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by ARLnow.com November 17, 2016 at 5:00 pm 0

Nick FreshmanNick Freshman is a native Arlingtonian who is the co-owner of Spider Kelly’s and was the co-owner of the former Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon.

In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Nick about the current state of Arlington’s restaurant business, why so many restaurants are closing, and why he’s decided to start investing in and advising new restaurants. Nick also discusses the ups and downs and strategy behind running a bar and restaurant.

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast, 26 Square Miles, on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by Jackie Friedman May 24, 2016 at 7:05 pm 0

The new beer garden at Spider Kelly’s is officially open for business.

The beer garden, which is located in the back patio of the Clarendon watering hole, first started serving customers last Thursday. With the sun finally shining after some not-so-nice weather this month, hopes are high for big crowds.

“We are really happy it’s here and our hope is that it will be something that our customers want,” said co-owner Nick Freshman.

“The goal in building it was to create a new outdoor space sort of supplemental to the space that we have inside,” Freshman said. “We kept a lot of the theme from the inside to the outside.”

A local graffiti artist, Andrew Funk, was hired to do a custom graffiti mural to add color to the space and to match the graffiti art inside.

The casual outdoor space offers seating for small and large groups. There is a combination of communal style seating with picnic benches and seating around two fire pits. There is also hightop seating at the bar. The large space offers a capacity of up to 300 people.

Beers, sangrias and ciders are served in the beer garden, and the beer list has been substantially expanded. There are 30 offered cans and 16 tap lines. There are also three homemade sangrias: red, white and sparkling.

For those arriving after work, there is a $4 happy hour drink special. The entire food menu is offered outside.

by ARLnow.com April 25, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

It’s being billed as a beer garden — arguably the first or one of the first in Clarendon — and within about a month it will start serving Clarendon bar-goers who want to want to enjoy their brews outside.

Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd) is currently putting the finishing touches on a new, 2,500 square foot outdoor patio. It’s located to the right of the Clarendon watering hole’s back door, behind Don Tito and across N. Hudson Street from Brixx Pizza.

No opening date has been set yet, but co-owner Nick Freshman says he’s hoping planning to open “sometime before Memorial Day weekend.”

“It’s an extension of existing SK with same style and atmosphere,” Freshman tells ARLnow.com. The beer garden will feature:

  • Capacity for 300
  • 20+ foot concrete bar with canvas awning
  • Two fire pits
  • Bar tables, communal picnic style tables, benches and other types of seating
  • A large, commissioned graffiti-style mural
  • Six-foot fence around the patio
  • Lots of beer: 16 taps, 30 cans, ciders, sangrias, etc.
  • Large, telescoping umbrellas for shade
  • Tivoli-style string lighting

Freshman said Spider Kelly’s is also adding new bathrooms inside, doubling the existing restroom capacity.

by ARLnow.com March 16, 2010 at 3:16 pm 3,064 0

The concept for the original Spider Kelly’s was “a neighborhood hole in the wall,” says general manager and co-owner Nick Freshman. But the former hole in the wall has knocked down a few walls to become one of the biggest bars in Clarendon.

Spider Kelly’s has quietly taken the paper off the windows and opened for business, attracting about 100 customers last night, its first night open since renovations began in December. What would have been a big crowd at a normal bar was well under a quarter of Spider Kelly’s certified capacity of 455.

Pool tables, shuffleboard tables, dart boards and arcade-style video games have been brought in to add “more fun” to the neighborhood hangout. The well-received, value-priced menu has been expanded (more on that after the jump). Outdoor sidewalk seating for about 32 people will be added once the weather is warm enough, probably by the beginning of May.

The motivation for the new Spider Kelly’s was part vision, part opportunism. Just as the original Spider Kelly’s opened in 2008 by taking over the lease of a struggling restaurant, the new Spider Kelly’s came about largely because two neighboring businesses were looking to move or close up shop.

“We like to think of it as a natural evolution,” Freshman says. He and business partner Nick Langman — who also co-owns Clarendon Ballroom and Eventide Restaurant — dreamed up the idea of a “neighborhood spot, no pretension, just relaxed” back in college, a genesis that perhaps explains the obscure Hemmingway reference (Spider Kelly was a very minor character in “The Sun Also Rises”).

“It wasn’t without a certain amount of trepidation that we decided to expand,” Freshman said. Despite the lagging economy, Freshman says he Langman were impressed by Clarendon’s “resiliency,” including its ability to support the host of new food and nightlife options that have popped up in the past two years.

