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by Heather Mongilio — July 13, 2015 at 6:00 pm 1,276 0

Le Village Marché, a Parisian-inspired store in Shirlington Village, is expanding across the river just in time for Bastille Day tomorrow (July 14).

Owner Angela Phelps opened the store’s second location in Cathedral Commons (3318 Wisconsin Ave. NW) in D.C. on June 25.

The new store is very similar to the one in Shirlington, Phelps said, though it stocks more furniture. Both stores have a French theme and sell items that range from French glassware to cookbooks and doormats.

“It appeals to people, not just because we have great items, but it’s like a trip to Paris without actually going there,” Phelps said.

Developers in Cathedral Commons reached out to Phelps, prompting her to open the second location, she said.

For local Francophiles looking to throw a Bastille Day party, Phelps recommended serving French baguettes, wines and cheeses, perhaps followed by a French martini and an entrée Coq au vin for the party. She also recommended some French decor and little gifts, like fluers de lis, which she bien sûr carries at the store.

On the 14th, both stores are offering a free gift with a $25 purchase, Phelps said.

by ARLnow.com — July 13, 2015 at 4:45 pm 635 0

Go Set a Watchman (photo via Facebook)Arlington Public Library is getting ready for the literary equivalent of a new iPhone release or a summer blockbuster premiere.

“Go Set a Watchman,” author Harper Lee’s follow-up to the American classic “To Kill a Mockingbird,” is being released on Tuesday. Despite some mixed reviews, some 300 library patrons have already lined up — by placing holds at the circulation desk or online — to read about Scout’s return to Maycomb.

The library has 50 copies of the book, plus two copies in Spanish and eight audiobooks — which are all either at the library now or being delivered soon, according to spokesman Peter Golkin. It will also have eBook and eAudiobook copies via its Overdrive system, starting tomorrow.

Golkin said the library adjusted its orders in response to strong demand.

“There’s always strong demand for the latest titles by acclaimed authors like Donna Tartt and James Patterson and pretty much any name you see toward the top of the best-seller list,” he said. “But Harper Lee is a very special case, this being only her second book published and also because it involves the characters from her first. ‘Mockingbird’ is one of the most revered titles in American literature and also a classic film adaptation so the anticipation is certainly understandable.”

by ARLnow.com — July 13, 2015 at 2:30 pm 2,791 0

Dak Chicken in ShirlingtonA large window sign is up for a new Korean-style chicken restaurant that’s coming to Shirlington.

The Village at Shirlington announced late last month that DAK Chicken would be opening in the former Bonsai space on Campbell Avenue.

“DAK Chicken, a modern Korean fusion restaurant will offer Korean style soy garlic, spicy, or honey glazed chicken, as well as a variety of Korean style fusion food and unique Korean drinks,” the shopping center said via Facebook.

The concept is similar to Bonchon, a Korean-style chicken restaurant that opened on N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park in 2013.

DAK, which will serve lunch and dinner, is expected to open “later this summer.” It joins two other restaurants that are planning to open relatively soon in Shirlington: Hula Girl and Palette 22.

by ARLnow.com — July 13, 2015 at 11:45 am 1,809 0

Arlington County has released a series of public service announcement videos touting the benefits of affordable housing.

The 30-second “Faces of Affordable Housing” videos were created in advance of hearings scheduled for September on the county’s proposed Affordable Housing Master Plan. The draft plan calls for the creating of 15,800 new affordable housing units by 2040.

The videos, which were published on YouTube and will air on the county-run Arlington TV cable channel, include the tagline, “Affordable housing, a foundation for our future.”

The video above is intended to show how the county’s affordable housing program “creates community and helps people age in place. Other videos show how the program:

by ARLnow.com — July 9, 2015 at 6:00 pm 810 0

Arlington County has started running a new video series on its local cable TV and YouTube channels.

As the county works to shrink its high office vacancy rate — it was recently reported to be 21 percent — Arlington TV has started featuring “awesome offices.”

In a video released last week, Jessica Miller, co-chair of Arlington Economic Development’s Arlington Real Estate Group, leads viewers on a tour of LMO Advertising, which is based at 1776 Wilson Blvd, between the Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro stations.

LMO, the largest advertising agency in the D.C. area and the Arlington Chamber of Commerce’s 2015 Business of the Year, has the kind of light, airy and amenity-filled office one might expect of a creative agency or a tech company.

Among the notable features:

  • Game room with Xboxes and ping pong tables
  • In-house, sound-proof studio
  • 3-D printer
  • Standing desks
  • Star Trek-themed conference rooms
  • Green roof and rooftop patio with Wi-fi

Scott Laughlin, co-founder of the agency, said that there’s an economic argument for putting ping pong tables, autographed guitars and video game consoles in a work environment. It comes down to building a collaborative, team environment.

“You don’t need an office to do the work we do anymore,” he said. “What you do need is a home, a place where people want to come and be and spend time with others.”

by Heather Mongilio — July 9, 2015 at 10:05 am 3,630 0

ABC Distributors, Inc., a lumber yard near Shirlington, will be closing its doors at the end of the summer.

The 50-year-old company is currently holding a liquidation sale to sell off the store’s entire stock. The sale started today and will last about six weeks, said Bernard Lynch, the president of the company and one of the owners.

Merchandise has been marked down by 10 to 40 percent, depending on the item, and prices will be reduced as the sale goes on, Lynch said.

“So everything has to go,” he said.

The store is also raffling off a 60-inch Visio Smart TV; customers can enter to win when they buy something.

The business’ closure comes after the owners of the property it sits on decided to sell. ABC Distributors is a part owner, but it owns a much smaller percentage of the property than those that decided to sell, Lynch said.

“It’s been a struggle, to be honest with you, in the last seven years to stay in business,” he said.

The home building business has been struggling as well after housing market crashes, Lynch said. He has seen multiple customers who were contractors go out of business or lose their jobs. And others just do not have the need to shop for housing materials as often because fewer people are building houses, at least according to Lynch.

ABC Distributors must be out of its location by Sept. 1, Lynch said. There are no current plans to bring the business to a new location.

The property was bought by an investors group, but Lynch said he does not know what their plans are.

by Mariah Joyce — July 8, 2015 at 11:30 am 1,417 0

“Designer consignment” clothing store Current Boutique plans to relocate their Clarendon shop to a larger space.

The business is moving a mere half a block, from 2529 Wilson Blvd to 2601 Wilson Blvd (near the corner of Wilson and N. Daniel Street). However, according to realtor Bill Buck, the move will more than double the boutique’s square footage.

Clarendon store manager Krista Cash said the decision to move came when owners and employees realized Current Boutique had outgrown its space.

Current Boutique has signed the lease for the new storefront, but renovations are still in progress. Buck estimates the business will move to their new location within the next couple of months.

Current Boutique has three other stores in the D.C. Metro area, in Old Town Alexandria (1009 King Street), Bethesda (7220 Wisconsin Avenue) and Logan Circle (1809 14th Street, NW).

by Heather Mongilio — July 6, 2015 at 3:55 pm 5,658 0

Construction has started for a new pie store planned near the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Lee Highway.

Owners Heather Sheire and Wendy MacCallum hope to open the new store by the end of the year, Sheire said. It will be located at 2166 N. Glebe Road.

Once the store is open, customers will be able to watch the pies being made while getting to enjoy a slice of their favorite pie with friends on a new outdoor patio. The store, while still in a design phase, is planned to be a place for people to relax with friends, Sheire and MacCallum said.

“The whole shop is just going to smell delicious because we’ll be baking there and serving there,” Sheire said. “We want it to be a comfortable place where people can hang out.”

The two also want the shop to be convenient for their customers and plan to provide parking, allowing people to be able to run in and grab a take out pie.

Sheire and MacCallum currently sell pies at the Clarendon and Westover farmer’s market, and customers can also order pies online. The two also have a partnership with House of Steep at 3800 Lee Highway, where customers can pick up pre-ordered pies from 2-7 p.m. on Fridays. On Saturday, the two will also be doing a pie and tea pairing at House of Steep. For $7, people will be able to get a couple pieces of pie with teas that pair well.

The two decided to open a store after the business expanded past their current business model of delivering and selling at farmer’s markets.

“So we were like, let’s do it,” Sheire said. “Let’s do a store.”

At the new store, Sheire and MacCallum will bake classic pie recipes, including customer favorites Apple Pie, Apple Caramel Crumb Pie, S’mores Pie and Boozy Pecan Pie. The two bakers will also be able to bake more savory, cold and cream pies.

“People will be able to come in for something for breakfast, for something for lunch and for something for dinner,” Sheire said.

For the savory pies, the pair plans to include their Mac and Cheese pie, their Tomato pie and their Thanksgiving pie. While popular, these pies are harder to bake for the current setup of delivery or a farmer’s market sale, Sheire said. But having a store means the bakers can make the pies and sell them in the same place, ensuring the pies maintain their quality.

Sheire and MacCallum say quality is a key ingredient; they only use fresh materials and plan to have their own small organic garden at the store.

A pie like theirs cannot be found in a supermarket, Sheire said. Good pie is meant to be fresh and only last a couple of days. That’s why there aren’t many good national pie companies, she said.

“Because pie something done by hand and on a small scale,” Sheire said. The bakers try to make everything themselves, including making their own marshmallow for the S’mores Pie.

Until the store opens, customers can continue to order pies online or stop by Livin’ the Pie Life at the Clarendon and Westover farmers market. The pair is not able to attend the markets every week, but customers can sign up for their mailing list or follow them on Facebook to find out when Sheire and MacCallum will be at the markets and what pies they will have.

“We are living the pie life,” Sheire said.

by Mariah Joyce — July 6, 2015 at 1:45 pm 8,208 0

Italian eatery Vapiano’s Ballston location (4401 Wilson Blvd) has closed.

Vapiano had occupied the Ballston location for the past eight years. According to a sign in the building’s window, the last day of business was June 30.

The Vapiano signs on the building’s facade have been removed, and the space is currently being cleaned out in preparation for its next occupant.

The Wilson Blvd location was the only Arlington outpost for the international chain, which is based in Germany.

Vapiano locations in Reston (1875 Explorer Street) and Sterling (21100 Dulles Town Circle) remain open, as well as both of the restaurant’s locations in the District, on M Street NW and in Chinatown.

by Mariah Joyce — July 6, 2015 at 11:30 am 2,105 0

The bohemian women’s clothing store Free People closed its Clarendon location as of the end of last week.

The clothing store’s staff could be seen packing away the stock last Thursday. There are now signs up in the window of the store, at Market Common Clarendon (2700 Clarendon Blvd) indicating that Free People will be moving to a space in Georgetown next month.

The store’s new address will be 3009 M Street, NW.

The Market Common location was one of two Free People stores in Arlington; the other location (1100 S Hayes Street) remains open.

by ARLnow.com — July 3, 2015 at 10:35 am 1,717 0

Fourth of July celebration in Barcroft (Flickr pool photo by Ddimick)The weekend is here — at least for government employees, ARLnow.com and any other private employer that follows the federal holiday schedule.

It’s Independence Day weekend and Arlington has traditions aplenty — community parades, cookouts and fireworks viewing, to name a few. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t rain.

Feel free to discuss the Fourth or any other local topic of interest. Have a nice holiday weekend!

Flickr pool photo by Ddimick

by Heather Mongilio — July 2, 2015 at 3:50 pm 2,190 0

Columbia Pike’s first Chipotle Mexican Grill may open in September.

The Chipotle is planned to go into the new 3400 Pike apartment building, at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road.

“Coming soon” signs are now up in the windows. While interior construction has not started, Chipotle’s contract for the space says it will open in September, said Brian Jeter, the marketing specialist at 3400 Pike.

“It’s pretty tentative right now, but from what we understand with the contract, it should be open in September,” he said.

The restaurant will be Chipotle’s sixth in Arlington, with existing locations in Rosslyn, Ballston, Crystal City, the Pentagon City mall and along Lee Highway.

by Mariah Joyce — July 1, 2015 at 4:45 pm 1,720 0

Pho Deluxe CourthouseFourth of July revelers will have another option for dining out this holiday weekend: Vietnamese eatery Pho Deluxe plans to open at 2300 Clarendon Blvd on Sunday, in the space previously vacated by Toscana Grill.

Owners Dan and Hue Nguyen announced plans to open the Courthouse location earlier this year, and now that plan is coming to fruition.

Hostess Michelle Nguyen said that the space required minor renovations, but the bulk of Pho Deluxe’s time and energy was spent redecorating. The restaurant should be ready for business as soon as it passes the fire marshall’s inspection.

Pho Deluxe currently has a sign in the window advertising positions for busboys and waiters. Nguyen says that they are in the midst of conducting interviews right now, and estimates that the new location’s staff is about 80 percent hired.

The Courthouse branch will be the third Pho Deluxe in Virginia; the restaurant also has locations in Tysons Corner and Fairfax. According to Nguyen, there are no current plans for an grand opening celebration.

by ARLnow.com — July 1, 2015 at 11:15 am 3,389 0

Tour buses in front of Pentagon City mall(Updated at 6:45 p.m.) You can now catch a bus to New York mere minutes after scarfing down an Auntie Anne’s pretzel and wading through a sea of middle school tour groups.

Washington Deluxe, a Washington to New York City bus line, is running limited weekend service from a stop outside the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. The service started Friday, June 26.

Meanwhile, another D.C. to NYC bus line is expected to start running from the mall later this year. Tripper Bus is scheduled to begin serving Pentagon City by the holiday season, according to Ann Bates, a PR rep for the mall.

Tripper Bus currently makes stops in Rosslyn and Bethesda before heading to Manhattan.

This week the mall, which is currently undergoing major renovations, also announced that it is adding a stop for CitySights DC double-decker “hop-on, hop-off” tour buses.

“Offering access to both CitySights DC and Tripper Bus perfectly complements Fashion Centre at Pentagon City’s status as a premier international shopping destination,” Todd Jerscheid, the Fashion Centre’s director of marketing, said in a statement.

File photo

by Heather Mongilio — June 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm 2,174 0

The Kona Grill, a sushi restaurant that combines American and Hawaiian flavors, opened its doors in Rosslyn on Monday.

The new restaurant, located at 1776 Wilson Blvd, is one of the company’s more than 30 restaurants in 19 states. But the Arlington location gave Kona Grill the ideal demographics it was looking for, said Joesph Ortega, the general manager for the Arlington location.

“It’s a growing area, young and upcoming,” he said. “If you visit our restaurant, it’s a very hip or retro feeling.”

The restaurant has an inside and outside bar, a large dining room set to seat about 250 guests and a patio. It also offers two happy hours — one from 2-7 p.m. and a reverse happy hour during the last two hours of business, where food prices are reduced.

Although the restaurant opened its doors yesterday, Ortega said it had already attracted a crowd. As of 12:30 p.m. today, there were about 20 people eating lunch.

The restaurant brings a different style of dining to Arlington, he said. The restaurant is two in one, with a full lunch and dinner menu in addition to the sushi bar.

“A lot of the other restaurants [in Arlington] are just sushi bars or one type of sushi bar,” Ortega said.

Ortega’s favorites on the menu are the pork tenderloin, which is almond crusted and served with mashed potatoes, and the picasso roll, a spicy yellowtail with avocado, a jalapeño cilantro relish and sriracha. But he also recommends that people try a little bit of everything.

“I don’t think anyone’s seen or tasted what we offer,” he said.

The restaurant plans to get involved with the Arlington community by participating in local events.

“Our goal is to be everyone’s favorite place to eat and relax with friends,” Ortega said.

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