Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Pike Lane Closures Prompt Apology — “Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz has apologized that residents, business owners, and commuters weren’t informed how their lives would be temporarily affected by a road construction project on Columbia Pike, near the Fairfax County border,” per WTOP. County officials will be holding a press briefing about the lane closures on the Pike this morning. [WTOP, Arlington County]

Park Near HQ2 May Have Security Features — “Amazon.com Inc. is weighing methods for securing its second headquarters and appears to be looking across the pond for ideas. The U.S. embassy in London… avoids fences in favor of a number of ‘defense strategies’ disguised as a ‘welcoming landscape that is experienced as a public park,’ an Amazon representative told Arlington County officials.” [Washington Business Journal]

Ballroom Closing Is a Changing of the Bro Guards — “The millennials who do end up in Arlington are being drawn to a new generation of bars and nightspots, many of which are run by chef Mike Cordero and partner Scott Parker, including the bustling three-level tequila/tacos restaurant Don Tito… Clarendon may always have a place for the venerable Whitlow’s on Wilson, where the combination of a roof deck and cover bands makes it the most likely refuge for those missing the Ballroom… But it’s clear that Clarendon — at least, its bro-centric archetype — will never be the same.” [Washington Post]

Alabama Man Busted With Loaded Gun at DCA — “An Alabama man started the new year on a sour note when he brought his loaded handgun to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) on the first day of the new year.” [Transportation Security Administration]

New Slate of County Board Meetings Set — “Arlington County Board members will hold 11 monthly meetings (Saturdays and the subsequent Tuesdays) in 2020, along with several hearings on the proposed fiscal 2021 budget and capital-improvement projects. Regular meetings will be held on Jan. 25, Feb. 22, March 21, April 18, May 16, June 13, July 18, Sept. 12, Oct. 17, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 and, in each case, the following Tuesdays.” [InsideNova]

‘National Gateway’ Building Sold — “An affiliate of The Meridian Group has sold part of its National Gateway campus in Arlington County, one of a handful of office properties poised to benefit from an expected surge in demand tied to Amazon.com Inc.’s second headquarters. The Bethesda developer sold National Gateway II, a roughly 238,031-square-foot building at 3550 S. Clark St., for nearly $60 million.” [Washington Business Journal]

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2020 is almost here, and if you’re spending the holidays in Arlington, there are plenty of local options for ringing in the new year.

Ticket prices vary per event, with several opting for no cover and others starting at up to $50 per person.

For families looking to celebrate but also go to bed well before midnight, the Columbia Pike Branch Library (816 S. Walter Reed Drive) is hosting a “Ring in the Noon Year” countdown from 11 a.m.-noon. There will be games, light snacks, and a countdown to noon.

Later in the night, there are a bunch of parties big and small planned across Arlington. For those looking to pay their respects to Clarendon Ballroom, its last night in operation will be for its New Years Eve Gala — fitting, given the venue opened on the same day twenty years ago.

In Ballston, parties are planned at Punch Bowl Social, Bisto 1521, and Rustico Ballston.

On Columbia Pike, The Celtic House Irish Pub & Restaurant will celebrate with the local band Down Wilson,

In Crystal City, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, an all-out casino night is planned until 3 a.m. Close by, Freddie’s Beach Bar has two parties planned — a drag show on New Year’s Eve, and then a New Year’s Day champagne brunch the following morning. For a more relaxed vibe, McNamara’s Pub & Restaurant is offering a three-course dinner to ring in the new year for $30.

In Clarendon, in addition to the Clarendon Ballroom bash, several bars will be hosting parties including Bar Bao, Pamplona, Whitlow’s, The Renegade, Liberty Tavern, and Wilson Hardware. For a more low-key evening, Northside Social is offering a three-course dinner and wine pairing, with a live TV view of the ball dropping at midnight

A New Year’s Eve dinner similar to that at Northside Social is being held at Cheesetique in Shirlington.

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Clarendon Ballroom Is Closing

(Updated on 12/13/19) Clarendon Ballroom will be closing after one last New Year’s Eve Bash on Dec. 31.