“I wouldn’t want be in any other neighborhood,” Freshman said, quipping that, in the end, “we figured someone has to get the economy going again, so we decided to quadruple in size.”

Spider Kelly’s will open at 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and at 11:00 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Lots of photos, and a first look at the new food and drink menus, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com March 12, 2010 at 9:28 am 4,583 35 Comments

After acquiring two small, adjacent storefronts, Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon is aggressively expanding inside and adding sidewalk seating outside.

Based on a floor plan filed with the county (below), the new Spider Kelly’s will feature three pool tables, five shuffleboard tables, five video game machines, four darts stations, two old school basketball arcade games, a big  island bar, sidewalk seating for 32 and indoor seating for at least 150.

Permission for the outdoor seating and a new outdoor sign will be discussed and is expected to be approved at Saturday morning’s county board meeting. If all goes well, the new Spider Kelly’s could open as soon as next weekend.

We got a peak inside yesterday as job candidates trickled out the door, and there’s only one word to describe the interior: massive.

Check back here on Tuesday for interior photos. In the meantime, check out the floor plan, so big it had to be broken up into two separate images.

by ARLnow.com June 20, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

ACPD Releases New Video of Sex Assault Suspect — Arlington County Police have released new video of the man suspected of sexually assaulting a woman in her Rosslyn condo last month. Police are still seeking more information about the suspect. [Twitter, YouTube]

Big Brother Contestant Is From Arlington — One of the contestants on the upcoming season of CBS’ Big Brother is Matthew Clines, a 33-year-old renovation consultant from Arlington. The show premieres on Wednesday, June 28. [CBS, Hollywood Reporter]

Nam-Viet Closing in D.C. — The Cleveland Park outpost of Arlington’s Nam-Viet restaurant is closing, citing “competition to remain significant and relevant in this fast-paced D.C. restaurant market.” There have been a number of restaurant closings in the neighborhood as of late. [PoPville]

New Cafe in Takoma Park Draws Arlington Talent — A new coffee, beer, wine and cocktail spot called Takoma Beverage Co. has opened in Takoma Park, Md. The cafe features a bevy of Arlington restaurant vets, including alums of Northside Social and the former Sehkraft Brewing in Clarendon. Helping to fund the venture is Mothersauce Partners, the restaurant investment firm and consultancy founded by Nick Freshman of Spider Kelly’s. [Eater]

Flickr pool photo by Bekah Richards

by ARLnow.com October 24, 2016 at 6:20 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

Nick Freshman knows what it takes to run a successful restaurant, and he’s hoping to use that knowledge to help restaurateurs and investors alike.

Freshman, 40, co-owns Spider Kelly’s in Clarendon and was also a partner in Eventide Restaurant before it was sold and replaced by Don Tito. All told, he’s been involved in the development of a half dozen successful restaurant concepts.

Nick Freshman on the Mothersauce Partners websiteAfter spending the past 20 years working in and then running restaurants, Freshman is trying something new: he has launched Mothersauce Partners, an investment and advisory business that seeks to connect new food and drink concepts with investors while providing expert advice and key industry connections.

Freshman said Mothersauce — a reference to the foundation of French cuisine — allows him to put his passion into action.

“One thing I really love to do is helping other people who are trying to make it,” Freshman said. “I’ve been doing it as a function of something I like to do. In the past year I’ve explored figuring out a way to make that a business, and I finally decided to take a leap this summer.”

“This is a way for me to be a part of a lot of other interesting concepts without having to actually have to deal with the stress and anxiety of running them,” Freshman continued. “There’s all this great talent and they have lots of great ideas, but they either don’t have the capital or they don’t have the expertise. I can provide both of those… but not have to be the [person answering the] phone call at 3:00 in the morning.”

Freshman, who recently added a beer garden behind Spider Kelly’s but doesn’t otherwise have plans to expand it, said he regularly fields inquiries from investors who want to get in on the next big nightlife or restaurant hit.

“A lot of people I know are asking when is the next Spider Kelly’s, when is the next project,” he said. “And there’s a lot of investment capital moving into the restaurant space now, from giant VC firms to friends and family. It’s getting to be a crowded space, there’s a lot of serious money, so I said okay there’s potential for investors… and there’s a market here.”

Mothersauce already has its first concept: Takoma Beverage Company, a soon-to-open spot for handcrafted coffee and tea in Takoma Park, Maryland, helmed by two veterans of Northside Social, which Freshman says is “one of the greatest success stories in Clarendon.”

