A fire broke out at the USA Print & Copy store at 2044 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse late Saturday night.
Firefighters responded to the family-owned store around 11:30 p.m. for a report of black smoke coming from the one-story structure. Upon arrival, firefighters forced entry into the store and discovered an active fire in the back of the building. It was extinguished by 11:45 p.m.
Parts of Wilson Blvd, Clarendon Blvd and Courthouse Road were shut down during the incident.
Extensive smoke and water damage was reported in the printing store. Summers Restaurant, located next to the store, filled with smoke and required ventilation. A health inspector was called to the scene to inspect the restaurant before it could be allowed to reopen.
Photos courtesy @ClarendonScene
If the store looks familiar to passersby, it’s because the Bazaar is one of Ballston’s inaugural stores when the mall was opened in 1986. While the store boasts artifacts from around the world with interesting back stories, it is possible that none of them have a story as interesting as the store’s owner, Vinod Goel.
Since emigrating to the United States in 1961 from India, Goel has worn many hats in his five decades: founding president of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, media mogul, international marketing professor, and an unofficial advisor to the India desk of the Peace Corps.
“We call him the professor around here,” says George Wong, owner of American Formal Wear, located three doors down. “He’s a mentor for the people around the mall and in the local area. He helps people find higher education and opportunities, especially for foreigners.”
“If I were to say one word about him, the word would be ‘visionary,’” said his daughter Nita Goel Popli. “He really helped to establish this community when he came here.”
Goel was a master’s student and a respected photojournalist from the Indian state of Rajasthan when he was intrigued by a travelling exhibit that came to his college entitled “Life in America.” With the advice of a noted visiting economist, Goel came over to the United States in 1961. He was 27 years old.
While an MBA student at the University of Maryland a year later, Goel was one of a number of international students invited to the White House. With just thirty seconds to make his mark on President Kennedy, Goel used his time to encourage him to put India on his agenda.
The incident happened around 10:30 p.m. yesterday (Thursday) night. Police say German Cruz-Coreas, 49, entered Miguel’s Q-Mart on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike and demanded money from a store employee.
“When the employee refused, the subject proceeded to light coffee filters on fire and announced that no one could leave the store,” according to the Arlington County Police crime report.
The man started throwing mangoes and avocados at store employees and a 16-month-old child, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. He tipped over the store’s shelves, destroyed merchandise, broke the store’s slushie machine, and partially melted a television with the flaming coffee filters, Sternbeck said.
“He literally destroyed the entire store,” said Sternbeck.
Store employees barricaded themselves in a room inside the store during the incident, but the store’s manager was eventually able to subdue the man and hold him to the ground until police arrived and placed him under arrest.
Cruz-Coreas was charged with arson, attempted robbery, four counts of abduction, felony destruction of property, and three counts of assault and battery. He is currently being held without bond.
The store employees suffered minor injuries, Sternbeck said, but the baby was unharmed.
Photo courtesy ACPD
(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) Halloween is just over two weeks away. If you have kids, that means it’s probably time to start picking out their costume for the big day. If you have a dog (or dogs) — well, you should probably start picking out their costume, too.
At least three events are planned in Arlington for those who want to celebrate Halloween with their favorite four-legged friend.
On Saturday, Oct. 27, from 10:00 a.m. to noon, Arlington-based Doorways for Women and Families will hold its 2nd annual Howl-O-Ween Dog Walk for the Homeless. The event is being held at Big Walnut Park (1915 N. Harrison Street).
“Bring your dogs dressed in their ‘Howl-O-Ween’ finest for a mini-walk to support Doorways for Women and Families,” the organization said of the event. “All human participants will help Doorways to reach our walker goal for the Fannie Mae Help the Homeless Walkathon, while our animal participants will get the chance to compete for prizes from local pet store merchants, including Unleashed by Petco, Weber’s Pet Supermarket, Kissable Canine and Dogma Bakery! Treats (both canine and human) will be provided for all attendees!”
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., PetMAC in Virginia Square (822 N. Kenmore Street) will be holding a “Doggy Halloween Party.” The event will feature “treats (for our 2 and 4 legged friends) and other refreshments, games, photos, costume contests and special store discounts,” according to the pet store.
Also on Oct. 30, Dogma Bakery and Boutique (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) will be hosting its annual Dog Trick or Treat through Shirlington Village. The trick or treating will take place from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
Photo via Doorways for Women and Families
Police are investigating an armed robbery at a check cashing store on Columbia Pike.
According to police, an employee had been walking up to the door of the store in the 4700 block of Columbia Pike around 9:00 this morning to begin her shift. Two men approached her and forced her to unlock the door. According to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, one of the suspects held a knife to the woman’s neck, and the other held a gun to her head.
Once inside, the suspects reportedly forced the woman to take them to a back room and emptied the safe. They fled on foot with $40,000 in cash.
Police were unsuccessful in their attempts to track the men with K9 units. They are currently working to see if there is surveillance video of the incident.
The suspect descriptions are vague, but police are describing both as Hispanic men between 5’8″ and 5’10″. One was wearing a white shirt and the other was wearing a black shirt.
The store employee was not injured during the incident, and is continuing to assist police with their investigation.
The store — which buys and sells CDs, LPs and DVDs — is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. CD Cellar first opened in Falls Church in 1992, and subsequently opened a location in Clarendon, at 2607 Wilson Boulevard.
Arlington Independent Media recently profiled the store in a short video (above).
To celebrate its one year anniversary in Shirlington, Ah Love Oil & Vinegar (4017B Campbell Avenue) is having a celebration this coming Saturday, June 9.
Owner Cary Kelly said the store’s short time in existence has gone well, and customer response has been overwhelming.
“The last year has been, in a word, unbelievable,” Kelly said.
She said there were skeptics who didn’t think the store would work out, both because of the slow economy and because the store was selling such unique, specific products. Kelly credits a couple of factors with the store’s success.
First, the location. Residents and workers in Shirlington have been welcoming and continue to patronize the store, she says. Secondly, Kelly thinks the product quality has won over doubters.
“I think what changes people from being skeptical to hopefully delighted is that they get to taste everything,” Kelly said. “You really taste a difference. Then people are like, ‘Okay I get it now.’”
Kelly got the idea for the store when she visited a similar business in North Carolina. Cooking, particularly Mediterranean foods, is her favorite hobby, so the idea of an oil and vinegar business seemed to make sense.
While unique at the time, the flavored oil trend is quickly spreading. Kelly said that when Ah Love opened a year ago, it was the only store of its kind in the area. Now, she can list five in the metro region.
During Saturday’s event, the shop will officially launch a new olive oil-based skin care line. Kelly said she has sensitive skin and couldn’t find olive oil skin products she liked, so she decided to have some made. The Ah Love All Over line will be made with California extra virgin olive oil.
“I think olive oil is one of nature’s greatest miracles,” said Kelly. “There’s nothing it doesn’t do for us as far as health, both inside and outside.”
“My husband and I feel so grateful how we’ve been supported by this community,” Kelly said. “That’s the real reason for this party.”
The event on Saturday runs from noon to 9:30 p.m. All day, there will be tastings of food made with the oils and vinegars, and a cooking demonstration at 4:00 p.m. From noon until 4:00 p.m., there will also be a jewelry display. Customers will receive 15 percent off the store’s products, and there will be giveaways throughout the day.