Arlington, VA

The recently-opened Pines of Italy restaurant (3111 Columbia Pike) is applying for a live entertainment and dancing permit, but it doesn’t look like the request will be granted at Saturday’s County Board meeting.

Due to concerns from police and the Arlington Heights Civic Association (AHCA), the recommendation is to defer the permit request until the board’s September 15 meeting. Police note previous violent incidents at this site, and suggest future trouble could arise based on the history with the property’s management. AHCA opposes the permit due to the potential for crime and noise to impact neighbors.

A letter from the AHCA president says representatives met with the three partners of the property to address resident concerns. The property apparently is divided into a restaurant, a hookah bar and a night club and has one partner for each entity. The partners reportedly said the entertainment permit was not needed for the restaurant or hookah bar to do business, but wouldn’t specifically say it was for the club.

County staff recommended deferring until the September 15 meeting in order to give the restaurant owner time to establish a clean track record. If there are no issues for a six month period, which began at the Pines of Italy opening in February, the county will consider issuing the permit. The owner was asked to demonstrate good management and to establish better relationships with neighbors during this time period. County staff states in the permit report that the owner has agreed to the deferral.

In its letter last month, AHCA said if no problems arise from the property for one year, it will reconsider its position on the permit. In recent years the property has been home to a succession of restaurants, including Padrino’s Fine Italian Cuisine, Club 31-11, Coco’s Italian Restaurant, Lalibela II, and Cottage Ethiopian Restaurant.

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