Christiana Campos, the new restaurateur who won the Ballston Business Improvement District’s Restaurant Challenge this year, plans to open her new restaurant this winter.
Originally branded as “Casita,” Campos’ project at 1110 N. Glebe Road, next to The Melting Pot, will now be called “SER,” an acronym for “Simple, Easy, Real,” and a play on words with the Spanish verb “to be.”
As part of the Restaurant Challenge prize package, SER received a year of free rent from the building’s owner, Brookfield Properties, and a $245,000 interest-free loan. Campos told ARLnow.com that the restaurant needs “a bit more,” than the loan, so she has launched a Kickstarter campaign for another $15,000.
“The money we raise here [will] be used for the design and renovation of the place,” the Kickstarter says, “for an open kitchen where you can watch the cooking magic happen before your very own eyes, patio furniture… tables, chairs, lighting, a new dishwasher… an indoor herb garden, frames for our walls (with photos of friends, family and neighbors), linens, plates, glassware.”
As of this morning (Wednesday), SER has raised $2,925 of its goal. The fundraising round will close on Oct. 20. Among the perks that donors can receive:
- For pledging $2,500, a donor will receive a five-course tasting dinner party for eight people and an invitation to SER’s soft opening.
- For $800, the donor and a guest will get to shadow SER’s chef for a day, plus a five-course tasting meal for two and an invitation to SER’s soft opening.
- For $500, the donor and a guest will be given a blind tasting menu; they will be given dishes by SER’s chef while blindfold, and receive an invitation to SER’s soft opening
The restaurant will specialize in “authentic, comfort Spanish food that goes beyond tapas,” Campos said in her email, adding that it is planned to be a casual, neighborhood spot, but the food will be “a gastronomical journey and cultural adventure throughout every region of Spain.”
Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop opens in Rosslyn at 11:00 a.m. today (Monday), and customers are already lining up to get free sandwiches.
The Delaware-founded and Las Vegas-based chain is opening its first location in Virginia, and to celebrate the occasion, it is offering free sandwiches to the first 100 people in line. The first 50 people in line will, according to a press release, receive certificates granting them free “Bobbies” for a year. The Bobbie is the shop’s most popular sandwich, a hoagie with roasted turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and mayonnaise.
The shop, on the ground floor of 1500 Wilson Blvd, is the chain’s second in the D.C. area after opening a storefront at 1800 M Street NW earlier this year. It offers subs of 9, 12 and 20 inches.
The line started to form at 3:30 a.m., when Jackie Miller parked in front of the building and set up a reclining camping chair. She “went to bed really early, got up at 2:30 in the morning and drove here from Alexandria.” She told ARLnow.com she has never had a Capriotti’s sandwich.
“I made subs when I was younger in Buffalo,” she said. “That’s what I always look forward to when I visit my relatives, going to my old sub shop. I’ve been looking for a really good sub since I moved here.”
As of 9:45 a.m., there were enough spots left for people to walk up and earn free sandwiches, twice a month, for the next year. At 10:30 a.m., the Nationals’ president mascots will be there to greet customers. The shop will open at 11:00 a.m.
A new restaurant from a new restaurateur is planning to open at 3001 Washington Blvd by the end of the year.
“Bowl’d,” with its storefront at the corner of N. Garfield and 11th Streets, will specialize in affordable, healthy food that’s made-to-order within five minutes. Owner Allen Reed, who is also the president of local executive recruiting firm Reed & Associates, said he had the idea for the concept while on the road and unable to find healthy, fast food options.
“I wanted something that was hot and satisfying with more vegetables and proteins,” Reed said, “so people could feel good about something they’re eating, but also make it delicious and enticing.”
Bowl’d will start with bases like rice, quinoa or lettuce, then layer in marinated proteins like chicken, beef and tofu, with an assortment of vegetables and “sauces and garnishes to give it a bang of flavor,” according to Reed. The dishes will range in cuisine from Mediterranean, Asian and Tex-Mex.
“We’re going to be working across different flavor profiles and inspirations,” Reed said.
The restaurant won’t serve beer and wine — “there are enough neighboring establishments that serve liquor,” Reed said — and will offer vegan and low-gluten options for those interested.
Reed said he hopes to be open before the holidays, but avoided giving a firm opening date because of the inevitable construction delays most new restaurants face.
(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) “Highline R&R,” a new bar that bills itself as the future “social anchor” of Crystal City, is coming to the former Bailey’s Pub space at 2010 Crystal Drive.
A permit application reveals that the establishment will have a seating capacity of more than 150. The company behind the application traces back to the offices of Bedrock Management, which operates numerous well-known local bars, like the Continental in Rosslyn; CarPool in Ballston; and Penn Social, Iron Horse Tavern, RocketBar and Buffalo Billiards in D.C.
