Slowly but surely, business has been picking up at Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd).

The Clarendon restaurant got off to a rocky start, but thanks to a new chef, outdoor seating and some positive buzz, General Manager Dennis Holland says they’re “starting to get off the ground.”

Over the weekend, the Arlington County Board approved the restaurant’s request for sidewalk seating along Washington and Clarendon Boulevards. The new seats — about 60 of them in total — should arrive either tonight or tomorrow, Holland said. The seating will supplement Mad Rose’s existing outdoor lounge which, according to Holland, seats about 80 patrons.

With approval of a permanent sign at least three months away, Holland hopes that the sidewalk cafe will help provide some much-needed visibility. The additional seating will serve not only to cater to customers who enjoy dining outside, but to attract attention and “let people know this is a restaurant,” Holland said. Mad Rose is located on the ground floor of the Olmsted building which, between the late ’80s architecture and the armed guards (the building houses the Defense Intelligence Agency), makes its entrance look decidedly unwelcoming from a distance.

In addition to getting ready for the new outdoor seats, Holland says he’s been busy planning Mad Rose Tavern’s grand opening celebration, which is scheduled for Saturday. The event will feature a cruise giveaway, 30 percent off all food items and a discount on drinks.


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