The long-time Clarendon nightlife venue announced via social media Wednesday night that it will be shutting down for good after ringing in the new year (and the new decade).

“It has been our pleasure to be part of the Clarendon community for the last 20 years,” the business said on Instagram. “This area has changed a great deal since we first saw a furniture and fabric store built in the 1930’s as a Woolworth Department store and thought that it would make an excellent music and events venue.”

The Ballroom was perhaps best known as a live music venue and a nightclub with a popular rooftop, but it was also a private event venue that hosted everything from weddings to ceremonies to community events.

Peter Pflug, one of the owners of the Ballroom, declined to give a reason for its closure.

“For now we are not commenting further than the fact that we are closing,” Pflug told ARLnow. “Instead we are focusing on making the last weeks fun and memorable.”

The business appears to be preparing to auction off its gear in early January.

“Iconic night club is shutting its doors and making a complete liquidation,” says a page on a local auction company’s website. “Audio equipment, very large kitchen, catering equipment, several bars & much more. Arlington, VA local pickup only.”

More on the closure from the Instagram post:

To our Clients, Vendors, Patrons, and Friends:

After over 19 years in business, the Clarendon Ballroom will be closing in January. Our 20th New Year’s Eve Bash on December 31st, 2019 will be the last night that we are open for business.

It has been our pleasure to be part of the Clarendon community for the last 20 years. This area has changed a great deal since we first saw a furniture and fabric store built in the 1930’s as a Woolworth Department store and thought that it would make an excellent music and events venue.

A big thank you to all of the special event clients, nightclub patrons, vendors, and most of all, the staff (seems like a poor word – after you work with the same people for 20 years, you feel much more like family) that joined us and supported us in this adventure.

To go out with a bang, we have planned a couple special closing events leading up to our New Year’s Eve Bash. Please come out and help us say goodbye:

On December 27th, one of the greatest bands to every play the room, Mr. Greengenes, is playing a final show for us. Please see Here for details and start resting up now!

On December 28th, our House DJ and the man responsible for way too many legendary nights, DJ Lil Fos is playing with some of his other DJs, so you can show off your dance moves on the floor one last time (No cover for this show). And if you really want to say goodbye the way it all began–our first night open to the public was New Year’s Eve in 2000–get your tickets now for our big gala. We will be featuring an awesome band–Liquid A–and DJ Lil Fos. This one has sold out every year for 19 years, and we hope you can join us, so get your tickets now.

Thank you again for helping us become a part of the community, and we hope you come see us before our “last call.”

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Long-time DC 101 morning man Elliot Segal is bringing his Elliot in the Morning Halloween Bash back to Clarendon tomorrow (Friday).

The annual event is happening at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd), with doors opening at 6 p.m. and the party starting at 8 p.m. There’s a $10 cover before 9 p.m.

With that and other notable events planned, and with Halloween revelry starting up, the Arlington County Police Department was going to hold a “Halloween Anti-Drunk Driving Community Outreach Event” in Clarendon Friday evening. That, however, has been postponed due to expected rainy weather.

ACPD is now planning to hold an Election Day-themed anti-DUI event next Friday, Nov. 2, from 9-11 p.m.

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Update on 2/6/18: The Clarendon Alliance has issued an update to their plans. Citing “a large Mardi Gras ball with major sponsors” in Union Market and a Mardi Gras parade planned for the same time at Washington’s District Wharf development, the Mardi Gras Ball and the Jester Jaunt have been cancelled. The parade will still go on as scheduled.

“They’ve got marketing dollars and fireworks,” said Matt Hussman, The Clarendon Alliance’s executive director. “It’s a different market than it used to be. But I wish the Wharf and Union Market the best of luck [with their own Mardi Gras activities].”

According to Hussman, approximately 60% of previous years’ Mardi Gras Ball tickets were sold either the day before or day of the event. He cited the difficulty in prepaying for beer and food expenses without knowing the exact number of participants as a major consideration in the decision. Another factor was the quantity of ball attendees: Hussman noted that the vast majority of ball ticket holders were Batalá Washington performers or Louisiana State University alumni. Both groups, he said, would be parading at the Wharf instead of in Clarendon.

