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Comedy Lineup, Holiday Events Fill Arlington Drafthouse Schedule

Comedians from hit TV shows and movies are coming to Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) over the next month.

Aasif Mandvi from The Daily Show is set to perform mid-December. He joins a lineup of comedians featuring Darrell Hammond, one of the longest running cast members on Saturday Night Live, and Bobby Lee from Chelsea Lately. 

The Drafthouse schedule includes:

  • Natasha Leggero of Comedy Central and He’s Just Not That Into You (Nov. 16-17)
  • Alonzo Bodden of Last Comic Standing and Scary Movie 4 (Nov. 23-24)
  • Bobby Lee of Chelsea Lately and The Dictator (Nov. 29-Dec. 1)
  • Darrell Hammond of Saturday Night Live and Law & Order: SVU (Dec. 7-8)
  • Aasif Mandvi of The Daily Show and A Series of Unfortunate Events (Dec. 14-15)

In addition to the stellar comedy lineup, the Drafthouse is holding a holiday-themed cartoon viewing event for grown-ups. The “Spoons, Toons & Booze Christmas Special” will offer holiday-themed episodes of popular Saturday morning cartoon series along with boozy beverages and an all-you-can-eat cereal bar.

Audience members are encouraged to dress in their “ugliest holiday sweater or coziest PJs” for photos with Santa Claus. They also can compete in contests to choose what to watch from the selection of more than 100 cartoon series from the 1940s to early 2000s. The event is scheduled for noon Dec. 8-9. Tickets are $15.

For even more Christmas cheer, an all-day movie festival on Dec. 16 will show half of a dozen holiday favorites.

The list of movies features:

  • The Polar Express
  • How The Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
  • Elf 
  • Bad Santa

Tickets are $10.

Photo via Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse

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Local Christmas Tree Sales Start Next Week

With Thanksgiving coming up next week, holiday season preparations are right around the corner. Arlington residents in search of a Christmas tree can head to these spots to pick out the perfect pine.

The Optimist Club of Arlington will start its annual tree sale next at 2 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 23 in the Wells Fargo Bank lot along Lee Highway (2213 N. Glebe Road). The sales will end around Dec. 21 depending on availability, according to a press release.

Its hours are:

  • Monday to Thursday, 2 to 8 p.m.
  • Friday, noon to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The lot will also have wreaths, garland and White House Christmas ornaments available for purchase. All of the proceeds go to the club’s youth programs, which provide support and scholarships to local children.

For the first time this year, the Optimist Club will also be selling trees at a second location.

From Dec. 5-7, the club will operate a “pop-up lot” in the Ballston Gold’s Gym parking lot on Wilson Blvd. The lot is scheduled to be open from 3-7 p.m. and will offer smaller trees than the main Wells Fargo lot. A food truck is also set to serve food for tree shoppers.

The Arlington South Lions Club will begin its annual Christmas tree sale next Friday, Nov. 23, as well.

The sale will take place at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Four Mile Run Drive from noon to 8 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends until Dec. 24. Also planned is a Christmas Tree 5K on the W&OD Trail on Saturday, Dec. 1.

“Benefits from the Christmas Tree 5K and Lions Club Christmas Tree Sale will provide resources for sight preservation, disaster relief, Arlington Youth activities, the Arlington Free Clinic and the Arlington Food Assistance Center,” according to the Lions Club. “The Club will be providing Christmas trees to low-income families as well to provide joy during holiday celebrations.”

The Clarendon United Methodist Church (606 N. Irving Street), meanwhile, begins its tree sale on Saturday, Nov. 24 and runs until the lot sold out. Proceeds will go toward Rise Against Hunger, Wings of Caring and Arlington Thrive.

The schedule is:

  • Monday to Friday, 6 to 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.

 

Other usual Christmas tree sale locations to check out include Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (830 23rd Street S.) in Aurora Highlands, Whole Foods stores and local farmers markets. Spots outside of Arlington include the Middleburg Christmas Tree Farm and Almost Heavenly Christmas Trees, which has a location in North Ridge and another in Landmark.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Drybar Set to Open Today at Ballston Quarter

Drybar, a national hair salon chain that specializes in blowouts, is set to start styling today (Nov. 15) in Ballston Quarter.

Located at 4238 Wilson Blvd, the salon is behind the CVS on the first floor of the mall. It neighbors DC Lash Bar.

“No cuts. No color. Just blowouts,” reads a framed menu with a listing of cocktail-inspired blowouts hanging in the storefront window. Styling available includes the “Manhattan” for sleek and smooth hair, the “Mai Tai” for a messy and beachy look, “Cosmopolitan” for loose curls and “Dirty Martini” for tousled and textured hair, along with three more, the sign says.

This is Drybar’s second location in Virginia, after its Tysons Corner debut in March 2016. The new Ballston Quarter spot is just one of half of a dozen upcoming locations across the country, including North Carolina, Arizona, California and Hawaii.

Drybar announced Jan. 1 on Facebook nearly two dozen locations are set to open in 2018, including the Arlington one and another in Alexandria, which does not have an announced location yet.

The store’s opening makes it among the first new businesses to open up shop in Ballston Quarter following its redevelopment, following a series of delays. A variety of other stores on its first two floors are set to open as soon as today.

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Mediterranean Restaurant Replaces Mazagan on Columbia Pike

Mediterranean-themed restaurant Caspi is replacing the Moroccan eatery and hookah bar, Mazagan Restaurant, next to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse.

Located at 2901 Columbia Pike location, Mazagan Restaurant was purchased last week and will be replaced with a restaurant featuring a menu of Mediterranean and European cuisine, one of the owners told ARLnow. He added that the restaurant is aiming for a soft opening this coming weekend, followed by a grand opening in late November.

A peek inside the windows reveals a torn apart inside with construction tools and signs of major renovation. A Virginia liquor license application from Huseynov and Sam LLC is posted in the window facing Columbia Pike.

Mazagan Restaurant opened at the spot in May 8, 2014 after replacing the quirky electronics store Venus Stereos & TVs. The website for the Moroccan eatery says “closed” and “under construction.”

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SunTrust Branch on Glebe Road Set to Close Early Next Year

SunTrust Bank will close its branch at 249 N. Glebe Road on Feb. 5.

“The decision to close a branch is made after careful study and analysis,” Hugh Suhr, a spokesman for SunTrust, told ARLnow, adding that market growth, real estate arrangements and transaction volumes are some of the factors considered.

The bank began notifying clients last week, and their accounts will be transferred to either the Arlington Gateway branch at 901 N. Glebe Road or the South Arlington branch at 3108 Columbia Pike, unless clients specify a different location, Suhr said.

“SunTrust, like all banking companies, must constantly refine its branch network to meet the changing needs and transaction patterns of clients, as well as taking into account their increasing usage of newer delivery channels such as internet banking and mobile banking,” Suhr said.

In May, SunTrust, which is based in Atlanta, was hit with a massive data breach that compromised 1.5 million customer accounts.

A Subway sandwich shop next door at 243 N. Glebe Road closed earlier this year. The owner decided to shut it down in April in order to focus on another Subway location nearby that is still open, a spokesperson for the restaurant told ARLnow.

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County’s Vacuum Leaf Collection Starts Next Week

Get ready to start raking in the leaves: the county’s leaf collection starts next Monday (Nov. 12) for some neighborhoods and continues through mid-December.

The vacuum truck will operate Mondays through Saturdays, except for Thanksgiving, and will complete two sweeps on a set neighborhood schedule. The first pass runs from Nov. 12 to Dec. 4. Immediately afterward the second collection pass begins and run until Dec. 20.

Look for yellow signs posted three to seven days ahead of the first pass and then orange signs for the second one. Leaves should be at the curb at the start of the collection window and stay there until they are collected.

Residents can prepare for leaf collection by raking leaves to the curb — and away from storm drains and water meter covers — the weekend before the scheduled collection. The brochure reminds residents to remove stones, branches, litter and other debris from the pile and to reduce fire hazards by not parking cars on leaf piles.

Residents can also recycle leaves by placing them in green organics carts or paper yard bags at the curb by 6 a.m. for pickup on regular trash collection days. The weight cut off is 50 pounds for bags and 200 pounds for carts. The recycled leaves become nutrient-rich mulch that residents can pick up for free either at the Solid Waste Bureau near SHirlington or near Marymount University at 4712 26th Street N.

The county will not collect leaves in plastic bags.

“Yard trimmings collected in Arlington County are composted and used to make top soil for use in county projects. Plastic bags and other inorganic materials contaminate the end product,” a blurb on a county brochure reads.

The county’s free bag distribution started last week (Oct. 29) and runs until Jan. 18 while supplies last at the following locations:

  • Aurora Hills Community Center, 735 18th Street S., 703-228-5715
  • Courthouse Plaza, 2100 Clarendon Blvd, 703-228-3000
  • Lee Community Center, 5722 Lee Hwy, 703-228-0552
  • Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, 703-228-6535
  • Madison Community Center, 3829 N. Stafford Street, 703-228-5310
  • Solid Waste Bureau, 4300 29th Street S., 703-228-6570
  • Thomas Jefferson Community Center, 3501 2nd Street S., 703-228-5920

Flickr pool photo via wolfkann

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Fitness Club in Ballston Quarter Completes $2 Million Makeover, Gets a New Name

(Updated at 8:45 a.m.) The gym formerly known as Sport & Health in Ballston Quarter now has a new name, to go alongside a bit of a refresh.

US Fitness, the company that owns the fitness club, wrapped up a $2 million renovation of the newly christened “Onelife Fitness” on Tuesday (Nov. 6). A grand opening for the refurbished gym is now set for next Tuesday (Nov. 13) at 5 p.m. to celebrate the completed makeover, according to a press release.

US Fitness operates primarily under the Onelife Fitness brand, but also operates all of the Sport & Health clubs around the D.C. area. “Our brand’s success is driven by our passion and commitment to provide solutions and results for our members. We are always looking for how we can improve by developing or adopting cutting-edge programs and solutions,” Kirk and John Galiani, co-chairmen and founders of US Fitness, said in a statement.

