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Goody’s Looking to the Future Despite Challenges in Clarendon

Goody’s Pizza in Clarendon is a small restaurant struggling to stay afloat in an increasingly expensive neighborhood.

The owners, Nick and Vanessa Reisis, say they’ve put a lot of time and effort into their family-run business, located at 3125 Wilson Blvd, but they are having trouble competing with the wave of newer, more upscale restaurants in Clarendon.

There is “a new generation that’s coming in, they’re all young people and they all have good jobs, and… they’re not looking for a little mom and pop shop anymore,” said Vanessa, who’s known to some customers as “Momma Goody.” Business has been “a little down lately,” she acknowledged.

Goody’s is tiny compared to some of Clarendon’s cavernous restaurants and nightspots. But even larger restaurants face the threat of closing. Earlier this month long-time local fixture Hard Times Cafe closed over Independence Day weekend.

Reisis said the feeling of community that was once unique to Clarendon businesses is dissipating.

“It’s not the friendly little neighborhood places anymore,” Vanessa explained. “[At] all these upscale kind of places, it’s just cold.”

Reisis was sad to see Hard Times close — the two restaurants had enjoyed a close relationship, she said. “We recommended them, they recommended us. We were working together.”

This isn’t a new issue — Reisis was once the main subject of an article with the tagline “Can Arlington’s mom-and-pop eateries survive in an increasingly upscale restaurant landscape?” Five years later, Goody’s is still open, still serving a voracious late night bar crowd, and still offering only two types of pizza by the slice: plain and pepperoni.

Despite being an old school spot in a neighborhood full of shiny new places, Goody’s is looking to the future. Tentative plans include getting new furniture and maybe a new outdoor sign.

“We love this restaurant, it’s our passion, it’s like our little baby,” said Reisis.

“We’re thinking of upscaling,” she added, “but that costs money, which we don’t have in our budget.”

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