Bracket Room, the Clarendon sports bar co-founded by Chris Bukowski of ‘The Bachelor’ franchise fame, has closed — for real this time.
The bar served its last customers on Sunday, we’re told. On Monday, employees could be seen hauling items out of the venue at 1210 N. Garfield Street and loading them into a pickup truck.
Much of the restaurant’s equipment was recently placed on a local auction website.
The bar announced the news on Instagram yesterday, saying that it was unable to renegotiate its current 10-year lease.
With great sadness, Bracket Room in VA is having to close its doors for good. We had a 10 year lease with the building and when renegotiating the terms, we weren’t able to come to a common ground.
We want to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the years, the people who have had many memories at Bracket Room and we will forever be grateful for you all. This parting ways is just as hard on us and it is on you.
We will think about you ALWAYS and hope to see you around the way ❤️ you all were the best. Thank you.
Bracket Room Owner & Staff
Bracket Room opened in 2013, seeking to provide a higher-end, “female-friendly” experience with higher-quality food and drink. Over the years it attracted it attracted sizeable gameday and Bachelor-watching crowds, and also the ire of some neighbors who thought it made too much noise.
Last March, as the pandemic got underway, Bracket Room announced it would close in Arlington for good. With little further explanation, it reopened for takeout shortly thereafter and then reopened for dine-in customers as well.
By ARLnow’s count, Bracket Room is the 26th restaurant in Arlington to close since the start of the pandemic.
At least 25 restaurants have closed in Arlington since the start of the pandemic, nearly one year ago.
The restaurants that have closed their doors run the gamut from local watering holes to workday lunch spots to a neighborhood froyo stop. Many were hit hard by the the loss of business caused by the pandemic and subsequent safety measures, though some might have closed regardless.
The loss of any local business is upsetting, but which of the following closures are you most sad about?
Hannah Foley contributed to this report
Mi & Yu Noodle Bar at Ballston Quarter is now closed permanently, owner Edward Kim confirms to ARLnow.
The eatery was the first to open at Ballston Quarter’s “Quarter Market” food hall in March 2019. It was the establishment’s only location outside of Baltimore, Maryland.
The reason for the shuttering is simple, Kim says.
“Sales and COVID,” he tells ARLnow in a short phone call. “It’s pretty straight-forward.”
There are no plans to open any additional locations of the raman, noodle, and bao restaurant in Arlington, Kim said.
In general, the Ballston food hall has seen thinning crowds due to the pandemic. That hasn’t stopped a number of high profile openings in recent months, however.
In the fall, sandwich shop Superette opened along with a new pierogi stand in December. In 2021, Quarter Market has also welcomed taco and tequila spot Bartaco and fast casual Indian restaurant Bollywood Bistro Express.
It’s also been tough sledding for others at Ballston Quarter over the last year, including Mi & Yu Noodle Bar. Punch Bowl Social filed for bankruptcy in December and closed its Ballston location on Christmas Eve “until further notice.”
The Regal movie theater at Ballston Quarter remains temporarily closed.
After several difficult months for Meridian Pint (6035 Wilson Blvd), owner John Andrade said an opportunity came along to sell the business and he took it.
The bar in Dominion Hills was part of a small, pint-sized franchise when it opened in 2019, but the Columbia Heights location in D.C. closed as part of the move to Arlington. Smoke & Barrel, another Andrade restaurant in Adams Morgan, closed late last year. Brookland Pint in D.C. remains open.
“It is with heavy heart I announce I am no longer the principal owner of Meridian Pint,” Andrade said in a post on Facebook this week. “This past year presented fiscal challenges that were difficult to survive. And although Meridian Pint and its staff received heroic and loyal support from our incredible Arlington neighbors, ultimately, Meridian Pint was simply unprepared financially to keep operating to a level that the community and our amazing staff deserves.”
Andrade has launched a GoFundMe in January to help cover expenses for the staff. The fundraiser ultimately raised $3,560.
“Recently, the opportunity was presented to pass the torch on to an organization better prepared to carry on the legacy of Meridian Pint,” Andrade said. “The decision was tough but obvious. I am pleased to tell you that under new management, Meridian Pint will now begin its next chapter in Arlington, ready to serve you everything you have come to love, only better.”
No information about the new owners was immediately available.
“I hope that you will support this next phase in the story of our neighborhood gathering place along with me,” Andrade said. “You will continue to see me at ‘The Oldest Bar in Dominion Hills’ regularly. Except from now on, I’ll be on the customer side of the bar. It has truly been my greatest pleasure and honor in serving you.”
The run of bad luck for the bar didn’t end with the sale announcement, however.
Early in the morning, the day after the announcement, a burglar reportedly broke into the bar. According to a police report, an unknown suspect forced entry into the business early Wednesday morning, caused damage to the bar and stole a cash box.
Andrade confirmed that it was Dominion Pint that was burglarized, saying that he thinks the break-in was part of a string of burglaries occurring in the area.
After nearly seven years in South Arlington, the Maserati dealership at 2710 S. Glebe Road has closed its doors.
The dealership — located on a property that had earlier been home to seafood seller M. Slavin & Sons — is currently completely empty, with only Maserati and Alfa Romeo branding and an ironic “Now Open” sign.
An employee at Maserati of Tysons (8448 Leesburg Pike) confirmed that the Arlington location closed and the Fairfax County location is now the closest Maserati dealer for Arlington residents.
The property, adjacent to I-395, may retain an automotive-related use, however. ARLnow hears that Tesla is considering leasing the building.
It’s tough to run a restaurant or a fitness studio during the pandemic, but it’s even tougher to run an indoor children’s bounce gym.
An item on the County Board agenda for this weekend recommends that the Board discontinue a daycare permit issued to the business, which allowed it to provide a “Parent’s Night Out” childcare service.
“The operator of this use permit, Jumping Joeys, has closed and is no longer in operation,” the Board report notes. Attempts by ARLnow to reach the owner of the business, which formerly operated out of a more modest space across from Washington-Liberty High School, were unsuccessful.
The company’s website simply says it is “closed until further notice.” A Google listing for a second Jumping Joeys location on W. Broad Street in Falls Church says it is “permanently closed.”
The doors are closed, the lights are off, and all the interior decorations and furniture are gone: Cosi (1801 N. Lynn Street) in Rosslyn is closed.
The fast-casual restaurant chain build on flatbread sandwiches had several closures — of locations in Crystal City, Virginia Square and Ballston — early last year when the company filed for bankruptcy protection, leaving the Rosslyn location as the last D.C. area location on this side of the Potomac River.
A Cosi employee confirmed that the Rosslyn location was closed, but said a D.C. location would still serve Arlington for catering orders. It’s unclear when exactly the eatery closed, but reviews of the location were still being posted as recently as a month ago.
The Starbucks up the block at 1735 N. Lynn Street, meanwhile, will also close soon. A sign in the window says the location’s last day will be Friday, Jan. 29.
“We would like to thank you for being part of our store community; you are the heart of who we are at Starbucks,” a sign written by the store managers said. “It has been a great pleasure to connect with you every day. We are thankful to have played a role in your daily routine and that you have shared these moments of your life with us.”
An existing, standalone Starbucks at 1501 17th Street N. in Rosslyn will remain open, the sign says.
Restaurants in Rosslyn have been hit hard by the pandemic, which greatly thinned out the previously bountiful lunchtime crowds from the neighborhood’s office buildings and hotels. Up the hill from the Cosi and the closing Starbucks, Tom Yum District and Subway also recently closed.
More than two dozen restaurants have closed in Arlington since the last March, when the first local coronavirus cases were reported.
Hat tip to Kevin C.
The G.O.A.T, a sports bar and lounge at 3028 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon, in the former Hard Times space, has closed permanently.
The bar remained closed for months during the pandemic, but its owners recently decided to make what was initially a temporary closure permanent. Retail leasing signs are now up in the windows, equipment was removed from the space, and the bar’s former website is defunct.
“We are moving on to other projects,” G.O.A.T partner Scott Parker confirmed to ARLnow this morning. “[Coronavirus] made it too difficult to sustain.”
G.O.A.T had the backing of Parker and Mike Cordero, the local nightlife titans behind Don Tito, Bronson Bierhall, and Barley Mac. But with a 350-person capacity, plus three full bars and tables across two levels, it proved difficult to fill on a regular basis, even with a location across from the Clarendon Metro station.
The bar opened to fanfare in the fall of 2017. It closed last year amid pandemic lockdowns and never reopened. By early fall, the TVs that adorned the walls, along with other furnishings, had been removed.
Parker, who’s working to open a new pizza and hangout spot at Pentagon Row called Nighthawk Pizza, said no other closures of existing bars are planned, though the pandemic has dealt the formerly high-flying venues a big blow.
“Everything else is staying open,” he said. “We’re doing the best we can like everyone else.”
G.O.A.T is the 24th restaurant to close in Arlington since the start of the pandemic, according to ARLnow’s count.
After a little more than two years in business, the Burgerim at 3811 Fairfax Drive is closed.
Thanks to a reader tip, we can confirm that the restaurant closed before the new year. It opened on the ground floor of a Virginia Square office building in the fall of 2017, and is among a handful of Burgerim locations that have closed over the past year in Virginia.
At its peak Israel-based Burgerim had hundreds of locations throughout the country. It was listed as the fastest growing burger chain in the country in 2019, but that same year faced bankruptcy as its CEO fled the U.S. for Israel amid allegations of deceptive sales practices against franchise owners by promising unrealistic profits.
The burger joint features packages of up to 16 gourmet mini-burgers, in addition to other sandwiches, chicken wings and salads. Currently, the nearest Burgerim location is in Ashburn.
After nearly 60 years, The Inn of Rosslyn is permanently closed.
The Green family, which owned The Inn of Rosslyn and the Americana Hotel in Crystal City — the sale of which was previously reported — has sold both hotels to developer JBG Smith before the new year, according to one family member. The family also sold two apartment buildings: Fern Gardens and Williamsburg Apartments.
“The whole COVID-19 thing has basically bankrupted our businesses,” Katherine Green, whose father built the hotel in 1957, told ARLnow. “There was no other option. There was no end in sight.”
Business looked good, pre-coronavirus. The hotels were generating income, and the general manager of The Americana told Washington Business Journal that 2017 was its best year. But when the economy crashed, Green said she had no income from April 1 until mid-December. (The County records the sales on Dec. 18.) She said a small business loan covered payroll for a few months, but the siblings still emptied their bank accounts to keep the hotels open for a paltry 10% occupancy.
“We were hemorrhaging money,” said Green, who is 60.
A spokesperson for JBG Smith confirmed the purchase of the 38-key Rosslyn hotel and the two apartment buildings, but declined to comment further. The company has been on something of a buying spree in Arlington; an affiliated nonprofit just bought the Crystal House apartment complex with funding from Amazon, as part of a $2 billion commitment by the tech giant to support affordable housing in Arlington, Nashville and the Seattle area.
The Inn of Rosslyn is assessed at $5,070,900, and the two apartment buildings are together worth $8.7 million, according to county records.
Prior to these sales, JBG Smith’s Arlington properties were cumulatively valued this summer at nearly $4.5 billion, according to Arlington County.
“This is an end of an era,” Green said of her family’s business. “It’s hard for the employees. Some have worked for us for 20-odd years. Many were housed in family property and we don’t know if they’ll find jobs.”
The coronavirus was not Green’s only worry. Some of her siblings are too old to be involved, or have died recently, leaving only Green and her sister, Carole Newman, poised to keep the doors open.
The Green’s story is playing out statewide. COVID-19 has crippled the hotel industry statewide, with hotel revenues down 51% from 2019, and the percentage of rooms booked down 33 percentage points, Virginia Business reports.
Still, Green considers herself lucky.
“My father built his businesses in an area that is so valuable that we could sell,” she said.
William Green Sr. quit his electrical engineering job with General Electric to build the hotels.
“He didn’t want to work for a big corporation — he wanted to give his family financial independence, and give them freedom,” she said.
And her father, a child of the Great Depression, chose the D.C. area, she said.
“He knew that if the economy crashed again, D.C. would be more insulated than anywhere else,” she said. “Arlington is really the center of the universe in some ways.”
Today, Green lives on more than one hundred acres in eastern Oregon, and even mulled investing in hotels two years ago — but is glad she did not.
“What is going down is a travesty unlike anything in my lifetime,” she said.