(Updated at 10:25 p.m.) A new restaurant is coming to 3811 Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square, but details about it are sparse.
The restaurant will be run by Tim Ma and Joey Hernandez, of Maple Avenue Restaurant in Vienna. This month Ma was named “DC’s Hottest Chef” by the food website Eater. No word yet on what type of food the restaurant will serve, but Maple Avenue Restaurant serves “eclectic American Cuisine… blending Asian, Latin American and French flavors.”
Reached by phone, Ma declined to comment except to confirm that plans were in the works. A state permit application describes the restaurant generally as having a seating capacity of 100 or less and serving wine, beer and mixed drinks. So far, we’ve been unable to find any building permit applications associated with the restaurant.
Local restaurant chronicler Don Rockwell reports that the restaurant will be called “Water & Wall” and will replace the current Pines of Florence restaurant.
Panera Bread will replace the former Tivoli restaurant near the Rosslyn Metro station.
The interior of the bakery-cafe is currently under construction at 1700 N. Moore Street. Building permits have been issued but so far there’s no word as to when Panera will be opening.
The owners of T.H.A.I. in Shirlington are launching a restaurant called Tom Yum District at 1515 Wilson Blvd., which will focus on on fast, made to order dishes. Co-owner Aulie Bunyarataphan and her husband Mel Oursinsiri have been planning this for some time.
“We are very excited about this one. We have been working on this concept for more than two years,” said Bunyarataphan. “It’s the first Thai restaurant around in this format.”
The restaurant will be geared toward customers who want Thai food without having to engage in a full sit-down experience. The menu will feature standard rice and noodle dishes with Bunyarataphan’s special sauces, along with some of her specialty dishes.
“Thai food can be easy and healthy and top quality, fast and fresh,” she said. “By the time you get to the cashier, the food will be ready.”
Initially, customers will be able to eat in or carry out, but the plan is to add online ordering and delivery in the future. Construction is underway at the site and the owners expect a late spring opening, hopefully in late May or early June.
A new sandwich shop is expected to open in Ballston in April.
Which Wich, which is replacing the former Daily Grind coffee shop at 4300 Wilson Blvd, has set Monday, April 22 as a tentative opening date, according to company spokesperson Hala Habal.
Based in Dallas, Texas, Which Wich has more than 300 locations in 30 states. The Arlington location is the first in the D.C. area and the third in Virginia.
The company is best known for its customizable sandwiches and its unique ordering system.
Which Wich offers more than 50 varieties of customizable, toasted “wiches,” from the signature Wicked® sandwich, loaded with five meats (turkey, ham, roast beef, pepperoni, and bacon) and choice of three cheeses, to unique items such as Thank You Turkey®, with stuffing and cranberry sauce. The Which Wich menu also includes plenty of vegetarian options, such as tomato & avocado and black bean patty, as well as 30 healthy wiches and bowls for less than 400 calories each. Guests can dine in or take out. Catering is also available.
Which Wich is known for its creative ordering system. Guests use red Sharpies® to mark up pre-printed menus on sandwich bags. They select a sandwich from one of 10 categories, then choose the bread, cheese, spreads, and toppings. The sandwiches are prepared to guests’ exact specifications, toasted to perfection, and delivered in the now-personalized sandwich bags. After they’ve enjoyed their wiches, guests are encouraged to draw on their bags using red Sharpies and hang their “artwork” on the community wall.
In addition to customized, toasted wiches, customers can enjoy hand-dipped shakes, signature house chips, and just-out-of-the-oven cookies in an edgy yet magnetic environment. Which Wich locations newspaper reading stations, free wi-fi, and a community wall showcasing the sandwich bag artwork.
Which Wich is also proud of its Sandwichfaction Guarantee®. We stand behind all of our sandwiches. If you’re not 100% satisfied with your wich at the time you receive it, we will replace it, refund your money, or both.
Store photos courtesy “JohnB2″
There have been some delays in opening, but the finishing touches are now being worked on at the new Z-Burger at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Kenmore Street, between the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations.
After nearly two years of construction, owner Peter Tabibian hopes to open the restaurant in the next two to three weeks. He said an inspector asked for a few more fixes before the final occupancy permit is granted. Tabibian thinks the timing should be better with a March opening anyway, considering it may not be as cold outside.
“I think it’s better to open when it’s a little bit warmer,” he said. “When you open, you want to open with a big bang. It’s not as good when it’s winter.”
Although there are a number of Z-Burger locations throughout the D.C. metro area, this will be the first in Virginia.
“Arlington is a very good place for businesses because it has the right demographics and what we were looking for,” said Tabibian. “They’re building a lot of stuff here and I think this will be a good place for our first Virginia location.”
Z-Burger touts homemade custard in its 75 varieties of milkshakes, freshly cut fries and onion rings, fresh bread that’s delivered twice daily and even cheesesteak sandwiches. Tabibian said the burgers are different than at other restaurants due in a large part to the special spice blend, which he says “is very addicting.” He believes another aspect that sets Z-Burger apart from competitors is the service.
“We are very quick. We have a system that as soon as people come in, the patties are already dropped down on the grill,” said Tabibian. “Everything is cooked to order so people don’t have to wait a long, long time. By the time you order, our goal is to get your food in six to eight minutes.”
Once it opens, the restaurant will celebrate its grand opening with several days of burger giveaways. Until an opening date is set, crews will continue construction work and Tabibian will continue hiring staff. Anyone interested in applying for a position at the new Z-Burger should email email@example.com.
Little City Gourmet, described as a “cafe and store,” plans to open at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street on April 15. The cafe plans to have about 16 seats inside and four outdoor seats, according to interior design sketches. It’s also applying for a license to serve beer and wine.
Located on the ground floor of an apartment building, Little City Gourmet is within walking distance of the East Falls Church Metro station and the W&OD Trail, on the same block as One More Page Books.
The cafe is helmed by Rachelle Slotnick, the owner and executive chef of Northwest Fresh Catering in Falls Church. Attempts to reach Slotnick for comment were unsuccessful.
Photo via Google Maps
Ballston is about to get an influx of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese foods. All of those varieties will be served up at Red Parrot Asian Bistro (1110 N. Glebe Road) when it opens next week.
Workers are setting up furniture and making finishing touches on the restaurant, so owner Wendy Cheng expects to have a soft opening by next Thursday (February 14), with a grand opening in March. She already has two successful Red Parrot restaurants in Maryland, and had been looking to open an Arlington location for a while.
“Arlington’s a great place,” Cheng said. “We want people to enjoy, to explore more good food. I think we’re right for here, a great restaurant for all these people.”
Cheng is originally from Hong Kong and used to be an engineer. She has a number of family members in the food industry and eventually decided to open her own restaurant due to a passion for cooking and an enjoyment of customers.
“We love cooking and I decided engineering is really not for me. I’m a people person,” Cheng said. “I’m a foodie and I’m a good chef myself.”
Instead of only offering one variety of Asian food, Red Parrot takes popular dishes from many cultures — such as Chinese dim sum, Japanese sushi and udon noodles, Vietnamese pho, Thai curry and pad Thai, Korean bibimbap and freshly made Malaysian roti flatbread. Less traditional items include cheesesteak egg rolls, spicy chicken wings and grilled ribeye steak.
“When you look at Chinese restaurants, they have all kinds of good food, and then a lot of things you’ll never order,” said Cheng. “I just want the best. I just picked the good items.”
Cheng said Red Parrot uses high quality ingredients and has high food turnover to make sure it stays fresh and flavorful. She noted that, for example, many Asian restaurants use lower quality or frozen seafood that doesn’t taste as good or has an unpleasant texture. She boasted that even the lobsters used in some of the Red Parrot entrees and the sushi are fresh.
“We focus on quality. I focus on everything from scratch, very high quality,” she said. “I love food. So I enjoy seeing people enjoying the food.”
Head Chef Sotheerny Massey is from Thailand and also prides herself on the fresh foods made from scratch. She pointed out that even the noodles are made fresh in-house.
“We plan all the food together, it’s great, we come up with ideas,” said Massey. ”Sometimes the customers want to talk. We are happy when our customers like our food.”
The Red Parrot’s food will be available for carry out and for delivery within about a five mile radius. There will be happy hour specials at the restaurant from 2:00-6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. In addition to drink specials, happy hour will include discounts on selected foods like sushi and appetizers.
The restaurant is hiring immediately for a number of positions including bartenders, servers and hostesses. Applicants should call Wendy at 443-506-3042 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
RedRocks will open its third D.C.-area Neapolitan pizzeria on Columbia Pike tomorrow (Friday).
RedRocks is opening the 133-seat eatery at Penrose Square, on the 2500 block of Columbia Pike. The restaurant overlooks the new Penrose Square park and the restaurant’s owners plan to debut outdoor seating (about 20 seats) starting this spring.
The restaurant is best known for its wood oven pizza, but also offers charcuterie, cheeses, salads, vegetable dishes, pasta, small plates and snack-sized items. Drink offerings include 20 draft beers, a small bottled beer selection, a wine selection and seven signature cocktails.
The happy hour menu includes DC Brau Public pale ale and Port City Optimal Wit, plus Chardonnay, Cabernet and Merlot for $3. Mixed drinks are $5. Basic marinara and Neapolitan pizzas are offered for $6 during happy hour.
RedRocks will be open today (Thursday) for an invite-only “soft opening.” It will hold its grand opening on Friday, with doors open to the public at 6:00 p.m. The restaurant will start its lunch service on Saturday. It will open for lunch every day except Mondays, starting at 11:00 a.m. (RedRocks will be open for dinner every night.)
RedRocks has existing location in D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood and in Old Town Alexandria. An H Street NE location is also opening soon.
A new restaurant aimed at offering high protein foods is opening in Ballston tomorrow. Protein Bar (800 N. Glebe Road) will start serving its blended drinks, wraps and other entrees around lunchtime on Wednesday.
The goal is to serve foods high in protein, high in fiber and low on refined sugars. Founder Matt Matros based the menu on the diet that helped him lose weight.
“I grew up heavy. I switched to the high protein diet and ended up losing 50 pounds in a summer. It’s all of the foods we sell now,” Matros said. “The idea being that high protein foods help you feel full longer, so if you have something higher in protein you’ll not snack later on in the day. That’s what’s worked for me and it’s worked for a lot of our customers.”
Matros went to business school and then worked for Kraft Foods for a while. He became discouraged by the lack of restaurants offering foods along the lines of his high protein diet, so he decided to launch Protein Bar.
“I realized there was no place that started the kind of foods I wanted to eat, so that’s when I decided to start it all myself,” he said.
The first restaurant opened in May of 2009 in Chicago, and Matros recently has been looking for other markets to move into. The D.C. metro is the first place Protein Bar has expanded outside of the Chicago area. Matros says coming here seemed like a natural fit because the people lead similar lifestyles as those in Chicago.
“They eat healthy, they’re educated, they can appreciate what we’re doing,” Matros said. “They’re urban professionals, they’re busy, they don’t have time for lunch.”
Eventually, Matros hopes to expand into other areas in Northern Virginia, like Rosslyn.
“Arlingtonians have a coolness about them,” he said. “We definitely enjoy being here.”
Protein Bar will open tomorrow (January 30) at 11:00 a.m. and will give food away to the first 50 customers. The restaurant will open for normal business hours (7:30 a.m.-8:00 p.m.) on Thursday. Protein Bar will be closed on Sundays.
A new Indian restaurant recently opened in the Lyon Park neighborhood.
Masala Express, at 2622-A Pershing Drive, just celebrated its first month in business. The restaurant, which offers carry out service and a small section of cafe seating, has enjoyed favorable reviews on Yelp since it opened on Christmas Day (Dec. 25).
The restaurant is owned by Vinita Chawla, a veteran of the hotel industry. Also helping out is her husband, Naresh, who has run a catering business focusing on Indian cuisine for the past 20 years. Both Vinita and Naresh are natives of India.
One restaurant patron told ARLnow.com that Masala Express offers Indian cuisine that’s spicier and “more authentic” than several of the other Indian restaurants in the Clarendon and Courthouse areas.
Masala Express opened in what used to be a portion of Gala Futons and Furniture. The furniture store remains open, albeit with a smaller storefront.
