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Caribbean Breeze to Become ‘A-Town Bar & Grill’

by Katie Pyzyk June 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm 15,252 113 Comments

Caribbean Breeze in Ballston (4100 Fairfax Drive) is about to undergo a major facelift. From name to food, a lot is going to change during an upcoming renovation and re-branding.

Existing owner Mike Cordero will partner with his son, Nick Cordero, and newcomer Scott Parker for the revamped establishment, which will be called A-Town Bar and Grill. Parker says the new menu will be “eclectic,” and features a wide range of choices including sushi, sandwiches, flatbread pizzas and steaks. The beer list will expand from four to about 10. Food will be served every day, from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.

Parker said Caribbean Breeze, which just celebrated its 10 year anniversary last month, has consistently been financially successful. However, the partners believe the broader concept should appeal to more people.

“The goal is to be an American bistro feel with a lot more energy than any of our competitors,” Parker said.

The outdoor patio area will be redone with a better bar and some couches to supplement the regular dining tables, according to Parker. TVs will be installed throughout the restaurant to accommodate sports fans. A-Town is also looking to offer live entertainment, consisting of a few bands, but mostly DJs.

“I’ve recruited a top knotch staff and will be bringing in the best DJs and local talent from around the D.C. area,” said Parker.

The restaurant will have to close for a while during the renovation. Caribbean Breeze will be having a farewell bash all day on Saturday, June 30. Construction on A-Town Bar and Grill will begin on Monday, July 2; it is expected to open by the beginning of August.

  • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

    so original!!!!!

  • karzai

    the further homogenization of the Rosslyn-Ballston strip.

  • Why?

    That’s just dumb! If it’s not broke, why fix it!?!

    • drax

      Yep. What a stupid idea.

  • b-money

    So it’ll be like every other restaurant in the area?

  • CW


  • Right

    I doubt the re-branding will make this place any better.

  • Spell check is your friend

    Also, “knotch” is spelled without a “k.”

    • Dan Quayle

      kno it’s knot!

      • Clarendon

        Little quips like this are why I read Arlnow 🙂

  • JohnB

    BOOOOOOOO!!!!! This is not “A-Town”

    • North A-Town Snob

      Well my friends and I who were born here, grew up here and have lived here for 40+ years have been calling Arlington “A-Town” since we were in high school in the early 80’s, so I respectifully disagree with you and say using A-Town is acceptable.

      • Childless Old Bat

        I’ve lived here just as long and have never heard it called that.

        • Becoming indifferent

          I’ve lived around here 40-plus years, never heard the reference to A-Town either.

          • North A-Town Snob

            Just saying that’s what me and my friends always referred to it as (hence why I’ve used A-Town in my name here whenever I’ve posted in the past). Started to hear it catch on with randoms out at bars in Clarendon and such in the mid-90s. Was surprised back then when I started hearing others used it and we would always joke that we should get residuals for its use.

          • malaka

            I have only heard “A-hole-town”

          • HaydiosMio

            i’ve heard manassholian but no, no A-town.

            this sucks btw. although CB was some seriously overpriced stuff food but salsa nights where awesome cause brown flip flops just didn’t work for that.

        • TURTLE

          I grew up in Arlington as well, some 40 plus years. We refered to it as Arlington County – not a town nor city.

  • Good Grief

    Please keep salsa/international night!!

  • The Gov..

    I guess Caribbean Breeze was tired of paying their food tax they weren’t paying to Arlington County….

  • Bluemontsince1961

    “Parker says the new menu will be “eclectic,”

    Yes, yes… now that is all well and good, but will the new menu be “VIBRANT”? And will it have menu items that can beat the creativity of nom de guerre’s daily specials listed on ArlNow?

  • non-existing owner

    Nobody asked me what I wanted to do!

  • nom de guerre

    If this place turns out to be a just another hole in the wall will people call it A-Hole Bar and Grill?

    • Bluemontsince1961


    • NorthArlingTim

      whoops, there went my keyboard again… wipe wipe wipe …

  • girlFace


  • They really need to add outdoor seating the Fairfax side. Always looks so dead and empty otherwise, although I see tons of people inside.

  • Super

    If the place was financially successful then there should be no reason to change it. I for one never liked the food at Caribbean Breeze. Hopefully this new concept works but it sounds like it’s going to be a jack of all trades, master of none kind of place. Sushi and flatbread pizza and steaks? What kind of place is it trying to be?

