Press Club

Ballston pierogi stand Rogi has closed, but its owner hopes to keep serving the area

Pierogi stand Rogi at Ballston Quarter’s food hall has closed, chef and owner Ed Hardy tells ARLnow.

The pierogi stand’s last official day was Super Bowl — Sunday, February 13. There were several reasons behind the decision to close the eatery after only a little over a year of operations, Hardy says.

One is that the brand is focusing on getting its USDA certification in order to be able sell its filled pastry products in stores. Additionally, the last two months — during the Omicron wave — were particularly hard on the business even compared to the last two pandemic years, a sentiment echoed by a lot of local eateries.

“We took some moon shots and took a risk,” Hardy said of his effort to make a pierogi stand work in the competitive Ballston market.

While Hardy is from Richmond and spent a large portion of his career in New York, he’s no stranger to Arlington — and he’s hoping to remain active here.

Prior to Rogi, he was teaching classes at the Ballston location of Cookology Culinary School. Shortly after the pandemic shut down in-person classes, Hardy shifted from teaching to cooking and opened a “ghost kitchen” inside of Cookology serving up pierogies calling it “Zofia’s Kitchen.”

A short time later, space at nearby Ballston Quarter opened up and Hardy moved all operations there, officially becoming “Rogi.”

With Rogi’s closure, Hardy had planned to replace his pierogi concept with a series of collaborations and pop-ups from other regional restaurateurs, but those plans are currently in flux while details are being worked out with Ballston Quarter. He remains hopeful that this pop-up plan will bear fruit soon, though its future is unclear.

Should he get the go-ahead, among the first up would be an international meatball-centric concept called “Chef Ed’s Flyballs,” followed by empanada, crepe and other pop-ups centered around specific foods.

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