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by Ethan Rothstein — December 9, 2014 at 10:30 am 1,728 0

Rosslyn is finally getting a restaurant that serves pizza by the slice.

Wiseguy NY Pizza is opening a location, at 1735 N. Lynn Street, in the former Quiznos Subs location. In October, Wiseguy owner Tony Errol told Eater.com that the shop should open “in about three months or so.” So far, Wiseguy has not replied to a request for comment from ARLnow.com.

The pizza place’s first location is on 3rd Street and Massachusetts Ave. NW in the District, where it has received plaudits for coming close to replicating authentic New York-style pizza. It claims to make its pizza with “New Yorkinized water” thanks to a “special filter system.”

The eatery also offers garlic knots — a rare sight in the District — and cheesecake from New York staple Junior’s Cheesecake.

by Ethan Rothstein — December 8, 2014 at 1:30 pm 1,067 0

Future Highline bar in Crystal City (photo courtesy Robert Mandle) Highline with job posting signs Dec. 4, 2014

Highline, the new Crystal City bar from the owners of CarPool in Ballston and the Continental in Rosslyn, is taking the last steps before an anticipated early January opening.

The bar applied for a live entertainment and dancing permit, which the Arlington County Board is set to review on Saturday, laying out plans for “musical ensembles, solo performers, deejays, karaoke, and comedians” to perform nightly until 2:00 a.m. County staff has recommended approving the permit with conditions that amplified music be limited to Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, when all windows and doors to the outside are closed.

Highline conducted open job interviews last week, and co-owner Peter Bayne told ARLnow.com “we had a lot of people show up, more than we ever expected.” The stack of applications is pretty full, but the bar “isn’t going to turn away a rock star,” he said.

The picture of the offerings for patrons is also starting to become a little clearer. Highline will have side-by-side pop-a-shot games as well as a “full shelf” of board games old and new. There will also be arcade games and, a month or two after opening, a new, high-tech gaming table.

“It’s an interactive game table with an LCD TV as the surface and Xbox Kinect cameras overhead,” Bayne said. “You can play games like tic-tac-toe or air hockey just by moving your hands above the table.”

The bar will also have 36 beers, a few wines and a “pre-mixed cocktail” on tap. Bayne also plans to incorporate some barrel-aging and other creative ideas around the libations. “We’re going to have a lot of fun with the beer program,” he said.

“This is definitely one of the more beautiful bars we built,” he said. His company, Bedrock Bars, co-owned with Geoffrey Dawson, owns 24 bars and restaurants, largely in the D.C. area. “I think Crystal City is going to love it.”

File photo (left) courtesy Robert Mandle

by Ethan Rothstein — December 8, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,704 0

The new 7-Eleven in the 2001 Clarendon Blvd building is now open for business.

The shop officially opened its doors last Monday on the ground floor of the building that will also house a specialty oil store and a body sculpting studio. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The store is corporate-owned, but the manager told ARLnow.com last week that if the store doesn’t carry something a customer wants, all someone has to do is ask “and I will get it for them.”

The new location is just a few blocks away from an existing 7-Eleven at 1625 Wilson Blvd.

by Ethan Rothstein — December 4, 2014 at 2:40 pm 2,418 0

(Updated at 3:40 p.m.Pizza Vinoteca, the latest restaurant flocking to Ballston, is planning to open next Thursday, Dec. 11.

The restaurant, at 800 N. Glebe Road, is still waiting for its liquor license — it expects it to arrive early next week — but CEO Ari Malcolm of the New York-based business was able to give ARLnow.com a tour of Pizza Vinoteca’s second location.

“The concept is trying to elevate fast-casual,” he said. “We’re first and foremost a dine-in restaurant, but it’s pizza — we want people be relaxed and have fun here.”

The pizzas are grilled, Providence, Rhode Island-style, made for one and cost between $10 and $14.50. There are 36 wines, all available by the glass and mostly on tap in their custom-designed system, which uses argon gas to keep wines fresh. All of the glasses cost $10 or less and are available in half-glasses. There will also be seven craft beers available and house cocktails, include a frozen vodka, prosecco and lemon sorbet creation.

Pizza Vinoteca will also deliver and offers takeout.

Malcolm got his start working his way up from server to the business side of the restaurant industry, and the native New Yorker said he takes his restaurant “very seriously, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” He said his favorite item on the menu is the jowlciale pizza, which is a smoked, cured pork cheek from a Virginia farm accompanied by spicy chili pesto, fontina cheese, pistachio and honey.

“Composed thought goes into all our pizza,” he said. “I wanted to hate our Hawaiian pizza because I think canned pineapple and ham. But ours has fresh pineapple, prosciutto and peppers. It’s unfortunately really tasty.”

The pizzas are made on a grill that Malcolm helped design, which uses three kinds of heat, including infrared, to grill the whole wheat flatbread pizzas in less than three minutes. The grill can get as hot as 800 degrees when fully cooking, Malcolm said.

When the restaurant opens next week, Malcolm said he’s confident it will find its niche despite competition nearby from Pupatella, Rustico and Il Forno.

“Our product is so different from what the people in this neighborhood are doing,” he said. “We like the competition, because it just means more people are coming to Ballston to eat.”

by Ethan Rothstein — December 3, 2014 at 3:30 pm 2,017 0

The Maxwell Apartments, the six-story apartment building at the corner of N. Glebe and Carlin Springs Road, is planning to open on Dec. 12.

Marketed by Bozzuto, the apartments are currently available for lease, an employee told ARLnow.com today. When open, the building will feature a fitness center; a lounge with shuffleboard, billiards and a bar area; a private courtyard with an outdoor fireplace, grills and a prep sink; and a business center with conference rooms, Internet and a printer.

Once named the Crimson at Glebe apartments, the Maxwell replaced the Goodyear across from the Ballston Common Mall and a block away from the Harris Teeter in Ballston. Coming to the building’s ground floor will be a Solidcore gym, which focuses on low-impact group training.

There are approximately 150 apartments ranging from studios to two-bedrooms with dens. One-bedroom apartments are currently leasing for more than $1,900, and two bedrooms are leasing starting at upwards of $2,800.

by ARLnow.com — December 3, 2014 at 1:30 pm 3,837 0

Sixteen new townhouses could be coming near the corner of Washington Blvd and N. Stuart Street in Ballston, tearing down several single family homes in the process.

The project, called the Ballston Oak Townhomes,  would build two, eight-unit buildings with four stories and private garage parking between 1124 and 1138 N. Stuart Street. The property’s owner is an LLC registered to Eric Ritland, the owner of home construction company Georgetown Builders.

According to the preliminary site plan, reviewed by ARLnow.com, Georgetown Builders intends to tear down four homes on N. Stuart Street, but leave the Arlington Market — one of the few stores in the area that sells kegs of beer — untouched at its location on the corner of the two streets.

The townhouses are designed to include private patios and a “herringbone brick design.” There are two garage parking spots for each unit proposed, with four guest spaces in the rear of the half-acre lot. No renderings of the design were included with the preliminary site plan.

“The project was envisioned as a ‘series of urban gardens,’ and its design incorporates private trellises, stormwater planters, gardens for residents to enjoy throughout, as well as gardens along the sidewalk to beautify the pedestrian experience, and plans for green roofs with roof decks and interior gardens,” the application states.

The developer proposes incorporating public art into the project or making a donation to Arlington’s Public Art Fund. There’s no word on when the site plan will be finalized and go before the Arlington Planning Commission or the County Board.

by ARLnow.com — December 2, 2014 at 3:50 pm 4,038 0

Clarendon resident, Arab-American comedian and minor internet celebrity Remy Munasifi has released a new music video.

This time around, the “Arlington Rap” star is parodying the pop hit “All About That Bass” with “All About That Paste,” a tribute to his love of hummus.

In the video, Remy pokes fun at store-bought “white people humis” that lacks tahini, and cautions against dipping carrots and tortilla chips in hummus.

“Hummus is like Katniss, it needs pita,” Remy raps.

The video also features Remy’s mother, who dances in the background in several scenes.

by Ethan Rothstein — December 2, 2014 at 11:30 am 1,066 0

The Optimist Club of Arlington‘s annual Christmas tree sale started this past weekend, giving Arlington residents the chance to stop by the Wells Fargo parking lot at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road to pick out this year’s symbolic evergreen.

This is the 67th year the Optimist Club — which sponsors “academic and sports activities designed to give Arlington’s youth a better chance to succeed in today’s world,” according to its website — has held its annual sale, which is one of its biggest fundraisers.

This year, the lot is open from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, from noon to 8:00 p.m. on Fridays and from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. Trees range in prices from $30 for a five-foot white pine to $230 for a 12-foot Fraser fir.

All of the trees being sold are “freshly cut” from Jefferson County, N.C., according to the Optimist Club. Garlands and wreaths are also available for purchase.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 28, 2014 at 11:00 am 567 0

Arlington small business dayMore than 150 businesses in Arlington will participate in the annual Arlington Small Business Day, which is being held tomorrow (Saturday).

The event aims to create a community of Arlington shoppers, small retail shops and restaurants by having the businesses offer sales and promotions throughout the day on Saturday, after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday.

This year, the event will be run through the YOPP app, a small business shopping platform that allows its users to look up participating businesses, see which sales they are offering and even communicate with the store owners. Customers hoping to seek out deals on Saturday will have to download the free app onto their smartphone and look up the businesses on the app’s map, where they can also see fellow shoppers.

As part of Small Business Day, two locations will be hosting Santa Claus for pictures: Rhythm in Motion Dance Center, at 5161 Lee Highway from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. and Penrose Square at 2413 Columbia Pike (formerly Society Fair), from 11:15 a.m. to noon.

Among the businesses participating will be One More Page Books in East Falls Church, which President Barack Obama visited in 2012, Grateful Red Wine Shop in Clarendon, Papillon Cycles on Columbia Pike, Ship’s Hatch in Crystal City, Cheesetique in Shirlington, Covet near Ballston, Trade Roots in Westover and Arrowine and Cheese along Lee Highway.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 26, 2014 at 1:00 pm 1,292 0

The Iron Yard coding bootcamp (Photo courtesy Crystal City’s Disruption Corporation, on the 10th floor of 2231 Crystal Drive, is planning to play host to a 12-week immersive computer coding class in January.

The “coding bootcamp,” is an academy by The Iron Yard and costs $12,000. It offers three courses: rails engineering, which teaches Ruby on Rails for building “fast, production-quality full-stack apps;” mobile engineering for building iPhone apps; and “front-end engineering” for designing websites.

“Every student will leave the app with a portfolio of a functioning app or a functioning tool,” Campus Director Su Kim told ARLnow.com today.

The academy starts Jan. 5 and it’s taking students now. Each class is capped at 15 students to provide for ample teacher-student interaction, she said. The classes are Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The morning session is a “lecture,” with teacher-led instruction while students are live-coding at their computers. The afternoons are lab time, where students can work on their assignments and build their portfolio design.

The final two weeks of the course are devoted strictly to the final product students work on. After the academy is over, The Iron Yard has a career placement system set up to get its graduates jobs as developers in the area. During classes, guest lecturers are brought in from local technology companies and The Iron Yard likes to get a sense for what each community wants out of its developer talent pool.

“We really want the students to meet the needs of the existing community,” Kim said. “The Iron Yard started as an accelerator, but we realized there wasn’t enough talent even for the startups to come out of the accelerator. So the academy launched as kind of accessory.”

In tandem with the bootcamp, The Iron Yard also offers free kids coding classes. For an hour a week, children as young as 7 years old can come and take courses, taught by both the academy’s full-time instructors and by the students in boot camp.

Crystal City is the 10th campus for the Iron Yard bootcamp, following cities like Houston, Atlanta, Austin, Texas and Orlando, Fla. It will be located in Phase II of Disruption Corporation’s headquarters.

Photo courtesy The Iron Yard

by Ethan Rothstein — November 25, 2014 at 3:30 pm 3,369 0

Coyote (file photo via Wikipedia)The second-ever confirmed coyote in Arlington County was hit by a car on Route 110 last Friday morning.

According to Animal Welfare League of Arlington Chief Animal Control Officer Alice Burton, the coyote was struck at about 9:30 a.m. on Route 110 near Arlington National Cemetery.

The responding animal control officer — who works for AWLA, the county’s provider of animal control services — removed the coyote from the scene and brought it back to AWLA, where it had to be euthanized, Burton said.

Arlington’s only previous confirmed sighting of a coyote was in April 2012, courtesy of a wildlife camera set up in Potomac Overlook Regional Park. Other sightings reported by residents have either been foxes or dogs mistaken for coyotes, Burton said.

Despite the cemetery’s location in the heart of the county, Burton said it didn’t strike her as shocking that that’s where the animal was found.

“Right by the cemetery you have pretty quick access to D.C., and I know Rock Creek Parkway has had problems with coyotes,” she told ARLnow.com. “I believe they’ve had more confirmations [of coyotes] in D.C. than we have.”

Arlington’s Natural Resource Manager Alonso Abugattas confirmed that the animal found was a coyote. The female was about 27 pounds — the average adult weighs about 30 pounds – but had young teeth, a bushy tails and many other indicators Abugattas used to confirm the species.

“It’s very small for a coyote but is much too big to be a fox,” he said. “It’s very slender, has no microchips or tattoos to indicate it’s a pet.”

Abugattas said although coyotes are rare in Arlington, the second one spotted in two years is no cause for alarm; the animals don’t present a danger to humans.

“The reality is, I don’t think they’re going to be any kind of issue,” he said. “These animals learn to live next to humans and not mess with humans. I don’t believe they would cause any kinds of issues to the public. There have been cases, however, where feral cats and loose dogs, coyotes will occasionally eat a smaller dog, both as a competitor and as prey. Cats are considered prey as well. That’s the only way that they might affect the public.”

File photo via Wikipedia

by Ethan Rothstein — November 25, 2014 at 1:30 pm 449 0

Doorways for Women and FamiliesThe Animal Welfare League of Arlington and Doorways for Women and Families are two of this year’s recipients of Arlington County’s annual James B. Hunter Human Rights Awards.

The awards are given each year to individuals and organizations who show a “sustained commitment and/or outstanding accomplishment in the area of human rights made in Arlington,” according to the county’s press release.

The award winners will be honored at a ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 11, in the Arlington County Board room on the third floor of 2100 Clarendon Blvd, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. The winners are selected by Arlington’s Human Rights Commission.

“It is a true honor and privilege to recognize these outstanding individuals and organizations,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “They are the true heroes of our community and what makes Arlington such a great place to live. We should all be grateful for having such outstanding individuals and organizations in our community who have dedicate their lives and their work to look after those in need.”

Below is the complete list of winners, from the county’s announcement:

  • Barbara Amaya is a long time Arlington resident who was a victim of violence through human trafficking during her adolescence and early adulthood stages of her life. She has been able to turn her personal pain and suffering into relentless advocacy against human trafficking and violence.
  • Stephen Fowler is the president of the board of directors of Legal Services of Northern Virginia, a non-profit entity committed to provide legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney in civil matters. He has gone beyond his policy commitments as president of the board, and volunteers his time representing victims of domestic violence in court, among others, to obtain protective orders.
  • The Animal Welfare League not only protects animals from violence but the stability of families and the safety of a spouse or a child. Studies have demonstrated that people who abuse pets are at an increased risk of becoming domestic abusers. Other studies have shown that almost half of the victims of domestic abuse — who need to leave their homes — fear for the safety of the pets and delay leaving. Pets play a significant part in the emotional stability and sometimes the physical safety of children and people who owned them.
  • Doorways for Women and Families is a provider of shelter and support services to victims of domestic violence. It provides immediate and lon- term housing for women and families fleeing domestic violence and homelessness. It delivers support services aimed at helping women and families learn how to get back on their feet and live safe and independent lives. It advocates for changes that will help eliminate domestic violence and homelessness.
  • The Reading Connection has been serving Arlington County for more than 25 years. It provides an array of literacy programs aimed at children at-risk and families. Creating a literacy-rich environment helps children succeed and serves as a long-term strategy to escape the cycle of poverty. Last year, The Reading Connection served 218 at-risk children in Arlington County, through its Read-Aloud program, and 118 parents through the Reading Family Workshops. Reading is an important element of education, which is one of the best tools against all kinds of violence.

Image via Doorways

by Ethan Rothstein — November 25, 2014 at 11:00 am 530 0

A decorative Thanksgiving turkeyArlington County government offices, courts and schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Arlington Public Schools close Wednesday and remain closed until Monday, Dec. 1. Arlington’s Circuit Court, General District Court, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court will all close at noon Wednesday and reopen after the holiday break.

Arlington County Police Department won’t enforce parking meters on either day, but Saturday will be treated as a regular weekend day before parkers get another day off from meters on Sunday.

Park grounds will be open, but all parks and recreation classes, programs and indoor facilities, like community centers, will be closed on Thursday and Friday.

Trash, recycling and leaf pickup will continue on a normal schedule, the county says, as will brush, metal and electronics pickup. Leaf pickup is cancelled for Thursday, but if you live in Zone 5, your service will resume on Friday.

Only ART routes 41 and 51 will run on Thanksgiving Day, and they will run on Sunday schedules. On Friday, route 41, 42, 51, 77 and 87 will run on Sunday schedules.

by ARLnow.com — November 24, 2014 at 11:30 am 3,016 0

Officials from Simon Property Group on Thursday previewed the big changes coming to the company’s Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

The holiday-themed event featured Santa Claus, taking a break from photos with children to read a renovation “wish list,” and a tile-smashing photo opportunity dubbed “wreck the halls,” complete with candy cane-wrapped sledgehammers.

Arlington County Board member Libby Garvey was among those to ceremonially smash the mall’s surprisingly-difficult-to-break tiles.

The $70+ million renovation and expansion project is already underway and is expected to run through 2016. Among the changes coming to the mall:

  • An additional 52,000 square feet of space for five stores and restaurants, located at what is now the mall’s main entrance off S. Hayes Street (estimated completion: spring 2016)
  • Outdoor seating for the restaurants in the expansion (new retailers and restaurants to be announced spring 2015)
  • Two new glass-enclosed elevators, replacing the existing single elevator (estimated completion: January 2015)
  • Additional escalator banks from the Metro level to the ground level (estimated completion: July 2015)
  • New lighting, tile, handrails, columns and interior details (estimated completion: July 2015)
  • A new valet parking area

The mall’s popular food court — said to be the most successful food court company-wide thanks to its status as an “international tourist destination,” frequented by literal busloads of meal-seeking tourists — will be getting new seating, designed to make it feel less like a “cafeteria.”

The newly-configured food court will seat 750. Its chairs will include padded seats.

Also coming to the mall will be a new burger restaurant and a new chicken restaurant. Simon officials would not reveal the names of the restaurants.

There were, however, two retail announcements made on Thursday. The high-end women’s shoe company Stuart Weitzman is planning to open at the mall this coming spring, and high-end watch retailer Tourneau, which suffered a high-profile robbery last year, is expanding to a 3,000 square foot location on the ground floor in the spring.

The announcements are in keeping with the Fashion Centre’s goal of attracting more higher-end, fashion-forward retailers.

The mall is also adding some technological flare, with a new public WiFi system expected to be switched on around the turn of the new year, and cell phone charging stations planned.

The mall received its last round of major renovations in 1989.

by ARLnow.com — November 24, 2014 at 10:15 am 2,061 0

American Tap Room in ClarendonAmerican Tap Room (3101 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon had its live entertainment permit renewed last week, but the establishment’s staying power in Arlington is uncertain.

ATR’s permit renewal request was pulled from the Board’s “consent agenda” for non-controversial items by County Board member Mary Hynes. It was instead heard individually on Tuesday, giving Hynes, a nearby resident, a chance to inquire about a couple of noise complaints she had received from her Lyon Village neighbors.

The Board was assured by an ATR manager that the bar has addressed the noise issue and that it in fact doesn’t host any live entertainment anymore — instead it’s seeking to hang on to the permit “just in case.” That was enough assurance for Board, which took little additional time to approve the routine renewal request.

While it won the battle, it’s unclear if ATR in Clarendon will win the war. Restaurant and commercial real estate industry sources have told ARLnow.com that American Tap Room has been seeking a buyer to take over its lease.

We’re told that the company pays more than $650,000 per year in rent for the Clarendon location, which has not enjoyed the same level of success as its locations in Bethesda and Reston. The latter two locations are “crushing it” and the company may simply be looking to focus on more profitable ventures, a source says.

However, everything seemed business as usual with the ATR manager who spoke at the County Board meeting. He gave no hints of any possible changes to come.

Responding to an inquiry sent to a media representative, an ATR manager contacted ARLnow.com last week. The manager said the Clarendon location is not closing, but declined to speak on the record and sought assurances that an ARLnow.com editor was not recording the call.

American Tap Room opened its Clarendon location in 2011.

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