UPDATE: Spring Storm Drops Snow-Like Precipitation on Arlington

Update at 4:20 p.m. — The storm passed quickly, but not before dropping enough snow-like graupel and hail to whiten the ground.

Earlier: A Severe Thunderstorm Warning has been issued for Arlington, ahead of a line of storm approaching from the northwest.

The storms may produce hail and strong wind gusts, forecasters say.

More from the National Weather Service:

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A * SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WARNING FOR… THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA… SOUTHEASTERN MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND… NORTHWESTERN CHARLES COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND… ARLINGTON COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF FALLS CHURCH IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… SOUTHEASTERN FAIRFAX COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… EAST CENTRAL PRINCE WILLIAM COUNTY IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… THE CITY OF ALEXANDRIA IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA… * UNTIL 430 PM EDT. * AT 351 PM EDT, A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WAS LOCATED NEAR OAKTON, OR NEAR RESTON, MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 50 MPH. HAZARD…60 MPH WIND GUSTS. WIND GUSTS OVER 50 MPH WERE REPORTED IN WINCHESTER, LEESBURG AND AT DULLES AIRPORT. SOURCE…RADAR INDICATED. IMPACT…DAMAGING WINDS WILL CAUSE SOME TREES AND LARGE BRANCHES TO FALL. THIS COULD INJURE THOSE OUTDOORS, AS WELL AS DAMAGE HOMES AND VEHICLES. ROADWAYS MAY BECOME BLOCKED BY DOWNED TREES. LOCALIZED POWER OUTAGES ARE POSSIBLE. UNSECURED LIGHT OBJECTS MAY BECOME PROJECTILES. * LOCATIONS IMPACTED INCLUDE… ARLINGTON, ALEXANDRIA, WALDORF, DALE CITY, BETHESDA, BOWIE, ANNANDALE, CLINTON, SPRINGFIELD, COLLEGE PARK, FORT WASHINGTON, GREENBELT, LANGLEY PARK, BELTSVILLE, FORT HUNT, GROVETON, FORESTVILLE, FALLS CHURCH, HUNTINGTON AND LARGO. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… GET INDOORS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM WIND AND LIGHTNING. TREES AROUND YOU MAY BE DOWNED FROM DAMAGING WINDS, SO IF YOU ARE NEAR LARGE TREES, MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR. DON’T DRIVE UNDERNEATH TREES OR IN WOODED AREAS UNTIL THE THREAT HAS PASSED. && HAIL…<.75IN WIND…60MPH

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ACFD Responds to Gas Leak in Ft. Myer Heights

(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) Firefighters responded this morning to a significant gas leak at a construction site in the Radnor-Ft. Myer Heights neighborhood.

A gas line was reportedly struck at a construction site near the intersection of N. Rolfe Street and the Arlington Blvd access road. The gas leak prompted evacuations of nearby residents.

Washington Gas is currently on scene working to control the leak, ACFD said.

Map via Google Maps

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South Block Opening New Ballston Location Monday

South Block, the growing juice bar chain that started its expansion in Clarendon, is planning to open its newest location to the public on Monday.

The new 1,300 square foot location, next to BASH Boxing in the outdoor row of businesses at Ballston Quarter mall, will offer raw, cold-pressed juices, along with toasts, acai bowls, and smoothies.

A “soft opening” for the new Ballston location will be held starting on Monday. The location’s normal weekday hours will be 7 a.m.-8 p.m., with weekend hours of 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

South Block will be holding a “block party” in two weeks to celebrate its grand opening, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Arlington Food Assistance Center. More on that, via a press release, below.

Locally owned South Block, northern Virginia’s first juice bar known for amazing acai bowls, smoothies and juice, celebrates its ninth location with a Grand Opening “Block Party” on Saturday, April 6 in Ballston Quarter. South Block first opened in 2011 in a 700 square foot space in Clarendon on a mission to “Build Healthier Communities…One Block at a Time!” The Ballston location is more than 1300 square feet and is located next to the future Ballston BASH Boxing in the newly renovated Ballston Mall on N. Randolph Street.

“When I graduated from Virginia Tech I lived in Ballston before I opened the first South Block. It’s where the seed was planted, and now, more than 15 years later I am so excited to go back to my roots and open our ninth location. I have a strong connection to this community and am honored to be a part of the flourishing neighborhood,” said South Block’s Founder and CEO, Amir Mostafavi.

South Block’s “good vibe tribe” will be out in full force at the Grand Opening “Block Party” on Saturday, April 6 at 9:00 a.m. The first 100 “Block Party” attendees will receive a swag bag complete with a reusable smoothie cup and sunglasses plus the chance to win a $100 South Block gift card. A live DJ and boxing demonstrations by BASH boxing will keep the good vibes rolling!

WHO: South Block Ballston
WHAT: South Block Ballston’s Grand Opening “Block Party”
WHEN: Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. (Store opens to the public on Monday, March 25).
WHERE: South Block | 700 N Randolph St, Arlington, VA 22203

All proceeds on April 6 will go to South Block’s new fundraising initiative, Fruitful Planet, to support the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), a community-based non-profit that provides supplemental groceries to Arlington neighbors in need. South Block created Fruitful Planet as a way to give back to those in need and build healthy communities. “We believe that small acts can make a big impact! The Arlington community has been so great to South Block… we want to do everything we can to support the community and show love back. We are ‘One Block!'” said Mostafavi.

South Block’s Ballston Quarter location will have a soft opening starting March 25 and will be open weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and weekends 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Download South Block’s mobile app to access their secret “Underground Menu” and order-ahead. South Block has partnered with another locally growing business, MightyMeals, to deliver their juices. Visit www.southblockjuice.com  for juice delivery options!

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Morning Notes

GW Parkway ClosureUpdated at 9:15 a.m. — “All lanes of the GW Parkway are now closed during Friday morning’s rush hour due to a large sinkhole that was discovered overnight.” [Tysons Reporter]

HQ2 Impact to Be Bigger Than Expected? — JPMorgan’s Jamie Dimon and George Mason University’s Stephen S. Fuller both think many are underestimating HQ2’s impact on job creation in the region. [Washington Business JournalWashington Business Journal]

Arlington Gets High Marks for Dog Parks — Arlington is No. 10 on the Trust for Public Land’s ranking of cities with the most dog parks per capita. Arlington has eight dog parks, or 3.5 for every 100,000 residents. D.C. ranked No. 22 on the list. [Trust for Public Land]

Wilson Blvd to Close Again in Ballston — “That stretch of Wilson Boulevard at @BallstonQuarter that’s now closed eastbound on school nights 8pm-6am for 8 weeks? It’ll also be closed both ways this weekend, Friday 8pm to Sunday 6pm. Lots of pedestrian bridge to do.” [Twitter]

Road Closures in N. Arlington — “The Nottingham/Discovery Elementary Schools 5K race will take place on Saturday, March 23, 2019. The Arlington County Police Department will close several roads from approximately 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM to accommodate the event.” [Arlington County]

Basketball Fundraiser Tonight — “New Directions High School students will play Arlington County’s heroes — including some of the police department, fire department, probation and prosecutor’s office” tonight at Hoffman-Boston Elementary School to raise money for New Directions. [Twitter]

No Hyperloop for Va. for Now — “Virginia transit officials flew to California to check out Elon Musk’s Boring Co. tunnel. They say they’re gonna stick with traditional roads and railways for now. ‘It’s a car in a very small tunnel.'” [Virginia Mercury, Twitter]

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Crime Report: Bullet Found in Shirlington Home

Police are investigating how a bullet wound up in a home near Shirlington.

A man found the bullet while cleaning his home on the 4500 block of 28th Road S. last week and called police, believing the bullet had been fired from outside the home. The man also told police that the bullet damaged a hanging picture frame.

No one was injured and the investigation is ongoing, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING (late), 2019-03150177, 4500 block of 28th Road S. At approximately 3:10 p.m. on March 15, police were dispatched to the report of suspicious circumstances. Upon arrival, it was determined that on March 14 at approximately 7:00 p.m., the victim was cleaning his residence when he located a bullet on the floor of the living room which is believed to have caused damage to a hanging picture frame. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

Below are the rest of the highlights from this week’s crime report, including some we’ve already reported.

ASSAULT & BATTERY ON POLICE, 2019-03190004, 1500 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 12:17 a.m. on March 19, police were dispatched to the report of disorderly conduct. Upon arrival, it was determined that police were summoned for a female subject who was allegedly disregarding the rules of a program center and refusing to leave. The subject refused to comply with the lawful commands of officers to leave the premises and became combative. While attempting to place the subject under arrest for trespassing, she kicked one officer in the chest and struck another in the face. Patricia Davis, 62, of No Fixed Address was arrested and charged with Assault and Battery on Police (x2) and Trespassing. She was held without bond.

ROBBERY (late), 2019-03170184, 1700 block of N. Moore Street. At approximately 2:45 p.m. on March 17, police were dispatched to the late report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 1:35 p.m., a store employee attempted to prevent two alleged shoplifting suspects from leaving the business. The suspects pushed the employee and struck him in the face before fleeing the scene on foot. The victim refused medical attention. Suspect One is described as a tall black male, in his 20s – 30s, wearing a dark blue jacket, dark colored jeans, dark shoes and a backpack. Suspect Two is described as a shorter black male, wearing a blue and red jacket, blue jeans and a backpack. The investigation is ongoing.

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2019-03150030, 2900 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 2:09 a.m. on March 15, officers on routine patrol were approached by a victim suffering from a superficial laceration to the neck. The victim did not require medical attention. Upon investigation, it was determined that the victim’s friends were speaking with two unknown males when the victim approached them and told them it was time to go. The unknown male suspects began following the group and following a verbal altercation, one suspect produced a blade and struck the victim in the neck. The suspects fled the scene prior to police notification. Suspect 1 is described as a white male, bald with tattoos, between 5’8″ – 5’9″ tall and approximately 140lbs. Suspect 2 is described as a white male, approximately 5’8″ with an athletic build. He was wearing a short sleeve black shirt and light colored jeans at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.

UNLAWFUL ENTRY, 2019-03160029, 4100 block of 3rd Road N. At approximately 2:30 a.m. police were dispatched to the report of a possible unlawful entry into a vacant apartment. Upon arrival, officers located a suspect inside the residence who allegedly entered through an unsecured window. Alberto Bollera, 34, of Hyattsville, MD was arrested and charged with Unlawful Entry and Drunk in Public.

ATTEMPTED BURGLARY, 2019-03160302, 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 11:39 p.m. on March 16, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious person. Upon arrival, it was determined the victim was inside her residence when she observed the door handle to her residence moving. The suspect fled the scene prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black male, 40 – 60 years old, wearing a camouflage jacket, light colored sweatshirt and light colored pants. The investigation is ongoing.

ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 2019-03130240, 1700 block of Crystal Drive. At approximately 10:55 p.m. on March 13, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim was walking in the area when he was approached by an unknown suspect who attempted to steal his wallet. The victim shouted at the suspect and he fled the scene on foot. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’7″-5’8″ with a beard, wearing a dark zippered jacket, khaki pants, and a striped beanie hat. The investigation is ongoing.

RECOVERED STOLEN AUTO, 2019-03140086, 3400 block of N. Inglewood Street. At approximately 10:49 a.m. on March 14, police were dispatched to the report of a Grand Larceny Auto. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect entered the victim’s garage and stole a vehicle with the key left inside. The vehicle was located unoccupied in Washington D.C. Warrants for Grand Larceny Auto and Grand Larceny were obtained.

BURGLARY (late), 2019-03120045, 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 8:15 a.m. on March 12, police responded to the late report of a burglary. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 2:10 a.m. on March 12, an unknown suspect entered a residence through an unlocked door and stole numerous items of value. There is no suspect(s) description. The investigation is ongoing.

BURGLARY, 2019-03130242, 4100 block of S. Four Mile Run Drive. At approximately 11:07 p.m. on March 13, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim heard noise originating from outside his patio door. Upon investigation, the victim observed an unknown male suspect outside the door. The suspect fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival and a canvas of the area returned with negative results. The suspect is described as a black male with dark complexion, in his late 30’s to early 40’s, approximately 5’9″ tall and weighing 200 lbs. He has short hair, a mustache and a beard. He was wearing a dark colored jacket, red hoodie, and navy pants at the time of the incident.

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DEVELOPING: Water Main Break Leaves GMU, Others High and Dry

Kirkwood Road is closed between Washington Blvd and 14th Street N. due to a significant water main break.

Crews have been working on the break since last night and “scores of customers could be affected,” said Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services. Among those reported to be affected by the water outage is George Mason University’s Arlington campus.

Video posted of the scene shows a large hole in the roadway filled with roiling, cloudy water.

More via Twitter:

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Morning Notes

Real Estate Near Crystal City is Hot — “In the 22202 ZIP code — which comprises Crystal City, Pentagon City, Aurora Hills, Aurora Highlands and Arlington Ridge — there are only 11 homes for sale right now, according to Realtor.com. Only three are single-family homes. The rest are condos.” [Washington Business Journal]

Escape Room Nearing OpeningBond’s Escape Room in Clarendon says it will open in about two months. “I’m happy with the way it’s coming along!” said founder Egor Bondarev. [Instagram]

Circulator Bus Now Free — Rides on the D.C. Circulator bus are now free indefinitely, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday. The bus line has a stop in Rosslyn. [Fox 5]

Transportation Partners Honored — “On March 19, the Arlington County Board honored 31 local businesses and properties for their dedication to sustainable transportation for employees and tenants, as part of Arlington Transportation Partners’ (ATP) Champions program.” [Arlington County]

Seven Freed From Stuck Metro Station Elevator — “Firefighters freed seven people trapped in an elevator at the Crystal City Metro station Wednesday morning, according to a report.” [Patch, Twitter]

Politico Owner Launching New Tech Site — “Robert Allbritton, the executive chairman of private equity firm Perpetual Capital and publisher of [Rosslyn-based] Politico, is preparing to launch a global technology news site, the latest sign of growing investment in tech coverage across American journalism.” [NBC News]

Nearby: Halal Butchery Opposed in Alexandria — “Though city staff and Alexandria’s planning commission recommended approving DC Poultry Market’s application, dog lovers showed up to the Alexandria City Council’s March 16 meeting to object on olfactory grounds (‘My dog can smell when there’s a cookie down the block,’ one resident said) and on proximity to poultricide (‘Knowing that my dogs may be walked by a business that holds chickens in a windowless room before their throats are slit while fully conscious does not make me feel that my dogs are in a safe environment,’ another said).” [Washingtonian]

Flickr pool photo (originally published in 2016) by Kevin Wolf

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Podcast: An Exit Interview with Alex Koma

On his last day on the job, we sat down with outgoing ARLnow managing editor Alex Koma to talk about Arlington, Amazon, ARLnow, our new editor Airey, and a bunch of other topics that don’t start with the letter “A.”

Alex is now reporting on real estate development at the Rosslyn-based Washington Business Journal, but you can hear from him on this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast. For more about his new employer, check out last week’s episode with WBJ Editor-in-Chief Doug Fruehling.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher or TuneIn. We used some new recording equipment this go-round, so please forgive the resulting audio glitches — we’ll try to get them ironed out prior to the next episode.

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BREAKING: SUV Driven into Creek at Bluemont Park

(Updated at 2:10 p.m.) An SUV wound up in Four Mile Run creek in Bluemont Park this morning, prompting a hazmat response to contain a fuel spill.

The crash happened shortly before noon, near a parking lot adjacent to the intersection of N. Manchester Street and 4th Street N. It’s unclear how exactly the crash happened.

No injuries were reported. A woman could be seen sitting on the ground near the crash scene, being interviewed by police.

Arlington County firefighters placed booms in the creek to try to contain fuel from the SUV, some of which spilled into the creek and was visible as a sheen on the water.

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Arlington Pet of the Week: Puppy

This week a year-and-half-old kitten named Puppy is the Arlington Pet of the Week.

Here’s owner Zach’s biography of this CatDog’s journey to his home:

In my first seven months after birth, I had four different owners until I was adopted by my current pawrents. Because of this, I am very shy in front of strangers, but very chill when my pawrents keeping me company.

Whenever they are watching a movie, I like to snuggle with them on sofa. I like to sleep in my pawrent’s closest, and waking them up in the morning by jumping on the bed (just like a puppy!). I also enjoy my pawrents giving me a massage.

Keep up with my life on Instagram @real_puppythecat !

Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Please don’t send vertical photos, they don’t fit in our photo galleries!

Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks. Becky’s Pet Care is the winner of six consecutive Angie’s List Super Service Awards, the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year and a proud supporter of the Arlington County Pawsitively Prepared Campaign.

Becky’s Pet Care provides professional dog walking and pet sitting in Arlington and all of Northern Virginia, as well as PetPrep training courses for Pet Care, CPR and emergency preparedness.

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New Restaurant Coming to Walter Reed Drive ‘Bermuda Triangle’

An angular strip of land along S. Walter Reed Drive where restaurants frequently appear and disappear seems to be again preparing to host another eatery.

A construction permit application was filed last week for a planned restaurant at 1621 S. Walter Reed Drive. The permit calls for “interior alterations… including kitchen equipment, floor and wall coverings, partitions, plumbing and electrical fixtures.”

No structural changes are planned.

Among the various restaurants to call the building home over the years was The Corner Tex-Mix, which closed in 2016 under somewhat mysterious circumstances.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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Morning Notes

County Officials Defend Amazon FOIA Deal — “The Arlington government’s top attorney says there’s nothing improper about part of the county’s incentive deal with Amazon that gives the company notice of Virginia Freedom of Information Act filings related to the agreement.” [InsideNova]

Pedestrian Struck in Virginia Square — Police, firefighters responded to a pedestrian struck by a vehicle on Wilson Blvd at N. Oakland Street Tuesday morning. The vehicle was turning and struck the pedestrian, who suffered minor injuries, we’re told. In Arlington, pedestrian-involved crashes like this are common, occurring almost every day, though most — like this incident — result in non-life-threatening injuries to the victim. [Twitter]

Smoke Fills Lee Highway Building — Firefighters responded to an under-construction commercial building on the 5800 block of Lee Highway yesterday afternoon to investigate smoke in the building. It was determined that the smoke came from a malfunctioning HVAC unit. [Twitter]

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DEVELOPING: Much of Fairlington Has Lost Water Service

Update at 9 a.m. — Water pressure has been restored to the neighborhood, though there are some reports of water pressure being low.

Earlier: A large section of Fairlington has lost its water service.

The outage was first reported around 9:45 p.m. An initial report from Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services said the outage was the result of a water main break.

“Crews have been dispatched,” the agency said. “More information, including estimated completion time, will be available as soon as possible.”

Thousands live in the Fairlington neighborhood, which is divided by I-395 into north and south sections — both of which are without water, according to reports from residents.

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Coming Soon: No Left Turn at a Busy Clarendon Intersection

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Arlington County will soon be adding a permanent turn restriction at a busy Clarendon intersection.

As part of the changes to the “Clarendon Circle” intersection of Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards, westbound traffic on Washington Blvd will no longer be allowed to turn left onto Wilson Blvd.

The move will eliminate a tricky turn but will mean that some drivers will have to adjust their routes to get to their destinations.

The restriction is set to go into effect a bit later this month, county officials say. Other, temporary restrictions will also be put into place.

More from a press release:

In late March, the left turn from westbound Washington Boulevard to Wilson Boulevard will be permanently removed during construction to improve the Clarendon Circle intersection.

Construction will soon start on sidewalk improvements along Washington Boulevard between Clarendon Boulevard and North Hudson Street. Travel lanes on this section of Washington Boulevard will be reduced from two lanes to one and the left turn to Wilson Boulevard will be removed. Once this work is complete, the road will be restored to two through lanes but left turns to Wilson Boulevard will remain prohibited.

Drivers on westbound Washington Boulevard will have other options for reaching Wilson Boulevard. Before Clarendon Circle, drivers can turn left onto 10th Street North and then make a left to Wilson Boulevard. If they continue through the Clarendon Circle intersection, drivers can turn left onto North Kirkwood Road and then make a right onto Wilson Boulevard.

The County is redesigning the Clarendon Circle intersection and reducing its overall size to improve access and safety for people walking, biking and driving. Wider sidewalks and medians will make it safer and easier for people traveling around the intersection and shorten crossing distances.

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New-Look Wendy’s Now Open on Route 7

Now sporting a fresh look to go along with its fresh beef, a Wendy’s along Route 7 has reopened following renovations.

The fast food outpost now features an electronic order status display, a faux fireplace, a Coca-Cola Freestyle drink machine and a flat panel TV currently tuned to ESPN.

Located at 5050 S. Chesterfield Road, not far from Wakefield High School, the renovated Wendy’s sits next to a 7-Eleven store and a Taco Bell, on a small peninsula of Arlington County surrounded on three sides by the borders of Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria.

The renovations are nearly identical to those at the recently reopened Wendy’s at 3431 Columbia Pike.

More from a press release:

With revitalized decor, comfortable seating and other amenities, customers will enjoy a stunning new Wendy’s® experience when they visit the remodeled restaurant at 5050 Chesterfield Road, Arlington, VA beginning March 16.

The restaurant was remodeled using an innovative interior and exterior design, which is part of an ongoing effort to provide an enhanced customer experience — from the high-quality food to the restaurant environment.

“This restaurant has bold curb appeal and features a compelling design–inside and out,” said Arif Islam, Wendy’s Region Manager. “It’s very different from what our customers in Arlington are used to, but we think they’ll really like the fresh look and feel of the new Wendy’s.”

The interior showcases open, bright dining areas with multiple seating options, including private booths, cozy lounge seating and a Wi-Fi bar. A Coca-Cola® Freestyle® beverage dispenser that allows customers to customize their drink choices is also available. The touch screen, self-serve fountains offer over 100 regular and low-calorie beverages, including a variety of branded waters, sports drinks, lemonades and sparkling beverages.

“Our ultimate goal is for our customers to have the best dining experience, and we think they will be surprised and excited about their new Wendy’s,” Islam said.

Map via Google Maps

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