News that the Virginia Dept. of Motor Vehicles office on S. Four Mile Run Drive in Arlington will be moving to Fairfax County next year has stirred up controversy in both locales.
DMV and elected officials in Fairfax are planning a community meeting on Thursday to discuss the DMV office’s move to a busy shopping center along Columbia Pike, reports the Annandale VA blog. Locals there have expressed concern that the new DMV will cause traffic and parking problems in the area.
In Arlington, meanwhile, some residents are unhappy with the idea of having to trek out to Fairfax County to get a drivers license. In order to address the concerns of Arlington residents, Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) will be hosting a town hall meeting with DMV officials this weekend.
From a press release:
Delegate Alfonso Lopez (D-Arlington) is hosting a town hall meeting with Senior DMV Officials to discuss the relocation of the DMV Customer Service Center on Four Mile Run Drive in Arlington. The meeting will take place on Sunday, December 6th from 2:00 to 3:30 pm at the Walter Reed Community Center. The meeting will be an opportunity for members of the community to ask questions and learn more about the decision.
WHO: Delegate Alfonso Lopez, Senior DMV Officials
WHAT: A town hall meeting to discuss relocating the DMV office on Four Mile Run Drive
WHEN: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
WHERE: The Walter Reed Community Center’s multipurpose room (2909 16th St S, Arlington, VA 22204)
(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) A new Hawaiian-inspired restaurant has opened in Shirlington.
Hula Girl Bar and Grill, a restaurant based on a popular food truck, originally opened last week at 4044 Campbell Avenue. It closed unexpectedly over the weekend due to a power issue, but reopened for dinner last night (Monday).
Hula Girl’s furnishings are unmistakably Hawaiian, down to flip flops on the wall, surf boards hanging from the ceiling, Spam cans on the tables, surf films on the TVs and the Outrigger Canoe Club hat on chef/owner Mikala Brennan’s head.
The food menu includes Poke, a Hawaiian raw fish dish, along with a Hula Girl teriyaki plate, grilled mahi-mahi and barbecue ribs. There are also salads, sides and desserts to choose from, all island inspired.
On the beverage menu, beers from Maui Brewing and Kona Brewing are featured along with local brews. A wine menu has selections from relatively exotic non-Hawaiian locales: Texas, New York, Michigan, New Mexico and Maryland, among other more standard winemaking regions.
The cocktail menu includes plenty of tropical fruit and names like “Hawaii Kai Margarita,” “Blue HI,” “Say Pineapple 5X Fast” and “Never Below 75,” along with a signature Hula Girl Mai Tai.
While overworked, Brennan said she “feels great” about the new brick and mortar extension of her food truck vision.
“I had been looking for a location for 2 years — and we finally found our home here in Shirlington,” she told ARLnow.com. “The community has been so supportive and positive with us opening — feels like the Aloha Spirit is coming alive!”
Hula Girl is currently open Sunday through Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 11 p.m. Lunch service is expected to begin “late December.”
A North Arlington house has been named one of the “15 Most Decked-Out Holiday Homes in America.”
The house, on N. Abingdon Street at 16th Street N., near Virginia Hospital Center, is a perennial draw around holiday time. It features an array of lights, wreaths, Santa Clauses and other Christmas decorations.
The website MSN.com listed the house as No. 11 on its list of the 15 most outlandishly-decorated holiday homes in the U.S.
Flickr photo by Craig Pennington
Update at 4:35 p.m. — Public Shoe Store is still open, says owner S.H. “Doc” Friedman’s daughter. “Public Shoe is still operating and will continue to do so for another few months,” Karen Friedman Widmayer said this afternoon. In April, Friedman told ARLnow.com that the store would close by the end of the summer.
A new 7-Eleven store is coming to the heart of the Clarendon business district.
Permits have been filed for a 7-Eleven at 3137 Wilson Blvd, the former Public Shoe Store, which
closed earlier this year is preparing to close after 78 years in business.
So far, it’s early in the permitting process and there’s no word as to when the store might open.
This will be the sixth 7-Eleven store within a half mile or so. The nearest store is a couple of blocks away, at 3000 Washington Blvd. Another is located at 2704 Washington Blvd, and three are clustered around the Virginia Square Metro station.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt
Shirlington Tree Lighting Rescheduled — Due to rain, the Shirlington tree lighting event scheduled for tonight has been rescheduled. The holiday event is now set for Monday, Dec. 7 from 6-8:30 p.m. [Facebook]
Yona Now Open in Ballston — New ramen restaurant Yona opened for lunch yesterday in Ballston, attracting a “packed house” for $15 bowls of ramen. The restaurant, at 4000 Wilson Blvd, plans to start serving dinner on Friday. [Yona, Twitter]
Pothole Attracts Attention of Pentagon Police — A pothole on a stretch of roadway near the Pentagon attracted the attention of security forces after at least three cars became disabled due to running over it. Pentagon police are sent to investigate any time a vehicle stops on the site of the highway in view of the building. In 2010 a man fired shots at the Pentagon from his car on the side of I-395. [WTOP]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
The Tuesday after Thanksgiving (and first day of December) is proving to be a turkey in terms of traffic.
Steady rain and accidents have helped to slow the commute to a crawl across much of Arlington.
On I-395 at 9 a.m., nearly the entire length of inbound I-395 was slow. I-66 is reported to be backed up all the way to Falls church. And the GW Parkway is a slog starting at the first overlook.
A reader reports that Route 50 was no picnic, either.
.@ARLnowDOTcom traffic on rt 50 into DC is backed up to Washington Blvd
— Robin (@RNS48) December 1, 2015
Elsewhere, minor flooding was reported in the area of Chain Bridge. Expect the rain to continue throughout the morning, forecasters say.
Big, solid area of rain over DC region. A washout for next several hours. pic.twitter.com/PURVBrB6Hn
— Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) December 1, 2015
MakeOffices is constructing a new, 40,000 square foot, 550 seat office space on the second floor of 3100 Clarendon Blvd, across from the Clarendon Metro station and the Trader Joe’s.
MakeOffices Clarendon is expected to feature high-end interior furnishings, multiple conference rooms, two “bullpen” shared office spaces, dozens of private offices and a large central pantry/coffee bar.
It will be MakeOffices’ largest coworking space in the D.C. area, we’re told. (The company’s original office in Rosslyn remains open but is much smaller than its newer locations.)
The Clarendon location is expected to open in April. It is one of a number of new offices the company is planning, in D.C. and other major North American cities.
In the D.C. area, MakeOffices just opened a new coworking space in Reston and has another in the works in Logan Circle. The company also has plans to open offices next year in Chicago and Philadelphia, to be followed by new outposts in New York City and Toronto.
MakeOffices, meanwhile, will be getting some competition in Arlington, albeit a few miles away. WeWork, the largest company in the fast-growing coworking industry, is planning to open a new location in Crystal City this spring.
Disclosure: Local News Now, the publisher of ARLnow.com, has offices in MakeOffices locations in Arlington and D.C.
The incident happened just after noon Sunday at the PNC Bank at 2601 Clarendon Blvd.
Police say 27-year-old Uchenna Eze threw a rock at the bank “in an attempt to steal money.” He was arrested, charged with attempted burglary and held without bond.
Photo via Google Maps
Chipotle Mexican Grill has opened its first Columbia Pike location in Arlington.
The burrito chain is now open at 1002 S. Glebe Road, on the ground floor of the 3400 Pike apartment building at the corner of Glebe and the Pike.
The restaurant opened to relatively large crowds, at least for the weekend after Thanksgiving. Service was sluggish as employees received on-the-job training.
The new Chipotle’s hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week. Online ordering and pickup is available. The restaurant is still in the process of getting its state liquor license in order to serve beer.
Chipotle faces competition from local favorite Pedro and Vinny’s, the tiny but mighty burrito stand a few blocks down the Pike in a CVS parking lot.
The DMV office will move to the Barcroft Plaza shopping center, at 6345 Columbia Pike in the Falls Church section of Fairfax County, about four miles away from its current location.
The new DMV is expected to open “by late spring,” at which time the Four Mile Run location will close, said DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker.
Arlington County will retain its DMV Select office at the county government building in Courthouse (2100 Clarendon Blvd). The DMV Select office offers various vehicle titling and registration services, but does not issue driver’s licenses, learners permits or ID cards.
Photo via Commonwealth of Virginia
Wreath Shortfall Projected for Cemetery — Wreaths Across America projects it will be 30,000 short of its goal of 230,000 wreaths to place on graves at Arlington National Cemetery this year. The organization is hoping more donors step up before its fundraising deadline tomorrow. [Fox News]
Arlington Ranks No. 2 for Roommates — Among major U.S. localities, Arlington ranks No. 2 for having the highest percentage of adults living with roommates. According to the website, 23 percent of 18-39 year olds in Arlington live with a roommate. That compares to 21 percent for the No. 4 city, Washington, D.C. [Priceonomics via Greater Greater Washington]
Barbershop Chorus to Sing at Metro Stations — The Arlingtones, a barbershop chorus, will be performing barbershop music at three local Orange Line Metro stations this month. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!
Feel free to discuss what you’re thankful for this year — if you haven’t already — or any issue of local interest in the comments.
A man pushed a woman to the ground and tried to take her money last Wednesday along Columbia Pike, but fled after a witness intervened.
From this week’s Arlington County crime report:
ROBBERY, 151118069, 3200 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 10:35 p.m. on November 18, a 19 year-old female victim was shoved to the ground after a male subject attempted to steal change from her. The suspect fled the scene after a witness tried to intervene. Marlow Dugger, 37, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with attempted robbery. He is being held on a $5,000 bond.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
In actuality, the Saturday before Christmas is usually the biggest shopping day of the year. And with Cyber Monday and e-commerce encouraging online shopping, and Small Business Saturday encouraging shoppers to support local businesses, Black Friday may be losing its luster.
We wanted to check with those who are actually heading out to the malls and shopping centers today: how big are the crowds?
Alternatively, if you had to head into work today instead of shopping — like us — there’s an option for you.
School Board Compromise on Stratford History — While opposing efforts to designate the former Stratford Junior High a historic district, the Arlington School Board has adopted a renovation plan that keeps its facade intact and has set aside $250,000 for commemorative artwork and educational displays. Currently the home of the H-B Woodlawn secondary program, the school — which was the first in Virginia to integrate — is slated to become a new neighborhood middle school. [Washington Post]
Arlington Reservist Suing Benghazi Committee — Arlington resident Bradley Podliska is suing his former employer, the House Select Committee on Benghazi, claiming he was wrongly forced out of his job and then was defamed on national TV by the committee’s chair. Podliska, an Air Force reservist, says the committee was too hyper-focused on pinning blame on Hillary Clinton. At the same time, he says he was reprimanded for looking into the post-Benghazi talking points of United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice. [Courthouse News Service]
APS to Hold Community Budget Meetings — Arlington Public Schools will be holding three community meetings in December to gather public feedback ahead of the creation of its proposed FY 2017 budget. [Arlington Public Schools]
Arlington’s Secret Santa Program — Arlington County is again organizing a Secret Santa program, which will distribute gifts to more than 1,000 needy individuals in the Arlington community this holiday season. Residents, churches and school groups who’d like to participate are encouraged to donate $25 gift cards to local grocery, drug, and clothing stores. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf