Arlington, VA

Morning Notes

Ribbon Cutting for Revamped Rosslyn Safeway — “Safeway will unveil renovations to its Rosslyn store at 1525 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington, VA, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 am on Friday, July 12.” [Press Release]

More on Real Estate Boom Forecast — “Real estate agents and local economists said inventories are so sparse that some popular Zip codes in Arlington and Alexandria show no homes for sale at all. They added that investors are pouring into the market, looking to turn homes into rental properties.” [Washington Post, InsideNova]

Acosta Signs Books in Clarendon — CNN correspondent Jim Acosta showed up to an sparsely-populated Barnes and Noble store in Clarendon for a “surprise signing” of his book “The Enemy of the People: A Dangerous Time to Tell the Truth in America.” [Twitter]

Workers Vote for Strike at DCA — “On June 12, airline food workers who prepare, pack, and deliver food and beverages served onboard American Airlines flights departing from Reagan National Airport voted 100% to strike when released by the National Mediation Board.” [Press Release]

New Local Store at DCA — “The District of Columbia Department of Small & Local Business Development (DSLBD) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) today celebrated the grand opening of the Made in DC retail pop-up at Reagan National Airport, providing a new national and international presence for local makers and small business owners.” [Press Release]

ARLnow’s Press Release Section — For the next week, we’re experimenting with posting press releases directly on a special section of our site. Let us know what you think. [ARLnow]

Photo by Vernon Miles

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Morning Notes

Polls Open for Democratic Primary — All Arlington voters can vote in today’s Democratic primary. Polls are open from 6 a.m.-7 p.m. You can find your polling place and other information on the state elections website. [Twitter]

Politico Profiles Prosecutor Primary — “One sign that this era of agitated civic life is not merely a reflection of Donald Trump or Twitter is that the agitation has penetrated, of all places, into Arlington County, Virginia. In normal times, Arlington politics are polite and consensus-driven, almost proudly dull.” [Politico]

Clarendon Street Closed for Construction — “Through mid-August: North Edgewood Street closed between Clarendon and Wilson boulevards due to construction. Absolutely no impact on Whole Foods organic produce or imported cheese selection.” [Twitter]

Trade Group Moving to Ballston — “The Infectious Diseases Society of America announced today that it will be relocating its headquarters to 4040 Wilson Boulevard in the Ballston Quarter area of Arlington, Va., a hub of advanced research learning, technology and science in the Washington, D.C. metro area.  The Society has been at its current location at 1300 Wilson Boulevard in Arlington since 2006.” [PR Newswire]

How Glass Is Being Recycled — “Ever wonder where your glass goes? If you properly recycle it in Northern Virginia these days, it gets crushed into sand and turned into construction material… ABC7 recently took a trip to Fairfax County’s I-95 landfill in Lorton, where we found a glass graveyard and a big blue machine.” [WJLA]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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The owner of Ambar and Baba in Clarendon is planning to open the last piece of a three-tier set of Mexican eateries at 2900 Wilson Blvd on Monday (June 10).

TTT Mexican Diner — a street food-style eatery on the first floor — and Buena Vida — a more traditional Mexico City dining experience — are both already open. But the rooftop cantina called Buena Vida Social Club will complete the set.

Ivan Iricanin, the owner of Buena Vida Social Club, is not Mexican, nor is general manager Marijana Skerlic. Both are Serbian, but worked together with celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, from whom they developed a passion for Mexican cuisine. For Buena Vida Social Club, Iricanin said he is working with chef Gerardo Vázquez Lugo, whose restaurant Nicos in Mexico City has earned acclaim.

The restaurant boasts a variety of seafood options and food from Acapulco with prices ranging from $9 to $16. Drinks range from cocktails served in fresh coconuts and frozen margaritas to agave-infused sangria, priced from $8 to $80.

The restaurant is open daily from 4 p.m.-2 a.m. Brunch hours on Saturdays and Sundays are planned to open sometime in July.

Opening restaurants in direct competition with each other can be hazardous, but Iricanin said he’s confident that the concepts for each of the Mexican eateries and the other nearby restaurants are distinct enough that they won’t poach each other’s business.

“I think Arlington needs a lounge,” said Skerlic. “This is not a sports bar. The whole place has the feel of a Mexican lounge. We want to give it a very social feel.”

Skerlic’s background is in tending bar, a job she’s worked since she was 17, so her passion is for the mix of new cocktails being offered at Buena Vida Social Club.

“I feel proud,” Skerlic said. “It’s not my restaurant, but to be able to run it… that feels special.”

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(Updated at 11 a.m.) SoulCycle is opening a new studio in Clarendon next week, the first Virginia location for the company.

The fitness studio will hold a pre-launch event next Thursday, June 13, at its new location in a 3,248-square-foot space at Market Common Clarendon at 2700 Clarendon Blvd.

The studio’s official opening date is Friday, June 14.

The new Clarendon location will feature 55 bikes and will also sell the company’s workout apparel, in addition to athleisure from brands PE Nation and The Upside, per a company spokeswoman.

The company confirmed it was coming to the shopping center in January after speculation a “luxury” gym was moving in and initial permits suggested the company was eyeing the space between Origin cosmetics store and the Apple store. Equinox, which owns a majority stake in SoulCycle, is also reported to be planning to open at gym at Market Common.

Amid all the new openings, the nearby Washington Sports Club announced plans to close at the end of the month.

The cost of cycling classes at the new Clarendon SoulCycle studio will start at $20 per lesson for first-timers, and go up to $32 afterwards, per the spokeswoman.

SoulCycle operates four studios in D.C. and 61 others across the U.S., according to its website.

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Clarendon’s Citizen Burger Bar is now closed, per a sign on the door.

“Our time with you has come to an end,” reads the sign on the front doors of the restaurant at 1051 N. Highland Street. “We want to thank you so much for visiting us and supporting us for the last 5 years!”

The notice said its last day was Sunday. Phone calls to the eatery went unanswered, and the number appeared to be disconnected.

The restaurant posted a copy of the sign on its Facebook Friday, noting it was “a sad day for us here in Clarendon.”

Inside the restaurant, chairs could be seen stacked up between cleaning materials last night (Monday). The unlit sign of Mister Days, which closed in April across the street, reflected in the burger joint’s windows.

Clarendon was the second location for Citizen Burger Bar’s Charlottesville, Va.-based business. The Arlington location opened in February 2015, expanding its menu two years later.

Owner Anderson McClure told ARLnow.com before the restaurant opened that his goal was to “broaden people’s horizons when it comes to simple, ‘classic American’ fare.”

The closing adds to the agony this week for local connoisseurs of the bovine, who are mourning the impending closure of Courthouse staple Ray’s the Steaks.

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The Washington Sports Club in Clarendon is closing down for good later this month.

The gym at 2700-2800 Clarendon Blvd is slated to shutter its doors by June 30, staff told ARLnow today (Monday) after notifying members this weekend of its plans.

Gym manager Diamond Thompson said that memberships are transferable to chain’s other sports clubs.

Clarendon, however, is Washington Sports Club’s only location in Virginia, according to the franchise’s website. The company also operates six gyms in D.C. and three gyms in Maryland.

Thompson said he couldn’t comment on why the gym was closing. A spokesman for the company could not be reached in time for publication.

The gym is across the street from the ongoing Market Common Clarendon renovation project. Crews are turning the building into a four-story office retail development called The Loft which is expected to open by next summer.

High-end gym Equinox is reportedly planning to open at Market Common Clarendon, but so far few details about the plans have been revealed.

Screenshots via Google Maps

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Update at 1 p.m. on 6/2/19 — The live feed has ended. 

Above is a live webcam from the rooftop of Don Tito in Clarendon.

Crews are are getting ready for the 22nd Annual Armed Forces Cycling Classic and its Clarendon Cup Pro/Am Races, which will kick off at 8 a.m. Sunday (June 2) and run through the streets of Clarendon.

If you’re unable to make it to watch the excitement in person, you can see a live broadcast on the Monumental Sports Network, airing from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m Sunday.

Additional rides and races will take place in Crystal City on Saturday.

Note: the Armed Forces Cycling Classic is an ARLnow advertiser

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(Updated at 9:20 a.m.) It’s been more than a year since the last large, organized bar crawl in Arlington, and the former seasonal staple of the Orange Line corridor shows no sign of returning soon.

The last notable crawl to fill bars in the Clarendon area was the March 2018 Shamrock Crawl. The St. Patrick’s Day-themed pub crawl was one of three — including the Halloween Crawl and a Fourth of July-themed All American Bar Crawl — to bring thousands of revelers to the watering holes along Wilson and Clarendon boulevards.

Though many local residents were not big fans of the bar crawls, which sometimes led to participants vomiting in front yards or running naked down the street, the events did generate local buzz and were reliable draws for Courthouse and Clarendon-area bars.

The free-wheeling nature of the bar crawls was curtailed a bit when the Arlington County Board approved new regulations targeted the events in 2014. While the crawls continued for more than 3 years after that, Scott Parker, a partner in some of the bars that participated in the events, tells ARLnow that the costs imposed by the regulations likely led to them petering out.

“My sense is that the regulations and costs made it impossible for it to be as profitable in Arlington as it is in D.C. for the operators,” Parker said. “I think the demand was still there, but the regulations made it too hard for them to turn a profit.”

“Kind of hurts because Arlington bars already have a competitive disadvantage to D.C. bars since we have to close an hour earlier, and must live by many other restrictions that they don’t have to in D.C.,” Parker added.

Project DC Events, the primary organizer of the big Arlington bar crawls, is still holding similar crawls in D.C. and Baltimore — even using video from Clarendon to promote its upcoming All American Bar Crawl in the District. The company did not respond to requests for comment.

Arlington County spokeswoman Susan Kalish says the county has chalked up the lack of bar crawls to declining popularity and is not reconsidering any of its policies, which call for event organizers to cover the cost of an added police presence and trash pickup.

“Arlington County supports more than 250 special events a year,” Kalish told ARLnow. “We have seen a decline in pub crawls, however there is always an ebb and flow in what’s popular.”

“Last year, we did have a pub crawl organizer complain about the cost for holding their event,” she noted, adding that “this does not appear to be a systemic complaint regarding our special events and there are no plans at the time to reconsider the policy.”

“Public safety remains our top priority during all special events and resources are deployed to ensure the safety of participants, neighborhood residents and businesses,” Kalish said.

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Construction is underway and turn restrictions are in place — now the “Clarendon Circle” intersection reconfiguration project is entering its third phase.

Starting as early as Monday (June 3), N. Irving Street, near Silver Diner, will be blocked off at the busy intersection where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards all meet. Irving Street has “low traffic volumes,” according to Arlington County, and the permanent closure will — along with the new no-left-turn from Washington Blvd to Wilson Blvd — help simplify the intersection.

Phase 3 of the project will move the focus of construction to the south side of the intersection, starting next week. More details via a construction update from Arlington County:

Next phase of construction starting June 3

As sidewalk work wraps up near Bar Bao, the contractor is preparing to start the next phase of construction on the south side of the intersection on June 3.

The next phase will take about six weeks, weather permitting. Crews are expected to start working near the Silver Diner and then progress toward the Wells Fargo Bank.

North Irving Street’s connection to Clarendon Circle will be permanently closed starting June 3

North Irving Street (next to Silver Diner) will be permanently closed at the intersection. Closing this portion of Irving Street, which has low traffic volumes, will help make traffic operations simpler by reducing the number of streets at the intersection.

Per the project design, green streets elements will be added at the end of this street.

Image via Arlington County

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A planned power outage will effectively shut down a number of businesses on one block in Clarendon this weekend.

“We are replacing a transformer,” Dominion Energy spokesman Charles Penn said. “The outage should last 24 hours. The planned transformer and switch replacement is scheduled for June 1 and it will impact 1200 N. Garfield and 3030 Clarendon Blvd.”

While staff at the Clarendon Trader Joe’s (1109 N. Highland Street) said the store will remain open on Saturday — running on their own backup generators — signs warned that there will be no garage access and no elevator access in the building.

The following businesses in that building have signs posted in their windows saying they will be closed:

It’s unclear whether two restaurants in the building — Circa and Bracket Room — will be closed during the planned outages.

Street parking is also likely to be limited in the area, with the Armed Forces Cycling Classic returning this weekend for a race in Clarendon on Sunday.

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(Updated at 11:00 a.m.) The Armed Forces Cycling Classic is returning to Arlington this weekend, prompting several road closures.

Teams will compete in a series of races sponsored by the the Boeing Company on Saturday, June 1, to win the “Crystal Cup.” The teams will then return on Sunday, June 2, for a chance to win the “Clarendon Cup.” This series marks the 22nd year for the annual event.

This Saturday, the race will open with an all ages “Challenge Ride” from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at 2100 Crystal Drive along a 10 kilometer track. Afterwards, the event will shift gear to line up the day’s professional and amateur races.

ACPD said police will close several streets in Crystal City and Rosslyn from 4:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, including:

  • Crystal Drive, from S. 15th Street through S. 23rd Street
  • Wilson Boulevard, from N. Kent Street to the Route 110 ramp
  • Route 110, from Rosslyn to Crystal City
  • S. Clark Street, from S. 20th Street to S. 23rd Street
  • S. 20th Street, from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street
  • S. 18th Street, from Crystal Drive to S. Bell Street
  • S. 23rd Street from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street
  • Crystal Drive (West side), from S. 23rd St to the Central Center Parking Garage
  • S. 12th Street and Long Bridge Drive

Competitors will roll into the Clarendon Cup Cycling Classic on Sunday. Professional teams will race 100-laps around a 1 kilometer area. Police said they plan to close the following roads from 4:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. to accommodate the event:

  • Wilson Blvd, from N. Fillmore Street to Washington Blvd
  • Clarendon Blvd, from Washington Blvd to N. Fillmore Street
  • Washington Blvd, from Wilson Blvd to N. Highland Street
  • North Highland Street, from Wilson Blvd to Washington Blvd
  • North Garfield Street / N. Fillmore Street, from Wilson Blvd to Washington Blvd

Organizers recommend attendees park at the Crystal City underground at 1600 Crystal Drive but warn them to remove bicycle roof racks from vehicles before driving down into the parking garage.

The county said in a press release that parking near both races is limited, and is encouraging attendees to use Metro or ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft. Metro-goers can access the Armed Forces Cycling Classic from the Crystal City Metro station, and the Clarendon Cup race via the Clarendon Metro station. Both stations are open during Metro’s summer shutdown south of Reagan National Airport.

For both events, police are warning drivers to keep on the lookout for additional road closures and “no parking” signs in around the events.

Flickr pool photos by Michael Coffman

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