A pair of bars along Columbia Pike will soon shut down, as restaurateur Tony Wagner consolidates his South Arlington eateries into one location.
Wagner owns both businesses (which sit just steps away from each other at 2803 Columbia Pike and 2900 Columbia Pike, respectively), and the closures will leave him with just the newly opened Josephine’s Italian Kitchen in the Penrose Square shopping center still operating in the area.
Twisted Vines first opened under different ownership in 2010, and Wagner took over the eatery in 2015. Then, he set to work on opening the beer garden, a first for the Pike, and was able to get it up and running just last year.
Wagner says he made the “difficult” decision to shutter BrickHaus after concluding that it “never took off the way we expected and hoped it would,” a development made all the more painful by the months of permitting and construction woes he endured to open the bar.
He said Twisted Vines remains quite popular on the Pike, however, but he started to feel its current space didn’t have enough room for it to grow. And with its lease up at year’s end, and a new restaurant just down the road, he saw an ideal opportunity to regroup.
“We have a great new venue in Josephine’s and figured it was a great opportunity to take Twisted down there until we can find it a new home,” Wagner said. “Twisted has been part of the Pike community for a long time and it should be back.”
Wagner dubbed his new Italian eatery, which first opened in late October, as a “home away from home” for Twisted Vines during the transition. He plans to move much of the wine shop’s offerings to the restaurant, and will keep hosting the bar’s wine club and regular wine dinners at Josephine’s.
“Josephine’s is Twisted with value added, basically,” Wagner said. “It’s a better space, with a lot more room for us.”
He’s hoping to find a new location for Twisted Vines sometime in the coming months. But, in the meantime, all the shop’s whiskey will be half off over the next few days, then all wine be marked down by 50 percent this weekend. The location will also play host to one final dinner on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the restaurant.
Wagner will also hold a “New Year’s Eve blowout” at BrickHaus, with 50 percent off all checks. He said he wouldn’t necessarily be opposed to bringing back a similar beer garden to the Pike going forward, but given the challenges he faced at BrickHaus, he’s not optimistic about the prospect.
“We’re always interested in new opportunities,” Wagner said. “We listen to people and find out what people want and give it a try. If that doesn’t work, then we keep trying. The ultimate goal is to find a concept that resonates with the community.”
H/t Jessica Strelitz