(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) Columbia Pike burrito spot Pedro and Vinny’s reopened yesterday after having its food establishment license revoked last month.
The restaurant reopened after re-applying for its food establishment license, as allowed by Arlington County Code. Arlington’s health department found Pedro and Vinny’s had “a pattern of repeated violations… that significantly increased the risk of foodborne illness to patrons including improper holding temperatures of foods,” according to Arlington Dept. of Human Services spokesman Kurt Larrick.
An inspector revoked its food license last month when the temperature problems were not fixed. Larrick said DHS approved its new license yesterday, and inspectors will check on the restaurant’s compliance within 30 days,.
“It’s been a lesson, and we’ve learned from our mistakes,” Pedro and Vinny’s manager Richard Arnez said. “We’ve been doing a lot of remodeling, and a lot of the cleaning has been changed. It’s pretty much like brand new.”
The 13-day closure has not impacted the volume of customers patronizing Pedro and Vinny’s, Arnez said. “People are excited to come in, like before,” Arnez said.
The 2599 Columbia Pike location, owned by the food truck of the same name, has not changed its menu or hours, and continues to serve the burritos that earned it a spot on the Five Thirty Eight Burrito Bracket the same month as its closure.
“Our food is great, fresh, everything is good,” Arnez said. “So we’re good to go.”
The store had been closed since May 2012 after being flooded with raw sewage. It reopened this morning following an extensive clean-up process and a complete renovation.
Harris Teeter employees held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 8:00 a.m.
The 44,000 square foot store will be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It features a redesigned pharmacy, in addition to “all new flooring; new drywall and paint; updated equipment; wooden display cases; new fixtures; an expanded seating area; an expanded floral department; new prepared food stations including pizza, an Asian hot bar, and a made-to-order sandwich bar; and sustainable décor elements.”
Harris Teeter’s insurers are currently suing Arlington County for more than $1 million to recover losses caused by the sewage backup.
Photo courtesy Catherine Becker/Harris Teeter
The grocery store closed in May 2012 after it was flooded with raw sewage, the result of a clog at the nearby Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plant. The contents of the store were scrapped, and construction on a brand new interior has been underway since this spring, when the company announced plans to reopen later this year.
Harris Teeter is now hiring personnel for the store, according to a number of online job listings posted over the past 10 days. The store reapplied for a Virginia ABC wine and beer license and keg permit on Monday.
The store will reopen at some point in October, Harris Teeter spokeswoman Catherine Becker told ARLnow.com yesterday.
Arlington Popular With ‘Echo Boomers’ — Those between the ages of 25 and 34, also known as “Echo Boomers,” have increased in population by 10 percent in Arlington over the past two years. Such residents say they’re attracted to Arlington’s mix of urban amenities and suburban comfort. Instead of moving further out into the suburbs upon having kids, many Echo Boomers are opting to stay in Arlington and other areas around D.C.’s urban core. [Washington Post]
Bloomberg BNA Faces Snack Abuse — Crystal City-based Bloomberg BNA sent a memo to employees on Friday threatening to install surveillance cameras to monitor the snack pantry, after some employees were observed taking a copious amount of snacks home. Managers rescinded the threat after pushback from the employees’ union. [Jim Romenesko]
Federal Tax Credits for Housing Projects — Two affordable housing projects in Arlington have qualified for financing through the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits program. [Arlington County]
Toscana Grill Reopening — Courthouse restaurant Toscana Grill (2300 Clarendon Blvd) is reopening today. The restaurant closed for repairs last month after a water pipe burst and caused some flooding. Before it closed, in an effort to not let the food in the kitchen go to waste, Toscana gave away hundreds of free meals to those willing to wait in line. “We were thrilled by the turnout of our free food event and look forward to serving the community with our full dining, takeout and catering services,” owner Joe Smith tells ARLnow.com.
Great Food Truck Race Stops in Clarendon — The Hawaii-based Aloha Plate food truck stopped by the Arlington Festival of the Arts yesterday. Aloha Plate is a current contestant on the Food Network show The Great Food Truck Race. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
It’s been closed for the past 15 months, but Potomac CrossFit is reopening this weekend at its new location in Courthouse.
Last year, Potomac CrossFit at 1039 N. Highland Street in Clarendon closed, along with nearby businesses, to make way for a new development that’s currently under construction. Tomorrow, the gym will hold a grand reopening celebration at its new home at 1320 N. Courthouse Road.
With more than 8,000 square feet, the Courthouse location offers more than double the space of the previous site. Employees at the new location also boast of shower facilities, new equipment and a revamped class schedule.
Everyone is welcome to stop by for a free class tomorrow (Saturday) at 10:30 a.m. No CrossFit experience is necessary. Immediately following the class, the grand reopening celebration will kick off at 11:30 a.m. Visitors can check out the facility, meet instructors and enjoy food and drinks.
Va. Sq. Giant Celebrates Changes — The Virginia Square Giant grocery store (3450 Washington Blvd) is celebrating its “grand reopening” following recent renovations. A representative for Giant says new features include a redesigned produce department with a better fruit and vegetable assortment, a new gourmet cheese case, a new bakery and an expanded natural foods section. Customers at that location will have the opportunity to take part in tastings, raffles and prize giveaways over the next four weekends.
Event Examines Seniors’ Transportation Needs — A Mobility Lab regional symposium held at George Mason University yesterday focused on the transportation needs of residents aged 65 and older. Speakers voiced the need for better coordination of senior transportation programs that would keep seniors mobile in their communities. Suggestions for improvement included better marketing and promotion, using volunteers and issuing performance surveys. [Mobility Lab]
Streetcar Debate Focuses on Types of Riders — At the Arlington Committee of 100 streetcar forum on Wednesday, speakers addressed which riders prefer different modes of transit. Speakers debated whether the Columbia Pike streetcar or a bus rapid transit system would better draw in “choice riders” — those who have access to a car but could be persuaded to take transit under the right circumstances. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Jason OX4
The store has been closed since last May, when it was flooded with raw sewage due to a clog at the nearby Arlington County Water Pollution Control Plan.
Over the weekend, residents of the Eclipse condominium building above the store delivered some 400 signed letters from residents to the Arlington County Board, calling for the county to help facilitate the store’s reopening.
Construction will begin “within the next few weeks,” according to a press release from Comstock, owner of the 465-unit Eclipse building.
In a press release, Harris Teeter says the renovated S. Glebe Road store will reopen in “late fall 2013″ — in time for this year’s holiday season. The press release made no reference to the sewage incident.
Harris Teeter is pleased to announce it will open its Potomac Yard location located at 3600 South Glebe Road in Arlington, Va. in fall 2013. The 44,000 square foot store, part of the Comstock Partners residential building, closed in May 2012 and is undergoing complete renovation. The renovation will include all new flooring; new drywall and paint; updated equipment; wooden display cases; new fixtures; an expanded seating area; an expanded floral department; new prepared food stations including pizza, an Asian hot bar, and a made-to-order sandwich bar; and sustainable décor elements. The Company also re-designed its pharmacy to feature an open floor plan that will allow our pharmacists to better serve their customers.
Harris Teeter considered sustainable building design throughout its re-design process. The refrigerated cases will feature motion detection lighting; the company will also install doors with LED lights on the refrigerated cases as well as LED spotlighting throughout the store to reduce energy consumption. Harris Teeter originally installed both an energy management lighting system and a heat reclamation system in this store and will continue to utilize these technologies to reduce energy waste.
Harris Teeter looks forward to opening its Potomac Yard store and being a part of the community once again. We appreciate our customers’ patience while the store has been closed as well as their loyalty. We will continue to post updates on harristeeter.com when new information is available.
Photo courtesy Douglas Wendt
Trick or Treating Tonight — So far, Arlington County has not placed any restrictions on trick or treating tonight in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. There’s no official trick or treating time in Arlington; children typically begin trick or treating shortly after sundown.
Halloween Safety Tips — WalkArlington has a number of helpful safety tips for parents whose children will be trick or treating tonight. Among them: Parents should make sure their trick-or-treaters are wearing bright colors or reflectors and have a costume that allows them to clearly see their surroundings. Parents should also review safety rules with children before they leave the house. [WalkArlington]
Reopening After Sandy — Arlington Public Schools will be open today, with the exception of Barcroft Elementary School, which is still without power. Arlington County government offices, libraries, courts, community centers, and nature centers will also be open, as will federal government offices.
SoberRide Still On — The SoberRide program, which provides a free cab ride (up to a $30 fare) for holiday revelers, is still on despite Sandy. It’s open to anyone in the greater D.C. area calling 1-800-200-TAXI between 10:00 tonight and 4:00 tomorrow morning. A planned SoberRide-related press event in Arlington, however, which was to unveil a new vehicle that would be used to discourage drunk driving, has been postponed until after Election Day (Nov. 6).
The Curious Grape has reopened as a wine store and restaurant in Shirlington.
