We’re told by one restaurant employee that Jan. 31 will be its last day. A manager, when contacted by ARLnow.com, said “there’s been talk of it” but “we haven’t gotten any official word yet.”
The restaurant, owned by Polish company AmRest, was the third American location of a franchise that was popular in Europe, and was viewed as a harbinger for potentially hundreds of additional U.S. locations. In May, the Washington Business Journal reported those expansion plans were on hold, and theorized the Post’s review — which called La Tagliatella “a threat to our nation” and compared it unfavorably to Olive Garden — might have had something to do with it.
La Tagliatella had a planned location in the Village at Shirlington at the former Extra Virgin space, and still has signs up that say “coming soon,” but the manager we spoke to said those plans have since been scuttled.
Ben’s Chili Bowl in Rosslyn is offering a week-long promotion conjunction with next Monday’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.
The restaurant, at 1725 Wilson Blvd, is offering 10 percent off all orders through Monday, Jan. 19. To get the discount, you have to say “MLK” at the register.
News of the promotion comes from an Arlington County press release touting the county’s annual MLK tribute. The event is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 18, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street).
“Now in its 46th year, the family-friendly program will include live music from the Saint Augustine Gospel Choir, dance from The Dance Institute of Washington and a keynote address from Arlington’s own William T. Newman, Jr. with CBS Radio’s Justine Love serving as emcee,” according to the press release.
There will be a volunteer expo featuring local non-profits before the event. An exhibit entitled “Arlington During the Civil Rights Era” will be on display at Washington-Lee throughout the evening.
In addition to partnering with Ben’s Chili Bowl for the tribute, Arlington is also partnering with the Arlington Food Assistance Center. From the press release:
This year, the program organizers have teamed up with local non-profit Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) to collect non-perishable items for Arlington residents in need. Area community groups and individuals are encouraged to bring food drive collections to the event to “fill the AFAC van” that will be on site at Washington-Lee High School from 6:15-7 p.m.
Requested donations include:
- Canned Tuna
- Canned Beans
- Canned Soup
- Cooking Oil (plastic bottles)
- Corn Flour (Masa) or All-Purpose Flour
- Low-Sugar Cereal
To register your group as part of the donation drive, fill out the sign-up form. The group that collects the most donations will be recognized during the MLK Tribute and on the Department of Parks and Recreation Facebook page and website.
Disclosure: Arlington County is advertising the MLK tribute event on ARLnow.com.
Residents Getting Dominion Scam Calls, Again — Some Arlington residents are again reporting getting phony phone calls claiming to be from Dominion Power. Just in time for this week’s extremely cold weather, the scammer threatens to shut the power off unless the homeowner pays a supposedly overdue bill over the phone.
Child Sex Trafficking Case Had Arlington Connection — A Nevada man pleaded guilty in Alexandria federal court yesterday to charges of prostituting women and underage girls in various states including Virginia. Arlington is one of the Northern Virginia jurisdictions named as a place where the man, Lenny Haskins, plied his trade as a pimp. [Reston Now]
Rosslyn Red Hot and Blue Tchotchkes Moved to N.C. — Various equipment and memorabilia from the now-closed Red Hot and Blue restaurant in Rosslyn are being moved to a new Red Hot and Blue location in Cary, N.C. The Arlington location was the barbecue chain’s first. [Triangle Business Journal]
BBC Mentions Weenie Beenie — The BBC takes a look at the mysterious D.C. food phenomenon known as the half-smoke. The broadcaster points out that the Weenie Beenie in Shirlington, which opened in 1954, may have been the first in the area to start slinging half-smokes. [BBC Travel]
Arlington 13-Year-Old is a Web Cartoonist — Arlington student Cole Goco, 13, is the cartoonist behind a surrealist web comic about a boy, a talking ice pop and a pet turtle. [Washington City Paper]
The restaurant announced on its Facebook page Friday that it is terminating its lease as of Jan. 1, 2015. It did not specify a reason for the lease termination.
“We are very grateful to our loyal customers who throughout the past 30 years have made it possible for Summers to twice be voted as America’s Best Sports Bar,” the restaurant said.
Summers said it is looking for a partner to help it move to a new location.
Arlington Firms Among ‘Best Companies to Work For’ – Two Arlington-based companies have made the annual list of the top 50 small and medium-sized companies to work for . The 2015 list, compiled by employment website Glassdoor.com, ranks Ballston-based Evolent Health at No. 3 and Courthouse-based Opower at No. 25.
New Plan for Rosslyn Plaza — Vornado and Gould Property Co. have updated their redevelopment plan for Rosslyn Plaza, the series of aging buildings along N. Arlington Ridge Road between Wilson Blvd and 19th Street N. The development team is proposing 2.5 million square feet of new construction, including a total of five office and residential buildings, four acres of open space and a esplanade deck with views of D.C. and an outdoor ice rink in the winter. [Washington Business Journal]
Celtics Player Swings By The Italian Store — Celtics center Kelly Olynyk stopped by The Italian Store after losing to the Wizards in double-overtime on Monday. He posed for photos and even helped make sandwiches and pizzas. Olynyk isn’t the only pro athlete that has visited the Lee Highway store. Nene, of the Wizards, and Nationals stars Stephen Strasburg and Ryan Zimmerman have stopped by, as has NBA great John Stockton, who happens to be owner Bob Tramonte’s brother-in-law. [Washington Post]
ACFD Recruitment Starts Tomorrow — The Arlington County Fire Department’s biennial open recruitment period starts tomorrow. From Dec. 12-25 ACFD will accept applications for potential firefighter and EMT recruits. No experience is necessary. The county has also made a series of “Join the ACFD” videos for recruitment purposes. [Arlington County]
Arbour Realty Acquired By Md. Brokerage — Arbour Realty, the Ballston-based boutique real estate brokerage owned by “Ask Adam” columnist Adam Gallegos, has been acquired by Real Living At Home, a larger brokerage with office in Chevy Chase, Md. and Dupont Circle in D.C. Gallegos will hand over management responsibilities and continue as an agent with Real Living At Home. [Real Living At Home]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Chuy’s Eyes Arlington — “Quirky Austin-based Tex-Mex restaurant chain” Chuy’s is reportedly eyeing a possible Arlington location. The company is hoping to nearly a dozen restaurants in the D.C. area by 2017. [Washington Post]
System Upgrades at Library — Due to system upgrades, Arlington Public Library’s online catalogs, account information and research databases are not accessible today. [Arlington Public Library]
ACPD Chief Defends Use of Military Gear — As a national debate continues over the use of military hardware by local police departments, Arlington County Police Chief Doug Scott tells CNN that such gear is necessary for ACPD and can save lives. [CNN]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Il Forno Ristorante (900 N. Glebe Road) in Ballston has some great specials lined up for the holiday season.
To celebrate the Feast of the Seven Fishes, an Italian-American tradition, Il Forno will be serving fish specials Christmas week.
To make the last night of 2014 memorable, Il Forno has a special evening planned for New Year’s Eve. For $55, a three-course, prix fixe menu will be served from 5:00-7:30 p.m. and from 8:00-10:00 p.m. The latter seating will also have a five-course option for $75 — as well as a champagne toast.
(Prices do not include tax and gratuity.)
The restaurant’s non-seasonal specials are just as exquisite: weeknight happy hours from 4:30-7:00 p.m. offer cocktail specials developed exclusively for Il Forno by Francesco Amadeo. There’s also a rotating list of wine and beer specials, which fit well with its small plates menu.
The small plate specials include pork belly with caramelized green apple ($1) and Brussels sprouts with confit turnips, apple vinaigrette, fresh nutmeg and parmesan ($4), to name a few.
Executive Chef Jason Mayle, formerly the corporate executive chef with D.C.’s Stir Food Group, took over the kitchen earlier this year. Since then, Il Forno has seen dramatic changes — particularly with its new brunch menu.
Delivering “tantalizing, new twists on fresh, locally sourced foods,” Chef Mayle makes his goal for the new Sunday Brunch clear: “to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary, including new twists on traditional brunch favorites … like our new, truffle chicken bowl with a ‘truffle-icious’ sunny side up egg, avocado, tomatoes, toasted faro and quinoa, and goat cheese.”
Il Forno is the perfect venue to host luncheons, dinners, or even cocktail parties for holiday festivities. Chef Mayle is offering custom menus for large parties, while guests can enjoy an airy, modern dining space and or semi-private area for special occasions.
For more information, visit www.myilforno.com or call (703) 807-2050.
