Arlington Boy Drowns in Shenandoah — A 3-year-old Arlington boy drowned in a Shenandoah County creek over the weekend. The boy had been seen playing with other children about 200 yards downstream from where his body was found by a search and rescue team. His death has been ruled accidental. [NV Daily]
Jail Hosts Mother’s and Father’s Day Visits — Earlier this month, the Arlington County Detention Facility held a special event for the children of female inmates, in honor of Mother’s Day. Next month, the jail will host a similar event for the children of men for Father’s Day. [Sun Gazette]
Road Closures for Parade Near Shirlington — The westbound lanes of S. Four Mile Run Drive will be closed between Shirlington Road and Walter Reed Drive on Saturday for the Corso de Santa Cruz Parade. The closure is expected to be in place from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. [Arlington County]
Grand Opening for Bluemont Fitness Facility — Though it has been open for several months, Bluemont-based Phoenix Fitness (5130 Wilson Blvd) will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday with free food, classes and giveaways. [Phoenix Fitness]
Flickr pool photo by Alex
Red Parrot Asian Bistro will be celebrating its grand opening next week.
The restaurant, at 1110 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, quietly opened for business on March 1. But next Wednesday (May 22) the restaurant will hold its official grand opening event, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The event will feature free food tastings and happy hour specials, said owner and chef Wendy Cheung. There will also be a DJ, ribbon dancers from Dance Asia, and a ribbon cutting ceremony, we’re told.
Red Parrot, which has two existing location in Hanover and Baltimore, Md., serves Thai, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Japanese cuisine for dine-in, carry-out and delivery.
The new Washington-Lee High School softball field will open for its first game on Monday.
The $1 million field, under construction since last summer, is located on the corner of Washington Blvd and N. Quincy Street. It was built after parents of softball players threatened to file a Title IX complaint if the school system did not upgrade the no-frills field they were using at the time to include the same amenities of the boys baseball field.
The new softball field has “seating for 280 people, lighting, a press box and a removable fence so that the space can serve multiple uses,” according to Arlington Public Schools spokesman Frank Bellavia.
A grand opening was held for the newly renovated Barcroft Baseball Field #6 over the weekend.
The field’s $3 million renovation was paid for by George Washington University. Under an agreement with Arlington County, the school’s baseball team will be able to call the field home for the next 20 years, while the public will still be able to use the renovated facility when it’s not otherwise reserved for GW games or practices.
The new artificial turf field was open for GW’s baseball season last year, but major renovations — including the 500-seat grandstands, heated press box, concession stands, permanent dugouts, GW Colonials-branded entry plaza and reconfigured parking lot — were still under construction during and after the season.
Among those taking part in a ribbon-cutting and first pitch ceremony on Saturday were Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada, GW President Steven Knapp and GW Athletic Director Patrick Nero. GW played Quinnipiac after the grand opening festivities, but lost 4-2.
In addition to serving as a home for the GW baseball team, Field #6 will provide Arlington’s recreational youth baseball leagues “with a near major-league experience,” the county said on its website. GW and Arlington County officials say the long-awaited renovations will provide a big boost to the school’s baseball program and to recreational baseball in Arlington.
“Having played baseball at this university, I can speak firsthand about the incredible strides that have been made from where GW Baseball used to call home to this immaculate facility that ranks among the best in the region and in our conference,” GW Head Coach Gregg Ritchie said in a statement. “For all of the ballplayers that have come through GW over the years, Barcroft Park should serve as a nod of thanks for paving the way.”
“This is a great day for baseball in Arlington,” said Tejada. “Through our very successful partnership with GW, Arlington now has its first turf baseball diamond. I want to thank GW baseball for working with us for nearly two decades in what has become a great partnership with our community. We look forward to enjoying many years of great play on this field by both the Colonials and Arlington baseball leagues.”
A grand opening is planned for one of Arlington’s newest public parks.
