The “tacos, tequila and beer” spot will be opening in the former Eventide space at 3165 Wilson Blvd. Scott Parker, one of five partners in the business, says Don Tito should officially open to the public on Sunday, March 15, with a “soft opening” starting perhaps as soon as Wednesday, March 11.
Interior work is still underway, but should be wrapping up before the soft opening. The establishment’s exterior sign is expected to arrive this coming Thursday.
Parker says Don Tito will be different than A-Town Bar and Grill, the popular but sometimes rowdy Ballston bar that’s owned by the same group.
“[Don Tito] will have more of a lounge feel to it,” Parker said. “It will be a good place to have a good time and drink but it won’t be as much of a party atmosphere.”
He added that Don Tito will have a bit more of an emphasis on food compared to A-Town.
Parker said retrofitting the former Eventide space went “as well as could be expected.” Patrons can expect a “cantina look” inside, with a lot of exposed brick, wood grain and two bars on the rooftop.
The roof will open when the weather allows, he said.
ARLnow.com is holding its fifth anniversary bash in Crystal City tonight from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
If you haven’t booked your tickets yet, you can still do so through 5:00 p.m. on Eventbrite. Tickets will also be available at the door.
The event, at the ever-expanding headquarters of the Crystal Tech Fund and Disruption Corporation, will feature two hours of all-you-can eat food from Ruth’s Chris and plenty of wine and beer, thanks to our friends at the Crystal City BID.
To help celebrate our fifth anniversary (which technically is on Thursday), we’re recounting some of the top stories of 2010.
Coming off of the depths of the Great Recession, the year that was 2010 was especially active for business openings in Crystal City. Here are some of the memorable openings in our first year:
- The Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, presenting sponsor of tonight’s bash, opened its flagship Columbia Pike branch
- District Taco opened its first brick and mortar restaurant, on Lee Highway
- Buffalo Wild Wings opened in Crystal City
- Chick-fil-A opened in Crystal City, complete with people camping out in a nearby park for the opening
- Nordstrom Rack opened in Pentagon City
- Food trucks Bada Bing, Rebel Heroes and BBQ Bandidos launched. Only Bada Bing is still serving customers.
- Bakeshop opened in Clarendon, kicking off the Arlington version of the gourmet cupcake craze
- Red Mango opened in Clarendon, kicking off the Arlington version of the froyo craze
- Crumbs opened in Clarendon
- Northside Social opened in Clarendon
- Lyon Hall opened in Clarendon
- Bayou Bakery opened in Courthouse
See you tonight, Arlington!
Orangetheory Fitness, an interval-training gym with heart rate-focused workout sessions, plans to open a location at 1776 Wilson Blvd by the end of the August.
Orangetheory employees have been signing up passersby for discounted memberships this week in the storefront next door to its planned location, near Ray’s to the Third restaurant. The gym is offering specials ranging from $8 to $17 per session to those who sign up for a month of group classes between now and its planned grand opening opening at the end of the summer.
Franchise owner Mark Steverson told ARLnow.com that the gym plans to have a soft opening the week of August 18, and will offer free sessions to curious parties. The gym will also celebrate its grand opening with a weight loss challenge, with a $2,500 cash prize, in early September.
The group workout sessions with Orangetheory combine cardio and strength training by using blocks of treadmills, indoor rowing machines and weight-training. Steverson said the goal is for members to reach between 81 percent and 94 percent of their maximum heart rate for 12-20 minutes of their workout, to maximize calorie burn for 36 hours post-workout.
“So you’re still burning calories when you go to Ray’s next door or Ben’s Chili Bowl or wherever,” Steverson said.
The closest current Orangetheory location of its 110 U.S. gyms is in Fairfax. Orangetheory says those interested in pre-sale memberships should call 571-431-6140.
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.
The new temporary park at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Barton Street (2409 Clarendon Blvd) is now open.
The space, in the Courthouse neighborhood, is being billed as “a little oasis in the bustling urban corridor.” It features open green space and a “multi-use activity area” where residents are encouraged to “BYOG,” or “bring your own game.”
“The new open space has lawns and multi-use activity area that is perfect for bocce, cornhole, lawn bowling or just about anything a toddler can think up!” said Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Laura Barragan. “Lawn and gardens surround an inner plaza where there are colorful tables with umbrellas as well as uniquely designed seating for people to enjoy the outdoors.”
The park, located on land temporarily donated to the county by the Korean embassy, was designed with sustainability in mind. It includes an old garbage dumpster that was recycled as a planter, plants and boulders transplanted from elsewhere in the county, and simple, low-cost elements like concrete block planters, according to Barragan.
Construction on the park started in February and wrapped up a week ago, on June 4. The park is expected to remain open for at least a year.
Photos courtesy Arlington County
Graffiti Closes Powhatan Skatepark — Powhatan Springs Skatepark is temporarily closed after “graffiti containing vulgar language” was found. The park will be temporarily closed until park staff can remove the graffiti. No word yet on a reopening date.
