Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.
Nick Freshman knows what it takes to run a successful restaurant, and he’s hoping to use that knowledge to help restaurateurs and investors alike.
Freshman, 40, co-owns Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon and was also a partner in Eventide Restaurant before it was sold and replaced by Don Tito. All told, he’s been involved in the development of a half dozen successful restaurant concepts.
After spending the past 20 years working in and then running restaurants, Freshman is trying something new: he has launched Mothersauce Partners, an investment and advisory business that seeks to connect new food and drink concepts with investors while providing expert advice and key industry connections.
Freshman said Mothersauce — a reference to the foundation of French cuisine — allows him to put his passion into action.
“One thing I really love to do is helping other people who are trying to make it,” Freshman said. “I’ve been doing it as a function of something I like to do. In the past year I’ve explored figuring out a way to make that a business, and I finally decided to take a leap this summer.”
“This is a way for me to be a part of a lot of other interesting concepts without having to actually have to deal with the stress and anxiety of running them,” Freshman continued. “There’s all this great talent and they have lots of great ideas, but they either don’t have the capital or they don’t have the expertise. I can provide both of those… but not have to be the [person answering the] phone call at 3:00 in the morning.”
Freshman, who recently added a beer garden behind Spider Kelly’s but doesn’t otherwise have plans to expand it, said he regularly fields inquiries from investors who want to get in on the next big nightlife or restaurant hit.
“A lot of people I know are asking when is the next Spider Kelly’s, when is the next project,” he said. “And there’s a lot of investment capital moving into the restaurant space now, from giant VC firms to friends and family. It’s getting to be a crowded space, there’s a lot of serious money, so I said okay there’s potential for investors… and there’s a market here.”
Mothersauce already has its first concept: Takoma Beverage Company, a soon-to-open spot for handcrafted coffee and tea in Takoma Park, Maryland, helmed by two veterans of Northside Social, which Freshman says is “one of the greatest success stories in Clarendon.”
Freshman says he has “a lot of leads on other projects” and hopes to have a few more in development by this time next year. He hopes to have a “balanced” portfolio, working with both first-time operators “who have lots of potential” and with experienced restaurateurs who could use his local market expertise.
He’s also equally likely to pursue a restaurant concept that may be suitable for only one or two locations as he is to go after a fast-casual chain — say, the next Sweetgreen — that could someday expand nationwide.
“Part of this is an experiment to see what the deal flow is, what is coming in and what do people most need… where is the opportunity,” Freshman said. “I really think it starts and ends with the operators… you find the great talent, you find the great concept, then you execute on it.”
While Freshman is the main figure in the business, he has a roster of advisors he can call on, depending on project needs. And new restaurant owners need plenty of advice: from negotiating a lease to finding investors to building out a space to marketing the restaurant to responding to online reviews.
The launch of Mothersauce Partners comes at a conspicuous time for the local restaurant industry. By our count, more restaurants have closed than opened in Arlington so far this year while the pipeline of new restaurants has slowed.
Despite some local woes — and success in the restaurant industry is famously difficult to achieve in the first place — Freshman said there’s still plenty of opportunity.
“I think there’s a lot of great concepts that have a lot of potential for growth, and there’s a lot of great investors who want this space,” he said. “They want to invest in the restaurant space, but they’re not sure how, and… it’s scary, it’s high-risk. What we do is we say ‘listen, we vetted this concept, we know these guys, we’re going be a part of this project, we’re going help them, come in with us and let’s kind of do this thing together.'”
This incident happened near the relatively busy intersection of Crystal Drive and 23rd Street, just after 8 p.m. Police are looking for the three men allegedly involved in the drive-by robbery.
From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
ARMED ROBBERY, 161022054, 2300 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 8:10 p.m. on October 22, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon investigation, it was determined that a male victim observed a vehicle pull up next to him and two male subjects exited the vehicle. One subject brandished a firearm and demanded the victim’s belongings. The suspects took the items belonging to the victim, re-entered the vehicle, and fled the area. The first suspect is described as a heavy set black male in his forties. He was wearing a light blue jean jacket and had a beard. The second suspect is described as a black male in his forties. He was wearing a black windbreaker jacket and a black hat. The third suspect is described as a black male in his forties, wearing a black t-shirt.
A new vape and cigar store is coming to Clarendon, according to a sign in the window.
Lansdowne Vapes and Cigars, which has existing locations in Leesburg, is coming to the former Grateful Red Wine and Gifts store space at 2727 Wilson Blvd, across from the Whole Foods.
Grateful Red closed in March after about four years in business.
This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement, and private sector employee matters.
By John V. Berry, Esq.
What is the Hatch Act?
The Hatch Act of 1939 (Hatch Act), 5 U.S.C. §§ 7321-7326, was enacted by Congress in an attempt to keep politics out of normal government operations. The Hatch Act is a federal law that prohibits civilian federal government employees of the Executive Branch from engaging in certain political activities, such as influencing elections, participating in or managing political campaigns, holding public office or running for office as a member of a political party.
Purpose of the Hatch Act
The Hatch Act was intended to prohibit federal employees from engaging in partisan political activity that might influence normal government activities. Government authorities typically apply the Hatch Act when attempting to curtail political activities by federal employees and supervisors while on duty.
In addition, the Hatch Act can also apply to certain state, local or District of Columbia government employees whose principal employment is connected to an activity that is financed in whole or in part by federal loans or grants. The Hatch Act was amended through the Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 (HAMA) to permit other state and local employees, even if they are otherwise covered by Hatch Act restrictions, to be generally free under federal law to run for partisan political office unless the employee’s salary is paid completely by federal loans or grants. HAMA was signed into law in December 2012. The most recent changes to the law are outlined in the OSC guidance on HAMA.
Who Enforces the Hatch Act?
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is typically the entity charged with investigating Hatch Act violations. First, a Hatch Act complaint is filed at the OSC. If a Hatch Act violation is found, but not egregious enough to warrant prosecution, the OSC may issue a letter of warning to the involved employee. If the OSC charges an employee with a Hatch Act violation, the charges are filed with and adjudicated before the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). In addition, after investigating an alleged Hatch Act violation, the OSC may seek disciplinary action against an employee before the MSPB. The penalties for federal government employees can include removal from federal service, reduction in grade, debarment from federal employment for a period not to exceed five years, suspension, reprimand or a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.
Our law firm represents and defends federal employees who are faced with alleged Hatch Act violations, require Hatch Act guidance or legal defense, or are subjected to illegal political discrimination in the federal workplace. If you need assistance with an alleged Hatch Act violation, political discrimination, or other employment matter, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.
Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.
Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.
Conversations with Tyler: A Conversation with Steven Pinker *
George Mason University, Founders Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 3:30-5:00 p.m.
Steven Pinker, an expert on language, the mind, and human nature, will join economist and write Tyler Cowen for a discussion. This event is part of a free series that “invites today’s biggest and brightest thinkers for a conversation on their work, the world, and everything in between.”
Home Buyer Seminar *
Optime Realty (1600 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 101)
Time: 6-8 p.m.
Optime Realty will host a home buying seminar with lenders and buyer agents. During the event, specialists will walk attendees through the home buying process and share valuable strategies.
Arlington Thrive’s Young Professional Bingo Happy Hour *
Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill (2424 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 5:30-8:30 p.m.
This “spooky” bingo game from Arlington Thrive’s Young Professional Steering Committee will include food and drink specials and a chance to play for prizes. All those who show up in costume get a second bingo card on the house.
Home Buyer Seminar *
Keller Williams Realty (2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 100)
Time: 6:15-7:30 p.m.
Experts are slated to teach attendees the ins and outs of the home buying process, including tips about mortgages, tax credits, and incentives. The first ten people to RSVP for the event will receive a free home warranty and home inspection.
White House Behind the Scenes: Garrett Peck, Author of “Prohibition in Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t”
Aurora Hills Branch Library (735 S. 18th Street)
Time: 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Author Garret Peck will tell stories relayed in his book Prohibition in “Washington, D.C.: How Dry We Weren’t.” As the book’s title implies, the White House wasn’t without alcohol during the nationwide booze ban.
Mad Rose Employee Recovery Fundraiser
Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Boulevard)
Time: 5-9 p.m.
Mad Rose Tavern will host a fundraiser and special buffet dinner for Victoria Alicia Gonzalez, the employee who was hit by someone behind the wheel of an SUV in front of the restaurant and bar earlier this month.
DC101 Elliot in the Morning Halloween Bash
Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: Doors open at 5 p.m., party starts at 8 p.m.
Locals can don their best costumes for a chance to win $3,000 at this massive Halloween party. During the costume competition, Elliot in the Morning judges will choose nearly 60 costumed attendees and then decide on the winner based on crowd reaction.
Clarendon Ballroom’s Annual Monster Bash
Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 8 p.m.-2 a.m.
Zombies, ninja turtles and witches will flock to Clarendon Ballroom for the venue’s annual costume party and Halloween bash. Judges will award $300 to the patron with the best costume.
Arlington Philharmonic and Bowen McCauley Dance *
Kenmore Middle School (200 S. Carlin Springs Road)
Time: 3-5:30 p.m.
Dancers with Bowen McCauley Dance will perform to the tune of “Golconda” by the Arlington Philharmonic. Then, the orchestra will present two additional pieces: “Moorside Suite” by Gustav Holst and “Enigma Variations, Op. 36” by Sir Edward Holst. Before the concert, WETA host David Ginder will conduct a discussion with Lucy Bowen McCauley, founder of the dance troupe, and Scott Wood, conductor of the philharmonic.
Paws for Charity *
Radova Lifestyle (2012 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 3-5:00 p.m.
This fundraising event will support local animal welfare organization, The Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Attendees can donate $5 or more to be entered into a raffle with a variety of prizes.
Dog Trick or Treat in The Village At Shirlington Village
Dogma Dog Bakery (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive)
Time: 2-4 p.m.
The 6th annual Dogma Dog Bakery Trick or Treat in the Village at Shirlington will help raise proceeds for Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. Those who visit the bakery can donate $10 for a Dogma bag, then trick-or-treat at all the participating restaurants and stores in Shirlington Village.
*Denotes featured (sponsored) content
Update at 1:20 p.m. — The missing boy was found around 1 p.m., according to police. He was located on the roof of Williamsburg Middle School.
Earlier: Arlington County Police are calling in resources from Virginia State Police to help search for a missing 12-year-old boy.
Police say Eli Check, 12, was last seen early this morning at his home on the 3400 block of N. Emerson Street, near Williamsburg Middle School in the Rock Spring neighborhood.
Check, who is transgender and identifies as male, was last seen dying his hair black, according to police.
“We’re worried about his safety,” said ACPD spokesman Capt. Bruce Benson.
At least one K-9 unit is involved in the search of the neighborhood around the boy’s home, Benson confirmed. Police are also asking for the public’s help.
From a press release issued shortly after noon today:
The Arlington County Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating a 12 year old boy. Eli Check of Arlington, was last seen at his home in the 3400 block of N. Emerson St. at 2 a.m. on Monday, October 24, 2016.
Eli was last seen in his home dying his hair black. He is white, weighing 85 lbs. and is 5’0″ tall. He may be wearing light colored blue jeans with multiple, multi colored patches on the legs.
Eli is transgender, female to male, and it is possible he may present as a female. Eli’s legal name is Eliana Check.
Anyone who has information about Eli is asked to call the Arlington County Police Department immediately at 703-558-2222.
The Washington Regional Alcohol Program will be offering its SoberRide free taxi service from 10 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday.
Those who want to take advantage of the free service must call a cab at 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) during those times.
From a press release:
As a means of making the Washington-metropolitan area’s roadways a little less frightening this Halloween, free cab rides will be offered to would-be drunk drivers throughout Arlington County, Virginia this Saturday evening, October 29th.
Offered by the nonprofit Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), the 2016 Halloween SoberRide® program will be in operation at 10:00 pm on Saturday, October 29th and operate until 6:00 am on Sunday, October 30th as a way to keep local roads safe from impaired drivers during this traditionally high-risk period.
During this eight-hour period, area residents ages 21 and older celebrating with alcohol may call the toll-free SoberRide® phone number 1-800-200-TAXI (8294) and be afforded a no-cost (up to a $30 fare), safe way home. AT&T wireless customers can dial #WRAP for the same service.
Last year, 412 persons in the Washington-metropolitan area used WRAP’s Halloween SoberRide® program rather than possibly driving home impaired. The charity also offers its SoberRide® program on St. Patrick’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day and the winter holidays this year starting on December 16th and operating through and including New Year’s Eve.
Local taxicab companies throughout the Washington-metropolitan area provide this no-cost service to local residents age 21 and older who otherwise may attempt to drive home after drinking.
SoberRide® is offered in the: District of Columbia; throughout the Maryland counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s; and throughout the Northern Virginia counties of Arlington, Fairfax, (eastern) Loudoun and Prince William.
“The scary fact is that over half (52%*) of all U.S. traffic deaths during Halloween involve drunk drivers,” said Kurt Gregory Erickson, WRAP’s President.
Sponsors of this year’s Independence Day SoberRide® campaign include AAA Mid-Atlantic, Anheuser-Busch, Brown-Forman, Constellation Brands, Diageo, District of Columbia Association of Beverage Alcohol Wholesalers, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility, Giant Food, Glory Days Grill, MillerCoors, Red Top Cab of Arlington, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, Volkswagen Group of America and the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association.
Participating taxicab companies include: Alexandria Yellow Cab; Barwood; Fairfax Yellow Cab; Loudoun Yellow Cab; Northern Virginia Checker Cab; Red Top Cab; Silver Cab of Prince George’s County; Yellow Cab of D.C.; and Yellow Cab of Prince William County.
Since 1993, WRAP’s SoberRide® program has provided 65,219 free cab rides home to would-be drunk drivers in the Greater Washington area.
Founded in 1982, the nonprofit [501(c)(3)] Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP) is a coalition of diverse interests using effective education, innovative programs and targeted advocacy to end alcohol-impaired driving and underage drinking in the Washington, DC metro area. Through public education, innovative health education programs and advocacy, WRAP is credited with historically keeping the metro-Washington area’s alcohol-related traffic deaths lower than the national average.
More information about WRAP’s SoberRide® initiative can be found at www.soberride.com.
Cold-pressed juice bar JRINK is now open in the Clarendon area.
The store, at 3260 Wilson Blvd, held its grand opening on Sunday. It offers 100 percent cold-pressed, all-natural juice that’s produced locally, at a price of $9-10 per bottle.
JRINK is competing with nearby South Block Juice Co. in the high-end juice space, which has found a market thanks in part to the popularity of so-called juice cleanses. JRINK — like South Block — also offers coffee, smoothies and superfood bowls.
This is the second Virginia store for JRINK, which has four existing locations in the District and a fifth in Falls Church, where its juices are made. The company says the new Clarendon store is the first of its kind in the region with a drive-thru window.
“JRINK’s newest location allows customers to enjoy a drive-thru experience that keeps your health in check, as well as a full storefront offering their signature juices, warm beverages, and superfoods,” notes a press release.
“Each JRINK flavor (ranging from $9-$10 each or $155 for a full, three-day reboot) contains up to five pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables… completely free of added sugar, preservatives and chemicals,” the press release adds.
Gunston Could Get New Baseball Diamond — Arlington County officials are considering renovating a baseball diamond at Gunston Middle School, replacing it with a lighted artificial turf field. A public meeting about the project, is scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 9 from 7-9 p.m. at the Gunston community center. [Arlington County]
TJ Elementary Design Approved — The Arlington School Board has unanimously approved schematic designs for the new elementary school planned for the Thomas Jefferson Middle School site. Construction on the $59 million project is expected to begin in July and wrap up in time for the 2019-2020 school year. [InsideNova]
More Details About W-L Fight — A large fight at Friday night’s Washington-Lee High School football game, first reported by ARLnow.com, involved “at least 20 parents and students” and “was the result of a dispute between two families,” unrelated to the game, according to police. Officers used pepper spray to break up the fight. One adult was arrested during the game. [Washington Post]
Photo courtesy Brent Robson
This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by the Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy team (AIRE). This county program helps you make smart energy decisions that save you money and…
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In the mid-nineties two breweries opened across the United States from each other. One in a former mechanic shop in Utah and the other in a brew pub in Delaware.