Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com March 23, 2011 at 8:58 am 2,639 70 Comments

Dremo’s Coming to the Pike? — The owner of the late, lamented Dr. Dremo’s Tap Room is in talks with the landlord of the former Ski Chalet store at 2704 Columbia Pike. The building would give Dremo’s a spacious new home in a funky old building, complete with parking, room for outdoor seating, and access to plentiful bus routes. We’re pretty sure an ARLnow.com commenter was the one who first floated the idea. [Pike Wire]

Dozens Testify At Budget Hearing — More than 75 people spoke at last night’s annual County Board budget hearing. Representatives and supporters of various local human services agencies asked the Board to increase funding for their causes. Also present at the hearing were supporters of increased funding for arts organizations, bicycling infrastructure and Arlington Public Libraries. [Sun Gazette]

One Hurt in Motorcycle Accident — A motorcyclist suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries last night after a collision with a pickup truck at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive. The accident happened around 10:15 p.m. The motorcyclist was taken to George Washington University hospital for treatment.

Flickr pool photo by Allee574

  • borf

    A Dremo’s sign of life! Yesssss!

    • SoArlRes

      This is great news! Hope it works!

    • South Arlington

      What I wouldn’t give for a pint of Dremo’s chocolate milk stout on the Pike. This would also be one of the only places on Columbia Pike that would have outdoor seating (I think Manee Thai is the only other option).

  • darren

    Dremo’s and Drafthouse in the very same neighborhood would be great

  • Josh

    The owner’s been looking at the Pike for quite awhile now…

  • South A-town

    YES!!! Dremo’s in my hood?! Walking distance?? This is fantastic!! The Pike is definitely the next hot spot.

  • DudeGuy

    Dremo’s was horrible. Not sure why everyone liked it so much. It was so dirty and gross. Yes it had an awesome beer selection but when you try to use the restroom and people can see through the wall at you… nasty. Also just so you guys don’t hate me, I am not a fan of all the trendy stuck up bars either.

    • JamesE

      dirty and gross was why it was so good, it also had the glorious silo that now lives on in galaxy hut.

      • clarendude

        Yes, it was gritty and real and that scared away all the froo-froo people. But going into Ski-chalet is just getting in another building that is slated for redevelopment. Dremos needs to look at places that are designated to be preserved.

        • FedUp

          Redevelopment on that side of the Pike?

    • Steve

      Some of us don’t like these snobby places that are popping up all over the place, and would welcome a dive bar, and preferably without all of the hipsters.

    • borf

      Yes, as Clarendude said, Dremo kept the froo-froo out.

      Also, Bardo was better.

      • Never visited Dremo’s myself but Bardo had a CONSTANT infection in the tap lines, so I don’t see how Dremo’s could have been any better.

        • JamesE

          yeast infection?

  • JamesE

    I’d have to drive there, or take a bus, both are unacceptable.

    • Overgrown Bush

      Why not a bicycle?

      • Burger

        You still can be arrested for DUI if you are riding your bike drunk. It isn’t likely to happen but still can.

        • South A-town

          All of us Pikers cab to Clarendon… so there’s a safe way to get around. 🙂 Just sayin’.

          • JamesE

            In all seriousness I would just cab from ballston, fast and cheap.

          • Kyle

            Based on my experiences visiting friends that lived on Columbia Pike, the issue isn’t getting there – it’s getting home. I have only once successfully managed to call a cab and have it actually come pick me up off the Pike, and never once managed to flag a cab from anywhere on the Pike.

          • John Snyder

            This can be fixed. Envirocab HQ is across the Pike from the Ski Chalet building.

          • Pikers

            Are you serious? There are always cabs around that Ski Chalet/Drafthouse area. I walk from my house to get a cab there to the airport since it’s faster/easier than calling. You’re crazy.

        • Steve

          No it cannot. You can be arrested for public drunkeness, and you could have that done walking home. DWI laws only apply to motorized vehicles, be it a car, or a scooter with a motor on it, but NOT a bicycle.

    • South Arlington

      If only there was some type of light rail that could take you from the Metro up Columbia Pike…

      • Hikin’ the Pike


        • bookmobile


      • beer belly

        +6% or more

    • Veeta

      1) That area has some of the best bus connections in Atown.
      2) When I lived in Courthouse, I regularly bused down to the Thai places and was always able to catch a cab home.
      3) I can walk there so right on.

  • LyonSteve

    I watched the first hour of the “hearing” last night — what a snooze fest. Group after group asking for more and more $$.

    I turned it off after the Roslyn BID spoke and said they wanted a year round shelter. While I know many want this for “good” reasons, I can only think the reason that the BID wants it is to keep homeless away from their buildings.

    Hopefully the board has some cents (and not the kind that raises our property taxes) on Thursday night.

    • borf

      Um, what else did you expect at a budget hearing? Dancing?

      • Wayne Kubicki

        Borf – the visual of that would be hysterical!

        Imagine these lyrics – “You do the hokie-pokie and spend yourself into the ground – that’s what it’s all about!”

        • borf

          Well, yeah, except for the fact that we’re not really spending ourselves into the ground.

      • CW

        A polka band, for starters.

    • John Fontain

      Like I said yesterday, everyone wants their government cheese.

      • borf

        Including you.

  • Homeowner

    Redistribute the current tax base any way you’d like. When it comes to additional revenue, the bank is closed!

    • borf

      So you’re open to some people paying more, so that others can pay less, with no benefit to revenue? That sounds even worse.

      • Homeowner

        No, I’m suggesting that you can’t get blood from a stone. The taxpayers of Arlington are the stone and we’ve been bled dry. If social services are deserving more funding, then “yes” some other program needs to get less.

        • borf

          Ah, I see.

          But no, they’re not being “bled dry.” We have the lowest tax rates in the area.

          • Homeowner

            We have the lowest tax rate because we have the highest average assessed value. In terms or real estate taxes paid, we are no where near the lowest.

          • borf

            In wealth, we are nowhere near the lowest either. That’s why we pay more in taxes.

            But when it comes to the proportion of our wealth that is paid in taxes, we are among the lowest.

            Why is this simple concept so hard to understand?

          • Overgrown Bush

            The higher earning people in this country tend to own homes, while those earning less tend to rent. So, yes, higher earning people will pay more in real estate taxes.

            What is lost is that renters pay no real estate tax. The lowest 50+% of the earners in the US pay no federal income tax either. Why is it wrong for someone who feels they are paying too much to insist the lower earners pay something? It is not equitable. There is just a negativity toward the rich for some reason by the lower income people and the liberal middle income folks. The rich people invest, and stimulate the economy. But, we want to bleed them dry in taxes rather than have them create jobs. No, I’m not rich. I do pay more than I would like and I’m tired of the free ride to the lower income people. It sounds like Homeowner might be too.

          • CW

            Sigh…haven’t we been over this before? That taxes are rolled into the rent by the landlords?…

          • mehoo

            OG: This discussion isn’t about the tax distribution though. I don’t necessarily disagree with what you said, though CW is right about rental properties paying taxes.

            The point is that, compared to other counties, our county overall doesn’t pay alot in taxes as a proportion of our wealth.

          • Overgrown Bush

            CW…. exactly. And the landlord is the “rich” entity while the renter is the “poor” entity. The renter pays the landlord, and the landlord pays the taxes. That’s how it works. The landlord also has to declare such rolled in money as income.

          • Homeowner

            I’d love to see the statistics that support that assertion.

          • mehoo

            Homeowner – I’ve seen it in several places and I posted a link somewhere recently – our tax rate is among the lowest in NoVa. But the rates keep changing so it’s hard to keep up with a recent source. Most of the reports are on real estate blogs.

  • Brandon C

    As a former Courthouse resident forced into South Arlington due to rent prices, I want Dremo’s in my neighborhood so much – but the former Ski Chalet? Someone point out where they’re going to put a kitchen in that tiny place? The original Dremo’s worked because it was a former garage or warehouse. That place will work only if no more than 30 people show up on any given night.