Henry Wright Park, located at 4350 4th Street N. in the Buckingham neighborhood, is holding a grand opening celebration from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24. The free event will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony and a moon bounce and face painting for the kids.
Construction on the park, named after the chief architect of the Buckingham Village I garden apartments, began late last year. The oval-shaped park has a fenced-in playground for two to 12-year-olds, picnic and game tables, two grassy areas, a number of benches, and a sign commemorating the history of the Buckingham Village Garden Apartments.
(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Two and a half years after we first reported that Arlington Public Schools was planning to close the aging David M. Brown Planetarium (1426 N. Quincy Street), the planetarium officially reopened today (Friday) with a flourish.
Elected officials, school employees, media members and planetarium supporters were on hand for a ribbon cutting ceremony and reception this morning. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work by a dedicated group of planetarium boosters — the Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium — who succeeded not only in preventing the planetarium’s closure, but in raising more than $400,000 to fully renovate and modernize the facility.
The forty-year-old planetarium now features a state-of-the-art Spitz SciDome HD digital projection system, an integrated surround sound system, LED dome lighting, and new seating, carpeting, insulation, plumbing, mechanical systems, restrooms and doors.
Raphael Perrino, a former Arlington Public Schools student who helped lead the charge to save the planetarium, said today’s opening was “surreal” after so many hours spent to make it possible.
“This is a triumphant day for Arlington, and I’m proud to be part of this group and proud of the planetarium,” he told ARLnow.com. Perrino said he hopes the planetarium will continue to inspire budding astronomers and scientists for years to home.
“This is such a wonderful day… it’s similar to my first time coming to the planetarium when I was six years old,” he said. “I remember coming through that hallway and seeing all those galaxies, and supernovae and nebulae and planets. Coming into that room that was full of stars — that to me was one of the most awesome things I’ve ever seen, to see a night sky. Growing up in an suburban-slash-urban environment you’re not used to seeing a sky like that. To have seen that for the first time was very special. So this is almost similar, in the level of excitement. It’s just an exhilarating day.”
About half of the more than $400,000 raised to save the planetarium was donated by small donors — often in $5, $10 or $20 increments — the other half came from large donors, Perrino said. In addition the numerous volunteers, donors and petition signers, Perrino credited Arlington’s unique brand of civic participation for today’s joyous outcome.
“It’s a victory for Arlington children, it’s a victory for science outreach and education, and it’s really quintessential Arlington Way,” he said. “The idea that you see something you don’t like, you get together and do something about it. It’s civic engagement that you see here, and it’s a beautiful part of this community. I feel very privileged to have been a part of this campaign.”
Friends of Arlington’s Planetarium President Dr. Alice Monet, who was among the speakers at the ceremony, said one of the more powerful emotions she experienced today was relief.
“Speaking for myself, I feel happy and relieved that the job has been finished and everything turned out so well,” she said. “It was such a complex effort, involving so many people, all sorts of challenges, roadblocks and opportunities, near disasters and astonishing breakthroughs, personality clashes and camaraderie – and, overall, it was a very humbling and inspiring experience. The new planetarium is sleek, polished, and beautifully functional. I feel sure it will be a great place for teaching and inspiring students, teachers, and the whole community for years to come.”
About 25,000 students are expected to visit the planetarium each year, according to Perrino. That number may increase, he said, as other school systems consider arranging for their students to utilize the facility.
The planetarium is named after the late astronaut and Yorktown High School grad David M. Brown, who perished in the 2003 Columbia disaster.
In addition to hosting today’s ceremony, the Friends of the Planetarium will be hosting a series of grand opening events this weekend.
Among those on hand for the reopening ceremony were: APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, Dr. Emma Violand-Sanchez and other members of the Arlington School Board, Rep. Jim Moran, former NASA astronaut William Readdy, former NASA Administrator Sean O’Keefe, APS Science Department Supervisor Dr. Dat Le, Assistant Superintendent for Facilities and Operations Clarence Stukes, County Board member Libby Garvey, Dels. Alfonso Lopez and Patrick Hope, state Sen. Barbara Favola, and WJLA meteorologist Bob Ryan.
