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Bronx Pizza is back in Clarendon under a new name: Big Tony’s Pizzeria & Dive Bar.

Last May, the pizzeria closed its doors with little warning after doing business for more than a decade.

Some thought it might be a hit job, but co-owner and managing partner Katherine Basile tells ARLnow that the owners, Anthony, Mike and Nick Cordero, wanted to rebrand the restaurant.

“They figured they could probably do something a little bit different and a little bit more upbeat in there, since that space was kind of dead at one point,” she said, calling the new space “Bronx 2.0”

Basile says the Cordero brothers approached her and her business partner Kristina Murphy for business ideas. The duo and the brothers go back more than a decade, having worked together on other local Cordero-owned establishments, including Don Tito and A-Town Bar & Grill.

Basile says she and Murphy envisioned a “trendy” 80s and 90s retro theme for the pizzeria, which the Cordero brothers loved. New York City-based designer Yvette Irene was enlisted to design an eye-catching space.

The revamped pizza place is intended to have “a nice, fun vibe where people could really just be who they wanted to be in there,” Basile said. Another new addition: an upgraded outdoor dining space with all-weather booth seating.

While Big Tony’s retains some menu items from its days as Bronx Pizza, there are new options, including “The Snooki” meatball parmigiana sandwich and a pizza topped with mac and cheese and bacon, as well as a full-service bar with craft cocktails.

The restaurant held a soft opening two weeks ago and plans for a grand opening are in the works.

The grand opening date has not yet been confirmed but Basile said it will feature Anthony Cordero’s 4-year-old daughter Quinn, nicknamed “Big Tony,” who plans to sign autographs in crayon.

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In honor of its new breakfast menu, Clarendon eatery Bar Ivy is offering free coffee this week to customers who buy their new bagel sandwiches.

The RAMMY-nominated restaurant, which opened last year, announced Tuesday that its doors will now open at 7:30 a.m. from Tuesday through Saturday, with a new menu of bagel sandwiches and specialty coffee drinks.

From open until 3 p.m., patrons can grab sandwiches such as a maple shoyu pork belly bagel with Gruyere cheese and an over-easy egg or a cured salmon bagel with miso scallion cream cheese and an heirloom tomato, per a press release.

Customers can wash these bagels down with new specialty espresso drinks as well as iced chai and matcha lattes. They can take their breakfast order to-go or eat it inside, taking advantage of free Wi-Fi to get some work done.

Lunchtime service at the “West Coast-inspired eatery,” previously limited to Thursday through Saturday, was also extended to include Tuesday and Wednesday, running 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu includes a rotating soup of the day, sandwiches and burgers.

Bar Ivy opened in the summer of 2022 on more limited schedule, open for happy hour and dinner on Tuesday-Wednesday and lunch through dinner Thursday-Saturday.

It is not changing its closing hours Tuesday through Saturday, which range between 9:30-11:30 p.m. Nor will it change its 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday schedule, for now.

A spokesperson for Bar Ivy told ARLnow the restaurant is considering longer hours Sunday evening, though no final plans have been confirmed.

Happy hour, which includes $5 “shorty” beers and $11 espresso martinis, now runs all day from open until 6 p.m.

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Clarendon Day (file photo)

Several events are scheduled to take place across Arlington on Saturday, bringing both festivities and road closures.

The events celebrate everything from the neighborhood of Clarendon to Bavarian and Irish culture.

Clarendon Day

Kicking off at 11 a.m., Clarendon Day will offer live music, food, craft beer, Virginia wines, art and inflatable obstacle courses. The event, which is one of Arlington’s largest street festivals, ends at 6 p.m.

Metro riders can take the Orange Line to the Clarendon station, the entrance to which is in the middle of the multiblock festival area.

Stretches of Wilson Blvd and Clarendon Blvd will be closed from 3 a.m. to 10 p.m. to accommodate the event, according to Arlington County police.

The complete list of street closures for the event is below.

