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(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) Arlington’s newest seafood spot is finally ready to open.

Seamore’s is expected to open its doors this week in Clarendon. Currently, the opening is set for Thursday, after being pushed from Wednesday.

The restaurant serves sustainably-sourced seafood, including clams, lobster rolls, arctic char, fish and chips, and oysters. This will be the first location outside of New York for the chain.

“We believe Clarendon will love our sustainable seafood, our delicious cocktails, and beachy Montauk vibes,” owner Jay Wainwright said in the press release. “D.C. is closely connected to the Chesapeake Bay supply chain. This made our decision to open our next location in Clarendon a natural one.”

It was first announced late last year that Seamore’s was bringing a location to the old Baja Fresh space in Clarendon, which had been vacant for more than three years. It was initially supposed to open in late summer, but it was pushed to the back end of September.

Located at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Edgewood Street, next to the one-year-old Tatte Bakery, the 2,605 square-foot restaurant space is now complete.

Back in March, Wainwright told ARLnow that Clarendon is a “perfect fit” for Seamore’s because of the walkability of the neighborhood and and the proximity of the Chesapeake Bay. He additionally noted that a large portion of the catch served at the restaurant will come out of the Bay.

The decor will also differ from the New York locations with decor, colors, and art all inspired by the region and the Chesapeake Bay. Additionally, the restaurant says it wants to build relationships with Bay improvement projects and organizations.

“Seamore’s does not merely look to bring New York flavors to Virginia. Rather, building local relationships such as the Oyster Recovery Partnership will not only ingratiate the new establishment into the community but contribute a positive impact,” said the press release.

For those seeking to add some education to their dining, oyster shucking classes at the restaurant are in the works.

Prior to Seamore’s, Wainwright helped open the first Cosi in America in the mid-1990s. There were at one point a number of locations in Arlington, but the last one, in Rosslyn, closed in early 2021. He also helped build Le Pain Quotidien, which still has a location in Clarendon, one block up from Seamore’s.

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Street scene from Clarendon Day 2017 (file photo)

A number of in-person events are back in Arlington this weekend after extended pandemic-related hiatuses. With those, though, comes road closures.

Clarendon Day is returning this Saturday (Sept. 24) for the first time since 2019. One of Arlington’s largest street festivals, the event will run from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and include music, food, vendors, and art.

There will be road closures throughout the neighborhood, including large swaths of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd. The closures will begin in the middle of the night, around 3 a.m., and go as late as 10 p.m.

The closures include:

  • Wilson Boulevard, from N. Highland Street to Washington Boulevard
  • Clarendon Boulevard, from Washington Boulevard to N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street, from 11th Street N. to Wilson Boulevard
  • N. Herndon Street, from Wilson Boulevard to alleyway behind CVS
  • N. Hudson Street, from Wilson Boulevard to alleyway behind CVS
  • Southbound N. Highland Street, from N. Hartford Street to Wilson Boulevard
Clarendon Day 2022 road closures (image via ACPD)

The Prio Bangla Multicultural Street Fair is also making its comeback after a pandemic hiatus, taking place on Saturday (Sept. 24) in the Arlington Heights neighborhood between Columbia Pike and the Arlington Career Center. The annual festival has been going on for about a decade.

There’s only one road closure related to this event and that’s 9th Street S. from S. Highland Street to S. Walter Reed Drive. The closure will be from 6 a.m. Saturday until midnight on Sunday (Sept. 25).

There are also two events in the Shirlington and Green Valley neighborhoods this weekend.

Beckett’s Celtic Festival is also set for Saturday in the Village of Shirlington. Campbell Avenue from S. Randolph Street to 28th Street S. (the alleyway near the Harris Teeter) will be closed from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.

Finally, Valley Fest is taking place near Four Mile Run Drive on Sunday. The beer-centric event, organized by New District Brewery, did take place last year. The festival is set to begin around noon and go until 5 p.m.

S. Oakland Street, from S. Four Mile Run Drive to S. Nelson Street, will be closed to traffic from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. on Sunday to accommodate the event.

Valley Fest 2022 road closures (image via ACPD)

Arlington County police are cautioning that roads may be congested with vehicle and pedestrian traffic in the areas around these events, asking drivers to “remain alert.”

Parking will be restricted and there will be a larger police presence in the area, according to ACPD.

“Street parking near the events may be restricted. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary ‘No Parking’ signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed,” said a press release. “If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.”

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Five “Complete Streets” roadway project designs are ready for community feedback.

As part of Arlington County’s Complete Streets program, the projects aim to improve safety and access on local roads. The changes are usually made in conjunction with repaving projects and mostly involve re-striping the roadway, sometimes at the expense of parking or through lanes.

According to the project website, the five stretches of roadway that are up for improvements this year are:

  • Wilson Boulevard — N. George Mason Drive to N. Vermont Street (Bluemont)
  • Clarendon Boulevard — N. Garfield Street to N. Adams Street (Clarendon / Courthouse)
  • Clarendon Boulevard — Courthouse Road to N. Scott Street (Courthouse / Rosslyn)
  • S. Abingdon Street / 34th Street S. — Bridge over I-395 (Fairlington)
  • N. Ohio Street — 12th Road N. to Washington Boulevard (Madison Manor / Highland Park-Overlee Knolls / Dominion Hills)

Those interested in giving feedback on the designs can fill out an online form on the project website through Wednesday, July 6. The final plans are expected to be released in late summer or fall.

S. Abingdon Street bridge

The design plan for the bridge over I-395 in Fairlington (via Arlington County)

The county’s Department of Environmental Services plans to remove under-utilized parking from the S. Abingdon Street bridge over I-395 in Fairlington.

The project would add buffer zones to the bike lanes to improve access for cyclists and safety for those using the sidewalks, while narrowing the travel lanes for speed control, according to its concept design summary.

Residents previously expressed concern about drivers speeding on the bridge while students walk to and from school.

The bridge is also part of a planned VDOT rehabilitation project, which will include adding concrete protective barriers and replacing bearings.

Wilson Blvd between N. George Mason Drive to N. Vermont Street

A portion of the design plan that adjusts turn lanes on Wilson Blvd (via Arlington County)

The segment of Wilson Blvd in Bluemont between N. George Mason Drive and N. Vermont Street, near Ballston, could see additional high contrast markings at high conflict crosswalks, according to the designs.

The plan is to reduce Wilson Blvd to one travel lane in each direction, with a center turn lane into N. George Mason Drive to better control vehicle speed.

The design plan also includes modifying markings to extend the left turn lane near N. George Mason Drive. The project would also add bike lanes and a continuous center turn lane east of the fire station.

The section of Wilson Blvd between George Mason and the Safeway grocery store saw similar changes last year.

Clarendon Blvd from N. Garfield Street to N. Adams Street

A portion of the design plan of the project on Clarendon Blvd near N. Garfield Street (via Arlington County)

A segment of Clarendon Blvd is set for changes between N. Garfield Street and N. Adams Street, in the Clarendon and Courthouse area, including the removal of nine parking spots.

Apart from reducing parking spaces, the project team also plans to add high contrast markings at high conflict crosswalks. A bike box is set to be added at Clarendon Boulevard’s intersection with N. Garfield Street to make turning easier for cyclists.

The plan will also add parking protection to the bike lane between N. Garfield Street and N. Edgewood Street. A county summary says residents in the area expressed concern about speeding, unsafe pedestrian crossings and double parking in the bike lane.

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The self-proclaimed “world’s first decentralized pizzeria” is now serving up pies in Courthouse

Bitcoin Pizza, a “virtual restaurant,” opened on Oct. 31 and operates out of the kitchen of Fire Works Pizza at 2350 Clarendon Blvd. It is one of about 100 locations across the country and one of seven locations in the D.C.-area.

The pizzeria was created by branding company Popchew in partnership with Bitcoin influencer Anthony Pompliano.

And, yes, the restaurant accepts Bitcoin as well as U.S. dollars.

“We want to spread the word of Bitcoin through this pizza,” Popchew CEO Rushir Parikh tells ARLnow. “[Pizza] is a very approachable way to learn about Bitcoin. We want to make Bitcoin as widely known and available as pizza is.”

It’s about educating the public on cryptocurrency and making it less scary — all while serving up great food — he says.

Bitcoin Pizza is essentially a ghost kitchen, with the company doing the branding and marketing, a local restaurant (in this case, Fire Works) making the pizza, and a third-party (UberEats, DoorDash, etc.) delivering. Like many ghost kitchens, ordering is online-only.

About 20% of the generated revenue goes to Bitcoin Pizza, Parikh said.

There was no specific reason that Arlington or Courthouse was chosen as a location, beyond wanting to have a number of locations in and near major cities, he notes.

The idea for a pizzeria was inspired by the famous — in the crypto world, at least — story of how a Florida man in 2010 purchased two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. Eleven years ago, that equated to about $40 US dollars. Today, 10,000 bitcoins are worth more than $500 million.

October 31, the day of Bitcoin Pizza’s Arlington launch (along with the launch of a number of other locations) is also an important day in the cryptocurrency’s history. On Halloween 2008, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin white paper which explained its rules, workings, and structure.

The menu includes pizzas with cryptocurrency-themed names, like Capital Greens (veggie), Satoshi’s Favorite (Hawaiian) and Laser Eyes (pepperoni).

On its website, the company behind Bitcoin Pizza, calls itself “the coolest food court on the internet.” Parikh compares the aspirations of Popchew to Yum! Brands, which owns fast food staples Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and KFC.

“What we want to do is work with influential brands and people to build the next generation of food brands,” he says.

Working with local restaurants, like Fire Works Pizza, allows the company and its ideas to scale up quickly.

And Popchew is already working on its next food brand. “Wingszn” has launched and is expected to open a location in Arlington in the next month or two, Parikh says.

That “virtual restaurant” will be serving up chicken wings and yes, you can pay with Bitcoin.

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Jimmy John’s in Rosslyn is now closed (Staff photo by Matt Blitz)

Jimmy John’s in Rosslyn has made its last sandwich.

The chain’s location at 1512 Clarendon Blvd in Rosslyn has permanently closed, the franchise owners tell ARLnow.

“Sales simply never recovered after the pandemic,” writes Jessica Manning, who owned the shop along with her father and her husband. “It was a difficult and incredibly emotional decision for us.”

Its last day was September 28, closing after lunch. The family also own the Jimmy John’s in Ballston on N. Quincy Street as well as a location in Woodbridge, Virginia. Both remain open.

Manning says that they were able to find all of their Rosslyn employees other jobs.

“Everyone is healthy and we were able to get all staff members another job immediately so that’s really all that matters,” she writes.

Rappaport Company, which is offering the retail space for lease, tells ARLnow that the space formerly occupied by Jimmy John’s is available and they “are actively marketing the space for lease.”

Jimmy John’s on Clarendon Blvd first opened in 2013, more than eight years ago, in what was then the new-Sedona Slate apartment complex.

That block of Clarendon Blvd has seen a number of openings and closings. Most recently, in 2020, barre fitness studio LavaBarre closed, with dog daycare Playful Pack taking its place this summer.

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(Updated at 1:40 p.m.) Arlington County will be holding a virtual public meeting tonight to discuss a trio of road projects set for later this year.

The county plans to repave and re-stripe portions of Wilson Blvd in the Dominion Hills and Boulevard Manor neighborhoods, Potomac Avenue in Potomac Yard, and Clarendon Blvd in the Courthouse and Rosslyn neighborhoods. The work is expected to take place this summer and fall, following the current public engagement process.

Arlington has been using its regularly-planned street maintenance to re-stripe roads in an effort make them safer, particularly for pedestrians and cyclists. It often involves the addition or enhancement of bike lanes, sharrows and crosswalks.

At an online meeting tonight from 6:30-7:30 p.m., held via Microsoft Teams, county staff will present the concept plans for its three 2020 projects while seeking public feedback.

More from the event page:

The Master Transportation Plan identifies routine street maintenance as an opportunity to provide cost-effective and easy to implement measures to improve safety and access for all people using the street. Community engagement is a core value in Arlington, and we wanted to provide opportunities for community members to share their feedback on the concept plans for the 2020 Street Maintenance season.

Please join county staff for an online meeting on Thursday, June 4 from 6:30-7:30 pm to learn about the project, ask questions and share feedback on the design concepts for the three 2020 Resurfacing Projects for Complete Streets.

Staff will present concepts for:

  • Wilson Boulevard – N Larrimore Street to McKinley Road (Dominion Hills/Boulevard Manor)
  • Potomac Avenue – S Crystal Drive to Alexandria City Line (Potomac Yard)
  • Clarendon Boulevard – N Nash to N Oak Street (Clarendon-Courthouse/Radnor/Fort Myer Heights)

The country recently repaved and re-striped portions of Lorcom Lane and Military Road. The work was done in conjunction with construction on the new Dorothy Hamm Middle School.

An online open house in April discussed all four projects.

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(Updated at 12:25 p.m.) Five arterial streets in Arlington are being considered as candidates for a Complete Streets overhaul.

The county’s Complete Streets program adds safety features to roadways that improve the experience of road users other than drivers, including pedestrians and cyclists. The changes are usually made in conjunction with repaving projects.

The streets that are up for a makeover later this year are:

  • Wilson Boulevard — N. Larrimore Street to McKinley Road (Dominion Hills/Boulevard Manor)
  • Potomac Avenue — S. Crystal Drive to Alexandria City Line (Potomac Yard)
  • Clarendon Boulevard — N. Nash Street to N. Oak Street (Clarendon-Courthouse/Radnor/Fort Myer Heights)
  • N. Lorcom Lane — Old Dominion Drive to N. Taylor Street
  • Military Road — Lorcom Lane to Old Dominion Drive

At an online open house scheduled for Monday, April 6, Arlington County staff members will reveal more details about the project and how community members can share their experiences.

The virtual public meeting is scheduled to run from 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Microsoft Teams Live Event. No account is needed to join.

Complete Streets upgrades may include “sidewalk expansion or obstruction elimination,” “curb ramp reconstruction,” “crosswalk and signal enhancements,” “pedestrian-scale lighting,” “improved access to transit stops” and bike lanes, per the county’s website.

Such changes have been implemented in other parts of Arlington, though they’ve also faced some public pushback from local residents concerned about traffic impacts. One Complete Streets project in neighboring Alexandria has become a legendarily contentious issue.

Photos via Google Maps

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(Updated at 10:10 a.m.) The reconfiguration of Clarendon’s worst intersection is one step closer to finishing as crews begin paving.

Working began repaving the roads that together form the notoriously dangerous “Clarendon Circle” — a.k.a. the intersection of Wilson, Clarendon, and Washington Blvds — this past weekend.

The paving work will continue for the rest of this week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is expected to close some traffic lanes and cause temporary detours, the county’s Department of Environmental Services warns on its webpage for the project.

“Increased traffic congestion is expected, and drivers are encouraged to seek alternate routes and avoid Clarendon Circle during this work if possible,” DES said on its website.

On Monday, for instance, through traffic on Wilson Blvd was blocked and redirected to Washington Blvd. On Tuesday, steam and a burning rubber smell clouded the intersection as crews directed traffic around a cluster of paving equipment.

Work on the project is expected to wrap up by Veterans Day, this coming Monday.

The county has long aimed to redesign the intersection to be safer for pedestrians and cyclists and less confusing for motorists, with a goal of reducing crashes. The project design selected will realign Wilson and Washington Blvd, shorten crosswalks, and widen sidewalks.

Construction kicked off last year after the Arlington County Board awarded a $2.5 million contract to Ardent Construction Company.

Since then, the county has made several changes to the tricky nexus of roads, including cutting off N. Irving Street and banning left turns onto Wilson from Washington — though many drivers at least initially ignored the ban.

Image 1-5 via Arlington County

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(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Eastbound Clarendon Blvd was closed between N. Veitch Street and N. Courthouse Road for most of Friday due to a water main break.

Crews started digging up the street near the former Cosi this morning in an effort to fix the 12-inch pipe, and as of 4 p.m. were still working.

A detour was in place for eastbound traffic, though one lane reopened Friday afternoon.

Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says that a number of water customers in the area, including businesses, are without water.

https://twitter.com/ReadyArlington/status/1136987403313385472

https://twitter.com/JoeyConway/status/1136954688212021254

Photo courtesy anonymous

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A new round of construction is kicking off at one of Clarendon’s trickiest intersections, and that means more lane closures and traffic changes.

Starting today (Wednesday), workers plan to start major sidewalk expansions at the “Clarendon Circle” intersection, or the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards meet.

The county expects the widening work to last through April, with the ultimate goal of having the new sidewalks ready “in time to allow businesses to have outdoor seating during the spring and summer months.” Much of the construction centers on the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Irving Street, the home of both O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub and The Liberty Tavern.

County officials signed off on the $2.5 million Clarendon Circle overhaul this summer, in a bid to make the intersection a bit easier to navigate for pedestrians and cyclists, in particular. In addition to the sidewalk expansions, the project will include the installation of new bike lanes, the widening of Washington Boulevard to four lanes — while nixing the current reversible lanes — and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.

The construction first started prompting major traffic changes in the area early this month, and now the county is warning of additional changes. Those include a prohibition on left turns in the following areas:

  • Northbound Wilson Boulevard to N. Irving Street
  • Northbound Wilson Boulevard to westbound Washington Boulevard
  • Southbound Wilson Boulevard to eastbound Washington Boulevard
  • Westbound Washington Boulevard to southbound Wilson Boulevard

Some portions of the sidewalk will also be closed on both the Washington Blvd and Wilson Blvd sides of N. Irving Street. The left turn from eastbound Washington Boulevard to Clarendon Boulevard also remains off-limits, and will likely be shut down through this summer.

The county is hoping to have all of the work wrapped up by sometime in 2020, weather permitting.

The project is designed to move in conjunction with the county’s plans to do away with the reversible lanes on Washington Boulevard and create a “T” intersection with 13th Street N. That construction is projected to kick off sometime this winter, after the county cleared the way for the redevelopment of the nearby Red Top Cab properties.

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Crews have broken ground on the first phase of the “Clarendon Circle” project, bringing improvements to one of the county’s trickiest intersections for pedestrians and cyclists but creating some temporary traffic changes.

The County Board approved in June the contract for the overhaul of the “Clarendon Circle” — the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards all meet, just past the Metro station.

The first phase of the project involves concrete work along eastbound Washington Blvd — west of Wilson Blvd and Fairfax Drive — along with removal of the existing curb and gutter in the area.

Ardent Construction Company began in September Clarendon Circle’s reconstruction, which is anticipated to last one year, according to the county.

Signs will provide detour directions. Drivers and pedestrians have the following options to Clarendon Blvd from Washington Blvd:

  • Turn right on southbound N. Kirkwood Road, which turns into 10th Street N. Then turn left on Wilson Blvd and continue straight.
  • Stay on Washington Blvd, crossing Wilson and Clarendon boulevards, and then turn left on N. Highland Street. Then turn right.

Additionally, left turns will be restricted on eastbound Washington Blvd along with the left turn from eastbound Washington Blvd to Clarendon Blvd through next summer.

Traffic disruptions with lane and sidewalk closures during the 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. work hours on Mondays through Fridays are expected, the county said, adding that no weekend work is scheduled.

The planned improvements address planners’ desired changes to the intersection, like shortening the distances pedestrians have to walk across roads. The work will also include long-anticipated installation of additional bike lanes, the widening of Washington Blvd and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.

The project will also add a “green streets” element to N. Irving Street, next to the Silver Diner, which planners have said will help better manage stormwater.

Additional plans for the project include installing new Carlyle streetlights, adding curb extensions at the Liberty Tavern corner and planting more trees.

Maps via Arlington County

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