The Olive Oil Boom, a new store specializing in oils and vinegars, recently opened in Courthouse.
Located at 2016 Wilson Blvd, the store offers a variety of balsamic vinegars, olive oils and red wine vinegars, which customers can taste before purchasing. It aims to help Arlington residents lead healthy lifestyles by switching butter with olive oil, said owner Judith Westfall.
Various varieties of specialty olive oils from around the world, including oils infused with spices or fused with citrus flavors, line the walls while the balsamic vinegars and traditional olive oils sit on two center tables. Customers can also peruse through Westfall’s homemade recipe books for different savory or sweet recipes that use olive oils and balsamic vinegars. The store provides free copies of the recipes for shoppers to take home.
The idea is to create a community store, where Arlington residents can gather and share different recipes while chatting with each other, Westfall said.
“It’s become really popular. We have a lot of fun talking to people and suggesting things,” Westfall said.
Customers have already shared their ideas with her, she said. One customer recommended that she use the aged pure Vermont maple balsamic on bacon and bake it in the oven, a recipe Westfall plans to try.
The store has been open for approximately three weeks, Westfall said, and she is already seeing customers return. One of her goals with the store is to help educate about the healthy uses of olive oil, which fits with the health-conscious population of Arlington, she said.
So far popular flavors include the Tuscan herb olive oil and traditional balsamic vinegar, but Westfall has also noticed that Arlington residents like the spice-infused olive oils, include the chipotle and fused Baklouti green chili flavors. She plans to also add cayenne pepper-infused and harissa-infused flavors “because it’s all about what the community really likes,” Westfall said.
Westfall and her husband, Lynn, also experiment with different flavors in order to create new ones, she said. “So we have fun coming up with new combinations, new pairings.”
For those new to using olive oil, Westfall recommends starting with the basic extra virgin olive oil flavors, rather than the more exotic infusions. Westfall suggests customers replace butter or canola oil with butter-flavored olive oil.
“Any time you can substitute olive oil for canola oil or butter or anything of that matter you are adding antioxidants to your diet,” she said. “And it tastes so much better. Once you’ve tasted a good olive oil and used it, I don’t think you want to go back to your other oils.”
In addition to its core products, The Olive Oil Boom — the name reflects Westfall’s former career in the petroleum industry in Texas — also offers wine, cheeses, breads and various gourmet items.
It may seem pretty specialized, but The Olive Oil Boom isn’t the only retailer in Arlington with a primary focus on olive oils and vinegars. Ah Love Oil & Vinegar, in Shirlington Village, is celebrating its fourth anniversary this weekend.
Editor’s Note: Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces and a stage for formal presentations.
CoWork CoPlay launched last month, founded by the owner of Saffron Dance, adjacent to her belly-dancing studio at 3260 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon. The venture combines flexible coworking office space with an on-demand babysitting service, where parents can leave their children for up to four hours and hold business meetings, get work done or run errands.
“While parents are not required to bring their kids while they are coworking and customers don’t have to be a parent to cowork, the close proximity of on premises childcare responds to one of the most common challenges facing families in today’s society — affordable childcare,” the company said.
CoWork CoPlay operates as a coworking space from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Childcare is also available during those times, except on Wednesday mornings. Childcare is available for two hour slots (8-10 a.m., 10 a.m. to noon, 1-3 p.m. and 3-5 p.m.) and parents can sign their children up for two time periods per day. On Wednesdays, childcare is available from 1-5 p.m.
“What parents really need are expansive options throughout the week to get work done and the flexibility to leave the premises while their children are safely playing and learning,” said founder Rachael Galoob-Ortega, who also goes by stage name “Saphira.”
CoWork CoPlay offers four pricing packages, which includes pricing for each space or using both. Parents can reserve the spaces online, but childcare reservations must be made 12 hours in advance.
Up to 20 working parents at a time can work in the 1,000 square foot space that makes up the coworking area. It’s equipped with WiFi and patrons are given headphones with microphones to allow for Google chats and Skype meetings. There is also a telephone room for calls.
“It definitely doesn’t have a corporate feel,” Galoob-Ortega said. “It has a more organic feel because we designed it.”
Parents can leave their children in an adjacent room where P&E Babysitting, a local company, watches the kids. The room can accommodate 12 children, from 18 months to six years old. Parents can leave children for up to four hours while they take meetings outside of the building or run errands, provided the children are potty trained and at least two years old.
Sephora, the national cosmetics and beauty products chain, is opening its new store in Clarendon next Friday.
The location will be in the 4,533-square-foot former Eastern Mountain Sports space in Market Common Clarendon, next to the Barnes and Noble.
The store will sell more than 13,000 beauty products from more than 200 brands, it announced in a press release. Anyone who buys more than $50 at the store will be able to get a free “mini-makeover” while they’re there.
There is still construction ongoing in front of the store, which is covered in black and white plywood, with the words “Sephora has arrived” painted on.
(Updated at 5:25 p.m.) The new Rosslyn fast-casual pizza restaurant, SpinFire Pizza, held its grand opening party yesterday, an event celebrated by co-owner Pierre Garçon and several of his Washington Redskins teammates.
Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and wide receiver Ryan Grant were among Garçon’s teammates to attend the grand opening at 1501 Wilson Blvd, enjoying the pizza made in SpinFire’s custom oven, cooked in 90 seconds.
The pizza shop opens at 11:00 a.m. every day, and it closes at 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and at 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
Garçon was also filmed by TMZ on the street outside his business, discussing the business and how users of legalized marijuana in D.C. can enjoy the pizza.
Below is the press release announcing the grand opening.
Last night, Washington Redskins wide receiver Pierre Garçon welcomed over 500 guests – including teammates Ryan Kerrigan and Ryan Grant – to the grand opening of his new Rosslyn pizza eatery, SpinFire. Garçon and partner Fouad Qreitem, Paisano’s Pizza founder, opened the doors to their second SpinFire location in Arlington late last month.
Located at 1501 Wilson Blvd in the heart of the bustling Rosslyn neighborhood, SpinFire specializes in made-to-order individual pizzas, gourmet salads and hearty calzones, all freshly served in 90 seconds. Pizza aficionados can choose from over 30 fresh toppings, hand-cut in-house daily. Offerings at the Arlington restaurant include over 12 menu items that range from classic Italian combinations like the Prosciutto Arugula Pizza (arugula, prosciutto, olive oil, fresh mozzarella, ricotta and citrus vinaigrette) to American favorites such as the Hawaiian Pizza (shredded mozzarella, pineapple, smoked ham and scallions). Diners looking for a lighter meal can opt for a specialty salad – Fresh Mozzarella, Chicken Caesar or Prosciutto Arugula – or handpick their favorite ingredients.
With over 70 seats, Garçon and Qreitem’s brainchild also offers sweet tooth patrons the chance to indulge in homemade gelato and sip local brews from Port City Brewing Company of Alexandria, VA.Garçon is thrilled to offer SpinFire’s signature 90-second-service to the Rosslyn neighborhood. “We’re excited to be in Arlington and to provide quick service with an amazing product. Even with a line to the door, you can enjoy SpinFire on a quick lunch break,” confirms Garçon.
A new sunglasses store is getting ready to open in the Pentagon Row shopping district in Pentagon City.
Specs New York, which sells designer sunglasses and has locations in New York City, Montgomery Mall and Springfield, Va., is occupying a small, standalone space along S. Joyce Street. The shop carries brands like Ray Ban, Luxottica and Oliver Peoples.
The store appears just about ready to open, but it’s unclear when an opening date will be. A call placed to Specs New York’s corporate number in New York was not answered, and the voicemail system “is not set up,” according to the recording.
The boutique’s website lists the Arlington store as “coming soon,” but says it’s opening up in the nearby Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
The magic theater’s opening show will be tomorrow night, at 8:00 p.m., with a performance called Timeless Deceptions by brothers Peter and Matt Wood.
The parlour was founded by Willard Royal, a magic enthusiast who has been trying for more than a year to find a way to host shows in the black box theater on the third floor of the mall.
“My motivation was to look for a permanent home for the region’s best entertainers,” Royal told ARLnow.com this morning. “Magic is hot right now, and my friends who have good shows are all looking for venues.”
The opening night show is likely to sell out, Royal said, and tickets start at $45. The parlour occupies the small, several-dozen seat theater in the back of the venue.
There will be shows every Friday and Saturday night intended for adults, and Saturday afternoon shows starting May 9 intended for the whole family. Those shows will be hosted by Barry Taylor, owner of the former Barry’s Magic Shop in Rockville, Md.
The Comedy Spot moved because their lease was up, its owner told us in February. Royal’s lease goes until the end of the year, after which time he said he will “re-evaluate” because of the mall’s pending overhaul.
Photo, top, courtesy Willard Royal
Burn & Brew, a new shop that specializes in tobacco and coffee, is open on 23rd Street S. in Crystal City.
Owner Taha Humayun opened the doors to his new shop on March 18, just a few steps away from another smoke-themed store, Smokey Shope III. He said his shop sells the cheapest cigarettes in Arlington — $5 a pack — because of deals he’s supposedly worked out with a variety of cigarette and rolling paper companies.
In the five minutes an ARLnow.com reporter was in the shop, in the former expansion space of the Gossip boutique next door, a customer came in a bought a pack of Marlboro Lights. When Humayun told her the price, she said “wow, that’s crazy.” Most of the cigarettes sold in the county cost at least a dollar more per pack, we’re told.
Burn & Brew sells bags of coffee beans and drip coffee — “no lattes or shots of espresso or anything like that,” Humayun said — as well as vaporizers, vaporizer juice, “every rolling paper on the market” and all different kinds of pipes.
“A majority of the people who smoke drink coffee,” Humayun said. “And a lot of the people who drink coffee also smoke cigarettes.”
Humayun is still waiting for a number of products to come in. When he’s all stocked — he expects that to be complete by next week — he also will sell newspapers like the New York Times, Washington Post and USA Today.
He wants to be a daily stop for the smoking and drinking crowd of south Arlington, many of whom, he said, are bartenders and waiters. The Crystal City location is his second shop — he’s operated the first store in Annandale for six years.
(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) Julie Drews and Beth Helle have lived in Arlington for a decade, and they grew so tired of not having a specialty craft beer store in their neighborhood that they decided to open one themselves.
They have leased space at 2004 Wilson Blvd, in the new 2001 Clarendon apartments, to open The Brew Shop, which will sell craft beer, homebrewing supplies, wine and locally roasted coffee beans.
The pair are accountants who hail from the Midwest. Drews is from Michigan, home of craft beer landmark breweries Bell’s Brewery, Founders and New Holland. She said now that the D.C. craft brewing scene has taken off with the likes of D.C. Brau, 3 Stars and Port City, it’s an opportunity to capitalize on the area’s craft beer community.
“There was almost nothing here when I first got here, but things are definitely turning the corner now with beer in D.C.,” Drews told ARLnow.com yesterday. “This is an area where people care a lot about beer.”
The Brew Shop will offer growler fills and partner with local breweries for events. Drews — who reminisced about drinking at Dr. Dremo’s steps from where her shop will open — wants The Brew Shop to be a hub of the local beer-drinking community.
“We want to be the first great beer shop in Arlington,” she said. “There are a lot of wine shops that sell beer, but we want to be the great beer shop that sells wine.”
Drews and Helle have applied for a permit with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and are in the construction permitting process with Arlington County. They hope to open in the fall.
Metropole Brewing Company has applied for a permit to start a microbrewery at 2709 S. Oakland Street, in the Nauck neighborhood. The application is for a brewery producing 500 or fewer barrels per year — so far there’s no indication from either the application or the nascent brewery’s Facebook page if it plans to serve beverages on-site.
Metropole’s founder, Michael Katrivanos, did not return a message seeking comment this afternoon. He has applied for building permits with the county, but has yet to receive final approval.
If the ABC license and building permits are approved, Metropole could be Arlington’s first indigenous distribution brewery since 1916, when Arlington Brewing Company stopped making beer.
The only two places where beer is brewed commercially in Arlington are Rock Bottom Brewery in the Ballston Common Mall and Capitol City Brewing Company in Shirlington. Neither of those businesses brew beer to be sold off the premises.
This spring, Sehkraft Beer Garden and Haus plans to open in Clarendon and brew its own beer. Owner Devin Hicks told ARLnow.com last summer that Arlington’s Zoning Ordinance prohibits a brewpub from selling its beers to other businesses, but he was exploring options to work around the regulation.
Photo via Facebook
Ultra is already available in eight cities nationwide, including D.C., where it contracts with retailers to deliver beer, wine and liquor. While Virginia’s liquor laws restrict Ultra from selling spirits, Ultra CEO Aniket Shah says his company has reached an agreement with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to deliver beer and wine.
“We are looking at Arlington as our first city to expand in Virginia, based on demographics, income levels and awareness for new technologies,” Shah told ARLnow.com. “We are expecting the deliveries to start first-second week of March.”
Ultra users would go to the company’s website, enter their zip code, and a list of products they can order (beer, wine, soda and mixers), delivery minimum, hours and estimated delivery time. Customers can order on-demand, which takes no more than an hour, or for more than 30 days in advance, including requests like the wine be chilled. Customers’ IDs are checked when the driver makes the delivery.
“We received huge response from people in D.C. when we launched there and we wanted to expand to Virginia as soon as possible,” Shah said. “[Virginia ABC] were very open to understanding our process and providing guidelines within which we had to operate our service in Virginia. We finally received the approval and we are actively in contact with several retailers to accept deliveries in Arlington.”
Ultra, a New York City-based company, can only sell beer and wine from stores that have delivery permits in place to do so. Shah couldn’t disclose which retailers Ultra is negotiating with because of confidentiality agreements, he said.
Shah said Ultra is the first service of its kind in Virginia, but individual retailers are already able to delivery beer and wine as long as they have an ABC license. Some restaurants, like Lost Dog Cafe, deliver beer along with food.
Shah also said he plans on initiating negotiations with the ABC Board to deliver liquor straight from ABC stores, but it’s unclear how much traction those discussions will have.
“We call ourselves a network of neighborhood productive spaces,” cove Brand Director Erin Gifford told ARLnow.com today. “It’s an alternative to working at home, a coffee shop or even your office.”
Cove already has six spaces in D.C. and one in Old Town Alexandria, and its eighth location will be on the first floor of 1735 Clarendon Blvd. Gifford said the space “fell into our lap,” and it should be open for users by the end of the month.
“We’ve been getting so many requests to come to Arlington. We wanted to get something as quickly as possible,” Gifford said. Cove is planning on opening more spaces in Arlington in the not-too-distant future, although she couldn’t say where or when. “We’re continuing our search.”
Cove charges for its space not by leasing it out on a monthly or longer basis, but by charging by the hour. Each user is given a personalized QR code and checks in when they enter, and out when they leave. Users pre-pay for the time they’ll spend in the space by the month.
Cove offers memberships starting at $32 for eight hours, and users can pay less by the hour the more time they plan to spend in the space. Additional time is billed at an hourly rate.
When Cove opens, it will have nine desks, a Keurig coffee maker with about six different types of coffee, soda and sparkling water. Gifford said Cove also has a partnership with nearby BeanGood Coffee Pub, allowing users to take refillable Cove coffee mugs and get 10 percent off their orders.
Cove also offers its users free WiFi, printing and scanning. Anyone who pays for a membership can spend time at any Cove location; there are two outposts in Dupont Circle and one in Georgetown, Columbia Heights, Capitol Hill, on 14th Street NW and an under-construction location on K Street NW.
Two new businesses in Clarendon have opened their doors, in the new retail space on the ground floor of 3001 Washington Blvd.
Cherry Blow Dry Bar, which offers blow outs and extensions for women’s hair, opened on Jan. 30 at 1041 N. Highland Street, next door to the even-more-recently opened Citizen Burger Bar. Salon owner Jennifer Weiss said last week they offered a $15 blow out special and were booked solid all week.
“We were totally sold out and overwhelmed,” she said at her new shop yesterday. “We’ve gotten great support from women in the community who felt that there was a need for our services.”
Pure Barre opened late last year, offering ballet-inspired workout classes and athletic apparel. They have specials for new clients — $100 for 30 days of unlimited classes — and offer six to nine classes a day, starting at 5:50 a.m.
Cherry Blow Dry Bar offers blow outs for $35 and extensions for $395. It is open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Sundays. Weiss said she’s considering opening at 7:00 a.m. on weekdays because her customers want to get blow outs before work.
Single classes at Pure Barre are $25, while a 10-class pass is $210. A 12-month unlimited membership is $185 a month.
(Updated on 2/13/15) Clarendon residents will soon have another option to get their caffeine fix.
A Peet’s Coffee & Tea appears on its way, with signs up in the windows of the building at the corner of N. Highland Street and Washington Blvd. The store is expected to open this spring, but “our exact date is still to be confirmed,” according to a company spokeswoman.
When it opens, it will be the second Peet’s location in Arlington, following the coffee shop that opened in Shirlington last year.
Peet’s offers higher-end coffees and teas, and will compete with Oby Lee and the 7-Eleven across Washington Blvd. The location is also a long block away from Northside Social and a third of a mile from the Starbucks on Clarendon Blvd.
(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) Would you pay $25-30 for a day of unlimited coffee and snacks in a place that offers video games, board games, poker, foosball and the occasional standup comic or musician?
A husband and wife team are banking that the answer is “yes.” Vitaliy Hayda and Kseniia Shnyreva, immigrants from Ukraine and Russia, respectively, are planning on starting a new type of coffee shop, called The Third Place, in Arlington.
The pair has been blogging the travails of opening up a business, from the registering as an LLC to advertising to showing the initial renderings of the interior. They say they plan to open the business this summer in Arlington, but they do not plan to look for a location until April or May, the owners told ARLnow.com via email. They list “Rosslyn, Virginia” as the location on their Facebook page.
The name of the establishment refers to the concept of a “third place” where people can hang out and socialize.
“According to urban sociologist Ray Oldenburg, the first place is your home, the second place is your work and the third place is your ‘great good place,'” The Third Place’s website says. “It’s where you go to relax, have a good time, and surround yourself with friends both new and old.”
Traditional coffee shops, where people work on laptops, meet friends and hold informal business meetings, are viewed as a type of third place. However, sometimes “third place” business can be challenging for coffee shops, where customers can buy a $4 coffee and occupy a table for hours while tapping away at a laptop and using the free Wifi.
It appears that The Third Place seeks to remedy that by encouraging people to spend the entire day for a flat fee. It could almost be compared to an airport lounge, minus the airport but plus occasional entertainment.
The website says The Third Place will have bottomless coffee, tea, milk, juice and snacks for a $25 a day fee online, and $30 at the door. It will also sell coffee and tea to go. Hayda and Shnyreva also plan to offer memberships, including a $300 a month option that allows for unlimited entrance, eight guest passes, 50 percent off coffee to go and a 50 percent alcohol discount.
The Third Place plans to have a bar, allow for food delivery and let customers to bring their own food and alcohol in. In one of their blog posts, Hayda writes that they will have edible coffee cups, milk shots, a circular wood-burning fireplace and outlets with USB chargers.
A new store specializing in upscale Swiss watches is the newest tenant in Ballston Common Mall.
Watchstyle opened in November because, as owner Eric Kim said, he was “desperate to get open for the holiday season.” He found, however, that the Ballston Mall didn’t experience quite the holiday rush that he expected. Business was steady, and remained steady after Christmas passed.
Kim offers Swiss-made watches that aren’t the most recognizable brands, but, as a former Liljenquist & Beckstead watch buyer, he says the products he offers are the “equal or better” quality and more affordable.
“The watch market has changed so much,” he told ARLnow.com last week, “Swiss watch prices have gone up a ludicrous amount with no real increase in quality.”
Watchstyle’s watches start at around $200 with Mondaine styles and go up from there. Kim said he’s the only Mondaine dealer in Virginia. He also offers watches from brands like Ball and Maurice Lacroix. Despite the Ballston Mall’s negative perception and imminent redevelopment, Kim thinks he found the right place to start his business.
“It was definitely risky, but this mall is surrounded by the right demographic for luxury watches,” Kim said. “The mall may not be ready, but the market is.”