Arlington Loses Lowest Unemployment Crown — Arlington’s years-long streak of having the lowest unemployment rate in Virginia has ended. In November Falls Church had the lowest jobless rate, at 3 percent, to 3.1 percent for Arlington. Statewide, Virginia’s unemployment rate fell from 4.8 percent in October to 4.5 percent in November. [InsideNova]
Arlington Man Pleads Guilty to Drug Trafficking — Arlington resident Anthony Tatum, 36, has pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, money laundering and other related crimes, according to federal prosecutors.Tatum and a co-conspirator were accused of distributing cocaine and heroin, primarily in Maryland. Tatum, who agreed to forfeit $108 million in cash, vehicles, jewelry and other items, reportedly lived in a Pentagon City apartment building. [Patch]
Pinkberry to Close? — The future of Arlington’s Pinkberry frozen yogurt store is uncertain. The local Pinkberry franchisee has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation. The franchisee, which has stores in D.C., National Harbor, Clarendon and elsewhere in Northern Virginia, cited debts of more than $1.2 million in the filing. Those debts include $44,121 in back taxes owed to Arlington County. [Washington Business Journal]
Wardian Sets New Record — Arlington resident Michael Wardian, 40, has set a new world record for the fastest indoor 50K. Wardian covered the distance in 3:06:07 at a 200-meter indoor track in Hagerstown, Md. That shatters his former world record, of 3:12:13, set at the Thomas Jefferson Community Center in Arlington. [Herald-Mail]
Arlington Native Releases Music Video — Arlington-born rapper C-Luv has released a new music video for his track “Grind.” The video features scenes shot around Arlington, including in a skatepark, Wakefield High School and in the Nauck neighborhood. [YouTube - NSFW]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
The Red Mango frozen yogurt shop in Clarendon has closed.
We’re told the store’s last day was Friday. The sign has been removed and the interior has since been almost completely emptied out. Workers could be seen changing the locks today.
Red Mango opened at 2831 Clarendon Blvd on May 21, 2010. It was the first store of its kind to open in Arlington during the most recent frozen yogurt craze. A competitor, Pinkberry, opened one block away in 2011. It remains in business.
The franchisees of the Clarendon Red Mango location could not be reached for comment.
Although the announcement of the shop’s arrival in the old “News and Necessities” space at 1735 N. Lynn Street came in April of last year and it hoped to open last summer, Fro.Zen.Yo will now open on Wednesday, June 12.
Co-owner Gary Bobcek became involved with this franchise location about six months ago and said although things haven’t always gone as expected, he is excited to finally be able to serve the public.
“It posed a few challenges but thanks to the great team we have we were able to work around those to get our store open,” he said.
Bobcek, who lives in Alexandria, said he used to work in Georgetown and has spent a lot of time in Rosslyn.
“It’s a great environment to have a business. I had the opportunity to have a business here and it’s something I took advantage of,” he said. “We’re very pleased to be here in the area and to be able to offer a great product. We look forward to becoming a part of the community.”
We’re told Bobcek just informed members of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District of the opening date, and the BID is “very excited” about the self-serve frozen yogurt shop’s arrival.
The Rosslyn Fro.Zen.Yo will be offering customers free samples during its grand opening on Wednesday.
Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
Update on 4/4/13 — The store is expected to hold a grand opening April 5 and 6. The store is owned by Bill and Kasi Hansen. Bill is a Yorktown High School graduate and “longtime local resident,” according to a press release. Zinga will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
According to the shop’s Facebook page, the goal is to open next week. Photos have been popping up on the page highlighting the store’s construction progress, such as the new outdoor sign and the arrival of the froyo machines. Customers are encouraged to “like” the page for special deals that will only be available to fans.
Zinga! will be the newest shop to cash in on the froyo trend by featuring machines that allow customers to serve themselves and then pay for the product by weight. There will be three dozen rotating flavors and 50 toppings to choose from.
The Facebook page also encourages anyone interested in working at the new location to contact Drew Hafer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another Zinga! Frozen Yogurt is expected to open in Falls Church in late May.
Photos via Facebook
The new Tutti Frutti store is located in Pentagon City on the 1300 block of S. Fern Street, near the U.S. Post Office and Epic Smokehouse. The store is the second Tutti Frutti in Arlington, after a location at 2439 N. Harrison Street, in the Lee Harrison Shops.
“I feel very confident in the product,” owner Geoff Trout told ARLnow.com. “I don’t think Pentagon Row is close enough.”
Tutti Frutti serves dairy- and gluten-free, soy-based frozen yogurt made with no artificial sweeteners. The stores typically have a rotating menu of flavors and 35 to 40 fruit and candy topping options.
A sign in the window says the store is “now hiring.”
Columbia Pike is getting in on the frozen yogurt craze, with the opening of a Menchie’s (2405 Columbia Pike) in Penrose Square.
The shop opened on Friday (December 28) and features a wall of 16 self-serve frozen yogurt machines and dozens of toppings. Menchie’s tries to cater to people with food allergies, so there are dairy free and gluten free options, as well as extensive ingredient labels for each flavor. Menchie’s has its own organic dairy in California which supplies the products and provides some flavors not available anywhere else.
Franchise owner Robert Guinn said business has been steady since the opening and customers have been receptive to the frozen yogurt shop.
“We were looking for someplace we could fit in and growth with,” Guinn said. “The community is really strong and we’ve been really happy with the retail traffic coming by.”
The chain is recognized around the world partly due to its team of “Sweet Friends” such as Menchie, Mookie, Barry and Sprinkle. Guinn said kids can identify with the Sweet Friends according to their different personalities considering each character has different traits. Employees at the Columbia Pike location having been taking turns dressing up as Menchie to draw customers into the store.
“All of our team members thought they’d never want to be in a Menchie costume, and honestly all of them have been out there and loved it,” Guinn said.
This is the first Menchie’s location in Arlington. The shop plans to hold a grand opening starting next Saturday (January 12) which will run for a week. There will be a variety of events announced, including frozen yogurt and t-shirt giveaways.
FroZenYo was originally expected to open at 1735 N. Lynn Street, in the former “News and Necessities” space, this past summer. The froyo chain opened a location in Ballston in August, but the Rosslyn location has yet to materialize.
In a tweet this morning, the Rosslyn Business Improvement announced that FroZenYo is now expected to open at some point this spring.
FroZenYo lets customers pick any combination of yogurt flavors and toppings, as detailed in a press release earlier this year.
Fro.Zen.Yo’s frozen yogurt is low fat and low calorie. The Fro.Zen.Yo menu features 16 flavors of frozen yogurt and a variety of fresh fruit and candy toppings. Customers get to choose any combination of flavors and toppings. Fro.Zen.Yo offers free hot fudge and also offers Deer Park bottled water for $.29.
According to its website, national chain Zinga Frozen Yogurt plans to move into the vacant space at 2914 Sycamore Street, which used to house Garden City Florist.
Like many of the froyo stores popping up around the county, Zinga allows customers to serve themselves one of the three dozen rotating frozen yogurt flavors. There are more than 50 toppings to choose from, and the finished product is sold by weight.
Zinga sets itself apart from similar establishments with its freshly baked “bottomz” — such as waffle bowls, brownies and vanilla cake — which customers can use as a base on which to build their frozen creations.
So far there has not be an announcement about when construction will begin or when the store is expected to open.
FroZenYo opened last week in the old Smoothie King location at 850 N. Randolph Street, across the street from Ballston Common Mall. The store offers more than a dozen flavors of frozen yogurt and nearly three dozen toppings. Frozen yogurt flavors include original tart, vanilla, chocolate, cookies and cream, red velvet cake, cake batter, coffee, butter pecan, dulce de leche, mango, coconut, kiwi strawberry, and raspberry pomegranate tart.
The store is open from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10:00 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday. We’re told the store is in the process of applying for an outdoor seating permit.
The store is owned by Kevin Grevey, Jr. and his father, retired NBA star Kevin Grevey. Grevey played for the Washington Bullets from 1975 to 1983 and helped the Bullets (now the Wizards) win their only NBA championship.
The junior Grevey tells ARLnow.com that he’s currently working on a lease for a FroZenYo store in Rosslyn. He’s also exploring the possibility of opening a store in Clarendon.
At least two other frozen yogurt shops are currently in the works in Arlington. A Menchie’s frozen yogurt store is under construction on Columbia Pike, in the Penrose Square development. A Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt store is under construction in the Arlington Ridge shopping center on S. Glebe Road.
Tutti Frutti franchise owner Geoff Trout is betting on it. He hopes to open shop on South Fern Street, next to the Post Office in the Millennium at Metropolitan Park apartments, in late August or early September.
