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Local nightlife king Scott Parker is branching into fitness, launching BASH Boxing with fitness instructor and manager Alex Trakas.
We asked Parker and Trakas about their new venture, which officially opens on Friday, Nov. 16 in Rosslyn and is also coming to Ballston Quarter mall. We also talked with Scott about the state of the local bar scene and about that time the Washington Capitals brought the Stanley Cup to Don Tito in Clarendon.
A new upscale barbershop is on the way for Ballston next year.
Scott Parker, the co-founder of a bevy of businesses throughout Arlington, announced in a Facebook post yesterday (Monday) that he plans to help open “Bearded Goat Barber” in early 2019. He said he hopes the Bearded Goat will be a “premier barbershop specializing in tailored haircuts, hot lather shaves and sculpted beard trims.”
Parker subsequently told ARLnow that the barbershop will be located at 4201 Wilson Blvd, as part of the Ballston Exchange development, the former home of the National Science Foundation.
“We’re really excited to be among all the awesome new tenants that are coming into that project like Shake Shack, Cava, and Philz Coffee, among others,” Parker said.
Parker himself has previously focused primarily on the restaurant business, backing bars like A-Town in Ballston, the G.O.A.T. and Don Tito in Clarendon and Barley Mac in Rosslyn. He’s also recently helped start a new boxing gym, Bash Boxing, with locations set for Rosslyn and Ballston.
But Parker said that he plans to team up with a pair of barbers, Eric Renfro and Jon Dodson, on this latest venture. They previously worked at the Hendricks Barbershop, another high-end barber that opened in Clarendon in 2016.
“Jon and Eric decided to start their own shop, and asked me to be a part of it,” Parker said. “They’re super talented guys with almost 20 years of combined experience in barbering. For them it was a chance to finally realize their dream, and, for me, a great opportunity to work with two very passionate, accomplished people.”
Photo via @beardedgoatbarber
Scott Parker is part of a group of partners who together have built something of a nightlife empire in Arlington.
A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac have all been hits along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. And now Scott and his partners are getting ready to open (in the next couple of weeks) The G.O.A.T., a new sports bar right across from the Clarendon Metro station in the former Hard Times Cafe space.
Scott has helped to build this empire based on Sunday Fundays and happy hour drink specials all while having a somewhat unique personal background for a bar impresario: he does not drink.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we sat down with Scott to discuss how he achieved success after success in the notoriously difficult restaurant industry, what to expect with the G.O.A.T., what comes next, and what he thinks of the current state of the Arlington bar and restaurant scene.
A bank could be coming to the former The G.O.A.T. space across the street from the Clarendon Metro station, a reliable source has told ARLnow.
But earlier this month, an ARLnow reader tipped us off that construction was going on at the space. An issued Arlington County permit confirms that interior renovations are ongoing, including removing the once-prominent staircase at the front connecting the first and second floors.
There were thoughts the space was being renovated for a new venture by The G.O.A.T. co-owners local serial entrepreneur Scott Parker and chef Mike Cordero, or, even, a hotly anticipated rebirth of Whitlow’s on Wilson. Neither appear to be the case.
Both Parker and Cordero confirmed they are no longer tenants and not involved in the revamping of the space. Parker also owns nearby Don Tito, Bearded Goat Barber, the soon-to-open Nighthawk Pizza, and a number of other local businesses. Cordero owns Taco Rock, including the location in Rosslyn.
Former Whitlow’s manager Jon Williams also said the beloved now-shuttered watering hole wasn’t making a comeback quite yet.
“I’m still looking for the right place,” he wrote to ARLnow. “Hopefully soon.”
At the moment, it’s unclear the exact bank that would occupy the prime location on Wilson Blvd or when it could open.
The source said it’s likely that the bank would only occupy the first floor, leaving the second floor potentially available for a local venture.
ARLnow reached out to the Rappaport Company, which is the leasing agent for the Underwood Building (named after the former owners), for confirmation and more details, but a company representative declined to provide comment.
If you were looking for a place to procure a hearty sandwich, a lovely bouquet and a cold beer with the same swipe of a credit card, the wait is almost over.
Poppyseed Rye, a new restaurant and flower shop concept, is opening this week in the former Buzz Bakeshop space at 818 N. Quincy Street in Ballston. It will officially open to the public on Friday (Nov. 19), though a couple of private “soft opening” events are likely earlier in the week.
The shop will specialize in fresh flowers and craft sandwiches, while also featuring home goods, toasts, cold press juice, charcuterie, beer, wine, and champagne. That’s according to co-owner Scott Parker, who’s also a partner in Don Tito and a trio of other Ballston businesses: Bearded Goat Barber, BASH Boxing, Bronson Bierhall.
Parker is opening Poppyseed Rye with partners Alex Buc, who formerly ran Jetties sandwich shops in D.C., and Akeda Maerdan, who owns Farida Floral in Fairfax. The opening can be seen as a vote of confidence in Ballston as a place that can support the kind of businesses that one might more commonly see in the city.
(Part of the neighborhood is, in fact, more population-dense than anywhere in the District.)
“Ballston is on fire,” Parker told ARLnow over the weekend. “We’re so excited to open in this buzzing neighborhood, and bring the best sandwiches and fresh flowers you can find in the area.”
Poppyseed Rye will we open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily, starting Friday.
(Updated, 4:30 p.m.) A slew of new restaurants and stores are set to open at Westpost in Pentagon City over the next year.
From a “taco temple” to a pizza and beer hall to a running store to a new Target, the shopping center formerly known as Pentagon Row will have more than a half dozen new businesses by the fall of next year.
All of these new additions now make Westpost fully leased, confirms a spokesperson for Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRIT), which owns the mixed-use development.
The next to open will be Mimi’s Handmade Ice Cream, which is targeting scooping by the end of this month. The 935-square-foot ice cream parlor was originally going open in the late summer, but that was delayed. Located at 1201 S. Joyce Street, next to Bun’d Up, the shop is owned by local Rollin Amore and named after his daughter. His partner, Sarah, owns an ice cream parlor in Bethesda.
“I have been cooking and creating desserts since I was seven years old and I am excited to make this hobby my job,” Amore told ARLnow back in May.
Kusshi, a sushi restaurant with a location at Bethesda’s Pike and Rose, will be opening in the spring in the space formerly occupied by Namaste Everest, which is next to Mimi’s. We previously reported it was going to start serving by the end of the year.
“Arlington has a lot of business and commerce and has Amazon HQ2 going there as well,” Kusshi’s owner told ARLnow in June about the choice to open at Westpost. “We like to go to mixed-use developments, which is part of our success at Pike and Rose.”
The Baltimore-based Banditos Bar & Kitchen remains on track to also open in the spring. The FRIT spokesperson confirmed that could mean as early as April.
This is the third location of the self-described “taco temple,” but the first in Virginia. The 3,000-square-foot restaurant will have outdoor seating and serve classic fare like tacos, quesadillas, and margaritas.
Also aiming for a spring opening is a 34,000-square-foot Target in the old Bed, Bath, and Beyond space and Road Runner Sports in the former Unleashed space, which shuttered at the beginning of the year.
Target’s target is April while Road Runner Sports is on track for May or “possibly earlier,” says the spokesperson.
Much-anticipated Nighthawk Pizza is also arriving next year. The pizza spot with “a 90s vibe and a beer hall-like atmosphere” is opening “early 2022,” according to a spokesperson. It was originally supposed to start serving slices this fall — in fact, the storefront sticker still advertises this — but that’s been pushed back. (Such delays seem to be common these days, at least in Arlington.)
It’s opening in the former location of Champps, which closed in March 2020.
Other developments at Westpost include the opening of the spa and salon Privai, set for November 22. The 4,127-square-foot spa located at 1101 S Joyce Street Suite B-35 specializes in body treatments, facials, salon services, and guided meditation. It is the salon’s fourth Virginia location.
Restaurants and stores are not the only openings at Westpost. The center’s ice skating rink opened for the season over the weekend.
Bearded Goat Barber is opening its third location next week in Shirlington.
Bearded Goat Barber Shop is co-owned by serial entrepreneur Scott Parker and barbers Eric Renfro and Jon Dodson. Its first location in Ballston opened in 2019 and the second opened last year in D.C.’s Navy Yard. The expansion to Shirlington was first announced in February
With the region emerging from the pandemic, Parker believes that now is the time to grow.
“The Bearded Goat brand is stronger than ever,” Parker wrote to ARLnow via email. “There is currently a 4-5 week wait to get a cut at our first two locations. Since restrictions were loosened, we are busier than ever. It is the perfect time to expand, and we are slowly starting to look for our fourth location.”
As for where that fourth location of Bearded Goat could be, no further details were provided.
The barber shop offers haircuts, shape-ups, beard sculpting, grey blending, and straight razor hot towel shaves. It’s also “committed to following all CDC guidelines,” which includes sanitizing workspaces, tools, chairs, capes, and the waiting area between all visits.
Scott Parker is probably more well-known for his bars and restaurants. Those include Don Tito in Clarendon, Barley Mac in Rosslyn, Bronson Bierhall in Ballston, and, soon, Poppyseed Rye in Ballston and Nighthawk Pizza in Pentagon City.
That pizza spot with “a 90s vibe and a beer hall-like atmosphere” was initially supposed to open this fall, but it’s been pushed back to “early 2022,” according to a spokesperson.
Parker is also co-founder of BASH Boxing.
Renfro and Dodson were barbers at Hendricks Barbershop in Clarendon before partnering with Parker on Bearded Goat.
“Jon and Eric decided to start their own shop, and asked me to be a part of it,” Parker told ARLnow back in 2018. “They’re super talented guys with almost 20 years of combined experience in barbering. For them it was a chance to finally realize their dream, and, for me, a great opportunity to work with two very passionate, accomplished people.”
Throughout this fall, there could be a few new faces around Shirlington as high-intensity gym F45 and some other businesses plan to launch in the next few months.
The gym is scheduled to have its grand opening at 2800 S. Randolph Street on Saturday, Sept. 11, according to a press release, though staff working amid a torrential downpour earlier this week said the gym had a soft launch last Saturday.
The grand opening is scheduled for 8 a.m.-noon, and will include free classes, a chance to win a raffle after each class, and exclusive membership offers.
The gym’s fitness program centers on high-intensity interval training, circuit training, and functional training — increasing the heart rate to boost metabolism and burn fat effectively, said the press release.
Just around the corner, Bearded Goat Barber is scheduled to open at 4150 Campbell Avenue sometime this fall. The Shirlington location, next to Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub, will be the third for the barbershop, which first opened in Ballston in 2019.
Bearded Goat is aiming for an opening on Friday, Oct. 1, said co-owner Scott Parker, though the exact opening date remains a moving target.
Also coming this fall is CHIKO, a Chinese/Korean fusion restaurant at 4040 Campbell Avenue. The restaurant features a mix of dishes from both countries, like bulgogi stir fry and “orange-ish” chicken.
Buzz Bakeshop has closed in Ballston and a new cafe from some familiar local names will be replacing it.
Poppyseed Rye, which describes itself as “a craft sandwich and fresh flower café,” plans to open this fall at 818 N. Quincy Street, a block from Ballston Quarter mall.
“We’ll make tasty sandwiches, salads, toasts, and charcuterie… and serve beer, wine, seltzer, and champagne,” said Scott Parker, a partner in the shop who also co-owns a variety of Ballston businesses, including Bearded Goat Barber, BASH Boxing, and Bronson Bierhall, as well as Don Tito in Clarendon.
“At our shop Akeda will sell bouquets, vases, candles, and other household goods,” Parker said.
The cafe will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. daily and will focus on lunch and dinner. The sandwich-focused menu will be offered all day. A weekend brunch is possible down the road, according to Parker, who notes that there will be a small patio area outside.
The space was formerly occupied by Buzz Bakery, which opened in 2011 and offered coffee, baked goods and other treats. Now known as Buzz Bakeshop, the cafe has a location on Slaters Lane in Alexandria that remains open. The Ballston location is listed on the Buzz website as “temporarily closed.”
The ownership group behind Poppyseed Rye includes Parker, Lee Smith, Jon Rennich, and Gary Koh, who co-owns Bronson Bierhall with Parker. The group is also working with chef Johnny Spero and Aslin Beer Company on the forthcoming Pentagon City brewpub Nighthawk Pizza.
More collaborations with notable chefs, artisans and producers may be on the way from the group, Parker hinted. But for now, he’s focused on getting the new venture off the ground.
“As Ballston continues to grow and become more vibrant, we’re excited to bring our unique new sandwich and flower shop to Wilson Boulevard,” said Parker.
(Updated at 11:05 a.m.) A new boozy barbershop is under construction in Ballston, setting up a coming battle between a growing national chain and a homegrown, expanding local shop.
Scissors & Scotch is currently under construction on the 4000 block of Fairfax Drive, about halfway between the Ballston and Virginia Square Metro stations.
The shop, on the ground floor of the recently-constructed J Sol apartment tower, will offer customers haircuts, straight razor shaves, and hair removal services, in addition to alcoholic drinks, as the name suggests. The Kansas City-founded chain has an existing location in D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood, and another planned at Union Market.
Scissors & Scotch is not the only upscale barbershop in the area, however.
Bearded Goat Barber opened in 2019 at 4201 Wilson Blvd, several blocks away, and will soon offer customers a complimentary beer or cold brew coffee with their haircut. The barbershop is in the process of applying for a new type of Virginia ABC permit that allows licensees to serve limited quantities of free alcohol.
“We are applying so that we can get a market license which would allow for a complimentary beer for each customer upon every visit,” Bearded Goat partner Scott Parker tells ARLnow.
(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) A Baltimore-based Mexican restaurant is the next buzzy eatery to open in Pentagon City.
This will be their third location, but the first in Virginia.
Owner Sean White tells ARLnow that they will be taking over the space that is currently Thaiphoon restaurant, likely in October. From there, the build-out should take about six months. He expects Banditos to open in March or April 2022. It was not immediately clear whether Thaiphoon will be closing in Pentagon City or moving to a new location.
White says they’ve wanted to open a restaurant in the D.C. area for sometime. Arlington is a particularly good fit for the brand, he says, due to Amazon’s continued expansion into the county.
Banditos is owned by White Oak Hospitality Group, a Maryland restaurant group with a number of ventures in Baltimore and surrounding areas. This will be their third restaurant at a property owned by Federal Realty Investment Trust, the owner of Westpost and the Village at Shirlington.
The Arlington location of Banditos will be roughly the same size as the other locations, about 3,000 square feet, according to the Washington Business Journal. There will also be outdoor seating.
On its website, the restaurant describes itself as “a TACO temple inspired by the mouthwatering flavors of Mexican street food.” The menu includes classic fare like tacos, burritos, quesadillas, and margaritas.
In recent months, a slew of restaurants have also announced impending arrivals at Westport.
James Beard-nominated local chef Cathal Armstrong is opening an Irish restaurant this spring in the former Siné space, next to the future Banditos. Northern Virginia-native Chef Tim Ma’s popular Lucky Danger is readying for a likely April opening. Johnny Spero and Scott Parker’s Nighthawk Pizza is planning to start serving in the fall.
Several notable businesses have already opened including Wild Tiger BBQ pop-up, Origin Coffee Lab and Kitchen, and Napoli Salumeria. Both Westpost and the Village at Shirlington now allow restaurant patrons to take alcoholic drinks to go, for consumption in other parts of the dining and shopping district.
Photo courtesy of Banditos Bar & Kitchen