Photo (middle) courtesy Frank Bellavia/APS
Officials Prepare for USS Arlington Commissioning — Arlington County Board Chairman Mary Hynes, county treasurer Frank O’Leary and other local leaders traveled to Norfolk on Wednesday to meet with Navy officials to plan for the commissioning of the USS Arlington, a new amphibious transport ship named after the county. The commissioning ceremony is currently planned for April 2013. [Sun Gazette]
José Andrés Food Truck Coming to Arlington — Famed local chef José Andrés (of Jaleo fame) is bringing his new food truck venture in Arlington. The “Pepe” food truck is expanding its service area from the District to Montgomery County and Arlington. The truck serves a rotating selection of flautas — a type of Spanish sandwich. [Huff Post DC]
Arlington Scores Above Average, Below Fairfax on SATs — Arlington Public Schools students in the class of 2012 scored an average of 1641 (out of 2400) on the SATs. That score is above the national average of 1498 and above the state average of 1517, but slightly below the Fairfax County average of 1654. [Patch]
Pentagon Exhibit Seeking Veteran Artists — An organization called the Veteran Artist Program is seeking art submissions from military veterans for a new veteran art exhibit at the Pentagon. Organizers told ARLnow.com that they’ve received numerous submissions from around the county, but not many from the Northern Virginia area. The entry deadline is Oct. 30. [Veteran Artist Program]
Clarendon Salon to Hold Grand Opening — Casal’s de Spa and Salon has been open at 3033 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon since June, but the business will be holding its official “grand opening” ceremony this weekend. The non-tipping salon will be offering food, libations, and music from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 29.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
It turns out we were wrong to assume that a Weezer concert that was said to be taking place “near The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City Microsoft Store” next weekend, in honor of the store’s grand opening, will be taking place at the mall. Or in Virginia, for that matter.
A PR rep emailed us today to let us know the concert — scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 11 — is actually taking place at the Warner Theater in D.C. The original media advisory (which omitted the Warner Theater detail) said the concert will be taking place at 2:00 p.m., though the band’s website says it’s scheduled from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Weezer fans can get tickets to the event by visiting the Microsoft Store’s Pentagon City mall grand opening on Thursday, Aug. 9. Starting at 10:00 a.m., the store will distribute free wristbands for admission to the event, in pairs of two, according to the Microsoft Store website. The first 200 people in line will also reportedly get a wristband for a meet and greet with the band.
A few lucky people who get in line early on the 9th will also have the chance to play Microsoft Kinect with Washington Wizards star John Wall later that day.
ARLnow.com apologies for the error in our previous article.
Photo by “James” via Wikipedia
Update at 2:25 p.m. on 8/17/12 — Bronx Pizza is now expected to open on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
Local restaurateur Mike Cordero is planning a culinary one-two punch next week, with official openings scheduled for two Arlington restaurants in successive days.
First up is A-Town Bar & Grill, the renovated successor to Caribbean Breeze in Ballston (4100 Fairfax Drive). Cordero says the restaurant will likely start serving customers this coming Wednesday as part of a quiet “soft opening,” but will hold its official opening on Friday, Aug. 10.
A-Town will feature an expanded beer list; an “eclectic” menu including sushi, sandwich creations, flatbread pizzas and steaks; a redone outdoor patio; a birchwood bar; historic photos of Arlington on the walls; and lots of flat screen TVs.
Cordero says former Caribbean Breeze patrons “are not going to recognize the restaurant” when they walk in. He acknowledged that he’s taking a risk by replacing the successful Caribbean Breeze, but insists “the odds are in our favor to succeed here and increase our sales.”
