The new Crumbl Cookies coming to Lee Harrison Shopping Center hopes to be fully baked by the fall.
The franchised cookie bakery will “likely” be ready to open in early autumn, co-owner Dovy Paukstys told ARLnow. It is moving into the former Starbucks space at 2441 N. Harrison Street, next to the Wild Birds Unlimited store. The coffee shop closed in 2019.
It was first reported in June 2022 that Crumbl was making its way to Arlington, joining a cadre of cookie shops across Northern Virginia owned by Paukstys and his team. That includes bakeries in Falls Church, Reston, and Vienna.
But this location stands out because several of the owners grew up within a few minutes walk of where the new Crumbl is going.
“We are primarily a women-owned company. My wife grew up in Arlington and her aunt’s house, who also is a [co-owner], lived just down the street,” Paukstys said.
The Arlington territory initially was claimed by a different franchisee, but Paukstys picked it up to be part of their group of stores in large part due to the local connection.
Crumbl Cookies is known for its elaborate designs and flavors. It has a rotating weekly menu of options like S’more, Buttermilk Pancake, Orange Creamsicle, and Snickerdoodle Cupcake.
The cookie menu in Arlington is expected to be the same as the other regional locations.
Paukstys says he is still looking to hire as the store ramps up to open in a few months. There is also a possibility, he said, of more bakeries opening in Arlington.
The Lee Harrison Shopping Center, in the Yorktown neighborhood, has seen some changes in recent months. A Loyal Companion store, which closed after the pet store chain filed for bankruptcy, has been converted to a Wag N’ Wash. A new Thai restaurant, meanwhile, opened in the former Ghin Na Ree Thai space, after the family that owned the eatery decided to retire.
Bayou Bakery in Courthouse is once again going all out for Mardi Gras.
The New Orleans-themed eatery at 1515 N. Courthouse Road is hosting a Fat Tuesday “Bayou-Gras Mardi Pardi” starting at 6 p.m. tonight (Feb. 21)
The celebration will feature food, beverages, and live jazz from Louisiana native Nick Adde. There, of course, will be King Cake too.
Bayou Bakery opened in 2010 by David Gaus, a nationally-known chef who has appeared on a number of Food Network cooking competition shows over the years.
He’s also made a name for himself locally for his community work including the “Chefs Feeding Families” program, delivering meals to the National Guard after Jan. 6, and cooking for Ukrainian refugees.
Even during tough times, Bayou Bakery always makes a point to celebrate Mardi Gras. In 2021, the restaurant put together a take-home “Mardi Gras in a Box” so that folks could enjoy the holiday safely at home. (It proved popular and was still being offered for this year’s Mardi Gras.)
For close to two decades, there was an annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade that always traveled past Bayou Bakery. But winter weather and other larger events led to it being changed or canceled a number of times. Finally, after another cancellation in 2019, it was confirmed that the parade was likely permanently on hold.
ARLnow has reached out to the Clarendon Alliance, the organization that had put on the parade, to confirm that the parade remains a no-go this year but has yet to hear back as of publication.
More details about tonight’s Bayou-Gras Mardi Pardi, below.
Revelry explodes on Fat Tuesday, hosted by Chef David Guas, born and bred in New Orleans, with a BAYOU-GRAS MARDI PARDI at Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery [Arlington, VA] – featuring authentic dishes, famous drinks, and live, Jazzy music.
Fat Tuesday – February 21, 2023 – the day is festive with a Pardi at the DMV’s only Mardi Gras Headquarters, indulging in New Orleans signature eats and beverages. Open ALL DAY from 7AM to 5PM. Staff Break! Bayou Gras begins 6PM – 9PM for the annual celebration. A menu of Parade specials and LIVE MUSIC. Purchase Tickets upon entry, and with each Ticket you get Three Items within the corresponding category:
- NOLA Swinger
- Hurricane Daiquiri
- King Cake Daiquiri
- Veg-a-lotta [veggie muffuletta]
- Shrimp Jambalaya
- Red Beans & Rice [veggie will also be available]
- Abita [Amber, Purple Haze, IPA]
SWEETS [ A la carte desserts]
- Slice of King Cake
- Traditional Pralines
The owner of the bakery Cake Baby is celebrating one year of opening at the Pentagon City mall — and being out of her parents’ house.
