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by ARLnow.com December 11, 2017 at 11:55 am 0

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly feature that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) It’s less than a year old, but media startup Axios is growing fast and ready to put down roots in Clarendon.

The company, which launched in January and has since commandeered its own wing of the MakeOffices Clarendon coworking space, has signed a 10 year lease for a floor in the same building, we’re told.

Axios will soon start the build-out process for its new space on the 13th floor of the office building at 3100 Clarendon Blvd. It expects to move out of MakeOffices and into the new space by mid-2018.

Roy Schwartz, who co-founded Axios with fellow Politico veterans Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen, says the new space will provide room for Axios’ growing team while also offering “monumental views” of D.C. and Northern Virginia.

The new office is expected to have all of the accoutrement of a startup company that bridges the media and technology worlds: bigger versions of its employee lounge, dubbed “Relaxios,” and its free snack bar, “Snaxios,” in addition to features like a video studio and a “live shot” camera for television interviews of its journalists.

Schwartz says Axios currently has 90 employees but will likely have 120 by the time of the move and 150 by the end of 2018. Last month the company announced that it had raised another $20 million from venture capital firms, NBC Universal, Laurene Powell Jobs and others.

Axios received an economic development grant from Arlington County to incentivize it to stay here, Schwartz told ARLnow.com. The amount of that grant was not immediately available.

There were other factors that led the company to launch and now stay in Arlington, according to Schwartz. For one, he and Allen live in the neighborhoods around Clarendon, while VandeHei lives in Alexandria, making for an easy commute. Beyond that, however, Schwartz praised Arlington and Clarendon for its proximity to bars and restaurants, ease of access to D.C., and comparatively lower rent and lower taxes than the District.

“We’re very excited to be in Arlington,” he said. The company also has satellite offices in New York City and San Francisco.

Axios covers a number of news verticals, including politics and policy, business, technology, media, healthcare, science, energy and the “future of work.” While plenty of other national news outlets cover the same topics, Schwartz said the secret to Axios’ success is its focus on “smart brevity.”

In a world where there is “too much noise” in people’s lives, Schwartz said, Axios stands out by publishing radically concise articles that include only the most important facts and no filler.

“We’re going to cut straight to the chase,” he said. “Here is the information and, even more importantly, here is why it matters.”

Smart brevity extends to the business side of Axios. The company eschews programmatic banner ads, which Schwartz says are ineffective, and instead publishes very brief pieces of sponsored content on its site and in its popular email newsletters. Some recent clients include Morgan Stanley, Koch Industries, Fusion Media Group and Boeing.

Axios also holds sponsored events, which take advantage of smart brevity by featuring brief one-on-one interviews with newsmakers and subject matter experts, as opposed to long panel discussions.

Schwartz says its advertising has been working, producing audience engagement that is “off the charts.” Readers, he said, appreciate that in its coverage and its advertising, Axios is respectful of their time.

While BuzzFeed, Mashable and other venture capital-funded, online-only media companies have stumbled this year in their quest for growth, Axios is exceeding growth expectations. Schwartz credits smart brevity for that, in part, but also attributes Axios’ success to having the three pillars of its operation — the editorial, business and technology sides — working in concert.

Despite the challenges faced by others in the digital media industry, Schwartz he is “very confident” that Axios’ model is scalable and that its growth will continue.

by Chris Teale December 8, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Two outdoor ceremonies are planned in Arlington next week to mark the start of Hanukkah.

The Jewish holiday begins on the evening of Tuesday, December 12, and concludes on the evening of Wednesday, December 20.

Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria-Arlington will light a six-foot Menorah on Wednesday, December 13 at Clarendon Central Park (3140 Wilson Blvd) at 6 p.m. Attendees can eat hot potato latkes, chocolate gelt coins and play with dreidels. The event will also include live traditional music.

The following day, Thursday December 14, from 6-8 p.m., Pentagon Row will host the annual Chanukah On Ice celebration at its outdoor ice rink (1201 S. Joyce Street).

The evening will include the lighting of a six-foot Menorah, hot potato latkes, kosher hot dogs and a free raffle. Reservations are required.

In Alexandria, meanwhile, Chabad Lubavitch will light its six-foot Menorah in a public celebration on Monday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m. Alexandria Police Chief Michael Brown will light the Menorah at The Lyceum (201 S. Washington Street, Alexandria), with live entertainment and traditional food included.

File photo

by Chris Teale November 28, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Drivers of electric cars now have one less place to charge their vehicles in Arlington County.

A tipster reported the car charging station in the parking lot of the former Walgreens Pharmacy at 2825 Wilson Blvd in Clarendon was removed last week.

At the time it was first and only station in the county from EVgo, which owned the ports and installed them in 2013. Anyone interested in using them could buy a monthly subscription.

Representatives with EVgo did not respond to requests for further comment, but on its website, the Clarendon charging location has been removed. Other EVgo charging stations remain at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

Other charging stations from other companies are available in other neighborhoods, including Ballston, Rosslyn, Crystal City, Pentagon City and Shirlington.

by ARLnow.com November 28, 2017 at 8:00 am 0

County Board Approves Affordable Housing Loan — At its meeting last night, the Arlington County Board approved a loan that will help preserve the 294-unit Park Shirlington Apartments as affordable housing. The $6 million loan from the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund will allow a pair of developers to buy the complex, rehabilitate it and preserve as much affordable housing as possible. [Arlington County]

Ten Die in Va. Thanksgiving Weekend Crashes — “With overall traffic fatalities already on the increase, the 2017 Thanksgiving holiday weekend proved to be a deadly one… on Virginia’s highways. During the holiday… traffic crashes claimed the lives of eight drivers, one passenger and a pedestrian.” [Virginia State Police]

Video Shows Helicopter Search of Crane — A video, posted by a Pentagon City resident, shows the Fairfax County Police helicopter using its spotlight to search a construction crane Sunday night, as part of a death investigation that was still ongoing as of Monday evening. [YouTube]

FCC Chair Reports Harassing Signs —  FCC chairman and Arlington resident Ajit Pai is again being targeted at his home by activists who oppose changes to net neutrality and media ownership rules. This time, signs outside Pai’s home have reportedly referenced his children. The Arlington County Republican Committee called the alleged harassment “disgusting.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Education Tech Company Sets Up Clarendon Studios — “Higher education is getting the star treatment… in Clarendon. Headquartered in Lanham, Maryland, [education technology firm] 2U recently revamped the former Henninger Media space off Wilson Boulevard to create a satellite office with eight TV studios, where visiting professors can spend a whirlwind three to four days taping lectures and other multimedia course materials designed to supplement live classroom chats and streaming video.” [Arlington Magazine]

Flickr pool photo by Chris Guyton

by Chris Teale November 27, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

The planned Verizon store in Clarendon is expected to open in mid-December, according to the company’s website.

Signs are up for the store at 2930 Clarendon Blvd, and Verizon said the store should be open on Monday, December 11. Originally, it had been planned to open late last month, but that has been pushed back.

It replaces the former Pinkberry froyo shop, next to Cava Mezze. Verizon stores offer wireless plans, smartphones, cases and other products and services. The only other Verizon-operated store in Arlington is in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

by Chris Teale November 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A bar that combines an extensive drinks menu with board games is now open in Clarendon.

The Board Room opened yesterday (Tuesday) at 925 N. Garfield Street, in the space formerly occupied by Sehkraft Brewing. This is The Board Room’s second location — it already has one in Dupont Circle.

It has space for around 140 people in the main bar area, as well as the adjoining “Ms. Peacock’s Champagne Lounge,” which was the butcher shop. Mark Handwerger, owner of The Board Room’s parent company Bedrock Bars, said this morning that he expects that section to be open on Friday, depending on construction.

The Board Room will look to continue Sehkraft’s in-house brewing, and Handwerger said it will start to have its own beer available for purchase on Monday, made initially at a commercial brewer. It also has an extensive cocktail and food menu.

