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The Lot Beer Garden in Clarendon Plans Grand Opening for Next Spring

Some new details are at last surfacing about The Lot beer garden coming to Clarendon, as its owners now say they’re on course to open up the establishment next spring.

Social Restaurant Group, the company behind Clarendon bars Pamplona and Bar Bao, first filed plans to open the beer garden at a former used car lot on the corner of Wilson Blvd and 10th Street N. last March. Since then, however, there’s been scant evidence of progress at the site — that is, until a wooden fence recently went up around the property.

Social Restaurant Group co-founder Mike Bramson now tells ARLnow that he’s secured all the permit he needs to start serving up brews at The Lot, and fully plans to open for business when the weather improves a few months from now. He’d even initially hoped to throw a Halloween bash this weekend, but with rain and blustery conditions in the forecast, he ultimately decided to put those plans on hold.

“As much as we’re eager to launch it, we wanted people to have enough time to plan another Halloween event,” Bramson said. “But even with the response we got on Facebook about the event when we put it out there, we can tell people are really excited about it.”

Bramson says he’s still hammering out the specifics about what sort of beers will be on offer at The Lot, but he expects there will be “a vast variety, from Belgian to German to local craft beers.” He also hopes to serve up frozen cocktails and some wine, with the Rebel Taco food truck parked on the property to satisfy patrons’ food cravings.

“The space is huge, so we’ll have a lot of games as well, from cornhole to giant Jenga,” Bramson said.

Bramson is well aware that people are anxious for the beer garden to officially open, and he attributes the lengthy delays to some unexpected challenges securing the necessary building permits from the county.

He’d originally hoped to transform the small, existing building at the parking lot into an indoor seating area, necessitating permits for the otherwise simple project. But Bramson says he likely won’t follow through with those plans, given just how long the whole process took, and the uncertainty surrounding his lease.

He notes that The Lot is on a month-to-month lease on the property, as the whole area — including the nearby Silver Diner and Joyce Motors car lot — is slated to be redeveloped someday into a new mixed-use building. But Bramson can’t be sure exactly when that might move ahead, so he’s simply plowing ahead to open up the beer garden in whatever time he has left.

“We figured it wasn’t worth it and it didn’t make sense to build out this huge structure when someone else could just knock it down in a year,” Bramson said. “But we’re banking on the fact that it will be a longer than a year… so we’ll just keep it simple, and if we find out in future that we can stay longer, then we already have permits to do the construction we originally planned.”

In the meantime, Bramson says he may try to bring in some tents and host some sort of other “pop-up parties” at The Lot this winter, to start introducing the neighborhood to the new space.

“But you never know in this area whether it’ll be warm or cold on any given day, so it’s tough,” Bramson said.

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Despite Complaints, County Allows Westover Beer Garden to Continue Offering Amplified Music

The Westover Market and Beer Garden will still be able to offer outdoor amplified music after striking a new deal with county officials, offering a compromise to placate neighbors who remain concerned about the noise emanating from the establishment.

The County Board unanimously agreed to revamped permit requirements for the popular beer garden Saturday (Oct. 20), stipulating that musicians at the restaurant will only be able to play amplified music outside until 9 p.m. on Fridays, one hour short of the current 10 p.m. limit. The Board is also requiring the restaurant to submit a modified “sound management plan” by this coming March.

County staff originally urged the Board to ban all amplified music at the beer garden, arguing that the restaurant had repeatedly violated its noise limits and elicited a number of complaints from people living in the residential neighbors surrounding the location at 5863 Washington Blvd. The beer garden has drawn all manner of county scrutiny in recent years, from its noise levels to its compliance with county permit regulations.

Yet the restaurant’s owners offered to limit outdoor music on the weekends as a middle-ground solution, and it was one the Board happily accepted.

“The Board recognizes that the Westover Beer Garden is a popular gathering spot for the neighborhood,” Board Chair Katie Cristol wrote in a statement. “But it also is close to homes. Arlington’s mixed-use neighborhoods, where we sometimes have commercial uses very close to homes, depend on everyone following the rules to work. By reducing the hours for amplified outdoor music, the Board is seeking to address the violation, while also giving the beer garden a path forward to comply with the conditions of its use permit.”

Several beer garden patrons spoke in support of the restaurant Saturday, noting that noise in the parking lot of the restaurant’s shopping center would often rise to the same level as the decibel limits set on the restaurant by the county. The beer garden has the distinction of being the only establishment in Arlington with an “outdoor live entertainment use permit,” according to the county, and its supporters argued that it’s generally abided by the permit’s strictures over the years.

“There are some things you have to accept as part of a big picture with wherever you live,” Dee Doyle told the Board. “There’s some noise, but that’s part of the bargain… The benefits of this business vastly outweigh any negatives.”

The Westover and Tara-Leeway Heights civic associations both urged the Board to maintain the beer garden’s live music permissions, and the restaurant’s backers argued that only a few disgruntled neighbors were complaining about the noise generated by the establishment. According to a new county staff report prepared for the meeting, county police received 12 calls about noise at the restaurant between April and October, but 75 percent of those calls came from the same two households.

But Thomas McCall, who lives near the restaurant, argued that people living on both sides of Washington Blvd have come together to protest the beer garden’s disruptions. He viewed the depiction of his fellow neighbors as “selfish” for complaining as a frustrating one, noting that he felt the neighborhood had tried to work with the restaurant in good faith on the issue.

“This permit modification allows the music to continues, allows the the patrons to continue to enjoy the beer garden, and alleviates the problems for nearby neighbors,” McCall told the Board.

Yet Bill Lawson, an attorney for the beer garden, argued that “if these guys can’t have amplified music, there’s just no point” in offering live entertainment outside at all.

“If you complain often enough and loud enough, you might succeed in shutting this business down,” Lawson said.

He offered the reduced hours as one way to address the issue, and added that owners David and Devin Hicks would also be willing to offer an independent “ombudsman” to monitor noise levels on a regular basis.

The Board was eager to sign off on that compromise, though many members expressed consternation that the issues at the beer garden have so frequently required their mediation.

“We want to build community, but at the same time, as we grow and change, if people have a nice home and a nice situation, we need to make sure they suddenly don’t hear a lot of music where they live,” said Board member Libby Garvey.

The Board will review the beer garden’s permits once more next October.

 

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Meridian Pint Aims to Open First Arlington Location in Dominion Hills by Spring 2019

Meridian Pint is getting closer to opening its first Arlington restaurant, with plans to open a new brewpub in Dominion Hills sometime next spring.

The D.C.-based, craft beer-focused chain announced plans to expand into the county late last year, targeting a spot at 6035 Wilson Blvd in the Dominion Hills Centre shopping plaza. Construction is set to get underway next week at the new space, and owner John Andrade told ARLnow that he’s “tentatively targeting the beginning of April to get it open.”

“It’ll just be another iteration of the expanding ‘Pint’ brand,” Andrade said. “And this is nestled into a great community.”

Andrade currently operates two “Pint” restaurants in D.C. — Meridian and Brookland Pint — as well as Rosario’s Tacos and Tequila and Smoke Barrel. But as an Arlington resident, living just a quarter mile away from the new location, he says he was anxious for the chance to expand into his home county.

“The idea that I can just walk to work, door-to-door in somewhere between 13 and 15 minutes is really great,” Andrade said. “It’s just a great opportunity… especially for those of us that live slightly more than walking distance from Ballston or Clarendon, or have multiple kids, and don’t really want to do the dance of finding a parking garage or hunting down a metered space to go explore out that way.”

Andrade is unsure of a name for the new establishment just yet — he originally planned to dub it “Dominion Pint,” but ran into some legal headaches — but he says it will generally mirror the food and beverage options at his D.C. locations.

“It’ll have an all-American menu and all-American craft beer, with a generous emphasis on wine and spirits as well,” Andrade said.

Andrade also foresees offering growler fills and six-packs for sale at the restaurant, something he’s barred from doing in D.C. but is anxious to try now that he’s operating in Virginia.

He hopes to “start swinging hammers” at the space Monday (Oct. 22) now that he’s won all the necessary permits, and expects it will take roughly six months to get things up and running.

“We’re really planning on being members of the community, so we hope it’ll be a great neighborhood establishment,” Andrade said.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

WhyHotel Coming to Columbia Pike — “WhyHotel has just signed a deal for its second project in Arlington.  WhyHotel signed on with Orr Partners to operate temporary hotel rooms in 150 of the 366 units in the Centro Arlington development… [which] is replacing the former Food Star grocery store at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.” [Bisnow]

New Scalia Statue at GMU Law School — “As debate raged on Capitol Hill over a Supreme Court nomination that could shape the court’s future for decades, five justices gathered Thursday at a law school just across the Potomac River for the unveiling of a statue honoring an icon from its recent past — the late justice Antonin Scalia.” [Washington Post]

Arlington Living Wage Calculator — According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology living wage calculator, the income required to raise three kids in a household with two working adults in Arlington County is $92,480. [MIT]

Arlington Flyover Today — There is a flyover scheduled around 1:15 p.m. today in support of a funeral at Arlington National Cemetery. [Twitter]

Where to Find Singing WBJ Staffers — The Continental Beer Garden in Rosslyn and Westover Beer Garden in Westover are among the 15 best beer gardens in the D.C. area, according to the Washington Business Journal. The former is “a popular happy hour spot for WBJ staffers, who are known to sing along to the tunes playing on the outdoor speakers and share an order of pretzels and beer cheese dip.” [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Pet Adoptions Up — “In 2017, we did a record number of adoptions for [the Animal Welfare League of Arlington], with 1,366 pets adopted. So far this year, we have already beaten that number, with 1,450 pets adopted.” [Twitter]

Halloween Stores Now Open — If you’re looking for a Halloween costume, there are three Spirit Halloween stores now open in the area, although none are in Arlington. For something closer to home, Total Fright in the Crystal City Shops (known as Total Party other times of the year) is also selling costumes and decorations. Meanwhile, a Christmas store is now open in Tysons. [Tysons Reporter]

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Raise Your Glass at the Inaugural Crystal City Oktoberfest

Despite temperatures still pushing 90 degrees, cooler weather, changing colors and pumpkin spice everything are on the way.

This year, Crystal City welcomes the fall season with the inaugural Crystal City Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 29.

More than 1,000 beer enthusiasts are expected to attend this event — which coincides with the middle weekend of the real Oktoberfest in Munich. Attendees will enjoy 100 craft beers and ciders from 50 regional, national and international brewing companies, as well as live music and food from a variety of local food trucks and food vendors.

“I’m super excited for the upcoming Crystal City Oktoberfest!” says Charlie Adler, Founder of TasteUSA, the company bringing Oktoberfest to Arlington, “I’ve always loved this time of year with the cooling weather, craft beer and other German “oompah” celebrations, but when I heard that the Shirlington Oktoberfest had been cancelled, I knew that I wanted to continue the tradition. After seeing all the great events and fun energy in Crystal City right now, the decision to bring the Festival there was a no-brainer!”

Adler and TasteUSA have been organizing events in the area since 1997 including the creation of the Chesapeake Oyster and Wine Fest and taking on management of the Virginia Wine Festival, now in its 43rd year. The Crystal City Business Improvement District in partnership with JBG SMITH is sponsoring the event.

“We are thrilled to host an event that celebrates the outstanding local craft beer scene in Virginia and D.C.,” says Tracy Gabriel, Executive Director and President of the Crystal City Business Improvement District. “We’ve always found creative ways to repurpose parking in Crystal City, and this time we’re converting a parking lot into a biergarten to bring great beer, live music and outdoor fun to the area!”

Participating breweries include Blue Mountain Brewery, Caboose Brewing Company, South Street Brewery and Starr Hill Brewery, with more to come. Wine and cideries, including Bold Rock Hard Cider, will also be available for those non-beer drinkers in the crowd.

In addition to drink and food, attendees will be able to enjoy live entertainment and visit unique vendors, like the Arlington Psychic.

General Admission tickets are $30 in advance and include admission to the festival and 10 tasting tickets. VIP tickets are also available for $50 in advance and include 1-hour early admission, 15 tasting tickets, and a private tent with bathrooms. The first 500 VIP guests will also receive a Crystal City tasting glass.

Event: Crystal City Oktoberfest
Date: Saturday, September 29
Time: 12-6 p.m. (VIP: 11 a.m.-6 p.m.)
Location: The Lot at 220 20th Street S. (two blocks from the Crystal City Metro Station)
Tickets: General Admission: $30 in advance, $45 at the door, VIP: $50 in advance, $65 at the door

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New Crystal City Oktoberfest Planned for Next Month

Northern Virginia’s largest Oktoberfest is coming to Crystal City. On Sept. 29, 220 20th Street will play host to the first time to over 100 craft beers from over 50 regional breweries.

Tickets to the event are $30 if purchased in advance, or $45 at the door. Tickets give visitors entry into the festival and live entertainment, as well as ten beer sampling tickets along with a custom mug to fill.

VIP tickets, $50 in advance or $65 at the door, includes 15 beer sampling tickets, early access, a private tent and private bathrooms.

In addition to German food, the Oktoberfest will host various food trucks serving things like New York-style pizza or tacos.

But the Crystal City Oktoberfest isn’t the only one in Arlington this fall. In the wake of the closure of Capitol City Brewing, hosts of Shirlington’s annual Oktoberfest, New District Brewing is taking up the mantle and expanding its “Arlington ValleyFest” on Sept. 30.

The festival will take place at 2709 S. Oakland Street. While the event will have plenty of beer, the focus will also be on promoting local arts.

Meanwhile, on Oct. 20, the Copperwood Tavern on 4021 Campbell Ave. will also be hosting their “Shucktoberfest”, an event co-sponsored by Northern Neck’s Waverly Point Oyster Company, highlighting beer and oysters as a major draw.

Photo via Crystal City BID

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Progress Remains Scarce on Planned Clarendon Beer Garden

Roughly a year and a half after plans surfaced for an outdoor beer garden in Clarendon, there’s been precious little progress on the project.

Permit applications revealed last March that Social Restaurant Group, the same company that runs Clarendon establishments Bar Bao and Pamplona, was planning a beer garden at a former used car lot at 3217 10th Street N. Signs appeared for the “The Lot” this February, but the space remains empty and overgrown with weeds six months later.

SRG’s website suggests that the beer garden would open in “summer 2018.” Yet neither spokespeople for the company nor co-founder Mike Bramson replied to several requests for comment on the project’s status.

County records, however, show that the company did receive permission to start construction on the project in December. The permit application calls for 94 outdoor seats, with standing room for another 357 people.

The company has also applied for a license to serve beer and wine at the location, but that application is still pending, more than a year later.

SRG’s website also lists Rebel Taco, a food truck that serve up its wares around Arlington, as part of the The Lot. The truck’s owners also did not respond to a request for comment on the project.

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Copperwood Tavern Planning ‘Shucktoberfest’ This Fall in Shirlington

Beer lovers will have not just one, but two Oktoberfest-themed events to enjoy in the Shirlington area this fall.

New District Brewing announced this week that it’s expanding its “Arlington ValleyFest” event to help pick up where Capitol City Brewing, long the hosts of an Oktoberfest celebration, left off after the brewpub closed this spring.

But restaurateur Reese Gardner tells ARLnow that he’ll also be hosting an Oktoberfest gathering along Campbell Avenue, in and around his Copperwood Tavern (4021 Campbell Avenue), ensuring that the Village at Shirlington will still have a fall beer festival even with Cap City gone.

Gardner is dubbing the event “Shucktoberfest,” as it will be co-sponsored by the Northern Neck’s Waverly Point Oyster Company, and it’s now set for Oct. 20. He says he secured an agreement from the shopping center’s landlord to host the event shortly after Cap City closed up shop in April, and recently finalized securing the necessary permits from the county.

Gardner said 19 Virginia breweries have committed to attend, many of which served up their suds at Cap City’s Oktoberfest events. Gardner says the event will feature “oyster tents” and other food options, as well as a “kids’ zone” and game area that will include cornhole.

Tickets will be available for the event on its website. Gardner is also looking for volunteers to help staff the festival.

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New District Brewing Plans ‘ValleyFest’ to ‘Pick Up the Mantle’ of Capitol City’s Oktoberfest

Capitol City Brewing might’ve closed up shop in Shirlington, but some of the area’s remaining brewmasters are trying to keep the spirit of the brewery’s popular “Oktoberfest” celebration alive.

Cap City started hosting an annual Oktoberfest event back in 1999 at its former location in the Village at Shirlington. The brewpub’s sudden closure back in March marked the end of that event, but the New District Brewing Company is hoping to fill the void with a similar event just across Four Mile Run.

The brewery is planning to host “Arlington ValleyFest” around its home on 2709 S. Oakland Street on Sept. 30, the same weekend Cap City traditionally convened Oktoberfest.

New District founder Mike Katrivanos told ARLnow that he envisions that ValleyFest can “pick up the mantle” of what Cap City started.

“With every end coming, there’s a new beginning,” Katrivanos said.

Katrivanos says New District hosted ValleyFest for the first time last year, but on a substantially smaller scale. They put on the festival the first weekend of November, but he says the chilly weather made that a “not very desirable date” moving forward.

But when he saw that Capitol City would be closing up shop, he decided to call around and check with other business owners to see if anyone else would be hosting Oktoberfest instead. He discovered that no one was especially interested in doing so, and he set about seeing if he could move up ValleyFest a bit.

Katrivanos quickly secured the county’s approval for the change, and even earned permission to double the festival in size. The event will now run nearly the length of S. Oakland Street, after it intersects with S. Four Mile Run Drive, running past the Shirlington Dog Park.

“We really hope to kind of replicate Oktoberfest, though hopefully not in the drunken mob type of sense,” Katrivanos said. “We’re not trying to get that crowd coming to consume too much, but we definitely are trying to create an enjoyable vibe centered around a large event.”

While Katrivanos says the event will have plenty of beer on hand, he also wants to be focused on local art, especially given the debate around the best ways to promote the arts in the Four Mile Run Valley as part of the county’s review of its plans for the area.

Katrivanos expects to have a variety of local artists on hand, as well as the Arlington Art Truck. He’s even planning a “pop-up” art installation he hopes will be a “Burning Man-style exhibit built in one day.”

He added the event will also include some of the same vendors who staffed Cap City’s Oktoberfest will be in attendance, with food trucks and even a “Ben and Jerry’s Dessert Truck” serving up treats.

The festival will run from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sept. 30. The event will be free, but New District is offering deals for beer tickets on the event’s website.

Photo via Facebook

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Crystal City’s ‘Fridays at the Fountain’ to Open a Month Early

Crystal City’s summertime happy hour event series, Fridays at the Fountain, is coming back early this year.

The pop-up beer garden event was so well received by the community last year that organizers decided to open this year’s event series on May 4, which is a month earlier than usual, according to a press release from the Crystal City BID, which organizes the events.

Fridays at the Fountain will be held every Friday from May through October at the Crystal City Water Park (1750 Crystal Drive), and events feature live music from local musicians. Admission is free, and beer and wine will be sold for $5. Attendees can also pay $20 to join the “Mug Club” and receive a branded, reusable mug.

This year’s event features a new partnership with The Stand, a concession stand operated by The Social Restaurant Group. Visitors can purchase beverages provided by Crystal City Wine Shop as well as food options from a rotation of local vendors.

Additional performers will be announced soon, but here’s the current music lineup:

  • May 4 – Revelator Hill
  • May 11 – Whiskey Pull
  • May 18 – Zach Cutler & Friends
  • May 25 – Gordon Sterling 3
  • June 1 – Big Bad Juju
  • June 8 – Mary El Band
  • June 15 – Revelator Hill
  • June 22 – Jonathan Sloane Trio
  • June 29 – Holly Montgomery
  • July 6 – The Jogo Project
  • July 13 – The Jon Miller Band
  • July 20 – Gordon Sterling and the People
  • July 27 – Big Bad Juju

Photo courtesy Crystal City BID

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Morning Notes

New Rooftop Beer Garden in Clarendon — The company behind Ambar is opening three new Mexican restaurant concepts in the former La Tasca space: “Tacos, Tortas & Tequila (TTT), Buena Vida and eventually a rooftop Mexican beer garden called Up.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

School Board to Gather Once More at Ed Center — Past and present Arlington School Board members will gather prior to the April 19 board meeting for a final group photo at the Arlington Education Center building. School administrators are leaving the 50-year-old building for leased administrative offices along Washington Blvd, to make way for a new high school program. [InsideNova]

Deloitte Expanding in Rosslyn — “Global consulting firm Deloitte LLP plans to significantly increase its footprint in the Waterview building in Rosslyn, where it recently subleased about 120,000 square feet from Gartner Inc. The sublease boosts Deloitte’s presence at 1919 N. Lynn St. to about 450,000 square feet, including the five floors it has picked up from Gartner… The firm now has around 8,000 employees in Rosslyn, its largest of 13 offices across Greater Washington.” [Washington Business Journal]

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County Board Approves Expanded Seating, Music Hours at Westover Market

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) The Arlington County Board approved two of the new use permit requests from Westover Market last night (March 20).

The market and beer garden sought to expand its current 29 outdoor cafe seats to 102, which was approved unanimously, but with conditions. The requested, expanded “piped-in” music hours were also approved.

“Previously, the beer garden could not play a radio, recorded, or piped-in music in the outdoor cafe area unless it was during the same hours as the live music,” noted County Board Chair Katie Cristol. “Now, they’re free to do so any evening until 10 p.m. on weeknights or 11 p.m. on weekend nights.”

The County Manager’s staff had recommended approving the expanding seating and music hours. The business withdrew a request, not supported by county staff, to expand the permitted hours of outdoor live entertainment.

The Westover Market also asked for a code modification for outdoor fireplaces, which was denied due to “life and safety concerns.” However, other forms of outdoor heating are still permitted.

An amendment was added that Westover Market would be required to have a representative on site at all times to comply with the new regulations and handle complaints. Board members said their votes were in the interest of helping a local business serve its customers.

“We’re losing the uniqueness,” lamented Board Member John Vihstadt. He said Arlington was losing its “funky” character, citing the recent closure of Clarendon’s Iota Club and Cafe and explaining his view that the most desirable neighborhoods to live in in the county are those with more unique neighborhood amenities and going-out options.

A number of beer garden customers spoke in favor of the permit changes during the public comment period. David Calhoun, the market’s bar manager, told the Board that the beer garden is trying to be a good neighbor.

“We jumped through every hoop, every hurdle that we could,” he said. “We’re not asking for too much and we’re always willing to tone it down if there is a complaint.”

Though the new use permits were approved, some Board members acknowledged and echoed the concerns of those opposed to the market’s requests.

Board Chair Katie Cristol said any enforcement of the new use permits would be difficult and would require responding police officers to have very specific zoning law knowledge, such as knowing the difference between amplified, live, or piped in music permissions.

“All of these things somehow have to find a balance,” said Board Member Christian Dorsey, explaining the difficulty in determining how to limit what he said is the only outdoor cafe with live entertainment in the county.

The market at 5863 Washington Boulevard has become an entertainment and drinking destination, popular with local residents and families, but the county has struggled with how to regulate it given little existing precedent for a business of its kind.

File photo

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Arlington Agenda: March 19-25

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday, March 19

Conversations with Tyler: Martina Navratilova*
George Mason University Arlington (3351 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Listen to record-setting tennis player and communist defector Martina Navratilova for an across the board conversation on her activism, professional accomplishments, and personal life.

Free Home Buyer Seminar: Get $1,500 Towards Your New Home*
Orange Line Living (1600 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Attend the Rosslyn class with wine and cheese and receive a $1,500 credit toward a new home or lease termination. The first three registrants and attendees will receive a Google Chromecast.

WordPress: An Introduction
Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Learn how to create, navigate, post on, and customize your own blog or basic website with WordPress.com (not WordPress.org). Registration required to attend.

Tuesday, March 20

Homebuyer Seminar with Fulcrum Properties Group*
Keller Williams Metro Center Arlington (2101 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Looking to buy your first home, or at least thinking about it? Join this free event to learn how to take the first steps from on-hand experts. Registration required to attend.

Wednesday, March 21

CACI Ballston Toastmasters Club Open House
CACI (1100 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

If you need to improve your public speaking, Toastmasters is the place for you.  Attend the spring open house to meet members and ask questions over refreshments.

Thursday, March 22

Beer & Donuts with Vanish Farmhouse
Sugar Shack (1014 S. Glebe Road)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Vanish Farmhouse Brewery of Leesburg, Va., brings a selection of craft brews to Sugar Shack. Board games, beer-glazed donut holes, and paninis will also be at the family friendly event.

ARLnow March Madness Watch Party
Latitude Apartments (3601 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Come watch the Sweet Sixteen on Latitude’s rooftop terrace with ARLnow staff with free drinks, snacks, and swag. You won’t miss any of the action — we’ll have four TVs on.

Friday, March 23

St. Agnes Fish Fry*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The annual Lenten fish fry is upon us, and don’t miss out on the sides, beer, and other beverages as well. Registration required, and all are welcome to join in the Easter Sunday mass as well.

David Alan Grier Live
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Join comedian and actor David Alan Grier, of In Living Color and Comedy Central fame, for an evening of stand up. Tickets start at $25. Additional performances on March 24.

Saturday, March 24

National Chamber Ensemble – Brahms and Mendelssohn*
Unitarian Universalist Church (4444 Arlington Boulevard)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Enjoy masterful chamber music from Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, performed by National Chamber Ensemble artists. Reception with the musicians to follow.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Morning Notes

ATS Parents Peeved About Overcrowding — Arlington Traditional School parents are protesting the addition of classes and relocatable classrooms to the already-overcrowded school. [Arlington Connection]

Alliterative Pothole Patching Update — Via Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services: “Punctilious, present pothole people have plugged 500-plus problems post-2017 but prefer a plethora for practice. Please provide. http://topics.arlingtonva.us/reportproblem or call 703-228-6570.” [Twitter]

AIM Petition Nearing 1,000 Signatures — More than 900 people have signed a petition calling on the County Board to nix the proposed 20 percent cut in funding for Arlington Independent Media. “The proposed Arlington County FY ’19 budget would be catastrophic for AIM,” the petition says. [Change.org]

Arlington Ranks No. 2 in Virginia ‘Healthiest’ List — Arlington is second only to Loudoun on a list of the healthiest counties in Virginia, compiled by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. [WTOP]

Capitol City Files for Bankruptcy — Shortly after closing its Shirlington brewpub, Capitol City Brewing Co. has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Owner David von Storch says he intends to keep Cap City’s downtown D.C. location open, serving its four core in-house beers, which will now be brewed by a contract brewery, as well as local craft brews. [Washington Business Journal]

Kaine to Talk Guns at Wakefield HS — Via press release: “On Friday, March 16, Senator Tim Kaine will hold a classroom conversation on gun violence and school safety with students at Wakefield High School in Arlington. Kaine will hear students’ perspectives on how policymakers should address this issue and which solutions they would like to see implemented to keep schools safer.”

Photo courtesy @thelastfc

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UPDATE: Capitol City Brewing Has Closed in Shirlington

Update at 5:30 p.m. — A statement was just posted on the Capitol City Brewing Shirlington Facebook page, confirming that it has closed permanently.

After 22 years of proudly serving Northern Virginia, we have had to make the difficult decision to close this location. We thank you for your tremendous support and loyalty over the years and for that we are truly grateful. Please visit us at our Downtown location (at 11th and H St NW) to enjoy our award-winning beers, great food and friendly service.

Earlier: Capitol City Brewing appears to have closed its Shirlington location, but it’s unclear whether the closure is permanent.

Paper covered the brewpub’s windows and its doors remained closed today. Nobody answered the phone as of 3 p.m.

Several tipsters have emailed ARLnow.com to say Cap City, located at 4001 Campbell Avenue, had closed. Some were upset, saying employees were abruptly told today, without prior notice, that it had closed.

On its website and social media Friday afternoon, things seemed to be business as usual. OpenTable was still taking reservations and the business’ Facebook account wrote a cheery, generic post: “You could stay in this Friday night, but we think you’d have much more fun with us and your favorite beer in hand.”

“Unless you live in Shirlington, apparently,” said one person, in return. “You freaking lying pieces of [poop emoji],” wrote another.

An anonymous tipster contacted ARLnow.com last week, advising us to “watch for Capitol City Brewing Company closing in Shirlington in early March.” Calls and emails sent to the company since have not been returned.

A mainstay of the neighborhood, Capitol City has remained busy on most weekdays and weekends. The company also hosts the popular, annual Oktoberfest event in Shirlington.

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