Workers erected a sign at the new Ben’s Chili Bowl in Rosslyn this morning.
The sign, advertising the landmark D.C. eatery’s half-smokes, burgers, hot dogs and milkshakes, is now up at 1725 Wilson Blvd, which was formerly the home of Ray’s Hell Burger. (Ray’s moved to a new location across the street.)
Ben’s owner Nizam Ali was originally hoping to open the location — the first in Virginia — as early as New Year’s Day. Due to construction delays the opening is now expected to take place in about two weeks.
We’re told a grand opening celebration is planned for 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 6.
Photo courtesy @hilary1121
Heavy Seas says it will open to the public on Thursday, February 27. It’s the Baltimore brewery’s second restaurant location.
A press release from the company notes that it plans to make food, not just beer, a major draw.
For Heavy Seas’ menu, Chef Seeber highlights fresh seafood sourced locally whenever possible. Starters include local oysters, soft pretzels with crab, grilled sausage sliders and Tasso ham hushpuppies. Choose from small plates like chicory salad with a soft poached egg or Prince Edward Island mussels in a broth of Heavy Seas Gold Ale seasoned with fennel, roasted garlic butter, tomato and, in true Baltimore fashion, Old Bay. Larger dishes have their place here as well with options like savory braised rabbit fettuccine and pan roasted sea scallops. Seeber’s bill of fare pushes expectations of Alehouse food overboard. Plated beautifully with bold flavors to accompany their selection of beers, the menu is as purposeful and satisfying as the beer.
Beer aficionados won’t be disappointed with the array of beers able to be paired with any dish. Heavy Seas offers a selection of six year round drafts on tap including their flagship brew, Loose Cannon, a triple-hopped IPA with notes of grapefruit, herbs and pine, as well as the Small Craft Pilsner, Peg Leg Imperial Stout, Gold Ale, Powder Monkey Pale Ale and Cutlass Amber Lager. The bar will have rotating seasonal drafts like the Winter Storm and Riptide White IPA. As advocates for the microbrewing industry, the Alehouse is proud to feature a selection of craft beers local to the DMV alongside Heavy Seas taps. Now food and beer enthusiasts alike can plunder the stores of Baltimore’s best craft brewery just outside of DC.
The restaurant will offer lunch and dinner Monday through Sunday; 11am daily – close.
Interior construction on the restaurant, at the Liberty Center South development (4000 Wilson Blvd), is scheduled to start this month, we’re told.
Construction is expected to take about three months, shortly after which the restaurant will open.
Photo via Facebook
APS Boosts Bus Service to TJ, Kenmore — In response to criticism from parents, Arlington Public Schools has extended bus service to more than 200 additional Thomas Jefferson Middle School students. It has also added bus service for another 28 Kenmore Middle School students. [Sun Gazette]
TV Station Goes on Pothole Patrol in Arlington — WUSA9 has gone on “pothole patrol” in Arlington and found “a plethora of pits along North Harrison Street.” One of the station’s attempts to report the potholes online apparently didn’t work and the county acknowledged there were “a few bugs in the system.” We’ve previously reported on pothole problems on Columbia Pike and elsewhere in the county. [WUSA9]
Annual 9/11 5K Race Registration Open — Registration is now open for the 13th annual Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K. The race will take place this year on Sept. 6. [9/11 Memorial 5K]
District Taco to Open in Dupont Circle — Arlington’s own homegrown restaurant chain District Taco will be opening a location at 1919 M Street NW in Dupont Circle. The location is District Taco’s fourth brick-and-mortar restaurant. A fifth location, in Vienna, could be coming later this year. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Yayla Bistro, at 2201 N. Westmoreland Street, applied for a liquor license with the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board on Jan. 15, requesting the ability to sell wine and beer on and off premises.
According to an employee at La Côte D’Or Cafe next door, the restaurant will be located in their former private dining room, which was sold recently “to a group that wants to open a Turkish restaurant.”
The owner of Yayla Bistro, listed as Gozukaya Entertainment LLC, did not return messages seeking comment.
Building permit applications show that a business tentatively called “Al-Huda Hookah & Smoothie Bar” is seeking permission to construct a new interior, with a section for hookah smokers and another for smoothie drinkers. The business will replace the former White Birch Traditional Martial Arts kung fu, tai chi and kettlebell gym, located in the back of the small brick-construction strip mall on the 2500 block of Columbia Pike.
Photo via Google Maps
Heavy Seas Alehouse, which has been under construction at 1501 Wilson Blvd for months, is targeting next month for its opening.
“We are aiming for somewhere around the week of Feb. 17,” The Alehouse said last week. “No official date yet, though.”
The alehouse, affiliated with the Baltimore brewery of the same name, was originally targeting a December opening date. In recent months, it has been hiring staff and, last Friday, announced its Chef de Cuisine would be Marc Kennedy, former executive chef at McCormick & Schmick’s in Crystal City.
The 6,000-square-foot alehouse will be at the corner of N. Oak Street at 18th Street in Rosslyn. The bar will have 15 taps rotating primarily with Heavy Seas beers. It will open daily for lunch at 11:00 a.m. and will be able to fill growlers for customers.
A new Indian restaurant recently opened in Crystal City.
Entree prices at Taj of India generally range from $10-20. It also has a $12-13 lunch special.
Taj of India is located next to Bistro 7107, a Filipino restaurant that quietly opened in the former El Pollito space this past summer. Named after the 7,107 islands of the Philippine archipelago, Bistro 7107 is one of the few sit-down restaurants serving primarily Filipino cuisine in the D.C. area.
In November, we reported that permits were filed for a “Thaiger Asian Bistro” in the space at 3035 Clarendon Blvd. Now it appears that those plans have changed and “Four Sisters Grill” will be opening instead.
Lai has been executive chef at Four Sisters, now located in Merrifield, for more nearly 15 years. Arlington Magazine called Four Sisters, which is owned by Lai’s parents, “arguably the most sought-out Vietnamese eatery in the D.C. area” in a profile last year.
Lai tells ARLnow.com that Four Sisters Grill will be a fast casual version of the original Four Sisters restaurant. It will serve about 20 menu items, compared to the nearly 200 items at the Merrifield restaurant.
“It’s been my vision for a couple years now,” he said. “I think this area really likes that. This area’s very quick paced — they want to eat, they want to go.”
Menu items will include “hearty, quick and simple” Vietnamese food like banh mi sandwiches, vermicelli noodles and rice-based dishes like lemongrass chicken. The dishes will be large and will come with lots of vegetables, Lai said. The menu will be budget priced, with entrees ranging from $5 to $12, or about $7-8 on average, he said.
“It should be simple, not crazy over the top,” he said. “At the end of the day you don’t want to pay $15-20 an item just for a chicken dish.”
Lai is hoping to open the restaurant, complete with a brand new interior, by the end of February. A building permit was applied for late last month.
Blue Sea will specialize in “spicy Cajun seafood,” according to its website, offering such dishes as crawfish tails, fried frog legs (called “swamp wings” and tossed in a Creole BBQ sauce), catfish nuggets (served with “chef’s redneck sauce”), lobster mac and cheese, seafood gumbo and “breaded Florida alligator tail.” For the health conscious, there’s also a soup and salad menu.
Blue Sea’s general manager tells ARLnow.com that the restaurant is still hiring and is hoping to open in time for Valentine’s Day.
Ben’s Chili Bowl, the District-based late-night institution, is hoping to open its new location in Rosslyn next month.
News broke that the restaurant would be coming to Arlington in early September, and co-owner Nizam Ali told ARLnow.com he was hoping for a New Year’s Day opening, but acknowledged that was a bit too optimistic.
“The build-out is going well but the holidays got us a bit,” Ali said in an email last week. “Realistically we are about a month out, so early February is the plan right now.”
Ben’s Chili Bowl will be located at 1725 Wilson Blvd, in the old Ray’s Hell Burger storefront in Colonial Village Shopping Center. Ali has said the Rosslyn location will be designed to have the same feel as their U Street restaurant and plans to also be open for late night.
Judging by the deluge of views and comments on our article about the Italian Store planning to open a second location, in Westover, most residents are excited about the opening.
But not everybody thinks the Italian Store will be an all-over positive development for the neighborhood.
Here’s a letter to the editor from former Westover resident Kyle Herchert:
I live in Rosslyn now, but from 2005 to 2012, I lived in the same house in Westover. (Tara Leeway Heights if you want to be a stickler).
I still remember the day I discovered the Forrest Inn. It was like a scientist who haphazardly stumbles upon a whole new species. I couldn’t believe there was a place like that in Arlington! It was amazing to me. I loved the fact that there was still a place that had remained unscathed amid the rapid growth we’ve all experienced living in Arlington over the last decade.
In many ways, all of Westover is like the Forrest. The entire strip had managed to retain its sleepy town feel even amid the hustle and bustle of the biggest little county in America. I’ve always enjoyed that feeling. It’s the feeling you get walking out of Pete’s Barber Shop, where I still get my hair cut, to stroll down to the Beer Garden just to check out the vibe. Westover just felt like home.
On the surface, the introduction of the Italian Store seems like a natural fit to the area – and in almost every way it is. It’s a mom and pop shop opening in the quintessential mom and pop town. However, the undeniable popularity of the Italian Store will undoubtedly attract huge numbers to the area. Once that happens I think it’s just a short time before investors realize that they can have success in the Westover area as well. How long will it be before the Forrest becomes a Boston Market or even worse, and Palm Beach Tan.
Maybe I’m being paranoid, I guess only time will tell.
– Kyle Herchert
A new weekend feature in 2014, ARLnow.com is now publishing letters to the editor. To submit a letter to the editor, please email it to email@example.com.
Servers: Do you have 2 years of experience in a high-volume restaurant? Are you team-orientated and guest-focused? Craft beer knowledge is preferred, but not necessary.
Hosts: Are you friendly and outgoing with a great smile? Experience with Open Table is a bonus.
Bussers: Do you have high energy, a great attitude, and like to have fun at work?
If so, stop by for an interview — Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
This job post is sponsored by Heavy Seas Alehouse.
The new Bar Louie in Crystal City should bring a lot of holiday cheer, considering it’s expected to open the day after Christmas.
Bar Louie will fill a 5,480 square foot space at 320 23rd Street S. formerly occupied by Memphis Barbecue. This will be the sixth Metro D.C. location for the Texas based chain. Bar Louie is known for signature martinis, but also features small plates, flatbreads, salads, burgers and sandwiches.
To celebrate its grand opening next Thursday (December 26), the bar and restaurant will host a three day celebration next week. From Friday, December 27 through Sunday, December 29, customers can enjoy drink specials and free food. Each customer will receive one free appetizer or flatbread just for stopping by. There are reportedly other surprises planned for the bash that have not been announced yet.
“There’s a lot happening during our opening events that guests are going to be blown away by,” said Bar Louie General Manager Tom Jones in a written statement. “The best part of opening after the holidays is we get to throw an amazing grand opening and roll right into our New Year’s Eve party, which is going to be insane.”
Bar Louie will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and offers the entire menu until last call. It will host happy hour drink specials as well as half priced flatbreads and appetizers from 4:00-7:00 p.m. every Monday through Friday.
Coming on the heels of the sudden closure of Leek American Bistro last month, a new restaurant is now moving into the space. “Republic at Arlington” should open in Ballston early next year, its managers say.
Executive Chef and operating partner Alan Newton describes the concept as “modern comfort food with some international flair.” He said customers can expect high quality, made from scratch food in a casual setting.
“We want to be known as a great place for drinks and great food. There’s a lot of French influence in the food as well,” Newton said. “You can wear a suit or wear shorts, you’ll feel comfortable either way.”
Republic at Arlington is expected to serve dinner dishes priced at $20 and less, as well as lunch dishes for $10-15. The bar will feature a selection of craft beers and specialty mixed drinks. The owners have a unique idea for how to compile the drink menu — let the patrons decide.
“Since the restaurant is called Republic, we want people voting and picking out what they like,” Newton said. “We’ll either incorporate an online voting system or something when you stop in the restaurant.”
Along with Newton, the management team includes owner Thanh Caodac and general manager Anthony Catselites. All three have management experience at McCormick & Schmick’s. Newton also helped to open Sweetwater Tavern in Centreville.
Newton is trying to make sure customers don’t draw parallels between the new restaurant and Leek. So far, the only connection appears to be the location at 801 N. Quincy Street.
“It’s going to have a totally different feel from Leek,” he said. “We’re hoping that no one will recognize the place when they walk in.”
Newton described the restaurant design as “industrial vintage with a slight touch of neoclassic twist.” Unlike Leek, he said, the new restaurant will not have tablecloths.
Currently, there’s not much to see at the restaurant — the windows are covered with paper. However, renovations are underway inside and the owners hope to open in mid-February. They expect to hold a grand opening event in the spring.
“We plan on being there as a member of the community for a long, long time — just a great neighborhood restaurant,” said Newton.