The self-serve frozen yogurt trend hit Pentagon Row earlier this year when Yogiberry replaced Maggie Moo’s ice cream. The Tutti Frutti concept is similar — a rotating menu of flavors combined with 35 to 40 fruit and candy toppings.
“I feel very confident in the product,” Trout said. “I don’t think Pentagon Row is close enough. This is a company that has really taken off.”
The Los Angeles-based company claims it’s the largest self-serve frozen yogurt chain in the world, with 584 franchises.
According to a Facebook page, a Tutti Frutti Frozen Yogurt store is coming to the shopping center. Building permits were issued late last month (May) for the store, located at 2439 N. Harrison Street. Tutti Frutti will replace the former Serendipity store, which sold home furnishings, decorations and gifts.
No word yet on when Tutti Frutti will open, but the Facebook page lists the store’s hours (once it does open) as 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
With 580 locations in 23 countries, Tutti Frutti says it’s “the largest self-serve frozen yogurt brand in the world.” The franchise has a roster of more than 50 flavors of frozen yogurt, along with numerous fruit, candy and other toppings.
Recently the company introduced soy frozen yogurt, a fat-free, dairy-free and vegan-friendly alternative to traditional frozen yogurt.
Hat tip to Along the Pike
Bike Meeting to Discuss Bollards — The Arlington County Bicycle Advisory Committee will discuss bollard installations and removals at its meeting tonight, June 4. The meeting is being held at 2100 Clarendon Blvd at 7:00 p.m. Bollards are posts put at the entrance to a trail to keep cars out; some believe they are a safety hazard to cyclists. [CommuterPage Blog]
A-Frame Sign Rules Enforced — Even though A-frame (sandwich board) signs are now allowed in Arlington, county zoning officials are beginning to enforce the the rules related to A-frame sign placement and size. [Arlington Mercury]
Froyo Store Coming to the Pike – Menchies Frozen Yogurt has signed a lease for a store at Penrose Square, along the 2500 block of Columbia Pike. The self-serve frozen yogurt chain currently has 185 locations worldwide. [CityBiz Real Estate]
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil
On Tuesday, we told you that Rosslyn is going to be getting a Fro.Zen.Yo store. Now, we can tell you that Ballston will be getting one as well.
A spokesperson for the frozen yogurt chain confirms that the long rumored Ballston location is going to become a reality. It will move into the old Smoothie King space at 850 N. Randolph Street, across from the Ballston mall.
This location will be owned by former Washington Bullets champion Kevin Grevey. One year ago this month, Grevey became the the very first Fro.Zen.Yo franchisee.
The Ballston location is expected to open sometime in June.
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) A new frozen yogurt establishment is making its way into Rosslyn. A Fro.Zen.Yo location will be going in on the 1700 block of N. Lynn Street, in the former “News and Necessities” space, according to the company.
There are two partners for the new Rosslyn franchise, and they think the idea of self service frozen yogurt is “perfect” for the busy location, according to a press release.
Fro.Zen.Yo has eight locations throughout the metro area, with Crystal City being the only one in Arlington so far. Last year, plans were announced for trying to build one in Ballston as well, but so far there’s no word on when that will be coming to fruition. We’re told 15 more franchises are on the way, but locations haven’t been announced.
The company says it offers a “healthy” product that “everyone can enjoy.”
“Fro.Zen.Yo’s frozen yogurt is low fat and low calorie,” according to the press release. “The Fro.Zen.Yo menu features 16 flavors of frozen yogurt and a variety of fresh fruit and candy toppings. Customers get to choose any combination of flavors and toppings.”
The Rosslyn location is expected to open by the beginning of the summer.
According to the center’s website, Starbucks will be coming to a 1,650 square foot space next to the Domino’s Pizza restaurant. It’s expected to have an occupant capacity of around 90 people, according to permit applications. The coffee shop is probably at least a couple of months away from opening, since a building permit has yet to be issued.
Also coming to the shopping center is Sweet Frog Frozen Yogurt. A froyo shop founded with Christian principles — Frog stands for “Fully Rely on God” — the store will offer all-natural, self-serve frozen yogurt with a variety of flavors and toppings. The store will be about 1,000 square feet and will be located next to Cafe Caturra.
The location is listed simply as “coming soon” on the Sweet Frog website.