Freshman says he has “a lot of leads on other projects” and hopes to have a few more in development by this time next year. He hopes to have a “balanced” portfolio, working with both first-time operators “who have lots of potential” and with experienced restaurateurs who could use his local market expertise.

He’s also equally likely to pursue a restaurant concept that may be suitable for only one or two locations as he is to go after a fast-casual chain — say, the next Sweetgreen — that could someday expand nationwide.

“Part of this is an experiment to see what the deal flow is, what is coming in and what do people most need… where is the opportunity,” Freshman said. “I really think it starts and ends with the operators… you find the great talent, you find the great concept, then you execute on it.”

While Freshman is the main figure in the business, he has a roster of advisors he can call on, depending on project needs. And new restaurant owners need plenty of advice: from negotiating a lease to finding investors to building out a space to marketing the restaurant to responding to online reviews.

The launch of Mothersauce Partners comes at a conspicuous time for the local restaurant industry. By our count, more restaurants have closed than opened in Arlington so far this year while the pipeline of new restaurants has slowed.

Despite some local woes — and success in the restaurant industry is famously difficult to achieve in the first place — Freshman said there’s still plenty of opportunity.

“I think there’s a lot of great concepts that have a lot of potential for growth, and there’s a lot of great investors who want [to be in] this space,” he said. “They want to invest in the restaurant space, but they’re not sure how, and… it’s scary, it’s high-risk. What we do is we say ‘listen, we vetted this concept, we know these guys, we’re going be a part of this project, we’re going help them, come in with us and let’s kind of do this thing together.'”

by ARLnow.com October 4, 2016 at 12:15 pm 0

Clarendon Halloween bar crawlThe annual Clarendon Halloween bar crawl will be back for another year this year, although it will be taking place after Halloween itself.

Halloween is on Monday, Oct. 31. The bar crawl is scheduled from 1-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5.

“Bust out your best costume and get ready for a spooktacular party like no other this season,” says the website for the crawl. “The Clarendon Halloween Crawl celebrates the scariest time of the year in Arlington with thousands of your closest friends!”

Revelers will get a “souvenir haunted mug, access to Clarendon’s best bars, exclusive drink and food specials, free pictures of the event and a raffle entry to win great prizes.”

Participating bars include Mad Rose Tavern, Clarendon Ballroom, Clarendon Grill, IOTA Club and Cafe, Whitlow’s, Mister Days, Spider Kelly’s and Hunan One.

Tickets are $15 online or $30 at the door.

by Tim Regan September 26, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. In case you’d like to watch tonight’s presidential debates with a drink in your hand but don’t know where to go, we’ve included some last-minute suggestions.

If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday

Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse

Presidential Debate on the Big Screen
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 8 p.m.

Arlington Drafthouse will screen the first of three televised debates between presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The event is free and lasts until the debate ends.

Hillary Clinton (courtesy photo)Phone Banking and Presidential Debate Watch Party
Cafe Sazon (4704 Columbia Pike)
Time: 6-10:30 p.m.

Groups Latinos con Hillary and Mujeres in Politics are scheduled to host a volunteer phone bank and debate watch party for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Cafe Sazon is opening exclusively for volunteers and will have specials such as a soda or beer and two empanadas for $11, tax and tip included.

Mad Rose Tavern logoNorthern Virginia for45 Presidential Debate Watch Party
Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 7:30-10:30 p.m.

Young professionals who support Hillary Clinton are set to gather at Mad Rose Tavern for a grassroots fundraiser. The event will include an appearance by Adam Parkhomenko, who is the national field director for the Democratic National Committee and a longtime Clinton aide. Tickets start at $45.

Tuesday

Army Navy Country Club Home Buyer's SeminarHome Buyer’s Seminar *
Army Navy Country Club (1700 Army Navy Drive)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Attendees can bring their questions and concerns to this home buyer’s seminar at the Army Navy Country Club. The seminar will include light food and drinks, a door prize and free credit reports.

Wednesday

ACA Over Drinks FlierACA Over Drinks
WeWork Crystal Palace (2221 S Clark Street)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

The Affordable Care Act comes with new regulations, requirements, and deadlines. Is your company is in compliance? TriNet’s experts will educate attendees about the ins and outs of the health care law during this informational session. The event will also include drinks, food and networking.

Bar Olympics at Spider Kelly'sBar Olympics
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Go for the gold and support the Arlington Food Assistance Center at the same time during this bar game competition. Attendees will face off in a variety of events such as skee ball, shuffleboard and arcade basketball. The entry fee is $10 per individual or $20 for a team of two.

Friday

New Tools for the New EconomyNew Tools for the New, Digital Economy
Arlington Independent Media (2701 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 7 p.m.

This free event includes a talk about Arlington’s new open data programs, tours of Arlington Independent Media’s video, podcasting and radio courses alongside information on web and graphic design, coding, DIY app building and more.

Saturday

Operation Turbo BBQ DinnerOperation Turbo BBQ Dinner*
Lyon Park Community Center (414 North Fillmore Street)
Time: 6-10 p.m.

Support a local nonprofit while eating barbecue from Big Bully BBQ, dancing to music, participating in raffles and drinking beer and wine.  Tickets are $35 per person at the door.

Sunday

Kinhaven School 5k and 1K Kids Fun RunKinhaven School 5k and 1K Kids Fun Run
Bluemont Park South Shelter (523 North Manchester Street)
Time: 9-10:30 a.m.

Kinhaven kids and their families will provide encouragement and cheer on runners and walkers as they travel along the W&OD bike trail. Strollers and walkers are welcome.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) content

by Tim Regan September 12, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

(Updated at 2:46 p.m.) Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday

BuyerSeminarAdPhotoFree Home Buyer Seminar*
Optime Realty (1600 Wilson Blvd, Suite 101)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Optime Realty will host a home buying seminar with lenders and buyer agents. Elysia Stobbe of NFM Lending will give tips on how to get the best mortgage during the event. Stobbe will also raffle copies of her book, “How To Get Approved for the Best Mortgage Without Sticking a Fork in Your Eye.”

Wednesday

Photo via SafeTrack brochureIs “SafeTrack” the “New Normal?”*
Marymount University Phelan Hall (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 8-9 p.m.

Is Metro’s “Safetrack” initiative the new normal? The Arlington Committee of 100 will hold a discussion about the transit agency’s transportation challenges and how they’re being addressed. Panelists will include Christian Dorsey, who serves on the Arlington County Board and WMATA’s board of directors.

Conversation-with-a-Cop-ClarendonConversation With a Cop
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

ACPD officers will chat with residents and get to know them better over complimentary appetizers from Spider Kelly’s. The event is a chance for locals to “share your ideas on how we can work together to maintain Clarendon as a safe area to enjoy nightlife and entertainment,” organizers said.

Friday

Jon Lovitz (Photo via Flickr/Phil Konstantin)Jon Lovitz Live at the Arlington Drafthouse
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 p.m.

Comedian Jon Lovitz, who once played a “master thespian” and a devil on “Saturday Night Live,” is scheduled to bring his stand-up show to Arlington. In addition to Friday’s show, Arlington Cinema Drafthouse will hold performances Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Sunday at 7 p.m.

Saturday

wine-fotoWine Tasting*
Osteria da Nino Cucina Italiana (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 2-5 p.m.

The Italian restaurant and bar will serve samples of 20 wines from across the world and light hors d’oeuvres during a tasting event this weekend. As an added bonus, patrons who stay for dinner get 10 percent off their check.


logo_cci_dogfest1Dogfest Walk ‘n Roll Benefiting Canine Companions for Independence

Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street)
Time: 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

This community dog walk supports Canine Companions for Independence. Locals can register solo or with a team of friends, family or coworkers, then raise money to help the good cause.

clarendon-day-logoClarendon Day
Clarendon Metro Plaza (3100 Block of Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

The annual Clarendon Day street festival is set to include music, food and drink, vendors and a kids area, in addition to a 5K/10K race before the event. Organizers say they’re expecting more than 30,000 attendees.

Sunday

A woman and her dog at last week's Pups and Pilsners event in Crystal City (Flickr pool photo by Rob Cannon)Pups and Pilsners
12th Street S. and Crystal Drive
Time: 2-6 p.m.

Pups and people are welcome at this outdoor beer festival in Crystal City. The festival will feature a beer garden with craft brews and snacks from local food trucks. Though the event is free to attend, tasting tickets are $20 online and $25 at the door.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) content

by Jackie Friedman August 15, 2016 at 12:45 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar

Monday

Free Home Buyer Seminar*
Optime Realty (1600 Wilson Blvd, Suite 101)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

The free event will have specialists, including lenders and buyer agents, to give an overview of the buying process. Learn valuable home buying strategies that will save 3 percent or more when purchasing a home. All attendees will receive two guarantees.

1776 announces expansion into Crystal City (photo via @1776)Open Class: Introduction to Sales Funnels
1776 Crystal City (2231 Crystal Drive, 10th Floor)
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Startup incubator 1776 is set to host an introductory class on sales funnels for founders, marketers and anyone working on sales for their startup. The event will include experts and practitioners who have spent years selling.

Tuesday

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAB1AAAAJGQ1YThhMTk4LWExNzUtNGJhNy1hMjgzLTlhN2NlMGEzZjE0ZQ

An Evening with Kelly Sargeant*
Crowne Plaza National Airport (1480 Crystal Drive)
Time: 7-8 p.m.

Local Toastmasters Clubs will be hosting a free event where world-renowned public speaker, Kelly Sargeant, will speak to both Toastmasters and non-Toastmasters audience members about empowerment and achievement.

Wednesday

Image via Twitter/Arlington County FairArlington County Fair
Thomas Jefferson Community Center (3501 Second Street S.)
Time: 5 p.m.

The 40th Arlington County Fair kicks off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony featuring Arlington County Board members and light refreshments. The fair continues through Sunday evening. Indoor exhibitions begin Friday afternoon.

Spider Kelly's by ChristakiBar Olympics
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 6-9 p.m.

Go for the gold and support Operation Renewed Hope Foundation during the Mix 107.3 Bar Olympics. During the competition, attendees will face off in a variety of bar games. Suggested donation is $10 per individual or $20 per team of two.

Friday

Trump Dump, photo via Arlington Cinema and DrafthouseLive Comedy: Trump Dump
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Actor and comedian Anthony Atamanuik, known for his performance as Donald Trump in “Trump vs. Bernie,” will reprise his role as The Donald during a new show that imagines what Trump would say if elected president. In addition to Friday’s shows, Arlington Cinema Drafthouse will put on two performances Saturday at 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are available online for $20.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) content

by ARLnow.com May 23, 2016 at 5:15 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday

logo2Free Home Buyer Seminar*
Optime Realty (1600 Wilson Blvd, Ste. 101)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Our team is hosting a Free Home Buyer Seminar. We will have specialists on hand (lenders, title specialists and buyer agents) to give you an overview of the buying process. All attendees will receive two valuable home buyer guarantees.

Tuesday

COVERBar Olympics Fundraiser for MS
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Join us for a night of fun and fundraising while we raise money to find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis! All money raised goes directly to the National MS Society. Cost: $20/team of 2 people or $10/person (we will pair you up).

Thursday

Arlington Public Schools logoArlington Public Schools Support Staff Recruitment Fair*
GMU Founders Hall (3351 Fairfax Drive)
Time: Noon-4 p.m.

Arlington Public Schools is hiring School Bus Drivers, Extended Day Team Members, Maintenance/Custodians and Food & Nutrition Services Team Members. Candidates are encouraged to submit an online application prior to the event.

Friday

David Alan GrierLive Standup: David Alan Grier
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Comic David Alan Grier will perform live standup at the Drafthouse on Friday and Saturday. Four performances are scheduled. Tickets are $25. Grier’s TV and movie credits include “In Living Color,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and “Jumanji.”

Saturday

princess-frogFamily Film: “The Princess and the Frog”
Shirlington Branch Library (4200 Campbell Ave)
Time: 3-4:30 p.m.

Join Arlington Public Library staff and neighbors at a Saturday film screening for children and their caregivers. Snacks will be provided. First-come, first-served until capacity is reached. The movie is rated G and runs 98 minutes.

Sunday

A dog (photo courtesy Rena Schild)Yappy Sundays
Mad Rose Tavern (3100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.

Shame on you working all week and leaving your best friend unattended! Kick that boyfriend or girlfriend to the curb, recover from your Friday and Saturday nights and spend Sunday with your best friend who loves you no matter what. “All you can eat brunch” for only $22 and champagne bottle specials.

by ARLnow.com February 23, 2016 at 12:30 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Wednesday

AFAC-Bar-Olympiucs-FlyerAFAC Bar Olympics
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

Join AFAC for a night of fun and fundraising. Two-person teams compete in six bar games in a tournament-style competition. Entry fee is $10 per person ($20 per team). Top five teams qualify for cash prizes or gift cards.

Thursday

Osteria da NinoWine Pairing Dinner*
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-11 p.m.

Join Nino for a Campania wine pairing dinner at Osteria da Nino in Shirlington. The event will feature five courses and five wines for only $60 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Reservations are required.

Saturday

Feel the Heritage posterFeel the Heritage Festival
Drew Community Center (3500 23rd Street S.)
Time: 1-6 p.m.

Celebrate Black History Month at the 24th annual Feel the Heritage Festival. This FREE event features live music and dance, a “Hall of History,” free children’s activities, delicious soul food and a great selection of vendors.

Sunday

Duck Donuts in the Lee-Harrison Shopping CenterPAL Block Party
Duck Donuts (2511 N. Harrison Street)
Time: 3 p.m.

A bike-centric event in a car-heavy spot. Take a couple seconds from a stressful day and chat with ambassadors from Arlington’s PAL (Predictable, Alert, Lawful) program. There will be chairs, hot cocoa and incense.

oscarsparty-2016-300And the Winner Is… Oscars Party
Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7 p.m.

Watch the Oscars broadcast live on the big screen at the D.C. Film Society’s 24th annual party. There will be a predict the winners contest, trivia contests, giveaways and a silent auction. Tickets are $20.

by ARLnow.com February 12, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

Shamrock Crawl logoThe Shamrock Crawl, dubbed Arlington’s biggest bar crawl, will return to Clarendon next month.

The bar crawl is scheduled to take place from 1-9 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. Tickets are $15 through the end of the month, $20 starting March 1 and $30 at the door.

“The Shamrock Crawl is a time of festive jubilation, so let your Irish cheer run free!” says the event’s website. “Join thousands of fellow beer lovers in celebrating a day full of green revelry at some of Arlington’s most popular bars.”

Attendees will get a refillable Shamrock mug, party favors, green beads, drink specials at each stop and free photos of the event. Participating bars include Clarendon Ballroom, Clarendon Grill, Mad Rose, Hunan One, Whitlow’s, Spider Kelly’s, Hard Times Cafe, IOTA Club, Mister Days and American Tap Room.

Last year, some 3,700 people participated in the Shamrock Crawl. That’s down from 5,000 revelers in 2014, but crime was also down — two arrests compared to more than two dozen arrests in 2014 — as a new bar crawl policy provided funds from organizers for a stepped-up police presence.

Arlington bar crawls may not be as wild and crazy as they once were, but they still rankle some business owners, as well as residents of surrounding neighborhoods, who sometimes complain of parking issues and the occasional drunk who shows up on their lawn.

We asked new County Board members Katie Cristol and Christian Dorsey about that our ARLnow Presents event Wednesday night. (Video below.)

by ARLnow.com December 14, 2015 at 4:40 pm 0

A long-time Clarendon business has closed its doors but remains in business in another state.

A&R Engravers recently vacated its small storefront at 2836 Wilson Boulevard, next to IOTA Club and Cafe. The trophies, plaques and other engraved items that once adorned the windows and walls have been removed, leaving behind a bare space behind a simple “closed” sign.

The store closed earlier this fall and moved to North Carolina, owner Jeffrey Griffiths told ARLnow.com. He noted that A&R, which was first founded in 1958, had been in its current storefront for about 15 years and was located at 3173 Wilson Blvd — where Spider Kelly’s is now — for 15 or so years before that.

“Arlington has changed dramatically in those 30 years,” Griffiths said via email. “I applaud Arlington’s growth and prosperity, but it came with a price, what with the increased parking issues, drunk patrons from the neighboring bars puking in our front door foyer, the broken beer bottles in the back no-man’s zone created by the development of Market Common, the bar crawls, etc.”

Griffith said the building was sold and he was given a move-out date of Jan. 31, 2016 with no hope of a lease renewal.

“I started looking around Arlington for a space that would work for my business,” he said. “I could not find anything, so I decided to make the move to Asheville, NC, buying a building in its thriving downtown area.”

Because A&R was able to keep its phone numbers, email address and website, Griffith says he’s still serving his local Arlington customer base.

“We just miss seeing their familiar faces,” he wrote. “Arlington will always have a special place in my heart as many good and loving years were spent there. I feel that I did not leave Arlington, as much as Arlington left me. There really are few opportunities for a small, family-owned business to exist in Arlington nowadays. I join a growing list of favorites that I have seen had to close or move out over the years.”

“Another piece of old Clarendon gone,” echoed a tipster who emailed ARLnow.com about A&R’s closure.

Public records indicate that the 2836 Wilson Blvd building was sold to Market Common Clarendon owner TIAA-CREF in 2013 for $625,000. TIAA-CREF also owns the adjacent building that houses IOTA Club and Cafe.

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