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Lotus Grill and Noodles in Shirlington Closes

(Updated at 7:30 p.m.) Lotus Grill and Noodles, a Vietnamese restaurant in Shirlington, has closed its doors for good.

The restaurant has been on 4041 Campbell Ave in the heart of Shirlington since 2013. From its Facebook page:

We’d like to thank all our local patrons, loyal customers and our friends & family [who supported] us over the past 5 years, and even thanks to our Facebook fan just hitting “like” us and never had a chance to visit us once. Yes, we surely missed being a part of a nice area [like] Village of Shirlington. Adieu, ciao, sayonara, bye bye and thank you again.

The interior of the restaurant is currently empty, but the owners said at the door that they are currently showing off the space to new clients.

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The Great Eatery in Rosslyn Has Permanently Closed

A long-time restaurant inside the 1000 Wilson Blvd food court has closed its doors for good.

The Great Eatery was a cafeteria-style restaurant offering convenient, casual dining to those working in the office tower. It had been located inside 1000 Wilson Blvd for 30 years.

According to Monday Properties, the owners of the restaurant decided to retire.

For over 30 years, The Great Eatery has been an essential part of our daily routines. The Moon Family has dedicated their time to serving us our breakfast in the mornings and welcomed everyone in the Rosslyn community for lunch. However, at the end of August, Mr. Moon will retire, and The Great Eatery will discontinue doing business.

Monday Properties has certainly valued the warmth and hospitality from The Moon Family over the years, and we congratulate them for over three decades of hard work. The Great Eatery was the first dining option to open here at the towers, and we are thankful for many memories. We wish everyone at The Great Eatery all the best.

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Mongol Nomads on Columbia Pike Appears to Have Closed

The Mongol Nomads restaurant along Columbia Pike appears to have shut down.

The Asian fusion eatery, located at 3202 Columbia Pike in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, appears to have been emptied out recently. The restaurant wasn’t open on Monday afternoon (Aug. 13) and staff did not answer the phone.

Several Yelp commenters have also observed in recent weeks that the restaurant seems to be closed. County records show Mongol Nomads opened back in 2016, though a variety of restaurants have cycled through the space over the years.

The restaurant appears to have been given a different coat of paint in recent weeks, though there have been no permit requests for the location filed as of Monday.

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Linda’s Cafe Closes Its Doors, Clearing the Way for New Bob and Edith’s

Longtime Arlington diner Linda’s Cafe has officially closed its doors, clearing the way for work to start on a new Bob and Edith’s location at the Lee Highway site.

Linda’s, located at 5050 Lee Highway, served up its last meal yesterday (Sunday), after it spent the last two decades at the location. Staff briefly posted a banner saying “Thank You Arlington” prior to the shop’s closing.

The restaurant was known for its all-day breakfast and burgers, not to mention a colorful social media presence, but the property’s owner sold the location on May 31, prompting the closure.

https://www.facebook.com/LindasCafe/posts/1966504520028382

Greg Bolton, the owner of the Bob and Edith’s chain, hopes to eventually transform the small restaurant into his third diner in Arlington. County property records show a company he controls purchased the land for $1.1 million.

Ryan Brown, Bolton’s attorney, told ARLnow last month that the new Bob and Edith’s could open in the next “six to nine months.”

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With Redevelopment Nearing, Several Crystal City Shops Set to Relocate

Multiple restaurants and stores are either closing or relocating in the Crystal City Shops at 1750.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop, one of the departing tenants, will be closed after today (July 25).

A sign inside the restaurant says they are relocating to an existing Potbelly location in Alexandria (401 John Carlyle Street), and a manager said the Crystal City location is closing because the building managers are renovating.

King Street Blues will close for business after July 29, per a sign and a Facebook post made Monday (July 23).

“The building we are located in is being redeveloped by the landlord and it’s time for them to take our space back,” the post reads, in part. The restaurant has plans to open a new neighborhood pub in the Crystal City area, according to the post.

Some stores within the shopping complex also had moving signs up.

Crystal Cleaners has moved to 1235 S. Clark Street under the name Crystal Gateway CleanersCrystal City Dental Arts Center also plans to move to that location at the end of the month. JBG Smith operates the Crystal City Shops, with a main entrance at 1750 Crystal Drive, and the 1235 S. Clark Street site.

A Touch of Art & Framing will relocate to a different space within the 1750 complex July 31, according to a sign on its door.

JBG Smith has significant development plans for the area surrounding the shopping center. That development includes the conversion of a 12-story office building at 1750 Crystal Drive into a 21-story residential building.

A spokesman for JBG Smith said that changes in the Crystal City Shops at 1750 are related to the Central District Retail Phase II development, which includes the office building conversion and the construction of a new two-story retail building, though tenants have been given options to stay or move to new space at street-level, he added.

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Upper Crust Pizzeria Along Lee Highway Shuts Down

The Upper Crust Pizzeria along Lee Highway has closed down, roughly three years after opening.

The store, located at 4514 Lee Highway as part of the Lee Heights Shops, shut its doors last Monday (July 16), according to a sign posted on its door.

The restaurant was the small chain’s first in Arlington, and opened for business in October 2015. Chief financial officer Ben Deb did not respond to a request for comment on what prompted the closure.

The chain is primarily based in the Boston area, though it previously operated a D.C. location until closing it 2012 amidst bankruptcy proceedings.

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Ping by Charlie Chiang’s Closed Permanently

Modern Asian restaurant Ping by Charlie Chiang’s is closed in The Village at Shirlington.

A posting to the restaurant’s 4060 Campbell Avenue door dated Monday (July 16) thanked customers for their patronage over the past three decades.

The Shirlington site remained open after Charlie Chiang’s closed in Crystal City in 2015.

As of this morning, Charlie Chiang’s website was down. There was no answer to the phone at Kwai, Charlie Chiang’s Tysons restaurant, yesterday evening (Thursday) or this morning, though its website is still active.

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Bistro 1521 Closed in Ballston

Bistro 1521, at 900 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, is closed due to “lease defaults” less than a year after opening.

That’s according to a notice dated today (July 3) posted to the eatery’s door by the Virginia Tech Real Estate Foundation.

The Filipino restaurant received a positive review from the Washington Post shortly after opening last August, and its menu featured items like palabok, or Filipino noodles, and sisig, a dish that features pig head and liver.

Reached by phone, Virginia Tech Foundation Director of Real Estate Carrie Woodring declined to comment. The notice states that the premises were locked “to secure the Landlord’s possession.”

“Because of lease defaults, the Tenant has no right to possession of these premises or any furniture, fixtures or equipment… but remains liable for outstanding amounts payable,” the notice says, in part.

There was no answer to Bistro 1521’s telephone line.

Hat tip to Ian K.

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Rosslyn’s Art Institute of Washington Set to Close, Stop Accepting New Students

The Rosslyn-based Art Institute of Washington is now set to shut down, and has stopped accepting applications for new students.

A spokeswoman for the college’s owner, Dream Center Education Holdings, confirmed today (Monday) that the Arlington location at 1820 N. Fort Myer Drive is among 30 of the company’s campuses set to close soon. The Raleigh News and Observer reported earlier today on an internal memo showing that the Rosslyn campus would be closing.

Anne Dean, the spokeswoman for DCEH, noted that the closure would impact “new students only” in the near term.

“We will redirect prospective students to our online offerings or one of our other campuses,” Dean wrote in a statement. “Current, active students should continue to attend class as scheduled.”

Dean did not say when, exactly, the campus would close for good. It’s been open in Rosslyn since 2000, and offers programs on everything from fashion to graphic design to culinary arts.

DCEH, a for-profit company, bought the Art Institute brand, as well as South University and Argosy University, late last year for $60 million. Since then, Dean wrote that the company has been “undergoing an ongoing process of evaluating the viability of certain campus-based programs relative to student needs and preferences in order to best support our students, both present and future.”

Though records show the Arlington campus, a branch of the Art Institute of Atlanta, has remained fully accredited, the company has struggled to maintain its credentials at other programs. The News and Observer also reported that DCEH has had trouble winning approval from the U.S. Department of Education to convert the Art Institute colleges into nonprofit entities.

“While we actively work with our accreditors and regulators to assess the viability of our current offerings at these locations, DCEH remains steadfast in our mission to provide students with accessible, affordable, relevant and purposeful education aligned with market demands,” Dean wrote.

The company also operates an Argosy University campus in Arlington, but that location is set to remain open.

H/t Rob Stern. Flickr pool photo by PDerby.

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Clarendon Apple Store Has Closed Temporarily

The Clarendon Apple store closed suddenly Friday and has remained closed since.

The closure appears to be temporary. A sign posted on the door says: “Effective immediately, Apple Clarendon is closed until further notice. We apologize for the inconvenience and encourage you to visit our nearby stores.”

The store’s windows are blacked out, and one of the doors appears to be missing, replaced with plywood painted black. Through a portion of the door not covered, several large air blowers — the kind used to dry carpets after a flood — could be seen inside.

Within seconds of a reporter trying to photograph through the glass, a security guard appeared and blocked the view. The guard said he could not say what happened to prompt the closure.

While there is thus far no official explanation, tipsters who contacted ARLnow alternately said the closure was due to a “sprinkler bursting” in the store or “some water problem” in the apartments above. No word yet on when the store may reopen.

Update on 7/2/18 — The Apple Store reopened as of Monday morning, with some visible damage inside.

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Basic Burger Leaving Courthouse, Planning Expansion Across D.C. Region

Basic Burger is moving out of its Courthouse location, but the restaurant has big plans for expansion across the D.C. region.

General manager Guillermo Castillo says his eatery will be closing up shop at 2024 Wilson Blvd at the end of this week, after first opening there in 2016.

He says that decision was in part driven by some big changes in the company — Castillo said one of its main partners left the business six months ago —  but also a reflection of his plans to open other Basic Burgers elsewhere in the coming months. He announced plans last fall to open a new space in the Pentagon Row shopping center, and he’s hoping to open another location in North Arlington and one in D.C. soon enough.

“It was a tough decision… but with all the new projects we had going on, it just didn’t make sense for us to stay there any more,” Castillo told ARLnow.

Castillo hopes to hold a soft opening for the Pentagon Row shop, to be located at 1101 S. Joyce Street in the plaza next to Starbucks, by this weekend, at the earliest. He expects that location will become the restaurant’s “flagship,” as it’s several times larger than the old Courthouse space, and will offer a whole host of new menu items beyond the burgers and hotdogs that have defined Basic Burger.

“We’re limited a bit by our budget as we opened up last time,” Castillo said. “But this has really taken us to the next level.”

He also plans to set up outdoor seating and a bar that’s “twice the size” of the one at the Courthouse location. That will include a handful of vodka cocktails on tap, as well as frozen  rosé.

As for the new locations elsewhere, Castillo said he’s signed leases for both a North Arlington space and one in D.C., but he declined to reveal the locations of those just yet.

Castillo also noted that burger fans in Courthouse will soon have a new option in the space Basic Burger is leaving behind. He says he’s arranged for another restaurant to take over the location, though he doesn’t know much about the new occupants, other than the fact that they operate some food trucks in the area.

State records show that a company called Philomina, LLC recently applied for a license to serve wine and beer at the space, under the name “Burger District.”

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Earl’s Sandwiches to Shutter Ballston Location, Though Clarendon Store Staying Put

Earl’s Sandwiches is planning to close down its Ballston location next Friday (June 15).

The local sandwich shop announced the decision on its Facebook page yesterday (June 6). The location at 4215 N. Fairfax Drive, across from the Ballston Metro station, opened back in 2012.

Earl’s added in the Facebook post that the restaurant’s Clarendon store will remain open as part of this shuffle.

“While we have had a fabulous time running our second location, we’re ready to get back to our roots and fully concentrate on creating amazing sandwiches [and] experiences for our customers,” the post reads.

Earl’s first opened its Clarendon location, at 2605 Wilson Blvd, back in 2005.

We'd like to announce the closing of our Ballston location effective June 15th, 2018. While we have had a fabulous time…

Posted by Earl's Sandwiches on Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Photo via Facebook

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Cherrydale’s House of Steep to Close

Despite efforts to save it over the past year, House of Steep in Cherrydale is again preparing to close its doors.

The business at 3800 Lee Highway is part tea house and part day spa, letting customers “enjoy a carefully blended pot of tea and a therapeutic foot bath with reflexology” at the same time. It was set to close at the end of 2016 when a long-time customer stepped in, bought it and revived it.

Since then the new owner, Patrick Vaughan, has taken steps to adding in-store events and applying for a license to serve wine. In an email to customers today, published below, Vaughan said it was not enough to make the business work. It is set to close on Saturday, June 23.

Dear Steepers,

What an honor it has been to be a part of the House of Steep community; unfortunately, I’m saddened to announce we will be closing our doors on June 23, 2018.

When I acquired House of Steep in January 2017, my goal was to keep alive this beloved local business and continue to provide a positive community gathering space to relax and enjoy the company of friends and family. While this chapter in the House of Steep saga may seem short-lived, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

In realizing the on-going financial challenges of the business, we pushed for appropriate changes to our lease agreement, which were temporarily granted by the landlord. However, an agreement on permanent changes could not be attained and effective at the end of the month our lease will be terminated. I want to extend my deepest appreciation for our incredible TEAM who made every possible effort to sustain the business for as long as possible.

My sincerest thank you to you, our many wonderful customers who I have had the opportunity to meet and share time with during the past 18 months. Your support and appreciation for Steep made this an amazing experience that I will always look back on fondly.

We will do our best to honor any outstanding gift cards in the coming weeks and will maintain an inventory on our website while supplies last. Whatever the future holds, keep us in your thoughts, treat yourselves with love and always take time to relax with family and friends. Steep on!

With Love,
Patrick and the TEAm

Photo via House of Steep

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Linda’s Cafe on Lee Highway Set to Close, Could Soon Be Replaced by Bob and Edith’s

Longtime diner Linda’s Cafe is closing its doors and could soon be replaced by another Arlington institution: Bob and Edith’s Diner.

General manager Joe Ellian told ARLnow he heard from attorneys for the restaurant last Thursday (May 31), informing him that they’ve purchased the small space at 5050 Lee Highway from his landlord and giving him 30 days to move out. Bob and Edith’s did not immediately respond to a request for comment on their plans for the property.

“I’m going to miss all the customers and the neighborhood so much, it’s just very sad,” Ellian said. “It just isn’t enough time for a restaurant to pack up… I have bills to pay, food to sell, a family.”

Ellian says he’s run Linda’s out of the Lee Highway location for the last 20 years, and he’s heartbroken to be leaving the area. The restaurant was known for its all-day breakfast and burger offerings, as well as a sometimes colorful Twitter account.

“It was like a family here, we had good relationships with all the customers,” Ellian said. “As soon as we saw a car pull up, we knew who it was. We knew their order and had their food waiting for them.”

Ellian notes that he never had trouble making rent, but believes his landlord, Joe Djassebi, received a lucrative enough offer that he felt forced to sell. The property had an assessed value of more than $757,000 in 2018, according to county records.

Ellian isn’t sure what he’ll do next — he is hoping to bargain for more time to move all his equipment out of the Lee Highway location — but he may move Linda’s elsewhere in Arlington, if he can find the right spot.

“A good location is hard to find,” Ellian said.

Bob and Edith’s currently operates two diners in Arlington, with another in Alexandria and one in Springfield.

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Ice Cream Shop Appears to be Coming to Shirlington

It looks like Shirlington will be getting its own ice cream shop.

An application has been filed to convert a storefront at 4150 Campbell Avenue into an “ice cream take out” business. There is a frozen yogurt store a block away, but no other ice cream shops in the neighborhood.

The exact storefront could not be confirmed, though Knits Etc. at 4150 Campbell Ave recently closed and is currently vacant.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

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