Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Closes in Clarendon

by ARLnow.com January 11, 2013 at 10:00 am 3,924 161 Comments

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill has closed in Clarendon Lime Fresh Mexican Grill has closed in Clarendon

Lime Fresh Mexican Grill (2900 Clarendon Blvd) has closed its Clarendon location, just shy of the one-year anniversary of its opening.

The restaurant has already taken down the “Lime” sign above the entrance and posted a notice on the door. Customers are being encouraged to go to Lime’s remaining location at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street).

Ruby Tuesday, the owner of the Lime chain, closed two company-owned stores after announcing disappointing financial results on Wednesday.

Hat tip to @zippychance

  • novasteve

    Wow, space for another Froyo place!

  • AL

    They have the worst chips. So hard and crunchy–they almost taste fat free!

    • daniel

      +1 Nothing to write home about.

  • novasteve

    If someone put in a Pho place in that spot, it would do a killing.

    • meh..

      Pho outta here……

    • Lew

      There is Pho around the corner at Nam-Viet Pho 79.

  • Justin Russo

    Not surprising; the place sucked.

    • Clarendonian

      It didn’t suck nearly as much as Mexicali Blues continues to suck.

      • drax

        Lots of spoiled, whiny diners here. Well, lots of spoiled, whiny people here so that’s not surprising.

  • Lizard Larry

    Maybe waiting up to 30 minutes for (incorrectly made) meals every visit had something to do with it. Please, no more FroYo – look what happened to TCBY!

  • KalashniKEV

    I liked it, and I’m sad to see it go. We need more counter service in the corridor.

    • CW

      Disagree with the first sentence; wholeheartedly agree with the second. Well, maybe clarify to say non-burger counter service.

    • Deadite

      I only went there once but had a good experience. Judging by others’ comments it looks like I may have just caught them on a good day.

  • Sam’s II

    Sam’s Corner will be opening a satellite location there. It’ll be open from 11:17 to 11:21, serving… whatever O’Sullivan’s tossed out the night before.

    • Bob


    • Tabs


    • nom de guerre

      Sam’s Food Truck is offering a Reuben sandwich-featuring thinly sliced, Guinness braised corned beef, freshly made, locally sourced sauerkraut infused with organic juniper berries and bay leaves, topped with Gruyère cheese and Russian dressing on a marbled rye bread and then grilled to perfection.

      • Tabs

        Only while supplies last.
        One per customer please.

  • TJ

    Aww..always meant to go there, but never made it…now I feel somewhat responsible.

    • Wry

      I’m with you, always meant to go but never did/feel (foolishly) responsible. Shoot, I can’t keep businesses alive — I “support” Macy’s too much as it is!

  • JamesE

    Time for an Applebee’s

  • Marlington

    Hardware store? Sorry to see Lime Fresh fail though.

    • CW

      Hardware? For the apartment tenants who aren’t allowed to touch their units or the Lyon Village millionaires who hire GCs to change their light bulbs? What is the target audience?

      • DCBuff

        Funny. We had a hardware store around the corner (VA Hardware) for decades, but now it is a faux-Irish spot for faux Republican bar brawlers. And, we had Sears a block away for decades, but it too is long gone.

        • Carol_R

          I grew up in Arlington and I remember the Sears. It’s now a bunch of townhouses. Home Depot wanted to take its spot but Arlington County wouldn’t allow it claiming too much traffic which was ridiculous.

          • drax

            Thank God there’s not a stinkin’ Home Depot in the middle of Arlington.

      • EveningWhere

        GC = German Coquette?
        Guatemalan Carnacha?

        • GC

          General Contractor.

      • Clyde

        Would-be bank robbers ??

  • Mudcat

    Ironic – maybe the financial results were disappointing b/c people knew who owned it.

    • Rory

      Who owned it?

      • Tabs


  • Ahhlington

    Didn’t see that one coming. Seemed like they were always doing decent business when I went in there. At least on weekends.

    • CW

      Gosh, weekends were the only time I ever went by and my thought every single time was “Man, they must do a TON of business on weekdays to stay open”.

  • Ahhlington

    Not that it’ll happen, but a Panera would be awesome, and much needed, there.

    • KalashniKEV

      I would love to see Vapiano there.

    • Deadite

      There’s already a Panera/Cosi/Corner Bakery at every Metro stop so I’m not sure we’re gonna get another one (yes I lumped them together because they’re all the same). Then again, we thought the froyo market was saturated a year and a half ago…

  • Tabs

    The store it replaced–ComforOne shoes–left b/c the greedy landlord hiked the rent beyond reason.

  • drax

    It was a bad location.

  • SteamboatWillie

    Gooood Byyyyyye. Ruby Tuesday.
    Who could hang a name on you?
    When you change with every new day.
    Still I’m gonna miss you.

    Ruby Tuesday lyrics © ABKCO Music Inc. (I don’t want the ghost of Marvin Belli strangling me from the grave)

  • LPL

    I would LOVE to see Chop’t open a location there.

    • KalashniKEV

      OMG… No Way!!!!!!

    • CW

      That is a great idea. Personally, I’ve never been in love with the place but Chop’t does ridiculous business wherever it opens and I’d think it would be a good fit with the, uh, image-conscious Clarendon crowd.

      • JamesE

        A restaurant just for tiny dogs would fit perfectly in Clarendon

        • Sheriff Gonna Getcha

          yes yes please. I hate that restaurants dont let me bring my children to sit on the patio. Sorry I cant afford real ones, so I have to settle for amazing Westhighland Terriers to fill the void of love in my heart. I spend all of my money on tanning, rent, booze, protein and my 3-series payments to have a real child.

          • JamesE

            3 series are so 2010 bro, upgrade to an Audi A4

          • CW

            Whatever you get, make sure it’s leased.

      • drax

        Chop’t is really good.

        • novasteve

          Not when you get food poisoning from it.

          • drax

            Um, okay, steve. That applies to all food though.

      • BlueLoom

        Chop’t closed in Bethesda/Rockville (Old Geo’tn Rd at Democracy Blvd), so they don’t succeed in all of their locations.

    • novasteve

      That Rabbit place is a salad place.

      • Deadite

        Salad, sandwich, soup place. Delicious, but quite overpriced.

        • K

          So basically Panera….

          • Deadite

            Yes, but with better food and higher prices, FWIW.

    • Zach

      Wholeheartedly agree.

  • jjj

    I visited this location in the early winter and it was absolutely terrible. Crowded space, tacos were inedible (tough meat, no flavor) and I had tried a few variations (pork, steak, etc). Not surprising this place closed when the best part of the meal were the chips and salsa.

  • Annon

    All I want is a restaurant that serves pizza… and maybe burgers

    • douche from Lawn Gisland

      Yo! Need a PROPER SLICE!

  • Sherifff Gonna Getcha

    This place was the worst. I cant stress how bad my experience was here. Ironic they are owned by Ruby’s.

    • Deadite

      Ironic … or not ironic at all?

  • BillH

    The area could use a good Mexican place (carry-out or sit down). Mexicali Blues was never that great to begin with and was even worse the last time I went in there. Not sure if they underwent an ownership change or what but the fajitas used to be OK there and now they’re just bad. Haven’t been to the new tequileria but the prices look pretty steep.

    • Dano

      I have to disagree. You’ve got Baja Fresh, which is a decent faster-food Mexican option. Then you’ve got Mexicali Blues (which I agree is only okay) and the Tequileria if you want sit down options. I’ve not been to the latter either, and suspect it will close by the end of the year. But there is already plenty of other good Mexican in the area. Uncle Julio’s in Ballston is very good, and Rio Grande in Falls Church is worth the drive for take out. There’s also District Taco.

      What Clarendon (really Arlington) needs is a good sushi place. There’s one I can force myself to tolerate in Court House, but a truly excellent sushi place would be a great addition to the neighborhood.

      • William

        Endo Sushi, a block from Clarendon

        • Clarendonian

          I just can’t eat at a place called Endo Sushi.

      • Dano

        Whoops meant Cafe Rio

      • Deadite

        Fuego is usually packed when I walk by. I doubt it’s going to close this year.

      • Mexisnobs

        Can’t speak for myself b/c I don’t know my butt from my elbow when it comes to Mexican food, but every person I’ve known in this area that was from Southern Cali or New Mexico would vehemently disagree with you that “there is already plenty of good Mexican in the area”, and claiming that Uncle Julio’s or Rio Grande qualifies as “very good” Mexican would probably draw laughs and eyerolls (though Guajillo would sometimes pass as decent – haven’t been there in awhile though).

        • JamesE

          Uncle Julio’s is good texmex

          • BBMS

            They do have some pretty good food. I don’t care what anybody wants to call it.

        • Artie Fufkin

          El Paso Cafe at Glebe and Pershing is good Tex-Mex.

          • John K

            Salva-Mex… Good Tex-Mex would be a godsend.

        • DCBuff

          No true Californian would say that Rio Grande is good Mexican food. No true Californian would say they were from “Southern Cali” either.

          • Mexisnobs

            Right, and they didn’t – I’m not from California and I’m the one saying they’re from Southern Cali. Thanks for pointing that out though.

        • Rory

          I used to live in Albuquerque for 3 years.

          IMO, Gaujillo is legit, and sometimes El Paso Cafe on Pershing makes the cut. Other than that, very mediocre.

        • Deadite

          Mexican food snobs from SoCal are treading dangerously close to Pizza snob fron NYC territory.

          • Tabs

            At least the first is warranted.

      • BillH

        If you think Baja Fresh is decent then we can’t be friends.

    • K

      If you walk 3 blocks down Washington from 10th, El Charrito is a hole-in-the-wall with authentic Mexican takeout (a few stools to eat-in), and prices at rock bottom. $2 tacos, $4 burrito’s etc….

      • CW

        That place is SO good!

  • BBMS


  • HP12C

    A combination picture framing/Russian restaurant would work well in this space and is exactly what Clarendon needs.

  • novasteve

    Maybe Lemon Fresh will replace it?

    • Chip Chipperson

      Take us out!

  • Goob

    “Thanks and have a great day!”???

    You mean as in- our business just sank and failed kind of great day? A bunch of employees just lost their jobs… but hey it’s all good! We’re gone so no lunch here for you today amigo! …unless you liked it so much you want to take another 30 minutes to go on over and stuff your big face with one of our burritos on Joyce Street! Wohoo- get excited!

    • Deadite

      Having a bad day?

      • Goob

        No, you? I just thought the use of all the exclamation points kind of odd. How about “Sorry, this location has closed but you can still find us at xxx.”

  • John Fontain

    That’s too bad. I thought the place was decent, especially when during the WTF (Wed, Thur, Fri) happy hour with $2 tacos and $3 frozen margaritas.

    I vote for a dive-type bar to replace it, but that won’t likely happen with the high rents in that property.

    • novasteve

      Dive bars don’t have sophisticated people who think properly! We need another place with $9/hour hour specials! we are sophisticated here in arlington!

      • John Fontain

        Maybe I’m just getting old, but I just don’t understand why today’s young drinkers are falling overthemselves to pay $9 to $15 for a mixed drink knowing that the ingredient costs are about $1 or less.

        • DCBuff

          Same reason they are paying mega change to live in Clarendon, apparently lease Audi A4s, and all the other brown flip flop stuff. Don’t know/understand the reason, though.

        • Deadite

          Snobbery. A lot of young d-bags from wealthy families have moved into the DC area and need those status symbols to fulfill their social lives.

          • Randall

            I can smell jealousy like a fart in a car.

          • Deadite

            “Randall” sounds like the type of guy who grew up on a “horse farm” and had awesome “internships” at his dad’s company.

          • drax

            I”m not jealous of stupid people, Randall.

        • Rory

          Falling over themselves? They are not going there for the drinks. I’m sure no guy would leave his house to pay that much for a Rum and Coke unless there were plenty of hot tail at the bar.

          • Calhoun

            What’s the women’s excuse?

        • novasteve

          Insecure people have a need to show off.

        • Clarendon

          I’ve lived in Clarendon for 20 years now – since my early 20’s. I know what made me want to live here. A lot of what I liked is gone, but there’s still a lot positive about here vs elsewhere. It does seem that a lot of the crowd I see around comes here primarily because it’s the place to be and not much else. I’m hanging on until the commercial sector shakes out and maybe the rents come back down to where some more interesting businesses can move back in.

          • novasteve

            It’s only going to get worse. We have an artificial economy here because of the federal government. It will get more expensive, and places will charge more, and it will cater to the tastes of the snobby and pretentious. About the only improvement in Clarendon , and most of the changes have been negative, is the Trader Joes.

      • drax

        Second time today I agreed with steve.

        I don’t know what’s happening to me.

        • malaka

          This flu epidemic’s a bitch

      • Dan

        Opening a “New Dive” is kind of an oxymoron eh ??

  • novasteve

    American Lime Tavern?

  • TuesdaysChild

    And yet the Cheesecake Factory lives on.

    I hope Matchbox comes to Clarendon; but they would need a bigger space. A space the size of Cheesecake Factory.

    • KalashniKEV

      Cheesecake lives on because it’s AWESOME. There isn’t one thing on that giant menu that isn’t great.

      • novasteve

        My parents used to get that for me takeout in the early 1990s when I was in high school. They had this chicken that tasted amazing but you could literally feel your arteries clogging. Was some chicken with cheese on it.. It tasted so good you just knew it had to be horrible for you.

      • Malaka

        Well it’s certainly not the quality of the ingredients. Every morning there are 2 Sysco trucks unloading there.

  • bilbo

    They had the worst sangria I have ever tasted. Really bland chicken too. I hope the one at Pentagon row closes next.

    • jackson

      You hope something better opens there, or just generally wishing the business to fail?

    • CrystalMikey

      Yeah, let’s just wish peoples’ jobs away. 😛

  • Vinh An Nguyen

    I gave the place several tries, but always left disappointed. Once I ordered a “chicken burrito” that was nothing but lettuce and a little cheese inside a tortilla.

  • fedworker

    I bet a Busboys would make a killing there

    • novasteve

      Is that a hipster hangout? I’v eheard of it, but never been.

      • Deadite

        It started out as a hipster/urban thing but now is pretty much a chain of good casual restaurant/loungey type places. But the Arlington crowd would definitely think it the hippest thing if they were to move in here.

        • drax

          Arlington already has a Busboys, you know.

          • Deadite

            Does Shirlington really count?

      • fedworker

        You’d feel right at home novasteve and maybe even run into drax. It’s a left-leaning joint but they have delicious food at great prices

    • Deadite

      I’d go just to see the prentiousness oozing from a Busboys filled with Clarendonites.

  • Alex

    When I found out Ruby Tuesdays owned them, I figured the food would be subpar and didn’t bother to visit.

  • CrystalMikey

    This is shame…it wasn’t the best but like others said, it was nice to have “quick” takeout like that in the neighborhood.

    • Ballston Resident

      It is a shame to lose a new restaurant in only one year. Granted that the restaurant was still working out the 1st year kinks, but what about the rent? Was the rent increased? Bet it was and also bet that is why the place failed.

      • Juanita de Talmas

        You’d be wrong. It failed because it wasn’t very good.

  • Chris

    Here’s a solution: NO MORE CHAIN RESTAURANTS!!!

    SO sick of them, and that’s all Clarendon is becoming. Ugh.
    By the way, whoever thinks Cheesecake Factory is the standard, develop some tastebuds.

    • Ballston Resident


      You are right – get rid of the food chains. But, who else can afford the high rent? Landlords and the county need to fix the problem with the high rent. Until this is fixed, I suspect any independent food or store operation in Clarendon will probably fail in a few years.

      As rent increases, independent stores increase their prices and pass it on the the customer. It reaches a point that the average person living on the orange line can no longer afford to buy from these independents. Is is greedy landlords, overaggressive tax increase by the county on the landlords, or sheer mismanagement by the independent stores? Probably all three, but is suspect the tax increases by the county is the prime driver to the loss of all these new stores and restaurants.

      • Suburban Not Urban


        • Tejada


  • R. Griffon

    *crosses fingers for a Chipotle*

    • KalashniKEV

      Too close to Baja Fresh.

      • drax

        *crosses fingers for Baja Fresh to go out of business and be replaced by a Chipotle*

      • Eat my Burrito

        They’re right across the street from each other in Rosslyn.

        • drax

          Notice which one has the really long lines out the door at lunch time.

  • Deadite

    A Potbelly would be nice.

    • Chickpea salad FTW

      Yes. Why not? There are four within walking distance to my office downtown.

      I love Bobby’s Burger Palace on K Street.

    • drax

      Why? I’m trying to get rid of mine.

  • Complain

    Hey everybody! Another closing restaurant! Let’s all hop on the internet and complain about how bad it sucked, beg for another sh-tty chain to open, and then when that one closes we can do the same thing over and over! #ENDLESSCYCLE

    • Deadite

      I’m certain the invstors behind Chipotle and Potbelly, not to mention the lines of people out their doors, would disagree with your “sh-tty chain” comment.

  • jake_o

    We need a Waffle House in Clarendon…

  • chipotle_addict

    A shabu-shabu restaurant please, since everyone else is putting in requests.

  • stuck with a chain?

    just saying- Jamba Juice

    • Tabs

      Get away from me with your dang smoothies full of gas-producing dairy.

      Fresh vegetable juices where it’s at!

  • british chap

    Fish and chip shop! Seriously a proper take out chippie would be brilliant!

    • westcoastgirl

      have you tried the fish and chips at Earl’s? those are myy fav in the area

    • novasteve

      But they would have to play clarendon rent, so your fish and chip will cost as much as a sit down meal, and no doubt the newspaper wrappings would cause environmentalists to go insane. O’Sullivans has curry fries though. I finally tried my bisto curry after 3 years and it tasted horrific. I need me some curry sauce.

  • Carmen

    What?! I just tried this place for the first time two days ago and loved it! I was planning on going back very soon.

  • Mack

    The original Lime, on Alton Road on South Beach, pre-sellout, was fantastic. I was there at least once a week from the day they opened until I moved away. I was happy when I saw they expanded and one opened up a few blocks from me.

    Then I went there. One thing I learned? Nostalgia tastes like stale tacos.

  • Book Lover

    Wait, am I the only one who didn’t know our friend Steve’s age bracket before this? I would have thought he was 20 years older!

    • Deadite

      Mind = blown. I thought for sure he was at least 45.

  • Mudda

    Döner would be nice…

    • novasteve

      That’s neither a trend nor “sophisticated” enough for Arlington.

    • Deadite

      Doner is fantastic but would probably have to arrive first as a food truck before a brick and mortar. But once Bronx Pizza moves out…

    • John K

      This. This would be awesome!

  • Sam

    Im seriously praying for a hardware store!!!
    Preferably a “mom&pop” type would be nice, but franchised would be cool too.


    If you are going to over to Pentagon Row to go to Lime, you are better off taking a detour and going to Pedro and Vinny’s on Columbia Pike.

    • Tabs

      How hot?
      black and tan?
      oooohhhhmmmmmaahhhhh! Oooh, this is gonna be good.
      (the owner has this little routine)

  • ARL-VA

    My predictions for the next two places to close in Arlington – Taco Bell in the Pentagon City mall and, unfortunately, Black Lime Mediterranean Grill in Crystal City.

    Chipotle opened up right next to Taco Bell. I made a rare trip to the food court recently and saw about 20 people lined up at Chipotle, 0 at Taco Bell. Taco Bell might be cheaper, but that’s all it has going for it.

    Black Lime (not the same as Lime Fresh Mexican Grill) is hidden from view by the wall of the parking garage entrance. If you’re walking to the south on Crystal Drive, you can’t even tell there’s a restaurant hiding back there. I’ve walked by there a few times and I have never seen a single customer in there, ever. Most of the other nearby restaurants are pretty busy.

    The food is decent. Similar to Roti Mediterranean Grill. It’s a nice alternative to the other places in the neighborhood. But if they don’t start attracting more customers, they aren’t going to last 6 months. I think it might be impossible to succeed in that exact location. They need to get approval to put a sign on the wall of the parking garage, so that people can tell there’s a restaurant back there. Otherwise, most people will continue to assume there is nothing there except empty space.

    • chrispom

      +1 on Black Lime. I specifically looked it up and still almost didn’t find it, being on that one way street and no sign to announce it. Too bad, you get a lot of really fresh food for relatively little money.

  • The Jimmy

    Black Lime = rotten lime or at least that is the image that comes to mind when you see the words, black lime. It does not shout, “fresh food.”


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