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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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Boccato Gelato Planning to Leave Clarendon Location, Relocate Elsewhere

After serving up frozen treats for the last decade along Wilson Blvd. in Clarendon, Boccato Gelato is now set to relocate.

The gelato and espresso lounge posted a notice on its front door and social media accounts Saturday (May 19) that it will soon be moving elsewhere, leaving 2719 Wilson Blvd. behind.

However, the restaurant’s managers wrote that “our future location is in the works.” They did not immediately respond to a request for comment on where they might be moving.

“While we were very lucky and blessed to have found this amazing spot in 2008, it has been quite a task and great challenge to keep up with the obligations of our lease,” Boccato’s staff wrote. “We would like to thank our landlord for giving us a chance to serve you in this wonderful location, and to all the employees of Arlington County for helping us get started and giving us the opportunity to introduce our business to the beloved town of Clarendon.”

The restaurant’s managers added that they have not yet decided on when their final day serving up scoops on Wilson Blvd. will be, and plan to post that information to their Facebook and Twitter accounts in due time.

The move will not affect the Cowork Cafe, however, which has operated out of Boccato for the last three years. The notice Boccato posted said that the Cowork Cafe has signed a new lease at the same space.

File photo

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Rosslyn’s Bistro 360 Closing By End of May

Rosslyn wine bar and market Bistro 360 is closing up shop at the end of the month.

Owner Art Hauptman says he plans to shutter the restaurant, located at 1800 Wilson Boulevard since the fall of 2014, by May 25. While he has yet to sell the place to someone else, he says he’s received enough “good offers for the space” to decide to move on.

“We appreciate all the patrons we had here, but it felt like the right time,” Hauptman told ARLnow. “It didn’t go gangbusters or else I’d be staying, but it was worth a try.”

Hauptman added that his chef and general manager for the last few years is moving out of the area, so he felt it made sense to shut things down now rather than wait any longer.

He plans to “consolidate” most of the restaurant’s wine offerings and specials over at the other Arlington eatery he owns: Cassatt’s Kiwi Café and Gallery, at the Lee Heights Shops off Lee Highway.

In the meantime, Hauptman says Bistro 360 will stay open Tuesday through Saturday from 4-9 p.m. each night, with a big “blowout” party planned for Thursday, May 24.

“I think we gave a lot of people a nice local joint,” Hauptman said. “We tried to make it conversational where people could actually hear themselves talk, and I think we succeeded in that.”

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Crystal City’s Cafe Italia Has Eviction Notices On Door

Cafe Italia has been evicted from its Crystal City location, according to notices affixed to the restaurant’s front door and signed by an Arlington County deputy sheriff.

The restaurant opened in 1976, according to its Facebook page.

Cafe Italia, which was located at 519 23rd Street S., served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Out of 185 Yelp reviews, it averaged about three out of five stars.

The restaurant’s website appears to have been deactivated. A call to the listed phone number went straight to voicemail.

H/t @WhiskeypalianEsq

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JUST IN: Goody’s to Serve Last Slices Tonight

Beloved Clarendon pizza shop Goody’s will be closing up shop after tonight (Saturday).

Co-owner Vanessa Reisis — affectionately known to customers as “Momma Goody” — confirmed in a brief phone conversation that the family-run pizzeria will be closing after Saturday night and that she and her husband will be retiring.

An anonymous tipster told ARLnow.com Saturday morning that “somebody bought them out” and that the petite storefront along Clarendon’s main drag of bars could “possibly reopen as pizza spot.” Reisis declined to provide additional details about the closure.

Goody’s opened in 2006 and has served legions of local residents, bar-goers and Clarendon office workers since. It is also popular with Arlington police officers, particularly those working the weekend Clarendon bar detail.

Over the past few years Goody’s managed to hang on to its loyal clientele despite competition from the likes of Bronx Pizza and the recently-downsized Pete’s Apizza. Despite the competition, Goody’s continued to serve only two varieties of New York style pizza by the slice: plain and pepperoni.

In a 2016 interview, Reisis said the closing of Hard Times Cafe was a bad harbinger for the “friendly little neighborhood places” that helped turn Clarendon into a popular food and nightlife destination. In 2017, Reisis said on ARLnow’s 26 Square Miles podcast that business had picked up, but running a small shop like hers was still difficult given the neighborhood’s rising rent.

In addition to what it was best known for — food and family — Goody’s was also noted for the hand-drawn seasonal signs on the front window, which always proclaimed that the “best pizza in Arlington” was inside.

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La Tasca Has Closed in Clarendon

(Update at 1:35 p.m.) Spanish tapas restaurant chain La Tasca has closed its Clarendon location.

The two-floor restaurant, at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Fillmore Street, served its last customers on Saturday, we’re told. Workers could be seen removing furniture and peeling off lettering on the windows this morning.

An employee said La Tasca was closing because its lease was expiring, but the company is reportedly exploring the possibility of reopening somewhere nearby.

La Tasca originated in the UK but has several D.C. area locations. The now-closed Clarendon location recently hosted a “pop up concept” called Txuleton by La Tasca, which specialized in “Basque steaks (Txuletones) as well as pintxos and tapas.”

La Tasca is expected to be replaced by a new taqueria concept from the team behind Ambar and Baba, across the street.

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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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