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Meet the New Clarendon Grill

by ARLnow.com September 16, 2010 at 11:57 am 4,143 8 Comments

As soon as next weekend, Clarendon Grill will reopen after nearly two months of renovations. Walking through the doors, the long-time C-Grill fans will see a space both familiar and completely different at the same time.

Nearly every surface in the bar has been changed, says owner Peter Pflug. From the long cast-in-place concrete bar to the large-tiled bathrooms to the new dance floor, what was once old and beat up and is now clean and new. That old Clarendon Grill musk, from 14 straight years of eating, drinking, smoking and dancing since the last renovation, has been replaced with the smell of fresh lacquer.

“We’re excited that people, given the state of the place before, will say ‘wow’ when they see us again,” Pflug said.

The biggest change is probably the bar. It’s now longer and more open, which should make it much easier to get a drink on crowded weekend nights. The bar also features “bump-outs” — areas that you can call ahead and reserve that are shaped in a way that make it easier to have a conversation with a group of friends.

The new Clarendon Grill has the same number of beer taps as before, but the taps themselves are new. There will be a new, simplified “gastropub-y” menu. The theme will change marginally from “construction” to “industrial,” with illumination provided by painted steel streetlights procured from a nearby used car lot. Clarendon Grill will remain “sporty” — with sports showed constantly on the new flat screen TVs — but it will not be a sports bar.

The back patio, which was redone six months ago, has not been changed. The focus on live music is unchanged, but bands may now start playing a bit later to encourage dinner business.

  • Neighbor

    Does anyone else laugh when they see people paying cover and/or waiting in line to go in here? Maybe I’m just a hater?

    • Kyle

      Considering everywhere in the area charges a cover when a band is playing, that’s not that strange. Ballroom and Whitlow’s both charge $5-8 when a band is performing that night.

      As far as the line, yes, I agree that is ridiculous. But it usually only builds up around 1100, a little late already by Arlington’s 0130 last call standard. Hopefully the redesign opening up the bar will reduce the crowding inside, allowing the line to move faster (that was always the biggest problem).

      • Josh

        Whitlow’s took away their cover all summer.

  • John

    The bartenders suck!

  • Clarendude

    Sounds great. I like Pflug’s appreciation for old stuff (buildings, signs, reusing old lighting fixtures etc). It gives his places character, IMO.

  • Mikey

    Can’t wait…hopefully the brunch menu won’t change.

  • Steve

    Has anybody heard any updates if it’s actually opening up this weekend?

  • Mariel

    Don’t know for sure, but for weeks Gonzo’s Nose’s website has stated that they’ll be playing at the Grill this Saturday night, so fingers are crossed..

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