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Z-Burger Nearly Ready to Open in Virginia Square

by Katie Pyzyk February 13, 2013 at 11:55 am 3,487 69 Comments

Z-Burger in Virginia SquareThere have been some delays in opening, but the finishing touches are now being worked on at the new Z-Burger at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Kenmore Street, between the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations.

After nearly two years of construction, owner Peter Tabibian hopes to open the restaurant in the next two to three weeks. He said an inspector asked for a few more fixes before the final occupancy permit is granted. Tabibian thinks the timing should be better with a March opening anyway, considering it may not be as cold outside.

“I think it’s better to open when it’s a little bit warmer,” he said. “When you open, you want to open with a big bang. It’s not as good when it’s winter.”

Although there are a number of Z-Burger locations throughout the D.C. metro area, this will be the first in Virginia.

“Arlington is a very good place for businesses because it has the right demographics and what we were looking for,” said Tabibian. “They’re building a lot of stuff here and I think this will be a good place for our first Virginia location.”

Z-Burger touts homemade custard in its 75 varieties of milkshakes, freshly cut fries and onion rings, fresh bread that’s delivered twice daily and even cheesesteak sandwiches. Tabibian said the burgers are different than at other restaurants due in a large part to the special spice blend, which he says “is very addicting.” He believes another aspect that sets Z-Burger apart from competitors is the service.

“We are very quick. We have a system that as soon as people come in, the patties are already dropped down on the grill,” said Tabibian. “Everything is cooked to order so people don’t have to wait a long, long time. By the time you order, our goal is to get your food in six to eight minutes.”

Once it opens, the restaurant will celebrate its grand opening with several days of burger giveaways. Until an opening date is set, crews will continue construction work and Tabibian will continue hiring staff. Anyone interested in applying for a position at the new Z-Burger should email [email protected]

  • BBMS

    Not exactly on my routine travel paths in Arlington, but I hope they do well. They do have pretty quick service as the owner stated, and the burgers are decent.

    • Swag

      Right now it’s a bad location, but 10 years from now it’ll be a pretty good one.

      Of course I’d be amazed if they make it that long.

  • urbanvillager

    It’s really a hideous looking building. too bad, they had a chance to reinvent that section of Wilson.

    • John Fontain

      I started out thinking the building wasn’t going to look good, but now that I’ve seen the finished product (and especially the interior) I’m pleasantly surprised. It’s a huge improvement for that stretch of the Orange line.

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      When you consider the ‘AKA Virginia Square’ modern apartment next door, it fits right in,…Now, about that ‘Highlander’ motel next door…

      • karzai

        The sooner the Highlander motel goes, the better we will all do. That thing is an eyesore that should be condemned. Mr. Gorbachev, “Tear Down This Motel.”

        • Mid-Century Modern Lover

          You don’t know what you’re talking about.

        • The Anti-zimmie

          Highlander Motel could have been employed as an inexpensive homeless shelter. Rooms already set-up. Added bonus: families could have been housed. Compared with the $40 million shelter, it would have been a bargain.

      • karzai

        I think all of us on this network should exchange emails, form a partnership, buy the Highlander motel, knock it down, and decide on a replacement development.

        • Sam I Am

          I’m in. I vote for a plain old parking lot, although it can only be open from 12:37p to 12:44p and then only if it’s cloudy outside.

    • Hasdrupal

      I agree. What a waste.

  • urbanvillager

    it’s a hideous looking building. too bad, they had a chance to reinvent that section of Wilson.

  • drax

    Ugly, flashy self-contained restaurant building with big parking lot – just what we need more of in Arlington.

    • John Fontain

      Big parking lot? Are you serious? They’ve carved out room for a couple of cars to park right up against the building, but there is absolutely no “big parking lot”.

      • drax

        Okay. “Big for Arlington” parking lot?

  • HeatMiser

    I may stroll by just to see what they did with those High ceilings.

  • Molly

    My daddy wants to take me there opening night. Hopefully he doesn’t try anything funny on me LOL!

    • dr seuss

      ^^did no one else find this exceedingly creepy?

      • Arlingtoon

        Just a guess on my part, but it sounded to me as though Molly’s “daddy” ain’t her bio-dad.

  • TJLinBallston

    What’s with the tacky old video sign? This place took longer to build than DARPA!

    • Clueless Entrepreneur

      Tell me about it. Two years?!?

  • novasteve

    Will they have a Tavern burger, which will use cupcakes for buns, have sustainable angus beef, topped with froyo and a craft beer flavored aoli?

    • BBMS

      Funny, when I hear the phrase “tavern burger” I have a completely different picture than what you describe. Not from around here, are you?

      • Borst


    • TJLinBallston

      Your comment is today’s best laugh! Right on.

  • novasteve

    OMG if his burgers are addicting and I get heart disease I can sue him!

    • Daisey

      one can dream

  • BsideARL

    I feel like it was built by one person. Sometimes, he had a friend.

  • David

    Isn’t this just a few blocks from Winky’s?

    • Goliath

      Yeah, but Winkys ain’t very good.

    • CrystalMikey


  • JamesE

    Finally, there just wasn’t a good burger option between Ballston and Clarendon and now we have one.

    • VASQRD

      The Metro Cafe is pretty good. Not outstanding, but pretty good.

      • drax

        Big Buns?

    • Swag

      Five blocks without a decent burger place… How the hell did we ever survive?

  • Cletus Van Damme

    Did you check to make sure Peter Tabibian wasn’t a Virginia Tech fan? Because the headline would need to be reworked to include this.

    • duh

      Okay, Phillies fan.

    • Preparation-H

      Butt hurt?

  • James Moron

    While I agree there are too many burger places, this one is outstanding (at least their DC location is). The new apartment building at VA Square will feed them big time.

    • John Fontain

      Plus, they’ll get some decent traffic from GMU.

  • MIke Honcho

    After 2 years of construction, and 2-3 weeks of free burgers Pete’s gonna be flipping burgers at the Columbia Pike BK. Must take a long time to install all those bugs. Be careful what you talk about…

    • John Fontain

      “Must take a long time to install all those bugs. Be careful what you talk about…”


  • Drunk_IrishChick

    Wow lets add to the 47 burger places already!

    Mmmmmm I bet Clarendon Skank will love it.

    • WeiQiang

      i think she’s working on a new-concept place: SerBurger & Wiener Emporium

      • clueless straight guy

        I had a food truck called The Wiener Emporium once. I parked it over by the Iwo Jima memorial. Nobody ever bought a wiener, but lots of young guys in really tight shorts used to come by and talk to me alot, asking if I had any other kind of meat. I didn’t, so I suggested they try McDonald’s.

        • WeiQiang

          you were ahead of your time. your description is clearly from 1977.

          if you guys are going to get this Rosslyn/gay meme going, you really need some game.

          here’s a freebie: a food truck called Grindr Grub. discuss.

          • clueless straight guy

            Rosslyn/gay meme? You mean like when things were gay and happy in Rosslyn? Was that back in 1977? I’m so confused. Anyway, I love Grindr sandwiches too, so maybe I’ll start that food truck. One time I tried to order a Grindr on the internet, and there were so many delivery boys offering to “bring the meat” that I couldn’t decide, so I went to Subway instead.

          • Kurt Wild
          • WeiQiang

            ancient history. kurt wild is in syndication already.

    • Clarendon Skank

      I’m more of a sausage girl.

  • nom de guerre

    Speaking of burgers, Sam’s Food Truck has renamed their David Hasselhoff open faced, “topless” cheeseburger the “Trevor” and it is featured as today’s special-85% hand chopped, hand fed Waygu beef with 15% beef fat added for juiciness, cooked medium rare and served open faced on a toasted brioche bun, topped with caramelized red onions, smoked provolone cheese, micro greens and a barbecue sauce infused with honey, mangos and Jack Daniels. Only while supplies last.

    • CrystalMikey

      Are you open today…say around 2:37 PM?

    • Swag

      That may be the most pretentious food item I’ve ever heard of.

      • WeiQiang

        are you new here?

    • Clarendon Cruiser

      …Thank god it’s not that soon to be watered down ‘Maker’s Mark’ instead.

      But for those looking for a good small batch boubon, I’ve fallen in love with ‘Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey’

      On the East Coast I’ve only been able to pick up bottles at exclusive liquor stores in New York City.

  • I’m a Hokie

    I can’t wait to get wasted, go to this place, then break into a condo building and destroy a couch!!

  • novasteve

    How about a Wienerwald for arlington?

  • Zach

    I have to say that I was skeptical when this location was announced a couple years ago because of the flood of burger places in the area. But I finally tried Z Burger at the new-ish Columbia Heights location a few months ago and really liked it. Arlington may not need another burger place, but I think Z Burger is better than Five Guys, BGR, Burger 7, Elevation Burger, and probably Wiinky’s (it might not be fair to put such a homegrown place like Wiinky’s up against the chains though). I am excited for it to open and expect it to be my non-Ray’s burger of choice.

  • TJLinBallston

    Local, schmokle…Winky’s is “beyond-the-pale” bad. Never again.

  • R. Griffon

    Really looking forward to making my way through that shake menu. Hope the burgers are good too.

  • El Gordo

    Great, another burger place. Too bad it took over two years to build, now the whole trendy burger thing is starting to wane. I’m sure that by the time the next fad hits, this place and it’s lovely retro-80’s architecture will be torn down and replaced with a bacon bar or artisanal sausage & mustard emporium in only 18 months.

  • Donald Trump

    It’s always better to open a business as soon as possible, and not wait for good weather. You’re fired.

  • Book Lover

    The owner was profiled in the Thomas Heath “Value Added” column in the Post a few years ago – seems like he really knows what he’s doing: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/06/AR2009120602107.html

    • PaulB

      Bet he pays his rent, too.

  • Hank

    This is a good location. I’m organizing a Ballston to Rossyln burger-joint-crawl this spring and this area was a lacking in red meat. Anyone who thinks they can pound about 10 burgers and make the walk/crawl is welcome to join in.

  • IK

    I can’t understand how this took 2 years to build.

  • i don’t care how long it took, i just want it to open! i’ve been to the tenleytown z burger a handful of times, the staff is friendly and helpful and the food is delicious. i’m bummed it’s not coming to my immediate neighborhood, but i’ll just have to head to va square a little more frequently!

  • myvideoreviewer

    What’s the status on the Z-burger? Looking forward to it.


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