A new Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) branch will open in Ballston next week.
The new ACFCU will replace a White House Federal Credit Union branch (4121 Wilson Blvd) that closed last month. It will be a full-service facility with tellers and an on-site mortgage officer.
This is the third ACFCU branch, joining the one at 2130 N. Glebe Road and another just over the Arlington/Fairfax border at 5666 Columbia Pike. The Ballston branch will be the first that is Metro accessible.
“We are excited to move to the Ballston area as we have been looking for an option that is convenient to both ACFCU members and to Arlington commuters for some time,” said Karen Rosales, ACFCU Chief Operating Officer. “ACFCU members are important to us, and we want them to have access to convenient branch locations they deserve.”
The new branch is scheduled to open on Monday, April 15.
Disclosure: ACFCU is an ARLnow.com advertiser
(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) A new “high-end martial arts studio” is coming to the former Hollywood Tans space at 3000 N. Washington Blvd in Clarendon.
Urban Kempo says its mission is “to help individuals grow in and cope with the challenges of our contemporary urban society.”
Shaolin Kempo is a martial art often taught for self defense. The Urban Kempo website says the following about the Kempo techniques it teaches.
On the street, there are no weight classes or three-minute rounds with one-minute breaks in between. You will not enjoy the luxury of a referee stopping altercations or enforcing rules. In practicing Kempo, one assumes that the attacker perceives an advantage, either in size or number. Thus, the Kempo artist practices quick and effective strikes, often towards targets that are considered off limits in virtually all combat sports.
Signs are now up outside the business. Depending on whether Urban Kempo is able to obtain the proper county permits in time, owner “Sensei Mike” Herway says they “hope to be open sometime next week.”
Photo courtesy Paul Moon
Mind Your Body Oasis is scheduled to open at 1750 Crystal Drive on January 12. Owner Amanda Shipe said the area has been hurting for a business of this type.
“I’ve lived here for 15 years, I own a house on South Glebe Road, so I kind of know the lay of the land really well. I’m also a realtor,” said Shipe. “There’s not a yoga studio in the area. It’s very densely populated and is really in need of something different than what’s happening with the restaurants and shops.”
In addition to yoga, the center will offer massages, facials, acupuncture and nutritional coaching.
“There is nothing else like my studio,” said Shipe. “You have your yoga studios that have just yoga and maybe massage, but there is not a center that has hot yoga, regular yoga, pilates and the spa options and acupuncture. There is no other studio that combines everything I’m doing into one in the entire D.C. metro area.”
The Crystal City location made even more sense to Shipe after she led a few outdoor yoga classes in the neighborhood earlier this year. She said the studio will be easy to get to by Metro, and customers can enjoy the renovated courtyard area at the Crystal City Shops. Shipe said customers can take food they buy at her studio into the courtyard to eat.
The food will be provided by local startup Postmodern Foods. Business owner Denise Hicks will make the pre-packaged health food that will be sold out of a refrigerator near the studio’s front desk. Hicks became more involved with health foods when she became ill a number of years ago, and she saw positive changes in her body and emotions due to a change in diet and exercise. She then attended the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York and learned about concepts such as cooking foods to keep them nutritionally intact.
“It took me to another level in terms of understanding different philosophies about food. I think food is really powerful, but it can be more powerful if you handle it respectfully,” said Hicks. “I’m really excited to be able to create food that I believe in and give it to the market. I want to make sure that people have access to really healthy foods that can change the quality of their lives.”
Although about 80 percent of the selections will be raw foods, Hicks plans that around 20 percent of the products will be cooked.
“100 percent raw is not something that you want all day, every day, especially not in winter,” she said.
Hicks makes all the items herself and plans to sell the beverages in glass containers, and the food in compostable, cornstarch based plastic containers. One of the pre-packaged dishes she’s featuring will be a quinoa and egg scramble, with an organic tortilla, corn, salsa fresca and a spicy black bean sauce.
