Press Club
Good Sweat in Rosslyn in 2020 (staff photo)

An independent spin studio in Rosslyn that opened in 2019 with the help of donations has closed.

Good Sweat was an indoor cycling studio that temporarily became an outdoor cycling studio during the pandemic. It also tried virtual classes, but those quickly faded in popularity, owner Alessandra “Ali” Hashemi previously told ARLnow.

The business closed its doors over the weekend and is now selling its equipment.

Located at 1711 Wilson Blvd, in the low-slung strip mall that also houses Pho 75, Good Sweat sought to differentiate itself through its own charitable donations and commitment to social justice. But that was apparently not enough to overcome the challenging business environment for small fitness studios.

The following note about the closing was posted on its website.

Dear Good Sweat Fam,

We never thought this heartbreaking day would come: Good Sweat will be closing on April 30, 2022.

When we opened in April 2019, we were beyond excited to bring a community-oriented, positive fitness experience to the neighborhood. We knew the first few years open as a small business would be challenging, but we had no way of knowing a global pandemic was on the horizon. Before we were able to celebrate our one year anniversary, the pandemic forced us to temporarily close and since we reopened, we have never been able to fully recover.

While countless other small spin studios and local businesses closed in the area, we never thought we would be the next pandemic casualty. The past two years have been a rollercoaster and caused us to resuscitate the business multiple times. After numerous pivots from online to outdoors to indoors to outdoors, we have hung on for as long as we could. At this juncture, we have come to the difficult decision that we cannot revive Good Sweat another time.

We know that Good Sweat has become a safe space for so many, and we are immeasurably sad to see this day come.Thankfully, there is so much to be grateful for in spending three amazing years together. Good Sweat has been a beacon of light through some of our darkest days. We are so proud of all we have been able to accomplish in such a short period of time, including, but not limited to, raising over $21,000 to donate to local nonprofits as well as being named NOVA’s Best Cycling Studio, NOVA’s Best Outdoor Workout, and Best of Arlington.

Please know how much we wanted to stay open for you – for our riders and our squad who are the heart and soul of Good Sweat. We hope you understand that the fitness industry has been hit so hard and we were so young when this pandemic began that we constantly struggled.

We are trying to not cry because it’s over, but to smile because Good Sweat was so good to us. It carried us through these difficult last few years, and made us all a family. The relationships formed and the personal growth are priceless, and we have all changed for the better because of this studio.

We encourage you to keep in touch and to keep spinning. We highly recommend two other local woman-owned studios, New Trail and Cycled, which both have amazing missions that align with the Good Sweat way.

We will be sharing more on logistics and memberships in the coming days regarding our final 5 weeks of operations, but if you have any questions, please email us directly [email protected]

With Gratitude,
The Good Sweat Squad

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Morning Notes

Dogwoods in bloom along Arlington’s Bluemont Trail (Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler)

Taco Bell Returning to Courthouse — “Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood has gone more than a decade without a Taco Bell. That sad period in its history will soon come to an end. The fast-food chain’s restaurant-bar combo, Taco Bell Cantina, will replace a portion of the multistory Guarapo, the lounge-tapas-hookah bar place that shuttered roughly six years ago, according to plans obtained from Construction Journal.” [Washington Business Journal]

Farewell, Farmbird — “It sounds like D.C. Farmbird locations are now closed, in addition to the Ballston location… People could be seen hauling items out of the Farmbird in Ballston today after an online auction for the restaurant’s equipment.” [Twitter, Barred in DC]

Economic Development Director Leaving — “Telly Tucker, Arlington Economic Development’s director for the last couple years, is leaving that post and heading back to his old stomping grounds in south-central Virginia to helm a regional economic development group there. Effective May 31, Tucker will be the maiden president for the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.” [Washington Business Journal]

Clarendon Sector Plan Changes Approved — “The Board voted to adopt certain elements of the Clarendon Sector Plan that include:
An update to the 2006 plan, which includes several revisions to policies and design guidelines related to future development. General Land Use Plan (GLUP) Map and Booklet amendments. Zoning ordinance amendments to coincide with the updated sector plan.” [Arlington County]

Beyer Gets Some Conservative Points — “Is U.S. Rep. Don Beyer getting more conservative as his congressional career continues? By one measure the answer is ‘yes,’ although nobody is likely to confuse him with Barry Goldwater anytime soon. Beyer (D-8th) garnered a score of 5 on a 0-to-100 scorecard detailed by the American Conservative Union Foundation on April 26, based on votes taken during the 2021 congressional session. That’s up from 4 a year before.” [Sun Gazette]

Rosslyn ‘Doggie Spa Day’ Today — “Calling all Rosslyn dogs and their humans! Pamper your pup with… special treats for your furry friend. Come out to the Gateway Park Interim Dog Park on… Thursday, April 28 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. for our Rosslyn Refresh pup giveaways at the Rosslyn Trike!” [Rosslyn BID]

Carillon Dedication Scheduled — “A community event and Freedom Concert to mark the rededication of the Netherlands Carillon adjacent to the U.S. Marine War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) will be held on Thursday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to noon. The date marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Allied Forces during World War II.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Thursday — Clear throughout the day, after a chilly and breezy morning. High of 57 and low of 35. Sunrise at 6:15 am and sunset at 7:59 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Atilla’s Restaurant and its grocery store are both closing next month after nearly 50 years on Columbia Pike.

The well-known Turkish businesses are shutting the doors at 2705 Columbia Pike on May 29, long-time restaurant manager Sarah Engi confirmed to ARLnow.

The reason is redevelopment. The one-story retail strip that’s been Atilla’s home since the mid-1970s is set to be demolished in the coming months to make way for “The Elliott,” a six-story residential development that was approved by the Arlington County Board last month.

Engi said ownership is looking for a new space, hopefully as close as possible to the original Columbia Pike location. However, they are also looking in Fairfax County due to the cost of rent in Arlington being potentially prohibitive. The new business would focus on carry-out and retail.

The sit-down portion of Atilla’s Restaurant closed during the pandemic and never re-opened. There are no plans to revive that part of the business at the new location, Engi says.

In 1998, the original owner Atilla Kan sold the business to Zulkuf Gezgic. However, the restaurant’s namesake has stayed with the business ever since making bread, hummus, and other items.

Because of that, Atilla’s menu hasn’t changed all that much, Engi notes. It’s always been Turkish food with Greek influence, since Kan is originally from Greece but his family later moved to Turkey.

The new development is forcing a number of other businesses in that retail strip to relocate, including Legends Kicks, Columbia Pike Partnership, CVS, and the Black Heritage Museum of Arlington, with leases set to expire May 31.

“The Elliott” is set to have 247 market-rate apartments above a grocery store, the relocated CVS, and Burritos Bros, which is moving from a small stand in the parking lot adjacent to Penrose Square.

The grocery store is rumored to be an Amazon Fresh location. When the company was asked, a spokesperson told ARLnow in February that “Amazon doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.”

With about a month left at the location that Atilla’s has called home for almost five decades, there’s plenty of emotion.

“I’m sad. We are losing family,” Engi says. “Big companies are moving in and smaller businesses are leaving. Things are changing. It’s really sad.”

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Has Farmbird flown the coop in Ballston, or will it rise from the ashes?

The chicken-centric restaurant, which first opened on the ground floor of the Ballston Exchange complex last summer, has been closed for the past few days. It was still closed this morning, when several men could be seen inside sitting and talking around a table.

Reached via email, restaurant co-founder Andrew Harris told ARLnow that Farmbird is working to reopen.

“Unfortunately, we sustained a minor fire on Saturday, 4/9/22 but are working to re-open ASAP,” he wrote this morning. The Ballston location is still listed on Farmbird’s website.

But a local restaurant equipment auction website tells a different story.

“This restaurant is closing and will make a complete liquidation of all late model equipment,” says an auction webpage that clearly shows the interior of Farmbird in Ballston.

D.C.-based Farmbird — which specializes in grilled chicken dishes served in a fast casual setting — opened the 4121 Wilson Blvd location, its first in Arlington, last June. It replaced Miami-based fast-casual health food restaurant Dirt, which closed in January 2020 after less than a year in business.

Farmbird won acclaim for its “gourmet” and health-conscious approach to fast casual dining, and was listed near the top of Yelp’s “Top 100 Places to Eat in the U.S. for 2020” list, a month prior to the start of the pandemic.

