Arlington, VA

(Updated on 6/8/20) Peaceful demonstrations are popping up across Arlington County in memory of George Floyd.

Numerous readers have asked ARLnow, and asked on local social media groups and message boards, about black-owned businesses in Arlington.

By popular demand, below are some black-owned restaurants and brick-and-mortar businesses in Arlington you can support during this historic time. (Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all black-owned businesses in the county.)

  • For those looking for a way to shake up their morning Starbucks routine, there’s Ididos Coffee and Social House (1107 S. Walter Reed Drive). Now in the process of acquiring a temporary outdoor seating permit, the cafe offers a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, as well as breakfast pastries, sandwiches, and salads. According to its website, its namesake comes from “the Gedeo area of Yirgacheffee, Ethiopia, a region that is known for producing clean bright washed coffees dominated by citrus flavor.”
  • Not too far away, Dama Pastry & Restaurant (1505 Columbia Pike) is an Ethiopian bakery and restaurant offering everything from cappuccinos to plates of oxtail served with injera bread. Similar to Ididos Coffee, the restaurant is also looking to acquire temporary outdoor seating to get business back to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Just down the Pike, Ethio Cafe (3045 Columbia Pike) serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast dishes include scrambled eggs mixed with tomato, onion, and jalapeno pepper, while dinner includes a variety of vegetarian dishes, such as a combo with yellow split peas, red lentils, beets, collard greens, and more.
  • In Crystal City, Enjera Eritrean Restaurant & Bar (549 23rd Street S.) re-opened in Arlington in 2012 after a two-year closure. Pre-COVID-19, the restaurant featured live music every Friday and Saturday, but its dishes such as sambusa and tibsi are available for takeout on delivery apps such as Grubhub and Uber Eats.
  • And as the weather continues to heat up, those looking for a healthy dessert to cool down can get a scoop of gelato at Amore Congelato (1201 S. Joyce Street), which sweetens its gelato with agave syrup and incorporates fruits and vegetables into its flavors. Before opening the Pentagon Row brick and mortar, Navy veteran and owner Thereasa Black served her gelato at area farmers markets and wineries.
  • Moving away from food, a long-time, black-owned store in Crystal City was previously profiled by ARLnow: Puppet Heaven in the Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive. Owned by puppet master Lucien Alban Odoulamy, the business is the Washington area’s only puppet store and has been open for over two decades.
  • Another business, AA Locksmith Service Co. (3113 10th Street N.) in Clarendon, has been serving the area with professional locksmithing service for over 30 years. Its services range from lock installation and repairs to copying keys and helping locked out neighbors.
  • On Lee Highway, Magnum Opus Hair Salon (4751 Lee Hwy) has been open for three years, offering both men and women’s haircuts. “The Arlington community has been great,” owner Clinton Jones, who previously worked at a hair salon in south Arlington for 9 years before opening Magnum Opus, told ARLnow yesterday. “On Monday, after a crazy weekend of reopening, I had three people sit in my chair who were on their way to go protest after getting their hair cut. It really made me feel good that people were showing up to support our causes in my own neighborhood, causes they might not even be affected by in their lifetimes.”
  • Also on Lee Highway, the proudly “old school” Moore’s Barber Shop (4807 Lee Highway) has reopened and is offering haircuts by appointment only. Moore’s “is a family friendly shop that’s been in business for over 50 years.”
  • Wayne Cutz, a barbershop in the Green Valley neighborhood at 2112 Shirlington Road.

Some other black-owned businesses, as submitted to us by readers:

Know of any other black-owned restaurants and stores in Arlington that we should feature here? Email us. Want to give a shout out to a local service provider or any other type of black-owned business? Please do so in the comments.

Photo via Dama Restaurant/Facebook

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