Press Club

Staff Recommends Revoking Pines of Italy Entertainment Permit

Pines of Italy at 3111 Columbia PikeCounty planning staff are recommending the Arlington County Board revoke the live entertainment and dancing license for Pines of Italy (3111 Columbia Pike).

The restaurant/nightclub/hookah bar was approved for the permit in March 2013, but, according to the county staff’s report, its owner never scheduled a meeting with the Arlington Heights Civic Association, which was a requirement of the permit. In addition, the restaurant was allegedly operating with live music on Thursday nights, which was not allowed by the permit.

The permit was scheduled for review in March, but because of the lack of compliance, as well as issues with the police and the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, staff recommended the Board review the license two months early.

“The applicant has demonstrated a lack of compliance with the conditions of approval and other state and county ordinances,” the staff report says. “Operation of live entertainment and dancing at this site will continue to generate issues given the combination of greater numbers of patrons drawn to the business by live entertainment and the applicant’s lack of compliance with use permit conditions and other laws, and lack of communication with the surrounding community.”

Pines of Italy has generated neighborhood controversy since it opened, with neighbors complaining about noise and crime generated by the business.

Before being approved for the live entertainment permit last March, Pines of Italy’s owner had applied for the permit in early 2012. The application was deferred twice — first because of “police and community issues” with the last restaurant in the space and again because Pines of Italy conducted insufficient community outreach — before its ultimate approval.

Arlington County Police Department has reported six calls for service at the restaurant since the use permit was issued, including “use of the premise for residential purposes” and serving alcohol when the kitchen was closed.

The County Board will review the permit during its meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 28.

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