GGW: Arlington Is Losing a Smart Growth Advocate — Chris Zimmerman’s announced departure from the Arlington County Board means the county is losing a true smart growth advocate, says Greater Greater Washington writer Canaan Merchant. “Whoever hopes to replace them will have big shoes to fill as Mr. Zimmerman’s influence will loom large in Arlington and greater Washington for years,” he writes. “Smart growth or public transportation advocates have their work cut out for them if they want to support a candidate in Arlington who is dedicated to those issues as much as Zimmerman has for the past 18 years.” [Greater Greater Washington]
New Building Tech Hinders Emergency Communication – The technology that’s helping to make new buildings stronger is playing havoc with police and fire department radios. Arlington County is trying to lead by example by requiring a special antenna system in all new county buildings. The system allows communication among first responders and dispatchers indoors in buildings where radios would otherwise not work. [WJLA]
Piola Introduces Unlimited Pizza Brunch — It your brunch plans would be enhanced by an unlimited supply of pizza, Piola in Rosslyn (1550 Wilson Blvd) now has a deal for you. On Saturday the restaurant is debuting a “‘No Limit’ Pizza Brunch,” with unlimited helpings of more than 10 different pizzas. Pitchers of sangria and sparkling drinks will also be offered. The brunch deal will run from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Former Arlington Police PIO Joins Alexandria — Crystal Nosal, the former Public Information Officer of the Arlington County Police Department, will be joining the Alexandria Police Department in the same role on Nov. 18. During her tenure as Arlington’s PIO, Nosal was a familiar face on local news broadcasts when a significant crime or accident happened in the county.
Terminal A Revamp Underway at DCA — A $37 million renovation project at Reagan National Airport’s Terminal A is proceeding swiftly. The project isn’t adding a significant amount of extra space to the historic terminal, but it will make the existing space seem brighter and more open. Most of the work is expected to be complete by the holiday travel season. [Washington Post]
Pupatella Makes National Pizza Rankings — Bluemont’s Pupatella Neapolitan Pizzeria (5104 Wilson Blvd) serves one of the top 40 slices of pizza in the country, according to new rankings. Pupatella’s capricciosa pizza was ranked No. 36 on the list, as judged by the Daily Meal website. [Daily Mail]
Students Receive Scholarships at NAACP Banquet — Through a partnership with the Arlington NAACP, a new scholarship fund awarded $2,500/year college scholarships to four high-performing local students over the weekend. The scholarship fund allows the NAACP to “invest in our youth,” said the head of the Arlington branch of the organization. [Sun Gazette]
Beer and Wine Walks Return to Crystal City — Crystal City’s 1K wine and beer walks will return next month. The walks — which allow participants to sample various wines and beers while walking through Crystal City’s underground shopping center — will take place on Nov. 16 and 17. [Crystal City]
County Board Adopts Public Safety Radio Resolution — The Arlington County Board adopted a resolution yesterday (Tuesday) that calls on builders to install technology that allows better police and fire department communications in new buildings. Modern construction materials have made it difficult for first responders to receive radio signals in newer buildings. The Board’s non-binding resolution calls on builders to install in-building wireless systems to better transmit public radio signals. [Arlington County]
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
A new pizza chain has opened in Pentagon City.
Extreme Pizza opened at 1419 S. Fern Street, across from Costco, on Sunday. The restaurant offers various types of signature pizzas, with names like “Green With Envy,” “Poultry Geist,” “The Spice Route” and “Wingin’ It.” Customers can also customize their own pizza, or order off a menu that includes calzones, sub sandwiches, salads, sides and desserts.
A gluten-free pizza option is available for those who request it.
The Pentagon City Extreme Pizza has indoor dine-in seating, and also offers delivery and takeout. Its phone number is 703-271-1020.
This is the first Extreme Pizza location inside the Beltway and the fourth in Virginia. The existing Virginia locations are in Vienna, Henrico and Richmond.
The Washington Post is out with a list of the “40 dishes Washingtonians shouldn’t live without in 2013,” and apparently the region can live without most food in Arlington.
Of the 40 restaurants and dishes, the Margherita DOC pizza at Pupatella (5104 Wilson Blvd) was the only Arlington original to make the list.
Also on the list was the Kufta sandwich at Astor Mediterranean, a D.C. restaurant that has a satellite location in Arlington at 2300 N. Pershing Drive.
Alexandria and Falls Church each tallied two restaurants on the list, which was compiled partially via suggestions from Twitter using the “#40Eats” hashtag. The vast majority of the list featured restaurants in the District.
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.