Tejada: Three Dems on County Board — At the Arlington County Democratic Committee’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner over the weekend, Walter Tejada said pointedly that he is “one of three Democratic county board members,” presumably excluding Libby Garvey. Garvey was also not listed as an “Arlington Democratic Elected Official” in the program. [Blue Virginia]
Dominion Planning New Underground Power Line — Dominion Virginia Power is planning on building an underground power transmission line from Arlington to Alexandria. The $160 million project is intended to address “a local reliability load issue… that could potentially impact neighbors by 2018.” Alexandria officials are expressing objections to the project. [Washington Post]
AYDs Eye South Arlington — Arlington Young Democrats are trying to increase their outreach to women, minorities and to residents of south Arlington. The organization has appointed a new “outreach chair and communications director” who will be in charge of recruiting individuals in targeted groups and “mak[ing] them feel welcome.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool by Brian Allen
(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) Comedian Bill Cosby joined Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette and other local notables in helping to open the new Ben’s Chili Bowl in Rosslyn this morning.
Cosby’s jokes and antics drew laughs from the large crowd of media and spectators that gathered to see the ribbon cutting for the iconic U Street eatery’s first stand-alone, brick-and-mortar expansion. Other attendees and speakers included the Ali family, which owns the restaurant; the ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago, late founder Ben Ali’s home country; WPGC DJ Shack Nd Pack; and Rosslyn BID President Mary-Claire Burick.
Cosby joked that as an aging Navy veteran, he was glad to have a Ben’s Chili Bowl near Arlington National Cemetery.
“The reason why this establishment has decided to open here is for me,” he said. “I’m 76-and-a-half years old. I’m going to have my 77th birthday in July… I spent four years in the Navy, which means I am eligible for a military funeral. Now, my can ghost make the trip here instead of flying over to U Street.”
“Over in that cemetery there is no cholesterol,” he continued. “There are no triglycerides. Eat as many as you like. Double down on the cheese and fries. A lot of people may not go to heaven, because this is heaven.”
Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette presented Cosby and Virginia Ali, Ben’s widow, with keys to Arlington. Cosby quipped that he would use it to get out of parking tickets.
“Whoa, who put me on stage after Bill Cosby?” Fisette said, to which Cosby shot back: “your mother did.”
“Thanks for choosing Arlington… for your second spot,” Fisette said. “As I’ve always said, chili for breakfast, chili for lunch, chili for dinner and a half smoke for dessert.”
Customers flooded into the the restaurant following the ribbon cutting, leaving a large crowd outside the doors, waiting to get in. Hundreds showed up to the Colonial Village Shopping Center parking lot to see Cosby speak and get some of the first tastes of chili, half smokes, hamburgers and milkshakes after standing outside in near-freezing temperatures.
The restaurant is located at 1725 Wilson Blvd, in the former Ray’s Hell Burger space. It’s owned and operated by three sons, Nizam, Kamal and Sage, and one daughter, Vida. The family said during the ribbon cutting that the restaurant plans to stay open until 4:30 a.m.
“The chili will sober you up,” Cosby said of Ben’s likely late night customers.
The rustic restaurant and its outdoor patio will seat 218 people. The bar will serve 20 draft beers, up to 20 wines by the glass and about 20 American whiskeys. The food menu includes $15-25 lunch entrees, $29-35 dinner entrees and a weekend brunch.
First announced in April, Copperwood Tavern is located at 4021 Campbell Avenue, in the former Bistro Bistro space. It’s owned by the company behind Wilson Tavern in Courthouse and The Mighty Pint and Irish Whiskey in D.C.
More about Copperwood Tavern, from a press release about the opening:
Designed by local artist Maggie O’Neill of O’Neill Studios to feel like your entering the wilderness in southern Virginia, Copperwood Tavern will feature seasonal farm to table menu options, 20 draft beer favorites, craft bar program and inviting atmosphere including front porch dining for you and your pet. Copperwood Tavern is scheduled to open on September 30, 2013.
This rustic tavern, which will seat 218 people, will feature prime cuts of local game, farm-raised poultry, beef and fresh fish accompanied with hearty, shared sides.
Copperwood Tavern will offer 20 draft beers, 30 small-batch whiskeys and a superb wine selection, its 30‐foot craft bar is also stocked with southern Virginia’s white whiskey, also known as moonshine.
Copperwood Tavern interior will be a dramatically warm and unique tribute to the best place in everyone’s life: The home away from home. Hunting and fishing accents will be seen throughout the décor, complete with all the charm and texture that comes with places that make you long to hang out longer.
With a “woodsy retreat” atmosphere, Copperwood wouldn’t be complete without the option to bring your loyal hunting companion — patrons will be encouraged to bring their pets along. Copperwood Tavern will feature a 56-person, dog-friendly porch with copper dog bowls and house-baked dog treats.
The restaurant is currently hiring servers, according to a Facebook post.
Photo via Facebook
Tutti Frutti franchise owner Geoff Trout is betting on it. He hopes to open shop on South Fern Street, next to the Post Office in the Millennium at Metropolitan Park apartments, in late August or early September.
The self-serve frozen yogurt trend hit Pentagon Row earlier this year when Yogiberry replaced Maggie Moo’s ice cream. The Tutti Frutti concept is similar — a rotating menu of flavors combined with 35 to 40 fruit and candy toppings.
“I feel very confident in the product,” Trout said. “I don’t think Pentagon Row is close enough. This is a company that has really taken off.”
The Los Angeles-based company claims it’s the largest self-serve frozen yogurt chain in the world, with 584 franchises.
The good news is they’re preparing to open soon. The bad news is you’ll have to wait a few more weeks.
Here is the current list of seasonal openings for Arlington’s popular rooftop establishments:
- Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill — April 1.
- Whitlow’s — Although the website says the opening will be March 8, an employee told us it will actually be St. Patrick’s Day, March 17.
- Clarendon Ballroom — There is no firm date. Management will decide after the threat of frost has passed, which could be anytime from March through the beginning of May.
- Eventide — Late April is when regularly scheduled evenings will begin. However, the rooftop will be ready starting March 15 and may open on especially warm evenings.
Cafe Caturra, a Richmond-based coffee shop/wine bar/soup-salad-and-sandwich restaurant, is now open in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center. The 3,400 square foot eatery, which features a decor partially made from reclaimed materials, officially opened its doors to customers on Friday.
Located at 2931 S. Glebe Road, Cafe Caturra offers specialty coffees, 24 boutique wines, two draft beers, and 20 bottled beers. The restaurant is offering mimosa specials on Sunday and is planning to eventually offer a weekday happy hour, according to marketing director Melissa Kirkpatrick.
The food menu includes soups, salads, paninis, pizzas, brioche sliders, small plates, cheese, charcuterie and desserts.
The restaurant will be hosting local musicians between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays. It also has a local art program that will display works from local artists. Founder Jeff Grant says he hopes Cafe Caturra becomes a neighborhood hangout.
“We’ve built a strong heritage as a gathering spot for people in the communities we serve,” he said.
Cafe Caturra opens at 11:00 a.m. seven days a week. It closes at 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday.
The company announced today that its grocery store at 1109 N. Highland Street will open at some point in November. The store is 12,300 square feet in size and will offer underground parking.
Interior construction started early last month. Freezer cases and other food-related accoutrements are now visible inside the under-construction store.
With the opening forthcoming, Clarendon residents will soon start receiving Trader Joe’s sales flyers.
“Many area residents after the store opens can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe’s ‘Fearless Flyer’ in their mailboxes,” the company said. “The Fearless Flyer is a somewhat irreverent description of a timely selection of Trader Joe’s products. It’s been called a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine.”
There are more than 350 Trader Joe’s stores in 30 states.
Interior construction has happened at an impressively rapid rate since the restaurant first announced an ambitious mid-September opening date earlier this month — but the opening is still at least two days before schedule.
The Alabama-based, Greek-inspired restaurant chain offers soups, salads, sandwiches, pitas and lunch/dinner entrees. The menu includes chicken kabobs, Greek salad, tuna salad, freshly-made hummus, a “club pita,” chicken pita pizza, spinach roll-ups and a turkey Reuben sandwich.
Zoë’s is located in the former Aladdin’s Eatery space, across one block from the Ballston Metro. This is the company’s fifth location in the D.C. area, with more locations planned.
American Tap Room (3101 Wilson Blvd) is putting the finishing touches on its new Clarendon location in hopes of opening after the long holiday weekend. Today the restaurant is doing a trial run for friends and family, but ARLnow.com got a sneak peak.
Dozens of taps line the wall of the bar, which opens up into a large dining room. Beyond the dining area is a glass-enclosed martini bar. During warm seasons, patrons can head outside to the sizable patio and get toasty next to the three fire pits.
“We’re excited to be a part of the Clarendon community,” said Vice President of Marketing Wade Breaux. “We can’t wait to see everyone in a few days.”
Breaux says there’s not any one thing that will set apart American Tap Room from the many other restaurants in the area. Instead, he said, it’s more about the overall experience. He notes the welcoming atmosphere, more than 60 beers on tap, martini room, patio and moderate prices as some of the special features.
“We’re not trying to be the cheapest and we’re not trying to be the most expensive,” Beaux said. “We want to have broad appeal.”
There are still some tweaks necessary before the expected opening on Tuesday, such as getting phone lines up and working. American Tap Room plans to hold a formal grand opening sometime in the next few weeks, when everything is running smoothly.
This is the company’s third American Tap Room location, in addition to locations in Reston and Bethesda.
The new Pinkberry frozen yogurt store in Clarendon (pictured) is planning a post-work froyo giveaway on Thursday, one day before its planned opening.
Pinkberry will give out free samples from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday. The store then plans to open to the public at 11:00 a.m. on Friday. Offerings include 6 different flavors of frozen yogurt and numerous toppings.
The Clarendon Pinkberry will be the California-based chain’s third D.C.-area location.