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Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill is permanently closed, and the landlord is looking for a new tenant.

Located at 2424 Wilson Blvd, the multi-story sports bar and restaurant opened in 2010 and became a popular destination thanks in large part to its open air rooftop deck and its ability to host events, including local and state political gatherings.

Despite its popularity, Arlington County police frequently visited the restaurant for noise complaints related to live music, according to a county staff report.

In 2021, the Arlington County Board voted unanimously to revoke the restaurant’s live entertainment permit. The restaurant also closed temporarily in 2019 due to a zoning issue.

Raghav Dumera, one of the restaurant’s landlords, confirmed that its last day of operation was New Year’s Eve and it will not be reopening for the warmer weather season. The closure was not announced on the restaurant’s social media accounts.

Dumera, who also owns and operates several other restaurants in the same building — Takeshi Sushi, Delhi Dhaba and Ghost Kabob — gave few details about the closure except to say the venue’s owner did not renew the lease.

Dumera noted he is looking for a new tenant to fill the space as soon as possible.

“So, anyone that’s interested can definitely reach out,” he said.

Hat tip to Katie W.

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A new restaurant and bar is expected to replace the closed Rebellion on the Pike in a few weeks.

Cornerstone, at 2900 Columbia Pike, will offer a family friendly atmosphere around dinnertime and a place to grab a drink later in the night, co-owner Pete Fejeran tells ARLnow.

He is hoping to draw in both locals and visitors from nearby counties, many of whom frequent a notable business across the street — Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, where Fejeran is general  manager.

“We really just want a homey place,” he said. “It’s a place where people coming into town can just kick back, relax.”

Fejeran and co-owners Cindy Kaylor, Mike O’Hara and Kathryn McAbee are in the process of refurbishing the location, which Rebellion on the Pike occupied from April 2019 until last month. They are aiming for a soft opening on Wednesday, April 10.

Fejeran said he hopes the establishment will complement other local businesses, with audience members going there after shows — and maybe even grabbing drinks with stand-up comics after their Drafthouse performances.

“It’s right across the street — just easy back and forth,” he said.

Tentative hours are Monday through Thursday from 4-10 p.m., Friday from 2 p.m.-1:30 a.m., Saturday from 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

Rebellion on the Pike, which blamed its closure on economic circumstances, stepped into the shoes of another shuttered watering hole at the same location, BrickHaus.

BrickHaus was only open for about a year, in a building that has been there for much longer. Some say 2900 Columbia Pike is the oldest building on the Pike, dating back to 1902.

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A new Mediterranean restaurant with live entertainment and an expansive patio is on track to replace the former Bar Ivy in Clarendon.

Láylí is slated to open at 3033 Wilson Blvd within the next few months, offering an “immersive mezze and cocktail garden experience,” applicant Walid Zeytoun told ARLnow.

“Our menu will showcase modern Lebanese cuisine as its foundation while weaving in traditional Greek and Turkish flavors,” Zeytoun said. “Featuring a wide selection of meats and seafood alongside signature vegan and vegetarian options, we aim to offer delights for every palate.”

The restaurant plans to keep Bar Ivy’s eye-catching layout, including the outdoor café and kiosk, according to a statement of justification filed last week.

“Layli seeks identical use permits for the exact same use,” the statement says. “The layout and configuration of the space is remaining exactly the same.”

The restaurant is also seeking to offer indoor live entertainment seven days a week, from 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and from 11 a.m.-1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Its interior would seat up to 71 guests, while the patio could accommodate up to 125.

Láylí’s beverages will “complement the cuisine,” Zeytoun said, with cocktails and mocktails “celebrating the region’s signature ingredients.”

The restaurant applied for a liquor license earlier this month.

“As we prepare to welcome you this coming Spring, we’re excited to bring a fresh and captivating dining experience to Clarendon,” he said. “Join us for a truly unforgettable experience at Láylí.”

A full statement from Zeytoun is below.

Inspired by the rich history and spiritual beauty of the Middle East, we proudly present the concept for Láylí – an immersive mezze and cocktail garden experience that seamlessly blends inviting dining and patio spaces.

Our menu will showcase modern Lebanese cuisine as its foundation while weaving in traditional Greek and Turkish flavors. Featuring a wide selection of meats and seafood alongside signature vegan and vegetarian options, we aim to offer delights for every palate.

