Soccer fans can plan to watch and celebrate the Women’s World Cup at several bars in Arlington.
The World Cup kicked off today (Thursday) in Australia and New Zealand and the tournament will run until the final game airs on Sunday, Aug. 20 at 6 a.m.
The festivities start tomorrow evening at 9 p.m., with Quincy Hall hosting a watch party at 4001 Fairfax Drive for the first game for the U.S. women’s team, against Vietnam.
The bar will be serving an IPA from a women-owned, Maryland-based brewing company and host a “steal-the-pint night,” where customers who purchase a pint of beer can take the glass it comes in home with them.
Next Wednesday, the U.S. women’s team will play their second game, against the Netherlands, at 9 p.m. The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse at 2903 Columbia Pike will open its doors at 8 p.m. for fans to watch the game on the big screen.
The watch party is free but the theater says attendees should reserve a spot in advance to ensure the event is well-staffed.
Many local bars not listed here will likely be showing the games, even if not hosting special events. According to Yelp reviewers, McNamara’s Pub & Restaurant and Crystal City Sports Pub in Crystal City, as well as The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant on Columbia Pike, are also stalwart watering holes for soccer viewing.
Know of other local watch parties? Let us know in the comments.
After a five-year hiatus, there will again be a bar crawl in Clarendon in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day.
The last such bar crawl happened in 2018. The next year, more stringent county regulations were blamed for a dearth of bar crawls. Then, of course, the pandemic struck. But now, crawls are making a comeback.
“The infamous Leprechaun Lap is making its way to Clarendon on Saturday, March 11th!” says the registration page for the St. Paddy’s-themed event. “Join the shenanigans to Clarendon’s best bars, patios and rooftops, featuring all day drink specials, DJs, bands, signature party favors, and giveaways.”
Early bird ticket pricing of $10 ends later today, after which the price goes to $20 plus fees.
The crawl is being organized by B Social Events, from Clarendon nightlife power couple Christal and Mike Bramson. The bars listed as crawl destinations — including Clarendon Ballroom, B Live and Pamplona — are all Bramson owned. (Their company also has a crawl in D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood planned for the same day.)
The event listing promises more bars being added to the crawl in the near future.
More on the Clarendon crawl, below.
Don your green and get ready for your St. Patrick’s Day bar crawl adventure!
What do you get:
- Access to Clarendon’s Best Bars, Patios, and Rooftops
- Drink Specials ($3 beers, $4 shamrock shots, $5 mixed drinks, $8 car bombs)
- St. Patrick’s Day Swag & Free Giveaways
- Entertainment and DJs
Your Favorite DC Bars Are Going Green:
- Clarendon Ballroom + Rooftop
- The Lot
- B Live
- And more bars are coming soon…
*Registration is from 3-6pm. If you can not make it on time, have a friend pick up your wristband.
Tickets are non refundable, however, they are transferable.
This is a 21+ event. Please drink responsibly.
Local bars are planning St. Patrick’s Day events and preparing for crowds that area expected to be the largest in a couple of years.
After two years of Covid-related restrictions and muted St. Patrick’s Day festivities, management at several local Irish pubs tells ARLnow that they expect this year’s holiday on March 17 to be “mayhem.”
Be it making up for lost time, the need to get out after another pandemic winter, or the fact that the first day of March Madness also falls on the holiday, bars are preparing for huge numbers this year. For many, large crowds will be welcomed.
“[St. Patrick’s Day] is the biggest business day of the year for us,” Dave Cahill, General Manager at Ireland’s Four Courts in Courthouse. “We are all going to be making up for missing the last two years.”
Michael McMahon, co-owner of Celtic House on Columbia Pike, agrees, saying that they are prepping for an entire weekend of festivities in hopes of spreading out the crowds a bit.
He notes with the holiday falling on a Thursday this year, he anticipates there will be four straight days of crowds and big business at his pub.
If St. Paddy’s Day 2022 ends up being seen as a turning point, it will have come full circle for many local bar owners — March 17, 2020 was the day that Celtic House, along with a number of other local restaurants, shut down due to the emerging coronavirus.
Two years later, there’s a cautious optimism that this year’s St. Patrick’s Day may signal a return to some semblance of normalcy.
“I do hope this is close to the end,” says McMahon. “But I’m not a scientist or a doctor.”
Below is a list of Arlington restaurants and pubs that are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this year.
One man landed in jail and another person went to the hospital after a fight in and outside of a popular Clarendon nightlife venue.
The incident happened around 1 a.m. Sunday on the 3100 block of Wilson Blvd, the heart of Clarendon’s bar district.
“Officers working the Nightlife Detail were alerted to a fight outside of an establishment,” Arlington County police said today in a crime report. “Upon arrival, officers located the victim who had suffered a laceration and was transported to an area hospital for treatment. The suspect had been detained by security personnel and was taken into custody by responding officers without incident.”
It started, police said, as a dispute between the victim and the suspect inside the venue, which police did not name. Both were kicked out of the bar, after which police say the suspect took out a knife.
“The victim was inside the establishment with a group of individuals when he became involved in a verbal dispute with the suspect,” said the crime report. “The suspect and the victim were removed from the establishment by security staff and once outside, a physical struggle ensued between them. The suspect then allegedly brandished a knife and struck the victim before employees of the establishment intervened and were able to detain him.”
Initial reports suggest the victim was cut in the neck and that one of the bar’s bouncers might have also suffered a minor injury in the fracas.
The alleged knife-wielding suspect — a 23-year-old man from Southampton, Pa., outside Philadelphia — was arrested and held without bond. He’s facing a charge of Malicious Wounding, a felony that comes with a minimum sentence of five years in prison if convicted.
Alan Henney contributed to this report
Brass Rabbit Pub is looking to open next month, in the Clarendon space formerly occupied by the Bracket Room.
In July, ARLnow reported that a new bar planning to have “elevated pub fare with a healthy twist” is coming to 1210 N. Garfield Street. Now, owner Reese Gardner tells us that he’s looking at a mid-February opening for Brass Rabbit Public House, barring delays in securing county permits and passing inspections.
Details are limited, though, about exactly what patrons will see and experience. A July Facebook notes that “to keep the place hoppin'” there will be a selection of 14 draft beers, a craft cocktail menu, house infused vodka, and an “extensive” wine list.
In terms of the menu, there will be burgers, wings, and sandwiches as well as a “large variety of lettuce wraps and unique salads” in keeping with the rabbit theme. Additionally, there will be happy hour specials, weekend brunch, and sports on the televisions with NFL and NHL packages.
Interior photos provided to ARLnow show plenty of rabbit-themed decor, as well.
Gardner is also the restaurateur behind Copperwood Tavern and Dudley’s Sport and Ale both in Shirlington, Quinn’s on Corner in Rosslyn, and Clarendon’s The Pinemoor, which is close to where Brass Rabbit will be.
The pub is replacing the Bracket Room, which closed back in March. That restaurant and bar opened in 2013 and was co-founded by Chris Bukowski of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise fame. It gained a reputation for a place to watch sporting events, the Bachelor, and for annoying some of its neighbors with what they described as excessive noise.
As its police force shrinks, the Arlington County Police Department is leaning on state police when extra officers are needed to maintain its nightlife detail.
Virginia State Police troopers will be helping Arlington fill staffing holes in the local nightlife team that works with bars and restaurants in Clarendon and Crystal City to keep establishments and patrons safe and to help keep order when things get out of hand.
The number of acting police officers available to staff ACPD’s various divisions has dropped amid retirements, reports of low morale, and attrition to more lucrative and less demanding private-industry jobs. In response, ACPD has turned to VSP troopers who are willing to help out with the nightlife detail, according to the county.
This past weekend the County Board approved a mutual aid agreement between the two forces that codifies compensation for troopers.
The agreement will help keep staffing for the detail steady, not add to it, ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow.
“The overall staffing for the Nightlife detail is remaining the same,” she said via email, adding that ACPD does not disclose the specific number of officers. “The MOU with [VSP] provides ACPD the option of utilizing troopers to fill vacancies in the Nightlife detail, when necessary. The department began exploring additional staffing resources for the Nightlife detail in September 2021 due to a reduction in ACPD’s functional staffing.”
As part of the memorandum, troopers will be reimbursed at an overtime rate for their hours worked as well as for vehicle mileage. The county will also pay a 10% fee to VSP for “administrative and accounting costs associated with the provided services,” the report said.
The detail patrols spots in Clarendon and Crystal City as part of the Arlington Restaurant Initiative (ARI), which was founded in 2016 to tackle alcohol-related crimes in Clarendon and has since expanded to Crystal City.
Through ARI — in which police patrol area bars, train employees and meet with businesses — Clarendon’s crime rates have dropped, according to the county. The detail also looks out for misbehaving bar patrons, who can be banned from all establishments that participate in Arlington’s Bar Safe program as a result of public drunkenness or more serious crimes.
Between January and September, there have been 32 Bar Safe violations, according to Arlington police data. Rates peaked in the summer, when bars fully reopened, as did the number of fake IDs. The detail confiscated 572 fake IDs during the same time period.
While many alcohol-related crimes dropped from 2019 to 2020 due to COVID-related business closures, the detail has noticed the nightlife crowd increasing every month since the state reopened, according to a monthly police report.
With that, new safety problems have arisen: last month, there were six reports of spiked drink in Clarendon and Crystal City bars.
The collaboration between ACPD and VSP was not the only agreement that received County Board approval. On Saturday, the Board approved a mutual aid agreement with U.S. Capitol Police after 50 Arlington officers helped secure the U.S. Capitol building during the “Justice for J6” rally this fall.
The rally on Sept. 18. was held in support of those charged after the Jan. 6 invasion of the Capitol by a large pro-Trump mob. It was widely reported as a flop that did not draw the expected crowds while still costing government agencies hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The county says both of these mutual aid agreements exemplify ACPD’s commitment to regional partnerships.
“The Police Department is an active member, throughout the region, in providing mutual aid assistance,” a county staff report said. “This effort allows for the appropriate utilization of resources both within and outside of the County. Our commitment to regional partnerships greatly enhances the safety and well-being of the citizenry.”
Purple Lounge is resuming operations after reaching a settlement with Virginia ABC for the restoration of its liquor license.
Six people have been shot in violence linked to the business at 3111 Columbia Pike since last September, including a double shooting late last month and a triple shooting, in which one person was killed, in June. The continued violence, complaints from neighbors, and repeated code violations led Virginia ABC to suspend Purple Lounge’s license to serve alcohol earlier this month.
As a result of a settlement this week the business can resume serving alcohol — but with a number of restrictions.
The restrictions include “stopping all sales and consumption of alcohol at 12:45 a.m.,” “closure of the business no later than 1:00 a.m. and no reopening sooner than 8:00 a.m.,” and keeping four certified security guards on duty — including in the violence-prone parking lot — when the lounge is open at night.
In a press release Wednesday night, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said the county would have preferred the business been fully closed by Virginia ABC. She noted that further violations, however, could result in a permanent loss of Purple Lounge’s ABC license.
More from the county press release:
Today, Arlington County officials were informed of a settlement agreement reached between the management of the Purple Restaurant and Lounge and the Virginia ABC. Arlington County is not a party to this settlement.
“We are very disappointed that ABC did not fully close or revoke the liquor license for The Purple Lounge. We view the result in this matter as only a partial step towards ensuring our community’s safety, which is our primary concern,” Libby Garvey, Chair of the Arlington County Board noted. “The restrictions now in place, if followed, at least offer a path forward. The penalties for failure to adhere to the restrictions include permanent loss of licensure. Our police and public health officials will work closely with Virginia ABC to ensure that this settlement is strictly followed. Our staff will be conducting regular visits and monitoring activity inside and outside of the Purple Lounge to ensure full compliance.” Community members who observe behaviors believed to be outside of the negotiated agreement are urged to contact Virginia ABC or the Arlington County Police Department.
On September 1, following a series of disturbing events at the Purple Ethiopian Restaurant and Lounge (Purple Lounge), the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (“ABC”) issued an Order of Summary Suspension, temporarily suspending its alcohol licenses.
After an investigation, Virginia ABC cited two violations against the Purple Lounge relating to its failure to take reasonable measures to prevent violence on the property, and the Purple Lounge’s adverse effects on neighboring properties. A formal hearing was scheduled to occur on September 16-17th regarding the status of the Purple Lounge’s liquor license as a result of these charges. Possible outcomes ranged from full reinstatement of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses, partial reinstatement of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses with restricted hours, or full revocation of the Purple Lounge’s ABC licenses.
(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) Starting tomorrow, standing in the wrong place with the wrong number of people could land you a warning from police.
Arlington County says it will begin enforcing its emergency sidewalk crowding ordinance — which makes standing in a group of more than three in designated zones a traffic infraction — on Friday.
This weekend verbal and written warnings will be issued. After that, police will start issuing fines of up to $100.
“We are serious about this,” Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz told members of the County Board on Tuesday. “I remain deeply frustrated with what I’m seeing in the community… This is not a game when you’re dealing with the public’s health.”
At issue is groups of young, often maskless bargoers bunched up in lines, waiting to enter popular — but capacity constrained — nightlife spots in Clarendon. Photos and first-hand accounts of the lines have circulated on social media, leading to an outcry that the Board responded to with an emergency ordinance passed on July 31.
The ordinance limits groups standing in line to no more than three people, spaced at least six feet apart from other groups and people in line, in certain areas.
The first phase of implementation includes four line-prone stretches in which the distancing will be enforced, identified via the county’s online social distancing complaint form, county staff said. There will be additional phases in the coming weeks to add new areas, including in portions of Crystal City, Schwartz said.
Police are placing signs and sidewalk markers in areas where the ordinance is being enforced, the County Board was told.
Thus far, efforts to get those in lines to distance to the county’s specifications have been met with mixed results: some compliance and some defiance.
“We have have seen quite a bit of defiance and hostility towards the security staff and officers, who are being flat out ignored,” said Arlington County Police Department bar and restaurant liaison Jim Mastoras. “We’re trying our best to keep the lines apart and keep people separated, as they need to be.”
Mastoras noted that businesses have been trying to comply with the rules. Outdoor beer garden The Lot, a frequent subject of photos of alleged overcrowding this summer, has two employees just assigned to monitoring the line, he said.
In addition to pandemic-era capacity restrictions, Mastoras said that lines have become an issue due to a rush of patrons into the Clarendon area between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m., which may or may not be linked to the fact that D.C. and Montgomery County have stopped alcohol sales after midnight and 10 p.m., respectively.
“Over the past few weeks, we have seen an influx of patrons into the Clarendon area,” he said.
The ordinance is not without its critics, who question its implementation and prioritization over other public health risks.
“The ordinance appears to criminalize common behaviors: A plain reading of the ordinance would appear to prevent a family of four from walking down one of these signed sidewalks together without maintaining 6′ of distance between all family members, including small children,” wrote Arlington Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt earlier this month.
Schwartz called that line of criticism a “red herring,” suggesting that is not how the ordinance will be enforced.
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, is calling for the ordinance to be scrapped, citing concerns about enforcement and equity.
“The hastily developed ordinance has led to confusion and presents enforcement challenges,” the Chamber wrote this week. “The Chamber will continue to advocate that the County Board abandon this ordinance and find alternative, more constructive ways to promote social distancing.”
On the health side, experts agree that standing in line outside presents a risk, though it’s a risk that’s lower than equivalent behavior indoors.
Why, one may ask, are groups of more than three standing outside now prohibited, while larger groups are able to dine and chat maskless around a table inside restaurants? The latter is widely considered to be riskier behavior, albeit behavior that’s less likely to be photographed by those walking by.
Crowding on sidewalks, which has occurred outside Arlington bars on recent weekends, has significant potential to spread the coronavirus, according to local infectious disease experts.
Confirming fears held by county officials and residents, infectious disease specialists at Virginia Hospital Center and George Mason University said the lack of physical distancing in these crowds, varying levels of mask wearing and the social environment makes the risk of coronavirus spread high.
Sidewalk crowds have become an increasing common sight during Arlington’s weekend nightlife, due to capacity restrictions inside venues. Long lines have formed outside spots like The Lot and Whitlow’s in Clarendon, leading some to fret about the implications on social media.
According to Dr. Kathryn Jacobsen, a professor of global health and epidemiology at George Mason University, pedestrians out for a stroll are not likely to contract the disease, but those standing in a crowd shirking the ordinance are in greater danger.
“There is little risk of infection if two people briefly cross paths walking in opposite directions on a sidewalk, but there is a high risk of the infection spreading if dozens or hundreds of people crowd together at a bar or club for several hours and one patron has coronavirus infection,” Jacobsen said. “That’s how we get superspreader events.”
Photos of the lines and crowds also show only a limited number of people wearing masks. While an exposed face allows for infectious droplets to travel unimpeded, Dr. Amira Roess, also a professor of global health and epidemiology at George Mason University, said prolonged time spent not physically distant is unsafe even with masks.
“Standing in line with masks on less than six feet apart from individuals outside of your family or closed social circle for more than 15 minutes is considered an exposure and these types of exposures should be avoided,” Roess said.
The experts all said being outside is safer than indoors, but there are still risks that customers at restaurants and bars with outdoor seating often underestimate.
Dr. Jennifer Primeggia, a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America and specialist in the Virginia Hospital Center Physician Group, said virus particles can still travel within compact outside seating.
“Generally, being outdoors is safer than being indoors because there is more clean air for the droplets to disperse,” Primeggia said. “There is still a risk of exposure to infectious particles when social distancing is not practiced. Additionally, multiple studies have shown that factors such as wind can disperse particles further than six feet.”
With local coronavirus cases on the rise, the Arlington County Board approved an emergency ordinance two weeks ago “prohibiting groups of more than three people from congregating on streets and sidewalks posted with the restrictions, and requiring pedestrians to maintain at least six feet of physical separation from others on the posted streets and sidewalks.”
The ordinance has gotten pushback, even among those who believe such crowding poses a health danger.
The law “seems well-intentioned but flawed,” Arlington Transportation Commission Chair Chris Slatt wrote last week, adding that it “appears to criminalize common behaviors.” The Arlington Chamber of Commerce also penned a letter opposing it, saying that the ordinance was “constructed hastily, leading to confusion and missed opportunities to develop a better policy.” Others pointed out that it has the potential to prevent families from walking down the street and to lead to inequitable enforcement.
Nonetheless, the county’s new ordinance is seen by the experts as a step in the right direction to reducing disease spread, so long as it is obeyed and succeeds in breaking up the crowds.
“This ordinance highlights the importance of social distancing and wearing masks even outdoors,” Roess said. “However, if this ordinance is not enforced then it will not be effective.”
The police department plans to begin issuing violations and fines that are not to exceed $100 following a public education campaign about the ordinance and the posting of signs, the county said shortly after it passed..
Photo courtesy Brad Haywood
Virginia’s Phase 3 reopening starts today, with relaxed rules for restaurants, stores, fitness studios and social gatherings.
But as new coronavirus cases continue to surge in the South and West, the reopening raises the specter of Virginia’s waning epidemic returning.
Unlike New Jersey, which recently postponed the return of indoor dining, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is opting to continue reopening indoor, communal settings. He announced yesterday, however, that bar seating will be prohibited inside restaurants.
Arlington County, meanwhile, is encouraging residents to stay “safer at home” and to continue social distancing, telecommuting, and wearing masks in indoor public settings.
“Because Arlington is an urban, high-density area — and because there is still community spread of the virus — the County is going to similarly move forward with caution in the hopes of continuing to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety and well-being of the entire community,” the county said in a press release today.
The press release notes that fitness rooms and gyms will reopen at four community centers — Fairlington, Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Langston Brown — next Friday, July 10.
The good news for Arlington is that the current level of coronavirus spread remains low: five new cases were reported overnight, for a seven-day total of 46. The seven-day rate of new hospitalizations stands at just three, a new low since such data started to be reliably reported by the Virginia Dept. of Health.
The county press release about the reopening is below.
Arlington County, along with the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, is transitioning to Phase 3 of the Forward Virginia plan on Wednesday, July 1.
In Phase 3, Arlington will maintain a Safer at Home strategy with continued recommendations for social distancing and teleworking, and the requirement that individuals wear face coverings in indoor public settings. All businesses should continue to follow physical distancing guidelines, frequently clean and sanitize high contact surfaces and keep enhanced workplace safety measures in place.
As part of a cautious approach to entering Phase 3, Governor Northam on Tuesday announced that bar seating will remain prohibited in restaurants to reduce the likelihood of patrons gathering in bar areas without observing social distancing guidelines. The Governor added he is prepared to implement tighter restrictions if needed.
Because Arlington is an urban, high-density area — and because there is still community spread of the virus — the County is going to similarly move forward with caution in the hopes of continuing to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety and well-being of the entire community.
Arlington will continue to open government facilities gradually to ensure adequate space for social distancing and follow public health guidelines. […]
Playgrounds and Outdoor Restrooms Now Open, Select Fitness Rooms to Open July 10
Continuing its gradual reopening, in according with public health and safety guidelines, Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation reopened playgrounds and outdoor restrooms, including playgrounds located at Arlington Public Schools, effective Friday, June 26. Additionally, athletic field and court lighting returned to regular schedules.
Starting Friday, July 10, fitness rooms and gyms will reopen in four of DPR’s centers: Fairlington, Madison, Thomas Jefferson and Langston Brown.
Community and nature centers and spraygrounds remain closed.
(Updated at 10:30 a.m.) The rates of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Arlington have hit new lows, though expanding outbreaks elsewhere in the country raise questions about how long the declines will last.
Only 28 new COVID-19 cases have been reported since Friday, according to Virginia Dept. of Health data. The trailing seven-day total of new cases is now 78, the lowest mark since April 4.
Three new COVID-related hospitalizations have been reported since Friday, bringing the trailing seven-day hospitalization total down to just seven, the lowest hospitalization rate since ARLnow started tracking such data in April.
No new coronavirus deaths were reported over the weekend.
As of Monday morning, VDH listed a cumulative total of 2,424 cases, 412 hospitalizations and 126 deaths in Arlington. The county’s coronavirus test positivity rate is now just 5.3%, another new low.
The declining outbreak has been noticeable in the emergency room, according to a public Facebook post from Virginia Hospital Center ER chief Mike Silverman.
“This was a good week for our ED,” Silverman wrote. “Our COVID isolation patient volume (the way we track patients in the computer) did not increase compared to last week. Our admission rate was actually lower than it’s been in months for this patient group and our percent positive rate is dropping.”
Silverman, however, noticed a new trend: many of those enjoying the newfound freedom of going out to bars and restaurants are partying hard.
“In many ways, it resembled a typical summer weekend,” Silverman wrote about the first weekend of Virginia’s Phase 2 reopening, which started on Friday, June 12. “We had traumas, lots of alcohol related illness, and psychiatric patients. What was unusual from the alcohol perspective was the number of highly intoxicated people who were brought directly from bars. People partied hard. What was equally concerning were the reports we were getting from medics about bars being packed shoulder to shoulder with people and no one wearing masks.”
A Twitter user noted one such scene in Clarendon this weekend.
— Chul-Z (@Chulheeezy) June 21, 2020
Among the states with expanding outbreaks, a common thread is that the upward momentum seems to have started with reopening. And the new cases are skewing younger, suggesting that bars and social gatherings may be playing a role.
So far, the data here has continued trending positive and Arlington — as well as Northern Virginia as a whole — has not seen the reopening uptick other states and localities have experienced. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, meanwhile, is still holding off on moving the reopening to Phase 3, which some experts fear could be the catalyst that pushes cases and hospitalizations back up.