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by Ethan Rothstein — October 2, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,233 0

Future Highline bar in Crystal City (photo courtesy Robert Mandle)The newest food and drink option coming to Crystal City, Highline, hopes to open by the end of the year.

The bar is opening in the former Bailey’s Pub space at 2010 Crystal Drive. It’s owned by Bedrock Bars, which also owns the Continental in Rosslyn, CarPool in Ballston and Buffalo Billiards, RocketBar and Penn Social in the District, among others. Highline would be Bedrock’s 25th restaurant.

“The number one thing people want in their community is a place beyond work and home — what we call the ‘Third Space,’” said Geoffrey Dawson, one of the bar’s co-owners. “We want Highline to be a place where people can literally and figuratively get outside of their box either to hang with friends, collaborate with colleagues or meet new people.”

Highline will consist of 7,300 square feet of indoor floor space. It is being imagined as a “neighborhood meeting house,” with whiteboards and post-its for business lunches and coffee meetings, and the capability to shift to a happy hour, relaxed feel in the evenings.

The concept isn’t yet complete, however. Dawson and his co-owner, Peter Bayne, said they plan on hosting “pop-up happy hours” throughout Crystal City to solicit ideas for the bar from the community. Bayne calls it a “crowd-sourced social space.”

“Highline will be uniquely designed for and unique to Crystal City,” Bayne said in a press release. “We want to hear from the people who work and live in Crystal City — find out what they want our space to offer.”

Highline plans to offer a selection of craft beers and cocktails, but there’s no word yet on how many taps the bar will have or if it will have the games like shuffleboard and skeeball that have become Bedrock’s other D.C.-area offerings’ signatures.

File photo courtesy Robert Mandle

by Ethan Rothstein — September 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm 2,614 0

Arlington County Board Streetcar discussionA significant milestone has been reached for the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar — the county has approved an engineering and design contract for the 7.4-mile system.

Last night, after a two-hour discussion, the Arlington County Board voted 3-2 to approve a contract with HDR Engineering for $26 million for preliminary design and engineering work on the project. Fairfax County has committed to paying $3.2 million of the contract for their segment of the streetcar, from Bailey’s Crossroads to the Skyline neighborhood. The $26 million is 5.4 percent of the projected $481 million streetcar project.

The contract is the first step to Arlington’s goal of the system becoming operational in 2020. While the county has spent millions funding studies and surveys to prove the streetcar is the best transit system for the Pike’s future, this contract is the first going to actually laying the groundwork for the system itself.

“I believe that this decision is a major milestone to keeping us on track to start streetcar service in 2020,” County Board Chair Jay Fisette said at the meeting. “We think long-term. We make long-term decisions, we don’t think just about the next month or next election. We created a Columbia Pike plan over many years. Think about the Clarendon Sector Plan or the Rosslyn Sector Plan. How would you feel if you went through those years and years of meetings and then have someone change that plan? I think we need to have some integrity and recognize the engagement that we’ve had.”

HDR is the firm that designed the streetcar in the District’s H Street NE corridor, but has also designed streetcar or lightrail systems in New OrleansPhoenix and is designing a 122-mile rail system in Denver, Colo. As part of the contract, there’s a $5 million clause for “optional work,” which includes helping the county with deciding how to actually construct the streetcar. The preliminary engineering and design is expected to take 18 months.

According to the staff presentation, the contract stipulated HDR provide:

  • Studies of area surveys, traffic, utilities, soils, structures, environmental conditions and mitigation
  • Achieving 30 percent design status for roadway work, track alignment, power, signals, stations and facilities
  • Vehicle specifications
  • Plans for property acquisition
  • Updated construction cost estimates
  • Technical support for outreach and coordination

Thirteen speakers addressed the County Board on the issue — 11 in favor, and two opposed — a somewhat muted turnout considering the divide the streetcar has generated in the Arlington community.

“We have waited for a very long time for this project,” said Juliet Hiznay, an Arlington Heights resident. “It occurs to me that sometimes one of the worst things government can do is delay decisions. I think we’ve seen that play out on the school side with the lack of comprehensive planning, and we’re really paying for it now.”

David DeCamp, a real estate developer and former Arlington Chamber of Commerce chairman, spoke in favor of the streetcar, saying it will fund future investments in schools and will be “great for all of Arlington.”

“Frankly,” he said, “it’s something that’s been promised to the developers who have built three or four beautiful properties on the Pike so far.”

Penrose resident Stefanie Pryor opposes the streetcar, but in acknowledging that it was likely to pass, said she hoped for an auditor to be included in the contract and direct stipulations to ensure the materials and cars used for the project are appropriate and functional.

“You get some nasty surprises with commercial off-the-shelf [vehicles] unless you put it explicitly in the contract,” she said.

Board members John Vihstadt and Libby Garvey, elected largely on platforms opposing the streetcar, both railed against the contract and the streetcar in general, with Garvey positing that the streetcar system would move fewer people and deliver a worse return on investment than an enhanced bus system.

“I would maintain that we are plunging ahead on something we are not really ready for that I don’t think is really justified,” she said. “We are spending all this time and effort and money on seven and a half miles of tracks and wires that can take us to where we can go now, but slower.” (more…)

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 17, 2014 at 11:40 am 931 0

Diners at Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Crystal City (2231 Crystal Drive) Monday night had some especially muscular, familiar-looking waiters.

Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris and other team stars donned aprons and name tags for the second annual Blitz For The Better Celebrity Waiter Night fundraiser.

Raising funds “to provide opportunities, support and resources to children and families in need in the Washington, D.C. area,” according to the team blog, the event was organized by Blitz for the Better founder and Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan.

Morris, caught on camera (above) by TMZ Sports outside the event, participated along with tight end Niles Paul, safety Ryan Clark, and fullback Darrel Young, and a number of linebackers and linemen: Jackson Jeffcoat, Gabe Miller, Adam Hayward, Shawn Lauvao and Braxston Cave.

by ARLnow.com — September 17, 2014 at 10:30 am 1,502 0

Handball at Barcroft Sports Center (Flickr pool photo by Highmuckmuck)

Fmr. Arlington Man Pleads Guilty to Murder — Lamont Deshawn Terry, a 39-year-old former Arlington resident, has pleaded guilty to the 1992 fatal shooting of a D.C. man at Hains Point. Terry had driven from Arlington to D.C. with plans to commit a robbery when he encountered victim Chet Hunter Matthews and his girlfriend in a parked car. [Washington Post]

Heritage Center in Courthouse? – An Arlington Heritage Center, hosting exhibits about Arlington’s history and cultural heritage, could eventually be built in Courthouse. Officials are looking at the redeveloped Courthouse Square area as a potential site for the long-sought center. A heritage center on Columbia Pike, which had been discussed previously, is apparently no longer being considered. [InsideNova]

Crystal City McDonald’s Lease Sells for Millions — A ground lease for the Crystal City McDonald’s, at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway, has been sold for $7.35 million, a possible record. The McDonald’s, which pays around $300,000 per year to lease the land, is expected to remain there through 2026. [Washington Business Journal]

ACFD’s 9/11 Response — Last Thursday, Arlington County fire chief James Schwartz recounted the department’s response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Arlington was uniquely prepared for the unfathomable attack, thanks to its location and response to other major disasters like the 1982 Air Florida crash, Schwartz said. He also lauded Arlington’s role in the evidence gathering effort, which included finding the terrorists’ drivers’ licenses. [Falls Church News-Press]

WJLA Takes Right Turn Under New Ownership — Rosslyn-based WJLA (ABC 7) has taken a rightward turn following its purchase by Sinclair Broadcast Group. The station now airs conservative commentary, critical of President Obama and “government waste,” during its newscasts. It has also fired much of its longtime management team. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Highmuckmuck

by ARLnow.com — September 12, 2014 at 9:30 am 673 0

Helicopter over the Potomac and Rosslyn (photo courtesy Peter Roof / Alt Gobo MediaWorks LLC)

