Press Club
Girls on the Run 5k road closures (via ACPD)

It’s going to be a scorcher this weekend, but that’s not likely to stop a series of outdoor events planned in Arlington.

Four events in particular will prompt road closures, Arlington County police said, including two in Green Valley, one in nearby Shirlington, and one that will close roads in Clarendon, Virginia Square and Ballston.

The Girls on the Run 5K is taking place Saturday in the Dulles area and Sunday morning in Ballston. The organization, which provides a “transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade,” has held the races in Arlington since at least 2014, usually on the same weekend as the Taste of Arlington festival, now the Ballston Quarterfest Crawl.

The last two spring 5Ks were nixed due to the pandemic.

Sunday’s race will kick off at 8:30 a.m. in Ballston and wind its way through some of Arlington’s Metro corridor neighborhood.

Among the planned closures is a long stretch of Fairfax Drive. More from ACPD:

The 2022 Girls on the Run 5k Race will take place in the Ballston neighborhood on Sunday, May 22, and will begin at 8:30 a.m. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 3:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • N. Taylor Street will be closed in both directions from Wilson Boulevard to Fairfax Drive

From approximately 7:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Fairfax Drive, from N. Utah Street to Kirkwood Road
  • 10th Street N., from Fairfax Drive to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Irving Street, from 10th Street N. to 7th Street N.
  • 9th Street N., from N. Irving Street to N. Garfield Street
  • 7th Street N., from N Irving Street to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Highland Street, from 7th Street N. to 10th Street N.
  • N. Garfield Street, from 10th Street N. to 7th Street N.
  • Washington Boulevard (eastbound lanes only), from 10th Street N. to Pershing Drive
  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed in both directions at 10th Street N. Westbound traffic will be diverted onto Fairfax Drive, while eastbound traffic will be turned south prior to Jackson Street, where drivers can access Pershing Drive and maneuver around the race course.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Bus routes will be detoured but remain operational during the event.

The police department also released the following information on road closures for the other three events.

2022 Drew Dragon Dash

The 2022 Drew Dragon Dash will take place in the Green Valley neighborhood on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. The following roadway will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

S. Kenmore Street, between 22nd Street S. and the Shelton parking garage (3215 24th Street S.)

Jennie Dean Opening Celebration

The Jennie Dean Opening Celebration will take place in the Green Valley neighborhood on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 12:00 p.m. The following roadway will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

  • 2700 block of S. Oakland Street (Shirlington Dog Park parking lot)

The Shirlington Dog Park will remain open and will be accessible through the 2600 block of S. Nelson Street.

Shirlington Spring Fling: A Village Block Party

The Shirlington Spring Fling: A Village Block Party will take place in the Village at Shirlington on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Campbell Avenue, from S. Quincy Street to the Hilton Garden Inn
  • S. Randolph Street, from Dudley’s to the alleyway behind CVS

“Street parking near the events may be restricted,” ACPD noted in the press release. “Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. 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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(updated May 11 at 10:40 a.m.) An “immersive dining experience” that blindfolds its diners during a three-course mystery dinner kicked off earlier this month in Clarendon.

The “Dining in the Dark” events — which are being held on most Tuesdays through July 12 at Ambar (2901 Wilson Blvd) — were started based on a theory that the sense of taste and smell are heightened when you can’t see, according to an event page.

Fever, a “global live-entertainment discovery platform,” is organizing the event. The company has organized similar Dining in the Dark events in D.C. and other cities around the world.

The menu is a surprise, though diners have some say in the 90-minute meal, choosing either vegan, meat or seafood, as well as a wine or cocktail pairing. A sample “menu” from the event website is below.

Surprise your senses and test out your taste buds. Just choose your favourite colour, and we’ll take care of the rest…

Green (Vegan)
Starter: Beautifully united earthy tones; smooth & creamy with a familiar tanginess
Main: Surprising flavor with a hint of tart & a bit of tang
Dessert: Sensations of spice with sweet & sticky harvest to create a fusion of earthy flavors

Blue (Seafood)
Starter: Earthy & creamy textures that lean into a surprising firmness to prep your palate for its deep sea excursion
Main: A taste of the sea married with the land; taking the plunge together to unite flavorful & sweet with spice & earth
Dessert: Smooth & silky to merge into delicious serenity

Red (Meat)
Starter: Popping flavors perfectly pastured together to produce crunch
Main: Savory flavors that will make your mind spin
Dessert: Flavors you know and love presented in surprising textures

Tickets are $90 per person. Two nightly seatings are available.

Ambar has held similar events before its partnership with Fever, increasing their frequency to weekly because of their popularity, said Can Coskunkal, director of operations for Street Guys Hospitality, which owns the restaurant. Street Guys Hospitality, which also owns Buena Vida, Baba and TTT, is in talks with Fever about future events at its other restaurants too.

“We’ll continue to hold this event as long as people continue to attend,” Coskunkal said. “We’d love to continue this partnership for a while to come.”

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(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) B Live, a live music venue and restaurant, is officially opening to the public this week in the former Whitlow’s on Wilson space.

“The space, which was formerly a portion of beloved classic Whitlow’s on Wilson, will allow guests to engage with the local music scene and enjoy food and drink with a nostalgic, retro diner feel,” said a press release. “B Live will feature live performances 5 nights a week, with a rotating line-up of acoustic solo performances, live bands, and djs.”

The venue at 2854 Wilson Blvd is set to open on Thursday (May 12) with limited bar snacks menu. A full menu and brunch will start serving later in this month on May 25. The first three live musical acts are set with Bryen O’Boyle performing Thursday, My Hero Zero on Friday, and 8 Track Jones on Saturday.

B Live is the latest venture from Michael Bramson, owner of The Lot beer garden and Clarendon Pop-Up Bar in the Clarendon Ballroom space, both of which are located less than a half a mile away from his newest nightlife hangout.

B Live is occupying about 4,100 square feet of what was once Whitlow’s, the beloved Clarendon nightlife spot that closed last June. Capacity will be under 300, including a planned outdoor dining area with seating for 48.

Another Bramson concept, dubbed Coco B’s, is set to open on the rooftop later in the summer.

The interior of B Live “pay[s] homage to live music history” with vinyl record covers and musicians collages lining the walls, and “music hall lighting” adding to the ambiance.

The highlight is a mural entitled “Legends Live Forever” featuring caricatures of musicians such as “Bob Marley, Prince, and Janis Joplin crossing the famed Penny Lane in Beatle-esque fashion.” It was created by local artists Michael Pacheco and Rodrigo Pradel.

“There will be plenty of photo ops throughout the space: find your favorite album on the wall, stand by one of Legends that Live Forever, or snag a photo in front of a neon sign saying ‘bad decisions make good stories,'” notes the release.

The menu, though not yet finalized, is set to be curated by Chef Juan “Nacho” Olivera, formerly of Virginia Square’s Detour Coffee Co. and other local restaurants. There will be an all-day brunch menu, “Clarendon’s only DIY Bloody Mary Bar,” and “cereal milk shooters.”

“Cereal milk from childhood favorites like Lucky Charms, Fruity Pebbles, and Cocoa Puffs will be infused with vodka and liqueur and served in 4 oz mini cereal bowls,” the release says.

ARLnow reported that B Live was coming to the former Whitlow’s space in December, after Five Guys pulled out of a deal to come to the location.

In March, neighbors brought up concerns about noise at the new venue.

“We are all in support of music, we are all in support of living in an urban dwelling, we understand the considerations that come with living in these neighborhoods,” one neighbor told the County Board after it approved use permits for the space. “But it’s now at a point on Wilson Blvd, in Clarendon, that it’s having a tremendous impact on individuals.”

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DekaLash is looking to open this summer in Clarendon, replacing Cherry Blow Dry Bar (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A new lash and brow studio is taking shape in Clarendon, set to open in a former salon space.

DekaLash is aiming for a July opening at 1041 N. Highland Street. That was the location of Cherry Blow Dry Bar for about six years until it closed last summer citing financial issues.

Services the studio provides include lash lifts, lash fanning, lash extensions, eyebrow sculpting, eyebrow threading, and eyebrow lamination.

“A hugely popular service these days since Hollywood stars started promoting it in recent years,” writes a company spokesperson to ARLnow.

This will be the fifth DekaLash location in Northern Virginia, adding to the other shops in Alexandria, Sterling, Manssass, and the Mosaic District in Fairfax County. In total, there are more than 110 DekaLash shops across the U.S. and Canada.

The Arlington DekaLash team will be all “certified, licensed, and experts in their field,” the spokesperson says. Additionally, there are other state requirements to work in the industry.

“In Virginia, lash artists must hold a Virginia esthetician or cosmetology license,” said the spokesperson. “Applicants must then successfully complete our six-week training program and ongoing monthly meetings and training.”

Clarendon has seen a series of new businesses — mostly restaurants — opening in recent months.

