The no-nonsense, cash-only deli has fascinated some locals with its irregular hours, its general lack of customers, and its ability to remain in business in a high-rent area. But the business may be closing soon after all.
The daughter of the older couple who own the deli has told friends that her parents will be shutting down the restaurant, perhaps by the end of the month, according to our tipster. The owners have simply decided to retire, we’re told.
An emailed request for comment was not returned.
Two weeks after the brouhaha over an ad in the Clarendon Metro station that told President Obama to “go to hell,” the County Board went into its closed executive session with a curious objective: to discuss ”the county’s authority to regulate the content of advertising on Metro property.”
All we know about the discussion is that quote, read by County Board Chair Mary Hynes before adjourning the Board’s Tuesday afternoon meeting. The executive session is legally considered private and, reached for comment, a county spokesperson said they’ve been advised by the County Attorney to not discuss any details.
Even if the county can find the authority to regulate ads in Arlington Metro stations, though, there remains the question of whether removing political ads would be Constitutional. In explaining why it allowed the inflammatory “go to hell” ad, Metro issued the following statement: “WMATA advertising has been ruled by the courts as a public forum protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution, and we may not decline ads based on their political content.”
With the Chevys Fresh Mex restaurant in Ballston Common Mall (pictured) now permanently closed, is the Chevys location in Pentagon City (1201 S Hayes Street) far behind?
A source who had advance knowledge of the closing of the Ballston Chevys tells ARLnow.com that the financially-troubled restaurant chain is indeed planning on closing the Pentagon City location, perhaps as soon as this weekend or next week.
That’s contrary to what employees at the restaurant told us. A Chevys Pentagon City employee said earlier this week that the eatery was “going strong” and would remain open.
Chevys Pentagon City is one of the county’s larger restaurants, with a seating capacity of over 150.
Via the Montreal Gazette, of all places, comes word that Capitals star Alex Ovechkin’s new girlfriend has been hanging around Arlington as of late.
Russian tennis star Maria Kirilenko has been photographed working out with the George Washington University tennis team, presumably at the indoor Sport & Health Club courts in Crystal City. She has also been spotted at Capitals practices, presumably at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston, according to the Gazette.
Ovechkin, who lives in a $1.6 million home in Arlington’s Waycroft-Woodlawn neighborhood, recently confirmed the relationship by Tweeting out a photo of the happy couple (left). Before that Tweet, however, the Gazette could only speculate as to why Kirilenko seemed to be spending so much time in our fair county.
“In all seriousness, putting aside the fact that this is pretty good gossip, if you’re a Russian tennis player and you choose … Arlington, Va. for some indoor practice, it’s probably not because you’re an American history buff,” the paper said.
Let us know via email or the comments if you spot Ovie and his new GF out on the town.
On Thursday afternoon, First Lady Michelle Obama spent 30-40 minutes shopping at the Potomac Yard Target. Instantly, the shopping trip became national news.
“Never has a Target dash caused such a ruckus,” wrote Politico’s Julie Mason.
While the First Lady shopping at Target during a recession is the sort of thing that makes headlines, there are plenty of non-headline-making errands run by top U.S. officials, lawmakers and media personalities every day. And thanks to our prime location just across the river from the Nation’s Capital, many of those shopping trips and restaurant visits are taking place right here in Arlington.
In the comments section, share your favorite story of spotting a famous so-and-so out and about in your neighborhood.
That news comes as Washington Post employees reported on Twitter that the Post is shuttering all of its Virginia and Maryland local bureaus, with the exception of Richmond and Annapolis. The Post currently has local bureaus in Alexandria, Fairfax, Loudoun County, Prince William County and elsewhere.
The Poynter Institute’s Jim Romenesko has a memo from the Washington Post Guild’s Facebook page confirming the closures. “The closure of the physical buildings does not mean that the Post will reduce its local coverage,” according to the memo.
No word yet on the Post’s plans for coverage in Arlington.
What’s coming to the ground floor of 1650 Wilson Boulevard in Rosslyn?
We know it’s a restaurant, and that Michael Landrum of Ray’s the Steaks fame is behind it — his name is on the ABC permit, after all — but at this point it’s hard to tell what kind of restaurant it will be.
Previously, we reported that the establishment’s name, per the ABC permit, was “The Lobster Pot.” That led to speculation that Landrum was building his long-talked-about “Ray’s the Catch” seafood restaurant. But now there’s a new name on the permit: “Ray’s Hell Burger III.”
So will the brown walls of the space at 1650 Wilson soon house an expanded Ray’s Hell Burger? And will the existing Ray’s Hell Burger location across the street turn into Ray’s the Catch? Or is 1650 Wilson actually going to be Ray’s the Catch? Or is the real answer none of the above?
Either way, we’re told that the restaurant — whatever it may be — will open in “a few weeks.”
Is former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn planning on opening a restaurant in Crystal City?
An ARLnow spy spotted Mendelsohn and a man identified as his father dining at the Crystal City Chick-fil-A while chatting up the manager about foot traffic and sales.
“He is apparently opening a new restaurant (or planning to) in Crystal City,” the tipster said. A second source confirmed that Mendelsohn may be scouting out locations in Crystal City.
Good Stuff Eatery is in the midst of an expansion that is bringing it to new locales like Baltimore and Philadelphia. Might Crystal City be next?
Photo via Twitter
The 30th District state Senate race now has a clear set of Democratic candidates. Those contenders, however, still don’t know exactly what they’re contending for, since the upcoming state redistricting process could change the district’s boundaries.
We’ve heard rumors that the redistricting plan currently under consideration by Senate Democrats would push the 30th District further into Fairfax, Alexandria or both. Already, the 30th encompasses most of Alexandria, part of Fairfax and part of South Arlington.
A redistricting plan that subtracts from the already small Arlington portion of the district could be bad news for Arlington School Board Chair Libby Garvey, who just captured the endorsement of retiring 30th District state Sen. Patsy Ticer.
“I’ve worked with Libby for years,” Ticer said in a statement earlier this week. “She is a fast study and is committed to the issues important to me.”
The kind words from the well-liked Ticer is a big boost for Garvey, but it doesn’t change the fact that she’s an Arlingtonian running in a minority Arlington district.
The rumored redistricting plan could help Rob Krupicka, an Alexandria City Councilman who has been positioning himself as the clear Alexandria candidate. Krupicka picked up the endorsement of Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille last week and the endorsement of former Alexandria City Manager Vola Lawson this week.
The good news is that a new restaurant is apparently coming to Shirlington.
The bad news is that we’re pretty thin on details.
If you go to Google, you’ll find out that Native Foods Cafe is a chain of Vegan restaurants in Southern California. Is this restaurant going to be the company’s first east coast location, or is the name merely a coincidence? We don’t know, since the company’s Director of Marketing has declined to respond to an emailed request for information and since the address of the holding company listed on the ABC application comes back to a UPS Store in Henderson, Nevada.
There’s also a “Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe” in the National Museum of the American Indian in D.C., but so far we haven’t been able to establish a connection there, either.
Will Shirlington be getting a Vegan restaurant? Stay tuned.
Which Rosslyn and Crystal City businesses have been calling the police on the new Bada Bing sandwich truck? Cops have shown up at the truck at least eight times since it launched just over a month ago, we hear.
Officers show up, dutifully check out the truck’s license and examine whether it’s parked legally, and inevitably leave without finding a violation.
Two businesses in particular have been very proactive about calling the cops when Bada Bing shows up in their neighborhood.
“It happens at those two locations pretty much every time we go there, sometimes multiple times per day,” said Bada Bing owner Nicholas Terzella
The company still hasn’t signed a lease, we learned; it’s waiting for the Arlington County board to approve a site plan amendment for the space it wants to occupy in the Clarendon Center development. That approval is expected next Tuesday, with county staff recommending the changes laid out in the amendment.
With the lease signed, Trader Joe’s expects to be able to open in late spring or early summer. No specific dates were discussed.
Company officials addressed two specific neighborhood concerns.
While acknowledging that parking will be a challenge for the store, especially with the crush of shoppers expected right after opening, the company is working with the manager of the Clarendon Center parking garage to alleviate potential underground traffic jams that could push cars onto neighborhood streets. Colonial Parking will assign an employee to direct traffic in the garage during certain times, we’re told.
Company reps also addressed worries about the aesthetics of the store. They promised to beautify areas of the store visible to neighbors, like an elevator that will be visible through the store windows. They pledged to decorate such areas with artwork rather than just with advertisements about food and sales.
One person who was at the meeting describes the crowd as “very receptive” to Trader Joe’s presentation.
A representative from Saul Centers, the developer behind the Clarendon Center project, will talk about Trader Joe’s with neighbors at the Lyon Park Civic Association meeting
tonight Wednesday night at 7:30.
In related news, ARLnow.com has confirmed rumors that a large national chain restaurant has been eying a retail space in Clarendon Center. In fact, we’re told that the restaurant, said to be of the TGI Friday’s or Chili’s variety, was interested specifically in the 10,000 square foot space that will be occupied by Trader Joe’s.
“We think [Trader Joe's] would be a better fit for the community,” a Saul Centers official told ARLnow.com. The official refused to name the restaurant.
The owner of Ballston Common Mall is “in the planning stages” of major renovations to the 24-year-old facility. The existence of the renovation plan was revealed at a real estate conference in Rosslyn this morning.
The plan may also involve the building of office space above or in place of the current Macy’s department store.
No timeline was given for the renovations. Ohio-based Forest City Enterprises owns the 580,000 square foot mall, which attracts 1,000,000 visitors per year.
Flickr pool photo by Tim Kelley.
Even the rich, influential and famous get traffic tickets in Arlington County. And it seems there’s no limit to how small the infraction or how well-known the offender.
The good doctor Hunter Doherty “Patch” Adams — yes, the guy who Robin Williams portrayed in a movie — was stopped for going 44 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone last December. Dr. Adams, a north Arlington resident who travels the world dressed as a clown to bring joy to sick children, paid the fine a week later.
Washington Capitals players practice and often live in Arlington. Thus it’s not surprise that a few players have had their sweet rides stopped by Johnny Law.
Earlier this year Caps forward Nicklas Backstrom was stopped for “failure to obtain a county decal within 30 days.” Charges were eventually dropped.
Two years ago another Caps forward, Alexander Semin, was stopped for having no front license plate, an unlawful window tint, and a child restraint violation. Earlier this year, he was stopped again for having no front plate.
According to his blog, McCaffrey has been waiting six months to cover something that’s “likely to happen tonight.” But he’s not saying what it is, so as to not alert “what passes for the competition.”
Since we have some of the smartest readers in town — witness the corrections that go into the comments section the minute we get something wrong — I figured it would be a piece of cake to figure out what story Scotty has been salivating over.
McCaffrey posted an link to a Rod Stewart video to symbolize his infatuation with tonight’s could-be story-of-the-century. In a case of blatant one-upsmanship, we’re posting our own music link: this much more entertaining-with-the-sound-down (you’re at work, right?) Jennifer Lopez video.
So, dear readers, help us out. What’s happening tonight that Scotty doesn’t want us to know about?
Just don’t tell him we’re asking. It’s better if Scotty doesn’t know.