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Cajun Seafood Restaurant Opens in Shirlington

by ARLnow.com | April 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm | 2,251 views | No Comments

A new cajun seafood restaurant has opened in Shirlington Village at 4251 Campbell Avenue.

The restaurant is called Blue Sea Seafood and Bar, and it’s located in the former Bear Rock Cafe space. The concept behind it is “to make sure people were getting a great portion, great price and great food,” general manager Jonathan Theriault told ARLnow.com.

The restaurant opened to the public yesterday. Its menu features Cajun classics like pecan-crusted catfish and crab cakes, with entrees ranging from $18 to $31. The food and drink menu will change seasonally.

Theriault, who comes to Arlington from the Miami restaurant scene, said his team worked hard to create a cool, welcoming ambiance.

“I would like to think the restaurant has [a Miami vibe,]” Theriault said. “You walk in, you get the blue on the floor on the walls, so you feel a little Miami-ish but with a New Orleans background, too… The ambiance is hard to find something done this nicely anywhere around.”

Theriault said he hopes Blue Sea’s Shirlington restaurant is the first of multiple locations. The restaurant will eventually have outdoor seating and host live music on Saturday nights. Blue Sea plans to offer specials like all-you-can-eat shrimp and crab events and raw bar nights.

Land Eyed for Shirlington Walmart Could Become Storage Facility

by Ethan Rothstein | April 8, 2014 at 3:30 pm | 3,007 views | No Comments

2631 Shirlington RoadThe site near Shirlington that was once eyed for an urban-style Walmart appears on its way to becoming a self-storage facility.

The site, at 2631 Shirlington Road, is currently occupied by Redman Fleet Services, a towing and truck service company that has a contract with the Arlington County Police Department. Big box retailer Walmart was thinking about building a store there in 2011, which prompted the County Board to change its zoning ordinance so it could regulate the design and plans for Walmart or other “big box” retailers.

The plans for the Walmart ultimately fell through, and the run-down two-story warehouse and large car storage lot on 2631 Shirlington Road remain. The building, however, has been approved for demolition and, in its place, a five-story facility referred to as “Shirlington Self Storage” has been proposed to take its place.

The self-storage facility’s building permit has been approved by county staff, but the zoning application was tentatively rejected in its last review by staff, which said an ongoing subdivision process needs to be completed before the zoning can be approved.

Hat tip to Preservation Arlington

Sheryl Crow Musical to Debut at Signature Theatre

by Ethan Rothstein | March 20, 2014 at 9:30 am | 982 views | No Comments

Signature Theatre (photo via Signature Theatre website)Famed singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow will bring a musical version of the 1982 movie “Diner” to debut at Shirlington’s Signature Theatre later this year.

Crow penned the music and lyrics while the movie’s writer and director, Barry Levinson, wrote the book (musicals’ version of a script), according to Variety. The entertainment publication reports that the musical will debut at Signature (4200 Campbell Ave.) from Dec. 9 to Jan. 25.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the show was scheduled to open on Broadway twice before delays and may still end up there, depending on the show’s performance at Signature. The show will be directed and choreographed by three-time Tony Award-winner Kathleen Marshall (“Anything Goes,” “The Pajama Game,” “Wonderful Town”).

From THR:

Set in Baltimore in 1959, the musical is based on Levinson’s 1982 debut feature about burgeoning adulthood, which follows a group of former high school buddies who reunite in their twenties at their favorite hangout as one of them prepares to get married. The movie’s ensemble cast included Kevin Bacon,Ellen Barkin and Mickey Rourke.

Levinson adapted the book for the show from his Oscar-nominated screenplay, while Crow wrote the music and lyrics, marking the first foray into musical theater for both.

A pre-Broadway tryout for Diner originally was announced to play San Francisco’s Curran Theatre in fall 2012, and a Broadway opening was scheduled to follow in spring 2013. That target was later pushed back to last fall, with an out-of-town tryout being scrapped in favor of further workshops. However, that plan also failed to come together.

Photo via Signature Theatre

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | March 17, 2014 at 10:45 am | 1,039 views | No Comments

Courthouse snow (Photo courtesy @mindpivot)

Irish PM Visits Shirlington — Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny visited Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub (2800 S. Randolph Street) in Shirlington over the weekend to watch an Irish rugby game. The Taoiseach, as the position of Irish prime minister is also called, is in the U.S. celebrating the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. [Facebook, The Independent]

County Board Approves Ashlawn Addition Revision — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved a revised plan for an addition to Ashlawn Elementary School but not before making Arlington Public Schools officials explain how the project went wrong. Local residents have complained about several aspects of the plan, including tree removal the building of a parking lot. [InsideNoVa]

‘Intersection of Doom’ Left Out of Rosslyn Planning — A draft Rosslyn sector plan framework doesn’t include any solutions for the so-called “intersection of doom” — the intersection of N. Lynn Street and Lee Highway that has been the site of numerous pedestrian and bicyclist vs. vehicle accidents. Some believe a pedestrian tunnel or bridge may be the best solution for the busy intersection. [Greater Greater Washington]

County Board Approves New Synthetic Field Surface — The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved up to $701,000 to replace a 10-year-old synthetic turf field at Wakefield High School. [Sun Gazette]

Photo courtesy @mindpivot

Shirlington to Host Spring Beer Festival

by Ethan Rothstein | March 12, 2014 at 10:45 am | 2,111 views | No Comments

SpringFest 2014 PosterCapitol City Brewing Company plans to shut down the streets of Shirlington next month for an outdoor beer festival.

The event, the inaugural Springfest, is planned for Saturday, April 26 from noon to 7:00 p.m. Forty-five breweries, almost exclusively from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, are expected to pour their brews at booths. According to Capitol City Director of Brewing Operations Kristi Griner, the format will be the same as Capitol City’s annual Octoberfest, but the event will be smaller.

Partygoers can pay $30, which will give them a wristband and 10 tasting tickets. Additional tickets are $1 apiece, but must be bought at least five at a time. The event will likely shut down Campbell Avenue in Shirlington Village, although specifics about road closures have not been determined.

In addition to the beer, Griner said she expects neighboring Shirlington restaurants, like Copperwood Tavern and Samuel Beckett’s to participate and offer food to the festival patrons. DJ Julius, who hosts Capitol City’s karaoke nights, will provide the music. The taps will be turned off at 6:00 p.m.

“We’re trying to do something to help stir up the first quarter,” Griner said. “But spring is here, and especially after this winter in particular, everybody is ready to get outside. It seemed like a good bookend to winter with our Oktoberfest.”

Capitol City’s annual Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest was most recently held in Shirlington on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.

UPDATED: Bank Robbery in Shirlington

by ARLnow.com | February 5, 2014 at 12:25 pm | 7,797 views | No Comments

(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of a bank robbery in Shirlington.

The robbery occurred around 12:15 p.m. at the BB&T Bank branch at 2700 S. Quincy Street. Two men in ski masks robbed the bank while armed with at least one handgun.

“At least one of the robbers was armed and jumped the teller counter to obtain money from teller drawers,” police said. “After obtaining the money, both subjects exited the bank with an undisclosed amount of money.”

Investigators could be seen on the ramp from Shirlington Circle to I-395 photographing and picking up a large amount of cash, stained red from a dye pack, on the side of the road. Police scanner traffic also reported that a gun was thrown out of the getaway vehicle on Shirlington Circle, as the suspects fled northbound on I-395 toward D.C.

Four bank employees and three customers were inside at the time of the robbery. Two customers who werethere spoke to reporters after coming out of the bank. They saw the men with their masks and a gun and said they were “very scared.” Customers and bank employees were herded into the bank vault during the robbery, the customers said.

Immediately following the robbery, police were told to be on the lookout for two black males, approximately 30-35 years of age, driving a large blue SUV with D.C. tags.

“Subject one is described as a tall male wearing a dark colored jacket, black ski mask that covered his head, grey or light colored gloves, grey pants and a black backpack,” police said. “Subject two is described as wearing a dark colored jacket with a grey hooded sweatshirt underneath that was pulled over his head and a ski  mask covering his face and light colored gloves.”

From an ACPD press release:

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $5,000 for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of these bank robbers.

The FBI’s Washington Field Office and the Arlington County, Virginia, Police Department are investigating this bank robbery and request that anyone with information call the FBI at 202-278-2000 or Detective Cynthia Garcia with the Arlington County Police Department at 703.228.4195 or cgarci@arlingtonva.us To report information anonymously, contact the Arlington County Crime Solvers at 866.411.TIPS (8477).

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | February 4, 2014 at 8:30 am | 764 views | No Comments

Workers affix signage to the door of the soon-to-open Heavy Seas Alehouse in Rosslyn

Resolution Honors Arlington’s First Female Judge — The Virginia House of Delegates has passed a resolution honoring Eleanor Spence Dobson, Arlington’s first female judge. Dobson served in the General District Court from 1982 to 1997. She passed away on September 18, 2013. The resolution honoring Dobson was sponsored by Del. Patrick Hope (D). Another Hope-sponsored resolution, honoring the late Arlington civic activist Robert Atkins, is scheduled to come to the House floor on Friday. [Sun Gazette]

Chick-fil-A ‘Date Knight’ Returns — Missed your chance to go on a medieval-themed fast food date with your mom last year? Good news: Chick-fil-A is once again holding its Mother-Son Date Knight at Ballston Common Mall (4238 Wilson Blvd). The food court eatery is one of the participating Chick-fil-A locations nationwide that are hosting the whimsical event. As of last night there were still a dozen reservations available for the event, which is being held the evening of Monday, Feb. 10. The Crystal City Chick-fil-A location has already sold out of its Date Knight reservations. [Chick-fil-A]

Starr Hill Brewing Tasting Tonight — Virginia brewery Starr Hill will be holding a complimentary tasting tonight. The event is scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Ave). Reservations are required. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]

Blue Sea Seafood Opening Soon in Shirlington

by Ethan Rothstein | January 14, 2014 at 2:30 pm | 2,428 views | No Comments

Blue Sea Seafood Restaurant logoBlue Sea Seafood Restaurant will soon be the newest culinary addition to the Village at Shirlington.

Blue Sea will specialize in “spicy Cajun seafood,” according to its website, offering such dishes as crawfish tails, fried frog legs (called “swamp wings” and tossed in a Creole BBQ sauce), catfish nuggets (served with “chef’s redneck sauce”), lobster mac and cheese, seafood gumbo and “breaded Florida alligator tail.” For the health conscious, there’s also a soup and salad menu.

The restaurant is replacing Bear Rock Cafe at 4251 Campbell Avenue, which closed in 2010. Plans materialized to open a vegan restaurant in the space in 2011, but those apparently fell through.

Blue Sea’s general manager tells ARLnow.com that the restaurant is still hiring and is hoping to open in time for Valentine’s Day.

Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com | December 20, 2013 at 9:10 am | 1,463 views | No Comments

Tuckered out Santas at the Pentagon City Metro station

Chamber Doesn’t Support ‘Kings Dominion Rule’ Change — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is supporting two out of three items on Arlington Public Schools’ 2014 state legislative agenda. The chamber supports in-state tuition for immigrant students who are working toward legal status in the U.S., and higher state funding for Northern Virginia schools. It did not support, however, a change in the law that would allow Virginia school systems to start school before Labor Day. [Sun Gazette]

Another John Boehner Spotting at Guapo’s — Speaker of the House John Boehner was again spotted at Guapo’s restaurant in Shirlington last week, just a couple of days after a bipartisan budget deal was announced. [Shirlington Village Blog Spot]

Satisfaction with ART Grows — An Arlington County-sponsored survey revealed that 90 percent of riders are satisfied with Arlington Transit bus service. “The survey results show that the investments we made to expand this service, not only in main arteries but also deep into residential neighborhoods, have paid off with riders,” said County Board Chair Walter Tejada, in a press release. [Arlington County]

New 750-Unit Apartment Complex Proposed for Park Shirlington

by Ethan Rothstein | December 13, 2013 at 10:45 am | 1,520 views | No Comments

The owners of the Park Shirlington apartments (4510 31st Street S.) are looking for county approval to bulldoze the current, low-rise buildings and replace them with 750 low- to mid-rise apartments.

On Nov. 15, Home Properties filed a preliminary site plan application, which is currently under staff review at the Arlington County Zoning Office. The plan calls for five residential buildings between three and five stories each, encompassing about 712,000 square feet of gross floor area on 15 acres surrounding 31st Street S.

The current buildings have 293 units occupied by 271 households. They will be replaced by a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, with more than 50 percent of the 750 units expected to be one-bedroom.

As opposed to the current street and surface parking, Home Properties proposes building an 827-space garage in the new complex and having only 76 surface spaces.

The proposal would need special exception approval since it’s above the county’s planned density for the area. The owner offered to have affordable housing included, as well as to contribute to an improved streetscape and other transportation improvements, but did not specify in the application how many units it would make affordable.

Photo via Google Maps

Shirlington-Area Pool Hall Lucy’s ARL Closes

by ARLnow.com | December 9, 2013 at 12:45 pm | 1,956 views | No Comments

Lucy's ARL (photo via Facebook)Lucy’s ARL, a quirky pool hall near Shirlington, has closed its doors.

Via Facebook, the business invited its loyal customer base to “have that last shot” last night (Sunday).

“Due to recent events, Amy and I have been forced to do a little soul searching & have made the heart breaking decision to close Lucy’s Arl Shirlington,” the Facebook page said. “We appreciate all of the love and support y’all have given these last couple of crazy years and will be here til the wee hours to have that last shot and make a few more memories. Brave the cold and get your assets to Lucy’s! Deep discounts and indoor smoking!”

Lucy’s opened in the summer of 2011 at 2620 S. Shirlington Road, replacing the former Champion Billiards. It was run by Misti Wise and Amy Borek, former Champion bartenders who gave Lucy’s a unique personality of its own. Their tagline for the pool hall: “Shrews. Brews. Cues.”

It’s unclear which events led to the closure. Wise and Borek could not be immediately reached for comment.

Photo via Facebook

UPDATE: Water Main Repairs To Continue Into Thursday

by Ethan Rothstein | December 4, 2013 at 5:30 pm | 484 views | No Comments

16-inch water main breaks in ShirlingtonRepair crews are still working to repair the 16-inch water main that burst yesterday morning in Shirlington.

According to Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher, water pressure was normal for the Fairlington Community Center as of 1:00 p.m. However, just before 4:00 p.m., Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation announced that the community center would remain closed all night Wednesday.

From Mincher:

Repair work is running into complications and crews are widening the pit size for safety reasons. We are estimating a minimum of 4 hours away from completion. Traffic is still in the mode of one lane for each direction on Arlington Mill Drive. Valve crew confirmed that water pressure was normal for the Fairlington Community Center at about 1 p.m.

Update at 6:00 p.m. — Repairs are now expected to continue into Thursday.

Crews have halted repair work today due to the unstable bank, warranting unsafe operation. Repair work will resume tomorrow morning with the equipment needed to reshape the bank. Pumps will run overnight to prevent residual water damage.  Traffic remains open with one lane on each direction on Arlington Mill Drive. There is no change on the condition of the Fairlington water pressure from the last update.

Water Main Repairs Continue in Shirlington

by ARLnow.com | December 4, 2013 at 10:45 am | 491 views | No Comments

Repairs to a burst 16-inch water main in Shirlington have resumed after crews took a break for the night.

