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by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm 1,752 6 Comments

(Updated at 11:55 p.m.) Fat Shorty’s, a new restaurant specializing in beer and sausages, will be opening in Clarendon tomorrow (Thursday).

The restaurant is located at 3035 Clarendon Boulevard, in the former Rabbit Salad and Grill space. Though it has changed names and formats, Fat Shorty’s is still owned by local restaurateur Aaron Gordon. Instead of gourmet salads and other “slow food,” Gordon has teamed up with chef Rahman ”Rock” Harper, a past winner of the the Fox TV show Hell’s Kitchen, to create a restaurant based around the humble and relatively speedy sausage.

Fat Shorty’s will offer nearly 20 different types of sausage, with prices ranging from $6.75 for “classic” sausages like bratwurst and chorizo; $7.50 for “gourmet” sausage like Andouille and Toulouse; and $8.25 for “exotic” sausage like alligator and rattlesnake (really). The sausages are sourced primarily from local D.C., Virginia and Maryland sausage makers, Gordon said.

The remainder of the food menu consists of two mussel dishes, German potato salad with bacon, baked beans, a side salad, fries and a Snickers pie for dessert. To drink, Fat Shorty’s offers primarily German and Belgian beers, with six varieties on tap and a dozen in bottles. Six wines are also on the drink list.

The food can be purchased to go, or consumed inside the restaurant on picnic bench-style seating.

Harper, who has been working at D.C. Central Kitchen following several post-reality-TV chef jobs didn’t pan out, says the sausage-themed restaurant is a good fit for the region.

“Everybody loves sausage,” he said. “This is half smoke city. We’re giving people what they love.”

Asked what will bring customers into Fat Shorty’s when boiling a grocery store sausage seems quicker and cheaper, Harper said the sausages themselves — selected after sampling dozens in a marathon taste test with Gordon — are the big draw.

“The product is much better… you’re not going to get this at home,” he said.”We tasted way more sausage that we care to comment about.”

“We tasted every sausage from here to Chicago,” Gordon added.

Gordon, who also owns TangySweet, Red Velvet Cupcakery and a couple of new restaurants in D.C., says the closure of Rabbit “saddened” him, but was a necessary decision since the concept never fully caught on with more than a loyal contingent of customers. Most restaurant-goers were used to the pricing of salads at places like Chop’t and SweetGreen, and were reluctant to pay more for Rabbit’s higher-end salads.

“We heard that people liked them, but they were $3 or so too expensive,” Gordon said. He also said he overestimated the market for healthy eating in Clarendon.

Fat Shorty’s is currently scheduled to open its doors Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2013 at 4:40 pm 2 Comments

Dog at a sidewalk cafe (photo via Arlington County)Sidewalk cafes in Arlington are going to the dogs.

Arlington’s Public Health Division has reversed course and will now allow restaurants to have “dog friendly” outdoor dining areas. As recently as November, the health department was reminding restaurants that no pets — except for service animals — were allowed in any dining area, inside or outside.

Now, restaurants can apply for a variance that would allow dogs in outdoor dining areas.

“Restaurants that wish to allow dogs in their outdoor dining areas now have an administrative process they can initiate to request a code variance,” Arlington’s Public Health Director, Reuben Varghese, said in a statement. “To receive a variance, a restaurant will have to comply with a set of safeguards designed to minimize risks to the dining public.”

“The change is in response to community requests,” the health department said in a press release. “With proper safeguards, restaurants can protect their customers’ health and safety in the presence of dogs.”

“Safeguards include requiring dogs to be leashed and not allowing them on seats and tables, restricting food and drink preparation from the outside dining area, and requiring signs to inform diners they are in a ‘Dog Friendly Area,’” said the press release. “Compliance would be evaluated as part of the routine restaurant inspection process.”

Photo via Arlington County

by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm 1,535 1 Comment

Bottled water (photo via Facebook)(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) County Board member Jay Fisette is starting his “personal crusade” to discourage bottled water use in Arlington, by moderating a public forum later this month.

Fisette will moderate and George Mason University’s Arlington campus will host “a special public forum to discuss the environmental and economic implications of single-use plastic water bottles,” from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Monday, April 15. The forum, entitled “Say NO to Bottled H2O,” will be held at GMU’s Founders Hall Auditorium (3351 Fairfax Drive).

Screen grab of County Board member Jay Fisette discussing Gov. McDonnell's transporation planIn addition to a panel discussion with environmental and water experts, the event will feature a screening of the documentary “Bag It,” which critically explores the use of single-use disposable bags. The forum is being co-sponsored by GMU, Arlington County, The Nature Conservancy, the Sierra Club, Arlington Public Schools, Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, Marymount University and the George Mason Environmental Law Society.

The forum is also the kick-off for a new grassroots organization called “Tap in Arlington,” which asks residents to “choose to drink tap water instead of purchasing single use plastic water bottles.”

The organization says 17 million barrels of oil are used to produce billions of single-use plastic water bottles annually, and less than 30 percent of those bottles are recycled. Bottled water is 2-4 times the price of gasoline, according to statistics cited by Tap in Arlington.

Fisette said the effort reflects the public commitment he made on New Years Day to bring attention to the use of bottled water and its environmental impacts.

“I raised the issue on January 1, stating that I would begin a ‘personal crusade’ to reduce the use of plastic water bottles,” Fisette said. “Well, the crusade is about to begin.”

by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2013 at 1:45 pm 2,638 7 Comments

In this week’s Arlington County crime report, a man is wanted on felony charges after allegedly beating his wife. The incident took place in the Forest Glen neighborhood of south Arlington.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 04/01/13, 5600 block of S. 7th Street. At 9:30 am on April 1, a man struck his wife several times during a domestic dispute. The victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for non-life-threatening injuries that she sustained during the altercation. A warrant has been issued for the suspect on charges of felony malicious bodily injury and felony violation of a protective order.

The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2013 at 12:45 pm 1,157 2 Comments

Meet this week’s Pet of the Week, Roxy, a teeny Yorkshire Terrier with a personality larger than life.

Here’s what her adoring owner had to say about this pint-sized Ballston pooch:

Roxy is quite likely the smallest dog in the Ballston neighborhood. Smaller than your average Yorkie, she was the runt of her litter and not a teacup. While she is small, she makes up for it in volume. She’s received multiple complaints from neighbors for barking when she’s left alone, although she’s doing much better these days. She’s extremely social, but is very cautious with dogs she doesn’t know.

Unlike most small dogs, she lacks a Napoleon complex and seems to be very self-aware as to just how small she is. But if she’s sitting in her mama’s lap and another dog comes up to say hello, watch out! She will snap just to let them know that this is HER human. It’s not uncommon for her to walk up to people, wagging her little nub-tail furiously in greeting. Not only is Roxy social, but she is a little bit of a flirt as well. She’s got quite the little fan club in the neighborhood and it’s not uncommon for people and security guards to greet her by name.

Roxy has an inordinate amount of toys and she loves them all. She typically takes them out one at a time to subtly let you know it’s time to play fetch. While she’s been trained extremely well to get and fetch her toys, putting them away is still a trick that hasn’t caught on. When it’s nice outside, she loves to go running around in Quincy Park (on leash, of course.) What she loves even more is to go up to Great Falls and roam around the woods and climb on the rocks.

For a little diva dog that struts around in a leopard print coat and matching carrier, she’s actually quite the outdoor lover. This dog will go for a five mile hike, and then want to play fetch when she gets home. She’s a four-pound bundle of energy!

Roxy’s favorite place to nap is in the crook of your neck. She’s a serious snuggler when she finally does get tired.

The Arlington Pet of the Week is sponsored by Dogma Bakery, which has locations at The Village at Shirlington (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) and the Lee Harrison Shopping Center (2445 N. Harrison Street).

Want your pet to be considered to be the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email steph@arlnow.com with a 2-3 paragraph bio and 3-4 photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a $25 Dogma gift card.

by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2013 at 11:35 am 5 Comments

Arlington County Police Department badgeThe Arlington County Police Department is investigating an armed robbery that occurred on the Custis Trail near Ballston last night.

The incident happened on the bike trail near Glebe Road around 10:20 p.m.

According to police, two suspects knocked a man off his bike and stole his cell phone while brandishing a handgun. A U.S. Park Police helicopter was called in to search for the suspects, who fled on foot, but police were unable to track them down.

From a police press release:

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is investigating an armed robbery that occurred on the Custis Bike Trail yesterday evening.

At 10:20 p.m., two unknown subjects attempted to block the Nelly Custis bike trail when the first victim was riding by on his bicycle. The victim was able to get away, but noticed one of the subjects brandishing a handgun. Shortly after the first incident, a second victim attempted to pass by, but was knocked off of his bike by both suspects and a firearm was brandished. Both suspects then took the victim’s cell phone and fled eastbound on Custis Trail by foot. The victim was transported to the Virginia Hospital Center with non-life-threatening injuries that he sustained during the attack.

A U.S. Park Police helicopter and the Arlington County Police Department’s K-9 Unit assisted with efforts to locate the subjects, but both subjects remain at-large. The first suspect is described as a white male, around the age of 25 and approximately 5’8” tall and 185 lbs. Suspect one was wearing a dark puffy winter jacket and dark pants. The second suspect is described as a male of an unknown race, approximately 6’0” tall and 200 lbs. Suspect two was wearing a dark jacket and dark pants at the time of the incident.

If anyone has information on the identities and/or whereabouts of these individuals, please contact Detective Christine Everest of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703.228.4180 or at Ceverest@arlingtonva.us. To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2013 at 10:35 am 25 Comments

(Updated at 4:00 p.m.) Like so many spring flowers, the post-winter warm-up brings a multitude of potholes to local streets. While there’s no shortage of bumps, holes and cracks along local roads, two road hazards in particular are frustrating drivers and residents in Arlington right now.

On Wilson Boulevard in Ballston, in the westbound lanes just past N. Randolph Street, a steel utility vault cover continues to produce a bumpy ride and plenty of noise.

We reported about the vault cover last month, after complaints from local residents. The steel plates produced jarring bumps for vehicles, and the booming sound of cars running over the plates annoyed those who lived nearby. Since our report, which suggested that repairs would be made by the end of March, the steel plates were lowered “to create a more even roadway for drivers,” according to Arlington County spokeswoman Laura G. Smith.

The problem is by no means fixed, however. An anonymous local apartment dweller complained that the noise is still “incredibly loud,” and now there are several large screws protruding from the vault.

To fix the issues once and for all, Avalon Bay, the apartment owner that’s responsible for the upkeep of the utility vault, will replace the plates with new concrete vault covers. The covers are expected to be installed “within the next few weeks, depending material delivery time,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, two sets of concrete vault covers adjacent to the cover that’s being replaced are falling into disrepair. Those “may be replaced at some point,” Smith said.

The vault cover in Ballston is not the only road hazard that’s drawing the ire of motorists. On eastbound Columbia Pike near the Sheraton hotel, a sharp change in pavement height in the righthand lane is giving drivers a rude awakening.

It might not look like much, but the tail end of a patched-up section of road produces a sudden, jarring bump for drivers, especially those driving smaller cars. Luckily, the hazard is set to be fixed soon.

“Our Water Sewer Streets team confirmed that the pavement issue in this location was a result of work done to repair a water main break or leak,” said Arlington County Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Myllisa Kennedy. “A crew is heading out today to make a temporary patch to smooth out the site and is scheduling work on a more permanent patch for the very near future.”

Arlington residents can report potholes using this form.

by ARLnow.com — April 3, 2013 at 9:00 am 2,258 197 Comments

Construction of a building on Wilson Blvd in Ballston

Blog Points Out Bike Lane Blockers — Frustrated with supposed inaction by Arlington County Police, a local resident has created a Tumblr site to publicly “shame” the owners of vehicles that illegally park or idle in bike lanes in Arlington. [Arlington Bike Lane Blockers]

Clarendon Farmers Market Starts Tonight — The Clarendon Farmers Market is back for the season, starting tonight. The market will run from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., in the newly renovated Clarendon Central Park, next to the Metro entrance. The market will run every Wednesday through Dec. 18 before taking a break for the winter. Another seasonal farmers market, the Crystal City Freshfarm Market, is set to start the season on Tuesday, April 30. [Clarendon Alliance, Freshfarm Markets]

District Taco to Open Third Location — District Taco, which opened its first location on Lee Highway, is getting ready to open its third location. The new District Taco restaurant, like the second location, will be located in D.C. [Prince of Petworth]

Tejada Talks Immigration Reform — County Board Chair Walter Tejada spoke to a group of pro-immigration supporters at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Clarendon Tuesday morning. Tejada told the crowth that “it is our duty” to “work and fight together for comprehensive immigration reform.” The group is planning a rally at the Capitol next week. [WJLA]

Fire Weather Watch — The region is under a Fire Weather Watch. Gusty winds and low humidity are creating ideal conditions for brush fires. [Capital Weather Gang]

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