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by Ethan Rothstein — April 15, 2015 at 11:15 am 5,610 0

Mother’s Macaroons Bakery, an institution in North Arlington for 28 years, will close on Friday.

Owner Kay LoMedico decided to hang up her apron this week after a trying year in which her husband — who owned the Sunoco gas station nearby — passed away and three longtime employees left the shop.

“It was a series of things, and it hit me like a bag of rocks,” LoMedico told ARLnow.com today from her bakery at 2442 N. Harrison Street, across from the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. “When I opened this bakery I was in my 30s. Now with the stress of the bakery and owning the Sunoco, I sort of fell out of love with it.”

The bakery, which serves all kinds of cookies, brownies and sweets as well as coffee, juices, breakfast and lunch, was sold 10 years ago when LoMedico’s mother died. Two weeks later, she regretted the decision, and six months after that she was able to buy it back and reopen.

Through almost three decades of keeping her customer base plied with sugary goods, LoMedico said she will miss the community and independence the most.

“My favorite part was I was able to make what I wanted,” she said. “I’m going to really miss the community. They have been wonderful for me all these years and helped me to grow.”

Although the bakery is closing, LoMedico said she’s not sure what she wants to do next, and it may not be goodbye for good.

“I’m going out with my name and my recipes,” she said. “Who knows, I may be back.”

by Ethan Rothstein — April 8, 2015 at 12:30 pm 2,611 0

The FroZenYo in Ballston might not reopen The FroZenYo in Ballston might not reopen

The FroZenYo in Ballston, which has been closed all winter to await the return of warm weather, now appears likely to not reopen at all.

The FroZenYo in Crystal City (2231 Crystal Drive) reopened this week, according to the D.C.-based company’s Facebook page. On that same page, the company posted in a comment that the Ballston location is likely closed.

Unfortunately  it doesn’t look like we will be reopening the Ballston store this year, sorry about that,” the comment reads.

On FroZenYo’s website, the Ballston store is no longer listed — the Crystal City and Rosslyn locations are now the only branches the company claims in Virginia.

The Ballston FroZenYo store opened in 2012.

by Ethan Rothstein — April 7, 2015 at 3:45 pm 3,177 0

Eclectic Threads, the vintage consignment, furniture and clothing store in Lyon Park, is closing in June.

The shop, at the corner of Washington Blvd and Pershing Drive, has been open since 1982, owner Sheila Selario told ARLnow.com today. It’s combined with Corner Cupboard, and Selario runs the two stores with her daughter, Tara.

The building’s being sold, Selario said, prompting the closure. Everything in the shop — a mix of knick-knacks, furs, lamps and pretty much anything else that can fit through the door — is 20 percent off for now, but the sale could go up before Eclectic Threads shuts down.

“If the public hasn’t come in yet, now’s the time,” Selario said.

The store opened as consignment 33 years ago before growing in scope. Selario said she’s going to use her time now to “catch up on things” she missed while running the business.

“I’m really going to miss it,” she said. “It’s been a wonderful experience.”

by Ethan Rothstein — March 30, 2015 at 3:30 pm 5,680 0

(Updated at 7:00 p.m.) The Curious Grape, the wine bar and shop in Shirlington, closed Saturday night, but a new restaurant will be taking its place shortly.

Coming in to the location on 2900 S. Quincy Street will be Osteria da Nino Cucina Italiana & Bar, an Italian restaurant that plans to start its soft opening on Thursday, its owners told ARLnow.com today.

The restaurant is being launched by a pair of couples and helmed by Italian chef Nino Pino, who has worked at a number of restaurants in Northern Virginia, including Palio Ristorante in Leesburg. Crews will be working around the clock until Thursday night, when Osteria da Nino hopes to get in a few practice runs before a planned Easter brunch on Sunday.

The turnaround might catch some by surprise — many restaurant openings take more than a year in Arlington. Even more so because The Curious Grape had been a Village at Shirlington staple for more than a decade.

“As most people know, running a restaurant is really a 24/7 commitment,” Curious Grape owner Suzanne McGrath said in an email. “Actively managing the restaurant has also diverted my efforts away from wine education, which is really my career focus. We have so appreciated all the support of our loyal customers and the wonderful people who enjoyed The Curious Grape.”

Osteria is looking for waitstaff, bussers and kitchen staff to join the team immediately, and is asking those interested to apply in person.

by Ethan Rothstein — March 10, 2015 at 1:00 pm 1,221 0

House of Mandi goes into the former Sultana Grill space in BluemontSultana Grill, the Moroccan restaurant in Bluemont that closed, then reopened, then closed for good last year, could soon be replaced.

Sultana’s sign is gone, and in its place is a sign for “House of Mandi Middle Eastern Grill.” The phone number has been removed from the windows, which are covered in paper.

When Sultana first closed its storefront at 5515 Wilson Blvd, next door to Arlington Pharmacy, some suspected it was due to a lack of any alcohol being served, including beer and wine. When it reopened, the new management dismissed that as the reason. According to our tipster, it closed for good a few months ago.

It’s unclear when House of Mandi will open. It does not have an active application with the state Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

Hat tip to Daniel Manchester

by Ethan Rothstein — February 25, 2015 at 1:30 pm 1,709 0

The Comedy Spot in Ballston Common Mall(Updated at 3:45 p.m.The Comedy Spot, the stand-up and improvisational comedy venue on the third floor of Ballston Common Mall, will shut its doors this weekend and move into D.C.

Tomorrow night (Thursday), The Comedy Spot will host its final standup show, a free showcase for comics who have performed over the last 10 years at the venue.

Saturday night will be the final shows for the regular Comedysportz and The Blue Show improv comedy shows, at 7:30 and 10:00 p.m. respectively. Each show costs $15 and a large cast of present and past performers will take the stage for the final time.

After this weekend, the shows will move to the D.C. Improv at 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW, according to The Comedy Spot’s website. The first Comedysportz and Blue Show at the Improv will be March 14.

According to the host of the weekly open mic night, Kenneth Llewellyn, the Comedy Spot decided to let its lease run out, rather than renew before the mall undergoes its planned major renovation.

“The Comedy Spot is one of the longest running comedy mics in the DMV area,” Llewellyn said in an email. He’s hosted the free Thursday night shows, which have been held weekly for six years, since 2013. “After six years. the venue is closing so we’re having one last show featuring some of the all-time greats.”

The Comedy Spot’s owner, Liz Demery, told ARLnow.com in an email that her “rather expensive lease was up.”

I adore the people and audiences at the DC Improv,” she wrote. “Instead of having to maintain a physical space, we get to show up and play at their excellent location.”

by ARLnow.com — February 20, 2015 at 7:15 pm 6,148 0

La Tagliatella in ClarendonCiao, La Tagliatella.

The Italian restaurant closed its doors today, after struggling to attract enough business to support its high-rent Clarendon location. The struggles followed a scathing Washington Post review that said La Tagliatella “makes a strong case for hazard pay for restaurant critics.”

We’re told the restaurant, located at 2950 Clarendon Blvd, went out with a bang during its last two nights in business, with $3 drink specials and 75 percent off wine.

We reported in January that rumors were swirling about an imminent closing.

The restaurant, owned by Polish company AmRest, was the third American location of a franchise that was popular in Europe, and was viewed as a harbinger for potentially hundreds of additional U.S. locations. In May, the Washington Business Journal reported those expansion plans were on hold, and theorized the Post’s review — which called La Tagliatella “a threat to our nation” and compared it unfavorably to Olive Garden — might have had something to do with it.

La Tagliatella had a planned location in the Village at Shirlington at the former Extra Virgin space, and still has signs up that say “coming soon,” but the manager we spoke to said those plans have since been scuttled.

The restaurant opened in Clarendon in the prime spot at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, formerly home to Restaurant 3, in 2013.

No word yet on what might replace La Tagliatella.

by Ethan Rothstein — February 19, 2015 at 10:00 am 3,290 0

Toscana Grill(Updated Feb. 23 at 9:45 a.m.) A new Vietnamese restaurant plans to take over the space currently occupied by Toscana Grill in Courthouse.

The owners of Pho Deluxe, which has locations in Fairfax and Tysons Corner, told ARLnow.com that Toscana Grill is closing April 1, after which they will move in.

They hope to be open a month afterward at 2300 Clarendon Blvd, facing Courthouse Plaza.

Owners Hue and Dan Nguyen said the restaurant will specialize in the beef noodle soup, as well as rice dishes and noodle dishes. It will also have a full bar.

Toscana Grill had briefly closed in fall 2013, but reopened under new management.

Next door, meanwhile, Velocity Five’s conversion to Courthaus Social is about to get started. Co-owner Fito Garcia said this morning that the sports bar will be closing “in the coming week” to begin its remodeling to an “American beer garden.” Garcia said he expects the remodeling and staff training to be complete in time to open in April.

A previous version of this story stated Toscana Grill would close March 1. That has been corrected.

by Ethan Rothstein — February 9, 2015 at 1:30 pm 1,306 0

The closed RadioShack in the Crystal City ShopsThe RadioShack in the Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive in Crystal City is closed and the RadioShack in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is expected to close by the end of March, if not sooner.

The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last week, and plans to close thousands of its locations by March 31, including the storefront in the Pentagon City Mall. Employees at the Pentagon City RadioShack could not say when that location would be closing, only that it was relatively imminent.

The RadioShack on the second floor of Ballston Common Mall is expected to be the last remaining location of the national electronics retailer in Arlington by the spring.

That Ballston store will likely be part of the newly formed consortium between Standard General, a private equity fund, and Sprint, the cell phone provider, keeping between 1,500 and 2,400 stores open nationwide, according to Forbes. Whenever the deal is finalized and the transition occurs, the leftover stores will be selling a mix of Sprint products and the electronic goods like cords and adapters for which RadioShack has become known.

by Ethan Rothstein — February 3, 2015 at 4:45 pm 3,144 0

International Wine and Beverage in CherrydaleInternational Wine and Beverage will close sometime before the summer, ending 50 years in business for the Beek family at 4040 Lee Highway.

Husband and wife Leo and Mary Beek opened the shop in 1964 selling typewriters. Mary Beek told ARLnow.com today that about 18 years ago her son, Bob, got into the wine business and led the switch from selling the obsolete machines to wine, beer and cigars.

Leo has passed away, and Mary, Bob and Ashley Beek have decided to retire “whenever we sell all our goodies in here.”

“It’s time to retire,” Mary Beek said. “When it’s time to go, it’s time to go.”

Whenever the Beek family sells the rest of its drinks and smokes, the Cherrydale Veterinary Clinic next door will expand into its space. Dr. Robert Brown has owned the clinic since 1972 and operated it with his wife, Donna. Mary Beek said she was happy that another local, family business was moving in to the space.

Hat tip to Peter Golkin

by Ethan Rothstein — January 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm 2,672 0

The Pinkberry in Clarendon has been closed for well over a month, with all the equipment inside sitting, waiting, for someone to use it and serve frozen yogurt again.

That day could soon be coming. Pinkberry’s franchise owner, who also owns six other Pinkberry stores in the D.C. area, has declared for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and his stores — including the one at 2930 Clarendon Blvd — are up for auction, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Anyone who wins the bid would have to renegotiate a lease with the building’s landlord and execute a franchise agreement with the California-based froyo chain, the WBJ reports. The chain is hoping to reopen those locations, and the call for bids for the assets valued at $769,000 ends Feb. 9.

Pinkberry’s temporary closure has led to an unexpected frozen yogurt desert in Clarendon. Nicecream Factory is still open and serving their fresh-made ice cream, but after Red Mango closed in 2013, the closest frozen yogurt shops are IceBerry in Rosslyn and FroZenYo in Ballston.

Pinkberry opened in the summer of 2011.

Hat tip to Peter Golkin

by Ethan Rothstein — January 15, 2015 at 2:35 pm 8,943 0

La Tagliatella in ClarendonLa Tagliatella, the Italian restaurant in Clarendon perhaps best known for a scathing Washington Post review, could close at the end of the month.

We’re told by one restaurant employee that Jan. 31 will be its last day. A manager, when contacted by ARLnow.com, said “there’s been talk of it” but “we haven’t gotten any official word yet.”

The restaurant, owned by Polish company AmRest, was the third American location of a franchise that was popular in Europe, and was viewed as a harbinger for potentially hundreds of additional U.S. locations. In May, the Washington Business Journal reported those expansion plans were on hold, and theorized the Post’s review — which called La Tagliatella “a threat to our nation” and compared it unfavorably to Olive Garden — might have had something to do with it.

La Tagliatella had a planned location in the Village at Shirlington at the former Extra Virgin space, and still has signs up that say “coming soon,” but the manager we spoke to said those plans have since been scuttled.

The restaurant opened in Clarendon in the prime spot at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, formerly home to Restaurant 3, in 2013.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 6, 2015 at 2:00 pm 2,009 0

Wet Seal, the national young women’s clothing store chain, has closed its location in Ballston Common Mall amid serious money trouble at the corporate level.

The Ballston location closed over the weekend, and pieces of merchandise were still strewn about the store despite most of it laying empty yesterday.

According to a tipster, there was a handwritten sign in the window that read along the lines of, “check the internet if you want to know why we are closed. wet seal sucks! liars!” (Update at 6:30 p.m. — BuzzFeed has a photo of the sign and an interview with its creator.)

Other Wet Seal stores around the country were closed abruptly, and employees of the location that closed in Durham, N.C., also posted a sign complaining about the fashion in which the store closed and how it treated its now-jobless employees.

Bloomberg News reported last week that Wet Seal received a notice of default and owes its creditors $28.8 million by Jan. 12. The financial news site says the company’s stock price has plummeted to 5.7 cents a share, having lost 97 percent of its value in the last year. If the company’s projections hold up, it will have lost almost $240 million by the end of the fiscal year.

According to the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio, 350 Wet Seal stores nationwide are in line to be closed. Employees in many of those stores were give just one day’s notice.

The Wet Seal location in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City remains open, and a store employee told ARLnow.com today that the Ballston location’s closure and any problems at the corporate level are “news to me.”

by Ethan Rothstein — January 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm 4,193 0

EMS in Clarendon, expected to close after January 2015Eastern Mountain Sports, the outdoors outfitter store next to Barnes & Noble in Market Common Clarendon, is expected to close at the end of the month.

There’s a storewide clearance sale going on now, and the store has signs posted inside and out announcing that the location will be closing at the end of January. According to a store employee, EMS’ lease is up at the end of the month.

The closest EMS location is in Dulles, Va., 20 miles away. A similar retailer, Orvis, is another Market Common tenant and is at 2879 Clarendon Blvd.

Hat tip to Bill Colton

by Ethan Rothstein — January 2, 2015 at 1:30 pm 3,767 0

Cakelove in Shirlington closes Cakelove in Shirlington closes

Another retailer has closed up shop in the Village at Shirlington.

Cakelove, the pastry specialty store at 4150 Campbell Avenue, has closed its doors after seven years in the shopping center. According to its website, Cakelove is closing “in in order to scale up production of our cake in a jar.”

Cakelove will still operate its location on U Street NW in D.C., but it has also closed its two Maryland locations.

Cakelove closed in December, making it the fourth retailer in the Village to close since October. First, lingerie store Bloomers closed, followed by health-conscious Lebanese restaurant Aladdin’s closed, and Periwinkle — sharing the same block as Cakelove and Bloomer’s, told ARLnow.com it wouldn’t renew its lease for 2015.

Hat tip to Stephanie

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