The wine shop traded its former location at 4056 Campbell Avenue — now a Cheesetique wine and cheese store — for a much bigger location a couple of blocks away, at 2900 S. Quincy Street (next to the Energy Club). The larger, sunnier space has allowed owners Suzanne McGrath and Katie Park to to reinvent their store as “The Curious Grape Wine, Dine & Shop,” complete with a sit-down restaurant, coffee and wine bar, and fresh, house-made pastry selection. As before, The Curious Grape also sells wine, beer, cheese and other gourmet items retail.
The Curious Grape restaurant — which quietly started serving diners last night — is helmed by executive chef Eric McKamey, whose resume includes PassionFish in Reston, 2941 in Falls Chuch, and Central, CityZen and Proof in D.C. McKamey’s menu offers “an eclectic selection of seasonal starters, small plates and entrées,” with ingredients “sourced from the Mid-Atlantic region whenever possible.” A press release listed some menu specifics.
Standouts include the Crimini Mushroom Soup with toasted sunflower seeds and preserved mushrooms; Lightly Cured Hamachi with pomegranate, cumin, and preserved lemon; Lamb Empanadas with pumpkin seed salsa and crème fraiche; Sweet Potato Gnocchi with thyme, Taleggio cheese and black truffle; Pan Roasted Sea Scallops with black rice, bok choy and a plum wine sauce; Pene Pasta with a Vietnamese-spiced beef and lamb Bolognese, as well as Coffee and Cacao-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with potato-fennel gratin, wilted spinach and Malbec bordelaise. A unique menu layout directs guests to wine pairings for each dish, and also encourages customers to “drink what they love”. Prices range from $7 to $8 for starters, from $13 to $17 for appetizers, and from $19 and $25 entrées.
In its 5,200 square foot space, The Curious Grape has a 10-seat wine bar, a 55-seat main dining room and a 40-seat private event space. The coffee and pastry “cafe” is open starting at 7:30 a.m. daily. For bar and restaurant patrons, the eatery offers a seasonal selection of beers on tap and by the bottle. Additional hours and reservation information are available on the store’s website.
County Board Candidates Debate — The three candidates for Arlington County Board — two incumbent Democrats and one Green Party challenger — answered questions at the Civic Federation candidates forum last night. The Democrats, Mary Hynes and Walter Tejada, spoke generally about the advantages of living in Arlington, while challenger Audrey Clement sharply criticized the County Board as being “in bed with developers.” [Sun Gazette]
Unopposed Candidate Roundup — Six Democrats who are running unopposed for local offices also spoke at last night’s candidates forum. [Sun Gazette]
7-Eleven Move Causes Disruptions — Who knew that one 7-Eleven store (out of 24 in Arlington) can have such a significant impact on a community? After a store in the Williamsburg Shopping Center moved closer to the East Falls Church Metro, daily routines were disrupted and other businesses in the shopping center withered. “7-11 may have a fine national strategy, but it sends ripples around localities, affecting livelihoods as well as routines beyond mere convenience,” writes columnist Charlie Clark. Luckily, the store is now moving back to Williamsburg. [Falls Church News-Press]
Redesign Suggestion for Dangerous Rosslyn Intersection — Greater Greater Washington proposes a possible way to enhance pedestrian safety at the dangerous intersection of Lynn Street and Lee Highway, while also (possibly) improving traffic flow. [Greater Greater Washington]
Now, with a new look, a new chef, an expanded menu, and expended beer and whiskey offerings Four Courts is gearing up to hold a grand reopening party.
The event, which is also being held to commemorate “4C’s” 15th anniversary, will take place from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. tomorrow, Aug. 31.
“The Four Courts opened its doors during the high-flying 90’s, when Dolly the Sheep and the dot-com boom dominated the headlines,” said General Manager Dave Cahill. “Although we can’t go back in time, we can celebrate the many faithful fans who’ve been patronizing this pub since 1996 and now have families of their own.”
For said families, Four Courts will be offering free food for kids every day between 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. (between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on Saturdays), with the purchase of an “adult food item.”
Continuing the ’90s theme, the pub is promising to “roll back the prices of its European and domestic draft beers to those of the booming 90’s” tomorrow.
Clarendon’s Delhi Club restaurant (1135 N. Highland Street) is back open after a kitchen fire forced it to close in June.
Delhi Club first opened its doors Friday night, for dinner, according to manager Mir Hussain. The restaurant has been attracting sizable crowds ever since the reopening, he added.
“Business is good,” a relieved but busy Hussain said during today’s lunch service. “We opened on Friday and Friday was very busy.”
Delhi Club originally had hoped to open a week after the fire, but only recently received the last of the county permits required to reopen.