Courthouse Office Building Approved — At its meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board unanimously approved a redevelopment plan for a new 8-story office building at 2311 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse. [Arlington County]
Goody’s Expansion Plan Foiled by the Fiscal Cliff? — Clarendon pizza restaurant Goody’s was featured on the Friday broadcast of NBC Nightly News. The owners of the restaurant say they’re only making a small profit and they’re worried about having to close due to the impact of the so-called fiscal cliff (primarily the increased taxes that could go into effect if no deal is reached). Goody’s owners were planning to expand next year, but have put those plans on hold, according to the broadcast. [NBC News]
First Streetcars, Then Spaceships — Trying to make the point that the County Board doesn’t have a hidden agenda when considering adoption of the Virginia Public-Private Transportation Act, Board member Walter Tejada said that public-private partnerships could be used for future projects, and not just for streetcars. “It could be used for spaceships down the line in the future,” he said. [Sun Gazette]
Winter Coats and Clothes Collected — The Rosslyn Business Improvement District collected 119 bags of winter clothing from area businesses and residents over the past month. The clothes will be donated to the homeless clients of the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network. The Nauck Community Service Center, meanwhile, collected more than 500 coats for distribution to Arlington residents in need.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The family that owns Mario’s Pizza House is selling the 16,000 square foot parcel of land on which Mario’s and the Carvel Ice Cream shop sits. Mario’s has been in business at that location, 3322 Wilson Boulevard, between Clarendon and Virginia Square, since 1958.
The land — much of which sits fallow as a surface parking lot — was originally listed for sale for $3 million. After apparently not finding a buyer at that price, the land is now going up for auction.
“This property is located in one of the only prime development areas remaining in Arlington, VA,” according to the auction website. “It… consists of 3 parcels totaling 16,073 square feet. The 2,400 sf retail building is currently home to Mario’s Pizza and Carvel Ice Cream and produces $12,500 per month in rental income.”
The auction is set to take place on Thursday, Dec. 20, but the winning bidder will not necessarily be allowed to purchase the property.
“This sale is subject to our motivated Seller’s approval,” the auction listing notes.
We’re told that there are still 12-15 years left on the leases for Mario’s and Carvel. (Though owned by the same family, the land owner and the restaurant are separate business entities.) The stores are likely to remain open until the land buyer, if there is one, manages to get a redevelopment plan approved by the county.
One possibility is that a developer might buy this property, then attempt to buy the adjacent Pio-Pio restaurant and Highlander motel properties. That could allow a large high-rise development, given the proximity to the Orange Line. Either way, both Mario’s and Carvel are here to stay, says Mario’s owner Alan Levine.
“Both leases are long term and convey,” Levine told ARLnow.com. “There will be no interruption of operations for either business. It is just time to allow others to put this block together properly for the future and Mario’s and Carvel have first rights to go into any new development.”
Photo courtesy (top) Timothy D. Image (bottom) via Google Maps. Hat tip to various tipsters.
Extreme Pizza — which offers unique pizzas with non-traditional ingredients like mandarin oranges, hummus, walnuts and broccoli — is coming to 1419 S. Fern Street, across from Costco and near the recently-opened Epic Smokehouse.
This will be the first Extreme Pizza location inside the Beltway and the fourth in Virginia. The existing Virginia locations are in Vienna, Henrico and Richmond. Those restaurants all feature indoor and outdoor seating, take-out and delivery service and online ordering.
The company says it distinguishes itself through a “dedication to quality” and a “commitment to innovation.”
“At Extreme Pizza, we’re always experimenting with new ways to test the palette, to push the pizza experience to a higher level,” says the company’s “Philosophy” web page. “This is the sort of pizza invented by people who sail from kites, who snowboarded before there were snowboards, and who learned to always color outside the lines.”
In addition to pizza, the Extreme Pizza in Pentagon City is also expected to offer calzones, salads, subs, wings, and gluten-free options, plus beer and wine. No word yet on when the eatery is hoping to open.
Photo via Facebook
A new Italian restaurant is coming to Ballston early next year.
Il Forno Restaurant is coming to the ground floor of the Virginia Tech Research Center building at 900 N. Glebe Road, near the Greene Turtle. The restaurant will have 124 seats and a pizza oven that’s being imported from Italy, according to owner Charles Nejat, a sales manager at the nearby Arlington Mercedes-Benz dealership.
Translated from Italian, “Il Forno” means “The Oven.”
Nejat said he’s hoping to open the restaurant as early as January 1.
After some delays caused by permitting issues, the owners of Bronx Pizza in Clarendon are hoping to open next week.
Owner Mike Cordero tells ARLnow.com that he expects to open the pizzeria on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
Located at 3100 Clarendon Boulevard, Bronx Pizza is intended to be an Arlington version of a neighborhood pizza joint like the one Cordero started working at in the South Bronx at the age of 13. Cordero says the closest thing to Bronx Pizza in Arlington right now is the Italian Store (3123 Lee Highway). What Bronx Pizza lacks in Italian groceries, however, it makes up for in decorations — including photos on the wall of Mickey Mantle, Tony Soprano, the Rat Pack and New York City’s George Washington Bridge.
The menu at Bronx Pizza includes New York style pizza by the slice — $2.75 for a jumbo cheese slice, $2.95 for a Sicilian slice and $3.25 for a specialty jumbo slice. Whole New York style pies start at $14.95 for a large 16 inch and $17.95 for an extra-large 20 inch. Specialty options include the Whitestone Bridge pizza (Alfredo sauce, ham, broccoli, Parmesan and mozzarella), the Grand Concourse veggie pizza (fire-roasted peppers, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli), the Tremont Avenue chicken carbonara (roasted chicken breast with carbonara sauce) and the Pelham Bay Park BBQ chicken pizza (BBQ chicken with homemade BBQ sauce).
Other menu options include various types of calzones, rolls, hot 10 inch subs, cold 10 inch hoagies, and Italian pastas, as well as appetizers and desserts like boardwalk style fries, Italian fried cheese balls, fried pickles, homemade cannoli and tiramisu.
Bronx Pizza is located in a relatively small space, but includes a few tables for indoor seating.
Update at 2:25 p.m. on 8/17/12 — Bronx Pizza is now expected to open on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
Local restaurateur Mike Cordero is planning a culinary one-two punch next week, with official openings scheduled for two Arlington restaurants in successive days.
First up is A-Town Bar & Grill, the renovated successor to Caribbean Breeze in Ballston (4100 Fairfax Drive). Cordero says the restaurant will likely start serving customers this coming Wednesday as part of a quiet “soft opening,” but will hold its official opening on Friday, Aug. 10.
A-Town will feature an expanded beer list; an “eclectic” menu including sushi, sandwich creations, flatbread pizzas and steaks; a redone outdoor patio; a birchwood bar; historic photos of Arlington on the walls; and lots of flat screen TVs.
Cordero says former Caribbean Breeze patrons “are not going to recognize the restaurant” when they walk in. He acknowledged that he’s taking a risk by replacing the successful Caribbean Breeze, but insists “the odds are in our favor to succeed here and increase our sales.”
“One of the reasons we switched from Caribbean Breeze to A-Town is that Caribbean Breeze was more of a specialty operation,” he told ARLnow.com. “I figured we could support the locals and cater to Arlington, not just to Miami… It will be a place you could eat at every day.”
Bronx Pizza (3100 Clarendon Blvd), which has been “coming soon” to Clarendon since February 2011,
will open the doors to its first customers on Saturday, Aug. 11, according to Cordero.
Cordero, who grew up in the South Bronx and started working in a mom-and-pop pizza place at the age of 13, says the opening will feature something unique to Arlington: actual Bronx pizza makers.
“Old friends of mine who have been in the pizzeria business for 20 years, they’re going to come down and help [with the opening],” he said. “The reason we call it Bronx Pizza is I am from the Bronx, two blocks from Yankee stadium.”
In addition to bona fide Bronx natives, the shop will feature plenty of other touches from the northernmost New York City borough, including photos of the Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Michael Corleone (from the filming of The Godfather), and the George Washington Bridge.
Cordero is expecting late night food to be a big component of the shop’s business.
“It will be a big bang,” he said of the planned Saturday opening, “considering all those bars and clubs are going to get out at 2:00 a.m. and we’ll be open until 4:00 a.m.”
Interior construction on both restaurants is expected to wrap up by Monday.
Flickr pool photo (top) by Maryva2
Two years after opening the 1,400-square-foot storefront, owner/couple Enzo Algarme and Anastasiya Laufenberg are taking over the next-door space left by Union Halal Butcher & Grocery. The move will almost double the store’s footprint and allow for a total of about 75 seats with a second dining room.
It’s a long way from the made-to-order food cart the two began operating near the Ballston Metro in 2007.
“It’s been really nice to get to know people from the neighborhood and feel their love and their support,” Laufenberg said. “I’m really looking forward to having a more comfortable space for them to come and eat.”
More space will also mean more hours. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday the pizzeria is open for dinner only.
Laufenberg said once the couple finishes hiring new staff, they’ll be open for breakfast (coffee, donuts and other Italian morning treats) and lunch (sandwiches and pasta dishes).
“It won’t be as crammed and we’re excited because we think it’ll be more relaxed,” Laufenberg said.
