Press Club

Would-Be Restaurant Will Be Torn Down, Turned Into a Park

The strange case of Haze Restaurant, Bar and Lounge is coming to a close.

Essentially an old house gussied up in goth black paint and gaudy decorations, Haze looks severely out of place between the Arlington Arts Center and a soon-to-be yoga studio (formerly Curves). It was apparently meant to be a lounge-y kind of a place, which could have brought some nightlife to the relatively dead section of Wilson Boulevard near the Virginia Square Metro, but it was brought down by some very poor planning.

We’re told that the owner undertook renovations on the building before any county permits were issued (or even requested), a big no-no. County staff then tried to work with the owner to get the building into compliance, but he decided instead to shutter the place. That was last year.

Then, on Friday, the Arlington County Parks Department informed the Ashton Heights Civic Association that the county had purchased the quarter-acre property. It will be used to connect Maury Park and Herselle Milliken Park, two tiny swaths of recreational space located on the same block between North Monroe Street and North Lincoln Street.

“The acquisition is consistent with the Public Spaces Master Plan, the Virginia Square Sector Plan and your neighborhood plan,” Park Development Division Chief Lisa Grandle told the AHCA.

Once the building is “deconstructed” — taken apart in a way that allows for more building materials to be recycled — the entire property will be converted to a park. Even the prime real estate next to Wilson Boulevard.

“The entire parcel will be used as park space in the near term, although the immediate frontage on Wilson Boulevard may be reconsidered in the long term if the remaining retail/commercial parcels on the block are consolidated and redeveloped,” Grandle wrote in an email to ARLnow.com.

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