  • Wilson Blvd, from Washington Blvd to N. Highland Street
  • Clarendon Blvd, from Washington Blvd to N. Garfield Street
  • N. Highland Street, from 11th Street N. to Wilson Blvd
  • N. Herndon Street, from Wilson Blvd to the alleyway behind CVS
  • N. Hudson Street, from Wilson Blvd to the alleyway behind CVS

Samuel Beckett’s Celtic Festival

Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub in Shirlington is hosting its annual Celtic Festival this Saturday from 12-7 p.m.

The event will highlight traditional Irish music and dance and feature a pop-up market, food and beverages.

Campbell Avenue, from S. Randolph Street to the parking garage entrance in front of Harris Teeter, will be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

National Landing Oktoberfest

Additionally, the National Landing Business Improvement District is holding an Oktoberfest event from 1-5 p.m. this Saturday at the corner of 22nd Street S. and S. Fern Street, behind what is dubbed “Restaurant Row” in Crystal City.

The beer-centric, Bavarian-ish event includes live music from the Alte Kumpel Band and The Pilgrims of Deep Run. Food and drinks, including offerings from Crystal City Sports Pub, will be available for purchase.

Activities include a stein-holding competition, a best-dressed contest, lawn games and crafting stations for kids featuring hat-making and clove decor. Attendees can register online ahead of time.

Police will close 22nd Street S. between S. Eads Street and S. Fern Street from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Clarendon Ballroom entrance on a Saturday night (staff photo)

(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) The Clarendon Ballroom is set to hold a street festival this weekend.

Bidding farewell to summer, the nightlife venue at 3185 Wilson Blvd — also known as just The Ballroom — is hosting what it says is Arlington’s first electronic music-inspired street festival.

This Saturday, Sept. 23, from 2-10 p.m., the streets of Clarendon will host a festival complete with a “state-of-the-art” stage, lighting and sound system, according to the event listing.

The event, dubbed “Ballroom on the Block,” will take place along N. Irving Street between Wilson Blvd and 12th Street N. It promises to bring a “rooftop vibe” down to the streets, complete with a beer garden, lounge sections, yard games, carnival treats and local vendors, per the event webpage.

More, below, from the event listing.

What to expect:

  • Epic Outdoor Mainstage Production
  • Local electronic DJs all Day
  • Outdoor Beer Garden
  • Food Stands
  • Outdoor grill and BBQ
  • Multiple Bars
  • Kandi Making Station
  • Carnival treats
  • Games including cornhole, water pong, giant jenga, ring toss
  • Local Vendors
  • Outdoor Lounges
  • Giveaways

Following the festivities, the venue also plans to host an after-party inside from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Ticket prices start at $10 but increase as the event date approaches. Between now and Saturday, tickets are $35 apiece for general admission.

For an additional $20, attendees can opt for a “VIP Fastpass,” which grants them line-skipping privileges and access to both indoor and outdoor areas of Clarendon Ballroom throughout the day.

Police will be closing N. Irving Street between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. to help accommodate the festival, according to ACPD. Would-be attendees might want to pack a poncho: rain is in the forecast.

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Longtime plans to redevelop the former Silver Diner site in Clarendon are headed to the Arlington County Board for approval.

An 11-story, 290-unit apartment building with about 16,000 square feet of retail and a 10-story, 229-room hotel with a rooftop terrace and bar are proposed for the site, dubbed “Bingham Center.”

This Saturday, the Board is set to review the plans from owner TCS Realty Associates and developer Donohoe Cos., including a request for the county to vacate portions of a public alley and street. In exchange, Arlington would receive some $1.15 million in compensation, per a county report.

The new buildings would sit on a triangular parcel bounded by Wilson Blvd, 10th Street N. and N. Irving Street, across from Northside Social. They would replace the now-closed Silver Diner, the Lot beer garden, two brick structures called “The Doctors Building,” an auto repair facility and surface parking.

The 3200 Wilson Blvd property is near the Joyce Motors site which was approved for another significant development earlier this year, as well as the Wells Fargo development site that’s currently under review.

The project comes forward two months after the County Board approved a deadline extension request from TCS and Donohoe. They asked for more time to fix “unresolved design challenges” along N. Irving Street, particularly regarding the pedestrian experience.

The duo had proposed a loading area and hotel-serving facilities along N. Irving Street, which county staff previously noted deviates from the 2022 Clarendon Sector Plan. This plan, developed in anticipation of a handful of projects, including Silver Diner, envisions a walkable, retail-studded N. Irving Street.

Members of the Site Plan Review Committee agreed. They said the loading dock would create conflicts with pedestrians accessing a proposed plaza on N. Irving Street. They also had misgivings about the bricked-over, retail-less façade on N. Irving Street.

An early suggestion from TCS and Donohoe included adding a “living green wall,” but the county and the public said this did not address the issues of missing retail or pedestrian-vehicle conflicts.

Initial, since-updated façade changes to 3200 Wilson Blvd redevelopment (via Arlington County)

Now, the county says the developers have found a solution and there are no outstanding issues.

TCS and Donohoe moved the dock to the forthcoming extension of 10th Road N. As part of the overall Bingham Center project, Donohoe will extend this one-block-long road east of the site so that it cuts through the site and intersects with Wilson Blvd.

In addition, the developers agreed to install windows into the kitchen that abuts the future “Irving Plaza,” envisioned in the Clarendon Sector Plan. The proposed green wall has been replaced with a “decorative element” intended to enhance the otherwise un-enlivened façade.

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Chip City appears to be on track to open its first Arlington location in Clarendon as early as next month.

The New York City-based cookie shop announced earlier this year it planned to open two new locations in the county: at The Crossing Clarendon, at 2700 Clarendon Blvd, and the Village at Shirlington, at 4014 Campbell Avenue.

The Clarendon location is currently undergoing renovations and an electrician was on-site installing hardware when ARLnow stopped by last week to take a peek.

While an exact opening date has still yet to be confirmed, Theodore Gailas, the company’s co-founder and chief brand officer, told ARLnow that the Clarendon location is likely to open between “late October” and “early November.” Gailas noted Shirlington location is still slated for “early January.”

“That is of course you know, assuming no surprises,” he said.

Known for its large, gooey 5.5-ounce cookies, Chip City has a rotating weekly menu of 40 different flavors, including the classics, chocolate chip and triple chocolate, and more unique flavors, from cannoli to horchata.

If the Clarendon location opens this fall, as projected, patrons may get to squeeze in a seasonal pumpkin spice latte cookie.

The weekly cookie rotation at Chip City (via Instagram)

Chip City’s move into Arlington is part of a 40-store expansion in the D.C. area and across the country. This includes a Bethesda location Gailas also says could open in “early October.”

But Chip City will have some competition as cookie stores continue to gain popularity locally.

Captain Cookie and the Milkman opened in Courthouse earlier this year. Crumbl Cookies has plans to open this fall at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. And delivery-only local cookie purveyor MOLTN has a mobile kitchen at a parking lot across from Whole Foods in Clarendon.

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A restaurant in Clarendon has hung up the ever-elusive promise of a “coming soon” sign.

It is one sign of progress for two Asian restaurants taking up residence next to each other on the 3200 block of Washington Blvd, in a retail strip that includes a pizza place and O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub.

The “coming soon” sign advertises the impending arrival of Tiger Dumpling, a Chinese dim sum restaurant. A construction permit for the space was filed last winter.

Meanwhile, a liquor license is now “pending” for Japanese restaurant called Izakaya 68, set to occupy a space next door to Tiger Dumpling. This restaurant is modeled after informal Japanese bars serving drinks, snacks and small plates.

Both restaurants are owned by the Ivea Restaurant Group, which lists these locations as “coming soon” on its website. The group runs a number of Asian-inspired restaurants across the region, including Ballston’s Gyu San, which opened this summer.

Neither Ivea Restaurant Group nor the permit holder listed on permits posted in the window of Tiger Dumpling returned requests for updates on when the pair of eateries would open.

