Press Club

This content was written and sponsored by The Keri Shull Team, Arlington’s top producing residential real estate team.

If you’re a Taco Tuesday fan, then you need to check out Don Tito’s.

This three-story Clarendon gem specializes in tacos, tequila and having a good time. The Keri Shull Team’s Chris Clark recently sat down with Don Tito’s owner Scott Parker to talk tacos, tequila and what it’s like to party with the Stanley Cup!

Elevating Taco Tuesday… Literally

Don Tito is serious about tacos. From classics like pollo asado to their own unique creations like the fried chicken BLT or surf and turf, there’s a taco for every taste! And since their menu is particularly taco-centric, it’s no wonder that Taco Tuesday is a big deal!

The third floor rooftop bar at Don Tito is the perfect Taco Tuesday environment, and they take the day to new heights with a DJ, free cotton candy and popcorn, deals on tacos and tequila, and even hookah! Of course, it doesn’t have to be Tuesday for you to get the most out of your Don Tito’s experience. 

With three stories to explore, Don Tito has something for everyone. Their first floor has open access to the bustling street via large open windows and doors. The second floor has an electrifying dance party scene. And the rooftop bar is the perfect open-air space to hang out and get a great view of Clarendon.

Let’s Taco ’bout the Stanley Cup

Fun fact: the first place that the Washington Capitals went after winning the Stanley cup wasn’t in D.C., it was Don Tito! The team has long picked Don Tito’s for events like their preseason dinners, but it was a shock to Scott Parker when he got a call that the first spot on the Stanley Cup’s tour was his bar!

If you’re looking for a great place with amazing tacos that’s Cap’s approved, there’s no place better than Don Tito.

Want to live in a Clarendon or other incredible Arlington neighborhoods, surrounded by amazing spots like this? Contact The Keri Shull Team at 703-952-7653 or [email protected] and we’ll help you find your next new home!

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A woman fell off the roof of Don Tito in Clarendon Thursday night (Aug. 16), suffering minor injuries.

Arlington County Police were called to the restaurant, located at 3165 Wilson Blvd, around 11:30 p.m. last night, according to spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Fire department spokesman Ben O’Bryant says the woman “fell from one level on the roof to another level on the roof,” a distance of about 20 feet in total.

O’Bryant added she “only had minor injuries and was in good condition when care was transferred to hospital staff.”

File photo

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Clarendon restaurant Don Tito will host a viewing lunch and happy hour on Monday, August 21 for the solar eclipse.

The watering hole at 3165 Wilson Blvd will begin the festivities at noon, with the eclipse viewing expected to begin at approximately 1:21 p.m. The eclipse is anticipated to be at its maximum around 2:47 p.m., and the viewing and the eclipse itself will wrap us around 4 p.m.

To mark the occasion, the first total eclipse visible in the continental U.S. in decades, Don Tito will offer what it described as “eclipse-inspired refreshments” and taco specials.

Those interested in attending must RSVP online. Anyone that does RSVP will receive a pair of protective ISO-12312-2 glasses for viewing the eclipse.

This year’s eclipse is expected to be seen by more than 500 million people. The total solar eclipse will cross from Salem, Ore. to Charleston, S.C., with the rest of the country able to see a partial eclipse.

“This is truly a historic event and a wonderful opportunity to view one of nature’s stunning displays,” the Don Tito event’s organizers wrote.

So far, no other viewing events in Arlington have been widely announced, but The Connection pop-up library in Crystal City (2100 Crystal Drive in the Crystal City Shops) gave out hundreds of free glasses with which to watch the eclipse, supplied by PBS. The free glasses proved to be popular and the supply quickly ran out.

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Tacos (photos via Don Tito/Facebook)

Clarendon watering hole Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd) will be hosting what it’s billing as the “first annual Arlington taco eating contest.”

The event is being held on Monday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m.

It will feature up to 100 contestants trying to eat as many chicken and beef tacos as they can in one minute. After 10 preliminary heats, each with 10 competitors, the winner of each heat will advance to a preliminary round in which the first person to eat 10 tacos with varying levels of spiciness will be crowned the “Taco King of Arlington.”

Said Taco King will receive a $150 Don Tito gift card and a championship belt. The second and third place winners will, respectively, get a $100 gift card and a $50 gift card.

The cost of entry is $20. Registration is available online. Spectators can attend for free.

Photo via Facebook

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Everyone knows Clarendon’s new kid on the block, Don Tito, for its energy and rooftop views.

We’re here to share their must-try bites (because it never hurts to pair a taco with those drinks).

  1. Surf and Turf Tacos: Once these tacos hit your taste buds, you’ll demand them every time you walk in the door. A crisp and lightly battered shrimp is perched atop, and contrasts nicely with the heavier steak chunks inside. The taco is rounded with an airy cole slaw, crispy bacon, and a Sriracha aioli sauce.
  2. Mini Bean & Carnitas Burrito: This giant burrito, smothered in cheese and red enchiladas sauce, will keep you full ’til breakfast. The thick shell is packed with yellow rice, black beans, Monterrey jack and cheddar cheeses, and perfectly seasoned beef. Scallions are scattered on top to meld the bouquet of spicy sauces and powerful flavors.
  3. Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna Tacos: Ever had a sushi taco? Tender sesame seed-crusted Ahi tuna rests on a bed of seaweed salad. Roasted corn adds a bit of that Latin flair we all crave. Two dipping sauces accompany: a cilantro sauce with a nice kick, and a tomato-based sauce with a tangy zing!
  4. Lomo Saltado: A fresh take on the classic beef tenderloin dish features shoestring fries on top of the dish. Sautéed red onions, tomatoes, and soy complement the succulent meat. Drown the shoestring fries in the tasty broth for extra flavor!
  5. Deep Fried Churros: Cap off your feast with a delicious basket of warm fried churros. Coated in cinnamon sugar and served with dipping sauces, these are the perfect way to end your meal. Sweet Tooth Tip: dip the churros in the chocolate sauce and THEN the caramel sauce for a sugary explosion.

About Spotluck: If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out where to eat in Arlington, we hear ya. We’re a small (but mighty) D.C. area startup that created an awesome free restaurant discovery app that lets you “spin” for discounts at great local spots every day. Don’t be hangry, download Spotluck for iPhone or Android to discover and save money at a local restaurant today.

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Clarendon’s newest watering hole will be open to the public this weekend, serving tacos, Tecate and plenty of tequila.

Don Tito will open to the public in the former Eventide space at 3165 Wilson Blvd this Sunday starting at 5:00 p.m. It will be considered a “soft opening” as the staff “works the kinks out,” co-owner Scott Parker said as he gave ARLnow.com a tour of the space yesterday.

The three-story restaurant, including two large indoor bars and a roof deck with views of Washington, D.C. and Ballston, is owned by the same group that owns A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston.

We’re absolutely over-the-moon thrilled to open,” Parker said. “We hope that Don Tito brings a place where people of all ages can enjoy great Mexican-American fusion [cuisine] by my partner Mike, while at the same time being somewhere people can love to have a few drinks.”

Drinks will not be in short supply, with more than 60 types of tequila and a margarita list that includes “The Don,” a $59 concoction of Don Julio 1942 tequila, housemade sour mix, orange juice and Grand Marnier Cuvée de Centenaire, which comes in a take-home Don Tito glass. There are 14 beers on tap at $6 each, save for the $5 Miller Lite.

The restaurant offers 14 different tacos, including a surf and turf, a tuna with avocado and a Chinese five-spice pork taco. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Parker plans to make tacos half-price.

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Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon (file photo)(Updated at 5:10 p.m.) Don Tito is expected to open next week in Clarendon.

The “tacos, tequila and beer” spot will be opening in the former Eventide space at 3165 Wilson Blvd. Scott Parker, one of five partners in the business, says Don Tito should officially open to the public on Sunday, March 15, with a “soft opening” starting perhaps as soon as Wednesday, March 11.

Interior work is still underway, but should be wrapping up before the soft opening. The establishment’s exterior sign is expected to arrive this coming Thursday.

Parker says Don Tito will be different than A-Town Bar and Grill, the popular but sometimes rowdy Ballston bar that’s owned by the same group.

“[Don Tito] will have more of a lounge feel to it,” Parker said. “It will be a good place to have a good time and drink but it won’t be as much of a party atmosphere.”

He added that Don Tito will have a bit more of an emphasis on food compared to A-Town.

Parker said retrofitting the former Eventide space went “as well as could be expected.” Patrons can expect a “cantina look” inside, with a lot of exposed brick, wood grain and two bars on the rooftop.

The roof will open when the weather allows, he said.

File photo

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"Don Tito" logo and partners“Tacos, tequila and beer” — that’s the quick pitch for the new bar that will be taking the place of Eventide restaurant in Clarendon.

Don Tito is likely to open in the 10,000 square foot space at 3165 Wilson Blvd by early March, according to Scott Parker, one of the establishment’s five partners. Construction is expected to start as soon as next week.

The restaurant will feature “flex Mex” cuisine — Mexican dishes plus traditional American fare with a “Mexican twist” — but the emphasis will be more on the aforementioned beer and tequila. A bar will be added to what is now a dining area on the second floor, and a second bar will be added to the center of the rooftop.

The partners in Don Tito are Parker, Nick Cordero and Mike Cordero — the owners of the popular but oft-maligned A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston — plus newcomers Ryan DeMagistris and Jason Fisher. All five are Arlington residents, Parker said.

The Cordero crew is on a roll since closing the financially-sound but stagnant Caribbean Breeze and reopening as A-Town in 2012. In addition to purchasing Eventide — for a sum just shy of $1 million, sources say — the company has also secured a 6,000 square foot space in Rosslyn for a bar/restaurant that’s expected to open in the fall of 2015, Parker tells ARLnow.com.

Parker declined to reveal additional information about the future Rosslyn watering hole, including its exact location.

The Eventide purchase will give its owners two big advantages, according to those with knowledge of the transaction. For one, the sublease offers five years of well below-market rent. For another, it offers a prime location in a Clarendon business district that’s well established as a nightlife spot — as opposed to A-Town’s location, where condo-owning neighbors have railed against late night noise.

Don Tito will remain open until 2:00 a.m. seven nights per week, according to Parker.

Parker said the partners were able to buy Eventide despite stiff competition from other restaurant owners, both local and national. The concept for Don Tito has been in the works for some time now, he said, and 3165 Wilson Blvd was judged the ideal place for it to open. In 2013, a Northern Virginia Magazine article about the opening of another Cordero restaurant, Flat Iron Steak & Saloon in Alexandria, described a planned Arlington venture that was then dubbed “Tacos and Beer.”

The owners of Eventide spent a reported $3 million constructing the restaurant, which opened in 2008. Parker said changes are necessary to “liven up the space and give it a little spark,” including renovations to the second floor which is “looking a bit too much like a monastery or something.”

Parker said he thinks Don Tito will compare favorably to what he described as an overabundance of American-style bars and restaurants in Clarendon. As for more direct competition, like nearby Mexicali Blues and Fuego Cocina, Parker said he and his partners are not too worried.

“Fuego is an incredible venue and we’ve been there many times,” he said. “Fuego is a great Mexican restaurant, [Don Tito] will be a great Mexican bar.”

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SoberRide initiative press conference at Don Tito in Clarendon on Cinco de Mayo (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Pack your umbrella. It looks like Mother’s Day weekend will be wet.

With a Flood Watch in effect through Saturday morning, and rain expected through Sunday, you may want to make indoor plans.

But we hope the weather won’t put a damper on your plans to celebrate mom. Stay Arlington, the county’s tourism promotion agency, recently offered ideas on what to do from where to pamper mom or buy her a gift.

Now, here are the most-read Arlington articles of the past week.

  1. Arlington landing Boeing corporate headquarters
  2. Police on scene of a reported bank robbery in Ballston
  3. Pickleball pop peeves particular people, prompting park pilot program
  4. ‘Missing middle’ draft calls for legalizing multifamily housing countywide
  5. Tesla is cutting the ribbon on its first Arlington store today
  6. Sick fox found along Washington Blvd tests positive for rabies
  7. Arlington’s park system is now ranked No. 3 in the U.S.
  8. Expansive outdoor cafe and bar in Clarendon is looking to open this month
  9. Covid continues to rise in Arlington, with nearly 200 new cases reported today
  10. Lost Dog Cafe staying on the Pike as parking situation improves

Feel free to discuss these stories or anything else of local interest in the comments. Enjoy the weekend, Arlington!

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. 

Cryptocurrency — and the technology underpinning the latest developments within this world, like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) — are complex enough to make the average person’s head spin.

Enter OVRT, a new Arlington-based crypto-community that exists to offer locals and D.C.-area artists free education on cryptocurrency, like bitcoin, and how they can dive into this wholly digital financial world and make money in it.

OVRT is co-founded by Scott Parker, who is behind a bevy of businesses throughout Arlington like Don Tito’s restaurant and Bearded Goat Barber, and Northern Virginia local Ryan McNey, who Parker considers a “borderline certified expert” in cryptocurrency.

“We both have a lot of energy, we both love to work on stuff, and we’re both were excited about this space,” Parker tells ARLnow. “It makes sense for me to be able to connect him to local business people, entrepreneurs, artists — anyone I can help with OVRT. I’ve been successful with helping a lot of people come join the OVRT movement, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Their aim is threefold: first, educate locals about cryptocurrency; second, help artists earn a more sustainable living from their art using NFTs; and finally, open up conversations about this wholly digital financial world with lawmakers and regulators.

