‘Arlington Pub’ Opens at Clarendon Whole Foods

by Katie Pyzyk September 18, 2012 at 3:45 pm 10,408 58 Comments

(Updated at 4:55 p.m.) Customers at the Whole Foods store in Clarendon (2700 Wilson Blvd) can now sit back and enjoy a coffee, or something a little stronger, at the newly opened “Arlington Pub.”

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.

  • AshtonHeights

    Cool, now when the wife wants me to walk over to WF to pick something up, it might take me a little longer 🙂

    • Mark

      Exactly !!!

  • CW

    There was mention of this (in the form of a sponsored article) in a daily email that I get. That particular email said that patrons would be able to drink while shopping (not just at the pub). Think this is true?

    • Joe

      I do believe this to be true Tillman.

      • JimPB

        Will WF be monitoring for GSUI (grocery shopping under influence)?

        • Westover

          I buy enough crap I don’t really need when sober, these marketing guys are geniuses! I’ll be buying the entire cheese section after just a few down the hatch!

    • Katie Pyzyk

      Yes, that information is correct. The article has been updated.

      • SoArl

        This is the best thing I’ve read all day. I’ve never been so excited about going to whole foods.

  • Justin Russo

    Can I eat my salad bar food up there?

    • YTK

      I’m sure you can, but the red vinegar you pour on it might actually be Vino (LOL)

  • drax

    1. An ale is already named “derecho.” That’s cool.

    2. Why can’t retail types just say “price” instead of the pretentious “price point?”

    • Mary-Austin

      Agree with you on both : )
      Port City makes good beer too…looking forward to trying it.

      • D'oh!

        Derecho was supposed to be their regular pilsner. But when the storm knocked out their power, the tanks got warmer and it turned into a lager. It’s interesting, and pretty tasty for an accident.

        • SHLady

          yep, a “common” ale is made using lager yeast at a higher temperature than usual. They were lucky it actually works.

          • SteamboatWillie

            Not to be all beer geek nitpicky, but a pilsner is a lager. If this beer used lager yeast, that makes it a lager, right?

            The confusing part is calling this a common “ale” when it used lager yeast. I understand why it’s called an ale – ales are fermented at warmer temperatures than lagers are – but I thought the yeast type determined the category. Maybe common “ale” is a style of lager. Very confusing.

            Still, I’m glad to see this new beer drinking option in Clarendon. Good beers with a lower ratio of brahs.

          • Pike Dweller

            Can’t call it lager if it’s not brewed cold

          • CW

            Lower ratio of brahs? Seriously? You ever been in that whole foods?

          • SteamboatWillie

            Lower than the rest of Clarendon drinking establishments.

          • SHLady

            You’re right, a pilsner is a lager. But it takes more than just yeast to make a lager. “Lagering” means fermenting at a cool temperature, which is why a special yeast is needed. Ale yeast will not ferment at those temps.

            Common ale is a hybrid. It’s an ale fermented at warmer temperatures (room temperature) using lager yeast. So if you start brewing a lager, and the temperature goes up, it becomes a common ale.

      • SHLady

        Port City is terrific, especially the porter.

  • Buckwheat

    Is this another typo?

    “Customers have been trickling since yesterday”

    Since it is beer, should it be “tinckling”?

    • Lloyd

      Judging from the pics, it’s all middle-aged men, probably with prostate issues. To trickling is correct.

      • Clark Kent

        Wow – and I thought I had good eyesight!

  • GreaterClarendon

    I had my growler filled with Dogfish Pumpkin Ale last week – but was disappointed – not due to the beer, but the aftertaste of yeast in the beer lines. All bartenders know that taste in a draft beer – so just recommending that Whole Foods keep their pipes clean.

    • Clarendon Skank

      Whenever filling my growler, I also insist on clean pipes.

      • malaka

        Where do you usually go to get your growler filled?

        • Justin Russo

          I think she has Serbian lifeguards do it for her.

  • moneybags

    “We’re really trying to stay within a reasonable price point,”

    Reasonable for Whole Foods, or reasonable for the rest of humanity?

    • SteamboatWillie

      Their growler fills have been quite reasonably priced.

  • Hollywood

    “All of the beers are made withing a 200 mile range..”

    Who cares? It’s beer FFS.

    “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”

    Of course it seems like a nice idea to you because everyone knows, the more time spent in the store the more likely the customer is to purchase things.

    “We’re really trying to stay within a reasonable price point”

    I imagine so since couldn’t you just walk down to the beer aisle in the store and crack a few right there? I don’t understand the logic. Would I be prohibited from bringing a six pack upstairs and drinking it in the pub?

    • Hattie McDaniel

      I used to buy one of their single bottle beers and takeit upstairs to drink with my prepared food meal. Probably wasn’t “supposed” to do that, but nobody ever said anything.

    • SHLady

      I bet the 200 mile radius was chosen just so they could include DFH.

      • SteamboatWillie

        Then bring on the beers from Victory and Tröegs.

    • McDeviltoast

      200 mile radius means fresher and less carbon footprint.

      Once upstairs, the only thing you can purchase is beer, wine and coffee. The “lingering” is having a place to chat or rest. There’s even complimentary bar snacks.

      Yes, you can bring a six pack up, or a bottle of wine, and start drinking it.

      The logic of drafts is to have something exclusive that you can’t get in a 6 pack form or year ’round. Drafts taste better.

      Can we just ask questions without jumping to negative conclusions?

      • kj

        carbon footprint? c’mon man.

        • McDeviltoast

          Yeah, kj, caring about the environment is lame.

          Unless the remark is aimed at my use of “carbon footprint.” I’ll consult the euphemism treadmill and see what’s acceptable.

  • 350sbc

    Is that menu correct? About $20 to fill a growler? That’s steep, man. At Mad Fox, you could fill one up for ~$12.

    • SHLady

      yeah, that is steep. The WaPo listed the price of growlers at a number of local breweries. $15-16 seems to be more typical. http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/best-bets/breweries-that-fill-growlers,99632.html

      • McDeviltoast

        Whole Foods does not brew their own beer. Places who brew their own beer can keep their prices low because they don’t have to go through a distributor.

    • SteamboatWillie

      That would be steep and is higher than the historical prices, so maybe that includes the purchase of the growler?

      I seem to recall that fills ran about $10-12, assuming the container was already paid for.

  • Cripple Creek Beer

    A drunkards dream if I ever did see one……

    • Richard Cranium

      What happens if you spring a leak?

      • Crip’ Creek

        “……she mends me”

  • Say it Ain’t So

    Wow. First thing that pops into my head is ‘like WF needed more traffic congestion in the parking lots, in the aisles, at the registers….’ ugh

    • Otis

      Yeah, but now they will be tipsy as well……

  • B22201

    So, it’ll be totally cool if I buy a beer, and then let my kid drink it once we start shopping downstairs? Right on! Much better than those silly bars that card, and then don’t let kids in.

    • Greg

      Like Applebee’s.

  • neerveer

    There are grocery store lawsuits already without alcohol….Bathroom out of Order, Clean up aisle 7, and then there’s the parking lot. Who knows, but I’m game.


    I wonder if they factored in the parking situation. If you can linger over a beverage I wonder if this makes less turnover in the parking lot and the line to get in a busy hours onto Wilson longer?

  • Arl for Now

    Didn’t go to Whole Foods before. Still not going.

    • soooo interested

      Thanks for your contribution!

    • McDeviltoast

      …which makes one wonder why you felt the need to comment on this article at all.

  • Old Curmudgeon

    Wow — Such negativity! I’m supposed to be the negative old goat! I was sent shopping by my wife this afternoon and saw the “Arlington Pub” upstairs at WF. Seemed like a good idea to check out the help to see if they knew anything about beer. They really do. I was specific about the type of beer that I wanted and, unlike many “upscale” places in Arlington, I was served a beer that really fit the description of my preference. So, kudos to the WF management for doing a good job of training. Also, since I got a call from my better half before I was done drinking, it was really nice to be able to take my brew downstairs, finish her shopping list, and get home before I got into too much trouble.

    • Tabby_TwoTone

      What does mistress do when old curmudge has been a bad boy, hmmm?

  • YTK

    Salad Bar, Hot Food Bar, now Beer Bar. I can’t wait to see what their parking lot’s gonna look like now.

  • Arlington Bro

    Like, will they have corn hole set up for me and my bros? and buckets of Natty Boh? and half-priced wings? and Jager bombs?

    • McDeviltoast

      Do you know what a Whole Foods is?

  • tabs

    At the pub


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