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by Chris Teale December 29, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

Months after going on an apparent and indefinite “hiatus,” Ray’s Hell Burger appears to be officially leaving Rosslyn.

The restaurant at 1650 Wilson Blvd is now available for lease, albeit with the Ray’s awnings and signs still up, including one noting the hiatus.

Earlier this year, the Washington Business Journal reported that owner Michael Landrum wanted out of his lease on the spot, across the street from the redeveloping Wilson School site. That storefront was across from the original Hell Burger, which was visited twice by then-President Barack Obama.

Customers can still visit a Ray’s Hell Burger on K Street NW in D.C., as well as Ray’s the Steaks at 2300 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse. The latter received renewed praise from Northern Virginia Magazine earlier this year as one of its 50 best restaurants of 2017.

Landrum declined to comment further.

by Chris Teale December 29, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A free ride-hailing app in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor will be closed until April, according to a message posted when customers try to hail a car.

Sprynt launched in June, promising free rides along the corridor in electric vehicles that look a bit like a stretched-out golf cart with doors.

It initially offered short jaunts around a handful of Orange Line corridor neighborhoods, including Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon, Courthouse and Rosslyn. Within five days, the iOS app had over 700 downloads.

But when an ARLnow reporter tried to hail a ride today (Friday), a message popped up that the service is “not currently operating. Normal operating hours today are closed. We will be back in April 2018!”

Sprynt staff did not respond to requests for comment, and there is no mention of a closure on its social media accounts or website. Its last Facebook post touted free rides during the holiday season.

by Chris Teale December 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A longtime pizza restaurant in Clarendon is soon to shutter and reopen under new management.

Signs posted on the doors of Faccia Luna at 2909 Wilson Blvd show it will soon become Alto Fumo, another Italian restaurant. Faccia Luna first opened in Clarendon in 1992.

Permit applications filed with Arlington County indicate that the restaurant is under new management, but for now little is expected to change other than the name.

“Alto Fumo means ‘high-rising smoke’ in Italian, like smoke rising from a pizza oven,” the sign reads. “You will enjoy the highest quality customer service and foods and also enjoy our new additions.”

Faccia Luna also has locations in Old Town Alexandria and State College, Pennsylvania. A sign on the door at the Alexandria location thanked customers “for all the support.”

In 2015, co-owner Joe Corey said Faccia Luna has been a spot for successful first dates, with hundreds of couples ending up married after eating together at the Clarendon pizza joint.

by Chris Teale December 21, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

After initially suggesting it closed for renovations, Spinfire Pizza in Rosslyn is gone for good, with its former space now seeking a new tenant.

The pizza joint at 1501 Wilson Blvd, part-owned by former Washington Redskins player Pierre Garcon, had been planning to reopen on December 31, according to its Yelp page. That has since changed to it being permanently closed.

It offered customizable personal pizzas in 90 seconds, with toppings ranging from pizza staples like pepperoni and mushrooms to Sriracha sausage, candied pecans and dried cranberries.

Its other location is in Ashburn.

by Chris Teale December 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A wood fire kitchen and whiskey bar on Columbia Pike will close at the end of the year, staff confirmed.

Marble and Rye at 2501 Columbia Pike will close on December 31. A staff member said it will shutter after Sunday brunch that day. Staff in the restaurant declined to comment on a reason for the closure.

It opened in late 2015 at the Penrose Square property, replacing RedRocks Neapolitan Bistro.

The menu features pasta, pizza and seafood dishes as well as sandwiches and burgers. It has more than 150 different whiskeys and whiskey-based cocktails, in addition to its wine and beer selection.

When it opened, Marble and Rye had been hailed as part of a growth of whiskey bars on Columbia Pike.

Events company Magnolia Open Mics will host its final open mic night at Marble and Rye this Sunday (December 17), in conjunction with the Songwriters Association of Washington. The event begins at 6 p.m., and includes a raffle.

by Chris Teale December 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

A longtime Mexican restaurant in Crystal City has closed its doors.

Cantina Mexicana at 515 23rd Street S. shuttered late last month. An employee who answered the phone at the restaurant’s location just off Columbia Pike confirmed the closure, which he said happened “a couple of weeks ago.”

He added that several employees from the Crystal City eatery had made the switch over to its other location, on Columbia Pike. That location has been open since 2013 and a sign on the door encourages patrons to continue visiting it.

“Thanks for the memories!” the sign reads. “It’s been a great journey. We sincerely appreciate your friendship and all your patronage the last 40 years!”

The restaurant served “fine Tex-Mex cuisine,” and had been in business in various guises since 1978. In 1995, former dishwasher Gloria Arias bought the restaurant, then known as The Taco House, and in 2005 changed its name to Cantina Mexicana.

Hat-tip to Michael H.

by Chris Teale December 11, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Pancho Villa Mexican Cuisine has apparently closed in Rosslyn.

The restaurant at 1850 Fort Myer Drive opened last year in the former home to the short-lived Secret Chopsticks restaurant. It is across the intersection from Arlington Temple United Methodist Church.

As of Monday morning, the restaurant’s chairs and tables were still in place, but the inside looked bare and the bar area had been stripped of all its bottles and draught beers. A sign on one of the outside windows appeared to have been ripped down.

The phone number listed on its website is also out of service.

Pancho Villa served made-from-scratch Mexican food. Its menu included staples like tacos, burritos, enchiladas and fajitas, as well as so-called “special dinners” for customers to have different combinations. It also had an extensive drinks menu.

by Chris Teale December 6, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A Rosslyn pizza joint owned by a former Washington Redskins football player is temporarily closed.

Spinfire Pizza at 1500 Wilson Blvd is scheduled to reopen on December 31, 2017 after renovations, according to its Yelp page.

A sign on its front door has no further details on the work, only that it is closed. It offers customizable personal pizzas in 90 seconds, with toppings ranging from pizza staples like pepperoni and mushrooms to Sriracha sausage, candied pecans and dried cranberries.

Garcon posted a photo on his Facebook page in October showing him paying the restaurant a visit. Its other location is in Ashburn, near where the Redskins have their practice facility. Spinfire opened its Rosslyn space in 2015.

Posted by Pierre Garçon on Saturday, October 14, 2017

Hat tip to Christopher C.

by Chris Teale September 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Arlington County’s only Jerry’s Subs & Pizza is closed temporarily for what a sign on the door describes as “remodeling.”

A sign on the door of the eatery at 2041 15th Street N. in Courthouse does not say when it will reopen, and calls to the restaurant’s phone number were not returned.

On Tuesday afternoon when a reporter stopped by, a workman was on a step ladder doing what looked like painting of some light fixtures.

Jerry’s serves pizza, hot and cold subs and a variety of cheesesteaks. It is across the street from Arlington County jail, next door to a bond office and is a block away from an entrance to the Courthouse Metro station.

by Chris Teale August 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm 0

A local nonprofit that helps encourage at-risk children and their families to develop a love of reading will close next week after 28 years.

The Reading Connection, which has offices at 1501 Lee Highway near Rosslyn, will close its doors on Friday, August 11. It will hold its last “Read-Aloud,” where volunteers read to children at shelters and community centers, on Wednesday, August 9.

The nonprofit is dedicated to providing low-income children and their families with opportunities to read and be read to, as well as giving them free books when they might otherwise not have any.

Its volunteers held Read-Alouds at over a dozen locations — mostly apartment complexes — across the D.C. metropolitan area, including at Columbia Grove, New Hope Housing, The Shelton, The Springs, Sullivan House, Virginia Gardens and Woodbury Park in Arlington. Other locations are in Alexandria, Annandale, Bethesda and D.C.

The nonprofit’s director of program operations Stephanie Berman Hopkins announced the closure earlier today in an email to volunteers, which was obtained by ARLnow.com.

“I am so proud of the work we have done together and all of the children we have inspired to love reading,” Berman Hopkins wrote. “The impact our programs have had will continue to live on. Thank you for your dedication to this organization, the Read-Aloud program and the kids and families we serve. It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with you all. Our programs would not have been as strong as they have been without all of your efforts.”

In the email, Berman Hopkins said The Reading Connection’s board of directors reviewed the organization and determined it is not financially viable. TRC’s annual budget was $600,000, according to its website.

Berman Hopkins and The Reading Connection’s executive director, Catherine Keightley, declined to comment on the review, citing privacy considerations for those involved, but Keightley said finding continued funding would have been too difficult.

“What lots of reports are telling us is that funding is going to become more challenging, I think locally and regionally,” she said in a brief interview. “There may be a shift in funding priorities given some of the actions with the new [presidential] administration.”

Prior to its closing The Reading Connection will hold a book and supply sale from Monday, August 7 until Wednesday, August 9.

The email to The Reading Connection volunteers is below, after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale July 24, 2017 at 11:45 am 0

A Thai restaurant in Ballston shuttered late last week.

Tara Temple at 4001 Fairfax Drive closed Friday, July 21. It offered a variety of Thai foods including noodles and curries, as well as what it called a “sizable menu” of Japanese options. The restaurant offered a carry-out option, as well as delivery after 5 p.m. on weekends.

It was located on the ground floor of the Quincy Street Station office building, next door to fellow tenant Cafe Tirolo.

As of Monday, tables and chairs had been removed from the restaurant while materials from inside the kitchen were being brought out for removal. The eatery’s patio was still intact, but with items from inside starting to pile up nearby.

Calls to the restaurant’s main phone number went unanswered.

Hat tip to Brent Murray

by Adrian Cruz July 26, 2016 at 9:55 am 0

Minh Vietnamese Restaurant, located at 2500 Wilson Blvd, has closed citing lease issues and other business concerns.

There is a sign posted by the owners that reads “Dear Customers, We are very sorry to inform you that due to business concerns including our lease on this space, Minh has ceased operation effective immediately. We appreciate your patronage over the years we have been here, and we are sad to be leaving.”

The restaurant has been at that location for over 10 years and it was one of the few remaining Vietnamese restaurants in the Clarendon area, a hotbed of Vietnamese businesses before the construction of the Orange Line. It was said to be “one of the original Vietnamese restaurants that put Clarendon on the map.”

There is no word yet on whether those behind the restaurant plan on reopening in another location.

by ARLnow.com March 6, 2015 at 7:15 am 0

Snow clearing operations in Pentagon City(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Schools are closed today, and Arlington County government offices and courts will be opening at 11:00 a.m.

Other county facilities also have delayed openings. Libraries, except for the Plaza library, are hoping open at 1:00 p.m., according to Arlington’s closing and delays page.

The Arlington Mill Community Center will open at 1:00 p.m., while other community centers will open at noon or later, as scheduled, according to the county.

After earlier saying that trash and recycling collection would happen today and Saturday, the county now says it has been cancelled.

Due to hazardous road conditions, all solid waste services have been canceled: brush, cart repair, collection, special collections, etc. We will resume collections on Monday, March 9. Thursday and Friday customers will be serviced on their next collection day. Carts should be removed from the right-of-way. The Customer Call Center will open at 11 a.m.

The federal government, meanwhile, is opening on a two hour delay.

by ARLnow.com March 5, 2015 at 7:35 am 1,196 0

The federal government is closed, and Arlington schools, government offices, courts and facilities are closed today due to expected snow.

Sleet is falling in parts of Arlington as of 7:30, as temperatures continue to fall. Conditions are expected to deteriorate later this morning.

Due to the expected snow, ART buses are operating on a modified schedule.

“Due to expected weather conditions (today) Thursday, March 5 – ART is running a Saturday service level on routes 41, 42, 45, 51, 77 & 87,” ART said in an email. “We will continue to provide updates as things change. Please be safe, and have a wonderful day.”

Solid waste collection, meanwhile, has been suspended for the day.

All trash and recycling services are postposed today, Thursday, Mar. 5, due to inclement winter weather. Collection services will resume when County offices reopen and will continue until all trash and recycling is collected.

Until services resume, remove carts from the right-of-way to allow snow removal crews to clear the roads. The Customer Call Center is closed and will reopen when County offices open.

Arlington County’s website says its snow crews are in a “Phase 2” alert, meaning crews are ready to clear accumulation from main roads.

by ARLnow.com February 14, 2014 at 10:00 am 1,869 0

Snowy Rock Spring (Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann)

Va. Gay Marriage Ban Ruled Unconstitutional — A federal judge has overturned Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, in what the New York Times describes as “the strongest legal reversal yet of restrictive marriage amendments that exist throughout the South.” The judge stayed the ruling, pending an appeal, meaning that gay couples will still not be able to get married in Virginia for the time being. [New York Times, Blue Virginia]

Blue Goose Redevelopment a Year or More Away — A groundbreaking on the redevelopment of Marymount’s “Blue Goose” building in Ballston is not likely to take place until next winter at the earliest. [Sun Gazette]

Behind Arlington’s Snow Decisions — There’s a reason why Arlington County typically makes a decision on whether to open, open on a delay or close for the day at 5:00 a.m., well after some other jurisdictions. Arlington and Alexandria both usually wait until after a 3:00 a.m. Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments conference call, in which various governments and agencies discuss street conditions and their go or no-go decisions. [Washington Post]

Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann

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