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!
We’re less than a week away from ARLnow.com’s fifth anniversary party. If you like ARLnow.com and you like fun, presumably you have already reserved your tickets — if not, check out the trivia question below for a chance to get 20 percent off.
As part of the lead-up to the party (hosted at the Crystal Tech Fund offices, pictured, in Crystal City), we’re taking a trip down memory lane to the year we launched.
That year, 2010, featured lots of memorable local stories, some of them downright weird. Do you remember…
- The severed goat’s head that was found in Barcroft Park
- The Russian spy ring that included three Arlington residents, one of whom unknowingly made a videotaped “dead drop” in Glencarlyn Park
- Snowmageddon, which struck on Feb. 5, and resulted in huge snow piles that didn’t melt until April
- Our first (and last) Arlington’s Cutest Dog contest, which resulted in so many entries we had to break it into four separate voting groups
- The Virginia Square Metro hero, who came to the aid of a man who fell on the tracks (and made national news after ARLnow.com obtained the video from Metro)
- Two words: Bacon Week
- The mysterious, abrupt closing of Washington Golf Center, which prompted an early ARLnow.com “investigation”
Now, for the trivia question: what was the original name of the new-for-2010 rooftop deck at Whitlow’s? (It was renamed “Wilson’s” prior to opening.)
If you know the answer, enter that as a promo code (without spaces) on our Eventbrite page for 20 percent off. You’re welcome!
Our fifth anniversary bash will be held on January 27, from 6-8 p.m. at Crystal Tech Fund (2231 Crystal Drive, 10th floor). The price of admission includes craft beer, wine and heavy appetizers from Ruth’s Chris Steak House.
What have followed are five years of continuous local news coverage, from tiny articles about potholes that no other news outlet would report on to big scoops that quickly have become international news.
As part of our five year anniversary, we’re looking back (in no particular order) at some of the defining Arlington stories of 2010. Some are weighty and easily remembered. Others, not so much.
Do you remember…
- The car that crashed into Rhodeside Grill?
- The opening of Bakeshop and Red Mango in Clarendon, kicking off the local cupcake and froyo crazes? (Red Mango has closed, Bakeshop is preparing to celebrate its own fifth year anniversary.)
- The county employee who tossed A-frame signs on N. Fillmore Street in the trash, as part of a crackdown on illegal signage? (A-frame signs are now allowed on sidewalks.)
- President Obama taking Russian president Dimitri Medvedev to lunch at Ray’s Hell Burger in Rosslyn?
- The triumphant announcement that Trader Joe’s would be opening in Clarendon? (“Break Out The Three-Buck Chuck,” our headline blared.)
- The hiring, then abrupt firing, of County Manger Michael Brown? (At the time, the county tried to pass off the firing as a “resignation” due to the health of Brown’s wife. Brown received a $110,000 severance payment.)
- The strong August storm that felled 40-50 trees in Fairlington and blew out car windows in Shirlington?
If you remembered all of those, congrats! You’re officially an ARLnow.com early adopter.
Come reminisce with us at our Fifth Anniversary Bash on January 27, from 6-8 p.m. at Crystal Tech Fund in Crystal City. Through 11:30 tonight tickets are discounted to an “early adopter” rate of $12.90. After that, the price goes up to $20.10.
The event is hosted by the Crystal City Business Improvement District and the price of admission includes adult beverages and delicious finger food.
Bond Chairs: Listen to Concerns — The co-chairs of the 2014 school bond committee warned Arlington School Board members that they should not take continued voter support for granted, despite the approval of a $105.8 million school bond earlier this month. The co-chairs told the Board that they should listen to voter concerns, including concerns about the cost of new school facilities. [InsideNova]
Post Tries ‘Divide’ Storyline Again — The Washington Post has published another article blaming a class and a racial divide between north and south Arlington on the cancellation of the Columbia Pike and Crystal City streetcar system. A letter to the editor writer, in response, asks if the divide is worth the ink. “Where is the problem… is anyone’s goal to make South Arlington as expensive as North Arlington so that only rich people can live there?” [Washington Post]
New eBooks at Library — You can now download “Catch 22″ and “Team of Rivals” from the library. Arlington Public Library has added eBooks from publisher Simon & Schuster to its downloadable books collection. [Arlington Public Library]
Thanksgiving Eve Party in Clarendon — Clarendon Ballroom is hosting “Arlington’s biggest Thanksgiving Eve party” Wednesday night, starting at 8:00 p.m. The event will feature multiple DJs and “plenty of booze and fun to get you through a weekend with the family.” [Clarendon Nights]
Flick pool photo by Joseph Gruber
The study, conducted by financial advice company NerdWallet using data from online event platform EventBrite, says Arlington’s “overall score for Halloween parties,” which is a combination of number of RSVPs and affordability, is 83.79 out of 100.
Arlington registered a seven out of 10 for its “party engagement score” and has an average party cost of $12.15, second-lowest in the top 10, behind No. 8 Nashville, Tenn., at $12.11. Washington, D.C., is the 17th-best city in the country for parties with an overall score of 81.73 and an average cost of $25.64.
The engagement score is on a scale of 1-10, according to NerdWallet, with a 10 meaning more than 20,000 people in one city have RSVP-ed to a Halloween party. The only city in the country to achieve a 10 was San Francisco, the top city on the list. Behind San Francisco, which had an overall score of 96.14, on the list are New York City, San Antonio, Texas, and Phoenix.
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
This evening, the running club is throwing its fifth anniversary party at its usual post-run watering hole, Bungalow Sports Grill (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive). The club’s runners participate in its 5K runs on Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., then heads to the restaurant for happy hour.
Mirentxu Meyer and Shirley Santos founded the running club when Santos was training for a triathlon, and, seeing as how they “hated to run,” they figured they would start a community group to make it a little more fun.
“Shirlington is a really young place with new families,” Meyer said. “We [saw] a lot of cuties out at the grocery store and we wanted to bring them out.”
The club was designed as a “not too intimidating and not too easy group,” and it’s grown exponentially as runners sign up to have their attendance tracked, earn free T-shirts with attendance milestones and enjoy a few beers with their running counterparts at Bungalow. Meyer said people “don’t have to be a runner” to join the club, and their attendance will still be taken.
Tonight, at 6:30 p.m. the party will include raffles with prizes like free tickets to a show at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre, a shoe fitting with New Balance and 10 vendors on hand to offer their wares to members both new and old.
There will be a rain date later this week — yet to be announced — if the run is cancelled due to the inclement weather in the forecast, but that won’t stop the carousing. Four years ago, at SRC’s first anniversary party, the skies opened up during the raffles, Meyer said.
“All of a sudden there was a big crack and there was a crazy downpour,” she said. “There was no power left, but the beer kept pouring.”
Photo via Shirlington Running Club. Morgan Fecto contributed to this report.
(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Wilson Tavern, a Courthouse bar that has developed a following for theme nights like “Condoms and Candy Necklaces,” is throwing one last party tonight before it closes its 2403 Wilson Blvd location.
The demolition of Wilson Tavern is expected to begin soon, and construction of the hotel, slated to be an eight-story Hyatt Place, is expected to start this summer. The hotel includes a ground floor retail space for a restaurant.
Wilson Tavern opened in December 2011, replacing the former Kitty O’Shea’s.
Photo via Facebook
Work to Begin Soon on Bergmann’s Development — Developer McCaffery Interests is planning to begin demolition work soon on the former Bergmann’s dry cleaning plant, at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Vietch Street. Workers could be seen surveying the building last week. On the site, McCaffrey will build a mixed-use development now called “Verde Pointe.” The project, which was approved in 2012, includes 177 apartments, 23 townhomes and a 14,000 square foot MOM’s Organic Market grocery store. [Washington Business Journal]
Opower Files for IPO — Courthouse-based energy efficiency company Opower has filed for an initial public stock offering. The company has nearly 500 employees across 5 offices worldwide. It was founded in 2007. President Obama visited the company’s Courthouse headquarters in 2010. [Wall Street Journal]
Bar to Host ‘Condoms and Candy Necklace Party’ — In honor of Valentine’s Day, Wilson Tavern in Courthouse (2403 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting a “Condoms & Candy Necklace Party” tomorrow (Friday) from 8:00 p.m. to close. [Clarendon Nights]
Va. Bill Would Stiffen Chicken Protections — A bill currently proposed in the Virginia General Assembly would remove a cap on the penalty for dog owners whose pets kill chickens and other fowl. If passed, the legislation could give new ammunition for opponents of urban hen raising in Arlington. Virginia law already allows for dogs found to be attacking chickens to be shot on sight. [Sun Gazette]
Party Tonight to Include ‘Drunk Santa’ — Fresh off a grueling evening of world-wide present delivering, Santa Claus is apparently ready to party. Wilson Tavern (2403 Wilson Blvd) in Courthouse is hosting a “Misfits Christmas Party” tonight. According to a poster for the event, it includes the opportunity to “get you picture taken with drunk Santa.” [Clarendon Nights]
Vihstadt Has a ‘Very Real Chance’ — Local political prognosticator Ben Tribbett, who runs the Not Larry Sabato blog, says independent Arlington County Board candidate John Vihstadt has a “very real chance” of ending Democrats’ total sweep of Arlington elected offices. “Arlington Democrats always have massive underperformance issues in special elections,” Tribbett writes. “There is a very real chance that in March, Arlington’s time as being controlled by all Democratic elected officials will come to an end.” Tribbett also notes that Vihstadt, despite running as an independent and attracting some Democratic endorsements, is “a large GOP donor.” [Not Larry Sabato]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
An officer responded to the 3500 block of N. Nottingham Street around 9:40 p.m. on Saturday, April 27, for a report of a loud party, according to police. Upon arriving, the officer approached the house and observed a large number of young people.
“Numerous” party-goers then began fleeing from the home by jumping over fences into nearby yards, while others started throwing beer cans and bottles at the officer, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Backup units arrived on scene and the remaining partyers were rounded up. In all, 43 people between the ages of 15 and 18 were charged with underage consumption of alcohol.
“Many of them were rude and uncooperative,” Sternbeck said. Another 16 juveniles were released into the custody of their parents without charges after a voluntary breath test revealed no traces of alcohol, Sternbeck said.
“Let’s just say there were a lot of unhappy parents responding to the 3500 block of N. Nottingham Street that night,” said Sternbeck.
No charges have been filed against the homeowner, who was not present at the time of the party but was later reached by police via phone. Police were unable to locate the suspects who threw the cans and bottles at the officer, Sternbeck said.
The parade — the largest in the D.C. area — will run up Wilson Boulevard from N. Barton Street to Washington Boulevard. Several significant road closures will be in effect as a result. Parade-goers are being encouraged to walk or take Metro.
If you’re looking for something to do before or after the parade (other than watching the State of the Union address) here are a few local Fat Tuesday-themed happenings that might be of interest.
- Bayou Bakery (1515 N. Courthouse Road) is hosting a “block party” outside the store starting at 5:00 p.m.
- Whitlow’s (2854 Wilson Blvd) is offering hurricanes, drink specials and a special menu
- Wilson Tavern (2403 Wilson Blvd) is hosting a Mardi Gras party with specials and free beads
- Iota Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd) is hosting a free concert by The Grandsons starting at 8:30 p.m. The event includes free “gumbo shots.”
- RiRa Irish Pub (2915 Wilson Blvd) is hosting a live band starting at 7:00 p.m., plus offering $3 drink specials until 9:00 and “beads all over the place”
- Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd) is hosting a Fat Tuesday Mardi Gras Party “all day long.” DJ Chris Styles will perform, specials will be available and free masquerade masks and beads will be provided.
- Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (3022 Woodlawn Ave, Falls Church) is hosting a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper from 4:30 to 7:00 p.m.
A number of venues still have space available for their celebrations, but some will increase ticket prices at the door. Options also exist for those in search of family friendly activities. Here are some of the celebrations around Arlington:
Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse — (2903 Columbia Pike) Watch New York City’s celebration in Times Square on the movie screen and take in music during the 1980s themed party. The $15 admission price covers entertainment and party favors. Food and drinks can be purchased from tableside waitstaff. Guests must be at least 21 years old.
Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill – (2424 Wilson Blvd) The $50 admission price ($70 at the door) includes a dinner and dessert buffet, live entertainment, a coffee bar, a midnight champagne toast and party favors. The event runs from 9:00 p.m.-2:00 a.m. and guests must be 21 or older. There will be drink specials all night.
Artisphere — (1101 Wilson Blvd) Starting at 8:30 p.m., three DJs and a live video show will be highlighted at the art venue’s celebration. Tickets are currently $95 and include entertainment, a two hour premium open bar, passed hors d’oeuvres and party favors.
Capitol City Brewing Company — (4001 Campbell Avenue) The event begins at 9:00 p.m. with an appetizer buffet that runs through midnight. Admission is $30, with a $10 cover charge for guests arriving after 10:00 p.m. Music, party favors and a champagne toast are included.
Clarendon Ballroom — (3185 Wilson Blvd) Doors open at 8:00 p.m. for the party, featuring Liquid A with DJ Squirrel in the lower lounge. Tickets are currently $105 and include entertainment, a dinner buffet, party favors, four drink tickets, a champagne toast and a balloon drop at midnight. Tickets can be be purchased online or by calling 1-888-695-0888.
The Comedy Spot — (Ballston Common Mall) The whole family can enjoy the PG comedy performance. Tickets for the 8:00 p.m. show are $15 and party hats will be provided. At the end of the show, performers will welcome Rio de Janeiro’s new year for those who can’t stay up until midnight local time.
Extra Virgin Modern Italian Cuisine – (4053 Campbell Avenue) The first of the restaurant’s two dinner seatings costs $55 and runs from 5:00-7:00 p.m. The second seating runs from 7:30-9:30 p.m., with party favors, a champagne toast and live music included in the $85 cost. Starting at 10:00 p.m., walk-ins can pay $20, which includes party favors and access to the band.
Iota Club and Cafe — (2832 Wilson Blvd) The music venue presents the bands The Beanstalk Library, Ugly Purple Sweater and Alex Vans & the Hideaway. Tickets are $18 and include music, party favors and a midnight toast. Bands are scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m.
