Around six months after it opened, a fast-casual Korean barbecue restaurant has closed in Crystal City.
KBQ Korean BBQ & Bar at 2450 Crystal Drive opened last November, next to Buffalo Wild Wings. But the eatery closed its doors earlier this month and now sits empty.
“KBQ is closed,” a sign on the door reads. “We appreciate your patronage, and hope you enjoyed it while it lasted!”
It allowed customers to build their own rice and lettuce bowls, lettuce wraps, tofu dogs and rice burgers, and offered six proteins and nearly a dozen sides. On Yelp, users lauded the service but gave middling marks to the food.
There was also a separate “bubble tea shop” offering a selection of bubble teas, including taro, chai and mango, and a bar serving cocktails, beer, wine and “bombs” — as in soju, Jager, car and cherry bombs.
Hat tip to Irina K.
Signs up at Ray’s Hell Burger, at 1650 Wilson Blvd, say it is going on “hiatus.” Last night an employee told ARLnow.com he did not know when it would reopen.
“Beginning Sunday, May 14 this location of Ray’s Hell-Burger will be on hiatus. The last service will be on Saturday, May 13,” the sign says. “Please continue to visit Ray’s Hell Burger at 449 K Street NW, 7 days a week. Ray’s the Steaks accepts reservations 7 days a week at 2300 Wilson Blvd (sorry, no burgers).”
Owner Michael Landrum could not immediately be reached for comment.
Hat tip to Sarah W.
With redevelopment just around the corner, the Food Star grocery store on Columbia Pike will close as early as next week according to a sign on its entrance.
Its lease at the property is set to expire on May 25. The grocery store is expected to move to 206 W. Glebe Road in Alexandria’s Arlandria neighborhood and replace the Foodway currently there.
The sign, written in English and Spanish, reads:
Dear Food Star customers:
After 32 years of business it is with sincere regret that we inform you that Food Star supermarket will be closing permanently at this location between April 30 and May 15, 2017. It is our utmost priority to inform you of this decision as you are a very important part of the Food Star family. We appreciate your business and are thankful for your loyalty. We hope to have the opportunity to continue serving you at our new location at: 206 W. Glebe Road (formally Foodway), Alexandria, VA 22305.
We will notify you which day we will open. Thank you for your business and continued support.
The store at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive is set for demolition along with several small retail businesses for the “Columbia Pike Village Center” development. More than 1,800 people who wanted to “Save Food Star” signed a petition against the plan last year.
In its place will be a new 50,000 square foot Harris Teeter grocery store, 31,530 square feet of new ground-floor retail space and a 22,150 square foot public square. The project also includes a six-story apartment building with 365 market-rate units, retail space and a three-level parking garage.
The Harris Teeter is expected to open in late 2019.
Arlington County has posted a list of other food stores in the area, the closest of which is 0.5 miles away from the Food Star, that residents can go to during construction of the new grocery store.
Of the other stores in the plaza, the Para Ti hair salon has already relocated to S. Carlin Springs Road. April was its last month in the strip mall.
Long-time Virginia Square outdoor retailer Casual Adventure is still open, but will close once its spring stock has sold out.
The 61-year-old store at 3451 Washington Blvd announced its closure last month. After the announcement, the retailer kicked off its “End of an Era Sale,” featuring up to 50 percent off any remaining outdoor, tactical and sporting goods in stock.
Store owner Eric Stern said Casual Adventure has received two final deliveries of spring merchandise, which is being sold at reduced prices. Once everything is sold, the store will close, he said.
“We’ve definitely got a good selection, and we’re just blowing it out at this point,” he told ARLnow.com.
Stern said there is still no firm closing date, and there is significant “wiggle room” on when it needs to vacate the premises. Stern said he is looking to host regular Andrew Towne on Memorial Day weekend for a talk on his latest attempt to summit Mount Everest, and said Casual Adventure will continue supporting various community projects.
“It’s nice as we transition out of here that we can take care of our customers,” he said.
The Washington Business Journal reported that the store’s new owner is 1404 Hancock Street Investment LLC, a company registered to local custom home builder BCN Homes. As yet, no building or demolition permit applications have been filed with the county.
Casual Adventure already has an online store set up through Amazon, and Stern said it is actively looking for a new location for its store, but that there is “no rush.”
New Elementary School Approved — After a years-long process that included neighborhood opposition and lots of community discussion, the Arlington County Board has approved a use permit and ground lease for a new elementary school on the Thomas Jefferson middle school and community center site. [Arlington County]
Rosslyn Farmers Market Approved — Also at its Saturday meeting, the County Board gave the go-ahead to a new FreshFarm Markets-operated farmers market that will be held at the new Central Place public plaza in Rosslyn. The market will be open on Wednesday evenings from April to November. [Arlington County]
Bebe Closing at Pentagon City Mall — The Bebe store at the Pentagon City mall will close by the end of May. It’s part of a larger restructuring for the struggling young women’s clothing retailer. [Patch]
County Board to Honor Trees — “Arlington has about 755,400 trees of at least 122 species that provide $6.89 million in environmental benefits to the County annually in pollution removal, carbon storage, energy savings and avoided stormwater runoff. The Arlington County Board will honor 10 of these trees as Notable Trees at the April 25 County Board Meeting.” [Arlington County]
Blue Virginia’s School Board Endorsement — Local Democratic blog Blue Virginia has endorsed Monique O’Grady in the race for the Democratic endorsement for Arlington School Board. The endorsement cites incumbent James Lander’s recent controversial remarks about a murder victim as a reason for not endorsing him. [Blue Virginia]
Flickr pool photo by Ameschen
Spring Break Activities — Today is the last day of school for Arlington Public Schools students before spring break. The county’s parks and recreation department has some suggested activities to keep kids of all ages occupied next week. [Arlington County]
Casual Adventure Property’s Familiar New Owners — The owners of long-time Virginia Square outdoor retailer Casual Adventure announced this week that it’s closing, and the property sale reportedly already has taken place. The new owner is 1404 Hancock Street Investment LLC, a company registered to Brian Normile of BCN Enterprises. He’s partnering with Stephen and Mark Fedorchak, who own Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall and Northside Social. [Washington Business Journal]
CEB Acquisition Complete — IT consulting and research firm Gartner has completed its acquisition of Arlington-based technology and insights firm CEB in a $3.3 billion deal. Gartner plans to expand CEB’s consulting services into new markets and develop a line of new research and advisory products. [StamfordAdvocate]
Solid-Waste Plant Upgrade Raises Flaring Gas Concerns — Arlington County is encountering some pushback over the $100 million upgrade to the Water Pollution Control Plant. Concerns have been raised over a proposed new process that might cause flaring gas. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Rob Laybourn
John Glenn to Be Buried Today — Astronaut, U.S. senator and one-time Arlington resident John Glenn will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery this morning. Glenn died in December at the age of 95. Arlington County Police Department motor units are assisting with rolling road closures for the funeral procession. [Rare]
CivFed Rejects Tax Hike — The Arlington County Civic Federation voted “overwhelmingly” to call on the County Board to reject a proposed property tax rate hike and instead tap into reserve funds to provide needed funding boosts for Metro and Arlington Public Schools. [InsideNova]
Tears for Casual Adventure — Long-time customers, employees and owners of Casual Adventure in Virginia Square are all shedding tears as the 61-year-old store prepares to close. The outdoor retailer is holding a store closing sale to liquidate its inventory. [NBC Washington]
Lawsuit: Sexual Harassment in Arlington Apartment — A lawsuit alleges that a 72-year-old official with a small graduate school in D.C. coerced students “into sexually explicit physical examinations at his Arlington, Va., apartment, ostensibly to keep their jobs and advance their careers.” [Washington Post]
Buckingham Profiled by WaPo — Buckingham is a diverse, relatively affordable community near Ballston and the Orange Line. But its civic association president does not like the direction the neighborhood is headed — and he didn’t mind expressing that in the Washington Post’s “Where We Live” community real estate profile. “For Bernie Berne… the biggest issue is the ‘destruction of the neighborhood by affordable housing,'” the paper wrote. “Berne… said he believes the ‘increase in the density’ of the area ‘takes away open space and trees.'” [Washington Post]
CarPool Now Closed — A line out the door marked CarPool’s last day in business on Monday. The Ballston bar hosted a large crowd of patrons there to watch the Nationals opening day and the NCAA men’s basketball championship, and to say goodbye to the long-time watering hole. [Twitter]
Clement Opposes Tax Rate Hike — Independent Arlington County Board candidate Audrey Clement says she does not support the proposed property tax hike, which Arlington’s county manager says is necessary to fund Metro and Arlington Public Schools. [InsideNova]
Developments in School Board Race — Former congressional candidate Mike Webb has gathered the petition signatures necessary to get on this year’s Arlington School Board ballot, although he still has a couple of paperwork hurdles before he officially qualifies. Meanwhile, incumbent James Lander has received the endorsement of the Arlington Education Association as he faces two challengers in the Democratic endorsement caucus. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
Arlington’s Trees By The Numbers — “The County is proud home to some 755,400 trees of at least 122 species. If you had to put a price on all that priceless foliage, it’d be worth more than $1.4 billion.” [Arlington County]
Tour of the Trades Center — The latest “Around Arlington” video from the county gives viewers a tour of the Arlington Trandes Center near Shirlington, where school buses are housed, police cars get repaired and salt trucks get refilled. [YouTube]
Police Chief: See Something, Say Something — Although the vast majority of calls about suspicious people or circumstances turn out to be nothing, Arlington’s police chief is still encouraging residents to call the police non-emergency line at 703-558-2222 if they see something out of the ordinary. Said Chief Jay Farr: “Do not hesitate to call us about something suspicious. Some say, ‘I didn’t want to bother you,’ but I say, `Bother us.'” [Falls Church News-Press]
The store, at 3451 Washington Blvd, made the announcement this morning. The owners “received a reasonable offer for the sale of our building” and took it, they said.
E-commerce has made the bricks-and-mortar retail business increasingly difficult. “It’s no secret that the old retail model no longer works,” said Eric Stern, whose family has owned the store for 61 years.
Casual Adventure will be closed Monday and Tuesday and will reopen Wednesday to kick of its “End of an Era Sale,” featuring up to 50 percent off any remaining outdoor, tactical and sporting goods in stock. An exact closing date has not been announced.
The business may be revived, however, in a modified form later this year.
The family “has plans to reopen elsewhere in Northern Virginia in late summer or early fall, with a focus on corporate, league, military and government sales,” Arlington Magazine reported. A company rep wouldn’t comment on that report.
“We’ll share details with our loyal customer base and the Arlington community if it becomes necessary,” said Nathan Carroll. “For now we are squarely focused on selling all of our current inventory.”
The full announcement is below.
This business, which my great-grandfather Oscar founded over six decades ago, has been a source of great pride to our family over the years. Like all businesses, we’ve had to evolve: from our beginnings as a district grocery store, to an Army-Navy surplus store, to becoming the outdoor, tactical, and sporting goods store you know us to be today.
It’s no secret that the old retail model no longer works, so when we received a reasonable offer for the sale of our building, we decided the time was ripe to again switch gears, by closing our store and focusing our future business through the internet and beyond.
But first we commence the biggest sale in our 61-year history. Our END OF AN ERA SALE features our entire stock of clothing, outerwear, footwear, camping gear, travel accessories and sporting gear, with storewide reductions up to 50% off.
We’ll be closed all day Monday and Tuesday to reduce prices and prepare. Sale starts Wednesday, April 5th at 9:00am.
So whatever your outdoor needs, whether hiking, camping, adventure travel, or otherwise, we’ve got it all and it’s all on sale. Shop early before the word is out to the general public and buy “the good stuff” at liquidation prices.
It’s been our great joy to have served our local communities for so many years: but times change and for everyone the time comes to move forward. Along with our wonderfully talented and loyal staff, we thank you for your friendship and support and look forward to helping you find the perfect outfit and gear in this final sale.
Eric Stern, on behalf of the Stern family
Photo via Facebook
It’s the end of the road for P. Brennan’s Irish Pub and Restaurant at 2910 Columbia Pike.
The cavernous local pub will shutter after closing on Friday. Owner Brian Dolphin, who also owned the ill-fated McGinty’s near Potomac Yard, says P. Brennan’s “did pretty well” by staying in business for seven years, but never made much money.
“It never kicked off to the extent we thought it would,” Dolphin told ARLnow.com Thursday morning. He said P. Brennan’s liquor license expires after March 31 and he chose not to renew it.
Also contributing to the bar’s demise: its large size — “too big,” Dolphin said, in retrospect — and the cancellation of the Columbia Pike streetcar, which seemed to deflate some of the excitement and prospects for change along the Pike.
“Things went south on us a bit and never picked up,” said Dolphin regarding the aftermath of the cancellation.
Nothing out of the ordinary is planned for P. Brennan’s last day tomorrow, but Dolphin said he expects that many long-time patrons will be there enjoying a pint or two.
(Updated at 1:35 p.m.) After staying open for months on borrowed time, Ballston bar CarPool is preparing to close for good.
The popular local watering hole will serve its last customers in Ballston on Monday, April 3, says co-owner Mark Handwerger.
The announcement, below, comes seven-and-a-half months after the first reports that CarPool was about to close after it was sold to make way for a large redevelopment. That development was approved in 2015 but subsequently delayed.
More on the “closing night” plans from CarPool’s management:
Please join us on Monday, April 3rd, for Closing Night. It should be a grand day as we simultaneously celebrate Baseball’s Opening Day (and the start of the Nationals pursuit of a World Series crown), the culmination of another wonderful and wacky March Madness (and the crowning of this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion: UCLA?!?!), and one final Last Call for CarPool. Please stop in and say “goodbye” one last time before the taps run dry.
Handwerger says the owners of CarPool expect to open a new location in the Fair Lakes area of Fairfax County as early as July or August.
Three businesses have closed in short order at the Dominion Hills Centre shopping plaza, worrying some local residents — but remaining businesses say there’s little cause for concern.
A tipster emailed ARLnow.com earlier this week lamenting the shuttering of the Little River Yoga Studio at 6025 Wilson Blvd. The tipster said it was the “latest to go,” following the departure of the Great Harvest Bread Company as well as the florist nearby.
But expiring leases and other circumstances were behind the closures, not a larger trend, we’re told. Business owners that have remained say foot traffic and sales remain healthy.
Great Harvest closed at the end of January. Franchisee Brad Hurst, who operates the bakery’s Alexandria location alongside his wife, said that it proved difficult to run two stores, especially as the larger Alexandria one took up more time.
After taking over the franchise’s five-year lease with approximately two years remaining, Hurst said they made the decision to close and focus their energies in Alexandria.
“Probably for the last year or so, we knew it was a lot of effort for what we were getting as far as traffic and sales,” Hurst said. “When the lease came up, we let that expire, much to the disappointment of several customers. We have to make sure our effort is rewarded with the business, so it was hard to keep it going.”
The shopping center’s florist had been in business for several decades at 6035 Wilson Blvd, but multiple business owners in the plaza said it closed when its owners retired and let the lease expire. It is now being marketed for another tenant.
Then Little River Yoga relocated its classes to Faith Lutheran Church at 3313 Arlington Blvd and rebranded as Ashtanga Nation. It made the move in mid-January.
Katie Gilman, owner of Taste by Katie, which provides reheatable meals to bring home, said business appears healthy for the dozen-plus stores that remain, including her own. When a reporter visited on Thursday afternoon, the plaza’s parking lot was about two-thirds full.
“Three [closures] seem like it could be a big percentage, but it’s really not when you consider all the stores open along here,” Gilman said.
(Updated at 4 p.m.) The Buckingham Florist, a long-time local business on N. Glebe Road, closed last week and appears to have relocated to Annandale.
Open since the 1940s, the florist delivered to Arlington County, Arlington National Cemetery and other parts of Northern Virginia.
Jean Tucker Bassin founded Buckingham Florist with her late husband Myer. Their son Neil Bassin is listed on various websites as having also owned it. In 2013, another website said Buckingham Florist was owned by Kim Park, who also owns Annandale Florist and Tysons Flower Affair.
As of last week, the flower shop’s location at 301 N. Glebe Road in the Buckingham Shopping Center was shuttered, an empty shell with no fixtures or fittings and some of its tiled floor ripped up. A retail leasing brochure lists the 1,460 square foot space as “coming available.”
An employee at the next-door Ravi Chatkhara takeout restaurant said he heard rumors the florist would be relocating elsewhere and would be replaced by a coffee shop.
The phone number listed for the florist is still active. A person at that number answered Tuesday and told ARLnow.com the store is now located in Annandale and open, but hung up when asked for further details.
Virginia Square restaurant Water & Wall (3811 Fairfax Drive) has closed its doors for good.
Water & Wall served its last dinner customers last night, the Washington Post’s Tom Sietsema said on his “Ask Tom” chat today.
A year ago, during an ARLnow.com-organized panel discussion on the local restaurant industry, Water & Wall owner and acclaimed chef Tim Ma was asked about keeping customers coming back after the initial excitement of a restaurant’s opening.
“Everybody was coming through the door on day one, two years later, it’s all about retention,” Ma said. “Staying relevant is probably the hardest thing. There are so many new restaurants opening, so many different areas coming back to life, staying relevant is hard.”
Police Search for Missing Boy — Updated — Arlington County Police were looking for a missing 13-year-old boy who may have run away from home yesterday evening. The boy took his bike and possibly camping gear, according to police and to scanner traffic. Police say the boy has since been “located in good health.” [Arlington County]
Carpool to Close, Move — The end is near for Carpool, the popular Ballston bar has kept on ticking despite originally being slated to close this past summer to make way for a redevelopment. Management reportedly plans to move Carpool to the Fair Lakes area of Fairfax County this summer. [Washington Business Journal]
Rep. Beyer’s Hat Get Noticed — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) wore a red “Keep the EPA Great” hat to a Congressional hearing about the agency on Tuesday, and the internet loved it. [Gizmodo]
Kudos for Ashlawn Crossing Guard — Ashlawn Elementary School crossing guard Ana Hernandez has been recognized as one of Virginia’s “Most Outstanding Crossing Guards.” Hernandez works “patiently but firmly to ensure the safety of students,” according to a press release. [Arlington Public Schools]
Optimism for N. Va. Economy — “The Northern Virginia region could see job employment grow from anywhere between 4 to 14.4 percent from 2014 to 2025,” according to forecasts from George Mason University’s Stephen Fuller. [Loudoun Times-Mirror]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman