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First Look Inside Northside Social

by ARLnow.com March 12, 2010 at 9:31 am 3,304 5 Comments

It’s still a work-in-progress, but yesterday we got a look inside Northside Social, Clarendon’s new coffee and wine bar.

Construction is taking place at a furious pace at the old Murky Coffee building. When we arrived after the short walk from Northside’s big brother, Liberty Tavern, general manager Alison Christ was surprised to see a chandelier already installed on the second floor, which the wine bar will call home.

On the first floor the makings of the coffee bar were coming together. Christ, formerly the sommelier at Willow Restaurant in Ballston, said the centerpiece of the store — a top-of-the-line espresso machine — was in the process of being flown in from Italy.

An adjacent “sun room,” which we’re told will be furnished with couches and other comfy furniture, was still barren concrete.

After it gets its necessary county permits, Northside will have seating for about 100 people, including 65 outdoor patio seats. With new stores popping up monthly, and with an added emphasis on outdoor seating and street life, Christ says she sees Clarendon developing into a “New York-style neighborhood.”

Northside Social will probably open between March 24 and 28, Christ said. When it does, expect a rotating roster of for-sale art from local artists and photographers, and some bike-friendly accouterments outside.

Worth noting: Lyon Hall, another Liberty Tavern project, is expected to open about a week after Northside.

  • First I have to say I am very glad to see them taking this on. This coffee house has always been one of my favorites – great location – great old building – great arlington. Heck, I remember buying junk here when it was a junk store! Glad to see this Arlington landmark getting another try.

    HOWEVER, what’s with this!!!! “Christ says she sees Clarendon developing into a “New York-style neighborhood.””

    Hey Alison Christ!! You’re not in NYC anymore! We is Arlington and we LOVE Arlington. We dont WANT a NY Style neighborhood (perish the thought). We WANT an ARLINGTON style neighborhood.

    And Alison, I would not be too flip about this. Arlington is positively one of the best communities in the Wash DC area. The people who live here love it here. When we moved in, many of our neighbors were original residents dating back to WWII. The rest were new families with high interests in the neighborhood. We are the people who love and miss Whiteys. And go out to Eden for the Vietnamese restaurants that use to be in Clarendon. And hang in the dog parks and walk in the parades. What makes Arlington great is NOT that it’s like NYC (ha ha ha ha ha) – it’s that it’s Arlington!

  • Um, no. I’ll go with the optimism that Clarendon needs to become more like Manhattan, compared to the ongoing threat of bank branch storefronts, stale mid-rise condos and chain restaurants.

  • Lisa

    Paul, have you been to Manhattan lately? you described it perfectly “ongoing threat of bank branch storefronts, stale mid-rise condos and chain restaurants.” It’s becoming rather generic. I’ll take Clarendon.

  • REL

    Any word of what kind of menu they will have?

    • arlnow.com

      Here’s what management has to say about the menu at Northside Social:

      Morning options will include freshly baked muffins and scones, Polyface egg sandwiches, housemade bacon and sausages, and housemade granola and yogurt. Baker G. David King will produce 6-7 freshly baked breads on a daily basis, including Anadama, Marble Rye, and a classic Pullman Loaf.

      At lunch and into evening, salads will include Amish chicken salad on frisee with toasted almonds, cucumbers, pickled shallots, and marble rye crostini. Sandwiches will include Roasted Turkey with cranberry mostarda and Vermont cheddar on Anadama bread. All meats for sandwiches will be roasted in house, and all breads for sandwiches will be baked in house. Two nourishing soups will be offered all day, including at least one vegetarian option. At night, options include Chicken Liver Rilettes, House-smoked Salmon with onion marmalade and crème fraiche on marble rye toast, and a variety of artisanal cheeses. Finally, sweets like Jenkins Orchard Apple Pie with Fiscalini Cheddar and Cinnamon Red Hot Velvet cake will be offered. With Spring will come housemade soft-serve ice cream at our walk-up window.

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