As of publication time, Harris has not replied to an email seeking clarification about the restaurant’s status.

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Morning Notes

A window washer outside of a Ballston office (staff photo)

Metro Project Not Great for Pedestrians — “This @ArlingtonDES Ballston multimodal project isn’t providing a great pedestrian experience.” [Twitter]

Moon Shot — “Incredible view of the moon in Clarendon tonight.” [Twitter]

Arlington Real Estate Remains Hot — “The county this month ranked at the regional tippy-top of the T3 Home Demand Index, created by the Mid-Atlantic multiple-listing service Bright MLS… Arlington garnered a score of 230 for March activity; figures were reported April 12. That’s up from 176 a month ago, confirming that seasonal trends are back in the local market: strong activity in spring and summer and lower levels in autumn and winter.” [Sun Gazette]

Nearby: Dogfish Head Alehouse Closing — “After 15 successful years in business, Dogfish Head’s Falls Church Alehouse has made the difficult and emotional decision to close our doors… Our last day of service will be Sunday, May 15.” [Twitter, Annandale Today]

Rainy Afternoon on Tap — “Skies will be overcast in the morning, and a steady rain will develop by the early afternoon and continue for the rest of the day. Temperatures will be quite cool, with highs in the upper 40s and a gusty east wind at 10 to 20 mph.” High of 48 and low of 41. Sunrise at 6:28 am and sunset at 7:49 pm. [Weather.gov, Capital Weather Gang]

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Facets Fine Jewelry is closing in May after 27 years in the Lee Heights Shops.

The shop on 4530 Cherry Hill Road is shuttering due to owners Suzanne and Tom Arnold retiring after six decades making, designing, and selling jewelry. The plan, according to the owners, is to be open until at least Mother’s Day (May 8) and then continue for a week or two after, until most of the merchandise has been sold.

The store has been named one of Arlington’s best jewelers  several times by Arlington Magazine.

But now it’s time to pack it in, the owners say.

“Age and attrition,” Suzanne tells ARLnow about why the couple, ages 75 and 80, are retiring and closing up shop. “We’ve kept rolling with it as long as we can because we really love it.”

In 1995, after working for other local jewelry shops, the couple came upon the shopping center and decided to go out on their own.

“I remember thinking that ‘this looks just right,'” she says. “‘It has a real neighborhood feel.'”

They opened Facets Fine Jewelry in September 1995 and she remembers the store filling up with folks buying Christmas gifts. Tom says the store survived for nearly three decades at the shopping center, including the difficult last two years, due to the neighborhood and long-time clients.

“This is our home,” he said. “[When we opened in 1995] everyone took us in. It’s just been wonderful and I can’t say enough.”

Tom got started designing jewelry in the 1960s in Beverly Hills, California. In fact, he hand-designed pieces for some of the biggest stars of the day.

“He remembers John Wayne ordered a little gold charm [from him]… to be given to all of the cast and crew of [a film] he worked on,” says Suzanne. “He was very generous.”

Tom also was a jeweler for Jane Russell, one of Hollywood’s leading ladies in the mid-20th century.

Suzanne says one of her favorite parts of selling jewelry is that it’s so personal.

“Customers aren’t just anonymous souls,” she says. “You become part of people’s lives because you really do mark special moments in their lives.”

For the next month, Suzanne will be just enjoying saying goodbye and selling off as much jewelry as possible, at up to a 70% discount.

When that final day comes in May, the couple says they will be sad but will be looking forward to their big retirement plans — staying local and spending their new-found free time touring museums, going to plays, and eating fancy meals.

“We are going to play tourist in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia,” Suzanne says.

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The CVS inside of 1100 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn is closing next month after more than twenty years in that location, the company confirms.

The store is located in the lobby of the same building as local TV station WJLA (ABC 7), near the busy intersection with N. Lynn Street. It has been there since December 1999, according to the company.

“We’ve made the difficult decision to close our pharmacy at 1100 Wilson Blvd. in Rosslyn, VA on April 15,” a CVS spokesperson said in a statement to ARLnow. “All prescriptions will be transferred to the nearby CVS Pharmacy at 1788 N. Pierce St. in Arlington, which is just three blocks away, to ensure that patients continue to have uninterrupted access to service. All employees are being offered comparable roles at other CVS locations nearby.”