Last Chance to Comment on Bikeshare Plan — Today is the last day to comment on Arlington’s Capital Bikeshare Expansion Plan. Comments on the six year strategic growth plan can be submitted online through the end of the day today. [Arlington Transportation Partners]
Republicans Pounce on Garvey’s Streetcar Abstention — Hoping to capture a seat on the County Board this November, Republicans are planning on hammering away at the current all-Democrat Board for approving the Columbia Pike streetcar. The GOP is also planning to pounce on their Democratic opponent, Libby Garvey, for abstaining from the streetcar vote while expressing skepticism about the plan. Republican Matt Wavro will face Garvey and Green Party candidate Audrey Clement on the Nov. 6 ballot. [Sun Gazette]
Arlington Officials Puzzled by Estate Gift — Arlington officials can’t fathom why a late resident left the county five percent of his estate in his will. The County Board had to vote to refund some of the money after whoever is in charge of executing the will made an error and sent the county $51,000 more than it was actually owed. [Patch]
Paisano’s Named Best Pizza by WTOP — Paisano’s has been named the best pizza in the D.C. area by WTOP listeners and website visitors. The local chain has a location near Crystal City at 3650 South Glebe Road. Pete’s New Haven Style Apizza, which has a location in Clarendon, placed #4 in the voting. [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by Christaki
As we reported on Monday, D.C.-based RedRocks is planning to open its third location in the Penrose Square development on Columbia Pike. According to a press release, the RedRocks hopes to hopes to open the new Pike location in “early December.”
The restaurant’s 3,800 square foot space at Penrose Square will abut the north end of a new public square that’s currently under construction, at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Barton Street. The restaurant will house a wood-burning oven, 140 indoor seats and a full-service bar and lounge area. Outdoor seating will also be offered.
From a press release:
RedRocks Pizzeria will be the newest addition to Arlington’s Penrose Square development off of Columbia Pike in Arlington. The new restaurant will be an expanded version of the other two locations in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC and in Old Town Alexandria, with a more extensive menu and wider selection of beers on tap.
The 3,800 square foot space is poised to be the local neighborhood spot for Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in a 900 degree wood-burning oven. Designed with a rustic wood and brick theme, the future spot will feature a 140-seat indoor space, a full-service bar and lounge area, and a dining room with elevated booth seating. The restaurant will also offer outdoor seating overlooking the new Penrose Square pedestrian park currently under development by Arlington County.
Menu offerings will be expanded from the other two locations to include everything from fresh pasta dishes and the award-winning RedRocks Neapolitan pizza to small plates and snacks, ranging from risotto croquettes and fava bean crostini, to the popular Meatballs Al Forno.
The new RedRocks location will feature a weekend brunch, similar to the popular brunch offered at the Columbia Heights location. The new menu is crafted by Angel Mendoza, currently head chef at the RedRocks Old Town location and former head chef for 2Amys pizzeria in Washington, DC.
The bar will offer a wide array of cocktails, martinis, specialty drinks, and 15 beers on tap. In addition, the new space will feature a more intimate lounge area with comfortable couches grouped together, perfect for meeting new people.
The anticipated opening date is scheduled for early December 2012. The restaurant is located in the new Penrose Square, which also includes restaurants Eamonn’s Dublin Chipper and Taqueria Poblano. The owners of RedRocks enlisted Paul Beckmann to design the space. Beckmann’s latest restaurant projects include Virtue Grain and Feed and Society Fair in Old Town Alexandria, VA.
Photos courtesy RedRocks Pizzeria
Update on 6/27/12 — RedRocks is hoping to open in “early December.”
RedRocks Pizzeria will be opening its first Arlington location in the Penrose Square development (2501 S. 9th Road) along Columbia Pike, according to public permit records.
RedRocks, which has locations in the District and in Old Town Alexandria, specializes in Neapolitan-style pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven. In addition to various varieties of specialty pizza, its menu features Italian appetizers, salads, paninis, calzones, desserts and a wide variety of beer and wine.
The restaurant’s Columbia Heights location, in the District, first opened in 2007. It opened its Alexandria location in 2010. Arlington will be the D.C.-based company’s third location.
No word yet on when the Pike location will open; it appears to be in the early pre-buildout stages.
RedRocks will be joining a variety of restaurants and other businesses that have opened or will be opening soon in Penrose Square, located along the 2400 block of Columbia Pike. This afternoon construction was taking place in the future Eamonn’s Dublin Chipper. Work is also either underway or about to get underway at future locations for Mancini de Paris Salon & Day Spa and Menchies Frozen Yogurt. Taqueria Poblano and Columbia Pike Family Dentistry, meanwhile, recently opened in Penrose Square.