New gear from the makeover includes:

  • cardio equipment
  • treadmills
  • ellipticals
  • stair climbers
  • bikes
  • rowers
  • strength equipment including free weights, circuit and functional training equipment
  • indoor and outdoor turf training spaces

In addition to locker rooms and amenities, the fitness club will also offer an expanded club with a maze for children; a cycle studio with Coach by Color bikes; a new studio with yoga, barre and Pilates; high-intensity training; and a group fitness studio.

The gym remained open during the renovation, which is now complete, Kirk Galiani told ARLnow. The gym is on the third floor of Ballston Quarter (4238 Wilson Blvd), which Forest City is currently revamping. The mall blew past its opening date twice — once in September and again in October.

Virginia is home to more than half of the 30 total Onelife Fitness clubs, which span four states.

Just a few months ago, the American College of Sports Medicine’s American Fitness Index crowned Arlington as “America’s fittest city” for “achieving a balance of both healthy behaviors and community infrastructure.”

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Smoothie Shop in Virginia Square Closes for the Season, Leaving Future in Doubt

Pulp Juice and Smoothie Bar has temporarily closed in Virginia Square — but that closure could someday become a bit more final.

The smoothie shop neighbored Extreme Pizza in retail space below the Virginia Square Towers apartments at 3444 Fairfax Drive.

The store closed for the season last Wednesday (Oct. 31) after losing $250,000 since it opened last year, a principal agent of the franchise for Pulp Juice and Smoothie told ARLnow, adding that the smoothie shop may come back to the space in March or close permanently.

The store had cash flow issues as it struggled with brand recognition in the area, he said.

Pulp Juice and Smoothie was a five-minute walk away from competitors Tropical Smoothie Cafe and JRINK. In addition to smoothies, the Arlington location sold cold wraps, side bowls, salads and fresh juices.

The Ohio-based company’s opening in Virginia Square last March marked the first store in Virginia for the franchise. Pulp Juice and Smoothie’s website lists 30 locations — one in Pennsylvania, one in South Carolina and 28 in Ohio.

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Bethesda Bagels Opens Its Doors in Rosslyn

A new Bethesda Bagels location opened its doors yesterday (Nov. 6) across from the Rosslyn Metro station.

Located at 1851 N. Moore Street, this is the first location in Arlington for Bethesda Bagels, which has two shops in D.C. to go along with the original in Bethesda, Md., founded in 1982.

About 15 customers showed up for the store’s 6:30 a.m. opening, and “long lines” formed throughout the rainy morning, Danny Fleishman, president of Bethesda Bagels, told ARLnow.

Sandwiched between Nando’s and McDonald’s, Bethesda Bagels offers passersby a glimpse into the bagel-making process with a storefront window near the kitchen. Fleishman said he plans to put a counter by the window for seating.

The menu centers around its two dozen varieties of handmade, New York-style bagels. The shop offers an all-day breakfast menu of egg sandwiches and smoked fish sandwiches and “lunch goodies” including pizza bagels and “bagel dogs.”

For first-time customers, Fleishman recommends the egg sandwiches or the smoked salmon sandwich, which uses smoked fish from Ivy City Smokehouse in D.C.

“Everything we do is homemade and true New York-deli style and is delicious,” he said.

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Coffee and Juice Bar Serving Up Smoothies, ‘Superfood’ Debuts in Clarendon

A new shop serving up smoothies, coffee and “superfood” recently opened in the lobby of an office building in Clarendon.

The Waterhouse Coffee and Juice Bar debuted last Tuesday (Oct. 30) with a soft opening for the office building tenants to sample the food and drink, Connie Kim, the owner and manager, told ARLnow.

Located at 3033 Wilson Blvd, customers use the street entrances on Wilson Blvd and N. Garfield Street or the sliding doors in the lobby of the office building to reach Waterhouse.

The tenants have come back since the soft opening, Kim said. While Kim said she is familiar with tenant customers from her first and, now-closed, business in the building shared by CNN and the U.S. Department of Education, these customers surprised her.

“I never knew tenants could be this intimate and regular,” she said.

The menu spans hot and cold coffee and teas to smoothies and freshly squeezed juice for drinks. The “natural fruit smoothies” are made from ice and fruit juice, while the “power boost smoothies” pack in about seven different ingredients, Kim said. Food options include toasts, salads, sandwiches, acai bowls and all-day breakfast.

“I wanted to do really good coffee, really good juice and smoothie bars, where it’s a very comfortable place,” Kim said.

The name “Waterhouse” popped into her head while sitting in an airport about four years ago, Kim said. Initially, she wanted to open a taco place, but then decided a coffee shop would be a better fit for the space by the Clarendon Metro station. Previous establishments at the space include a cafe and deli known for its vegan sandwiches and an Italian hoagie and Mediterranean food shop.

Waterhouse seats about 15 people inside the shop, with an additional 15 seats in the lobby. Kim plans to have four tables outside in the spring.

The shop is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

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