Brass Rabbit Public House first started serving last month, in the former Bracket Room location. Buena Vida Gastro Lounge reopened several weeks ago at 2900 Wilson Blvd after a rebranding. Chipotle just opened last week on Clarendon Blvd. The new diner-esque eatery UnCommon Luncheonette has also now started serving breakfast and lunch at the corner of N. Garfield Street and 11th Street N.

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With construction nearly complete, Bar Ivy in Clarendon is aiming to open later this month.

Tables and chairs are already out at the large outdoor cafe at 3033 Wilson Blvd, located a block from the Clarendon Metro station. Workers appeared to be putting the finishing touches on the coffee kiosk as much of the signage has also gone up.

The hope is to open Bar Ivy sometime in the second half of May, a spokesperson tells ARLnow.

The mostly outdoor bar and restaurant was first proposed to the County Board in October 2020. Construction began last summer.

Bar Ivy is aiming for a “cool, relaxed vibe of the West Coast with a Mid-Atlantic approach to ingredients,” said an April press release. It’s set to have a large 125-seat patio that will be shaded by mature crepe myrtles. There will also be a 20-seat interior bar plus several booths.

“Guests can expect an elegant but laid-back atmosphere with subtle influences from the opposite coast, with attractive garden dining, an open, airy bungalow-style interior,” the release says.

Bar Ivy is from D.C.-based Blagden Hospitality Group, which owns several popular bars and restaurants in the District as well as Hei Hei Tiger in Tysons. This is the restaurant group’s first foray into Arlington, though Bar Ivy chef/owner Nathan Beauchamp and Executive Chef Jonathan Till previously worked at Restaurant Eve and Evening Star Cafe, respectively, in Alexandria.

The name, according to Arlington Magazine, is a nod to the ivy at D.C.’s Calico and the famed Los Angeles restaurant often frequented by celebrities.

Bar Ivy will initially be open for dinner with a small kiosk serving coffee and pastries all day. The plan is to eventually serve lunch and brunch as well.

The menu will be “heavily influenced by seafood and vegetable-forward dishes,” according to the press release.

The beverage program will be “seasonal herb and produce-forward” along with house-made fortified wines, vermouth, and amari utilizing “self-foraged ingredients.” There will also be a separate menu dedicated to low/no-alcohol drinks.

The menu and exact hours are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The restaurant group is already planning to open a second Bar Ivy in Bethesda.

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Burrito buffs will finally be able to get their Chipotle fix in Clarendon.

The granddaddy of all fast-casual, assembly-line style eateries is opening its latest Arlington location today at 10:45 a.m., and offering the first 50 people in line “complimentary Chipotle Goods merchandise.”

It’s the county’s sixth Chipotle and the first that we’re aware of with a walk-up ordering window — though it was not immediately clear this morning where that window is located.

“Chipotle Mexican Grill is opening a new Clarendon Blvd restaurant on Thursday, April 28 with a walk up window,” a PR rep said. “This location will be the brand’s 6th location in Arlington, joining existing sites in Ballston, Crystal City, Columbia Pike, Pentagon City, and at the Lee Heights Shops.”

After years of hope and rumors, Chipotle’s impending arrival in the former Pete’s New Haven Apizza space at 3017 Clarendon Blvd was revealed by ARLnow in February. Now less than three months later — an impossibly speedy permitting and construction process by Arlington standards — it’s opening its doors.

The new Chipotle will be open daily from 10:45 a.m. to 10 p.m. The store is currently hiring, the PR rep noted.

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Morning Notes

Dogwoods in bloom along Arlington’s Bluemont Trail (Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler)

Taco Bell Returning to Courthouse — “Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood has gone more than a decade without a Taco Bell. That sad period in its history will soon come to an end. The fast-food chain’s restaurant-bar combo, Taco Bell Cantina, will replace a portion of the multistory Guarapo, the lounge-tapas-hookah bar place that shuttered roughly six years ago, according to plans obtained from Construction Journal.” [Washington Business Journal]

Farewell, Farmbird — “It sounds like D.C. Farmbird locations are now closed, in addition to the Ballston location… People could be seen hauling items out of the Farmbird in Ballston today after an online auction for the restaurant’s equipment.” [Twitter, Barred in DC]

Economic Development Director Leaving — “Telly Tucker, Arlington Economic Development’s director for the last couple years, is leaving that post and heading back to his old stomping grounds in south-central Virginia to helm a regional economic development group there. Effective May 31, Tucker will be the maiden president for the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research.” [Washington Business Journal]

Clarendon Sector Plan Changes Approved — “The Board voted to adopt certain elements of the Clarendon Sector Plan that include:
An update to the 2006 plan, which includes several revisions to policies and design guidelines related to future development. General Land Use Plan (GLUP) Map and Booklet amendments. Zoning ordinance amendments to coincide with the updated sector plan.” [Arlington County]

Beyer Gets Some Conservative Points — “Is U.S. Rep. Don Beyer getting more conservative as his congressional career continues? By one measure the answer is ‘yes,’ although nobody is likely to confuse him with Barry Goldwater anytime soon. Beyer (D-8th) garnered a score of 5 on a 0-to-100 scorecard detailed by the American Conservative Union Foundation on April 26, based on votes taken during the 2021 congressional session. That’s up from 4 a year before.” [Sun Gazette]

Rosslyn ‘Doggie Spa Day’ Today — “Calling all Rosslyn dogs and their humans! Pamper your pup with… special treats for your furry friend. Come out to the Gateway Park Interim Dog Park on… Thursday, April 28 from 3:30-5:30 p.m. for our Rosslyn Refresh pup giveaways at the Rosslyn Trike!” [Rosslyn BID]

Carillon Dedication Scheduled — “A community event and Freedom Concert to mark the rededication of the Netherlands Carillon adjacent to the U.S. Marine War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) will be held on Thursday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to noon. The date marks the 77th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Allied Forces during World War II.” [Sun Gazette]

It’s Thursday — Clear throughout the day, after a chilly and breezy morning. High of 57 and low of 35. Sunrise at 6:15 am and sunset at 7:59 pm. [Weather.gov]

Flickr pool photo by Tom Mockler

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Clarendon Popup Bar, located inside the former Clarendon Ballroom (Staff Photo by Jay Westcott)

The Clarendon Pop-Up Bar‘s rooftop has reopened, as uncertainty remains about what’s coming next.

The bar with themes that change seasonally, located inside of the former Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd, has opened its rooftop for the warm weather months. The biggest changes from last year are a new schedule, with happy hour starting at 5 p.m., and a “fully replaced new wooden deck,” a spokesperson tells ARLnow.

The bar’s rooftop is “one of Clarendon’s largest outdoor spaces,” according to the website. It is open Wednesday through Saturday.

Clarendon Pop-Up Bar is run by the owners of the nearby beer garden The Lot, located just a three minute walk way. While the pop-up bar is noted for themes like a winter wonderland or 1980s Miami, there’s no theme this time around.

There will, however, be lawn games like corn hole, ring toss, and Jenga as well as a rotating schedule of DJs. This weekend launches the bar’s “spring fling” concert series, with Philadelphia-based band Steal the Sky performing on Saturday night.

The future of Clarendon Pop-Up Bar on Wilson Blvd after this rooftop season remains unclear.

In December 2020 — a year after the original Ballroom closed — Monument Realty purchased the building for $6.7 million. The real estate development company is principally owned by Michael Darby, the (now soon-to-be-former) husband of local reality star Ashley. The couple owned the Australian restaurant Oz in Clarendon together, which was a key storyline in a season of the reality show “Real Housewives of Potomac,” before the restaurant closed in 2019.

Shortly after purchasing 3185 Wilson Blvd, Monument Realty signed a nearly two-year-long lease with the owners of The Lot to operate a pop-up entertainment venue in the 18,000-square-foot Clarendon building. That lease expires later this year.

As ARLnow reported last month, county records now show a building permit in Darby’s name for the construction of a restaurant at 3185 Wilson Blvd. There’s also a pending Virginia ABC application for the space, under the name “The Ball Room,” associated with an LLC that appears to be affiliated with Monument Realty.

A PR rep for Clarendon Pop-Up Bar tells ARLnow that “there are no updates at the moment” in regards to the lease or what’s coming next for the space. Last month, a Monument Realty spokesperson told ARLnow that they “will be in touch when we have additional information to share.”

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Street scene from Clarendon Day 2017

After a two year hiatus caused by the pandemic, Clarendon Day is set to return in the fall.

Organizers not yet finalized a date for the popular fall street festival, but it’s likely to be in late September, according to Clarendon Alliance board president Kieran Daly. Clarendon Day was last held on Sept. 21, 2019.

In the meantime, the Clarendon Alliance is kicking off a new concert series tonight dubbed Music By the Metro.

The four-week series will run on Wednesdays through May 11. The music starts at 5:30 p.m. at the park just outside the Clarendon Metro station entrance.

Today’s performer is blues musician Bobby Thompson. Next week it’s jazz and Go-Go fusion group JoGo Project, followed by rock/alternative/folk collective Phil Kominski & The Breakaways (May 4) and reggae band Nkula (May 11).

The series is co-sponsored by Arlington Arts, Clarendon Animal Care and coworking provider Industrious.

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UnCommon Luncheonette in Clarendon is hoping to open next week, bringing a concept that owners say is missing from the neighborhood.

The new diner-esque eatery on the corner of N. Garfield Street and 11th Street N. is set to be exclusively a breakfast, brunch, and lunch spot, co-owner Joon Yang tells ARLnow, with a menu, decor, and hours to match.

The location, a block from the Metro and in the midst of apartment buildings, is a perfect fit for this concept, he says.

“We fashion ourselves as a typical New York-style diner,” Yang says, who owns the restaurant along with head chef Jon Mathieson. “We’re going to open at 7 in the morning and people walking by are going to see this bright light glowing from a corner.”

The focus on the day’s earlier meals is what makes the restaurant, well, uncommon in Clarendon, according to him.

Earlier this week, ARLnow got an exclusive peek at the restaurant’s food, menu, and interior.

The space is classic and cozy, with only about half a dozen tables plus bar seating for about 15. There will be an additional 40 or so seats outside, bringing the total to about 80 seats.

The bar is marble with blue-tinged lights overhead and bright blue stools. The checked floor tile matches the diner image. The walls are mostly bare, but Yang says that the intention is to add to the decor in the coming months.

Both the breakfast and lunch menus have some traditional items, like egg sandwiches, waffles, and fried chicken, but there’s some unexpected dishes inspired by Yang’s other meat-centric restaurants.

There are five different kinds of poutine, a Canadian favorite of french fries, cheese, and gravy, on the menu including a vegetarian option and a breakfast version topped with sausage gravy and fried eggs.

Also available is a smoked steak frites and a rib sandwich that Yang says was directly influenced by dishes at his Epic Smokehouse in Pentagon City.

For those looking for lighter fare, there’s a selection of handmade soups.

“One of my favorites is a good cream of mushroom soup,” Yang says. “I feel like people under-appreciated what a good soup is.”

UnCommon also has an ice cream machine with plans to incorporate milkshakes and other ice cream-centric choices into the menu as spring turns into summer.

The restaurant does have a liquor license, but that isn’t the main focus, particularly since the plan is set to close in the afternoon. That’s another thing that separates UnCommon from other establishments in the neighborhood.

“I know a lot of owners of bars and restaurants in the area and they question… ‘Are you going to do this without nightlife?’ That’s where they all make the money,” Yang says. “I understand that. But this is a different concept.”

ARLnow first reported in July 2021 that UnCommon Luncheonette was coming to the space formerly occupied by Riverside Hot Pot and Bowl’d. By December, construction was coming along with Yang telling ARLnow that the restaurant’s concept would be one that “no has done before in Clarendon or, even, Arlington.”

He admits there have been some challenges opening a restaurant in Clarendon at this time, including hiring full-time staff, the neighborhood’s saturation of restaurants, and the apprehension of some customers to return to in-person dining.

But he’s optimistic that UnCommon Luncheonette will work here and now.

“I’m old school. When people come in here, I want to shake everyone’s hand and say hello. I want to know everyone’s name,” Yang says. “I still think people want that.”

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Morning Notes

American flag seen in a yard near East Falls Church (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Revamped Clarendon Restaurant Reopens — “With a new menu that offers Mexican food for all, Buena Vida Gastro Lounge is reopening its newly renovated restaurant in Clarendon this week, serving lunch and dinner and brunch on weekends. Buena Vida, at 2900 Wilson Blvd., also has a new executive chef, Jaime Garciá Pelayo Bribiesca, and a new décor created by CORE architecture+design.” [Patch, Instagram]

Group Wants More from Amazon — “While Arlingtonians for Our Sustainable Future (ASF) welcomes a new Amazon presence at PenPlace, we urge county leaders to strike a fair deal in this site plan review. As structured now, Arlington would trade world record bonus density — more buildable space — for unequal community benefits from Amazon.” [Press Release]

Art Exhibit Opening at GMU in Va. Sq. — “A new exhibition of art commissioned by the British Council to interpret an academic and policy report by a professor at George Mason University’s Schar School of Policy and Government will be unveiled April 29 at Mason Square (formerly the Arlington Campus). The event is open to the public and features a keynote address from the ambassador from Tanzania and a panel discussion with representatives from international development, public diplomacy, and art agencies.” [George Mason University]

It’s 4/20 — Clear throughout the day. High of 60 and low of 39. Sunrise at 6:26 am and sunset at 7:51 pm. [Weather.gov]

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