The incident happened Sunday night in Clarendon.
Around 8:15 p.m., a man was asked to leave a restaurant on the 2900 block of Wilson Blvd, which is home to Ambar, Wilson Hardware, Mexicali Blues and other businesses. After an “altercation” with the bouncer the man walked away, but came back shortly thereafter and threw a rock, shattering the business’ window, according to police.
No injuries were reported and the man then fled before police arrived on scene.
More from this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report:
MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED DWELLING, 2019-02100215, 2900 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 8:23 p.m. on February 10, police were dispatched to the report of destruction of property. Upon arrival, it was determined that after the male suspect was asked to leave a business, he became disgruntled and became engaged in an altercation with the bouncer. The altercation was resolved and the suspect started to walk away, but re-approached the business and threw a rock at the window, causing it to shatter. The suspect fled prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as an Asian or Hispanic male, approximately 5’7″-5’9″, with black hair that was longer in the back and a receding hairline, with a skinny build. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this week’s crime report, including Monday’s attempted bank robbery on Columbia Pike, is below.
ATTEMPTED ARMED ROBBERY, 2019-02100225, 400 block of 23rd Street S. At approximately 8:51 p.m. on February 10, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the male suspect entered a business and approached an employee behind the counter and brandished a knife. The suspect demanded cash, however, another customer entered the business, prompting the suspect to flee on foot prior to police arrival. Nothing was reported stolen from the business and no injuries were reported. The suspect is described as a tall, slender, black male, wearing light washed blue jeans, black shoes, a black jacket with a black hoodie underneath, and carrying a backpack. The investigation is ongoing.
ATTEMPTED BANK ROBBERY, 2019-02110123, 3500 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 2:15 p.m. on February 11, police were dispatched to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect entered the bank, passed the teller a note demanding money and displayed a firearm, before fleeing the scene without any money. Arriving officers established a perimeter and canvased the area with negative results. The suspect is described as a black male, approximately 5’9″-6’0″, 20-30 years old, wearing dark clothing, a construction mask, and covering his face. The investigation is ongoing.
Police released surveillance images of the bank robbery suspect Thursday afternoon.
ACPD is seeking the public's assistance identifying this attempted bank robbery suspect captured in surveillance images. Tips can be reported anonymously to Arlington County Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS(8477). https://t.co/IqUPqg2fV6 pic.twitter.com/U9xWyV4nAc
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) February 14, 2019
Elizabeth Crocker is stepping in as the new executive director of the Clarendon Alliance, an organization that advocates on behalf of local businesses and manages a variety of Clarendon events, the group announced yesterday (Wednesday).
“As a native Arlingtonian, I am excited to have this opportunity to work for a neighborhood that I love,” Crocker wrote in a statement. “I look forward to promoting Clarendon businesses, strengthening relationships throughout Arlington, collaborating with old and new partners, and creating innovative events for the community.”
According to a news release, Crocker has worked in a variety of leadership positions at nonprofits and lobbying groups around D.C., and held positions in the White House, Congress and a variety of federal agencies.
She’s also helped organize events including the Wolf Trap Ball and the Jane Goodall Global Leadership Awards, which will surely come in handy as she works on the group’s premier event of the year: Clarendon Day, which is held each fall.
“Elizabeth brings a wealth of experience in special events, fundraising, membership, and economic development,” Scott Pedowitz, president of the Clarendon Alliance’s Board of Directors, wrote in a statement. “She joins us during an exciting time of transition for our organization, and we are looking forward to working with a leader of her caliber.”
Crocker plans to spend the next few months reaching out to “community stakeholders” and crafting a new strategic plan for the Alliance, the release said.
But she won’t have a big parade to handle right off the bat — Crocker says the neighborhood’s annual Mardi Gras events won’t be happening this year.
Photo courtesy of the Clarendon Alliance
A local pizza chain finally looks ready to open in a space just off Clarendon’s main drag, after more than two years of construction work.
Stone Hot Pizza initially applied for permits to move to the neighborhood in September 2016, but has made little progress since then. But county records show the restaurant won a commercial business permit on Feb. 1, and a glance inside the storefront at 3217 Washington Blvd shows that construction is ramping up.
The restaurant’s staff did not respond to a request for comment on when, exactly, the pizzeria might finally open.
Stone Hot Pizza also operates locations in Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax. Menu items include specialty pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, pastas, salads, wings, meat pies and various appetizers and desserts, according to the chain’s website.
Whenever the new pizzeria starts serving up pies, it’ll be located on a suddenly busy block of Clarendon.
The carryout window at Clarendon’s Whole Foods is now shut down: at least, for the moment.
Signs posted at “The Coop,” located near the main entrance to the grocery store at 2700 Wilson Blvd, say that the area is “temporarily closed.”
A quick glance inside the window reveals that the chicken-focused carryout counter has been completely cleared out, and the area is now littered with construction materials. A tipster told ARLnow that it’s been shut down since at least Jan. 27.
“The Coop will be closed until further notice,” the signs read. “Sorry for any inconvenience. Thank you for all your support. And stay [tuned] for things to come.”
Whole Foods did not respond to a request for comment on when, or if, the The Coop might reopen. The rest of the store remains open as normal.
(Updated at 3:15 p.m.) It’s not clear how they got there, but thousands of blank Virginia Lottery tickets are currently littering 10th Street N. near Clarendon.
The lottery tickets — unplayed Pick 4 and Cash 5 tickets — are spread across a five-block span of 10th Street, from N. Barton Street to Washington Blvd. They’re in the street, on the sidewalks and piled atop the medians.
Thus far, as of 2 p.m., no one seems eager to pick up the tickets — traffic is driving by and people are walking past the ticket-strewn roadway as usual. An Arlington County Police spokeswoman said police are aware of the situation and county crews will be cleaning up the mess soon.
“At approximately 12:18 p.m. police were called to a traffic complaint for trash in the roadway at the intersection of 10th Street N. and N. Daniel Street,” said ACPD’s Ashley Savage. “Upon arrival, the trash was determined to be blank… lottery tickets. The Emergency Communications Center contacted the Virginia Lottery who advised the tickets were not sensitive. The Department of Environmental Services was contacted and will handle trash pickup.”
John Hagerty, a Virginia Lottery spokesman, stressed that the tickets are merely “play slips,” which have no value.
As best as lottery officials can tell, a nearby business deposited a box of the slips in a dumpster, he said. But once a truck came to empty the dumpster’s contents, the play slips flew everywhere.
The business has now notified the waste management company of the slip up, Hagerty added.
The start of a new year is a great time to refocus on health and your overall well-being.
If your focus for 2019 is on healthier habits, begin with your smile! Whether it has been years since your last appointment, or you are looking to get more out of your dental routine, there are simple things you can do to refresh your smile.
Drs. Dudley and Hartman at Elite Dental answer some commonly asked questions below for you to think about before your next dental appointment.
What are the Biggest Misconceptions Your New Patients Have?
Dr. Scott Dudley explains, “Patients often think, ‘If I don’t have any pain, I don’t have any problems.’ In many cases, that’s not true. Dental problems are microscopic. When they’re left untreated, they can grow into painful issues that require extensive work.
In the end, you’re spending more time and money to correct something that could’ve been prevented with regular hygiene appointments.”
Serious dental problems all share common threads:
- Not knowing the risk of putting off treatment
- Not following professional guidance
- Not keeping a regular hygiene schedule.
Despite many patients’ concerns for cavities, most dental issues are from gum disease, fractures and worn teeth. Dentists can keep patients from needing more extensive procedures like root canals or implants with proper diagnosis and preventative treatment.
The dentists at Elite Dental prevent costly dental problems through modern technology, such as:
- High-magnification loupes
- High resolution radiographs
- Specialized light to illuminate teeth
Through comprehensive care, Elite Dental patients can greatly reduce the amount of time and money they spend at the dental office. Their philosophy prevents patients from having extensive treatment to rebuild their smile.
What do you say to patients who are concerned that dentistry is expensive?
Dr. Alyssa Hartman says, “Dentistry can be very expensive if oral health is not maintained over time. Many patients find themselves spending lots of money on dental procedures because either they, or their providers, failed to maintain teeth and gums adequately.
This often results in an expensive year or two of dentistry. If patients had maintained their teeth over the previous 5-10 years, the total cost and number of procedures would have been reduced.”
Dentistry is most expensive when it’s ignored or when providers and patients fail to be proactive. Finding a dentist who will take the time to be thorough, explain your oral health and empower you in maintaining your smile makes all the difference.
New Year, New You
Give your smile the attention it deserves this year! By making consistent appointments, you can save time, money and most importantly, your smile. If it’s been some time since your last hygiene appointment, start the new year by scheduling one today!
Call Elite Dental 703-991-5169 to start the year off right with a new patient appointment. For a limited time, you can mention this article to receive a free tooth whitening kit!
A Subway location in Clarendon now looks to be toast.
The chain’s shop at 3000 10th Street N. closed for good on Tuesday (Jan. 22), according to signs posted on its doors.
The store last made the news back in 2016, when its owner pleaded guilty to federal tax evasion charges.
The Clarendon Subway is the second one to close in the area in recent months. Another location near Courthouse shuttered in late November.
However, anyone in the mood for one the chain’s sandwiches won’t have to go too far. The company’s website shows nine other locations still open around Arlington.
An Arlington-based smoothie chain is now offering giveaways over the next month for federal employees feeling a squeeze from the seemingly interminable government shutdown.
South Block will now hand out free regular smoothies every Friday between now and March 1. All you have to do to claim one is show a valid federal government ID.
The smoothie and juice shop has been blending up drinks at its original Clarendon location (3011 11th Street N.) for years now, and also operates stores in East Falls Church, Alexandria, Vienna and some neighborhoods in D.C. South Block will also be opening locations in Rosslyn and at the Ballston Quarter development in the coming months.
The company has even recently partnered with a Georgetown-based coffee roaster, Grace Street Coffee, to offer some caffeinated beverage options alongside its normal drink selection at the chain’s Clarendon location.
South Block is far from the only local business offering deals for government employees across the region.
The salad chain Sweetgreen has also been offering giveaways, and even recently announced it would be handing out free signature bowls to federal employees this Saturday (Jan. 26) from 6-8 p.m.
SoulCycle is officially opening a new studio in Clarendon, meaning that Arlington will soon be the home of the popular company’s first expansion into Virginia.
The company recently posted signs saying a new location is on the way for a space 2700 Clarendon Blvd, in “The Loop” section of the Market Common Clarendon development. The studio will sit next to the Apple store and the “Origins” cosmetics store.
Permit applications last month initially indicated that SoulCycle was mulling an expansion to Clarendon, but the company previously declined to discuss its plans for the area.
Now that things have firmed up a bit, however, a SoulCycle spokesperson told ARLnow that the company is “aiming for late May, early June” to open the new studio. County permit records show that the studio will occupy both the first and second floors of the building.
The owner of the Market Common property, Regency Centers, previously used the storefront set to welcome SoulCycle to display information about the impending redevelopment of its other properties across Clarendon Blvd. Construction work on that effort kicked off last week.
Regency announced that a “luxury fitness” company would become the first tenant in that space, and a source familiar with the matter told ARLnow that the building will soon become home to an Equinox gym.
That confirms a Washington Business Journal report from July 2017 that the health club was coming to the Market Common development, though it was initially unclear where it would be located. Equinox owns a majority stake in SoulCycle, and the companies often open locations near one another.
SoulCycle currently operates four locations in D.C., according to its website.
Work is now set to kick off on a major redevelopment project in Clarendon, with a “luxury fitness club” set to become the first tenant to move into the new, Whole Foods-adjacent building.
The developers controlling the Market Common Clarendon properties, located along the 2700 and 2800 blocks of Clarendon Blvd, announced yesterday (Wednesday) that they’re ready to start construction on an at-times controversial project transforming the old Clarendon Education Center into new office and retail space.
Eventually, Regency Centers plans to add a fourth floor and outdoor terrace to the current building at 2801 Clarendon Blvd, expanding it over an adjacent structure and adding more space in the process. The company is dubbing the building the “Loft Office at Market Common,” with plans to lease out about 145,000 square feet of space in the coming years.
The new development, located across Clarendon Blvd from Market Common’s other property known as “The Loop,” has attracted plenty of criticism over the years.
The building set to be revamped was once home to the popular live music venue the IOTA Club, and many people around the county’s arts scene have lamented the club’s closure as a result of this redevelopment effort, which was approved by the County Board last January.
But the project’s backers are marketing the work as a potentially transformative effort for the entire neighborhood.
“Our team is transforming an obsolete office building into a cutting-edge, mixed use destination by combining best-in-class retail and dining options on the street level, the nation’s premier luxury fitness club on the second level, and two levels of loft-style office space across from the only Whole Foods in the corridor,” Jason Yanushonis, Regency Center’s manager of investments, said in a statement. “Repositioning this building is a critical component to our overall investment strategy at Market Common. We feel like we are hitting the market at the right time with this truly unique space offering.”
The company said in a release that the aforementioned “luxury fitness” company will lease 5,000 square feet of space on the building’s first floor, and the entire, 26,000-square-foot second floor. However, Regency Centers is staying mum on which fitness studio, exactly, is on the way.
“We can’t say specifically just yet, but we are very much looking forward to being able to share that in the future,” spokesman Eric Davidson told ARLnow.
Permit applications from late last year appear to show cycling studio SoulCycle targeting the development for its first Virginia expansion, though those seemed to indicate it would be located in the Market Common retail space across the street from the new building — Davidson would not address whether SoulCycle is the tenant in question for the new space.
As for the rest of the building, the company says there’s another 23,000 square feet of retail space available on its first floor and “86,000 square feet of creative office space available on the lower level, third and fourth floors.”
The company “primarily” hopes to attract “tech firms, IT firms and government contractors” for that space, the release said.
Regency Centers hasn’t settled on a firm opening date just yet, but is currently targeting the second quarter of 2020 to finish work on the project.
Just last month, the Baja Fresh restaurant adjacent to the soon-to-be redeveloped building abruptly shut down. However, it’s unclear if that was connected to this project or not.
Jumping Joeys applied for a building permit at 2800 Clarendon Blvd late last year, according to Arlington Economic Development records.
It’s not immediately clear where the new gym would be located. But there’s currently only one vacant space on the second floor of the building at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, not far from the Pottery Barn store.
Representatives for the gym, which offers all manner of bounce-house-style activities for kids, didn’t respond to a request for comment on their plans.
Jumping Joeys currently operates another location at 402 W. Broad Street in Falls Church, and once had a space in an office park across from (the newly renamed) Washington-Liberty High School as well.
But that location shut down in November 2017, as the county eyes new uses for its much-discussed “Buck property,” where the gym was located. School officials are still studying the prospect of someday building a new school on the site, or perhaps new office space for staff. Deliberations on the matter very much remain ongoing.
A new Chinese hot pot restaurant looks to be on the way for Clarendon.
Signs posted at a space at 1028 N. Garfield Street say that “Riverside Hotpot Bar” will soon set up shop there, and is currently hiring employees.
Riverside also operates a location in Gaithersburg, though another Riverside restaurant in Fairfax appears to have closed recently.
The eatery offers all-you-can-eat hot pot dining, according to its website, with a full array of vegetable, meat and seafood options to cook table-side.
The county has yet to issue any permits for the new restaurant, but records show that Riverside did apply for a building permit for the space in August.
A pair of businesses in the Market Common Clarendon development have shut down in recent weeks.
Signs posted at Nolas Salon and the Georgetown Valet dry cleaners, located in the same building at 2700 Clarendon Blvd, inform would-be patrons that the shops have now closed permanently.
A sign posted on the salon’s window says that “while we are sad to be closing this store location, our employees will continue to serve your needs at other salons in the area.”
Some will be moving to Salon by JC in Ballston at 3865 Wilson Blvd, while others will head to Salon Lofts Clarendon at 3001 Washington Blvd.
Meanwhile, the sign posted at the cleaners says the shop shut down on Dec. 15.
According to its website, Georgetown Valet operates six locations in D.C., but no other shops in Arlington. The chain once operated a location in Virginia Square, but that shut down back in 2011.
The following feature article was funded by our new Patreon community. Want to see more articles like this, exploring important local topics that don’t make our usual news coverage? Join and help fund additional local journalism in Arlington.
“You walked in and you just felt good,” says Eric Brace.
When the IOTA Club and Cafe, a Clarendon performance venue whose motto was “live music forever,” closed its doors in the fall of 2017 after more than 23 years, Brace took it hard. Though the Last Train Home frontman played IOTA with his rootsy rock band on two of the club’s final three evenings, he couldn’t bear to return to the club for its closing night.
“I did not go on the last day because I was kind of too sad,” says Brace, who lived in the D.C. area for about 20 years before moving to Nashville. “I was just physically and emotionally wiped out.”
In a somewhat ironic turn, Last Train Home — a band that had one of its first gigs at IOTA in the mid-’90s and went on to play annual New Year’s Eve shows there for a string of years — performed a late-December set at The Birchmere just a few hours after our conversation. The legendary Alexandria music venue was an inspiration to IOTA’s founders, longtime Arlington residents Jane Negrey Inge and brother Stephen Negrey, who identified it as one of their “idols” in a press release prior to the club’s closing.
Now, more than a year since the closing of the storied arts space — home to performances from Norah Jones, John Mayer, Ryan Adams, Dawes and countless others between 1994 and 2017 — Arlington has yet to fill the void.
For Josh Stoltzfus, deputy director of Arlington Cultural Affairs, the county arts scene is essentially a series of micro-scenes, defined by the venues and events in each neighborhood. But when it comes to specific music spaces, Stoltzfus says, “there is no one flagship that everything revolves around.” Luckily, the county boasts many restaurants and bars offering live, local music, including Galaxy Hut, Rhodeside Grill, Westover Beer Garden, Cafe Sazon and Bistro 29.
Yet none of those establishments regularly host a mix of national touring acts, D.C.-area musicians and poetry readings, as IOTA did for more than two decades.
Today, the Wilson Boulevard building that once housed IOTA lies dormant, its vestibule sporting a dangling string of twinkle lights and a well-preserved, if incongruous, welcome sign. The block is slated for redevelopment as Market Common Phase 2, a property of Regency Centers, with construction expected to begin early this year.
In the press release announcing their closure, IOTA’s owners cited the impending construction and anticipated rent increase as contributing factors in their decision. But as a cultural mainstay that managed to survive for nearly two dozen years in a transforming neighborhood, IOTA and its legacy has not been forgotten.
One project memorializing the space is “The IOTA Chair,” a video series led by D.C. musician Rachel Levitin, who purchased a chair from one of the venue’s fire sales and re-imagined it as a set piece for performances and interviews of onetime IOTA performers she posts on Facebook. Another notable tribute is on the way — in September, Inge launched a GoFundMe campaign for a book that will retell IOTA’s history through her and Negrey’s eyes. Thus far, the effort has raised only about 13 percent of its $30,000 goal but garnered dozens of supportive comments.
“IOTA was one of the most beautiful music communities I ever met in my travels; it helped make my life worth living,” writes one donor.
Inge declined to be interviewed for this article but reflected on her venue via email: “At IOTA, live music was the center and purpose of everything we did,” she writes. “We chased inspired live experiences and creative new music for our stage. Stephen and I had the honor to meet and work with wonderful poets, musicians and musical performers, touring and local. We got to know the people who appreciated the shows, who got it, and who supported IOTA to keep us going for so long.”
For D.C. singer-songwriter Laura Tsaggaris, who started playing IOTA in the early 2000s and has performed throughout the area, the club was “the center” of the local songwriting scene.
“It felt easy — easy to stretch out and do what you wanted to do there,” Tsaggaris says. “I’ve never felt as comfortable as I did there.”
