The restaurant, at 1515 Wilson Blvd, will open on Thursday, June 27, according to PR rep Danielle Tergis. It will offer “a menu featuring customizable, made-to-order rice and noodle bowls rooted in authentic and traditional Thai flavors that are served in a modern way.”
“We have been working on this concept for more than two years,” co-owner Aulie Bunyarataphan told ARLnow.com in February. “It’s the first Thai restaurant around in this format.”
From a press release:
Guests will choose from 4 bases, 4 grilled proteins, 5 sauces, and 10 toppings designed to be mixed and matched to create countless menu combinations. Highlights of the menu include their signature Tom Yum chili paste as well as other house made marinades and sauces including their exclusive green Sriracha sauce. The open design of the kitchen will allow guests to see their meal being cooked in a traditional stir-fry wok or on a plancha (flat top grill), which cooks proteins faster and more evenly than an open flame grill creating a perfectly moist meal. A specially curated beverage menu includes roasted coconut juice typically found exclusively in Asian markets, toasted rice-flavored green tea, as well as Thai tea in bottles, Thai beers as well as fountain drinks. Prices for the bowls range from $6.75 – $7.95.
“Bases” include white and brown jasmine rice, pad thai rice noodles and Asian mixed salad. “Proteins” include grilled beef, chicken, shrimp and organic tofu.
The restaurant will be open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Bunyarataphan owns Tom Yum District with her husband, Mel Oursinsiri. The couple also owns two established local restaurants: Bangkok Joe’s in Georgetown and T.H.A.I in Shirlington.
A new hookah lounge and restaurant is coming to Lee Highway, perhaps as soon as this summer.
Cloud Lounge is planning to open at 2525 Lee Highway, in the basement of Burger 7 restaurant. A sign is up in the adjacent parking lot and its owner, who owns both Burger 7 and Cloud Lounge, told us in a brief phone call that he’s hoping to open this summer.
A construction permit for the lounge, first issued in February 2011, indicates that it will seat 53 people. We’re told the restaurant will serve Middle Eastern cuisine, as well as Illy coffee, chocolates and other desserts.
The lounge will also offer cigars, thanks to a walk-in humidor, and hookahs. Alcoholic beverages will not be offered, we’re told.
The interior of Cloud Lounge, meanwhile, will have a unique look, according to the restaurant’s website.
“The distressed aged space is dressed and accessorized with semi modern Baroque designed furniture,” the site says. “When such style of furniture is mixed with modern & vibrant color upholstery, the results are one of a kind.”
Photo via cloudlounge.co
A new pizza chain has opened in Pentagon City.
Extreme Pizza opened at 1419 S. Fern Street, across from Costco, on Sunday. The restaurant offers various types of signature pizzas, with names like “Green With Envy,” “Poultry Geist,” “The Spice Route” and “Wingin’ It.” Customers can also customize their own pizza, or order off a menu that includes calzones, sub sandwiches, salads, sides and desserts.
A gluten-free pizza option is available for those who request it.
The Pentagon City Extreme Pizza has indoor dine-in seating, and also offers delivery and takeout. Its phone number is 703-271-1020.
This is the first Extreme Pizza location inside the Beltway and the fourth in Virginia. The existing Virginia locations are in Vienna, Henrico and Richmond.
Pier 1 Imports and Spanish sandwich chain 100 Montaditos will be moving into the ground floor retail bays at 1776 Wilson Blvd, a new office building that opened last year. Pier 1 will take the retail space at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Quinn Street, while 100 Montaditos will be on the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Quinn Street.
Pier 1 Imports sells home furnishings, decor and furniture. The chain has more than 1,000 stores, including a location at Potomac Yard. The Rosslyn location will be more than 11,000 square feet.
100 Montaditos is a Spanish sandwich chain that is planning to open its first U.S. location outside of Florida in Bethesda this summer. The restaurant uses Mediterranean ingredients like Serrano ham, Spanish tortilla, chorizo sausage and Manchego cheese, and offers 100 varieties of fillings. It also sells Spanish wine, beer and sangria.
100 Montaditos will occupy nearly 3,000 square feet, and will have space for 140 diners inside and 50 on an outdoor patio.
Both Pier 1 Imports and 100 Montaditos plan to open this fall, Washington Business Journal reported.
Skanska USA, the building’s owner, just issued the following press release about the new retail tenants.
Skanska USA Commercial Development Inc. announced today that it has secured two more leases at its project 1776 Wilson Boulevard with 100 Montaditos and Pier 1 Imports.
100 Montaditos, a Spanish franchise restaurant known for serving 100 different tapa-sized rolls, a typical element of the Spanish culture and gastronomy, will occupy 2,940 square feet of ground floor corner retail space at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and North Quinn Street. The restaurant will be able to serve approximately 140 customers inside and an additional 50 diners on the patio.
Pier 1 Imports, the original global importer of imported decorative home furnishings and gifts, will lease approximately 11,083 square feet of ground floor space on the Clarendon Boulevard side of the building.
“We are excited to be welcoming two very popular and rapidly expanding retail establishments to our building,” said Rob Ward, executive vice president of Skanska USA Commercial Development. “The opening of Pier 1 Imports and 100 Montaditos will undoubtedly bring a renewed energy and refreshing vibrancy to Rosslyn.”
Skanska acquired the site in May 2010, and self-financed 100 percent of the development costs for the five-story, Class A project, which recently celebrated its completion in November 2012. The building features 134,750 square feet of highly sustainable office and retail space.
Current office tenants in the building include CRDF Global, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, Evermay Wealth Management and Skanska USA. Currently, there are 11,750 square feet of retail and 27,660 square feet of office space available.
Gourmet Deli Coming to Ballston — Taylor Gourmet, a Philadelphia-inspired hoagie shop, will be opening its first Arlington location. The self-proclaimed “gourmet deli” will be the first business to move in at the Liberty Center South development (4000 Wilson Blvd). Taylor Gourmet has eight other locations in the metro area. [Washington Business Journal]
Fisette Takes Water Bottle Crusade to Civic Association — County Board member Jay Fisette continued his personal crusade to discourage water bottle use during a presentation at the Arlington County Civic Federation meeting. His new goal is to get 10,000 people, or about five percent of the county’s population, to join him in backing the cause. So far, only about 250 people have signed the online pledge to use tap water instead of bottled water. [Sun Gazette]
Arlingtonian Wins Caption Contest — An Arlington resident won this week’s popular The New Yorker Cartoon Caption contest. The magazine staff narrows down the contest entries and readers vote for their favorite. David Karlsruher won the honor of having his witty line seen by readers around the world. [The New Yorker]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Although the announcement of the shop’s arrival in the old “News and Necessities” space at 1735 N. Lynn Street came in April of last year and it hoped to open last summer, Fro.Zen.Yo will now open on Wednesday, June 12.
Co-owner Gary Bobcek became involved with this franchise location about six months ago and said although things haven’t always gone as expected, he is excited to finally be able to serve the public.
“It posed a few challenges but thanks to the great team we have we were able to work around those to get our store open,” he said.
Bobcek, who lives in Alexandria, said he used to work in Georgetown and has spent a lot of time in Rosslyn.
“It’s a great environment to have a business. I had the opportunity to have a business here and it’s something I took advantage of,” he said. “We’re very pleased to be here in the area and to be able to offer a great product. We look forward to becoming a part of the community.”
We’re told Bobcek just informed members of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District of the opening date, and the BID is “very excited” about the self-serve frozen yogurt shop’s arrival.
The Rosslyn Fro.Zen.Yo will be offering customers free samples during its grand opening on Wednesday.
Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The eatery opened this morning and attracted a long line during today’s lunchtime rush. Like Panera’s sit-down stores, the food court location offers artisan breads, salads, soups, sandwiches, pastas, bagels, smoothies, coffee, tea, espresso drinks and baked goods.
Panera is open from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays. For local office workers and residents, the restaurant accepts phone-in orders at 703-412-5080 or fax orders at 703-412-5082.
This is the second Panera Bread location in Arlington. An existing Panera is located at Ballston Common Mall (4238 Wilson Boulevard).
Had tip to Peter Brooks
The owners of Cantina Mexicana have opened a new location just off of Columbia Pike.
The new restaurant, at 922 Walter Reed Drive, took over the space previously occupied by Senor Pan. It joins the existing location at 515 23rd Street S. in Crystal City, which has been in business since 1974.
Last year, owner Gloria Arias told ARLnow.com that she had hoped to open the new restaurant in November. It just celebrated its grand opening this past Friday, however.
The restaurant will serve the same “fine Tex-Mex cuisine” as the Crystal City location. In addition to bottled beer, wine and cocktails, the restaurant offers Dos Equis, Pacifico, Modelo Especial and Negra Modelo on tap.
The new Hot Hot Bakery food cart is spending its first day on the streets of Arlington today, featuring freshly baked croissants and other French inspired fare.
Chris Deutsch and his wife Amy Fuller spent a year baking and training in Paris in preparation for opening a food business in Arlington. Deutsch, who is part French, grew up eating the type of pastries featured in his food cart.
“I used to work for the State Department but it wasn’t for me. I wanted to follow my passion and get into the food industry,” he said. “My mother is French so I’ve always loved this kind of baked goods, baguettes, croissants. I just felt that there was a need in this area for that kind of baking.”
“I signed on for that knowing that Enzo (Algarme) and Anastasiya (Laufenberg) would kind of allow me to run my own business at some point with their help, and here we are,” said Deutsch.
Algarme and Laufenberg even allowed Deutsch to use the old cart that helped them get their start in 2007, eventually leading to the opening of a brick and mortar location in 2010.
“This is their old cart that they used. It takes a lot of work to run the restaurant so they couldn’t really use the cart and they offered it up to me,” said Deutsch.
Hot Hot Bakery operates out of a cart and not a truck, so it can stay in one location for most of the day without being required to move. Deutsch plans to spend most of his time serving customers in the Ballston area because it’s so close to Pupatella, where he bakes his pastries in the wee hours of the morning.
Customers can enjoy sandwiches on house made breads baked with organic flours. Eventually there will be lunch specials and perhaps a few different donuts added to the menu. For now, Deutsch says he’s sticking to the basics, such as the croissants he has spent so much time training to make.
“It’s not rocket science but it’s tricky dough. I really wanted to bring the kind of croissants I grew up eating in Paris here. No offense to any bakers or bakeries in this area, but it’s hard to find this kind of baked goods,” said Deutsch. “What I do with the process of making these baked goods is that I let the dough take its time. When it’s ready to move on to the next step, that’s when I’ll go ahead. A lot of bakers will pump stuff full of yeast and put it in a hot chamber to make the process go really fast. But to get nice bread and nice croissants, you have to let it just hang out, basically.”
As far as the name Hot Hot Bakery, that also stems from Deutsch’s time in France.
“My grandmother lived in the south of France along the beaches. Along the beach is a guy who sells hot peanuts. He would go around screaming ‘Hot, hot peanuts!’” Deutsch said. “I was telling my twin brother and sister-in-law that I swear it’s the same guy doing it for the past 25 years. That’s how it came up and it kind of stuck.”
In order to cater to both the lunch and the breakfast crowds, the cart will be open from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., earlier than many of the other mobile food options. Customers can follow Hot Hot Bakery on Twitter to find out the cart locations on Tuesdays through Fridays.
Memorial Day Closures — Arlington County courts, offices, libraries, and schools will be closed for the Memorial Day holiday on Monday. Arlington’s three indoor public pools will be open on a holiday schedule on Monday. [Arlington County]
State Police Increasing Patrols — Virginia State Police say they’re increasing patrols statewide this weekend. “The additional patrols statewide are part of the annual Operation C.A.R.E., (Combined Accident Reduction Effort) to reduce crashes, fatalities and injuries associated with speed, failure to wear seatbelts and impaired driving. The state-sponsored, national program encourages law enforcement,” VSP said in a press release.
Bonchon Chicken to Offer Growlers – Korean chicken restaurant Bonchon is hoping to open its new Arlington location at 2201 N. Pershing Drive in mid-July. In addition to chicken, the eatery will have “a dozen beers on tap, including craft options, and growler service to cater to the restaurant’s carryout clients.” [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington’s Marv Albert Anniversary — On May 27, 1997, Arlington was in the news as sports broadcaster Marv Albert was arrested and booked by Arlington County Police, accused of sexually assaulting a woman at the Pentagon City Ritz Carlton hotel. [About.com, New York Times]
The restaurant began serving food over the weekend for both its soft opening and grand opening. Owner Homayon Karimy is originally from Afghanistan and has lived in Pakistan, but Arlington is where is heart is.
“This is home, Arlington is home,” he said. “We’re very happy to be here. Every foreigner says America is the land of opportunity and we want to have that opportunity.”
Prior to opening his own restaurant, Karimy worked at the Lebanese Taverna Market (4400 Old Dominion Drive). His years of experience there helped prepare him for his new venture. Plus, he grew particularly fond of the Cherrydale area.
“I’ve worked in this area only a quarter mile away so I know everyone here. I know people at the Cherrydale Hardware store, I know people at the bank, at the Safeway. I know a lot of people here and Arlington is very close to me,” Harimy said. “Cherrydale in particular because I notice that there is a very neighborhood type of feel. People care about each other, it’s a great community.”
Kite Runner Cafe mainly focuses on Afghan food but also has some Lebanese and Indian dishes. The menu is still being tweaked while employees figure out which dishes will and will not work well in the given kitchen space, which Karimy originally anticipated would be larger.
“The first month is always crazy. In the beginning when you open, there’s a lot of stuff that can go wrong. The other day our A.C. unit started leaking, the day of the grand opening, so I’m like, great. Today the soda machine stopped working,” he said. “Everyday there’s something new, but these are the challenges that come with a business. But we’re very positive.”
Another challenge is that immediately upon opening the doors, Kite Runner Cafe was packed. That, Karimy says, is a welcome problem.
Karimy notes that the restaurant is a family based business. A number of his family members help out there including his parents, sister and cousin.
“It’s a family effort, it’s a family business that we all want to share with the rest. We come from a different country with a different culture but we want to bring that to the people,” he said. “Afghanistan has great food. We don’t just want to hold onto that, we want to share it.”
Eventually, plans for Kite Runner Cafe include delivery service and catering. Until then, employees will focus on providing delicious food and friendly service.
“Come and give us a try. We’re very open to feedback,” said Karimy. “We’re here to serve, we’re here to delight people.”
Tonight the restaurant will team up with its neighbors in the 3800 Lofts building, Subway and House of Steep, for a mixer event from 7:00-8:00 p.m. There will be food samples paired with House of Steep’s tea and snacks from Subway.
The new Sweet Leaf Cafe in Courthouse quietly opened its doors this past weekend and handed out free food to customers who stopped in. Now, the restaurant is officially open for business.
Sweet Leaf Cafe moved in at 2200 Wilson Blvd, formerly occupied by Hikaru Sushi. It is the third location, with others in McLean and Vienna. Owner Arita Matini said she’s been wanting to expand into Arlington for a while.
“I love the young environment here, it’s so refreshing,” she said.
Matini believes the cafe stands out because it doesn’t specialize in just one food item. Customers can pick up a little bit of everything, including sandwiches, smoothies, coffee or all day breakfast items. There is also a kids menu and a variety of freshly baked treats.
“We try to do a little bit of everything but also try to keep it simple. We care about providing really good quality food and being part of the community,” said Matini. “Customer service is really big for me. I want to be sure that everyone who comes in is really happy when they leave.”
Matini grew up in Northern Virginia and was an interior design major at Marymount University. She was inspired to get into the restaurant business during her commute to and from Marymount because she felt there were too many chain restaurants in the area. She sought help from her mom, who owns Sweet Stuff in McLean. Matini says all the members of her family now play some role at Sweet Leaf Cafe.
“It wasn’t really something that we thought we were going to do, it was one of those things that kind of just happened. We all loved it and it was successful and we wanted to open another one,” said Matini. “My parents definitely helped me out. Without them, this probably wouldn’t have happened.”
From the couches in the lounge area to the doorknobs functioning as coat hooks to the pieces of an old chicken coop serving as a holder for bags of chips, Matini’s interior design education shows through. She travels around the area searching for unique antiques to adorn the restaurant. She describes the vibe as “farm fresh, country, like your mother’s home.” The free sunflower seeds placed on the table for customers to munch on also add to the country feel.
If things go well with the new location, Matini would like to expand into other areas of Arlington, such as Rosslyn. She hopes to have a grand opening celebration in a few weeks. Until then, the staff will continue serving the curious customers who have been steadily coming in.
“It’s been a good welcome to the neighborhood,” said Matini. “Everybody’s been really nice and welcoming.”
Which Wich, a new sandwich shop at 4300 Wilson Blvd in Ballston, is planning to open its doors on Tuesday.
The store is the chain’s first in the D.C. area, and the
third fourth in Virginia. Which Wich touts its selection, with over 50 sandwich varieties and more than 60 toppings — offering some 56 trillion possible combinations. There’s also a Coke Freestyle machine at the store, with more than 100 drink and flavor combinations.
“The eatery offers a wide variety of options, from flavorful BLTs to offbeat offerings like the honey-banana-peanut butter-bacon-laden Elvis Wich,” said a press release. “Those seeking a healthy spin can choose from over 30 Wiches and Bowlwiches that contain fewer than 400 calories and 6 grams of fat.”
The store officially opens on Tuesday, May 21, according to the press release. It held a “special VIP Preview Party” on Wednesday night.
Which Wich will be open Monday through Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and Saturday through Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Photos courtesy Joy Asico/Which Wich (as noted)
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.
New Bikeshare Stations in Shirlington – Two new Capital Bikeshare stations have been installed in the Shirlington area. The stations are located at Four Mile Run Drive and S. Shirlington Road, and at S. Arlington Mill Drive and Four Mile Run Drive. [Facebook]
Notable Trees Recognized – The Arlington County Board recognized 19 “notable trees” around the county on Tuesday. The honor is “an initiative of the Arlington Beautification Committee that recognizes residents who maintain and preserve outstanding trees.” There are now 265 trees registered in Arlington as part of the Notable Tree program, which began in 1987. “I am proud to live in a community that places such value on its trees,” said County Board Chair Walter Tejada. [Arlington County]
Lee Arts Center Lauded – The Lee Arts Center, at 5722 Lee Highway, is “one of Arlington County’s best kept secrets,” according to local arts writer James George. The county-run facility hosts a gallery and studios for ceramics and printmaking. [Examiner.com]
Fatshorty’s Now Open for Lunch – Fatshorty’s, the new beer and sausage restaurant in Clarendon, is now open for lunch, according to owner Aaron Gordon. The restaurant will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Sunday through Monday, and 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Flickr pool photo by m01229