The District Taco cart, which was launched four years ago and has now spawned four brick-and-mortar restaurants, is retiring today in Rosslyn.
District Taco owner Osiris Hoil said the team that runs the cart is needed to support the restaurants, with locations at 5723 Lee Highway and at Metro Center, Eastern Market and soon-to-be-open Dupont Circle in the District. The decision was purely a business one, but that didn’t make it any easier for Hoil, who opened the cart using family recipes after being laid off from a construction job.
“It’s very emotional for me, because when we started four years ago it was just me and my taco stand,” Hoil told ARLnow.com today. “It’s part of my heart, but as a business decision, we had to let it go.”
Hoil said that, in addition to the Dupont Circle location opening next month, he plans to open in Crystal City, Rosslyn, Alexandria and Vienna, and is looking at space in Rockville and Reston Town Center. No new location is firmed up yet, he said, but he hopes to open another store by the end of the year and three or four next year. The taco stand is just too unpredictable to continue to operate while District Taco grows, said Hoil.
“One of the challenges we’re having is the weather,” he said. “This wintertime has been really cold, but also it’s just one of the reasons. We’re growing pretty aggressively this year and next year and we need our team to focus on our restaurants. It’s a little bit harder to manage the stand than a restaurant just because it’s a mobile unit and anything can happen while traveling.”
It might not happen right away, but Hoil is determined to open up spaces in Rosslyn and Crystal City close to where his taco stand set up shop most days. He said he’ll likely try to move into Rosslyn once the Central Place construction is complete.
Today in Rosslyn, in honor of the stand’s last day, District Taco is offering two free tacos to every customer that stops by, while supplies last.
Tech Hub Coming to Crystal City — Crystal City office building owner Vornado is investing $10 million in a venture capital fund called the Crystal Tech Fund. Venture capitalist Paul Singh is hoping to raise a total of $50 million for the fund, and is moving his company, Disruption Corp., to Crystal City. Vornado is also bringing a WeWork co-working space to Crystal City by 2016, and converting an existing building into a 300 unit apartment building for “today’s mobile and collaborative workers.” [InTheCapital, Washington Business Journal]
AFAC Sees Record Food Need – The Arlington Food Assistance Center continues to see record need for food in the community. The food bank served just over 1,800 families per week in February, a 30 percent increase compared to last year. [Sun Gazette]
Sony Store to Close — The Sony store in Pentagon City Mall is set to close, according to the company. The Sony store in Tysons Corner is also on the chopping block. [Sony]
Remembrance for Jean Crawford — Jean Crawford, a local Arlington County official and activist, died earlier this month after experiencing complications from gastric bypass surgery. A remembrance ceremony for Crawford will be held Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Blvd). [Washington Post, Sun Gazette]
Video: Joan Mulholland — Joan Mulholland, a civil rights activist and former Freedom Rider who lives in Arlington, recently donated documents from her private collection to the Center for Local History at Arlington Public Library. The county’s Arlington TV channel created a video about Mulholland and the donation. [YouTube]
Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk
County Board Still Steamed Over Tree Removal — Arlington County Board members are still lashing out against Arlington Public Schools’ removal of some trees from the grounds of Ashlawn Elementary School, which is beginning an expansion project. The school system received county staff approval to remove the trees but did not receive County Board approval. “The community has reason to be upset,” Board member Walter Tejada reiterated on Saturday. County Board members also questioned whether a controversial plan to create a loop road for student drop-off was still necessary. [Sun Gazette]
Transitway Stops Cheaper than Superstop — The new transit stops along the just-approved Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway will cost between $345,000 and $530,000. That’s significantly less than the cost of the $1 million “Superstop” on the corner of Walter Reed Drive and Columbia Pike. The new transit stops will still come with an “[improved] sidewalk, boarding platform, benches, trash cans, lighting, information signs, canopy, bike racks and windscreen.” [Washington Post]
W-L Wrestler Finishes Second in Tourney — Washington-Lee senior wrestler Narankhuu Ganbaatar has finished second in the 6A state tournament. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder
The construction is part of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway Project, a project that, when completed, will see a bus rapid transit system connect from Crystal City and Pentagon City down to the Braddock Road Metrorail Station in Alexandria.
The project’s construction is expected to start this spring and last for 10 months. Alexandria’s portion of the Transitway is already under construction, according to county staff. In Arlington, the bus will operate in dedicated lanes near Potomac Yard, with stops on Crystal Drive, S. Bell Street, Clark Street, 15th Street, 20th Street and 26th Street.
During morning and evening rush hours, the buses — which will be a new 9X Metrobus route — will use a dedicated lane south on S. Bell and Clark Streets and north on Crystal Drive, replacing an existing traffic lane. The lane will be open to normal traffic during other times.
A little more than $1 million of the project’s funds will come from county funds and bonds, while the rest will come from state and federal transit grants, according to the county’s staff report. The project is designed to support the redevelopment of Potomac Yard and provide another transit option for commuters and residents of the Jefferson Davis Highway corridor.
Last year, Metro announced that the Transitway would be WMATA’s first BRT service. The dedicated lanes are expected to expedite travel times and keep buses running on a more reliable schedule.
In previous years, the wine and beer walks were separate, but now participants can drink beer and walk with friends who choose wine, according to the Crystal City Business Improvement District, which is hosting the event.
Walkers will start in separate heats between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. The different wine and beer stands will close at 6:30 p.m. The entire race takes place indoors at the Shops at Crystal City, with the starting point at The Landing (1750 Crystal Drive).
Below is the list of beers and wines available, but the Wine Academy has promised some surprise selections.
Ponga Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand)
Wildewood Pinot Gris – Willamette Valley, Oregon
Chateau Valmer Vouvray – Loire Valley, France
Chamisal Chardonnay (California)
Whitehall Viognier – White Hall, Virginia
Selbach Oster Kabinett Riesling – Mosel, Germany
Degiorgis Moscato D’Asti – Piedmont, Italy
Atmosphere Rosé – Provence, France
Bellene Bourgogne (Pinot Noir) – Burgandy, France
Charles Smith Boom Boom Syrah Columbia Valley, Washington
Ventisquero Reserva Cermenere – Central Valley, Chile
Santa Julia Sustainable Malbec (Argentina)
Jefferson Vineyards Cabernet Franc – Charlottesville, Virginia
Bodegas Paso O Paso Tempranillo – Castilla-La Mancha, Spain
Mountain View Cabernet Sauvignon – Central Coast, California
Heinz Eiffel Dornfelder (Germany)
Dogfish Head Namaste
Great Divide Colette
Lagunitas Lil’ Sumpin’ Sumpin’
Hardywood Cream Ale
21st Amendment Brew Free or Die
SweetWater 420 Extra Pale Ale
Stone Ruination IPA
Stoudt’s Double IPA
Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout
Wolaver’s Alta Gracia Coffee Porter
Scotch de Silly
Fort Collins Chocolate Stout
Crabbie’s Ginger Beer
Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear Cider
Photo courtesy Crystal City BID. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
High Demand for Affordable Housing — The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing received more than 3,000 applications for 122 apartments at its new Arlington Mill Residences building on Columbia Pike. Demand for affordable housing is high. Arlington lost about 6,000 residents earning between $50-75k per year from 2000 to 2012, while gaining about 25,000 households that earn more than $200k. [Washington Post]
Remembering Classic Arlington Businesses — Local writer and historian Charlie Clark recently held a talk to recall the former mom-and-pop businesses and restaurants that have closed as a result of Arlington’s “creative destruction.” Among the restaurants remembered were the Buckaroo Steakhouse on Lee Highway, Speedy Gonzales Tex-Mex restaurant in Ballston, and Major Bo’s Chicken Delight. [Sun Gazette]
Charlotte Eyes Crystal City As Development Model – The city of Charlotte, N.C. is hoping to boost development around its airport. One developer has eyed Crystal City as a possible model, considering a “complex similar to Crystal City, a collection of apartment buildings, hotels, offices and shops next to Reagan National Airport.” [Charlotte Observer]
Flickr pool photo by J. Sonder
Crystal City’s annual Crystal Couture fashion show and sale got underway last night.
The show is being held through Saturday, every night from 6:00-10:00 p.m., across from the Crystal City Metro station at 251 18th Street S. In addition to models showing off the latest fashions from local designers, Crystal Couture features a cash bar, free makeovers and boutiques from more than 50 retailers.
Philippa Hughes of Pinkline Project guest hosted Tuesday night. Other scheduled hosts include 94.7 Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly (Friday) and WPGC’s Guy Lambert and former Miss D.C. “K Street” Kate Michael (Saturday).
Disclosure: Event organizer Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Arlington County Police are investigating an armed robbery that took place on a weekday afternoon.
The alleged incident happened
just before 2:00 p.m. this past Friday, on the 2700 block of S. Eads Street near Crystal City. Police say a 37-year-old woman was approached by a man with a gun and robbed of her purse and cell phone. The armed man then handed the stolen items to a second suspect before fleeing toward nearby Eads Park.
There’s no indication that the woman was hurt during the robbery.
“The first suspect is described as a Hispanic male, in his early twenties, and approximately 5’3”. He was wearing a dark knit hat, dark scarf covering his face, a dark coat, and jeans at the time of the incident,” the crime report states. “The second suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his early twenties with curly black hair, and approximately 5’5” with a thin build. At the time of the incident he was wearing a black and blue hooded coat and dark pants.”
Renovations for Crystal City Sheraton — The Crystal City Sheraton hotel (1800 Jefferson Davis Highway) will close in mid-April and undergo renovations.. The 218-room hotel will reopen as a Westin. Nearly 100 workers will be laid off during renovations. [Washington Business Journal]
New Signage for WJLA Building Approved — A divided Arlington County Board has approved new rooftop signage for the office building at 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, also known as the WJLA building. The board split its vote 3-2 after residents expressed concern that the new signage would “be detrimental to their neighborhoods” and local monuments. The potential signage is for an unnamed prospective client. [Sun Gazette]
Board Approves New Transportation Funding — The County Board on Tuesday gave the okay to Arlington’s share of a new regional transportation funding stream. The county will receive $11.4 million in the first year, which will go to support projects like the Columbia Pike streetcar, a western entrance to the Ballston Metro station, local transit service and “complete streets” improvements. [Arlington County]
Galaxy Hut Named Top Karaoke Spot — DCist has dubbed Clarendon’s Galaxy Hut (2711 Wilson Blvd) “Arlington’s favorite dive” and one of the “best places for karaoke in the D.C. area.” [DCist]
Alexandria is Poised for Growth – Arlington’s neighbor to the south, Alexandria, is poised to begin booming with new development. The city expects a new Potomac Yard Metro station and the impending move of the National Science Foundation to the Eisenhower Valley area to further spur development. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
The show will be held next week from Tuesday, Feb. 4 to Saturday, Feb. 8., 6:00-10:00 p.m. on each night, at 251 18th Street S. on the 11th floor. Models will pace up and down the runway showing off some of the season’s new designs, there will be a full cash bar and sales from more than 50 designers. There will also be free, five-minute “makeup and hair makeovers.”
Those interested in attending can choose which day they want to go to the show based on which designers will be on display, and for sale, on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Guest hosts include Philippa Hughes of Pinkline Project (Tuesday), 94.7 Fresh FM’s Tommy McFly (Friday) and WPGC’s Guy Lambert and former Miss D.C. “K Street” Kate Michael (Saturday).
File photo. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
A new Indian restaurant recently opened in Crystal City.
Entree prices at Taj of India generally range from $10-20. It also has a $12-13 lunch special.
Taj of India is located next to Bistro 7107, a Filipino restaurant that quietly opened in the former El Pollito space this past summer. Named after the 7,107 islands of the Philippine archipelago, Bistro 7107 is one of the few sit-down restaurants serving primarily Filipino cuisine in the D.C. area.
You read ARLnow.com articles to stay on top of the latest goings on around town. You might even take our polls, Tweet us tips or participate in the comment section. In short, you’re a part of the community.
Now’s your chance to get even more plugged into the community for fun and profit, all while enjoying beer, wine and tasty food.
From 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 11, ARLnow.com will be hosting ARLive, a golden opportunity to meet the people behind the headlines. Sponsored by Crystal City BID, Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Click, Grade A Marketing, The Falcon Lab and Crystal City Wine Shop, the event is taking place on the spacious 10th floor of 2011 Crystal Drive in Crystal City.
Part business networking event, part interactive community gathering, ARLive will bring together Arlington residents, professionals and officials for thought-provoking conversations and in-person social networking.
There will be a DJ, newsy activities and complimentary food and drink. Plus, enjoy sweeping panoramic views of Washington, D.C., Crystal City, Reagan National Airport and the Potomac River from the event space.
Hors d’oeuvres will be provded by Jaleo, while wine is sponsored by the Crystal City Wine Shop and beer is sponsored by ARLnow.com.
The 2011 Crystal Drive building is easily accessible via Metro and other public transport. Free parking is also available.
Early bird ticket pricing is available through Tuesday. Tickets can be purchased online via Eventbrite.
The power outage struck at the beginning of the evening rush hour on Wednesday, knocking out power to traffic lights at several key intersections. Arlington County police are on scene, setting up cones and directing traffic.
Several hotels were reported to be without power, and the fire department is responding to one for reports of multiple people stuck in hotel elevators.
No word so far on the cause of the power outage or when the lights might come back on.
A long-time local restaurant has closed its doors in Crystal City.
Hamburger Hamlet, at the Crystal City Shops (1750 Crystal Drive), closed late last week. Its parent company filed for bankruptcy last year.
The owner of a California-based restaurant chain, which took over operation of the Bethesda Hamburger Hamlet location in 2012, had been hoping to acquire the Crystal City lease in order to open a 24-hour diner, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
“We offered the landlord a new lease,” W.W. “Biff” Naylor, owner of Du-par’s, told ARLnow.com. ”The landlord decided he didn’t want to deal with anybody who was involved with Hamburger Hamlet so we packed it up and left. I’m only going to go where I’m wanted.”
Over the weekend a Hamburger Hamlet location in Pasadena, Calif. was expected to re-open as Du-par’s, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.
No word yet on what may replace Hamburger Hamlet.
James Bentley, of Arlington, is charged with two counts of child endangerment after police say he locked his 10-year-old son and 1-year-old daughter in his vehicle, in a parking lot on the 500 block of S. 23rd Street, while he was gambling on a horse-racing video game inside Crystal City Sports Pub (529 23rd Street S.).
The children were locked in the car for about a half hour, according to police, with the car turned off. The mother was called to the scene, along with child protective services, to pick up the children.