Arlington, VA

Lyon Park barbecue joint Texas Jack’s may be featured in a new reality TV show.

A crew of a new reality show about D.C. area young professionals visited the restaurant’s private dining room last month to film a conversation between one cast member and his father.

The restaurant’s Director of Operations, Remzi Yilmaz, told ARLnow that the cast member himself chose the restaurant as the location.

“This was one of his favorite places,” he said.

Yilmaz said he was not allowed to share details like the name of the show, citing a non-disclosure agreement, but said the crew might be spotted over the next four weeks filming at other area restaurants, as well as landmarks like the Washington Monument

The show is expected to air in January, though the network on which it is airing and other details are murky.

“I think they’re just giving insight into young professionals in this area, and how they live life, and what they go through,” he said.

A camera crew was also spotted last week at Pentagon Row, in Pentagon City, but it’s unclear if the crew was connected with the new reality series.

Texas Jack’s opened in 2015 and replaced the Tallula and EatBar at 2761 Washington Blvd in Lyon Park.

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A new BBQ restaurant is planning to open next spring in Clarendon.

Smokecraft Modern Barbecue is coming to the former Citizen Burger Bar space at 1051 N. Highland Street, according to a press release.

The team behind the restaurant has been racking up honors at competitions around the Mid-Atlantic and plans to offer traditional barbecue favorites as well as “unique flavors and ingredients,” including smoked duck, salmon and spaghetti squash.

“Smokecraft is installing a pair of Southern Pride commercial smokers which will allow the team to simultaneously smoke over 2,000 pounds of meat while using an assortment of woods to create various smoked flavors,” the restaurant said in the press release.

Citizen Burger Bar closed in June after five years in business.

The full press release is below.

The award-winning team behind Smokecraft Championship BBQ is pleased to announce its first brick and mortar restaurant, Smokecraft Modern Barbecue, slated for a Spring 2020 opening in Arlington’s Clarendon neighborhood at 1051 N Highland Street. Smokecraft will offer a menu to satisfy every taste as well as outdoor dining, varied beverage options, and late-night specials. The space is located on the ground floor of a 10-story, LEED certified office building owned by KBS, one of the largest owners of premier commercial real estate in the country.

“It’s long been a dream to open our own restaurant, and we are excited to bring our award-winning barbecue to the Arlington community,” said Smokecraft Owner & Operating Partner Andrew Darneille. “Our goal is to continue to push the boundaries of what barbecue is and can be. This has driven our success, including our Turkey Smoke Grand Championship at this year’s Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle here in DC, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.”

Smokecraft is installing a pair of Southern Pride commercial smokers which will allow the team to simultaneously smoke over 2,000 pounds of meat while using an assortment of woods to create various smoked flavors. Award-winning Pitmaster Marc “Red” Leone’s menu boasts modern takes on a variety of barbecue favorites, offering something for everyone. Pulling unique flavors and ingredients from around the country, potential options include a reverse-seared tri-tip sirloin, smoked duck, chipotle maple cedar plank salmon, and smoked spaghetti squash. Distinctive weekend brunch offerings include Smokecraft’s award-winning smoked Monte Cristo, slow-smoked pastrami hash, and pulled chicken & waffles. The expansive 30-foot bar will be the perfect backdrop to showcase Smokecraft’s diverse beverage program, featuring a seasonally rotating variety of handcrafted cocktails and 10 craft beers on tap to enjoy.

Award-winning DC-based firm Grizform Design Architects, led by Owner and Principal Griz Dwight, will transform the 3,460 square-foot restaurant into a modern barbecue destination. A dynamic seating layout will accommodate 95 diners with an additional 20 seats for outdoor dining. The design team will employ natural, organic elements like stained wood and veneers, brick, stone, metal, and warm lighting throughout the eatery. “We are thrilled for the opportunity to work with Smokecraft Modern Barbecue to bring a modern design to the residents of Arlington, emphasizing the fundamental barbecue ingredients: wood, brick, fire, steel, and secret sauce,” said Griz Dwight.

According to KBS Senior VP and Asset Manager Stephen Close, 3003 Washington Boulevard is a prime location for Smokecraft’s very first restaurant. “This property is located in an urban walkable village approximately two miles from Washington D.C.,” says Close. “Based on this irreplaceable location, Smokecraft Modern Barbecue will benefit from built-in patronage from our building’s office tenants and employees, as well as the ability to quickly connect with the surrounding community. Just as Smokecraft continuously pushes the boundaries of an exceptional culinary experience, KBS is constantly innovating and delivering the very highest level of amenities to our properties throughout the US. These like-minded goals make Smokecraft an excellent match for this building.”

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Williamsburg is losing one barbecue restaurant, but gaining another in short order.

Smoking Kow BBQ now plans to take over the space once occupied by Backyard BBQ and Catering Company, located at 2910 N. Sycamore Street.

Paul Tecchio, the new restaurant’s general manager, told ARLnow just signed a lease to move in a few days ago, and hopes to have it open for business by “the first or second week of April.”

Backyard BBQ announced plans to close the location after more than 10 years in the space in mid-February, serving up its last meals on Feb. 22.

The new BBQ restaurant moving in got its start as a food truck serving up smoked meats across the Northern Virginia area and D.C., Tecchio said. It’s backed by Dylan Kough (pronounced “cow”), a former financial consultant who decided to try and bring Kansas City-style BBQ to the D.C. area.

Kough opened his first brick-and-mortar location of Smoking Kow in Alexandria last year, and still operates two food trucks as well. He also worked with Tecchio, himself a “classically trained chef who has worked in kitchens around the DMV for almost 7 years,” to open the Alexandria location and will partner with him once more on this new restaurant.

“Dylan and I have poured a lot of heart and hard work into getting the first location to where it is today and we are very excited to be bringing our ‘que to Arlington,” Tecchio wrote in an email.

Smoking Kow’s menu includes a variety of BBQ staples like brisket, pulled pork and chicken and ribs, with a whole host of platters, sandwiches and even tacos on offer.

Photo 1 via @BackyardBBQ_Co

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Bootheel Catering started cooking Southern-style cuisine nine years ago in Arlington, and now it’s expanding to a food truck.

The truck will begin selling food to locals in late May or early June, said Bootheel Catering owner David Newton.

Newton is from Southeast Missouri, a location described as the “boot heel” of the state, which inspired the catering company’s name.

Newton said he wanted to open a food truck to make catering more convenient by having a mobile kitchen on hand for events.

“It makes our lives easier. It makes the food fresher,” he said. “I just want to get more of our stuff out to people, because people really like it.”

The food truck’s menu will include barbecue, brisket, pulled chicken, jambalaya, gumbo, grits, fried chicken and more. Prices will from $8 to $12, Newton said.

The truck will be traveling throughout Clarendon, Rosslyn, Crystal City and possibly Ballston. Newton said the truck may even go out to the Tyson’s Corner area.

Photo via Facebook/Bootheel Catering 

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Morning Notes

Police to Hold Anti-DUI Event During Bar Crawl — The All American Bar Crawl will be taking place in Clarendon from 1-9 p.m. Saturday, and the Arlington County Police Department is planning some complementary programming. ACPD and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program are holding a “free interactive anti-drunk driving event” from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday on N. Highland Street, in the heart of Clarendon. [Arlington County]

Local ‘Big Brother’ Houseguest Getting Attention — Matthew Clines, a 33-year-old renovation consultant and fitness buff from Arlington, is being mentioned as a frontrunner on the new season of CBS’ Big Brother. “Many ladies swooned over” him, US Weekly writes. Clines has suggested he “would rather have America love him… than actually win the game and the $500,000.” [Us Weekly, Reality TV World]

Texas Jack’s Ranks High on BBQ ListTexas Jack’s in Lyon Park has ranked No. 2 on food critic Tim Carman’s list of the best barbecue joints in the D.C. area. [Washington Post]

Woman Wanted for Hit and Run Near Columbia Pike — Arlington County Police are looking for a woman who struck a pedestrian on the 3400 block of 7th Street S., in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, Wednesday night. The suspect, described as a “white female in her mid-twenties to early thirties, approximately 5’6″ tall… wearing a white sweater,” fled the scene after the collision, which sent the victim to a local trauma center with significant but non-life-threatening injuries. [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Bradley Teague

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Dickey's Barbecue Pit logoA Texas-style barbecue restaurant chain is considering opening an Arlington location next year.

A press release yesterday from Dickey’s Barbecue Pit included an Arlington dateline, but only said that the new restaurant would be opening in “the state of Virginia.”

Asked for clarification, a company spokeswoman told ARLnow.com that the restaurant may open in Arlington.

“The exact location has not been decided yet, but they are looking at locations in Arlington and Alexandria,” said the spokeswoman.

The press release is below.

Arlington, VA — Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will be opening its tenth new location in the state of Virginia with a new store slated to begin serving delicious, Texas-style barbecue in 2017. The new store’s owner, Mario Aguilar, is excited to embark on this new adventure by opening his very first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location in the community he grew up in.

“The Dickey family congratulates Mario Aguilar on opening his first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit location in Virginia,” says Roland Dickey, Jr., CEO of Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurants, Inc. “Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is growing rapidly across the nation, and we are always proud when we have the opportunity to add a new Owner/Operator to the Dickey’s family.”

Born and raised in Virginia, Aguilar has been part of this community his entire life and is excited to serve Dickey’s Barbecue to the people whom he considers his family. Aguilar has been a business owner for the past 12 years, owning multiple AT&T locations throughout Virginia. When he decided it was time to get into the restaurant industry he knew Dickey’s was the right place for him because he loves the food and the 75-year-old brand.

“Dickey’s is a great brand that is well-known throughout the nation and I am excited to be a part of it,” says Aguilar. “Dickey’s will do well in this community because there is a large need for slow-smoked barbecue, and I am proud to be the one to provide it.”

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A new barbecue restaurant and pub may replace the now-closed Hard Times Cafe in Clarendon.

The owners of A-Town Bar and Grill in Ballston, Don Tito in Clarendon and Barley Mac in Rosslyn are planning the thus-far unnamed venue in Hard Times’ two-story space across from the Clarendon Metro.

The plans were revealed during a County Board review of a site plan amendment for A-Town (see below).

“We’re soon to take over Hard Times,” Mike Cordero, a partner in the restaurants, told the County Board. The new venture was described as “a really big barbecue restaurant or pub” that may be sports-oriented.

The restaurant could open as soon as next spring or summer, although a source says the deal to take over the Hard Times space has not been finalized.

Meanwhile, a fight prompted a big police response at A-Town (4100 Fairfax Drive) on Sunday night.

Read More

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Rocklands BBQ (photo by Katie Pyzyk)

Rocklands Barbeque, at 3471 Washington Blvd, has some exotic meats on the menu this week for an annual event called “Grills Gone Wild.”

The four-day event is being held from Tuesday to Friday at the four Rocklands locations in the D.C. area, including Arlington.

The menu includes:

  • Alligator Brunswick Stew served with a honey jalapeño cornbread square
  • Camel Burgers topped w/pickles & onions served with French Fries
  • Rabbit Sausage topped w/grilled peppers & onions served w/a side of whiskey mustard sauce & carrot sticks
  • Wild Boar Barbeque Sliders (2) topped with coleslaw

The restaurant is encouraging customers to use the Twitter hashtag #grillsgonewild to suggest new “Grills Gone Wild” meat offerings for next year.

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(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) The crew behind the new Texas Jack’s Barbecue plans to start serving diners near Clarendon on Dec. 7, giving them a comfortable place to eat while going beyond expected barbecue standards.

The restaurant occupies the former home of Tallula and EatBar at 2761 Washington Blvd in Lyon Park.

The space now is unrecognizable, combining both locations to create a dining room and bar, partially separated by a wall with two doorways and three large, open windows. Both rooms are filled with reclaimed wood and other locally-sourced materials that make up the chairs, tables, bar and wall panels.

“We wanted to just make sure no matter when people come into the space, they feel comfortable being here and really enjoy themselves,” co-owner Steve Roberts said. “We also obviously wanted to focus on outstanding barbecue, making creative choices with top-quality meats.”

This choice meat comes from throughout the United States, including locally. Roberts said it’s all hormone- and antibiotic-free and spends three to four hours in one of two massive smokers.

The man in charge of that meat is Executive Chef Matt Lang, winner of Food Network’s Best in Smoke in 2011. He said much of his inspiration for Texas Jack’s menu is from Mexican influence.

“It’s what I’ve always been interested in cooking, and that’s what I mainly do,” he said. “My idea is to elevate the dishes you typically see at barbecue restaurants and give people what they aren’t expecting.”

While the meats — including brisket, pulled pork, sausage and pork and beef ribs — will be fairly straightforward, Lang is putting his own twist on Mexican-American fare to create separate dining room and bar menus, though guests can order from either in both areas.

He also had advice for how diners should approach the menu.

“I’d like to encourage guests to share and have them understand the best way to do this is get a plate of barbecue with whatever sides you want and share,” he said.

Platters and meals with barbecue meats cost between $12 and $20. The menu, though it’s not finalized, will also have appetizers and sandwiches, prices ranging from $8 to $16.

Other restaurant amenities include an open kitchen, ADA-friendly tables, accommodations for large parties or communal dining, a room that can be rented for private events, valet parking during peak hours, a bar equipped with outlets and USB ports, and both beer and wine on tap.

The space is also environmentally-friendly, reducing waste by installing all LED lighting fixtures and serving food on traditional enamelware, unlike many barbecue places that serve on paper plates and in cardboard boats.

“Many times, you’ll go into a barbecue place and there’s a lot of waste,” Roberts said. “There’s nothing throwaway about anything we have here, and we’re trying to be as sensitive as we can as far as sustainability and what we’re doing to the environment.”

Texas Jack’s plans to be open seven days a week from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m.

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A new restaurant is looking to serve classic Texas barbecue near Clarendon this month.

Texas Jack’s Barbecue is occupying the former home of Tallula and EatBar at 2761 Washington Blvd in Lyon Park, after it closed last year. There is no target date for the BBQ restaurant, but it is hoping to open later this month, said restaurant rep Lindley Thornburg.

While Texas Jack’s window signs and website say it’s “coming fall 2015,” the restaurant is still currently undergoing construction inside.

“Steve, Remzi [and] Matt are working around the clock to get our doors open soon…” the restaurant said on its Facebook page Oct. 29.

Once opened, Texas Jack’s will be able to hold 145 people inside the restaurant between its 14-seat bar, tables and 20-seat communal table, and will have 25 seats on its patio, according to a press release.

The menu will consist of classic barbecue offerings like brisket, pulled pork and beef short ribs, as well as items from Mexican and German cultures. Matt Lang, winner of Food Network’s Best in Smoke in 2011, will head up the kitchen.

“The menu for Texas Jack’s is focused on barbecue classics, while also showcasing the Mexican and German food cultures that served as early inspiration for what barbecue has become today,” the restaurant said.

The theme of classic barbecue will extend to the restaurant design, which will consist of western murals and a combination of wood and brick to give the place a “rustic yet refined” look.

“Guests will find western murals, repurposed wood and other salvaged materials combined with sleeker urban finishes to create a comfortable, relaxing vibe for dining,” the restaurant said.

Texas Jack will play homage to the original owner of the Washington Blvd property — Whitey’s. The owners kept the “EAT” sign that hung outside Whitey’s as well as the original bar.

Roberts said the new Texas Jack’s sign uses the same colors and font as the “EAT” sign and both will light up at night.

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Morning Notes

View of the Jefferson Memorial from Arlington (Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber)

False Alarm at Arlington National Cemetery — The Arlington County Fire Department responded to Arlington National Cemetery yesterday afternoon for a fire alarm. Once on scene, firefighters determined that the alarm was set off by the tomb guards steam pressing their uniforms. [Twitter]

Arlington Real Estate Market Profiled — CNBC’s “Power Lunch” program profiled the real estate market in Arlington last week. The program took a look at three properties in the county, from a $364,900 condo in Ballston to a $1,275,000 luxury townhouse in Rosslyn. [CNBC]

Arlington Dems Have Plenty of Beads — Arlington Democrats are trying to figure out what to do with more than 200 pounds of Mardi Gras beads. The party purchased the beads for the annual Clarendon Mardi Gras parade, which was rescheduled and then canceled due to snow this year. [InsideNoVa]

Doorways Fundraiser Planned — Rocklands Barbeque (3471 Washington Blvd) will open its patio for the season on Thursday, April 17, with its annual “Shed Your Coat” fundraiser. The event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., will benefit Doorways for Women and Families. [Doorways]

Flickr pool photo by Joseph Gruber

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