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.
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.
It’s been about a year and a half in the making, but today marked the ribbon cutting for the newly revamped Clarendon Central Park.
County Board members Mary Hynes and Jay Fisette joined county employees for the ceremony, including many from the Department of Environmental Services and the Department of Parks and Recreation directly involved in planning the renovations. Hynes was one of the speakers and thanked all the people involved, from planners to construction workers, for bringing the idea to fruition.
“It addresses so many different goals,” Hynes said. “That great collaboration has led to this amazing space, which will be well used by not only the people who live nearby, but all of the people who come and enjoy our restaurants and the other amenities that Clarendon offers. It’s going to, I think, be a great addition to this neighborhood for many, many years to come.”
Improvements to the park and Metro plaza include new bike shelters, landscaping, irrigation, tables and chairs, lighting and ADA-compliant pavers. The plaza was designed to have more open space for events, such as the farmers market, and for easier pedestrian access to the Metro.
In May of 2012, the County Board approved a contract for the first phase of the project, worth more than $760,000. Workers completed the first phase — the eastern portion ending near the Clarendon Metro elevator — last December, and an additional $197,000 was requested at that time to complete the rest of the park.
County officials believe the hard work and long process involved in this project are worth the end result: an improved “gateway to Clarendon” that thousands of people pass through each day.
“This has been a little bit of a long, torturous journey,” said Dennis Leach with the Department of Environmental Services. “But I think the result is pretty phenomenal.”
Rosslyn Apartment Building to Sell for $220 Million — The JBG Cos. has reached a deal to sell its new Sedona Slate apartments in Rosslyn for $220 million. The company spent about $150 million to develop the two-building apartment project, which had a ribbon cutting ceremony in June. [Washington Business Journal]
APS Competition to Reduce Dropout Rate — Arlington Public Schools (APS) announced a competition for data analysts to help the school system prevent students from dropping out. Analysts will help APS identify trends and hopefully will find ways to flag students who could use more one-on-one time with counselors. Assistant Superintendent for Information Services Raj Adusumilli told ARLnow.com the winning team of analysts likely will be announced by the end of this winter. Although no firm date is in place for finishing the data analysis, the school system anticipates being able to use the gathered information by about February 2014 in order to help students make class choices for next year. [Washington Post, Arlington Public Schools]
Opera Singer Wins Talent Competition — Opera singer Garrick Jordan won first place in the second annual “Arlington’s Got Talent” competition. Jordan beat out six other competitors on Sunday (November 18) at Clarendon Ballroom. [Sun Gazette]
Bracket Room (1210 N. Garfield Street) in Clarendon had wanted to offer its patrons live music, but an outcry from neighbors prompted a change of plans.
Bracket Room’s owners had applied for a live entertainment permit, but decided within the past couple of weeks to withdraw the application. They made the decision based on noise complaints from neighbors living in Lyon Place apartments — located directly above the sports bar — who say the existing music is too loud.
“We’ve had a lot of issues with the tenants in the building from the beginning,” said Co-owner Jeff Greenberg. “The residents were calling the police when we first opened, which I hear really happens to everybody. But we don’t want to upset the people in the building or the landlord.”
One month after the sports bar’s early September opening, police said they had received around three dozen complaints related to Bracket Room. County Zoning and Code Enforcement staff had also received more than 15 complaints. Last month, County Planner Sophia Fisher said county employees were looking into the issues. Staff members familiar with each permit request typically make a recommendation to the County Board about whether to grant or deny the permit.
“Zoning and Code Enforcement staff are both currently monitoring the use due to concerns raised by citizens related to noise,” Fisher said in October. “Because live entertainment has the potential to increase the impacts of a venue on the surrounding community, citizen concerns related to noise are taken very seriously by staff.”
Today, Fisher confirmed that the Bracket Room owners have withdrawn their application for the live entertainment permit.
Bracket Room customers might notice some changes implemented during the past two weeks to appease neighbors. First, owners decided to lower the music level to 85 decibels.
“They’re trying to keep [the music] as low as they can so people inside are having fun but other people aren’t disturbed by the noise,” said Greenberg. “When the people in the building are mad at you, what are you going to do?”
The owners also examined the sports bar’s closing time and decided to shut the doors earlier.
“The 1:00-2:00 a.m. crowd is usually smaller than at other hours of the day, but it’s rowdier,” Greenberg said. “We’re cutting our hours back and we’re not staying open until 2:00 a.m.”
Since implementing the changes about two weeks ago, the owners have not been notified of as many noise complaints.
Other ideas the owners continue to throw around include adding additional security, working with an architect to find some other form of noise insulation, and possibly turning down the music’s bass if necessary.
“We’re going to contain the noise, but we’re going to try to keep our restaurant full every night,” said Greenberg. “We’re going to try the best we can. We want to get along, we want to be loved.”
Down Dog Power Yoga offers several levels of classes and workshops, all of which are are held in studios heated to 90-95 degrees. The website says “heat is primarily used to help the body get healthy by expelling toxins. The heat also makes muscles more pliable in order to prevent injury.”
Employees at Down Dog Power Yoga told ARLnow.com that the Clarendon studio should open early in 2014. No firm date has been set, however, because the lease was just signed this week. One of the employees noted that work is already in progress for the new studio and workers are excited for it to open.
Photo via Facebook
A new restaurant serving Asian cuisine will be opening in the former Fatshorty’s space in Clarendon.
‘Thaiger Asian Bistro’ applied for a permit at 3035 Clarendon Blvd this week. Fatshorty’s closed at that location a week and a half ago, citing disappointing sales.
So far, there’s no word on when the new restaurant will open. A woman answering a phone number associated with the restaurant told ARLnow.com that she was unwilling to divulge any details about the restaurant at this time.
Another Thai-centric but ostensibly pan-Asian restaurant, Burapa Thai and Sushi Bar, closed its doors last year. It was located a block away from the future Thaiger Asian Bistro. Bracket Room, a sports bar, has since opened in the former Burapa Thai space.