Casa Furniture, a local discount furniture chain, has opened a new location in the former Capital Jewelers storefront on Columbia Pike.
Casa Furniture opened at 3219 Columbia Pike about two weeks ago, an employee told us. It’s the chain’s fourth location; other stores are located in Alexandria and D.C.
On its website, Casa Furniture says it “has become known for the lowest prices in town, quick, efficient “no frills” delivery, and customer service that redefines the word, ‘smile.’” The store has a small showroom but also offers a catalog of furniture that’s available for delivery.
Capital Jewelers owner Tommy Wong was gunned down during a robbery at the store on the afternoon of July 27, 2012. D.C. resident James Sylvester Caroline was later arrested and charged with Wong’s murder. A hearing in the case is scheduled for April 17.
Earlier this week, ARLnow.com reported that Wiinky’s will serve its last burgers on Sunday (March 31) to make way for the new store. We’re told a mechanic and other small businesses on the block also will be closing soon.
A spokesperson for Petco confirms the new store will be one of the chain’s boutique “Unleashed” pet shops. The Unleashed website states: “We’re focused on being part of your community. We’re a place for you and your pet to hang out.” It also states: “We’re more like a really cool neighbor than a run-of-the-mill store.”
PetMAC, a pet supply store and adoption center, is located at 822 N. Kenmore Street, just a few blocks from the proposed Unleashed location. Owner Cindy Williams questions the choice of location for the new Unleashed store.
“I think it is a shame if they’re doing that purposefully. I heard the Unleashed line is designed to compete with small businesses. I think it’s very disappointing if they’d do that, there’s plenty of business to go around,” said Williams. “We’ll just continue to do our best to offer the best services and offer the best prices that we can, and see if we can continue to compete.”
The new store will be the third Unleashed in Arlington; one opened at 5400 Lee Hwy in 2011, and the other, in Pentagon Row, held its grand opening in January. The Ballston location is scheduled to open in early November.
Unleashed stores traditionally hold grand opening events with discounts, games, samples and giveaways, but there’s no word yet on a date for such an event at the Ballston location.
Update on 4/4/13 — The store is expected to hold a grand opening April 5 and 6. The store is owned by Bill and Kasi Hansen. Bill is a Yorktown High School graduate and “longtime local resident,” according to a press release. Zinga will be open from 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
According to the shop’s Facebook page, the goal is to open next week. Photos have been popping up on the page highlighting the store’s construction progress, such as the new outdoor sign and the arrival of the froyo machines. Customers are encouraged to “like” the page for special deals that will only be available to fans.
Zinga! will be the newest shop to cash in on the froyo trend by featuring machines that allow customers to serve themselves and then pay for the product by weight. There will be three dozen rotating flavors and 50 toppings to choose from.
The Facebook page also encourages anyone interested in working at the new location to contact Drew Hafer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Another Zinga! Frozen Yogurt is expected to open in Falls Church in late May.
Photos via Facebook
If you can’t manage to travel to Paris anytime soon, walking into a new shop in Cherrydale may be enough to give you a French fix. The recent addition of La Maison at 3510 Lee Highway should please local Francophiles.
“This is a dream come true,” said owner Jeeun Friel. “I just love decorating and I’m a collector of beautiful things.”
The store quietly opened on Saturday (March 16) and has seen a steady stream of curious customers come through the doors.
“It’s been a lot of positive feedback. They’ve been very welcoming here,” said Friel.
The shop carries a variety of French and French-inspired products ranging from jewelry to candles and soaps to antique furniture pieces. Friel said she makes every effort to buy true antiques and not reproductions. She also sells art and new furniture pieces made by local artists, and as evidenced by the various bright items throughout the store, Friel reports a passion for “having fun with color.”
“La Maison means ‘the house’ in French. I want everybody to feel like this is someone’s home,” Friel said. “It’s kind of like a Parisian market with all different kinds of things.”
She originally worked as a private chef, but about 10 years ago Friel and a partner went in together on their first business, a hair salon, which they sold a few years later. Since then, she had been interested in opening a small store highlighting her enjoyment of decorating.
The space was previously occupied by a palm reading business, and prior to that it was Cherrydale Clockworks, which closed suddenly in August 2010.
“I’ve always adored this neighborhood, and I know it’s certainly up and coming,” said Friel. “I’ve seen it change the last seven years. I just love Cherrydale.”
