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Celtic House planning to expand with lower level whisky bar

Celtic House on Columbia Pike wants to expand, but it will have to go through the county’s historic review board first.

The pub confirmed to ARLnow over the weekend that it wants to add a whisky and bourbon bar, in a lower level space previously used by a now-closed dry cleaner. The original pub and the whisky bar will be connected by a staircase.

In addition to providing another bar for the popular and well-reviewed pub, the new downstairs area will also serve as an event space, we’re told by a spokesperson.

The plan is on the agenda for tomorrow’s (June 21) Historic Affairs and Landmark Review Board meeting, since the strip retail center in which Celtic House is located is part of a historic district. Celtic House is proposing to add a small vestibule onto the rear of the building at 2500 Columbia Pike, to serve as an entrance to the new space.

“The Arlington Village Shopping Center is contributing to the Arlington Village National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) Historic District, which was designated by the National Park Service in April 2003,” notes a county staff report. “The applicant proposes to install a one-story, front gable-roofed vestibule addition near the southeast corner of the rear elevation.”

“The vestibule door will also be a new ADA-compliant wood and glass door with sidelights, and adjacent to the door and sidelights are simple pilasters with new exterior lighting,” the report adds.

The proposal is on the historic board’s consent agenda, implying that it is non-controversial and expected to pass.

The Celtic House spokesperson told ARLnow that the new bar should open at some point this fall, as long as the approvals are granted as expected.

Celtic House opened in late 2014 and has since established itself as a community staple and gathering place. It is hosting the Arlington Democrats primary watch party tonight, for instance.

Matt Blitz contributed to this report. Hat tip to @SRtwofourfour.

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