“One of the reasons we switched from Caribbean Breeze to A-Town is that Caribbean Breeze was more of a specialty operation,” he told ARLnow.com. “I figured we could support the locals and cater to Arlington, not just to Miami… It will be a place you could eat at every day.”
Bronx Pizza (3100 Clarendon Blvd), which has been “coming soon” to Clarendon since February 2011,
will open the doors to its first customers on Saturday, Aug. 11, according to Cordero.
Cordero, who grew up in the South Bronx and started working in a mom-and-pop pizza place at the age of 13, says the opening will feature something unique to Arlington: actual Bronx pizza makers.
“Old friends of mine who have been in the pizzeria business for 20 years, they’re going to come down and help [with the opening],” he said. “The reason we call it Bronx Pizza is I am from the Bronx, two blocks from Yankee stadium.”
In addition to bona fide Bronx natives, the shop will feature plenty of other touches from the northernmost New York City borough, including photos of the Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Michael Corleone (from the filming of The Godfather), and the George Washington Bridge.
Cordero is expecting late night food to be a big component of the shop’s business.
“It will be a big bang,” he said of the planned Saturday opening, “considering all those bars and clubs are going to get out at 2:00 a.m. and we’ll be open until 4:00 a.m.”
Interior construction on both restaurants is expected to wrap up by Monday.
Flickr pool photo (top) by Maryva2
The store — which sells Microsoft products like software, gaming devices and phones — is officially opening at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 9. A grand opening ceremony that morning will be followed up with a Microsoft Kinect demonstration by Washington Wizards point guard John Wall at 6:00 p.m., and with an even grander event on Saturday, August 11, featuring a performance by the band Weezer.
The concert will take place at
the mall Warner Theater at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, according to a company rep.
In addition to the rock concert and basketball star, Microsoft will be donating $1 million in software to “local organizations that help create opportunities for local youth” at the grand opening.
There are 20 Microsoft Stores across the country, with another 10 that are listed as “opening soon.” According to a press release, the Microsoft Store offers the following:
- “A curated assortment of products, including Windows 7 PCs, Windows Phones, Kinect for Xbox 360, Office 2010 and more.”
- “A range of tech trainings, business-ready PCs, phones and more.”
- “Community organizations are regularly hosted in the theater space and the employees are out in the community supporting local causes.”
- “Through a partnership with Skinit, customers can show off their personal style and design their own lids and skins for laptops, phones and Xbox.”
Good Stuff Eatery will be holding its grand opening in Crystal City on Wednesday, May 9.
The gourmet burger restaurant, helmed by former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, produced a video (above) to tout the fact that Virginians no longer need to cross the Potomac to go to Good Stuff’s Capitol Hill location. The new Arlington eatery is located at 2110 Crystal Drive, about two blocks from the Crystal City Metro station.
Though the public opening is scheduled for next week, Good Stuff will be holding a private VIP opening party, complete with a performance by DJ Josh Madden, on Friday night.
A panty raid of sorts is coming to Shirlington this weekend. The newly opened store Bloomers (4150 Campbell Ave.) will be holding its Grand Opening celebration.
On Saturday, customers will get a free gift with purchase while supplies last, receive 20% off all merchandise and can enter a raffle to win three months free of the Panty of the Month Club.
Owners Angela and Kim first opened a store in Old Town Alexandria out of frustration that most underwear stores focus on lingerie and not pretty, comfortable sleepwear. They stress that their store centers around comfortable undergarments, pajamas and loungewear, but not lingerie.
The weekend promotions are good only on Saturday at the Shirlington location, but the Bloomers Facebook page has specials good at both locations for all of January.
A crowd formed outside the store entrance at 1109 N. Highland Street this morning, awaiting the scheduled 8:00 opening. Following a brief “lei cutting” ceremony with County Board Vice-Chair Mary Hynes — which was held a bit early so as to not keep people waiting in the cold — shoppers flooded through the double doors and began christening the store with commerce.
‘Crew members,’ decked out in leis, the company’s signature Hawaiian shirts and — in one case — a turkey costume, enthusiastically greeted the first shoppers and began talking up the store’s wares.
“It’s never too early for cheesecake,” said one employee, who was handing out free samples. Hot cider samples, free leis and a reusable gift bag filled with treats were also handed out.
Hynes, meanwhile, used the opportunity to catch up on some shopping.
“I think it’s awesome… it’s great to have another grocery store choice,” she said. “People have been asking for a Trader Joe’s in our community for as long as I can remember.”
Trader Joe’s ‘captain’ (store manager) Perry Zettersten said employees will work hard to try to avoid the long check-out lines that plague the Trader Joe’s location in Foggy Bottom. The store has handheld “line buster” barcode scanners that crew members will be able to use to scan items while customers wait in line. Those customers will receive a receipt that they will then pay at the register. Still, Zettersten said the store’s popularity will make it hard to keep lines from forming.
“We don’t know if we can avoid it,” he said.
The Clarendon Trader Joe’s store is about 12,300 square feet and will carry approximately 2,500 items at any given time. In the U.S., the typical grocery store carries 15,000 to 60,000 items and has a median store size of 46,000 square feet, according to the Food Marketing Institute.
It’s official: the long-awaited Trader Joe’s store in Clarendon will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning. The company will celebrate the opening with a “ceremonial lei cutting” featuring Trader Joe’s officials and “local dignitaries.”
Trader Joe’s a press release about the opening tonight.
Trader Joe’s, a unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic, will celebrate the grand opening a new store located in Clarendon on Friday, November 18 at 8AM. To commensurate the official opening Trader Joe’s Captain (store manager) Perry Zettersten, Regional Vice President Scott Lane, local dignitaries and the crew will gather at 8:00AM for a ceremonial lei cutting to welcome new customers– Trader Joe’s style. The celebration will continue throughout the day with live music, food demonstrations, balloon artist and face painters.
The store is located at 1109 North Highland Street and is approximately 12,300 square feet. The grocery store will be open from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm, daily. Inside will feature a festive décor mixing traditional Trader Joe’s cedar covered walls, Hawaiian inspired elements throughout the store combined with a local flare including art that celebrates the neighborhood. Throughout the grocery store there are several amazing hand painted murals that pay homage to the old Clarendon Trolley, hot air balloons used during the Civil War, the Clarendon Metro and more.
Trader Joe’s is pleased to announce the appointment of Perry Zettersten, as Captain (Store Manager). Perry comes to the new store from the Trader Joe’s in Washington D.C. and has been with the company approximately 15 years.
Trader Joe’s was originally named in recognition of its distinct grocery buying process, because they search the world for great values and distinctive products. Crew members (store employees) consider themselves “traders on the culinary seas.” Crewmembers sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the light-hearted air of the store.
Arlington Lauded in The Atlantic — “New data from Arlington County, Virginia, provide an in-depth look at how a jurisdiction known for great planning has leveraged excellent transit service and transit-oriented development into efficient transportation performance.” [The Atlantic, CommuterPage Blog]
Renovated Aurora Hills Library Holds Open House — The newly-renovated Aurora Hills branch library will hold a grand opening next week. Residents are encouraged to attend the open house, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 24. There will be several kid-friendly activities, including face painting, balloon animals and storytime. Among the new improvements is a spruced-up lobby and wireless internet access. [Library Blog]
Drainage Pipe Work on Route 50 — Crews are reportedly working to clear a backed-up drainage pipe along Route 50. [Ode Street Tribune]
Green Candidate for School Board — Independent Green candidate Andrea Ochoa has qualified to face off against incumbent Abby Raphael in November’s school board election. The Independent Greens of Virginia web site has Ochoa’s photo but no biography. [Sun Gazette, Independent Greens of Virginia]
Flickr pool photo by Airpolonia