Although no firm date has been set, Friel plans to hold a grand opening celebration next month. Until then, she’s working to get a website up and running and on spreading the word about the store’s soft opening.
“Come and say hello,” Friel said. “I welcome anyone and everyone and just want them to feel like this is a special place with lots of different, eclectic, unique little finds. It’s like a treasure hunt.”
Water Main Work Complete — Arlington County crews completed repairs on a 30″ water main near Arlington Boulevard and N. Irving Street Friday. As of Saturday, parts of the county that experienced low water pressure as a result of the repairs were back to normal service, according to the Department of Environmental Services.
New Asst. Superintendent Appointed — The Arlington School Board has appointed a new Assistant Superintendent of Instruction. Connie Skelton, a 22-year APS employee who started her career as a middle school science teacher, has been appointed to the position effective immediately. She replaces Dr. Mark Johnston, who was one of numerous senior APS staffers to depart since 2010. [Arlington Public Schools]
Vote on New Williamsburg School Expected Feb. 7 — School Board members are expected to vote on the concept for a new elementary school on the Williamsburg Middle School campus on Feb. 7. The $43 million school project has attracted scrutiny from Fairfax County due to possible traffic impacts. [Sun Gazette]
Fmr. CIA Officer Sentenced — John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer who lives in Arlington, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison. Kiriakou pleaded guilty in October to intentionally disclosing the identity of a covert CIA agent to a journalist. [U.S. Dept. of Justice]
‘Unleashed’ Open at Pentagon Row — Unleashed by Petco, a new pet store, has opened at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street). The store offers “everyday pet essentials along with top-shelf natural, raw, organic, dehydrated and freeze-dried nutrition.” [Petco]
Arlington mom Li Vo opened Yorktown Nails, at 5163 Lee Highway, in December. Fellow moms have been spreading the word about the salon in an attempt to drum up business.
“It was opened by Li Vo, a McKinley Elementary and Yorktown [High School] mom who many folks know as the uber-popular manicurist at American Nail,” resident Sarah Moore told ARLnow.com. “Now she and her family have opened their own salon and everything is super clean, new and parking is a cinch.”
Through Feb. 28, Yorktown Nails is offering a “grand opening special” — an “organic” pedicure and manicure for $28.
Photo courtesy Sarah Moore
Arlington Earns ‘B+’ For Budget Transparency — Arlington has earned a grade of “B+” from the Virginia Coalition for Open Government for the ease of finding budget information on the county’s website. While better than average, the score is below Fairfax County’s “A+” grade. [Sun Gazette]
New Optometrist Open in Clarendon — A new optometrist clinic has opened in Clarendon. New Era Eyecare opened at 3105 10th Street N. last week. It’s the company’s second location; its original clinic is located in Clifton. New Era isn’t the only optometrist to recently open in Clarendon’s main business district. Visual Health Doctors of Optometry opened at 3102 Wilson Blvd in 2011.
APS Offers Car Maintenance Course for Women — Arlington Public Schools is offering a car maintenance course specifically for women as part of its adult education program. The course “is designed specifically for women who have limited to no knowledge of car maintenance.” It’s the only gender-specific class currently offered as part of the program. As of this morning, there was only one remaining student opening for the class, which begins on March 11. [Arlington Public Schools]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The Old Bike Shop, located at 2647 N. Pershing Drive, specializes in vintage and refurbished bikes and bike parts. Owner Larry Behery, a former car mechanic and carpenter, says there was an unmet need for a used bike store in Arlington.
“There are a lot of shops in the area, but they serve a higher-end clientele — someone who’s already into bikes, already into racing, someone who’s into spending a couple of thousand dollars on a bike,” he said. “But there was nobody really just being a liaison for the beginner,” for people who “need something inexpensive to ride to the Metro… something solid and something that’s not stolen or broken off of Craigslist. ”
Behery and a business partner have been selling used bikes at the Courthouse flea market on Saturdays and at the Georgetown flea market on Sundays. Behrey, who started out collecting old bikes and bike paraphernalia before deciding to sell them as a side business, said he buys his bikes at auctions and from charities that receive bike donations. Before the shop opened, he fixed them up in a garage outside his Springfield home.
Business was good enough at the flea markets that at one point last year Behery decided to go all-in and open a stand-alone store.
