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by Katie Pyzyk September 29, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

The annual Clarendon Halloween Crawl is back for another year, sporting the familiar theme “The Rise of the Day Drinkers.”

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.

by Katie Pyzyk September 29, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

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)
~LAST PERFORMER~
JUSTIN JONES

EL QUATRO

ALEX PAREZ

TWO TON TWIG

NO SECOND TROY

MIKE FERRIO
(OF TANDY)

LAUREN CALVE

JUMPIN JUPITER

THE COWARDS CHOIR

MARY BATTIATA AND LITTLE PINK

DELARCOS

GIST

METROSONGS

FUZZ QUEEN

MARGOT MACDONALD

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.

by ARLnow.com September 29, 2017 at 9:35 am 0

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?

by Chris Teale September 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

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.

by ARLnow.com September 27, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

A man got headbutted and punched by the same person on the same night but on separate occasions over the weekend.

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.

by ARLnow.com September 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm 0

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.

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonVaPD/status/911349922821263368

by ARLnow.com September 22, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

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.

Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunesGoogle PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by ARLnow.com September 21, 2017 at 8:15 am 0

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

by ARLnow.com September 20, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

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.”

by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

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.”

by Chris Teale September 15, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

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.

Clarendon Day itself will benefit local nonprofits Portico Church Arlington and Arlington Independent Media, which are providing volunteer assistance for the event.

Those in the area can expect significant street closures all day Saturday. Organizers recommended biking, walking or taking Metro to the festival.

by Chris Teale September 13, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Its sightings last month left many baffled, and now, car company Ford has explained why and how it sent a “driverless” car through the streets of Courthouse and Clarendon.

In a Medium post today (Wednesday), John Shutko, Ford’s Human Factors Technical Specialist for Self-Driving Vehicles, said the company was working with Virginia Tech to test ways for driverless cars to more effectively show its intentions to pedestrians and other road users.

Ford joined with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to test the technology — an animated light bar in the windshield of the video — and to see how those around reacted when they saw a car with no one in the driver’s seat.

“Anyone who has crossed a busy street likely knows the informal language between pedestrians and drivers,” Shutko wrote. “A driver might wave her hand to indicate to the pedestrian it’s okay to cross, or a pedestrian could throw up his hand like a stop sign to signal he plans to cross first. But what happens in the future, when self-driving vehicles operate without drivers – and in some cases, without anyone even in the vehicle itself?”

After being first reported by ARLnow.com, and famously further investigated by NBC4 reporter Adam Tuss — who was startled to discover a person in a seat costume inside — VT admitted it was behind the driverless car.

Ford said people are put in the cars — and dressed as car seats — for safety reasons, as self-driving technology is still in the early stages of testing and development.

The vehicle, a Ford Transit Connect van, had a light bar on top of its windshield. The bar pulsed white light back and forth when yielding, blinked rapidly before accelerating after a stop, or stayed solid when driving normally.

“Virtual reality testing with customers shows it takes a couple of exposures to signals like these before people truly understand what they mean,” Chutko wrote. “It takes even longer for signals to become ingrained in people’s brains  –  second nature, if you will. Through our testing, we believe these signals have the chance to become an accepted visual language that helps address an important societal issue in how self-driving vehicles interact with humans.”

Ford said it has logged more than 150 hours and around 1,800 miles in its tests in dense urban areas. Chutko said the time is right to create an industry standard for autonomous vehicle communications and to start to educate the public.

by ARLnow.com September 13, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

It’s the end of an era: IOTA Club and Cafe in Clarendon will close at the end of the month.

In its nearly 24 years in business, IOTA has hosted countless live music performances. Among those who have performed there, according to a list published by the club, are numerous well-known artists.

Below is a list of some of the notable acts.

  • Colin Hay (Men at Work)
  • Crash Test Dummies
  • Frank Black (The Pixies)
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Graham Parker
  • Great Big Sea
  • Handsome Family
  • J. Roddy Walston & The Business
  • Jack Johnson
  • Jason Mraz
  • Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers)
  • Jimmie’s Chicken Shack
  • John Mayer
  • Marky Ramone (The Ramones)
  • Norah Jones
  • Ok Go
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Silversun Pickups
  • SOJA
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band)
  • Tristan Prettyman

Performances at IOTA this week include an open mic night tonight, a DJ spinning vinyl records Thursday, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys on Friday and Parsonsfield on Sunday.

by Chris Teale September 11, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A new bubble tea cafe is now open in Clarendon.

Kung Fu Tea at 3018 Wilson Blvd opened over the weekend in the former Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream location. Its soft opening is expected to last all week, with the store open from 12-9 p.m.

The store offers black and green tea, which customers can combine with milk and with fruit flavors. There are also several flavored yogurt options made from the Japanese probiotic Yakult, slush and snow cream offerings, seasonal flavors like “Pumpkin Oolong Milk Tea,” and various coffee and espresso options.

Tapioca bubbles are one of several toppings that can be added for 50 cents each.

Inside of the new Clarendon store, which is located next to the recently-opened Hanabi Ramen restaurant, there is space for around 12 people to sit. Kung Fu Tea has dozens locations across the United States and has been expanding in the D.C. area.

by Chris Teale September 8, 2017 at 11:25 am 0

A rarely-open restaurant near Clarendon could be set for some big changes.

Pio Pio at 3300 Wilson Blvd has been the source of fascination for months, with some calling the Peruvian restaurant’s unpredictable hours downright “mysterious.” Pio Pio closed earlier this year, reportedly for maintenance on its roof.

But a permit approved in late July by the county indicates that someone has filed to open a new restaurant with indoor seating in the space.

There are no other concrete details available about the future of the eatery, but a tipster said it would be a kabob restaurant.

“They are fixing up the building and parking lot,” said the anonymous tipster.

As of Friday morning when an ARLnow reporter visited, no work appeared to have been done, with tables and chairs still sitting in the vacant restaurant.

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