USS Arlington Remembers 9/11 — The crew of the USS Arlington marked the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks while at sea in the Atlantic Ocean yesterday. The sailors and Marines aboard the ship, named in remembrance of the attack on the Pentagon, participated in a solemn ceremony to honor the 184 people who died in that attack. [DVIDS]

Travel Tips for Crystal City Wine Fest — Arlington County has car-free travel tips for those who will be attending Sunday’s Vintage Crystal Sip and Salsa festival in Crystal City. There are numerous rail lines, bus stops and Capital Bikeshare stations near the food and wine tasting event, which is taking place from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. in the parking lot behind 220 20th Street S. [Car-Free Diet]

Renovated Sheraton Now a Westin — The former Sheraton hotel at 1800 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City has undergone a $20 million renovation and has now reopened as the Westin Crystal City. The hotel has “220 luxurious guest rooms and extensive meeting facilities.” [eTurbo News]

Arlington Taking Neighborhood College Apps — Arlington County is accepting applications for its Neighborhood College program through Sept. 29. The eight-week “civic engagement and leadership development program” teaches students “how to advocate for your neighborhood and effect change.” [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Peter Roof / Alt Gobo MediaWorks LLC

by Ethan Rothstein — September 4, 2014 at 5:00 pm 794 0

A group of environmental activists and Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille gathered in Crystal City this afternoon to ask Dominion Resources, the parent company of Dominion Power, to end its membership in a conservative think tank.

The think tank, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a membership-based, nonprofit group of state legislators — Virginia House of Delegates Speaker Bill Howell sits on its board — and private sector businessmen and women focused on “free markets, limited government and constitutional division of powers between the federal and state governments.”

A few dozen activists, organized by the Sierra Club, held signs and pinwheels outside of ALEC’s office along Route 1 and asked Dominion to cancel its membership in the group. The protesters say ALEC’s lobbying efforts include derailing legislation aimed at preventing climate change, attempts at voter suppression and support for stand-your-ground gun laws.

“We must not permit our future well-being to be held hostage by fossil fuel companies and others with a vested interest in maintaining the dangerous, unsustainable status quo,” Bill Euille said, according to a press release. “That means we must push back hard against groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council, an organization which has expressly opposed the EPA’s effort to curb carbon pollution from power plants as well as fought renewable energy while promoting dirty fossil fuels.”

Several businesses, including Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola, have dropped their memberships to the think tank, which counts both Democrats and Republicans among its 2,000 members.

Photos courtesy Caroline Wood

by ARLnow.com — August 25, 2014 at 9:05 am 3,364 0

Rosslyn (Flickr pool photo by erkiletian)

One Found Dead in Submerged Car — A person was found dead in a submerged car near the GW Parkway’s Humpback Bridge Sunday afternoon. D.C. and Arlington firefighters were called to the scene after a Duck Tours boat operator saw the submerged car. The car reportedly plunged into the Potomac while traveling northbound on the Parkway. [WTOP, WJLA]

BRT Debuts in Arlington — Metroway, Metro’s first bus rapid transit system, made its debut over the weekend. The service runs from Crystal City to the Braddock Road Metro station in Alexandria, utilizing dedicated lanes along Route 1. [Washington Post]

CAIR Banquet Coming to Arlington — The Council on American-Islamic Relations will hold its 20th annual fundraising banquet in Crystal City next month. The event will take place Sept. 27 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott. Announced participants include retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) and the Rev. Al Sharpton, who’s scheduled to be the keynote speaker. [CAIR]

Fewer than Half of Area Residents are Native-Born — Fewer than half of the residents of D.C., Maryland and Virginia were born there. The number of native-born residents of the District, Maryland and Virginia has been falling since at least 1970. [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by erkiletian

by ARLnow.com — August 22, 2014 at 3:15 pm 1,688 0

Slice n Dice, a restaurant that served up salads, sandwiches and pizzas in the Crystal City Shops, has closed.

