(Updated at 1:30 p.m) The space vacated by Applebee’s in Ballston less than three weeks ago will not be empty for long.
The restaurant at 900 N. Glebe Road closed on May 27. Applebee’s closing followed the closure of the Greene Turtle Sports Bar & Grille in the same space in April 2016.
Despite the challenges of filling the large restaurant space on the western side of Glebe Road with customers, a new eatery called Bistro 1521 is set to move in soon.
Solita Wakefield, a partner in the business and the restaurant’s general manager, said that Bistro 1521 will serve traditional Filipino cuisine like lumpia, adobo and pancit (noodles), plus fusion dishes mechado with a Spanish flair.
Wakefield was previously a co-owner of Bistro 7107, a Filipino restaurant on 23rd Street S. in Crystal City, which recently closed, according to Yelp. There are no other large sit-down Filipino restaurants in Arlington, Wakefield said, and only a handful elsewhere in the D.C. area. She expects to win over both Filipino customers — including those who work at the Philippines embassy — as well as those new to the cuisine.
Bistro 1521 is located in the same building as Stageplate Bistro, on the first floor of the the Virginia Tech Research Center. It occupies a large restaurant space, with seating capacity for 220 inside and 60 on the outside patio.
“It’s going to be grand,” Wakefield said.
Wakefield plans to keep the interior of the former Applebee’s largely unchanged, with the addition of some Filipino paintings and other decorations. She also plans to keep Applebee’s regularly-scheduled events, like cornhole, trivia night and painting night.
Wakefield is hoping that the business permits are approved in time for the restaurant to open in July.
Hat tip to Todd B.