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by ARLnow.com — May 22, 2017 at 11:40 am 0

Terry McAuliffe campaigns at Washington-Lee High SchoolVirginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is scheduled to be in Clarendon tomorrow night for the seventh annual NARAL Virginia “Power of Choice” event.

The gala and awards presentation will honor “those who have made an outstanding impact” on NARAL’s “work to protect and advance reproductive freedom in Virginia.”

The event is taking place at Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Boulevard) and is also expected to be attended by Attorney General Mark Herring and Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam, who is currently running for governor.

Tickets for the event range from $40 for students to $150 for general admission. Sponsorships of the gala range from $500-5,000.

File photo

by Chris Teale — May 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Just months after Sehkraft Brewing closed in Clarendon, its successor is preparing to make its mark.

According to license applications filed with Virginia ABC, The Board Room will look to continue Sehkraft’s in-house brewing in its former space at 925 N. Garfield Street. The old restaurant had a 10-barrel system for making its own beer. A permit application indicates that The Board Room hopes to brew up to 500 barrels per year.

Mark Handwerger, owner of The Board Room’s parent company Bedrock Bars, confirmed in an email that the bar will look to continue the in-house brewing program, but there is “nothing concrete” regarding operations or if they will partner with anyone.

The Board Room, which has another location currently open in Dupont Circle, combines an extensive drinks menu with board games, available for rent for a flat fee of $2.

The bar has applied for a liquor license and intends to seat more than 150 people. Sehkraft had seating for 210, including 66 on two outdoor patios. Handwerger said the adjoining butcher shop will be transformed into “Ms. Peacock’s Champagne Lounge.”

Demolition on the inside should begin soon based on building permits filed with the county. Handwerger said he hopes to open before Labor Day.

by Chris Teale — May 11, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

The developer behind the plan to spruce up Market Common in Clarendon moved to assure residents last night that the IOTA Club and Cafe will stay where it is.

In the latest round of renderings of the project, Regency Centers showed the fixture of the local music scene in its same spot at 2832 Wilson Blvd.

After hearing reports that the venue might be demolished, local residents and IOTA regulars began a “Save IOTA” campaign, and had over a dozen supporters at the open house.

And surrounded by those supporters in front of a copy of the rendering on the wall behind him, Regency’s vice president of investments Devin Corini said IOTA would not be torn down.

“None of this is getting razed,” he said, gesturing to IOTA’s current building.

For those behind the campaign to save IOTA, Corini’s assurances were welcome news, but they are still waiting to see how the plans evolve.

“I think it’s encouraging they’re already including community feedback and they’ve said today they don’t plan on changing IOTA’s building,” said Melissa Mannon, one of the campaign’s organizers.

But another aspect of Regency Centers’ plan raised some questions: the proposal to do away with a permanent playground in the revamped courtyard area on Clarendon Blvd, known as “The Loop.”

John Fitzpatrick, senior construction manager at Regency Centers, said the new courtyard could have temporary amenities like an ice skating rink in the winter, space for outdoor movies or a farmers’ market, or a splash pool in the summer for kids. He said new options would open the space up for different uses.

“We’re creating a different experience,” he said. “We could create multiple kid experiences.”

But on boards and posters set up around the room for people to give their opinions, the plan received some negative feedback.

“We need the tot lot, not free-form seating,” one wrote. “Tot lot remaining is critical! Don’t make it for older children,” wrote another.

“The tot lot as it is now is the single most vibrant part of the complex — it is active all the time and helps people come here to shop – a great marketing tool,” wrote a third.

Under the plan, just over 21,000 square feet of office space would be added at Market Common, along with another 21,000 square feet of new retail space, including a new upper level. The office building at 2801 Clarendon Blvd will receive a drastic makeover, including new retail tenants.

The plans were unveiled last night at a community meeting inside that building. As well as renderings for viewing, attendees watched a promotional video, sampled food from local restaurants, talked to Regency Centers staff and listened to a classical guitarist playing outside.

“What was once strictly office will be reformatted to provide additional shops, restaurants and increased activity,” said the video. Corini said there has already been “remarkable” interest from retailers in moving into the revamped space, and a number of attendees expressed support for the plans, but others were not so convinced.

“Looks like a Mickey Mouse town — devoid of culture — only looking to put khaki pant brands and day cares to get support,” wrote one attendee.

Regency Centers says it is still refining the designs and taking feedback from the public. The company has submitted initial plans to the county but has not yet submitted a final site plan for County Board approval.

by Chris Teale — May 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm 0

The Social Restaurant Group‘s newest addition to the local dining scene is just days away from its official opening in Clarendon.

Bar Bao at 3100 Clarendon Blvd will throw open its doors for the first time Thursday after several soft openings, including one tonight with 20 percent off all food.

The new restaurant, the successor to the Mad Rose Tavern, will serve steamed buns, dumplings and other small bites inspired by Chinese and Taiwanese street food.

There will be space for 197 seats inside, including the bars, with room for approximately 70 outdoors on the back patio and a soon-to-open front patio facing Clarendon Blvd next to the State Department Federal Credit Union.

Inside, murals designed by local graffiti artists Mike Pacheco and Rodrigo Pradel are inspired by Tang Sai’er, a female rebel leader who protested the Ming Dynasty’s unfair treatment of the people in China in the 15th century and led a peasant uprising.

The murals flow throughout the restaurant, showing her as the self-styled Godmother of the White Lotus Cult until her death.

“We just wanted a cool mural that told a story,” said SRG co-founder Mike Bramson.

The eatery’s menu includes a number of Asian-inspired cocktails, like the Hiddel Leaf Swizzle, referred to as the “Ninja Cocktail” and drunk out of a cup that looks like a ninja. Executive chef Donn Souliyadeth is behind the menu offerings.

“We told him, ‘Here’s some parameters, create some stuff on your own,’ and together with the chef we were able to create some stuff,” Bramson said. “We had a lot of tastings and tried to get as creative as we possibly could, but with food that was still approachable.”

Bar Bao joins Pamplona next door, another SRG property open since mid-January. Bramson said it was always the group’s intention to have both restaurant spaces, but to have differences between the two in terms of design.

“Everyone loves the design of Pamplona, but we wanted it to feel completely different,” Bramson said. “We wanted it to feel different from anywhere in Clarendon. Our initial walk-through, we knew we needed to go with concrete floors, graffiti artists and do that real edgy vibe.”

by ARLnow.com — May 8, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

A cavalcade of fire department vehicles descended on an under-construction apartment complex in Clarendon this morning.

A fire was reported on the fourth floor of the partially-built 10th Street Flats building at 932 N. Highland Street just after 11:30 a.m. The 143-unit luxury residential community is expected to be completed by this fall.

Initial reports suggest there was a small fire between the walls on the fourth floor, which was mostly extinguished before firefighters arrived on scene. Crews checked to make sure the fire had not spread and are now ventilating the structure.

Construction workers were evacuated from the building during the incident, while firefighters diverted traffic from 10th Street N. They initially connected hoses to the nearby fire hydrants ready to tackle a blaze, but by noon were beginning to disperse.

The small blaze follows a series of huge, high-profile infernos at similar under-construction apartment complexes in College Park, Md.; Raleigh, N.C.; and Maplewood, N.J. Like those buildings, 10th Street Flats is “stick-built” — constructed primarily of wood.

by ARLnow.com — May 8, 2017 at 11:10 am 0

A Japanese barbecue restaurant is coming to the former Brixx Pizza space in Clarendon.

Signs are now up in the windows of 1119 N. Hudson Street for Gyu-Kaku restaurant. It’s the first D.C. area outpost of the chain, which is based in Japan.

Gyu-Kaku, which translates to “Horn of the Bull,” 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.

