Updated Sept. 5 at 9:00 a.m.
Drivers of electric cars will soon be able to charge up in Clarendon.
The parking lot of the Walgreens Pharmacy at 2825 Wilson Blvd is the site of Arlington’s newest electric car charging station, and it will be operational in about a month.
The station has multiple charging ports for all types of electric cars, including one that charges some cars in 20 minutes. Those interested in using the chargers can buy a monthly subscription from eVgo, the company that owns the ports and is installing about 50 of them around the Washington area in the next several years.
A two-hour charger can be used for a $5-per-month subscription, while the 20-minute charger subscription starts at $20 per month.
There are already electric car charging stations at the Hilton Crystal City and Rosslyn Gateway buildings (part of a competing charger network), stations in Shirlington and at Pentagon Row, and stations in Vornado properties in Crystal City. The Clarendon station is eVgo’s first in the county.
After numerous construction delays, James Hunter Park will finally open tonight in Clarendon.
The $1.6 million park has both dog- and people-friendly features like a community canine area, pathways, a picnic area, demonstration garden, public art, lighting, and solar panels that power the irrigation system. Crews have been putting the finishing touches on the park this month, according to Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Roberta Korzen.
“Over the past few weeks remaining amenities have been installed and all final inspections were approved,” Korzen said in an email. “Accordingly, County staff conducted a walk-through inspection late this week and declared the park safe for use.”
“As typical with construction, there will be some outstanding items to be completed after the park opens,” she added. “Therefore you may see construction workers in the area from time to time and areas of the park may be temporarily closed to users.”
The new park replaces what was previously a fenced-in grass field used exclusively as a dog park. A ribbon cutting ceremony is being planned and will take place later this fall.
File photo from July 26, 2013
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.”
The area’s first electric bicycle store will open near Clarendon on Saturday, Sept. 7.
Hybrid Pedals, at 925 N. Jackson Street, specializes in selling electric bikes that can travel 20-30 miles on a single charge, giving riders the option to pedal when they want, extending the bikes’ range. Hybrid Pedals founder Alan Levine also founded Mario’s Pizza House — just around the corner from Hybrid Pedals at 3322 Wilson Blvd — and the food delivery service Doctor Delivery.
Levine said in a press release that his is the first electric bike store in the Washington, D.C., area, but the shops are already popular in California and Florida, as wells as overseas. Hybrid Pedals will carry bikes from seven manufacturers, including Pedego, Stealth, Thrust, and VeloMini.
“There’s literally nowhere you can’t go on an e-bike,” Ray Carrier, Hybrid Pedals operations manager, said. “The range can be extended to any length if the rider pedals… If you know how to ride a regular bike, you can ride an e-bike within moments of ﬁrst trying one out. There’s no steep learning curve as with a Segway, which has limited range and is stymied by ‘rough’ terrain such as grass and gravel.”
Hybrid Pedals also has a license to sell to police and emergency responders, offering bicycles that can go as fast as 60 mph. The bicycles available for public use by law can’t go faster than 20 mph. Levine’s store will also sell solar-powered e-bikes, which he said are useful for extended power outages when a wall charger can’t be used.
The showroom’s grand opening ceremony on Sept. 7 starts at 11:00 a.m. and goes until 7:00 p.m., with a ribbon cutting at 3:00 p.m. There will be live music, project demonstration and test drives as part of the event.
The Sports Junkies — the four hosts of 106.7 The Fan’s morning sports talk show — will host the event at the Clarendon bar, 3185 Wilson Blvd, Friday night, starting at 7:00 p.m. There will be no cover charge at the door until 10:00 p.m.
The party is being held on the rooftop, and women, encouraged to dress in “summer’s finest,” will be eligible to win prizes from retailers like Victoria’s Secret, Nordstrom’s and MAC Cosmetics.
This is the sixth year of the Summer Dress Party, and the second time Clarendon Ballroom has hosted.
Photo via CBS Local
Local ‘Stacking’ Champ Gains International Fame — William Polly, the 12-year-old Thomas Jefferson Middle School student who’s a Sport Stacking champion, is gaining international notoriety. This summer he filmed a television commercial for a South African orange soda, and next week he will attempt to break his own world record during the taping of a Guinness Book of World Records TV show in Beijing. [Washington Post]
Arlington GOP Renovates HQ — The Arlington County Republican Committee is putting the finishing touches on its new headquarters. Located on the ground floor of an apartment building at 405 S. Glebe Road, the office is expected to reopen after Labor Day. The local GOP is also planning a door knocking campaign for gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli on Sept. 7. [Sun Gazette]
Bourbon, Bacon and Blues Party — A group of Arlington-based bloggers is throwing a party tonight at O’Sullivan’s (3207 Washington Blvd) in Clarendon. The event will start at 7:00 p.m. and will feature music by Duffy Kane. [Clarendon Nights]
Flickr pool photo by christopherskillman
Owner Lary Hoffman raised alarm on social media Tuesday morning when he posted on Facebook and Twitter: “Galaxy Hut for sale.” In fact, Hoffman is selling the bar’s old tap system. It’s listed for $1,500 in a Craigslist ad.
