Although it’s only considered a “soft opening” period, BonChon officially opened its doors today at 2209 N. Pershing Drive, near Clarendon, to let the public try out its Korean chicken.
The dining area quickly filled when the restaurant opened at 11:30 a.m. and customers steadily streamed in through lunch hour. Although BonChon will be open for lunch and dinner, for the first few weeks the restaurant will be closed from 2:00-4:00 p.m. while staff members work to perfect operations.
The restaurant has a dining area, bar area and a separate counter for customers to pick up carry out orders.
Although the menu lists side dishes, salads and appetizers, the main attraction is the crispy fried chicken which comes as drumsticks, wings or chicken strips. Orders are accompanied by garlic soy sauce or hot sauce.
BonChon, which means “Original Village” in Korean, started out in South Korea and quickly came over to the United States. It now has more than 50 locations around the world.
A recently-filed permit application says that Bar Louie is planning to open at 320 23rd Street S. The Texas-based bar/restaurant chain has more than 40 locations across the country, including two nearby locations: next to the Gallery Place Metro station in D.C., and in the Rockville Town Square development in Maryland.
Bar Louie also has restaurants in Miami, Tampa, Chicago, Milwaukee and Pittsburgh. It describes itself as “an eclectic urban bar made famous for our signature martinis, cocktails and dynamic beer selection.”
So far, no word on when Bar Louie is expected to open.
Update at 5:15 p.m. — A Bar Louie spokeswoman denies that a final location has been chosen for the restaurant.
“We are continuing to review locations in Arlington, Va.,” said Bar Louie marketing manager Amanda Utter. “At the present time nothing has been finalized.”
After serving Rosslyn for 21 years, Rosslyn BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy has decided to retire. She started off as the Executive Director of Rosslyn Renaissance — an organization that merged with the BID last year — in 1992. Cassidy worked with businesses, the county government and others in the community to develop the BID, which began operations in 2003, and she has been with the organization for the past decade.
“We created the first BID in Northern Virginia. We worked with the County Manager and at the time had a $1 million dollar budget. Now now it’s a $4 million budget,” Cassidy said.
Prior to her time improving Rosslyn, Cassidy worked as a journalist and publications editor. She then served for 13 years in the affordable housing community, first as a tenant organizer at Arlington Village and after that on staff for AHC, Inc. in Arlington and The Enterprise Foundation in Columbia, Maryland.
County Manager Barbara Donnellan thanked Cassidy for her work on the BID for the past ten years.
“It was her work that really made the BIDs work here in the county,” said Donnellan.
When reminiscing on some of the projects she’s most proud of, she lists the BID’s assistance in establishing Artisphere and lobbying to have an observation deck on the Central Place building. She’s also proud of the BID’s partnership with A-SPAN in establishing a Rosslyn homeless outreach worker contract.
“We’re the only BID that has one and I’m very glad we addressed that,” Cassidy said. “There are more than a thousand BIDs across the U.S. and less than 10 percent provide service for the homeless. So we’re very proud of that.”
Former Director of Communications Lisa Rabasca left the BID as of June 28 for another job. She had been with the organization since last fall. Lee Anne McLarty, who has served as the Events and Marketing Manager for the past three years, will serve as the acting Director of Communications.
Cassidy said although it’s not ideal to have two departures in a relatively short period, the BID has been preparing for her retirement for a while. She noted that the organization is going through a re-branding process and when that finishes the BID will look to officially fill the open Director of Communications position.
Cassidy’s last day has not yet been decided, but she plans to be available to help transition the new Executive Director once the person is hired. She expects her last day to be sometime in the fall. After that she’ll take several months off and may decide to do some consulting in the future.
“Rosslyn is ready to take off. We’ve been working hard for many years and the Realize Rosslyn project is moving forward. We have a lot of great staff in place. I think they will continue to serve the Rosslyn community very well,” said Cassidy. “These jobs are very intense and exciting. It’s wonderful to be a part of growing the community. I’ll miss being in the center of all this exciting redevelopment.”
Disclosure: Rosslyn BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
The county will tap into the $3 million Economic Stability Fund it established to lessen the sequestration’s impact on the community. The County Board voted on Saturday to send $39,000 from the fund to the Department of Human Services for its Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Program (HPRP) program.
The Board voted to tap into the fund for the first time after learning of cuts to federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) funding, which would trickle down to the local level. The Virginia Department of Social Services informed the county its contribution would be reduced by $39,000 in FY 2014 due to cuts in the state HPRP funding, which originates at HUD.
“This is the first time the County has had to tap into its sequestration fund, but unfortunately, we are quite certain it will not be the last,” said Arlington County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada. “Across the nation, communities are feeling the impact of sequestration. These indiscriminate cuts are affecting the lives of real people, in large and small ways, and that impact is only going to grow as time goes on. In this instance, we are able to use the special funds to continue important safety net services for some of our most vulnerable individuals and families.”
HPRP has been in existence since 2009 and receives funding through a combination of $249,000 of state money to support case management, and $200,000 of local money to support housing-related financial assistance. Four non-profits provide case management services: Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network, Doorways for Women and Families, the Arlington Alexandria Coalition for the Homeless and Volunteers of America-Chesapeake.
Individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless can qualify for short term financial assistance from HPRP. Participating families are limited to $1,200 for homelessness prevention and $3,000 for rapid re-housing. Participants also receive case management services such as guidance for developing household budgets and maintaining their housing.
So far, county staff has not identified any other sequester cuts that would require a dip into the reserve fund. Although the state has experienced some cuts it hasn’t yet passed those on to localities.