Shipe said she is excited to have Hicks on board for the wholistic center, not just because of the healthy raw food concept, but also because she enjoys helping local people start a small business. Another business she’s helping out by selling its products is House of Steep, which is owned by Shipe’s sister, Lyndsey DePalma.
“We really play off of each other with our strengths and weaknesses. She helped me with the business plan, I helped her with the marketing,” Shipe said. “She’s a little bit ahead of me, so she gives me a future view of what I should be doing. It’s a very, very fun bonding experience for us. It’s been two years since we started this journey. We’ve been along for the ride together.”
If all goes well for both businesses, the sisters would eventually like to open a location combining Mind Your Body and House of Steep. But for now, Shipe is focused on getting out the word about her wholistic center.
“I want Mind Your Body Oasis to be a community and be a place where people can come and meet like minded people and escape the world,” said Shipe. “When you walk in the studio you have a sense of peace and harmony and it’s your little oasis to escape to for a while and forget about anything you’re dealing with that day.”
Mind Your Body Oasis will have a grand opening event from 2:00-9:00 p.m. on January 19. There will be raffles and samples of the juices that will be sold at the center. Customers are also welcome to check out the facility and enjoy a free yoga class.
Nolan Forness owns the store, along with his wife, daughter and son. His wife’s father started the business in 1953 and thus far the family has had one store in Alexandria.
Forness grew up in Clarendon and currently lives in Crystal City. He said the family had been looking to expand into Clarendon for a long time, and jumped at the opportunity when they saw the space open up.
“I knew the old neighborhood and the new neighborhood is a whole lot busier,” Forness said. “We knew it was a hot location. There were no jewelry businesses around and we thought we’d fill that void.”
This location’s specialty will be silver pieces by several unique designers. Forness touts his membership in the Independent Jewelers Organization, and promises that customers will find items that aren’t available elsewhere. The store will also offer Pandora jewelry, jewelry repair, watch repair and custom jewelry design.
Forness said his family has been ready to open the new location for a few months, but they were just waiting for the custom-made jewelry cases to arrive. The store opened on Sunday, and the sign went up yesterday (Tuesday).
The family is considering this a “soft opening” period and plans to have a grand opening sometime after the holidays.
Another dog based business has plans to set up shop in Shirlington. According to its website, The Board Hound (3520 S. Four Mile Run Drive) aims to provide “luxury” dog boarding services, saying “it’s not just boarding; it’s pampering.”
Its website says the mission is “to provide a fun, comfortable, clean and safe environment for dogs and peace of mind for their owners.” Pet owners can choose long or short term care services.
The business plans to provide cage-free doggie daycare with indoor and outdoor play areas. Pets are only confined to their “suites” during feeding, downtime and during the night. The website says the facility will play soothing music at night to “lull our guests to sleep.”
The facility boasts of heated and cooled floors to keep pups comfortable year-round, along with a front walkway that will be heated in the winter. It will also have a top-of-the-line security system to protect the dogs, clients and employees.
The Board Hound will join other nearby pet boarding businesses, including Wag More Dogs (2606 S. Oxford Street), Fur-Get Me Not (4140 S. Four Mile Run Drive) and Woofs! (4160 S. Four Mile Run Drive).
Although the website states “We are counting down to our opening day,” ARLnow.com was unable to reach the owners to find out when exactly The Board Hound will open.
Hat tip to Jason Peschau
Cherrydale is about to become home to a unique business aimed entirely at relaxation and wellness. House of Steep (3800 Lee Highway), a new “tea house and foot sanctuary,” is scheduled to open its doors on Friday (September 21).
Owner Lyndsey DePalma had been looking to get out of the corporate world to open a tea house for years. She started the ball rolling about two years ago while in business school and went on to receive her reflexology certification. She wants her business to be a haven for busy individuals looking to escape from daily stress.
“We can actually take 15 minutes, 30 minutes and just relax,” DePalma said. “It’s not just a tea house, it’s an experience, it’s a place to relax.”
Customers who want to continue relaxing after leaving House of Steep will be able to purchase some of the two dozen varieties of loose tea. Although there will be some traditional favorites such as Earl Grey and Jasmine Green, House of Steep will also feature around 10 specialty teas blended in house. The selection will rotate, and each month one employee will concoct a new blend.
A unique aspect of the business that often confuses people upon first hearing about it is the concept of a “foot sanctuary” in the back of the store. Customers can receive a foot massage and rest their feet in an herbal foot bath, with or without an accompanying cup of tea. The foot soaks will be customized for each person’s needs, such as relaxation, stimulation or muscle aches. DePalma said the health benefits of the tea will complement the reflexology benefits of the foot soak.
“The reason it works together, in my mind, is just the whole ancient Eastern wisdom that there’s a lot of health and healing that happens in your feet,” she said.
The tea house will serve lighter, healthy fare such as wraps, salads and summer rolls. DePalma prides herself on locally sourcing ingredients for the dishes, and for selling baked goods from local bakeries LeoNora and Out of the Box.
“One of the themes of my business is to support local whenever I can,” said DePalma. “My mom and grandma were entrepreneurs and my mom’s business did suffer from big box stores. Local has always been part of my bloodline.”
The local push will continue throughout the establishment by featuring local artists’ works on the walls and using two local artisans’ relaxation products in the foot sanctuary.
Although DePalma had initially thought an area with higher foot traffic would be preferable to the current location, she realized being off the beaten path may allow customers to further enjoy the experience. Instead of rushing through for a quick cup of tea on the way to work or errands, they’re encouraged to slow down and enjoy the overall experience.
“It’s a little bit removed. It’s a little more of a destination; originally it was more of a convenience thing,” DePalma said. “I’m striving for something that’s memorable.”
DePalma reports the surrounding community has been supportive and excited about the store, despite a number of delays with opening. DePalma is still working out all the kinks, and hopes to win over even more people during House of Steep’s grand opening on October 19. Full plans are still in the works, but there will definitely be a ribbon cutting, massages and reflexology demonstrations.
“This is my first startup, so I’m learning a lot while I go. I’m creating this new kind of thing in the hopes it will actually stick and really take off in this area,” said DePalma. “I feel like this area really enjoys something to do, especially health focused.”
In one week, Ballston will be home to a new beer establishment. World of Beer (901 N. Glebe Road) is making its final preparations for opening next Monday (August 6).
Owner Evan Matz and his wife recently moved to Arlington from Florida. He enjoys the area and thought it would be the perfect place to launch Virginia’s first location for the Florida chain.
“I love Arlington. I think it’s a great area,” said Matz. “World of Beer looks forward to being Ballston’s neighborhood social scene, while being dedicated to the beer enthusiast.”
The coolers are stocked, thanks to a beer shipment that arrived last Friday. Later this week, kegs and tap handles will be delivered. In all, there will be more than 500 beers, with 50 rotating taps. New selections will come a couple of times every week.
Bartenders have to go through extensive training to become familiar with all the different types of beers. They should be able to give customers suggestions based on individual tastes, as well as giving the history of some of the more unique brews. Matz says the focus on the beer will make his place different from all the others in the area.
“We’re an upscale neighborhood sports craft beer bar,” he said. “Other restaurants will have a good selection of beer, but we are a place that has a phenomenal selection of beer, that happens to have food.”
Traditionally, World of Beer establishments don’t serve food, but this location will in order to comply with state law. The limited menu will feature gourmet sausages, small bites such as soft pretzels, and beer-infused desserts. There’s been a unique partnership set up to allow customers to order from other restaurants and have the food delivered inside World of Beer. Matz said with the offerings both from his menu and those of Vapiano, BGR The Burger Joint and P.F. Chang’s, customers will have plenty of variety when it comes to dining options.
