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Clarendon Day Street Festival Returns Saturday

Clarendon Day, one of Arlington’s oldest and largest street festivals, will return this Saturday (Sept. 22).

The event will dominate the heart of Clarendon’s main strip of businesses from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., offering all manner of exhibits, food, drinks and performers. The Clarendon Alliance, which organizes the event, is expecting as many as 20,000 attendees this year.

The fair will run rain or shine, and offer dozens of vendors, Virginia wine and beer and food booths from restaurants in Clarendon and elsewhere around Arlington, per its website.

Performers at the event’s two stages include:

Main Stage

  • 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Ruepratt
  • 12 p.m.-1 p.m. Soul Stew
  • 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Calista Garcia
  • 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Dave Kline Band
  • 3 p.m.-4 p.m. SubRadio
  • 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Fellowcraft
  • 5 p.m.-6 p.m. Bushmaster featuring Gary Brown

Performers Stage

  • 12 p.m.-12:30 p.m. Adagio Dance Company
  • 1 p.m.-2 p.m. Carley Harvey
  • 2 p.m.-3 p.m. Ballet Nova
  • 3 p.m.-4 p.m. Melissa Elizabeth Wright
  • 4 p.m.-5 p.m. Jaleo Arte Flamenco
  • 4:30 p.m.-5 p.m. O’Neill – James School of Irish Dancing

The Clarendon Day 5K and 10K races, backed by Pacers Running, will also return Saturday. The races are set to begin at 8 a.m.

Arlington police are warning of plenty of road closures associated with the race and the event itself. From 3 a.m. to 7 p.m. the following will be closed:

  • Wilson Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
  • Clarendon Boulevard between Washington Boulevard and N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street between 11th Street N. and N. Hartford Street

And the race will prompt the following closures from around 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.:

  • Wilson Boulevard, between N. Garfield Street and Route 110
  • N. Kent Street, between Wilson Boulevard and 19th Street N.
  • The entirety of Route 110 northbound, from Route 1 to Wilson Boulevard

Organizers recommend biking, walking or using public transit to reach the event to avoid those closures.

File photo

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After a Lengthy Transplant, Arlington Church Organ Finds New Life in Alexandria

A massive pipe organ that was once housed in the demolished Arlington Presbyterian Church is getting a new chance to make music, this time in Alexandria.

The organ was a centerpiece of the church for decades, back when it was still located along Columbia Pike. But the church’s congregation agreed to work with the county to redevelop the property into an affordable housing complex back in 2016, leaving the instrument’s long-term fate in doubt.

Though Arlington Presbyterian moved to a new space over on S. Glebe Road, church leaders decided to offer up the organ to give away. As it happened, the Calvary Presbyterian Church in Alexandria (6120 N. Kings Highway) had a pressing need open up for an organ at the exact same time.

Calvary leaders say their old organ was diagnosed with “metal fatigue,” which they deemed to be a “death sentence” for instrument. Accordingly, Calvary wrote to their Arlington counterparts to express their interest.

By April 2016,  Arlington Presbyterian told Calvary that the organ was theirs — if it would fit in their church.

“Out came the measuring tapes and, lo and behold, the pipes would fit like a glove within the church’s balcony,” the church wrote in a release. “Moreover, the baroque-like appearance of the pipes would find a comfortable home in Calvary’s sanctuary, which was constructed in 1954 and remains faithful to the traditional style of churches from that era.”

Even still, Calvary said the move required a “Herculean effort of a team of architects, engineers, carpenters, electricians, construction contractors, asbestos remediators, consultants, inspectors, and organ technicians.”

“It was more than two years from Calvary’s selection for the instrument to be installed and operational, following a celebratory and cathartic pipe washing party,” the church wrote. “Today, as you look upward from the pulpit of Calvary’s sanctuary on Old King’s Highway, what would make generations of parishioners from both Arlington and Calvary proud is that their pipe organ looks right at home, like it’s always been there.”

Calvary is even planning a special dedication ceremony for the organ, set for Sunday (Sept. 23) at 10 a.m.

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New Domino’s Could Be on the Way for Ballston

A new Domino’s Pizza location could soon be on the way for Ballston.

The County Board is set to sign off this weekend on a use permit for the pizza chain to open up a new shop at 550 N. Quincy Street. The location is adjacent to a Jimmy John’s, just near the Founders Square development.

According to a staff report prepared for the Board, the new Domino’s will offer delivery for “the north and central Arlington areas including the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor.” The location would become the chain’s fourth store in the county.

Staff is recommending that the Board require the pizza purveyor to “implement a delivery and driver safety plan” before opening its doors, and stipulate that Domino’s delivery drivers can only park in the surface lot behind the building instead of on the street. The restaurant would be allowed to have four drivers working at any one time, according to proposed terms of the permit.

The Board will vote on the permit at its meeting Saturday (Sept. 22) as part of its consent agenda, a slew of noncontroversial items generally approved all at once.

Photo via Arlington County

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New Burger Restaurant Coming to Virginia Square

Virginia Square is getting a new spot for burgers.

The new burger eatery is “coming soon” to 3811 Fairfax Drive, according to the chain’s website. No word yet on an opening date.

The office building was previously home to Water & Wall restaurant, which closed in early 2017.

Burgerim, which describes itself as “an international fast casual franchise with a shiny new concept,” serves “gourmet burgers” in the “uno, duo, trio, or 16 pack.” Also on the menu: “chicken wings, onion rings, sandwiches, salads, and other favorites.”

On its website, the chain says it was founded in 2011 and has since expanded to 160 locations.

Photo (bottom) via Google Maps

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Arlington Public Library Helps Rebuild a Puerto Rico Library

One year after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, the Friends of the Arlington Public Library is donating $5,369 to help rebuild a damaged library on the island.

The Águedo Mojica Marrero Library at the University of Puerto Rico is still in rough shape, located in one of the hardest hit areas on Puerto Rico’s eastern coast. The building and the collections inside were both damaged by the storm.

According to Henrik Sundqvist, communications officer the Arlington Public Library, the Friends of the Arlington Public Library donates $1 to a charitable organization for each person who completes the summer reading program. This year, a total of $5,354 Arlingtonians completed the program, 700 more than last year, with an additional $15.17 from unsolicited cash donations from Arlington kids.

Additionally, the library will be hosting a free panel discussion about Puerto Rico, moderated by Michelle Fernandez, a librarian and University of Puerto Rico graduate.

The event will be held next Thursday (Sept. 20) from 7-9 p.m. in the Central Library (1015 North Quincy Street).

Photos contributed by Friends of the Arlington Public Library

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Capitals Kick Off Training Camp Today in Ballston

The defending Stanley Cup champions have returned to the ice — in Arlington, at least.

The Washington Capitals kicked off training camp today (Friday) at the newly christened MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Ballston.

The team will hold a series of practices and scrimmages over the next 19 days, leading up to the season opener (and hoisting of the Caps’ first title banner) on Oct. 3.

All of the practices will be free and open to the public at the iceplex, located atop the former Ballston Common Mall.

Practices and skates will generally run between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. each day. A full schedule is available on the team’s website.

Photo via Monumental Sports and Entertainment

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Sinkhole Opens in Shirlington Condo Complex Parking Lot

A small sinkhole seems to have opened in the parking lot of a Shirlington condo complex, snarling traffic in the neighborhood.

The hole, now several feet wide, is centered in a parking space near the 2900 block of S. Woodstock Street, where the Courtbridge I condominiums are located.

Elizabeth Hallman, who lives nearby, told ARLnow she first saw the sinkhole appear yesterday (Thursday), while a car was still parked in the space.

“At first, one of its back wheels started to dip down a little,” she said. “But just a little while later, it was really low, to the point where the front wheels were noticeably higher.”

She added that a “very skillful” tow truck driver was able to remove the car from the space a short time later.

As of this morning (Friday), crews were hard at work to patch up the hole. They’ve closed a section of S. Woodstock Street while those repairs continue.

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Lotus Grill and Noodles in Shirlington Closes

(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) Lotus Grill and Noodles, a Vietnamese restaurant in Shirlington, has closed its doors for good.

The restaurant has been on 4041 Campbell Ave in the heart of Shirlington since 2013. From its Facebook page:

We’d like to thank all our local patrons, loyal customers and our friends & family [who supported] us over the past 5 years, and even thanks to our Facebook fan just hitting “like” us and never had a chance to visit us once. Yes, we surely missed being a part of a nice area [like] Village of Shirlington. Adieu, ciao, sayonara, bye bye and thank you again.

The interior of the restaurant is currently empty, but the owners said at the door that they are currently showing off the space to new clients.

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Yong Kang Street Starts Cooking in Pentagon City Mall

Yong Kang Street, a long awaited dumpling and noodle restaurant, is open for business in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

The restaurant features a mix of flavors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. The restaurant is named after a street in Taiwan famous for its restaurants and street food.

Yong Kang Street is located between Garrett Popcorn and Haagen-Dazs. The restaurant is open 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Courtesy photo

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The Great Eatery in Rosslyn Has Permanently Closed

A long-time restaurant inside the 1000 Wilson Blvd food court has closed its doors for good.

The Great Eatery was a cafeteria-style restaurant offering convenient, casual dining to those working in the office tower. It had been located inside 1000 Wilson Blvd for 30 years.

According to Monday Properties, the owners of the restaurant decided to retire.

For over 30 years, The Great Eatery has been an essential part of our daily routines. The Moon Family has dedicated their time to serving us our breakfast in the mornings and welcomed everyone in the Rosslyn community for lunch. However, at the end of August, Mr. Moon will retire, and The Great Eatery will discontinue doing business.

Monday Properties has certainly valued the warmth and hospitality from The Moon Family over the years, and we congratulate them for over three decades of hard work. The Great Eatery was the first dining option to open here at the towers, and we are thankful for many memories. We wish everyone at The Great Eatery all the best.

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Facebook Screwed Us and We Need Your Help

The team behind ARLnow has a mission: to make local news more interesting, engaging and actionable for a new generation of digital-first news consumers in Arlington and in other dynamic, live-work communities.

In support of that mission, we’ve been getting ready to launch a new site for Tysons, McLean and Vienna later this month. But we’ve had a major setback and need to ask for your help to overcome it.

Last month we went to download a list of nearly 3,000 subscribers who had signed up via a Facebook ad that had been running since late spring. Our launch strategy was predicated on growing an initial subscriber base, primarily via a large investment in Facebook ads, and we had promised our advertisers that the site would launch with at least 3,000 subscribers.

To our dismay, only around 1,600 email addresses were included in the file we downloaded. Upon further research, we discovered that Facebook has a policy — not revealed when placing the ad — to only store subscriber email addresses for 90 days.

There were no notifications prior to almost half of our subscribers being purged and Facebook has refused to refund our money, restore the deleted email addresses or do anything, other than recommend that we submit a comment in a suggestion box for the ads product team. Even attempts to escalate the matter via Facebook’s local news outreach team were unsuccessful. A new ad campaign we tried to launch turned out to be prohibitively more expensive than the original.

So here we are, two weeks away from the launch of Tysons Reporter and there are 1,400 people who think they’ve subscribed to a new local news site but have no idea that they’ll never hear from us.

With the viability of Tysons Reporter and the future of our company on the line, we are now turning to our only hope to fix this mess: you.

Please, share this post on social media (yes, even on Facebook). Email people you know in Tysons, McLean and Vienna who might have subscribed. Tell Facebook to do a better job of serving its small business clients and supporting local news.

If you’ve signed up for Tysons Reporter via Facebook, please use the form below (or via this link) to re-subscribe. If you haven’t subscribed but want to, you can also use the form below.

Thank you!

Subscribe to Tysons Reporter

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Podcast: 9/11 First Responder Capt. Justin Tirelli

Justin Tirelli is currently an Arlington County Fire Department captain, but 17 years ago he was a rookie firefighter in the ACFD ranks.

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Tirelli was responding to a fire call in Rosslyn when American Airlines Flight 77 struck the west side of the Pentagon. As his engine company was diverted to join the massive and heroic emergency response to the terror attack, Tirelli and his fellow firefighters focused on the task at hand — not realizing that it would change them and the community they served forever.

In this special episode of the 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Tirelli about what it was like to be a first responder at the Pentagon on that fateful day.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

Screenshots via @ReadyArlington

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Idido’s Coffee Coming to Columbia Pike

Idido’s Cofee, a social house featuring coffee and serving light fare, is coming to Columbia Pike.

The coffee shop will be joining Pureluxe as the ground floor retail of Columbia Place (1107 S Walter Reed Dr), a mixed use development in Arlington Village.

The owners of Idido’s Coffee couldn’t be reached for comment, but Michael Steven, president of the Association for Columbia Place, told ARLnow he’s enthusiastic about the new business.

“We’re all excited for it to come in,” said Steven. “We hope it’s successful here.”

The timeline for when Idido’s will open is unknown.

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Lee Highway Taco Bell Shuts Down Ahead of Full Renovation

The Taco Bell on Lee Highway will be out of commission for the next few months, as its owners tear down the existing store and replace it with a new one.

The fast food restaurant, located at 4923 Lee Highway near Yorktown, shut down last week and construction tape now blocks off its drive-through lane. The eatery will remain closed for the next three to four months, general contractor Steve Taylor told ARLnow.

Taylor said the exact timeline for the project will depend on the weather in the coming weeks, but current plans call for the old restaurant to be demolished and completely replaced.

County records show its owner, the Ionedes Family Corporation, received the necessary permit approvals for much of the project in April.

The records also show that the current restaurant was built back in 1993.

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Video: Alexander Ovechkin Biking On the W&OD Trail

If you happen to have been biking down the W&OD Trail a couple of days ago and saw someone who kind of looked like Stanley Cup champ Alexander Ovechkin — it probably was.

The Washington Capitals captain and one-time Arlington resident can be seen biking the trail in a video posted to social media recently.

The Instagram video shows a sleeveless Ovechkin and his personal trainer, Pavel, quietly biking down a straight section of the trail in either Arlington or Falls Church — the video is labeled “Arlington, Virginia” but the section of trail shown also looks like a section just west of the county — apparently as part of a training routine.

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