OVRT logo (courtesy photo)

So what are all these concepts?

Cryptocurrency is a form of encrypted digital currency. It is stored on the blockchain, which is basically a “digital ledger.” People use blockchain technology to make non-fungible tokens, or unique versions of things like digital artwork or sports memorabilia that can be digitized.

And how does all this benefit artists?

NFTs are fundamentally a way of verifying someone owns something digitally. There is a contract attached to that image, McNey notes, and every time an NFT gets bought or traded, the person who issued it can take a cut. That contrasts with physical art that is sold by the artist once, only to appreciate in value without returning any of that value to the original creator.

For artists, NFTs can mean significant income in royalties without cuts to managers and middle men. They can use NFTs to make money on their artwork, which might otherwise circulate the internet via screenshots and illegal downloads, without them seeing a penny, he says.

The co-founders of OVRT say successful artists will make great reference points when they discuss the benefits of cryptocurrency with lawmakers and regulators, who will eventually be drafting policies and regulations governing these transactions.

“As someone who’s been in crypto for eight years, I know that for us to succeed, it’s vital that policymakers and regulators are making informed and educated decisions versus reactive ones,” McNey said.

But the conversation cannot begin with heady jargon like “yields, staking and decentralized banking,” he says. It has to begin somewhere tangible.

“I’m going to talk to them about art,” he said. “We have to meet them where they are.”

OVRT is fully remote right now, but eventually, Parker and McNey would like to open up a space — likely in Arlington, given Parker’s local connections — where they can showcase artists and host events. Next Wednesday (March 30), they are launching OVRT’s first NFT called “HYPEES,” made by Matt Corrado, a prolific D.C. artist who has worked with Nike, Heineken and Converse.

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Updates to a 14-year-old plan guiding future development in Clarendon are entering the home stretch.

This Saturday, the Arlington County Board is slated to authorize public hearings on the Clarendon Sector Plan update, which could culminate in a vote on whether to accept the updated plan on April 23. The county is also still seeking feedback on the updates.

Changes to the sector plan were prompted by a bevy of expected near-term redevelopments on the Silver Diner/The LotJoyce Motors and Wells Fargo/Verizon sites, as well as projects proposed by the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, the YMCA and George Mason University.

The update did not revisit any of the 2006 plan’s overarching goals, which envision Clarendon as an “urban village” with “accessible and connected spaces, and a rich mix of uses” that build on the area’s historical commercial focus, according to the county.

Instead, the updates focused on whether the 14-year-old plan’s recommendations for specific sites needed to be updated as new proposals come in. It provides guidance on land use, building heights and forms, and transportation, and explores how the county can redevelop a parcel it owns with some combination of a new fire station, open space and affordable housing.

Members of nearby civic associations, the Planning Commission and the Housing Commission are urging the county to prioritize different elements on the publicly-owned site, located at 10th Street N., between N. Hudson and Irving streets.

The lot is currently is home to three aging county buildings: Fire Station 4 (3121 10th St. N), the Fire Prevention Office (1020 N. Hudson St.) and Clarendon House, which has been vacant since the county moved the mental health rehab program run by the Department of Human Services to Sequoia Plaza (2120 Washington Blvd) in 2015.

Both Fire Station 4 and the Fire Prevention Office — home to the offices of the Fire Marshal and Battalion Chief — have reached the end of their useful life, the plan says. The Fire Prevention Office building will be relocated to county offices at 2020 14th Street N. in Courthouse while Fire Station 4 could be rebuilt on the same property or elsewhere.

Fire Station 4 and the Fire Prevention Office (via Google Maps)

The Planning Commission favors using the land for a blend of government and community facilities, such as a rooftop public space above a proposed fire station.

Ashton Heights Civic Association President Scott Sklar writes in a letter to the county that neighbors envision “a significant, unique playground for children from the new residential buildings, along with some basketball, racquet or pickleball courts in the space adjacent to the fire station, as it would be centrally located to serve Clarendon and nearby residents.”

Lastly, the Housing Commission would like to see affordable housing co-located at the site, as the sector plan area has only 82 committed affordable housing units — the lowest number in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, says Housing Commission Chair Eric Berkey said in a letter to the county.

“The Commission stated the priority should not be to provide luxurious amenities to those who live in single-family detached homes, but rather to provide homes to those who cannot afford them,” Berkey said. “Anything other than a structure which utilizes the full zoned height maximum would be a missed opportunity for the County-owned land.”

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