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Amazon van that struck a pedestrian in Clarendon

An Amazon delivery van driver struck a pedestrian, causing minor injuries, on arguably the most prominent street corner in Arlington.

The collision happened shortly before 4 p.m. at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Highland Street, across from the Clarendon Metro entrance.

“At approximately 3:50 p.m. police were dispatched… for the report of a crash with injuries involving a pedestrian,” Arlington County police spokesperson Alli Shorb told ARLnow. “The pedestrian sustained minor injuries and did not require transport to the hospital. The driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. Police remain on scene investigating.”

A traffic camera showed the stopped van blocking the intersection’s northern and eastern crosswalks.

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St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Clarendon has filed conceptual designs for a new three-story church and parish center and a 10-story apartment building.

The mid-century church sits on two-and-a-half acres of prime property between the Clarendon and Virginia Square Metro stations, much of it is dedicated to parking.

Under the proposal, which has been in the works for a few years now, the 429-unit apartment building will have a courtyard in the center, a rooftop pool and ground-floor amenities. The church will be connected to the parish center, with meeting rooms and an event space, by cloistered gardens.

Parking will move underground and the two structures will be connected by an enhanced alley. Fairfax Drive will be redesigned as a walkable plaza, and there will be a new “West End Plaza” located in front of the church on a county-owned parcel.

But the plans include design elements that could conflict with streetscape design guidelines stipulated by the update to the Clarendon Sector Plan adopted earlier this year. Because of this, the church is seeking the perspective of county planning staff.

“The Applicant desires County feedback on the proposed conceptual plan, and particularly would like to discuss various recommendations of the Clarendon Sector Plan relating to ground-floor transparency, clear walkway zones, and sidewalk grade,” per a letter to the county included in the filings. “Existing site conditions and the programmatic needs of the proposed religious institutional use may complicate full achievement of certain Sector Plan recommendations relating to streetscape design.”

In other words, some elements of the proposed St. Charles Church — which reflect a centuries-long tradition of church architecture — may not align with the sector plan design guidelines for frontages along Washington Blvd and Fairfax Drive.

The streetscape guidelines, aimed at creating an attractive walking experience, call for sidewalks and store entrances to be the same level, without steps, and for storefronts to have mostly transparent windows unobstructed by blinds, fabrics and shelving. These are typified by the streetscapes of The Crossing Clarendon shopping center.

Former Iota Club space at The Crossing Clarendon (staff photo)

“Transparency is a key factor influencing the pedestrian experience: visual access, views to and from interior spaces, and interesting shopfront lighting and displays add visual interest and opportunities for the informal surveillance of public spaces,” per the sector plan.

Like many Roman Catholic churches throughout history, the renderings of St. Charles show an outdoor staircase, doors and a lobby (narthex) separating the sanctuary from casual pedestrian view.

The façades, meanwhile, include stained glass, which typically depict biblical stories and saints. These embellishments are not at pedestrians-scale; rather, they follow in the architectural tradition of drawing the eye upward to aid the worshipper in contemplating heaven.

While the county reviews the designs, the church is bringing a developer partner on board, according to a September church bulletin. The church will lease the land underneath the proposed apartment building to the developer in order to finance the project.

“We continue to refine our cost estimates for the project, but we anticipate that most of our total costs will be met by the proceeds from a long-term lease with our development partner,” parish priest Don Planty writes in the update. “Parishioners will be called upon to contribute to help cover immediate financial needs during planning and in support of sacred art for the new St. Charles church.”

Planty said the planning team estimates further planning, entitlement and permitting will take two years, followed by another two years for construction.

Renderings of St. Charles Catholic Church in Clarendon (via Arlington County)
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Police car speeding to a call at night (staff photo)

Arlington police handled several significant incidents over the weekend, including a fight in Clarendon that sent a man to the hospital.

The fight happened in the heart of Clarendon’s bar district, on the 3100 block of Clarendon Blvd, early Saturday morning. The victim was trying to break up a dispute between the suspect and a friend when he was struck and seriously injured by the suspect, police say.

More from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2022-11050009, 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 12:28 a.m. on November 5, police were dispatched to the report of an assault just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim attempted to break up a verbal dispute between the male suspect and a friend when the suspect allegedly struck the victim, causing injury. The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of serious, non-life-threatening injuries. The suspect was located on scene and taken into custody without incident. [The suspect], 30, of Arlington, Va. Was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding. He was held without bond.

Also this weekend, police investigated gunfire in the Waverly Hills neighborhood of northern Arlington on Sunday morning.

In the end, officers determined that a woman accidentally fired a shot while trying to package her gun.

From ACPD:

SHOT FIRED, 2022-11060089, 1900 block of N. Woodrow Street. At approximately 9:37 a.m. on November 6, police were dispatched to the report of a shot fired. Upon arrival, it was determined the female subject was allegedly packaging the firearm to be transported when it discharged. Minor property damage was reported within the home. No injuries were reported. The investigation is ongoing.

Earlier today (Monday), police were dispatched to a report of suspicious individuals in a parking lot and found a half dozen Honda vehicles that had been broken, with the airbags stolen.

The suspects remain at large but officers found a backpack with tools and six airbags, according to ACPD.

LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series, Late), 2022-11070017, 2600 block of S. Cleveland Street. At approximately 2:20 a.m. on November 7, police were dispatched to the report of a late larceny. Upon arrival, it was determined the reporting party observed two unknown individuals wearing face coverings allegedly acting suspiciously in a parking lot. Responding officers canvassed the area and located six Honda vehicles with broken windows and stolen airbags. A search of the area for the suspects yielded negative results, however, a backpack was recovered containing burglarious tools and six airbags. There are no suspect descriptions at this time. The investigation is ongoing.

Crime and comment policy: As a reminder, ARLnow generally does not name suspects in crime report articles such as this. We do name suspects if they are a public figure, if their identity is important to the story, or if they are accused of a significant crime — for instance, if they’re the subject of a police press release. Suspect descriptions from police are generally included when not overly vague. Comments are disabled in crime report articles that describe or name a suspect. 

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A new vintage clothing shop owned by a Washington-Liberty grad is looking to open in Clarendon next week.

People’s Place Blvd is opening up at 3179 Wilson Blvd, a prime spot near Clarendon Ballroom and Spider Kelly’s. The plan is to open on Saturday, Nov. 12, co-owner Fabricio Gamarra tells ARLnow. The store will specialize in buying, selling, and trading vintage clothing.

Gamarra is a 2018 graduate of Washington-Liberty High School and grew up in Arlington. He was previously the manager of the People’s Place location in Manassas but is partnering with that store’s ownership to open his own shop closer to home. It will feature his brand Forbiiidden Vintage.

He’s also the founder of the Barcroft-based pop-up flea market Euphoria, which was so popular two years ago that it went viral on TikTok and resulted in traffic jams in the neighborhood after people flocked to the market from miles around.

Gamarra soon realized the popularity of what he was doing and wanted to expand to a brick and mortar storefront. He found one in the hole-in-the-wall, office and retail space above Spider Kelly’s.

Clarendon is a great place to open his new vintage shop, he said, because of the clientele.

“The area is a popular scene for a lot of kids who are into fashion,” Gamarra said. “Obviously, there’s a lot more income [here]… than in Manassas.”

While he was previously doing plenty of business online and at other local markets, the pull of opening a brick-and-mortar location was too much.

“Having a flea market once or twice a year is cool, but I wanted to open up more opportunities… I like to have that face-to-face connection with other people,” Gamarra said.

There are relatively few vintage clothing shops in Arlington. There’s Current Boutique, which advertises itself as a consignment shop and is located about a half mile away from where People’s Place Blvd is opening. There’s also Amalgamated Costume and Design on Langston Blvd, which is both a store and a rental provider for film, TV and stage productions.

Gamarra said that with more customers turning to small businesses and the “fast fashion” trend waning, people are looking for vintage clothing shops where they can buy and trade back clothes when they are done wearing them.

“People will be able to stop by and recycle their clothing or trade it in for other clothing that they are buying,” he said. “I think buy, sell, trade [shops] are vital.”

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A man with a gun robbed the Apple Store in Clarendon around lunchtime today.

The robbery happened at the store at 2700 Clarendon Blvd just before 12:30 p.m. Initial reports suggest that a suspect in his 20s pulled out a gold-and-black gun with an extended magazine and demanded laptops, before fleeing with four bags of items.

“At approximately 12:27 p.m., police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined the suspect was inside a business when he brandished a firearm and demanded merchandise. The suspect fled the scene in a vehicle with the stolen merchandise. The suspect is described as a Black male in his 20s. Police remain on scene investigating.”

The man fled east on Clarendon Blvd in an older model gold Cadillac sedan with Maryland tags, according to scanner traffic. The vehicle, the gun and the suspect seem to match a robbery at the Bethesda Row Apple Store on the evening of Saturday, Oct. 22.

Montgomery County police could be heard today discussing providing additional security for Apple Store locations there following the Clarendon robbery.

Hat tip to Alan Henney

Arlington police and Virginia State Police on the Clarendon nightlife detail (staff photo)

Arlington County police are organizing a Halloween-themed anti-drunk-driving event.

The “Sober Ride outreach event” is being held Saturday night in Clarendon, starting around 8 p.m., and will block a portion of N. Hudson Street near Wilson Blvd.

More from an ACPD press release:

There is nothing more frightening on Halloween than an impaired driver. Don’t turn the holiday’s scares into real life dangers by getting behind the wheel after drinking. To help spread the message that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving, the Arlington County Police Department, in partnership with the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP), is hosting a Halloween anti-drunk driving event to highlight the impact alcohol has on motor skills. This free event is open to the public and will take place on Saturday, October 29th at the intersection of N. Hudson Street and Wilson Boulevard, beginning at 8:00 p.m.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2016 and 2020, there were 129 drunk-driving fatalities on Halloween night nationwide (6:00 p.m. October 31 – 5:59 a.m. November 1). Adults between the ages of 21 and 34 had the highest percentage (68%) of fatalities in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night in 2020. That’s why the Arlington County Police Department is reminding community members that in addition to planning the perfect costume, your celebratory plans should also include a sober ride home.

Celebrate with a Plan

Don’t let drunk driving haunt your celebrations – if you plan to drink, follow these simple tips for a safe and happy evening:

  • Remember it is never okay to drink and drive. Even if you’ve had only one alcoholic beverage, designate a sober driver or plan to use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely.
  • The Washington Regional Alcohol Program’s 2022 Halloween SoberRide program is offering free rides home, in partnership with Lyft, from 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 29 until 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 30.
  • If you see a suspected impaired driver on the roadway, report to your local law enforcement. To report a suspected impaired driver in Arlington County, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 or 9-1-1 in an emergency.
  • Do you have a friend who is about to drink and drive? Take the keys away and make arrangements to get your friend home safely.

Always remember: Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. For more information, visit the NHTSA website.

Road Closure

N. Hudson Street between Wilson Boulevard and 13th Street N. will be closed from approximately 5:00 p.m. until 11:00 p.m. to accommodate this event.

Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs in the area. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

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The Barre3 studio in Clarendon has closed after four-and-a-half years in business.

The workout spot at 2800 Clarendon Blvd in The Crossing Clarendon (formerly Market Common Clarendon) officially closed yesterday, the company confirmed to ARLnow. It blamed a conflict with the property owner and business challenges brought on by the pandemic.

“Barre3 Clarendon is closed as of yesterday 10/25/2022 due to unresolved conflict with our landlord in relation to the insurmountable losses the pandemic has brought our way,” a spokesperson wrote to ARLnow in an email.

ARLnow is awaiting a response from the shopping center owner, Florida-based Regency Centers.

Clarendon’s Barre3 first opened in March 2018 after a bit of a delay. It was a workout studio that emphasized techniques and equipment more typically used by ballet dancers. It was the only Barre3 studio in Arlington, with the next closest one now on Duke Street in Alexandria. There are more than 170 Barre3 studios across the country.

The Crossing Clarendon has seen other closings and openings recently. The fashion store Loft closed over the summer while seafood restaurant Seamore’s opened last month at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Edgewood Street.

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Nightlife venue Wilson Hardware in Clarendon is now back fully reopened after a million-dollar renovation.

The five-year-old restaurant underwent a significant facelift over the last several months that added a new garden terrace, expanded the rooftop, redesigned the interior dining space, and redid the menu.

While Wilson Hardware never fully closed, the nightlife venue and restaurant on 2915 Wilson Blvd made its new and improved debut this past week.

The three-level venue now has distinct spaces on each level and the intent is to be open year-round. The rooftop added a retractable awning so it’s now “suitable for all seasons.”

“Overall, the team wanted to reinvest in the space that has served the Arlington community for five years strong and create a more elevated atmosphere for guests, giving them the chance to experience three distinct environments in one setting,” a restaurant spokesperson told ARLnow about why they decided to embark on the renovation.

Wilson Hardware opened in the late summer of 2017. Its name is in homage to the hardware store that occupied that space for decades prior before closing in 2005. After that, Ri Ra Irish Pub moved in before making way for Wilson Hardware.

The concept for the revamp is “industrial-chic” while also emphasizing greenery and floral decor.

“The redesigned dining space on the first level features updated seating in a sleek, industrial-style setting,” reads the press release. The second level includes lounge seating for cocktail hour and double doors that lead out to a newly-designed garden terrace, where guests can grab a drink from the bar outside or order a bite to eat at several dining tables. The third-level rooftop bar is nearly doubled in size and features floral decor reminiscent of its downstairs terrace as well as a retractable awning to block out the sun on hot days or keep the winter breeze at bay.”

There’s also a bit of a reworked menu that includes several new options like truffle hanger steak and garlic shrimp skillet. In terms of cocktails, the major addition is the PSM — yes, that’s a pumpkin spice martini with vodka, Kahlua, pumpkin liqueur, and espresso. Brunch has also been extended on Sundays until 6 p.m.

Back in July, a small fire broke out reportedly at or near the roof of Wilson Hardware. There’s no word back from the restaurant as of the publication if the fire was indeed at the restaurant and related to the renovation.

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The Barnes & Noble store in Clarendon (via Google Maps)

The Barnes & Noble store in Clarendon was the scene of an alleged armed robbery today.

Police responded around noon to the bookstore at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, in The Crossing Clarendon shopping center, after a caller reported a crime that happened earlier that morning.

“At approximately 12:06 p.m. on September 29, police were dispatched to the late report of an armed robbery inside a business,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 10:50 a.m., the unknown male suspect began to conceal merchandise inside a bag. When employees confronted the suspect, he displayed a pocket knife before exiting the business with the stolen merchandise.”

“No injuries were reported,” Savage added. “The suspect is described as a Black male in his 40’s or 50’s, 5’10” tall, 240lbs with black hair. He was wearing a cream colored sweater, tan khaki pants, brown boots and black rimmed glasses. The investigation is ongoing.”

Photo via Google Maps

Clarendon’s Maison Cheryl says it is not closing for good but rather undergoing a “fall refresh.”

Over the last week, ARLnow has received several emails from readers asking whether the French-American bistro had closed permanently.

That does not appear to be the case. The restaurant is planning to reopen on Monday (Oct. 3) after a two-week hiatus for repairs, to hire staff, and complete training, a spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow.

“We are simply changing with the season! We’ve had some maintenance and repairs done on the inside of the restaurant. We also hired a new General Manager, Jody Sultan, that we are very excited about,” the spokesperson wrote in an email. “She’s bringing some great staff with her and we are currently training and implementing some new processes so that we are ready to hit the ground running when we reopen fully on Monday, October 3rd. Our new fall menu will be debuting along with the reopening.”

Maison Cheryl first opened about a year ago at 2900 Wilson Blvd near the intersection with N. Fillmore Street. As chef and co-owner Robert Maher told ARLnow at the time, the restaurant’s aim was to be a great date night spot for “older millennials” in a neighborhood that often caters to a younger crowd. It has garnered generally favorable reviews online, with many of the less favorable reviews mentioning the pricing.

With Maher being a trained French chef, the cuisine is billed as “French-New American.” Popular dishes include the Maison Wagyu burger, duck breast, and bucatini with fried burrata in a zucchini sauce.

Earlier this year, Maher shared with ARLnow that Covid concerns and difficulty securing an outdoor seating permit were posing some challenges for the relatively new eatery in a storefront that has seen some turnover. However, he expressed optimism at the time that it was going to all work out in Clarendon and, possibly, beyond.

“One day, I might think of [opening] another one, but right now just trying to become a staple in the community,” he said. “I’m having the time of my life doing that.”

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Chicken + Whiskey moves into Clarendon (photo courtesy of Twitter/David Kinney)

(Updated at 5 p.m.) Chicken + Whiskey is crossing the river to get to Clarendon.

The new South American rotisserie chicken restaurant and whiskey bar is hoping to open this spring, co-owner Des Reilly confirmed to ARLnow.

Permitting and construction remain ongoing in the nearly 6,000 square-foot space at 3033 Wilson Blvd, where window stickers are now advertising the restaurant. One sticker reads, “Chicken in the front, Whiskey in the back.”

The new eatery and bar moves into a space that was formerly occupied by Hunan Number One, which closed three years ago. It will be in the same building as Waterhouse Coffee and the newly-opened Bar Ivy while across the street from Mexicali Blues.

The menu consists of Peruvian chicken, homemade sauces, sides like yucca fries and black beans, and a wide selection of whiskeys. There are also cocktails, churro donuts, arepas, and salads.

This will be Chicken + Whiskey’s fourth location, but first outside of the District. The restaurant is led by Chef Enrique Limardo who is “commonly credited as the pioneer of modern Venezuelan cooking in the U.S.,” per Huffington Post. He’s also the head chef at Immigrant Food and D.C.’s Seven Reasons, which was named 2019’s best new restaurant in the country by at least one publication.

Reilly said that the reason Clarendon was chosen as the next location for Chicken + Whiskey is that they believe good Peruvian chicken is “missing” from the neighborhood.

“In my opinion, we are the best in the DMV,” he said. “No one is doing what we are doing at this price point.”

That section of Wilson Blvd, the two blocks between N. Highland Street and N. Fillmore Street, has been undergoing some changes recently. Bar Ivy opened this summer while the former sports bar G.O.A.T. is being converted into a bank. Meanwhile, Maison Cheryl is currently closed for a “fall refresh.” Just beyond N. Fillmore Street, buzzy Middle Eastern restaurant Tawle is looking to open in the spring as well.

Hat tip to David Kinney

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