In December 2021, a new bakery specializing in elaborately adorned cakes and numerous kinds of cookies opened on the Metro level at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City. The corner space near is next to the recently shuttered Yong Kang Street and in the former home of Garrett Popcorn.
Cake Baby is owned by 26-year-old Jimia Mozie. Just over a year ago, she opened her first brick-and-mortar shop after realizing she had outgrown the kitchen of her parents.
“My client base was getting too big to keep working out of my parents’ house,” she told ARLnow. “Schools… would message me for big orders. That’s when I realized I couldn’t do it anymore from the house.”
Mozie — who’s originally from Montgomery County, Maryland — first started baking as a teenager, learning from her aunt who was the “pastry chef in our family.” She loved it so much that she made a pledge to herself that, in 10 years, she would open her own bakery. That’s exactly what she did after graduating in 2019 from the Culinary Institute of Virginia.
As a young Black female entrepreneur, Mozie knows others may be looking up to her.
“A lot of young people look up to me as an inspiration. I know a lot of young kids are lost, so I also bake and be a business owner because I want to inspire [them],” she said.
The Pentagon City mall location has its pros and cons, she said. The positives are that the bakery gets a good amount of large custom orders from the Pentagon. They also get walk-ins from those who pass the shop every day going to and from the Metro.
The negatives are that the bakery is a bit tucked back in a corner, Mozie said, so it can be easy to miss if you aren’t passing it every day. Plus, there remains the lingering feeling that the mall hasn’t fully recovered from the pandemic.
Mozie said she is currently committed to staying in Pentagon City but is also looking for a second location, likely closer to her parents’ house in Montgomery County, where it all started.
The best part of Mozie’s day is seeing people smile, laugh and be happy when eating her treats made from recipes that she created. The best praise is when clients say her treats are better than what their grandparents make.
“Cake Baby gives a lot of people those feelings,” she said. “We’re very homey.”
Arlington-based Bakeshop is opening up a third location just across the Key Bridge in Georgetown.
It was more than a decade ago, in the middle of Snowmageddon, when the bakery first started satisfying Arlington’s sweet tooth at 1025 N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon. Since then, Bakeshop has expanded to Falls Church, weathered a pandemic, and, now, is once again growing.
Bakeshop is moving into 3210 Grace Street NW in D.C., just about a mile walk from Gateway Park in Rosslyn and only two and a half miles from their original Clarendon shop.
“Georgetown is a charming little slice of DC, it’s both historic, extremely active and has a good bakery scene,” owner Justin Stegall wrote in an email to ARLnow. “It’s going to be great opening up next to South Block — we’ve been neighbors for over 10 years in Arlington and it’s great to be neighbors in DC.”
The plan is to open by the end of the month (October) “as long as inspections etc. are done,” he notes.
The menu will be similar to that of the other locations, offering vegan treats, Vietnamese coffee, and ice cream “cookiewiches.”
In January 2020, Stegall told ARLnow that he had “no immediate plans to open more” shops but would “do it again if the moment feels right.”
Nearly two years later, the moment felt right despite being in the midst of challenging times.
“The last 18 months has been extremely challenging and has felt more like 5 years. The overall uncertainty about what tomorrow will be like and constantly trying to look out for ourselves and our customers,” Stegall writes. “My team has been brave and very professional throughout this whole ordeal and I’m really proud of them.
Stegall also says the shop is fortunate because it’s “in a business that suits take-out ordering and delivery.”
But there’s certainly something about in-person connections.
“We’ve really missed having our community in the shops for their morning routine of newspaper, pastry and coffee, parents bringing their kids in for a treat, and people just convening in general,” he writes. “That aspect of community has always been a big part of us and it has been sorely missed.”
Over the years, the Bakeshop has gotten attention beyond their treats and expansion. In 2012, the shop was featured on the Cooking Channel and, in 2016, there was a viral Facebook post from Stegall’s mom where she showed her love for her son.
When asked if the shop could expand even more so in the future, Stegall said that’s the plan, if all goes well.
“I hope we will expand further because it is very exciting and rewarding to join a new neighborhood and become part of that community,” he said.
(Updated at 3:35 p.m.) Tatte Bakery in Clarendon is finally set to open.
The growing Boston-based chain’s Arlington location will open tomorrow (Wednesday), according to a sign in the window. It was first announced earlier this year and was originally expected to open in July.
The cafe is located at 2805 Clarendon Blvd, around where the Baja Fresh used to be before it closed in late 2018, ahead of extensive renovations to the building.
Tatte now has more than 20 locations, with a majority in the Boston-area. However, over the last year, the bakery has expanded to the D.C. area, including two relatively new locations in D.C. and one in Bethesda, Maryland which just opened in March.
The Clarendon spot is focused on breakfast, brunch, and lunch, with hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. It will have the same menu as the other D.C.-areas locations, except no dinner. The menu includes sandwiches, tartines, shakshuka, salads, bowls, and coffee.
The interior of the restaurant features a modern aesthetic and tiled counters.
The bakery is housed within The Crossing Clarendon, the multi-block, mixed-use development and retail center formerly known Market Common Clarendon.
(Updated 10:35 a.m.) Tacombi, a New York City-based taqueria chain, is expected to open in Crystal City in a couple of months.
The new spot will be located in the revamped Central District Retail shopping plaza, also known as “Crystal Square.” This recently redone property at 1550 Crystal Drive, owned by JBG Smith, has attracted a number of other retail options that have opened already or are set to open over the course of the year.
A CVS opened in February and hit NYC bakery Mah-Ze-Dahr opened in mid-June. Another location of the boutique gym, Solidcore, is set to open in August, according to a spokeswoman.
A spokesperson for Tacombi said Thursday that it expects to open its 3,000 square-foot space in Crystal City in September.
“All of our taquerias are bright, open and airy spaces where guests can enjoy warm hospitality and a menu with selections from different regions throughout Mexico,” she said. “We look forward to bringing a little piece of this incredible country to our new friends in Arlington, and to swinging open our taqueria doors this fall.”
Tacombi got its start on the beaches of Yucatan, Mexico. The owner sold tacos from a Volkswagen Bus and eventually opened his first taqueria in the mid-2000s in New York City. Nine other locations have since opened in NYC.
These openings are happening amid a handful of other openings in Miami and Queens, the spokeswoman said. The taqueria will cement its presence in the D.C. area with a Bethesda location also set to open in September.
“We were drawn to Crystal City’s evolving identity and to its own journey from a largely-industrial zone in the sixties to today’s quickly developing community,” she said. “And while National Landing is part of a cosmopolitan world capital, it also maintains the neighborhood quality that best allows us to share authentic Mexican culture.”
The taqueria made headlines this year for its work during the pandemic feeding thousands of food-insecure New Yorkers.
Also coming to Central District Retail will be a thus-far unnamed grocery store, rumored to be a possible Amazon Fresh location. The store will be built in the existing office building at 1550 Crystal Drive, according to Arlington County.
“JBG SMITH declines to comment,” a spokesperson for the property owner said when asked about it yesterday.
(Updated at 10:25 a.m. on 6/18/21) Brioche Cinnamon Rolls and Dark Chocolate Explosion Cookies are coming to Crystal City this weekend with the arrival of a brand new Mah-Ze-Dahr location.
The popular New York-based bakery founded in 2013 takes its name from an Urdu expression meaning a taste you can’t quite describe but want to experience again and again — it is a representation of what the restaurant hopes to offer with its sweet treats.
This time the bakery isn’t limiting itself to pastries. The Crystal City location, which opens Saturday at 1550 Crystal Drive, will be the company’s biggest shop to date — bigger than others in New York City and D.C.’s Navy Yard. It will also have the broadest menu.
The company is expanding into breakfast and lunch foods adding salmon and cream cheese-filled croissants and sandwich flights exclusively to the Arlington menu.
“We always think its fun to have things you can only have in one place,” said Mah-Ze-Dahr founder Umber Ahmad. “It helps the community feel wanted and special in that way.”
Customers will be able to sit inside or outside the 2,600 square foot bakery, which has exterior seating for 36 and interior seating for 55.
This Mah-Ze-Dahr will also have an extra large kitchen to serve not only its local customers but to also provide pastries to other D.C. area retailers.
Ahmad says the bakery will soon announce its partnerships with several local D.C. coffee chains and hotels. In the meantime, it will be doling out delectable goods from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day.
Mah-Ze-Dahr will be next to the new CVS store in the emerging Central District Retail center. The shopping and dining strip will also one day include NYC-based taco restaurant Tacombi, fitness studio Solidcore and, nearby, an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.
For first time customers trying out Mah-Ze-Dahr this weekend, Ahmad recommends the croissants.
“I humbly think they are the best outside of France,” she said.
(Updated at 9:35 p.m.) A new CVS Pharmacy is open at the revamped Central District Retail shopping plaza, also known as “Crystal Square,” in Crystal City.
The store opened on Sunday, Feb. 28, a JBG Smith spokesperson confirmed. It is part of a major redevelopment that the property owner has planned for a block of Crystal Drive between 15th and 18th streets.
In 2018, the County Board approved the project, which JBG says will blend retail, public spaces and transit services.
Signage appears to now be up for two more occupants: Mah-Ze-Dahr, a bakery said to have some of New York City’s best doughnuts, as well as a yet-unnamed specialty grocery store. The first D.C. outpost of the NYC bakery opened in Navy Yard in the fall.
JBG once more declined to comment on which grocer will be filling the space. Permits indicate that the store will offer prepared foods like packaged salads, sandwiches, entrees and soups, as well as various beverages. The permits further specify that the store will have “self app check-out.”
A spokesperson previously confirmed that the specialty grocer will sell produce, meats and poultry, frozen foods and baked goods. Taken as a whole, the concept sounds similar to that of Amazon Fresh stores, a new bricks-and-mortar retail offering of the tech giant, which is currently constructing its HQ2 up the street.
The store will be built in the existing office building at 1550 Crystal Drive, according to the county. The new one-story retail area will replace a 1990s-era strip and will link the grocery store to a planned Alamo Drafthouse movie theater at 1750 Crystal Drive.
The theater chain recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but a company spokesman tells ARLnow the planned Crystal City location is owned by a franchisee “which has not filed for bankruptcy.”
“There are no changes to its development plans at 1750 Crystal Drive,” the spokesman said.
Meanwhile, outposts of New York City taco chain Tacombi and the boutique fitness gym Solidcore — which has existing locations in Courthouse and Ballston — are still on track to open in the area.
A spokeswoman for Solidcore confirmed that the gym is slated to open this summer.
“Central District Retail will enhance the street-level experience with new dining, shopping and entertainment options on Crystal Drive,” Amy Rice, senior vice president of Retail Leasing at JBG Smith, previously told ARLnow in a statement. “It will serve as the retail heart of National Landing and a vibrant destination for people throughout the region.”
Photo (2) courtesy Car-Free#HQ2/Twitter
Boston-based Tatte Bakery and Cafe is coming to fill a Baja Fresh-sized hole in Clarendon at 2805 Clarendon Blvd.
The company recently filed for a permit to build a new bakery within the existing building, adding new interior partitions and finishes throughout the facility.
Tatte Bakery and Cafe is a small bakery franchise with around 18 locations, mostly around Boston. The cafe offers pastries and desserts along with brunch and some dinner offerings, like maple chicken and potatoes.
Staff at Tatte Bakery’s lone D.C. location, at 1200 New Hampshire Avenue NW in the West End, said the Arlington location will open in July if all goes well with permitting and renovations. The Arlington location will have the same menu as the D.C. location.
The bakery will be on the southeast corner of the block being redeveloped as Market Common Clarendon Phase 2.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Photo via Google Maps.
When Chef David Guas of Bayou Bakery in Courthouse delivered food to the security personnel in the District on Monday, it took two-and-a-half hours and many phone calls — even to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser — to pass each checkpoint.
“When I arrived the Commander of that unit and the policeman literally cheered, [saying] ‘Bayou Bakery is here,'” Guas tells ARLnow.
Bayou Bakery and Arlington-founded District Taco are helping nourish the 25,000 servicemen and women, along with law enforcement, deployed to protect the nation’s capital during the 59th Inauguration.
The homegrown Mexican chain donated 2,000 burritos to the National Guard on Monday. The day before, Guas said he and his crew worked into the night to prepare biscuits and sandwich lunches for the Monday delivery.
The two join about 30 D.C.-area restaurants distributing meals to the multitudes, hailing from Maine to Guam. The heightened security is in response to the mob of Trump supporters who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
District Taco donated burritos that were pledged during a “Buy One, Give One Burrito” campaign in December.
On Monday, CEO and co-founder Osiris Hoil cashed in all 2,000 BOGO burritos to feed the National Guard. He said they were so popular that supplies ran out long before the lunch hours ended.
“When I saw the brave servicemen and women protecting the Capitol building, I knew exactly where I wanted those pledged burritos to go,” Hoil said in a press release.
District Taco also donated hundreds of burritos to essential workers in hospitals and food banks last October and November. Hoil said he is proud to continue this longstanding tradition of giving back.
“Thanks to the support of our community, our restaurants are still open,” Hoil said.
Guas also uses his food for good. He co-founded Chefs Feeding Families during the pandemic and has cooked for the annual awards dinner put on by Blue Star Families.
“Not having served in the military myself — but having grandparents that did — I’ve always jumped at the opportunity to help our men and women in uniform who protect our freedom,” he said.
Guas credits his involvement to Micheline Mendelsohn Luhn and Spike Mendelsohn, his friends and two of the family members behind We, The Pizza. The duo told ABC News that D.C. restaurants — despite struggles during the pandemic — are pitching in to provide fresh food to upwards of 5,000 people, who might otherwise have to rely on pre-packaged military meals, each day.
We now have 30 #DCrestaurants teaming up to donate thousands of warm, delicious meals to our @NationalGuard & first responders protecting #CapitolHill. I couldn’t be more proud of the DC community coming together to spread some joy to the brave heroes protecting our home🙏❤️ pic.twitter.com/BW7r5WlkIf— Spike Mendelsohn (@chefspike) January 20, 2021
Photos (1) via District Taco, (2-3) via Bayou Bakery
An unnamed specialty grocery store and Mah-Ze-Dahr, a bakery said to have some of New York City’s best doughnuts, are two of the businesses coming to Crystal City as part of a major redevelopment.
JBG Smith is giving a block of Crystal Drive between 15th and 18th streets — also known as “Crystal Square” — a facelift and a new name: Central District Retail. The redevelopment, approved by the County Board in 2018, will blend retail, public spaces and transit services, according to the developer’s website.
“Central District Retail will enhance the street-level experience with new dining, shopping and entertainment options on Crystal Drive,” Amy Rice, senior vice president of Retail Leasing at JBG Smith, said in a statement. “It will serve as the retail heart of National Landing and a vibrant destination for people throughout the region.”
The specialty grocery store in Central District Retail will have produce, meats and poultry, frozen foods, baked goods and prepared foods, Justina Lombardo, a PR rep for JBG Smith, said. At 15,000 square feet, it’s more the size of a Trader Joe’s than a full-service Giant, for instance.
Through Lombardo, JBG declined comment on which grocer will be filling the space.
The store will be built in the existing office building at 1550 Crystal Drive, according to the county. The new one-story retail area will replace a 1990s-era strip and link the grocery store to a planned Alamo Drafthouse movie theater at 1750 Crystal Drive.
According to permits filed with Arlington County, Central District Retail is also getting the second Washington, D.C.-area location of Mah-ze-Dahr. The popular New York City bakery serves brioche-style doughnuts and other baked goods endorsed by Oprah Winfrey. Founder Umber Ahmad, a former Goldman Sachs executive, opened the first D.C. location in Navy Yard this September.
Permits also indicate that Crystal City will get a CVS, what appears to be an outpost of New York City taco chain Tacombi, and the boutique fitness gym Solidcore, which has locations in Clarendon and Buckingham.
There will also be a retail shop that will sell packaged salads, sandwiches and soups.
It’s unclear when the new shops and restaurants might open.
“The first phase of Central District Retail has been delivered to tenants for build-out,” Lombardo said. “JBG Smith typically defers to tenants on their individual timelines.”
The overall goal is to continue turning Crystal City into a neighborhood that’s more than just a 9-5 destination for office workers.
“The project’s purpose is to turn the area into a vibrant gathering spot — complete with approachable and comfortable retail, an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, dynamic public spaces, and a new entrance and public plaza for the Crystal City Metro station,” says JBG Smith’s project information website. “Central District will create a sense of community and bring a true neighborhood feel to Crystal City.”