Inside, sports fans can catch the games on the TVs throughout the establishment, and there will be free live entertainment on Wednesday through Saturday evenings. Those who want to get some fresh air can take advantage the outdoor seating. Happy hour will take place on weeknights, along with different daily specials such as trivia night or service industry night.
Because it reached its goal of 1,000 Facebook fans and 500 Twitter followers, World of Beer is holding a special pre-grand opening party for all the fans and followers on August 6. Social media followers or not, Matz invites everyone with a passion for good beer to stop by.
“We’re giving Ballston and Arlington a place where people can come and enjoy better tasting, better quality beer,” said Matz. “We want to make sure that everybody enjoys the music, the entertainment, just the laid back atmosphere of World of Beer.”
Casal’s de Spa and Salon (3033 Wilson Blvd) prides itself on customer service and focusing on providing each client with a pleasant experience. General Manager of Operations Jeannie Shimek said Casal’s, which is an Aveda concept salon, offers great attention to each customer due to its smaller atmosphere.
Shimek said one thing that sets Casal’s apart from all the other salons and spas in the area is the complimentary services. With every treatment, customers are treated to freebies like a mini facial or a hand and arm massage.
She also stressed that it’s a non-tipping salon. It was a move that all the staff got behind after it began about 15 years ago, in an effort to highlight that the staff is made up of skilled professionals.
“The owner wanted to raise the level of professionalism in the industry,” Shimek said. “These are all professionals who don’t need a tip. If you want to tip, you can refer a friend.”
Although Casal’s is a small Ohio based chain, co-owner Thom Ciarniello lived in the D.C. area for more than 15 years after college, and worked in salons here. He’s recently been splitting his time between Ohio and Arlington, where his sister also lives. Ciarniello has been wanting to get back to the area, and eventually plans to retire here.
Ciarniello is also an artist, so he likes to incorporate fine art into the salon space. We’re told some people passing by on the street actually have been drawn into the salon by spotting the art.
Casal’s plans to hold an official grand opening celebration in September. Ciarniello and co-owner William McCauley wanted to wait until after the summer travel season slowed down, so more people would be able to attend the event. Details will be released as the grand opening draws closer.
The Lava Barre (3260 Wilson Blvd) studio will open in a space sub-leased from Saffron Dance. Workouts will incorporate aspects of ballet, interval training, cardio, pilates and the use of props. It’s a high intensity workout, and participants are told they should be prepared to sweat.
“Lava Barre is a community; a corps of people you can count on to motivate, support and keep you on track to help you burn fat, improve your posture and increase your flexibility while shaping the muscles in your body, ” said co-founder Vanessa Ligorria in a press release.
For those leery about the classes being too ballet-centric, co-founder Lauren Price promises it’s a well rounded workout. She says there are different classes for different abilities.
“You don’t have to have taken ballet to be able to do the workout,” Ligorria said. “You don’t even have to be able to touch your toes.”
The high energy classes will have one instructor and around 20 clients. The co-founders are aiming for a community atmosphere where participants motivate each other. Price also said the music helps drive the class.
“We’re really pumping up the energy and pumping up the cardio and interval training, that’s the real difference between us and other studios,” Price said. “We’re also using different props than some of the other studios in the area.”
Although participants can purchase single classes, there will also be a variety of class packages for sale. As the opening day draws closer, more information will be available about deals such as unlimited classes for a month. Visitors will also get to try out a complimentary first class.
Lava Barre is expected to open on July 1.
There are a lot of places in Arlington that sell cupcakes, but up until now, it’s been tough to find someplace devoted to pie. That’s where Heather Sheire and Leah Haskvitz come in, with their business “Livin’ the Pie Life.”
They first began operating in October, and now have their own booth at the Wednesday Farmers Market in Clarendon.
The two, who have children attending the same school, met while working at a PTA bake sale a year and a half ago. After months of learning about regulations and starting a business in the area, they began testing their original recipes.
