Support

District Taco will donate $1 today (Monday) from every regular burrito and breakfast burrito it sells to a nonprofit that serves underprivileged children.

The event, called Back to School Burritos, will take place all day at each of District Taco’s 10 locations across the area. The money will be donated to the National Center for Children and Families, which will help purchase school supplies for underprivileged children and families in the region.

District Taco CEO and co-founder Osiris Hoil said he came from a disadvantaged upbringing and so tries to give back to the community whenever he can.

“When I was a child my parents were very poor, and it was very hard for them to buy school supplies for me and my brothers,” Hoil said in a statement. “Helping other kids makes my heart feel full and makes me extremely happy.”

Hoil started District Taco as a food cart in Arlington, before opening his first brick and mortar location on Lee Highway. It has since added restaurants in D.C. and Northern Virginia, with its first locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania both set to open this fall in College Park and King of Prussia, respectively.

0 Comments

https://twitter.com/acfdpio/status/893079422403846146

The Arlington County Fire Department and its T-Rex got in on the latest viral video meme.

ACFD sent the costumed dinosaur on the “Drive by Dunk Challenge,” tweeting out a video of the escapades. The result: a five-alarm fail of a dunk attempt.

The video shows an ACFD truck driving around Arlington and stopping outside houses with basketball hoops, where the T-Rex runs over to the hoop and attempts to dunk the ball with its tiny arms before racing back to the truck.

At one point, the dinosaur falls on its side, while another time, the dinosaur climbs down the truck’s ladder and gingerly plops the ball into the hoop.

The challenge began when an Instagram user named posted a video of him dunking a basketball on strangers’ driveways. It has since spread nationally, with police officers and NBA players getting in on the action.

0 Comments

The annual “Late Night Recess” event is hitting the Arlington Central Library once again. This summer, it is set for Thursday, August 10, from 9-11:30 p.m.

Locals aged 20 to 39 are encouraged to attend, where they can mingle and make new friends at the library at 1015 N. Quincy Street. However, unlike previous years, the event is not limited to this age group and all adults are welcome.

“Bring your friends and your inner child for an evening of fun and games at Central Library,” the event’s web page says. “Play clothes, including sneakers or athletic shoes, are highly recommended.”

This year’s activities are likely to be remembered by many from their childhood, and include Twister, Nerf Tag, slime, face painting, hula hoops and jump rope. There will also be cookies, milk and smoothies to keep everyone’s energy levels up.

The event will begin in the library’s auditorium, but will eventually include most public areas in the building. Guests will also be able to check out books and sign up for a library card if they bring identification and proof of address.

0 Comments

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.

A soon-to-launch Arlington-based startup called Reyets — pronounced “rights” — is creating a mobile app that people can use when they are in a crisis or if they fear that their rights are being violated.

The company’s founder, Wa’il Ashshowwaf, created Reyets as a way for people to protect themselves in precarious situations such as when getting pulled over while driving or getting kicked off a plane. Ashshowwaf noticed that people often use their phone cameras to record these situations.

“They’re using that [camera] for accountability, to get justice,” Ashshowwaf said.

However, he felt that cameras were just one tool for getting justice and could only be used during the incident.

“You can use [Reyets] before you have an incident, during the incident and after,” Ashshowwaf said.

As soon as the Reyets app is open, the user can press the record button, and it begins to record and continues to do so, even on a locked screen. If the person’s phone is snatched, the recording will not be lost as it is saved automatically to the cloud. A recording can also be live streamed from the app.

After an incident, users can write a report about what just happened on the app, then attach the audio, video or picture evidence. That report can then be shared as a secure file with whoever the person asks for help. There is a “Get Help” section of the app, where users can reach out to local lawyers, rights organizations or media outlets.

“The reason that section is important right now is all that information is available but it’s very dispersed on the web,” Ashshowwaf explained. “You’re going to find that each outlet has a different way to contact it – it’s not really centralized.”

The app also has a section with information on people’s rights. If somebody is in a situation and they are unsure whether or not they are being treated properly, they can open the app and quickly scan their related rights.

The app has both a quick description and a longer description, so that if the user is in a rush, they can get the gist of their rights in one sentence.

There is also a community section on the app, which functions similarly to an online forum, with articles, questions and advice. People can share their experiences on the section and receive feedback on their questions, such as whether or not they should report something. Users can also share videos on the community page.

“Say there’s a protest going on — it’s all about building this community around it,” Ashshowwaf said.

Read More

0 Comments

Arlington County ranked number one among similar-sized counties in this year’s Fourth Economy Index, which recognized it for attracting talented people, supporting business growth and creating vibrancy.

The index, which was established in 2012, assesses counties in five areas: investment, talent, sustainability, place and diversity. Arlington won for counties with 150,000-499,999 people, ahead of Chesapeake in Virginia (near Norfolk) and Shawnee County in Kansas (which includes the city of Topeka).

“A vibrant business community, lots of arts and entertainment and low unemployment all contribute to a higher quality of life for this No. 1 community,” the citation reads.

Arlington came in first because of its high scores in place, talent and diversity. The index said Arlington’s location across the river from D.C. makes it a perfect location for people who work there, while its seamless blend of urban areas and quiet, garden-lined streets, provide a fine balance between city life and “neighborhood charm.”

In addition, the index said Arlington’s talent base is high thanks to its many highly-educated residents while its diversity spreads across race, age and ethnicity. It also found that middle-income Arlingtonians spend less on transportation and housing than their national counterparts in most other counties.

“While job growth and investment are good indicators of a community’s progress, they are not enough,” the website reads. “Our continued experience has shown that our analysis must also look at factors that create a foundation for sustained success and resilience.”

The full top 10 for large-sized counties is as follows:

  1. Arlington County, Virginia
  2. Chesapeake, Virginia
  3. Shawnee County, Kansas
  4. Chittenden County, Vermont
  5. Pulaski County, Arkansas
  6. Albany County, New York
  7. Hampden County, Massachusetts
  8. Minnehaha County, South Dakota
  9. Peoria County, Illinois
  10. Champaign County, Illinois

To analyze counties, the index used data from the U.S. Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development among other sources. A total of 19 data areas are weighted and analyzed for the level of influence they have on a county.

0 Comments

Honeygrow, a healthy fast-casual eatery that serves custom salads and stir-fry dishes, has started to incorporate virtual reality when training its new employees in Arlington.

“The company is expanding so much but we still want to keep our core values,” said a spokeswoman for Honeygrow, which opened its Pentagon City mall location in 2016.

Honeygrow uses virtual reality for training to ensure that each new employee learns the company’s core values, which can be left in the dust once businesses undergo rapid expansion. Honeygrow’s first location opened in 2012 in Philadelphia but the company has grown so quickly that by the end of 2017, Honeygrow will have expanded to approximately 25 stores, spanning from Boston to Chicago and as far south as Pentagon City, which is one of two locations in the D.C. area

“This [virtual reality] has enabled us to be able to consistently train everybody,” said Brennagh Tourigney, a district manager for Honeygrow.

The virtual reality program was launched in May 2017. Honeygrow’s founder and CEO, Justin Rosenberg, was inspired to use virtual reality at his company when he received a cardboard virtual reality with his Sunday New York Times.

“It engages the team members,” said Tourigney. “This kind of keeps people excited, it sets us apart from our competitors.”

The virtual reality training does not replace hands-on training, but is an additional component. On orientation day, new workers are given the goggles and taken on a tour of a typical Honeygrow restaurant.

The video teaches trainees what the different roles of the workers are: they watch somebody make a salad, they observe a “noodler” carefully prepare noodles so they are a Goldilocks-approved “just right” — not too hard or too soft — and they see how cashiers ensure each order was correctly made. The video even has an interactive part when the goggles take trainees into the Honeygrow refrigerator.

Trainees are taught how to place food in the refrigerator, as foods served raw always go on the top. They must then use a clicker to place the different meats in correct order on the shelves and cannot go on to the next part of the video until they put fish on the top shelf, then beef, then pork and finally, chicken on the bottom shelf.

“I’ve never been in a working kitchen before, but I understand it is a very tough environment so this is a great way to assimilate new hires into a fast-paced kitchen environment, where a million things are going on at once,” said the spokeswoman.

The video was filmed in Honeygrow’s Cherry Hill location in New Jersey. Not a single person featured in the video was an actor, but were employees. Rosenberg introduces the video and gives closing remarks at the end.

“Because it’s led by our CEO and founder, it’s a great way to bring people into the community. You really feel like you’re part of the Honeygrow family from the minute you start,” said the spokeswoman.

0 Comments

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.

In today’s society, time equals money. GoMoto, an Arlington-based automotive software startup, aims to save customers time when it comes to buying and maintaining cars with its kiosk technology.

“We took the airport kiosk check-in model and applied it to the new car sales and the service lane of automotive dealerships so that consumers can have convenience, transparency and own the actual buying experience themselves,” said Todd Marcelle, the CEO and founder of GoMoto.

GoMoto currently has partnerships with Ford, Kia and Panasonic, and its kiosks can be found at hundreds of dealerships around the country.

According to Marcelle, in the United States, the average car purchase takes four hours. So GoMoto created 32-inch, large-screen kiosks to speed up the transaction process.

With these kiosks it can take as little as one hour to buy a car, since customers no longer have to sit at a desk, talk to a salesperson and answer a bunch of questions when they go into a dealership. Instead, they walk over to the kiosk and and begin their shopping. With those kiosks, customers can filter their car options based on their own personal criteria.

“It’s an engaging environment where customers have a sense of control because they can actually touch, move and navigate their shopping experience,” Marcelle said.

In turn, Marcelle said, the car dealerships using the kiosks see an 18-27 percent increase in sales.

“Consumers will typically purchase more… if [the product] is presented in a smart and intelligent way,” said Marcelle.

GoMoto also brings dealerships improved customer satisfaction ratings on maintenance visits, something Marcelle believes is imperative for the industry because satisfaction around auto service can be relatively low. Check-in for service at a kiosk takes little more than 90 seconds, while checking out takes a matter of three minutes.

Customers arrive at the dealership and, rather than wait up to 15 minutes to see a service advisor, approach a kiosk, check-in within a minute, drop off their keys and leave.

“Service is the lifeblood of our business,” said Marcelle. “When we can build solutions that create more loyal customers and increase the lifetime value of those customers, that’s where we can be successful as dealers and make more margin on new car sales.”

Marcelle created GoMoto in 2013 with one of his co-founders, Benjamin Catanese, because both of them own several car dealerships in New Jersey. It was at these dealerships where the men were identifying problems with their own customer experience.

“Instead of relying on vendors, I drew upon my experience as founder of other companies and as an investor, to build a technology platform to [fix these issues],” Marcelle said.

So, Marcelle founded GoMoto with Catanese, originally as a part-time job. Now, it’s Marcelle’s full-time profession.

At first, they worked with a few dealerships in Philadelphia, where they created popup retail centers. Customers would come into the popup centers, go up to a kiosk to compare different car models and then test-drive the cars.

However, this model was unsuccessful so GoMoto pivoted and eventually created the kiosks which they continue to use today.

Even though GoMoto initially had its success in Philadelphia, Marcelle chose to base the company out of Arlington because he liked the people in the area.

“It’s the right market for talent,” Marcelle said. “[Arlington is full of] smart, innovative, hungry people that want to push the envelope and who like the startup community.”

0 Comments

Zaika, an Indian restaurant in Clarendon, has closed.

Located on the second level of the Market Common Clarendon shopping center, Zaika described its menu as modern Indian food, with eastern flavors and a western twist. Dishes included classic Indian entrees, such as Chicken Tikka Masala, as well as Indo-Chinese options, like the Manchurian: “A classic Chinese dish with authentic Indian spices.”

Zaika’s phone number has been disconnected and OpenTable no longer allows people to make reservations to eat there. Yesterday the restaurant was empty and dark, with no explanation for the closing posted in the windows or on the business’s Facebook page.

Zaika’s Twitter account, meanwhile, has been converted to an account for Angeethi, an Indian restaurant in Herndon.

0 Comments

At a time when everyone is glued to their smartphones, spontaneous, in-person interactions seem to be on the decline. But a new public art installation in Courthouse is hoping to buck the trend, encouraging people to talk to strangers and make new friends.

Created by the Spanish art collective, mmmm…, and presented by the county’s public art initiative, “Meeting Bowls” opened Monday (July 17), and will be in town until November 1, when the installation will be transported to its next exhibit, in Miami. The bowls are red, blue and yellow among other colors, and made from medium-density fiberboard.

The installation is part of Courthouse 2.0: Reimagining the Civic, a public art initiative that strives to explore the interaction between civic space and life in Arlington.

“They are on display in a public space and are free and open to the public to engage with as they pass by, take a moment to rest, have lunch, or converse with friends,” Jim Byers, the marketing director at Arlington Cultural Affairs, said in an email.

There are bowls located at 14th Street N. and N. Courthouse Road, each with seating for eight people. The bowls are five feet tall and eight feet in diameter, and look to spark conversation among their users through their circular seating arrangements. The bowls also mimic swings, since they rock back and forth when occupied.

Byers said the funding for transporting Meeting Bowls to Arlington and Miami came from a grant from the Madrid-based public arts agency Acción Cultural Española. Byers said Arlington Cultural Affairs also paid around $14,000 from its own budget.

Meeting Bowls first appeared in the United States back in 2011, in New York’s Times Square. Instead of shipping the bowls from Spain, new bowls were created in the U.S. with computer-aided manufacturing. Digital files of the more than 75 parts that make up a bowl are emailed to a regional manufacturer and made locally.

Spanish artists Eva Salmerón and Emilio Alarcón will host a discussion about the creations at the bowls on September 23 at 11 a.m.

0 Comments

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

Arlington Dems Candidate Meet & Greet
Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd)
Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.

A happy hour with several candidates. Democrats in attendance will include Attorney General Mark Herring, Delegates Alfonso Lopez and Patrick Hope, County Board candidate Erik Gutshall and School Board candidate Monique O’Grady.

Tuesday

Bad Art Night
Westover Library (1644 N. McKinley Road, Suite 3)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Indulge your creative side by making art in a no-pressure environment. The event is free for attendees 18 and over. Snacks and art supplies will be provided. A trophy will be awarded for the creation voted “Worst of all.”

Wednesday

College Application Essay Writing
Aurora Hills Branch Library (835 18th Street S.)
Time: 7:30-8:30 p.m.

Two veteran educators of Arlington Public Schools will teach students how to choose a topic, prepare and write both common and supplemental college essays. They will also explain how to make essays stand out to college admissions staff.

Thursday

Family Open House *
The Sycamore School (4600 Fairfax Drive, 3rd Floor)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Parents and prospective students can get a sense of The Sycamore School’s environment. The event will have several 30-minute “pop-up” classrooms so prospective students can get a taste of the educational style of the school.

Remembering Arlington: A Look at Vanished Businesses
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Charlie “Our Man in Arlington” Clark, a columnist and local historian, will give a talk on the vanishing businesses of Arlington. He will also welcome contributions from the audience of favorite businesses and stores they remember.

Columbia Pike Movie Night – “Raising Arizona”
Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street)
Time: 8:30-10:30 p.m.

This week, as part of CPRO’s 30 Years: Celebrating the Great Movies of 1987 (ish), “Raising Arizona” will be shown. Rated PG-13, the movie is part of the community center’s ongoing 1980s film series on Thursday nights after sunset.

Friday

Nonprofit Forum
WETA (2775 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

Learn how to get your business in the policy arena to impact legislation. The event will be held by four experienced panelists who will discuss how to advocate effectively, get in front of legislators and communicate messages about policy.

Saturday

Columbia Pike Movie Nights at Penrose Square – “Predator”
Penrose Square (2503 Columbia Pike)
Time: 8:30-10:30 p.m.

As part of CPRO’s 30 Years: Celebrating the Great Movies of 1987 (ish), the rated R movie “Predator,” will be showing in Penrose Square. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, the film takes place in Central America and has plenty of extraterrestrial life.

Sunday

Up Against the Stream
Columbia Pike Branch Library (816 S. Walter Reed Drive)
Time: 3-5 p.m.

The Hispanic Access Foundation and U.S Fish and Wildlife are hosting a free yoga event together. Attendees will learn about the fascinating lives of salmon while doing yoga, then they will have the chance to participate in art activities.

Build a Better World: An Enlightening Look at Sanitation
Shirlington Branch Library (4200 Campbell Avenue)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

A talk by Karen Pallansch, the CEO of Alexandria Renew Enterprises. She will discuss what happens to the local water supply when dirty water is flushed into the Potomac River and eventually ends ups trickling back down the sink faucet.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

0 Comments

Clarendon Animal Care will soon have more space for its four-legged clients.

The veterinary business opened in January 2015. Two and a half years later, it is continuing to grow and is set to expand to the space next door, said Dr. Kayleen Gloor, one of its founders.

The office’s expansion, into the former storefront of a sign shop, will increase its space by 70 percent. It will go from having three exam rooms to five exam rooms, while there will also be a larger reception area and more spacious treatment spaces. The center is also planning to add a fifth veterinarian to its team by the end of this month.

“[The expansion] was out of need,” Gloor said. “I have a hard time saying ‘no’ to [animals] that need to be seen.”

Gloor believes that the fifth vet and added space will make things less stressful for the office’s staff, as they will be better able to share the workload.

“I think our and our staff’s families will appreciate a little better work/life balance,” Gloor said.

Gloor said she hopes for the construction to be over and the new space ready to use by early next month.

Disclosure: Clarendon Animal Care is an ARLnow.com advertiser.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list