The restaurant appears to have closed earlier this month. Its entrance, inside the shopping center on the 2100 block of Crystal Drive, is now covered in a plastic sheet.

“We appreciate all our loyal and worderful [sic] customers we have met and got to know of the past years,” said a sign posted inside the restaurant, a photo of which was uploaded to the restaurant’s Yelp page on Aug. 13. “We are sorry [about] the closing of our store. We will miss our customers and neighbors.”

by Ethan Rothstein — August 22, 2014 at 11:15 am 807 0

Salsa dancing at Crystal City's Sip and Salsa event on SundayCrystal City’s annual wine, food and music festival is back for 2014.

Sip and Salsa, as the event is called, will be held on Sunday, Sept. 14 from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. The event will fill the parking lot and courtyard of 220 20th Street S. with booths pouring Spanish, Argentinian and Portuguese wines, plus unlimited food pairings.

The event, hosted jointly by the Washington Wine Academy and the Crystal City Business Improvement District, will have live jazz and salsa dancing. Wine experts will also be giving talks and educating attendees about the varieties of wine they will be tasting.

Tickets are $20 online or $25 at the door, and designated drivers can pay $10 to partake in all the food tastings.

Sip and Salsa is the marquee fall event in Crystal City’s “Vintage Crystal” series of wine-related events. Starting Friday, Aug. 29 and running every Friday through Sept. 26, Crystal City will also be hosting Wine in the Water Park. That event, which takes place from 6:00 to 10:00 p.m. at the park near 1750 Crystal Drive, features live music and various types of wine and beer for purchase.

File photo. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

by ARLnow.com — August 21, 2014 at 10:05 am 1,714 0

(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) “Highline R&R,” a new bar that bills itself as the future “social anchor” of Crystal City, is coming to the former Bailey’s Pub space at 2010 Crystal Drive.

A permit application reveals that the establishment will have a seating capacity of more than 150. The company behind the application traces back to the offices of Bedrock Management, which operates numerous well-known local bars, like the Continental in Rosslyn; CarPool in Ballston; and Penn Social, Iron Horse Tavern, RocketBar and Buffalo Billiards in D.C.

“Highline will be an industrial themed, craft beer and signature cocktail bar and restaurant that will serve as Crystal City’s social anchor,” according to the bar’s Facebook page, which was created on July 29.

Multiple calls to Bedrock Management have not been returned.

The R&R in the name stands for railroad — echoing the bar’s industrial theme – but it might also stand for “rock and roll.” Located in a large space above McCormick and Schmick’s, Highline is rumored to be a potential live music venue.

No word yet on a potential opening date. An interior demolition permit for the space was approved on Monday.

by Ethan Rothstein — August 19, 2014 at 4:30 pm 0

Medal from the Arlington 9-11 Memorial 5K raceThe 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks will again be marked in Arlington by, among other events, two 5K races raising money for charities.

First, on Saturday, Sept. 6, will be the Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff Memorial 9/11 5K. The race will begin at 6:00 p.m. and start and end at the Double Tree hotel in Crystal City at 300 Army Navy Drive.

The race is $40 to register and participate, with the proceeds going to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Segs4Vets, Team Rubicon and T.A.P.S (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors). The race is limited to the first 4,500 registrants.

The course will take runners from the Double Tree up S. Joyce Street, by the Air Force Memorial and Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, around the Pentagon before returning back to the Double Tree.

A week later, the 9/11 Heroes Run with kick off just a few blocks away. Starting at 8:30 a.m. on 23rd Street S., between Fern and Eads Streets, the run raises money for the Travis Manion Foundation, a charity that supports “veterans, their families, and families of fallen service members.”

Registration for the Heroes Run is $35, plus a $2.74 service fee. The Arlington race is one of 47 nationwide that will be run this year, including events in New York City, Philadelphia and Richmond. Only those who register before Sept. 1 are guaranteed a race shirt and memorabilia.

by Ethan Rothstein — August 5, 2014 at 3:30 pm 1,333 0

Car2Go D.C. (photo via Facebook)Crystal City will soon be a “home area” for Washington D.C.’s car2go carsharing service.

The Crystal City Business Improvement District announced today that the carsharing service would be launching in Crystal City in the coming weeks. It allows users to park their borrowed car anywhere in the “home area” and find an available car via a GPS-enabled smartphone app.

The service costs $35 to register and 41 cents per minute, with a $14.99 per hour and $84.99 per day maximum. The car’s insurance, gas and parking fees are free (in the home areas), and car2go says it has hundreds of cars in the D.C. area. They can be driven anywhere as long as the user finishes his or her trip within the “home area.”

Crystal City is the first home area outside of the District for car2go D.C., and will offer at least four car2go spaces at the launch of the program. According to the Crystal City BID, any of the service’s 33,000 members may use the cars. The service will be the second carsharing option in the area, in addition to Zipcar.

Crystal City BID President and CEO Angela Fox boasted about the new service and hopes it spreads to other areas of the county.

“We sought it out but hope and expect they will launch in other nearby neighborhoods ASAP, because that makes the whole system more robust. The more options, the better,” Fox said. “Car2go is very popular, and we wants its users to know that they can get to and from Crystal City with ease.”

Photo via Facebook

by Ethan Rothstein — August 5, 2014 at 10:15 am 715 0

Outdoor movie in Crystal CityOutdoor movies in Crystal City in 2015 will be shaken, not stirred.

Crystal Screen, the Crystal City Business Improvement District’s annual outdoor movie festival, will be showing 14 James Bond movies under the theme Bond is Back. One movie will run every Monday next summer from June through August.

“Crystal City broke the outdoor movie festival mold by launching the very first Bond-themed series back in 2008 and we are excited for the triumphant return of everyone’s favorite super-spy,” Crystal City BID President and CEO Angela Fox said in a press release. “There are so many great Bond films that we wanted to give the fans a chance to see their favorite ones all summer.”

Anyone can vote online for their favorite Bond flicks to be shown, from the catalog of 23. They range from “Dr. No” in 1962 to “Skyfall” in 2012 — yes, even the two Timothy Dalton films. The 14 films that win the online vote will be announced on August 25 at the final movie of this summer’s “In Flight” program, “Snakes on Plane.”

File photo. Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser

by Morgan Fecto — July 29, 2014 at 4:30 pm 992 0

(Updated at 6:00 p.m) A walk-in studio art facility for veterans and active-duty service members plans to open Oct. 15 in Crystal City.

Alexandria-based The 296 Project launched a Kickstarter on July 24 with a $30,000 goal to fund the 1,100-square-foot space, which it calls “A Combat Veteran’s Healing Place.” The studio will be located in a retail space at the Shops at 2100 Crystal Drive.

Kickstarter proceeds will go toward renovation materials, art supplies and equipment for the facility, which will cater to service members with post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to a press release.

“When the suffering is so strong words can barely describe it, when no one understands, when there’s no support system, this new facility allows our men and women in uniform to tell their stories with a paintbrush, clay, pen and pencil, chalk, through music, digital design, 3D design, spoken word or through poetry,” Scott Gordon, executive director of The 296 Project, told ARLnow.com in an email.

The project plans to give service members a place to explore art as well as socialize. It plans to provide art therapists with a space for seminars, art classes and group therapy sessions, although it will not be a therapy-providing entity, according to The 296 Project spokesperson Rebekah Wiseman.

The general public will be allowed in, according to the organization, so it can learn more about the community of service members with PTSD and TBI who are helped by art and expressive therapies.

“With or without a PTS/TBI diagnosis, our facility, our seminars, workshops, etc., will be therapeutic,” Wiseman wrote.

Service members will have to provide records to prove that they are or were members of the military, said Wiseman. The facility plans to be open six days of the week, from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

“We believe we can save thousands of lives in the Northern Virginia area alone,” Gordon said. “This is just too important not to support.”

The Kickstarter will accept contributions until Sept. 22. Currently, the project has six backers and has raised $710. 

Images courtesy The 296 Project

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