Arlington County is hoping to complete the repairs — and restore water pressure to the Fairlington neighborhood — by 5:00 p.m. From Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher:

The crew resumed repair work at 9 a.m. today. The traffic on Arlington Mill Drive will be partially open with one lane on each direction. If there are no complications, crews should complete repairs in 6 to 8 hours and traffic will be back to normal. Fairlington area will remain on low water pressure until the 16-inch main resumes operation. The crew is continuing work to get additional sources of water for Fairlington.

UPDATE: Repairs on 16-Inch Water Main Continue

by Ethan Rothstein | December 3, 2013 at 11:30 am | 1,540 views | No Comments

Two water mains in south Arlington broke this morning, requiring major repairs and closing roads and county buildings in the process.

A 16-inch water main burst on S. Arlington Mill Drive at the entrance to the Village at Shirlington early Tuesday, closing the road from S. Randolph Street to S. Taylor Street. The break caused Abingdon Elementary School and Fairlington Community Center to close for the day.

Some neighborhoods around the area lost water service this morning, but according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) spokeswoman Myllisa Kennedy water has since been restored to all residents, as well as the school, as repairs continue. The line is being excavated and repairs are expected to last until late afternoon, Kennedy said.

A separate, smaller water main also broke in Nauck this morning. Repairs have closed S. Monroe Street between 24th and 25th Streets as a result.

Update at 3:55 p.m. — Repairs on the 16-inch line are taking longer than expected. Residents in Fairlington will have little or no water pressure until the repairs are complete, according to DES spokeswoman Robyn Mincher.

The leaked 16 inch pipe has been exposed and workers found a long split. It may take another 5 to 6 hours from now to complete repairs. The traffic on Arlington Mill Drive will remain closed through early evening. The north entrance from Arlington Mill Drive to the garage located in Harris Teeter will be open by 4 p.m. to accommodate the tree lighting event. The attempts to open the other feed to Fairlington area were not successful. More repairs on valves will be done at a later date. As of now, Fairlington has no water or may be experiencing very low pressure. This situation will last until the 16 inch main is repaired.

Update at 7:15 p.m. — Repairs are continuing, Mincher says, but might stretch into Wednesday.

The intersection from Arlington Mill Drive to the north entrance of Harris Teeter’s Garage will remain closed. The traffic will stop at S. Randolph St. on Arlington Mill Drive.

The repair has run into complications with excessive water draining from the pipe that required more time to pump out. The replacement will be for two sections of pipe instead of one. These complications have added time to completion. The projected time of completion is approximately 5 ½ hours from now. The crew is complying with 16 safe-hour limit and will stop to continue in the morning if work is not completed by 10 pm. Night crew is working on a valve repair to restore water to Fairlington. If they finish early, they will supplement work on the pipe repair.

Update at 10:15 p.m. — County repair crews are calling it a day. Repairs will resume after rush hour tomorrow.

Crews will resume repair work tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. after the rush hour. This is due to the complications mentioned earlier and the 16 safe-hour limit. There will be one westbound lane open to traffic on Arlington Mill Drive and police will control the traffic throughout the night.

The Fairlington area will remain on low water pressure until the valve on the other line can be fixed.

Shirlington Tree Lighting to Close Streets Tonight

by Ethan Rothstein | December 3, 2013 at 9:30 am | 716 views | No Comments

Shirlington tree lighting event in 2010Shirlington’s “Light Up the Village” festival will take place tonight (Tuesday), and some roads in the Village at Shirlington will be closed for the festivities.

From 4:00 to 10:00 p.m., Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street and S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind Charlie Chang’s Restaurant (roughly the 3000 block), will be closed for the event.

During that time, vehicles will not be allowed to leave Harris Teeter’s covered parking lot onto Campbell Avenue. Parking in the area is also restricted, so drivers should be on the lookout for spaces with “No Parking” signs.

Light Up the Village will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The tree lighting should begin at 6:30, hosted by WTTG’s Allison Seymour. There will also be horse and carriage rides available for those donating non-perishable goods to the Arlington Food Assistance Center, photos with Santa at the UPS Store (2776 S. Arlington Mill Drive), free face painting and live holiday music.

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