Extra Virgin in Shirlington Closes

by ARLnow.com March 19, 2013 at 10:00 am 45 Comments

Extra Virgin in Shirlington (photo via Facebook)(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Extra Virgin restaurant in Shirlington has closed its doors. The Italian eatery announced the closure this morning via Twitter and Facebook.

“We’ll miss all loyal customers,” the restaurant said. “Thank you so much for the good times.”

Said another social media post: “Restaurant items for sale. Call 202-256-0444. Everything must go!!”

Via Twitter, Extra Virgin said that the restaurant closed because it was not making enough money in sales to pay the rent.

As of December, Extra Virgin owed Arlington County $38,402.12 in unpaid meals taxes. That debt has since been repaid.

“All taxes owed by Extra Virgin have been paid so that their present balance is zero,” Arlington County Treaurer Frank O’Leary told ARLnow.com.

Photo via Facebook

  • And another one bites the dust…that location is cursed, I swear.

  • Curious

    What else was there?

    • FrenchyB

      Toro Tapas was there for quite a while previously.

      • J22C

        It’s not the location. It’s basically the cost and rents around here are just not sustainable for businesses or even owners/renters.

        Something like 5 restaurants have closed in Clarendon the last year or so. Market Tavern, Restaurant 3, Burapa Thai, Lime Fresh, Rabbit, etc and there will be more.

        The common theme is rent.

        • Neighbor

          Yes, it has nothing to do with the fact that the food was mediocre and way overpriced. I gave them three chances and they blew every one of them, so my dining dollars go to other places in that strip.

        • meh…

          I’d say the common theme is mediocre offerings and poor presentation and setup.

        • ARL

          It’s a tough economy. Rest. 3 was overpriced and wasn’t unique (the family is running two others just fine) and I think that family might own the property, not rent. Lime Fresh had a bad location and get bad reviews. Rabbit was boring.

          Landlords don’t want to lose tenants, especially when it takes a while to find new ones. Rent is more likely to go up in a good economy when it’s easy to find new tenants. I don’t see rising rents as the factor. But we’d have to go find out the numbers to confirm.

        • taterhead

          Then how do places like the Majestic or Virtue Feed & Grain thrive in Alexandria? I can’t imagine the rent is any less there… I bet if Cathal Armstrong opened one of those type of places, or Michael Landrum relocated one the shuttered Ray’s, or there was a Hank’s Oyster Bar, it would do pretty well there. That space needs something with enough pull to give people a reason to drop into Shirlington once in awhile that don’t live in the neighborhood.

          • Scott

            A Ray’s type option would be great

        • lowellp

          Rabbit didn’t close because rent went up, they closed because the owner realized that what he was offering wasn’t of interest to the area. He closed Rabbit and is now opening up Fat Shorty’s which will have a completely different menu.
          If you want to be successful, you have to cater to the local audience, something Rabbit didn’t do well.

  • SomeGuy

    “Not making enough money is sales to pay the rent?” Does this mean they’re in the hole to their landlord too, even while pocketing meals tax dollars as a bridge loan??

  • meh…

    I just hope it isn’t replaced with a national chain or something.

    • SomeGuy

      Interesting: you’ll accept neither a “national chain” nor “something.” Sounds like you’re tough to please. Oh, and what do you have against chain restaurants?

      • meeeh!

        I will only be happy if the place remains vacant forever!

      • meh…

        The appeal of Shirlington has always been the diversity of the restaurant offerings. There are already plenty of mainstream national chain options there as well as other places throughout the county. ….. or something

  • I organized alot of cooking classes with TasteDC at Extra Virgin..they were open for 7 or 8 years (I think?) – Shirlington is like a Food Court – businesses like Carlisle Grand Cafe that anchor it do extremely well, most businesses do well to OK, and some just barely make it..the restaurant business is a tough one, sorry to see Extra Virgin go..

    • Ballston Resident

      Unless you own the property, don’t open a restuarant in that spot. Rent always goes up, especially in these types of areas.

  • HP2000

    It got off to a rocky start and never was able to recover fully. A miracle it lasted as long as it did.

  • Colin

    How is PING still open and Extra Virgin isn’t. Baffles the mind. Apparently quality of food and service has no bearing on restaurant success in Shirlington.

  • SArlNtv

    Back in the 90’s, California Pizza Kitchen was there. I think another Great American (maybe Coastal Flats or SweetWater) restaurant should take its place. There are two just a few feet away from each other in Fairfax so it could work!

    • James Moron

      And Toro Tapas after that

    • leslie

      Coastal Flats and SweetWater are owned by the same company as the restaurant at the opposite end, opposite corner in the Shirlington strip. I can’t think of the name right now but they are the same basic restaurant as CF and SW with a different theme. (Company also owns Arties and Silverado.)

      • Leslie

        It’s Carlisle Grand Cafe (mentioned below).

  • balletgirl1980

    I hope the county has a plan in place to collect $38K in taxes

    • Trev

      “All taxes owed by Extra Virgin have been paid so that their present balance is zero,” Arlington County Treaurer Frank O’Leary told ARLnow.com.

  • Zack

    Ate there once. FANTASTIC appetizer, and the exact opposite for the main dish. Never went back.

  • I wasn’t sorry to see either them or Bistro Bistro go, frankly.


    I want their owners jailed until they pay the taxes!!!!!!

  • DCBuff

    Excellent, good-value brunch. Curious as to how Frank will get the back taxes.

  • TC

    The problem is that the landlords all want the revenue that is associated with sports-type bars that serve lots of alcohol and cheap food. Higher volume and and more cash flow. So only these type bar/restarutants are surviving. It is hard for a standard, classy restaurant without lots of TVs and bar space to make it and pay the rent that the landlords all want.
    As a result of this trend, we are punished with the likes of American Tap Room in Clarendon. Even the Eventide bar added more TVs and less tables at night. This trend will continue until Arlington gets its act together and starts to regulate the types and number of bars.

    • SA

      That was not the problem at this place. The problem was mismanagement and using meals taxes paid by patrons to pay for other things. Who knows, she may even owe sales tax to the Commonwealth.

  • fedworker

    Good. The food and service was terrible and overpriced. And they still need to pony up on paying on its delinquent sales tax receipts.

  • Not impressed

    They have some great deals on restaurant furniture. They had a worn out dining chair on the sidewalk listed at $75! What a bargain!!!!!!!!!!

  • bike

    I ate there once, and only once. I got the chicken parmesan. It was $21. I was expecting atleast pasta and a side. The only thing that came was the chicken, melted cheese, and tomato sauce. $21. Never went back.

  • sfsdf

    Its because their food is meh…

  • Kikster

    The food was overpriced, but the outdoor seating was nice and many people on staff – especially Danny behind the bar and Sammy on the waitstaff – were fantastic, and I hope they land somewhere locally. I stopped by a couple of times a month, but stopped going once I read on ARL.now that they weren’t paying their taxes.

  • Trev

    I for one really liked their food. It was a bit overpriced, but it was delicious and they had a good wine selection. Good for a date night in any case. Hopefully Shirlington will get another FroYo shop…

  • Clyde F.

    Ciao – the food was over rated and over priced. At least their paid their past due taxes..

  • pdarl

    I liked their live music. I’m nearly vegan so there wasn’t much for me to eat there. Sorry to see another music venue disappear. They got pissy when another restaurant on the block had a music night and made them stop it, so I hope maybe someone else will take it up.

    • Sarah

      I think PING does pretty well with their delivery and take out service which is probably why they can keep their heads above water.

  • huh

    Cafe Pizziaola will be next. You heard it here first.

  • Replacement

    I heard there’s already a new restaurant ready to come into this spot – another Italian place called La Tagliatella

  • extravirginclosingparty!!

    the place blew! service, food, prices, all of it, glad its gone!

  • KK

    Medium Rare…please bring in Medium Rare!!!!


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