The 11th annual “Rock the Row” summer concert series at Pentagon Row will start June 6, but in a different location than years past.
Thanks to major renovations at the shopping center’s plaza, this year the concerts will be held in the alley between Pentagon Row and the Pentagon City mall parking garage. The alley will be closed to traffic during the concerts. As before, the concerts will take place on Thursday evenings from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
This year’s Rock the Row schedule is as follows:
- June 6: Slippery When Wet (Bon Jovi tribute)
- June 13: Hyjinx (90s cover)
- June 20: Uncle Jack Band (70s tribute)
- June 27: Gonzo’s Nose (80s tribute)
- July 11: Unity Reggae Band (Reggae)
- July 18: All Mighty Senators (Rock and Soul)
- July 25: The Crawdaddies (Roots Rock and Zydeco)
- August 1: Beach Bumz (Jimmy Buffett tribute)
- August 8: Higher Hands (Funk)
- August 15: Matt Hutchison Band (Pop Rock)
- August 22: Real Geniuses (80s tribute)
- August 29: Crowded Streets (Dave Matthews tribute)
The concerts are free and open to the public.
The renovations at the Pentagon Row plaza include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit. Construction on the project is expected to wrap up this fall.
LOFT, formerly known as Ann Taylor LOFT, sells “upper moderate” priced women’s clothing for for work and home. The company’s two stores in Arlington — at the Pentagon Row and Market Common Clarendon shopping centers — closed recently to undergo some remodeling.
The Pentagon Row location is expected to reopen this Friday (May 3) and the Clarendon location should reopen at some point next week, according to company spokeswoman Marie Larson.
“This new concept store is complete with plush seating and open space encouraging interaction among clients and larger groupings of mannequins in order to show our guests additional outfitting options,” Larson said.
A plywood perimeter has been erected around the plaza at Pentagon Row as heavy construction has gotten underway on a major renovation project
A backhoe and other construction equipment being used to excavate the center of the plaza. So far outdoor restaurant seating has remained open at the plaza, but instead of overlooking the center courtyard, the view from the outdoor patios is blocked by plywood boards around the construction. Today, those board were being painted black.
As reported earlier this month, the renovations include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit.
Construction is expected to wrap up this fall, according to Pentagon Row owner Federal Realty Investment Trust.
The owner of Pentagon Row announced this morning that major renovations to the shopping center’s plaza are now underway.
The renovations, approved by the Arlington County Board last March, will include an expanded ice rink during the winter, a turf lawn during the summer, revamped outdoor dining areas, 1,500 square feet of new retail and dining space, lighted water fountains and a stone fire pit.
Work on the project began on Monday and is expected to run through November, wrapping up in time for the grand reopening of the ice rink. Other parts of the plaza will reopen starting late this summer, according to a rep for Pentagon Row owner Federal Realty Investment Trust.
“The plaza was thoughtfully redesigned to cater to the lifestyle of the Arlington community and customer to create a year-round experience,” FRIT said in a press release, below.
This year’s Rock the Row outdoor concert series will still be held despite the construction, according to spokeswoman Molly Hippolitus, and Pentagon Row stores will remain open.
Federal Realty Investment Trust announces today that the Pentagon Row plaza will undergo a major renovation, which will include an expanded ice rink, enhanced outdoor dining areas, added retail space, and improved public gathering places with an expansive turf feature, new water fountains, and new stone fire pit. Construction began April 1, 2013 and the new plaza will be completed and opened to the public in phases beginning late summer 2013. The final project will be complete by November 2013 in time for the ice rink grand re-opening celebration.
The plaza was thoughtfully redesigned to cater to the lifestyle of the Arlington community and customer to create a year-round experience. The addition of an expansive, functional turf feature will host gatherings in warm weather and events such as the 2014 Rock at the Row Summer Concert Series, and an expanded ice rink will be available in the winter months. The additional 1,500 square feet of retail and dining space will energize the plaza core and feature a defined café dining area. The addition of an interactive water feature and stone fire pit will provide year-round amenities for visitors to enjoy.
“Federal Realty Investment Trust’s investment in the project reflects our commitment to creating public spaces for the community to gather and enjoy public events,” says Robin McBride, Vice President – Mid Atlantic Region COO, Federal Realty Investment Trust. Adding, “We are thrilled to continue our commitment to improving Pentagon Row with this major plaza renovation which will create a true 12-month experience for the community.”
Pentagon Row retailers and restaurants will remain open during construction.
Renderings courtesy Federal Realty Investment Trust
The new owners of Velocity 5 (2300 Clarendon Blvd) in Courthouse say they’re planning to convert the 200-seat restaurant and bar into “Social Haus,” which they describe as “a traditional beer garden with a modern twist.” They’re hoping to renovate the restaurant soon — a project expected to take several weeks — and reopen it by the end of May.
According to Matt Rofougaran, one of six partners who purchased the Courthouse location of Velocity 5 last month, Social Haus will feature a selection of 100 beers, including 35 on tap. The beers — which will range from local brews, German and Belgian imports and standards like Corona — will be available in bottles or, for beers on tap, in steins and boots ranging from half a liter to a full two liters.
While beer will be the big draw, Social Haus will also offer local and German wines. Specialty cocktails will be on the menu, and Rofougaran said the partners are currently working to secure a machine that will serve frozen Red Bull and vodka cocktails.
The seating new arrangements will be reminiscent of a traditional German beer hall. The renovations will knock down walls inside the restaurant to make way for two large picnic-style tables — “social seating” as Rofougaran called it — which will comprise about 75 percent of the seating inside Social Haus.
Other planned interior improvements include a doubling of the size of the ladies’ restroom. As for the outdoor patio seating, the partners plan to add heating elements this fall, then plan to create a separate outdoor bar next year.
Rofougaran says the owners, who will continue running the restaurant as “Velocity 5″ until the renovations, are also working to revamp the restaurant’s menu and improve the much-maligned food.
“The food menu is going to completely change,” Rofougaran said. “We’re going to have fresh, organic, healthy options. There’s still going to be good burgers and wings and stuff, but instead of having the regular crap, we’re going to have grass-fed beef with no hormones, no preservatives.”
“We’re thinking of the health-conscious people in Arlington,” he added. “People know what they’re eating these days, they’re not eating crap like they used to.”
In addition to the healthier options, a gluten free menu, a Sunday brunch menu, and the improved bar food, Rofougaran said Social Haus will serve German favorites like bratwurst and schnitzel.
Rofougaran says he and his five partners are all Northern Virginia natives who have experience in the restaurant and bar promotion businesses. They range in age from 28 to 33.
“We know what people like,” he said. “We’ve been going out in Arlington ever since college.”
Rofougaran said he and his partners are hoping to gather community input on the plans for Social Haus. They’ve set up a suggestion box at Velocity 5 and, in an unorthodox move, Rofougaran encouraged any residents who wanted to weigh in the plans to call him on his cell phone: 703-856-5613.
Photos via Facebook
A grand opening was held for the newly renovated Barcroft Baseball Field #6 over the weekend.
The field’s $3 million renovation was paid for by George Washington University. Under an agreement with Arlington County, the school’s baseball team will be able to call the field home for the next 20 years, while the public will still be able to use the renovated facility when it’s not otherwise reserved for GW games or practices.
The new artificial turf field was open for GW’s baseball season last year, but major renovations — including the 500-seat grandstands, heated press box, concession stands, permanent dugouts, GW Colonials-branded entry plaza and reconfigured parking lot — were still under construction during and after the season.
Among those taking part in a ribbon-cutting and first pitch ceremony on Saturday were Arlington County Board Chair Walter Tejada, GW President Steven Knapp and GW Athletic Director Patrick Nero. GW played Quinnipiac after the grand opening festivities, but lost 4-2.
In addition to serving as a home for the GW baseball team, Field #6 will provide Arlington’s recreational youth baseball leagues “with a near major-league experience,” the county said on its website. GW and Arlington County officials say the long-awaited renovations will provide a big boost to the school’s baseball program and to recreational baseball in Arlington.
“Having played baseball at this university, I can speak firsthand about the incredible strides that have been made from where GW Baseball used to call home to this immaculate facility that ranks among the best in the region and in our conference,” GW Head Coach Gregg Ritchie said in a statement. “For all of the ballplayers that have come through GW over the years, Barcroft Park should serve as a nod of thanks for paving the way.”
“This is a great day for baseball in Arlington,” said Tejada. “Through our very successful partnership with GW, Arlington now has its first turf baseball diamond. I want to thank GW baseball for working with us for nearly two decades in what has become a great partnership with our community. We look forward to enjoying many years of great play on this field by both the Colonials and Arlington baseball leagues.”
Wilson Tavern (2403 Wilson Blvd) is expanding. The Courthouse-area watering hole has closed temporarily as a result of the construction.
The restaurant is expanding about 35-40 feet — into an empty, adjacent space — and adding 20-25 seats as a result. The larger space will also allow Wilson Tavern to expand its food menu, according to owner Reese Gardner, who also owns The Mighty Pint and Irish Whiskey Public House in D.C.
Interior work is expected to wrap up tomorrow, and Gardner is hoping to reopen by 4:00 p.m., in time for the Clarendon/Courthouse Mardi Gras parade. Wilson Tavern is planning a Mardi Gras party tomorrow night, and a Valentine’s Day party on Thursday night.
When it first opened in 2011, replacing the former Kitty O’Shea’s, Wilson Tavern emphasized its chef-created food menu. Thanks in part to the small space and high overhead costs, the restaurant struggled to return a profit. Several months after it opened, Gardner bought Wilson Tavern from the original owner and in May 2012 relaunched it — without a chef — as a more alcohol-centric bar. Now, he says, the expansion is allowing him to invest more in food.
Wilson Tavern’s drink options will remain the same after the expansion. The bar has 10 beers on tap, including 5 Flying Dog drafts, and serves 16 ounce cocktails, which Gardner credits with helping him attract a younger, fun-loving demographic.
Photo courtesy @dylanbarlett
(Updated at 8:55 p.m.) Rhodeside Grill (1836 Wilson Blvd), in the Courthouse/Rosslyn area, will be closed for much of the week for “major renovations to the upstairs bar area.”
The renovations will include an extension of the bar, a new beer cooler which will accommodate a larger selection of bottled and canned craft beers, an expanded “cocktail area,” a new tap handle display, and a refinished bar top, according to Jacob Hamblin, the restaurant’s social media manager.
Rhodeside closed last night at midnight, following the Super Bowl, and is expected to reopen on Thursday.
The changes suggest that the owners of the 16-year-old restaurant believe it will be around for some time to come. Eventually, however, Rhodeside is set to be demolished as part of a planned expansion of the next-door National Science Teachers Association office building. The development was first approved by the Arlington County Board in 2005, but a construction timetable has not yet been set.
In 2011, Rhodeside co-owner Wilson Whitney told ARLnow.com that he expects that Rhodeside will re-open in the new building once it is built.
“This has been arranged but [we] do not see it happening any time soon,” Whitney said.
Photos courtesy Rhodeside Grill
At its meeting on Saturday (January 26), the County Board is expected to approve the award of a contract for the reconstruction of a playground at Tuckahoe Park (2400 N. Sycamore Street).
County staff recommends awarding the $666,650 contract to Jeffrey Stack, Inc. There would also be more than $66,000 approved for change orders, for a total contract authorization of more than $733,000.
The county received only two bids for the work but both came in above what had been budgeted for the project. County staff negotiated with the lowest bidder, Jeffrey Stack, Inc., to reduce the total cost.
The East Falls Church park was last renovated in 1994, and the Arlington East Falls Church Civic Association has been working with the county since late 2010 on revitalization plans.
Improvements include an accessible entrance, new play equipment, accessible paths, site furnishings, synthetic turf safety surfacing, site drainage, bio-retention gardens and plantings.
The McDonald’s (5009 Wilson Blvd) in the Bluemont neighborhood that was razed in July has been rebuilt and should open next week.
A representative for McDonald’s said the rebuilt restaurant will help further the chain’s focus of modernizing and elevating the restaurant experience.
“McDonald’s wants to show customers that they can change with their times and needs, while retaining the basic principles that have made them the global iconic brand they are today,” a press release stated.
According to the representative, some of the new exterior features include landscaping, a clearly identifiable drive through and “a more defined and inviting entry into the restaurant.” Inside, features include plasma screen TVs, free wi-fi access and some lounge-style seating.
Although no exact day has been named, the re-opening is expected to occur “early next week.”
Events will take place throughout the weekend of September 28-30, beginning with a ribbon cutting on Friday (September 28) at 10:00 a.m. A “Family Day” begins at 12:30 p.m. that Saturday. Although people of all ages are welcome to attend, there will be many things aimed at children ages 3-12, including hands-on activities, art and games. Festivities will end with the Sunday Science Program at 1:00 p.m. on September 30, featuring a short talk and a activities like making ice cream with liquid nitrogen. Tours of the facility will be available both days.
Friends of Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium, the non-profit group founded more than two years ago to launch the fundraising campaign that saved the facility, is co-hosting the events with Arlington Public Schools.
In 2010, in response to an outcry against a plan to shutter the planetarium and use it for classroom space, APS Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy proposed the challenge of a private group coming up with $402,800 for necessary renovations. That goal was achieved by the Friends just before the deadline last summer, thanks to a flood of last minute donations.
“When the school administration realized that there was tremendous support for the planetarium, they pitched in too,” said Dr. Alice Monet with Friends of Arlington’s David M. Brown Planetarium. “It’s a real joint effort.”
The facility upgrades include a new Spitz SciDome HD projector, a new interior dome, new seats, new floors and new restrooms. Some donators also purchased dedicated nameplates that have been affixed to certain seats.
Construction is still ongoing, but we’re told crews are “working like mad” to ready the facility for the grand re-opening.
The project’s groundbreaking ceremony will take place next Tuesday, September 4, and construction is expected to last six weeks. The overhaul includes upgrading lighting, landscaping, pedestrian walkways, seating and a visitor information kiosk.
“We’re really excited about this, about the transformation coming to Crystal City,” said Crystal City BID President Angela Fox.
Fox added that many people will benefit from the facelift, considering the Metro Gateway area receives even more foot traffic than the other areas — Southern Gateway and Northern Gateway (Long Bridge Park area) — that were recently renovated. An estimated 26,000 riders use that Metro station daily.
The Metro entrance will remain open throughout the renovating period, although at times pedestrians may have to take detours around some construction in the plaza. If everything goes well, the project should be completed by mid-October.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser.
Update on 8/3/12 — The opening is now scheduled for Aug. 10.
A-Town Bar & Grill — the re-branded and remodeled incarnation of Caribbean Breeze — is hoping to open on August 1, a co-owner tells us.
Located at 4100 Fairfax Drive in Ballston, A-Town Bar & Grill will feature an expanded beer list; an “eclectic” menu including sushi, sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and steaks; a redone outdoor patio; and lots of flat screen TVs.
Scott Parker, a partner in the new restaurant along with existing owner Mike Cordero and his son, Nick, says crews are working hard to get the eatery ready for a hoped-for August 1 opening.
“We’re on a tight schedule,” he said in an email. “The construction crews are working like crazy.”
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2
The McDonald’s at the Corner of Wilson Blvd and George Mason Drive has suddenly closed, at least for now.
Although a couple of employees were spotted milling around inside, the restaurant is dark and the parking lot is taped off. A sign hanging in the window says the restaurant is closed for construction.
McDonald’s has not yet responded to our request for information about how long the Bluemont location will be closed and exactly what type of construction is taking place.
So far, about one-third of what will be 60 miles of line has been installed in sections stretching from Clarendon to Glebe Road in Ballston, down Glebe Road to Columbia Pike, and east to the Air Force Memorial. The project, which has been dubbed ConnectArlington, will eventually link over 90 individual sites around the county.
The new network will allow for more communication capacity thanks to increased bandwith compared with the old copper lines. In addition to connecting government buildings and structures, officials say it’s designed to improve communications with residents as well.
With the new network, residents will experience improved service for calls to 911. Up until now, the county’s towers for emergency radio communications worked via microwave. Factors like overgrown foliage and bad weather can interfere with microwave signals, but shouldn’t affect the new fiber optic system. The lines also allow for command centers throughout the county that can be activated in case of emergencies.
“Everybody wants to be able to communicate more and more,” said Jack Belcher with the county’s Department of Technology Services. “So the more we can put into this network the better, as far as residents communicating with us.”
The system is also expected to improve traffic management and public transportation with an intelligent transportation system. Such a system should allow for automatic adjustments of signal timing when traffic patterns suddenly change, like during an accident.
Another benefit of the fiber optics is a redundant network. That means a break in one line should still allow information to transfer via another route along the network. Belcher said that will prevent entire buildings from experiencing outages, which sometimes happens under the current system.
Currently, the focus is on wiring what’s considered the infrastructure “backbone” of the system, including nearly 60 traffic signals and 11 public safety ports. The ultimate goal is to add 32 county buildings and 18 Arlington Public Schools buildings to the network. The first stage of that process is slated to begin in fall of 2013.
“The easy part is building the core network, like traffic signals and radio tower,” said Belcher. “The challenge will be expanding to the schools and the county buildings down the road.”
Construction on the first phase is wrapping up, and the next phase, which will include work in Shirlington and Fairlington, is expected to be completed in the spring or summer of next year. The third phase involves various traffic signals north of Route 50. Work on that is expected sometime between 2013 and 2015, pending funding approval.
Photo courtesy Arlington County