Arlington, VA

(Updated at 10:40 a.m.) Arlington’s recent wave of activism now includes conflicts and changes at the nonprofit Mothers of North Arlington (MONA), including a discussion of expanding the group into South Arlington.

MONA is a nonprofit group for mothers and families across six ZIP codes, with more than 2,700 members. Since its inception, the group has promoted educational initiatives and events for both members and the general public to attend but has also seen its share of dissenters and critics.

In light of the national conversations around police brutality and systemic racism, one such critic is making the argument that MONA isn’t doing enough, starting with its exclusivity to North Arlington ZIP codes.

In early June, former MONA member Cynthia Smith posted to the group’s Facebook page about its silence on the topic of George Floyd’s murder, suggesting adding social justice organizations to MONA’s charity listings. The post was initially removed, though later restored, and Smith has since left MONA and called for the group to broaden its membership criteria to include South Arlington.

“Someone can’t just start a Mothers of South Arlington, it would take years by moms who are also likely working and raising kids,” Smith said in an email. “And the ‘separate but equal’ argument we all know is unsound. Route 50 has been a historic dividing line between whites and blacks, the haves and have-nots. MONA’s continued use of this dividing line is just a symbol of its desire to self-segregate.

(There is an existing group serving South Arlington: MOMS Club of Arlington – South.)

In defense of the group, Smith acknowledged how the MONA online forums can also be a valuable community resource, or a “bat signal,” for everything from school registration to tough, personal problems.

“There are so many different types of moms [in the group] but what is beautiful about MONA is that it acknowledges we all need help,” Smith said. “I think it owes it to itself and all of Arlington to come out of its bubble and welcome South Arlington moms into its fold.”

In response to Smith’s comments, MONA is making an effort to circulate ideas on how the group can facilitate actions to combat system racism.

On June 3, MONA President Mrinal Oberoi sent out an email to the group, writing:

In my previous President’s message, I failed to acknowledge the current racial injustice issues affecting our community. For that, I am sorry. Some of you may have taken that silence to be a message from MONA about where we stand. Let me be clear: MONA denounces racism and welcomes open discussions and sharing resources to raise our families in this light. Racism is an important, pervasive issue that deserves thoughtful, constructive discussion and action.

In her message, Oberoi, who herself is a person of color, asked for those who have felt unsafe or discriminated against in the group to reach out. In addition, she reminded the members of the forum posting guidelines and attached a link to a Google document to facilitate ideas of how the group can improve.

Some of the submissions in the document include:

  • Forming a MONA working group for social/racial injustice
  • Donating money to protesters’ bail funds and/or organizations working on racial justice issues
  • Create MONA social/racial justice yard and window signs
  • Host a town hall where MONA moms can share their own or listen to stories of racism and bias from other MONA moms
  • Create a communications policy that does not delete problematic, inconsiderate or inconvenient comments, but rather, respond to them as MONA addressing them and close the comments as needed

According to the document, the idea of MONA expanding membership to South Arlington is in discussion and “will be spearheaded by the new board.” One challenge of doing so is that a larger group would be even harder for its volunteer administrators to manage.

“The MONA Executive Board has discussed geographic expansion,” Oberoi said in an email to ARLnow. “The MONA Board and volunteers are currently in a state of transition as the fiscal year ends at the end of the month and there will be a change of Board in the next two weeks. These proposals will be reviewed by the new Board, which will take over July 1, 2020.”

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In the midst of an uptick of activism in Arlington, both current and former students of Arlington Public Schools are calling for reforms to the school system.

Sparsh Srivastava, a 2016 graduate from H-B Woodlawn, has gathered over 750 signatures on a Change.org petition launched earlier this week asking APS to offer a racial education elective course for high schoolers to take as a social studies credit.

According to the petition, the course would be “a discussion-based, socratic format,” that would “discuss systemic racism by examining Jim Crow minstrel shows and segregation, burning of Black Wall Street, generational wealth accumulation,” and more.

“Thinking back on my time at H-B, I received little to no racial education, especially on topics such as affirmative action and systematic racism,” said Srivastava, who has been in contact with APS teachers who expressed interest in creating a “mock,” or trial-run of the course, for the 2020-21 school year.

Srivastava has also reached out to APS Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer Arron Gregory in hopes the petition will ” gain enough traction to convince the APS administration of its value.”

The second Change.org petition, authored by Rosie Couture and Belan Yeshigeta, two current sophomores at Washington-Liberty High School, calls for APS to address its education inequities. It currently has more than 450 signatures with a goal of 500.

After reviewing the data from Arlington’s 2019 Community Report, Couture and Yeshigeta’s made a list of demands for APS including:

  • Meaningful implicit bias and cultural competency training for APS staff and students
  • A zero-tolerance policy for white supremacy
  • A transparent disciplinary policy that collects and reports disciplinary actions based on age, race, and gender, and limit the types out-of-school suspension
  • A disciplinary policy that includes student participation and oversight
  • A Restorative Justice program for APS that “will address the school-to-prison pipeline and give students the skills they need to properly address conflict”
  • And the elimination of the police department’s School Resource Officer program and redirected resources to fund more school social workers and school psychologists

“We see Arlington as a utopian, progressive county, and while the County and School Board does provide us with a lot of resources, we shouldn’t gloss over change that still needs to happen,” said Yeshigeta.

The pair plan on reaching out to the Arlington County Board and have created an action pledge for APS teachers to take. According to Couture, 54 teachers have signed on, and the list will eventually be publicized to students.

APS spokesman Frank Bellavia said the school system has seen both petitions and applauds “students for seeking change.” APS will be hosting a virtual forum on June 22 to further conversation, he said.

The full statement from Bellavia is below.

We have seen both petitions and applaud students for seeking change. We acknowledge the anger and hurt that our APS community and the nation are experiencing, especially our African American community. APS strives to celebrate the differences of all our students and strongly condemns violence and racism.

As Superintendent Dr. Francisco Durán and School Board Chair Tannia Talento stated in their June 2 letter to the community, APS pledges to continue the work started prior to the school closures to better educate and train our leaders and staff to tackle systemic bias and inequities, that have led to opportunity gaps and disproportionality in discipline. A first step in this work is to hold a virtual conversation on June 22. This will be the first in a series of conversations with our students, staff and community.

Photo via Change.org

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnowStartup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. Monday Properties remains firmly committed to the health, safety and well-being of its employees, tenants and community. This week, Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1000 and 1100 Wilson (The Rosslyn Towers).

Thanks to changes brought about by the pandemic, Arlingtonians can now get farm-to-table produce delivered right to their door.

Tucked into an unassuming strip mall on Lee Highway, Fresh Impact — which we profiled in October — is the county’s only commercial urban farm. With no signage or disclosed address, Fresh Impact has been growing specialty ingredients such as edible flowers and microgreens for chefs in the local restaurant industry for over three years.

This past February, according to founder Ryan Pierce, the farm had its most profitable month yet. But a few weeks later as COVID-19 began to spread in the D.C. area, ultimately shutting down all dine-in restaurant service, Pierce said Fresh Impact lost every single customer.

“We were faced with a choice: do we shut it down and try to ride it out, which would have meant laying off our staff, or do we try to pivot to the consumer market?” said Pierce.

Pierce and his team chose the latter. For the first time since its inception, anyone local can order CSA — or “Community Supported Agriculture” — boxes on the Fresh Impact website.

Customers chose a price point between $12-25 a week, and in turn receive a box full of the farm’s Arlington-grown salad greens, herbs, and more delivered to their door. There is also an opt-in for no contact delivery.

“You have to understand — we didn’t used to grow these kinds of produce, and pivoting to the consumer delivery meant overhauling nearly everything in a less than two month period,” Pierce said.

In April, Fresh Impact launched a pilot five-week CSA box in collaboration with members of the Mothers of North Arlington (MONA) group.

“That went really well and we’ve had plenty of MONA members ask to renew, plus added public interest.”

As a result, Fresh Impact will roll out its second round of CSA boxes, beginning July 1. Preorders are available now online, and Pierce says it’s based on a first-come, first-serve basis. Once the boxes sell out, it’ll be eight weeks until customers can sign up again.

“Even though restaurants are beginning to reopen now, this crazy experience has taught us that Arlingtonians are really looking for a local way to source their produce,” Pierce said.

“We see chefs as great impactors of change in the food system, so we’re hoping to marry those two markets together where the chefs can buy local but we can also sell locally, directly to consumers. There’s absolutely a market for this out there, and we will continue this for the foreseeable future.”

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(Updated on 6/8/20) Peaceful demonstrations are popping up across Arlington County in memory of George Floyd.

Numerous readers have asked ARLnow, and asked on local social media groups and message boards, about black-owned businesses in Arlington.

By popular demand, below are some black-owned restaurants and brick-and-mortar businesses in Arlington you can support during this historic time. (Note that this is not a comprehensive list of all black-owned businesses in the county.)

  • For those looking for a way to shake up their morning Starbucks routine, there’s Ididos Coffee and Social House (1107 S. Walter Reed Drive). Now in the process of acquiring a temporary outdoor seating permit, the cafe offers a variety of coffee and espresso drinks, as well as breakfast pastries, sandwiches, and salads. According to its website, its namesake comes from “the Gedeo area of Yirgacheffee, Ethiopia, a region that is known for producing clean bright washed coffees dominated by citrus flavor.”
  • Not too far away, Dama Pastry & Restaurant (1505 Columbia Pike) is an Ethiopian bakery and restaurant offering everything from cappuccinos to plates of oxtail served with injera bread. Similar to Ididos Coffee, the restaurant is also looking to acquire temporary outdoor seating to get business back to pre-pandemic levels.
  • Just down the Pike, Ethio Cafe (3045 Columbia Pike) serves up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Breakfast dishes include scrambled eggs mixed with tomato, onion, and jalapeno pepper, while dinner includes a variety of vegetarian dishes, such as a combo with yellow split peas, red lentils, beets, collard greens, and more.
  • In Crystal City, Enjera Eritrean Restaurant & Bar (549 23rd Street S.) re-opened in Arlington in 2012 after a two-year closure. Pre-COVID-19, the restaurant featured live music every Friday and Saturday, but its dishes such as sambusa and tibsi are available for takeout on delivery apps such as Grubhub and Uber Eats.
  • And as the weather continues to heat up, those looking for a healthy dessert to cool down can get a scoop of gelato at Amore Congelato (1201 S. Joyce Street), which sweetens its gelato with agave syrup and incorporates fruits and vegetables into its flavors. Before opening the Pentagon Row brick and mortar, Navy veteran and owner Thereasa Black served her gelato at area farmers markets and wineries.
  • Moving away from food, a long-time, black-owned store in Crystal City was previously profiled by ARLnow: Puppet Heaven in the Shops at 1750 Crystal Drive. Owned by puppet master Lucien Alban Odoulamy, the business is the Washington area’s only puppet store and has been open for over two decades.
  • Another business, AA Locksmith Service Co. (3113 10th Street N.) in Clarendon, has been serving the area with professional locksmithing service for over 30 years. Its services range from lock installation and repairs to copying keys and helping locked out neighbors.
  • On Lee Highway, Magnum Opus Hair Salon (4751 Lee Hwy) has been open for three years, offering both men and women’s haircuts. “The Arlington community has been great,” owner Clinton Jones, who previously worked at a hair salon in south Arlington for 9 years before opening Magnum Opus, told ARLnow yesterday. “On Monday, after a crazy weekend of reopening, I had three people sit in my chair who were on their way to go protest after getting their hair cut. It really made me feel good that people were showing up to support our causes in my own neighborhood, causes they might not even be affected by in their lifetimes.”
  • Also on Lee Highway, the proudly “old school” Moore’s Barber Shop (4807 Lee Highway) has reopened and is offering haircuts by appointment only. Moore’s “is a family friendly shop that’s been in business for over 50 years.”
  • Wayne Cutz, a barbershop in the Green Valley neighborhood at 2112 Shirlington Road.

Some other black-owned businesses, as submitted to us by readers:

Know of any other black-owned restaurants and stores in Arlington that we should feature here? Email us. Want to give a shout out to a local service provider or any other type of black-owned business? Please do so in the comments.

Photo via Dama Restaurant/Facebook

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With snowflakes almost starting to fly, now might be a good time to provide a helpful tip for one way to avoid walking in the elements.

After much anticipation, the new Ballston Quarter pedestrian bridge opened in November. The snazzy, lighted bridge over Wilson Blvd links the second floor of the Ballston Quarter mall with the office complex and Metro station across the street, allowing people to get from one place to the other in climate-controlled comfort.

There’s no direct access from the Metro station to the office building, which means a brief walk outdoors. Also, it can be a little tricky to find on the first try. But don’t worry — we have a quick video guide on how to use the pedestrian bridge to get from the station to the mall.

Video by Jay Westcott 

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Goodbye Mister Days, Clarendon Ballroom, Java Shack — and hello food halls, outdoor beer garden, and more restaurants than we can count.

It’s no secret that Arlington has had quite the 2019, and as 2020 gets underway, here’s some of what’s opened, what’s closed, and what’s to come in 2020. For those keeping score, Ballston appears to be the hot spot for new restaurants, in part thanks to the opening of the renovated Ballston Quarter mall.

Closing Time

Some of Arlington’s most iconic businesses closed in 2019, including:

  • Clarendon Ballroom announced it would be closing after 20 years in business, following one last New Year’s Eve bash
  • Cosi closed in Ballston.
  • A heavily-frequented Starbucks at Lee-Harrison closed in December, replaced by the county’s first drive-through Starbucks nearby.
  • Blümen Cafe abruptly closed in December, with a new cafe said to be coming soon.
  • Java Shack served its final mugs of coffee in October, but will be replaced by another coffee shop.
  • Hawaiian restaurant Hula Girl Bar and Grill closed in September.
  • The Real Housewives of Potomac-owned Oz Restaurant shuttered in June.
  • Three area Subway sandwich restaurants bit the bullet in Clarendon, Cherrydale, and Ballston.
  • Pete’s New Haven Apizza closed its Clarendon eatery in August.
  • Family Dry Cleaners on Columbia Pike shuttered in July — temporarily taking its customers clothing with it.
  • Ballston lost its Cheesetique in June (but the Shirlington location expanded).
  • Also in June, Ray’s The Steaks sizzled out, and a long line of customers showed up for its last service.
  • Fiona’s Irish Pub closed suddenly in Crystal City, later replaced by McNamara’s Irish Pub.
  • Citizen Burger Bar flipped its last patty in June.
  • On Columbia Pike, Josephine’s Italian Kitchen closed in May.
  • Rosslyn sushi bar Kona Grill rolled out in April.
  • Also in Rosslyn, Bean Good Coffee Pub brewed its last cup in April.
  • Who could forget Mister Days, which shuttered its doors in April after 40 years in business.
  • Williamsburg spot Backyard BBQ had its last cookout in February.
  • Rosslyn pizzeria Piola shut down in January.

New Faces 

Throughout the year, Arlington got everything from a fast-casual soup eatery to a healthy gelato shop:

  • Arlington welcomed its second Pupatella location, which opened on Walter Reed Drive in December.
  • Restaurant Open Road Grill and cocktail lounge Salt opened at Central Place in Rosslyn in December.
  • Happy Endings Eatery opened in Rosslyn, with some criticizing its provocative name.
  • East West Coffee and Wine opened its second location in Clarendon in December.
  • In November, a new health-focused gelato shop opened in Pentagon Row.
  • Rock-and-roll themed taco restaurant Taco Rock opened in Rosslyn in November.
  • We, The Pizza opened in Ballston with customizable pies and gelato shakes.
  • Poké it Up opened in Ballston in October.
  • The Renegade replaced Mister Days in October.
  • Arlington got its first indoor running studio in October.
  • Another fitness studio, BASH Boxing, opened in Ballston in the same month.
  • Italian restaurant Sfoglina opened in Rosslyn in October.
  • Zoup! Eatery opened in Ballston in October.
  • A new Harris Teeter opened on Columbia Pike in October, as part of the Centro development.
  • Bronson Bier Hall opened in Ballston in August.
  • South Block expanded into Rosslyn in August.
  • The cafe and Asian eatery Open Kitchen opened in Rosslyn in August.
  • Nepalese restaurant Namaste Everest touched down in Pentagon in July.
  • Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque started roasting in July on Lee Highway.
  • After some drama, The Lot beer garden opened in July.
  • Stone Hot Pizza opened in Clarendon in June.
  • Ted’s Bulletin and Sidekick Bakery welcomed customers to Ballston in June.
  • Clarendon got the three-level bar/restaurant TTT, Buena Vida, and Buena Vida Social Club over the summer.
  • Acme Pie started slicing up on Columbia Pike in June.
  • Takeshi Sushi and Ramen opened next to Delhi Dhaba in Clarendon in May.
  • All About Burger opened in Ballston Quarter in May.
  • Nearby, True Food Kitchen had its grand opening in Ballston in May as well.
  • Ballston continued to get healthy with the opening of Dirt in April.
  • Turkish and Mediterranean restaurant Maya Bistro opened on Lee Highway in April.
  • Veteran-owned Good Company cafe and donut shop Good Company opened in April.
  • Craft beer bar Rebellion on the Pike opened — surprise — on Columbia Pike in April.
  • Ballston Quarter started rolling out its first food hall options in March.
  • South Block said what’s up to Ballston Quarter in March as well.
  • Los Tios opened its doors in Crystal City in March.
  • Smoking Kow took over from Backyard BBQ in February.
  • Idido’s Coffee House and Cafe started pouring on Columbia Pike in February.
  • Thai Treasure opened in Virginia Square in February.
  • Old Dominion Pizza company opened on Lee Highway in January.

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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.

Since its inception in 2013, there have been over 300 Startup Monday columns published on ARLnow.

A part of what makes Arlington such fertile ground for launching startups — aside from being adjacent to the nation’s capital — is the county’s own resources. One such resource is BizLaunch, a program sponsored by Arlington Economic Development that works as the county’s “small business and entrepreneurial assistance network.”

Small business and startups can register to on BizLaunch and have access to over 40 workshops and seminars every year, along with personal business coaching, counseling, and education.

In 2019 alone, “BizLaunch experienced a 20% uptick in businesses seeking its services,” said Director of BizLaunch Tara Palacios. “Trends for this year are businesses who specialize in health, mindfulness and fitness. Not surprising with Arlington being named the fittest city in the U.S.”

Notable health startups featured by ARLnow in 2019 include Excella, a Courthouse-based technology firm working to put together an app to detect alcohol misuse, and Fresh Impact, Arlington’s only commercial urban farm.

Other startups that continued to grow and expand past Arlington in 2019 included Eastern Foundry, a government-contracting co-working space that launched its North Carolina location this year, and Hungry, a catering businesses that recently touched down in New York City.

Several businesses hailing from overseas saw fit to land in Arlington this past year, including digital intelligence startup Fivecast, which moved from Australia, and phone security business Sensipass, which came over from Dublin.

Another trend that might be emerging: companies moving to Arlington, citing proximity to Amazon’s HQ2, as Amify did earlier this year. Local industry figures say HQ2 should also help bring excitement and more business diversity to a local tech scene that’s heavy on government contractors and cybersecurity firms.

The top 10 most-read Startup Monday articles of 2019 were:

  1. Arlington’s Only Commercial Urban Farm
  2. Rosslyn Startup ‘Hungry’ Expanding, Looking for New Talent
  3. This Clarendon Startup Wants You To Use 3-Factor Password Authentication
  4. Rosslyn-Based Startup ‘Hungry’ Scores $8 Million in Funding with Help from Jay-Z
  5. Ballston-Based Startup Aims to be Uber for Transporting Cars
  6. Startup That Teaches Businesses to Sell on Amazon Moves Closer to HQ2
  7. Columbia Pike Startup Wants to be Uber for Oil Changes
  8. Ballston Startup Aims to Make Car Refinancing Easy
  9. Loosened FCC Regulations Open the Door for Ballston Startup’s Wireless Expansion
  10. Startup Monday: The Arlington Couple Behind The “Candygrams” Board Game
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A new fast-casual restaurant has opened at Pentagon Row.

Bun’d Up opened Saturday at 1201 S. Joyce Street, featuring Taiwanese-style steamed buns filled with traditional Korean toppings, such as miso-braised pork belly and kimchi.

For now, Bun’d Up — which offers “a modern, Korean twist on the original Taiwanese ‘gua bao’ with handmade buns — will have limited hours from Thursday through Sunday, open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m.

In addition to the steamed buns, the Pentagon Row location will feature rice bowls, oxtail soup, and Korean street foods such as rice cakes and kimchi pancakes.

Bun’d Up  began as a stand at area farmers markets — including the FRESHFARM Ballston Market — and has since expanded into Union Market in D.C.

“What started out as a farmers market stall has morphed into a business I am so proud of today,” owner Scott Chung via email. “I am honored to be a part of the growing Arlington community and encourage everyone to stop by.”

Chung also owns Rice Crook in Ballston Quarter, which specializes in Korean rice bowls and wraps.

Hat tip to Jessica Strelitz

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A current Washington-Liberty senior experience coordinator and substitute teacher within Arlington Public Schools has announced she will be running for a seat on the Arlington School Board.

With over forty years of experience in education, Sandy Munnel firmly believes “retirement is overrated.”

“I have worked with students and teachers of all grade levels,” Munnel told ARLnow.  “As such, I have a unique perspective that is not currently represented on the School Board and that will enable me to hit the ground running if I am elected.”

Heading into the November 2020 general election, two seats on the School Board are up for grabs, with neither incumbent running for reelection. Board member Nancy Van Doren and Board Chair Tannia Talento both announced they will be retiring after their terms conclude.

Prior to her current role and candidacy, Munnel was the Instructional Technology Coordinator at W-L for fifteen years. In her time there, she served on the Building Level Planning Committee (BLPC) for the 2009 construction of the new W-L complex.

Munnel’s platform for school board emphasizes four “smarts:”

  • Smart capacity planning
  • Smart services planning
  • Smart instructional planning
  • Smart fiscal planning

Addressing the issue of overcrowding, “Arlington will require good data, vision — and some hard decisions,” Munnel said.

“We have empty seats available. But they are not where we need them now. Decisions on where we build new classrooms will be critical,” she says. “My work on the Schools Committee of the Civic Federation convinced me that we have not always used the best data in taking past decisions. I want to make certain that we know what we need to know when we need to know it.”

School Board elections are nonpartisan, however Munnel hopes to receive an endorsement from Arlington Democrats at their July caucus.

Munnel will face off against the other confirmed candidate, Cristina Diaz-Torres, and anyone else who enters the race. Diaz-Torres announced her candidacy in November and is running a platform emphasizing equity and, similarly, data-driven transformation.

Photo via SandyForSchools.com

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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.

When someone places an order on Beachgoer.com, Arlington natives and 2015 Yorktown High School graduates David Moeller and Finn Cardiff drive an hour to their warehouse in Manassas to package and ship it themselves.

“Yup — it’s just the two of us,” Moeller said. “We’re either at home on our computers, or driving out to the warehouse and back again.”

In 2017 while still in college — (Moeller at Ohio State and Cardiff at Virginia Tech — the two friends put together their passions for business and software development to tackle a niche market: beach supplies.

Working with over 250,000 thousand lines of code, the two created an algorithm that analyzes millions of data points across the beach supplies industry — think, what a surfboard is going for on Amazon — to sort what they can buy at wholesale at the most efficient price.

“Starting off, we just wanted sell our own brand of products with a beach niche, but we quickly realized there was a lot more opportunity to sell online across a variety of brands,” Cardiff said.

Since then, Beachgoer has grown a hundred times in size with over 200 products for sale, ranging from high-end body boards to beach balls.

So far, Moeller and Cardiff have not raised any outside capital. The two are currently searching for investors with the eventual goal of securing $2.5 million.

“Being based in Arlington, I mean clearly we’re from here, but the area gives us so many valuable networking opportunities,” Moeller said. “There’s a lot of talent and smart people that we connect with on a daily basis to learn about the industry.”

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2020 is almost here, and if you’re spending the holidays in Arlington, there are plenty of local options for ringing in the new year.

Ticket prices vary per event, with several opting for no cover and others starting at up to $50 per person.

For families looking to celebrate but also go to bed well before midnight, the Columbia Pike Branch Library (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) is hosting a “Ring in the Noon Year” countdown from 11 a.m.-noon. There will be games, light snacks, and a countdown to noon.

Later in the night, there are a bunch of parties big and small planned across Arlington. For those looking to pay their respects to Clarendon Ballroom, its last night in operation will be for its New Years Eve Gala — fitting, given the venue opened on the same day twenty years ago.

In Ballston, parties are planned at Punch Bowl Social, Bisto 1521, and Rustico Ballston.

On Columbia Pike, The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant will celebrate with the local band Down Wilson,

In Crystal City, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, an all-out casino night is planned until 3 a.m. Close by, Freddie’s Beach Bar has two parties planned — a drag show on New Year’s Eve, and then a New Year’s Day champagne brunch the following morning. For a more relaxed vibe, McNamara’s Pub & Restaurant is offering a three-course dinner to ring in the new year for $30.

In Clarendon, in addition to the Clarendon Ballroom bash, several bars will be hosting parties including Bar Bao, Pamplona, Whitlow’s, The Renegade, Liberty Tavern, and Wilson Hardware. For a more low-key evening, Northside Social is offering a three-course dinner and wine pairing, with a live TV view of the ball dropping at midnight

A New Year’s Eve dinner similar to that at Northside Social is being held at Cheesetique in Shirlington.

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