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by Chris Teale October 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

After months of anticipation, new sports bar “The G.O.A.T” will open this afternoon in Clarendon.

The sports bar and lounge at 3028 Wilson Blvd, in the former Hard Times space, will begin serving customers at 4 p.m. today (Wednesday) in a soft opening that includes a limited food menu.

The G.O.A.T has three full bars and tables across two levels, with seating for around 350 people. Individual TV monitors line the walls, with a jumbo screen on each floor.

At the back, a champagne room will seat around 30 people and have its own screens, while nearby are several arcade games and a photo booth.

Scott Parker, a local nightlife titan behind the likes of A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, estimated there are more than 60 television screens throughout.

On the menu, guests can expect American comfort food with what executive chef Mike Cordero described as an “electrifying twist.” Some Tacos will come with Korean steak, while the sliders will come with smoked pork belly and duck among others.

And for dessert, Cordero said The G.O.A.T’s Baked Alaska will “take the cake,” and be flambéed at the table while customers look on.

Among the cocktails on the menu is the signature “G.O.A.T.,” made up of Hennessy Black, orgeat syrup, homemade margarita mix, lemons and Peychraud’s Bitters. Customers can also experience “The Cavalier” and “The Twenty-Three,” smoked with apple wood chips and hickory, respectively.

The G.O.A.T. will open at 4 p.m. on weekdays, and at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.

The GOAT is opening today (Wednesday) at 4 p.m. in Clarendon. Here's a 360 view inside.

Posted by ARLnow.com on Wednesday, October 18, 2017

by Chris Teale October 17, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

After being given three months to remedy its violations, county staff is recommending the Arlington County Board not extend the live entertainment permit for Chester’s Billiards, Bar & Grill.

In a report to the Board ahead of Saturday’s monthly meeting, staff said issues continue to plague the billiards hall and neighborhood bar at 2620 S. Shirlington Road in Nauck.

Since the Board’s last review in June, staff said the Arlington County Police Department visited to help Chester’s staff correct outstanding violations, train security staff and conduct ABC compliance checks.

But during that period, police found three ABC violations and saw Chester’s hosting a dance party for between 40 and 50 people in August, despite being warned it was not allowed under its permit with the county.

Staff also said police were called five times, with four of those calls involving co-owner David Breedlove. No arrests were made.

The building’s unsafe elevator also remains an ongoing problem, with the property’s owner having been served a court summons and set for arraignment next month for violating the Virginia Maintenance Code. Staff said the elevator is, in the opinion of Code Enforcement, “dangerous to the health, safety and welfare of the building’s occupants.”

A property owner nearby also complained that Chester’s patrons used a parking lot on his property without permission.

In their report, staff noted that the Nauck Civic Association “had not come to a consensus” on whether the permit should be renewed. Staff added that the president of the Bowman’s Hill Homeowners Association, speaking for himself, said there had “not been much of an improvement” from Chester’s.

Staff were critical of Chester’s management, who they said had not worked hard enough to remedy the problems.

“Given the continued non-compliance with the use permit conditions, and a general lack of good-faith effort on behalf of both the applicant and the property owner to voluntarily comply with these conditions, staff recommends that the County Board not renew the subject use permit,” staff wrote.

Photo via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com October 13, 2017 at 9:50 am 0

Delays on Blue, Orange Lines Due to Person Struck — A person was struck by a train at the L’Enfant Metro station around 9:30 this morning. The incident is causing delays on the Blue and Orange lines, as service has been suspended between L’Enfant and Federal Center. Silver Line trains are operating between Wiehle and Ballston. [Twitter, Twitter, Washington Post]

Reminder: E-CARE Event This Weekend — Arlington County is holding its biannual Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. This time around the venue has changed; the recycling and hazardous household materials collection event is now being held at Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Blvd). [Arlington County]

Scott Disick Comes to Arlington, Disses ARLnowUpdated at 12:10 p.m. — Reality TV personality Scott Disick lorded over the grand opening ceremony for Sugar Factory in Pentagon City last night. About 100 people, mostly young women, showed up for the event, according to an ARLnow employee on the scene. Disick did interviews with local news outlets, but PR reps cut off the interviews and ushered Disick away just as our employee was next in line. [Twitter, Facebook, Daily Mail]

Kirwan’s Opens to Big Crowds — Mark Kirwan, owner of Samuel Beckett’s in Shirlington, may have another hit on his hands. His new bar, Kirwan’s on the Wharf in Southwest D.C., was packed last night before the Foo Fighters concert at the Anthem. [Facebook]

Courthouse Plaza Parking Lot Closed Sunday — The county’s Courthouse Plaza parking lot will be closed most of the day Sunday for the 2017 Animal Welfare League of Arlington Pints 4 Paws event. [Arlington County]

Marymount Makes USNWR Top Tier — “Marymount University is once again in the top tier among Regional Universities in the South in several categories, ranking 52nd overall in the 2018 edition of ‘Best Colleges’ by U.S. News & World Report.” [Marymount University]

AIRE Wins Regional Award — The Arlington Initiative to Rethink Energy was among this year’s recipients of the Climate and Energy Leadership Awards from the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments. AIRE’s Energy Lending Library “makes it easy to check out a thermal camera, a box of 10 different LED bulbs, energy meter, and Do-It-Yourself energy retrofit books through the library system free of charge,” notes COG. [Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Katie Pyzyk October 6, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Central Coffee Bar (1901 N. Moore Street) in Rosslyn is officially open. Owner Mehmet Osman Coskun was thrilled that as of 8:30 a.m. on its opening day, staff already had served 200 customers.

This is his team’s first business in Arlington and they credit the county and the Rosslyn BID for helping them get through first-time business owner snags during the process of opening. “When you have a new business, you don’t know a lot of stuff… and you need support,” Coskun said. “You made your investment and you’re hoping people will help you out.”

The venue isn’t just going to be for coffee and pastries. Owners have applied for a liquor license so they can transition Central Coffee Bar into a bar in the evening. Coskun believes that the establishment’s later service hours will set it apart from others in the neighborhood.

“A lot of places in Rosslyn close by 8 p.m., so people feel like they don’t want to go somewhere at night because it’s going to close soon,” Coskun said. “But we extended our hours to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday because we do feel like people want to hang out after work and socialize and get something to drink. And we really want to appeal to the locals.”

This morning Coskun reiterated what he previously told ARLnow, that he’s interested in expanding in the county and eventually opening a coffee shop/bar in Clarendon.

Central Coffee Bar will hold a grand opening next Thursday, October 12. From 2-4 p.m. all guests will get a free coffee.

by ARLnow.com October 5, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A cigarette reportedly sparked a fire that has closed the patio at Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City.

The fire was reported last night around 10:30 p.m. The fire department quickly arrived on scene and extinguished the flames, which scorched parts of the patio and its awning, owner Freddie Lutz told ARLnow.com.

Patrons were evacuated during the fire and no injuries were reported.

The bar, located at 555 23rd Street S., expects to open as usual at 4 p.m. today, though the patio will remain closed indefinitely, pending repairs, Lutz said.

by Katie Pyzyk October 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

The owners of the The Board Room in D.C. had hoped to unveil their Arlington location in the old Sehkraft Brewing spot last month, but construction delays are pushing back the opening of the Clarendon bar and entertainment venue.

Mark Handwerger, the owner of The Board Room’s parent company, Bedrock Bars, wrote in an email, “We are not exactly pleased by the delays.” But he said that The Board Room’s team is “holding everyone’s feet to the fire.”

Part of the issue has been a hold-up on the millwork, delivery and installation of two additional bars. The owners ultimately had to resort to out-of-town fabricators because “everyone within a couple hundred miles of D.C. is buried with other projects, most notably The Wharf,” Handwerger said.

Today an ARLnow reporter visited 925 N. Garfield Street and observed a couple workers inside the demolished bar space, although not a lot of heavy duty construction was taking place. Some of the wall murals have been painted over and new drywall is piled nearby. There’s also a lot of debris and building material staged to be hauled away.

The new goal is for The Board Room to open mid-November if everything goes smoothly.

by ARLnow.com October 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

A 24-year-old Arlington man is in jail after allegedly pulling a knife on a woman and demanding a cigarette.

The incident happened early Friday morning outside a bar in the Buckingham neighborhood, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.

The man was detained by a security guard and charged with attempted robbery and drunk in public.

More from ACPD:

ATTEMPTED ROBBERY, 2017-09300030, 200 block of N. Glebe Road. At approximately 2:13 a.m. on September 30, police were dispatched to the report of a disorderly subject. Upon arrival, it was determined that the male suspect approached a female victim outside a restaurant, brandished a knife and demanded she give him a cigarette. A security guard at the restaurant intervened and detained the suspect until police arrived. Yordli Cabrera Lopez, 24, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with Attempted Robbery and Drunk in Public. He was held on no bond.

by Katie Pyzyk September 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

The annual Clarendon Halloween Crawl is back for another year, sporting the familiar theme “The Rise of the Day Drinkers.”

The costumed event takes participants to numerous Clarendon bars from 1-9 p.m. on Saturday, November 4. Advance tickets are $15 and the price increases to $30 the day of the event.

Participants get “a souvenir haunted mug, access to Clarendon’s best bars, exclusive drink & food specials, free pictures of the event and a raffle entry to win great prizes,” according to the website.

Nearly a dozen Clarendon establishments will be stops on the crawl route, including Clarendon Grill, Hunan One, Whitlow’s and Pamplona.

by Chris Teale September 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The just-opened Wilson Hardware in Clarendon is already looking to ramp up its weekend offerings after a successful first few weeks.

Open since earlier this month at 2915 Wilson Blvd, co-owner Faris Ghareeb told ARLnow this afternoon they are looking to experiment with opening at 11 a.m. this Sunday (October 1), then start doing the same on future Saturdays too. Then, Ghareeb said, the successor to the former RiRa Irish Pub would look to start serving brunch in addition to its usual evening offerings.

The new spot has several distinct areas: a main dining area, a mezzanine above it with lounge seating, a rooftop deck, a small dining and lounge area next to the deck and a first-floor patio. The rooftop deck has a full bar, and overlooks the first-floor patio.

In the main dining area are six custom-made metal chandeliers, while a mural stretches across the main wall and up into the mezzanine area. Just inside the bar’s entrance off Wilson Blvd, another mural hints at the building’s history as the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005.

by ARLnow.com September 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Scott Parker is part of a group of partners who together have built something of a nightlife empire in Arlington.

A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac have all been hits along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. And now Scott and his partners are getting ready to open (in the next couple of weeks) The G.O.A.T., a new sports bar right across from the Clarendon Metro station in the former Hard Times Cafe space.

Scott has helped to build this empire based on Sunday Fundays and happy hour drink specials all while having a somewhat unique personal background for a bar impresario: he does not drink.

On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we sat down with Scott to discuss how he achieved success after success in the notoriously difficult restaurant industry, what to expect with the G.O.A.T., what comes next, and what he thinks of the current state of the Arlington bar and restaurant scene.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by Chris Teale September 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

The long-awaited Dudley’s Sport & Ale in Shirlington appears to be moving closer to opening after months of delays.

In a Facebook post earlier this week, owner Reese Gardner said the inside of the sports bar at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive is “85 [percent] completed and we are just waiting for the final finishes.”

Gardner said those finishes cannot be done until after the steel arrives and welding is finished. The steel is scheduled to be delivered on October 14, he said. After that, an opening date could become clearer.

“We understand the frustration and trust us we want to be open as much as you want us open,” Gardner wrote. In the comments on the post, would-be customers wondered whether Dudley’s would open before the end of football season.

The sports bar had planned to open last year, but struggled with permitting issues and other delays.

A 28-seat bar, a 125-seat dining area, and a “stadium style” viewing area are planned, as well as a rooftop bar — Shirlington’s first — with a game area, a 15-seat bar, and patio seating for about 114 people.

Dudley's update: We wanted to give everyone a brief update on where we are out with the build out. The interior is 85…

Posted by Dudley's Sport and Ale on Tuesday, September 19, 2017

by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Efforts by residents to remove a requirement for a public courtyard behind their Ballston condo building was unanimously rejected on Saturday by the Arlington County Board.

Members of the Berkeley Condo Association (1000 N. Randolph Street) applied to remove the requirement for 24-hour public access to the courtyard, citing concerns about safety and public nuisances.

Peter Schulz, a staffer at the county’s Department of Community, Planning, Housing and Development, acknowledged that the easement for the courtyard — which also serves as a cut-through to the Ballston Metro station — had not been properly recorded by county staff. But county staff recommended against removing the easement, arguing that without it “there is no guarantee that the space will remain open to the public.”

The issue came to light after the association erected gates at entrances to the courtyard without a permit and someone complained about it to the county. A notice of violation was issued and then upheld by the Board of Zoning Appeals; the case is pending in Arlington County Circuit Court after the applicants sued to keep the gates.

Residents said there are problems with nuisance behavior like littering, public drunkenness, drug use and loud music playing in the courtyard, exacerbated by the presences of nearby bars like A-Town Bar & Grill, on the opposite side of Fairfax Drive. Residents said problems persist day and night, and are not confined to bar patrons.

“We’ve really had to put up with a great deal of noise,” said resident Charles Richter. “It’s sometimes at very uncomfortable hours, both from people who have had too much to drink in the evening, and in the day we’ve had several dog fights [and] people fights.”

“When people come out after an evening of drinking, they help themselves to our rear yard,” said William Lawson, the attorney for the condo association.

Police, however, did not report any significant issues associated with the space.

“Staff has only been able to find one (1) police report concerning the outdoor space in the past year,” said the staff report.

In letters to the County Board, both the Parks and Recreation Commission and members of the Ballston-Virginia Square Civic Association opposed closing off public access to the park.

While County Board members were sympathetic to the condo owners, and promised to look again at finding ways to improve public safety in the area, they said they could not get rid of the public space requirement.

“This was an easement granted to the people of Arlington County,” said Board member Libby Garvey. “We can’t just give it up willy-nilly because there were some mistakes made.”

Fellow Board member John Vihstadt said there were “dirty hands here all around.” Schulz, the county staffer, said with better coordination between plan reviewers on staff, such mistakes are unlikely to be repeated.

“It was an unfortunate case of too much silo-ing in county staff at the time,” he said.

Photos via county presentation

by ARLnow.com August 31, 2017 at 9:10 am 0

Developer Lands Loan for Ballston Project — Saul Centers has secured a $157 million construction loan for its Rosenthal Mazda/750 N. Glebe project that will replace the former car dealership with nearly 500 apartments and a small-format Target store. [Washington Business Journal]

Carpool to Reopen… In Fair Lakes — The owners of the now-shuttered Carpool bar and restaurant in Ballston, which closed to make way for a new high-rise residential building, are working to open its successor in the Fair Lakes section of Fairfax County. The new bar is expected to open its doors in October. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Civ Fed Wants Younger Crowd — A key goal of the Arlington Civic Federation’s new president is to attract participation from younger residents and to “leave [it] with a more youthful leadership team at the end of my presidency.” [InsideNova]

Dad Doodles on Daughter’s Lunch Bags — Every school day, Arlington dad Mike Jenkins makes lunch for his 16-year-old daughter and places it in a brown paper lunch bag which he fills with cartoon doodles. But Jenkins is not just any dad and his cartoons are not the work of an amateur: Jenkins is a political cartoonist turned freelance caricaturist and the doodles are whimsical works of art. [Washingtonian]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

by ARLnow.com August 22, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Shirlington’s Samuel Beckett’s is expanding across the river with a new Irish pub at the District Wharf development in D.C.

Kirwan’s on the Wharf is expected to open in October, when the first phase of the massive, restaurant-filled waterfront development is set to hold its grand opening.

The new bar, from Beckett’s Irish-born owner Mark Kirwan, is reported to have seating for 235 indoors and outside. It will feature “live Irish music and genuine décor” while touting itself as “Washington’s only Irish pub on the water.”

by ARLnow.com August 21, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

New Columbia Pike beer garden BrickHaus is still awaiting its grand opening, despite having wrapped up most construction in May.

On Friday, BrickHaus — located at 2900 Columbia Pike and owned by Tony Wagner, who also owns Twisted Vines across the street — announced that it had received “one more final approval” and was on to what may be the last regulatory hurdle before opening.

On its Facebook page, locals who have been waiting for a new outdoor drinking and dining venue on the Pike all summer long have been grumbling about the Arlington County inspection process that has kept BrickHaus closed. The process has been notoriously long and difficult to navigate for many other local businesses, as well.

“You should publish a log of the permitting and inspections delays and issues you faced,” one person said. “We know they’re bad, but we don’t know what they are.”

“That’s an interesting idea, but since the issues keep coming at us daily, that would be a full time job in itself,” the BrickHaus Facebook page replied. “Basically, we continue to work through the process. Each day getting closer, but too gun shy with the constant curve balls to share a date yet.”

“Arlington is so slow when it comes to permits!” said another Facebook poster.

“See if you can find someone in the Economic Development office to help you!” suggested another, likely referring to the county’s business ombudsman. “Their mission used to be to get business to stay and grow in the County. Allegedly they have people that can facilitate getting things through the process.”

In a previous post, BrickHaus said that once it gets all of its final approvals, it would take about two weeks to train staff and open its doors.

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