Our beverage selection will complement the cuisine by celebrating the region’s signature ingredients in cocktails ranging from spirit-forward to zero-proof.

As we prepare to welcome you this coming Spring, we’re excited to bring a fresh and captivating dining experience to Clarendon. Join us for a truly unforgettable experience at Láylí.

Zeytoun was also involved in the revamp of Clarendon’s Wilson Hardware in 2022. He noted that the new restaurant is not associated with Wilson Hardware, which is located one block away.

Bar Ivy quietly closed in late 2023 after opening in the summer of 2022. Numerous chairs and tables still occupy its patio and much of the interior decor appears to still be in place.

The “West Coast-inspired” restaurant was one of several notable closures in Clarendon over the past year. Established destinations such as Pamplona, Cava Mezze and The Pinemoor also departed, while the new Chicken + Whiskey listed itself as “temporarily closed” in January following lackluster sales.

Other forthcoming arrivals in the neighborhood, meanwhile, could include a resurrected Mister Days.

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‘Coming Soon’ sign at the future site of the Arlington Beer Garden, currently known as The Lot (staff photo by James Jarvis)

The Lot in Clarendon, now under new ownership, has been re-christened Arlington Beer Garden.

However, craft beer fans will need to wait a bit longer for its debut. Yahya Yasini, one of the new owners, told ARLnow the beer garden at 3217 10th Street N. could open in about a month.

“Our plan is to do grand openings sometime in mid-April,” he said. “So just keep an eye out on Instagram.”

Following its grand opening in 2019, The Lot quickly became a local favorite, gaining particular prominence during the pandemic. Initially, it was expected to remain open for only a few years before being demolished and redeveloped.

However, delays in the planning and approval process extended its lifespan.

ARLnow previously reported the beer garden intended to make last year its final hoorah.

The current plan is still to demolish The Lot and other nearby buildings, including the now-shuttered Silver Diner, to make room for a mixed-use apartment and hotel complex known as the Bingham Center. The Arlington County Board unanimously approved the project last year.

But Yasini said he has come to an “understanding” with the property owners that it may be at least another few years before the site is redeveloped.

“When that time comes, we’ll get into that,” he said.

The property was lively yesterday (Tuesday) with new staff, who could be seen moving new heat lamps and drawing up plans for the area when ARLnow stopped by.

Plans for the site, including the new beer list, are still being finalized, says Yasini. He and his business partners plan to release more updates on the venture’s official Instagram page in the weeks ahead.

Hat tip to numerous tipsters

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Man arrested after gun brandishing incident (courtesy Dave Statter/Twitter)

A New York man has been charged with drunkenly brandishing a gun in Clarendon over the Presidents Day weekend.

The alleged incident happened around 1 a.m. on Monday on the 3100 block of Wilson Blvd. Arlington County police say the man was kicked out of a bar, then returned with a gun and started arguing with an employee standing outside.

Police rushed to the scene and quickly took a suspect into custody. The 43-year-old Long Island resident is now facing multiple charges, including brandishing a firearm and public intoxication.

More, below, from the latest ACPD crime report.

BRANDISHING, 2024-02190018, 3100 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 12:57 a.m. on February 19, officers working the nightlife detail were alerted to a brandishing just occurred. The preliminary investigation determined employees removed the male suspect from an establishment for disorderly behavior and he left the scene. The suspect returned shortly after and a verbal dispute ensued outside the business during which the suspect allegedly brandished a firearm and advanced towards an employee, making physical contact with them, before fleeing the scene on foot. Responding officers located the suspect in the area and he was taken into custody. A firearm was recovered. No injuries were reported. [The suspect], 43, of Elmont, NY, was arrested and charged with Brandishing, Reckless Handling of a Firearm, Assault and Battery, Public Intoxication and Carrying a Concealed Weapon while Under the Influence. He was held without bond.

Part of the incident — including officers approaching the suspect at gunpoint near the Clarendon Metro station — was caught on video. It was posted online, below, by local public safety watcher Dave Statter.

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Celtic House on Columbia Pike is nearly ready to unveil its new whiskey bar.

Construction on the basement expansion has wrapped up and the owners are now adding finishing touches before the grand opening, expected in the next week or two, General Manager Chris Devenney told ARLnow.

“You only get one chance to open, and we want to do it right and not screw it up,” he said.

The whiskey bar, situated beneath the pub, is linked to the main restaurant via a wooden staircase. Additionally, patrons will be able to use a separate entrance located at the back of the building.

An official opening date hasn’t been set but Devenney anticipates it will be within the next 10 days. Upon opening, the bar’s hours will be 4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Wednesday through Sunday.

Owners Michael McMahon and Rolando Canales initially planned to open the bar last fall but they decided to time the opening with March Madness and St. Patrick’s Day instead.

“That’s our best month of the year,” McMahon said.

Billy Mulcaire, a D.C.-area carpenter trained in old-world techniques, started working on the complex solid red oak bar last February. He also crafted all the furniture, stairway and vestibule leading into the bar behind the pub, says McMahon.

“He’s a good friend of mine… He [doesn’t] do this stuff anymore,” McMahon said. “It is a great masterpiece.”

Construction on the space, previously a dry cleaning business, began in August, after the county’s historic review board approved plans for a vestibule on the exterior of the pub, which is located in a historic district.

McMahon, who immigrated to the U.S. from County Clare in southwestern Ireland in 1987, co-founded Celtic House with Canales in 2014. When the dry cleaning business closed, Canales suggested to McMahon that they lease or renovate the space.

Although McMahon was initially hesitant, Canales convinced his business partner to embrace the opportunity and launch a whiskey bar that could host private gatherings while expanding the restaurant’s capacity from 90 to nearly 150 patrons.

“So, this room gives us an opportunity that we can tap into that if they want to do a showcase or have a nice happy hour here with 40 or 50 people,” McMahon said.

The food menu downstairs will be the same as the upstairs menu, while the event and catering menus — set to publish on the restaurant’s website this week — will “look a little different,” says Devenney.

Devenney mentioned the new bar will also have a much more extensive selection of Irish whiskeys, which are “difficult to get.”

“So, we have bottles we’ve been collecting for over a year, really since we started construction,” he said.

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A bar and restaurant with French bistro inspiration and an “eclectic ambiance” is set to join several new businesses in Crystal City next year.

Bar Colline, created by D.C. brothers and hospitality entrepreneurs Eric and Ian Hilton, will join six street-level offerings at two new apartment buildings at 1900 Crystal Drive, announced developer JBG Smith in a press release.

The new restaurant is anticipated to open in early 2025 and will be an interpretation of French bistro Café Colline, which the brothers opened in the Lee Heights Shops along Langston Blvd in June 2020.

The Hilton brothers, operating as H2 Collective, have received national attention for their burgeoning D.C. restaurant empire, including Cafe Colline, Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown, Brighton at the Wharf and El Rey taqueria in Ballston and on U Street NW in D.C.

They are also behind Players Club, Parc de Ville in the Mosaic District, Solace Outpost in Falls Church and delivery-only burger purveyor Gee Burger.

The newest venture will boast a bar and private dining room with an “eclectic ambiance,” a press release from JBG Smith said. Bar Colline’s menu will feature shareable plates, wine and inventive cocktails.

The venue will join multiple businesses coming to the new apartment buildings, dubbed The Grace and Reva. They are Chinese-French fusion restaurant Bar Chinois, Cuban café and bar Colada Shop, national blowout and hair styling brand Drybar, a nail salon called nailsaloon, and popular chains Tatte Bakery & Cafe and New York-based Van Leeuwen Ice Cream.

JBG Smith is also behind an explosion of food options in Crystal City after opening a 1.6-acre dining destination in the Crystal City Water Park last October in an effort to “[cultivate] engaging places that create lively communities and exciting experiences,” JBG Smith Senior Vice President of Retail Leasing Amy Rice said in the release.

“We’re thrilled to welcome H2 Collective’s newest concept, Bar Colline, to the neighborhood and expect it to offer customers a unique and compelling reason to return again and again,” Rice said.

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Craft beer and whiskey bar Rebellion on the Pike is closing.

The bar at 2900 Columbia Pike opened in April 2019. In an Instagram post Monday afternoon, Rebellion blamed economic circumstances and said its last day would be in two weeks, on Monday, Feb. 19.

It is with great regret that we share the news of our plans to cease operations here on the Pike. The recent economic downturn has had a great effect on many people, especially around here on Columbia Pike. While we have had our fair share of struggles over the years, a global pandemic to name mention one, we have had a great run here at 2900 Columbia Pike. That time has been filled with so many great memories they are impossible to fully list here. Birthday parties, retirement ceremonies and celebrations of life for dear friends taken far too soon. This is definitely a sad day for us and anyone we have come into contact with over the last five years.

We would like to thank those of you who we became dear friends with over the years. We would like to thank our current and former staff who put in so many hours of hard labor here. Lastly, we would like to thank our partners and vendors for providing us with the high quality products you became used to here. All of those groups made this place what it was. We’ll certainly miss those relationships.

Our LAST CALL will be held on Monday February 19th. President’s Day seemed like a fitting day to shut it down. Many of you can join us for a recovery Brunch that day, as we celebrate one final Daytona 500 in that traditional Rebellion style the day before. And with it being President’s Day, we can be reminded by our very own Rebellion TJ shirts one last time, “A little Rebellion now and then is a good thing.”

Rebellion replaced another former Pike watering hole, BrickHaus, which was only open for about a year.

Infamously, in 2021 a local TikTok personality feuded with Rebellion and fellow Columbia Pike bar Celtic House — and some employees — over alleged mistreatment, culminating in criminal charges against her that were later dropped.

The incident also prompted a deluge of negative reviews of Rebellion on Yelp, though most were subsequently removed.

Hat tip to Katherine Z.

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A football (Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash)

There’s no better pairing than high-caloric food, cold drinks and the Super Bowl.

Spend your Super Bowl Sunday — next Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024 — at one (or several) of these local bars and restaurants in Arlington, serving up food and drink specials all game long.

Some of the food available for order at Astro Beer Hall in Shirlington (courtesy Farrah Skeiky)

1. Astro Beer Hall

4001 Campbell Avenue, Shirlington

Astro Beer Hall’s Super Bowl special includes a $100 food package for four people, available for both dine-in and take-out. The food package comes with one order of pretzels, one order of mac and cheese bites, one order of loaded nachos, 25 chicken wings or tenders and six doughnuts or cookies.

Visit Astro Beer Hall for both inside and outside dining, a full arcade, signature cocktails, fresh fried doughnuts, 24 beers on draft and plenty of screens for you to cheer on your favorite team.

Punch Bowl Social in Ballston in October 2020 (staff photo)

2. Punch Bowl Social

4238 Wilson Blvd, Ballston

Punch Bowl Social is offering drink specials and a scratch kitchen menu all game long during the Big Game Watch Party. Not interested in the big game? Punch Bowl Social offers other games too, including board games, ping pong, bowling, shuffleboard and more.

Revamped entrance to the Clarendon Ballroom (staff photo)

3. Clarendon Ballroom

3185 Wilson Blvd, Clarendon

Clarendon Ballroom’s Super Bowl watch party will feature a $25 bottomless Super bowl Buffet Station, an 18,000-watt sound system with game commentary, a 50-foot projector wall, a 20-foot TV Video Wall and all night drink specials, features, and giveaways. There will also be a private “tailgating: sections for reservation and a game area with cornhole, water pong and giant jenga.”

Doors open at 4 p.m. for the pregame party and super happy hour.

Crystal City Sports Pub (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

4. Crystal City Sports Pub

529 23rd Street S., Crystal City

Head to Crystal City Sports Pub for a third-level Super Bowl party. Tickets are required and are $60 each. Each ticket includes access to a 18ft video wall, pre-game buffet and a touchdown buffet. Beverages are additional.

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For three decades, Westover was home to a dive bar called The Forest Inn that, in yesteryear, sold cigarettes and garnered a reputation for attracting a “rough crowd.”

Now, it is home to a taco and margarita spot with a kids’ menu.

The Forest Inn first opened in 1981 in a former post office space, under the name of The Black Forest Inn. In 1994, it moved a few blocks to its location on Washington Blvd where it remained until it closed in 2022. The bar had a blue-collar atmosphere — though it attracted judges and congressmen in addition to cops and teachers — and earned a reputation as one of Arlington’s last dive bars.

When it closed in 2022, however, times were changing. At the time, General Manager Ken Choudhary told ARLnow that he guessed the landlord, Van Metre Commercial, did not renew the lease because it wanted “something new… something that’s not a bar.”

Nearly a year and a half after The Forest Inn’s closure, Westover Taco opened at 5849 Washington Blvd. According to local serial entrepreneur and restaurant co-owner Scott Parker, the clientele at Westover Taco is less like a dive bar and more family-oriented — but cocktails are always available.

“There are people that come in and just have a couple margaritas but the great majority of people that come in are… having at least some food,” he said. “We’re open to people just having drinks if they want. There’s some people that come just for drinks, there’s some that come for food, and we’re happy with both.”

While the recently opened restaurant now has some regulars, Parker says he is mostly seeing an influx of new patrons trying it out.

“There are definitely some regulars from the neighborhood that have come quite a few times, some that come weekly for sure, but at the same time there are definitely folks that are just trying it out for the first time as well,” he said.

The entrepreneurs behind the taco shop also reflect the new focus. At the helm is Sarah White, a restaurant industry veteran who also runs the Cowboy Cafe on Langston Blvd, which many lovingly consider a dive bar, as well as several local Lost Dog Cafe locations. White co-owns the business with Parker and Cowboy co-owners Mike and Jim Barnes, Mike Danner and Wes Clough, who are all Yorktown High School grads.

Tacos and margaritas are the backbone of the menu but the casual eatery also serves a variety of tequila-based cocktails. The space features three roll-up doors that create an indoor-outdoor feel for spring and summer months.

Westover Taco might not hold the dive-y appeal of The Forest Inn to its former regulars, but Parker says it is finding success in its own, community-centric way.

“We had big expectations just because we love the neighborhood and know how much that neighborhood supports the local businesses, but even as much as we had hoped for I think it’s surpassed our expectations,” Parker said. “It’s just been really an amazing experience. I really love being there and it’s blown us away with how much the neighborhood has supported us.”

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Astro Beer Hall’s second location in Shirlington is thriving four months after its opening.

Peter Bayne and Elliot Spaisman, two of the beer hall’s owners, said they receive more patronage in Shirlington than in their downtown D.C. location at this point.

“We opened up and it was like pure madness,” Bayne said. “We had so many people coming through the door. We were just trying to keep our heads on, essentially. It was overwhelming, the amount of support and love we felt from the community. People were even more excited than we were to get open.”

The beer hall’s second location opened Sept. 19 and has seen consistent business. Bayne credits much of the Shirlington location’s success to the mix of ages and professions in the area.

“They all interact and they all are like regulars together,” Bayne said. “It’s nice to see these cross-generational friendships that happen in the neighborhood of Shirlington… I was just really happy because we clearly picked great real estate to be at and something that we know is going to be there for a long time, and just a wonderful community to be a part of.”

Spaisman and former Washington Capital Jeff Halpern were childhood friends. They opened the first Astro Doughnuts — which later became Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken — in 2013, inspired by the doughnut shop they visited after hockey practice when they were kids in Bethesda.

The pair quickly expanded the business by offering fried chicken, chicken sandwiches with airy doughnut buns.

Elliot Spaisman (left) and Peter Bayne (courtesy Farah Skeiky)

Spaisman and Halpern later partnered with a hospitality development group, Tin Shop, and conceived the idea for a donut-shop-turned-beer-hall.

The 14,000-square-foot two-story beer hall features a game room, a 140-seat patio and a full-service coffee shop. The restaurant offers brunch, lunch, dinner, a variety of beer and cocktails, and of course coffee and doughnuts.

According to Spaisman, the most popular menu items across the board are the chicken fingers and the asteroid fried chicken sandwich. The most popular drink: the ‘Woke Up Sexy Again’ hazy IPA.

Following the Shirlington location’s successful launch, there are now plans in the works to revamp the basement area with pool tables, music and visiting DJs, giving the space more of a bar feel.

“We’ve been really happy with the level of business we’ve had and we’ve had a problem where we don’t have enough seats for everybody,” Bayne said. “It would be great for the basement to really have a nightlife activity, a spot that feels that it’s going to be a bar as opposed to a restaurant.”

Bayne and Spaisman are excited to add a level of nightlife to the beer hall and are hopeful this addition will open by the spring.

“It’s a busy operation and we’re having fun with it,” Bayne said. “Overall it’s been a great success.”

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