Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com February 23, 2011 at 6:00 am 3,293 67 Comments

Early Buds — Maybe Punxsutawney Phil was right. The photo above was taken by Flickr pooler Clio1789 near Rosslyn on Friday.

Dr. Dremo’s Site Set for Development — Construction could begin by the end of the year on the hallowed ground that once was home to Dr. Dremo’s and Taco Bell. The site, on the 2000 block of Wilson Boulevard, will house 154 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail space. Meanwhile, a development on the 1800 block of Wilson Boulevard is still awaiting financing. The project — a 107,000 square foot office building — will eventually displace the Rhodeside Grill and Il Radicchio restaurants. [DC Mud]

Westover Beer Garden Forum Planned — A public forum has been scheduled to discuss the Westover Beer Garden. The meeting will take place at 7:00 p.m. on March 8, at the Westover Library. The forum will allow “all members of the community to come together to agree on common positions regarding the beer garden.” [Tara-Leeway Heights Civic Association]

Neighborhood College Program Accepting Applications — Arlington County is accepting applications for its “civic leadership development program.” The Arlington Neighborhood College offers a free, seven-week introduction to Arlington civic life and community participation. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Clio1789

  • Overgrown Bush

    How I miss my PBRs at Dr. Dremo. What a waste to have that place in rubble for years. Just what the corridor needs….. more residential units and retail space. Right. I’d much rather have one dive bar. There are so very few old Arlington places left.

    • TryTheTacos

      Amen. Everytime I walk by it – I feel like I need to stop and have a moment of silence. And a Purple Haze.

      • OX4

        I feel like that whenever I pass by the site of the old Taco Bell. I remember the day it closed…me and a few other strangers just wandered the parking lot, stopping every once in awhile to hopelessly tug at the locked doors.

    • MC

      Some folks never grow up, having a child-like nostalgia for things that remind them of adolescent heroics of getting drunk and staying out late at night. That somehow they were once edgy and now the world no longer caters to a lifestyle once enjoyed during their carefree fraternity days of cheap beer and fast food.

      When I read comments about how great Dr Dremo was, I can’t help but think of the character in the Simpsons who owns a comic book store. Get on with your lives, it’s very sad to hear you so stuck.

      • TGEoA

        Bardo bardo bardo

        • Westover

          Bardo’s ROCKED. Say what one might about nostaglia, but that is the place that really got micro breweries and pubs going in this country. 15 years ago, folk’s on the west coast would be in awe when I told them I lived in Arlington and lived up the road from the place.

          • Greg

            That was a great time for beer in this area. Bardos, Brickskellar, and the Dominion brewery in Ashburn. All gone or a shadow of their former selves.

            Overall, beer is much (MUCH) better here now, but those places were national beer geek destinations.

          • Westover

            Brickskellar is still there, just different management and name, but same beer selection and same slow rude service.

          • NJMets

            Rock Bottom has really good beer. It’s the main reason why I choose to live in Ballston.

          • Westover

            You can thank the ghosts of Bardos.

          • local

            Tried Rustico yet?

          • CW

            Happy hour every night at rustico from 4-7…$2 off all drafts and some other stuff…

      • CW

        Mwah mwah, mwah mwah.

        Reading your post is like listening to the adults from Charlie Brown.

      • local

        Do you spit on children in the street too, MC?

        • OX4

          Get off my lawn!!

      • Overgrown Bush

        I bet you are a cranky old hag.

        You see, nostalgia for an old dive place is more than remembering youth and getting plastered. It is hardly about not growing up. It is about the friendships you made playing pool or darts; the people you meet. Good times, but not necessarily drunk times, and the friends that came with it. It is about remembering a time when you could go out with some friends and have a nice evening in Arlington without it costing a small fortune.

        It is no different than you remembering the good times of sucking down wine on the back patio with 4 of your yenta friends (if my assumption is correct that you are a cranky old hag), talking about how great Arlington would be if we plowed it over and built a concrete jungle.

        • mehoo

          Here here! (takes another drink of beer)

    • local

      Best place ever.

      Remember the really weird TV ads?

    • 22201 4ever

      You newf-gs who miss Dr. Dremo – you misssed the true Bardo Rodeo experience that predated Dremos. Bardo Rodeo was the kind of place you wouldn’t be shocked finding someone passed out in the corner, and you’d be dissapointed if you didn’t find dirt in your glass. The true and only “hole in the wall.” You probably don’t even remember the “classy” strip club right next to Pho and Village Bistro – all before the Internet ordering wrap sandwich place opened (and closed).

      • Juanita de Talmas

        And if your a REAL old timer, you remember Roratanga Rodeo, which was Bill Stewart’s joint before he opened Bardo.

  • OX4

    Il Radicchio replaced by an office building? NOOO!! I love that place!

    • Easton

      I think that’s what City Planners call a “Sense of Place” — i.e., replacing something interesting with another dull high-rise.

      I know it’s been said before, but Wilson Blvd. was so much more interesting before getting overbuilt.

    • CW

      Is il radicchio actually any good? I was getting all excited to go there one evening until I went onto yelp, which I usually trust around here since I’m pretty active in that community, and found mostly absolutely terrible reviews. I was bummed. Is it worth a shot before it’s gone?

      • OX4

        I never check Yelp for restaurants I already know, but I’m surprised it got lousy reviews. I suppose a foodie might not get too excited about the food itself. We love the atmosphere and the staff is super friendly. One of the few places in R-B that makes you feel like you’re in a little local atmosphere. It’s usually pretty packed on weekends and the sidewalk seating is full on nice nights. Sad to see it go.

      • Westover

        il Radicchio is great, it will be a real loss for that neighborhood if it disappears. I can’t see why anyone would give it a bad review. Good Service, Good Food, Good Value, Great Atmosphere.

        • CW

          Great, will try it asap. I’d heard good things firsthand but was surprised to see it poorly reviewed. In my experience the reviewing around here has been pretty accurate.

          • Nevitt

            It’s certainly cheap. But you’re basically getting the equivalent of a box of pasta with a jar of sause, which would cost about a $1.50 at home…

          • Westover

            Better prepared than what you would get at home and the pasta is homemade/fresh. There are very few resturants where you could not make the same thing at home for drastically cheaper. If you look at it that way, you really don’t enjoy going out.

      • Dismayed

        Il Raddiccio is great. Love their sauces, eating in and/or picking some up to use at home. I hear the pizzas are good too but haven’t gotten round to those yet. This is a place I like eating at and in no way cookie cutter. Hope they get a sweetheart deal with this that relocates them nearby. Please don’t go!

  • W

    Just curious, will the restaurants stay or re-open in the new building? If so, could the developers keep or mimic the facades? Change is good but most of the recent buildings are boring. It seems like they do not interact that well with the “pedestrian environment”. Mass produced “details” are easy to spot when walking close to a building vs just driving by them.

  • Bob

    This is easily the worst thing I ever heard with regards to development in Arlington. What is going to happen to Rhodeside? Will they be able to open in the new space or are they just gone?

    • Nevitt

      The new addition is office on top of retail, so there could actually be more retail as the new footprint will encompass the entire lot. I think its a total of 10,000 sq. ft retail.

  • bennynojets

    I wonder if as many cars will run into the new office building as have run into Rhodeside.

  • V Dizzle

    Is this the existing site plan, or something new? If you look in the Arlington County development webpages, there is a site plan for every square foot of the R-B corridor.

    • It’s been in existence for a while. The news is the potential for construction to begin.

  • CW

    When I read the headline re: Dremo’s, for a second my heart had this glimmer of hope that perhaps I had missed the story that Dremo’s had found a new site, and that as of now they were beginning to develop it. Sadly, that was not the case.

    Could we at least get a ground-floor taco bell in the new development?

    • JamesE

      I cried, I silently say a prayer every time I drive by the empty field where it once stood. I hope the residents in the new building get cursed like in Poltergeist.

    • Arlingtonian

      There’s at least one big empty space right here on Columbia Pike that Dremo’s could take!

      • Josh

        There have been some spots New Dremo’s has looked at on Columbia Pike… I think the lack of easy metro access (or lack of metro stop there) hampered the interest though.

        • JamesE

          The clear solution is to destroy the ballston mall and convert the lot into a giant 500,000 sqft Dremos.

          • CW

            Dremo’s, with food provided by Chick-fil-a.

          • Hattie McDaniel

            Fundamentalist fast food with beer. I love it.

        • Just a thought: H Street NE doesn’t have Metro access.

        • local

          “New Dremo’s has looked at?” They want to reopen?

          • CW

            Yes, there have long been rumors of some collective entity representing the ghost of Dremo’s actively doing this and that, but they seem to be often somewhat vague…

  • kc

    Like the picture. I noticed the trees in front of the townhomes across from Iwo Jima had some blossoms the other day, before our little sleet storm the other night.

  • Arlingtonian

    Is it possible for anyone to just leave something the heck alone for a change? Why does that corridor need any redeveloping to begin with? What’s wrong with it the way it is?

    • CW

      Well, what’s done is done with regards to Dremo’s and T-bell, so I would like to see something there instead of the dirt lot. And I’d like to see something replace the abandoned video store, but certainly not at the expense of Rhodeside and what I am told is a very good Il Radicchio.

    • local

      Go tell the owners of the property.

    • Nevitt

      The entier corridor is already pretty much preplanned. All you have to do is look at it on the COunty wensite and you can see what will eventually happen. This concept began way back in the 70’s when Arlington was first able to convince the powers that be to move metro off I66 and instead put it under gorund along WIlson BLVD. Like it or not, the whole idea is density near metro, which means lots of housing, office and retail. It’s not as if any of this should remotely be a surprise to anyone. FOr less dense, look to Westover, or areas near Lee HWY. Very little change there.

      • FrenchyB


      • Suburban Not Urban


  • Tre

    Can we get a petition for a taco bell to re-open in north arlington? (and no crystal city and lee hwy don’t count) Late night snacks/4th meals have never been the same having been forced to deal with the old dried out over-priced chicken patties that Wendy’s serves. I’ll have a Mexican pizza, a meximelt and a volcano taco in Clarendon/Courthouse please.

    • CW

      Forget a petition; put your money where your mouth is.


      • Tre

        hmmmm… Ok, who has a rich uncle?

        • CW

          Go to Spider Kelly’s or Whitlow’s on a Thursday night and look around…

        • Idi Amin Dada

          Those ditzy hos who write Yelp reviews.

    • JamesE

      Close down the IHOP and replace with 24/7 Taco Bell

    • OX4

      I’d suggest shutting down that awful Cafe Assorti and replacing it with The Bell.

      • The Dope of South Arlington

        That place must be a front of some kind. There are never any customers there.

    • Arlingtonian

      NOMMMMM you just revved my appetite … I know what I’m having for lunch now 🙂

    • borf

      You could, like, lift a finger and start your own petition or whatever. Not that it will do any good either, but it’s a step up from whining.

    • Vinh An Nguyen

      Where is there a T. Bell in Crystal City?

  • Wonder where Rhodeside could relocated to…

  • jjbug

    Well, 83 people, unlike me, when they spoke back to ARL.now, never spoke about the cherry blossoms in the 1st report or told of experiencing the 2 yellow crocuses blooming on 9th St N. today in Lyon Park. Those who did only smiled, and, let me guess, thanked the planters of this tree and noticed that it is only by reading the trees and plants we can understand when the change of weather occurs: perhaps we aren’t sure the groundhog knows more of the truth as well as the plants do! Last year, I was completely captivated by a lawn on a not specially beautiful or clearly maintained lawn in Lyon Village (walking distance from home) covered in a lovely blue haze of February blue crocuses blooming all over the ground. Perennials planted in both these areas thrive, survive and revive us every February! They ought to get coverage like the groundhog! I plan to walk to that yard tomorrow to see if the crocuses are up!

    Are my neighbors still people who read signs given by the others who share with us the world that holds so much more? Shout out where you find crocuses!

    • mehoo

      Jeez, jjbug, just go walk around and look yourself, isn’t that the real point?

      Anyway, I saw a lawn filled with crocuses last Sunday on George Mason Drive near the hospital.

    • Westover

      The schizo weather has the tulips in my yard popping up already, doubt they will make it to bloom this year.


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