Bracket Room, a new upscale sports bar in Clarendon, is planning to open its doors on Thursday, Sept. 5.
The restaurant received its liquor license this week and will be wrapping up interior construction over the next week. Co-owner and reality television star Chris Bukowski says the Bracket Room will distinguish itself from other sports bars in the area by offering a higher-end, “female-friendly” experience, complete with a wide variety of cocktails and shooters and higher-quality food.
“What’s going to separate us any every other sports bar is our food,” Bukowski told ARLnow.com. “We have put in the most effort into our food. It’s not going to be your typical bar food… that’s what’s going to bring people back.”
Bracket Room chef Roland Kator, a personal friend of Bukowski who formerly worked at restaurants in Las Vegas and Chicago, including celebrity chef Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, has helped design a menu that includes both bar favorites and slightly more adventurous fare. Pizza, burgers and tacos are available, as is ceviche, Maine lobster and a “superfoods salad.”
Lined with flat screen TVs and wood paneling, the bar’s modern interior suggests a lounge more akin to Las Vegas than Arlington, which is what Bukowski was aiming for. Adding to the high-end vibe: a private, 20-person VIP area with a customized iPad to control the TVs and the volume.
Bukowski first came up with the idea for the Bracket Room 5 years ago. His TV fame, through roles on ABC reality shows “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor Pad,” gave him a “marketable name” that helped to make the restaurant a reality, he said. Already, fans have been coming into the under-construction restaurant seeking photos.
While many celebrity chefs are content to put their name on a restaurant with which they have little on-going personal involvement, Bukowski, as a celebrity owner, says he will be more hands-on. He has put his TV work on hold until at least the spring, so he can focus on running the restaurant.
“We have to have everything perfect, from our construction to our staff,” he said. ”I will be here every day — interacting with people, making sure everybody’s having a good time.”
Bukowski noted that he “lives literally right above the bar” — in the Lyon Place apartment building. He moved in about 7 months ago.
“I love Clarendon… it’s a perfect location,” he said, when asked about why he chose Arlington and not his native Chicago as the place to open the bar. “The demographic is right up my alley… a lot of young professionals, people that are right out of college that are hungry to make a career for themselves, but still like to go out and enjoy the nightlife.”
Growth at Arlington Pediatric Center –The number of newborns treated at the Arlington Pediatric Center (601 S. Carlin Springs Road) last year jumped by 270 percent compared to one year prior. The increase was credited to the fact that infants born at Virginia Hospital Center without a designated pediatrician are automatically provided care at the nonprofit center. VHC, meanwhile, has seen an increase in birth rates in recent years. [Sun Gazette]
National Night Out Tomorrow — Arlington County Police will participate in National Night Out tomorrow. “Arlington County residents will join their neighbors, police officers and other community leaders” at six events across the county. National Night Out is intended to raise crime awareness, strengthen neighborhood ties and enhance community partnerships with law enforcement. [Arlington County]
Bluemont to Vote on Safeway Development — Members of the Bluemont Civic Association will vote tonight on a proposed mix-use development on the current Safeway site. The development includes a new Safeway store and a 160-unit apartment complex. Many residents have expressed concerns about the height of the development, but Bluemont resident Ryan Arnold writes that “the character of a neighborhood is not defined by the height of its buildings, but by the spirit of its people.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Runner Raises Money for Boston Victims — Frank Fumich, a local runner, ran a 19 hour 38 minute triple marathon along the Mt. Vernon Trail over the weekend in order to raise money for victims of the Boston Marathon bombing. Fumich raised more than $33,000 with the 78.6 mile run. [Washington Post]
Bill Thomas Awards Presented — The annual Bill Thomas Outstanding Park Service Volunteer Awards were presented at last night’s County Board meeting. This year’s winners are Steve Young, a “well-known figure for invasive plant removal at Long Branch Park,” and the Friend of the Gulf Branch Nature Center, a group that has fought the center’s closure and raised money for its operation. [Arlington County]
Chamber to Debut Business Blog — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce “is set to start an Internet blog” written by and about local business. The Sun Gazette reports: “All comments in response to specific articles will be moderated for content, so the Chamber blog does not spiral into the chaos of some online-news sites where anonymous cranks spew venom to little discernible purpose.” [Sun Gazette]
Katherine Heigl Tweets in Support of Moran — Actress Katherine Heigl has used her star power on Twitter to help promote a bill proposed by Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.). The bill would ban the use of gas chambers to euthanize shelter animals. “Please, please, please support Congressman Moran’s resolution,” the acress tweeted. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Batman dropped by the Arlington YMCA (3422 13th Street N.) on Friday to warn kids about the danger of poison and toxic household items.
The Caped Crusader, also known as Maryland millionaire Lenny B. Robinson, arrived in style in his 1966 replica Batmobile. He was also spotted cruising the streets of Arlington and hanging out in Clarendon after the event.
The event was organized by the Alliance for Consumer Education, along with the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the YMCA and Robinson’s Superheroes for Kids organization. During the event, kids were encouraged “to be a superhero in their home by reading labels, asking permission before using an unknown product, and other poison prevention tips.”
Another superhero, Ace Clean, was also on hand to “teach kids about good health through cleanliness and proper hygiene practices.”
Photos courtesy Eddie Paylor Photography
The Caped Crusader will be at the ‘Y’ from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Friday, March 22, hosting an event called “Be a Superhero in Your Home.” The event, which is sponsored by the YMCA, the Alliance for Consumer Education and the American Association of Poison Control Centers, will teach kids “to be a superhero in their home by reading labels, asking permission before using an unknown product, and other poison prevention tips.”
The highlight of the event will be a visit by the Dark Knight — also known as Maryland millionaire Lenny B. Robinson — who will be arriving in style in his $300,000 1966 replica Batmobile. Robinson, 49, has been visiting sick kids in children’s hospitals across the county in the vintage Batmobile, as part of his Baltimore-based Superheroes for Kids organization.
Robinson made international news last year when his $250,000 Lamborghini Batmobile was pulled over by Montgomery County Police. The dashcam video of the traffic stop went viral and Robinson became a minor celebrity in his own right.
Arlington families interested in participating in Friday’s poison prevention event are asked to RSVP to email@example.com. Only 100 tickets are available for the event.
Photo via Facebook
Liukin is scheduled to meet with fans at the Barcroft Sports and Fitness Center (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive) at 3:00 p.m. She will answer questions about her gymnastic career and then hold an autograph session. The event is free and hosted by Arlington Gymnastics, a local youth gymnastics organization.
Liukin is in town for the Kellog’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions, which is being held at the Verizon Center in D.C. tomorrow, Nov. 15, at 7:30 p.m. Sixteen youth gymnasts from Arlington have been chosen to perform at the event’s opening ceremony, according to Arlington Gymnastics coach Sonja Clark.
In addition, “three local athletes will be chosen from the group to demo skills on horizontal bar with Jonathan Horton, uneven bars with Gabby Douglas and beam with Nastia Liukin,” Clark said. “This is awesome for the kids.”
Photo via nastialiukin.com
Arlington has been home to a number of notable figures through the years. A new website called Bigwig Digs, which lets you see the D.C. area homes stars and political figures live in or once lived in, has tracked down the residences of four notable Arlingtonians.
According to the site:
Actress Sandra Bullock grew up in a home (pictured) in the affluent Woodmont neighborhood.
The Doors front man Jim Morrison spent his nomadic childhood in at least two Arlington houses, including a house on a cul-de-sac in the Yorktown neighborhood.
Actor Warren Beatty (and his sister, actress Shirley MacLaine) spent their teenage years in a red brick home in Dominion Hills.
Former Vice President Al Gore has owned a Tudor-style home in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood since 1977.
Photo courtesy Bigwig Digs
Strawberry — who struggled with drugs, prostitution and other vices before he found God in 2006 – will host a sermon at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, at the Church at Clarendon (1201 N. Highland Street).
The church issued the following press release about the event.
On Sunday, September 23, 2012 at 11am, the Church at Clarendon, located at 1201 N. Highland Street in Arlington, welcomes 8-time All Star and 4-time World Series champion Darryl Strawberry to address the question, “What does God have against sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll?”
Strawberry’s sermon is the third in a five week series the Church has titled “Blunt Questions” in which the Church challenges believers and non-believers to honestly wrestle with tough questions of faith. All are welcome to participate in the discussion.
An athlete perhaps known as much for his controversial behavior as for his legendary baseball, Strawberry will speak from a unique and personal perspective. “I was once very lost and tormented but now I am found and free in Christ Jesus. I want everyone to experience the saving and transforming power of Jesus Christ,” notes Strawberry in discussing his current life purpose.
Prior to Strawberry’s sermon, the Church will open its doors on Saturday, September 22 from 11am to 5:30pm to offer water and a cool place of rest for those visiting the Clarendon Day neighborhood festival. This year’s festival is the first since the church re-opened its doors at the Highland Street location in the heart of Clarendon after more than 2 years in exile while the building was torn down and rebuilt.
“As a church, we exist in large part for those that are not yet part of us—to connect with those outside our church and offer them something of the goodness of God,” Pastor David Perdue said. “We’re excited to be hosting Darryl Strawberry because he is a well-known star who can also address a question that many people struggle with.”
The public engagement continues on Monday, September 24, when the John Leland Theological Seminary, a ministry partner of the church, hosts the 40th Annual Faculties’ Convocation of the Washington Theological Consortium on the topic of Theology in the Public Square. Events run from 3:30pm to 7:30pm.
It turns out we were wrong to assume that a Weezer concert that was said to be taking place “near The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City Microsoft Store” next weekend, in honor of the store’s grand opening, will be taking place at the mall. Or in Virginia, for that matter.
A PR rep emailed us today to let us know the concert — scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11 — is actually taking place at the Warner Theater in D.C. The original media advisory (which omitted the Warner Theater detail) said the concert will be taking place at 2:00 p.m., though the band’s website says it’s scheduled from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Weezer fans can get tickets to the event by visiting the Microsoft Store’s Pentagon City mall grand opening on Thursday, Aug. 9. Starting at 10:00 a.m., the store will distribute free wristbands for admission to the event, in pairs of two, according to the Microsoft Store website. The first 200 people in line will also reportedly get a wristband for a meet and greet with the band.
A few lucky people who get in line early on the 9th will also have the chance to play Microsoft Kinect with Washington Wizards star John Wall later that day.
ARLnow.com apologies for the error in our previous article.
Photo by “James” via Wikipedia
The store — which sells Microsoft products like software, gaming devices and phones — is officially opening at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 9. A grand opening ceremony that morning will be followed up with a Microsoft Kinect demonstration by Washington Wizards point guard John Wall at 6:00 p.m., and with an even grander event on Saturday, August 11, featuring a performance by the band Weezer.
The concert will take place at
the mall Warner Theater at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, according to a company rep.
In addition to the rock concert and basketball star, Microsoft will be donating $1 million in software to “local organizations that help create opportunities for local youth” at the grand opening.
There are 20 Microsoft Stores across the country, with another 10 that are listed as “opening soon.” According to a press release, the Microsoft Store offers the following:
- “A curated assortment of products, including Windows 7 PCs, Windows Phones, Kinect for Xbox 360, Office 2010 and more.”
- “A range of tech trainings, business-ready PCs, phones and more.”
- “Community organizations are regularly hosted in the theater space and the employees are out in the community supporting local causes.”
- “Through a partnership with Skinit, customers can show off their personal style and design their own lids and skins for laptops, phones and Xbox.”
At Cafe Asia in Rosslyn, Penn spoke to a young professionals event about the importance of the upcoming presidential election.
“The stakes in this election are extremely high and none of us want to see the country move backwards,” Penn said. “Obviously Virginia is a battleground state, so there are a lot of resources on both sides of the aisle being poured in here.”
Penn, 35, spent two of the past four years working in the Obama White House, in between acting jobs. He said he’s again taking a break from his acting career to make sure the president wins a second term in office.
“I loved and felt very honored to serve the president for two years and a lot of folks are doing their part… not just actors but teachers, firemen, policemen, students, young entrepreneurs,” Penn said. “As much as a love the movie career… seeing what the stakes are and seeing what the alternative is just makes you want to do everything you can between now and November to get the president re-elected. I feel lucky that I can go back to my creative job, but right now when we do events like this, it’s a little more serious in tone.”
In a question and answer session, Penn couldn’t escape a query about his showbiz career, which has included roles in movies like Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, and TV shows like House and How I Met Your Mother.
“What was more fun, working at the White House or working on House?” one young man asked. The White House, Penn replied.
Penn was joined by former White House Chief Technology Officer, Arlington resident, and possible candidate for Virginia lieutenant governor Aneesh Chopra, who spoke passionately about the role of young people and Asian Americans in propelling the president to victory in 2008.
After the event in Rosslyn, Penn and Chopra met with phone bank volunteers at the Obama campaign’s Arlington office at 2408 Columbia Pike. Protesters held anti-Obama signs outside both the Rosslyn and Columbia Pike events.
Among the messages on the signs were references to Penn’s movies, including: “Obama & Kumar Go To Debt Castle” and “If the private sector is ‘doing fine’ then Harold & Kumar should win Best Picture.”
Actor Kal Penn will be making two appearances in Arlington on Monday night, June 11, as part of his work on President Obama’s re-election campaign.
Penn — famous for roles in movies like Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, and TV shows like House and How I Met Your Mother – will first drop by a young professionals event at Café Asia (1550 Wilson Blvd) in Rosslyn at 6:00 p.m. He’s expected to talk about why he supports President Obama and why Virginia is an especially important state in the re-election effort.
At 7:30 p.m., Penn will greet phone bank volunteers at the Obama campaign’s Arlington office (2408 Columbia Pike).
Following President Obama’s election, Penn left acting for two years to go to work in the White House Office of Public Engagement. He’s currently taking another break from acting in order to work as a co-chair — or surrogate — for the president’s re-election campaign.
Photo via the White House
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) has been arrested at a protest outside the Sudanese embassy in Northwest D.C., along with actor George Clooney and several other activists.
Moran’s office confirmed the arrest, which can be seen in this video from NBC Washington.
“Yes, [Rep. Moran] was taken into custody at the Sudan embassy protesting [Sudanese President Omar] al-Bashir’s actions to starve half a million people,” said Anne Hughes, the congressman’s press secretary.
In a press release yesterday afternoon, Moran’s office explained the impetus for the protest: “President al-Bashir has blocked food and humanitarian aid from entering Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions since June 2011, threatening starvation for half a million Sudanese.”
Moran and Clooney were joined at the protest by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Rep. John Olver (D-Mass.), Martin Luther King III, NAACP President Ben Jealous, and journalist Nick Clooney, the actor’s father, among other activists and religious leaders. See a press release from Moran’s office, about the protest and the arrests, after the jump.
Photo courtesy United to End Genocide
SOJA, a reggae group founded by a group of Arlington natives, made their national television debut Monday night on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.
The band performed “Gone Today,” from their new album Strength to Survive, which is currently #1 and #2 respectively on the Billboard and iTunes reggae charts. The album was released on ATO, the record label co-founded by Dave Matthews, with whom the band has toured.
(The video, above, is queued up to the beginning of the performance.)
Also known as Soldiers of Jah Army, SOJA came from humble local beginnings. The band was founded by two best friends, Jacob Hemphill and Bobby Lee, who started performing together as middle school students in Arlington. After picking up three other bandmates in high school, SOJA was formed and began performing around the D.C. area. Following graduation, the band began touring and their success has been growing ever since.
“Over the course of the past few years, SOJA has sold more than 150,000 albums, headlined large theaters in more than 15 countries around the world, generated over 20 million+ YouTube views, amassed more than a half-million Facebook fans, and attracted an almost Grateful Dead-like international fanbase that grows with each tour, with caravans of diehards following them from city to city,” the band’s website says. “Most impressive of all, they’ve accomplished all this on their own.”
SOJA is currently on tour and will be performing for two nights at the 9:30 Club in D.C. in May. One of the nights, Saturday, May 19, will feature ?uestlove, of The Roots and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon fame, as a special guest artist. SOJA will also be performing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee in June.
(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) Wondering what the famous Oscar Mayer Wienermobile was doing at the entrance to Bluemont Park on Tuesday?
So were we. Luckily, the team of “hotdoggers” who are driving the vehicular sausage all over the East Coast got in touch with us yesterday and were able to grill them on the purpose of their visit.
We asked what they were up to over in Bluemont.
“We’re in Annapolis for a few days of events at grocery stores,” the pair said. “We were just in Arlington for the afternoon to do some disc golfing with a friend.”
There were hot dogs served to their fellow Frisbee golf players, right? Seems like that would be a perk of the job.
“Haha nope no hot dogs,” the hotdoggers replied. “Just a nice day of frolfing in the park.”
The Oscar Mayer ambassadors promised to let us know next time they were in town. Hopefully they’ll remember to steer clear of the Pentagon.