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by Ethan Rothstein — February 9, 2015 at 3:30 pm 4,434 0

Citizen Burger Bar, at 1051 N. Highland Street, is now open for business.

The restaurant, which is the second location for the Charlottesville, Va.-based business, officially opened on Thursday. It will remain open seven days a week, serving dinner until 10:30 p.m. and drinks until last call on the weekends.

Citizen’s specialty is locally-sourced ingredients, like buns from Sterling’s Baguette Republic bakery, cheese from Mountainview Farm in Fairfield, Va., and beef from a farm near Charlottesville.

“The idea is to broaden people’s horizons when it comes to simple, ‘classic American’ fare,” said owner Anderson McClure, an Alexandria native, told ARLnow.com in November. “We want to serve great food and drinks, and do it in a way that might also change people’s perception and standards.”

Among its menu items is “The Executive,” a $24 burger topped with foie gras, bacon, black onions, a fried egg, garlic aioli and truffled brioche. The other menu items range from $6-$15, and burgers can come with an assortment of toppings, like Maine lobster (for $8), fried pickles, chili and one of seven cheeses.

Hat tip to @ChrisKinard

by Ethan Rothstein — February 9, 2015 at 11:00 am 2,524 0

Disney-themed bar crawl (photo courtesy Dalfa Ahmed) (Updated at 11:20 a.m.) A pub crawl planned for Sunday, Feb. 15, the day before Presidents Day, is about more than getting sloshed at a host of bars in Clarendon and Courthouse.

The Bow Wow Crawl for Charity is the seventh annual crawl on the February holiday for a group of friends. The themed crawls — previously there have been Disney and video game characters – always donate proceeds to charity and this year, the money is going to Arlington-based Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Participants are encouraged to dress up like animals in the spirit of the event.

According to the bar crawl’s fundraising page, the bar crawl started seven years ago with three people on the day before a federal holiday. It has since grown to more than 100, benefiting charities like Give Kids the World and Child’s Play.

“Now this isn’t your typical bar crawl,” Adam Ross, who co-founded the bar crawl, writes on the page. “It’s not put on by a big promotion company. We are grassroots. We don’t sell wristbands or drink tickets or do any publicizing. It is the same crew that comes each year, only expanded by word of mouth, friends bringing other friends, or whatever strangers we run into along our journey. We aren’t out to make money off this, nor will we ever. After the second year of this bar crawl it was apparent that it was getting popular and that we would have a large number of attendees. We decided two things at that point; we would have a new theme ever year and we would raise money for a charity that corresponded with that theme.”

The crawl’s website has raised $400 of a $900 goal, with two weeks left on its online fundraiser.

The crawl begins on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. at Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill (2424 Wilson Blvd). The crawl will then swing into D.C. before finishing up back in Arlington.

It’s unclear if the crawl has applied for or received a bar crawl permit, a new regulation the Arlington County Board instituted last summer. The permits are intended to recoup county costs from the additional police presence the crawls — which have been attended by as many as 5,000 people in the past — necessitate.

Photo courtesy Dalfa Ahmed

by Ethan Rothstein — February 3, 2015 at 2:30 pm 1,228 0

2013 Clarendon Mardi Gras paradeThe annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras parade is back this year after a snow-induced hiatus in 2014.

The parade is scheduled to start at 8:00 p.m. on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 17, on N. Barton Street. About 40 floats and parade participants have already signed up to take part in the hourlong event, which will run up Wilson Blvd to N. Irving Street.

A snowstorm on Mardi Gras forced the Clarendon Alliance — which organizes the event — to push it back to St. Patrick’s Day. Yet another storm that March forced the 16th annual parade to be canceled altogether.

“Normally it’s a rain or shine type deal,” Clarendon Alliance Executive Director Matt Hussmann said. “But the snow banks were so big on the sidewalks, nobody could watch the parade.”

This year, if the weather cooperates, Hussmann said the “family-friendly” parade should continue to be the biggest and best-attended Mardi Gras parade in the D.C. area. The Ballou High School marching band is back, the Louisiana State University alumni group will again have a big presence, and beads and candy will again be flying around.

“The parade’s got a great feel to it,” Hussmann said. “It’s really a local event. The people in the parade are businesses people go to. Everybody’s yelling and waving and dressed up and they’ve got costumes. The floats are really creative. There’s a lot of music, they’re throwing beads and candy. It’s just home-grown fun.”

Before the parade, Courthouse’s Bayou Bakery will be hosting a “Bayou Gras Block Party.” The New Orleans-themed bakery, at 1515 N. Courthouse Road, is offering $30 tickets for three cajun dishes — like jambalaya and chicken and sausage gumbo — $20 tickets for Mardi Gras-themed cocktails and $15 tickets for three pours of Abita Amber Ale. Children under 12 years old will get a free mac and cheese.

The block party will run from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Tickets can be bought online or at Bayou Bakery.

File photo

by Ethan Rothstein — January 30, 2015 at 1:30 pm 2,672 0

The Pinkberry in Clarendon has been closed for well over a month, with all the equipment inside sitting, waiting, for someone to use it and serve frozen yogurt again.

That day could soon be coming. Pinkberry’s franchise owner, who also owns six other Pinkberry stores in the D.C. area, has declared for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and his stores — including the one at 2930 Clarendon Blvd — are up for auction, according to the Washington Business Journal.

Anyone who wins the bid would have to renegotiate a lease with the building’s landlord and execute a franchise agreement with the California-based froyo chain, the WBJ reports. The chain is hoping to reopen those locations, and the call for bids for the assets valued at $769,000 ends Feb. 9.

Pinkberry’s temporary closure has led to an unexpected frozen yogurt desert in Clarendon. Nicecream Factory is still open and serving their fresh-made ice cream, but after Red Mango closed in 2013, the closest frozen yogurt shops are IceBerry in Rosslyn and FroZenYo in Ballston.

Pinkberry opened in the summer of 2011.

Hat tip to Peter Golkin

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — January 27, 2015 at 8:30 am 837 0

Drs. Natasha Ungerer and Kayleen Gloor have recently opened Clarendon Animal Care, located at 3000 10th Street N., Suite B.

The location previously housed Ellen’s Futons, but has been transformed into a state-of-the-art veterinary care facility. Build-out renovations were completed just before the New Year and the hospital has been open since January 5. Drs. Gloor and Ungerer have been delighted by their new professional home and the warm reception they have received from clients and neighborhood residents.

“We really wanted to open in Arlington, and in Clarendon specifically, because there was a local need, and folks around here are very invested in the human-animal bond, which is something we aim to foster by providing the highest quality veterinary care… and I have the added benefit of being able to walk to work!” said Dr. Gloor, who is a neighborhood local.

“We’ve bucked the standard 15-20 minute appointment norm, and have made 30 minute appointments our minimum” said Dr. Ungerer. Both veterinarians emphasize client communication and education as the foundation of their practice.

“I don’t ever want a client to walk out the door not knowing why I chose the tests or treatments I did — or to feel confused about what they’re supposed to do for follow up” said Dr. Gloor, who takes pride in her diagrams, client handouts, and use of non-medical jargon in appointments to ensure clients have the necessary tools and information to make informed decisions about their pet’s care.

The vets’ approach to their clients and patients can be summed up by one of their clients, Stephen Harris.

“[Drs. Gloor and Ungerer] have been taking care of our four legged kids for years and we are so happy they have their practice together now,” Harris said. “They are thorough and thoughtful, they have always made sure we understand everything going on with our kids when they were not well. They have gone out of their way to check up on the pups when they were sick, even calling on the weekends. We just got a chance to check out their new state-of-the-art veterinary clinic and wish them the best of luck with the Clarendon Animal Care!”

Hospital services include: comprehensive medical exams (wellness/preventive care, domestic & international health certificates, and sick pet/urgent care exams), as well as general soft tissue surgery, dentistry, digital radiology, and in-house and reference laboratory diagnostics.

Clarendon Animal Care is open:

  • Monday – Thursday from 7:30am – 7:30pm
  • Friday from 7:30am – 5:30pm
  • Saturday from 7:30am – 12:30pm

Check out their website www.clarendonanimalcare.com, or visit them on Facebook. Appointments can be made by phone at 703-997-9776, email at info@clarendonanimalcare.com, or via website request. If you happen to be in the area, feel free to stop in to say “hi,” meet the doctors and staff and get a tour of the clinic.

Reference this ARLnow article and receive $25 off your first veterinary visit.

The preceding article was sponsored by Clarendon Animal Care.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 15, 2015 at 2:35 pm 8,943 0

La Tagliatella in ClarendonLa Tagliatella, the Italian restaurant in Clarendon perhaps best known for a scathing Washington Post review, could close at the end of the month.

We’re told by one restaurant employee that Jan. 31 will be its last day. A manager, when contacted by ARLnow.com, said “there’s been talk of it” but “we haven’t gotten any official word yet.”

The restaurant, owned by Polish company AmRest, was the third American location of a franchise that was popular in Europe, and was viewed as a harbinger for potentially hundreds of additional U.S. locations. In May, the Washington Business Journal reported those expansion plans were on hold, and theorized the Post’s review — which called La Tagliatella “a threat to our nation” and compared it unfavorably to Olive Garden — might have had something to do with it.

La Tagliatella had a planned location in the Village at Shirlington at the former Extra Virgin space, and still has signs up that say “coming soon,” but the manager we spoke to said those plans have since been scuttled.

The restaurant opened in Clarendon in the prime spot at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, formerly home to Restaurant 3, in 2013.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 13, 2015 at 4:15 pm 2,983 0

Construction on the building that will become Brixx Pizza in ClarendonThe construction site next to Nam Viet on N. Hudson Street in Clarendon is the future home of a North Carolina-based pizza chain.

Brixx Pizza is planning on opening its second location in the D.C. area in a new building next to the alleyway behind CVS. The site is owned by Gene Roberts, who also owns the CVS, and is already under lease to Brixx Pizza.

The restaurant will be the building’s sole occupant and take up 3,700 square feet of space, Roberts told ARLnow.com this afternoon. Roberst is looking at a mid-summer opening.

“I was very impressed with [the owners] when I met them last year,” Roberts said. “It’s good pizza.”

The business offers carryout but not delivery, and its focus is on sit-down customers at the restaurant. The location is expected to serve beer and wine, and, according to the chain’s website, it has a “Masters of Beer Appreciation” loyalty program and offers several craft beer options.

Brixx hopes to distinguish itself from the Clarendon pizza scene already occupied by Goody’s, Pete’s Apizza and Bronx N.Y. Pizza.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 13, 2015 at 2:05 pm 1,722 0

(Updated at 3:15 p.m.Vespa of Arlington opened its motor scooter dealership in November 2013, but it has already outgrown its space.

At some point this year, Vespa of Arlington will open a new, flagship location at the corner of 10th Street N. and Wilson Blvd in the former J.K. Auto Parts space, according to Stephanie Rodriguez, who works in the current dealership at 3206 10th Street N., next to the Budget car rental space.

“It’s going to be incredible,” Rodriguez told ARLnow.com today. “I think it’ll be good times. There will be a full demo program and it’ll be fun for all.”

The new space, in the same building as the Goodyear auto repair shop, is about five times bigger than Vespa of Arlington’s current location, and there will be more models available of the Vespa and Piaggio and Ural scooters the store now sells. There will also be a broader selection of accessories, like helmets, the shop can sell with its new space.

Rodriguez said it’s “still up in the air” when exactly the shop will be moving, but she said it’s expected to happen in 2015. The closest Vespa dealerships are in Fredericksburg and Baltimore, Rodriguez said, and Vespa of Arlington pulls its customers from the entire D.C. metro region.

Hat tip to Jeff Hopp

by ARLnow.com — January 5, 2015 at 10:00 am 1,400 0

An electric bicycle shop in the Clarendon area was damaged by a fire Sunday night.

The fire department was called just before 8:00 p.m. for a fire at the Hybrid Pedals shop at 925 N. Jackson Street. The shop sells bikes outfitted with electric motors, also called “eBikes.”

The blaze was extinguished quickly, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani, but caused an estimated $150,000 in damage.

The fire started by the heat from a battery charger, Marchegiani said. No one was at the shop at the time and no injuries were reported.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm 4,193 0

EMS in Clarendon, expected to close after January 2015Eastern Mountain Sports, the outdoors outfitter store next to Barnes & Noble in Market Common Clarendon, is expected to close at the end of the month.

There’s a storewide clearance sale going on now, and the store has signs posted inside and out announcing that the location will be closing at the end of January. According to a store employee, EMS’ lease is up at the end of the month.

The closest EMS location is in Dulles, Va., 20 miles away. A similar retailer, Orvis, is another Market Common tenant and is at 2879 Clarendon Blvd.

Hat tip to Bill Colton

by Ethan Rothstein — December 31, 2014 at 1:30 pm 4,443 0

Anyone who’s driven along Clarendon Blvd near the Whole Foods at 2700 Wilson Blvd knows the grocery store has a tendency to cause minor backups.

This afternoon during the lunch hour, the traffic problems escalated, backing up traffic for several blocks in the area and leading to police being called for traffic control. We’re told backups like this are common around major holidays, like Christmas and New Years.

Part of the problem, according to the responding officers, is cars parking — legally — in pay spots on the left-hand side of Clarendon Blvd between the entrance to Whole Foods and N. Edgewood Street. That causes cars waiting to turn into the store’s parking lot to wait in one of the travel lanes.

At about 1:00 p.m., there were three officers on Clarendon Blvd helping to direct traffic. That helped to clear much of the backed up traffic, which also extended to several side streets.

When asked, two of the officers each said it was far from the worst Whole Foods-caused traffic they had seen in Clarendon.

by ARLnow.com — December 31, 2014 at 9:35 am 6,588 0

Man arrested in the Apple Store (photo courtesy Clayton Lott) Police cars outside the Apple Store

(Updated at 10:50 a.m.) Police tackled and arrested a theft suspect inside the Clarendon Apple Store on Tuesday.

The incident happened around 4:15 p.m., at the store at 2700 Clarendon Blvd. We’re told that the suspect tried to use stolen credit cards at the store, then tried to flee when police arrived. He was tackled and taken into custody.

As police confronted the suspect, one officer erroneously radioed that he had a gun. That prompted a large police response to the scene, but ultimately no gun was found.

“While officers were attempting to arrest the suspect, he resisted arrest violently and during the struggle, one of the officer’s ammunition magazines became dislodged from its carrier,” Arlington County Police Department spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm told ARLnow.com. “The officer, who was still struggling with the suspect, saw the magazine and believed it to be from the suspect so he requested additional backup. After the suspect was taken into custody, they were able to quickly determine that the suspect was not armed.”

Just two hours later, three more suspects were arrested at the Apple Store for “attempting to obtain iPhones through false pretenses,” Malcolm said in an email.

“As the iPhone is viewed by many to be a valuable commodity, there are many attempts to fraudulently obtain or steal them from Apple Stores in the region,” he said. “Because there are a high concentration of Apple Stores in our region, suspects will often travel to the D.C. metropolitan area to perpetrate these crimes.”

No injuries were reported.

Photo (left) courtesy Clayton Lott

by ARLnow.com — December 22, 2014 at 9:30 am 5,840 0

Buildings in Clarendon and the Clarendon Metro station Trolley Pub in Clarendon (photo by N ARLINGTON ST)

Clarendon has been ranked among the nine “yuppiest neighborhoods in America” by the website Thrillist.com.

The Orange line neighborhood made the list thanks to young, affluent residents and their standard-issue upscale haunts, like Whole Foods, Pottery Barn and Lululemon. From the website:

This Virginia neighborhood across the river from DC blends the quietude of suburbia with the bustle of city life, which makes it perfect for the professionals who work on K Street. Single and young families alike call this place home, and chain staples like Pottery Barn, Whole Foods, and Lululemon are interspersed with just enough local bars and restaurants to keep the newly minted post-grad yuppie-types from fully realizing the commercial existence they’ve bought into.

The other eight yuppie neighborhoods to make the list are LoDo (Denver), West 6th Street (Austin), Pearl District (Portland), South Lake Union (Seattle), Lincoln Park (Chicago), Back Bay (Boston), Brickell (Miami) and The Marina District (San Francisco).

by Ethan Rothstein — December 1, 2014 at 3:35 pm 1,601 0

Santa greets children at the Miracle on 23rd Street (photo courtesy Linden Resources)(Updated at 4:35 p.m.) December is here, and with it comes a month-long celebration of the holiday season.

There are numerous events around the county this month, from holiday markets to ice skating “winter spectaculars.”

Here’s a selection of some of the more notable events in the area:

  • Shirlie Lights Up the Village, an annual tree lighting event with live music, carriage rides and a visit from Santa Claus, will take place in Shirlington Village on Dec. 3 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • This Friday, Dec. 5, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m., Miracle on 23rd Street is back for another year. At the Linden Resources at 750 23rd Street S., Santa Claus will ride through on an Arlington County Fire Department truck, kicking off an evening of children’s activities and holiday music.
  • On Dec. 5 and 6, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Rosslyn Business Improvement is bringing back the Rosslyn Holiday Market for another year. More than 35 vendors with products as diverse as soaps, gourmet popcorn, metalworks and French macarons will be on hand to offer shoppers heaps of gift options. After Friday’s market closes, the BID will hold a ceremony lighting up Rosslyn’s skyline.
  • Pentagon Row is hosting “Let It Row,” a winter event at its ice rink, on Saturday from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. The event is free and features a DJ and a “s’mores bar.”
  • For the first time, Penrose Square on Columbia Pike is hosting its own “Winter Wonderland” event, on Sunday, Dec. 7 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. They will have their own Santa Claus available for pictures, plus carolers, hot chocolate and cookies from Giant and ornament decoration stations. The event will close with a tree lighting ceremony in the breezeway outside Giant.
  • Market Common Clarendon, at the intersection of Clarendon Blvd and N. Edgewood Street, is hosting a “Winter Wonderland,” on Saturday Dec. 13. This free event is replete with Santa Clause on a fire truck at noon, ice carvings and characters in life-size snow globes.
  • The Arlington Career Center, at 816 S. Walter Reed Drive, will host this year’s Arlington Holiday Bazaar on Dec. 13 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. There will be pizza provided by RedRocks, more than 40 vendors, singers from the Wakefield High School choir and manicures from Career Center students.

Photo courtesy Linden Resources. Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by ARLnow.com — November 24, 2014 at 10:15 am 2,061 0

American Tap Room in ClarendonAmerican Tap Room (3101 Wilson Blvd) in Clarendon had its live entertainment permit renewed last week, but the establishment’s staying power in Arlington is uncertain.

ATR’s permit renewal request was pulled from the Board’s “consent agenda” for non-controversial items by County Board member Mary Hynes. It was instead heard individually on Tuesday, giving Hynes, a nearby resident, a chance to inquire about a couple of noise complaints she had received from her Lyon Village neighbors.

The Board was assured by an ATR manager that the bar has addressed the noise issue and that it in fact doesn’t host any live entertainment anymore — instead it’s seeking to hang on to the permit “just in case.” That was enough assurance for Board, which took little additional time to approve the routine renewal request.

While it won the battle, it’s unclear if ATR in Clarendon will win the war. Restaurant and commercial real estate industry sources have told ARLnow.com that American Tap Room has been seeking a buyer to take over its lease.

We’re told that the company pays more than $650,000 per year in rent for the Clarendon location, which has not enjoyed the same level of success as its locations in Bethesda and Reston. The latter two locations are “crushing it” and the company may simply be looking to focus on more profitable ventures, a source says.

However, everything seemed business as usual with the ATR manager who spoke at the County Board meeting. He gave no hints of any possible changes to come.

Responding to an inquiry sent to a media representative, an ATR manager contacted ARLnow.com last week. The manager said the Clarendon location is not closing, but declined to speak on the record and sought assurances that an ARLnow.com editor was not recording the call.

American Tap Room opened its Clarendon location in 2011.

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