Arlington, VA

Bracket Room, a sports bar in Clarendon co-owned by Chris Bukowski of Bachelor fame, is the latest victim of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Due to the national crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with a heavy heart that Bracket Room in Arlington has decided to close its doors,” the restaurant said on Instagram Tuesday afternoon. “We want to sincerely thank all of our patrons and employees for all their support over the years. We are going to miss each and every one of you.”

The bar opened in the fall of 2013, offering a “higher-end, ‘female-friendly’ experience.” Located at 1210 N. Garfield Street, Bracket Room closed a week ago, after a weekend St. Patrick’s Day celebration, for everything other than take-out and delivery.

In today’s Instagram post, Bracket Room promised to honor its earlier promotion to refund all receipts since November if the Washington Nationals win the World Series again this year.

ARLnow’s list of other Arlington restaurants offering delivery and takeout can be found here.

View this post on Instagram

Due to the National crisis from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is with a heavy heart that Bracket Room in Arlington has decided to close its doors. We want to sincerely thank all of our patrons and employees for all their support over the years. We are going to miss each and every one of you. Our promotion of reimbursement of every purchase if the Nationals win the World Series is still in effect. If the Nationals are lucky enough to win the 2021 World Series and you have all your receipts, we will honor it. Please contact one of our owners, Jeff Greenberg, at 703-307-9600, and he will personally make sure you get your refunds. It’s been a wonderful few years, please everyone stay healthy & stay safe!

A post shared by Bracket Room (@bracketroomva) on

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(Updated on 2/23/20) The sports bar and restaurant Champps in Pentagon Row has permanently closed.

Coronavirus wasn’t the sole cause of the bar and restaurant’s demise — a staff member at the now-closed restaurant said they’d been struggling for months — but he said that it had been the final nail in the coffin.

“We’re battling through the leases but as soon as coronavirus came through [the company] decided they couldn’t keep operating the ones that were losing money,” the staff member said.

The Pentagon Row Champps first opened in 2001, shortly after 9/11, and donated the first couple days of beverage sales to a relief fund for victims of the attack on the Pentagon. It was one of the first large restaurants in the then-new shopping center.

In the classic Arlington cycle of restaurant death and rebirth, Twitter users both mourned the late restaurant and started wondering what could be next for the large space.

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Morning Notes

Don’t Ride Metro Unless You Must, Says Metro — “Effective… Wednesday, March 18 — and continuing until further notice — Metro service will operate as follows: Rail system hours and service levels are further reduced to support essential travel only. DO NOT TRAVEL UNLESS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. Follow guidance from your state and local authorities. New hours: Weekdays 5AM-11PM, Sat/Sun 8AM-11PM. Trains will run every 15 minutes on each line at all times.” [WMATA, Twitter]

Utility Disconnections, Evictions Suspended — Arlington County has suspended water disconnections, Dominion has suspended power disconnections, and courts in Virginia has suspended evictions, giving those who are unable to pay their bills during the coronavirus outbreak a chance to stay in their homes. [Twitter, Dominion, Press Release, Twitter]

Police Can Now Enforce State Crowd Ban — “I just issued an emergency order with @VDHCommissioner to enforce Virginia’s statewide ban of more than 10 patrons in restaurants, theaters, and fitness centers. Please use common sense. If you were considering ignoring this limit — don’t.” [Twitter, Gov. Ralph Northam]

Compass Coffee Lays Off Most Employees — “”Compass Coffee, a DC based company just laid off 180 of their 200 employees abruptly.” [PoPville]

Vintage Restaurant Group Shutters Locations — The operator of iconic local restaurants Ragtime, Rhodeside Grill and William Jeffrey’s Tavern is closing its locations until further notice. [Twitter]

Four Courts Donates Extra Food to AFAC — “We just dropped off fresh produce @AFACfeeds… their need is still great.” [Twitter]

Marymount Extends Online-Only Classes — “In order to continue ensuring the health and safety of the campus community, Marymount University will extend its online-only class period to Tuesday, April 14 (previously March 30), as the greater Washington region sees increased cases of COVID-19.” [Press Release]

Macy’s Closes Stores Nationwide — “Macy’s is closing all of its stores nationwide, effective at the end of business Tuesday through March 31, to try to help curb the spread of COVID-19.” [CNBC]

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Morning Notes

Rent Rising in Arlington — “The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment was $1,840 and for a two-bedroom apartment was $2,130 in Arlington, based on the latest data from Apartment List. The growth rate of 3.7 percent from 12 months before compares to a national increase of 1.7 percent during the same period.” [InsideNova]

Rolling Thunder Rides Again — “The massive Rolling Thunder motorcycle rally staged in Washington each Memorial Day weekend had its final ride last year, but the roar of engines isn’t going away… The 2020 version of the ride has new organizers, a new sponsor and a new name, but participants and spectators might not notice the changes.” [Washington Post]

Bean Bag Chair Store Closes in BallstonYogibo, a casual furniture store specializing in bean bag chairs, has closed at Ballston Quarter mall. [Twitter]

Cat Shot With Arrow Adopted — “Cupid is going home! His new mom and dad were SO excited to meet Cupid and make him a part of the family. He was purring and giving them head-butts right away, and we wish him all the best in his new home!” [Facebook, WJLA]

Watch Out for Coronavirus Scams — “As public health concerns continue to grow surrounding the coronavirus, Attorney General Mark R. Herring is urging Virginians to be wary of any coronavirus related scams. Scams could include selling products that purport to prevent the coronavirus, spreading misinformation, or pretending to solicit donations for victims of the disease.” [Press Release]

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After a little more than a year in business, the DC Lash Bar location in Ballston has closed.

Located in the outdoor, open-air portion of Ballston Quarter mall, the salon’s second location — after its original Georgetown location — originally opened in November 2018. It recently closed because “DC Lash Bar has decided not to renew its lease with Ballston Quarter,” a spokesperson told ARLnow.

It is unclear what business might eventually replace the salon but the DC Lash Bar signs have been removed and the space appears empty.

Going forward, the DC Lash Bar wants to open another location but isn’t sure where, the spokesperson said.

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The Salsa Room is moving out next month, and other tenants are being put on short-term leases.

All signs point to the planned redevelopment of the Fillmore Gardens Shopping Center, on Columbia Pike just east of Walter Reed Drive and west of Penrose Square, starting soon.

The plan is to replace the aging, single-story commercial buildings — housing CVS, H&R Block, Atilla’s restaurant, the Salsa Room, and the Burritos Bros food stand — with a six-story apartment building featuring ground-floor retail. Work could start as soon as 2021, though merchants are also being told it could be 2-3 years from now.

“Hopefully something will come together as early as mid-next year,” said Harald Mangold, president and CEO of Scott Management, which operates the shopping center and the adjacent Fillmore Gardens Apartments. “It depends on lots of things… ounty approvals, the economy, and so on.”

Mangold said the redevelopment plan, presented last year to the county’s Form Based Code Advisory Working Group, remains the same.

The Salsa Room, meanwhile, is moving to Tysons in March. Co-owner Victor Villarreal said the owners of the shopping center “have been really honest with the tenants that they are actively seeking to redevelop.” All leases end in October and will then go month-to-month, he said.

Villarreal said he regrets moving out of Arlington but feels the club had little choice.

“It’s hard to find a building, build it out and do all that stuff. It takes time,” he said. “We’re going to miss the space a lot. I really feel that we contributed to the growth of that area and we’ve held a lot of fundraisers… It’s a nice location. It’s close to D.C. and everything. I wish we could stay there forever, but unfortunately [could not].”

A portion of the current CVS parking lot is expected to be ceded to the county, to be added to Penrose Square park, as part of the redevelopment.

Catherine Moran contributed to this report.

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(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) A residential development in Clarendon originally approved in 2015 may be nearing fruition.

The Arlington County Board previously approved a 580-unit, mixed-use development project in western Clarendon in October 2015. Set to replace the former Red Top Cab headquarters and dispatch center, and a pair of small commercial buildings, the development has shown few signs of progress since then.

That may be about to change. The KinderCare daycare center, located in one of the buildings to be replaced in the first of two planned construction phases, informed parents last week that it would be closing in June.

“Today I have some sad news to share: our center will close on June 5,” the center’s director wrote in a Feb. 20 letter. “As some of you may know, our center has been on short term leases for the last few years due to a new development project awaiting approval with the city. We recently learned that the project is moving forward.”

The letter went on to suggest that no replacement is currently planned for the center.

“I know this news may be unexpected and difficult to hear… Please know that all of us at KinderCare will do everything we can to support you and your child and to make this transition as stress-free as possible,” the letter says. “Since 2017, we’ve been diligently exploring all additional options for centers in the area… we are continuing to seek out additional child care solutions for families in Arlington.”

Facing a relatively tight turnaround for finding new childcare arrangements, some parents are incensed.

“This is incredibly short notice in an area that commands 6 months+ of wait lists for daycare services,” one parent told ARLnow. “Our understanding is that the teachers and director were blindsided as well.”

KinderCare is planning a town hall meeting for parents Tuesday night. The company says it will assist the center’s staff in finding new positions, potentially at other KinderCare centers in the D.C. area.

There’s no word on when developer Shooshan might be kicking off construction on the project, the first phase of which will also replace the Red Top Cab dispatch center. A company representative did not respond to several emails from ARLnow.

Shooshan is currently wrapping up construction of 4040 Wilson Blvd, the tallest building in Ballston and future home of VIDA Fitness, The Salt Line restaurant and the corporate headquarters of AvalonBay.

A host of new development in Clarendon is on the way, prompting county planners to reexamine the circa-2006 plan for the neighborhood.

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Long-time Columbia Pike dance venue The Salsa Room is moving.

The Latin nightclub and bar at 2619 Columbia Pike will host its last party in Arlington on Saturday, March 7. It is moving to the current Palladium space at 1524 Spring Hill Road in Tysons.

The grand opening in Tysons is set for March 25, according to a social media post.

The loss of The Salsa Room will mean less nighttime activity along the Pike’s main business district. It is also the second major dancing and nightlife venue to close in Arlington following the recent closure of the Clarendon Ballroom.

“After 20+ years in Arlington, and countless, amazing memories, TSR would like to thank all of the artist, dancers, instructors, DJs and you for supporting us,” The Salsa Room said.

View this post on Instagram

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT.• WE’RE MOVING After 20+ years in Arlington, and countless, amazing memories, TSR would like to thank all of the artist, dancers, instructors, Djs and you for supporting us. We invite you to join us March 4-7 for the closing parties. Our new home will be in Tysons Corner. (1524 Spring Hill Rd McLean ,VA) Grand Opening Weekend & Get Your 2020 VIP Card Night March 25 -29. Tickets will go on sale Friday Feb. 21 www.tsrtickets.com Visit our social media for more details. @salsaroom 2619 Columbia Pike Arlington, VA #thesalsaroom #salsaroom #salsa #bachata#salsadancing #sensualbachata #zouk #bachatadancing#tsr #salsaclasses #bachataclass #bachatasensual #tsr #bachatademo #bachatadance #tsrinterviews #tsrangels @salsaroom

A post shared by The-Salsa Room (@salsaroom) on

Image via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

NPS Seeking Funds for GW Parkway Upgrades — “[National Park Service] officials are pursuing funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Infrastructure for Rebuilding America grant program to support the [GW Parkway’s] North Section Rehabilitation Program. That program will rebuild a 7.6-mile section of the parkway from Spout Run Parkway to Interstate 495, address serious deterioration of the roadway and implement significant safety improvements.” [InsideNova]

Update on Cupid the Cat — “‪We want to send a HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated so far to Cupid’s recovery! We have been overwhelmed by all of your support, and are so grateful for your kindness and generosity. We’re happy to report that today Cupid is doing really well after his surgery yesterday! He has a good appetite, is getting lots of rest and just wants to spend as much time as possible snuggling with our staff.” [Facebook]

Shirlington Employment Center to Relocate — “Arlington County Board members later this month are slated to approve the move of the Shirlington Employment & Education Center (SEEC) into space at the Arlington Mill Community Center. The non-profit organization will occupy 845 square feet of space on the fourth floor at the center, located at the intersection of Columbia Pike and South Dinwiddie Street. It currently occupies space in the Four Mile Run corridor.” [InsideNova]

Mother Climbs Mountain After Son’s Death — “After losing a teenage son, Henry, to leukemia, Arlington resident Heather Burneson had to take life one step at a time. She took that attitude to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa on ‘a healing trip,’ for her and several family members.” [Connection Newspapers]

Armed Man Protests at Del. Levine’s House — “A Republican official from Hopewell, Virginia drove to Alexandria this weekend for a small, armed protest outside Delegate Mark Levine’s home in Old Town.” The state lawmaker, who represents parts of Alexandria Arlington and Fairfax County, “said when he found out about the protest, he called the police.” [ALXnow]

Nearby: Local Sears Store Closing — “The Seven Corners Sears is closing April 12. There are deep discounts throughout the store. Signs in the store say all sales are final, no returns are allowed, and points may be redeemed on purchases.” [Annandale Blog]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

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Morning Notes

Dorsey Hasn’t Returned Union Donation — Arlington County Board and WMATA board member Christian Dorsey, “who promised three months ago to repay a $10,000 campaign donation that violated the board’s ethics policy, has not yet refunded the money and is likely to be replaced as Virginia’s representative on the regional board. Dorsey said Wednesday that he is working on a wire transfer to return the money to a transit union that routinely negotiates with Metro.” [Washington Post]

Beyer Slams Impeachment Trial — “Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) issued the following statement… ‘Today Senate Republicans ended their impeachment show trial. It will go down as one of the most craven events in American history.'” [Press Release]

County Board Race Fundraising Update — “The two Democrats vying for Arlington County Board entered 2020 with roughly the same amount of cash on hand, according to figures from the Virginia Department of Elections. Incumbent Libby Garvey had $16,823 in her campaign kitty as of Dec. 31, while challenger Chanda Choun had $16,155, according to data reported after the Jan. 15 filing deadline.” [InsideNova]

West Glebe Road Bridge Open House — “The deteriorating West Glebe Road Bridge, on the Arlington border near I-395, will be the topic of an open house next week. The bridge is currently closed to large vehicles weighing more than 5 tons due to structural deficiencies. It’s set for a major rehabilitation project, likely starting later this year.” [ALXnow]

Forum to Discuss Repealing Second Amendment — “Encore Learning will present a forum on ‘Repeal the Second Amendment: The Case for a Safer America’ on Monday, Feb. 10 at 3 p.m. at Central Library. The speaker, American University professor Allan Lichtman, will discuss his perspectives on gun safety and will argue for national legislation and the potential revision of the U.S. Constitution.” [InsideNova]

Dirt Closes Restaurants in Miami, Too — “On Thursday at 11 p.m., employees were told via a text message from DIRT Regional Director of Operations Aaron Licardo that both the Sunset Harbour and Brickell locations were closing for good. The two Miami spots closed on the heels of the Virginia location shuttering; that restaurant, located in Ballston, lasted less than a year. The message employees received claimed the company ‘found no other way to keep these locations open.'” [Miami Herald]

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Young adult fashion retailer Abercrombie & Fitch and watch shop Swatch are no longer open in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

A mall employee told ARLnow that both stores shuttered this week. The closures come amid a rash of retailers closing up shop, in part because of the rising popularity of e-commerce, dubbed by some as a “retail apocalypse.”

Earlier this year, jeans company True Religion also left the mall, an employee at a True Religion store in Maryland said. Greeting card and stationery store Papyrus, which is closing all of its stores, is currently holding its final sale at the Fashion Centre.

Nearby at Tysons Corner Center, several chain retailers and restaurants have left recently, including Lord and TaylorBareMinerals, Armani Exchange and Brio Tuscan Grille.

Stores have also been closing with alarming regularity outside of malls. A Pier 1 home furnishings store is closing in Rosslyn and a World Market store at Pentagon Row closed last fall.

Hat tip to @calebfiles

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