It took nearly three and a half hours for the Arlington County Board to squash any hope of outdoor patio seating at American Flatbread.
Board members repeatedly reassured owner Scott Vasko that Flatbread was exactly the type of business that Arlington County is trying to attract. In the end, however, promises made to local homeowners in 2004 were upheld, and a patio between the restaurant and an adjacent house will remain an undeveloped “buffer zone.”
In a concession to Flatbread, the board granted the more lenient of two possible scenarios for sidewalk seating in front of the Clarendon restaurant. Flatbread will be allowed to set up tables on 25 feet of sidewalk in front of 11th Street North (the other scenario called for 15 feet). Combined with sidewalk seating also approved for North Fillmore Street, Flatbread will likely have a total of four outdoor tables and 10 seats. The patio could have sat 24.
Numerous local homeowners spoke out against Flatbread’s patio request at the board meeting, although most also voiced support for sidewalk seating. Of the dozen speakers on the issue, only 25% spoke in favor of patio seating.
As part of the board’s action, Screwtop Wine Bar was also granted sidewalk seating, which should allow for 3-4 tables outside the restaurant. Like Flatbread, Screwtop is located in the ZoSo building at 1025 North Fillmore Street.
In addition to sidewalk seating, Fillmore Street may soon be getting some signage. To help attract customers to the off-the-main-drag strip of shops and restaurants, the board paved the way for on-building “blade” signs and sidewalk-level sandwich board-style signs to win approval at a subsequent board meeting.
“I am concerned that this small business needs some help in ensuring that enough people use his business,” board member Barbara Favola said. “I’m also concerned that Arlington really balance as well as we can our desire to have some kind of street life to encourage that urban character we talk about. This is an urban area, and I have to admit that people should expect some activity in this part of the county.”
At the end of the discussion, which began at 9:00 a.m. and wrapped up in time for a late lunch, board chairman Jay Fisette lamented that the developer of the ZoSo building didn’t try to set up an area for patio seating before its initial design was approved. Fisette, speaking for himself, suggested that an outside courtyard surrounded by 7 foot walls could have been quiet and unobtrusive enough to pass muster, had it been built into the original plan.
Vasko, Flatbread’s owner, has not responded to a request for comment.
Tour the secluded and quiet Bellevue Forest with its local parks, trails, forested areas and more in Neighborhood Spotlight.
In loving memory of William Dinwiddie Tucker, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 95.
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Meeting for lunch? Starting Monday, January 30 and running until Friday, February 3, Copperwood Tavern, The Pinemoor, and Brass Rabbit Pub will be offering buy one, get one free soups, salads, sandwiches, and…
St. Charles offers a play-based curriculum in a welcoming, Christ-centered environment.
Our program focuses on socio-emotional development and kindergarten readiness through hands-on and engaging activities. Our programs offer different schedules ranging from 7:30 am-5:30 pm for students, ages 2-5. We feature a full-day Jr. kindergarten class for older 4’s/5’s. Our facility includes a full-sized gymnasium, school chapel, and library. All of our students enjoy music and physical education weekly. Children have an opportunity to participate in enrichment classes such as soccer, basketball, ballet, and science.
We offer Summer Camp with weekly themes and twice a week water play, including Fun Friday moon bounce. Please join us for our Open House Feb. 3 at 9:30 am and 11:00 am. Click here to sign-up.
For more information or to schedule a tour, visit us at www.stcharlesarlington.org or call (703) 527-0608.
If you are a lifelong learner over 50+ who wants to make new friends, power up your brain, and enjoy a wide-variety college-level courses, Encore Learning is for you. An Arlington based nonprofit, Encore Learning offers courses in the arts, theater, literature, history, technology and more. This semester we offer our most popular course, Global Hot Spots as well as 25 new courses. Courses are presented either online or in-person at George Mason University at Virginia Square and other Arlington locations.
Join the free presentation to learn about courses and meet the instructors. This is Encore Learning’s signature event to highlight the upcoming semester with brief presentations by each instructor.
The Spring Course Preview event is Thursday, February 2nd at 9:30 AM via Zoom:
The truth, your first pregnancy and new mom months are full of twists and turns, ups and downs, and lots of questions! None of us really know the best way to do it – we just figure it out, together…