Ultra is already available in eight cities nationwide, including D.C., where it contracts with retailers to deliver beer, wine and liquor. While Virginia’s liquor laws restrict Ultra from selling spirits, Ultra CEO Aniket Shah says his company has reached an agreement with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to deliver beer and wine.
“We are looking at Arlington as our first city to expand in Virginia, based on demographics, income levels and awareness for new technologies,” Shah told ARLnow.com. “We are expecting the deliveries to start first-second week of March.”
Ultra users would go to the company’s website, enter their zip code, and a list of products they can order (beer, wine, soda and mixers), delivery minimum, hours and estimated delivery time. Customers can order on-demand, which takes no more than an hour, or for more than 30 days in advance, including requests like the wine be chilled. Customers’ IDs are checked when the driver makes the delivery.
“We received huge response from people in D.C. when we launched there and we wanted to expand to Virginia as soon as possible,” Shah said. “[Virginia ABC] were very open to understanding our process and providing guidelines within which we had to operate our service in Virginia. We finally received the approval and we are actively in contact with several retailers to accept deliveries in Arlington.”
Ultra, a New York City-based company, can only sell beer and wine from stores that have delivery permits in place to do so. Shah couldn’t disclose which retailers Ultra is negotiating with because of confidentiality agreements, he said.
Shah said Ultra is the first service of its kind in Virginia, but individual retailers are already able to delivery beer and wine as long as they have an ABC license. Some restaurants, like Lost Dog Cafe, deliver beer along with food.
Shah also said he plans on initiating negotiations with the ABC Board to deliver liquor straight from ABC stores, but it’s unclear how much traction those discussions will have.
Booze Delivery Service Coming to N. Va. — Ultra, a web-based service that facilitates the delivery of beer, wine and liquor, is launching this week in D.C. and is planning on launching in Northern Virginia “within a couple of weeks.” Ultra promises that most orders will be delivered in 30-60 minutes. The deliveries are made by licensed stores that partner with the company. [Washington Business Journal]
Shuttleworth Releases Poll Results — Former Democratic congressional candidate Bruce Shuttleworth has shared the results of a district-wide poll his campaign conducted earlier this month. The poll shows Don Beyer well in the lead among likely voters, but it also shows a sizable group of undecided voters. Shuttleworth dropped out of the race after the poll results came in, concluding that even if he “went negative” against Beyer he could not overcome the former Va. lieutenant governor’s lead. [Blue Virginia]
Congressional Candidates to Debate — The seven remaining Democrats in the congressional race will face off tomorrow (Friday) in a debate at the Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at the NRECA building (4301 Wilson Blvd) and is open to the public. [InsideNova]
Arlington Issues $105 Million in Bonds – Arlington County yesterday issued $105 million in bonds at an average interest rate of 2.8 percent. The bonds will be used to fund capital contributions for Metro, Neighborhood Conservation projects, WalkArlington, BikeArlington, ConnectArlington; street paving, utility projects and Arlington Public Schools projects. The county will also save nearly $2 million thanks to refunding prior debt at a lower interest rate. [Arlington County]
Alcohol use among Arlington teens is down, and a recent trip for a group of high school students was organized to help continue that trend.
Data from the Arlington Partnership for Children, Youth, and Families shows that the percentage of Arlington high school students that reported recently drinking alcohol decreased by eight percent from 2004 to 2010. In an effort to keep that number declining, Arlington’s READY Coalition sponsored a trip for Arlington students and their School Resource Officers — Arlington County police officers assigned to schools — to attend the 29th Annual Youth Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Project (YADAPP) conference last week.
Ten students were selected by their SRO, and two additional students were chosen by the READY Coalition, which paid the registration fee to send the group to Longwood University, in Farmville, Va., for the week.
“Each high school resource officer picked the people they thought would be good leaders in trying to get their peers to get on board with an anti-drinking and anti-drug club and to help spread the message,” said Corporal Jim Tuomey, who accompanied the students to the conference.
APS students have attended this conference before, but last week was their first appearance in over ten years.
“We decided to take a group of teens to the conference for the purpose of trying to find better ways to outreach to the high school community,” said Phillip Leverett, the Youth Outreach Coordinator for the READY Coalition.
The 2013 results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey are still pending, but the 2011 YRBS shows that two thirds of Arlington teens do not consume alcohol on any given weekend, a surprising number considering that a decade ago teen drinking appeared to be on the rise.
Hundreds of students attend the YADAPP conference — which is presented by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control — every year to listen to speakers and participate in workshops. Students work in teams of four and create a Strategies To Act Now (STAN) prevention plan specific to their community that they will implement upon their arrival home.
Kateri Gajadhar, a student at the conference and chair of the Teen Network Board’s Drug and Alcohol Committee, is laying the ground work for an “Above the Influence” club at Washington-Lee.
“It helped me see ideas that have worked and things that didn’t work,” said Gajadhar about YADAPP. “It was good to interact with people who are doing the same things in different places to see what we can do here to effectively expand to older age groups.”
Trolley Pub Launches Without Alcohol — Despite assurances by Arlington County Police that it met the letter of the law, the plan to launch an open-air, pedal-powered party trolley in Arlington has hit a snag. Virginia ABC has told the operator of the Trolley Pub that riders cannot bring their own alcohol with them on rides. Instead, the Trolley Pub has launched without alcohol, as a sort of “pub-crawl conveyance.” [Washington City Paper]
The Most Arlington Photo Ever? — A photo of four ACPD officers on Segways talking to the driver of the Trolley Pub in front of Fire Works Pizza is gaining some attention for being, perhaps, “the most Arlington photo ever.” Wrote the Clarendon Nights blog: “All we need is someone in the background in a popped collar eating cupcakes and doing Crossfit to complete every Arlington stereotype!” [Clarendon Nights]
NSF Staying in Ballston for Five Years — The National Science Foundation has renewed its lease in Ballston for the next five years. The agency is still looking for an office that offers lower rent. The General Services Administration is currently reviewing offers for a 15-year-lease. [Washington Business Journal]
Metro Lines and Median Income — A new infographic shows the median income along the Washington area’s Metro lines. The highest median income among Arlington’s Metro stops was East Falls Church, at $142,486. The methodology for the infographic is unclear — a median income of $113,567 was listed for Arlington National Cemetery. [Urban Turf]
Arlington Among the Highest-Earning Cities — Arlington has placed 16th on a list of cities and suburbs with the highest percentage of $100,000+ household incomes. In Arlington 50.3 percent of households earn more than $100K, according to census data. [Nerd Wallet]
Nonprofits Ask for Funds at Budget Hearing — A public hearing on the county’s proposed tax rate changes is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. tonight. Meanwhile, Tuesday’s budget hearing was largely dominated by the pleas of nonprofits — those that help the homeless, provide affordable housing, work for the rights of immigrants, etc. — for full funding in FY 2013. In one particularly poignant moment, the executive director of the Arlington Street Peoples’ Assistance Network told County Board members that a homeless man who was found dead on Monday was an A-SPAN client and an Arlington native. [Sun Gazette, Patch]
Eventide Creates Cocktail for Cherry Blossom Fest — Eventide Restaurant (3165 Wilson Blvd) has created a specialty cocktail in honor of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Bar manager Tim Irwin even created a video to show budding mixologists how to make his creation — the “Kyoto Cocktail” — which is made with Bison Grass Vodka, Ginger Liqueur, Vanilla Syrup and Fresh Grapefruit Juice. [YouTube]
Lawmakers Ask for Solitary Confinement Probe — Del. Patrick Hope and Sen. Adam Ebbin of Arlington have joined Del. Charniele Herring of Alexandria in writing a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, asking the federal government to investigate the alleged overuse of solitary confinement in Virginia. The Democratic state lawmakers say solitary confinement is in some cases being used as “a form of psychological torture.” [Washington Post]
New CFO for Artisphere — Artisphere has hired a new Chief Financial Officer. The new CFO will “manage the complexity of financial operations” at the Rosslyn arts venue. [Arlington Mercury]
The statistics on St. Patrick’s Day are in from the Arlington County Police Department. Police responded to more than two dozen alcohol-related incidents as revelers packed local bars to celebrate the holiday.
ACPD reported the following crimes on Saturday, denoted by the number of separate incidents officers responded to.
- Drunk in Public — 13
- Assaults where alcohol was involved — 7
- Driving Under the Influence — 4
- Urinating in Public — 1
- Drunk parent at bar with baby (referred to Child Protective Services) — 1
Each incident resulted in at least one arrest or summons, according to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Apparently the anti-drinking video made by Yorktown High School students last month didn’t quite get the point across to everybody.
A letter sent to parents and students last week reveals that a number of students were caught under the influence of alcohol at the Yorktown/Washington-Lee football game on Friday, Nov. 4.
Dear Parents and Students:
We have had a large number of school activities this past fall season and want to begin by mentioning what has struck us most: the tremendous good will, good spirit and cooperation of our students who participated in and attended these events. We appreciate that, admire it, and thank you for it.
At the same time, when there is a problem, we want to address it. Several students in attendance at the football game this past Friday arrived under the influence of alcohol. Even if this were the case with only one student, it is unacceptable to all of us who work as supervisors at school activities. Knowing you are concerned about your own student’s health and those of all fellow students, I am sure that this is unacceptable to you, as well.
At school and school events, we will continue to stress the importance of healthy decision-making for all our students. We will continue to contact you if there are any incidents involving your child’s well-being. While we believe all high schools across the country have an important role in educating students about the dangers of alcohol, we also know that parents are crucial in working with us to ensure that students are safe and alcohol/drug free.
Parents, please make certain your children understand your clear expectations regarding the underage, illegal use of alcohol and other substances. Know who your student is associating with and where they are going before and after a school event. If your house will be unattended on an evening, make sure your child knows who can and cannot be in your home. Optimally, you may want to have someone else keep an eye on it. Do not hesitate to pick up the phone and call the parent of another student, if you have a question or need to express a concern. The bottom line is the same for all of us: we want to ensure the safety and health of every single Arlington Public School student.
Thanks to each of you — students and parents — for communicating openly and honestly about this issue. It is important we communicate the same message and help all students understand that we will hold all students accountable for any violations of underage use of alcohol (or any other illegal substance).
Dr. Raymond Pasi
Principal, Yorktown High School
Mr. Gregg Robertson
Principal, Washington-Lee High School
Arlington County launched a new initiative today to address youth substance abuse. Officials say the two-year pilot program, the first of its kind, may eventually become a model for other communities nationwide.
The so-called “Second Chance” program will allow middle and high school students caught with alcohol or marijuana to avoid school suspensions and criminal prosecution. To enter the program, students must be first-time offenders and must have the active participation of their parents or guardians.
Students referred to Second Chance by schools, police, courts or parents will attend an educational, three-day “early intervention” program, as well as a subsequent “booster session.” The time in the program will be considered an excused absence from school. Supporters say that the “second chance” allows students to avoid the negative impacts of school suspensions and other traditional forms of punishment.
“To suspend a student for five or ten days, to have them sitting at home and missing school — maybe their parents are there or maybe they’re not — is not an effective way to deal with someone who’s just getting involved in drugs and alcohol,” said Arlington School Board member Abby Raphael. “We need to intervene, we need education, we need to get the parents involved, and we need to [prevent students from] falling further behind in school.”
The mandatory parental component of the program, Raphael said, is crucial to the program’s success.
“We know that to really be successful in preventing kids from using drugs and alcohol… parents have to be involved,” she said.
The state Senate yesterday unanimously gave final approval to a bill that will permit the production of hard cider at higher alcohol levels.
The bill’s original sponsor, Del. David Englin (D), says that Virginia’s apples naturally ferment at an alcohol content between four and 10 percent, but current state law caps that level at seven percent.
“If we let them produce real Virginia cider, the kind that Thomas Jefferson served at his dinner table, we’ll clear the way for Virginia to become the world’s leading producer of this popular libation,” said Englin, who represents parts of Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax County.
“This is a jobs bill,” Englin added.
Englin issued the following press release about the bill this morning.
Richmond – With a final unanimous vote in the Virginia Senate, the General Assembly yesterday passed the Virginia Cider Act, which will allow Virginia cider producers to naturally ferment their cider without artificially capping the alcohol content. House Bill 2295, sponsored by Delegate David Englin (D-45), will launch a renaissance in Virginia’s burgeoning hard cider industry, opening the door for Virginia to become the world’s leading producer of traditional hard cider, according to industry experts.
“This legislation is a critical breakthrough for those dedicated to reintroducing Virginia and America to the libation our forebears made and enjoyed in the agrarian society from which we sprung. It will be a significant support to the development of a new industry, attractive to the tourists who visit our Commonwealth as well as our own people,” said Charlotte Shelton, founder and owner of Albemarle CiderWorks, who testified for the bill. “This legislation permits Virginia ciderists to produce a natural beverage without amendment reminiscent of what Jefferson served at Monticello and what Washington produced and served at Mount Vernon. Before this bill, Virginia ciders were required to be seven percent alcohol or less. Our apples do not know this. Apples grown in Virginia ferment naturally to something between four and 10 percent alcohol. This legislation frees Virginia ciderists to make the beverage apples were meant to produce, without amendment or adulteration.”
“I’m honored to have had the opportunity to help a burgeoning industry and to support the market for locally-grown Virginia apples,” said Englin, who carried the bill at the request of the Virginia Wine Council, whose members include cider producers. “My constituents are ecologically-conscious urbanites with a strong preference for locally-grown and locally-made agriculture products. This is an example of the mutually-beneficial relationship between urban and rural parts of our state.”
“One does not know how to predict how far it may develop or may grow,” said Shelton. “After all, 30 years ago, the very term Virginia wine was a virtual oxymoron, but today there are nearly 200 wineries in Virginia and Virginia wines have achieved an international reach. How much more logical to think that Virginia Cider may do as well or better? After all, grapes were a problematical crop for Mr. Jefferson, but he had two orchards, one devoted exclusively to cider apples.”
Delegate David Englin is Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and is serving his third term in the Virginia House of Delegates, where he represents the 45th District, which includes parts of the City of Alexandria, Fairfax County, and Arlington County. An Air Force veteran, Englin is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy and Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He serves on the Finance Committee, the Health, Welfare, and Institutions Committee, and the Agriculture, Chesapeake, and Natural Resources Committee. For more information, visit http://www.davidenglin.org.
The neighborhood booster group pitted mixologists from three Rosslyn hotel bars against one another. Their goal: to concoct a drink worthy of being dubbed Rosslyn’s “Skyline cocktail.”
Guests sampled their spirits — multiple times, in some cases, to be thorough — and then voted for their favorite by placing dollar bills in each mixologist’s jar. The winner was the home team: with nearly 300 votes cast (and donated to A-SPAN) Hotel Palomar’s tropical, fruity cocktail beat out cocktails from the Marriott and the Hyatt.
With due respect to the Hotel Palomar, the Hyatt’s Michael Bryan was robbed. His cocktail, “At Ease,” was the a work of boozy art. Good news: if you weren’t there, you can either go to the Rosslyn Hyatt and order the drink, or make it yourself using the recipe below. Cheers!
- 1/2 oz. Pernod
- 3/4 oz. Cognac (Bryan uses Courvoisier VS or Hennessey VS)
- 1/4 oz. Benedictine
- 3-4 dashes Peychaud’s bitters
- 1/4 oz. Simple Syrup
Pour Pernod into an old fashioned glass. Add ice and let sit until Pernod turns opaque (this technique is called ‘louching’). Swirl Pernod so that it coast the inside of the glass and then dispose of excess mixture.
In a mixing glass, add the rest of the ingredients. Add ice. Strain mixing glass into Pernod-coated old fashioned glass.
Add a few cubes of ice, zest the rim of the glass with an orange peel, then drop the orange peel on top of the drink.
Photos courtesy of Monique O’Grady/Rosslyn BID
It’s October — The good news: playoff baseball returns. The bad news: cold temperatures return.
Abuse Charges at Nursing Home — Nearly a dozen employees of the Potomac Center nursing home in Pentagon City have been indicted on charges including neglect and assault. An investigation by the Virginia State Medicare Fraud Office and the FBI determined that employees neglected patient care, forged documents and abused at least one patient. A $10 million lawsuit has also been filed against Potomac Center’s parent company. More from WUSA9.
SUV Rollover Driver Charged – The mother who flipped her SUV on I-395 during yesterday morning’s rain has been charged with failure to maintain control of her vehicle. The 36-year-old woman and her two kids were taken to the hospital after the accident, which temporarily shut down all southbound lanes of the highway. More from the Associated Press.
Whipple Votes Against Costly Revised Liquor Plan — Gov. Bob McDonnell has revised his plan to privatize Virginia’s liquor stores, but has lost the support of an Arlington lawmaker in the process. Responding to criticism from his own party, McDonnell dropped two proposed tax hikes on cocktail sales and wholesale liquor purchases. The change opened a $47 million per year hole in the state’s budget, prompting Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington) to vote against it as a member of a state subcommittee on government reform. More from the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Great Day to Be Outside – It’s supposed to be a near-perfect day weather-wise. Why not stop by the Rosslyn or Ballston farmers markets, or take in some after-work outdoor tunes in Clarendon? See the hours and locations for each in our events calendar.
Go-Go Comes to Crystal City — This weekend, the Hyatt Regency Crystal City will host a late-night concert featuring some of the original legends of go-go. The Rare Essense: Past, Present and Future Reunion is expected to draw a large crowd on Saturday. Starting at 9:00 p.m. and ending at 3:00 a.m., the show will feature a special tribute to the late go-go pioneer Lil Benny. His original band, Rare Essence, will perform, along with EU and Sugar Bear.
McDonnell ABC Plan: 14 New Places to Buy Booze in Arlington? — Gov. Bob McDonnell’s plan to privatize liquor sales in Virginia would triple the number of stores selling booze in the Commonwealth. Arlington currently has seven state-run ABC retailers; assuming that the new licenses are evenly distributed throughout the state, that could mean Arlingtonians will have 14 new places to get their hooch. Grocery stores and other big-box stores would be the biggest beneficiaries of the new licenses, followed by drug stores and package stores. But first, McDonnell’s plan must be approved by a skeptical state legislature.
Write-Up for Willow – According to Washington Life Magazines’ Katie Test, “the patio at Willow Restaurant is the perfect place to say goodbye to summer.” Test writes that the patio’s lush greenery and Willow’s delicious, summery meals are just the thing to take your mind off the gradually falling temperatures.
Woman Locked Inside Virginia Square-GMU Station — A 25-year-old woman said she felt “completely terrified” when she found herself alone locked inside the Virginia Square-GMU Metro station Tuesday night. Metro says the station manager, who is supposed to walk the length of the platform before locking up at night, will receive some “retraining,” Fox5 reports.
Planetarium Group Doesn’t Expect to Meet Fundraising Goals — The board president of the Friends of the Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium says the fundraising goals set by the school board are “unrealistic” and she doesn’t expect to be able to meet them. Alice Monet says she hopes that showing a large base of support will convince the board to keep the aging planetarium open. More from the Washington Post.
Favola to Research the Scourge of Private Liquor Sales – Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell is hoping to sell off the state’s liquor business, a move that could bring in as much as $500 million for transportation projects. But Arlington County Board Member Barbara Favola would like to see some hard facts before private companies can sell hard liquor. She wants to compare alcohol abuse rates in states with private liquor sales and states with state-run liquor sales. More from the Arlington Connection.
Crystal City Restaurant owner Bill Bayne hopes the owners of PaperMoon Gentlemen’s Clubs succeed in their fight to bring hard liquor to Virginia’s topless bars.
Currently, the state prohibits adult clubs from “mixing distilled spirits with erotic performances,” as the Associated Press phrased it. In Richmond yesterday, a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments against the statute.
“We all think it’s an antiquated, crazy law,” Bayne said. “We know that we’re losing business because of it, we know that people are perfectly capable of getting drunk on beer or wine or champagne.”
“The only thing [the law] doing is taking customers we would have and distributing them” to clubs in D.C. and other, more lenient jurisdictions.
Virginia has some of the country’s strictest laws governing strip clubs. Performers must wear bottoms and pasties at all times, and lap dances are prohibited.
Those restrictions may seem like an anathema to a club owner whose business is based around women showing skin, but Bayne said he’s much more concerned about customers not being able to order their favorite cocktails.
In fact, Bayne says he agrees with at least one part of Virginia’s stripper laws.
“My personal opinion is… the bottoms — they should be covered,” the father of three mused. “Leave something to the imagination, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.”