    • Dr_Klahn

      I’d describe it as a fusion of upscale modern food court and gastropub. Maybe “Gastro-court”?

  • UVA Board of Visitors

    We support this radical, yet pointless and unnecessary change!

  • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

    Something about a new partner and a total rebranding makes me wonder if it really was such a financial success…….

    Talk about boring in Ballston.

    Between the coming BWW, Baileys, Carpool, Front Page, Rock Bottom, Union Jacks and Green Turtle, I think there is already PLENTY of bar & grill type places.

    The breeze was ccol b/c it was unique. This just makes no sense to me. And – I am a brown flip flopper even.

  • pennylane

    The place was always empty. I worry that the new menu is all over the place. I hate to see people fail.

  • James Moron

    Why the collective assumption that Caribbean Breeze was doing well? They were constantly empty (except late night weekends) and gave away more Coupons/Groupons/Living Socialpons that the the local botox/spa/teeth whitening guys. Their food was mediocre and their business failed. Let’s not spin it any other way.

    • Reading is Fundamental

      Why the collective assumption that Caribbean Breeze was doing well?

      “Parker said Caribbean Breeze, which just celebrated its 10 year anniversary last month, has consistently been financially successful.”

      • Baghdad Bob

        oh, he must be telling the truth. He would
        never spin something to ArlNow.

        “They’re not even [within] 100 miles [of Baghdad]. They are not in any place. They hold no place in Iraq. This is an illusion … they are trying to sell to the others an illusion.” – Baghdad Bob

        • drax

          1. Why would he lie?

          2. Why would you care?

          • Baghdad Bob

            1. Because very few restaurant owners are going to say “I failed so I’m launching a new concept”

            2. Because I don’t like people who lie. I, after all, am Baghdad Bob.

  • Jason S.

    The place is pretty bad now, but I don’t blame them for it being a crappy establishment. They should spend just enough to keep the d-bags coming and spending money. The reason most of the restaurants in the R-B corridor are basically the same is the people in the R-B corridor are basically d-bag clones who want the same thing.

    • Justin Russo

      True enough.

      • Trev

        agreed bro

        • The Gov..

          Clown comment brah!!!

  • Russ

    Oh boy, just what we need. Another “American Bistro” in Arlington.

    • Jason S.

      One really can’t fault him for wanting to meet the market demands.

      • drax

        If he’s already financially successful and has a niche, and we are a part of the market that isn’t being served well, sure we can.

  • Sarlingtongal#tiredofmeatheads

    Really – “A-town bar & grill”?? So cheesy… i can see the muscle heads fist-pumping already… jesus.

  • Usher

    Peace Up!

    A-Town Down!

  • Gastronaut

    Sigh, giant TVs don’t make a restaurant. Do we really need yet another place serving the same diet of sports TVs, burgers, etc? pseudo-sushi, pseudo-pizza, etc? Boring, boring, boring.

    Doubt I’ll visit it since it seems just like all the others.

    How ’bout something new, different, interesting? How ’bout something with actually good food? Willow could use some competition 🙂

    • Jason S.

      If you’re willing to put your up your money on the *hope* that something different will work, go for it. They are making a rational decision based on what has been observed to be a fairly successful model.

      • Vegas

        Care to wager on how long it will last?

  • Hurley

    They’re not getting rid of the chocolate fountain on Sundays are they?

    • JBJ

      I loved Caribbean Breeze but I am excited for a modern revamp. Hard to argue against better beer variety, a larger lounge/ dining area, more tv’s for sports, and a wider demographic appeal. Don’t know about you guys but I am pumped to see the crowd A-Town draws.

      • drax

        If they put more TVs in I will never visit this place.

  • Skins Lifer

    Very excited to see the new renovations and menu. Glad to see a change from the Latin vibe to a modern American feel, not the old dive american grills. This area good use a fresh new restaurant and nightlife spot. A-Town open soon!

  • Zack

    Haters. This is new, different and interesting. It’s a place in A-TOWN where food sports friends AND music all meet. You’re lucky to get 2 out of 4 anywhere else.

    • drax

      “It’s a place in A-TOWN where food sports friends AND music all meet.”

      What are you, a really-bad-local-TV-ad writer?

    • Smellmer

      This is new, different and interesting

      And that people is why proprietors keep opening the same-old, same-old. They know if they paint the walls a different color or use a different type-face on the menu, the dim-bulbs of the R-B corridor will rave that it is new, different and interesting.

  • Dr_Klahn

    Sounds like the basement in That 70’s Show.

  • buggs82

    You hate the old concept and you don’t want to give the new concept a chance. Why not embrace something new. Successful businesses xhanve or revamp themselves all the time. Bwing stagnant is a quick way to die in this business.

    • Unimpressed

      so is typing gibberish. . .

  • John K.

    I look forward to not patronizing this place, either. Meh.

  • DM

    Definitely excited for this place. All Ballston has are sports bars that serve buffalo wings. we need another good restaurant

    • drax

      We have…Caribbean Breeze.

      • DM

        Had a bunch of creeps on the weekend for salsa nights is about it. This should bring in a more normal ATown crowd

        • drax

          So now you want normal? Normal is buffalo wings, genius.

          • AJ


  • John Fontain

    These are the same guys who have taken more than a year and half to open a tiny pizza shop, Bronx Pizza, in Clarendon.


    Something tells me it might be a while before any of you see A-Town.

    • karzai

      Absolutely. The last we heard, Bronx Pizza was targeting a July 1 opening. I peeked through the openings in the paper lining the windows last week and, from what I can gather, they are nowhere near making that deadline. If it’s open by Labor Day I’ll be amazed…

      • nom de guerre

        So rude of them not to provide the community accurate information about their opening date and hours of operation. Can we expect the same regarding A-Hole Bar and Grill?

  • Dr_Klahn

    I would have called it “A-Clown Bro Grill”.

    • John Fontain

      Love it. I know you are only joking, but if they actually named it that it would have a decent shot at being epic!

    • applause

  • Pedro

    Why is everyone hating on a place that hasnt opened and they know nothing about? If its really that big a deal and you want more/different options, move into DC, Go to Zengo for dinner and follow it up with UltraBar. Problem solved! Ballston has been starving for a fun new place where people have more options on the menu, can dance and have energy and not just be the same old “pub”. I am glad they are upgrading CB and changing it up. Gives us something new to try out and more options. I could get it if people were going to miss Caribbean Breeze and thats why they were upset, but we all know thats not the reason.

    • JohnB2

      The problem is the name.

    • drax

      So you think that going from “Caribbean Breeze” to “A-Town Bar and Grill” means Ballston is getting more variety and energy and not the same old pub?


  • JBJ

    I loved Caribbean Breeze but I am excited for a modern revamp. How can you be opposed to a better beer selection, a larger dining/ lounging area, more tv’s for sports, and a wider demographic appeal? I am not alone when I say Ballston will be more entertaining with A-Town. I welcome the change and I am pumped to see the crowd A-Town draws.

    • JB

      I’m trying to think positive too – like, if this place opened up in the Phoenix airport it would be the best restaurant there.

  • Hambone13

    So much negative when everyone agrees the Breeze lacked a lot and wasn’t ever full. I can’t argue with the change and am excited to try it out. Did any of you ever actually go or like the Breeze?

  • j bone

    If Whitlows can be as popular as it is (even before the rooftop days), then any place can succeed. This place definitely has potential, its all about the execution.

  • Arlingtron

    Sounds like this might be an actually decent place in ballston. I was getting sick of the mall bars

    • drax

      It sounds like this will be just like a mall bar though. That’s the point.

  • Skins47

    10 years open ! I’m gonna miss breeze and the great memories my friends and I spent .

    Excited for the new change though

    A-Town sounds good to me

  • Nap Victim

    I’ve been waiting for this place right near the Ballston metro to get redone for years. I never understood why such a prime spot didn’t take advantage of its location and space. C-Breeze was alright, but it needs a facelift. This place has a ton of outdoor space and if can be a good place to grab a beer, watch a game, and eat a good steak then I am in.

    This seems like a good recipe for success to me. I’ll definitely try it out – especially if they have good specials and get the market they were slightly missing to come in.

    • Shrunk

      eat a good steak

      Try Ray’s.

      • Nap Victim

        Not in Ballston. We are talking about Ballston area, right? Ray’s is good, but we’re talking about growing the Ballston neighborhoods, right?

  • Nap Victim

    I’ve been waiting for this place right near the Ballston metro to get redone for years. I never understood why such a prime spot didn’t take advantage of its location and space. C-Breeze is alright, but it needs a facelift. This place has a ton of outdoor space and if can be a good place to grab a beer, watch a game, and eat a good steak then I am in.

    This seems like a good recipe for success to me. I’ll definitely try it out – especially if they have good specials and get the market they were slightly missing to come in.

    • Nap Victim

      Sorry! Fell asleep at the computer. Clicked “Submit” twice as I jolted awake…zzz

    • JohnB2

      The former Tuesdays place isn’t likely to be developed any time soon, unless they move all the bus stops and homeless people away.

  • Mc

    This place will deserve to fail quickly for limiting our dining choices. Ballston is undeserved by interesting restaurants and it’s obvious the area does need more grill style sports bars.

    • sunflower

      knew it was only a matter of time before someone made that typo

  • TC

    Ballston has been starving for something new, espescially for the young succesful demographic, and I think
    This is it! A-Town bar and grille couldn’t be a more appropriate name.
    If you want a dynamic bar and grille and you live in Ballston, it sounds like you’re getting exactly that. I welcome A-Town Bar and Grille and their vision. These guys have never put out a ba menu and I’m
    Certain they’ll attract an awesome and diverse crowd!

    • Ben

      Couldn’t have said it better if I had a friend who owned the place!

  • Whatcha whatcha want

    Just wondering- everyone on here is so quick to scoff at “American bistros” and the elk, but what exactly is it that you’re all wanting? Every new and proposed restaurant concept posted on this site gets ripped to shreds in an instant. Seriously just wondering what it is you people want?

    • nom de guerre

      A restaurant that features good seafood with no television in the eating area and that bans cellphone/smartphone use while you are inside.

      • SteveO

        What are you like 50 years old?? No one wants that

        • nom de guerre

          Then you are welcome to wait until the A-Hole Bar and Grill reopens, I’m sure you will fit right in.

          If you can’t go 90 minutes without using your phone I will gladly recommend an inpatient treatment program for you.

          • SteveO

            Here you go….this is more for you


        • Apparently act like I’m 50

          I’m with nom de guerre — but I’m 31!

        • drax

          Oh, yes we do.

          If I want to watch TV I’ll stay home. Unless you’re a sports bar, not TV.

      • Unimpressed

        There are at least 50,000 residents here that would give you good money if you opened such a place – provided you posted the daily menu selections online, of course.

    • sunflower

      how about a nice “elk” steak: medium rare

      • Tabs

        Elk and their ilk have no business on dinner menus here in A-town!

    • Stu

      Well, you asked…

    • Dreamer

      A place that lets you crack some crabs on the picnic tables out back, has a killer burger, has been on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives at some point, turns into a dive-bar when it gets late, is a haven for unreal buffalo wings in the fall, can serve a PROPER slice on demand, plus a pool table that still takes quarters. Pinball machine wouldn’t hurt.

      • Nap Victim

        So you want a restaurant to open, yet have already been on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives? Hmm…

  • We,, that’s a shame. At least Caribbean Breeze had a unique menu. Pretty soon Ballston will be nothing but dry cleaners, nail salons, and the same old pizza, burgers, and steak establishments …. over and over again gets tiresome.

    • J.U.


  • JohnB2

    I don’t have a problem with the place wanting to change up, but that’s the stupidest name I have ever heard for a restaurant in Arlington. Mike & Nick, PLEASE rethink the name before going live. You’ll be a laughing stock.

    • Tabs

      It’s bad.

  • SW

    This makes me sad. It looks like I’m in the minority, but I really liked Caribbean Breeze — their 48-hour roasted pork over saffron rice dish was deeeeelish. Unfortunately I don’t live near Ballston, so I didn’t get to go very often.

  • awesome

    Ballston is a young town, we like sports, tvs, nightlife, DJs and good food with out a stuffy old balls atmosphere….this place is going to be SICK

    who are you people anyway? You should probably move to Florida or Kansas or some place boring as F

  • Ballston-ian

    If the new version doesn’t keep me awake with their loud late-night music, like CB has, I might actually end my unofficial boycott of the place.

  • J.U.

    There are signs up that grand opening is August 10th for lunch. I, too, liked Caribbean Breeze and was sorry to see it go. I thought their food was yummy (and different), but their service generally sucked.


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