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by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 4:07 pm 10,137 47 Comments

After the federal government shut down the country’s top three poker websites last April, professional online poker players Hac and Di Dang thought it might be best to try their luck at another venture.

The pair decided to go all-in with their brother Au (and three other partners) and launch a Cajun crawfish restaurant in Westlee called “Chasin’ Tails: Cajun Seafood and Bar.”

Located at 2200 N. Westmoreland Street, in the former Bear Rock Cafe space, Chasin’ Tails aims to be the go-to local hangout for seafood and sports fans. The restaurant opened to the general public for the first time this afternoon.

The restaurant serves fresh, Bayou-style seafood by the bucket, and encourages guests to eat with their hands, with the motto “no forks, no rules.” There’s even a trough at the back of the main dining area to give patrons a place to clean the seafood bits off their hands without having to go into a bathroom.

The simple one-page menu includes crawfish — the specialty — as well as shrimp, snow crab legs, king crab legs, blue crab, lobster, clams, mussels and raw oysters. Fried seafood, gumbo and jambalaya, and sides like Cajun fried, corn on the cob and Andouille sausage is also available.

Chasin’ Tails is an ambitious venture for the Dang brothers who, at ages 23 to 29, are first-time restaurateurs. The restaurant seats 150 in the main dining room along, with additional seating for 35 in a private dining room and — coming soon — 25 outdoor seats. The entire space is lined with flat-screen TVs tuned to sports channels, and there’s a full bar in the center of the restaurant. It’s particularly bold due to the location: Westlee is hardly the Clarendon-style commercial mecca where one might expect to see a restaurant the size of Chasin’ Tails.

The slightly off-the-beaten path location is part of the draw, says general manager Mike Jones. Formerly the general manager at Georgetown stalwarts The Guards and J. Paul’s, Jones says Chasin’ Tails is poised to capitalize on the lack of comparable dining options nearby. He also likes the fact that Westlee is positioned along Lee Highway, and between the East Falls Church Metro station and the main commercial drag of Falls Church — bringing in some additional foot traffic.

“We think that we’re in a very good position to reach out to a lot of people,” Jones said. “We’re excited about the clientelle we’re going to serve.”

Chasin’ Tails will be open from 3:00 to 10:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 3:00 p.m. to midnight on Friday, 11:00 a.m. to midnight on Saturday, and 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Sunday. Happy hour will run from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. A grand opening party, with a New Orleans-style jazz band, is planned for between 2:00 and 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 7.

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 3:29 pm 2,925 14 Comments

(Updated at 5:00 p.m.) Police say they don’t yet have any reason to believe a man who exposed himself on the W&OD Trail yesterday morning has any relation to a string of 11 such incidents in 2010, but they’re investigating a link anyhow.

According to a police report released today, two woman and their young children encountered the man masturbating along the W&OD Trail near Ohio Street — close to East Falls Church — just after 11:00 a.m. on Thursday. The man was covering his face with one of his hands while performing the lewd act with the other.

The women, ages 33 and 40, were each with a one-year-old son at the time. They immediately started walking away from the man, who then fled the scene. As we reported yesterday, police searched the area but were unable to locate the man.

The incident is similar to a string of 11 indecent exposure incidents along the W&OD Tail in early 2010. While police don’t think there’s a connection, they’re looking into that angle anyhow.

“Detectives are… actively trying to determine if this case is in any way related to the cases that have occurred in the past,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, who added that no other indecent exposure incidents have been reported on the trail recently.

The suspect from Thursday’s incident is described by police as “a white male, approximately 5’8”-5’10” tall, with a chubby build.” He was wearing jeans, a black sweatshirt and black sunglasses at the time.

Anybody with information about the crime is asked to call the police non-emergency number at 703-558-2222. If you see someone expose themselves, you’re asked to immediately call 911 and report it.

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 2:35 pm 4,140 21 Comments


The Bluemont location of Castro’s Bakery is no more.

The family-owned bakery closed about a month ago, we’re told. Signs have been taken down from the storefront at 5515 Wilson Boulevard and all equipment has been removed from the interior.

An employee at Castro’s Seven Corners location (6276 Arlington Blvd, Falls Church) confirmed that that location has remained open. So far, there’s no official word on why the Arlington location closed.

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 1:32 pm 6,859 5 Comments

The George Washington University baseball team christened its new $3 million field at Barcroft Park (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive) last Friday. The team might have lost the first game at its newly-renovated home field, but it was a victory for a Division I athletic program that finally has a Division I-caliber field.

“It was a recreational field before,” coach Steve Mrowka told the GW Hatchet. “You couldn’t really have a solid game there.”

Now, the field has artificial turf, full-sized dugouts and more standard playing dimensions. Mrowka told the Hatchet that he believes the field will improve the team’s play and help with recruitment.

The Arlington County Board approved the plan to renovate Barcroft Field #6 in September, in an agreement with GW that called for the school to pay for all renovations and to split maintenance costs 25/75 with the county. While GW is given priority on the field for games and practices, it is open for use by the community at other times (about 75 percent of playable hours).

Though the team is playing there now, work on the field is not complete. Construction crews are still busy adding features like 500-person seating capacity seating, a new concessions area, permanent dugouts and a reconfigured parking lot.

GW will be playing home games against Shepherd at the field on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 1:00 p.m. See a full game schedule on the GW Baseball website.

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 11:45 am 1,888 0

Editor’s Note: This sponsored column is written by Nick Anderson, beermonger at Arrowine (4508 Lee Highway).

Men are scared to be seen drinking ‘fruity’ beers. Let’s be blunt and state the simple fact here; there’s a stigma attached to beers that utilize fruit and fruit flavors and it is completely undeserved. Big ad campaigns and decades of social stereotypes have made the presence of fruit in beer something most men are downright afraid of. Let me state one thing right now: there is nothing manly about the fear of being perceived as less manly. Fear is the antithesis of bravery; it is the anchor of ignorance, and the only true barrier separating uncertainty from understanding. If you’ve taken anything away from this ‘Beer 101’ series I’ve been writing, I hope it’s the confidence to never let anyone tell you what it is you should or shouldn’t like and I include myself in that statement. The truth is that fruit has been used in beer as long as there has been beer on this planet and enjoying it says nothing about a person beyond what their taste buds respond to.

Belgian Lambic beers use different fruits such as cherries, raspberries, and black currants with varying degrees of sweetness to produce easily enjoyable Ales with intense fruit character that balance the very sour base beer they’re created from. As we’ve covered before in this space Belgian Wit (or White) beers classically use orange peel among spices like coriander and cardamom to add an additional flavor component. Dogfish Head Aprihop is a springtime treat that melds one of their hoppy IPAs with apricot, playing off of the naturally tropical notes that hops often bring to beer. Dogfish quite regularly uses fruit in their beers to great effect—from the black raspberry and blueberry in Black & Blue to the Pinot Noir juice in Red & White to their ancient Ales Midas Touch (Muscat grapes) and Chateau Jiahu (Muscat grapes and hawthorn berries). Raison d’Etre is a mainstay of the Dogfish lineup and uses golden raisins as a launching point for a malty, food-friendly Ale. Festina Peche uses fresh peach juice to add a subtle fruity note to the sour Berlinerweisse style.

Fans of Louisiana’s Abita brewery are quite familiar with two of their beers that are unabashedly fruit-forward. Purple Haze is a raspberry Wheat Ale that is as smooth as it is refreshing (and popular, I should add) and the other is one of my favorite beers ever—their Strawberry Harvest Lager. Strawberry Lager is everything a fruit beer should be; the fruit is as bittersweet as a bite into a fresh strawberry, and the Lager itself is subtle in allowing the fruit to come through while being substantive enough to reassure anyone scared to be seen not drinking a ‘real’ beer. Strawberry Lager is a once-per-year treat and it’ll be arriving soon, so try not to miss out on it.


by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 10:36 am 4,520 25 Comments

Last time we checked in with William Polly, the 10-year-old Penrose resident had just set a new sport stacking world record and was showing off his skills on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Polly, now 11, is still up to his winning ways in the world of sport stacking — a competitive sport that involves stacking cups in set formations — or “sequences” — as quickly as possible.

Last month Polly set a new world record in the “individual cycle” competition. Unfortunately, his record was quickly broken by fellow young sport stacking phenom, William Orrell.

Then, at a national competition in Colorado Springs last weekend, Polly tied a world record in the 3-6-3 sequence (see video, above) and set a record with three fellow stackers in the 3-6-3 relay.

Polly now has his name on three of the five sport stacking world records.

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 9:50 am 2,236 0

The Young Professionals fundraising branch of the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is holding their second annual “Hunger Is No Joke” benefit at Cafe Asia (1550 Wilson Blvd) in Rosslyn tonight.

Local party band Over the Line will perform at the event, which starts at 8:00 p.m. Tickets are $35 for one or $60 for a pair. There will also be food and “plentiful” drinks, provided by Cafe Asia, and a raffle for signed Capitals pucks, D.C. United tickets, and gift cards to local restaurants, boutiques, salons and spas. All proceeds will benefit AFAC.

“This event promises to be our best of the year,” said Carrington Blencowe, chairwoman of the AFAC-Young Professionals Executive Committee. “Where else can you enjoy a night on the town while also helping your neighbors in need?”

AFAC provides groceries and other necessities to more than 1,600 families each week.

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 9:22 am 3,736 30 Comments

Update at 10:40 a.m. — The Shirlington ramp has reopened and only the far righthand lane of I-395 remains blocked before the ramp.

Update at 9:30 a.m. — All but one northbound lane is now blocked.

The ramp from Shirlington circle to northbound I-395 is blocked due to an accident.

A U-Haul truck and at least one other vehicle was involved in the accident along the northbound lanes of I-395. The vehicles ended up on the ramp, which is now completely blocked by emergency crews. One northbound lane is also blocked.

At least one injury has been reported as a result of the accident. Police are now directing the drivers stranded on the ramp to turn around and find an alternate route to the highway.

by ARLnow.com March 30, 2012 at 8:35 am 3,529 39 Comments

Contractor Chosen for New Ballston Apt. Tower — KBR Building Group has been tapped to build “The Place at Founders Square,” a new 17-story, mixed-use residential tower at 4000 Wilson Boulevard. Construction is expected to wrap up by the end of 2013. [CityBiz Real Estate]

Construction Update on Rosslyn Office Building — Construction on 1812 N. Moore Street, a 35-story behemoth in Rosslyn that will be the region’s tallest building upon completion, has topped the construction pit and reached surface level. [DC Metrocentric]

Multimedia Tools Available at Library ‘Lab’ — Next month Arlington Central Library will be launching a temporary “lab” on the first floor that will provide do-it-yourself multimedia creation tools. The Digital Projects Lab, as it will be called, will be open 20 hours per week and will have digital tools like Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Final Cut Pro, Audacity and iMovie. The lab will be powered by MacBook computers and will also have a video camera, microphone, large color printer, film/photo scanner and Wacom Intuos 3 tablet. [Arlington Public Library]

Arlington GOP Doesn’t Rule Out Nov. Run — Arlington Republicans say they’re trying to recruit a candidate to take on newly-elected Democratic County Board member Libby Garvey in November. A Republican County Board candidate would face very steep odds, as the presidential election is expected to drive Arlington Democrats to the polls in droves. No Democratic candidate filed to challenge Garvey for the nomination before last night’s filing deadline. [Washington Post]


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