“Highline will be an industrial themed, craft beer and signature cocktail bar and restaurant that will serve as Crystal City’s social anchor,” according to the bar’s Facebook page, which was created on July 29.
Multiple calls to Bedrock Management have not been returned.
It’s unclear what the “R&R” in the name stands for, but it might stand for “rock and roll.” Located in a large space above McCormick and Schmick’s, Highline is rumored to be a potential live music venue.
No word yet on a potential opening date. An interior demolition permit for the space was approved on Monday.
Bonefish Grill (1101 S. Joyce Street) is now open on Pentagon Row.
After a few “soft opening” days, the seafood restaurant opened to the general public Monday night. Today (Tuesday) is its first full day in business, with lunch and dinner service. While there are other Bonefish Grills in Northern Virginia and suburban Maryland, the new Pentagon City location is the only one inside the Beltway.
The restaurant has a total of 216 seats, with 16 on a sidewalk patio and 54 at the bar. In addition to a newly-revamped menu – with wood-grilled fresh fish and steak along with signature dishes like the Bang Bang Shrimp appetizer — Bonefish offers 45 wines, 15 bottled beers and four draft beers.
Founded in Florida in 2001, Bonefish Grill is now owned by Bloomin’ Brands, the owner of Outback Steakhouse and Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Most of its nearly 200 locations are in the south and eastern United States, although it has recently been expanding to the western U.S. as well.
Traffic Impacts Due to Military Funeral — Military officials are warning of possible traffic impacts in Arlington due to a full honors funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. Army Maj. Gen. Harold Greene will be laid to rest today beginning at 2:00 p.m. A Falls Church resident, Greene was killed on Aug. 5 in Afghanistan; he’s the highest-ranking U.S. military casualty since Vietnam. Officials say Greene’s funeral could impact traffic on Washington Blvd at the Fort Myer exit and on Route 110 at Marshall Drive.
Partisans Support Nonpartisan Redistricting — Democrat Rip Sullivan and Republican Dave Foster, candidates for the 48th District House of Delegates seat, agree on at least one thing: that Virginia’s redistricting process should be nonpartisan. While support for nonpartisan redistricting may be growing, it is unclear if it could pass the General Assembly. [InsideNova]
Capriotti’s Opening Nears – Originally slated to open on July 29, the new Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop at 1500 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn now has a new opening date. A spokeswoman says the shop — the Delaware-based chain’s first in Virginia — will first open to the general public on Monday, Aug. 25.
County Fair Carnies Profiled — Who are those smiling carnival workers working the rides and games at the Arlington County Fair? They’re fun-loving nomads who sleep in bunkhouses and travel throughout the East Coast and the South during fair season. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
A Virginia ABC store may be coming to the Courthouse area.
The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is negotiating a lease for a liquor store in the new 1919 Clarendon Blvd building, an ABC official confirmed. That’s a block away from the Colonial Village Shopping Center, where another ABC store closed last year.
ABC has applied for a construction permit for the space, but it has yet to be approved.
The store, if it does finalize its lease, would move into the new building alongside Lucky Pot Asian restaurant, Oasis Nail salon — both under construction — and European Wax Center, which is already open. Also moving into the building, according to Elevation DC, is a location of H Street NE Lebanese eatery Shawafel, which also has a booth at Nationals Park.
Shawafel, owner Alberto Sissi told Elevation, plans to have two counters — one for its savory food items and one for sweets — along with a fresh juice station.
Representatives from the restaurant and the building’s retail office have confirmed the two sides are finalizing negotiations, but aren’t prepared to announce a deal. The restaurant has locations in North Carolina and Tennessee, but an Arlington location would be its first in Virginia.
According to officials with the building’s retail and residential leasing firms, exterior construction is expected to be finished in mid-August, after which build-out for the retail properties will begin and take “about three to six months.” Apartment tenants are expected to begin moving in by September.
If Tupelo signs, it would join 7-Eleven, Hair Cuttery, Olive Oil Boom and a nail salon as retail spaces moving into the ground floor of the 154-unit apartment building.
Tupelo’s website says it cooks “just about everything Southern – from fried chicken to sweet potatoes to catfish.” It says its menu items are “scratch-made” with “farm-fresh produce.”
Updated at 11:50 a.m., 8/5/14: Tupelo Honey Cafe officials have confirmed that it is moving into the space in Courthouse.
Amsterdam Falafelshop, the local falafel and “Dutch fries” chain, is planning to open its Clarendon location by the end of September.
Amsterdam Falafelshop announced in April it would be moving into the former BGR: The Burger Joint space next to Hard Times Café at 3024 Wilson Blvd. Franchise owner David Rosenstein — who also owns a dozen D.C. area Popeye’s franchises — planned a mid-summer opening, but as is the case with many restaurant build-outs, it has taken longer than expected.
The space now has a sign on the window that reads “Amsterdam Falafelshop is landing here this summer… Cause [sic] we love this neighborhood and we think you love falafel… we think you need falafel… we think you crave falafel.”
Vihstadt Outraising Howze — County Board member John Vihstadt is outraising Democratic challenger Alan Howze ahead of the upcoming November election. Vihstadt, who is running as an independent, has raised $33,773 to Howze’s $6,801. [InsideNova]
‘Revenge of the Understudies’ at Signature — They prepare for roles that they rarely get to actually play, at least in front of a paying audience. On Saturday, however, the understudies at Signature Theatre will take center stage for the annual “Revenge of the Understudies” cabaret. Tickets to either of the show’s two performances — at 9:00 and 11:00 p.m. — are $25. [Washington Post]
Ben’s Chili Bowl Opening at DCA — Ben’s Chili Bowl will be holding a ribbon cutting ceremony for its new Reagan National Airport location this morning. Bill Cosby won’t be there, but the Chuck Brown Band will be performing. The restaurant is located before the security checkpoints in the B/C terminal.
The new Dunkin’ Donuts in Ballston, at the corner of N. Stuart and 9th Streets, is now open for business.
The small donut shop replaced the former Quizno’s in the corner of the National Science Foundation building at 4201 Wilson Blvd. Dunkin’ Donuts signed its lease for the 1,000-square-foot space in April.
The location — Arlington’s sixth, not including locations in the Pentagon and Reagan National Airport — opened yesterday. It doesn’t have any seating inside, but has a small handful of outside tables.
Bonefish Grill is on target to open its first Arlington location around the middle of next month, possibly as early as Aug. 18, according to employees.
The 5,350-square-foot seafood restaurant is located at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street), in the space formerly occupied by Desi Innovations. The upscale eatery boasts fresh, wood-grilled fish and other specialties. It focuses on “simplicity, quality and consistency in food, service, ambiance and value,” and “leaves the stuffiness and unpronounceable menu out,” according to promotional materials.
Earlier today workers could be seen constructing the outdoor seating area in front of the restaurant. The chain has three other Northern Virginia locations, in Alexandria, Centreville and Fairfax.
Co-owner Janet McFadden said the food, ranging from daily salad options and hearty soups to gluten-free cookies, is prepared with healthy, fresh ingredients that don’t sacrifice flavor.
“You can have a cookie that’s tasty and gluten-free,” McFadden told ARLnow.com. “Spices are not something that’s bad for you.”
While previously open only to clients of its partner Saffron Dance, Karu & Toast opened to the general public at the beginning of this month. The cafe’s current hours are Monday through Friday, 5:30-9:30 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Starting July 14, the cafe plans to open from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 4:30 to 9:30 pm, daily, McFadden said.
The cafe also offers a variety of coffee drinks and teas, and a “Mexican hot chocolate.” Drink prices vary from $1 to $3.25, and food options range from an $8 soup, salad and drink combination to snacks starting at $1.50.
“The organic chia pudding is everyone’s favorite,” McFadden said. “It’s vegan but it’s still really good, and it’s served with a dollop of preserves.”
McFadden, who opened Karu & Toast with her three sisters, said the name comes from “karu,” the Guarani word meaning “to eat,” and the idea of toasting in celebration.
“So the name means to eat and celebrate,” McFadden said.
(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) A new Asian restaurant is moving into the ground floor of the new 1919 Clarendon Blvd apartment building.
The eatery is called Lucky Pot, and it will serve a variety of Asian dishes, including sushi, Chinese and Thai cuisine, according to Jeff Handler of Asadoorian Retail Solutions, which helped to lease the space. The restaurant is hoping to open by August.
Lucky Pot is one of several new businesses coming to the area of the “superblock” between N. Rhodes Street and Courthouse Road. It will join a 7-Eleven, a Hair Cuttery, a nail salon and a specialty olive oil shop on the block, although those businesses are moving into the 2001 Clarendon Blvd building, still under construction, next door.
A new wine bar and tapas restaurant is coming to Rosslyn.
Sip Wine Tasting & Tapas Restaurant plans to open in a currently vacant retail location at 1501 Wilson Blvd just after Labor Day. This will be the small Atlanta-based chain’s first D.C. area location, though it recently opened a location in Baltimore.
“Sip Wine Tasting & Tapas Restaurant will offer an extensive array of by-the-glass wine options, with more than 80 different wines that may be ordered by the sip, the half-glass, full glass and bottle, with seventy-two wine available through self-serve wine machines operated through a card system,” according to a spokeswoman. “The restaurant will include chef-inspired tapas-style menu items offered for lunch and dinner and a special brunch menu on Saturday and Sunday.”
On its website, Sip says it offers bottles to patrons at retail prices — as opposed to restaurant prices — with an added $14 corkage fee. It also offers one ounce sips of dozens of wines.
The full press release, from landlord Monday Properties, after the jump. (more…)