“It ended up kinda snowballing and increasing in demand… and finally it got to the point where there were enough [customers] to justify doing something like this and actually having a shop,” he said. “I couldn’t not take advantage of that opportunity.”
Behery says he still plans to sell bikes at the Courthouse market but is planning to discontinue his visits to the Georgetown market. He says he thinks the quality of the bikes at his small shop will help him compete against nearby higher-end bike stores and the Wal-Marts of the world that sell cheaply-made budget bikes.
“We made a lot of really good stuff back in the day that can’t be produced any more — recognizing that there was a need for good quality bikes that were inexpensive,” he said.
The Old Bike Shop is open from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday. The store is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
In addition to bikes and bike parts like locks and tires, the Old Bike Shop will offer bike repair services.
The new Tutti Frutti store is located in Pentagon City on the 1300 block of S. Fern Street, near the U.S. Post Office and Epic Smokehouse. The store is the second Tutti Frutti in Arlington, after a location at 2439 N. Harrison Street, in the Lee Harrison Shops.
“I feel very confident in the product,” owner Geoff Trout told ARLnow.com. “I don’t think Pentagon Row is close enough.”
Tutti Frutti serves dairy- and gluten-free, soy-based frozen yogurt made with no artificial sweeteners. The stores typically have a rotating menu of flavors and 35 to 40 fruit and candy topping options.
A sign in the window says the store is “now hiring.”
(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) The Potomac River Running store (PR) is leaving its Ballston location (3924 Wilson Blvd), but the store isn’t moving far. It’s heading to the other side of Ballston in the old Alliance Bank (4501 N. Fairfax Drive) space along Glebe Road.
Ray Pugsley and his wife Cathy own the family business along with Cathy’s sister, Margie Shapiro, and Margie’s husband, Brendan. Pugsley said a number of factors contributed to the couples’ decision to move.
First, PR currently rents from Freshbikes, and the lease is up at the end of January. Pugsley said because of the sublet situation, PR doesn’t have long term control over the space. The owners of PR had concerns about what ultimately would happen to the single-level building.
“All low buildings in Arlington become tall buildings, so there was uncertainty going forward what would happen to that spot,” said Pugsley. “There’s no plan, but given that other things were important to us, we figured we would not wait until the time when everyone had to get out because someone is building there.”
Pugsley said another factor that’s been nagging him for years is the inability for customers to see the store due to the county’s sign restrictions. The new location will allow for high visibility at the corner of N. Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road.
“We just had a lot of people who said, even years after we were open, ‘I didn’t even know you were there!’” said Pugsley. “The way sign laws are in Arlington, we didn’t have a sign that was visible from the road because of our location in the building. We were thinking where can we go for better visibility and this spot was open.”
The final element making the location ideal is its proximity to trails. PR offers various training programs and running groups which will benefit from being closer to trail entrances.
“We put a lot of emphasis on our training programs, especially for beginner to newer runners. Not having to run around city blocks is more attractive to someone who is just getting into running,” said Pugsley. “It’s got a lot of good options for folks who can’t run that far or haven’t built up their fitness yet. In the current location, by the time you get to a trail you have to turn around and come back.”
As far as parking concerns at the new, higher traffic location, the building offers parking in its underground garage. PR will validate on weekdays from 7:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. for half an hour, and for an hour after 5:00 p.m. and on weekends.
Although no definite moving date has been set yet, Potomac River Running will be in its new space by the end of January. There will be a grand re-opening at some point, but the owners haven’t decided if they would prefer to wait until the spring for better weather. The owners will send out a notice on social media before the current location closes, and they’ll try to do the entire move in one day.
“We’re excited about this location,” Pugsley said. “It’s a little bigger and we liked the idea of being closer to the trails. I really hope this conveys how much we’re looking forward to being in the new place.”
When is a restaurant not just a restaurant? When it’s connected to a framing store, like the new Rus Uz in Ballston.
The restaurant is connected to Ballston Art and Framing (1000 N. Randolph Street), which is owned by the family behind the KH Art and Framing store on Lee Highway. Jamil Hakimi runs the framing business and said he originally had planned on just running his store, until he was approached by the Rakhmatullaev family about sharing the space, which previously had been occupied by Daily Deli.
“I’ve been in the framing shop business for a long time. I was going to turn this into a whole frame shop. We actually put up walls around the kitchen,” Hakimi said. “Then these guys came in one day, we introduced each other, and from there we just went half-half, basically.”
Prior to moving to the Ballston location, Rus Uz had been a catering business in Alexandria specializing in cuisine from Russia and Uzbekistan. Bek Rakhmatullaev said his father has been a cook for more than three decades and served several different presidents and embassy officials as a caterer. However, he had been toying with opening a restaurant for years, and finally saw the perfect opportunity.
“He saw a demand and he always wanted to open a place. Everyone was always asking for a tasting room,” Rakhmatullaev said. “With catering, you have to have big orders.”
The family believes the combination of Russian and Uzbek foods will make their restaurant stand out from others.
“There isn’t anything around like us that combines the two,” Rakhmatullaev said.
As far as the framing portion, it’s connected to the restaurant via an open doorway. Hakimi is still working out a schedule and how closely it will coincide with the restaurant hours. He notes that for food safety reasons, no framing work will be performed at the new shop; all of the framing orders from the Ballston location will be worked on at the Lee Highway location.
Rus Uz is currently in the process of obtaining its license to serve alcohol. The owners plan to have grand opening sometime in the near future, after the business has more time to get everything running smoothly.
A new Dunkin’ Donuts store is coming to Courthouse.
The store will be opening at 2201 Wilson Blvd, in a space formerly occupied by a Quiznos restaurant. A construction crew was hard at work on the store’s interior today.
No official word yet on when Dunkin’ Donuts might be opening in Courthouse, but we hear they’re hoping to finish the build-out next month. A sign in the window says the store is currently hiring crew and managers.’
Hat tip to Starlync
FroZenYo was originally expected to open at 1735 N. Lynn Street, in the former “News and Necessities” space, this past summer. The froyo chain opened a location in Ballston in August, but the Rosslyn location has yet to materialize.
In a tweet this morning, the Rosslyn Business Improvement announced that FroZenYo is now expected to open at some point this spring.
FroZenYo lets customers pick any combination of yogurt flavors and toppings, as detailed in a press release earlier this year.
Fro.Zen.Yo’s frozen yogurt is low fat and low calorie. The Fro.Zen.Yo menu features 16 flavors of frozen yogurt and a variety of fresh fruit and candy toppings. Customers get to choose any combination of flavors and toppings. Fro.Zen.Yo offers free hot fudge and also offers Deer Park bottled water for $.29.
(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Two new stores are coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, while another is closing at Pentagon Row.
A new Oakley store and a new Sperry store are both under construction on the second level of the shopping mall. The stores are directly adjacent to one another. Oakley is best known for its sunglasses, while Sperry is best known for its boat shoes. Oakley also sells clothing and Sperry sells other types of footwear.
Both stores are expected to open in time for Christmas shopping, with the Sperry store hoping to open around Dec. 7 and the Oakley store hoping to open around Dec. 14, according to a PR rep for the mall.
Lucy, an women’s activewear store, will be closing soon at Pentagon Row. A sign in the window advertises a 25 percent off sale at the store, while directing shoppers to other locations at Union Station in D.C. and Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County.
Photo (right) courtesy Desiree Lomer-Clarke
Developer Vornado is in negotiations to bring a new Whole Foods grocery store to Pentagon City.
The store would located on the ground floor of Vornado’s planned Metropolitan Park apartment building at the corner of S. Eads Street and 12th Street. The building, currently in the Site Plan Review stage, will replace a dilapidated warehouse and is part of a larger effort to turn 12th Street into a mixed-use commercial corridor.
Vornado’s Metropolitan Park building will the fourth in the overall Metropolitan Park development. The development will also result in an extension of 12th Street between Eads Street and Fern Street. Vornado’s planned, 2 million square foot PenPlace office and hotel development will be located across the future 12th Street, which is now a pedestrian path.
Met Park 4-5, as the Vornado apartment building is being called in planning documents, is expected be up to 22 stories tall, with two connected towers, and will contain just shy of 699 apartments. A 37,000 square foot grocery store space on the ground floor is being incorporated into the building with the express purpose of attracting Whole Foods, though no lease or letter of intent has been signed yet, we’re told.
An official with the Crystal City Business Improvement District told us the organization is “thrilled” with the prospect of bringing Whole Foods to the area. Currently, Whole Foods’ only location is the perpetually-crowded Clarendon store at 2700 Wilson Boulevard.
Developers hope the building plan will go before the County Board at some point mid-2013. No word yet on how long construction would take.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser