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.
The interior of the space was almost entirely emptied out by Tuesday afternoon, ARLnow.com was told.
The owner left phone numbers for the spa’s nail technicians on the sign, so their regular customers could contact them to try to make appointments elsewhere.
When asked for explanation for the closure, someone answering messages sent to the spa’s email address said only: “The landlord wants the space back after the lease.”
The Crystal City location of Caribou Coffee (2100 Crystal Drive) will be closing at the end of this week and the coffee shop’s Shirlington location will eventually be converted to a Peet’s Coffee and Tea store, ARLnow.com has learned.
According to employees, the Crystal City location will close its doors after Sunday, April 14. The store is currently offering merchandise like coffee, mugs and coffee makers for 50 percent off, we’re told.
The Shirlington location will remain open for now but will be converted to a Peet’s Coffee and Tea store “at some point this fall,” an employee said.
Peet’s, which opened its first store in Berkeley, Calif. in 1966, is majority owned by a German private equity firm that purchased the Caribou chain last year. Caribou announced on Monday that it’s closing 80 “underperforming” stores and converting another 88 to Peet’s locations.
Wiinky’s (3902 Wilson Blvd) will serve its last burgers on Sunday, March 31, according to a sign in the window. Restaurant employees said they were told that Wiinky’s and several other small businesses on the block are closing to make way for a new pet store, possibly a Petco location.
“Unfortunately, the ownership of our building has changed hands and the new landlord has opted not to renew our lease in favor of a large corporation that will pay a much higher price for the space,” the sign said. “We appreciate the support you gave given us the last few years… In the mean time we will be looking for a new location in the Arlington area so don’t be surprised to see a new and improved Wiinkys in the future.”
The burger and hot dog joint opened in April 2011. Despite skepticism about its young owner and its earnest, low-frills food offerings, the restaurant has remained in business and has even attracted a 4/5 star review average on Yelp. A manager tells us business has picked up in the last year and is now “really good,” especially at lunchtime and during late night hours (when it also offers a delivery service).
We’re told that the new Wiinky’s, should it reopen elsewhere, may apply for a permit to serve beer and wine.
“We’re going to keep our ears and eyes open, looking for a place in Arlington,” said owner Ryan Shandel. ”If we find a place that’s affordable and makes sense, then we’ll make a move.”
Shandel said the closure is “a sad and sudden thing to happen,” but added that he’s grateful for the support of the community and for the opportunity to learn while on the job. He said he hopes customers will stop by one last time before the restaurant closes on Sunday.
So far, Petco hasn’t responded to a request for comment.
Hat tip to @PeoplesEyebrow. Photo via Google Maps.
“We’ll miss all loyal customers,” the restaurant said. “Thank you so much for the good times.”
Said another social media post: “Restaurant items for sale. Call 202-256-0444. Everything must go!!”
Via Twitter, Extra Virgin said that the restaurant closed because it was not making enough money in sales to pay the rent.
As of December, Extra Virgin owed Arlington County $38,402.12 in unpaid meals taxes. That debt has since been repaid.
“All taxes owed by Extra Virgin have been paid so that their present balance is zero,” Arlington County Treaurer Frank O’Leary told ARLnow.com.
Photo via Facebook
Cafe Assorti, at 1800 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, will be closing its doors on Sunday.
The restaurant served Russian, Eastern European and Kazakh cuisine, as well as pastries, beer and wine. It was open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
It’s unclear why Cafe Assorti is closing. A restaurant employee told us that the owners are looking for a new location in Rockville, Md. and hoping to reopen there in August.
Photo via Facebook
Cucina Vivace, at 509 23rd Street S. in Crystal City, has closed.
The restaurant closed last month, to the disappointment of regular customers. Chef/owner Gordon Vivace suggested that the restaurant row on 23rd Street was no longer drawing in the customers he needed in order to stay open.
“That strip is not in good shape and is simply no longer a location where an upscale restaurant can survive,” Vivace told ARLnow.com. “I was presented with an opportunity to leave on short notice, and chose to take it.”
Vivace said he does not plan to reopen.
“I’m going to stick to catering and personal chef services where my food can be my food without compromise to the price people are willing to pay to walk in the door,” he said.
Adam’s Corner, a hookah lounge and bar at 2319 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse, closed its doors over this past weekend.
It’s unclear why the local watering hole, which also served as a Red Sox and Patriots bar, closed. One business owner on the block said Adam’s Corner was evicted, though that could not be independently confirmed. The interior of the restaurant appeared to be largely empty this afternoon.
The building in which Adam’s Corner was located is set to be torn down to be replaced with a new 8-story office building, displacing the three remaining restaurants on the block: Listrani’s, Thai at Corner and Taste of Tunisia. The business owner said he does not anticipate moving out to make way for construction until next year. A construction timetable could also not be independently confirmed.
One tipster suggested that Adam’s Corner, which opened in 2010, lacked a core brand identity.
“I guess the Red Sox theme coupled with jazz and hookah didn’t pack them in,” the tipster said.
Earlier last month, before the closure, one customer lauded Adam’s Corner on its Facebook page, calling it “probably the only bar in Arlington that even knows how to chill the hell out and relax.”
The restaurant, at 2155 Crystal Square Arcade, was not visible from the outside; it was entirely inside the underground Crystal City Shops, and thus got most of its business from lunch-goers who work in the area. The closure comes as Crystal City faces higher office vacancies and fewer workers as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). As of January, almost 20 percent of Crystal City’s 12.5 million square feet of office space was vacant.
The McDonald’s space is expected to be used as art studio space as part of the Crystal City Business Improvement District’s new “Art Underground” initiative. The project, set to launch on March 16, is intended to transform “five blocks of Crystal City’s interior retail space into a vibrant arts and cultural destination with galleries, studios, interactive exhibits and activities, performance and classroom spaces, and a host of special events.”
The space will be run by the Arlington Artists Alliance and will be open to local artists who are looking for a space “to create, practice and showcase their talents.”
“We’re extremely excited to transform the underground in a way that we think is active and fresh, and really activates the retail space and gives people a reason to come to Crystal City,” said BID president Angela Fox.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
(Updated at 1:05 p.m.) Ray’s Hell Burger and Ray’s Hell Burger Too (1713 & 1725 Wilson Blvd) has closed in Rosslyn.
The closure is the result of a landlord-tenant dispute between restaurateur Michael Landrum and his landlord, the historic Colonial Village Shopping Center. Court records show that Landrum filed a lawsuit against the shopping center on Nov. 16. Yesterday afternoon, the shopping center locked Landrum and his staff out of both storefronts.
“Landlord has changed the locks,” said signs on the door. “Do not unlock this door under penalty of damages.”
Handwritten signs in the window, posted by Landrum, direct customers across the street to Ray’s to the Third (1650 Wilson Blvd).
“Please visit us at Ray’s to the Third while we take a quick break,” said one of the signs. “Please do not leave your car in this lot if you come across the street… towing is very likely.”
Reached via phone, Landrum declined to elaborate on his complaint against the landlord, citing ongoing litigation. He did, however, vow to continue to serve his famous burgers, which in 2010 drew President Obama and Russian president Dmitry Medvedev to Rosslyn eatery.
“We continue to serve the Original Hell-Burger and all of our famous signature items, at Ray’s To Third, which has been temporarily reformatted to allow for counter service and to go for convenience and extra value, as well as full-service, sit-down table service,” he told ARLnow.com. “And yes, credit cards are accepted.”
“We’re fighting to the last man and cooking to the last burger… nothing’s going to stop us from doing that,” a defiant Landrum added. “This is a very minor blip.”
In an emailed statement, Landrum spoke generally about the relationship between landlords and tenants.
I am not saying this is the case here, but landlords abuse their power and violate the rights of tenants with near-total impunity all the time, because tenants rarely have the means or the ability to defend their rights This is something all of us, or very nearly all of us, have experienced. What often times gets me labeled as a “firebrand” (or worse) is simply my refusal to allow my rights to be violated, my insistence on fair treatment, and my willingness to suffer and challenge the consequences when those things are violated.
Landrum said he’s currently planning an inauguration-related
event special at Ray’s to the Third. He’s not currently looking for a new space for Ray’s Hell Burger.
The restaurant has “closed for reorganization,” according to its website, and as pointed out in the ARLnow.com Forums earlier this week. The restaurant’s phone number has been disconnected and its owner could not be reached for clarification.
The restaurant opened in December 2011. It’s owned by Memphis native and restaurant veteran Chris George, who recruited Redrick Rayborn, formerly the manager of a Memphis-area barbecue restaurant, to serve as “pit master.”
The 5,500 square foot space included a 54-seat bar and a 170-seat dining room. Rock ‘n’ roll and Memphis-related memorabilia adorned the walls.
“When I walked past the shop earlier this week they had moved the planters out of the way and it looked like they had removed some stuff already,” a tipster told ARLnow.com today.
The Memphis Barbeque website asks customers to “please check back for future developments” but doesn’t otherwise say definitively whether the restaurant will re-open.
At least one remnant of the restaurant is still alive and well, though. The Memphis Barbeque Facebook page has not yet mentioned the closing and today asked its 55 followers what they would rather be doing at the moment instead of work.