The exact reason for this particular closure wasn’t directly addressed in the statement, with the spokesperson noting that “maintaining access to pharmacy services in underserved communities is an important factor we consider when making store closure decisions.”

The company also cited population shifts, a store’s density, local market dynamics, and the proximity of other CVS stores as reasons.

The remaining CVS in Rosslyn on Pierce Street is relatively new, having opened in the last few years. While just a few blocks away from the closing store, it’s something of a journey, given the steep hill one has to walk up from N. Lynn Street.

All told, there are 15 other Arlington CVS locations.

Sitting at 31 stories, 1100 Wilson Blvd is one half of a pair of twin towers and a well-known Rosslyn skyline landmark. Besides being the long-time home of WJLA, it’s also home to cybersecurity company Shift5, pasta house Sfoglina, a satellite location for the University of Virginia’s business school, and Raytheon.

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Taqueria el Poblano on Columbia Pike (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Taqueria el Poblano is closing its Columbia Pike location later this spring, its co-owner confirms to ARLnow.

A decade ago the local staple known for its margaritas and its Southern California-inspired Mexican cuisine opened at 2401 Columbia Pike, amid a wave of new businesses centered around the then-new Penrose Square development. But the restaurant has decided to not re-up its lease for another ten years.

A two-step of decreased revenue and increasing rent drove the decision, co-owner Thomas Stevens says.

While the lease ends March 31, the restaurant and property owner BM Smith agreed on a 60 day extension to allow Taqueria El Poblano to remain open for Cinco de Mayo.

The restaurant is planning to close at the end of May, but not before a proper send-off Stevens promises. The several month lead time gives both staff and regulars a chance to say goodbye.

“We are sad and our regular customers are sad,” he says. “But it’s a business and we just couldn’t make ends meet here.”

Sales at Taqueria el Poblano’s other two locations, in the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center and in Del Ray, remain solid and those nearly 20-year-old locations will remain open for the foreseeable future, we’re told.

Stevens believes the Pike’s “transient” nature is a reason why Taqueria el Poblano didn’t survive on Columbia Pike. The location has fewer regulars than the other locations, Stevens says, and the volume of sales needed to cover rent per square foot just wasn’t there.

“For whatever reason, this one doesn’t do the same business as the others,” Stevens says.

A representative for BM Smith says that Taqueria el Poblano has always been a good tenant and was one of the first when Penrose Square reopened after a two million dollar facelift.

As of this moment, the space remains available to rent starting June 1, but BM Smith expects it to be filled quickly after Taqueria el Poblano moves out.

In the meantime, Stevens says the restaurant is going to relish the last weeks on the Pike. Formal announcements are forthcoming about Cinco de Mayo festivities and the goodbye party.

“We will have a farewell to the neighborhood, a send-off party,” he says. “We will miss it here.”

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Pierogi stand Rogi at Ballston Quarter’s food hall has closed, chef and owner Ed Hardy tells ARLnow.

The pierogi stand’s last official day was Super Bowl — Sunday, February 13. There were several reasons behind the decision to close the eatery after only a little over a year of operations, Hardy says.

One is that the brand is focusing on getting its USDA certification in order to be able sell its filled pastry products in stores. Additionally, the last two months — during the Omicron wave — were particularly hard on the business even compared to the last two pandemic years, a sentiment echoed by a lot of local eateries.

“We took some moon shots and took a risk,” Hardy said of his effort to make a pierogi stand work in the competitive Ballston market.

While Hardy is from Richmond and spent a large portion of his career in New York, he’s no stranger to Arlington — and he’s hoping to remain active here.

Prior to Rogi, he was teaching classes at the Ballston location of Cookology Culinary School. Shortly after the pandemic shut down in-person classes, Hardy shifted from teaching to cooking and opened a “ghost kitchen” inside of Cookology serving up pierogies calling it “Zofia’s Kitchen.”

A short time later, space at nearby Ballston Quarter opened up and Hardy moved all operations there, officially becoming “Rogi.”

With Rogi’s closure, Hardy had planned to replace his pierogi concept with a series of collaborations and pop-ups from other regional restaurateurs, but those plans are currently in flux while details are being worked out with Ballston Quarter. He remains hopeful that this pop-up plan will bear fruit soon, though its future is unclear.

Should he get the go-ahead, among the first up would be an international meatball-centric concept called “Chef Ed’s Flyballs,” followed by empanada, crepe and other pop-ups centered around specific foods.

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A Ballston business with a logo that raised eyebrows for more than a decade due to its resemblance to a certain male appendage has closed.

Market Place & Cafe at 901 N. Glebe Road is now shuttered, its refrigerator cases and hot buffet both empty.

While some may miss the lunch buffet or the convenient drink options, the business is perhaps best known for its unusually phallic logo. Located near the corner of N. Glebe Road and N. Vermont Street since at least 2009, Market Place was inexorably linked to the logo, which features an especially tall chef’s hat with a rounded and slightly bifurcated top, and a similarly tall face that’s bulbous at the bottom, between a stylized, curled moustache.

The odd choice of logo did not escape the attention of Yelp reviewers over the years.

“Welcome to Dong Deli. Despite the ridic logo, the food isn’t that bad,” reads one 2011 review.

Eight years ago, when ARLnow went to inquire about how and why the business went with this logo, the reporter was thrown out of the store even before getting the question out.

Earlier this week, ARLnow visited the corner cafe again, but signs on the door noted that the business was closed. The listed phone number was also out of service.

“We are… closed,” the signs said. “Thank you!!!”

It may forever remain a mystery why this particular logo design was chosen and kept despite the obvious comparisons to the male anatomy, but customers will still have fond memories of the glory days.

“For all I care, the logo could be a vagina with tentacles and false teeth, I’d still eat here for breakfast,” said a 2014 review.

Hat tip to Peter G.

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The Cookery has closed in Shirlington (photo courtesy of Cary Kelly)

The well-reviewed kitchen and culinary store The Cookery has closed in Shirlington, having shut its doors for the final time late last month after selling out of all its products.

Owner Cary Kelly says the closure was due to the store’s lease expiring and deciding not to renew for another five years. Instead, Kelly is going into “semi-retirement” with plans to travel more, cook more and write in her food blog Cary in the Kitchen.

The pandemic wasn’t a factor in closing, she says. In fact, sales were about the same or better than previous years — perhaps related to people cooking at home more. Sales in 2020 were about even to 2019 and 2021 sales were the best in five years. Kelly also believes that many folks were worried about the fate of their favorite small businesses and prioritized supporting them.

In early January, the shop announced its closure with the expectation that it would close in about six weeks. Instead, all products and furnishings were sold in less than three weeks. Jan. 23, the store’s last day open, was marked with a champagne farewell and a packed house.

The business opened in 2011 in Shirlington at 4017 Campbell Avenue. It changed its name from Ah Love Oil & Vinegar to The Cookery in 2016. Kelly considered opening in Del Ray or Old Town Alexandria, but decided on Shirlington because of memories spending time there with her mom.

“We chose Shirlington because it was our favorite place to come and shop and eat. I remembered shopping there as a child in the ’50s with my mother,” Kelly tells ARLnow. “I have always loved the small town, close neighbor feel of Shirlington and guessed correctly that it would be a community that would support our business.”

She believes what made her shop special was the community and representing small, local makers.

“I focused on makers of color, unrepresented gender, LGBTQI and immigrants,” Kelly says. “I believe we brought a new awareness to our local community through the stories of these makers and the many fundraisers and awareness-raisers we conducted over the years.”

Of course, the closure is bittersweet and she will miss talking to customers about recipes and planning big holiday meals. Most of the staff that worked at The Cookery have been hired by Le Village Marché, a vintage home decor store located just down the street in Shirlington.

For the moment, the Cookery storefront remains empty. ARLnow has reached out to Federal Realty Investment Trust, which owns the shopping center, about whether the space remains available to rent, but did not receive a response as of publication.

Kelly says the enjoyed her time in retail, despite it being a seven-day week job. She has no plans, however, to open another shop.

“Another store is not in the picture,” she says. “Honestly rents are so high… it’s difficult to make a profit.”

Hat tip to Thomas G.

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