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Signage, Outdoor Seating Proposed for American Tap Room

by ARLnow.com February 8, 2011 at 10:17 am 3,499 82 Comments

American Tap Room, which will be taking the place of the now-shuttered Sette Bello Italian restaurant at 3101 Wilson Boulevard in Clarendon, is asking the county board to approve an outdoor cafe and new signage along North Highland Street.

The board will consider the proposed site plan amendment at its meeting on Saturday. County staff is recommending the changes be approved.

American Tap Room is proposing a sizable outdoor cafe with three fire pits and seating for about 75 people, according to architectural drawings.

The cafe, though large, would still allow an 8.5 foot passage between the patio and the sidewalk tree pits. County regulations require a minimum 6 foot passage.

Instead of one large sign across the long facade, American Tap Room is requesting a blade sign, an entry sign and several low-key awning graphics. The entrance would also feature a firebowl, like the type that graces the front of Matchbox restaurant in D.C.’s Chinatown.

In November, an American Tap Room employee told us the restaurant would be “upscale comfort casual dining,” similar to its current Reston and Bethesda locations.

  • Eponymous Coward

    We don’t know it is an American Tap Room until we see a birth certificate.

    • CW

      Yes, it could be a Kenyan tap room of course.

      Frankly, I would rather have a Kenyan tap room; I think that would be fun. The area has enough places that I would classify as american, or sports bars. Just don’t offer to serve lion meat.

      • meateater

        The fire pits could work for game meat like at the Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi.

        http://www.tamarind.co.ke/restaurant.php

        • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

          Catch your own and bring it yourself! Maybe they will provide skinning tables too.

        • SouthArlJD

          My now-ex brought me a Carnivore tee shirt from Nairobi. It featured a cartoon of a diner eating a rhino or hippopotamus or something (this was 23 years ago). I wore that thing until it disintegrated. When I go to Nairobi one of these days I’m heading straight to the Carnivore.

          • meateater

            You can get a similar experience at Fogo de Chao on Pennsylvania Ave, though it isn’t open air and full of begging cats like The Carnivore.

    • FrenchyB

      Thanks for the heads up – I’ll now refer to it as the ‘American HUSSEIN Tap Room’.

  • SoCo Resident

    A Tap Room! Wow! To join the now miles long stretch of bars. With three wasteful fire pits and a big wasteful outdoor fire bowl. Wait til the Lyon Village Citizen Association responds, this 75 outdoor seating capacity will be reduced to 7.5 and the eternal flames will be snuffed out.

  • charlie

    cool signage on Highland. Will it cater to low income people who are now Baptist?
    i thought Baptist didn’t drink.

    • G::TheNativeArlingtonian

      More for us!

    • borg

      Why don’t Baptists go to orgies?

      They’re afraid someone might be dancing.

    • SouthArlJD

      Well, St. Charles Catholic is just down the street and Catholics love them their alcohol, but of course this place will have to figure out how to lure them away from the Irish joint right across from St. Chuck’s and the Liberty Tavern.

  • Chris

    Hopefully the tap list can add something to the area, but it IS pretty saturated.

  • Southeast Ben

    I can’t wait to people watch if that outdoor patio area really comes to fruition. I just hope I’ll be able to afford their beer.

    • CW

      If you’re asking if you can afford it, odds are you can’t afford it. Welcome to arlington.

    • SD

      Don’t worry, regulars drink Miller Lite here.

  • steve

    Wow, another bar where there will be no smoking. yay. I’m sure all the people who think they are too good for kansas or wherever the hell they invaded here came from will enjoy their pretentiousness at another snob bar. yippee.

    • mehoo

      If wanting to breathe makes me a snob, fine. Go pollute Kansas.

      • steve

        then ban automobiles, tard, because they pollute the air far worse.

        • local

          I’m not surprised that you are resorting to crude immature insults.

        • Westover

          Not a modern car with properly working emissions equipment.

          • steve

            are you actually trying to claim that a cigarette pollutes the air worse than a modern car?

            Wow.. Unreal…

            I bet you whine nad cry about “third hand smoke” as well and you are firm believe that climate change is 100% caused by man, right?

            Nanny stater. Well, enjoy your sissy bars.

          • local

            Hey Steve? You can’t run your car inside a restaurant either. Sorry.

          • Newt

            Steve, I bet you you’re as tall as you are wide and throwing stones on this blog makes you feel like a big man.

          • Westover

            In the time a cigarette is lit, it emits far more CO, CO2 and particulate matter than any modern car that would be driving down the road. I have no idea if either effects the climate in any real long term way. Steve, do you work as a tobacco lobbyist? My whole life in this town and not even my most conservative co-workers, and I work in politics, believes that second hand smoke is harmless, even those who have worked for the tobacco industry(at least when they are not writing press releases).

    • Westover

      This is one native who is happy to come home from the bar not smelling like an ashtray like it was in “the good old days”. I appreciate what tobacco did to build the Commonwealth, and even Alexandria/Arlington, but its time has passed.

      • steve

        Well I don’t approve of you drinking more than 2 drinks so I guess I should ban it because I don’t approve of it, and A LOT MORE HARM is caused by drinking an driving than from you smelling like smoke. I also don’t approve of you eating red meat or fried foods, and since now bars are health spas becaues of the smoking ban, you shouldn’t be able to do anything unhealthy there, as they are health spas, and I know what’s best, so i ban what I don’t approve of becaues i”m a tolerant liberal who knows whats best for people.

        • local

          Sigh.

          Drink all you want, Steve. You’re blood alcohol isn’t spilling into my blood or my clothes, so I don’t care. Eat read meat too.

          Your smoke, however, is polluting my lungs, not to mention stinking up the place.

          See the difference?

          It’s friggin’ smoke, for God’s sake. If it were smoke from any other source, we’d call the fire department and treat people for smoke inhalation. Why is your smoke better?

          • steve

            So, be honest for a moment, what has caused more proven deaths, second hand smoke, or drunk driving? Which is getting banned from bars again?

          • local

            I’m glad you’re joining in the struggle against drunk driving too, Steve. Support your bartender’s efforts to keep patrons from overindulging, and designated-driver, free ride home, and similar programs. We can have a society where people don’t die from drunks AND don’t die from lung cancer. Plus our clothes won’t stink like yours do.

        • Westover

          I am a conservative that eats red meat and knows it does not effect the person in the booth next to me. I am a conservative that believes in doing what you want unless it effects those around you in a negative way, like smoking.

        • t-cough

          Go back to elementary school, Steve. They may actually think you have an argument there. Did you even think before you wrote that??

          • steve

            ZERO people have died from second hand smoke. THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS have died from alcohol related illness or drunk driving. You can drink yourself to death in one night. You could hang around in bars inhaling people’s smoke for the rest of your life and it won’t kill you. If something smells bad is enough to ban it, why aren’t we banning indian food?

            You cannot prove a single person has ever died of second hand smoke.

            Again, the greater harm is DRINKING AND DRIVING, yet you ban the smoking from the bars?

          • Westover

            We have banned Drunk Driving too. Banned it first in fact.

            And while second hand smoke has probably never killed anyone immediately, it has effected many over the long term and does cause immediate discomfort to many. Need your nicotine fix? Dip some Skole or be a real man and chew some RedMan.

          • steve

            So does eating. Are you going to ban fried foods? What about all the obese people?

            The fact that many of the customers in these places still drink and drive despite the laws should make something clear to you. Smoking is legal. It doesn’t kill anyone other than the smoker, and that it smells bad is not a valid reason to tell private businesses how to run their business.

            People are still drinking and drving, and killing people on a DAILY basis, meanwhile NOBODY, NOT ONE SINGLE PERSON HAD DIED FROM SECOND HAND SMOKE, AND NOBODY EVER WILL.

          • local

            Utter bullshit. The fact that secondhand smoke causes severe health problems, including conditions leading directly to death, was proven years ago.

            Here, educate yourself.

            http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/secondhandsmoke/report/

          • local

            The report above is a meta-analysis – a study looking at all previous studies. Part of the summary (page 11):

            “With regard to the involuntary exposure of nonsmokers to tobacco smoke, the scientific evidence now supports the following major conclusions:

            1. Secondhand smoke causes premature death and disease in children and in adults who do not smoke….

            3. Exposure of adults to secondhand smoke has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system and causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer.

            4. The scientific evidence indicates that there is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke.”

          • steve

            The surgeon general’s report is BS. There is tons of BS about SHS smoke out there. Some liberal retards are even claiming that hospitals have had 75% reductions in people coming in to be treated for heart attacks since smoking bans went into force. LOL.

            So pathetic.

            Given the air outdoors is vastly worse for you than the smoke you breath in in a bar, what say you? Ever breathed in city air, busses passing by??? And you are WHINING about smoke in a bar which you could have chosen to avoid if you weren’t a petulent little child who needs to government to do everything for you like the rest of the whiney liberals in Arlington? Did they make you buy your prius too? Did they help you put on the Obama sticker? awww!! you are almost a big boy now!!!

          • local

            Steve,

            The Surgeon General’s report combines many years of study from highly-trained medical researchers using rigorous scientific methods.

            You, on the other hand, are a random dolt on the internet.

            You lose. Just admit it, don’t be a pathetic right-winger and just deny science when it’s inconvenient to you.

          • SouthArlJD

            Yeah? Tell that to my lungs. I’ve never smoked a day in my life, but thanks to my father’s constant second hand smoke I’ve got asthma and an impaired respiratory system. So while you’re sitting at that bar with your cigarette and more smoke drifting toward my already weakened lungs, what am I supposed to do? Think I should leave if I want to breathe? Oh wait, then that means YOU’RE interfering with my right to sit in a bar and enjoy a drink or a meal because you feel compelled to send smoke my way. Go ahead and eat your red meat, but don’t poison my air and tell me about your right to be a self-indulgent jackanape who doesn’t care whose health or enjoyment he affects.

          • steve

            Yet people managed to live hundreds of years with second hand smoke, but suddently all the peanut allergy people came into existence and being around smoke is suddenly bad for you. Thank GOD you are such healthnuts that youare inside a bar. we all know how HEALTHy a bar is…

            We should ban casual sex and drinking as well, these places should be health spas!

            You people are taking any and all fun out of bars, by imposing your liberal nanny state crap. if you don’t want to be around smoke, act like a grownup and not enter the place, but instead, you ban it becaues you don’t approve of it. Now imagine if everyone starts banning things they don’t approve of, LIBBIES WOULD THROW FITS.

          • local

            No, Steve, lots of people died of second-hand smoke. It’s just that nobody knew why they were dying yet.

            Jeez, you’re determined to commit every single right-wing anti-science play in the book.

          • steve

            local:

            Shoe me one PROVEN case where the medical examiner states that SECOND HAND SMOKE was the cause of death.

            Stop lying.

          • steve

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/29/AR2007012901158.html

            Continue your lies, nanny staters. Something smelling bad is not valid reason to violate the rights of property owners. Nobody denies smoking is bad for the smoker of cigarettes, yet alcohol is bad for you too, and so is red meat, and fried foods. Yet those are legal and are consumed in bars as well, some foods smell bad, is that valid reason to ban them given your health arguments about second hand smoke are bogus?

            Is smelling bad reason to ban things? ESPECIALLY WHEN you could act like an adult, not a petulent child who needs government to make decisions for you, and you coud AVOID THE BAR THAT SMELLS LIKE AN ASHTRAY?

            Can you do that or libby sissy crybabies like yourselves need government (nanny) to make your decisions for you?

          • local

            Steve,

            As if the Surgeon General’s report weren’t enough:

            http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5745a3.htm

            “During 2000–2004, an estimated 443,000 persons in the United States died prematurely each year as a result of smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke.”

            We can do this all day. I show you overwhelming, reliable evidence, and you deny.

            Doesn’t matter. You don’t get to smoke in restaurants. You can go home, light up, and whine about it all you want. Be sure to call the CDC and Surgeon General “liberal conspiracies” or whatever loony excuse you use.

          • local

            Sorry, Steve, this is over. You will never admit defeat. You can smoke wherever you want, just not in a restaurant. Too bad.

          • borf

            Steve’s busy yammering about global warming but he thinks secondhand smoke doesn’t hurt you. Thanks Mr. Science!

  • Josh S

    If that drawing shows the sidewalk – that’s way too much seating. With wait staff coming and going, people milling around waiting for a table or talking to their friends – basically you’re removing the public from the public sidewalk. Not acceptable.

    • local

      It’s not taking up sidewalk. There’s lots of outdoor seating space there.

    • CW

      Faccia luna and woodgrill are pretty bad about this as it stands now.

      Boccato is the worst offender, by far.

      • charlie

        faccia luna, woodgrill own most of their sidewalk.

        • CW

          Charlie – I am curious, and not at all being sarcastic – please educate me on this because I have been curious. How does one “own” a sidewalk? I’ve not found the place in the county code where this is addressed. When faccia luna sets up their free sample station curbside and uses the entire width of the sidewalk to amass waiting customers and dogs, you are implying that they own the width from storefront to curb? Likewise, how does this work with Boccato – what enables them to have furniture and decorations in the curb planters when literally no other establishment does this? It seems like either 1) it is not allowed, and that’s why no one is doing it, or 2) everyone would be doing it. I’ve long been curious…

          • local

            I don’t know the answer, but perhaps he means it literally – that part of the private property of the building is occupied by a sidewalk that isn’t part of the public right-of-way, even if it looks just like the sidewalk that is.

    • Ballston

      At their location in Reston Town Center they have a decent sized patio…. I will admit there is not enough sidewalk space though between the patio and the street at that location

      • Westover

        Wait a second! You mean this is a chain!?!?! Shut the place down now! 😉

    • Captain Obvious

      Josh, that lower drawing is clearly for the space that runs along the cross street, not Hartford. It was built as an expansive patio, was used as an outside patio by Sette Bello, and is separated from the sidewalk by planters etc. There is no concern here about it affecting pedestrians.

      • Captain Obvious

        In fact, looking at it from Google Street View, it’s separated from the sidewalk by concrete barriers.

  • SD

    “upscale comfort casual dining” – NOT! I’ve been to the Reston location several times and there is nothing upscale about American Tap Room. It’s a bar with a dining room, similar to Clarendon Grill. I would never go there just for dinner, it’s bar food. This is no Libery Tavern.

    • JamesE

      Fancy dishes such as chicken fingers and potato skins

    • borf

      “upscale comfort casual,” huh? Make up your minds.

      I’m glad to hear it’s downscale. Too many froufrou yuppie places in Clarendon, like the restaurant it’s replacing for instance.

      • Westover

        I would like a downscale uncomfortable snob bar myself.

        • borf

          Mr. Day’s?

          • SD

            Yes! It is exactly like Mister Days, can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

          • Westover

            The original Mr. Day’s downtown in the ally was far superior to that which exists today under the same name in Clarendon.

          • FrenchyB

            +1000. I miss that place.

      • SouthArlJD

        I never even knew the other place existed. Its signage was so reserved and unobtrusively “classy” that I drove past it hundreds of times until a friend got me to meet her there. When she told me the name I had to ask where it was because I’d never even seen the signs.

  • steve

    BOGUS SCIENCE BEHIND SECOND HAND SMOKE:

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5811

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/29/AR2007012901158.html

    It has been fashionable to ignore the weakness of “the science” on secondhand smoke, perhaps in the belief that claiming “the science is settled” will lead to policies and public attitudes that will reduce the prevalence of smoking. But such a Faustian bargain is an ominous precedent in public health and political ethics. Consider how minimally such policies as smoking bans in bars and restaurants really reduce the prevalence of smoking, and yet how odious and socially unfair such prohibitions are.

    By any sensible account, the anachronism of tobacco use should eventually vanish in an advancing civilization. Why must we promote this process under the tyranny of deception?

    Presumably, we are grown-up people, with a civilized sense of fair play, and dedicated to disciplined and rational discourse. We are fortunate enough to live in a free country that is respectful of individual choices and rights, including the right to honest public policies. Still, while much is voiced about the merits of forceful advocacy, not enough is said about the fundamental requisite of advancing public health with sustainable evidence, rather than by dangerous, wanton conjectures.

    A frank discussion is needed to restore straight thinking in the legitimate uses of “the science” of epidemiology — uses that go well beyond secondhand smoke issues. Today, health rights command high priority on many agendas, as they should. It is not admissible to presume that people expect those rights to be served less than truthfully.

    • CW

      LOL, article about “bogus science” cites 12-year-old Cato article by University of Hartford (world-renowned establishment) ECONOMICS professor, based on the opinions of a local yokel district judge in NORTH CAROLINA (Conflict of interest anyone? What do they grow a lot of in N.C.? Here’s a hint: Winston-Salem).

      Why does this not surprise me?

    • Westover

      “Heart Disease
      •For nonsmokers, breathing secondhand smoke has immediate harmful effects on the cardiovascular system that can increase the risk for heart attack. People who already have heart disease are at especially high risk.2,4
      •Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their heart disease risk by 25–30%.2
      •Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 46,000 heart disease deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.5

      Lung Cancer
      •Nonsmokers who are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their lung cancer risk by 20–30%.2
      •Secondhand smoke exposure causes an estimated 3,400 lung cancer deaths annually among adult nonsmokers in the United States.”
      http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand_smoke/general_facts/index.htm
      Imagine, Scientists and Doctors at the CDC have scientifically studied the effects of Secondhand Smoke and found that it probably does contribute to far more deaths than drinking related illness or DWI accidents, it is just a bit long and slower of a death. But, oh what the heck, to ensure my GOP creds stand up to Steve’s scrutiny, I will go with the thoughts and opinions of CATO institute PoliSci majors instead.

      • borf

        Science is a liberal plot.

        • Westover

          I keep telling that to my GOP M.D. dad, but he is sticking to the Grand Ole Party anyhow. Thank goodness.

          • CW

            Everyone knows that more doctors smoke Camels than any other brand.

          • Westover

            Sure did in 1958! 🙂

  • local

    The latest science: second-hand smoke kills at least 600,000 people a year worldwide.

    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2810%2961388-8/abstract

    But let’s not forget that science is just a liberal plot.

    • CW

      The Lancet? PhD’s? Never heard of those things. Where are my Cato “scholars” to shine light on the truth?!!

      • local

        Then there’s that guy Gori in the Post link, who has earned thousands from the tobacco industry for advocacy work and once published columns doubting that smoking causes cancer or that nicotine is addictive.

        • Kate

          Smoking = permanently-diminished erections.

          • borf

            So you’ve met Steve?

          • Kate

            I believe I recognize that brand of irritability.

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