Arlington, VA

Chain gastropub Bar Louie appears to have permanently closed its location on 23rd Street S. in Crystal City.

“Space for lease” signs now cover the windows of the former after-work watering hole, which opened in late 2013.

Though coronavirus closures have caused significant financial hardship for bars and restaurants, Bar Louie’s troubles started before the pandemic: it filed for bankruptcy in January.

The chain’s marquee location in D.C., adjacent to Capital One Arena, closed in January amid the bankruptcy filing. Other Bar Louie locations have recently closed in Massachusetts, Kentucky and Pennsylvania.

While Bar Louie has closed, Crystal City is set to get a new nightlife option on the same block in the near future: bowling alley Bowlero.

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If you were hoping for Next Day Blinds, you’ll now have to wait two extra days.

The regional window covering chain, which has a showroom in the Virginia Square area, has reportedly gone out of business. Instead, visitors to its now-defunct website are being redirected to a California company called 3 Day Blinds.

“Next Day Blinds has ceased operations and permanently closed its doors,” the website says. “3 Day Blinds, with over 40 years experience in the window coverings business, has hired a number of former Next Day Blinds Sales Staff, Design Consultants, Installation Experts and Administrative personnel. We will strive to continue the tradition of providing exceptional products and services to the Greater Baltimore / Washington DC area.”

Next Day Blinds had at least nine locations in the D.C. area. The company was founded in 1993, was a prolific local television advertiser, and billed itself as one of America’s largest regional manufacturers for custom window coverings.

While no reason for the closure was given, the last post on the company’s Facebook page from early April said it was temporarily closed during the pandemic.

Dear Customers:We miss you. Please stay safe and healthy. While we are closed for now, we are continuing to support…

Posted by Next Day Blinds on Monday, April 6, 2020

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It appears that Stageplate Bistro in Ballston may have taken a final bow.

The restaurant at 900 N. Glebe Road was well reviewed but struggled to attract customers to the western side of the busy street since opening in 2017. It took a brief intermission in 2018 but reopened, before closing temporarily again earlier this year.

“We had to close to regroup to come back better than ever,” general manager Mary Marchetti said in February. ARLnow reported that Stageplate, which gets its name from its owners’ entertainment industry catering experience, was “planning for the reopening to coincide with the first day of spring on March 21.”

Then, of course, the pandemic happened.

As of last week, the Stageplate Bistro logos had been removed from the windows, and a leasing sign was up. The restaurant’s website produces an error message and its phone number has been discontinued.

The tables remained set inside, however, waiting for diners that may not get a chance to dine there again.

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(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) It seems Hair Cuttery has trimmed Courthouse from its list of locations and barbershop/salon is now closed.

The location at 2020 Wilson Blvd is now empty, with a sign in the windows saying the space is available to lease. The site is also no longer listed on the company’s index of locations.

The Hair Cuttery in Courthouse opened alongside retail shops on that block in late 2014.

The next closest Hair Cuttery is at 3307 Lee Highway, but there are still other barbershops closer in Courthouse and along Wilson Blvd.

Other Hair Cuttery locations throughout the region have closed as well while the parent company has filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy. As pointed out in the comments, Hair Cuttery locations in Shirlington and Crystal City have also been removed from the official list. Other Arlington locations — at Penrose Square, the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center, and 3307 Lee Highway — remain.

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One of the D.C. area’s most iconic Black-owned businesses has closed its Arlington outpost, seemingly for good.

The Ben’s Chili Bowl location at 1725 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn has closed. Its signs and much of its interior have been removed, and the phone line has been disconnected.

Ben’s has struggled amid the pandemic, though its D.C. locations — the original on U Street NW and, as of a few weeks ago, the newer H Street NE location — have been open for takeout and delivery.

No signs or social media posts about the Rosslyn location’s closure could be found. Attempts to reach a member of the Ali family, which has owned Ben’s since its founding in 1958, were unsuccessful.

The Rosslyn location was the first Ben’s Chili Bowl outside of D.C. not located in a sports stadium. It opened in 2014 amid much fanfare, including a ribbon cutting with Arlington County officials and the since-imprisoned Bill Cosby.

The closure — and removal of the restaurant’s panda statue — was noted on social media late last week.

Another Ben’s Chili Bowl location in Reagan National Airport closed during the pandemic, according to the airport website, though there is no indication that the closure is permanent.

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Morning Notes

Black Lives Matter Live Chat with ACPD — “Yolande Kwinana will interview Chief Jay Farr and Andy Penn on the current situation regarding police brutality and what ACPD is doing to protect the Arlington African American people. I encourage Arlingtonians to send in questions during the live and in the discussion tab before the live chat.” [Facebook]

N. Va. Unemployment Rate Rises — “Northern Virginia’s unemployment rate hit 10% in April as business shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic ricocheted through the economy. A total of 163,158 Northern Virginia residents were unemployed and looking for work during the month, the Virginia Employment reported Wednesday.” [InsideNova]

Nearby: Movie Theater Unlikely to Reopen — “The Regal Potomac Yard movie theater appears to have shown its last picture. Regal Cinemas has scrubbed the 16-theater multiplex at 3575 Potomac Ave. from its list of Virginia locations on its website. Couple that with the fact Virginia Tech and JBG Smith Properties plan to redevelop the North Potomac Yard site on an accelerated timeline, it’s likely the theater showed its last film months ago.” [Washington Business Journal]

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MidAtlantic Urgent Care is closing after nearly nine years in business, citing a big financial hit from the pandemic.

The locally-owned clinic at 3301 Wilson Boulevard first opened in 2011. It is closing permanently at the end of May.

In an email to patients, the clinic said it cannot continue meeting its expenses while COVID-19 keeps patients away.

To Our Dear Patients,

It is with mixed emotions that we announce that we will be closing our urgent and primary care practice: MidAtlantic Urgent Care LLC at 3301 Wilson Blvd. effective May 31, 2020. We simply cannot sustain the financial loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has been a great pleasure to assist you with your health care needs during the nine years that we have practiced in the Arlington, VA area.

During this pandemic, we are aware of the difficulty of renewing medications and finding a new practice; therefore, we will continue to use our phone mail, patient portal, and telehealth for communication.

We encourage you to stay within the Privia Medical Group system – this will allow easy access to your medical records which are shared within this impressive group of health care providers. Locally there is Pulmonary and Medical Associates, Arlington Primary Care, and Premier Primary Care Physicians – to name a few.

Other urgent care clinics nearby, along the Orange Line corridor, include Ballston Urgent Care and AllCare Family Medicine and Urgent Care.

Photo via MidAtlantic Urgent Care. Hat tip to Dave Schutz.

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The future of Cafe Pizzaiolo in Shirlington is in doubt, with most of its equipment and furnishings listed on a commercial auction website.

Everything from light fixtures to kitchen equipment to trash cans are on the auction block. The auction website says the restaurant, which is not named but is clearly Cafe Pizzaiolo in photos, “is closing and will make a liquidation.” The auction closes on Wednesday, June 3.

Still, it’s unclear whether this will mean a permanent or a temporary closure for the pizzeria at 2800 S. Randolph Street, which has a sister location nearby on Fern Street in Alexandria. The latter remains open for delivery and takeout.

“Is Cafe Pizzaiolo in Shirlington closing for good or just moving/downsizing?” asked a tipster who sent a link to the Rasmus Auctions site.

Owner Larry Ponzi tells ARLnow that no decision has been reached quite yet.

“The pandemic has caused us to pivot and rethink all of our businesses,” he said. “We have not made any final decisions about [what] our business in Shirlington will look like/function as when the time is right. We are using the time to strip down, clean, and rethink what the future of the business may be.”

Ponzi and wife Christine own Cafe Pizzaiolo, St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub, Market to Market, and the future replacement of Catch on the Ave — all in Alexandria.

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After attempting to pivot to online classes during the pandemic, the Adagio Ballet School of Dance at 4720 Lee Highway is closing.

“With regret, Adagio Ballet, Inc. is closing after 16 years,” the school said in an email, which was forwarded to ARLnow. “This is an extremely sad time for us, because we consider our instructors, staff, students and students’ families to be our family and will greatly miss them.”

The school has two locations, one on Lee Highway and one in McLean. It first switched to online classes on March 16.

Adagio Ballet said restrictions on size of groups and the stay at home order made it impossible to continue holding classes in the studio and began to dramatically reduce the school’s income while expenses remained the same.

“Unfortunately, our Board of Directors has come to the decision that the laws currently in place and the uncertainty of what is to come, leave us no other option but to close,” the school said. “We have adopted a plan that is in accordance with state law for businesses that are closing. Under that plan, we will finish the current online classes through June 20, 2020.”

For classes that have not started, the school said they will try to offer full refunds, though those enrolled in the program could also donate the program fees to support the school teachers and staff.

“To make a donation, send us an email authorizing us to apply your class fees,” Adagio Ballet said. “All donations received will be used to pay Adagio Ballet, Inc.’s teachers and staff, and to continue health insurance for them… The realities of this novel virus, and the laws that have been imposed, leave us no choice but to close our doors.”

Photos via Google MapsAdagio Ballet School of Dance/Facebook

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It’s not a great time to own a restaurant, particularly one that depends on masses of office workers crowding into a small space.

Amid the pandemic, Poke Bar in Rosslyn appears to have closed for good. The two-year-old, assembly line-style eatery on N. Lynn Street was empty this morning, with the furnishings gone.

There was no sign announcing a closure, however, and the location is still listed — albeit without a phone number — on the Poke Bar website.

It’s the latest apparent restaurant casualty in Arlington, with more expected as coronavirus takes a big toll on the industry. Others include Boston Market on Columbia Pike and Champps in Pentagon City, both of which have permanently shuttered before an expected reopening of the region gets underway.

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The Boston Market restaurant at 3233 Columbia Pike has closed its doors permanently.

“Thank you for your support and patronage,” says a sign on the door. “It has been a privilege and honor to serve you. Unfortunately, this Boston Market restaurant has closed. It would be our pleasure to serve you at one of our nearby Boston Market restaurants.”

The nearest location of the rotisserie chicken chain is now outside the Beltway, on Route 1 in Fairfax County.

There’s no word as to whether the closure was due to or accelerated by the pandemic. While numerous local restaurants have been reopening for takeout and delivery, in part due to receiving forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans, there have also been a trickle of recent permanent closures, including Champps in Pentagon City and Momofuku in D.C.

Hat tip to Jim M.

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