(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) Bonefish Grill will be opening a location in Arlington next year.
The new restaurant will be located in Pentagon Row, not far from Sur La Table on S. Joyce Street. It will fill a 5,350 square foot space where the Desi Innovations furniture store used to be.
Bonefish Grill is a national chain specializing in market-fresh fish and other wood-grilled specialties.
“Pentagon Row’s latest addition will be a dinner, cocktails and brunch destination for the neighborhood, and we’re proud Bonefish Grill chose Pentagon Row for their Arlington location,” said Robin McBride of Federal Realty Investment Trust.
The restaurant is expected to open sometime next summer.
Having launched Maple Ave in Vienna nearly five years ago, husband and wife team Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez are not new to the restaurant scene. Yet with the opening of Water & Wall (3811 N. Fairfax Drive) in Virginia Square almost two weeks ago, they found new challenges to contend with at their Arlington restaurant.
“When you get into a new kitchen, it’s completely new equipment, completely new staff, it’s a completely new space flow,” said Ma. “It’s a completely new restaurant. We want to take the time to make sure we get every step right.”
The restaurant has been preparing to open since July, held its family and friends soft opening event on November 1 and opened to the public the next day. Water & Wall has opened at 5:00 p.m. every day, but hopes to delve into weekend brunch and eventually into lunch. For the time being, Ma prefers the limited schedule in order to perfect the dinner operations, especially considering that most new restaurants have issues to work out.
“Everybody has glitches, we’re no different. The hardest thing was getting used to the new kitchen equipment,” Ma said. “We got here and we’ve got all this new equipment, everything’s high powered, high end. We burned a lot of things really early on just because we weren’t used to it. We had to adjust recipes that we’ve been doing for years just because this equipment is so much stronger. That was one of the most difficult things.”
Ma and the kitchen crew continue to experiment with the menu. They’ve brought over some staples from Maple Ave such as shrimp and grits, mussels and braised beef cheek. There are around 10 small plates, eight main plates and typically four specials per night. The menu should be whittled down to the permanent items within the next few months, but Ma expects it to change fairly frequently.
“We’re happy with the menu but we know how the kitchen gets,” he said. “The kitchen gets antsy. They don’t want to cook the same things over and over, so then we move on to the next thing.”
Although signature dishes like duck confit may sound decadent, the Water & Wall crew works hard to fend off the “fine dining” label.
“I want to stay away from the term fine dining, even though I think our look is a little fancier than I anticipated,” said Ma. “I never want it to really be called fine dining. Contemporary, casual dining I think is what we would call it.”
“I know it looks like it when you first walk in, but we’re definitely not fancy,” agreed General Manager Nick Seo. “We wanted to create an environment where anybody can walk in dressed in any sort of attire and have a really great experience. We don’t have a specific dress code, it’s not very fancy at all.”
Seo also manages the bar and is experimenting with signature drinks for the restaurant. He plans to debut two this weekend — his version of the Moscow Mule, and an olive oil/vodka/lemon cocktail. The bar area will run happy hour specials from 5:00-7:00 p.m., Monday through Thursday. Five drink items will be available for five dollars during that time. Eventually, happy hour may expand to food items as well.
In addition to the signature drinks and focus on food, Seo believes the ambiance will help Water & Wall stand out from its competitors.
“I think it’s different than a lot of the primary restaurants or bars in this area. It is kind of, I think, a fresh take on Arlington dining,” he said. “We’ve had more and more people who live in the residential areas across the street coming in. They walk in and are blown away.”
While Ma says he takes care of the kitchen operations, he says his wife “basically runs things” at the restaurant. One of the things Hernandez focuses on is getting people in the door. Currently, she worries people won’t know Water & Wall exists due to the lack of outdoor signage for the restaurant. But she was encouraged to hold off on ordering any because the whole building is apparently supposed to get a bit of a facelift with new signs.
“It’ll happen. People will find us,” Hernandez said. “It’s been a little crazy these past couple of weeks. But it’s exciting, too.”
Ma is confident the customer base will continue to grow once people notice the restaurant, try it and spread the word. He said Virginia Square is quieter than some of Arlington’s other restaurant hubs, but that’s how he likes it.
“Give us a shot. It’s one of those things where we’re in a quiet spot,” said Ma. “We’ll need people to come out here and taste what we’re doing. Sometimes it seems like a trek just going from one metro stop to the next. But we hope people make the trek and that we can impress them. All I ask is, if you like it, tell somebody.”
A new restaurant serving Asian cuisine will be opening in the former Fatshorty’s space in Clarendon.
‘Thaiger Asian Bistro’ applied for a permit at 3035 Clarendon Blvd this week. Fatshorty’s closed at that location a week and a half ago, citing disappointing sales.
So far, there’s no word on when the new restaurant will open. A woman answering a phone number associated with the restaurant told ARLnow.com that she was unwilling to divulge any details about the restaurant at this time.
Another Thai-centric but ostensibly pan-Asian restaurant, Burapa Thai and Sushi Bar, closed its doors last year. It was located a block away from the future Thaiger Asian Bistro. Bracket Room, a sports bar, has since opened in the former Burapa Thai space.
Free Clinic Still Needed Post-Obamacare — The Affordable Care Act may help reduce the number of people without health insurance, but it won’t alter the core mission of the Arlington Free Clinic. The clinic will continue to serve the thousands who are expected to remain without health insurance in Arlington even after the health care law is implemented. [Sun Gazette]
Water & Wall to Open Saturday — Water & Wall, a new restaurant in Virginia Square, is set to open on Saturday. The restaurant, from Tim Ma of Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna, will serve “eclectic American” cuisine. [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Lava Barre Moving to Rosslyn — Fitness studio Lava Barre is moving from Clarendon to Rosslyn starting early next year. [Facebook]
Flickr photo by Ddimick
The Texas-based bar/restaurant chain has started interior construction work that includes core drilling as they work to replace the old Memphis Barbecue restaurant at 320 23rd Street S. Bar Louie applied for a permit in the space this summer, but the company said at the time that it hadn’t made a final decision on a location.
Per an anonymous tipster, management at the Buchanan sent the following note to residents, notifying them of the construction activity.
Please be advised that the contractor working the old Memphis BBQ space has scheduled core drilling for tomorrow and Friday, October 24th and 25th, 2013. They intend to work during the day, starting around 8:00 a.m. each day.
Core drilling can be noisy; however, based on the restaurant being on the first floor, we do not anticipate that you will hear too much noise from this activity.
Thank you for your understanding as Bar Louie continues to construct their new restaurant at The Buchanan.
Representatives of Bar Louie could not be reached for comment on a potential opening date for the restaurant. Bar Louie’s website lists the Crystal City location as “coming soon” with a target date of “Winter 2014.”
Heavy Seas Alehouse, a brewpub affiliated with the popular Baltimore brewery, is expected to open in Rosslyn this December.
The alehouse is currently under construction at the corner of N. Oak Street and 18th Street N. and Director of Operations Vince Cassino said it will open in December “if all goes well.”
The restaurant is 6,000 square feet with capacity for 160 patrons inside, and will have outdoor seating for up to 40 customers, Cassino said. There will also be a private event room with space for 60 people.
The bar will have 15 taps rotating primarily with Heavy Seas beers, but Cassino said there could be beers from other local breweries on occasion. The alehouse will open daily for lunch at 11:00 a.m. and will be able to fill growlers for customers. A Sunday brunch may eventually be offered as well, Cassino said.
Capriotti’s, a fast-casual sandwich shop, will be moving into ground floor retail space along Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, according to Capriotti’s Washington Metro Area Developer George Vincent. Vincent wouldn’t reveal the precise location because the lease has not yet been signed.
Vincent expects to sign the lease in the coming weeks, and is concurrently applying for permits with Arlington County, he said. Once the lease is signed, building the interior of the restaurant will take about five weeks.
“We’ll probably be open right after the first of the year,” he said. “The idea is to open for the Super Bowl or the week before the Super Bowl.”
Vincent said he’s going to push for some outdoor seating during the process with the county. The Rosslyn location will be Capriotti’s second in the region; a shop will be open in a few weeks on M Street NW, Vincent said.