To acquire an IOTA-esque mystique, an Arlington music venue would need to strive not just to attract talented national artists but also serve as a sought-after haunt for the local arts community. Arlington singer-songwriter Justin Trawick, founder of “The 9” songwriter series and co-host of “The Circus Life” podcast, began making the trek to IOTA from Leesburg in 2005 in pursuit of the club’s well-known open-mic night. IOTA had a scene, he says, perhaps matched today only by Jammin Java in Vienna or a couple of newer D.C. venues, such as sister venue Union Stage.
“They’ve really created an amazing culture of not only bands that play there, but people who want to hang out there in that ‘Empire Records’ kind of way,” Trawick says. “IOTA had that.”
Though IOTA certainly had a successful open-mic culture, with two sign-up times per night to accommodate the dozens of eager performers filing in, Arlington’s open-mic opportunities live on. Alexandria musician Alex Parez hosted IOTA’s weekly open mic in its final three years and has since transferred the IOTA format to Rhodeside Grill. While he says “no place can replace IOTA,” he expresses pride over the local talent that continues to surface in Arlington.
Yet Brace, who is also a former music journalist for The Washington Post and the founder of Nashville-based Red Beet Records, expressed doubts about whether modern-day Arlington can provide an affordable space for an IOTA-size venue, which had expanded its capacity to roughly 300 when it closed.
“Arlington’s square footage is so expensive; it’s hard to have a place where you can afford to just have a big empty space in the form of a stage, and it’s hard to invest a lot of money in a great sound system and have a great sound person every night the way IOTA did,” Brace says.
But with the coming arrival of Amazon HQ2 to the newly named “National Landing”, it’s not unthinkable that music venues along the lines of The Wharf’s Union Stage or Pearl Street Warehouse could be part of the development mix.
A spokesperson for National Landing developer JBG Smith declined to comment, but the property website does highlight JBG’s plans for the “Central District” redevelopment project, set to include “a 130,000-gross-square-foot entertainment and shopping destination anchored by a 49,000-square-foot Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, a specialty grocer, restaurants, bars and other experiential offerings.” Could a live performance space be one such offering?
For now, Arlingtonians hoping for an IOTA-like experience will have to wonder and wait for an existing Arlington music hub to expand its offerings (not to mention its footprint) or an entirely new venue to spring up.
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way,” Brace says. “There’s always people making music, and they’ll have little pop-up clubs in basements or house concerts. I’ll choose to be hopeful.”
Apartment Project Feels ‘Amazon Effect’ — “The Amazon real estate effect in Northern Virginia is being felt from home sales to new development. Nearly two years ago, the owners of Crystal House Apartments applied to add a building and 252 units to the Crystal City Metro-proximate community. Now, that vision has more than tripled in size.” [UrbanTurf, Bisnow]
Arlington Has Low Home-School Rate — “Arlington has the lowest rate of home-schooled students in Northern Virginia, according to new state data. A total of 0.5 percent of Arlington students were home-schooled in the 2017-18 school year, according to a new jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction compilation by the Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP).” [InsideNova]
Lots of Green Space for Future H-B Woodlawn Home — Despite a relatively small footprint and a vertical profile — rising five stories above grade — the future home of the H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program in Rosslyn will have plenty of green space for students. “Standing on top and looking down, you will think it’s a hillside meadow, not a series of roofs,” said Arlington Public Schools’ design and construction director. [ENR Mid-Atlantic]
Champagne Lounge With a View in Rosslyn — “The Observation Deck at CEB Tower will debut a new Champagne-centric bar [this] week, inviting visitors to to sip bubbly from the area’s first 360-degree public observatory.” [Eater]
Sunday Funday Moves to G.O.A.T. — The popular and sometimes rowdy Sunday Funday festivities that took place at the now-closed A-Town Bar and Grill have been moved to A-Town’s sister bar The G.O.A.T in Clarendon. [Instagram]
Arlington Spots for Mocktails — Need to go sans alcohol to meet some of your New Year’s resolutions? Some of the best mocktails in Arlington can be found at spots like Fyve Restaurant at the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton; Green Pig Bistro and Ambar in Clarendon; and the new Punch Bowl Social in Ballston. [Arlington Magazine]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf