After months of anticipation, new sports bar “The G.O.A.T” will open this afternoon in Clarendon.
The sports bar and lounge at 3028 Wilson Blvd, in the former Hard Times space, will begin serving customers at 4 p.m. today (Wednesday) in a soft opening that includes a limited food menu.
The G.O.A.T has three full bars and tables across two levels, with seating for around 350 people. Individual TV monitors line the walls, with a jumbo screen on each floor.
At the back, a champagne room will seat around 30 people and have its own screens, while nearby are several arcade games and a photo booth.
Scott Parker, a local nightlife titan behind the likes of A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, estimated there are more than 60 television screens throughout.
On the menu, guests can expect American comfort food with what executive chef Mike Cordero described as an “electrifying twist.” Some Tacos will come with Korean steak, while the sliders will come with smoked pork belly and duck among others.
And for dessert, Cordero said The G.O.A.T’s Baked Alaska will “take the cake,” and be flambéed at the table while customers look on.
Among the cocktails on the menu is the signature “G.O.A.T.,” made up of Hennessy Black, orgeat syrup, homemade margarita mix, lemons and Peychraud’s Bitters. Customers can also experience “The Cavalier” and “The Twenty-Three,” smoked with apple wood chips and hickory, respectively.
The G.O.A.T. will open at 4 p.m. on weekdays, and at noon on Saturdays and Sundays.
After seven years, Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar has gotten pretty good at the pizza side of the menu. What’s not to like? The wood-fired crust with the delightful savory char is the crispy thin bed for toppings ranging from Bakers farm sausage and grana padano to white sauce with shrimp and clams.
But in case you haven’t noticed, there’s another side to the menu. “That’s actually what we call it,” says Jason Silerto, the general manager of the Courthouse restaurant. “The Other Side of the Menu…We’re pretty confident that our pizza stands up to pretty much any place in the DC market,” he says. “But I think it’s time we reminded people we’re more than pizza.”
Regulars who frequent Fire Works are familiar with the pizza, the enormous patio and the pioneering craft beer selection, but less known–but just as demanding of attention–is Thomas Harvey, the chef Fire Works landed a little more than a year ago to bring attention to the Other Side of the Menu.
“It was a big step to bring him to Arlington,” Silerto says, mentioning Harvey’s experience working in the kitchens of Fabio Trabocchi (Casa Luca), Frank Ruta (Palena) and master butcher Nathan Anda (The Partisan). “But after seven years, we thought we could do a little more to bring in other folks looking for something besides pizza.”
The Other Side of the Menu boasts an array of Contemporary Seasonal American concoctions designed to suit any mood. It begins with “Snack,” small plates of starters such as bacon fat French fries with chili flakes, herbs and tomato jam or goat cheese stuffed lamb meatballs in tomato sauce; to “Bite,” more substantial offerings including, new this season, fire braised beef short ribs with local red corn grits or mussels in spice fra diavolo sauce; to “Feast,” satisfying portions of mainstays ranging from flank steak to wild caught salmon to an entrée sandwich of grilled gouda, goat and gruyere slathered with that tomato jam.
For those looking for more traditional bar fare, fear not: wings, burgers and salads co-exist with Harvey’s adventurous offerings and the enormous craft beer selection.
Ingredients are sourced from the closest purveyors possible, including fertile farms in Leesburg and Purcellville but also CommonWealth Joe Nitro Brewed Coffee from the neighborhood.
“We just believe in quality, and people like to see that,” Silerto says.
That quality extends throughout the Fire Works family of restaurants, including Leesburg landmark Tuskie’s, the sandwich bakery South Street Under and events-oriented Birkby House as well as Purcellville’s upscale Magnolias.
For those fixated on the Pizza Side of the Menu–and who can blame you?–the answer to the question is oak. That’s the wood that gets the stone-bottom oven to 600 degrees and provides the thin crust the smoky charm that has kept the crowds coming back to Courthouse’s largest patio for seven years.
Speaking of the patio, look for a new layout and new furnishings next spring.
There is a private dining room for holiday occasions that seats 35 (more if standing). Now is the time to book for the holidays. See here for information.
And here’s a scoop: Fire Works is going into the catering business. Plans are being finalized this month. Stay tuned.
Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar is at 2350 Clarendon Boulevard. The website is here for booking a table or call 703-527-8700 for reservations.
The “IOTA Club and Cafe” sign has been removed but the shuttered music club in Clarendon still has one last event left.
After 24 years in business, IOTA is holding a “yard sale” to sell equipment and keepsakes.
The sale is being held from noon-6 p.m. Saturday at the club (2832 Wilson Blvd), according to a sign in the window.
Co-owner Jane Negrey Inge tells ARLnow.com that the sales will be cash only, with Virginia sales tax collected. The items for sale include: “Memorabilia, restaurant stuff, furniture, art stuff. Lots of women’s small and medium T’s. IOTA baseball caps. IOTA Pints. Yummy art work. Many items suitable for the cave.”
IOTA closed up shop after a last bash this past weekend. The club declined to renew its lease, citing rising rents and the cost of a temporary relocation while improvements are made to its building.
The owners of the The Board Room in D.C. had hoped to unveil their Arlington location in the old Sehkraft Brewing spot last month, but construction delays are pushing back the opening of the Clarendon bar and entertainment venue.
Mark Handwerger, the owner of The Board Room’s parent company, Bedrock Bars, wrote in an email, “We are not exactly pleased by the delays.” But he said that The Board Room’s team is “holding everyone’s feet to the fire.”
Part of the issue has been a hold-up on the millwork, delivery and installation of two additional bars. The owners ultimately had to resort to out-of-town fabricators because “everyone within a couple hundred miles of D.C. is buried with other projects, most notably The Wharf,” Handwerger said.
Today an ARLnow reporter visited 925 N. Garfield Street and observed a couple workers inside the demolished bar space, although not a lot of heavy duty construction was taking place. Some of the wall murals have been painted over and new drywall is piled nearby. There’s also a lot of debris and building material staged to be hauled away.
The new goal is for The Board Room to open mid-November if everything goes smoothly.
The costumed event takes participants to numerous Clarendon bars from 1-9 p.m. on Saturday, November 4. Advance tickets are $15 and the price increases to $30 the day of the event.
Participants get “a souvenir haunted mug, access to Clarendon’s best bars, exclusive drink & food specials, free pictures of the event and a raffle entry to win great prizes,” according to the website.
Nearly a dozen Clarendon establishments will be stops on the crawl route, including Clarendon Grill, Hunan One, Whitlow’s and Pamplona.
After more than 23 years of bringing live music to Arlington, Iota Club and Cafe in Clarendon will close for good this weekend. But not before a farewell bash on Saturday, jam-packed with music.
Starting at noon tomorrow, the venue will host more than a dozen performers. Tickets are listed at $10 and can be purchased at the door. Iota’s website lists the following line-up of performers:
JOSE MIGUEL CONTRERAS
(OF BY DIVINE RIGHT)
TWO TON TWIG
NO SECOND TROY
THE COWARDS CHOIR
MARY BATTIATA AND LITTLE PINK
A sign on the door at Iota shows that the venue will also be open on Sunday from noon until 8 p.m., for “beer/wine sales on/off premises and other stuff.”
Posters on the outside of the building list the performers Iota has hosted over the years.
Earlier this month, Iota owners Jane Negrey Inge and Stephen V. Negrey announced that they would close the venue when their lease expires on Sept. 30 rather than relocate during a planned revamp of the Market Common development.
Following a “Save Iota” campaign, Market Common owner Regency Centers promised that Iota would not be demolished during the refurbishment. However, Inge and Negrey decided to close rather than temporarily relocating the club during renovations and then paying higher rent upon returning to the old space in Clarendon.
If you frequent Clarendon or other highly-populated Arlington neighborhoods, you’ve likely encountered them: flourescent-vest-wearing young people stopping passersby to solicit support for the environment, civil liberties, or other causes and organizations.
They’re usually friendly, though persistent, working in teams to ensure no one walks by without a pitch. Even intensely looking down at one’s phone and/or wearing headphones does not seem to discourage many from approaching as you walk down the sidewalk gauntlet.
While a majority of Arlington residents may support their causes, the sidewalk signature collectors are seen by some as an annoyance, an obstacle to going about one’s daily business. If you walk around Clarendon often — say, picking up lunch or getting coffee or going to the bank — the forced brush-off routine can get tiresome when practiced multiple times per week.
Canvassing and signature solicitation appears to be perfectly legal in Arlington. One could argue that it’s an example of democracy in action. But should additional restrictions be imposed?
The just-opened Wilson Hardware in Clarendon is already looking to ramp up its weekend offerings after a successful first few weeks.
Open since earlier this month at 2915 Wilson Blvd, co-owner Faris Ghareeb told ARLnow this afternoon they are looking to experiment with opening at 11 a.m. this Sunday (October 1), then start doing the same on future Saturdays too. Then, Ghareeb said, the successor to the former RiRa Irish Pub would look to start serving brunch in addition to its usual evening offerings.
The new spot has several distinct areas: a main dining area, a mezzanine above it with lounge seating, a rooftop deck, a small dining and lounge area next to the deck and a first-floor patio. The rooftop deck has a full bar, and overlooks the first-floor patio.
In the main dining area are six custom-made metal chandeliers, while a mural stretches across the main wall and up into the mezzanine area. Just inside the bar’s entrance off Wilson Blvd, another mural hints at the building’s history as the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005.
The victim was headbutted around 1 a.m. Saturday after “a verbal dispute… escalated into physical violence.” Less than three hours later, the victim was reportedly roaming around Clarendon when he spotted the man who headbutted him. During a confrontation, the victim was punched in the face.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
MALICIOUS WOUNDING (late), 2017-09230052, Wilson Boulevard at N. Highland Street. At approximately 3:45 a.m. on September 23, police responded to Virginia Hospital Center for a late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 1:00 a.m., the victim and suspect were involved in a verbal dispute that escalated into physical violence when the suspect headbutted the victim. The suspect left the area following the assault. The victim located the suspect at the intersection of N. Highland Street and Wilson Boulevard where a second physical altercation occurred. During this altercation, the victim was struck in the face and suffered a laceration. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
The rest of this past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
SEXUAL BATTERY, 2017-09240025, 5200 block of Wilson Boulevard. At approximately 1:12 a.m. on September 24, police were dispatched to the report of a sexual assault that had just occurred. Upon arrival, it was determined that while operating as a ride share driver, the female victim was inappropriately touched by a male passenger. Following the assault, the male suspect exited the vehicle and fled the scene on foot in an unknown direction. Officers canvased the area with negative results. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 5’7-5’8 tall with a thin build. He has blonde hair, a red beard and was last seen wearing a white shirt and light colored shorts. The investigation is ongoing.
ROBBERY, 2017-09240233, 200 block of S. Glebe Road. At approximately 9:30 p.m. on September 24, police responded to the report of a robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 8:56 p.m., an unknown suspect entered a business and demanded the cashier put money on a gas pump. The suspect then stole merchandise and cash from the register before exiting the business to fuel his vehicle. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately 25-35 years old, 6’0″ tall and 220 lbs. He was wearing a black shirt and black shorts at the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
MISSILE INTO OCCUPIED VEHICLE, 2017-09220163, NB I-395 at Washington Boulevard. At approximately 1:28 p.m. on September 22, police were dispatched to the report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that following a verbal dispute over vehicles merging lanes, the suspect threw a cup of coffee at the victim’s vehicle. The victim was not injured. The suspect is described as a black male, in his mid-20s to early 30s with a muscular build. The investigation is ongoing.
OBSCENE SEXUAL DISPLAY, 2017-09220224, 17th Street N. at N. Randolph Street. At approximately 4:42 p.m. on September 22, police were dispatched to the report of a suspicious vehicle. Upon arrival, it was determined that a female victim observed a male suspect allegedly masturbating inside a vehicle. Scottie Leonard, 27, of Alexandria, VA was charged with obscene sexual display. He was held on a secure bond.
MALICIOUS WOUNDING (late), 2017-09260044, 1200 block of S. Courthouse Road. At approximately 7:00 a.m. on September 26, officers were dispatched to the Virginia Hospital Center for the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that between 2:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m., the male victim was socializing with three males. Following a verbal altercation, the three male suspects assaulted the victim, causing non-life threatening lacerations to the face. Suspect 1 is described as a Mongolian male, approximately 5’7, average build, wearing a dark t-shirt and jeans, Suspect 2 is described as a Mongolian male, approximately 5’10, average build, wearing a white t-shirt and jeans, with a tattoo on one of his hands; and Suspect 3 is described as a Mongolian male, approximately 5’10, average build, wearing a dark t-shirt. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2017-09250074, 1100 block of N. Quincy Street. At approximately 9:20 a.m. on September 25, officers responded to the report of damage to the entrance to a business. Upon arrival it was determined that an unknown suspect forced entry to the business between 4:15 p.m. on September 22 and 9:20 a.m. on September 25 and stole items of value. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY (late), 2017-09250097, 1700 block of N. Uhle Street. Between September 12 at 5:00 p.m. and September 19 at 2:00 p.m. items of value were taken from a residence by an unknown suspect. The investigation is ongoing.
BURGLARY, 2017-09250254, 3000 block of Washington Boulevard. At approximately 10:35 p.m. on September 25, officers responded to an audible front door alarm at a business. Upon arrival, it was determined that an unknown suspect made entry to the business at approximately 9:53 p.m. and stole items of value. The suspect is described as wearing a dark hoodie, pants and gloves. The investigation is ongoing.
FRAUD, 2017-09200088, 4700 block of Lee Highway, At approximately 9:12 a.m. on September 20, police were dispatched to the report of a possible skimming device located inside a gas pump after a citizen reported fraudulent activity on their credit card account after purchasing gas at this location. Upon arrival, police recovered a skimming device from the inside of one of the pumps. The investigation is ongoing.
Update at 7 p.m. — Power has been partially restored and only 318 Dominion customers are reported to be without electricity.
Earlier: A large swath of Clarendon and Courthouse is currently without power.
The outage happened around 5:40 p.m. and may have been accompanied by a mild power surge. Arlington County offices were affected, and are being powered by generators, according to a police dispatch. Numerous businesses in the area in the dark and traffic lights are out up and down Wilson and Clarendon Blvds.
Police are setting up cones to direct traffic at the busiest intersections.
According to Dominion, just over 1,700 customers are without power following an issue with a power substation. Crews have been dispatched and power is expected to be restored between 8-11 p.m.
— Irelands Four Courts (@irelands4courts) September 22, 2017
Traffic is especially slow in Clarendon due to the power outage but the ladies on this Trolley Pub ride seem to be having a blast regardless pic.twitter.com/DEMiqTWtuq
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) September 22, 2017
We're keeping it going by enjoying our time at Texas Jack's!! pic.twitter.com/P1j6MmYr7w
— Gregorio (@Agent_Greg) September 22, 2017
Scott Parker is part of a group of partners who together have built something of a nightlife empire in Arlington.
A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac have all been hits along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. And now Scott and his partners are getting ready to open (in the next couple of weeks) The G.O.A.T., a new sports bar right across from the Clarendon Metro station in the former Hard Times Cafe space.
Scott has helped to build this empire based on Sunday Fundays and happy hour drink specials all while having a somewhat unique personal background for a bar impresario: he does not drink.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we sat down with Scott to discuss how he achieved success after success in the notoriously difficult restaurant industry, what to expect with the G.O.A.T., what comes next, and what he thinks of the current state of the Arlington bar and restaurant scene.
County Board Stalls on VRE Decision — The Arlington County Board, at a Tuesday meeting that stretched into early Wednesday morning, declined to endorse one of the options for a proposed new Virginia Railway Express station in Crystal City. VRE officials, county staff, the Arlington Chamber of Commerce and Arlington’s Transportation Commission backed Option 2, which places the station closer to the Crystal City Metro station and transit center. Some local condominium residents and the Planning Commission, citing concerns about noise, wanted Option 3 — which places the station behind an office building — to be considered as well. [InsideNova, InsideNova]
Michelle Obama Stops By Arlington for Salon Opening — Former first lady Michelle Obama and her Secret Service entourage were among “a crowd of about 40 VIPs” who came to Arlington Tuesday night for the opening of a new salon. The business, Aesthetics Salon, is owned by stylist Yene Damtew, who was part of Obama’s “glam squad” while she was in the White House. Aesthetics Salon is located at 2412 26th Road S. in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood just south of I-395. [Washington Post]
Clarendon Day Closures — Expect lots of road closures in central Clarendon on Saturday for the annual Clarendon Day festival, which is taking place from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. On Sunday morning Wilson Blvd will be closed from Clarendon to Rosslyn for the Clarendon Day 5K, 10K and Kids Dash races. [Arlington County, Arlington County]
More on Proposed Columbia Pike Bus Revamp — “Recently Metro unveiled the latest proposed changes to the Metrobus network which includes a major restructuring to the 16 series bus lines on Columbia Pike in Arlington. The long-awaited restructuring is aimed at simplifying and improving bus service in the corridor.” [Greater Greater Washington]
County Seeking Pike Bus Feedback — While WMATA continues to collect feedback on the proposed Columbia Pike bus changes via an online survey, a public meeting is scheduled tonight (Thursday) to discuss the changes in person with residents. The meeting is taking place at the Arlington Mill Community Center from 6-8 p.m. [Arlington County]
Local Nonprofit Lender Steps Up Loan Volume — “Arlington-based Capital Impact Partners said Wednesday it provided $75 million in private financing in the second quarter of 2017, the largest quarterly loan volume in its history. The nonprofit community development financial institution backs projects that support increased access to health care, education, affordable housing and healthy food in the United States.” [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok
A planned redevelopment project in Clarendon has yet to have its groundbreaking.
It was nearly two years ago that the Arlington County Board approved developer Shooshan Company’s plan for a two-phase redevelopment of the Red Top Cab headquarters in Clarendon. Billed as an “ambitious redevelopment,” the project will replace low-slung commercial buildings and surface parking lots with up to 580 housing units and 3,477 square feet of retail space while significantly reshaping the western end of Clarendon.
As of today, it is still business as usual at Red Top Cab, which promised to continue serving Arlington after it eventually moves its headquarters. No construction equipment or other signs of progress are visible.
A Shooshan executive did not respond to a request for comment. A Red Top Cab rep said that “work is still being done on development plans.”
It’s official: signs are going up for a new kabob restaurant in place of the former Pio Pio restaurant between Clarendon and Virginia Square.
Naan Kabob at 3300 Wilson Blvd will serve Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food and offer carry-out and catering services. Its parking lot is currently taped off for renovations, while work is getting underway to revamp the inside too.
A copy of the menu suggests it will have kabobs, Karahi dishes (cooked in thick, circular pots) and curries, as well as traditional desserts. As of Monday, signs had gone up advertising its new name and food offerings.
Employees at the restaurant declined to say for sure when it would open, but are hopeful of getting underway “soon.”
Clarendon Day, one of Arlington’s biggest street festivals, is set to return next weekend.
The day-long event is scheduled for Saturday, September 23 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., centered around the Clarendon Metro station at Clarendon Blvd and N. Highland Street. Organizers said they expect 30,000 visitors if the weather is good.
It will feature several live music stages, a play area for children, arts and crafts vendors and exhibitors from local businesses and nonprofits. Local restaurants will also provide food, with local craft beers and wines also available.
“Clarendon Day is one of Arlington’s best loved and most diverse street festival, with several music stages, a large Kid’s Area, Arts and Crafts vendors, Business and Nonprofit Exhibitors from Clarendon and the region, plenty of great food from local and regional restaurants, Craft beers and Virginia wines, and more,” the event’s website reads.
The traditional International Chili Society Chili Cookoff will also return, with winners qualifying to advance to the World Championship Chili Cookoff next month. Entrants must be ICS members, and can compete in four categories: Red, Chili Verde, Salsa and Homestyle.
Organizers have made some changes for this year’s festival, which is now more than 30 years old. This year, the traditional Clarendon Day 5K and 10K race will be held the following day, Sunday, September 24, starting at 8 a.m.
The course takes runners east along Wilson Blvd and south past Arlington National Cemetery, before runners turn back and finish in Rosslyn.
“This change creates an opportunity for the CA to examine the event layout and logistics,” Clarendon Day organizers wrote.
Those in the area can expect significant street closures all day Saturday. Organizers recommended biking, walking or taking Metro to the festival.