On Thursday the store wrapped up a move from its former location at 3924 Wilson Blvd to the new location at 4501 N. Fairfax Drive. The new running store is located next to a FedEx office location, across from the Marymount University “Blue Goose” building at the corner of Fairfax Drive and Glebe Road.
While the new store doesn’t have the surface parking lot of the former location, it is validating parking at the building’s underground garage off of N. Vermont Street.
Store co-owners Ray and Cathy Pugsley told us last month that the move was prompted in part by the former location’s lack of street visibility, concern that the single-story shopping center they used to be in would be redeveloped, and the new location’s better proximity to the Custis Trail.
The Curious Grape to Reopen — There will soon be two competing boutique wine and cheese stores in Shirlington. The Curious Grape, which moved out of its storefront in Shirlington Village earlier this year in order to make way for Cheesetique, just announced that it will be reopening next month in a larger storefront one block away. [Shirlington Village Blog]
Loyalty Oath for Va. GOP Primary — Voters who want to cast their ballot in the March 6 presidential primary in Virginia will be required to sign a loyalty oath. The Virginia Republican Party requested the pledge — which is perfectly legal under Virginia law — as a condition of participation in the primary. The pledge (of support for the eventual Republican presidential nominee) is intended to reduce the number of non-Republicans voting in the otherwise open primary. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Earthquake Still Affecting Local Theater Troupes — The temporary closure of the Thomas Jefferson Community Theater due to earthquake damage is still having repercussions in the local arts community. As a result of the closure, a planned Spring 2012 production of Cats has been postponed until 2013. Also, the county’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. tribute has been moved to Washington-Lee High School. [Sun Gazette]
The Smoothie King in Ballston has given up its throne in an effort to conquer Adams Morgan.
The eatery, at 850 Randolph Street, across from Ballston Common Mall, is now closed. A sign in the window says the store is moving to 18th Street in Adams Morgan.
According to a tipster, employees hauled off store furniture last night. A sign above the store has already been taken down, though posters remain in the windows.
The recognizable building has been sold to the B.F. Saul Company, the Bethesda-based developer behind the recent Clarendon Center project. Last week representatives from Saul presented their redevelopment plan to the North Rosslyn Civic Association. Under the plan, an eight story extended stay hotel will be built on the 1.2 acre site at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Quinn Street. The hotel will include eight stories of guest rooms on top of two stories of above-ground parking.
(The parking must be built above ground since the site sits on solid rock. The building will technically be ten stories high from the Lee Highway side, but will only be considered eight stories due to the steep elevation near the rear of the site.)
Saul told residents that they’re in negotiations with two companies to operate the hotel — Marriott’s Residence Inn and Hilton’s Homewood Suites. They’re aiming for a LEED Silver certification for the building.
The company says zoning allows them to build an 88-room hotel on the site by right. Saul, however, will be seeking County Board approval later this year to build a 154-room hotel with 96 parking spaces. After presentations to the Rosslyn Business Improvement District, the North Rosslyn Civic Association, and three Colonial Village associations, Saul’s Mary Beth Avedesian says the company has yet to hear any neighbor opposition to the project.
Petition Contractor Waives Extradition — The man whose company was hired to collect signatures for a petition to change Arlington’s form of government is likely headed to the Arlington County lockup. Shawn D. Wilmoth, 24, was indicted last month on voter fraud charges. Yesterday he waived extradition in Macomb County, Mich. [Washington Post]
McLean Residents May Sue Over Redistricting ‘Insult’ — McLean residents are apparently none too pleased that their pristine ‘burb has had its state Senate representation split in two by redistricting. One of the new McLean districts is the 31st, which also includes most of North Arlington. One resident said it was an “insult” to have their neighborhood lumped in with Arlington. A McLean citizens group is contemplating a lawsuit over the redistricting outcome. [Sun Gazette]
Curious Grape to Hold Moving Sale — The Curious Grape will be closing its Shirlington location at the end of the month. To help prepare for the move to a new, thus-far-unannounced location, the store is holding a moving sale. Alexandria-based wine-and-cheese retailer Cheesetique will be taking over the store after Curious Grape moves out. [Shirlington Village Blog]
How to Score Free Coffee — Patch has come up with a comprehensive guide for scoring free coffee in and around Arlington. Among the tips: pretend like you’re interested in the espresso maker at Williams Sonoma and ask for a sample, go car shopping and ask for coffee, or get free samples at Whole Foods. [Patch]
The Columbia Pike landmark will serve its last customers on Sunday. The store is moving to a new, larger location next to the Home Depot in Seven Corners.
General Manager Ryan Sasse said the store has been doing well financially and is moving into a bigger space so it can start marketing patio furniture next to snowboards and ski jackets during the summer. Despite continued redevelopment on the Pike, Sasse says rising rent hasn’t been a concern.
Ski Chalet has been located in an Alpine-style building at 2704 Columbia Pike since 1969. It will reopen in Seven Corners at some point this fall.
Sasse says he is not sure what will eventually take the store’s place on the Pike.
A “for sale or lease” sign on the side of Colony House Furniture at 1700 Lee Highway has prompted a number of people to email us and ask what’s going on with the iconic, 54-year-old store. Today, owner J.R. Diffee provided an answer.
The business plans to cash in on its prime real estate and relocate.
“This is not a going out of business,” Diffee said emphatically. “The property is for sale, the business is not.”
Diffee says he anticipates a developer buying the property, then leasing it back to the store until building permits are approved. In the meantime, Diffee says he will be looking for a new location.
Will he move the store to another address in Arlington?
“I’d love to,” said Diffee, an Arlington Chamber of Commerce board member. “I have three kids in Arlington Public Schools… I buy into the Arlington Way.”
Diffee said that while the furniture business was hurt by the recession, sales at the store were up 7.5 percent last year. Still, he said that the property the store has occupied since 1957 — adjacent to I-66 and within a long walk of Rosslyn and Courthouse — is now worth more to a developer than it is to a furniture store.