A long-time local restaurant has closed its doors in Crystal City.
Hamburger Hamlet, at the Crystal City Shops (1750 Crystal Drive), closed late last week. Its parent company filed for bankruptcy last year.
The owner of a California-based restaurant chain, which took over operation of the Bethesda Hamburger Hamlet location in 2012, had been hoping to acquire the Crystal City lease in order to open a 24-hour diner, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
“We offered the landlord a new lease,” W.W. “Biff” Naylor, owner of Du-par’s, told ARLnow.com. ”The landlord decided he didn’t want to deal with anybody who was involved with Hamburger Hamlet so we packed it up and left. I’m only going to go where I’m wanted.”
Over the weekend a Hamburger Hamlet location in Pasadena, Calif. was expected to re-open as Du-par’s, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
No word yet on what may replace Hamburger Hamlet.
It appears Sultana Grill (5515 Wilson Blvd.) in the Bluemont neighborhood has closed down.
The restaurant had been open for a little more than a year. The restaurant’s phone number seems to be disconnected, based on the automated message ARLnow.com received when attempting to call.
A tipster who reported enjoying the restaurant’s Moroccan food said he asked what happened and restaurant staff reported the business had been hurt by the lack of having an alcohol license.
The tipster also was told that a hookah bar might open in the space.
Hat tip to Eric LaKuch
Taste of Morocco in Clarendon has closed its doors for good.
It’s unclear when exactly the Moroccan restaurant at 3211 Washington Blvd had its last day, but it was still receiving Yelp reviews as recently as Nov. 24. A for-rent sign is posted inside the window.
One of a small handful of Moroccan restaurants in Arlington, the restaurant was located in what looked to be a construction zone — positioned underneath the construction of the Beacon at Clarendon West apartments, formerly called the Waverly at Clarendon Station. That project is expected to be complete by mid-2014.
Taste of Morocco’s former next-door neighbor, the Indian restaurant Madhu Ban, has been closed for a few years. Its other neighbor, O’Sullivan’s, remains open and completed an expansion earlier this year.
Hat tip to @ChrisKinard
Hamburger Hamlet in Crystal City could close by the end of the year after its parent company filed for bankruptcy in April.
Du-par’s, a California-based diner chain, is attempting to acquire the lease and keep the restaurant, at 1750 Crystal City Shops, open. If successful, the restaurant would be renamed Du-par’s and the staff would be retained. But Du-par’s owner W.W. “Biff” Naylor says that the odds are “80-20 against that happening.”
“I’d hate to see all those people lose their jobs at Christmas time. That would just be brutal,” Naylor said. “We’ve got plenty of time to do it, but the landlord has got to say yes. So far they’ve said no.”
The building is owned by Vornado. Naylor, who lives in California, says he’s coming to the area tomorrow to try to negotiate acquiring the leases for the Crystal City restaurant and Hamburger Hamlet’s location in Bethesda, which he already operates.
If Vornado approves the lease acquisition, Naylor hopes to convert Hamburger Hamlet into a 24-hour restaurant with only minor changes to the menu. If not, the business could close within a couple of weeks and the furniture and equipment sold by the bankruptcy court at auction.
Naylor expects to hear a final decision by Friday.
(Updated at 7:00 p.m.) The Italian Store will be opening a second location next year, in the Westover neighborhood.
The store, which sells sandwiches, pizza, wine and gourmet Italian grocery items, has enjoyed considerable success at its Lyon Village location, at 3123 Lee Highway. The new location, at 5839 Washington Blvd, will be about twice the size as the original, according to owner Robert Tramonte, whose family has owned and operated the store since 1980.
“Our square feet is more than double that of the Lyon Village store, approximately 6,000,” Tramonte told ARLnow.com. “We envision doing everything that we currently have at Lyon Village plus a new Illy espresso coffee bar and other surprises.”
The Italian Store will replace a 7-Eleven convenience store, which closed its doors last night (Sunday). Customers are being asked to instead shop at the 7-Eleven at 6730 Lee Highway.
Tramonte says he expects to begin “a total renovation” of the new location next month.
“Our projected opening date is May 18th pending a fast track permitting process,” he said.
Correction: This article previously stated that the new location would be the Italian Store’s first expansion. Tramonte says the family “has had several other stores… over the years” but currently operates only in Lyon Village.
The Asian fusion restaurant opened in March and held its grand opening celebration in May. However, owner Wendy Cheng said she found Arlington to be too far from Maryland, where she lives and runs the other two Red Parrot locations. She said the long commute was causing too many problems with maintaining the Arlington location.
Cheng confirms the Arlington location “is closed as of this week.”
The Robeks smoothie shop in Courthouse has closed.
The Robeks location at 2300 Wilson Blvd, next to Me Jana was one of two locations for the national smoothie chain in Arlington. The Courthouse shop’s only current Arlington location is in Shirlington (4115 A S. Campbell Street).
The sign announcing the store’s closing didn’t give a reason, simply stating “Robeks at Courthouse is now closed. Thank you for your patronage over the last 8 years!”
Representatives from Robeks could not be reached for comment.
Hat tip to Mikey Lynch
Via Facebook, the business invited its loyal customer base to “have that last shot” last night (Sunday).
“Due to recent events, Amy and I have been forced to do a little soul searching & have made the heart breaking decision to close Lucy’s Arl Shirlington,” the Facebook page said. “We appreciate all of the love and support y’all have given these last couple of crazy years and will be here til the wee hours to have that last shot and make a few more memories. Brave the cold and get your assets to Lucy’s! Deep discounts and indoor smoking!”
Lucy’s opened in the summer of 2011 at 2620 S. Shirlington Road, replacing the former Champion Billiards. It was run by Misti Wise and Amy Borek, former Champion bartenders who gave Lucy’s a unique personality of its own. Their tagline for the pool hall: “Shrews. Brews. Cues.”
It’s unclear which events led to the closure. Wise and Borek could not be immediately reached for comment.
Photo via Facebook
The Red Mango frozen yogurt shop in Clarendon has closed.
We’re told the store’s last day was Friday. The sign has been removed and the interior has since been almost completely emptied out. Workers could be seen changing the locks today.
Red Mango opened at 2831 Clarendon Blvd on May 21, 2010. It was the first store of its kind to open in Arlington during the most recent frozen yogurt craze. A competitor, Pinkberry, opened one block away in 2011. It remains in business.
The franchisees of the Clarendon Red Mango location could not be reached for comment.
Workers could be seen removing the Bailey’s sign from the building today. The Crystal City location has also been removed from the sports bar’s website.
The Bailey’s in the Ballston Common Mall is still open and employees there did not have any information about any possible plans to close.
A tipster tells ARLnow.com that the space formerly occupied by Bailey’s in Crystal City is being considered for a possible music and comedy venue.
Hat tip to @hamblinj
Tipsters report the restaurant has looked deserted for several days. ARLnow.com staff stopped by today (Wednesday) and noted that the restaurant is dark, the doors are locked and the tables have been removed from the dining area.
Leek opened one year ago this month in the former Thai Terrace space.
Last week, Eater DC posted an article saying Leek closed briefly for renovations. The article included a photo of a sign in Leek’s window indicating the restaurant would re-open last Friday, November 8. That sign was not in the window, however, when ARLnow.com staff stopped by today. Nobody could be seen inside the restaurant, performing renovations or otherwise.
Leek’s Facebook page has not been updated since August. The restaurant’s owner could not be reached for comment.
The Italian restaurant’s website, SpaghettiYaFace.com, was recently updated to say the restaurant was closed for good. However, that site was maintained by Joe Smith, who was managing the restaurant the last two years.
Smith’s contract with Toscana’s owner ended last week, but the restaurant, located in Courthouse Plaza (2300 Clarendon Blvd), has continued operations. Manager Nargis Mughal said some changes are planned, including a new menu.
Smith could not be reached via email, but the Spaghetti Ya Face Facebook page announced Oct. 20 that the restaurant shut down. In a reply to a customer comment, Smith or someone else managing the page wrote about the closure: “tried to plan it for November but [the] owner strong armed us.”
Mughal said Smith did not renew his contract because Smith was starting another restaurant in a new city.
Toscana had to close for more than a month earlier this year after a burst pipe covered the restaurant’s floor with three inches of water. It reopened in late June.
Less than 7 months after opening, Fatshorty’s in Clarendon is set to close.
The restaurant, which specializes in sausages, mussels, beer and cupcakes, will close on Sunday, Oct. 27, according to an email sent to Groupon customers who previously purchased a coupon for Fatshorty’s.
The restaurant was a collaboration between local restaurateur Aaron Gordon (of Red Velvet Cupcakery and other restaurant concepts) and Hell’s Kitchen winner Rahman “Rock” Harper. It opened in April.
“Yes, we are closing,” Gordon confirmed to ARLnow.com this morning. “Our reasoning is that we were not making enough revenue and are being bought by another restaurant group.”
Additional details were not immediately available.
Fatshorty’s offered a “sausage blow out” this past weekend, offering half-off all sausage sandwiches, according to a Facebook post.
Hat tip to Benjamin M. and Richard H.
The restaurants, at 1100 Wilson Blvd, closed earlier this month. In July, the possibility they could close became apparent when Monday Properties, which owns the building, applied for a county permit with plans to combine the two spaces into one restaurant with outdoor seating.
Baja Fresh’s phone is disconnected and the space is closed this afternoon. Much of the interior signage has been removed.
A Zpizza employee at its Lyon Park location confirmed that the Rosslyn location closed last week.
So far, no restaurant has signed a lease for the soon-to-be renovated space, according to Aaron Twersky, marketing director for building owner Monday Properties. However, Monday anticipates signing a restaurant in time for a possible spring or summer 2014 opening.
Franchise owner Aziz Ali told ARLnow.com that 7-Eleven’s corporate arm instructed him to close his doors by Oct. 21. The building is owned by Virginia Hospital Center, according to property records.
Ali said he and his wife purchased the 7-Eleven franchise earlier this year — in February, according to a 7-Eleven spokeswoman — but was informed two weeks ago that he would have to shut his doors.
“They didn’t tell us anything else,” Ali said. “We were completely in the dark. I asked ‘what if we don’t want to leave?’ and they said ‘we’ll force you out.’”
Before Ali purchased the location, it was a corporate-owned store. 7-Eleven spokeswoman Margaret Chabris said 7-Eleven has operated on a month-to-month lease with the hospital for two years, and had been in negotiations for a long-term lease, but it “could not be renewed at a favorable rate.”
A representative of Sam Torrey Shoe Service, in the storefront adjacent to 7-Eleven in the building, said that its business would remain open.