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Lime Fresh Expects January Opening in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com December 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm 7,677 99 Comments

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill is hoping to open its new Clarendon outpost in mid-January, according to a manager.

The fast-growing Mexican chain’s new eatery, the first in the D.C. area, is located at 2900 Wilson Boulevard, in the former Comfort One Shoes space. The restaurant is currently accepting employment application at the location.

Here’s the company’s press release about the impending opening.

This January, Arlington will get a little fresher with the opening of Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, a popular Florida-based fast-casual Mexican concept. The South Beach bred concept has garnered a following from locals and celebrities alike throughout the state of Florida.

Famous for its signature blend of fresh, mouth-watering Mexican dishes, dynamic ambiance, stylized interiors and scrupulous service, Lime was originally conceived in 2004 by CEO and Founder, John Kunkel, to complement the vibrant and food-conscious culture of South Beach. Lime serves Mexican-style cuisine using only the freshest ingredients and charbroils on grills in an exhibition-style kitchen. Additionally, all locations feature a signature homemade salsa bar and 50 variations of hot sauces. Guests have the option of whole wheat, multi-grain or low-carb items, and everything on the menu has 0 Trans fat.

Arlington’s Lime Fresh Mexican Grill will be located at 2900 Wilson Blvd., near The Market Common in the Lyon Village neighborhood. Additionally, the company maintains ten locations in Florida, one in Huntsville, AL, and is expanding to the following markets: Greenville, SC; Charlotte, NC; Atlanta, GA; Louisville, KY; Lexington, KY; Richmond, VA and Philadelphia, PA.

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill will be open from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Monday through Sunday. For information about Lime Fresh Mexican Grill, please visit the company website at www.limefreshmexicangrill.com.

  • Poppy

    A Chain? Based out of Florida? Tear.

    • Hattie McDaniel

      They’re owned by Ruby Tuesday.

      • Poppy

        that is sad. long live small business, corporations widen the rich from the poor.

        • KalashniKEV

          LOL. 🙂

  • Ballstonian

    Isn’t there a Baja Fresh a block away? Clearly I’m not a business genius, but I would figure that it would make more sense to seek out markets that don’t have comparable items within line of sight.

    Or i am just depressed that it’s not another burger place.

    • Cards

      I don’t understand how Baja Fresh stays open, that food is awful.

      • KalashniKEV

        I go there. I like it.

        Most of the time I don’t want to be seated and have a waitress and all that business…

        • Southeast Jerome

          I already hate this place. NovaSteve probably does too.

          Why would they open up an almost identical concept as Baja Fresh? Two crappy national chains with zippy appeal to the area.

          Put in some $11 hummus or some $18 burgers and I am there.

          Or we can just all admit, District Taco is taking over and needs a second location.

          • pdksobe

            This is more like Chipolte with burritos being the signature menu item.

            I go to the one in South Beach and it’s real laid back, not corporate at all, and you can get a burrito for $6-$7. For the ones stating a chain as a reason to stay away, it’s not and also remember that Chipolte, which I like also, was spun off from McDonalds…i.e. the largest restaurant chain in the world.

            Like gourmet burger places, these burrito places have a high profit margin so expect more of this trend…

      • AllenB

        Love Baja Fresh… much better than Chipotle, IMHO.

        • CW


        • Tre


        • CourthouseChris


        • smartarse


      • Cards

        Yuck, I guess everyone has their own taste.

    • Josh S

      Well, I guess there are those places where a Burger King and a McDonalds are within a block of each other. Somehow it works. But the Baja Fresh was the first thing I thought of, too. For all the development that Clarendon has gotten over the years, there has been a depressing amount of cookie cutter blandness…..

      • Ballstonian

        I assume that the owners do some sort of research before committing, but it makes me wonder. I couldn’t imagine why Zoe’s, a sandwich place, would choose to move into Ballston, where there are about 10 sandwich/burger places in a few block radius, and from what i’ve seen, its not doing well.

        Hopefully Lime Fresh will be great and do great, but I wonder if it might do better in a different location.

        • Brian

          Zoe’s-not doing well? Went by at lunch today and line of people waiting for food was crazy long. Had me keep walking.

          Since I live and work in Ballston, I’ll be in for dinner one night. The food is pretty damn good and the staff usually really friendly.

          • CrystalMikey

            I love Zoe’s out by my job in FFX. Wouldn’t mind “her” being in Clarendon.

          • ZoesWasAWaste

            I was excited for Zoe’s to open, but after trying it a few weeks ago I felt it was total waste of a lunch. The food was average and overpriced. I’ll let other people wait in line that want to over pay for bland food. I’ve heard similar reviews about the one that recently opened in Montgomery County.

            Definitely a waste of a great location.

          • Ballstonian

            I must be just missing the crowds then because I’ve been past there several times at different times and it’s been almost totally empty.

      • Clarendon

        Yes, but a few old favorites survive, and I think there will be clearing out of some of the chaff due to too high rents. On the bright side, there are also some really cool, unique stuff too – I enjoy the Bakeshop – atmosphere and food, and I think LeoNora Bakery will be in the same category. The owners of these two shops are also the bakers and they are there, looking and sounding happy to be doing what they love to do – and its just refreshing to go in those places and watch them work. I picked up a baguette from LeoNora on Saturday that was right out of the oven and I ate half the thing before dinner – without so much as a spread of butter it was so good.

        • WhereIsLeoNora

          Apparently i’m out of the loop, because I haven’t heard of it yet. Where is it?

          • Clarendon

            There were a few recent articles here


            On Irving, beside Liberty Tavern, behind Sam’s “Deli”.

            There seems to always be baking going on in there. One issue is that it is small and she doesn’t always have what you want. They seem to bake in small batches. But you can order/reserve or ask – they may be baking the baguettes right then (which is what happened with me). She’s probably still trying to figure out what the foot traffic wants.

          • WhereIsLeoNora

            Ohh yea! Got it. I definitely need to try it out. Thanks!

          • drax

            It’s hard to see.

        • Vinh An Nguyen

          Not much of a selection at LeoNora. I went there Saturday around noon and all they had was some cookie things.

  • novasteve

    I’m looking forward to this. I looked at their menu and it seems good.

  • Cards

    Speaking of places to open soon, what ever happened to Bronx Pizza and Z Burger? Those places seemed to have just stopped building.

    • John Fontain

      Z burger’s construction is still progressing. they have been finishing the roof and stucco’ing the columns in recent days.

      Don’t know anything concrete about Bronx, but heard a rumor from a neighboring proprietor that they had financing issues.

      • CW

        Do you know why Z Burger has been such a big, long undertaking? And, frankly, why they didn’t just flatten that spot and start from scratch, which looks like it would have been about a quarter of the work? My educated guess is that that building (the old brick house) had been somehow deemed “historic” or something and that they thus had to preserve some amount of it (visually, this appears to have amounted to a couple bricks here and there) in order to be able to build. Am I off base? I know we’ve got a couple permitting/construction/zoning experts on here…

        • John Fontain

          I’m baffled by several aspects of that build. The first is what you refer to – leaving a couple of walls and adding to them. I suspect this has to do with preserving existing set backs (the distance the building can be from the property lines).

          I’m also baffled by the high amount of money being put into construction of this place. I’m guestimating that they are spending as much to build as it would cost to build a McDonalds. And yet the sales volumes that this place is likely to produce will be a small fraction of a typical McDonalds (and despite McDonald’s low menu prices, they have one of the highest gross and net margins in the restaurant business). Lower volume, lower margins, same capital investment? Something seems off.

          I don’t see the benefit in spending so much to build vs. simply leasing an existing location like Five Guys does.

          And the construction time is crazy long to boot.

        • Clarendude

          There was nothing related to any kind of historic designation, I’m pretty sure of that. But, there may have been other zoning advantages to keeping the foundation.

  • Poppy

    Bronx Pizza is that Caribbian Breeze owner, blah.. Besides, Goodies pizza is right there!

    • KalashniKEV

      Yeah, but Goodies tastes bad and is expensive. I was hoping Bronx Pizza would destroy them with a NY style slice. (or at least make me decide between good pizza and outdoor seating)

      • John Fontain

        Tastes bad and is expensive. I disagree on both counts. A huge slice of pizza for under $3? And with a great crispy crust and taste! Yum.

      • Steamboat Willie


        Please define inexpensive.

        • KalashniKEV

          $19 for an 18″ pie that’s all dried out and tastes like it spent a week in a frostless fridge is too much. Don’t bother forwarding me the Val Prop… the fact that it even exists is very telling.

          $16 for a 20″ pie from Valentino’s (that happens to be delicious) and is properly prepared is about right.

          • Andrew

            Kev, are you thinking of Pete’s?

          • KalashniKEV

            Oops… yeah, Goody’s is cheap, tastes OK, but looks dirty… I give it an overall neutral.

  • drax

    Pizza, burgers, froyo, cupcakes and nouveau-fast food Mexican.

    Tavern, Taproom and “____ Fresh.”

  • I against I

    fast-casual Mexican concept=sh*t food for gringos

    • SomeGuy

      The “g-word” is considered a pejorative, FYI. Much like disparaging slang words used to describe many racial and ethnic minorities.

      I’ve seen ArlNow remove comments in the past that used such disparaging terminology.

      • Tre

        Lot’s of restaurants in the southwest/west are named Gringos.

      • Sam

        Only in some countries. In a good chunk of Central and South America it is not a pejorative at all. When I lived in Argentina and Chile it simply pointed out that I was an American.

      • I against I

        Like I said, read the menu, sh*t food for gringos:

        GRINGO GUAC Classic cooled out with our house creamy cilantro

  • ArlingtonChick

    Important question: Do they have a salsa bar?

  • John Fontain

    “Additionally, all locations feature a signature homemade salsa bar and 50 variations of hot sauces.”

    Awsome. Just the other day I was telling friends about the types of places at which I will eat and I said, “I will only go to fast-casual mexican restaurants if they have at least 50 variations of hot sauce.”

    Now I’m in luck.

  • Clarendon

    Will I ever eat here ? There are so many choices here, will I really spend one eating at a South Beach chain mexican in Virginia ? It’s possible I guess. I do like hot sauces and they seem to have a lot of them. Stupid stuff like that will get me to go to a place I might not otherwise frequent.

  • KalashniKEV

    No one has made the obvious point that Lime Fresh has a liquor license.

    Also, chain restaurants are successful because they’re good. If you don’t like chain restaurants feel free to eat at crap places like Mexicali Blues. I’ll wave while I sip my chain Margarita and order a #7!

    • CourthouseChris

      So… by your logic McDonald’s must be fantastic food huh.

      • John Fontain

        Indeed it is.

        Everyone loves to say how much they hate McDonalds, but every time I go to one there are tons of customers there. The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

        • CourthouseChris

          Meth also enjoys tremendous popularity among a certain subset of the population.

          • WalterWhite

            That’s my peeps!

          • R. Griffon

            Then it must be some good sh*t. Nobody’s asking if it’s right or wrong – we’re talking about GOOD.

          • I against I

            Yeah, plus, crack, morphine, heroin, and cocaine, I guess if I see a line of people buying crack, I must get inline! the proof is in the pudding!

        • Arthur Itus

          They have pudding at McDonald’s now? Oh, this is too good to be true!

          • Sir Ayessuss

            And salads!

        • Josh S

          Wellll, I still don’t think it’s *good* food. It is a known quantity that isn’t crap. That’s about it. People know *exactly* what they will be getting when they go there, they know it will be cheap and they know that it will fill them up. That’s obviously a very successful combination and meets the needs of a huge quantity of people a substantial percentage of the time. It still doesn’t make it tasty, or delicious or *good*. Comparing Baja Fresh to Mexicali Blues is not a fair comparison since everyone knows Mexicali Blues is terrible. But to extrapolate and say that chains are better than independent restaurants is not particularly supportable, as claims go.

      • KalashniKEV

        If there was a European format McDonalds where Dremo’s used to be… with outdoor seating and a fountain in the middle… and it had a liquor license???

        I’d be tossing back some Chicken McNuggets and sipping on a Stella tonight under a heat umbrella.

        (And all the anti-chain folks would be right there too with a McApple Pie poking at their iPads demanding an adjoining Starbucks!)

        • JamesE

          What about a European format Taco Bell?

          • CW

            Would that have a bidet?

          • KalashniKEV

            Yes. And hookers.

          • JamesE

            A necessity after eating the nachos bell grande.

      • Frozen Concoction

        When did McDonalds start selling margaritas?

    • Tre

      Hipsters don’t eat at chains…. unless they are being ironic.

      • KalashniKEV

        There are no “Hipsters” in Arlington county.

        • ArlingtonChick

          Lots of flannel, though.

    • Suburban Not Urban

      Respectfully dis-agree with why we only get chains. High rents forced by the multi-use dev style being forced by the board means small businesses can’t get traction or over the start-up hump with limited backing.

      • Glen Danzig


    • Glen Danzig

      zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, boring

  • Radnor

    And don’t forget “fresh” does not equal healthy. Just look at the nutritional information for Baja Fresh, its awful.

    • AllenB

      Not all of it. And many times, just by removing the cheese and/or sour cream, you cut the fat and calories in half.

      • Radnor

        True, but you basically get more sodium in one meal than you should have in an entire day. To each his own though, I’m just sayin.

        • WestoverAndOver

          Radnor, you are spot on. After you fight the calorie and fat war, you will find that the salt war is tough to win. BTW, is your name a PA reference?

          • KalashniKEV

            I must have good genes… I always get a laugh when people say, “Y’know it’s really all about ______.” Carbs, Sodium, Gluetin, Dairy, whatever…

            Yeaaaaaaah… “It’s about a damn jump rope, Fatty.”

          • JamesE

            Diet is like 90% of getting jacked bro. Exercise alone won’t make you swoll

          • KalashniKEV

            That’s why you have to keep it balanced.

          • JamesE

            I finish off each workout with a McRib.

          • Cards

            Yeah, “bro.”

          • JamesE

            for future reference, if my posts contain the words “jacked, swoll and bro” it probably is not in a serious tone.

          • John Fontain

            “It’s about a damn jump rope, Fatty.”

            Hands down, quote of the week!

          • WestoverAndOver

            I did not say “it’s really all about”, go back and read it again. Keep drinking your chain margaritas, ordering your number 7s, pining for your euro format McDonalds restaurants, and tell me how you feel in another 10 years. I like the occasional salt and fat bomb from my casual mexican chain restaurant of choice and agree that it tastes great, but was really just agreeing with Radnor about the sodium content at these places.

          • KalashniKEV

            Sodium is good for you. It helps you retain your water when you’re sweating up a storm.

            I put salt on almost everything, and occasionally will even lick the rim… (of my Margarita)

          • CW

            You know what gets rid of salt? Sweating. Try it sometime. Solves the calorie problem too.

          • KalashniKEV


          • Paulie

            Wow, you’re really defensive about disgusting chain food. And no, the success of chains is rooted in the fact that the food is cheap, not that it’s good. The sponge in your sink would taste good if you loaded it up with enough fat, sugar, and salt.

          • John Fontain


            Morton’s Steakhouse is a chain. Is their food cheap?

          • KalashniKEV

            Cheesecake Factory is a chain and it’s the best restaurant we have in terms of serving a copious amount of consistently awesome food. It’s not really that cheap.

          • WestoverAndOver

            I exercise and sweat 7 days per week, unless I am dead. That food still has a lot of sodium.

        • AllenB

          That’s true at almost every fast food place. No one said to eat it every day.

  • Juanita de Talmas

    I’ve never been to a Lime Fresh, but if they use the same suppliers as Ruby Tuesday, it doesn’t bode well for the quality of their food.

  • sue

    Oh why, oh why couldn’t it have been a ‘District Taco’…food truck, with brick and mortar on Lee HWY. That place is fantastic! It would be great if I ddin’t have to drive to it.

    Baja sucks. I assume so will Lime.

    • John Fontain

      “Oh why, oh why couldn’t it have been a ‘District Taco’”

      Because then District Taco would be considered a chain and then you’d say it sucked because it was a chain.

      • I against I

        Anything owned by Ruby Tuesday is gonna be awful.

  • nota gain

    I had a burrito bowl at Baja Fresh and I had to drink it. Have not been back for many months.
    Chipolte is much better.

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