It’s taken about six months of construction and renovations, but O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub (3207 Washington Blvd) is ready to unveil its expansion.
The bar has taken over the space previously occupied by Fragrance World and Sam’s Corner. Owner Anselm Griffiths said there are still about two weeks worth of small projects to accomplish before the bar is considered finished.
Griffiths and his wife, the bar’s namesake Karen O’Sullivan, have owned the business for about seven years and have been interested in expansion nearly from the get go.
“I think we’ve had our eye on the little fragrance shop since we moved in,” Griffiths said. “When the space became available we were very happy to grab it up.”
The new space has been converted into a whiskey bar, with room for table seating. Bartenders will serve up more than 100 brands of whiskey, along with an expanded selection of tap beers.
“We definitely wanted to have a second bar to give us the ability to do private functions, which is something we’ve been turning away since we opened,” Griffiths said. “We think whiskey is sort of a great niche to get into, it’s definitely trending right now. I think a lot of the young people are getting back to more classic drinks.”
Much of the menu will stay the same for now, but there will be an effort to incorporate more of the whiskeys into sauces.
Despite the new bar, extra seating and additional restrooms, management wants customers to know O’Sullivan’s largely remains the same.
“We’re still keeping the character of O’Sullivan’s. It’s a family owned bar, that’s how it’s going to stay,” said General Manager Patrick Doody. “We will preserve the atmosphere that’s been really successful for us. That’s not going anywhere, we just have an extra room. What made us a really good local neighborhood Irish bar will stay the same.”
The exterior has been restored to how the building looked in the 1920s.
“Arlington County had a lot of say in the design of the exterior because the building was marked for historical preservation,” Griffiths said. “It was fun working with Arlington County on that. We spent a little more time and money, but it is really neat to restore the building.”
Tonight there will be a “soft opening” for invited guests, but the public will be able to get a peek at the changes on Thursday (January 31). An official grand opening celebration is being planned, and will feature a buffet and live band. An announcement on the date for that event is forthcoming, but it’s expected to be in about two weeks. Until then, the managers hope people come in to check out the upgrades.
“We’re looking forward to the new challenges of the new whiskey bar. We’re looking forward to more regulars, more people coming through the doors,” Doody said. “O’Sullivan’s is staying the same, it’s just getting a little bit bigger.”
Restoration Anglican Church (1815 N. Quincy Street) hasn’t been in existence for long, but it’s already looking to expand into a larger building.
The church congregation formed in January 2009, when it was around 100 people. At that time, it rented space for one service per week from Trinity Baptist Church, as did a third congregation which ended up relocating to Reston. Restoration bought the church building when Trinity disbanded in 2010.
Now, the congregation is closer to 450-500 people and the number of weekend services has increased to three. The Rev. David Hanke says the congregation has reached its threshold for expansion in the current facility.
“Our ability to keep adding services has hit its end so we need to build something larger,” he said.
Last month, Restoration began its capital campaign in an effort to raise a portion of the $4.5 million budgeted for the project. Although a design has not yet been finalized, the goal is to build a facility that would seat around 400 people, instead of the current 150 person capacity.
The existing church building will be razed and the new facility will be built on the same plot of land. So far there is no hard date for breaking ground, considering a final design hasn’t even been approved yet, but the hope is to start construction in early 2013.
While construction takes place for an estimated 12 to 18 months, the congregation will use space at Little Falls Presbyterian Church for one service per weekend.
Rev. Hanke reports having a good relationship with the surrounding community, and mentioned attending a Cherrydale Citizens Association meeting to address any concerns about a larger church. One of the issues that has come up as a concern among some residents is the lack of parking.
Right now, there are only 13 parking spaces at the church but there is a shuttle on Sundays that runs to the designated parking lot adjacent to Washington-Lee High School near I-66. The parking plan is in compliance with a county code allowing churches to run such shuttles to nearby parking lots. Rev. Hanke says the new church will house the same number of spots and the Sunday shuttle service will continue. Church goers will be reminded, as they are now, to appease neighbors by not parking on Quincy Street or nearby side streets.
Although a finished church facility is far in the future, the congregation is looking forward to its larger, permanent home.
“In the ongoing conversation we’re having with our community, one of the parallels I’ve drawn is to being a homeowner. There’s a big difference between renting a space and owning a space,” said Rev. Hanke. “Since we became owners, we became much more invested in the Quincy Street area. We love being on that street and we love our neighborhood. We are excited we have the opportunity to be there for a long, long time.”
Two years after opening the 1,400-square-foot storefront, owner/couple Enzo Algarme and Anastasiya Laufenberg are taking over the next-door space left by Union Halal Butcher & Grocery. The move will almost double the store’s footprint and allow for a total of about 75 seats with a second dining room.
It’s a long way from the made-to-order food cart the two began operating near the Ballston Metro in 2007.
“It’s been really nice to get to know people from the neighborhood and feel their love and their support,” Laufenberg said. “I’m really looking forward to having a more comfortable space for them to come and eat.”
More space will also mean more hours. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the pizzeria is open for dinner only.
Laufenberg said once the couple finishes hiring new staff, they’ll be open for breakfast (coffee, donuts and other Italian morning treats) and lunch (sandwiches and pasta dishes).
“It won’t be as crammed and we’re excited because we think it’ll be more relaxed,” Laufenberg said.
During its year in existence, Capitol Bikeshare has seen a rapid expansion, including planned expansions into Alexandria and in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Now you can help choose where that next wave of growth will occur.
By using a new interactive map, you can click on locations where you think Bikeshare stations should be built. The map also allows users to “like” or “dislike” suggested stations.
Staff will consider all of the suggestions and will base station decisions on criteria such as property ownership and feasibility.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Reed
The wooden deck will have casual tiki bar theme and will be called “Fu Bar,” owner Greg Cahill tells us.
It will be massive — with room for up to 286 people. Food will be served and there will be about 50 tables for outdoor dining. The menu will remain the same as Whitlow’s this year, with changes possible for next year.
Construction is set to begin Monday and Cahill hopes to have the deck open in September.
Photo by Monika & Tim
Two popular Shirlington destinations are growing. Capitol City Brewing, which is closing its Capital Hill location, is expanding its brewing capacity so that it can supply more beer to the local chain’s non-brewing restaurants.
On the other side of Shirlington Village, Busboys and Poets is also expanding. The restaurant will be building larger event and dining areas and a stage, reports Shirlington Village Blogspot.