Join Club

Board Again Defers Permit for Pines of Italy

The months-long effort by Pines of Italy (3111 Columbia Pike) to obtain a live entertainment permit continues, as the County Board chose once again to defer the issue.

The Board had previously deferred the issue at its April meeting in an effort to give the business owners more time to prove themselves worthy of being granted a permit. Similar to past meetings, residents from the surrounding area showed up on Saturday to voice concerns about issuing the permit. They cited the property’s history of consistent problems with patrons being violent and noisy. Some neighbors noted how peaceful the neighborhood has been for approximately six months because there has been no live entertainment on the site.

“The past six months have been a welcome reprieve from some of the extreme loud noise and violence,” said resident Aristia Glinka.

The county staff report for the permit had recommended approving the permit if the property owners agree to meet a series of conditions. However, Board members expressed concern that existing conditions had not been met, and there is no evidence that future conditions would be adhered to.

Although there have not been violent incidents during the past several months, Board members didn’t believe the owners had met the condition of fostering a relationship with the community. Tajalli did attend one Arlington Heights Civic Association meeting, but the Board said one meeting does not prove sufficient for making amends after all the previous years of poor relations.

“I think the neighbors are generally concerned about the lack of communication. We went over this in great detail last time,” Board member Walter Tejada said. “It’s really not acceptable from what I’ve heard so far, your lack of communicating.”

Another sticking point is Jorge Escobar’s continued involvement with the business. He has owned the property for more than a decade, including during the period when a previous entertainment permit was revoked.

The property currently has three partners who oversee the three different parts of the property — a restaurant, hookah bar and night club. Ali Tajalli, who manages the restaurant portion, said one business would not be able to handle the $15,000 a month cost of rent, so all three pay Escobar $5,000 each month.

Tajalli further explained his inability to keep the business open if the permit is not approved. He said that without all three partners contributing to the rent, the businesses will have to close in a matter of months. He asserted that being allowed to stay open until 2:00 a.m. for a six month trial period would keep the property afloat, while allowing an adequate period for the owners to prove themselves to the county.

Tejada countered that the county wants to work with small businesses, but the business owners have to be willing to cooperate as well. He said a business can succeed if it has the support of the surrounding neighborhood.

“We want small businesses to succeed,” said Tejada. “Notwithstanding there are certain conditions that should be met and need to be met.”

Board member Libby Garvey pointed out that the owners had previously been given two conditions to meet for permit approval: show a record of no new problems with the law and an effort to reach out to neighbors. Garvey said all signs point to the second condition not being met.

“You have proven yourself, so far, to not be doing what you said you would do. So we’re supposed to give you another chance?” Garvey said. “When you have met those conditions come back again, and then I’m willing to consider a lot of this.”

In the end, the Board members decided to defer the issue until December.

“We gave you very easy conditions to meet, if you had been intentional about doing it,” said Board member Jay Fisette. “You’ve failed in the first five months. We’re giving you three more months.”

Tejada said by the time December arrives, so much time will have been devoted to this one permit that he will be ready to give a simple “Yea” or “Nay” on the matter. He said there’s no reason to continue dragging out the process any longer.

“Personally, I’m not going to spend a lot of time on it,” said Tejada. “We cannot be going on and on about this.”

Recent Stories

Arlington is poised to take a proverbial weed whacker to commercial properties with overgrown lawns and all properties with obstructive vegetation. Last month, a proposal to change the ordinance pertaining…

Meet the beautiful Koda, a glass half full kinda dog who searching for his forever home.

It appears as if Courthouse’s newest date night spot won’t be open for Valentine’s Day. The opening for the hotly anticipated Taco Bell Cantina at 2039 Wilson Blvd has been…

Are you a SWaM certified business? Nominations for the 2023 SWaMmy Honors are now open until April 1.

Let the Arlingtones surprise your friend or sweetie this Valentine’s Day with a barbershop quartet singing love songs in four part a cappella harmony! Choose from a small selection of songs in our repertoire to surprise your special someone.

$75 for two songs delivered to a place of your choice by a live, in-person quartet. Includes a classy tin of chocolates, fresh red rose and personalized card. Small mileage surcharge for >5 miles outside Arlington VA.

$30 Facetime/Skype valentine- two songs delivered ‘live’ via Facetime or Skype at an agreed-on time.

$20 virtual valentine- two pre-recorded quartet songs delivered via email with a personalized message.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Have you noticed a striking sculpture at Monroe Street and Wilson Boulevard? It’s the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington’s newest installation, Make Your Mark, by Arlington artist, Adam Henry. This sculpture celebrates MoCA Arlington’s rebranding and brings the museum’s energy outdoors.

On February 11, come inside when the museum’s galleries reopen with two new exhibitions: Rebecca Rivas Rogers: Grey View and Crisis of Image.

Grey View, in the Wyatt Resident Artist Gallery, is an homage to “gray” and a snapshot of the artist’s process. Consisting of photographs, collage, and a site-specific installation, this show is an outgrowth of Rivas-Rogers’ visual investigations into places you see on your way to somewhere else.

On the main level, Crisis of Image features artists who seek equity in today’s saturated visual world by developing new methods related to the production of images.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

Valentine Pop-Up at George Mason University

Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village

Standup Comedy Showcase Starring Matt Ruby (Comedy Central)

Dead Horse Comedy Productions brings together top comedians from the DMV and beyond for a live standup comedy show!

Matt Ruby, Headliner

Matt Ruby is a comedian, writer, and filmmaker from New York City. His comedy has been filmed by


Subscribe to our mailing list