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Health Food Cafe Open Near Clarendon

by Morgan Fecto | July 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm | 2,608 views | No Comments

Karu & Toast,” a cafe serving vegan and vegetarian fare at 3260 Wilson Blvd is now open.

Co-owner Janet McFadden said the food, ranging from daily salad options and hearty soups to gluten-free cookies, is prepared with healthy, fresh ingredients that don’t sacrifice flavor.

“You can have a cookie that’s tasty and gluten-free,” McFadden told ARLnow.com. “Spices are not something that’s bad for you.”

While previously open only to clients of its partner Saffron Dance, Karu & Toast opened to the general public at the beginning of this month. The cafe’s current hours are Monday through Friday, 5:30-9:30 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Starting July 14, the cafe plans to open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 4:30 to 9:30 pm, daily, McFadden said.

The cafe also offers a variety of coffee drinks and teas, and a “Mexican hot chocolate.” Drink prices vary from $1 to $3.25, and food options range from an $8 soup, salad and drink combination to snacks starting at $1.50.

“The organic chia pudding is everyone’s favorite,” McFadden said. “It’s vegan but it’s still really good, and it’s served with a dollop of preserves.”

McFadden, who opened Karu & Toast with her three sisters, said the name comes from “karu,” the Guarani word meaning “to eat,” and the idea of toasting in celebration.

“So the name means to eat and celebrate,” McFadden said.

‘Lucky Pot’ Restaurant Coming to Courthouse

by Ethan Rothstein | July 9, 2014 at 5:00 pm | 2,309 views | No Comments

(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) A new Asian restaurant is moving into the ground floor of the new 1919 Clarendon Blvd apartment building.

The eatery is called Lucky Pot, and it will serve a variety of Asian dishes, including sushi, Chinese and Thai cuisine, according to Jeff Handler of Asadoorian Retail Solutions, which helped to lease the space. The restaurant is hoping to open by August.

Lucky Pot is one of several new businesses coming to the area of the “superblock” between N. Rhodes Street and Courthouse Road. It will join a 7-Eleven, a Hair Cuttery, a nail salon and a specialty olive oil shop on the block, although those businesses are moving into the 2001 Clarendon Blvd building, still under construction, next door.

Pedro and Vinny’s Reopens After Health Dept. Closure

by Morgan Fecto | July 9, 2014 at 2:30 pm | 2,343 views | No Comments

p and  v 001 Inside Pedro and Vinny's.

(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) Columbia Pike burrito spot Pedro and Vinny’s reopened yesterday after having its food establishment license revoked last month.

The restaurant reopened after re-applying for its food establishment license, as allowed by Arlington County Code. Arlington’s health department found Pedro and Vinny’s had “a pattern of repeated violations… that significantly increased the risk of foodborne illness to patrons including improper holding temperatures of foods,” according to Arlington Dept. of Human Services spokesman Kurt Larrick.

An inspector revoked its food license last month when the temperature problems were not fixed. Larrick said DHS approved its new license yesterday, and inspectors will check on the restaurant’s compliance within 30 days,.

“It’s been a lesson, and we’ve learned from our mistakes,” Pedro and Vinny’s manager Richard Arnez said. ”We’ve been doing a lot of remodeling, and a lot of the cleaning has been changed. It’s pretty much like brand new.”

The 13-day closure has not impacted the volume of customers patronizing Pedro and Vinny’s, Arnez said. ”People are excited to come in, like before,” Arnez said.

The 2599 Columbia Pike location, owned by the food truck of the same name, has not changed its menu or hours, and continues to serve the burritos that earned it a spot on the Five Thirty Eight Burrito Bracket the same month as its closure.

“Our food is great, fresh, everything is good,” Arnez said. “So we’re good to go.”

Photos: Last Night’s Double Rainbow

by ARLnow.com | July 9, 2014 at 9:30 am | 2,439 views | No Comments

Between storms last night, there was a period of pure serenity — a crystal clear double rainbow appearing in front of a golden sunset.

Many Arlington residents captured the moment on their phones and digital SLRs, and sent us the photos via email, Twitter and our Flickr pool.

Above is a selection of the photos we received.

Young Philanthropist Group Gives First Grant

by Ethan Rothstein | July 8, 2014 at 6:00 pm | 799 views | No Comments

NextGenNow Check Presentation (photo courtesy NextGenNow)The year-old young philanthropists group NextGenNow, a part of the Arlington Community Foundation, gave its first-ever grant to a summer reading program.

The grant, for $5,000, was given to The Reading Connection’s “We Are Readers” program, which enables at-risk children to keep up with their peers when they might not normally have access to reading materials. NextGenNow had determined its cause for the grant would be helping children and families, and chose the Alexandria-based group out of 20 nonprofits that applied.

NextGenNow was launched a year ago to “engage young professionals in philanthropy,” according to a press release.

“The Arlington Community Foundation has long been a proud supporter of literacy initiatives all across the County,” Arlington Community Foundation Executive Director Wanda L. Pierce said in the release. “That NextGenNow members chose to support We Are Readers out of so many worthy proposals speaks to the importance of providing all young children with equal access to this critical skill.”

Kevin Shooshan, director of leasing and marketing for The Shooshan Company, is co-chair of NextGenNow with Susan Anderson, who works in the Arlington County Treasurer’s Office. Shooshan said “NextGenNow is just getting started.”

“”I’m so excited about where NextGenNow is today, a little over a year after launching this effort,” Shooshan told ARLnow.com in an email. “We’re lucky to be in a community in which we can pull together so many people in such a short time with a common goal, and ultimately help others who are truly in need.”

Photo courtesy NextGenNow

New Wine Bar and Tapas Restaurant Coming to Rosslyn

by ARLnow.com | July 8, 2014 at 4:45 pm | 2,370 views | No Comments

A new wine bar and tapas restaurant is coming to Rosslyn.

Sip Wine Tasting & Tapas Restaurant plans to open in a currently vacant retail location at 1501 Wilson Blvd just after Labor Day. This will be the small Atlanta-based chain’s first D.C. area location, though it recently opened a location in Baltimore.

“Sip Wine Tasting & Tapas Restaurant will offer an extensive array of by-the-glass wine options, with more than 80 different wines that may be ordered by the sip, the half-glass, full glass and bottle, with seventy-two wine available through self-serve wine machines operated through a card system,” according to a spokeswoman. “The restaurant will include chef-inspired tapas-style menu items offered for lunch and dinner and a special brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday.”

On its website, Sip says it offers bottles to patrons at retail prices — as opposed to restaurant prices — with an added $14 corkage fee. It also offers one ounce sips of dozens of wines.

The full press release, from landlord Monday Properties, after the jump. (more…)

Second Westover Beer Garden Location Moves Closer to Opening

by Ethan Rothstein | July 8, 2014 at 2:00 pm | 5,872 views | No Comments

The second location of the Westover Beer Garden, expected to open near Clarendon in March 2015, is beginning to take shape.

The establishment will be called the Sehkraft Beer Garden and Haus, a play on words of “sehkraft,” which is German for vision or eyesight, but pronounced “say craft,” owner Devin Hicks said. The brewpub, at 925 N. Garfield Street, expects have a 10-barrel system to brew beer in-house, five taps straight from the tanks to the bar, five taps for house-made kegged beers and collaborations with other breweries, and 30 “guest” beer taps.

“We’ll do growler fills, which should be a big hit,” Hicks told ARLnow.com this morning. “Right now we’re working on getting some of our beers to be distributed so we can send them to various bars and restaurants. It’s legal in Virginia, but Arlington zoning has deemed it to not be permissible within Arlington County. We’re looking into fixing that with our lawyers that helped us with the county in Westover.”

The head brewer for Sehkraft Brewing will be John Peters, who most recently was the lead brewer for Lost Rhino in Ashburn. Peters worked with Hicks for a collaboration beer – a triple IPA with 150 bitterness units and 10.1 percent alcohol by volume – in 2012. Hicks said he already is planning collaborations with established West Coast breweries Stone Brewing and Sierra Nevada.

In addition, head chef Jay Jenks, currently the head chef at Westover Beer Garden, will be in charge of Sehkraft’s kitchen. The 10,000-square foot space will have a butcher shop, a small market, and seating for 210 on the inside and 122 in the outdoor beer garden. Hicks said he will soon be applying for a live music permit, and is in the application process for ABC permits.

“This is desired and deserved for Arlingtonians,” Hicks said. “It’s going to be really exciting for everybody. We’re going to have great beers, a lot of guest brewers from notable brewers across the country… The importance of beer gardens in Europe is pretty huge. It’s always been a social gathering spot for drinking their local beers, and we want to bring an American version of that.”

New ‘Green’ Car Service Launches in Arlington

by Ethan Rothstein | July 8, 2014 at 11:00 am | 1,907 views | No Comments

Green Tomato Cars' Prius Vs (photo courtesy Green Tomato Cars)A new car service has launched in the D.C. area that bills itself as the “legal, green alternative to Uber and Lyft.”

Green Tomato Cars Co-founder and Vice President Jonny Goldstone said the car service launched in Arlington in May and has more than 25 cars in its fleet that are licensed to operate in Virginia, and he plans to add five to 10 more every month, as allowed by Virginia law for operating a car service as opposed to a taxi company.

“We’re looking at getting to 70 to 100 vehicles within the calendar year,” Goldstone told ARLnow.com. “With that sort of number, we’re pretty comfortable we’re going to be able to offer a car in 10 minutes wherever people are. At that point, I think we’re really a viable competitor to Uber for the on-demand rides. Right now we’re most convenient as a pre-scheduled ride service.”

Goldstone said Green Tomato has a “more intimate and personal relationship” with its drivers than Uber and Lyft, and all drivers either rent their cars — all black Prius Vs — from the company or can buy their own. Goldstone said all drivers go through a full criminal check, drug test, have their driving record for the last 10 years reviewed and have to go through a multi-layer interview process.

Screenshot of the Green Tomato app

“About one in seven drivers get through the whole process,” he said. “There’s much more partnership between us and our ambassadors, which we call them because they’re representing the company.”

Green Tomato Cars launched in London in 2006 and is also launching in Paris in the near future. The D.C. area is its first market in the U.S.

Green Tomato charges customers for distance, not time, Goldstone said, except for a $5 rush hour surcharge to account for traffic. A trip from the Pentagon to Dulles International Airport costs $54.99, according to the in-app rate, and from Rosslyn to the Columbia Heights neighborhood of D.C. costs $29.99.

In addition to the app, customers can book trips online and over the phone. Goldstone said each car is equipped with free WiFi for the customers.

While Green Tomato boasts its regulatory approval to operate in D.C.’s Virginia suburbs, Uber and Lyft have submitted requests to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles requesting “temporary operating authority” and a broker’s license, which will “go through the proper channels” to determine if the two ridesharing services can legally operate in the state, a DMV official told ARLnow.com last week.

Goldstone said that even though Green Tomato is a licensed operator, and he believes “everyone is a little bit in the wrong” in the fight between Uber, Lyft and the DMV, that doesn’t mean Green Tomato is without worry.

“There is a concern that even as a legitimate operator, we are still going to be targeted, especially by D.C. regulators,” he said. “The Virginia regulators are perhaps more aware of what we’re doing, but the D.C. regulations are so unclear that it’s going to be difficult.”

Photo (top) via Green Tomato

Crumbs Bake Shop in Clarendon Closes

by Ethan Rothstein | July 8, 2014 at 10:00 am | 4,066 views | No Comments

Crumbs in Clarendon closes Crumbs in Clarendon closes

The Crumbs Bake Shop in Clarendon (2839 Clarendon Blvd) has closed, along with all other Crumbs locations nationwide.

The New York City-based cupcake and pastry chain opened its Clarendon location in late December 2010 and gave away 1,000 cupcakes a few days later to celebrate its grand opening. The location was the only one in Arlington; Crumbs also operated three locations in the District and one in Tysons Corner.

According to Business Insider, Crumbs went public in 2011, but began losing money soon after as the cupcake craze cooled down and sales of its large, nearly $5 cupcakes flagged.

Crumbs had begun closing some of its locations last year, but announced a company-wide store closure and a planned Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation filing yesterday afternoon.

“Regrettably Crumbs has been forced to cease operations and is immediately attending to the dislocation of its employees while it evaluates its limited remaining options,” the company said in a statement.

Maserati of Arlington Now Open

by Morgan Fecto | July 7, 2014 at 3:35 pm | 3,711 views | No Comments

Maserati of Arlington, located at the former M. Slavin & Sons Seafood site on S. Glebe Road, opened its doors to customers today.

Although the location plans to have a grand opening event within the next two weeks, it opened today with lease specials, finance specials and discounts on certain cars. The sticker prices on the dealership’s website start at $132,999, but General Sales Manager Alex Macatuno said at least one model is being offered for less than $70,000.

Macatuno said the location,  an affiliate of Maserati of Washington in Sterling, opened next to I-395 in Arlington in order to better serve customers closer to the District.

“We wanted to be closer to Washington, so that’s one of the reasons why I think it’s a great location,” Macatuno told ARLnow.com. ”There’s an Audi store here, there’s a Porsche store here, there’s a BMW store two exits up and a Mercedes store right down the street, so it’s perfect.”

Macatuno said the dealershop, at 2710 S. Glebe Road, will cater to people “right around the Beltway” and from the Pentagon. It is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Maserati owners can drop their cars off at the dealership for service, he said.

As of 1:00 p.m. today, the location hadn’t sold any cars, according to salesman Tate Attia.

The storefront, as it stands presently, is a “temporary facility,” according to Macatuno. Within the next two to three months, construction is expected to begin on a new 18,000 square-foot facility that will accommodate more cars and more employees. The dealership will remain open during the construction, Macatuno said. Afterwards, the existing building is expected to be knocked down.

In the next two weeks, Maserati of Arlington plans to hold a “grand opening” event. Community members and “those in the area who own luxury brands” are among those the dealership is hoping will attend the event, Macatuno said.

Capriotti’s Set to Open in Rosslyn This Month

by Morgan Fecto | July 7, 2014 at 1:30 pm | 1,854 views | No Comments

 

Sandwich chain Capriotti’s plans to open its storefront at 1500 Wilson Blvd on Tuesday, July 29.

The shop is currently finishing renovations, but Director of Operations for Capriotti’s D.C. franchises Joe Combs was passing out flyers to passersby last week in an effort to recruit employees.

Capriotti’s had hoped to open the Rosslyn location last January, but only announced it had signed its lease in April. The Rosslyn location will be open Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 p.m. to 7:00.

“We’re known for our fresh pulled turkey and our fresh roast beef,” Combs said. “Our sandwich ‘The Bobbie’ was voted best sandwich in America by AOL. It’s basically Thanksgiving on a roll.” The Bobbie comes with pulled-turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayonnaise.

Founded in Delaware in 1976, Capritotti’s is now based in Las Vegas and has 105 locations nationwide. Some Arlington residents may have already gotten their first taste of The Bobbie from Capriotti’s booth at Taste of Arlington.

Photos: July 4 in Arlington

by ARLnow.com | July 7, 2014 at 11:15 am | 1,450 views | No Comments

Picnics, parades, block parties and fireworks.

It was a typically festive Fourth of July in Arlington, with residents and visitors taking advantage of the nice weather to celebrate our nation’s Independence Day.

The photos above were captured around the area by contributors to our Flickr pool.

Photos courtesy Dennis Dimick, John Sonderman, Ken Moore, Rob Cannon, Mrs. Gemstone and Kevin Wolf, J. Peterson, Joseph Gruber

Rosslyn’s ‘Spinfire Pizza’ Plans Fall Opening

by Ethan Rothstein | July 3, 2014 at 1:00 pm | 1,055 views | No Comments

Spinfire Pizza coming to RosslynSpinFire Pizza, the 90-second pizza concept coming to 1501 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is planning a fall opening.

The restaurant, co-owned by Washington Redskins receiver Pierre Garçon and Paisano’s Pizza owner Fouad Qreitem, is on the ground floor of the building that also houses Heavy Seas Alehouse and Roti.

The restaurant will use a rotating oven to cook personal pizzas for customers in less than two minutes, it says in a press release. The 2,300-square-foot eatery will also serve salad, gelato and “a robust beer and wine selection.”

The location will be SpinFire’s second when it opens; there’s another being built in Ashburn, a few miles from the Redskins’ practice facility.

“We are very excited to build our second SpinFire location in Rosslyn with its compelling resident demographics, strong daytime office population, and a true 24/7 live, work and play environment,” Garçon said in the release.

Photos: World Cup Fever in Arlington

by Ethan Rothstein | July 2, 2014 at 9:30 am | 2,058 views | No Comments

(Updated at 10:00 a.m.) Offices around the county came to a standstill at 4:00 p.m. yesterday to watch the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team play and lose to Belgium, 2-1 in extra time.

Watchers packed bars, gathered around TVs in their offices and came together in hordes in public places and watched U.S. goalie Tim Howard save a World Cup record 16 shots on goal, smashing the previous record of 13. Legions of new American soccer fans watched as 20-year-old DeAndre Yedlin injected speed and energy into a U.S. team that seemed like it had none. Everyone decked out in red, white and blue cheered as 19-year-old Julian Green scored a magnificent goal to give the Americans some hope in his first career minute on the field in the World Cup.

The World Cup is over for the Americans, although there are still eight teams, eight countries, still fighting for soccer’s most coveted prize. Tim Howard may have played the best game a goalie ever has on a World Cup stage, but it will likely be his last game under the world’s spotlight. Thanks to players like Yedlin and Green, 2018 in Russia could have a different ending.

Arlington and the rest of the country will be watching.

Video: ACPD Tips When Kids Are Home Alone

by ARLnow.com | July 2, 2014 at 9:00 am | 851 views | No Comments

Are mom and dad heading out for dinner and leaving the kids at home?

The Arlington County Police Department has released a video with safety tips for children who are home alone. The tips include:

  • Do not have friends over without an adult in the house to supervise.
  • Keep your doors closed AND locked when you’re home alone.
  • Do not open the door for anyone even if you know the person.
  • Don’t answer the phone and never tell anyone you’re home alone.
  • Make sure you have a trusted neighbor you can go to if you need help and a list of emergency phone numbers to call.

Those emergency numbers include 911 in an actual emergency, and the police non-emergency line (703-558-2222) for everything else, including reports of suspicious activity.

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