To keep in line with health codes, Sheire and Haskvitz use the kitchen at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington. They bake on Fridays and invite neighbors over for pie tastings. They’ll make several versions of the same type of pie with just one thing changed to get input on what tastes best.
The women change their menu often based on what’s in season. In the fall, apple caramel pies were a big hit, and now berries are a summer favorite. They also use locally sourced ingredients, and no additives or preservatives.
“The whole idea is that we want people to feel good about pie,” Sheire said. “Pie is dessert. Pie is special. Pie is handmade. It should come from local sources.”
Not all of the offerings are sweet concoctions like the pecan pie and margarita pie. Customers have also been digging into savory pies like tomato basil or macaroni and cheese.
Haskvitz contends that the pies blow cupcakes out of the water.
“It’s got fruit, it’s seasonal,” Haskvitz. “I think it’s just got a healthier twist and it’s got a little more of that home, rustic feel.”
On Fridays, the duo deliver the freshly made pies to the homes of customers who ordered online. They arrive dressed up in 1950s garb to add to the business’ nostalgic, family vibe.
“It just makes it fun,” Sheire said. “We’re trying to have fun with this whole thing.”
Contributing to the nostalgia is the practice of giving a $1 credit to anyone who returns a pie tin from the larger pies ordered online. Those tins are then reused, as they often were in decades past. The tins for the smaller pies sold at the farmers market are recyclable, as is the rest of the packaging.
Although they’ve thrown around the idea of starting a food truck, they’re not interested in a brick and mortar location. Right now, they’d like to keep a focus on convenience.
“If we have a store, you have to come into the store. But we want to bring it to you,” Haskvitz said. “It takes care of an area that I don’t think is covered. There’s a lot of storefronts here, there aren’t that many where you have the convenience of ordering online and having it delivered to you.”
Although they’ve only been in business for a few months, the women have been accruing regular customers. Both say they’re proud of their products.
“Our first priority is that the pie should be fresh and delicious,” said Sheire. “Our goal is that you have the best pie you’ve ever had.”
Located in the former Kayak Station space, Pentagon MMA (1041 S. Edgewood Street) will open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 2. As part of its grand opening celebration, it will be offering free introductory classes from 11:00 a.m. to about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, including Intro to Muay Thai, Women’s Kickboxing, and Intro to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. An open house will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Pentagon MMA says they will be offering big discounts on memberships during their first weekend. The studio says they “welcome people of all ages, shapes, and sizes” who want to learn self-defense, get in shape, or compete in MMA.
The studio is owned by Vivek Nakarmi, a champion Muay Thai kickboxer who’s also listed on Facebook as a Washington-Lee High School grad.
Photo via Facebook
Arlington is now home to another exercise facility, with yesterday’s opening of CrossFit Rosslyn (1100 Wilson Blvd).
The training center is connected to Verve Health & Fitness near the Rosslyn metro. Verve Co-owner Michael Lin explained that part of the existing facility was partitioned off to add CrossFit. Lin believes offering both CrossFit style workouts and more traditional exercise options benefits customers.
“I believe the balance is very important to keep a person as healthy and capable as physically possible,” said Lin.
Lin said there are pluses and minuses to setting up shop in an area that already has a number of CrossFit options, such as the new one coming to Ballston or the one that just closed in Clarendon. But he’s not interested in the competition.
“We’re not doing this to dominate the CrossFit business,” Lin said. “We’re doing this to expand the service to our clients and customers. I think it’s a move in a positive direction for everyone.”
Unlike many other CrossFit facilities which can’t provide showers due to space restrictions, customers can purchase a membership to use Verve’s showers. The facility also touts a unique training program for people of all fitness levels that will build relationships as well as bodies.
“People who are just average Joes are really gonna benefit from CrossFit,” said Lin.
Lin likes the idea of the dual purpose facility so much, that if the decision is ever made to add additional Verve locations, they will also be split facilities to include CrossFit. But for now, he’s content to just stick with the Rosslyn location.
“We’re happy to be a part of the community,” Lin said. “Rosslyn is a funny city where most people go home after work, so I think it will help to have more hang out places for people to go after work. Whether it’s for happy hour or places to eat or places to work out together.”
As part of the grand opening, CrossFit Rosslyn will hold an open house next month. On March 3 from 12:00-3:00 p.m., visitors can try free workouts and yoga classes.
Pending county approvals, Ballston CrossFit expects to open on Monday, Feb. 13. Interior construction is partially completed at the gym, located on the ground floor of an office building at 1110 N. Glebe Road. A shipment of fitness equipment was moved in earlier this week, according to Ballston CrossFit’s Facebook page.
“At Ballston CrossFit you will be challenged and motivated every day with constantly varied high intensity functional workouts, resulting in a greatly enhanced level of fitness,” the gym says on its website. “Our program efficiently combines the most effective methods of Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, kettlebells and high intensity cardio.”
Photo via Facebook
The Lemongrass truck will serve a limited Vietnamese-inspired menu that includes banh mi sandwiches, banh mi-style tacos, a salad with homemade lemongrass dressing and three varieties of bubble tea (iced coffee, Thai iced tea and green tea).
The truck’s arrival should fill the void left by last year’s launch and subsequent closure of the Rebel Heroes bahn mi sandwich truck. The Lemongrass truck’s proprietors — a husband and wife team — say the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs inspired them to quit their jobs and launch a food truck.
“Stay hungry. Stay foolish,” the pair wrote on the truck’s new website. “[Those] were the words Steve Jobs chose to end his 2005 Stanford commencement speech with. And it is with those same words that inspired my husband and me to make the leap of faith and move from the world of government contracting to the food truck business.”
The truck will initially launch in Arlington, but plans to also serve the District starting in early 2012, according to Food Truck Fiesta.
Stand-alone indoor cycling studios are becoming trendy across the country, and soon Arlington will have one such facility to call its own.
Revolve, which describes itself as a “high-end specialized indoor cycling studio,” is hoping to open at 1025 N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon by the end of the month. The studio, which is currently under construction in the ground floor of the Zoso Flats building, will eventually feature 40 Schwinn exercise bikes in a room surrounded by nearly a dozen speakers — to help pump in music to keep participants energized.
Revolve will offer three different types of classes classes, which will last 45 to 60 minutes and cost $17 to $20 per session. From a press release:
Revolve’s Fitness Consultant, Christianne Phillips, has designed three revolutionary classes to be featured exclusively at Revolve: Real Ride, Complete Body Ride and Barre Ride. A more traditional cycle class focusing on endurance, the Real Ride class will provide participants with an indoor journey that feels like an outdoor ride. Complete Body Ride is a full-body workout that incorporates cardio, strength and flexibility, and keeps participants moving while engaging in upper body weight training. Barre Ride is a revolutionary hybrid workout that combines cardio with toning barre-based exercises. In a Barre Ride class, participants will burn calories while sculpting muscles, using the bikes’ handlebars as a ballet-style bar.
Sylvan Garfunkel, who left the “rat race” of his job as a corporate attorney in New York City to run the studio as a co-owner, says what will set Revolve apart from the “big box gyms” is more personal service and an emphasis on camaraderie among the cyclists.
“Group fitness enthusiasts, especially indoor cyclists, feel a special kinship with their fellow participants,” Garfunkel said. “We want our studio to offer a community-like atmosphere, where bonds with instructors and fellow riders grow beyond the cycle room.”
In addition to regularly-scheduled classes, Revolve will offer special events like charity rides, private corporate and group rides and a monthly event featuring a live DJ. The business, which counts two college-aged brothers among its other co-owners, is hoping to do a “soft opening” by the end of this month, with a full opening expected by mid-December.