Board games are available for rent, with various box tops from other board games added to the walls as art throughout. Even the entrances to the restrooms have references to board games on their doors.

Handwerger had planned to open The Board Room earlier, but construction issues caused delays.

by ARLnow.com November 22, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

Arlington County Police are investigating the death of a man at the new Dunkin Donuts in Clarendon.

Police say they were called to the store on the 3000 block of Clarendon Blvd around 9:35 p.m. Tuesday. Upon arriving on scene, officers found a 38-year-old man in medical distress.

The man was transported to Virginia Hospital Center and pronounced dead, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. The deceased individual was not an employee, according to Savage.

“The Arlington County Police Department is conducting an active death investigation and cause of death will be determined by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner,” Savage wrote. “This appears to be an isolated incident and the investigation has not revealed any ongoing threat to the community.”

Police have released few details about what happened. The store was open and serving customers as normal Wednesday morning.

by ARLnow.com November 21, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A 22-year-old Woodbridge man has been charged with malicious wounding after sending a woman who tried to help him to the hospital.

The incident happened early Saturday morning in Clarendon. Police say the man was kicked out of a local bar for “being disorderly,” and a woman was trying to calm him down when he “became combative and assaulted her.” He then struck two witnesses who tried to come to the woman’s aid, according to police, before officers arrived and he was arrested.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2017-11180016, 1200 block of N. Herndon Street. At approximately 12:33 a.m. on November 18, police were dispatched to the report of a fight in progress. Upon arrival, it was determined that the suspect was removed from a restaurant for being disorderly. When the female victim attempted to calm the suspect down, he allegedly became combative and assaulted her. Two witnesses came to her aide and a physical altercation ensued where the suspect struck both witnesses. The female victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. Brandon Jordan, 22, of Woodbridge, VA, was arrested and charged with Malicious Wounding and Drunk in Public. He was held on no bond.

by Chris Teale November 20, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A workout studio is coming to Clarendon’s Market Common.

Barre3 is set to move into the shopping center at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, above cosmetics store Sephora and between beauty salon Acqua Nails and the space formerly occupied by Indian restaurant Zaika.

The studio’s classes give a full-body workout, including by using a barre typically used by ballet dancers for balance.

“Barre3 mixes athleticism, grace, and the latest innovations designed to balance the body,” Barre3’s website reads. “Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, each full-body workout optimizes every moment with moves that adapt to your body for maximum results.”

This new, approximately 2,600 square foot studio will be the first in Arlington. The only other one in Virginia is located in Old Town Alexandria.

No word yet on an opening date for the Clarendon location, which looks set to be part of a revamp planned at Market Common by developer Regency Centers.

by Chris Teale November 17, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Arlington County’s newest Dunkin’ Donuts is now open in Clarendon.

The combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store at 3009 Clarendon Blvd celebrated its grand opening this morning (Friday). The celebrations include free doughnuts for all customers and appearances by mascots Cuppy and Sprinkles and cheerleaders for the Washington Capitals.

Tomorrow (Saturday), customers can get a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase, while there will be a chance to decorate some doughnuts too. On both days, a prize wheel offers discount vouchers for various menu offerings.

It is the 12th Dunkin’ Donuts in the county, after one opened in September in Virginia Square. And at around 8:30 a.m., business was already brisk at the store located at the intersection of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, just a block from the Clarendon Metro station.

by Chris Teale November 15, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A mainstay of the Clarendon bar and restaurant scene celebrates a significant milestone Friday, as Mister Days (3100 Clarendon Blvd) marks its 40th anniversary.

It first opened in an alleyway off Dupont Circle on November 21, 1977 serving prime rib, ham sandwiches, a soup and a salad. And in the years that followed, including a move to 18th Street NW between L and M Streets NW before opening in Arlington in 2000, it gained a strong following.

The bar has served famous guests like movie star Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Washington Redskins greats like Sonny Jurgensen and John Riggins, and had live entertainment from singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter early in her career.

But owner Robert E. Lee said it is the relationships he has built that are most memorable.