    • South Arlington

      The Ski Chalet is one of the bigger spaces in the area. What are you talking about?

      • local

        Brandon has a point. I don’t remember the Ski Chalet being that big. Bardo was absolutely huge, and that made it so cool. It was a beer hall.

        • Brandon C

          Exactly. Have you ever seen the LA Bar on a packed night? That’s about the amount of square footage we’re talking about that patrons will have the ability to occupy. Dremo’s had a massive bar area plus the back room with almost an equal amount of space. Ski Chalet is maybe 1/4 of that space or less.

    • Bard

      ski chalet is huge. and there are spaces that aren’t public, including the ski pro shop way in the back (which is likewise huge). as the blog post says, it’s a bigger space than the old dremo. i think the reason it feels small is that it’s split up into so many smaller rooms.

      • Brandon C

        Yes, a blog tells me it’s bigger and I’ll immediately distrust my own eyes and spatial orientation.

        I lived right next to Dremo’s for 2 years and spent an inordinate amount of time there before then even. I suggest going to Google Maps and looking at the lot where Dremo’s was then look at the Ski Chalet building. Not even close to the same square footage. Dremo’s had a huge main room plus the patio, plus the back room. Even if you include the parking lot in the back (remember it’s not the entire building block – just Ski Chalet), it’s maybe 1/2 of the space Dremo’s had.

        Sorry, not buying it.

        • South Arlington

          I think its obvious that Dremo’s had a bigger floorplan before. I also think in this day and age, with rent as it is in Arlington, that type of square footage is unsustainable for a bar. The Ski Chalet space is still one of the largest open areas in Arlington on a major corridor. Comparing it to LA Bar and Grill’s tiny space is nothing but buffoonery. Once the walls get knocked down to open things up, I think there will be plenty of room, especially considering the 2nd floor. My hope is that they create enough outdoor space to roughly duplicate the beach patio of the original Dremo’s.

        • FrenchyB

          If you think that Ski Chalet and L.A. Bar are about the same size, you should distrust your sense of spatial relations.

        • borf

          There was Dr. Dremo’s, which was fairly big, but before that it was Bardo Rodeo, which included the REALLY BIG garage. Plus a whole lot of outdoor seating.

          Someone might be right about Ski Chalet being comparable to Dremo, but no way is it anywhere near the original Bardo.

          • Shirleyyoujest

            Yep, that’s the distinction…Dremo closed off spaces of the former Bardeo

    • Huh?

      What are you talking about? Did you ever even go to Ski Chalet? The building is huge, with multiple rooms and levels.

      • borf

        The building may be big, but that doesn’t mean its the right shape or configuration, even after knocking out walls. But I hope it is.

  • 4Arl

    Homeowner, unfortunately unless the law changes, the need for additional revenue won’t be limited if you don’t pay attention to how the expenditures are managed. The county liabilities, both on and off balance sheet, are the liabilities of future homeowners. That’s one reason for the AAA rating, there is an enormous capacity to support debt repayment with future taxes.

  • Sign this

    Dear God that would be dangerous . . .

  • Tabby

    Can we get rid of the Rite Aid?

  • MB

    I kept looking for all the ARLnow whingers who go on about County spending and how they never get any input to show up at the budget hearing last night. And? Nada. A shame, because I was hoping to meet Steve.

    • Jezebel


  • borf

    Some nice old photos of Bardo Rodeo:


    Here’s a pic of the front of Bardo. The building was at least twice as deep as the width shown here.


    • MB

      In the end, Dremo’s was half that space (if that). The Ski Chalet space is most definitely smaller, but it’s not at all the tiny space Brandon’s making it out to be.

    • John Fontain

      Those murals would now be considered prohibited signs by arlington county.

  • Too Easy

    The crash on the pike was between a red Jeep commander and a green and white Triumph motorcycle, not a truck.

  • Overgrown Bush

    How good it was.

    • borf

      You’re gonna make me hate the new place because it’s not just like the old one.


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