The Washington Capitals’ Development Camp Fan Fest took place last Saturday and those in attendance said Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Ballston was the fullest they’d ever seen it.
“The event has multiplied by probably 50 from eight years ago,” said Oksana Zolotar, an employee of the Capitals who attended Fan Fest as a spectator. “You can barely find room to stand anymore.”
A Capitals official said more than 3,500 people came through the doors Saturday morning, and while that number is thought to be a record, no official records have previously been kept for Fan Fest attendance.
Saturday’s fan fest was held in Ballston for the seventh straight year and featured 21 Capitals prospects, including their 2013 first-round draft pick, Andre Burakovsky, competing for the attention of Capitals’ coaches and the chance to make next year’s squad. According to the Washington Post, only one player participating has a legitimate chance to make the Capitals’ 2012-2013 roster: 2012 first-rounder Tom Wilson.
For fans in attendance, most of whom were wearing red, it was a chance to see the future of their beloved Caps, and an opportunity to see some hockey on a sweltering July morning.
“I’ve always liked the prospect side of this event,” Zolotar said.
One Caps fan, a mom from Falls Church, comes to Kettler multiple times a year with her daughter, who enjoyed her time on the other rink during the children’s free skate.
“It’s nice to have something like this so close to us,” the mother said. “It’s really accessible.”
Coming all the way from Manassas, a mother and her college-age son used Fan Fest as a learning experience. He said he’s been trying to get his mother into hockey, and this was as good a chance as any to do it.
“He’s been trying to introduce me to hockey, so we thought we’d step by today to check this out,” she said. “Hockey is easy to get into because it’s never slow.”
From a hockey perspective, those in and around the organization considered Development Camp a success.
Capitals Outsider wrote: “On the whole, comments from both [General Manager George] McPhee and [head coach Adam] Oates were consistently positive regarding the prospects. Oates even went so far as to say that this year’s crop of attendees looked better than last year’s, though the change in camp format may have been a contributing factor. This year saw fewer scrimmages, and all of them held in the latter half of the week.”
–Audrey Batcheller contributed to this report.
The Board approved three measures for Metropolitan Park Phase 4/5 at 1200 S. Eads Street. In addition to approving the overall site plan, Board members voted to amend the Pentagon City Phased Development Site Plan from 1976 to increase the allowed building height. They also approved an amendment to the Master Transportation Plan to allow a portion of the planned 12th Road S. to be deleted.
The new building will join two others at the Metropolitan Park site. Developer Vornado decided to combine phases 4 and 5 of the project into one building containing 699 residential units and more than 40,000 square feet of retail space. A Whole Foods grocery store will occupy most of the retail space.
“This is an important milestone for the Metropolitan Park development, because it includes a full-service grocery store that will serve residents of the Pentagon City and Crystal City neighborhoods,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. “We are now halfway to our goal of transforming this industrial part of Pentagon City to a more walkable, transit-oriented area that offers a great mix of homes and places to shop.”
The county lists a number of benefits for the project, including a developer contribution of around $5 million to the Affordable Housing Investment Fund and $150,000 to the county’s public art fund to support art within the Metropolitan Park development. More than $130,000 will be contributed for undergrounding utilities at the development site, and transportation improvements will be added such as expanded sidewalks, street furniture, trees and outdoor cafe seating. The developer has also committed to a design that is expected to earn LEED Silver Certification.
Arlington Mill Community Center Modifications Approved — The County Board approved modifications to the Arlington Mill Community Center project that are being called safety and utility upgrades. The county will use already approved project reserve funds for improvements such as parking garage security doors, an in-building wireless system antenna to aid first responder communication and a revised design for the intersection at 9th Street S. and Arlington Mill Drive. As reported last week, a Pan American Bakery and Café will open in the structure. Construction is on track to finish by early August, with a ribbon cutting ceremony on September 28. [Arlington County]
Arlington Receives Funding to Fight Childhood Obesity — The Virginia Foundation for Healthy Youth has granted more than $36,000 to the county to fight childhood obesity and promote healthy living. This is the second year of a two-year grant. The money will help continue to fund community gardens, healthy school vending machine options and active recess. [Arlington County]
APS Hiring Hundreds of Staff Members — More than 260 full time and part time employees have been hired ahead of the Arlington Public Schools 2013-2014 year. That’s about two-thirds of the more than 350 open slots APS aims to fill. Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy expects to be fully staffed by the beginning of the school year. [Sun Gazette]
Alexandria Approves BRT Station Design — Alexandria approved the design for its Route 1 Bus Rapid Transitway stations. The seven stations include real-time bus arrival displays and will cost about $200,000 apiece. Construction of the bus dedicated lanes in the middle of Route 1 began in July 2012 and is expected to finish late this year, with the line becoming operational early next year. The BRT will eventually cover a five mile stretch to connect the Braddock Road Metro station with the Pentagon City metro station. The Arlington portion of the line is expected to open in summer or fall of 2014. [Del Ray Patch]
Father of Deceased Skateboarder Found Dead — Friends and family of 18-year-old John Malvar — a Washington-Lee High School student who died following a skateboarding accident — were supposed to gather at a memorial service for the teen on Saturday, but his father never showed up. Several friends visited the man’s apartment and had a maintenance man unlock the door, where they found George Malvar dead on his bed of natural causes. After learning of George Malvar’s death, the friends and family decided to continue on with the memorial service for his son. [Washington Post]
Snake Causes Power Outage — More than 10,000 Arlington and Alexandria residents experienced a power outage on Saturday night and Dominion says it was caused by a snake. The reptile apparently slithered into some electrical equipment and knocked out electricity at a substation on Four Mile Run. Power was restored by Sunday morning. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Christopher Skillman