Blog Points Out Bike Lane Blockers — Frustrated with supposed inaction by Arlington County Police, a local resident has created a Tumblr site to publicly “shame” the owners of vehicles that illegally park or idle in bike lanes in Arlington. [Arlington Bike Lane Blockers]
Clarendon Farmers Market Starts Tonight — The Clarendon Farmers Market is back for the season, starting tonight. The market will run from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m., in the newly renovated Clarendon Central Park, next to the Metro entrance. The market will run every Wednesday through Dec. 18 before taking a break for the winter. Another seasonal farmers market, the Crystal City Freshfarm Market, is set to start the season on Tuesday, April 30. [Clarendon Alliance, Freshfarm Markets]
District Taco to Open Third Location — District Taco, which opened its first location on Lee Highway, is getting ready to open its third location. The new District Taco restaurant, like the second location, will be located in D.C. [Prince of Petworth]
Tejada Talks Immigration Reform — County Board Chair Walter Tejada spoke to a group of pro-immigration supporters at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Clarendon Tuesday morning. Tejada told the crowth that “it is our duty” to “work and fight together for comprehensive immigration reform.” The group is planning a rally at the Capitol next week. [WJLA]
Fire Weather Watch — The region is under a Fire Weather Watch. Gusty winds and low humidity are creating ideal conditions for brush fires. [Capital Weather Gang]
La Tagliatella has opened its first Arlington location.
The international Italian restaurant chain opened its new Clarendon location, in the former Restaurant 3 space at 2950 Clarendon Blvd, earlier today (Monday). The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner daily, from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Though the chain originated in Spain, La Tagliatella has constructed an elaborate interior in Clarendon, designed to mimic an Old World Italian restaurant.
“Acclaimed Atlanta design firm ai3 assisted European designers of DecoRetro to create a special ambiance with a rich tapestry of textures, colors and patterns,” the company said in a press release. ”This authentic style mirrors the Old World culture and traditions, transporting guests to a real and true experience of European dining.”
The menu consists of traditional Italian favorites, plus a selection of beer and wine.
“La Tagliatella’s signature menu features a variety of authentic dishes including several pasta and sauce combinations and unique Napoletano-style pizzas, all created with the finest key ingredients imported from the northern region of Italy,” the company said. “La Tagliatella offers 50 selections of wine by the bottle and glass as well as several bottled and draft beers.”
This week, gay marriage has come to the forefront of American politics as the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments regarding California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). In light of the proceedings, Rep. Jim Moran (D) is reiterating his stance as an advocate of LGBT rights, including gay marriage and full marriage benefits.
DOMA overwhelmingly passed in Congress in 1996, but Moran notes he was one of the few who voted against the law. He released the following statement on Wednesday, following oral arguments in the case of United States v. Windsor, which challenges the constitutionality of DOMA:
“DOMA is unjust and un-American, contradicting long-standing legal principles and blatantly discriminating against specific legal marriages just because they involve gay and lesbian couples. DOMA flies in the face of our nation’s commitment to civil rights. I am proud to have been one of the 67 representatives who voted against this law’s passage in 1996.
“It’s also disturbing that House Republicans have wasted over $3 million defending DOMA in court over the past three years. I find it unconscionable that while budgets are being slashed by sequestration and many federal workers face furloughs, Republicans in the House voted to pay private lawyers $525 per hour to defend this discriminatory law.
“I strongly support the right of gay and lesbian couples to marry and have full access to the benefits and obligations of marriage. While churches should continue to be able to sanction marriages consistent with their faith, discrimination has no place in the laws that govern our country.
“In addition to being the truly ‘pro-family’ position, marriage equality is an issue that tests our nation’s fidelity to our fundamental values. The Declaration of Independence affirms that ‘all men are created equal’ and that every American has a right to ‘the pursuit of happiness.’ Surely these principles cannot be fulfilled without the ability to marry the person you love.”
Power has been restored to most of the customers affected by a power outage that occurred in the Clarendon, Courthouse and surrounding neighborhoods. However, there are pockets that may be dark for another hour or two.
At the height of the outage, more than 6,600 customers were without power. As of 10:20 a.m., Karl Neddenien with Dominion Power said less than 1,000 are still dark. Those customers are expected to have power restored by noon.
According to Neddenien, the outage occurred due to a problem in an underground equipment vault near Washington Blvd and N. 10th Street. Crews continue to work to figure out exactly what went wrong. There were reports of a flash and a couple of loud bangs just before the outage, but Neddenien isn’t able to confirm yet if that’s related to the outage.
“We need to get in there and determine just what happened,” Neddenien said. “But more importantly, we need to work on getting power back to everyone.”
Police have been assisting with directing traffic at busy intersections where the traffic lights went out, particularly at Lee Hwy and N. Veitch Street. Most of the affected traffic lights have come back on, but there are reports of some still out in Clarendon. Drivers who encounter dark lights without police directing traffic are reminded to treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
Although at one time the project was slated to be finished last month, the Clarendon dog park renovations are still ongoing. Now we’re hearing that the revamp of James Hunter Park could take another couple of months.
According to Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish, the new goal is for a late spring reopening. The current delay is on top of setbacks during the planning process, which prevented the renovations from being finished last summer as originally planned.
Last May, the County Board approved a contract worth more than $1.6 million to renovate the park, which sits at the corner of N. Herndon Street and N. 13th Street.
The revamp plan emphasizes several sustainable and “green” features, such the use of recycled materials and an automated water management system that will capture and reuse rain water. The water will be stored in an underground unit and will be used for onsite landscaping irrigation. The park will also have a system to collect and use solar energy. The irrigation pumps, for example, will be run by solar power.
The final design for the park shows a plaza terrace with an open lawn area, gardens, a canine area, pedestrian areas, picnic areas and public art.
It’s still under construction in Clarendon, but owners of La Tagliatella say the new restaurant will be opening on Monday, April 1.
The European-based Italian restaurant chain has more than 130 locations worldwide, but the Clarendon location — in the former Restaurant 3 space at 2950 Clarendon Blvd — will only be the company’s third U.S. location, after two in the Atlanta area.
“Showcasing traditional Italian recipes made with the highest quality ingredients, La Tagliatella offers guests a relaxed-yet-distinctive atmosphere,” the company said in a press release (after the jump). “La Tagliatella’s signature menu features a variety of authentic dishes including more than 400 pasta and sauce combinations and several unique Napoletano-style pizzas, all created with the finest key ingredients imported from the northern region of Italy.”
After it opens on April 1, La Tagliatella will be serve lunch and dinner seven days a week. It will be open Sunday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
The day’s festivities included the Four Courts Four Miler race in Courthouse Saturday morning and the Shamrock Crawl bar crawl in Clarendon that afternoon and evening.
There were a total of 6 arrests for Drunk in Public on Saturday, including 5 incidents in the Clarendon area, according to ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. There were also 7 arrests for Driving Under the Influence on Saturday, he said. By contrast, a planned DUI checkpoint on Friday yielded no DUI arrests, according to Sternbeck.
There were also two significant fights reported on Saturday.
One incident happened just past 9:00 p.m., near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Garfield Street in Clarendon. The incident started, police say, when the victim accidentally spilled a beer on a woman in a restaurant. An altercation ensued and staff at the restaurant had to separate the parties. At that point, altercation spilled outside the restaurant.
During the fight, police say, the victim’s head struck either a low wall or a curb, producing a significant head wound. The victim was found conscious but bleeding heavily, and was transported to George Washington University Hospital. Two Alexandria men were subsequently arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding by Mob.
From the ACPD daily crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING BY MOB, 03/09/13, 1400 block of N. Garfield Street. At 9:05 pm on March 9, an altercation inside a restaurant bar, continued into the street. A victim sustained a significant laceration to his forehead and was transported to GW hospital. DC Danh, 28, of Alexandria, VA and Donny Danh, 27, of Alexandria, VA, were arrested and charged with malicious wounding by mob. They were held without bond.
Early Saturday morning, in another alcohol-related incident, two people were arrested for assaulting a cab driver and an apartment concierge.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 03/09/13, 900 block of N. Randolph Street. At 4:13 am on March 9, two subjects exited a cab without paying and once confronted by the driver, physically assaulted him by punching and kicking him repeatedly. A residence concierge witnessed the attack and attempted to aid the victim, but was punched as well. Ramnik Aulakh, 30, of Arlington, VA, and Elizabeth Arias, 29, of Bowie, MD, were arrested and charged with malicious wounding, defrauding a taxi and drunk in public. They were held without bond.
As many as 3,000 people are expected for the Shamrock Bar Crawl, billed as “Arlington’s biggest bar crawl.” The St. Patrick’s Day-themed event is taking place from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday (March 9th).
As of this afternoon, organizers said the bar crawl was sold out due to “high demand.” Some tickets will be available for $20 cash on the day of the event, they via social media, with registration taking place at Mad Rose Tavern and Velocity 5. Other bars participating in the event include Whitlow’s, SoBe, Hunan One, Wilson Tavern, Arlington Rooftop and Mister Days.
Drink specials include $2 Yuenglings, $3 rail drinks, $4 “shamrock shots,” and $5 Irish car bomb shots. Participants — who should be easy to spot thanks to free green beads and “Signature Shamrock mugs” — will also be able to nab $2 cheese pizza slices at Bronx Pizza.
A separate St. Paddy’s Day-themed event, the Four Courts Four Miler race, is taking place at 9:00 a.m. in the Courthouse area. The race is sold out and expected to bring thousands of runners and spectators to Courthouse. A number of road closures are planned for the race.
Sisqó, the Baltimore native best known for his 2000 hit single “Thong Song,” is scheduled to perform later this month at Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) in Clarendon.
Sisqó, also of the R&B group Dru Hill, will be performing as part of an “I [Heart] the 90′s Party” at Mad Rose at 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 28. The event will feature a performance by Sisqó and 90s music played by DJ Chris Styles.
Rabbit Closing — Just days after telling ARLnow.com he had reduced hours to lunch only, the owner of Rabbit Salad and Grill (3035 Clarendon Blvd) in Clarendon has apparently decided to completely call it quits. The restaurant will close on Friday to make way for Fat Shorty’s, a beer and sausage restaurant. The new restaurant is expected to open in early April. [Washingtonian]
Carlee Becomes Charlotte City Manager — Former Arlington County Manager Ron Carlee has taken a new job as the city manager of Charlotte, NC. Carlee had worked for Arlington County for 29 years, but left in 2009 for a job with the International City/County Management Association. Carlee’s new salary is reported to be $290,000 per year, a 15 percent increase over his predecessor’s salary. [Charlotte Observer]
Chuck Todd to Give Marymount Commencement Address — Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News, will give Marymount University’s commencement address this spring. He’ll speak at D.A.R. Constitution Hall on May 19, the same day the University will award Todd the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters in recognition of his career in journalism.
Concern Over Unlicensed Cabs — County Board members voiced concerns about reports of unlicensed taxis operating in Arlington. They asked county staff to investigate the issue and report back. The Board oversees the county’s taxi business by allotting a fixed number of operating certificates and regulating fares. [Sun Gazette]
Sun Gazette Office Moving — Today is moving day for The Sun Gazette. The paper’s office is being relocated from Springfield to 6704 Old McLean Road in McLean. The move is intended to put advertising and newsroom offices in the heart of the paper’s coverage territory, which stretches from Arlington west to Great Falls and then south to Vienna and Oakton. [Sun Gazette]
Rabbit first opened in the summer of 2011, offering salads, sandwiches and dinner plates. It was formerly open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., seven days a week. It also experimented with late night food options for Clarendon bar-goers.
Rabbit is now open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“We have gone to a lunch-only schedule for the next few weeks during the cold winter days,” Gordon told ARLnow.com. “We will re-evaluate [our] schedule for Rabbit soon.”
Hat tip to @ChrisKinard
Same-Sex Couples Denied Marriage Licenses — In what has become a Valentine’s Day tradition in Arlington, three same-sex couples applied for and were denied marriage licenses at the Arlington County courthouse yesterday. Arlington Circuit Court Clerk Paul Ferguson reluctantly turned down the applications and spoke outside the courthouse in support of same-sex marriage. A similar demonstration, organized by another gay rights group, took place outside the courthouse last month. [Sun Gazette]
‘Dooring’ Bill Fails in Va. House — Legislation that would outlaw the “dooring” of bicyclists has failed in the Virginia House of Delegates. The bill had passed the state Senate but failed to pass a House committee earlier this week. The bill would have made it illegal to open a car door in the immediate path of a cyclist. Virginia is one of ten states in the country that do not have such a law on the books. [Washington Post]
Questioning the ‘Female-Friendly’ Sports Bar — Is Bracket Room, the new “female-friendly” sports bar that’s coming to Clarendon, insulting to women? One Washington City Paper writer says the answer is yes. She writes of Bracket Room partner and former reality TV star Chris Bukowski: “…his 2012 appearance on Bachelor Pad, in which former Bachelor and Bachelorette contestants live in a house together and compete for $250,000, suggests he may not be the most in touch with women’s preferences. Over the course of the season, the chiseled-abs, blue-eyed Bukowski became the show’s villain, hooking up with and then ditching two of the female contestants.” [Washington City Paper]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) A new “high-end martial arts studio” is coming to the former Hollywood Tans space at 3000 N. Washington Blvd in Clarendon.
Urban Kempo says its mission is “to help individuals grow in and cope with the challenges of our contemporary urban society.”
Shaolin Kempo is a martial art often taught for self defense. The Urban Kempo website says the following about the Kempo techniques it teaches.
On the street, there are no weight classes or three-minute rounds with one-minute breaks in between. You will not enjoy the luxury of a referee stopping altercations or enforcing rules. In practicing Kempo, one assumes that the attacker perceives an advantage, either in size or number. Thus, the Kempo artist practices quick and effective strikes, often towards targets that are considered off limits in virtually all combat sports.
Signs are now up outside the business. Depending on whether Urban Kempo is able to obtain the proper county permits in time, owner “Sensei Mike” Herway says they “hope to be open sometime next week.”
Photo courtesy Paul Moon
There have been some delays in opening, but the finishing touches are now being worked on at the new Z-Burger at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Kenmore Street, between the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations.
After nearly two years of construction, owner Peter Tabibian hopes to open the restaurant in the next two to three weeks. He said an inspector asked for a few more fixes before the final occupancy permit is granted. Tabibian thinks the timing should be better with a March opening anyway, considering it may not be as cold outside.
“I think it’s better to open when it’s a little bit warmer,” he said. “When you open, you want to open with a big bang. It’s not as good when it’s winter.”
Although there are a number of Z-Burger locations throughout the D.C. metro area, this will be the first in Virginia.
“Arlington is a very good place for businesses because it has the right demographics and what we were looking for,” said Tabibian. “They’re building a lot of stuff here and I think this will be a good place for our first Virginia location.”
Z-Burger touts homemade custard in its 75 varieties of milkshakes, freshly cut fries and onion rings, fresh bread that’s delivered twice daily and even cheesesteak sandwiches. Tabibian said the burgers are different than at other restaurants due in a large part to the special spice blend, which he says “is very addicting.” He believes another aspect that sets Z-Burger apart from competitors is the service.
“We are very quick. We have a system that as soon as people come in, the patties are already dropped down on the grill,” said Tabibian. “Everything is cooked to order so people don’t have to wait a long, long time. By the time you order, our goal is to get your food in six to eight minutes.”
Once it opens, the restaurant will celebrate its grand opening with several days of burger giveaways. Until an opening date is set, crews will continue construction work and Tabibian will continue hiring staff. Anyone interested in applying for a position at the new Z-Burger should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Crowds lined Wilson Blvd last night to celebrate Fat Tuesday while taking in the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade.
Bands played, the D.C. Rollergirls skated through and kids scrambled for beads with as much enthusiasm as the adults. Representatives from local businesses and organizations also entertained the masses while riding or walking alongside the many colorful floats.
Photos by Jason Dixson Photography