A Washington-Lee High School graduate is one of the main characters on the new Fox television series Star.
O’Grady graduated from W-L in 2013 but has been performing and modeling professionally since the age of 4,
Up until now O’Grady’s most prominent TV appearance was a guest role on the ABC show Trophy Wife. She has also been active in the local theater scene, performing at Arlington’s Signature Theatre, Synetic Theater and Encore Stage & Studio, as well as D.C. venues like the Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre and even the White House.
“I was always encouraged to pursue my dreams because I’ve worked all my life to achieve them,” O’Grady said in an interview published on the Encore Stage & Studio website.
She gave the following advice to aspiring young actors: “Never EVER give up. No matter how discouraged you get and how many times you get rejected. Work hard, train hard, and know your stuff. If you are always working on improving yourself, you will get better. You will become the versatile actor you want to be. The roles will come with time.”
The Dec. 14 premiere of Star is billed as a “special early preview.” The series will air in its regular timeslot on Wednesday, Jan. 4.
The new eatery will serve American cuisine at moderate prices and will feature a sidewalk cafe, according to the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington website. It will seat more than 150 and serve wine, beer and cocktails, according to the ABC permit application.
Stageplate Bistro is the successor to Backstage Bistro Cafe, a small restaurant near Dulles International Airport that also was the home base of a catering company that specialized in catering for events and touring entertainment acts.
Backstage Bistro closed in October and posted the following message to customers on its website.
We would like to sincerely thank all of our amazing cafe guests at Backstage Bistro Cafe Dulles for their kind support of our little cafe and catering company in Dulles, VA. Most of our guests knew we were incubating our first restaurant out of our retail little cafe which sits in front of our Dulles catering kitchen. We are so happy the cafe was so well received and greatly appreciate all of your feedback on our menu, style and concept! We are now very excited and proud to announce that our little café, Backstage Bistro Café Dulles, is all grown up and will now proudly be a full-service restaurant in Arlington, Virginia!
Our new full-service restaurant and bar will be located at 900 N. Glebe Road, Arlington, VA 22203 and is slated to open in December 2016. We hope to see you there!
There was no answer this afternoon at a phone number listed for the restaurant.
Despite hopes of opening next month, based on past restaurant opening precedent — owing in part to over-optimistic owners and a persnickety Arlington County permitting office — we would expect Stageplate Bistro to open no sooner than early 2017.
Logo (top) via Facebook
The Lee-Lex Service Center, a well-reviewed, long-time automotive business at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Lexington Street, has closed.
Lee-Lex’s website, which has remained largely unchanged for the past 12 years, says that the service center has “been a good neighbor in our Arlington community since 1978 and consistently receive[d] excellent ratings by consumer magazines.”
The service center was open for part of last week but closed just before Thanksgiving. This morning the shop’s technicians were clearing out their belongings and preparing to move to nearby service centers; signs were being posted on the windows, to let customers know who moved where.
Sources tell ARLnow.com that the property is being purchased by Southland Corporation, the parent company of 7-Eleven. It could not be immediately confirmed that a 7-Eleven store would be replacing the service center.
Photo (top) via Google Maps
The glitch came after a long holiday weekend — DMV offices have been closed since Thanksgiving.
Just after 8:30 a.m. — the office opened at 8 a.m. — a customer told ARLnow.com that some 150 people were waiting around as employees tried to figure out how to get the computers to work.
Luckily, the problem was resolved shortly thereafter.
“We had a brief issue this morning, but it was fixed a little before 9 a.m. and offices should be back up and running,” said Virginia DMV spokeswoman Brandy Brubaker.
Arlington County says it’s hoping to get a stretch of non-working streetlights near Shirlington switched back on by the end of the year, but residents are complaining that the repairs have taken too long.
The dark streetlights are located along the S. Four Mile Run Drive service road, in front of the West Village of Shirlington condo complex.
Last Thursday, condo management sent an email to residents, encouraging them to press the county to expedite repairs, saying that the lights “have been out for over a year now.”
As many of you are aware, Management has made several attempts to have the county make repairs to the street lights on S. Four Mile Run Drive. Unfortunately, we have not been able to make any headway. The County representatives continue to advise us that these repairs are not a priority for them.
In our experience, it is usually helpful for (tax paying county) residents to contact the county. Fortunately, one of your neighbors has done so, and has provided the contact information below. So please bombard the County with your sincere concerns about the community’s safety. Please do remember to include the fact that these lights have been out for over a year now.
Residents say they are concerned about their safety.
“It is pitch black for those walking our pets or those walking to/from our cars,” said resident Chrissy Limetti. “How disappointing to read that resident safety is not a priority.”
The county, however, says that they’ve been working on the issue and expect the lights to be back on by the end of the year.
“Preliminary work on the streetlights in this area has occurred and crews will begin underground repairs in the next month,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Kathryn O’Brien tells ARLnow.com. “Repairs are expected to be completed by the end of December.”
The repairs are taking longer than usual because of the nature of what caused the outage in the first place.
“In this particular case, the outage is an underground issue caused by an old cable that will be replaced,” O’Brien said. “The complexity of the underground issue determines the response time which may take 45 days or longer. For an above ground issue (e.g., bulb replacement), repairs take about 14-21 days but more extensive equipment is required to repair an underground utility problem.”
O’Brien could not confirm whether a county employee actually said that the repairs weren’t a priority.
“To our knowledge, no one on our streetlights team told this person that their issue wasn’t a priority,” she said. “We are still investigating this to see if they may have spoken to someone else. Every outage is a priority and the type of outage and availability of crews and equipment determines the completion time.”
Streetlight outages can be reported to the county online.
A number of local Christmas tree sales are set to begin after the Thanksgiving holiday.
Perhaps the best-publicized of the local sales is the Arlington Optimist Club’s tree sale at the Well Fargo bank parking lot on the corner of Lee Highway and N. Glebe Road.
The lot will open Friday, from noon to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Then, starting Monday, the schedule will be as follows:
- Monday to Thursday — 2 to 8 p.m.
- Friday — Noon to 8 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday — 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Clarendon United Methodist Church, at 607 N. Irving Street, is also planning a Christmas tree sale starting this weekend. All proceeds will benefit the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) and Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network (A-SPAN).
The church’s sale will begin Sunday “and will continue until trees are sold out.” The hours are:
- Sunday — Noon to 4 p.m.
- Monday to Friday — 5 to 9 p.m.
- Saturday — 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There are a number of other local Christmas tree sales that take place around Arlington — as detailed in this article from last year — but remarkably, in 2016, there is still little information about the sales to be readily found online.
Other usual Christmas tree sale locations include Whole Foods stores, local farmers markets, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church (830 23rd Street S.), the Cathedral of St. Thomas More (3901 N. Cathedral Lane), the Dominion Hills shopping center (6000 Wilson Blvd), the Food Star parking lot (950 S. George Mason Drive) and the Unleashed by Petco parking lot (5400 Lee Highway).
County government offices, courts, libraries, schools, recreation centers and other facilities will be closed both days. Parking meters will not be enforced.
Among the things that will be open and running on Thanksgiving and Black Friday:
- Trash, recycling and vacuum leaf collection, on its normal schedule
- ART buses, on a Saturday schedule
- The county jail’s visiting hours, from 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Homegrown local restaurant chain District Taco is planning to open a south Arlington location at some point next year.
District Taco, which has existing Arlington locations on Lee Highway and in Rosslyn, revealed its plans in a press release about another new location, which opened today (Monday) in the Bailey’s Crossroads area.
The company has a specific south Arlington locale in mind but has not yet signed a lease, District Taco CEO and co-founder Osiris Hoil told ARLnow.com.
“As of right now I don’t want to release the exact location since it is not a 100% done deal,” Hoil said. If all goes to plan, the new restaurant will open in 2017.
Today, meanwhile, District Taco opened a new location along Route 7 in Bailey’s Crossroads, not far from Arlington’s Wakefield High School. The first 50 people in line were to receive a free meal and a swag bag, according to the press release (below).
The press release says additional District Taco locations are set to open next year in Tysons Corner and College Park, Maryland. The company has also “set its sights on” the Philadelphia area.
District Taco is opening a location in Bailey’s Crossroads on Monday, November 21st, 2016. The restaurant is located at 5275-C Leesburg Pike. Originating as a food truck in 2009, District Taco now employs almost 400 people and boasts nine locations across the DC Metro area.
District Taco CEO and Co-founder, Osiris Hoil, plans to continue expanding and creating opportunities for others.
“When I lost my job in 2008 I experienced the need and desperation for a job. I wasn’t able to provide for my family and that devastated me,” says Hoil.
“Now every time I open a new District Taco I just think of how many people we are going to put back to work, while also making sure we create a new career path for them. I believe the sky is the limit and I will continue with my American Dream!”
As a company that encourages philanthropic outreach, District Taco actively partners up with non-profits organizations for new restaurant openings. For the Bailey’s Crossroads grand opening, District Taco is hosting a fundraiser for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. A percentage of all sales made throughout the entire day will be donated to the organization. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society works towards finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and towards improving the quality of life of patients and their families.
Business hours for the grand opening will be 11am to 10 pm. District Taco expects a positive turnout so it is best to arrive prior to the opening time. The first 50 customers in line will eat for free as well as receive a District Taco goodie bag of swag.
In 2017, District Taco will open locations near College Park MD, in Tysons Corner VA, in Arlington VA and will set its sights on Philadelphia PA.
Photo courtesy District Taco
The eatery offers customers seasonal salads and bowls.
“The brand, dedicated to providing seasonal and locally-sourced ingredients, recently introduced warm bowls as a part of its ongoing menu innovation,” said a PR rep. “Guests can skip the line by ordering ahead on the Sweetgreen app and 100% of opening day proceeds go to Matching Dollars, a food access project a part of FRESHFARM.”
The restaurant’s hours are expected to be 10:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Jolly Old Saint Nick has set up shop at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City for boys and girls who want to get their Christmas wishes heard early.
Santa Claus has been keeping office hours at the mall since Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11). He’ll continue to be available for photos right up until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve, according to a Facebook post.
This week, Santa is working from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday. He is taking Thanksgiving off, but will be back for the traditional Black Friday shopping mall madness, working a 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. shift.
Whereas Saint Nick used to have a simple setup in the food court area, he now has his own veritable Christmas forest one floor up, near Nordstrom.
This year Santa has at least two special photo sessions scheduled. This coming Sunday, from 7-9 p.m., Pentagon City mall will be hosting a pet photos with Santa event. Next Sunday, Dec. 4, from 9-11 a.m., Santa will have a free, private event for children and young adults with special needs.
It looks like a ramen noodle restaurant is coming to the former Amsterdam Falafelshop space in Clarendon.
Saul Centers, which owns the building, now lists “Hanabi Ramen House” on its leasing chart for the retail bay at 3024 Wilson Blvd.
No additional information was immediately available about the restaurant nor when it may open.
Separately, the leasing chart shows a portion of the space currently occupied by Pete’s New Haven Apizza — the portion at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street — as available for lease, though Pete’s is still listed as the tenant for most of its existing space.
Peter’s co-founder Joel Mehr confirmed to ARLnow.com that it is planning to downsize its space while staying in Clarendon. He added: “We are still working out details with our landlord, so it’s not a done deal yet.”
Rumors had previously swirled in commercial real estate circles regarding Pete’s status in Clarendon and whether Chipotle might have been poking around for a potential Clarendon location.
In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Nick about the current state of Arlington’s restaurant business, why so many restaurants are closing, and why he’s decided to start investing in and advising new restaurants. Nick also discusses the ups and downs and strategy behind running a bar and restaurant.
Athleisure retailer Lululemon has quietly opened a “seasonal” store in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.
The Canadian yoga pants purveyor’s new, apparently temporary location is on the second level of the mall, above the food court. The store will be holding a grand opening celebration this weekend.
“The window wraps are down and we are thrilled to be joining the Pentagon City community for the holidays,” says a Facebook page for the grand opening. “Whether you need advice on the best wear to support your winter adventures and sweaty pursuits, or simply need to take a few deep breathes during your holiday shopping, our doors are O P E N.”
Lululemon has an existing, permanent location in Clarendon.
Hat tip to @AlexWestEndRes
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the park’s playground and volleyball court, located at 1021 N. Quincy Street near Arlington Central Library and Washington-Lee High School, is scheduled to take place Saturday from 1-2 p.m.
The revamped park features a “universal design” playground — Arlington’s first — with a play environment that’s accessible for users of all ages and physical abilities. Among the amenities are swings, picnic tables, a slide, a “climbing tree” and other play equipment.
The sand volleyball court, located adjacent to the playground, was created with adult after-work sports leagues in mind.
Though the ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for this weekend, the playground and the volleyball court are currently open to the public. Despite some earlier rain, at least a dozen kids and caretakers were taking advantage of the playground and its picnic shelter when ARLnow.com visited Wednesday afternoon.
It works like this: a scammer will call up and say you have a past due balance owed to Dominion, and will demand an immediate payment.
Dominion is warning customers of the scam in an effort to prevent them from falling victim.
More from a press release:
Last year, scammers contacted nearly 2,800 Dominion Virginia Power customers, demanding fraudulent payments totaling more than $1.2 million. Hundreds of customers fell victim, paying nearly $200,000 in response to threats of immediate disconnection of electric service.
“While we are working in concert with law enforcement to identify, track and stop these scams, it’s important for customers to recognize the red flags,” said Marc Gaudette, director-Corporate Security, Safety & Health. “Unfortunately, the scammers frequently target the elderly, non-English-speaking communities and businesses during their busy times and use caller ID spoofing software so a customer thinks Dominion is calling.”
“There are two clear signs that there’s a scammer on the other end of that phone call that you can easily spot,” said Becky Merritt, vice president, Customer Service. “First, we would never threaten a customer, even if their account is past due. Second, we would never insist on one specific, immediate form of payment — there are a number of options available to customers, including in-person at a verified payment location, secure payment through their online account, or our third-party payment processing vendor.”
For a list of authorized payment locations, click here.
Utility customers across the country are being targeted. Watch a video that describes these scams and how customers can recognize them here.
Customers are reminded to do the following:
- Ask questions and verify what you are hearing by checking your online account or hanging up and then calling us at 866-DOM-HELP. If an account is overdue, we provide multiple communications in writing and offers a payment plan before disconnection occurs.
- Remember that we do not require payment over the phone and never demand immediate payment of cash, PayPal, any prepaid debit card such as ‘MoneyPak/Green Dot’, or any gift card to avoid disconnection. Payment by phone is available through BillMatrix at 1-800-573-1147. (Note: customers will never be contacted directly by BillMatrix requiring payment.)
- Collect information from the scammer including the caller’s name, any phone numbers or other details before hanging up and reporting to local law enforcement.
For other tips about how to avoid scams, please visit www.dom.com/scams.
Dominion is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 25,700 megawatts of generation, 12,200 miles of natural gas transmission, gathering and storage pipeline, and 6,500 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 933 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves more than 5 million utility and retail energy customers in 14 states. For more information about Dominion, visit the company’s website at www.dom.com.