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by Ethan Rothstein — January 20, 2015 at 5:00 pm 1,953 0

ABC sign in Courthouse (photo courtesy Andy Bailey)An ABC liquor store is under construction at 1919 Clarendon Blvd, in the ground floor of a new apartment building on the block.

ARLnow.com reported in July that the state Alcoholic Beverage Control department was in lease negotiations for one of the new retail spaces in the building, just a few blocks from the site of its former location in the Colonial Village Shopping Center.

Signs are already up in the windows of the new space, on Clarendon Blvd between N. Rhodes and Troy Streets, for construction. When contacted, an ABC spokesperson could only confirm the store will be opening in the future, but said there is no available information about when the store might be open.

The site of a possible new ABC store in CourthouseWhile the ABC store is undergoing their interior buildout, so, too, is Shawafel, a “quick served” Lebanese restaurant, next door. The location of Shawafel will be the H Street NE business’ second brick-and-mortar shop.

Before the ABC store opens, the closest spot to pick up bottles of liquor for Rosslyn and Courthouse residents is the store at 1001 N. Fillmore Street, at the intersection with Washington Blvd.

Photo, top, courtesy Andy Bailey. Photo (bottom) is a file photo.

by Ethan Rothstein — January 12, 2015 at 4:45 pm 5,677 0

Velocity 5 in CourthouseVelocity 5, the sports bar mainstay in Courthouse, is getting a makeover this spring into what its owners call “an American beer garden.”

The restaurant will close down for a month before re-opening as “Courthaus Social,” a beer garden with an expanded patio outside the location at 2300 Clarendon Blvd. The plan to close Velocity 5 and reopen as a beer garden has been around for nearly two years after new owners bought the location of the regional chain, which opened in Courthouse in 2009.

“We were trying to find the perfect concept,” one of the co-owners, Nema Sayadian, told ARLnow.com today. “You realize you have to find your own identity, and that’s what we were struggling with.”

Sayadian and Fito Garcia, also a co-owner, originally had planned to rename the restaurant “Social Haus” and turn it into a Bavarian-style biergarten, serving almost exclusively German beer and food. Courthaus Social, while still configured as a beer garden with “social seating” — long benches inside and out — will focus more on local craft beers from breweries like Starr Hill, Port City and Mad Fox.

There will still be some German beers on the menu and Sayadian says “we’ll still have the biggest schnitzel in town.” The concept will now be more food-centric, with locally sourced meats and sustainable practices Garcia hopes will serve as a model for other local restaurants. At its heart, Courthaus Social hopes to be a relaxed, community business.

“We’re not going to be pretentious about it,” Sayadian said. Garcia added, “Arlington needs beer places. And with Summers closing down, we want to help the area.”

When it opens, the bar will have about 1,000 square feet of patio seating fronting Claredon Blvd, adding to its patio facing Courthouse Plaza’s Wells Fargo Bank. There will be more than 30 beers on tap, and they will still be available in two-liter “boots” as well as steins.

Velocity 5 has served as a registration spot for bar crawls in Clarendon and Courthouse in years past, and while Garcia and Sayadian say they’re not against participating in more bar crawls, the attitude of the restaurant is shifting.

“We love the business that comes with the bar crawls,” Garcia said, “but we want to have a different focus and build a community around us. If Arlington is for the bar crawls, we’re down, but we’re not going to take part in something that’s frowned upon.”

by Ethan Rothstein — December 30, 2014 at 2:30 pm 3,279 0

Java Shack (photo via Facebook)(Updated at 2:35 p.m.) Java Shack, the locally owned coffee shop in Courthouse, will change ownership on Thursday after opening 19 years ago.

The shop, at 2507 N. Franklin Road, is being acquired by Commonwealth Joe, owner Dale Roberts announced on Facebook yesterday.

Commonwealth Joe is an Arlington-based coffee company that sells its roasted beans, coffee-infused desserts and other goods both online and at local farmers markets. It was started two years ago by four Arlington residents and has grown around the community.

Commonwealth Joe’s owners “are passionate about coffee, and dedicated to maintaining and building upon our neighborhood tradition,” Roberts wrote in his Facebook post. “I’ll still be around, but will be less visible on a day-to-day basis.”

Roberts is hosting a going away party of sorts at “The Shack” tomorrow (Dec. 31), when Roberts will be “solo behind the bar” serving coffee in his last day as owner.

Photo via Facebook

by ARLnow.com — December 20, 2014 at 12:45 pm 6,492 0

U.S. Soccer fans gather at Summer's Restaurant 06/26/14Summers Restaurant and Sports Bar in Courthouse will close after Dec. 31.

The restaurant announced on its Facebook page Friday that it is terminating its lease as of Jan. 1, 2015. It did not specify a reason for the lease termination.

“We are very grateful to our loyal customers who throughout the past 30 years have made it possible for Summers to twice be voted as America’s Best Sports Bar,” the restaurant said.

Summers said it is looking for a partner to help it move to a new location.

by Ethan Rothstein — December 10, 2014 at 5:10 pm 1,119 0

A retail space at 1800 N. Kent Street that has been vacant for six yearsFour vacant retail spaces — three in Rosslyn and one in Courthouse — could be converted into medical or office space following action by the Arlington County Board this weekend.

The Board has four items in Saturday’s consent agenda dealing with the conversion of space mandated to be retail, based on building’s site plans, to office or medical uses. One of those items is for a dentist’s office already in operation in Courthouse Plaza under a temporary site plan amendment.

The other three agenda items are for:

  • Two vacant retail spaces, totaling 3,696 square feet, at 1800 N. Kent Street. One space (pictured above) was a private school space that has been vacant for six years. The other had been occupied by dry cleaners, but has been vacant for 10 years, according to the staff report.
  • A 2,830-square-foot vacant space on the ground floor of 2001 15th Street N., in the Odyssey Condominiums. The space fronts Clarendon Blvd, but it has been vacant for five years, other than serving as a temporary leasing office for the now-opened apartments across the street, the staff report states. Since the leasing office has relocated, the owner reports difficulty finding a tenant for the space.
  • A 1,520-square-foot space at 1600 Wilson Blvd, the former site of the Sir Speedy Printing Center, which has been vacant since July. The space, according to the staff report, “has a history of retail vacancy and poses some location challenges for retail attraction.”

County staff identified no issues for any of these sites, suggesting a “medical/physical therapy office, will help activate the street and pose no adverse impacts to the neighborhood,” in all of the reports.

The county seems to be taking a softer line on mandated ground floor retail spaces, in recognition that some storefronts are just not viable for traditional retail. For instance, 1800 N. Kent Street is well hidden from Rosslyn’s main N. Lynn Street drag, resulting in a relative paucity of the foot traffic that could bring customers to a small business.

County staff, in recommending approval of the motions, used the draft Arlington Retail Action Plan as guidance in its decisions.

The draft action plan, which would replace and expand upon the 2001 Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor Retail Plan, includes a map that specifies which type of retail can go where. According to the county’s planning staff, all four locations on Saturday’s agenda are considered appropriate for medical or office use under the draft retail map.

by Ethan Rothstein — December 8, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,704 0

The new 7-Eleven in the 2001 Clarendon Blvd building is now open for business.

The shop officially opened its doors last Monday on the ground floor of the building that will also house a specialty oil store and a body sculpting studio. It is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The store is corporate-owned, but the manager told ARLnow.com last week that if the store doesn’t carry something a customer wants, all someone has to do is ask “and I will get it for them.”

The new location is just a few blocks away from an existing 7-Eleven at 1625 Wilson Blvd.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 10, 2014 at 1:30 pm 1,211 0

A new “lifestyle studio” focused on aesthetic skin and body improvements using high-tech, non-invasive techniques is planning to open a studio at 2012 Wilson Blvd, in the new 2001 Clarendon building.

The studio is called Radovà Lifestyle, named for its owner, Gabriela Radovà. Radovà, a “Master Aesthetician” according to her website, said the studio is currently under construction in the new space, and she plans on opening by Thanksgiving.

“We specialize in customizing face and body treatments for each of our clients so that you are assured of achieving your specific goals,” Radovà’s website reads. “Radio Frequency, Ultrasound, next generation Intense Pulsed Light (AFT) and Coolsculpting are a few of our advanced technologies used to remove body fat and tighten the skin without the risk of needles and downtime. Our customized skin and body sculpting treatments are expertly applied by Master Estheticians following proven European techniques and proprietary protocols developed by Gabriela Radová.”

Although the studio is not yet open, Radovà is already taking appointments for services like chemical peels, body fat and cellulite reductions, skin tightening and nutrition and weight loss consultations.

Radovà joins Southern restaurant Tupelo Honey Cafe, a 7-Eleven, a Hair Cuttery, Olive Oil Boom and a nail salon as retail businesses moving into the ground floor of the recently opened building.

by Ethan Rothstein — November 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm 3,498 0

California Tortilla in Courthouse will be offering free burritos to customers on Thursday to celebrate a transition to a new franchise owner.

The restaurant, at 2057 Wilson Blvd, has been closed for renovations and sports a new look inside. On Thursday, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 5:00 to 7:30 p.m., all customers can get a free burrito and a drink. The first 20 customers in line get a “Burrito Elito” loyalty card with free burritos for a year.

California Tortilla also has locations at Reagan National Airport and in Crystal City. Those, along with all other “Cal Tor” locatons, are offering free chips and queso sauce to any customer who tells the cashier they voted. The promotion is valid today only.

by ARLnow.com — October 31, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,176 0

Sleeping quarters in Arlington County's emergency winter shelterThe county’s Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) opens for the 2014-2015 season tomorrow (Saturday). This will be the final season for the EWS, as the permanent homeless shelter under construction in Courthouse is set to open in spring.

The EWS will be open for vulnerable residents every day from 4:00 p.m.-9:00 a.m., through March 31. Hours may be extended on especially cold days, which happened during last season’s cold snap. The temporary facility at 2049 15th Street N. accommodates up to 74 people and other nearby facilities can be used as overflow during severe weather.

Arlington County funds the EWS and it is operated by the nonprofit Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN), under the supervision  of the county’s Department of Human Services. It provides homeless residents with facilities for sleeping, eating, showering and doing laundry.

A-SPAN also will operate the new Homeless Services Center (2020 14th Street N.) when it opens, which is expected to be in April.

“We are anticipating a seamless transition,” said Department of Human Services spokesman Kurt Larrick. “A-SPAN will continue to be the service provider and they’ve demonstrated they are great at what they do.”

Rendering of Arlington's new Human Services CenterThe goal for employees of the new Homeless Services Center is not only to house homeless residents, but also to identify and tackle the issues that drove a person to homelessness. County agencies and nonprofit partners will continue to provide resources such as employment training, financial management assistance, and treatment for mental health and substance abuse.

“We’ve got a head start on this even before the new center opens – it’s essentially the same approach we used for the recently completed 100 Homes Campaign,” said Larrick. “It’s the approach we use in our Permanent Supportive Housing Programs – where we get the housing piece in place and then ensure that people get the supports they need to maintain their housing.”

In February, the County Board approved a $6.6 million contract for the new Homeless Services Center, and construction began in April. Right now, workers are continuing to repair weather-damaged columns in the former open parking area under part of the second floor. This known issue was part of the contract. Once the building inspector approves the fixes, workers can removed the extra steel supports installed to carry building loads during repairs, and move on to the next phase. Construction is scheduled to wrap up in March, in time for the April opening.

When finished, the shelter will house 50 year round beds on the third floor, with room for an additional 25 beds during the winter. The second floor will have a kitchen and dining area, in addition to a day room and offices for counseling. Floors four through seven will be converted to county offices at a later date.

Construction updates will be posted online.

by ARLnow.com — October 31, 2014 at 9:25 am 1,558 0

"look from front yard visitor" (Flickr pool photo by wolfkann)

Historical Society Requests Heritage Center — The Arlington Historical Society formally requested including a heritage center in the the plan for redeveloping the Courthouse Square area. The organization said it could assist with developing such a facility, but could not foot the bill entirely on its own. [InsideNova]

Wizards’ Marcin Gortat Buys $1.6M Home in Arlington — Washington Wizards player Marcin Gortat has purchased one of the most expensive homes on the market in Arlington. He bought the 5-bedroom, 5.5-bathroom home for $1.6 million. The 4,008 square foot new house on N. Quebec Street should have plenty of room for the 6’11″ Gortat. [Curbed DC]

County Responds to Streetcar Criticism — The county has made a website addressing a number of concerns raised about the streetcar project, particularly how to avoid problems being experienced by the D.C. streetcar on H Street. The website lists its plans to alleviate some of the problems, like keeping traffic moving, while calling this “an opportunity for us to learn best practices.” [Arlington County]

Free Halloween Taxi Rides from SoberRide — The Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s 2014 SoberRide service is available tonight. Anyone enjoying some adult beverages can get a free taxi, up to a $30 fare, instead of trying to drive home. SoberRide begins today at 10:00 p.m. and runs through 4:00 a.m. Saturday. Call 1-800-200-TAXI. [Washington Regional Alcohol Program]

Daylight Saving Time Ends — Remember to set your clocks back one hour this weekend. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday. It’s also a good time to test your smoke detector.

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

by Ethan Rothstein — October 29, 2014 at 3:45 pm 2,532 0

Lucky Pot, the Chinese and Thai restaurant in the new 1919 Clarendon Blvd building, is now open for business.

Lucky Pot opened last Thursday with its storefront on the Wilson Blvd side of the building, across the street from the Colonial Village condominiums. It’s owner Zhong Lin’s first restaurant after working in Chinese restaurants for more than 20 years, he said.

“I always liked to cook,” Lin said with a smile. “My friends were always very happy to come over to eat.”

In the first week of business, he’s sent out 12,000 menus to try to draw attention to his business, the second to open in the building, after a nail salon a few doors down.

The restaurant delivers and encourages online ordering (with a $15 minimum and $1 delivery charge). Lin said the Thai dishes, like Pad Thai and curry shrimp, are the most popular things on the menu, but he doesn’t have a specialty. “Everything’s good,” he said.

Lucky Pot opens at 11:00 a.m. Monday-Saturday and closes at 10:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. It’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Sundays.

by ARLnow.com — October 28, 2014 at 9:15 am 2,520 0

Pumpkin in a fountain in Clarendon

Orange/Silver Line Delays — There were delays on the Orange and Silver lines this morning due to a disabled train at Virginia Square. The disabled train has since been cleared and trains are no longer single tracking around it. [Twitter]

Video: Don’t Put H-B Woodlawn in Reed School — A video created by members of the Westover community urges Arlington Public Schools to reject any proposal to relocate the H-B Woodlawn secondary program to the Reed School. [YouTube]

Design Tweaks for Courthouse Building — Developer Carr Properties has made several tweaks to the design of 2025 Clarendon Blvd, its proposed office building which will replace the Wendy’s in Courthouse. Responding to concerns from county planners, Carr has added a fourth retail bay and replaced most of the terra cotta in the facade with more glass and steel. [Washington Business Journal - WARNING: AUTO-PLAY VIDEO]

Health Violations at Arlington Restaurants — WUSA9 investigative reporter Russ Ptacek has set his sights on Arlington restaurants that have had food safety licenses revoked, including Mario’s Pizza, Aroma Indian Cuisine, Pedro & Vinny’s and Astor Mediterranean. In Virginia, restaurants get their violations cleared from the public database after getting a new license post-revocation. [WUSA9 - WARNING: AUTO-PLAY VIDEO]

Parking App for DCA — Starting Nov. 1, those parking at Reagan National Airport will be able to pay via a smartphone app. [MWAA]

Sun Gazette Carries Doomsday Ad – The Arlington Sun Gazette recently carried an ad for Disaster Retreat, a doomsday safe haven in central Virginia for “serious-minded families and executives.” The half-page ad was adjacent to a streetcar editorial and ads for window treatments and dog training. [Slate]

by ARLnow.com — October 7, 2014 at 9:00 am 1,122 0

Football practice equipment at Washington-Lee HS (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Buses to Use I-66 Shoulder – Buses will be allowed to use the shoulder lane on I-66 inside the Beltway during heavy traffic, starting next month. VDOT is launching the program as a way to relieve some congestion and improve the on-time performance of bus routes that utilize the traffic-choked corridor. [Washington Post]

Parkmobile Now Available in Courthouse, Rosslyn — Arlington County has completed the implementation of the Parkmobile parking payment system for the Courthouse and Rosslyn neighborhoods, ahead of schedule. [Twitter]

KickStarter Launches for ‘Wearable’ Project — A Kickstarter fundraising campaign has started for a local startup company featured on ARLnow.com last month. OnYou is planning to produce a wearable compression sleeve and carbon case for smartphones. Worn primarily during workouts, the product uses powerful magnets to attach the phone and case to the sleeve. The product was designed by a former professional poker player and prototyped here in Arlington. [Kickstarter]

Elliot in the Morning Halloween Bash Returns — DC 101′s Elliot in the Morning will be back in Arlington for the show’s annual Halloween bash. The costume party will be held starting at 8:00 p.m. on Halloween — Friday, Oct. 31 — at Clarendon Ballroom. A $3,000 grand prize is being offered for best costume. [Clarendon Nights]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com — September 19, 2014 at 9:15 am 1,274 0

Taxis queued up at Reagan National Airport

‘Pups and Pilsners’ Photo Contest — Want to sample some brews and make your pet famous? Head on over to Crystal City’s Pups and Pilsners event from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, snap a photo of your pooch and tweet it to us and our sponsors, @CCBID and @BeckysPetCare. Pups and Pilsners is a free dog-friendly event featuring a massive beer garden and food from local restaurants. [Crystal City BID]

Planners: Bank Shortchanges Courthouse — The office building slated to replace the Wendy’s in Courthouse will have a Wells Fargo bank prominently located on the ground floor, and Arlington planners don’t like it. County staff says the bank use is “not appropriate” and should be at least moved so that a more active retail use can occupy half of the plaza area. Developer Carr Properties says the bank must stay, since Wells Fargo owns the land under the existing bank that will be torn down for the project. [Washington Business Journal]

Vihstadt Out-Raises Howze — Incumbent, independent County Board candidate John Vihstadt is out-raising his Democratic opponent, Alan Howze. Vihstadt raised $31,367 in July and August, compared to $20,607 raised by Howze. Vihstadt recently reported $58,746 cash on hand while Howze reported $16,906. [Washington Post]

Fugazi to Release ‘Lost Album’ — Fugazi is planing to release a “lost album” of 11 songs recorded in 1988. The legendary local rockers recorded the songs on the album, First Demo, at Inner Ear Studio in Arlington. [Spin]

Road Closures for Clarendon Art Fest — Parts of Washington Blvd, Clarendon Blvd, and N. Highland Street will be closed Saturday and Sunday for the 2nd Annual Arlington Festival of the Arts. “Over 100 artists will showcase their works including glass, mixed media, paintings, jewelry, and pottery; providing all sorts of opportunities to appreciate — and purchase — art,” according to the festival’s website. [Arlington County, ArtFestival]

by ARLnow.com — September 18, 2014 at 3:30 pm 4,458 0

Police car lightsAn early morning birthday party took a turn for the worse Sunday, when a fight broke out and a guy was struck in the head with a bottle.

The fight took place in a hotel in Courthouse, two blocks from Arlington County Police headquarters.

From this week’s Arlington crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140914015, 1200 block of N. Courthouse Road. At 5:30 am on September 14, a physical altercation broke out at a birthday party in a hotel room between intoxicated subjects. The dispute continued outside where police encountered several subjects attempting to flee. A male victim sustained a laceration after being struck in the head with a bottle. Celina Berrios, 21, of Lorton, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding. She was held without bond.

Meanwhile, in the Nauck neighborhood on Saturday, a man suspected of domestic violence bit a police officer several times and tried to disarm another, according to police.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 140913040, 2400 block of S. Lowell Street. At 2:30 pm on September 13, officers responded to a residence for a suspect in a domestic assault incident. The subject attempted to flee through a rear door and was confronted by police. The subject struck and bit the officer several times. He also assaulted and attempted to disarm a second officer as he was being taken into custody. Mark Wanzer, 24, of Arlington, VA, was arrested and charged with malicious wounding of a law enforcement officer, resisting arrest, providing false information to avoid prosecution, assault & battery of a law enforcement and attempting to disarm an officer. The suspect also had an outstanding warrant out of Fairfax County. He was held without bond.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump. All named suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty.

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