Ivea Restaurant Group previously told ARLnow they were aiming for a summer 2023 opening for the pair of restaurants.

Tiger Dumpling and Izakaya 68 are set to replace Utahime and La Finca, which closed in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

These restaurant spaces have seen considerable turnover over the years, and were once home to European pub Park Lane Tavern, ‘Top Chef’ contestant Katsuji Tanabe’s Le Kon and a cajun seafood-and-sushi place, Asiatique.

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A new delivery-only restaurant specializing in “loaded fries” has opened in a parking lot near Clarendon.

For Your Fries Only is serving up fries slathered in sauce and topped with a protein of choice from a trailer in the vacant Courthouse West parking lot across from Whole Foods.

It joins a handful of other food trailers selling everything from fried chicken sandwiches to Asian street food to asada fries via third-party delivery apps.

The owner told ARLnow the business had officially launched last week. It operates from one of the three trailers owned by REEF Technology, a company specializing in transforming underutilized urban parking lots into hubs for food and logistics. The food service arm of Reef is called NBRHD Kitchens.

Like other “ghost kitchens,” For Your Fries Only operates exclusively through third-party delivery platforms such as Uber Eats and DoorDash.

The concept has attracted a lot of media buzz and investors in recent years, especially during the pandemic when many people were getting food delivered more frequently. Based on its popularity, the Arlington County Board amended its zoning ordinance in June to streamline delivery for small businesses.

For Your Fries Only initially started with two locations in Ohio and has since expanded to Baltimore, Maryland and Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, according to its website.

The eatery offers toppings ranging from chicken and steak to shrimp and pepperoni, as well as various sauces. The menu also features chicken wings, available in sets of 10, 20, or 30, and customers can have them tossed in a choice of two sauces.

Photos via For Your Fries Only/Instagram

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File photo

A 47-year-old Richmond man is facing charges after police say he robbed a store and then threw a fake gun at responding officers.

The incident happened Friday afternoon after 3 p.m., in the Courthouse area.

More, below, from today’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.

ASSAULT ON POLICE, 2023-09080157, 2000 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 3:19 p.m. on September 8, police were dispatched to the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined the male suspect entered the business and allegedly concealed merchandise before attempting to exit the store without payment. A store employee confronted the suspect during which he lifted his shirt exposing what appeared to be a firearm before fleeing the scene on foot. Responding officers canvassed the area, located the suspect and gave him commands to stop. The suspect disregarded their commands and continued to walk away before stopping, lifting his shirt and throwing the firearm in the direction of the officers. The officers then took the suspect into custody and recovered the firearm which was determined to be a replica. [The suspect], 47, of Richmond Va. was arrested and charged with Robbery and Assault on Police (x2).

Also in today’s crime report were a number of weekend incidents involving guns, including a shots fired call in Glencarlyn, a gun brandishing in Clarendon, and an armed robbery of jewelry along Columbia Pike.

From ACPD:

SHOTS FIRED, 2023-09100027, 300 block of S. Harrison Street. At approximately 1:44 a.m. on September 10, police were dispatched to the report of shots heard. Upon arrival, officers recovered evidence confirming several shots had been fired. Witnesses reported observing several unknown individuals running from the area after the shots were discharged. No victims or property damage were located. There is no suspect description(s). The investigation is ongoing.

BRANDISHING, 2023-09100028, 3100 block of Clarendon Boulevard. At approximately 1:49 a.m. on September 10, the victim approached an officer to report disorderly conduct. The preliminary investigation indicates that following a dispute earlier in the evening where the suspect was allegedly acting disorderly inside a business, he approached an employee of the business and lifted his shirt to display a firearm. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. Officers canvassed the area for the suspect yielding negative results.

ROBBERY, 2023-09090226, 1800 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 8:10 p.m. on September 9, police were dispatched to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined the male victim met with the suspect, an acquittance, for the prearranged sale of jewelry. During the incident, the suspect grabbed the jewelry and ran to his vehicle. The victim ran after him and upon arriving at the suspect’s vehicle, observed the passenger brandishing a firearm. The suspects then fled the scene in the vehicle with the stolen jewelry. The investigation is ongoing.

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Nova Armory in Clarendon had their door smashed in an attempted burglary (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Arlington County police responded to a break-in at Nova Armory early this morning.

The Metro-accessible gun store at 2607 Wilson Blvd had its front door “smashed in” by a suspect, setting off a loud alarm. The suspect reportedly took items but not any guns — the retailer takes weapons off shelves and stores them securely at night.

“At approximately 1:48 a.m. on August 22, police were dispatched to the report of a burglary just occurred,” said today’s ACPD crime report. “Upon arrival, it was determined the unknown male suspect forced entry into the business by smashing a glass door. The suspect then rummaged through the interior of the store before fleeing the scene with stolen items.”

“No firearms were reported stolen,” an Arlington police spokesperson told ARLnow.

Officers searched the area for the suspect but could not locate him. Police were called to the store later today to retrieve video surveillance footage.

“This is an active and ongoing investigation and our detectives are reviewing all the information available to them to identify the suspect in this case,” said the ACPD spokesperson. “We encourage anyone who may have information regarding the incident to contact police.”

Nova Armory was previously burglarized at its former Lyon Park location. In 2022, after moving to Clarendon earlier in the year, a Nova Armory employee chased down an alleged thief who tried to run off with a gun. In March of this year a ski mask-wearing man robbed the store of a gun and ammunition but was arrested on a bus soon thereafter, according to police.

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The much-anticipated “tropical glam bar” Coco B’s in Clarendon hopes to open this weekend, co-owner Christal Bramson tells ARLnow.

Ownership is in the process of getting final permits before the doors can be thrown open, but the belief is that everything will be ready for the coming weekend.

The long-planned companion bar to B Live — or, for the moment, “Beach Bar Live” — at 2854 Wilson Blvd was originally supposed to start serving a full year ago. It was delayed a few times, however, due to construction and permits. But now the wait appears to almost be over.

Judging by photos, Coco B’s is set to be Arlington’s pink palace of nightlife. The color covers the 6,000 square feet of space, from the walls to the chair to the umbrellas, that the business is set to occupy inside and atop the building that was once Whitlow’s on Wilson.

While it’s the rooftop — featuring a mural of a flamingo wearing a hat — that many locals might be looking forward it, Bramson said the rest of the bar might actually be the real draw.

“I don’t think people realize that Coco’s is not only a rooftop, but has nearly 4,000 square feet directly below the rooftop (next to B Live),” Bramson wrote ARLnow in an email. “It’s a collection of three bays, with two gorgeous bars, dining room, and a stunning back patio.”

The main floor will feature pink chandeliers and clamshell chairs, while another bay is the “Bubble Bar,” a champagne-forward bar with lots more pink. The third bay is for private events.

The Carribean-inspired menu is set to be curated by Chef Juan Olivera, who previously worked at D.C.’s Lupo Verde. It will feature Caribbean delicacies like jerk chicken, ceviche, and Jamaican oxtail patties, Arlington Magazine reports.

Coco B’s will have signature cocktails, including the Dac-Dac-Doc. It will be served in half coconut shells with Caribbean rum, passion dragon fruit syrup, and coconut foam.

The opening of Coco B’s will mark another expansion of Christal and Mike Bramson’s Arlington nightlife empire under the B Social Hospitality banner. B Live opened last spring as a live music venue but has since shifted away from original acts to live karaoke. It also changed concepts, at least temporarily, earlier this month.

The Bramsons also own Pamplona on Clarendon Blvd, Roll’d in Ballston, run operations at Clarendon Ballroom, and are celebrating local beer garden The Lot’s last season before redevelopment happens on the site. The couple owns several restaurants in the District as well, including Rebel Taco and soon-to-open The Cove in the District’s Navy Yard neighborhood.

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