With forecasters calling for up to 8 inches of snow on Thursday, Arlington residents are hunkering down for yet another snow day.
Part of the ritual preparation for many includes heading to the grocery store to stock up on food and supplies, in particular milk, eggs, bottled water and bread.
“It’s going to be a freaking zoo in here,” an employee of Clarendon’s Trader Joe’s said, declining to give her name because company policy doesn’t allow staff members to speak to the media.
This afternoon, shelves were fully stocked at many of the grocery stores in the area, but that won’t be the case for long. Katie Butris was shopping at Trader Joe’s and used to work there. She said “crazy lines” are the norm before a storm.
“You can’t keep the shelves stocked,” she said. “Everyone gets here at once. And then the delivery trucks can’t get here so we were out of [many items] for days.”
Carolyn Marsh was shopping before taking off for a ski trip — benefiting from the snow many of her neighbors are dreading it — and said she was glad she could get the trip out of the way before everyone else was out of work.
“It’s awful,”she said. “The places look like they’ve been ravaged.”
A native of New York, Marsh said she never worries about loading up on milk and bread. She lives in Westover and can walk to get her food if need be.
“Washington sort of feeds on itself in these situations,” she said. “People see the big news stories and figure they should load up when everyone’s out and about a day later anyway.”
(Shortly thereafter, an ARLnow.com reporter was told by Trader Joe’s management to leave the store.)
Arlington and the D.C. area is under a Winter Storm Warning from midnight tonight until 9:00 p.m. Thursday, with the heaviest snow predicted from late morning to early afternoon.
Update at 10:00 a.m. — The store is back open, a tipster tells us.
The Clarendon Trader Joe’s store (1109 N. Highland Street) was closed tonight after a water pipe burst near the entrance.
The incident happened between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. The burst pipe also set off the fire alarm, prompting a response from the Arlington County Fire Department. Water gushed out onto the sidewalk in front of the store and also flooded part of the store.
The water on the sidewalk quickly turned to a sheet of ice. Firefighters cordoned off the area with caution tape to prevent pedestrians from slipping and falling. Employees, meanwhile, could be seen trying to mop up water inside the store.
Trader Joe’s was closed during the clean-up. No word yet on when it will reopen.
Numerous burst pipes have been reported around Arlington today (Tuesday), the apparent result of the frigid temperatures.
Arlington Funeral Home Demolition — Arlington Funeral Home in Virginia Square has been torn down to make way for a new office building. Arlington funeral home first opened in April 1956. [Arlington Public Library]
Election Day Today — Arlington voters are going to the polls today to cast their ballots in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate and the Democratic primary for the U.S. House of Representatives (see candidate essays for Rep. Jim Moran and Bruce Shuttleworth). Arlington has a complete list of polling places here.
Trader Joe’s Asks for Display Cases — Trader Joe’s in Clarendon is asking the Arlington County Board for permission to put display cases in the store’s windows along N. Garfield Street. Currently, the windows — which are legally required to remain transparent, per a site plan — look in on the store’s storage area. [Arlington County]
APS Accepting Applications for Committee — Arlington Public Schools is inviting applications from parents and community members for its Pupil Services Committee. The committee meets once a month during the school year and “reviews the services offered by psychologists, social workers, substance abuse counselors, school counselors, and attendance specialists.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Photo courtesy Bill Colton
Lawmakers Punishing Arlington for HOT Lanes Suit — Arlington may have succeeded in blocking a state-backed plan to build High Occupancy Toll lanes on I-395 last year, but the lawsuit the county filed against the HOT lanes project is coming back to haunt it in Richmond. State lawmakers have proposed budget amendments that would reduce Arlington’s share of road maintenance funds by $100,000 — a form of punishment for the county’s legal tactics. [Washington Times]
Wardian Wins D.C. Marathon — Arlington’s Michael Wardian won the SunTrust Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Marathon in the District on Saturday, completing the race with a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes and 35 seconds. The 37-year-old father of two had previously won the race’s predecessor, the National Marathon, five times. [Competitor]
Sliced Shopper Demands Wi-Fi – A woman has penned an open letter to the Clarendon Trader Joe’s insisting that the store install free public Wi-Fi internet service. The letter writer says the store’s lack of Wi-Fi led her to accidentally slice her finger while cutting avocados at home. [Patch]
Signature Production Connects with Younger Audience — A production at Shirlington’s Signature Theater is accomplishing the difficult feat of connecting with a younger theater-going audience while at the same time shining a critical light on their generation. “Really Really,” by 26-year-old playwright Paul Downs Colaizzo, examines “the self-absorbed mindsets often exhibited by the twentysomething members of ‘Generation Me.’” The show runs through March 25. [Variety]
A crowd formed outside the store entrance at 1109 N. Highland Street this morning, awaiting the scheduled 8:00 opening. Following a brief “lei cutting” ceremony with County Board Vice-Chair Mary Hynes — which was held a bit early so as to not keep people waiting in the cold — shoppers flooded through the double doors and began christening the store with commerce.
‘Crew members,’ decked out in leis, the company’s signature Hawaiian shirts and — in one case — a turkey costume, enthusiastically greeted the first shoppers and began talking up the store’s wares.
“It’s never too early for cheesecake,” said one employee, who was handing out free samples. Hot cider samples, free leis and a reusable gift bag filled with treats were also handed out.
Hynes, meanwhile, used the opportunity to catch up on some shopping.
“I think it’s awesome… it’s great to have another grocery store choice,” she said. “People have been asking for a Trader Joe’s in our community for as long as I can remember.”
Trader Joe’s ‘captain’ (store manager) Perry Zettersten said employees will work hard to try to avoid the long check-out lines that plague the Trader Joe’s location in Foggy Bottom. The store has handheld “line buster” barcode scanners that crew members will be able to use to scan items while customers wait in line. Those customers will receive a receipt that they will then pay at the register. Still, Zettersten said the store’s popularity will make it hard to keep lines from forming.
“We don’t know if we can avoid it,” he said.
The Clarendon Trader Joe’s store is about 12,300 square feet and will carry approximately 2,500 items at any given time. In the U.S., the typical grocery store carries 15,000 to 60,000 items and has a median store size of 46,000 square feet, according to the Food Marketing Institute.
It’s official: the long-awaited Trader Joe’s store in Clarendon will open at 8:00 a.m. on Friday morning. The company will celebrate the opening with a “ceremonial lei cutting” featuring Trader Joe’s officials and “local dignitaries.”
Trader Joe’s a press release about the opening tonight.
Trader Joe’s, a unique, neighborhood grocery store with foods and beverages from the exotic to the basic, will celebrate the grand opening a new store located in Clarendon on Friday, November 18 at 8AM. To commensurate the official opening Trader Joe’s Captain (store manager) Perry Zettersten, Regional Vice President Scott Lane, local dignitaries and the crew will gather at 8:00AM for a ceremonial lei cutting to welcome new customers– Trader Joe’s style. The celebration will continue throughout the day with live music, food demonstrations, balloon artist and face painters.
The store is located at 1109 North Highland Street and is approximately 12,300 square feet. The grocery store will be open from 8:00 am until 9:00 pm, daily. Inside will feature a festive décor mixing traditional Trader Joe’s cedar covered walls, Hawaiian inspired elements throughout the store combined with a local flare including art that celebrates the neighborhood. Throughout the grocery store there are several amazing hand painted murals that pay homage to the old Clarendon Trolley, hot air balloons used during the Civil War, the Clarendon Metro and more.
Trader Joe’s is pleased to announce the appointment of Perry Zettersten, as Captain (Store Manager). Perry comes to the new store from the Trader Joe’s in Washington D.C. and has been with the company approximately 15 years.
Trader Joe’s was originally named in recognition of its distinct grocery buying process, because they search the world for great values and distinctive products. Crew members (store employees) consider themselves “traders on the culinary seas.” Crewmembers sport brightly colored Hawaiian-themed shirts, adding to the light-hearted air of the store.
Shelves are being stocked at the new Trader Joe’s in Clarendon, a sign that the store’s long-anticipated opening day may be nearing.
Interior construction on the 12,300 square foot grocery store appears to be wrapping up. Multiple calls and emails to Trader Joe’s HQ have gone unreturned in recent days, but several tipsters tell us that staff members have been saying the store will open on Friday, Nov. 18, in time for Thanksgiving.
The new Trader Joe’s store is located at 1109 N. Highland Street.
Trader Joe’s has been interviewing potential employees all week to help fill positions at its new Clarendon store.
A “now hiring” sign outside the store advises interested job seekers to apply at the Arlington Employment Center, at 2100 Washington Boulevard. The employment center’s blog indicates that hourly wages start at $10 per hour.
Interior construction on the store, located at 1109 N. Highland Street, seems to be progressing swiftly. The company’s signature blue walls and wood-accented aisles are visible through the large front windows.
Last we checked, Trader Joe’s is planning to open the store at some point next month.
The company announced today that its grocery store at 1109 N. Highland Street will open at some point in November. The store is 12,300 square feet in size and will offer underground parking.
Interior construction started early last month. Freezer cases and other food-related accoutrements are now visible inside the under-construction store.
With the opening forthcoming, Clarendon residents will soon start receiving Trader Joe’s sales flyers.
“Many area residents after the store opens can expect to receive a copy of the Trader Joe’s ‘Fearless Flyer’ in their mailboxes,” the company said. “The Fearless Flyer is a somewhat irreverent description of a timely selection of Trader Joe’s products. It’s been called a cross between Consumer Reports and Mad Magazine.”
There are more than 350 Trader Joe’s stores in 30 states.
Interior construction has finally started on the new Trader Joe’s in Clarendon.
In addition to converting the cavernous space within 1109 N. Highland Street into a grocery store, crews will also be working to install an elevator shaft, to provide access from the store to the parking garage below. Residents of the Lyon Place at Clarendon Center apartments received the following note about the impending construction on Friday.
Please be advised that Prime Contracting is scheduled to do work in the parking garage to install elevators from the garage to the Trader Joe’s store. This elevator project is scheduled to begin August 8 and is expected to take at least 8 weeks to complete. During that time there will be several spaces on each level of the garage that will be out of service. All driveways will remain open and access to parking will continue as usual.
Please take notice that on Monday, August 8, Prime Contracting will begin concrete demolition for the elevator shaft in the garage. The concrete demolition will start at 5:30pm and will take 3-4 hours. It will take approximately 3 evenings to perform this work.
The store was originally slated to open “mid-2011,” but that hoped-for opening has been pushed back due to an unexplained delay in applying for (and getting) the necessary permits and inspections. In May, a Trader Joe’s rep told ARLnow.com that the store is expected to open by the end of the year.
In addition to the building permit, Trader Joe’s has also received a zoning permit that will allow it to modify the building’s first floor facade (pictured) for use as a grocery store. The only other regulatory hurdles that remain, for now, concern the store’s fire prevention plan.
The new Trader Joe’s will be located at 1109 N. Highland Street, one block from the Clarendon Metro station.
Interior construction of the hotly-anticipated grocery store has yet to begin. In November a Trader Joe’s rep told the County Board that they hoped to have the store open by “mid-2011.” Now, that seems highly unlikely.
Reached for comment yesterday, all Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki could tell ARLnow.com is that the store is on track to open by the end of the year. She said the company never actually promised an earlier opening.
A closer look at construction permit applications reveals that the company only started applying for its permits last month. As of this writing, the building permit is still listed as ‘rejected’ due to numerous discrepancies. County inspectors have also rejected the store’s fire prevention, mechanical and plumbing plans.
We’ve reached out to an Arlington building official but have yet to hear back.
So it was with the grocery chain’s new Clarendon location. For months now, the company has kept observers wondering when they would finalize the lease for 11,000 square feet of prime retail space on the ground floor of the Clarendon Center project.
First, the store demanded concessions from Arlington County, which were granted. Then, we hear, they insisted on holding off on the lease until they were granted certain county permits.
It now appears that whatever permits the company has been waiting for have been approved. The Clarendon Center leasing plan shows Trader Joe’s occupying the space, near the corner of North Highland Street and Clarendon Boulevard.
In November the company told the county to expect a Summer 2011 opening date.
Trader Joe’s fans can breathe a sigh of relief. Last night the county board granted the grocery store chain the site plan amendments it sought as a condition of moving into the new Clarendon Center development.
The changes will allow Trader Joe’s to reserve underground parking spaces for customers and shopping carts, utilize the loading dock from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. and allow an outdoor display of merchandise.
“I’m very happy to take this vote,” County Board Chairman Jay Fisette said, shortly before members voted 5-0 to approve the amendments without modifications. “It’s about time Trader Joe’s figured out what a great market Arlington is.”
Should the board have denied the site plan amendments, Trader Joe’s indicated it would have walked away from the deal. Instead, following the vote, a Trader Joe’s rep told the board to expect a Summer 2011 opening date.
Most of the handful of residents who spoke out about Trader Joe’s at last night’s board meeting expressed support for the proposed store. Some, however, had specific concerns as well.
Those concerns included the noise from delivery trucks idling, the practicality of the reserved parking scheme, whether validated parking will be abused, the potential for predatory towing in the parking garage and worries about the outdoor product display. In the end, the board discussed but did not specifically act on the concerns.
Fisette and county staff noted that Arlington has a explicit policy of modifying regulations in order to attract grocery stores.
It’s Christmas Time Again — Thanks to the owners of Ballston Common Mall, Pentagon Row and other retail outlets around Arlington, we are reminded that this is the time of giving… your credit card to the person behind the register.
Shirlington Plans Tree Lighting Ceremony — Shirlington Village will hold a tree lighting ceremony on the evening of Tuesday, Nov. 30. The event will feature free horse-drawn carriage rides. More from the Shirlington Village Blog.
Board to Vote on Trader Joe’s Requests — At its 6:30 p.m. meeting today, the Arlington County board will vote on whether to grant the site plan amendment requested by Trader Joe’s for its planned Clarendon store. The board is expected to give Trader Joe’s what it wants, but if it doesn’t the grocery chain could walk away from its plans. It has not signed a lease yet.
ABBIE Awards to be Announced Today — The 15 winners of the annual Arlington’s Best Business Awards — or ABBIES — will be announced today at the county board’s 3:00 p.m. meeting. ARLnow.com was nominated for an award in the “Best Place to Learn Something New” category, but we apparently did not win. Thank you to everybody who voted for us.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA