Press Club
Girls on the Run 5k road closures (via ACPD)

It’s going to be a scorcher this weekend, but that’s not likely to stop a series of outdoor events planned in Arlington.

Four events in particular will prompt road closures, Arlington County police said, including two in Green Valley, one in nearby Shirlington, and one that will close roads in Clarendon, Virginia Square and Ballston.

The Girls on the Run 5K is taking place Saturday in the Dulles area and Sunday morning in Ballston. The organization, which provides a “transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade,” has held the races in Arlington since at least 2014, usually on the same weekend as the Taste of Arlington festival, now the Ballston Quarterfest Crawl.

The last two spring 5Ks were nixed due to the pandemic.

Sunday’s race will kick off at 8:30 a.m. in Ballston and wind its way through some of Arlington’s Metro corridor neighborhood.

Among the planned closures is a long stretch of Fairfax Drive. More from ACPD:

The 2022 Girls on the Run 5k Race will take place in the Ballston neighborhood on Sunday, May 22, and will begin at 8:30 a.m. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 3:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • N. Taylor Street will be closed in both directions from Wilson Boulevard to Fairfax Drive

From approximately 7:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Fairfax Drive, from N. Utah Street to Kirkwood Road
  • 10th Street N., from Fairfax Drive to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Irving Street, from 10th Street N. to 7th Street N.
  • 9th Street N., from N. Irving Street to N. Garfield Street
  • 7th Street N., from N Irving Street to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Highland Street, from 7th Street N. to 10th Street N.
  • N. Garfield Street, from 10th Street N. to 7th Street N.
  • Washington Boulevard (eastbound lanes only), from 10th Street N. to Pershing Drive
  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed in both directions at 10th Street N. Westbound traffic will be diverted onto Fairfax Drive, while eastbound traffic will be turned south prior to Jackson Street, where drivers can access Pershing Drive and maneuver around the race course.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Bus routes will be detoured but remain operational during the event.

The police department also released the following information on road closures for the other three events.

2022 Drew Dragon Dash

The 2022 Drew Dragon Dash will take place in the Green Valley neighborhood on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. The following roadway will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

S. Kenmore Street, between 22nd Street S. and the Shelton parking garage (3215 24th Street S.)

Jennie Dean Opening Celebration

The Jennie Dean Opening Celebration will take place in the Green Valley neighborhood on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 12:00 p.m. The following roadway will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

  • 2700 block of S. Oakland Street (Shirlington Dog Park parking lot)

The Shirlington Dog Park will remain open and will be accessible through the 2600 block of S. Nelson Street.

Shirlington Spring Fling: A Village Block Party

The Shirlington Spring Fling: A Village Block Party will take place in the Village at Shirlington on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Campbell Avenue, from S. Quincy Street to the Hilton Garden Inn
  • S. Randolph Street, from Dudley’s to the alleyway behind CVS

“Street parking near the events may be restricted,” ACPD noted in the press release. “Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.”

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The third annual Ballston Quarterfest Crawl is back this weekend with a full line-up of music, art, entertainment, and drinks.

The free event is set to happen this Saturday (May 21) from noon to 8 p.m. It’s set to follow a similar format as last year, with the crawl aspect allowing attendees to spread out across the neighborhood. A number of the local restaurants are also hosting live music and specials all day.

Many of the performances, though, are set to take place at the main event hub outside of Ballston Quarter at 4238 Wilson Blvd.

The lineup for the main event hub:

  • 12-7 p.m. DJ Ricky
  • 12:30-1 p.m. Official Event Kickoff
  • 1-4 p.m. Encanto Sisters
  • 3-5 p.m. Intern John and the HOT 99.5 Street Team
  • 6-8 p.m. Bobby McKeys Dueling Piano Show

There will also be performances at various neighborhood businesses :

  • 1-2:30 p.m. Uncle Jesse at World of Beer
  • 2:30-4 p.m. Kara and Matty D. at Ballston Local
  • 4-5:30 p.m. The Crista Trio at SER
  • 5:30-7 p.m. Ache Harvest at Salt Line

The event is organized by the Ballston Business Improvement District and is the signature event of the organization’s charitable subsidiary BallstonGives.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our neighborhood and some of our finest restaurants with live music, great food and the community we know and love here in Ballston,” Ballston BID CEO Tina Leone said in a press release. “This event is the unofficial kickoff to summer and a lively celebration for our community and our neighbors.”

There won’t be any Ballston Quarterfest related road closures, organizers and the Arlington County Police Department confirmed to ARLnow.

“The crawl is organized in an easily-walkable path from Ballston Quarter to our pop-up concerts and back,” an event spokesperson says.

That path follows Wilson Blvd and, then, up N. Glebe Road, according to the provided map.

2022 Ballston Quarterfest Crawl map (image courtesy of Ballston BID)

In 2019, “Quarterfest” replaced the popular “Taste of Arlington” as Ballston’s annual springtime event. However, it was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic and was reworked as a “crawl” in 2021.

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Hawkers, the Asian street food restaurant chain, is now aiming for a mid-August opening in Ballston.

The eatery was initially supposed to open back in spring 2021 and, then, June of this year, but supply chain issues have delayed it now twice, the company says.

“Because so much of our equipment is incredibly specialized to fit our concept — for instance, our wok stations are all completely customized to our menu, and our electrical panels are customized to handle our neon signage installations — the supply chain constraints delayed our construction timeline,” writes a company spokesperson. “Our manufacturers and suppliers worked as quickly as they could, but they could only build as specific parts and electrical components became available.”

The growing chain first announced it was opening a location at 4201 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the Ballston Exchange office complex, nearly two years ago in July 2020.

Orlando-based Hawkers was founded in 2011 when “four best friends joined forces (like the Avengers, but better) to bring the streets of Asia to the streets of Orlando, Fla.” The restaurant has about a dozen open locations in several different states. That includes a Bethesda outpost — the first in the D.C. area — which opened in late 2020.

The menu highlights street food from across the Asian continent, including dim sum, baos, chicken wings, pad Thai, noodle dishes, and fried rice.

When the new Ballston location opens in a few months, it will be the first Hawkers in Virginia and the first to have a take-out window.

“The Ballston community is vibrant, full of energy, and incredibly social — all of which are qualities that align perfectly with the Hawkers brand,” the spokesperson said, when asked why the company chose the neighborhood. “We cannot wait to open our doors and get to know the Ballston community on a deeper level.”

The restaurant is currently hiring servers, bartenders, line cooks, hosts and dishwashers.

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A woman was seriously injured over the weekend after police say she was apparently pushed out of a moving vehicle.

It happened early Sunday morning along Wilson Blvd at the intersection with N. Vermont Street, just west of Glebe Road.

“At approximately 3:06 a.m. on May 15, police were dispatched to the report of trouble unknown,” said an Arlington County Police Department crime report. “Upon arrival, medics were on scene treating the female victim before transporting her to an area hospital with serious injuries.”

“The reporting party stated she was driving in the area when she observed the passenger door of the vehicle in front of her open and the female victim being pushed out onto the roadway,” the report continued. “The suspect vehicle is described as a black SUV. There is no description for the driver. This investigation is ongoing.”

Additional details were not immediately available, though a police spokeswoman did confirm to ARLnow that the victim was an adult female.

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JINYA Ramen Bar is set to open its newest location in Ballston this weekend.

The noodle eatery says its official opening will happen this Saturday (May 21) at 11 a.m. The first hundred people in line will get free ramen. Additionally, there will be specials, a live DJ, and coupon giveaways.

The restaurant first announced it was coming to the space adjacent to the Quarter Market food hall in November. It was formerly occupied by Copa Kitchen & Bar, a Spanish tapas restaurant and soccer-watching venue. That restaurant closed in the fall 2021.

JINYA was initially aiming to open in March but experienced delays “common in construction,” according to a spokesperson.

This will be the restaurant chain’s fifth D.C.-area location with other locations in Reston, Merrifield, D.C., and Bethesda. It has locations across the United States and several in Canada.

JINYA Ramen’s D.C. area locations are all owned by Sam Shoja, a company spokesperson confirmed. He’s also the co-owner of Paraiso in D.C. and previously held a stake in Hot Lola’s, which has a location in Ballston Quarter and is another that is opening in Rosslyn soon.

JINYA eatery specializes in ramen made with broths that are simmered for up to 20 hours, according to its website.

“JINYA is ramen culture, where the relationship between broth and noodles is serious but delicious business,” the company previously said a press release. “From the water we use to prepare our broths — we only use FUJI which is 99.9 percent free from impurities — to the special aging process that our noodles undergo before they’re cooked and served, we’re crazy about ramen and pay meticulous attention to everything that goes into your bowl… You’ll quickly see why at JINYA we say, No ramen, no life.'”

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Several items before the County Board on Saturday would tee up an Arlington Transit bus facility construction in Green Valley — to the chagrin of two communities.

The Board will consider approving the use of the new bus facility for commercial parking, temporarily relocating about 30 ART buses to a Virginia Square site during construction, revising a lease to accommodate the temporary storage, and making contract amendments.

Construction on the project off Shirlington Road, which is budgeted at $97 million, is set to start in late spring, per a board report.

The Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association is concerned with the county’s plans to use the approximately 6-acre “Buck site” along N. Quincy Street for temporary bus storage. The association claims the property isn’t zoned as a bus dispatch and storage site, and it would be disruptive to the neighborhood.

County officials said in December that property is the only available and affordable site zoned for vehicle storage. Ahead of construction, 29 buses will go to the N. Quincy Street site, while 12 will move to a bus site on S. Eads Street, which opened in 2017 near Crystal City.

“Other sites were considered, both County-owned and private facilities, but these did not meet all the suitability criteria needed to maintain service delivery to our transit riders,” county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter said in a statement. “If the Board approves the application for the use permit, the County has committed to being a good neighbor to minimize impacts to the largest extent possible and be responsive to concerns that may arise from this temporary use.”

Layout of the county-owned 1425 N. Quincy Street site with the temporary Arlington Transit (ART) bus storage (via Arlington County)

Currently, the county uses the site across from Washington-Liberty High School to park some fire and police vehicles, as well as a portion of the Arlington Public Schools vehicle fleet. An item before the Board this weekend would amend its lease with the School Board to move those vehicles to another part of the site.

The local civic association, however, is opposed to the plan.

“Our neighborhood — like any other in Arlington — should shoulder its fair share of uses that benefit the broader community, even if that sometimes means greater noise, traffic, and pollution,” BVSCA President James Rosen said in a statement. “But placing buses on the Quincy site fails to meet the standard for a good — let alone lawful — use of land the County paid over $30 million to acquire in 2017, of which the County has since written off $5 million.”

Before the county purchased the property, which is zoned for light industrial uses, it was home to family establishments like Jumping Joeys and Dynamic Gymnastics. The county, facing a shortage of land for school and government operations, saw the purchase as a possible school bus facility, which the surrounding community also opposed at the time.

“The noxious effects of the operation of ART buses… will not only put our health and safety at risk, but will compromise the livability of our neighborhood, and put our students and visitors in dangerous situations,” Rosen said.

Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services previously said the peak times of the high school and bus dispatches aren’t the same so it doesn’t think that student safety will be an issue.

Projected route activity for the temporary bus facility on N. Quincy Street (via Arlington County)

Through 2025, buses will be parked at and dispatched from the N. Quincy Street site on weekdays, with a majority of movement happening between 4 a.m. and 9 p.m., according to the board report. The buses parked on the site would serve six ART bus routes, mostly in north Arlington.

Maintenance and refueling activities would not occur on-site but buses may leave to be maintenanced at other county facilities on weekends.

Green Valley facility

As ART has increased its routes and hours of service over the last decade, and anticipates continuing to increase service over the next 20 years, the operations and maintenance facility in Green Valley is needed, according to a board report.

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Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups, founders, and other local technology news. Monday Properties is proudly featuring 1515 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn.

HUNGRY still has an appetite for growth.

The Ballston-based food tech startup acquired its third company in as many years.

HUNGRY offers an online catering marketplace connecting companies with local chefs. Last week, it announced the acquisition of California-based healthy snacks company NatureBox, which delivers its products to homes and offices, and has its own private-label bulk snacks.

“NatureBox’s healthy snacks will be an outstanding complement to HUNGRY’s business-catering solutions, creating a game-changing combination of exceptional quality and service,” HUNGRY co-founder and CEO Jeff Grass said in a statement. “Companies right now are looking for one partner to handle all of their in-office food, snacking, and beverage needs, and now more than ever, HUNGRY is that complete partner for them.”

Hungry founders Eman Pahlavani, Shy Pahlevani and Jeff Grass (courtesy photo)

NatureBox, which has served over 3.5 million consumers and thousands of corporate clients, previously raised nearly $60 million in funding, a press release said.

“We’re proud to join forces with HUNGRY, and we’re excited that now even more people will be able to enjoy our amazing, healthy snacks all over the country,” NatureBox CEO John Occhipinti said in a statement. “We’re grateful to Jeff and the whole HUNGRY team for believing in what we’ve built and taking it to the next level.”

The acquisition furthers HUNGRY’s national reach and increases its healthy options.

The startup launched in late 2016,  and has since expanded to more than 10 markets across the U.S., and acquired companies LocalStove in Philadelphia and Ripe Catering in New York City.

Outside of the D.C. area, HUNGRY is available in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Boston, New York City, Austin, Dallas, Los Angeles, Nashville and San Francisco.

It has added food truck options and Virtual Xperiences, where groups can purchase online cooking classes with name-brand chefs and supplies sent directly to participants’ homes.

During the pandemic, it brought Nationals Park fan favorites to customers’ doors when the stadium was closed. It has since ended that partnership as fans are able to return to cheer the baseball team on in person.

HUNGRY has grown quickly over the last two years, earning a spot on the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 and debuting at No. 434 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies in 2021. It also was named one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies and Best Workplaces for Innovators.

Last year, it raised $21 million in a star-studded funding round, bringing on board actress Issa Rae, “America’s Got Talent” host Terry Crews, NFL player DeAndre Hopkins, NBA player Lonzo Ball and boxer Deontay Wilder.

Previous HUNGRY investors include Jay-Z’s Marcy Venture Partners, Kevin Hart, Usher, Todd Gurley, Bobby Wagner, Ndamukong Suh, and celebrity chefs Tom Colicchio and Ming Tsai.

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(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) Expect significant police activity in the Ballston area following a pair of bank robberies.

The Citizens Bank at 4075 Wilson Blvd was the scene of an attempted robbery shortly after 2 p.m. The suspect ran off without cash after hopping the counter, per initial reports.

About 10-15 minutes later, a suspect matching the same description as the first successfully robbed the Bank of America directly in front of the Ballston Metro station.

The suspect remains at large and police are actively searching for him. Metro train traffic may also be disrupted as a result of the investigation.

So far no injuries have been reported. The man reportedly implied a weapon but none was seen.

The suspect is described as a short, middle aged Black male wearing a gray sweatsuit and carrying a plastic bag. The description differs from that of the taller, still-at-large suspect accused of robbing the Truist bank in Ballston last week.

Officers reportedly detained at least one or two people in the area matching the description of today’s robbery suspect, though it’s unclear whether either was determined to be the suspect.

Prior to last week, the last reported bank robbery in Arlington was in 2019.

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Salad shop Chopt plans to open its new Ballston location next month, touting the chain’s new “sustainable restaurant design.”

The Chopt at 4201 Wilson Blvd — in the Ballston Exchange complex, near Shake Shack — will open on a yet-to-be-announced date in June. It will feature “a more eco-friendly means of operating… the first of its kind for the brand, designed explicitly to have a reduced environmental impression,” according to a press release.

The eatery will also emphasize contactless ordering, much like its burger-oriented neighbor, with self-service kiosks and QR codes for ordering at the tables.

“At 1,912 sq ft, Ballston seats 16 guests total, 10 at the bar with views of the salad making station and 6 in a large booth,” said the release. “The storefront will be the first Chopt to go to complete contactless ordering with a variety of advanced ways to order its creative salads, wraps and warm bowls, including self-service kiosks and new QR code tableside ordering and delivery.”

Chopt will compete fellow salad chain Sweetgreen — located two blocks away, along Wilson Blvd — for the patronage of Ballston’s office and apartment dwellers.

In addition to a number of locations in the District, Chopt has existing locations in Rosslyn and McLean.

The full press release is below.

Chopt, the fast-casual salad pioneer, announces plans to expand its footprint in Virginia with a new sustainable restaurant design set to open in the Ballston Exchange at 4201 Wilson Blvd Suite 0185 this June. Opening dates to come.

Chopt’s goal has always been to find a more eco-friendly means of operating and the Ballston restaurant is the first of its kind for the brand, designed explicitly to have a reduced environmental impression. This store will have an energy efficient HVAC system, smaller spatial footprint, energy efficient kitchen wares, and streamlined operations to lower overall energy consumption, and potentially, GHG emissions.

“Sustainability is on everyone’s mind right now and it’s a focus for us as we build and design each new restaurant,” said Dennis Lee, VP of Development at Founders Table. “We’ve invested in shrinking our environmental footprint, and made an effort to quantify the energy savings associated with the new store model – we look forward to seeing how our work can continue to evolve.”

At 1,912 sq ft, Ballston seats 16 guests total, 10 at the bar with views of the salad making station and 6 in a large booth. The storefront will be the first Chopt to go to complete contactless ordering with a variety of advanced ways to order its creative salads, wraps and warm bowls, including self-service kiosks and new QR code tableside ordering and delivery. In addition to its classic and customer craft salad options, Chopt creates limited-edition “Destination Menus” and Ballston will open with Destination California.

“We eagerly anticipate this opening, to see how our customers respond to the new store design,” said Julie Atkinson, Chopt’s Chief Marketing Officer. “It’s important to play our part in improving our environmental impact and we’ll continue to make decisions with this in mind across all of our efforts.”

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Arlington County police have released photos of the man they say robbed a bank in Ballston last week.

The photos show a man wearing a surgical mask and a hoodie, inside the Truist bank at 920 N. Taylor Street. Police say he passed a note to a teller implying that he had a weapon, then made off with cash.

No one was hurt.

Police are now hoping that the public can help them identify and find the suspect, who successfully fled the scene after the robbery.

More from an ACPD press release, below.

The Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit is seeking the public’s assistance identifying a bank robbery suspect captured on surveillance footage.

At approximately 1:58 p.m. on May 2, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery by force in the 900 block of N. Taylor Street. Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect entered a bank and passed a note to the teller demanding money and implying he had a weapon. He then fled the scene on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash. No weapon was seen or displayed and no injuries were reported.

The suspect is described as a Black male, approximately 6’02” tall with a heavy set. He was wearing a black hoodie, dark pants, black hat and sunglasses at the time of the incident.

Anyone with information that may assist with the investigation or who can identify the suspect is asked to contact the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4180 or [email protected] Information may also be reported anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

Morning Notes

SoberRide vehicle in Clarendon on Cinco de Mayo (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

New Interim Economic Development Chief — “Today, I am pleased to appoint Shannon Flanagan-Watson as the Interim Director of Arlington Economic Development (AED), effective May 31. Shannon brings 28 years of combined experience working in and with local governments on a range of professional local government management and policy issues.” [Arlington County]

Shot Fired in Long Branch Creek — “1400 block of 28th Street S. At approximately 1:09 a.m. on May 5th, police were dispatched to multiple reports of shots heard in the area. Police canvassed the area and recovered evidence confirming a shot had been fired. The preliminary investigation indicates a verbal altercation between two subjects may have preceded the discharge of a firearm. No injuries were reported, and no property damage was located.” [APCD]

Netherlands Carillon Dedication — “Today, the National Park Service and Netherlands Embassy celebrated the 77th anniversary of Liberation Day and the end of a four-year restoration of the Netherlands Carillon. This celebration included remarks from Ambassador of Ukraine to the United States Oksana Markarova, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands André Haspels and National Park Service Director Charles F. ‘Chuck’ Sams III.” [Press Release, NBC 4]

More Funding for Metro Entrance? — “Additional financial support for Arlington County’s proposed west entrance to the Ballston-MU Metro station looks to be on the horizon. A recommendation from staff at the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission puts the request for an additional $4.5 million near the top of the list for regional projects that would be part of fiscal 2023-24 funding through the ‘I-66 Commuter Choice’ program.” [Sun Gazette]

Trying Out the Upton Hill Ropes Course — “Waiting in line to jump from the 50-foot apex of Climb UPton, Northern Virginia’s new ropes course, and trying desperately not to look down, I overhear three 10-year-old girls in front of me. ‘Are you scared?’ one asks… The $1.3 million ropes course opened last summer in Upton Hill Regional Park and is run by NOVA Parks. I recently attempted it on a sunny spring Saturday.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Reminder: Malibu Barbie Truck’s Visit — “On Saturday, May 7, the ‘Barbie Truck Totally Throwback Malibu Tour’ is planning on setting up shop at Westpost (formerly Pentagon Row) in the courtyard near DSW shoe store. The truck will be selling ‘retro-inspired’ Barbie merchandise — like Barbie logo embroidered denim jackets and Malibu Barbie necklaces — from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.” [ARLnow]

It’s Friday — Rain throughout the day. High of 65 and low of 58. Sunrise at 6:06 am and sunset at 8:07 pm. [Weather.gov]

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