Wahlburgers Coming to Ballston — Wahlburgers, the burger chain founded by the show biz Wahlbergs (Mark, Donnie, Paul), is coming to Ballston next year. The eatery will be located near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Glebe Road. [Washington Post]
SER Expanding to Capitol Hill? — The team behind SER restaurant in Ballston — or, at least, part of the team — is opening a new restaurant on Capitol Hill in the former Sona Creamery and Wine Bar space. [Washington Business Journal]
Metro Releases Cause of Derailment — What caused a Metro train to derail near the East Falls Church station on Friday? The transit agency says it was a deteriorated section of track in which the rails became too wide. [Washington Post]
Dark Star Park Day — Yesterday Arlington County held its annual observance of Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn. The public park, built in 1984, is designed to have its shadows line up once a year, on Aug. 1. [Storify]
County Touts Innovation Recognition — Three Arlington County programs have been recognized for innovation from the Virginia Association of Counties. [Arlington County]
Road Rage on a Bike Trail — Road rage isn’t something that only happens with motorists. Occasionally, it happens among cyclists as well, as this story from an incident on the Mt. Vernon Trail demonstrates. [Storify]
Oracle Acquiring Opower — Updated at 9:55 a.m. — Technology giant Oracle is acquiring Arlington-based Opower in a $548 million cash deal. Opower recently went through a round of layoffs. [Reuters, Oracle]
Clarendon Z-Burger to Get New Name — The Z-Burger location in Clarendon will be rebranded soon as part of a legal settlement between the founder and the former partners in the business. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Unemployment Remains Lowest in Va. — Arlington’s unemployment rate ticked up by a tenth of a percent in March, but remained the lowest in Virginia. The county’s unemployment rate is currently 2.7 percent, with just under 4,000 residents looking for work while 142,000 are employed. [InsideNova]
Foggy Morning Commute — Arlington and much of the region was under a Dense Fog Advisory this morning. [Weather Channel]
A slick new burger restaurant and bar has opened in Courthouse.
Basic Burger pairs a relatively straightforward menu — burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, salads, shakes — with a clean, modern interior and a bar offering beer, cider and wine.
It’s a bit Shake Shack-esque, with some unique touches, including sweet potato fries, onion rings, fried pickles and fizzy beverages from “craft soda” brand Stubborn Soda.
Located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, just down from the now-closed Wendy’s and up from Ray’s Hell Burger, Basic Burger opened for business on Monday. Its hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
The Burger King on Columbia Pike is getting a makeover.
Located at 3627 Columbia Pike, Burger King’s realm was looking a bit less-than-regal as of late. Over the past few days, however, workers have spruced up the interior.
More remodeling — including exterior changes — appears to be in the works.
During the interior renovation, the restaurant’s dining room was closed but its drive-thru remained open.
Hat tip to John Fontain
Exterior signage is up at the future Shake Shack at the Pentagon City mall.
The burger-and-shake restaurant is opening within a new, still under-construction expansion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City along S. Hayes Street. It’s the chain’s first restaurant in Arlington.
The mall’s website says Shake Shack “is expected to open as of 4/1/2016,” but a PR rep said that information is “inaccurate.” No updated opening date was immediately available. Initially, it was said that Shake Shack would open at some point this spring.
Other restaurants and stores coming to the expanded front entrance of the mall include:
On Friday a building permit application was filed calling for a tenant fit out for an establishment called “Basic Burger.” The restaurant will be located on the first floor of the new apartment building at 2001 Clarendon Blvd.
Little information is available about Basic Burger, but one could make obvious assumptions about the type of food it will serve.
The arrival of a new burger restaurant could come at a good time for Courthouse: the Wendy’s just up the street is slated to be torn down at some point for a new office development approved by the County Board earlier this year.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt. File photo.
The permits indicate that Shake Shack is planning a restaurant with outdoor patio seating and signage, indicating that it’s likely coming to the mall’s 50,000 square foot expansion along S. Hayes Street, which is currently under construction.
The location could be a boon to the New York-based burger restaurant, serving the legions of U.S. and international tourists who get dropped off at the mall by the busload in order to chow down at the food court and do a bit of shopping.
So far there has been no official announcement of Shake Shack’s arrival from mall owner Simon. As for an opening date, spring 2016 seems to be the most likely timeframe. Two other restaurants announced for the mall’s addition — Matchbox and Sugar Factory — each have an anticipated spring opening.
While it will likely keep busy with tourists and shoppers, the Shake Shack will be losing some potential customers a year or two after it opens. It was announced yesterday that the Transportation Security Administration headquarters, located across the street, will be moving to Alexandria by 2018.
A Shake Shack in Pentagon City was presaged by Eater.com’s Missy Frederick, who reported last year that the company was looking closely at Bethesda, Reston and Pentagon City for potential future locations.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt. Photo (top) via Wikipedia/Beyond My Ken
Arlington residents to should start building up an appetite. The third annual D.C. BRGR Bash is coming to Rosslyn’s Gateway Park on Saturday, July 18.
The BRGR Bash is a six hour competition of who can make the best burger, and the judges are the visitors. Each person at the bash gets to try four burgers and then a cast his or her vote for favorite burger.
There will also be craft beers to help wash down the burgers and live music to jam to while eating.
At the end of the day, one burger chef champion will be named, and he or she will walk away with a vacation to Austin, Texas and the Golden BRGR Bash trophy.
The competition was started by Craig Carey, who also started Ballston burger joint Big Buns.
The competition runs from noon to 6 p.m. on July 18, and tickets are $29 per person. A ticket gets a person entry and four burgers. The 16 burgers are broken down into four groups, and each ticket is for one group. D.C. BRGR Bash recommends bringing three other friends so that everyone can taste all 16 burgers. Craft beers are available for $5 at one of the four beer bars.
Vegetarians don’t have to be left out. The competition offers a Veggie Burger ticket for $19, which gets the person entry and a veggie burger. There will also be cider for those with gluten allergies.
Arlingtonians can also attend the bash to support the four local competitors: Willow Restaurant in Ballston, Big Buns in Ballston, Citizen Burger Bar in Clarendon and the combined entry of Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hill in Clarendon.
Photo courtesy of Darren Stauffer
Citizen Burger Bar, at 1051 N. Highland Street, is now open for business.
The restaurant, which is the second location for the Charlottesville, Va.-based business, officially opened on Thursday. It will remain open seven days a week, serving dinner until 10:30 p.m. and drinks until last call on the weekends.
“The idea is to broaden people’s horizons when it comes to simple, ‘classic American’ fare,” said owner Anderson McClure, an Alexandria native, told ARLnow.com in November. “We want to serve great food and drinks, and do it in a way that might also change people’s perception and standards.”
Among its menu items is “The Executive,” a $24 burger topped with foie gras, bacon, black onions, a fried egg, garlic aioli and truffled brioche. The other menu items range from $6-$15, and burgers can come with an assortment of toppings, like Maine lobster (for $8), fried pickles, chili and one of seven cheeses.
Hat tip to @ChrisKinard
Citizen Burger Bar, a sit-down, farm-sourced burger restaurant, hopes to open at 1051 N. Highland Street in Clarendon around the new year.
The restaurant announced in a press release that it expects to open “in about two months,” with a full bar and a large, open space with an open kitchen. The restaurant’s first branch opened in Charlottesville in 2012, and the Clarendon location will be its second.
“The idea is to broaden people’s horizons when it comes to simple, ‘classic American’ fare,” said owner Anderson McClure, an Alexandria native. “We want to serve great food and drinks, and do it in a way that might also change people’s perception and standards.”
The restaurant, according to a press release, will source its grass-fed beef, eggs, cheese and produce from farms in Virginia “each run with ethical, sustainable, free-range priorities.” All of the waitstaff will be trained to explain the origins of the menu and bar items. The restaurant says it will partner with “neighborhood bakers” for the bread used in its burger buns.
As far as the bar, customers can expect a rotating tap list and more than 100 bottles of beer, plus “cutting-edge craft cocktails and an upstanding wine list showcasing many Virginia wineries.”
There will also be flatscreen TVs throughout the bar.
The Charlottesville location was named the “best burger” and “best place to watch the game” in the 2014 edition of C-Ville Weekly, a Charlottesville magazine.
APS Graduation Rate Rises to 92 Percent — Arlington Public Schools’ graduation rate rose to 92 percent for the Class of 2014, up from 85.2 percent in 2010. The dropout rate declined to 3.8 percent this year and the graduation rate for Arlington’s three comprehensive high schools reached 98.7 percent. “This steady improvement is a reflection of the teamwork of everyone working together to ensure that our students succeed,” said Superintendent Dr. Patrick Murphy, in a statement. [Arlington Public Schools]
Company Promises In-N-Out Delivery — As a publicity stunt, food delivery service OrderAhead is offering to deliver frozen In-N-Out Double Double burgers from California today to addresses Arlington and D.C. Even though In-N-Out is famous for food that’s never frozen or pre-packaged, the offer is apparently proving popular for those with a craving for the west coast chain. Currently, a website set up to provide more information about the promotion is down. [Eater]
County Board Supports Nonpartisan Redistricting — The Arlington County Board voted unanimously on Tuesday to support nonpartisan redistricting of state legislative boundaries. Democratic Board Chairman Jay Fisette said partisan redistricting leads to “stagnation and gridlock,” while independent Board member John Vihstadt said it produces “toxic partisanship in Washington and Richmond.” [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Crockett and Tubbs may be long off the air, but two men are trying to bring the flair of the “Miami Vice” TV show to their new Arlington-based food truck.
Miami Vice Burgers opened its window for the first time last Thursday on N. Stuart Street in Ballston. Owner Santo Mirabile and his partner, Gary Romain, have manned the truck in matching Hawaiian shirts on weekdays since then. Mirabile said he plans to continue to park in Ballston this week before circulating to Courthouse, Rosslyn and Crystal City.
“We have something nobody else has,” Mirabile said about his menu, which includes a Tubbs Burger, Sonny’s Burger and a Don Johnson Special — a 6-inch roll with Italian or Chorizo sausage, Chimichurri sauce and grilled onions and peppers. “We’re trying to bring a South Beach taste to Northern Virginia.”
Mirabile owned the El-Chaparral Meat Market in Clarendon for 27 years before he closed it and moved back to Florida; he grew up in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and he said he’s always been a huge fan of the TV show. He said he couldn’t sit around the house all day, and his children always encouraged him to try to sell his burgers, so he decided to give it a whirl.
“I worked for Marriott for many years and I learned to love the food business there,” he said. “I love working with food and people. The food truck is a fun job.”
The burgers have eclectic toppings and sauces — Sonny’s Burger is a quarter-pound angus beef patty with guacamole, grilled onion, jalapeño relish, cilantro sour cream with a “Sonny” side up egg on a brioche bun. Mirabile could neither confirm nor deny the inclusion of an Edward James Olmos burger in the future.
The New York-based burger, hot dog and milkshake chain opened its fourth D.C. location yesterday, at Union Station.
At the opening, Shake Shack CEO Randy Garutti told Eater.com that he’s considering a future location in Pentagon City.
Eater’s Missy Frederick reports:
“I’d like to someday be further outside the city,” he said, though there are no concrete plans to open any locations there yet. Garutti could see such markets as Bethesda, Reston and Pentagon City responding well to a location.
While Crystal City has a Good Stuff Eatery, the only fast food burger option of note in Pentagon City is the McDonald’s in Pentagon City mall.
Photo via Wikipedia/Beyond My Ken
Politico to Stay in Rosslyn — The Capitol Hill publication Politico has been looking for new office space, but will keep its home at 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn after all, according to an internal memo. Politico’s owner, Allbritton Communications, said last year that it plans to use proceeds from the sale of its Rosslyn-based TV station WJLA (ABC 7) to fund an expansion of Politico. [Fishbowl DC]
Woodstock Park Improvements Approved — The Arlington County Board has unanimously approved a $644,127 contract to construct improvements to Woodstock Park, including a new basketball court and playground. [Arlington County]
Ray’s, Heavy Seas Makes Burger List — Two Arlington eateries are among the D.C. area’s ten hottest places for burgers, according to online food publication Eater. Rosslyn’s relatively new Heavy Seas Alehouse is No. 5 while Ray’s to the Third, also in Rosslyn, is No. 7. [Eater]
A Very Arlington Tweet — Was it the “Arlington-est tweet ever” when Bike Arlington tweeted today that “it’s flip-flop commuting weather?” [Twitter]
Photo courtesy @rydaka
A new food truck, DC Sliders, has come to serve lunch to customers in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.
The truck’s first day in Arlington was Feb. 6. It serves an array of mini-burgers, including the “Elvis” slider, featuring the King’s favorite sandwich ingredients: peanut butter, banana and bacon. Currently, it has regular stops in Courthouse and Rosslyn, as well as Reston and Tysons Corner, but it has also stopped in Ballston in the last two weeks.
Other menu items during its stop in Rosslyn yesterday (Wednesday) included the “Del Toro” — which comes topped with tomato salsa, refried beans, guacamole, corn, greens and tortilla chips — and the “Slider Mac,” a burger topped with ketchup and macaroni and cheese. Customers can choose two types of sliders and combine with an order of garlic fries for $11.
The line for sliders at 11:45 a.m. was the longest on the block, even with four other food trucks parked close by.
The truck was launched in Loudoun County last August, according to co-owner Carmen Morse, who owns the truck with her husband, Chris. Carmen Morse told ARLnow.com that they are waiting for permits to park in D.C. and, if business continues to go well this summer, they are aiming to launch another truck and, a bit down the road, open a brick-and-mortar store.