Brixx, a small chain of wood-fired pizza restaurants, closed its Clarendon location in April 2016 after just six months in business. Brixx was housed in a newly-constructed restaurant space on N. Hudson Street, an off-the-beaten-path location between longtime restaurant Nam-Viet and a CVS Pharmacy.

Courtesy photo

by ARLnow.com Sponsor — May 4, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

A beer release of epic proportions is coming to Arlington.

In celebration of the opening of their new Clarendon location, the Heritage Brewing Co. team is releasing four new packaged beers, and 10 draft only releases on May 13 at their Market Common Brewpub & Roastery.

The primary release for Heritage Brewing’s Grand Opening event will be their three-year anniversary ale. A massive beer, and yet another rich entry into Heritage Brewing Co.’s barrel series. This beer is the product of the time and patience of

master blenders, taking an artful approach to combining seven different barrel series beers aged up to 33 months. It consumes the palate with flavors of deep molasses, dark cherries, and toasted oak, finishing with tart citrus notes. The result is an extremely complex beer that drinks more like a fine spirit than an ale. Only 600 22-ounce bottles will available in the Arlington brewpub on the day of the release.

Heritage Brewing Co. will also be kicking off its new Lincoln’s Hat beer series with

two packaged releases: Double Taxation, a double India Pale Ale, and Sovereign Stout, a nitro imperial stout. Double Taxation is a complex and unfiltered imperial IPA that is juicy, resinous, and loaded with tropical citrus notes from its generous hop additions. Sovereign Stout is a dangerously smooth and velvety imperial stout with bold flavors of honey, chocolate, and dark-roasted coffee. Heritage will be releasing 150 four-packs of 16-ounce cans of each Lincoln’s Hat beer during the Grand Opening. Supplies aren’t anticipated to last long.

The third and final packaged beer release available on May 13 will be Heritage Brewing Co.’s first ever wild fermented beer release and the start of their new Wilderness Series bottle releases. A collection of rare and wild aged beers that take on sour and tart flavors from their naturally occurring fermentation. Each beer is aged in a mix of barrels from vineyards and distilleries. This first Wilderness Series release is a wild-fermented Belgian strong ale; only a few hundred of these will be available in 375 ml bottles. This ale features a mix of spices, giving it a refreshing tart fruit flavor like no other beer in their lineup to date.

The doors at Heritage Brewing Co. Market Common Brewpub & Roastery will open at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, and the releases will kick off immediately. Guests can also dine-in at their location and enjoy their chef-driven, locally sourced menu, created to pair perfectly with their long lineup of brews. Simultaneously, the main production brewery in Manassas will also be selling the new releases upon opening at 12:00 p.m.

For additional information on the grand opening event to include draft beer release descriptions and information as well as package photography and merchandise photography, visit the event page.

by ARLnow.com — May 3, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

Bryce Harper Sightings — There have been a number of sightings of Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper in Clarendon in recent days. In addition to his Clarendon activities — two people claim to have seen him on separate days at smoothie shop South Block — Harper has been busy on the baseball field, setting an MLB record for runs in the month of April. [Twitter]

Gutshall Endorsed by GGW — The urbanist website Greater Greater Washington has endorsed Erik Gutshall for Arlington County Board in the upcoming Democratic caucus, calling him “thoughtful and insightful.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Northam, Perriello in Ballston — Democratic candidates for governor Ralph Northam and Tom Perriello were in Ballston last night for a progressive forum. Technical difficulties cut off part of Northam’s appearance from the forum’s livestream video. [Blue Virginia]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Chris Teale — May 2, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

More details are filtering out about Clarendon’s first dedicated outdoor beer garden, which hopes to open this summer.

“The Lot” beer garden, at 3217 10th Street N., will replace the used car lot once operated by the Prime Auto Group. Signs remain up for the car seller, but its telephone number and website have been deactivated.

Inside, work appears to be in the early stages on The Lot, which, according to a permit application filed with the county, intends to add a small kitchen and enclosed deck to an existing building, in addition to the outdoor seating. A license application filed with Virginia ABC indicates it wishes to have over 150 seats.

The site is currently zoned for a general commercial district and is close to other beverage-serving establishments like Northside Social and cold-pressed juice bar JRINK.

Owned by the Social Restaurant Group, The Lot is listed as one of six upcoming ventures for the group, alongside Bar Bao in the former Mad Rose Tavern space in Clarendon, which appears close to opening. SRG already operates Pamplona, also in Clarendon.

Staff with the Social Restaurant Group referred all requests for additional information to their media relations representatives. Those representatives did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

by Chris Teale — May 1, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

The new lounge and restaurant coming to the former Ri Ra space in Clarendon is shooting for a June opening.

Crews working on Wilson Hardware at 2915 Wilson Blvd recently removed the black wooden façade erected to obscure construction. The forthcoming bar’s co-owners previously said it would be removed once work is nearly done, then said last week they are confident that they will be able to open in June.

A license application filed with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control indicates that the new spot will have over 150 seats. And permitting applications filed with the county show the restaurant will have outdoor and rooftop seating.

Construction on the work-in-progress rooftop deck at the rear of the venue can be seen from N. Garfield Street. Inside, the venue is more expansive than its front entrance would suggest, with two levels, high ceilings and a brand new interior taking shape.

The bar’s name is an homage to Virginia Hardware, the hardware shop that occupied the storefront until 2005.

Representatives with Wilson Hardware declined to comment further with a more concrete opening date or with more details about the new restaurant.

by Chris Teale — April 28, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Ten years after it began in Clarendon, the Current Boutique consignment clothing shop is beginning a new chapter as it launches a new website.

The boutique, which owner Carmen Lopez first opened at 2601 Wilson Blvd in 2007 before expanding to Alexandria, D.C. and Bethesda, intends for its new website to allow women to consign clothes from their homes anywhere in the U.S.

From a press release announcing the new platform:

The new online website will give consigners anywhere in the U.S. the opportunity to consign with Current Boutique. Targeting the market of modern working women between the age of 24-45 with active social calendars that have quality contemporary designer goods to sell, but their garments don’t fit in the realm of qualifying for fashion sites like The Real Real (focused on luxury consignment, or Thread Up (geared toward bargain thrift consignment), consigners can pop their items in a box, drop it in the mail using the prepaid shipping label and the boutique will handle garment review, pricing of items, online placement, and the donation of items that were not selected for consigning. The online consign option will accept women’s clothing (sizes 0-12), shoes, jewelry and designer handbags in perfect condition, with consigners receiving 50 percent of the selling price. Consigners can receive payment at any time and cash out online.

And this weekend, all Current stores will offer complimentary food and drink, giveaways, a chance to win a $100 gift card, 10 percent off shopping, a photo booth and curated fashion sections throughout the store highlighting the latest seasonal trends.

Current celebrated the 10-year anniversary of its launch with an event on Tuesday at its flagship Clarendon location. Attendees wrote down what they are “currently craving,” fashion-wise, while there was also some informal modeling throughout the evening.

Photos via Maurisa Potts/Spotted MP

by Chris Teale — April 28, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Five Arlington restaurants are partnering with local nonprofit Doorways for Women and Families to raise awareness of sexual assault and help available for victims.

Starting tonight, Liberty Tavern, Lyon Hall, Northside Social and O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub in Clarendon and the Crystal City Sports Pub in Crystal City will provide customers with coasters that feature Doorways’ 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline (703-237-0881) and the message, “Sexual assault impacts everyone.”

The weekend campaign coincides with the end of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Our goal with this outreach is twofold,” said Doorways president and CEO Caroline Jones in a statement. “First and foremost, we want to show survivors that they’re not alone. Secondly, we want to ensure that everyone is aware of the resources here in Arlington, namely our 24-Hour Domestic & Sexual Violence Hotline — help is available in our community.”

Last year, 187 adults and 40 children were served by Doorways’ hotline response as a direct result of sexual assault.

According to RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, an American is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds, and 54 percent of sexual assault victims are between the ages of 18 and 34.