“It’s kind of bittersweet,” Lee said of the anniversary. “You start losing friends, not customers, but friends that you met through business. After you get out of school, you have professional relationships. In the bar business and restaurant business, you meet hundreds of people that become friends.”

Lee said that initially, he was unsure about having televisions showing sports in Mister Days, figuring it would be a distraction from the dancing and food. But when he saw customers leaving to go home and watch “Roots,” a 1970s miniseries, he began to think differently.

Instead of relying on the major network broadcasts, Lee did something new for customers by, as he put it, putting on “all games all the time.” 

“We figured out how to do back-channels through satellite dishes, so we got the satellite dishes,” he said. “We started doing all games all the time. Nobody else had it. We weren’t the first sports bar, but I believe we were the first where you could get all the games. You couldn’t buy them.”

Much of Mister Days’ popularity in D.C. came from its “Rally in the Alley,” an outdoor event held in conjunction with other nearby bars that included food, drink and live entertainment and at times hosted 15,000 people.

What began as a party one St. Patrick’s Day morphed into a charity event, just one of the bar’s charitable ventures that also included paying for kids to attend basketball camps and get basketball scholarships to DeMatha Catholic High School and donating food for free Christmas and Thanksgiving meals. 

“[Rally in the Alley] became a major event,” Lee said. “That’s like the acorn that became an oak tree. That was just an idea, and that’s what I love to do. You have an idea, and all of a sudden it works.”

(more…)

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Plans to bring a Japanese barbecue restaurant to the former Brixx Pizza space in Clarendon could move forward soon.

The first D.C. area outpost of the Japan-based Gyu-Kaku restaurant is looking to move into 1119 N. Hudson Street, but months after first putting signs in the window, little progress is apparent on the inside.

But county staff approved a permit application for a new tenant layout late last month after several rejections for mechanical, plumbing and electrical issues, so construction could begin soon. The application was originally submitted in mid-August.

Gyu-Kaku serves Yakiniku cuisine — barbecued meats and veggies that are cooked by diners on a charcoal grill in the center of the table. The chain has hundreds of locations in Japan and existing U.S. locations in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii and elsewhere.

Representatives of Gyu-Kaku did not respond to requests for additional comment.

by Chris Teale November 8, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

Arlington County will commemorate Veterans Day at the American Legion War Memorial in Clarendon Central Park on Saturday morning.

The event is set to begin at 11 a.m. at the park between Clarendon and Wilson Blvds, above the Clarendon Metro station. It will include the presentation of colors and remarks from local officials.

VFW Post 3150 will conduct the ceremony, which is beginning earlier than in previous years.

Courtesy photo

by Chris Teale November 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

A nail and beauty studio is set to move in to Clarendon.

According to building permits filed with the county, Salon Lofts will move into 3001 Washington Blvd, in the long-vacant first floor of an office building in the neighborhood.

On its website, Salon Lofts says it allows beauty professionals to be independent business owners. The company provides tools, technical support and education to those interested in owning a studio, known as a “loft” by the company.

Owners can then customize their lofts and offer various beauty services.

It will be the third Salon Lofts in the D.C. metro area. The company also has locations in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

by ARLnow.com October 31, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

(Updated at 5 p.m.) A nearly $1.8 million home in Clarendon may be subject for forfeiture to the federal government as a result of the case against former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort.

A 12-count indictment of Manafort, accusing him of laundering money and failing to register as a foreign lobbyist, details his alleged transfer of money from overseas shell companies to buy cars, luxury goods and expensive real estate.

Among the properties is a home on the 1000 block of N. Edgewood Street, adjacent to to Green Pig Bistro and steps from the heart of Clarendon. Arlington County property records show the house, first built in 1920, was purchased in September 2012 for $1.9 million and is currently assessed at just over $1.75 million. Manafort’s daughter, Andrea, is listed as the owner.

The indictment alleges that the home was purchased with money transferred from a shell company in Cyprus and seeks its forfeiture, along with the forfeiture of three Manafort-linked properties in New York.

Another official involved in President Trump’s campaign, Rick Gates, was also named in the indictment, as part of the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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