Signature Theatre — (4200 Campbell Avenue) Take in a special performance of Dreamgirls at 8:00 p.m. and then stay for heavy hors d’oeuvres, a midnight champagne toast and music from a DJ. Tickets to the musical start at $40; tickets for the after party are $75 for subscribers and $100 for non-subscribers. Tickets for the party can be purchased by calling 703-820-9771.
Union Jack’s — (Ballston Common Mall) The annual Little Black Dress Ball includes a dinner buffet from 8:00-10:00 p.m., live entertainment, a midnight toast, party favors and a late night continental breakfast. Tickets are currently $20 but will increase, and can be purchased online or by calling 703-778-3568.
On Monday, management at the Archstone Ballston Square apartment building (850 N. Randolph Street) sent an email to residents detailing some incidents of excessive partying. The email also reminds residents of rules against tossing objects off balconies and holding drinking game competitions in apartment common areas.
Said the tipster who sent us the memo: “Archstone Ballston Square is turning into quite the frat [house].”
Having an enjoyable summer and being able to enjoy our outdoor spaces such as the BBQ area, Pool and Sundeck requires the cooperation of all residents.
This past Friday night someone threw beer bottles from their balcony into the pool and onto the pool deck. Thankfully the lifeguard was attentive and able to clean this out with only a minor delay in re-opening the pool for everyone’s enjoyment. Glass in the pool or on the pool deck poses a huge accident risk and also will force us to shut down the area possibly for extended periods of time. Please be reminded that tossing anything from your balcony is completely unacceptable and it poses dangers to the entire community. The weekend prior we had a minor mulch fire because of cigarettes being tossed off.
In addition, drinking games of any sort are prohibited in common areas. We do not allow alcoholic beverages to be taken to the pool area and alcohol cannot be consumed in the public areas such as the BBQ deck and courtyard. Going forward we will have to enforce this rule and resident found drinking will be asked to retreat to their own apartments. Only plastic cups or bottles may be used on the deck.
Due to the huge crowds we saw last weekend we can only allow each resident to bring one additional guest this summer. Please be reminded that we will hold residents responsible for their guests behavior as well.
Please assist us in maintaining this an enjoyable area for all residents by following the above rules and allowing your neighbors to enjoy the facilities as well.
Archstone Ballston Square
If you live in an apartment or condo, have you had similar incidents happen at your building?
Photo via Google
Spike Mendelsohn brought some glitz and glamour to Crystal City Friday night at the private opening party for his newest Good Stuff Eatery location.
Between the the celebrity DJ inside (Josh Madden), the Ferrari parked outside (it belonged to one of Spike’s investors), and the reality show production crew that filmed the whole thing (we were told they were working on “Life After Top Chef”), the party was more Hollywood Boulevard than Crystal Drive. Taking in the excitement — and the beer, fries, burgers and milkshakes — was a capacity crowd that included young partiers, local notables, and Mendelsohn family members.
The restaurant, at 2110 Crystal Drive, is set to open to the public on Wednesday.
It’s getting to be that time when some people look past Christmas and start firming up plans for New Year’s Eve. A number of venues will be raising ticket prices after this week, so it’s a good time to take action.
Here are some of the larger or unique New Year’s Eve events happening around Arlington. This list is by no means exhaustive, but provides some interesting options from places that have already announced their celebrations.
1. Hyatt Regency Crystal City — Professionals in the City is hosting its annual “Passport to the World Gala” at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City (2799 Jefferson Davis Hwy). In addition to food, drinks and a DJ, the event has entertainment featuring various cultures around the world. Some highlights include the Japanese karaoke room, Red Light District adult-content comedians, Caribbean steel drums and Bollywood Hills Underground Club.
The $99 ticket option allows entry at 10:30 p.m. and includes six drink tickets. The $139 ticket option allows entry at 9:00 p.m. and includes eight drink tickets. Prices will increase after Friday, December 9.
2. Signature Theatre — Guests can take in the 8:00 p.m. performance of “Hairspray” at the Signature Theater (4200 Campbell Ave) and then stay for a countdown to the new year with the cast of the musical.
Tickets are $100 ($75 for Signature Theatre members) and include two drinks, hors d’oeuvres, a champagne toast and dancing to music from a DJ.
3. Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse — Ring in the new year at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) with a 1980s themed bash. Watch New York City’s Times Square celebration live on the big screen while dancing to ’80s tunes from a DJ.
Tickets are $15 and include admission and party favors.
4. Northside Social – The folks at Northside Social (3211 Wilson Blvd) are doing things a little differently for New Year’s Eve. According to their Facebook page, they’re auctioning off the use of the facilities to the highest bidder. The winner gets to throw their own party, fully customized by Northside Social.
Contact Sean Lowder at 804-305-0402 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to place a bid.