The venue is on the second level of the store, but customers may also bring their beverage purchases downstairs while they shop. According to Clarendon Whole Foods Marketing Team Leader Jackie Zovko, it just passed inspection on Friday, employee training took place this past weekend, and the pub officially opened for business yesterday (Monday).
Right now, the focus is on drinks. The pub offers 100% certified organic coffee, draft beers and wines by the glass. All of the beers are made withing a 200 mile range and will rotate based on availability and customer feedback. Right now, the list includes Dogfish Head Punkin Ale, Lost Rhino Rhinofest and Port City Derecho Common Ale. Wines, which will also rotate, run from $4-$6 per glass.
“We’re really trying to stay within a reasonable price point,” said Zovko.
Eventually, the pub will start serving snacks such as cheeses and olives from the specialty food departments downstairs. The goal is to begin serving from a more extensive menu at some point in the future.
Several other Whole Foods stores in the D.C. metro region also launched pubs this year. Zovko believes customers in Arlington will enjoy the ability to relax with a drink.
“It’s based on what our customers want,” she said. “It’s also great for us because we’re able to feature things that are in line with our core values — 100% organic coffee and also local beers.”
Customers have been trickling since yesterday as they look up and spot the pub. Zovko believes the convenience makes the pub stand apart from similar bars in the area.
“Being able to grocery shop and then come upstairs for a quick beer or to linger a little bit, it’s kind of a nice idea,” said Zovko. “We love Arlington, we love the community, and we just feel like there’s room for everybody.”
A grand opening celebration had been originally scheduled for this week, but has been pushed back due to some delays in get permits and opening the venue. The new date is Thursday, October 4 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. It involves a special installation of the ongoing “Wine :30” events on Thursdays, which highlight wines and food pairings. This time, the “Beer O’Clock” event will feature beers at five stations throughout the store, with the fifth station being in the new pub. There’s a $5 fee to participate. The pub will also offer happy hour specials and free coffee during the grand opening.