Currently there are approximately 20 registered parade floats or groups, and registration is still open for additional marchers. 

Earlier: Clarendon’s annual Mardi Gras procession of dressed-up dogs, cyclists, floats, and revelers is quickly approaching, and registration for several events has opened.

The festivities will kick off on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 13, at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard at N. Barton Street, following along Wilson Boulevard before ending at by The Liberty Tavern at N. Irving Street.

Parade registration fees range from $50 for a nonprofit or community organization to $250 for a business outside of the Clarendon-Courthouse corridor. Revelers can also preorder a box of 720 beaded necklaces for $75.

Though few want it to rain on their parade, last year’s Mardi Gras procession went on despite the downpour.

The following street closures have been reported for the parade and fun run:

  • Wilson Boulevard, from Veitch Street to Barton Street, will be closed from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Boulevard and Wilson Boulevard, will be closed from 4:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
  • Wilson Boulevard, from Barton Street to Irving Street, will be closed from 6:45 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Photos (as marked) courtesy of Jason Dixson Photography

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When Jessica Winesett became a mom 16 months ago, she quickly learned how hard it was for moms to have “the night off.” The experience led the Alexandria resident to organize Northern Virginia’s first-ever “Mom Prom.”

Set for Saturday, March 24 from 7-11 p.m., the ladies-only event at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd) will raise funds for the Greater DC Diaper Bank and Second Story for Young Mothers.

Winesett said she was inspired to launch the event after hearing about mom proms in Richmond, now in its seventh year, and Hampton Roads, now in its third year.

“Since becoming a mom, I have such passion for moms now. When we take care of our moms, we take care of our society,” she said, “In my eyes, the initiative has already been a success because I see the community coming together and giving together. This is a feel-good event where women who are and aren’t mothers are welcome for a fun night out.”

Only women 21 years and above are allowed because alcohol will be served at the event. Tickets are available online. The offer for $45 early bird tickets ends on Saturday. Prices increase to $50 afterward.

The first 100 women to arrive will receive a door prize and awards for the “most glamorous” and “most outrageous” outfit will be given. A prom queen or mom of the year will be crowned from submitted nominations.

An after-party open to the public is scheduled after the prom ends at 11 p.m.

Flyer via ProMOmenade

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Morning Notes

Christmas tree sale at the Catholic church on 23rd Street S. in Aurora Highlands

Clarendon Ballroom Battles Alt-Right Blitz — After beating up on Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation earlier this month, the alt-right faction seeking to hold inauguration rallies and parties in Arlington has focused its attention on the Clarendon Ballroom. The Ballroom, one alt-right leader alleges, turned away their planned “DeploraBall” due to political pressure. The Ballroom, however, says the organizers never actually signed a contract. Since then, the Ballroom has been receiving “hundreds of slanderous, dangerous, vulgar and threatening posts and tweets,” along with threatening phone calls. [NBC Washington, Washington Post]

Library Director’s Christmas Playlist — Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh has released her annual “mix tape of seasonal favorites” on the library blog. This year’s list is a Spotify playlist that starts with Diana Krall’s rendition of “Let It Snow” and concludes, on a unique-to-2016 note, with “World Spins Madly On” by The Weepies. [Arlington Public Library]

Six Fired by Metro in EFC Derailment — Following an investigation, Metro has fired six track inspectors and supervisors and demoted several others in the wake of July’s East Falls Church train derailment. Additional firings are in the works. [WJLA]

Arlington Community Foundation Grants — The Arlington Community Foundation has approved grants to 26 local nonprofits and school, totally nearly $100,000. [Patch]

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Morning Notes

Window washers in Ballston

W-L Student Aces ACT Exam — Washington-Lee High School rising senior Benjamin Brooks has earned a perfect score of 36 on the ACT college entrance exam. Of the two million people who take the exam each year, only 1,600 achieve a top score. [InsideNova]

Speakeasy Moves to Alexandria — The Room 19 speakeasy that was formerly in the now-closed Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon (which is now becoming Ambar) is relocating to Alexandria. Room 19 will have its soft opening in the Carlyle Club at 2050 Ballenger Ave tomorrow, a spokesman said. It will be open Thursdays from 6 p.m. to midnight. [Facebook]

Juror Questionnaires Are Being Mailed — Residents of Arlington and Falls Church will be receiving questionnaires as part of Arlington’s annual juror qualification process. About 35,000 questionnaires are being mailed out. [Arlington County]

Live Podcast Taping Coming to Arlington — Local media personalities Sarah Fraser and Samy K will be hosting a live taping of their popular Hey Frase podcast at Clarendon Ballroom next month. Tickets to the show start at $25. [Eventbrite]

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2013 Clarendon Mardi Gras parade

Masked characters, dogs in costumes, marching bands and other Mardi Gras partiers are set to make their way through Clarendon tonight.

After dodging the threat of snow following two years of weather delays and cancellations, the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard, making its way from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street.

After the parade, revelers then can head to the first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.) The party is scheduled to run from 7 to 11 p.m.

More than 30 groups are expected to march in the parade, which is organized by the Clarendon Alliance. The non-profit organization has billed the parade as a “family-friendly event” that is “big fun.”

“Participating in the parade is a great way to have fun — participants can wear masks, dress completely inappropriately, and throw stuff at people,” the Clarendon Alliance says on its website. “What’s not to like?”

Except maybe traffic.

Some roads will shut down starting at 4:30 p.m. due to the parade. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the street closures include:

  • Wilson Blvd from Veitch Street to Barton Street will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd, will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Wilson Blvd from Barton Street to Irving Street will be closed from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m.

Clarendon Ballroom will host the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band and serve traditional Louisiana food, with wine, beer and punch, as part of the Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend, but must have a parent or guardian with them. Tickets to the party cost $20 online and $25 at the door.

Iota Club (2832 Wilson Blvd), meanwhile, will be hosting its own Mardi Gras celebration starting at 8:00 p.m. The free event features a rock-blues band and $3 gumbo shots.

Photo courtesy Jason Dixson Photography

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Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade 2016Pending good weather, floats, bands, horses and “critters in costumes” will march down Wilson Blvd during the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for early February.

This year’s parade is planned for Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 9. It will start at 7 p.m., traveling along Wilson from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street. The deadline to register to participate is Feb. 1, and bead orders must be submitted by Jan. 25.

Snow has forced the family-friendly parade to be postponed to mid-March the last two years in a row, but this year the organizers — the non-profit Clarendon Alliance — have planned an additional event that’s not weather-dependent on the evening of the parade.

The first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball will be held from 7-11 p.m. at the Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd. The ball will have live performances from jazz ensembles the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band. A ball king and queen will be announced between the bands’ sets.

Traditional Louisiana food will be served alongside wine, beer and punch. Ticket holders will get one free ticket upon entry. All other food and beverage sales will be cash only or from additionally purchased food and drink tickets.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tickets to the ball are now for sale online for $20 per person, and parade participants can get their tickets at a discounted rate. Proceeds from the tickets — beyond parade expenses — will benefit St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.

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Arlington's Got Talent flyerArlington’s Got Talent, the annual talent show for D.C.-area performers hosted by Leadership Arlington, is back for another year on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

The show is $30 in advance and $40 at the door at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd). It all starts at 6:30 p.m. with a social hour before the eight performers who were chosen take the stage.

The performers on Wednesday night, selected from 23 submissions, will be:

  • Maryland-based rapper Nik Martin
  • Pop, funk and R&B singer Travis Tucker
  • Singer Alyssa Gurley
  • A capella group Euphonism
  • Yorktown High School student Aastha Paneru, performing Nepalese dance
  • Former U.S. Marine and standup comedian Cerrome Russell
  • Crooner and Marine Corps reservist Teague
  • Guitarist Bau Bau

The winner of the talent show gets $500, and the rest of the proceeds from the night go to Leadership Arlington’s scholarship fund

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