Customers panicked that the sale was the precursor to the entire bar being sold, but Hoffman told ARLnow.com that’s not the case. He’s upgrading from a 20-tap system (currently down to 14 due to a broken “kegerator”) to a 28-tap system.
“Just upgrading the beer system, not selling the Hut,” Hoffman wrote in an email. “I tripled the size of our walk in cooler last year, this is the second phase of upgrading to 28 taps all pouring from the keg room.”
Hoffman couldn’t say specifically when the new tap system would be installed and ready for use, but estimated it would be a few weeks. He said no other major improvements to Galaxy Hut are in store.
Police say 23-year-old Adam Quayle, of Harrisonburg, Va., banged on the side door of a house on the 1400 block of N. Garfield Street, near Clarendon’s bar district, around 2:00 a.m. Sunday. Two female residents came out to confront Quayle after they saw him entering their garage and ducking behind a vehicle, said ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The intruder started walking back down the driveway, exchanged some “choice words” with the residents and took a swing at one of the women, but missed, Sternbeck said. At that point, the other woman tried to come to her roommate’s aid, but was allegedly tackled by Quayle.
The first woman then tried to help, but was taken to the ground by Quayle and put in a headlock, police said. Finally, two passersby intervened and pulled the man off the women, according to Sternbeck. A bouncer from nearby Hunan Number One restaurant, hearing the commotion, also came over and restrained the man until police arrived.
Quayle was charged with felony strangulation, two counts of assault and battery, and unlawful entry. He was combative with the arresting officers, Sternbeck added.
This article was written by Maddy Berner
Last week, Redfin.com released a list that ranked Arlington as the best place for successful, educated, single women. According to the website, Arlington boasts high percentages of female college graduates (69 percent) and women with high incomes (49 percent). When asked about it on the streets of Clarendon, many young members of both genders seemed to agree with the ranking.
“It’s the best city for single people,” said Antwand Wardrick, 29. “It has so much to do, so many different venues, so many different people. Whatever you like, you can find it, and once you get it, you have to hold on to it.”
Even on a rainy Wednesday night, Spider Kelly’s was still bustling with people eating dinner and playing pool, the picture of a vibrant singles scene. Still, talking to some of those hovering around the bar, there were aspects of Arlington’s dating culture that remained debatable.
Elizabeth L., 25, grew up in Arlington, and said the county’s high marks were a bit odd because her personal experiences with dating. People in the area are competitive and too focused on their jobs, she said.
“Every time I go out, a man offers me a job or a security clearance when they’re hitting on me,” said Elizabeth, “which is really awkward.”
Taking shelter from the rain just outside of Clarendon Ballroom, Katharine Milburn, 31, vehemently supported the “successful” aspect Redfin’s choice. The Arlington native owns her own company in the area, and said many of her friends have high-paying jobs and are continually climbing the ranks within them.
Milburn agreed that Arlington has plenty of people and places to go — listing Galaxy Hut, Iota Club & Cafe and Northside Social as a few — yet there were still some factors that made the scene frustrating. The conversation, she said, lacks variety.
“I think Arlington is very cookie cutter,” she said. “I think you find that the same type of people have the same type of conversations with people over and over again.”
Standing in front of a quieter Whitlow’s on Wilson, Amro Shihadah, 24, and Charlie Morris, 27, also said Arlington is home to several places to meet people, but the conversation is more of the same.
“It’s the same people, from the same schools, from the same area, who know the same people,” said Shihadah.
While he doesn’t think Arlington is necessarily the top location for single women, Jayme Maddox, 25, said he thinks the high concentration of young professionals in the area makes it one of the best. He says he loves places like Fuego, Wilson Tavern and Clarendon Grill, which each yield different types of people.
“It is a great place to meet grounded, intelligent, and successful (or on their way) people,” Maddox said. “You consider that with the relatively intimate size of Arlington and that just increases the opportunities for dating.”
The interior of the space was almost entirely emptied out by Tuesday afternoon, ARLnow.com was told.
The owner left phone numbers for the spa’s nail technicians on the sign, so their regular customers could contact them to try to make appointments elsewhere.
When asked for explanation for the closure, someone answering messages sent to the spa’s email address said only: “The landlord wants the space back after the lease.”
This time, Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman Susan Kalish said the main features of the park have been installed, but issues with fencing and Americans with Disabilities Act compliance have pushed the park further off schedule. Kalish this time did not give an expected date, but said the park should open by the end of the summer, and “hopefully sooner.”
“We’re in the home stretch,” she said in an email.
James Hunter Park, as it’s called, is located at N. Herndon and 13th Streets. It’s planned to be a 0.71-acre park with both dog- and people-friendly features like a community canine area, pathways, site furnishings, public art, lighting, and landscaping, all of which have already been installed.
The park was delayed in the spring because of unforeseen issues with the park site, characterized as difficult soils, grading issues and “buried structures.”
This time, the specific ADA regulations regarding fencing and railing pushed the opening back. ADA requires dog parks and recreational spaces to have such facilities installed and then approved by compliance officers before the park can open to the public, Kalish said.
“We cannot open the park until the site is ADA compliant and all final inspections are approved,” Kalish wrote in an email.
The renovated park had an original opening date of summer 2012 before being pushed back to February 2013, then late spring of this year, and, in March, park planners said they expected to be open in July.
“We share the community’s frustration over the delayed opening and continue daily inspections of the contractor’s work to provide the best product as expeditiously as possible,” Jane Rudolph, Arlington’s Park and Recreation director, said in a press release. “The good news is that despite the timeline extension, the County has remained within the [$1.6 million] park construction budget.”
Driving through Clarendon has become messier and is taking longer due to construction on several of the major roads in the neighborhood. It’s the latest area to be worked on as part of the annual paving program.
The affected area in Clarendon covers about five blocks — two along Wilson Blvd, two on N. Highland Street and one on N. Fillmore Street. Crews have been milling — removing the top layer of streets — and adjusting utilities as needed. Paving with two to three inches of hot-mix asphalt follows soon after, as well as line painting.
Because of the busy nature of the Clarendon neighborhood, contractors plan to do the paving portion on Sunday and Monday nights, weather permitting. Crews have been able to do the milling and utility adjustments during the day because those tasks are more flexible in terms of working around vehicle and pedestrian traffic.
Clarendon isn’t the only area getting repaved; an online map highlights in red the active paving projects throughout the county. Residents in the affected areas receive letters announcing the road work four to six week before it begins. Temporary “no parking” signs are posted along the roads and cars parked in the work areas during the restricted times will be towed.
The county’s annual paving program typically takes place between March and October because the hot-mix asphalt can only be applied in warm, dry weather. Currently, this year’s paving stands at about 87 percent complete.
Joseph Rivera, 34, has been charged with aggravated sexual battery in connection with the incident, which police say took place between 2:00 and 2:33 a.m. on December 26, 2010. According to police, Rivera sexually assaulted an unconscious 26-year-old woman in a vehicle in a parking lot somewhere in Clarendon.
The victim came forward after seeing news reports about Rivera, who last week was charged with numerous sex offenses by Fairfax County Police. Those charges include rape, aggravated sexual battery, animate object sexual penetration and two counts of unlawful filming; police say Rivera sexually assaulted several unconscious women and made videos of some of the assaults.
Rivera, formerly of 724 Four Mile Road in the Arlandria section of Alexandria near the Arlington border, was arrested in Las Vegas and is awaiting extradition.
The Arlington victim saw Rivera’s mug shot on the news and contacted police, Arlington Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said. Detectives showed her one of the videos he made to establish positive identification.
“The victim saw the news coverage and called police,” he said. “She was able to identify herself in one of the videos the suspect had taken.”
Rivera worked as a DJ at several D.C. area bars under the name Joey Flash. According to the Washington Post, one of the bars he worked at was A-Town Bar and Grill, in the Ballston area.
The bar was operated under a different name in 2010 and Sternbeck was unable to say whether Rivera had been working as a DJ the night of the alleged Dec. 26, 2010 incident.
Clarendon Whole Foods marketing manager Jackie Zovko said the store is pushing back a large cooler in the produce department, which will clear space to expand produce, add 8 to 10 feet of the seafood counter and add another grocery aisle, which would allow for expansion of the bulk foods section.
“We hope to have it completed by the first week of October,” Zovko said. “There will be some other changes, but they’re not confirmed yet.”
The renovation is the second phase of Whole Foods’ renovation project for its Clarendon location. Five years ago, the grocery store moved its café section to the second story and expanded its specialty and baked goods section.
Zovko said most of the work will be done at night, after the store closes, so as not to interfere with customers’ shopping experience.
Photo courtesy of Erin Johnson. Disclosure: Whole Foods is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
vPoint Apartments, an affordable housing complex in Clarendon built on top of a church, has repaid part of its Affordable Housing Investment Fund loan.
The repayment was done in dramatic fashion, with representatives of the complex presenting the Arlington County Board with a check for $1.2 million on Tuesday.
The apartments, owned by the Views at Clarendon Corporation, opened more than 18 months ago and are currently at capacity, according to Views at Clarendon Chair Jerry Morris. Of the building’s 116 apartments, 70 are affordable units.
The project received a total of $13.1 million from the AHIF, according to Views at Clarendon spokeswoman Jill Norcross.
“We weren’t expecting to be able to return this much so early on in the project’s operations, but we ended up not needing the full loan and wanted to give it back so the county could recycle it for other projects,” she said in an email. “The county really supported us throughout the whole nine-year development process.”
The funds will go back into the AHIF, which draws funds from developers, loan repayments and allocations in the county’s annual budget. The AHIF has funded a majority of the county’s 6,500 affordable housing units.
“We are fortunate to live and work in a county that prioritizes affordable housing and we thank you for your partnership during the development of the vPoint Apartment community,” Morris said before the Board. “We wish you continued success in recycling AHIF in order to ensure Arlington has housing options for all of our residents.”