On Aug. 12, 2022, Arlington police officers were among the first to respond to the devastating crash and fire at Ireland’s Four Courts.
Three ACPD personnel — Officer Whisner, Corporal O’Daniel and Corporal Playford — were just recognized for their heroism.
“Without hesitation, the officers entered the building, assisted with removing patrons, carried the injured to safety and provided emergency medical assistance,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.
Whisner has served with the department for 2.5 years and Playford for 5 years, while O’Daniel has more than 24 years of law enforcement experience in Arlington, across the Sheriff’s Office and police department. They were honored for their bravery, for saving the lives of four critically injured patients and for preventing additional injuries during an annual Arlington County Fire Department award ceremony on Sunday.
“Your prompt response, quick decision-making, and selfless act of courage undoubtedly made a meaningful difference during this complex incident,” Arlington County Fire Chief David Povlitz told the officers, reading from a letter of commendation later provided to ARLnow.
“The collaboration between our departments was seamless, and your efforts in evacuating the building and removing patients were essential to the rescue operations,” he continued.
Firefighters on-scene were also lauded for evacuating the building, triaging patients, quickly extinguishing the raging fire, treating patients on-scene and transporting patients with life-threatening injuries to trauma centers, ACFD spokesman Capt. Nate Hiner tells ARLnow.
“Seamless collaboration with ACPD played a significant role in saving the lives of the critically injured patients and preventing additional injuries,” Hiner said.
The pub-goers who suffered the most serious, potentially life-threatening injuries were released from the hospital after about a month. The Uber driver who slammed into the pub, after an apparent medical emergency, did not face criminal charges.
Four Courts, meanwhile, expects to reopen in August, after about a year of insurance claims, permitting, demolition and construction.
The units who responded to the crash and fire were not the only first responders honored last week for saving lives. Last summer, there were two other rescues for which fire crews received accolades.
On June 25, 2022, Hiner said, 10 units responded to a “challenging trench rescue incident” in which a worker was trapped up to his shoulders in heavy clay in a collapsed trench at the rear of a house near Wakefield High School.
“The worker was in distress and having trouble breathing,” Hiner said. “Personnel collaborated to develop patient care and extrication plans, which they efficiently executed despite the difficult conditions and extreme heat. Crews worked for 75 minutes to safely remove the patient from the trench while providing ongoing medical care.”
Once the man was freed from the clay, he was rushed to the hospital and later discharged, making a full recovery.
Mastercard, Mercedes-Benz of Arlington and a behavioral health clinic in Courthouse are among the latest winners of the annual Arlington Best Business Awards.
The event, organized by the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by Arlington Community Federal Credit Union, was held earlier this week at Army Navy Country Club. It also included three inductions into the Chamber’s Arlington Business Hall of Fame.
Mastercard is based in Purchase, New York, but has a technology hub in Ballston. Its ubiquitous logo tops the office building at 4250 Fairfax Drive.
More, below, from a Chamber of Commerce press release.
On May 16, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce celebrated the 37th Annual Arlington Best Business Awards at Army Navy Country Club, sponsored by Arlington Community Federal Credit Union. The Best Business Awards are presented to area businesses that consistently deliver exceptional quality of service to their customers, are industry leaders or offer a unique approach to delivery of goods or services, achieve significant growth or stability over the lifetime of their business, display an interest and concern for the success of the Arlington community, and demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The 2023 Best Business Award Winners are:
- Home Energy Medics — 2023 Sustainable Business of the Year
- National Capital Treatment & Recovery — 2023 Nonprofit Business of the Year
- Mercedes-Benz of Arlington — 2023 Retail Small Business of the Year
- Arlington/DC Behavior Therapy Institute — 2023 Service Small Business of the Year
- Mastercard — 2023 Large Business of the Year
This prestigious awards dinner recognized businesses in the Arlington community that go above and beyond to serve clients and make Arlington a great place to work and live.
“We’ve been doing business in Arlington for 86 years, and we’re very proud of our history,” said Mark Zetlin, of Mercedes-Benz of Arlington. “We always aim to take the best care of our customers, and we are proud to be valued by this diverse community.”
Following the presentation of the awards, the Chamber inducted the late Bert W. Johnson, Lola C. Reinsch, and Robert H. Hawthorne into the Arlington Business Hall of Fame.
The inductees captivated the sold-out crowd as they shared inspiring tales of how their upbringing influenced their careers. From leveraging family connections within the Arlington Chamber to secure their first post-college job to joining a traveling circus on the weekends, the Hall of Fame speeches not only entertained the audience but also showcased the diverse paths that led these individuals to their success.
Mr. Johnson served as the first professional County Manager for Arlington, from 1962 to 1976. He had the insight to develop the Rosslyn neighborhood as an office center and was instrumental to the Metro subway system construction in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
Ms. Reinsch is the second-generation President and CEO of the Reinsch Companies. She noted that her father specifically wanted to develop properties along Columbia Pike, due to its proximity to the Pentagon and Washington DC. Her philanthropic efforts have led to her directing capital campaigns for VHC Health and Marymount University.
Mr. Hawthorne most recently was the Market President for United Bank, before retiring in 2021. Despite his monumental career in banking, Hawthorne never forgot the community that helped raise him. He noted that he first started with the Chamber, helping his bank at the time win the Arlington Chamber membership campaign, which lead to him initiating the first Membership Development Committee of the Chamber. Hawthorne would become the Chair of the Chamber’s Board of Directors in 1997. He also co-founded the Leadership Center for Excellence in 2000 and served as its first Chair.
“One of the biggest things that I’ve really seen the Chamber become is a place where there is a nice balance between small, medium, and large businesses,” said Robert H. Hawthorne. “I know that the business community will continue to help the Chamber, and keep up the good work!”
The Arlington Business Hall of Fame honors men and women with a connection to Arlington County who have demonstrated a long record of successful management, expertise, and business skills, along with notable achievements and exceptional civic and community involvement.
(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) Ten restaurants and restaurateurs with Arlington ties were named finalists for one of the region’s most prestigious dining awards.
Ruthie’s All Day, Bar Ivy, Circa, and SALT were among the finalists named for a RAMMY award this year, which was announced earlier this week. Plus, the restaurant group that owns Ballston’s Salt Line, Shirlington’s Stellina Pizzeria, a manager at Ambar Clarendon, and the pastry chef at Liberty Restaurant Group, as well as fast casual spots Rasa and Moby Dick House of Kabob, were included in the list.
The RAMMY Awards are handed out by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington, the region’s restaurant industry trade association. The intention is to honor restaurants for their work in the previous year, from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2022. A gala is set for July where the winners will be announced. This year marks the 41st edition of the RAMMYs.
For the first time, this year the dining public could choose the finalists for five categories including best bar, best brunch, favorite gathering spot, best sandwich, and favorite fast bites. Diners can now vote for the winners online, with voting continuing through May 31.
In total, ten finalists this year have some Arlington ties, including several up for some of the biggest awards. That exceeds last year’s seven finalists, which were essentially on par with previous years.
Clarendon’s Bar Ivy is a finalist for best new restaurant of the year. The “West Coast-inspired” outdoor garden-centric spot opened on Wilson Blvd this past June.
“The RAMMY nomination has been amazing — there have been so many noteworthy restaurants opening in the last year and to be recognized as one of the top 5 is humbling. We’re over the moon to be recognized for all the hard work from our team and it’s really a tribute to them,” owner Greg Algie wrote in a statement to ARLnow. “We’re always looking at ourselves, thinking of what we can do to be better every day, and an honor like this just pushes us to continue to bring a memorable experience day in and day out.”
The acclaimed Ruthie’s All Day in Arlington Heights was nominated for “Favorite Gathering Place,” given to the restaurant “rooted in its neighborhood where guests come to eat, drink, and get together with friends over and over again.” Last year, diner-esque eatery won for “Casual Restaurant of the Year.” It was also named one of Washingtonian’s Very Best 100 Restaurants earlier this year.
“We feel so fortunate to have such tremendous support from our Arlington community and to be nominated with other outstanding local neighborhood businesses,” said chef and owner Matt Hill.
Salt in Rosslyn made the list for having the best cocktail program. The bar on S. Lynn Street opened in 2019.
“We are over the moon and so honored by your support,” the restaurant wrote on social media about the nomination.
Five additional restaurants with Arlington outposts were nominated for RAMMYs.
Moby Dick House of Kabob was chosen by the public as a “Favorite Gathering Place.” The local kabob chain has a number of locations across the region, including in Clarendon and Shirlington.
Long Shot Hospitality, which owns both Salt Line locations, including the one that opened in Ballston in late 2021, is up for Restaurateur of the Year. Circa, with a Clarendon location, was also nominated by the public for best brunch.
RASA, which has a location in Crystal City, and Stellina Pizzeria, with a spot in Shirlington, will compete against one another in the favorite fast bites category.
Individuals with Arlington connections are finalists too. Ambar Clarendon’s Snjezana Jaksic was nominated for the manager of the year and Bridie McCulla of Liberty Restaurant Group is on the list as pastry chef or baker of the year.
McCulla — who has been nominated before — bakes for Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, and Northside Social, all in Arlington.
Other restaurateurs with local ties are up for RAMMYs, though not for their Arlington locations. Hot Lola’s owner Kevin Tien is on the list for chef of the year for his work at D.C.’s Moon Rabbit while Rose Previte is nominated for restaurateur of the year. She’s planning to open up a new restaurant in Clarendon later this year that was previously dubbed Tawle but is now being called Kirby Club.
In addition, restaurant software startup MarginEdge, based in Ballston, is up for an award that “best exemplifies commitment to and support of RAMW.”
The full list of all the Arlington RAMMY finalists is below.
(Updated at 5:20 p.m.) Two local chefs have been named semifinalists for a prestigious James Beard award.
Rahman “Rock” Harper of Queen Mother’s Fried Chicken on Columbia Pike and Kevin Tien, owner of Hot Lola’s in Rosslyn and Ballston, were both recognized as semifinalists for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic” in this year’s James Beard awards. The nominations were announced last week.
Named after the famed American chef, the national award recognizes “exceptional talent and achievement in the culinary arts, hospitality, media, and broader food system.”
The Alexandria native Harper is the owner and head chef at Queen Mother’s Fried Chicken, located inside the local incubator Kitchen of Purpose at 918 S. Lincoln Street, just off of Columbia Pike, in the Alcova Heights neighborhood.
It opened in late 2020 with a menu, as might be expected considering the name, focused on fried chicken sandwiches.
Harper is also an author and winner of the third season of the cooking reality show “Hell’s Kitchen.” He told ARLnow that being named a James Beard semifinalist was a “pleasant surprise” and that the response from critics and diners alike has been “surreal.”
“They remind me that while pursuing my passion for telling Black stories through food, we will be rewarded with positive feedback along the journey,” Harper said via email. “Columbia Pike and Arlington have been incredibly supportive and welcoming to Queen Mother’s and I look forward to being here for many years! I hope this can serve as an example to customers, restaurateurs, elected officials, and developers that the future of Arlington and Northern Virginia dining is pretty bright.”
While Tien was actually nominated for his cooking at D.C.’s Moon Rabbit, he’s also known for Hot Lola’s and its two Arlington locations. The fast-casual restaurant also serves fried chicken sandwiches, but Tien’s blends Sichuan spices with the traditional Nashville recipe, creating his own brand of hot chicken.
The first Hot Lola’s location opened in the Ballston Quarter food hall in 2019, while the Rosslyn restaurant opened this past summer. Another location is coming to Fairfax County’s Lincolnia neighborhood.
Tien told ARLnow that being nominated for a James Beard award is an “amazing accomplishment” and represents “more than just good food and service.“
“It represents the commitment we make to our team, our community, our purveyors that we are cooking with purpose and for a cause,” he said via email. “To have a restaurant in Virginia with two other amazing Virginia chefs, Rock Harper and Joy Crump whom I love so much is incredible. The Arlington and NoVa dining scene is amazing and I am happy to be a small part of it.”
Ruthie’s All-Day chef and owner Matt Hill was named a Mid-Atlantic semifinalist last year as well.
It’s been a big month for local restaurant recognition. Four Arlington eateries were included in Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants list for 2023 last week, while Charga Grill on Langston Blvd was named the area’s best casual restaurant by Washington Post food critic Tim Carman earlier in January.
Fairlington author Amina Luqman-Dawson has received two awards for her novel, “Freewater.”
The middle-grade book about a secret community of formerly enslaved people living in the wilderness received both the John Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Book Award from the American Library Association. The awards were announced yesterday (Monday).
“I think I cried, and then I screamed, and then I cried,” Luqman-Dawson tells ARLnow. “It was pretty bad for people on the phone. I was honored — absolutely completely honored and overjoyed… I can’t even put it into words and that’s what I do for a living.”
Luqman-Dawson is the first Black woman to win both the John Newbery Medal and the Coretta Scott King Award, per a press release from Arlington Public Library. The Newbery Medal is to the author of “the most distinguished contributions to American literature for children,” while the Coretta Scott King Book Award recognizes an African American author and illustrator of “outstanding books for children and young adults,” the release said.
“We are beyond happy for Amina Luqman-Dawson and her extraordinary achievement. ‘Freewater’ is an important story and deserves to be read by every middle school student,” said Library Director Diane Kresh in a statement. “On the eve of Black History Month, congratulations to our talented Arlington author. Thank you for sharing your voice.”
“Freewater” is a work of historical fiction is based on the history of Maroons: African Americans who escaped slavery and formed their own settlements in the wilderness, in seemingly uninhabitable locations like the Great Dismal Swamp in southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
“Maroons… found ways to live free, clandestine lives in the wilderness,” Luqman-Dawson said. “[The book] uses fiction to connect with those who were enslaved in the past — people who’ve found ways to resist and live lives full of complexity, joy and hardship in the midst of extraordinarily difficult times.”
“We have a history of avoiding, feeling awkward about and fearful of the history of enslavement,” she continued. “‘Freewater’ is a tool, a means — in a sort of thrilling, adventurous, fun, joyful way — to connect with this history. Hopefully, one that teachers and parents can use and kids can love.”
Luqman-Dawson said the idea for the book came to her almost 20 years ago, inspired by an anecdote she heard in a Latin American studies class.
“I tell kids, ‘I know your teachers can be annoying, but listen to them — you never know when a teacher can change your life,'” she said.
After writing a few chapters, “life happened,” and she only picked up the project a decade later, after becoming a mother and wanting to share the history with her son. He is now a Wakefield High School student and she is a member of the advocacy group Black Parents of Arlington.
One one of her biggest influences is Mildred Taylor, a Newbery Award-winning American young adult novelist best known for “Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.”
She says children’s literature can broach difficult topics in an engaging, but not sanitized, way.
“It allows you to hear voices — children’s voices — that are frank, honest, naive and wise, all in the midst of what an adult would recognize as perilous times,” she said. “[Children] don’t necessarily live in that space. It’s a safe space for us all to be there and hear them.”
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) Four Arlington eateries were included in Washingtonian’s 100 Very Best Restaurants list this year.
Cafe Colline, CHIKO, Ruthie’s All-Day, and SER all received a coveted spot on the list, which was published by the regional magazine for the first time since February 2020. That year, only two Arlington restaurants made the list.
SER in Ballston made the list this year as well as in 2020. The Spanish tapas restaurant on N. Glebe Road first opened in 2015 and has since faced a number of obstacles including flooding and pandemic-related challenges.
“My wife, Christiana, and I are extremely grateful to the entire SER family – both our amazing team and our incredible guests who have supported us along the way. They have truly made our vision of making SER a warm and inviting neighborhood spot a reality,” co-owner Javier Candon told ARLnow in a statement. “We’ve lived in Arlington for more than 20 years and know that Arlington has always had exceptional restaurants. However, seeing the restaurant scene grow and evolve has been truly extraordinary. Arlington is a vibrant, fun foodie community that embraces different cuisines and experiences.”
The other three restaurants are all newer additions to the Arlington dining scene.
Cafe Colline on Langston Blvd in the Lee Heights Shopping Center opened in June 2020, in the midst of the pandemic. The “neighborhood French bistro” is owned by local sibling restaurateurs Eric and Ian Hilton. The brothers also run El Rey taqueria in Ballston as well as several well-regarded D.C. eateries.
“It means a lot that our little neighborhood bistro in Arlington is on this list! It is wonderful to see the hard work of our amazing staff and Chef Brendan L’Etoile recognized among Washingtonian’s very best restaurants,” a restaurant spokesperson said about the honor. “We hope that this brings more guests to venture across the bridge to experience the many lovely restaurants Arlington has to offer. We can’t wait to bring more great food and warm service to Arlington for years to come.”
Ruthie’s All-Day has been racking up recognition ever since it first opened just over two years ago in Arlington Heights. Run by chef Matt Hill, it was named one of the area’s best barbecue joints in 2020 as well as an Arlies award winner last year. This past year, the restaurant won a RAMMY for”Casual Restaurant of the Year” and Hill himself was a James Beard semi-finalist in 2022.
“We are so honored to be included in this year’s Washingtonian List of Top 100 restaurants. Our team at Ruthie’s works hard every day to provide great food and hospitality, and the recognition goes a long way to show support for us,” Hill told ARLnow. “The restaurant scene in Arlington is vibrant and growing, with many talented restaurants and chefs, and we’re proud to be part of the community.”
CHIKO in Shirlington is another eatery that’s been on top of a number of lists in recent years. The popular D.C.-based Chinese-Korean restaurant opened its fifth location on Campbell Avenue in late 2021, expanding out to Virginia for the first time. Its owners Scott Drewno and Danny Lee, known as “The Fried Rice Collective,” were named the D.C. region’s restaurateurs of the year at the RAMMY awards in July.
“We are thrilled to be listed as one of Washingtonian’s top 100 restaurants this year, especially as we now have a location in Northern Virginia,” a CHIKO spokesperson told ARLnow via email. “We are happy to be listed amongst such great restaurants, many of which are in Arlington County.”
A number of other nearby restaurants were on the top 100 list as well, including La Tingeria. The former Arlington-based food truck known for its birria tacos moved to Falls Church in late 2021 and was nearly forced to shut down by the city due to a parking situation.
The Arlington County Police Department was honored yesterday for its role in defending the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
Arlington officers in riot gear helped to defend the Capitol amid the pro-Trump violence at the Capitol. ACPD — along with the Arlington Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police and other regional law enforcement agencies that jumped into action on Jan. 6 — were recognized for that service to the country at a Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony yesterday (Tuesday).
Arlington firefighters also provided assistance on that day and were the first medics on the Capitol steps, treating the injured.
Arlington first responders “answered the call to restore order and aid in the defense of the U.S. Capitol,” ACPD said on social media. “Today and every day, we are thankful for their bravery, courage and unwavering commitment to public safety.”
On that day, members of ACPD, @ArlingtonVaFD and @acso_va answered the call to restore order and aid in the defense of the U.S. Capitol. Today and every day, we are thankful for their bravery, courage and unwavering commitment to public safety. pic.twitter.com/NSSIyuhPWh
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 6, 2022
More on the ceremony, from the Washington Post:
The law enforcement officers who protected lawmakers while defending the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, attack were awarded Congressional Gold Medals — the highest honor from Congress — nearly two years after the insurrection.
The ceremony took place Tuesday in the Capitol Rotunda, a site many supporters of Donald Trump entered illegally with the hopes of stopping Congress from counting the electoral votes for Joe Biden and overturning the 2020 presidential election.
“Our nation suffered the most staggering assault on democracy since the Civil War,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said during the ceremony, which drew lawmakers, police officers and family members. “January 6th was a day of horror and heartbreak. Yet it’s also a moment of extraordinary heroism.”
The following video shows riot-gear-clad Arlington officers in front of the Capitol the evening of Jan. 6.
She’s a poet and wouldn’t you know it, her verse skills have earned her lots of bills.
Dr. Holly Karapetkova, the county’s Poet Laureate and an English professor at Marymount University, received the American Academy of Poets Laureate Fellowship on Tuesday (Aug 2).
The $50,000 prize Karapetkova received is set to fund one of her projects to publish an anthology of poems from young residents in Arlington, with submissions currently open to local high school students, according press releases from Marymount University and Arlington County.
The theme is set to focus on resilience and the anthology is expected to be published in spring next year, according to a submission form.
Besides publishing the poems, Karapetkova’s project also includes holding readings and workshops with the selected poets, alongside designing lesson plans for instruction.
The poet is collaborating with two nonprofits from the area for this project. One is the D.C.-based Words Beats and Life, which uses hip hop to educate young people on the arts. The other is the publisher Day Eight, which is also based in the District.
The project has also received funding from Arlington Arts, according to Marymount’s news release.
Karapetkova was “honored” and thanked the academy for awarding her the fellowship, adding on social media that she would work to “lift up the voices of [her] county’s amazing young poets.”
I'm honored to announce that I've been selected as a Poet Laureate Fellow by the Academy of American Poets. I'll be working with Arlington Youth Laureates to lift up the voices of my county's amazing young poets. Thank you, Academy of American Poets! https://t.co/x1E4G32srz
— Holly Karapetkova (@HollyKarapetkov) August 2, 2022
“In times of distress, poetry provides a language for our hurt and frustration and an outlet for our expression of grief and anger. It can provide a means for healing,” Karapetkova said in a statement.
She has been Arlington’s poet laureate since 2020, the second after Katherine E. Young, who was appointed in 2016.
During her time in the post, Karapetkova organized the exhibition Visual Verse in 2020, where poems from different poet laureates were projected onto the side of buildings around Arlington for a month. She also judged a poetry competition and participated in readings at different music festivals.
The Poets Laureate Fellowship was launched in 2019 by the academy, which aimed to support the fellows’ public poetry programs and the nonprofits collaborating with them, according to its news release. This year, a total of 22 poets laureate of different cities and states were chosen. In Virginia, apart from Karapetkova, the poet laureate from Alexandria, KaNikki Jakarta, was also chosen.
Arlington County lauded the laurels bestowed upon its laureate.
“This Award will help support our Poet Laureate’s efforts to amplify the voices of the next generation of poets in Arlington and is a priceless gift to our community,” said Arlington Cultural Affairs Director Michelle Isabelle-Stark.
Saturday Afternoon’s Painted Sky — From the Capital Weather Gang: “A couple more nice examples of this circumhorizon arc being see all over the DMV. We wrote about these a few years ago… not uncommon high in the sky around midday during summer.” [Twitter]
Local Woman Harassed in Metro Station — “A 21-year-old woman is sharing the frightening experience she had when a stranger yelled at and harassed her for 10-straight minutes at a Metro station this week in Washington, D.C. Helen Molteni, of Arlington, Virginia, said she was on the platform at the Foggy Bottom station when a man came up to her and started harassing her.” [NBC 4]
Va. Attorney General Visits — “Virginia’s attorney general met with local nonprofit groups in Arlington, Virginia, on Friday for a roundtable listening session about addressing poverty and community needs… Miyares was joined by representatives from the Office of the Attorney General and the Arlington County police in sitting down with members of various faith organizations and nonprofit programs, including Arlington Bridge Builders, a local community coalition with the mission of helping people in need.” [WTOP]
APS Students Top National Competition — “Lina Barclay and Ellie Nix, two Arlington Tech graduates from the Arlington Career Center, won the first-place gold medal in the Television (Video) Production contest at the annual National Leadership and Skills Conference and SkillsUSA Championships in Atlanta. Barclay and Nix represented Virginia in this contest and competed against 37 other teams across the United States.” [Arlington Public Schools]
Are These Pike Apartments Historic? — “Members of the Arlington Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board (HALRB) have opted against moving forward, for now, on a proposal to confer historic-district status on a 70-year-old apartment compound in the Arlington Mill neighborhood. But the buildings may end up preserved, nonetheless.” [Sun Gazette]
Rents Keep Rising Rapidly — “The median rental price for an Arlington apartment grew 2.8 percent from June to July, according to new data, ranking the county third nationally among the 100 largest urban areas in terms of price growth. With the increase, Arlington’s median rent now stands at $2,121 for a one-bedroom unit and $2,538 for two bedrooms.” [Sun Gazette]
Crash at Infamous I-395 Exit — From Dave Statter: “Another considerate driver signals before making a left turn across 4 lanes of I-395S. But their #8CDash came to an abrupt halt when the driver in the last lane somehow didn’t see that signal — or just didn’t believe what they were seeing.” [Twitter]
Office to Apartment Conversions Ramp Up — “‘There really hasn’t been a time like right now, where office is on the decline to the point that [an empty building] is basically the same value as just the land,’ says Lindsay Stroud, a structured-finance broker with the commercial real-estate firm Savills. One possible solution: more office-to-residential conversions like Park & Ford.” [Washingtonian]
It’s August 1 — Partly cloudy throughout the day, with spotty rain possible later. High of 86 and low of 72. Sunrise at 6:11 am and sunset at 8:21 pm. [Weather.gov]
Photo courtesy Leslie Koch
Two restaurants with Arlington ties came home with RAMMY awards last night.
Ruthie’s All-Day in the Arlington Heights neighborhood won “Casual Restaurant of the Year” from the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) at their annual awards gala. Since 1982, the organization has handed out awards to the area’s best restaurants in various categories.
Ruthie’s All-Day opened in October 2020 and has since earned a number of accolades. This includes being named in 2020 one of the best local barbeque joints, one of the highest-rated restaurants in Arlington, and an Arlies award winner.
Owner and chef Matt Hill was also named a James Beard semi-finalist earlier this year.
This might be the biggest award yet for Hill and Ruthie’s All-Day, honored as one of this year’s best restaurants in all of the D.C. area.
“This means so very much to us — everyone including our chefs, prep cooks, runners, dishwashers, managers, waitstaff, baristas, bartenders, hostesses, and so many more — it truly takes a hard-working team to make our little place sing,” Hill wrote ARLnow in an email. “Our goal is to serve everyone and anyone, and we feel so very humbled to be recognized by the RAMW for ‘Casual Restaurant of the Year.'”
When ask what the future might hold for Ruthie’s in Arlington, Hill hinted at possible expansion plans.
“We hope to keep growing and creating more special places for our neighbors to gather and build community over good food,” he said.
Also emerging as winners were Scott Drewno and Danny Lee, known as “The Fried Rice Collective,” as “Restaurateurs of the Year” due in part to their Chinese-Korean concept ChiKO. A location opened in Shirlington late last year, the duo’s only Virginia outpost so far.
“We are honored and humbled to be nominated with these great restauranteurs in the DMV,” Drewno and Lee told ARLnow. “We love the Arlington community and are so happy to have recently opened ChiKo Shirlington!”
The pair also operate ChiKo locations and the contemporary Korean restaurant and pub Anju in the District.
Overall, seven restaurants with Arlington ties were finalists for a RAMMY award. That’s about the same number as recent previous years, though far more than a decade ago.
Besides the winners, this year’s Arlington nominees included Queen Mother’s for “hottest sandwich spot,” Northside Social for its wine program, both Bayou Bakery and Stellina Pizzeria in the “Splendid Holidays at Home” category, and Mark Bucher of Medium Rare also for “restaurateur of the year.”
New Rail Bridge Design Revealed — “The new rail bridge will be built with many of the features in the existing span, including its structure, material and form, with steel girders and similar pier spacing, according to preliminary site plans approved this month by the National Capital Planning Commission. The plans also call for the use of Ashlar stone cladding for the bridge piers, and abutments and walls near the George Washington Memorial Parkway.” [Washington Post]
County Board Approves ‘Heights’ Parking — From School Board member Barbara Kanninen: “‘APS did us a solid.’ Thx @kcristol for that comment regarding our hosting the County’s temp fire station for several years! Glad to see the use permit for Phase 2 [of The Heights building in Rosslyn] approved this morning, providing important universal access improvements for all students, esp @APS_Shriver.” [Twitter]
APS Hiring Hundreds of Teachers — “Officials in Arlington Public Schools will also spend the summer working to fill an atypically large number of empty positions. Arlington, which enrolls 27,045 students, according to state data, saw 284 teachers resign between August 2021 and mid-May 2022. The district usually employs about 3,000 teachers, per spokesman Frank Bellavia. That is 96 percent higher than the average number of resignations between 2018-2019 and 2020-2021: 145.” [Washington Post]
Free Chicken Today — “July 18th is Nelson Mandela’s birthday. His birthday is recognized and celebrated world wide as Mandela day; a day for us all to inspire change and make a difference in our communities. At Nando’s we are proud of our South African heritage. We will join in celebrating his birthday on July 18th by following his example and giving back to our communities.” [Nando’s Peri Peri]
Cyclist Struck on Busy Ramp — “Police, fire on scene of cyclist struck by driver on the WB Route 50 / Washington Blvd ramp. Cyclist was thrown from bike and is being treated by medics, per scanner.” [Twitter]
Treasurer Honored, Again — “Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava received the President’s Award for her service and leadership to the Treasurers’ Association of Virginia (TAV). The award was presented during the association’s annual conference in June. It is the second time de la Pava has be recognized with the President’s Award.” [Arlington County]
More Bad Driving on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “You’ll want to see this one. Driver goes bowling with the barrels & almost takes one along for the ride. @VaDOTNOVA time for clean-up again on aisle 8C.” [Twitter]
It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy, with rain and possible storms in the evening. High of 88 and low of 74. Sunrise at 5:59 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann