Arlington County’s new independent auditor, Jessica Tucker, is seeking suggestions from residents.
In a press release, below, the county says it has set up a form for resident suggestions of programs or services that should be reviewed — or ideas for improving county government efficiency, transparency and accountability.
The form asks how the suggestion would benefit the county, with the following options:
- Cost savings
- Improved service delivery
- Revenue enhancement
- Increased efficiency
- Transparency and accountability
- Risk mitigation
From the press release:
County Auditor Jessica A. Tucker is calling on residents with specific concerns to use the newly created online Audit Suggestion Form for potential reviews of County programs and services — or just to suggest improvements in County efficiency, transparency and accountability.
The County Board created the Auditor post last year to bolster existing County internal audit functions. Tucker operates independently of departments and reports directly to the Board.
“The suggestion form is a new initiative and we would like the input of as many people as possible,” Tucker says. “We are looking for ideas that will help improve service delivery, identify cost savings and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the County’s programs and services.”
Tucker adds that providing contact information on the form is strictly optional.
To help develop the Auditor’s annual work plan, the Board also established an Audit Committeemade up of two Board members, three citizen members, the County Manager and the Director of the Department of Management and Finance. That panel held its first meeting in March.
The Audit Suggestion Form can be found on the County website along with Audit Committee meeting materials and details on Tucker’s background.
The new Taylor Gourmet restaurant in Crystal City is opening today.
The sandwich shop, at 2200 Crystal Drive, will open at 11 a.m., a PR rep says. Taylor will be open daily from 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
The new location will feature some unique decorations, including a new neon sign, recycled bike tire wall paneling, a Philadelphia-inspired mural, shipping palette wood screens, and a glass garage door front window.
Photo credit @shootjoec
From 9 a.m. to noon, emergency responders will swarm “a remote area of the airfield” as part of a a simulated aircraft accident. The exercise will include a period of fire and smoke, 120 volunteer “victims,” multiple support helicopters and a river rescue response.
Nearby residents can expect to hear and/or see the exercise in progress.
“The full-scale emergency preparedness exercise, which is the culmination of months of planning and coordination across multiple jurisdictions and disciplines, is part of Federal Aviation Administration-mandated safety training to ensure airports are prepared for real-life aircraft emergencies,” notes a press release. “Airports are required to conduct a full-scale exercise every three years in order to be certified by the FAA.”
The rest of the press release is below.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport will hold an emergency preparedness exercise on Saturday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to approximately 12 p.m. A simulated aircraft accident will give the airport’s first responders an opportunity to put their emergency plans into action while providing hands-on training to airport and airline staff, hospitals, local jurisdictions and other emergency personnel. During the exercise, emergency personnel will respond as in a real emergency, including the use of sirens, firefighting equipment and helicopters.
The exercise will be held in a remote area of the airfield and will not affect normal airport operations or flights. Although the site will not be visible to most passengers, reminders about the exercise will be announced on Saturday morning via flyreagan.com, @Reagan_Airport on Twitter and public address systems in the airport.
Specifics of the exercise scenario have not been shared in advance with responding participants. The exercise will include the following elements to add realism to the simulated emergency:
- Participation by Airports Authority Fire and Rescue, Police and Airport Operations personnel
- Numerous emergency vehicles responding as mutual aid support from surrounding communities
- A brief period of fire and smoke
- Conversations between dispatchers and responders on emergency radio frequencies
- About 120 volunteer role players, moulaged to simulate injuries sustained from the incident
- Support helicopters responding to the emergency exercise
- A river rescue emergency response
PLEASE NOTE: Some of the exercise elements may be seen or heard on Saturday morning from areas surrounding the airport – especially in Arlington and Alexandria near U.S. Route 1, George Washington Memorial Parkway, I-395 and along the Potomac River near the airport.
It’s part of the National Take-Back Initiative, which is aimed at preventing prescription drug abuse. It also helps prevent accidental ingestion and the contamination of water supplies.
“The Arlington County Police Department, Arlington County Sheriff’s Office and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs,” ACPD said in a press release. “Bring your medications for disposal to the designated collection sites. The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.”
The event will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the following locations.
- Fire Station #1 (500 S. Glebe Road)
- Fire Station #8 (4845 Lee Highway)
- Fire Station #9 (1900 S. Walter Reed Drive)
“Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse,” the press release notes. “Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are high, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to these drugs. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.”
“If residents are unable to participate in this event, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services advises residents to throw unwanted prescription drugs in the trash.”
A couple of weeks ago, a rep for Instrata Pentagon City, a high-end luxury apartment building on 15th Street S. near the Fashion Centre mall, reached out to us about a unique amenity the building offers its residents: a “lifestyle concierge.”
Having not heard of such a thing before — most local news reporters do not live in buildings with a lifestyle concierge — we asked Stephanie Student, who holds that position, what a lifestyle concierge does and why an apartment building should have one.
Here are some excerpts from that interview.
ARLnow: In your own words, what does a lifestyle concierge do?
Stephanie: As a lifestyle concierge, my job is to make residents’ lives easier! I’m here to take care of their needs, no matter how big or small, and assist wherever I can. Another big part of my job is organizing resident-exclusive events — everything from cake-decorating classes and oyster shucking to beer-tasting and fitness classes. These events and classes really help create a sense of community among residents and I’ve seen some wonderful friendships blossom between residents who had never met before but attended the same event and really hit it off.
ARLnow: Why is it important for Instrata to have a lifestyle concierge?
Stephanie: Luxury lifestyle apartments are not uncommon in most metropolitan areas, but Instrata has recognized that renters want more than just high-end finishes and nice common spaces. They also want a place where they feel they have friends and connections–a place that feels like its own “neighborhood.” By providing residents with a concierge who can act at a “go-to” for questions and assistance, and fun events that encourage interaction, they get all of that plus the more typical perks of high-end buildings.
ARLnow: What are some of your personal favorite activities in the neighborhood?
Stephanie: Pentagon Row is full of fun shops and restaurants, not to mention amazing venues and events! There’s a skating rink in the winter, 5K Fridays through the month of April, and outdoor movie nights in the summer. This August and September, the movies will be a complete run of the Star Wars series. I can’t wait!
“Arlington friends, we have enjoyed serving you, but have decided to close our restaurant in Clarendon,” the post reads. “We will miss you, but hope you’ll visit us in Woodbridge or Virginia Beach. Thank you for your patronage and your kindness.”
The company did not say why it closed the pizzeria and a representative for Brixx did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Calls to the Clarendon location went unanswered earlier this afternoon.
Hat tip to a tipster for sending news of the closure our way
The market will launch on Saturday, May 21, according to its website. It will be held at Marymount’s surface parking lot at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Old Dominion Drive, on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m., through Nov. 19.
Free parking is available at Marymount’s Blue Garage.
The market, which was organized by local residents, is billing itself as the only farmers market in Arlington north of Lee Highway.
“Featuring a fresh, delicious, organic, and healthy variety of foods, the Marymount Farmers Market was created and developed by your North Arlington neighbors and Civic Associations in partnership under the Lee Highway Alliance,” the website notes. “It is hosted by Marymount University and managed by Field to Table.”
“The Marymount Farmers Market is a local producer-only market. Each of our vendors grows, bakes, roasts, cooks, or prepares all of their products within 125 miles of Arlington County. Produce is usually picked within a day or two of the market so it is as fresh as possible.”
Photo via Facebook
Fairfax-based Twins Ace Hardware will open an Arlington location on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon apartment building late this summer, according to a company announcement
The store will sell a “wide variety” of products and span 5,560 square feet, the announcement reads.
A building permit application for the new business was filed on Monday.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt
Rosslyn is getting a new bourbon bar and neighborhood hangout.
Barley Mac, located in the former Red, Hot & Blue space at 1600 Wilson Blvd, is set to open later this week. An official opening date has not been announced yet, but a safe bet is to expect a couple of quiet, “soft opening” periods, followed by a more official opening later this week, perhaps Thursday or Friday.
The ownership group behind Barley Mac is a familiar one — you’ve heard of some of their other, highly successful bar/restaurant ventures, notably A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston and Don Tito in Clarendon. Barley Mac, says partner Scott Parker, will be the group’s most mature, food-centric establishment yet.
Case in point: the pedigree of some of the team members behind the restaurant. Executive chef Jeremy Magnanelli got his culinary start at the prestigious Inn at Little Washington, and most recently was sous chef at Lincoln Restaurant in D.C. Beverage program manager Mitch Johnson comes by way of the Robert Wiedmaier Group.
(Other team members include executive chef Mike Cordero, who is creating the menu, and interior designer Yvette Irene.)
The food menu, still a work in progress, is billed as “American tavern cuisine with an Italian twist.” In terms of drinks there will of course be draft beer and craft cocktails, but the star of the show will be the whiskey selection. Parker says to expect more than 100 whiskeys, half of which are bourbons.
Among the whiskeys on the menu: Elijah Craig 18 year, Hudson Baby Bourbon, A. Smith Bowman whiskey from Fredericksburg, Old Rip Van Winkle, Whistle Pig Rye, plus Yamazaki and Hibiki Japanese whiskeys.
Barley Mac has been more than a year in the making but Parker says the wait will be worth it. He and his partners are expecting Barley Mac to be another smashing success, thanks to pent up demand for a go-to after-work spot for those who live and work in Rosslyn.
The Rosslyn market, he said, is “underserved” by existing restaurants, particularly when it comes to happy hour and late night options.
“We expect to be really busy from day one,” Parker said. “We think Rosslyn has a lot of good spots but it doesn’t have that neighborhood gathering place. That’s what we’re aiming to be, the go-to spot… the place in Rosslyn everybody knows.”
Barley Mac plans to remain open until 2 a.m. seven days a week. It expects to serve only dinner this week, with lunch service added next week. After about a month, Barley Mac will offer a “huge brunch buffet” on weekends and will also add outdoor, patio dining options.
It’s being billed as a beer garden — arguably the first or one of the first in Clarendon — and within about a month it will start serving Clarendon bar-goers who want to want to enjoy their brews outside.
Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd) is currently putting the finishing touches on a new, 2,500 square foot outdoor patio. It’s located to the right of the Clarendon watering hole’s back door, behind Don Tito and across N. Hudson Street from Brixx Pizza.
No opening date has been set yet, but co-owner Nick Freshman says he’s hoping planning to open “sometime before Memorial Day weekend.”
“It’s an extension of existing SK with same style and atmosphere,” Freshman tells ARLnow.com. The beer garden will feature:
- Capacity for 300
- 20+ foot concrete bar with canvas awning
- Two fire pits
- Bar tables, communal picnic style tables, benches and other types of seating
- A large, commissioned graffiti-style mural
- Six-foot fence around the patio
- Lots of beer: 16 taps, 30 cans, ciders, sangrias, etc.
- Large, telescoping umbrellas for shade
- Tivoli-style string lighting
Freshman said Spider Kelly’s is also adding new bathrooms inside, doubling the existing restroom capacity.
Hungry Arlington residents and workers can now use the UberEATS app to order food from local restaurants. Users can order off the full restaurant menu, rather than having to choose between a few select items.
“Uber is partnering with over a dozen restaurants in the Arlington area and working to add more every week,” said Uber spokeswoman Kaitlin Durkosh. “Depending on your location, you can also order from restaurants in D.C., too.”
The service is offered from 9 a.m. to midnight daily and, Uber claims, can deliver food in as little as 10 minutes. There’s a flat $4.99 delivery fee, plus the cost of the food.
The bad news is that there’s a limited delivery area. The Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, plus Pentagon City and Crystal City, are included. Some western, northern and southern portions of Arlington, including East Falls Church, Shirlington and Fairlington, are excluded. (See map, above.)
Uber announced the Arlington expansion of UberEATS in a blog post Thursday.
La Côte d’Or Café in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood is under new ownership.
Chef Jacques Imperato bought the restaurant in February, according to a press release, and has since set about adding “more authentic French food options.”
Now on the menu: escargots, frog legs and foie gras.
The restaurant, located at 6876 Lee Highway, has been in business for more than two decades.
The full press release is below.
The well-loved restaurant, La Côte d’Or Café in Falls Church, has a new owner and is more authentically French than ever before. The restaurant was purchased in February of 2016 by Chef Jacques Imperato, the past owner-chef of three other successful French restaurants in Northern Virginia. Chef Jeanmarc Drimille who has been with La Cote d’Or for the past 13 years will still head up the kitchen.
Imperato’s changes include adding more authentic French food options from the province of Burgundy, providing an enhanced wine list, and refining recipes already on the menu. Some of the classics gracing the menu include:
- Burgundy Escargots
- Beef Bourguignon
- Coq au Vin
- Frog Legs
- Fois Gras
Possibly the most exciting news is Imperto leading a return to excellent French wines at La Côte d’Or Café. The La Côte d’Or region in Burgundy is famous for some of the best wines in the world. The wine list has increased already to 22 wines, 14 of which are Burgundy, with more selections to come.
“I hope to educate people on real French cooking,” Imperto remarks in a classic French accent as pure as the day he arrived in the U.S. decades ago. “Everyone thinks of heavy creams in sauces when they think of French food, but there are many regions in France with different cooking styles. In Burgundy, we use olive oil and fresh herbs. Also, in La Côte d’Or Café we cook a healthier style of Burgundy cuisine using fresh seasonal ingredients, grass fed beef, specialty high quality fish and low calorie alternatives in our sauces.”
Some of these healthier sauce substitutes translate to a menu with many gluten free options. Also, everything on the menu is made from scratch, a practice that is a tradition in French cafe’s but not in typical North American restaurants.
The restaurant is perfect for date night with details that seem to be all too rare, like tables adorned with white linens and fresh flowers. During nice summer days, a wall of doors lining the sidewalk are opened, turning the atmosphere into that of a lovely Parisian cafe.
Imperato attended culinary school in Nice, France, and has worked with some of the most prestigious chefs known in the Côte d’Azur area today.
He has previously worked at Washington, D.C.’s Maison Blanche, Le Lavandou, and Tiberio. In the past, he owned Chalet de la Paix in Arlington as well as Mediterranee Restaurants in Great Falls and Arlington.
If you love La Côte d’Or Café, if you are a long-time follower of Chef Jacques Imperato’s flair for French cuisine, or if you would like to experience authentic cuisine from Burgundy, come and enjoy an exceptional dining experience. You can also contact them at [email protected] and ask to be put on the restaurant’s mailing list so you can receive a daily email with specials.
La Côte d’Or Café has been in business for over 20 years serving lunch and dinner daily from either à la carte or prix fixe menus. They alter the menu for certain holidays such as Mother’s Day. Saturdays and Sundays offer a special brunch menu. They can accommodate private parties up to 30 people in a designated party room. The restaurant provides catering as well.
(Updated at 9:45 p.m.) The Pinkberry frozen yogurt shop in Clarendon is back open after apparently closing for a period of time.
The shop, at 2930 Clarendon Blvd, is marked closed on Yelp and as soon as mid-March a tipster asked ARLnow.com whether it had closed for good.
“For the past couple months, the Pinkberry in Clarendon has not been open during normal business hours,” said the tipster. “There’s no sign up to say that it’s closing or indication that anything is wrong.”
As of today, the store was open and serving customers, with a sign saying “Pinkberry is now open” outside. Signs posted on the windows say the store is now hiring.
We’re told the store closed for the winter, but didn’t post any signs stating that the closure was temporary. Pinkberry’s parent company said such decisions are up to the individual franchisees.
The lone employee inside around 5:30 today said she wasn’t sure when the store first reopened.
A slick new burger restaurant and bar has opened in Courthouse.
Basic Burger pairs a relatively straightforward menu — burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, salads, shakes — with a clean, modern interior and a bar offering beer, cider and wine.
It’s a bit Shake Shack-esque, with some unique touches, including sweet potato fries, onion rings, fried pickles and fizzy beverages from “craft soda” brand Stubborn Soda.
Located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, just down from the now-closed Wendy’s and up from Ray’s Hell Burger, Basic Burger opened for business on Monday. Its hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
The marathon was won by two Ethiopians: Lemi Berhanu Hayle won the men’s race in 2:12:45 and Atsede Baysa won the women’s race in 2:29:19.
The fastest-finishing Arlingtonian was prolific international marathoner Michael Wardian. The 42-year-old finished with a time of 2:31:39, good for 41st overall and 2nd in his age division.
The top three Arlington-based male finishers, based on unofficial net finish time:
The top three female finishers: