The parade has been rescheduled for 8:00 p.m. on Monday, March 17. It will still run along Wilson Blvd from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street in Clarendon.
“Approximately 90% of the original Mardi Gras entries are able to participate on the rescheduled date,” according to the Clarendon Alliance, the parade’s organizer. “The Mardi Gras Parade registration period is being extended, to allow additional entrants to participate in the parade. New registrations will be accepted by the CA through 5pm on Wednesday March 12.”
In 2010, when snow forced the cancellation of the Mardi Gras parade, it was transformed into a St. Patrick’s Day parade, complete with Irish dancers, a leprechaun and green beads. For now, the 2014 version is still being called a “Mardi Gras parade.”
Those in and around the retail industry say the recent trends toward mixed-use, urbanized development and the growth of “milennials” among consumers in the post-recession years add up nicely for Arlington.
Bruce Leonard, a managing principal at Streetsense, a real estate, retail and marketing firm, gave a lecture at George Mason University’s Arlington campus last month called “the changing face of retail.” He contended that the retail market is catching up to the real estate market in seeking urban, walkable centers.
Downtown areas were the dominant retail markets at the turn of the century, he said, until “construction of the interstates it moved away from the cities.”
“Now, ironically, we’re coming back to more urban- and downtown-focused retail,” Leonard said. “So for the [Rosslyn-Ballston] corridor, that’s really a good thing because it’s really urban. It’s relevant to the consumer in that it has the ability to provide an immersive and engaging environment… which is what [the consumers] are looking for.”
Kevin Shooshan, who oversees the leasing for The Shooshan Company in Ballston, said that’s why Arlington will still have an advantage over Tysons Corner when the Silver Line opens.
“I think specifically in the Courthouse-Clarendon-Ballston area, it’s more that it’s a walkable area, even more than Tysons,” he told ARLnow.com yesterday. “In Ballston, in Courthouse, in Clarendon, you can go on a leisurely four-block, five-block walk, passing ground floor retail with every step, with options to grab a paper, grab coffee, meeting with someone. It’s not just a walk down a Metro access corridor. I do see that as a huge asset.”
As the D.C. area apartment rental market continues to surge, that retail market can be key for attracting tenants. Most of the new buildings have fitness centers, pools, computer lounges and other amenities, but the shops in the neighborhood are every bit as much of the pitch to a tenant these days.
“Retail, in these markets, is really becoming an amenity,” Leonard said. “We’re seeing the conversation is ‘what kind of retail will I get that will match the demands of my tenant?’ Co-tenancy is going both horizontal and vertical, and that’s a really new trend.”
Billy Buck, the vice president of Buck & Associates, said the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor sells itself.
“In a 10-minute conversation, it’s mentioned in the first minute or two by the client before we have to bring it up,” Buck said. ”It’s not something you have to sell. The client or the purchaser or the tenant, they get to us because they’ve already realized that all those things are super important to their use.”
Lastly, the top trend Leonard said the retail market will see, both locally and nationall, is continued downsizing of big retailers. With online shopping and a shift in consumer behavior, chains that had giant, big box stores are looking for spaces sometimes half the size as before.
Most national retailers have square-footage requirements for any space they are looking for, Buck said, but that never prevents them from squeezing themselves in Arlington.
“These retailers are smart enough to realize that it may not fit their corporate mold, they know better than to skip Arlington,” he said. “You’re not going to just pass on Arlington in general, it’s just a bad business decision.”
Update on 3/3/14 — The parade has been postponed indefinitely due to snow.
The annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade will take place next Tuesday, March 4.
The free, family-friendly parade will start at 8:00 p.m. at N. Barton Street and will make its way up Wilson Blvd to N. Irving Street in Clarendon. The parade features decorated vehicles, marching bands, parade floats, groups with animals, historic fire trucks, school groups and more.
According to Matt Hussman, executive director of the Clarendon Alliance, the parade this year will be the biggest ever in terms of entries. Among the groups that are expected to march in the parade:
- Ballou High School Marching Knights
- Batala Washington Drummers group
- Cherrydale VFD
- US Park Police Horse Mounted Unit
- DC LSU Alumni Chapter
- Krewe of Xenia
- Kensington Street Builders
- “The Band” Marching Unit
- Washington Nationals
- Corozon de America
- Sangre Boliviana
- Morenada Transpeco USA
- Tinkus Tiatacao USA
Before the parade, at 5:00 p.m., New Orleans native chef David Guas, of Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road), will hold his annual Bayou Gras Block Party in front of the restaurant in Courthouse.
The event will feature Abita on draft, bourbon cocktails, oysters, king cake, jambalaya, and gumbo under a large party tent. Tickets range from $15-30.
Disclosure: Clarendon Alliance is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The restaurant group announced today it has hired Matt Hill, former executive chef at Charlie Palmer Steak and, most recently, the chef de cuisine at Range. Hill replaces former executive chef Liam LaCivita, with whom the group “amicably” parted ways earlier this week.
Along with whatever changes Hill brings to the three Clarendon eateries, Liberty Tavern has been planning an American Heritage menu, according to Eater DC. The menu would feature different culinary traditions with American roots, like Polish, Irish and Greek foods popularized in immigrant communities around the country.
Liberty Tavern sous-chef Miljohn Dimaano has been promoted to Chef de Cuisine to serve under Hill. Owners Mark and Stephen Fedorchak announced that the change in the kitchen at all three restaurants is effective immediately.
“[Hill] looks forward to blending his culinary talent experience, and passion in leading these three restaurants to ongoing success,” Mark Fedorchak wrote in a press release.
Photo courtesy Mark Fedorchak
In November, we reported that permits were filed for a “Thaiger Asian Bistro” in the space at 3035 Clarendon Blvd. Now it appears that those plans have changed and “Four Sisters Grill” will be opening instead.
Lai has been executive chef at Four Sisters, now located in Merrifield, for more nearly 15 years. Arlington Magazine called Four Sisters, which is owned by Lai’s parents, “arguably the most sought-out Vietnamese eatery in the D.C. area” in a profile last year.
Lai tells ARLnow.com that Four Sisters Grill will be a fast casual version of the original Four Sisters restaurant. It will serve about 20 menu items, compared to the nearly 200 items at the Merrifield restaurant.
“It’s been my vision for a couple years now,” he said. “I think this area really likes that. This area’s very quick paced — they want to eat, they want to go.”
Menu items will include “hearty, quick and simple” Vietnamese food like banh mi sandwiches, vermicelli noodles and rice-based dishes like lemongrass chicken. The dishes will be large and will come with lots of vegetables, Lai said. The menu will be budget priced, with entrees ranging from $5 to $12, or about $7-8 on average, he said.
“It should be simple, not crazy over the top,” he said. “At the end of the day you don’t want to pay $15-20 an item just for a chicken dish.”
Lai is hoping to open the restaurant, complete with a brand new interior, by the end of February. A building permit was applied for late last month.
Proposed legislation in the Virginia General Assembly would allow patrons of Arlington’s Trolley Pub to drink alcohol while on board.
Del. Patrick Hope (D-47) has introduced House Bill 423, which would allow passengers on vehicles with a common carrier — which would include limousines and motor coaches, in addition to the Trolley Pub — to consume alcohol.
The Trolley Pub in Arlington launched last year but has been unable to serve passengers alcoholic beverages, as it does in its original market of Raleigh, N.C. Instead, it stops at bars and restaurants in Clarendon and lets passengers debark to drink.
The Sun Gazette, which first reported on the bill, suggested that Hope’s legislation might not sit well with Arlington County Board members.
“Board members last year blasted the entire concept of the trolley pub, and only calmed down (slightly) when they learned that those using it could not consume alcohol,” the newspaper reported. “But they have remained upset about the human-powered trolley’s impact on traffic in one of Arlington’s most congested areas.”
The Trolley Pub debuted in Arlington in March, and at the time owner Kai Kaapro said he believed the business was “perfectly legal.” That was backed up by a preliminary police review. A ruling in April by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, however, later determined no alcohol could be served on board.
Drinking in a vehicle in Virginia is currently only legal on chartered boats. The bill was assigned to the General Laws committee and is now in subcommittee, according to the General Assembly’s website.
Photo via Facebook
After just under 3 years in business, BGR: The Burger Joint has closed its doors.
The “better burger” eatery opened to large crowds in April 2011, amid something of a burger craze in Arlington. More recently, the restaurant struggled to attract customers willing to pay what usually came out to $10-20 for a burger, fries and a drink.
“We’d like to sincerely thank everyone for visiting our Clarendon location in the past — unfortunately we have had to close this location for various reason[s],” the restaurant said via Facebook today. “We hope you will come visit us at our Arlington location, located only a half mile down the road at 3129 Lee Highway! See you soon!”
As of this afternoon the restaurant’s outdoor sign had already been taken down.
A pedestrian suffered serious injuries after being struck by a wrong-way driver in Clarendon Sunday night.
The incident happened around 9:00 p.m., in front of the Clarendon Ballroom on Wilson Blvd.
The driver “blew through” the traffic light at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and Washington Blvd, went up Wilson going the wrong way, ran up on the sidewalk, struck the side of the Clarendon War Memorial and smashed into several cars, according to witness accounts. The driver also struck a pedestrian, who witnesses say was lying in the street following the collision.
The pedestrian was transported to George Washington University Hospital with serious injuries, according to scanner traffic.
Update at 2:35 p.m. — Police say the driver, 36-year-old Arlington resident Benjamin Andruss, has been charged with DUI. From an ACPD press release:
The Arlington County Police Department arrested and charged a 36 year-old Arlington man following a pedestrian struck incident in the 3100 block of N. Wilson Boulevard.
Emergency Communications Center dispatchers began receiving numerous calls at 9:01 p.m. on January 12, 2014 for a vehicle that was traveling at a high rate of speed in the wrong direction on Wilson Boulevard in the Clarendon area. Several minutes later, the 2010 Mercedes Benz struck four parked vehicles, along with a 33 year-old Washington, D.C. man. The victim sustained non-life threatening injuries and was transported by ambulance to GW hospital.
The driver, Benjamin Andruss, 36, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with DUI and DUI refusal.
A Pure Barre studio is coming to N. Garfield Street in Clarendon.
The exercise facility will be located near the corner of N. Garfield Street and 11th Street, on the ground floor of the 3001 Washington Blvd office building that’s currently under construction.
Pure Barre will be located next to another exercise-related business, Down Dog Power Yoga. No word yet on when either will open.
Pure Barre utilizes a fast-paced, ballet-inspired “total body workout,” set to music, and advertises itself as “the fastest, most effective, yet safest way to change your body.” The company has more than 150 locations nationwide, including studios that are expected to open soon in Bethesda and in Reston.
Update at 10:00 a.m. — The store is back open, a tipster tells us.
The Clarendon Trader Joe’s store (1109 N. Highland Street) was closed tonight after a water pipe burst near the entrance.
The incident happened between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The burst pipe also set off the fire alarm, prompting a response from the Arlington County Fire Department. Water gushed out onto the sidewalk in front of the store and also flooded part of the store.
The water on the sidewalk quickly turned to a sheet of ice. Firefighters cordoned off the area with caution tape to prevent pedestrians from slipping and falling. Employees, meanwhile, could be seen trying to mop up water inside the store.
Trader Joe’s was closed during the clean-up. No word yet on when it will reopen.
Numerous burst pipes have been reported around Arlington today (Tuesday), the apparent result of the frigid temperatures.
Video: Man Falls from Clarendon Metro Escalator — Newly-released video surveillance footage shows a drunk man falling off the side of the escalator at the Clarendon Metro station. The incident happened just before 2:00 a.m. in late November. The man survived the fall, as did several others captured on video falling at other Metro stations. [NBC Washington]
State Appointment for Former GOP Candidate — Patrick Murray, the two-time unsuccessful Republican challenger to Rep. Jim Moran (D), has received a state appointment from Gov. Bob McDonnell (R). Murray, a retired U.S. Army colonel, was appointed to the Board of Veterans Services. [Commonwealth of Virginia]
Arlington’s Nazi Past Discussed — Earlier this month about 100 residents participated in a discussion about the presence of the American Nazi Party headquarters in Arlington during the 1960s. To some the Nazis were an intolerable symbol of racial and religious hatred. To others they were a nuisance to be ignored. [Sun Gazette]
Photo courtesy Brad G.
It started on Thursday night with numerous police vehicles zooming into Clarendon with sirens blaring. Drivers pulled over and pedestrians stopped in their tracks. Suddenly, revelers were met with a most unusual sight — a superhero in a cape and leotard emerging from the Chooser Cruiser. Arlington, meet Soberman.
While his getup produced many laughs, Soberman’s message was serious: don’t drink and drive. Speaking through a police car loudspeaker, Soberman told everyone to have fun and enjoy their adult beverages, but to make a smart choice when trying to get home by using a designated driver, taxi, public transportation or by walking.
Soberman’s appearance was coordinated by the Arlington County Police Department and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). Attendees were reminded of WRAP’s free holiday taxi service through SoberRide, which runs through New Year’s Day.
WRAP President Kurt Erickson said this is a bit of a different tactic for getting people not to drink and drive. The idea is all about engaging people in a fun way to get Soberman’s message to sink in.
“The message for the rest of the year is that police have stepped up to apprehend drunk drivers. But this message is not about that. This message is hey, celebrate responsibly,” said Erickson. “It’s extremely well received. It’s just a little bit of a different message.”
Soberman repeatedly said that people should enjoy the holiday cheer and they don’t necessarily need to stop drinking, they just should be responsible after drinking. He said his mission is “not to be a buzz kill, only to make sure the buzz doesn’t hit the road.”
Drinkers and non-drinkers alike gathered around Soberman to chat with him and to pose for photos. Passengers leaned out of passing cars to snap pictures and people who spotted the commotion came out of buildings to get a better glimpse. Soberman yelled across Wilson Blvd to a number of drinkers who had just stepped out of bars and began cheering. He waved them over to his spot in front of Whitlow’s.
“Partiers of Clarendon, come over here! Soberman wants to talk to you about how you’re getting home!” he said. “You can win prizes!”
The anti-drunk driving superhero approached one man emerging from a bar and said, “Hello, Arlington partier. I am Soberman.” The bar patron promptly replied, “I am Drunkman.” Soberman congratulated the man for having fun and asked the all-important question,”Drunkman, how are you getting home tonight?”
Like all those who were able to prove they had a safe and sober ride home, the man received a Starbucks gift card from Soberman for making a wise choice. The man flashed a Metro card and said he had no intention of getting behind the wheel.
Soberman especially encouraged folks in Clarendon to use social media to spread the word about staying sober while driving. Those who took the message to Twitter have a chance to win a John Wall or Alex Ovechkin bobblehead.
Part of the campaign is to get drinkers to plan ahead instead of trying to come up with a way to get home once they are already impaired.
“People just need to plan ahead, but they often don’t,” Erickson said. “Leaving the bar is not the time to make an exit strategy. If you’re able to plan an evening out, you should be able to plan a safe way home.”
Soberman first appeared at the end of August but has been particularly active during the holiday season.
“My mission is to prevent drunk driving before it starts,” said Soberman. “Any way you get home safe after having adult beverages — by designated driver or bus or Metro or cab — is the safe and sober choice.”
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
Arlington residents took a walk to La Tagliatella (2950 Clarendon Blvd) Saturday afternoon to get their furry friends’ picture taken with a white-bearded friend from the North Pole.
About 30 dogs got their photo taken with Santa Claus over the course of two hours. Santa, looking young for his years, dutifully posed with the pooches on the restaurant’s outdoor patio.
Each photo cost the humans $10, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to Homeward Trails Animal Rescue, which rescues dogs from high-kill shelters, as strays or from owners who can no longer care for them and finds them new families.
Add in the restaurant’s $1 sangria and spiked cider special, and the event raised more than $300.
Photos courtesy La Tagliatella
The inaugural Clarendon’s Finest Holiday Bar Crawl will run this Saturday, Dec. 14, from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m., with tickets selling for $10 and all proceeds going to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Clarendon Grill, Mad Rose Tavern, Mister Days, Mexicali Blues, Hunan Number One, Bracket Room and SoBe Bar & Bistro will all be participating with drink specials throughout the evening. Registration for the crawl will be at Sobe (3100 Clarendon Blvd) from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Prizes will be given out for the best costume, dynamic duo and best group costume at the bar crawl ending party from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Mister Days, at the corner of N. Highland Street and Washington Blvd.