Oz, a new Australian restaurant in Clarendon, has started serving traditional dishes like Rissole eggs, meat pies and fish and chips as part of its soft opening.
The restaurant was open for dinner yesterday. The soft opening continues today with dinner from 5-9 p.m. Full service, including lunch and happy hour, will potentially start on Friday, said co-owner Ashley Darby.
Once fully opened, the restaurant will serve dinner seven days a week, with brunch on Saturday and Sundays and lunch on Wednesdays through Fridays.
The restaurant serves authentic Australian cuisine, Darby said, adding that the food is new to many of the restaurant staff, including herself.
“We’re all learning as we go,” said Darby, who was crowned Miss D.C. in 2011.
Darby co-owns the restaurant with her husband, Michael, who is an Australian native and the co-founder of local real estate development firm Monument Realty.
A few waiters and one of the hostesses are also from Australia, Darby said.
The Australian theme extends past the food. The interior of the restaurant is designed to have elements reminiscent of a house on the outback, Darby said.
The main dining room represents the inside of the house that has just seen a brush fire, she said. The back wall is made up of alternating light and dark wood panels to give the impression of “trees scorched by fire,” Darby said. Aboriginal artwork, including painted boomerangs, are hung around the room.
Guest have the option to sit in the covered “porch,” with vines hanging across the walls to make it feel as if the guests are on the front porch of a house.
Customers can grab a traditional Australian drink at the bar and enjoy it under an “open” sky. The bar was designed to look like the back deck of the house, with the ceiling painted like an outback sky. The bar has a small lounge area, with copper tones and a backsplash made to look like sand dunes, Darby said.
In addition to the seating inside, the restaurant offers outdoor seating along its front and side. The Australian theme does not get carried outside, Darby said.
So far, Darby says she has heard good things from customers, adding that there are a few taste adjustments the restaurant will make.
“I think people are curious and willing to try, and [they] come in open-minded,” Darby said.
(Updated at 12:05 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of a bank robbery in Clarendon.
A man robbed the TD Bank at 3101 Wilson Blvd around 10:30 a.m. The suspect “approached the teller and passed her a note indicating he had a weapon,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The suspect was handed cash, though no weapon was seen during the robbery.
No customers were in the bank at the time of the robbery, Sternbeck said.
The man fled the scene and dropped cash around the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Herndon Street, police say. Officers are investigating a report that the man tried to pay a witness $200 to drive him to D.C.
Officers were also canvassing the neighborhood behind the bank with canine units looking for the suspect based on witness statements, Sternbeck said.
The description of the suspect is a 5’5″ black male who was wearing a Kangol hat and a light, short sleeve button down shirt with a collar.
Music and the smell of chili will fill the air around the Clarendon Metro station on Saturday, Sept. 26 for the 18th annual Clarendon Day.
There will be arts and crafts, food, beer, music and the annual chili cookoff, all on Clarendon and Wilson Blvds outside the Clarendon Metro station. The free festival will be open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., an hour longer than previous years.
“Slam Allen is not only pretty good, he is taking the blues world by storm having sat at No. 1 on the Roots Music Report Blues List for 16 straight weeks with top single and album,” said Anders Thueson with Songs, Writers and Poets, one of the festival’s sponsors.
Slam Allen will play until 6 p.m., but the other four stages, including one dedicated to dance performances, will close at 5 p.m., said Matt Hussmann, executive director of the Clarendon Alliance.
Members of the chili society will enter their best recipes for red chili, chili verde, salsa and homestyle chili in hopes of winning and moving on the the World Championship Chili Cookoff this October in Palm Springs, California. Proceeds from the cookoff will benefit Wounded Warriors, Hussman said.
Chefs will be giving samples of their chili, but there plenty of other food options from local restaurants, including Bowl’d, Circa at Clarendon, Fuego Cocina y Tequileria and Liberty Tavern, Hussman said. Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella will be selling food from his three Ballston restaurants — Kapnos Taverna, Pepita Cantina and Yona.
“We’re also bringing back several longtime specialty food vendors — evidently fried food is a hit at Clarendon Day,” said the event’s website.
In addition, there will be arts and crafts booths and a kids zone with rides, music, storytelling and face painting.
The Arlington County Police Department will close down Clarendon and Wilson Blvds from Washington Blvd and N. Highland Street starting at 5 a.m. for the festival. N. Highland will also be closed from 11th Street N. to the Views at Clarendon (1210 N. Highland Street).
Wilson Blvd will be closed from N. Highland to N. Lynn Streets from 5-9:15 a.m. for the annual Pacers-organized Clarendon Day 10K/5K/Kid’s Dash. The southbound lanes of Route 110 will also be closed from 8-10:30 a.m. for the race.
Clarendon’s newest pizza joint plans to open its doors in six weeks.
Brixx Wood Fired Pizza, located at 1119 N. Hudson Street next to Nam Viet restaurant, hopes to start serving pizza and beer mid-October, barring any construction delays, according to Tim Miner, the director of marketing for the company.
The North Carolina-based chain hopes to start training staff in the second week of October, Miner said, with the new restaurant opening a week later.
In addition to regular and gluten-free pizza, Brixx serves sandwiches, pasta, beer, wine and cocktails, according to its website.
Brixx does not plan to have any grand opening specials, but will start “business as usual” on the opening day, he said. The restaurant will have wine specials on Sundays and Thursdays and craft beer specials on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Miner could not elaborate on the deals because of Virginia law, he said.
The pizza joint also features buy one, get one pizza and appetizers after 11 p.m.
The Clarendon location will be Brixx’s third Virginia restaurant — there is another location in Charlottesville and Woodbridge. The chain came to Clarendon because of its exciting neighborhood, Miner said.
“It’s a thriving community, and we feel the folks that live in the area are a perfect fit,” he said.
A fashion accessories store, Lou Lou, has opened its doors near the Market Commons in Clarendon.
The new store at 2839 Clarendon Blvd opened this past Wednesday with a soft opening. It will have a grand opening next Wednesday, Aug. 26.
The company is excited about the new location, and it is selling many new accessories at the Clarendon store, according to a Lou Lou sales associate. Lou Lou sells accessories, such as scarves, necklaces, purses and bracelets. The Clarendon store also sells some clothing items.
The store is hiring part-time employees who are “fun, fashionable, talkative with a passion for accessories,” according to a sign posted outside.
Lou Lou has existing locations in Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Bethesda, Alexandria and Reston, among other D.C. area stores. It also has boutiques in other East Coast cities from Boston to Atlanta.
Owner Nolan Forness, who owns the store with his wife, daughter and son, said that they wanted to go back to owning two stores instead of three. The company has two other stores in Alexandria.
The Clarendon store also received less foot traffic than the two Alexandria store, he said. He declined to comment more about the closing in order to stay in good standing with his landlord.
“We’re happy that people come to visit us here and we’ll see them in Alexandria,” Forness said.
The Clarendon branch of B&C Jewelers opened in December 2012.
A 22-year-old man was attacked between 2-2:30 a.m. at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Filmore Street. He was hit on the back of the head and lost consciousness, police say.
The man was transported to Virginia Hospital Center for treatment of injuries. His driver’s license, military ID and cash were stolen.
At least one witness came to the man’s aid, but he left the scene, according to a police report.
Anyone with information about the attack can contact Detective R. Munizza at [email protected] or 703-228-4171. Information can also be reported anonymously by calling the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).
This week’s Arlington County crime report, after the jump.
One BR Rental Near Clarendon: $4,300/month — A sub-800 square foot one bedroom apartment in a newly built building in Lyon Park, near Clarendon, is leasing for a staggering $4,300 per month. [Real House Life of Arlington]
Metro Delays Planned This Weekend — Trains on the Orange, Blue and Silver lines will run every 20 minutes this weekend due to “emergency call box installation and testing for a safer ride.” [WMATA]
Ballston Office Building Sold — JBG Cos. has sold a five-story office building on Fairfax Drive in Ballston to a partnership that hopes to eventually tear it down and build a new mixed use development. The building sold for about $22 million. [Washington Business Journal]
Delhi Dhaba Turning 25 — Delhi Dhaba restaurant in Clarendon is turning 25 next year. “Although it’s not at the pinnacle of Indian food in Northern Virginia, Delhi Dhaba is a great restaurant with more than decent service,” writes a reviewer. [Falls Church News-Press]
Park Service Studying Bricks — The National Park Service is studying the original bricks at Arlington House, Robert E. Lee’s family house in what is now Arlington National Cemetery, in order to help with a preservation and renovation effort. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
Oz, a new Clarendon bar and restaurant with modern Australian cuisine, is planning to open its doors next month.
The restaurant, located at 2950 Clarendon Blvd., is currently under construction, but Oz’s grand opening is planned for Sept. 10 for media and invited guests.
After its grand opening, the restaurant will open to the public, said co-owner Ashley Darby, a former Miss D.C.
The restaurant’s interior is meant to feel like a house on the Australian outback and can seat 150 guests, Darby said.
The back dining area will be decorated like the inside of a house, the bar is meant to feel like a back porch of a house and the front dining area will look a front patio, she said. The restaurant will also have outdoor seating for 50 guests.
Darby said she wants the Oz to be a place that guests can come to relax with friends, enjoy a beer and taste authentic Australian food. The menu will feature dishes served in Australia, such as rissoles and eggs, a typical Australian brunch dish, and an Australian version of a s’more.
Darby’s husband and Oz co-owner, Michael, is an Australian native.
“It’ll offer a different perspective on some cuts of meat and plates we have in America,” Darby said.
The Darbys have lived in Arlington for four years, and the area’s young and diverse population made it the ideal location for the restaurant, she said.
“We just loved it so much that it seemed to be the natural thing,” Darby said.
Bar photo courtesy of Ashley Darby
Sehkraft Beer Garden and Haus, a new brewpub near Clarendon from the owners of the Westover Beer Garden, is looking to open its doors before baseball season is over.
The beer garden’s goal is to open its new location at 925 N. Garfield Street by the end of August, said owner Devin Hicks. The pub will definitely be open by mid-September “in time to watch the Nationals kill it in the playoffs and hopefully watch the Redskins be competitive,” he said.
Sehkraft’s 10-barrel brewing system is currently being installed in the establishment, Hicks said. Once open, the beer garden will have five beers flowing from the tanks and five house brews in kegs. The bar will also feature 30 “guest” beers from other breweries for its taps.
Sehkraft will collaborate with a number of local and national breweries, Hicks said. The first is a collaboration with Adroit Theory, a brewing company based in Purcellville, Virginia. The brew, an Imperial Gose, will be one of the first distributed at the bar.
“We definitely are excited to showcasing the several fantastic local breweries in the area,” Hicks said.
Head brewer John Peters also plans to collaborate with Sierra Nevada Brewing Company. Growlers will also be a big part of Sehkraft Beer Garden, and customers will receive discounts on growlers if they use the bar’s Portland Growlers, Hicks said.
The establishment will also be home to a butcher shop. Customers will be able to buy cuts of meat to take home from the shop, which will also serve as the bar’s kitchen.
In addition to the beer and food, the venue will be a home for live music. Hicks is working with a booking agent to attract local and regional bands to perform at the bar.
The bar received its entertainment permit from the county last November, but it does not allow the venue to open its windows or doors. Sehkraft plans to have outdoor seating but guests will have to stay indoors if they wish to hear the music.
“We’re gonna give Arlingtonians an unbelievable venue to help celebrate our great community, beer, music and food,” Hicks said.
The company is hiring staff to help it get ready for its opening. Those interested in joining can email joe@sehkraftbrewing for general employment, [email protected] to apply for a kitchen position, [email protected] for the butcher shop and [email protected] to work in the brewery.
Photo courtesy Devin Hicks
Mayra Perez said she got the news that her 9-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Charlotte, had been killed while she was in Chicago making preparations for her wedding next month. She took the next flight home.
“Instead of picking out her flower girl dress I’m picking out an urn for her,” Perez said in a phone interview, her voice trembling. “This is the worst possible thing that could happen… we are beyond heartbroken.”
The incident happened around 5:00 p.m. on Friday, on the 1200 block of N. Herndon Street in Clarendon.
According to police, a dog walker who has numerous clients in The Clarendon Apartments had parked illegally in front of the building. Building management called Advanced Towing to tow the car, not realizing that it belonged to a popular dog walker who often parked there while walking dogs in the building.
“As the tow truck was towing the vehicle away, the dog walker approached the driver while walking three dogs,” according to Arlington County Police spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm. “A conversation or argument occurs and the dog walker asks the driver to pull around so that he can discuss it with management. As the tow truck driver is pulling away, one of the dogs was struck by the back, driver’s side tire and subsequently died.”
John O’Neill, owner of Advanced Towing, said the dog walker was walking away when the tow truck began to move. Unknown to the driver, the dog was on an extended leash and ran under the wheel as the driver began to move, O’Neill said.
“The tow driver is a dog owner and was devastated when he realized the dog had been struck,” O’Neill said. The driver was distraught and was given the rest of the day off, he said.
Perez, however, said that she heard a different version of events from the dog walker and a witness. She blames Advanced Towing for her dog’s death.
“Our girl was not on an extended leash,” she said. “I have the leash and my girls DO NOT use extended leashes.”
“You see this tow company in our neighborhood constantly flying down the street,” she said of Advanced. “It’s lie after lie. I just don’t find it fair. We lost our family member.”
Police investigated the incident but no one was charged. Perez said she and her fiancee, Aakash Desia, are planning on speaking to an attorney.
“It’s been tough… it’s a life changing event,” said Desia. “This is the worst kind of negligence.”
Desia questioned why tow trucks don’t have camera on the sides in order to avoid accidents like this. Perez, meanwhile, is mourning Charlotte and lamenting that she didn’t bring her to Chicago with her, as she usually does. Matilda, Charlotte’s younger Yorkie sister, is also mourning her death.
“Charlotte was loved and spoiled beyond measure,” Perez said. “She will be greatly missed by the both of us and her sister.”
An electronic road sign in Clarendon is reminding drivers to be aware of and yield to pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Arlington County Police Department-owned sign was placed near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Edgewood Street, where traffic is approaching Clarendon’s main bar district.
The sign flashes three separate messages: “yield to people in crosswalk,” “watch for bikes on your right” and “people don’t have airbags.” It’s part of an ongoing ACPD traffic safety campaign, said a police spokesman.
“We’re trying to modernize the message that we send in regards to traffic safety,” said Lt. Kip Malcolm. “Most mundane traffic safety messages get overlooked by motorists. Anything we can do to help promote or draw attention to their driving behaviors is going to get the message across faster and make it more memorable.”
In 2013 the electronic sign was placed at an accident-prone on-ramp, at Route 50 and Washington Blvd, with the simple message: “don’t hit the car in front of you.”
Police say the man entered the bar, at 2854 Wilson Blvd, just after 9:00 a.m. and stole six bottles of liquor. An alert employee, however, was able to foil the alleged theft and hold the suspect until police arrived on scene.
Wilber Johnson, 37, was arrested and charged with statutory burglary and grand larceny, according to a crime report.
U.S. Women’s National Team defender Ali Krieger is planning to celebrate her World Cup win in Clarendon on Sunday.
We’re told that Krieger will be holding a private rooftop bash for family and friends at Don Tito (3165 Wilson Blvd) on Sunday afternoon.
Born in Alexandria and raised in Dumfries, Krieger posted a photo of a Virginia welcome sign on Twitter Sunday, saying it was the “best feeling” to be home. That followed a ticker tape parade in New York City and an on-stage appearance at a Taylor Swift concert in New Jersey earlier that week.
Though not yet finalized, Krieger is likely to hold a meet and greet with fans at Don Tito between 4-5 p.m., according to Don Tito partner Scott Parker.
Arlington residents to should start building up an appetite. The third annual D.C. BRGR Bash is coming to Rosslyn’s Gateway Park on Saturday, July 18.
The BRGR Bash is a six hour competition of who can make the best burger, and the judges are the visitors. Each person at the bash gets to try four burgers and then a cast his or her vote for favorite burger.
There will also be craft beers to help wash down the burgers and live music to jam to while eating.
At the end of the day, one burger chef champion will be named, and he or she will walk away with a vacation to Austin, Texas and the Golden BRGR Bash trophy.
The competition was started by Craig Carey, who also started Ballston burger joint Big Buns.
The competition runs from noon to 6 p.m. on July 18, and tickets are $29 per person. A ticket gets a person entry and four burgers. The 16 burgers are broken down into four groups, and each ticket is for one group. D.C. BRGR Bash recommends bringing three other friends so that everyone can taste all 16 burgers. Craft beers are available for $5 at one of the four beer bars.
Vegetarians don’t have to be left out. The competition offers a Veggie Burger ticket for $19, which gets the person entry and a veggie burger. There will also be cider for those with gluten allergies.
Arlingtonians can also attend the bash to support the four local competitors: Willow Restaurant in Ballston, Big Buns in Ballston, Citizen Burger Bar in Clarendon and the combined entry of Liberty Tavern and Lyon Hill in Clarendon.
Photo courtesy of Darren Stauffer