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Poll: What Would You Like to See Return to Clarendon-Courthouse?

by ARLnow.com March 29, 2011 at 2:27 pm 3,826 199 Comments

Clarendon and Courthouse have changed — a lot — over the past couple of decades.

The arrival of Metro in the late 1970s and early 1980s heralded the demise of many small mom-and-pop retailers and ethnic restaurants that once gave the area its unique character. It also helped speed along the end of large department and five & dime stores.

Among the categories and names of businesses that have disappeared from the Clarendon-Courthouse area are:

Which of those businesses would you most like to see come back to the area?


It’s worth noting that while there are still a few ethnic restaurants in the Clarendon area — Nam Viet and Taste of Morocco come to mind — there were once many more. Ethnic restaurants might not be gone, but certain specialty cuisines, like Cuban, are.

  • Rebecca

    You know what I DONT want to see? Another cupcake shop.

    • AllenB

      And yet, no one asked about that.

    • RosRes

      Am I missing something with the cupcake crusade? Aren’t there only 2 (soon to be 3) cupcake places in all of Arlington with a population of 210,000 people? Why is this considered out of control? Just asking.

      • AllenB

        Yes, you’re correct. But some people seize on something that was once funny and beat it to death. Quite unoriginal of Rebecca.

        • Rebecca Black

          Fun fun fun fun…

    • Homey D. Clown

      What about a hardware store that also sells cupcakes?

  • JamesE

    More restaurants/brewpubs in Ballston please. Clarendon can keep transforming into Jersey Shore.

  • Arlington, Northside

    Do we really need more Bars/Brewpubs? Bring back the hardware stores and General Merchandisers!!

    • Bluemontsince1961

      Arlington, Northside,

      I couldn’t agree more! I’m old enough to remember all the old mom and pop general merchandise and hardware stores not only in Clarendon-Courthouse, but in Ballston-VA Square. Let’s just say I remember the old (and excellent) hobby shop in Clarendon on the north side of Wilson, the old Sears, Penny’s, and Grand Union grocery store in Clarendon, as well as Parkington and the South Pacific restaurant.

    • Banksy

      +1 million

    • Burger

      you might need to discover this thing called the internet and understand economics particularly margins. No large merchandiser could make any money in those limited space restrictions along the cooridor.

      • alebt

        @Burger-you miss the point. The point of a neighborhood is to be a microcosm-a total environment-much like a small town. Margins-or those predisposed to be consumed by the thought of them- do not make nice neighbors.

        • Bluemontsince1961

          Thanks alebt, that was the point I was trying to make.

      • Arlington, Northside

        Not asking for a large store, but small retailers, boutiques or even J Crew and Urban Outfitters, who would do GREAT here. They do well enough in Bethesda where the crowd is the same, but the rents even higher.

        • laloca

          j crew or urban outfitters? how very 1990. and how very yuck.

  • VASQ

    In addition to a grocery, every neighborhood needs a good hardware store. Our closest choices (Cherrydale Hardware on Lee Highway and Home Depot on US 50) require a car to get there.

    • Westover

      You have Ayers in Westover. It is only a mile away. Nice walk or short bus ride on Metro or ART, be agree that it would have been nice to have saved Virginia Hardware down there.

      • Babble

        The Hardward store in Cherrydale is pretty great too

      • OldDude

        I did use the hardware store but I guess as often as I used to buy stuff it isn’t too bad to drive over to Cherrydale or Ayers. But it was a great social place to hang out and talk about stuff, sometimes related to home repairs with Rick and the employees.

      • Nova

        Did you forget Bills Garden Center on Lee Hwy and Glebe Rd and Bills Hardware across the side street next to Market Tire?

    • T

      I love Cherrydale Hardware and it is worth actually getting in the car for the short drive over there.

  • Arlington, Northside

    It is sad that Queen Bee is no longer with us. šŸ™

    • Steve

      Yeah, but now it’s some pretentious overpriced bar where people can show off. How could I have showed off at Queen Bee? I only go out to try to impress other people, I don’t go out to enjoy myself. More overpriced pretentious bars now!

      • AllenB

        Judging by your comments here, I kinda doubt that you impress anyone.

  • Aaron

    I don’t think people want “brewpubs” per se so much as they want good non-pretentious “dive bars.” Plopping a Cap City or Gordon Biersch into Courthouse-Clarendon wouldn’t solve the craving any.

    • Hear, hear!

    • Joe M.

