com — August 30, 2012 at 10:15 am 2,228 8 Comments

About 800,000 D.C. area residents are expected to hit the roads, rails and airports this Labor Day weekend, according to a travel forecast by AAA Mid-Atlantic.

Despite quickly rising gas prices – jumping at least 40 cents in the past two months – AAA says this will be the busiest Labor Day weekend in terms of travel since 2008 and the start of the recession. It’s the third summer holiday travel period this year projected to set a post-recession record.

Some 799,900 Washington area residents are expected to travel more than 50 miles for Labor Day, up 3.5 percent from 2011. Of those travelers, 86.8 percent are expected to travel by car, 7.9 percent by air, and 5.3 percent by other means.

AAA is cautioning travelers to check weather forecasts before they leave, however, as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to head north from the Gulf coast

“As they prepare to embark on their Labor Day vacation trips, local residents are urged to stay abreast of local forecasts both at their departure city and at their points of destinations,” said Lon Anderson, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s Managing Director of Public and Government Affairs. “While it is challenging to predict the impact that Hurricane Isaac may have on Labor Day travel plans, tropical storms and hurricanes, like this one, typically do not negatively influence travel at the national level.”

“It’s very encouraging that the total number of 2012 Labor Day holiday travelers across the nation and the Washington metro region is expected to reach a new post-recession high,” Anderson continued. “Even more encouraging, this is a travel ‘trifecta’ or the third such increase in holiday travel during this summertime. Clearly, Americans and Washingtonians are trying to put the recession behind them.”

by ARLnow.com — August 30, 2012 at 9:15 am 3,187 13 Comments

Man Busted for Meth Lab Worked for USA Today — One of the men arrested in connection with a suspected meth lab in a Virginia Square apartment building used to be a journalist who was regularly published in USA Today. Leonard Fischer, 44, was formerly a technology reporter for Gannett News Service. [Jim Romenesko, Kenneth in the 212]

Arlington Unemployment Rate Declines — Arlington still has the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia. Arlington’s jobless rate dipped from 3.7 percent in June to 3.5 percent in July, according to newly-released data. The average in Virginia is 6 percent, and the national unemployment rate is 8.6 percent. [Sun Gazette]

Outdoor Movie Lineup Announced — Crystal City’s lineup of outdoor movies for 2013 has been announced. The series — with the theme of “Blockbusters” – will kick of with E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial on June 3, 2013 and will wrap up with Jurassic Park on Aug. 26, 2013. The lineup was chosen via online vote by members of the public. [Crystal City]

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