Other services offered by Doorways include hospital accompaniment, counseling and court advocacy, which provides education about the legal system, companionship during the petition and court hearing processes and extensive safety planning for anyone impacted by family violence.

by Chris Teale — April 25, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

The redeveloped Market Common in Clarendon will include a revamped courtyard area known as “The Loop,” according to a rendering released by the project’s developer and architect.

The rendering by architect Antunovich Associates shows several new eateries or other stores in the central median of the shopping center, with some seating areas nearby. Currently, that area has a small park with a fountain and benches.

It also appears, based on the rendering, that the sidewalks could be widened in the central space and that some on-street parking spaces could be removed.

A spokesman for Regency Centers, the developer behind the Market Common revamp, said they want to create a “gathering space for the local community.”

“As it sits now, the space is really just an environment to walk or sit in,” said spokesman Eric Davidson. “We want to activate it and take advantage of its design.”

The site plan is still in the preliminary review stage with the county. Regency Center’s plan is to rezone and redevelop a group of buildings along the 2800 blocks of Clarendon and Wilson Blvds.

The renovation would add a fourth floor and approximately 26,784 square feet of additional space to the office building at 2801 Clarendon Blvd. The plan also calls for improvements to the open space at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Edgewood Street, new private outdoor roof terraces and the installation of a “partial green roof.”

Community members have previously expressed concerns about an aspect of the redevelopment plan, which could spell the end of Clarendon’s IOTA Club and Cafe.

A campaign to save IOTA is underway, although Regency has said previously it has wants to keep the music venue in place.

Regency will host an open house on the future of Market Common on May 10 from 6-9 p.m. at 2801 Clarendon Blvd.

by Chris Teale — April 14, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Arlington will again be alive with the sound of thousands of pedaling cyclists, as the Armed Forces Cycling Classic returns in June.

Previously known as the Air Force Association Cycling Classic, the event will celebrate its 20th anniversary when it takes place on June 10 and 11.

Presented by The Boeing Company, the event benefits members of the U.S. armed forces.

“For two decades, the Cycling Classic has paid tribute to the men and women in uniform who serve courageously to protect America at home and around the world,” said Boeing chairman, president and CEO Dennis Muilenburg in a statement. “Throughout our 100-year history, Boeing has a proud tradition of partnering with the U.S. military, and we’re honored to support this year’s event, which benefits active-duty and retired veterans and their families.”

The weekend begins with the Clarendon Cup, in the heart of Clarendon. The following day, the Challenge Ride offers a closed course to cycling enthusiasts of all abilities in and around the Pentagon, Crystal City and the Air Force Memorial.

The race for the Crystal Cup follows on Sunday in Crystal City, pitting professional and amateur racers from around the world in a series of races. Free races for children aged 9 and under also will be held both days, in addition to the lifestyle and sponsor expo.

“We’re proud to celebrate our involvement with the Armed Forces Cycling Classic,” said Angela Fox, president and CEO of the Crystal City Business Improvement District, in a statement. “Over the past decade, we’ve watched both the professional races and community Challenge Rides grow while providing an exciting and transformative experience for participants and spectators alike.”

Photo via Armed Forces Cycling Classic

by Katie Pyzyk — April 13, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

The streets of Clarendon soon will become more colorful and creative with the return of the Arlington Festival of the Arts.

The fifth annual festival will take place at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Highland Street on Saturday and Sunday, April 22-23, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

More than 150 exhibitors will showcase their original works, which include paintings, photography, jewelry, pottery, glass and mixed media. Attendees will be able to purchase items at a wide range of prices.

The following roads will be closed from 4 a.m. on Saturday, April 22, through 9 p.m. on Sunday, April 23, to accommodate the festival:

  • Westbound Washington Blvd from N. Garfield Street to Clarendon Blvd
  • N. Highland Street from Clarendon Blvd to Washington Blvd
  • N. 11th Street between N. Highland Street and N. Garfield Street will be open to delivery traffic only
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