The chain has locations in 13 states, and specializes in large sandwiches and roasting turkey and roast beef in house overnight. Its most popular sandwich, Vincent said, is The Bobbie, with roast turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayonnaise.
“Part of what drew us to Rosslyn is you don’t have a ton of sandwich shops here,” Vincent said. “I think we’re going to be a spot where you can go in and pick something new every time and not be disappointed.”
Image via Facebook
A restaurant called Blue Sea Cajun Seafood and Bar has applied for permits for the space at 4251 Campbell Avenue. A search did not reveal any details about the restaurant online.
Blue Sea will be located in a 3,547 square foot space that once was home to Bear Rock Cafe. The cafe closed in 2010. In 2011, it looked like a vegan restaurant would be opening in the space, but those plans apparently fell through.
No word yet on when the restaurant is planning to open.
(Updated at 4:45 p.m.) A Little Caesar’s franchise is expected to open near the intersection of Lee Highway and N. George Mason Drive before the end of 2013.
The pizza shop, at 5175 Lee Highway, will be the only Little Caesar’s location in Arlington, according to Little Caesar’s spokesman Gray Reynolds. Little Caesar’s has one location in Alexandria and three in Fairfax County. The space was formerly occupied by Sana Jewelers.
There is already a Little Caesar’s banner on the roof of the storefront and a “Now Hiring” sign on the window. The owner of the Garden City Shopping Center — the strip mall in which the future Little Caesar’s is located — was approved for an interior alteration building permit Sept. 24.
Hat tip to Jim Sweetman
The 5,700-square-foot, “cabin-style” restaurant will feature more than 20 beers on drafts, 30 craft whiskeys and some southern Virginia white whiskey, more commonly known as moonshine.
Owned by Reese Gardner, who also owns Wilson Tavern in Courthouse, Copperwood Tavern seats 218 people and features a seasonal, small-plate menu sourced from local farms. The restaurant also has a 56-seat, dog-friendly patio.
The restaurant is open from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. weekdays, and 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. weekends.
Photo by Daniel Swartz
The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse will soon be getting a new neighbor.
Mazagan Restaurant, at 2901 Columbia Pike, recently put up posters on the windows of its storefront, advertising a restaurant with “Cuisine. Cocktails. Culture.”
Chef/owner Riyad Bouizar signed the lease for the space last month and said construction will begin next week, with an estimated opening in late December or early January. Mazagan will be a Moroccan restaurant, Bouizar said, with three different sections: a “big bar” with seating for about 50, a dining room with seating for about 60 and a lounge area in the back for cocktails and appetizers.
Bouizar, who was born in Morocco, where he went to culinary school, also owns Ristorante Murali and Brasserie Creperie at Pentagon Row. He said Mazagan’s future location on Columbia Pike inspired him to re-enter the kitchen and open a restaurant that builds on his culinary passion.
“It’s an upcoming area, I like it because of the international people there, and they’re from everywhere,” Bouizar said. “That’s where the concept came there, to do something a little different, bring something new. I’ve always wanted to open a Moroccan restaurant, and there are not too many around here.”
Mazagan said he envisions a “half-open kitchen” concept with a wood-fired grill in the middle of the dining room. The fare will stray a little from traditional Moroccan cuisine; Bouizar wants the theme to be a “kebab bar,” offering more than 20 different styles of kebabs from the grill.
Bouizar plans to start dinner slightly early, at about 5:00 p.m., and continue serving it later, to accommodate the movie-going crowd at the Drafthouse.
The eatery opened its doors at 6:00 a.m. Housed in the former Tivoli space, Panera Bread has an order counter facing the interior of the Metro mall and a sunny seating area that wraps around the restaurant.
Panera will be open from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
This is the second Panera location to open in Arlington this year; another opened in the Pentagon City mall food court in May.
The restaurant will be the second Arlington location of Tandoor, owned by noted Indian chef Jack Katyal. Compared to original location at 237 N. Glebe Road, the food court location will be more “fast food” style, Katyal said, and the dishes will all be $10 and under.
“We will probably have the best food available in any food court at this moment,” Katyal said.
Katyal once owned eight different Tandoor restaurants, but health complications forced him to sell all but his location on Glebe Road in Ashton Heights. Now, feeling better, he said if the Ballston Mall Tandoor location is a success, he anticipates once again expanding to more locations.
Katyal has appeared on Oprah Winfrey’s old talk show and cooked for Chelsea Clinton, claiming to be the one to introduce Americans to Tandoori cooking. A Tandoor is a clay oven that can produce more than 250 different kinds of traditional Indian recipes, Katyal said.
Tandoor passed inspection today and Katyal expects the health inspectors to approve the restaurant early next week, setting up for an opening in the first week of October.
The rustic restaurant and its outdoor patio will seat 218 people. The bar will serve 20 draft beers, up to 20 wines by the glass and about 20 American whiskeys. The food menu includes $15-25 lunch entrees, $29-35 dinner entrees and a weekend brunch.
First announced in April, Copperwood Tavern is located at 4021 Campbell Avenue, in the former Bistro Bistro space. It’s owned by the company behind Wilson Tavern in Courthouse and The Mighty Pint and Irish Whiskey in D.C.
More about Copperwood Tavern, from a press release about the opening:
Designed by local artist Maggie O’Neill of O’Neill Studios to feel like your entering the wilderness in southern Virginia, Copperwood Tavern will feature seasonal farm to table menu options, 20 draft beer favorites, craft bar program and inviting atmosphere including front porch dining for you and your pet. Copperwood Tavern is scheduled to open on September 30, 2013.
This rustic tavern, which will seat 218 people, will feature prime cuts of local game, farm-raised poultry, beef and fresh fish accompanied with hearty, shared sides.
Copperwood Tavern will offer 20 draft beers, 30 small-batch whiskeys and a superb wine selection, its 30‐foot craft bar is also stocked with southern Virginia’s white whiskey, also known as moonshine.
Copperwood Tavern interior will be a dramatically warm and unique tribute to the best place in everyone’s life: The home away from home. Hunting and fishing accents will be seen throughout the décor, complete with all the charm and texture that comes with places that make you long to hang out longer.
With a “woodsy retreat” atmosphere, Copperwood wouldn’t be complete without the option to bring your loyal hunting companion — patrons will be encouraged to bring their pets along. Copperwood Tavern will feature a 56-person, dog-friendly porch with copper dog bowls and house-baked dog treats.
The restaurant is currently hiring servers, according to a Facebook post.
Photo via Facebook
Food and retail options at Reagan National Airport will soon take on a new look. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has launched a wide ranging food and retail development program for DCA and Dulles International Airport.
MWAA plans to redevelop about 95 percent of DCA’s concessions over a 30 month period. The revamp will occur in five phases, with construction on the first kicking off in the next few weeks. Customers can expect to see changes both before and after passing through security checkpoints.
“This allows us to take advantage of broader trends and designs in the industry to provide enhanced offerings for our passengers,” said MWAA spokesman Chris Paolino. “This is something that’s been in the works for quite some time.”
During the planning process, Paolino said MWAA researched airports around to the world to determine the best practices in the concessions industry, noting what works well at an airport and what does not. It also took into consideration feedback about what existing concessions customers like and what they would like to see added in the future.
As mentioned yesterday, well-known restaurants and stores such as Ben’s Chili Bowl, Legal Sea Foods, Pinkberry and Spanx will be added. Those phase one additions will be joined by others such as Brighton Collectibles, Lacoste and Vineyard Vines. Some existing restaurants and stores, such as Five Guys and Brooks Brothers, will remodel and/or expand. The 34 phase one offerings at DCA are expected to open sometime in the spring of 2014.
The redevelopment plan released today estimates each restaurant will be under construction for about four months and stores will take a little more than two months. MWAA will do its best to stagger construction so not all of the food and retail will be under construction at the same time.
“We want to maintain as many dining and shopping opportunities as possible for passengers while this is being done,” Paolino said. “We’ll try to limit the inconvenience as much as possible.”
MWAA plans to put out regular updates about which concessions are under construction and which will open soon. Customers can get updates on the Reagan Food and Shops website or via the DCA Twitter feed.