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…)
The second location of the Westover Beer Garden, expected to open near Clarendon in March 2015, is beginning to take shape.
The establishment will be called the Sehkraft Beer Garden and Haus, a play on words of “sehkraft,” which is German for vision or eyesight, but pronounced “say craft,” owner Devin Hicks said. The brewpub, at 925 N. Garfield Street, expects have a 10-barrel system to brew beer in-house, five taps straight from the tanks to the bar, five taps for house-made kegged beers and collaborations with other breweries, and 30 “guest” beer taps.
“We’ll do growler fills, which should be a big hit,” Hicks told ARLnow.com this morning. “Right now we’re working on getting some of our beers to be distributed so we can send them to various bars and restaurants. It’s legal in Virginia, but Arlington zoning has deemed it to not be permissible within Arlington County. We’re looking into fixing that with our lawyers that helped us with the county in Westover.”
The head brewer for Sehkraft Brewing will be John Peters, who most recently was the lead brewer for Lost Rhino in Ashburn. Peters worked with Hicks for a collaboration beer – a triple IPA with 150 bitterness units and 10.1 percent alcohol by volume – in 2012. Hicks said he already is planning collaborations with established West Coast breweries Stone Brewing and Sierra Nevada.
In addition, head chef Jay Jenks, currently the head chef at Westover Beer Garden, will be in charge of Sehkraft’s kitchen. The 10,000-square foot space will have a butcher shop, a small market, and seating for 210 on the inside and 122 in the outdoor beer garden. Hicks said he will soon be applying for a live music permit, and is in the application process for ABC permits.
“This is desired and deserved for Arlingtonians,” Hicks said. “It’s going to be really exciting for everybody. We’re going to have great beers, a lot of guest brewers from notable brewers across the country… The importance of beer gardens in Europe is pretty huge. It’s always been a social gathering spot for drinking their local beers, and we want to bring an American version of that.”
Sandwich chain Capriotti’s plans to open its storefront at 1500 Wilson Blvd on Tuesday, July 29.
The shop is currently finishing renovations, but Director of Operations for Capriotti’s D.C. franchises Joe Combs was passing out flyers to passersby last week in an effort to recruit employees.
Capriotti’s had hoped to open the Rosslyn location last January, but only announced it had signed its lease in April. The Rosslyn location will be open Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday 11:00 p.m. to 7:00.
“We’re known for our fresh pulled turkey and our fresh roast beef,” Combs said. “Our sandwich ‘The Bobbie’ was voted best sandwich in America by AOL. It’s basically Thanksgiving on a roll.” The Bobbie comes with pulled-turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing and mayonnaise.
Founded in Delaware in 1976, Capritotti’s is now based in Las Vegas and has 105 locations nationwide. Some Arlington residents may have already gotten their first taste of The Bobbie from Capriotti’s booth at Taste of Arlington.
SpinFire Pizza, the 90-second pizza concept coming to 1501 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is planning a fall opening.
The restaurant will use a rotating oven to cook personal pizzas for customers in less than two minutes, it says in a press release. The 2,300-square-foot eatery will also serve salad, gelato and “a robust beer and wine selection.”
The location will be SpinFire’s second when it opens; there’s another being built in Ashburn, a few miles from the Redskins’ practice facility.
“We are very excited to build our second SpinFire location in Rosslyn with its compelling resident demographics, strong daytime office population, and a true 24/7 live, work and play environment,” Garçon said in the release.
Local deli and catering chain Taylor Gourmet is officially open in Ballston at 4000 Wilson Blvd today.
After a soft opening last Friday and Saturday, in which the sandwich and salad shop offered a free meal to those who stopped in, Taylor Gourmet’s owner Casey Patten announced this morning that his ninth location would be opening to the public at 11:00 this morning.
“The response from the soft opening was great,” Patten said in an email. “Really good feedback from customers that stopped by… This was the spark the team needed to work through the weekend to get the store ready for opening ASAP. We’re excited and want folks to come by before and after the World Cup game.”
The deli, at the corner of Wilson and N. Quincy Street, will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily.
Taylor Gourmet, the D.C.-area deli and catering chain, will open in Ballston “either next week or the one after,” according to owner Casey Patten.
This afternoon the restaurant — located at 4000 Wilson Blvd, on the corner of N. Quincy Street — held a soft opening, allowing some to come in and try a sandwich or salad for free. Tomorrow (Saturday) from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Taylor is offering the same deal, provided those who want to try the food first email Hilary Chattler at email@example.com.
Patten said he’s hoping the soft openings give his staff and restaurant — the chain’s ninth location, and second in Virginia — time to practice, since “perfect practice makes perfect.”
“We want to spend some time to get things right,” he said. After tomorrow’s soft opening, the plan is to re-evaluate, do a little more interior work, and open within the next two weeks.
The sandwich shop’s specialty is a menu full of “cooked-from-scratch” items, Patten said, including roasting its own turkey, pork and roast beef in house and having freshly baked bread delivered twice a day.
“You won’t find a freezer in any of our restaurants,” he said. “The end goal is just to make the best sandwich we possibly can.”
Taylor Gourmet’s menu includes sandwiches with ingredients like “garlicky spinach,” white bean hummus, roasted cauliflower, as well as a kale side salad and a chickpea salad. The deli will deliver to the surrounding area, caters for groups from “10 to 5,000,” Chattler said, and plans to have WiFi when it opens, or soon after.
“We’ve wanted to come to Ballston for a long time,” Patten said. “We’d been trying to find space here for about two years. It’s kind of the perfect place for us. It’s young, super hip, there’s plenty of stuff to do and has daytime businesses as well as residents.”