Yelp reviewers and out-of-town passersby alike see the same thing when they look at the sign for Market Place & Cafe in Ballston: a phallus.
But despite giggles from around the internet and outside the doors, the store at 901 N. Glebe Road has kept the logo plastered on its windows for at least 5 years. And there’s no indication that it will be changing any time soon.
The restaurant’s owner declined requests for comment, demanding that an ARLnow.com employee leave the store after identifying himself as a reporter — but before even getting a chance to ask about the sign.
It’s unclear why the store has stuck with the logo — which seems intended to be a mustachioed figure with an prodigiously tall chef’s hat — for all these blush-inducing years. Commentary about the sign on Yelp dates back to 2009.
“My coworkers refer to the place as CnB Deli,” Steve L. wrote in 2009. “If you look at the picture I’ve attached you’ll see why: the logo for this place is of a huge c— and balls.”
“Welcome to Dong Deli,” Steve T. wrote in 2011. “Despite the ridic [sic] logo, the food isn’t that bad.”
The most recent review on the Yelp page was written last year by Matt R., who gave the deli five stars. Matt wrote: “I have never eaten here but their logo is a PENIS WITH A MOUSTACHE. 5 stars.”
Brandon Kline, visiting the area from his home on Long Island, N.Y., said he didn’t notice the sign at first, until he was walking from the Ballston Metro to the Holiday Inn a block away from Market Place Cafe and saw that a crowd had gathered to take photos.
“It was soon apparent why the crowd was taking pictures,” Kline told ARLnow.com. Kline said it reminded him of the phallic sign for the Austin Motel in Austin, Texas, “but even that isn’t as bad” as Market Place’s.
“They definitely knew it was a [penis] sign when they made it,” Kline’s girlfriend, Abby Koppa, said. “There’s no way it was unintentional.”