ATR’s permit renewal request was pulled from the Board’s “consent agenda” for non-controversial items by County Board member Mary Hynes. It was instead heard individually on Tuesday, giving Hynes, a nearby resident, a chance to inquire about a couple of noise complaints she had received from her Lyon Village neighbors.
The Board was assured by an ATR manager that the bar has addressed the noise issue and that it in fact doesn’t host any live entertainment anymore — instead it’s seeking to hang on to the permit “just in case.” That was enough assurance for Board, which took little additional time to approve the routine renewal request.
While it won the battle, it’s unclear if ATR in Clarendon will win the war. Restaurant and commercial real estate industry sources have told ARLnow.com that American Tap Room has been seeking a buyer to take over its lease.
We’re told that the company pays more than $650,000 per year in rent for the Clarendon location, which has not enjoyed the same level of success as its locations in Bethesda and Reston. The latter two locations are “crushing it” and the company may simply be looking to focus on more profitable ventures, a source says.
However, everything seemed business as usual with the ATR manager who spoke at the County Board meeting. He gave no hints of any possible changes to come.
Responding to an inquiry sent to a media representative, an ATR manager contacted ARLnow.com last week. The manager said the Clarendon location is not closing, but declined to speak on the record and sought assurances that an ARLnow.com editor was not recording the call.
American Tap Room opened its Clarendon location in 2011.
Update at 11:55 p.m. — A “tacos, tequila and beer” venue called Don Tito will replace Eventide. It’s expected to open by March.
Eventide Restaurant (3165 Wilson Blvd) served its last meals last night.
The Clarendon restaurant has permanently closed, according to an announcement on its website.
“It has been a great pleasure to serve Arlington and the broader Washington community,” the announcement says. “Thank you to all of our customers, our vendors and especially our employees.”
Local restaurant message board operator Don Rockwell first reported last night that the Eventide space will be taken over by the operators of Ballston’s A-Town Bar and Grill.
“[A-Town owner] Mike Cordero has bought the business and the lease,” Eventide co-owner confirmed to ARLnow.com this morning.
Restaurateurs potentially interested in taking over the space were seen touring Eventide in September, a tipster told ARLnow.com at the time.
Some on Rockwell’s message board were skeptical of an A-Town-style bar in Clarendon. A-Town has faced scrutiny from Arlington County as a result of numerous noise complaints and a number of police incidents. It was dubbed “the most troublesome establishment in Ballston” by county staff.
“It’s my sincere hope the new owners don’t try and replicate A-Town in the space… turn[ing] it into a frat house,” one message board user wrote following the news. “Otherwise that block genuinely will turn into essentially Adams Morgan.”
Despite the concerns, A-Town remains a success story. The business is regularly packed with customers, validating the gamble Cordero and two partners — his son, Nick Cordero, and Scott Parker — made when converting the financially-sound Caribbean Breeze to A-Town in 2012.
Wizards Practice Facility in Arlington? — There’s a potential plan for a Washington Wizards basketball practice facility in Arlington, reports NBC4′s Mark Segraves. However, the more likely plan for the practice facility is for it to be built in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood. Wizards owner Ted Leonsis also owns the Washington Capitals, which has a practice facility at the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston. [NBC Washington]
Arlington Warns of ‘Potential Severe Traffic’ — Arlington County is warning residents about “potential severe traffic” today due to the massive crowds expected for the Concert for Valor on the National Mall, along with Metrorail service changes and numerous road closures in D.C. that are in place for the Veterans Day event.
Cherrydale Abuzz Over Sound Check — The Cherrydale community email listserv was “going crazy with complaints about the sound check” for the Concert for Valor last night, a tipster tells ARLnow.com. We’re told the neighborhood could hear bass and feel vibrations from the sound check. “One person reported that the Arlington County police were getting so many calls they were telling people to call the D.C. police who then told people to call [U.S.] Park Police,” the tipster said.
Cost of Thanksgiving Dips in Va. — Virginia families will save about $5 per person this year on Thanksgiving dinner thanks to lower food prices, according to the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. [InsideNova]
Lyon Park ‘Sewer Justice’ Petition — A group called Arlingtonians for Sewer Justice – which represents 11 Lyon Park households that are being compelled to pay $10,000-20,000 for a new sewer connection because the county says it will no longer maintain a failing, private sewer line behind their homes — has created a new petition. The petition, which has so far gathered 95 supporters, calls for Arlington County to pay for the upkeep of privately owned sewer lines via a bond referendum. [Change.org]
Flickr pool photo by Ian Livingston
Tree Predicts Cold Winter — Local folklore holds that the seeds of the American Persimmon tree can predict how harsh the coming winter will be. According to Arlington County naturalist Alonso Abugattas, the seeds are predicting an especially cold winter. [Arlington County]
‘Purple Out Day’ in Arlington — Today is Arlington’s second annual Purple Out Day, which encourages residents to wear purple to promote domestic violence awareness. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. [Arlington County]
Security Stepped Up at Tomb — The military increased security at the Tomb of the Unknowns yesterday following the fatal shooting at the Canadian war memorial in Ottawa. [WJLA]
Lane Closures on GW Parkway — Between 9:30 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. today, a northbound and a southbound lane of the GW Parkway will be closed in the area of the Yellow Line Metro bridge, for underside inspection of the bridge.
Donnellan Wins Leadership Award — Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan has been recognized with a Visionary Leadership Award. The award, from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, “recognizes top government officials for their outstanding contributions to metropolitan Washington and their home jurisdictions.” [MWCOG]
Arlington Arby’s Sells Smaller Smalls — The Arby’s restaurant at Ballston Common Mall — and elsewhere, apparently — sells small fountain beverages that are labeled on the outside as “22 oz.” but which actually hold only 21 ounces of liquid. [Consumerist]
Three Arlington Restaurants in ‘Dining Guide’ — Three Arlington restaurants are in Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema’s annual Fall Dining Guide. The eateries getting the honor: Green Pig Bistro, Thai Square and Water & Wall. [Washington Post]
Arlington Woman Wins Army Ten-Miler — An Arlington woman was the top female finisher in the 30th annual Army Ten-Miler on Sunday. Kerri Gallagher, 25, won the race with a time of 54:50. Two other Arlington women cracked the top 10: eighth place finisher Samantha Diehl, 26, and tenth place finisher Amy Laskowske, 27. [Stars and Stripes, Army Ten-Miler]
Rare Photo of Arlington House Slave — The National Park Service unveiled a rare photo of Selina Norris Gray, a slave at Robert E. Lee’s Arlington House, over the weekend. The photo was purchased on eBay by a Park Service volunteer, who recognized Gray in the photo. It was sold by a seller in England who had found a box of “unwanted” photos at a yard sale. [Washington Post, WJLA]
Home Sales Up, Prices Down — The average home sale price in Arlington slid 2.8 percent in September, compared to one year prior, but the volume of sales rose by about 10 percent. [InsideNova]
Demolitions in Historic Districts — Since the beginning of the year, applications have been filed to demolish at least 25 homes in historic districts in Arlington. “The looming demolition of these houses and buildings represents an incredible loss of history, architecture, time, energy and materials,” the group Preservation Arlington said in a blog post. As previously reported, home demolitions are on pace for a record pace this year. [Preservation Arlington]
Tallula, EatBar Closing — Tallula and EatBar, which first opened in 2004 in Lyon Park, will be closing on Sunday, Oct. 26. The restaurants’ owner says they were “unable to reach an agreement with the landlord on renewing Tallula’s lease.” [Eater, Facebook]
Civ Fed Skeptical of Housing Effort — The Arlington County Civic Federation’s revenues-and-expenditures committee released a scathing critique of the county government’s “Public Lands for Public Good” affordable housing effort. The committee’s report said Arlington “couldn’t, and shouldn’t, try to solve all the region’s problems on its own.” It also said that “the county appears to be placing greater weight on the desires of non-residents who wish to move to Arlington ahead of the needs and wishes of its own citizens.” [InsideNova, PDF]
E-CARE This Weekend — Arlington County will hold its biannual Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) on Saturday, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The event allows residents to “safely dispose of household hazardous materials, bikes, small metal items, shoes, clothing and other recyclable items.” [Arlington County]
Pop-Up Dinners in D.C. for Ballston Restaurant — Before it officially opens in Ballston early next year, Pepita — a new “Mexican cantina” from former Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella — will be holding a series of “pop-up dinners” to test its menu. The dinners will held starting Oct. 30 be at Isabella’s G Sandwich restaurant at 2201 14th Street NW in D.C. [Washington Post]
Former County Controversy, Now Hardly a Blip — In 2008, Arlington was roiled by a long political fight over accessory-dwelling units, or “granny flats.” The County Board was considering whether to allow homeowners to build ADUs, which often house elderly family members. The Arlington Civic Federation opposed it, with critics warning that ADUs could turn quiet neighborhoods into overcrowded slums. The County Board ended up voting to allow ADUs by permit, but set a limit of 28 approvals per year. Since then, “less than a dozen” have been built. [InsideNova]
Roosevelt Bridge Inspections — The District Department of Transportation is conducting inspection work on the Roosevelt Bridge today and tomorrow. Route 50 drivers can expect some short-term lane closures during non-rush hour periods while the inspections are performed. Work vehicles associated with the inspections will be parked along the GW Parkway.
Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber
ACPD Promotes Domestic Violence Awareness — Arlington County Police cruisers are displaying purple ribbon magnets in October to mark Domestic Violence Awareness Month. [Twitter]
Closed Ballston Restaurant Expanding in Maryland – Red Parrot Asian Bistro, which closed in Ballston last year, now has locations in Hanover and Ellicott City, Md., with a third set to open in Baltimore. Owner Wendy Cheng says Ballston and another closed location, in Baltimore, were shuttered “due to location and performance issues.” SER, the winner of the Ballston Restaurant Challenge, is set to open in Red Parrot’s former storefront this winter. [Baltimore Sun]
Arlington High Schools in Playoff Hunt — With just over half the season left to play, all three Arlington public high school football teams are on pace for playoff berths. [InsideNova]
Wakefield QB Transferred from Yorktown — Wakefield High School’s football team, a perennial also-ran, is in contention this year at least partially thanks to the play of quarterback Riley Wilson. Wilson transferred from Yorktown, a perennial playoff contender, for the chance to start as quarterback. [Washington Post]
Photo courtesy @mikematyas
Perhaps best known for its pizza and beer, Fire Works is tackling what it sees as an underrepresented market — artisanal cocktails. The new cocktail menu (below) offers modern takes on classic cocktails like the sidecar, the old fashioned and the gin and tonic.
“The inspiration for the cocktail menu is simple… classic cocktails that seem familiar but are reimagined for contemporary times,” Fire Works mixologist Jason Silerto said. “Twists on an old favorite that will have you curious enough to want to try something new, yet recognizable enough so you sort of know what’s in store.”
“Seasonal ingredients are always key to a successful menu,” Silerto continued. “Lighter, more quaffable drinks may dominate a summer list, whereas heavier, throat-warming concoctions feel more apropos come the cooler months.”
Fire Works will hold a Roaring ’20s party next Wednesday, Sept. 24, at 6:00 p.m., to celebrate the cocktail menu launch. The restaurant will serve complimentary hors d’oeuvres from 6:00 to 7:30. A special price for the new cocktails will be in effect from 6:00 to 9:00.
The event is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to dress as “flappers and dapper gentlemen.” You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the red carpet and rope line and hear the live jazz band. You might also see the well-dressed crowd at the photo booth inside.
The new cocktail menu features the following:
- Peach-Habanero Manhattan (peach-habanero-infused Makers Mark / sweet vermouth / gin barrel-aged orange bitters)
- Rosewater Negroni (Boodles Gin / Campari / sweet vermouth / rosewater)
- Watershed G&T (Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin / house-made orange and fennel Tonic / club soda / cucumber slices / celery bitters / fresh-ground pepper garnish)
- Calm Before the Storm (Goslings Black Seal Rum / Cointreau / fresh lime juice / Maine Ginger Brew)
- Let it Slidecar (Flor de Cana Rum / Remy VSOP / Cointreau / fresh grapefruit juice / basil leaf / basil sugar rim)
- Jasmine Tea & Elderflower Gin Rickey (Plymouth Gin / St. Germaine Elderflower Liqueur / jasmine tea simple syrup / fresh lime juice / club soda)
- Old Sappy Fashioned (Catoctin Creek Roundstone Rye Whiskey / maple syrup / Fee Brothers Aztec Chocolate Bitters / orange slice / cherry)
- Mediterranean Bloody Mary (Bakon Vodka / Mediterranean Bloody Mary mix)
- Peruvian 75 (Macchu Pisco / St Germaine Liqueur / blackberry brandy / Brut Champagne)
- Unprovincial (Ketel One Orange / creme de violette / white cranberry juice / lemon juice / cherry juice)
- Ward 2.0 (rye whiskey / orange juice / fresh lemon juice / house-made rosewater grenadine)