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by ARLnow.com — September 27, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

The Cosi restaurant in Courthouse has closed.

Lunch-goers hoping for a Cosi sandwich or salad found instead a locked door. A sign posted on the door said the restaurant is closed.

“We truly appreciate your patronage and we apologize for any inconvenience,” the sign said.

It was not immediately clear if the closure was permanent or temporary, although the restaurant’s interior appeared to be in the process of being cleared out and a number of items from the restaurant were placed in and around the dumpsters behind the building.

The Cosi is located at 2050 Wilson Blvd, just steps from the Courthouse Metro station.

Update at 5:45 p.m. — A Cosi in Reston Town Center has also closed.

by ARLnow.com — September 27, 2016 at 11:25 am 0

The Clarendon Apple Store (2700 Clarendon Blvd) has reopened after nearly six months of renovations.

The store first opened in 2001, making it one of Apple’s oldest retail locations. With the renovations, the store is now among the locations sporting Apple’s next generation store design.

The updated look isn’t too radical departure from the previous design. MacBooks, iPads and iPhones are still arranged on large tables for customer to try out; purchases are still made with the assistance of iPhone-toting employees rather than at registers.

One thing noticeably absent: any sign of an Apple logo near the entrance.

The Pentagon City mall Apple Store is up next for a redesign. The store closed on Sunday for several months of renovations.

by Andrew Ramonas — September 23, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Arlington County Police Department officers got free cold-cut sandwiches, cookies and iced tea last night as a thank-you for their work in Lyon Village.

The Lyon Village Citizens’ Association gave the dinner to about 20 cops at the neighborhood’s community house during the officers’ breaks, said John Carten, a member of the organization’s executive committee.

Locals sought to show their appreciation for the cops as a growing number of police controversies across the United States have made national headlines, Carten said.

The county’s officers are “always responsive” at community meetings and on patrol in Lyon Village, he said.

“We just wanted to let them know we are behind them,” Carten said.

Photos courtesy of John Carten

by ARLnow.com — September 22, 2016 at 6:30 pm 0

Comedian David Koechner in Clarendon (photo courtesy Collin O'Brien)

You know comedian David Koechner as “Champ” from Anchorman, but you might not know that in addition to his film and TV work he still travels the world performing standup comedy.

David is in Arlington this weekend, performing a total of five shows on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Arlington Cinema Drafthouse on Columbia Pike. Tickets are $25 and are still available online.

We talked with David about his roles in Anchorman, Waiting, Thank You for Smoking and The Office, and also discussed whether he plans to see any the sights around Arlington during his visit. Taking advantage of being in the D.C. area, David weighed in on some of the issues he’s passionate about as well.

You can listen to the full interview below. Be sure to subscribe to ARLnow.com’s podcast, 26 Square Miles, on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or TuneIn.

This week’s sponsor is Crystal City. Take advantage of the nice September weather and check out Crystal City’s last two Wine in the Waterpark events of the season this coming Friday and next Friday.

Photo courtesy Collin O’Brien

by ARLnow.com — September 20, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Arlington won’t be temporarily without an Apple Store, after all.

In an email sent to local customers this afternoon, Apple said its Clarendon store, which has been under renovation since April, will reopen this weekend. A grand reopening is planned for Saturday, Sept. 24 starting at 10 a.m.

“You’ll love what we’ve done with the place,” the iPhone maker said in the email and on the store’s website.

“There’s a lot more to see at your new Apple Store in Arlington,” the email continued. “Stop by on September 24 to take a look at what’s changed and try the latest Apple products, including iPhone 7 and Apple Watch Series 2.”

Some exterior work was still underway outside the store today.

The Apple Store in the Pentagon City mall is scheduled to close for renovations starting this coming Sunday, Sept. 25.

Hat tip to Chaz P.

by ARLnow.com — September 20, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

China Garden restaurant is terminating its lease, a permit application on this week’s County Board agenda suggests.

The long-time Chinese restaurant, at 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn, is perhaps best known for its weekend dim sum lunches.

Monday Properties, owner of the 1000-1100 Wilson Blvd twin towers, is requesting County Board permission to convert the 10,000 square foot retail space currently occupied by the restaurant into new television studios.

The permit application does not name the soon-to-be “former restaurant” but its location on the mezzanine level of the building and floor plan match that of China Garden.

“As of the date of this application, one of the retail tenants located in the mezzanine level of the building has decided to terminate its lease and to vacate the property,” an attorney for the building owner said in a letter to the county. “In the Applicant’s experience, retail space on the mezzanine level has proven difficult to lease, given its separation from the pedestrian realm on the street level. As such, the Applicant proposes to convert the former retail space into two new television studios and associated support facilities.”

The application also does not name the tenant that will be using the new studios, but the building is home to television station WJLA and NewsChannel 8. Station owner Sinclair renewed its lease in the building this summer.

County staff are recommending the Board approve the application.

A China Garden employee said today that the restaurant’s manager would not be available for comment until Friday.

by ARLnow.com — September 20, 2016 at 7:00 am 0

Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall is holding an active shooter training exercise this morning.

The exercise is being held from 9 a.m. to noon. Locals should expect at least one of the base’s gates — the one near the Sheraton hotel along Columbia Pike — to be closed periodically during the exercise.

From the JBMHH public affairs office:

Please be advised that emergency response activity may be seen at the base and in the surrounding communities during the exercise.

Henderson Hall Gate 1, off Southgate Road and S. Orme Street in Arlington, will be closed intermittently between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. during the exercise.

All other gates, to include Hatfield and Wright Gates, will remain open.  Drivers to the base should plan to use the other gates between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. to avoid the Gate 1 closure.  As a reminder, both Henderson Hall Gate 1 and Wright Gate are for DoD ID card holders only.

Please refer to JBM-HH Facebook at www.facebook.com/jbmhh for additional updates.

by ARLnow.com — September 16, 2016 at 1:35 pm 0

Park(ing) Day 2016 is in full swing in Arlington.

Described as “an annual international event where the public collaborates to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into small parks to elicit a reconsideration of the designation of public space,” Park(ing) Day is taking place on the side of the road in five separate locations in Arlington this year.

Among them: in front of 4075 Wilson Blvd and 4245 Fairfax Drive in Ballston; 2200 Wilson Blvd and the N. Uhle Street parking lot in Courthouse; and 2847 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon.

We stopped by two today: in Clarendon, the Lululemon store was hosting yoga lessons, demonstrations and other feats of flexibility. On Wilson Blvd in Courthouse, staff from the Arlington Community Planning, Housing and Development office were giving away free schwag and encouraging passersby to play games they had on hand.

The county tweeted photos from two of the other events:

“Events like PARK(ing) Day enrich our community life by creating an inviting streetscape and by promoting activities that allow for social exchange, fun, creativity and critical thinking,” the county said on its website. “PARK(ing) Day in particular can furthermore promote a rethinking of the usage of the public-right-of-way and may motivate the public to more actively participate in the civic processes which shape our urban environment.”

The tiny temporary parks will remain open until around 3-3:30 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — September 15, 2016 at 11:55 am 0

Robbie Peck has the kind of founding story for his company that reinforces the artisanal cred that is fueling its growth.

Commonwealth Joe Coffee Roasters, which owns Java Shack in Courthouse and is opening a new flagship cafe in Pentagon City, started as a mom-and-son operation in Culpeper, Va., a coffee shop where Peck was the barista and his mother was the chief coffee roaster.

From those beginnings Peck founded Commonwealth Joe with one coffee roasting machine and three friends from college. A few years later, and now he’s just a week or two away the culmination of a lot of hard work and investment: the opening of the first Commonwealth Joe-branded coffee shop.

Located next to a new Whole Foods on 12th Street S., just two blocks from the Pentagon City Metro, the cafe will feature the company’s most popular product: nitro cold brew coffee, which is smooth, dark and served out of a keg — the Guinness beer of coffees.

In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we learned that Commonwealth Joe’s nitro cold brew was the result of keeping a close eye on coffee culture in New York and other trend-setting coffee cities, in addition to a lot of experimentation.

We also learned:

  • It takes quite a bit of effort to pedal a tricycle outfitted with a coffee keg up a hill
  • Though Peck is competing with Starbucks, he credits the company for paving the way for smaller coffee companies like his
  • Contrary to the experience of other small businesses, Peck says he hasn’t encountered much trouble from Arlington County on regulatory and permitting issues so far

You can listen to the full interview below. Be sure to subscribe to ARLnow.com’s new podcast, 26 Square Miles, on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or TuneIn.

Our podcast sponsor is Crystal City, which is hosting its annual Pups and Pilsners beer tasting event this Sunday from 2-6 p.m.

by Tim Regan — September 14, 2016 at 4:50 pm 0

arlington-historical-markers-series-screenshotThere are more than 80 historical markers scattered throughout Arlington County’s 26 square miles, but if you’re like many locals, you probably haven’t visited all of them.

A recently launched video series from Arlington Public Schools will let you learn about some of those sites without leaving your computer.

The program, hosted in part by APS Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy, highlights 11 of the county’s most significant historic sites.

Since the series debuted earlier this summer, it’s already uncovered some interesting tidbits about the area, such as:

And there’s more history on the way. Next up, the series will tackle historical sites such as the Necostin Indian Site at the Roosevelt Island Parking Lot, Stratford Junior High School (which currently houses the H-B Woodlawn secondary program) and the Reevesland farmhouse.

Screenshot via Arlington Historical Markers video

by ARLnow.com — September 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

The new Nando’s Peri-Peri in Ballston will hold its grand opening celebration this coming Saturday, Sept. 17.

The restaurant, in the former Vapiano’s space at 4401 Wilson Blvd, is celebrating its opening with appearances by Washington Capitals players, media personalities and the Caps’ Red Rockers squad.

The new Nando’s will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and all opening day sales will be donated to the Capitals’ official charity, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, according to a press release. The guest appearances will take place between noon and 7 p.m.

Among those expected to help flip chicken on the grills during the opening event, are:

  • Radio personality Elliot Segal from “Elliot in the Morning”
  • Left winger Andre Burakovsky
  • Center Lars Eller
  • Right winger Stanislav Galiev
  • Defenseman Nate Schmidt
  • Right winger Tom Wilson
  • Capitals alumnus Paul Mulvey
  • Red Rockers squad
  • Caps announcer Wes Johnson
  • CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Capitals analyst and Caps alumnus Craig Laughlin
  • Capitals contributor Courtney Laughlin

“Nando’s is thrilled to partner with the Caps to Rock the Red in Ballston and support Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation,” said Nando’s U.S. CEO Burton Heiss. The Capitals practice facility, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, is located in Ballston.

From the press release:

Nando’s has built an intensely loyal following by providing fresh food in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service. Nando’s is known worldwide for its succulent PERi-PERi chicken, marinated for 24 hours, flame-grilled to perfection, and basted to the customer’s preferred flavor and spice.

Every Nando’s is painstakingly designed and completely unique, with earthy textures and bright colors that reflect its sunny African-Portuguese heritage. With thousands of pieces of original works of art that are a constant reminder of where the restaurant came from, Nando’s has become the largest collector of South African contemporary art in the world. In the United States alone, there are more than 600 pieces of original African art in Nando’s restaurants.

by ARLnow.com — September 12, 2016 at 3:50 pm 0

Clarendon Apple StoreLocal Apple fans may soon have to head to D.C. or Tysons if they want to get their iPhone, iPad or Macbook direct from the source.

The Apple Store in the Pentagon City mall has announced that it will be closing for renovations starting on Sunday, Sept. 25.

“We’re making the Apple Store you love even lovelier,” the announcement says.

Meanwhile, the Clarendon Apple Store remains closed due to renovations and no reopening date has been announced. The renovations may have been hampered by a large electrical fire at the Market Common Clarendon shopping center.

The new iPhone 7 launches this coming Friday, Sept. 16, leaving only 9 days to get one before the Pentagon City store shuts its doors. Other Apple Store locations in the D.C. area include Georgetown, Tysons Corner and Bethesda.

Update at 9:30 a.m. — A number of readers have said that they’ve received emails or had conversations with employees at other Apple stores indicating that the Clarendon store will reopen on or around Sept. 24. The store’s website and phone number still does not list an opening date, and no opening date was posted on the store’s exterior on Monday.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — September 12, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Carpool (photo via Facebook)Popular Ballston bar Carpool has been sold to developer Penzance and is set to be replaced by a 22-story-apartment building.

The sale closed on Friday, said co-owner Mark Handwerger. The good news? Carpool is expected to remain open for a few more months.

“CarPool has leased back the property for a period of time, and the bar will remain open through at least the end of November,” Handwerger.

In August, groups that used Carpool as a gathering spot for things like football games and other regularly-scheduled social events were told that Carpool was likely to close within a few weeks.

by ARLnow.com — September 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm 0

26 Square Miles podcast logo(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) On the campaign trail last year, said County Board member Katie Cristol, “there was no issue I talked about more than my own age.”

At 30, she might not have been elected as the youngest County Board member ever — that distinction belongs to Paul Ferguson — but Cristol saw her election as an opportunity to engage a typically under-represented group in Arlington: those under the age of 35, who make up half of Arlington’s population.

“It seemed important to me to have that point of view represented in the mix,” she said.

Cristol is the first guest on ARLnow.com’s new podcast, 26 Square Miles, which you can subscribe to on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher and some other major audio services. (Let us know, in the comments, if there are any we should add.)

Cristol discussed a number of issues that have faced the Board this year and that are on the Board’s agenda for this fall.

We asked about the so-called Blue Ribbon Panel that was proposed, debated, then ultimately scrapped — what was that all about? Cristol pointed out that it was an initiative of the County Board chair, Libby Garvey, and that the Board has typically given some leeway to the chairman to accomplish their set priorities.

“There’s generally been deference to the idea that when someone’s done their rotation, served their time and they get to be chair, they can push forward something they’re really interested in,” she said.

Katie CristolCristol supported the panel because there was a need to get a handle on the “tremendous amount of planning documents in Arlington,” but added that “we got a lot of, very frankly, fair criticism about it.” If it were to be proposed again, she said, she wouldn’t necessarily support it.

On her and fellow County Board member Christian Dorsey’s support for striking workers at Arlington National Cemetery, she acknowledged that the Board “does not adjudicate labor disputes” but said that Board members do have a responsibility as leaders to support those who are struggling.

“I’m very proud to stand with workers who stand in the right in that particular dispute. We want people in our community to be treated with dignity,” she said.

On the topic of Fire Station No. 10 in Rosslyn, which is set to be torn down to make way for a development and a brand new fire station, Cristol said the decision on where to locate a temporary station has come down to two options, both of which are controversial: next to the future H-B Woodlawn or on Rhodeside Green Park.

“There are just no other options that meet the technical requirements and won’t affect response times,” Cristol said, calling it a “brutal decision.” The Board is expected to make a final decision this month.

On the loss of market rate affordable housing in Westover to new development, Cristol said even if the Board could legally stop the development, it would come with “unintended consequences.”

“I don’t think the most effective way is ever for the government to intervene in the market in such a dramatic way,” she said.

Nonetheless, the Board will be taking this fall about tools it can use to help preserve such affordable housing, perhaps with funding from the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund. The Board will have to weigh whether it’s worth spending more per unit to preserve affordable housing in a pricey neighborhood like Westover, when it’s less expensive to build new affordable housing along Columbia Pike.

Cristol also addressed:

  • Housing affordability in general: With the entry level for a family buying a home in Arlington around $700,000-800,000, there needs to be “more rungs on the ladder.”
  • Child care affordability: “Existential for Arlington [so] can we keep our young families here.”
  • The debate over proposed new child care regulations: “One of the things that really lit my fire was the idea that it ought to be government’s job to encourage child care providers to then encourage mothers to breastfeed their children.”
  • On the “underwhelming” transit plan for Columbia Pike: “I am impatient. I want us to be thinking big and I want us to be thinking quickly. We’re putting a lot of pressure on staff to do exactly that.”

You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunesGoogle Play or Stitcher, or you can listen via the player below.

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