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by Chris Teale November 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A bar that combines an extensive drinks menu with board games is now open in Clarendon.

The Board Room opened yesterday (Tuesday) at 925 N. Garfield Street, in the space formerly occupied by Sehkraft Brewing. This is The Board Room’s second location — it already has one in Dupont Circle.

It has space for around 140 people in the main bar area, as well as the adjoining “Ms. Peacock’s Champagne Lounge,” which was the butcher shop. Mark Handwerger, owner of The Board Room’s parent company Bedrock Bars, said this morning that he expects that section to be open on Friday, depending on construction.

The Board Room will look to continue Sehkraft’s in-house brewing, and Handwerger said it will start to have its own beer available for purchase on Monday, made initially at a commercial brewer. It also has an extensive cocktail and food menu.

Board games are available for rent, with various box tops from other board games added to the walls as art throughout. Even the entrances to the restrooms have references to board games on their doors.

Handwerger had planned to open The Board Room earlier, but construction issues caused delays.

by Chris Teale November 22, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

The day after Thanksgiving promises to be a busy one for the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, as it throws open its doors at 7 a.m. for Black Friday.

It marks the start of the Christmas shopping period across the country, and the mall here will be open until 9:30 p.m. for shoppers looking for deals.

Todd Jerscheid, director of marketing and business development, said anticipation is building for customers and mall employees alike.

“It’s like our Super Bowl Day, if you will. It’s a big day for us,” he said. “It’s where retailers really pull out all the stops and put their best foot forward, and not only supply great sales and promotions and that sort of thing, but it’s also offering that customer experience and welcoming shoppers in during the holiday.”

Jerscheid said customers can expect a slightly slower start to the morning — fewer doorbuster shoppers — than in some other places that open early for Black Friday. But then by mid-morning, foot traffic really picks up.

“I’ve been here nine years, and we pretty much have a very good flow of traffic on Black Friday,” he said. “We are not an early-riser mall, like some malls that open really early in the morning. I would say from 11 a.m. on, the traffic becomes very heavy and then it goes on through the remainder of the evening.”

As in previous years, Jerscheid said the mall will offer its “Shopper Survivor Kit” for the first 100 people who visit Guest Services after opening. The kit has bottled water, coupons, samples and snacks, and is intended to encourage people to shop early in the day.

And the other offer, which Jerscheid said is a “pretty big hit,” is “Santa’s Grab Bag Giveaway.” If a shopper spends $150 or more between 7 and 9 a.m., they can reach into the grab bag and have a chance to win gift cards, prizes from retailers or even a free coffee at Starbucks.

That is in addition to the dozens of stores that will have sales and deals throughout Black Friday and the weekend, while the mall will have a special visitor for children of all ages.

“We can’t forget the big man in the red suit,” Jerscheid said. “He is definitely here. He arrived on November 18, and will be here for photos… Kids can also write a little letter electronically to Santa and send it up to the North Pole.”

by Chris Teale November 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

A British-based clothing store is now open at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Superdry opened a 5,600-square-foot store next to Kate Spade New York on the mall’s second level earlier this month.

The chain offers “vintage Americana and Japanese-inspired graphics with a British style,” and is known for, among other things, its Windcheater jackets that keep the worst of the weather off. It also has clothing for men and women, and does a line of sportswear.

Its only other location in Virginia is in Tysons Corner, with another at the Clarksburg Premium Outlets in Maryland.

“Inspired by a trip to Tokyo in 2003, Superdry fuses design influences from Japanese graphics and vintage Americana, with the values of British tailoring,” reads a blurb on the mall’s website. “The result – unique urban clothing, with incredible branding and an unrivalled level of detailing. Such distinctiveness has gained the brand exclusive appeal, as well as an international celebrity following.”

by Chris Teale November 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

(Updated at 4 p.m.) One of the last remaining businesses has departed the Buck property in Virginia Square, ahead of potential redevelopment of the site.

The Jumping Joeys children’s gym closed its doors at 1425 N. Quincy Street, across from Washington-Lee High School, on Sunday, November 12, according to a post on its website. It was part of the “Quincy Street Technology Center,” which included gyms and an Arlington Public Schools building and is zoned for light industrial use.

Still open in Falls Church, Jumping Joeys lets children bounce on soft play equipment, and is available for “Open Bounce” sessions open to the general public as well as for private parties and events.

That followed another closure in late August, when the NOVA MMA/CrossFit Arlington gym in the same building shuttered.

It sets the stage for the long-discussed redevelopment of the Buck property, a conversation that the county’s Joint Facilities Advisory Commission continued earlier this year.

Last month, Arlington County sold $34 million in revenue bonds to fund the purchase of the Buck property.

The deadline for the final payment of $27 million for the property was yesterday (November 20). A county spokeswoman said the county closed on the transaction as planned.

The Buck property could could allow for a building to be used by Arlington Public Schools, as well as provide space for the Office of Emergency Management and other public safety agencies, while some offer bus parking for both APS and Arlington Transit (ART).

One business remains at the site: Dynamic Gymnastics. It received an extension to its lease, which will terminate on May 31, 2018.

by Chris Teale November 21, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

Arlington County’s only Jerry’s Subs & Pizza has reopened after remodeling.

The eatery at 2041 15th Street N. in Courthouse appears to have been given a new lick of paint and some upgraded lighting.

When an ARLnow reporter dropped by on Monday evening, business was steady after the reopening, which employees said happened last week.

Jerry’s serves pizza, hot and cold subs and a variety of cheesesteaks. It is across the street from Arlington County jail, next door to a bond office and is a block away from an entrance to the Courthouse Metro station.

Hat-tip to Joshua Folb

by Chris Teale November 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) will show the new Star Wars movie next month in what is being described as a first for the theater.

The iconic local business will show “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” from December 14 until January 11. Customers are being asked to buy tickets in advance due to high anticipated demand.

Due to what organizers called the “special screening nature” of the film, tickets cost $10 in the evening and $8 for matinees.

It comes as part of the Drafthouse’s decision to shift to playing movies on a first-run basis, meaning it has quicker access to films.

Owner Greg Godbout has said that the rise of video on-demand services has hurt its previous business model of showing mainstream movies several months after the initial release.

Income from the movie could be small for the Drafthouse, however, as like all movie theaters it reportedly must turn over at least 65 percent of revenue generated by ticket sales to Disney, which owns the Star Wars franchise.

The Drafthouse is making the most of its Star Wars deal, holding dozens of screenings and even offering the chance to host Star Wars-themed parties for businesses. Via a Drafthouse email forwarded to ARLnow.com:

Host a STAR WARS PARTY!!!  Is your company looking for a fun alternative holiday party? The Drafthouse can accommodate your group with our restaurant style seating, giant screen, no hassle buffet style catering options as well as our FULL BAR!! Give your employee’s the gift of a private screening.

Availability: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm.  December 15th – January 11th.

Contact us: [email protected] for a full offering of catering, bar and rental options.

by Chris Teale November 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

More than a dozen people protested outside Harris Teeter in Ballston this morning (Monday), urging the grocery store to make it easier to access a form of emergency contraception.

Protestors gathered near the store at 600 N. Glebe Road just after 10 a.m. holding signs and chanting, urging the grocery store to put Plan B One Step on its shelves. Currently, customers must pick up a card on the shelf for Plan B and take it to either a pharmacist or store manager to redeem it.

Plan B is a time-sensitive medication to prevent unintended pregnancy when taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex, but the sooner it can be taken, the more effective it is.

The protest was organized by Reproaction, a direct action group formed two years ago to help increase access to abortion and reproductive justice: the right to parent, the right not to parent and the right to raise children in safe and healthy communities.

“For over four years, the FDA has authorized emergency contraception to be sold on the shelf to anyone regardless of age or gender,” Erin Matson, co-director of Reproaction, said. “You pick it up off the shelf the way you do Tylenol. What Harris Teeter does is asinine.”

For others protesting, it was a chance to stand up for the rights of immigrants and the LGBTQ community, who are able to access such contraception easier than other types requiring identification.

“Plan B is something we have fought for so we don’t have any barriers for it,” Alejandra Pablos of the Virginia Latina Advocacy Network said. “It’s very important when you think about all the immigrant people, the trans people from the LGBTQ community having Plan B accessible to you without ID, without that barrier is super important.”

And Shireen Shakouri, another protestor, said she came to protest after some difficult experiences in the grocery store.

“When I was younger, trawling through the aisle that had sexual health products, I was often followed,” she said. “I don’t need that policing now, I didn’t need it then and I’m here to speak out against it.

Matson said Monday’s action is part of a wider push against the grocery store’s policy, timed to coincide with Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“We’re kicking off our campaign to make HT put emergency contraception on the shelf where it belongs at the beginning of the holiday season on purpose,” she said. “This is a time when shoppers are busy and coming over here, and we wanted to make sure we got the word out and make this change happen.”

For its part, Harris Teeter said in a statement posted on news website Rewire last year that the product must be sold by a pharmacy associate or store manager, as they are certified under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

by Chris Teale November 20, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A workout studio is coming to Clarendon’s Market Common.

Barre3 is set to move into the shopping center at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, above cosmetics store Sephora and between beauty salon Acqua Nails and the space formerly occupied by Indian restaurant Zaika.

The studio’s classes give a full-body workout, including by using a barre typically used by ballet dancers for balance.

“Barre3 mixes athleticism, grace, and the latest innovations designed to balance the body,” Barre3’s website reads. “Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, each full-body workout optimizes every moment with moves that adapt to your body for maximum results.”

This new, approximately 2,600 square foot studio will be the first in Arlington. The only other one in Virginia is located in Old Town Alexandria.

No word yet on an opening date for the Clarendon location, which looks set to be part of a revamp planned at Market Common by developer Regency Centers.

by ARLnow.com November 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm 0

For the latest 26 Square Miles podcast, we spoke with County Board member John Vihstadt about last week’s elections in Virginia, his reelection bid next year and various issues facing Arlington County, including budget pressures and development.

We also asked Vihstadt about the possibility of Arlington landing Amazon’s second corporate headquarters.

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

by Chris Teale November 17, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Arlington County’s newest Dunkin’ Donuts is now open in Clarendon.

The combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store at 3009 Clarendon Blvd celebrated its grand opening this morning (Friday). The celebrations include free doughnuts for all customers and appearances by mascots Cuppy and Sprinkles and cheerleaders for the Washington Capitals.

Tomorrow (Saturday), customers can get a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase, while there will be a chance to decorate some doughnuts too. On both days, a prize wheel offers discount vouchers for various menu offerings.

It is the 12th Dunkin’ Donuts in the county, after one opened in September in Virginia Square. And at around 8:30 a.m., business was already brisk at the store located at the intersection of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, just a block from the Clarendon Metro station.

by ARLnow.com November 16, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

Joel McHale is coming to Arlington.

The actor and comedian, best known for hosting The Soup on E! and for his starring role on Community, is performing four stand-up comedy shows at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike) this coming Friday and Saturday.

McHale, who also recently starred on CBS’s The Great Indoors and Fox’s The X-Files reboot, spoke with ARLnow.com for our 26 Square Miles podcast on Wednesday. He talked about hosting the 2014 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, told us what we can expect at his upcoming stand-up shows, and gave a candid answer about why The Soup was cancelled and whether it is in line for a revival.

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

by Chris Teale November 16, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

The former Artisphere space in Rosslyn has a new lease on life, as co-working area Spaces opened earlier this week.

Spaces is located at 1101 Wilson Blvd, in a building owned by Monday Properties. The chain’s Rosslyn location offers 303 desks in a 37,000-square-foot office space. Members can use any workstation, or can pay more to reserve one. Suites are also available for small businesses. Up to 800 members can be accommodated.

A large open area with a full kitchen, bar/café and eight beer taps can be reserved for meetings and parties, and doubles as a co-working space when not in use for events.

Members can also access 9,000 square feet of outdoor space, including a large balcony, while its upper atrium connects to Rosslyn’s Freedom Park.

At a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday, Rosslyn Business Improvement District president and CEO Mary-Claire Burick said the new co-working space, one of several open or planning to open in Arlington, will foster community.

“We love how Spaces encourages a sense of community with its design, programs and overall empowering atmosphere,” Burick said. “That’s what we’re all about here in Rosslyn, so I know you and your clients will feel right at home. I want you to know that you have the full support of the Rosslyn business community, because when you succeed, we all succeed.”

Photos via Mary Parker Architectural Photography, courtesy of Monday Properties. Disclosure: Monday Properties is an ARLnow advertiser.

by Chris Teale November 15, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A mainstay of the Clarendon bar and restaurant scene celebrates a significant milestone Friday, as Mister Days (3100 Clarendon Blvd) marks its 40th anniversary.

It first opened in an alleyway off Dupont Circle on November 21, 1977 serving prime rib, ham sandwiches, a soup and a salad. And in the years that followed, including a move to 18th Street NW between L and M Streets NW before opening in Arlington in 2000, it gained a strong following.

The bar has served famous guests like movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Washington Redskins greats like Sonny Jurgensen and John Riggins, and had live entertainment from singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter early in her career.

But owner Robert E. Lee said it is the relationships he has built that are most memorable.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Lee said of the anniversary. “You start losing friends, not customers, but friends that you met through business. After you get out of school, you have professional relationships. In the bar business and restaurant business, you meet hundreds of people that become friends.”

Lee said that initially, he was unsure about having televisions showing sports in Mister Days, figuring it would be a distraction from the dancing and food. But when he saw customers leaving to go home and watch “Roots,” a 1970s miniseries, he began to think differently.

Instead of relying on the major network broadcasts, Lee did something new for customers by, as he put it, putting on “all games all the time.” 

“We figured out how to do back-channels through satellite dishes, so we got the satellite dishes,” he said. “We started doing all games all the time. Nobody else had it. We weren’t the first sports bar, but I believe we were the first where you could get all the games. You couldn’t buy them.”

Much of Mister Days’ popularity in D.C. came from its “Rally in the Alley,” an outdoor event held in conjunction with other nearby bars that included food, drink and live entertainment and at times hosted 15,000 people.

What began as a party one St. Patrick’s Day morphed into a charity event, just one of the bar’s charitable ventures that also included paying for kids to attend basketball camps and get basketball scholarships to DeMatha Catholic High School and donating food for free Christmas and Thanksgiving meals. 

“[Rally in the Alley] became a major event,” Lee said. “That’s like the acorn that became an oak tree. That was just an idea, and that’s what I love to do. You have an idea, and all of a sudden it works.”

(more…)

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Plans to bring a Japanese barbecue restaurant to the former Brixx Pizza space in Clarendon could move forward soon.

The first D.C. area outpost of the Japan-based Gyu-Kaku restaurant is looking to move into 1119 N. Hudson Street, but months after first putting signs in the window, little progress is apparent on the inside.

But county staff approved a permit application for a new tenant layout late last month after several rejections for mechanical, plumbing and electrical issues, so construction could begin soon. The application was originally submitted in mid-August.

Gyu-Kaku serves Yakiniku cuisine — barbecued meats and veggies that are cooked by diners on a charcoal grill in the center of the table. The chain has hundreds of locations in Japan and existing U.S. locations in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii and elsewhere.

Representatives of Gyu-Kaku did not respond to requests for additional comment.

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A new coffee shop opened last month in Virginia Square.

Detour Coffee Co. is located at 946 N. Jackson Street, in the same building as the Darna Restaurant and Lounge, next to a Jiffy Lube.

On its website, Detour said it is owned by the same group that owns Darna. According to posts from its Facebook account, it opened late last month.

“Detour Coffee Co. combines tradition and innovation to create a delicious product that leaves customers satisfied every time,” it reads. “Located just blocks from the Clarendon Metro Station, our local coffee shop prides itself on maintaining the highest quality of product and service — all of our drinks are hand-crafted and pastries are made in-house from scratch.”

Detour serves various types of coffee including drip, espresso, chai and iced. It also has hot chocolate, and hot and iced tea, as well as sandwiches, pastries, empanadas and other food items. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

It is located about two blocks from local independent coffee shop stalwart Northside Social.

Photos 1-5 via Facebook, photo No. 6 via Google Maps.

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