The restaurant is open from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday.
It had only been open for about 10 days, but Lotus Grill and Noodles in Shirlington temporarily closed down yesterday.
A tipster sent ARLnow.com a photo of the county inspection sign that went up on the door yesterday, claiming the building is unsafe.
According to a representative with Arlington’s Inspection Services Division, the restaurant had opened before receiving its certificate of occupancy. The county worker said the restaurant owners took it upon themselves to open when they weren’t authorized to do so.
We’re told there were outstanding building, zoning and inspection issues that needed to be resolved before issuing the permit. However, all of the issues were resolved around noon today and the restaurant is officially able to serve customers.
The restaurant re-opened this afternoon.
Low Water Pressure Issues Continue — Residents in parts of Lyon Park, Buckingham, Douglas Park, Nauck, Arlington Ridge and Crystal City may experience low water pressure this morning due to various water issues. According to Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services, yesterday’s break in a 30-inch water main at Arlington Blvd and S. Irving Street is isolated and awaiting parts for additional repair work. Several water leaks also have been reported this morning at S. Stafford Street and 16th Road S., 26th Street S. and 26th Place S., and 31st Street S. and S. Woodrow Street.
Protein Bar Opens in Two Weeks — According to its Twitter feed, the new Protein Bar restaurant is set to open at 800 N. Glebe Road in Ballston on Wednesday, January 30. The restaurant will start serving its healthy food at 11:00 a.m.
MLK Tribute Speaker Changed – The keynote speaker for Arlington’s 44th Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been changed. Lehigh University Professor and Hip Hop Scholars, LLC founder Dr. James Braxton Peterson will now speak at the event, which takes place this Sunday, January 20, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street). The former speaker, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, can no longer attend due to a scheduling conflict, according to the county.
Just a month after interior construction started, a new Dunkin’ Donuts store has opened at 2201 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse.
The new Dunkin’ location is offering free medium hot or iced coffee this week to celebrate its grand opening.
The store is open from 5:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, we’re told.
Dunkin’ Donuts replaces a former Quiznos restaurant in the Wilson Blvd storefront.
Photo by Stephanie Todd
Reality TV star Chris Bukowski is opening a “female-friendly” sports bar called “Bracket Room” in Clarendon.
The “sports lounge and eatery,” as described in a press release, is expected to open this summer. It will be opening in the former Burapa Thai space at 1210 N. Garfield Street, though as of this morning no building permits have been issued.
Bukowski, a Chicago native who is best known for his appearances as a cast member on the ABC reality shows “The Bachelorette” and “Bachelor Pad,” is opening the restaurant with business partners Jeff Greenberg and Nicole Pettitt. Greenberg is also an investor in Clarendon’s Cava Mezze Grill, according to the Washington City Paper.
“The trio plans to change the face of the average sports bar,” said the press release. “By meshing a stylish environment with healthier small plates, and state of the art technology, ‘Bracket Room’ will surely please every palate.”
The press release continued:
“Bracket Room” will boldly redefine the upscale, state-of-the-art sports bar, with wit and irreverent charm. This exciting gathering spot in hip and Metro-accessible Arlington, will serve-up fresh food and drinks that will be unexpected, with a twist. “Bracket Room” will be the ‘go-to’ place for sporting entertainment, yet it will have a modern and female-friendly ambiance.
An avid sports fan, owning a sports lounge has been a dream of his since majoring in Hospitality/Food & Beverage at UNLV. Bukowski is involved with several charities, and he has plans to incorporate a charity with “Bracket Room.”
A new Vietnamese restaurant has opened in Shirlington Village.
Lotus Vietnamese Grill & Noodles, at 4041 Campbell Avenue, started serving customers on Monday. The restaurant, which seats about 40, is located in a 2,100 square foot space next to Extra Virgin restaurant.
The menu offering include: crispy spring rolls, summer rolls, green papaya salad with beef jerky, lotus stem salad with prawns, vermicelli, phở noodle soups, bahn mi sandwiches, and various rice dishes. The restaurant has a small bar that offers beer, wine and liquor.
Lotus Grill is open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Carryout service is available by calling 703-566-2173.