      My thoughts exactly. The Last thing Clarendon needs is another Spider Kellys, or Cirqe, or Fireworks.

      Give me some Dremos, or Jay’s . Or Mad Hatter. Or Dans.

      • R0bespierre

        How about a multi use dance hall where you can hear some relatively obscure and subcultural but quality electronic and dance music (industrial/ebm, trance, dubstep, tehcno, etc, whatever) without having to worry about whether or not you’re shouting wooooooooo enough or doing enough Jaegerbombs?

        Maybe something a little more bohemian and a little less brohemian.

        • jasp

          If that’s what you want, you should probably move out of Arlington.

        • Arlington, Northside

          That is how Clarendon Ballroom and Clarendon Grill were when they first opened. And while the music is not as eclectic as you might wish, Whitlow’s still maintains that vibe, at least for those of us in the mid 30’s-early 40’s crowd.

          • Footloose

            Is it legal to dance at Whitlows? Way back when, their dance hall permit was held hostage for some reason or another. They ad that awesome NO DANCING sign that always got my out of town guests to ask if this was a “footloose” town.

  • Steve

    I’d say the strip mall with Pho 75 and Ray’s Hell Burger will get torn down and replaced with a a condo, but since Obama has visited it, it likely wil be treated as a shring by the libs in the county, so that’s actually a safe spot to at least have one ethnic food restaurant.

    • RJ

      Can’t be torn down – it’s historic. (And not because of Obama.)

      • steve

        Any more historic than the strip mall that Royal Lee was in? If anything that was older, and it is GONE now. They’re building ANOTHER condo where that used to be.

        • RJ

          I’m just telling you that ArlCo has designated it as historic, along with all of Colonial Village. I’ll leave it to the peanut gallery on ARLNow.com to debate the wisdom of that designation.

      • Chris

        Thank god! I like my corner ABC store right where it is! šŸ˜‰

        Oh… and Guajillo is pretty good, too.

        • PghBigDog

          NO NO NO! Move the ABC back over on Highland Street where it belongs!

      • Burger

        more proof that old doesn’t mean good.

        • Alec

          I’d be pretty sad if Village Bistro went away. That place is delicious!

      • Larchmont

        A historic dumpy looking strip. I’m wondering if anyone will address the debris, unsightly bushes and out of control weeds in the parking lot this year? Sure wish Mrs. Obama and her green thumb would stop in for a burger. It appears Mr. Landrum quit going when “the Steaks” left.

  • RS

    How about we go off the list?

    I want a new dive bar. A place with cheap beer, good inexpensive food and a pool table. With Jay’s closing, we’re going to need a place to escape from the “popped collars!”

    • Steve

      Why do I get hell for bring up smoking bars? You would avoid these very things by having a dive/smoking bar. The popped collar types would stay out, unless they offered PBR. I’m sick of these places in Arlington where it’s people out to show off rather than have fun. it’s unpleasant going out around here.

      • Southeast Jerome

        Steve- Why do you hate everyone and everything?

      • outoftowner

        I’ll entertain your smoking nonsense all day , Steve. But for the love of god, learn what a ‘Hipster’ actually is before you just go calling everyone in Clarendon one. Your misunderstanding of younger/popular culture, and your drive to still (mis)uses these terms, lead me to believe that you might actually be the Grand Torino guy.

    • Westover

      Just need Whitlow’s to do a good dollar beer night on Wednesdays.

    • CW2

      You might want to give First Down Sports Bar in Ballston a try. It’s not a “dive”, but the beer is cheap and its not pretentious.

      • RS

        No dice…a “certain element” discovered the punching machine in the back. All down hill ever since!

    • Nova

      How about the Cowboy Cafe dive bar on Lee Highway next to McDonalds. It’s really a good neighborhood bar with good food.

  • meh..

    Hardware Stores?…..As if anyone in Clarendon knows anything about tools beyond being one lol…

    • Babble

      +1

    • Westover

      Those who LIVE in the neighborhood homes, rather than just plop in the condos and apartments can handle a good implement well enough.

    • borf

      Even if you hire someone to do the work, they still need to go on supply runs.

  • Mary C

    I miss Cafe Dalat and Queen Bee.
    I agree with RS about a dive bar. We need another Whitey’s.

    • MktCommon

      Oooh, +1 on Whitey’s!

      • Arlington, Northside

        Miss that place much. šŸ™

      • Bluemontsince1961

        I miss Whitey’s, too. They had great food at good prices.

    • Clarendude

      I really miss Cafe Dalat. It was my first Vietnamese and I found it comforting when I’d see the owner come out and light the incense in the evening. I also miss the Museum of Modern Arf which was more recent, short lived, but wonderful.

  • R0bespierre

    I demand Burmese Food!

  • Arlwhenever

    Is there anyway to get an age demographic cross-tab on these polls?

    • Aaron

      What would that prove in your mind?

      • Lou

        We will not know until we get the data.

        • Aaron

          Ah yes, data first, hypothesis later. I momentarily forgot how the grad schools here work.

    • CW

      Well, hardware stores, for one, would likely appeal to only an older demographic since that’s who is mostly capable of owning a home.

      • Southeast Jerome

        wait, you mean its not the yuppies who live on their credit cards??? Arlgrl is gonna rip into you!

      • JT

        I beg to differ. One of the good things about this area is the mixed age range of homeowners. Parents of youngsters need a hardware store too. How else do you put together furniture, replace or repair hoses, etc.? I like Ayers and Bill’s but it sure was convenient to have Wilson Hardware.

        I also miss Lazy Sundae – need more kid friendly, relaxed and superclean places that serve healthier food than McDonalds or pizza. We like that Japanese restaurant up at the Harrison Street Center but it’s too far from here to go often. What was that Asian place that used to be above the Barnes & Noble and had wikistix to keep kids occupied? – that was good too.

        We do not need more pubs. What do we have, three Irish or pseudo-Irish pubs now in Clarendon? (I still like the realer one in Courthouse best) And so many chain restaurants now. I like the happy hour at La Tasca, but that does not make it feel like home.

        We do not need more clothing stores. Ann Taylor Loft, Chico’s, that dress boutique and the expensive yoga clothing store – done. We do not need more grocery stores. I miss actual mom and pops. Someone suggested a MOMS Organic Market today – yes, to me that would have been much better than Trader Joe’s.

        • CW

          Well, I guess I should have clarified that “older” around here means older than, say, 27 or so.

          Also, I mean, if you’re a business, you’re going to do a cost-benefit when it comes to location. The cost of opening a hardware store (which sells products that require a lot of space proportional to their value…wood, potting soil, etc.) in a place like Clarendon is astronomical. It’s also going to have limited periods where it does a lot of sales (weekends, and some on weekdays during work hours). Meanwhile, most people who are going to go to a hardware store (i.e. homeowners) have the capaciity to drive and, since they’re not going to the hardware store every single day, it won’t bother them that much. For these reasons, it seems unlikely that we’d ever see a hardware store in that area again. Despite all the jokes, the reason why places like pizza joints and bars are profitable and stay open here is because they appeal to a broad range of people, have a very large window of hours in which they do business, and benefit from the density and walkability of the area.

  • Lou

    Bring back the vacuum cleaner repair store. Definitely a niche for that.

    • AllenB

      Obviously not.

      • Lou

        I was being sooooooo totally serious.

  • Babble

    What made Arlington great is independent community oriented stores and restaurants.

    What is making Arlington lame is franchises, ubber-hip yuppie bars, and establishments that are not community based and then whine about the Arlington-way.

    My favorite Arlington places over the years: Cafe Dalat, Joes Pizza, Whitey, Lazy Sunday, Queen Bee, Marios… Almost all of those are gone. Go into Joes or Metro 29 and see why they are off the chart successful. Because they are community based. The staff hasnt changed in years. They know you when you show up. They have plaques on the walls of the local youth teams they support. They are Arlington.

    More community based establishments, and less establishments that serve those that will be gone in 2 years.

    • CW

      But, pray tell, what makes a place community-based, or even enables it to become viewed as community-based, if it is labeled as an “uber-hip yuppie bar” as soon as it opens? All the places you mention have been open forever. If some of the places you currently dismiss stay open and become part of the community for decades, do they then earn your seal of approval? Does Liberty Tavern qualify? How about Galaxy Hut? Goody’s certainly must. If Mad Rose didn’t have so many problems and came to be liked, would it become a community establishment in ten years, even though right now it likely looks like an “uber-hip yuppie bar”?

      • Steve

        Galaxy hut has space for 15 people. Do you think everyone in arlington who doesn’t want to go to some nightmare like Clarendon Ballroom or Spider Kellys can fit in that tiny place?

        • RosRes

          Steve – And yet both Clarendon Ballroom and Spider Kelley’s are owned by locals who live in the neighborhood. Interesting.

      • Aaron

        Isn’t Goody’s owned by the Lazy Sundae people?

        • NOVApologist

          No. The Lazy Sundae people also owned Clare And Don’s and, at one point, were part owners of Mexicali. Here is one of the owner’s take on the change in Clarendon; circa 2006.

          http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/08/02/AR2006080201615.html

          • Saddened

            That’s a good article with prescient statements from Clare and Dons owner and the Clarendon Alliance. Clarendon has lost a lot of it’s soul but something will take its place. I don’t think its arrived at it’s new equalibrium yet but it would help if Rebecca and entrepreneurs like that would stick around rather than running away. Maybe they had no choice, I don’t know. The stuff the County staff spouts about “encouraging small spaces” is very nearly BS. Maybe they can’t do a whole lot but I wish they would quit pretending that they care. The Economic Development division couldn’t wait to get rid of all those low-revenue businesses once the cash potential of Clarendon was apparent.

          • RosRes

            Um, I had one of the worst meals at Clare and Don’s after waiting for about an hour to be served. There’s a reason its gone…

          • Joe M.

            Clare and Don’s is alive and well in Falls Church city.

          • charlie

            you can recreate that experience in both Clare n dDons in falls church and at lazy sundae in falls church. both still have horrible service and tons of attitude.

          • borf

            Clare and Don’s is doing well at their new location. Lots of outdoor seating with a bar and little lounge area. It’s great. And the service isn’t slow.

          • Burger

            not to be mean but that article is 5 years olds and the Lazy Sundae owners whined about 2 years ago when their rent was raised and closed up shop.

          • NOVApologist

            No meanness taken. Yeah, they didn’t like their rents going up. They also didn’t like the drunken brown flip-flop and popped collar crowd making lewd comments to their daughters working behind the counter at Lazy Sundae.

            Perhaps Clarendon has simply become a reflection of the new demographic of the neighborhood?

      • CW

        No, Steve, I don’t disagree with you. I was just questioning what the previous poster’s criteria for making a place a true community establishment were. It seemed as though this poster believed that anyplace new and vaguely “hip” (or trying to be hip) was precluded from any chance of attaining neighborhood icon status.

    • Steve

      That’s just not sophisticated enough for me! I’m a transient and I need to be impressed and to impress others! There was nothing I could brag about or impress others about going to Queen Bee!

    • arlingtonianfor 25years

      This! I remember when the county board – the same one that’s in office now – swore they’d keep the corridor filled with locally owned establishments and only 1 or 2 big box stores.

      Seems it’s turned out to be just the opposite of that. What a surprise.

      • ohyeah

        I heard that too – Clarendon will not become another Crystal City or Ballston…

      • Arlington, Northside

        Well the big box stores did not arrive, but the big box resturant did (Cheesecake Factory)

    • Josh S

      I think the contrast between Lazy Sundae’s and the new(er) gelato place down the street sort of sums up the “old” Clarendon and the “new” Claredon. Lazy Sundae had more of a local feel to it, more of a gritty character to it. But it was a bit slapdash, definitely missing a lot of potential and frankly, the ice cream wasn’t outstanding.
      The gelato place has a more corporate feel to it (it just does, I have no idea about the ownership – maybe they are locals….), definitely seems to attract a more yuppified crowd who wouldn’t have been caught dead at Lazy Sundae’s, but the product is undeniably excellent, it’s cleaner, etc.
      It’s just where we are. I don’t know what to “DO” about it. Personally, I would rather go to Lazy Sundae, but I also occasionally shop at Goodwill for my clothes. There is definitely something weird to me about Arlington – I think it has to do with wealth, it definitely has something to do with “keeping up with the Joneses”.

  • wava_2

    I want a return to the architectural innovation that at one time helped spur Clarndon’s commercial growth. I’m sick of all the stucco and brick that now defines the area.

    Of the businesses/buildings that have disappeared I miss Murphy’s the most. That building was an architectural icon, one of many mid-century modern buildings that once defined the commercial district. I was about three when Murphy’s closed, but I’ll never forget looking at the toys through those large blue windows. And Murphy’s had the best grilled cheese!

    Sadly the building stood vacant for many years before it was finally bulldozed for a parking lot, which is today the site of the new development at the corner of Wilson and N Garfield.

  • wava_2

    Here’s the old Clarendon Penny’s at the corner of N Highand and Wilson. It moved to Parkington to allow for Metro construction in the mid-70s. You can make out a Peoples Drug in the back of the photo.

    • Lou

      Those scales were awesome.

    • Steve

      People’s really wasn’t that long ago. Even I worked at one, though it was after CVS bought them.

      Peoples – Two for 1, Two for 1! Two sets of prints for one low price!

    • Arlington, Northside

      Well, CVS bought out People’d Drug, and CVS has returned to the block, so in a manner of speaking…

      • charlie

        yeah but no soda fountain or pretzels. nothing is the same.

  • Overgrown Bush

    Here’s my wishlist:

    1. A trolley to take me to South Arlington.
    2. Dremos.
    3. More parking.
    4. An arcade full of 1980’s games (Pac-Man, Asteroids, Galaga, Battlezone, etc.)
    5. Lums (which Summers used to be)
    6. Sears (which would sort of satisfy the hardware requirement)

    • Burger

      So you want things that, for all purposes have gone away because no one liked them before.

      • Overgrown Bush

        Strange comment….

        Arlington is currently building a trolley so somebody seems to want it.

        There has been lots of talk here about relocating Dremos, so somebody seems to want it.

        There is lots of debate about lack of parking in this area, so at least some of the population would seem to want it.

        Video games are as popular as ever including nostalgia about older video games.

        Lums and Sears are still companies in business, so they don’t seem to be entirely without fans.

        Just because you don’t want something doesn’t mean nobody does. Duh.

      • borf

        Well, no, not because nobody liked them. Not all change happens due to market forces. And tastes change, and change again.

      • Overgrown Bush

        Arlington is building a trolley. Dremos is trying to relocate. Video games are as popular as they ever were. Lums and Sears are still in business. “Nobody” wants them?

        • Stan SSO

          Just because a transit agency is building a fixed rail line, doesn’t mean there is demand for it.

          See all the light rail failures across America over the past 20 years.

    • Lizzle

      I can’t believe I had to scroll down this far in the chain to see Dr. Dremo’s! Thank you! I mean, hello, everyone?! Best dive bar of all time.

  • BallstonNOTBoston

    Bring back Atilla’s Restaurant in Courthouse – place was creepy and had the feelings of dining in a terrorist cell but man they could make a mean humus platter. I know I know, I could venture to Columbia Pike but I’d rather actually go to a terrorist cell for my fine dining than eat on Columbia Pike.

  • Rick

    If by “specialty ethnic restaurants” you mean taco bell, I vote specialty ethnic restaurants

    • Aaron

      +1

  • Brian

    I dont see anyone complaining about how much their home values have been driven up by the metro / condo / apartment surge. Even in the recession houses in the Clarendon/Courthouse area are way overpriced.

    • Tre

      Demand is demand. The over supply of housing seen everywhere else in the nation doesn’t apply to Arlington. People are dying to get their hands on Arlington land, whether its through an old decrepit house or buying an new & ugly Mickey Simpson bungalow.

    • T

      My house value is exactly the same as it was in 2006 when I bought it…so no the new condos have not driven up its value.

      • Southeast Jerome

        DC was the only metro area where home prices increased (+3.3%) in the last year. You are doing MUCH better than the rest of the country and you have your county government and neighbors to thank for that. Yes, even the new neighbors who rent and are under 40!

        • Overgrown Bush

          Actually, you have the federal government to thank for that.

        • NOVApologist

          I am not saying you are wrong, but using “Washington DC home prices” is a fairly broad brush. I would love to see some more detailed stats on home prices.

          Here is the definition of Washington DC for the home prices index:

          Case-Shiller defines Washington DC as the entire Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of the District of Columbia and all or part of the following counties: Calvert MD, Charles MD, Frederick MD, Montgomery MD, Prince Georges MD, Alexandria City VA, Arlington VA, Clarke VA, Fairfax VA, Fairfax City VA, Falls Church City VA, Fauquier VA, Fredericksburg City VA, Loudoun VA, Manassas City VA, Manassas Park City VA, Prince William VA, Spotsylvania VA, Stafford VA, Warren VA, and Jefferson WV.]

          • Stan SSO

            Most parts of the country are at 2000-2004 price levels. Being at 2006 prices levels is exceptionally good.

  • Clarendude

    A multi-story department store or two would be nice (anything from a Sears on up) but not sure how realistic that is. Many great, authentic, inexpensive ethnic restaurants would be my food choice but I think that era has past as well (in another 30-50 years maybe). Realistically, something that would get me excited would be a live music venue that hosted a wide variety of music including Jazz and Jazz Fusion, and everything else. Ideally this place would be the type that had a top notch sound system with professional operators and they would record the shows in HD video and sound and release these as products on DVD and Blu-Ray (a live studio, in effect).

    • Mildred Pierced

      Penney’s couldn’t make it at Ballston, so a department store up the road in Clarendon/Courthouse probably wouldn’t do so well either.

  • Jim Moron

    I’d like to see fewer Republicans. And fewer racists. And fewer Jews, naturally. A couple more wife beaters certainly couldn’t hurt.
    Don’t forget to vote in 2012

    • Steve

      LOL.

  • yrb

    not Sears. worst company ever

  • OX4

    1) I want my Taco Bell back. Thanks a lot for tearing it down and leaving an empty lot for 3 years.
    2) A renovated Safeway. The Rosslyn Safeway is nasty.
    3) Used bookstore
    4) A cupcake/fro-yo/dry cleaner/cell phone store all-in-one.

  • RJ

    Nostalgia for the olden days never seems to go out of style…

  • T

    We’ve met the quota on bars and restaurants before it turns in a 21-zone of partying like Adams Morgan…and ppl complain about the noise and trash now.

    more retailers..not fuddy-duddy General ones like ‘jc penney’..but more like M&Wisconsin or European Cities–like Barcelona– with some cool independnet boutiques mixed in.

    The saturation quota for ‘beer breweries/tap rooms/cupcake/pizza shops/ has been met.

    I’d even take some businesses/Office Buildings to increase worker daytime business..have ppl working where they live and decrease one more enormous condo.

    • jan

      T,
      I agree with you about independent boutiques….maybe even a little edgy.

    • Aaron

      C’mon! One of the best things about Arlington is that it’s NOT full of eurotrash and wannabe eurotrash.

      • T

        The ladies of Clarendon would like to dress well and it would be great to pop out of the condo/house and grab something quick before a night out.

        I am not exactly a ‘spring chicken’ but I am still about 20-40 years away from wearing anything from “Chico’s” or “Orvis”. That other weirdo- Hungarian peasant clothing shop next to the Apple Store also doesn’t cut it. I am not that earthy.

        Hell—at this point I’d even settle for a “Gap Outlet” like on Washington ST. in Oldtown. Brown Flip-Flops for $1…that place would rock here.

        • borf

          We desperately need more Ugg boots. Preferably worn with sweatpants with a state college’s name on the butt, or just skintight black pants.

          • T

            Ugh.

  • Clarendon neighbor

    what about a deli? Choices are very limited for a fast-casual lunch time salad or sandwich.

    • CW2

      We could use another deli or two, for sure. There is a small one called “Sam’s Corner” on Wilson Blvd, no more than 30 feet from Liberty Tavern. They serve good sandwiches, have been around for probably 25 years, and are the definition on a mom-and-pop deli. Unfortunately, not many people frequent the place, so I fear for its continued existence. Let’s put our money where our mouths our, and support the true community-based businesses.

      • CW

        Wait – there is no way that place is actually in business. I’ve been going by it for years and have never seen a soul in there, save for one time. I actually mentioned that time on this board in reference to a question about that block being redeveloped and a couple other people were surprised that I saw anyone in there too. It cannot possibly be a functioning business.

        • GMo

          Probably a shell business for the mob or a County Board member. Gotta launder those ill gotten gains somewhere.

          • borf

            Wow, that was lame.

    • Tre

      Earl’s is my weekend sandwichery

      • Clarendude

        Earl’s has that pork sandwich with the boardwalk fries in the sandwich. That thing is criminal ! I like interesting uses of the fries. Like, the Saltado at Costa Verde (which is a really good Peruvian restaurant in western Clarendon – next to the Jiffy Lube!)

    • T

      how about something quick and nutritious? This is junk food corridor with asses and love handles to show it.

  • Matteo

    bring back MAMA QUANS!!!!! I miss that joint.

    • Carole

      +1…talk to the folks at Whitlows and Restaurant 3. We miss Quans!

      • borf

        +1,000,000 on Mama Quan’s!

        They replaced a cool joint with an overpriced, uninspired one. But it probably rakes in alot more cash.

  • arlingtonianfor 25years

    I’d like to see more PARKING. I still live in Arlington but never shop in Clarendon bc it’s such a pain in the ass to park there. It’s bad enough to have make the slow and painful and circuitous route around the one parking garage but then to be charged to shop in your own town? I can go to falls church, park easily, for free and not be hassled with it at all. And, in fact, I do. I can’t remember the last time I shopped in Arlington… And I’ve been living here for decades and decades. I wonder if anyone cares that Arlingtonians specifically don’t shop in Arlington bc of the heinous parking situation?

    • Southeast Jerome

      consider yourself warned: do not go to the parking thread……

    • NOVApologist

      I don’t get all the parking complaints. I go to Clarendon ~3x a week, either after work or on the weekends. Metered street parking is really not that hard to find unless you insist on parking within 20 feet of your destination.

    • R.Griffon

      ONE parking garage? Umm… there are at least *6* in Clarendon alone (with more on the way). If you’d lived here for 25 years I’d think you would know of at least 2 or 3 of them. And I’ve never had a problem finding a meter within 2-3 blocks.

    • Josh S

      What is it about people that makes them think that their experience automatically translates to others?

      Also, this comment almost exactly mirrors the famous Yogi Berra quote that everyone always laughs about – “No one ever goes there anymore, it’s too crowded.”

  • Johnny Arlington

    Bring back Taco Bell!

  • Pip

    First downs becomes a hip hop place, the food is thegreasiest ever.

  • Jeff

    Iā€™m going to open a place that sells cupcake batter and sprinkles in the front (like Build-a-Bear, but for $6 cupcakes), and on the back of the lot I will retrofit old UPS vans to become food trucks. There is a gaping hole in the Arlington food truck supply market and I intend to fill it.

    I might also buy the FDIC building and turn it into a brown flip flop factory.

    • Lou

      Or how about a place where you make your own pizza?

      • Southeast Jerome

        Or a place that you can buy just the top of a muffin?

        • Lou

          Next to a place that sells pudding skin singles.

          • Rick

            A restaurant that only serves peanut butter and jelly!

        • JamesE

          Top of the muffin, to you!

  • Elizabeth

    As long as we prevent Clarendon from popping out yet ANOTHER contemporary-American restaurant (with $20+ entrees) I’m fine with pretty much any other business opening up. I’d like to see a Chinese place… The only Clarendon-ish place I can think of for that is Cafe Asia..

    • Mike

      Hunan Number One is on Garfield across for Mexicali Blues.

      • BallsOn

        Hunan doesn’t count as Chinese food.

    • CW

      Uh, hate to break it to you Liz, but…uh, well, you might just want to turn away now…

      http://www.arlnow.com/2011/02/08/signage-outdoor-seating-proposed-for-american-tap-room/

      • Elizabeth

        Ugh! How do the owners of all these places expect to stay in business? Liberty, Eventide, Mad Rose, Harry’s, Boulevard Woodgrill, 3 — PLAYED OUT!

        • Southeast Jerome

          I have eaten at 4 of those places in the last 6 months and I would go back to all of them. Eventide was nice – excited for the rooftop to open. Why the hatred, those are some of the best places in Arlington.

          • Elizabeth

            No hate, we just don’t need another.

  • Good time

    Dreamos, batting cages, and more street festivals.

    • R0bespierre

      Batting cages! A lot more foosball! Mini golf! Bowling! Tether ball! A bar with outdoor badminton! Air hockey! Bubble hockey! The more inane and obscure, the better. So basically Spider Kelleys minus the douchebags, plus some less trite gamery.

      • Good time

        I like your style.

      • borf

        Yes.

      • wat

        while not in clarendon/c-h, I have heard that there is a little known batting cage setup in the basement/bottom level of the Ballston mall in the old movie theatre. Perhaps it isn’t actually open to the public though, maybe it’s just for ll/hs baseball team practices.

        anyway, fun knowledge.

  • Al

    BRING BACK GOOD TASTE GOURMENT by Courthouse!!! (spelling mistake intentional – that’s how they spelled it). Very cheap, generous, consistent, American Chinese take out. So many Thai restaurants, only one Chinese restaurant around Courthouse (TNR). TNR is more authentic and the prices aren’t bad but they always seem to over do it on the salt content and the same dish is different depending on the day of the week.

  • GMo

    Personally, I’d like to see your Mom back in Clarendon-Courthouse but all the Stripey Square-Toe’d Turbo-Hipsters (SSTTH – an above ground dwelling genus of the CHUD) scare her away.

  • sockpuppet

    Law’s Antique World needs to come back. And Arlington Truck Rental.
    and then there was the t-shirt shop next to King Arthurs Court Motel that sold booty calls and paraphenilia, or so I’ve been told.

    • GMo

      Booty calls and paraphernalia? Now you’re cookin’ with gas!

    • sockpuppet

      here it is….

  • Dutch McAllister

    How about a head shop? There was in on Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon back in the late 70s.

    • RumourStarter

      I heard that Hampton Pipe and Tobacco (with multiple locations in the Hampton Roads Area) is looking to expand and was looking at the American Flatbread location…

    • Was that a Penguin Feather? I’d kill for a T-shirt.

  • RJ

    Suggestion for ArlNow:

    Maybe re-name the “Leave a Comment” section to “Complain Here”?

    • RosRes

      +1000

  • Nova

    I really want to see a Wegman’s here in Arlington. Wegman’s is much better than all the other big grocery stores and have great prices. They even have a counter where you can get a glass of wine and light fare. The store in Fairfax is too far out to frequent often.

    • DT

      You damn yankees can keep your stores to yourselves!! Oh wait, I like Wegmans. Welcome to Arlington!

      • CW

        I’d just like to say that I really, really like your humor on this one. Thanks for the laugh!

    • steve

      Any wegmans in arlington would be tiny, and thus suck.

      • Buffalo

        The Wegmans should replace the crappy Macy’s Furniture in Ballston Commons. Plenty of built-in parking.

        • JamesE

          I already reserved that spot for a Best Buy, after the mall is destroyed in a freak demolition accident.

  • T

    My husband put in his request for a ‘Nudie Bar’.

    More ‘Good Guys’-style than “Camelot”…definitely not “Royal Palace”.

    • Aaron

      Your husband is a wise man. Though it would be nice if there were also a Taco Bell in close proximity.

      • Overgrown Bush

        A Good Guys taco bar. What a concept!

    • laloca

      virginia laws regulating strip clubs would make that an exceedingly boring nudie bar, unfortunately.

  • TGEoA

    Got any pictures of Giffords?

  • charlie

    this isn’t the Lee Hwy or Columbia PIke one. Might be Bethesda.
    hope it fufills your needs.

    • Thanks for the pic. Didn’t know they had one on CP.

      Got any shots of Garfinkles or the monkeys from the shoe store?

      • charlie

        the building is fairly intact. but just to be clear, it is the part of Columbia Pike that is NOT in Arlington. It is located just west of Route 7.

      • charlie

        Baileys Crossroads Giffords site and building

      • charlie

        Unlike the one on Lee Hwy that has been added to and greatly modified by the current user.

        • Dan

          Interesting….and here I assumed that Joe’s had always been Joe’s.
          I had no idea that it had been an ice cream parlor.

          • Overgrown Bush

            I miss the Joe’s at Baileys. I used to spend a lot of time over there and still get there in my travels. In the early 1980s they bought an old Red Barn and converted it to Joes. I still stop at the Lee Highway and Vienna restaurants periodically.

            This isn’t the Bailey’s Red Barn, but it looked exactly like this.

    • Arlington, Northside

      Yup, that is the old Bethesda Store.

  • Southeast Ben

    How about a Piano Bar like Lefty Odouls in San Fran. Anything with good IPAs and live music would be a nice to see in the area.

    • Southeast Jerome

      1. promise I didnt steal your name
      2. +10 on the live music & good IPAs

  • CJ

    Used car lots.

  • Cyrus

    I really miss Bardo’s. They churned out new and different beers almost weekly in a fantastically minimalist atmosphere. AND showed Thursday night movies like Caddyshack on a drop down screen. Aaaaah, the good old days.

  • steve

    Even Growlers, a brewpub in Gaithersburg, is far better than anything in Arlington. I guess it’s not “sophisticated” enough for the snobs here. And gulp, some blue collar people go there. That’s beneath me!

    • Josh S

      Yeah, I’m not sure there are any blue collar people in Clarendon. Which definitely detracts from its likeability. On the other hand, you have to be careful with that – you can end up with LA Bar & Grill.

      • ohyeah

        Just returned from 1/2 burger night at LA Bar – best deal in Arlingtown!

  • jacSA

    I agree with Arlingtonianfor25yrs, parking is a hassle and deters me from shop/eating in Clarendon or Courthouse area. There is nothing there worth the parking hassle for me. I find parking freedom and great uncommon spots to shop and eat in Alexandria, Falls Church, Baileys, Annandale, Fairfax.

  • New Nfl Jerseys

    I forgot to prepare the speech I’m supposed to give today.Don’t dream away your time.Oh

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