(Updated at 4:20 p.m.) The flagship location of a new Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant concept opened in Crystal City this week.
After some initial delays, Black Lime Café opened its doors at 2450 Crystal Drive on Monday. The quick casual restaurant serves a largely lunch time crowd, and owners tell us they’re encouraged by the response from customers so far.
Black Lime seeks to be to falafel sandwiches what Chipotle was to burritos. It allows customers to customize their meal, picking either a pita, salad bowl or baked potato (kumpir) as a base and choosing ingredients like falafel, black lime-marinated chicken, shawarma-spiced beef, grilled shirmp, several types of hummus, babaganoush, seasoned rice, grilled vegetables and a variety of other toppings.
Sides include chips and hummus, regular fries, eggplant fries, sweet potato fries, lemon chicken soup and a soup of the day. The beverage menu features a rose water lemonade and will eventually include beer, we’re told.
Co-owner Paul Stratmeyer said he and business partner David Levitt — who have experience building restaurant chains like Maggie Moo’s, Outback Steakhouse, Bennigan’s, and California Tortilla — have high hopes for Black Lime.
“The burrito market is kind of done. This is the next iteration,” said Stratmeyer. “Falafel is the number one selling sandwich in the world. It’s still a deep fried product, but it’s very healthy.”
Stratmeyer said he’s particularly proud of the food and the restaurant’s interior design.
“The food is where it’s at,” he said. “Our spice blend is unique, and it’s awesome. ”
Additional Black Lime locations will be opening in D.C., according to Stratmeyer. Other locations may be in the works for Richmond, Chicago, Philadelphia, and Colorado Springs. He and Levitt chose to open the first location in Crystal City in part due to the high concentration of military personnel in the area.
“We didn’t pick this spot by accident,” said Stratmeyer. “Lots of military guys who’ve been in the Middle East have tasted this food, they understand it. And they’re going to prove to us whether we’re doing it right.”
He said the restaurant will donate between $2,500 and $3,000 in partial proceeds from the first two days in operation to the Armed Forces Foundation.
Tagolio Pizzeria & Enoteca (549 23rd Street S.) in Crystal City has closed after its owner pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery against an employee.
Tedros “Teddy” Tzehaye, a 40-year-old Springfield resident, was accused of rape by a female employee in September. The alleged incident took place at the restaurant between 2:30 and 3:00 a.m. on a Thursday, according to a police report. Alcohol was involved, we’re told.
The woman was brought to the hospital for an examination and Tzehaye was arrested on Sept. 27 and charged with forcible rape. The charge was later amended to assault and battery, to which Tzehaye pleaded guilty. The plea was an Alford plea, ARLnow.com has learned, which means that Tzehaye asserted his innocence while admitting that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict.
Tzehaye’s attorneys declined to answer questions about their client’s side of the story. Prosecutors also declined to comment on the record.
Tzehaye is out on bail, awaiting a final sentencing hearing scheduled for May 7, 2013. Prosecutors have recommended one year of probation and no jail time.
A tipster says Tagolio has been closed “for several weeks.” The restaurant’s phone number has been disconnected.
Tagolio was noted for its coal-fired pizza and earned generally positive reviews on Yelp.
(Updated at 1:20 p.m.) Two new stores are coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, while another is closing at Pentagon Row.
A new Oakley store and a new Sperry store are both under construction on the second level of the shopping mall. The stores are directly adjacent to one another. Oakley is best known for its sunglasses, while Sperry is best known for its boat shoes. Oakley also sells clothing and Sperry sells other types of footwear.
Both stores are expected to open in time for Christmas shopping, with the Sperry store hoping to open around Dec. 7 and the Oakley store hoping to open around Dec. 14, according to a PR rep for the mall.
Lucy, an women’s activewear store, will be closing soon at Pentagon Row. A sign in the window advertises a 25 percent off sale at the store, while directing shoppers to other locations at Union Station in D.C. and Tysons Corner Center mall in Fairfax County.
Photo (right) courtesy Desiree Lomer-Clarke
The ticket for last night’s drawing was sold at the 7-Eleven store at 5267 Lee Highway, according to the Virginia Lottery. The lucky winner matched the first five numbers, but not the Powerball. (The winning combination was 5-16-22-23-29 with a Powerball of 6.)
The Arlington winner was one of four $1 million winners in Virginia. The other million dollar tickets were sold in Daleville, Harrisonburg and Richmond. Fifteen $10,000 tickets were also sold in Virginia.
The biggest winner in Virginia was the Commonwealth, which generated $13.3 million in profit from Powerball tickets sold in advance of the Wednesday drawing. That money will be used to benefit K-12 public schools.
The record-setting Powerball jackpot of $587.5 million will be split between two winning tickets in Arizona and Missouri.
Photo via Google Maps
There were numerous burglaries, robberies and stolen vehicles in this week’s Arlington County crime report. Among them were two separate reports of golf clubs stolen from storage units in Courthouse.
BURGLARY, 11/15/12, 1400 block of N. Taft Street. Between October 15 and November 15 at 7:30 pm, an unknown subject(s) broke into a storage unit. The victim reported her golf clubs were missing. There is no suspect(s) description.
BURGLARY, 11/19/12, 1400 block of N. Taft Street. Between August 15 and November 19 at 6:30 pm, an unknown subject(s) cut the Master lock of a storage unit and stole golf clubs. There is no suspect(s) description.
On Monday, a man dressed in a Spandex bicycle suit stole cartons of Newport cigarettes from the CVS Pharmacy in Rosslyn.
COMMERCIAL BURGLARY, 11/27/12, 1100 block of N. Wilson Boulevard. At 3:50 am on November 26, a suspect broke the glass of the front entrance door of the CVS pharmacy. Once inside, he stole numerous cartons of Newport cigarettes. The suspect is a black male, approximately in his mid 20’s to mid 30’s in age, 6’0” tall and 180 lbs. He was wearing a spandex bicycle suit, yellow safety vest, brown beanie and white sneakers at the time of the incident.
Last week, someone ruined Christmas by stealing presents from an apartment closet in Ballston.
BURGLARY, 11/26/12, 900 block of N. Stafford Street. Between 5 pm on November 19 and 11 am on November 26, an unknown suspect(s) entered an apartment and stole two shopping bags of assorted Christmas gifts from a closet. There is no suspect(s) description.
The rest of this week’s crime report, after the jump.
Commission Says No to Lee Hwy Project — The Arlington Planning Commission has voted against a developer’s plan to build a 10-story apartment building and a MOM’s Organic Market grocery store on the current Bergmann’s Dry Cleaner site on Lee Highway. The commission expressed reservations about approving the project when there’s no overarching county development plan for Lee Highway. Some neighborhood residents who supported the development said they were disappointed with the commission’s vote. The County Board will have the final say when they consider the matter on Dec. 8. [Arlington Mercury]
Arlington GOP Still Trying to Stop Streetcar — The Arlington County Republican Committee is trying a new tactic to halt the planned Columbia Pike streetcar. The GOP is asking state lawmakers to pass a measure that would require Arlington County to have a voter referendum before selling bonds to fund the streetcar. [Sun Gazette]
Ballston Bar Crawl to Benefit Sandy — Eight Ballston-area bars are hosting a bar crawl to benefit victims of Hurricane Sandy. The bar crawl will start at noon on Saturday at Front Page (4201 Wilson Blvd). The event also includes a poker competition for prizes, like Redskins and Capitals gear. [Clarendon Nights]