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by Chris Teale November 17, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Arlington County’s newest Dunkin’ Donuts is now open in Clarendon.

The combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store at 3009 Clarendon Blvd celebrated its grand opening this morning (Friday). The celebrations include free doughnuts for all customers and appearances by mascots Cuppy and Sprinkles and cheerleaders for the Washington Capitals.

Tomorrow (Saturday), customers can get a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase, while there will be a chance to decorate some doughnuts too. On both days, a prize wheel offers discount vouchers for various menu offerings.

It is the 12th Dunkin’ Donuts in the county, after one opened in September in Virginia Square. And at around 8:30 a.m., business was already brisk at the store located at the intersection of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, just a block from the Clarendon Metro station.

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A new coffee shop opened last month in Virginia Square.

Detour Coffee Co. is located at 946 N. Jackson Street, in the same building as the Darna Restaurant and Lounge, next to a Jiffy Lube.

On its website, Detour said it is owned by the same group that owns Darna. According to posts from its Facebook account, it opened late last month.

“Detour Coffee Co. combines tradition and innovation to create a delicious product that leaves customers satisfied every time,” it reads. “Located just blocks from the Clarendon Metro Station, our local coffee shop prides itself on maintaining the highest quality of product and service — all of our drinks are hand-crafted and pastries are made in-house from scratch.”

Detour serves various types of coffee including drip, espresso, chai and iced. It also has hot chocolate, and hot and iced tea, as well as sandwiches, pastries, empanadas and other food items. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

It is located about two blocks from local independent coffee shop stalwart Northside Social.

Photos 1-5 via Facebook, photo No. 6 via Google Maps.

by Chris Teale October 23, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Arlington County’s newest Dunkin’ Donuts could open as early as this weekend.

Construction appears to be more or less finished on the combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store at 3009 Clarendon Blvd, at its intersection with N. Garfield Street and just a block from the Clarendon Metro station.

And a spokesman for Dunkin’ Donuts said the new space is “tentatively scheduled” to open this weekend, but that is “subject to change.”

While the doors are locked on the store, inside the counters and seats look to be set up, while the outdoor patio furniture is ready for use.

It will be the 12th Dunkin’ Donuts location in the county, after one opened in Virginia Square last month. The space was formerly occupied by a dining area for Pete’s New Haven Apizza, which downsized earlier this year.

by ARLnow.com October 18, 2017 at 10:50 am 0

A co-owner of the former Caffe Aficionado in Rosslyn has pleaded guilty to charges connected to what prosecutors said was a multi-year credit card fraud scheme.

Clark Donat is scheduled to be sentenced next month after pleading guilty in June to a long list of charges: credit card fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, money laundering, racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, identity theft, credit card forgery, credit card theft, conspiracy to commit credit card theft and conspiracy to commit identity theft.

His former business partner in the cafe, Adiam Berhane, is scheduled to face a jury trial starting Jan. 30, 2018.

According to prosecutors, Donat and Berhane started using the cafe’s point-of-sale system to fraudulently charge gift cards — purchased with stolen credit cards — in June of 2013, before the cafe even opened. The stolen credit card information was bought off the “dark web” and used to manufacture fake credit cards, which were then used to buy gift cards and other items, prosecutors say.

In all, according to prosecutors, the cafe recorded about $1 million in revenue between 2013 and the police raid in October 2016, $450,000 of which was attributable to “gift cards almost entirely purchased with stolen credit card information.”

Counterfeit cards were also used to buy goods at various stores, including TJ Maxx and REI, which were then returned and credited to one of the defendant’s legitimate credit cards, prosecutors allege. A few days before the raid, prosecutors say, the pair used a stolen credit card to pay for a $1,200 large group brunch at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown.

Before the alleged fraud was revealed, Caffe Aficionado garnered rave reviews for its hand-crafted coffee and espresso drinks. A local food critic even called it “one of the finest coffee shops in the area.”

“We’re really happy with it,” Berhane said of the positive reviews. “I think it’s all about service. Follow the Golden Rule, it’s not that hard.”

Donat is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 17 in Arlington Circuit Court.

by Katie Pyzyk October 6, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

Central Coffee Bar (1901 N. Moore Street) in Rosslyn is officially open. Owner Mehmet Osman Coskun was thrilled that as of 8:30 a.m. on its opening day, staff already had served 200 customers.

This is his team’s first business in Arlington and they credit the county and the Rosslyn BID for helping them get through first-time business owner snags during the process of opening. “When you have a new business, you don’t know a lot of stuff… and you need support,” Coskun said. “You made your investment and you’re hoping people will help you out.”

The venue isn’t just going to be for coffee and pastries. Owners have applied for a liquor license so they can transition Central Coffee Bar into a bar in the evening. Coskun believes that the establishment’s later service hours will set it apart from others in the neighborhood.

“A lot of places in Rosslyn close by 8 p.m., so people feel like they don’t want to go somewhere at night because it’s going to close soon,” Coskun said. “But we extended our hours to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday because we do feel like people want to hang out after work and socialize and get something to drink. And we really want to appeal to the locals.”

This morning Coskun reiterated what he previously told ARLnow, that he’s interested in expanding in the county and eventually opening a coffee shop/bar in Clarendon.

Central Coffee Bar will hold a grand opening next Thursday, October 12. From 2-4 p.m. all guests will get a free coffee.

by Chris Teale September 27, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A new coffee bar in Rosslyn is set to open “very soon,” according to the cafe’s owner.

Construction is almost complete on the Central Coffee Bar in the first floor of the soon-to-redevelop RCA building at 1901 N. Moore Street, with workers starting to move furniture in. Owner Mehmet Coskun declined to give an exact timeframe, but said it should be open “very soon.”

Coskun said the spot will be open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day, serving coffee, pastries and the like in the morning and then hosting happy hour from 5-7 p.m. He said the coffee, provided in partnership with a roastery in Annapolis, will be from the best beans available.

“We will have very fresh coffee from Ethiopia, Central America, Colombia, Mexico and we will have seasonal beans, so whatever the country harvests, we’ll make sure we’re getting the best beans,” he said. “I’m doing a lot of tastings, so we will give something different than just Starbucks for people to at least try.”

Inside, Central Coffee will have leather sofas and a 60-inch electrical fireplace to make the space of just over 2,000 square feet feel intimate. Coskun said they had initially planned on having a smaller, 1,500-square-foot space, but expanded the plans after conversations with representatives from the Rosslyn Business Improvement District.

“We have a very cozy space where you walk in and you already feel like you want to sit down and do work or pick up your laptop and enjoy,” Coskun said. “It has that cozy environment with leather couches and with that fireplace built in and that open space. The whole thing is an open space.”

Coskun, a Pentagon City resident, said he wanted to open the coffee shop to give Arlington a locally-run option beyond international giant Starbucks. He added that the company could look to expand in the county too, depending on the success of its first location.

“We do want to be Arlington County’s coffee shop,” Coskun said. “We’re looking for a second location somewhere in Clarendon, and we want to continue to grow in Arlington before we grow anywhere else. We are going to be the local guys.”

by Chris Teale September 26, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The Arlington County Police Department will participate in “National Coffee with a Cop Day” next week with an event in each of the county’s three police districts.

Officers will be on hand on Wednesday, October 4 to get to know community members, answer questions and listen to concerns.

“The Arlington County Police Department is committed to engaging with those we serve and effectively communicating to ensure the public’s trust,” organizers wrote. “Whether you live, work, or visit Arlington County, we hope you’ll join us to build strong community-based partnerships one cup of coffee at a time.”

The events will be held at the following locations:

  • Starbucks at Lee Heights (4526 Lee Highway): 9-11 a.m.
  • Starbucks at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street): 4-6 p.m.
  • Best Buns Bread Company at Shirlington Village (4010 Campbell Ave): 4-6 p.m.

by ARLnow.com September 25, 2017 at 1:35 pm 0

Police are looking for a driver who threw a cup of coffee at another driver in a fit of road rage.

The incident happened Friday afternoon on northbound I-395 near Washington Blvd. Police say the man threw the coffee “following a verbal dispute over vehicles merging lanes.”

The intended victim of the flying cup of joe was not injured.

More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

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.

File photo

by Chris Teale September 15, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

The county’s latest Dunkin’ Donuts opened Friday morning in Virginia Square.

And the donut-and-coffee shop made a splash this morning at 3701 Fairfax Drive with free prizes from a giveaway wheel, a balloon arch outside and appearances by mascots Cuppy and Sprinkles alongside cheerleaders for the Washington Capitals.

It is located on the first floor of the former DARPA headquarters and current FDIC office.

To mark the opening, guests could get a free classic donut with any drink purchase until 10 a.m. Friday. Then on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., patrons will receive a free medium hot or iced coffee, while children under 12 can decorate donuts. The giveaway wheel will once again be spinning, while an on-site DJ will provide music.

The cafe was already doing brisk business just before 8:30 a.m. when an ARLnow reporter stopped by. It is the 11th in the county, after one opened in April on N. Glebe Road.

by ARLnow.com September 15, 2017 at 9:00 am 0

Arlington Nonprofit Gets State Grant — “Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced a $175,000 grant to La Cocina VA, a nonprofit workforce development organization in Arlington County, to enhance its culinary skills training facility, create a business plan training course, and develop a small business competition.” [Gov. Terry McAuliffe]

Actual Driverless Car in Arlington — Moving beyond vans with people dressed as car seats, an actual driverless car has now taken to the streets within Arlington County. An autonomous vehicle developed by Carnegie Mellon University drove itself around Ft. Myer yesterday as part of the military base’s Industry Day event. [Facebook]

Nestle Buys Blue Bottle — Nestle, which is still moving into its new U.S. headquarters in Rosslyn, has bought Oakland, Ca.-based hipster coffee brand Blue Bottle. Could that mean that a Blue Bottle location in Arlington is around the corner? Possibly, but the company already has a location across the river in Georgetown. [Washington Business Journal, Nestle]

Arlington Gets Gigabit Internet — Comcast announced earlier this week that “it has launched a new Internet service in Arlington that will deliver speeds up to 1 Gigabit-per-second (Gbps) to residential and business customers.” According to a press release, “these speeds will be among the fastest and most widely available,” utilizing DOCSIS 3.1 technology. The cost of the service is $79.99 a month with a one-year contract or $104.95 a month without.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by ARLnow.com August 17, 2017 at 11:20 am 0

Commonwealth Joe Gets $2.5 Million — Local nitro cold brew coffee purveyor and Pentagon City cafe operator Commonwealth Joe has landed a $2.5 million round of funding. The Arlington-based firm says it plans to use the investment to expand its cold brew business, which includes distributing kegs of the sweet, smooth chilled coffee to offices. [Washington Business Journal]

Local Holocaust Survivor Reunited — An Arlington man was reunited with a Dutch couple that hid him and his sister, who are both Jewish, from the Nazis in 1945. The reunion took place at the U.S. Holocaust Museum and happened thanks to a high school project undertaken by the couple’s grandson. [NBC Washington]

Raise for Arlington County Board Members? — There is renewed discussion of a significant raise for Arlington County Board members, in recognition that their job, rather than being part time as originally envisioned, now involves full-time hours. There are even “whispers” that Board salaries could be nearly doubled, to reach six-figures, according to one report. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Tax Delinquency Rate Hits Historic Low — Arlington County’s 2017 tax delinquency rate has hit a record low of 0.226 percent, County Treasurer Carla de la Pava announced. That’s the lowest rate in Virginia and the lowest rate ever in Arlington, she said, touting it as “good for the county” and “good for taxpayers.” The news led Del. Patrick Hope to declare de la Pava the “best treasurer in the Commonwealth.” [Twitter, Twitter]

Remembering the Ballston Mall’s Past — First known as Parkington, then Ballston Common Mall, and soon (next year) to be reopened as Ballston Quarter, following extensive renovations, Ballston’s shopping mall has a long history that dates back to the early 1950s. [WETA]

Nearby: Legislation on Confederate Monument — State Sen. Adam Ebbin says he will introduce legislation “to give Alexandria the authority to relocate the Confederate statue in Old Town” Alexandria. “It is past time that we address the impact that lionizing the Confederacy has had on the character of our Commonwealth,” Ebbin said. [Twitter, Twitter]

by Chris Teale August 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

A new coffee shop is open in Arlington Forest in a low-slung shopping center just off Arlington Blvd.

Sense of Place (4807 1st Street N.) replaced a Subway sandwich shop in the Arlington Forest Center. It opened yesterday (Monday), next door to Brick’s Pizza, the DaVita dialysis center and the Mathnasium of Arlington education center.

Sense of Place features a coffee bar that serves specialty pour-over coffee, which uses a filter and a dripper to extract more flavors. At the bar, a certified barista will serve the coffee, while a sign nearby expressly bans the use of laptops to encourage customers to enjoy their drinks without distraction.

“At the bar, customers take the time to see, smell, and taste subtly different notes of flavors and textures with every sip that they may not have noticed before,” the cafe’s website reads.

The new cafe serves its own house-brand coffee, called Enzymo Coffee. The coffee beans undergo a natural fermentation process before being roasted, which staff said keeps the coffee fresh, the acid content low and prevents any post-caffeine crashes an hour or two after drinking.

Also on offer: various other hot and cold drinks as well as homemade pastries, paninis and sandwiches.

Early Tuesday morning, the store was already doing brisk business, despite having been open for just one day. Multiple customers told ARLnow how excited they were to have an independently-owned coffee shop in the plaza, which is also home to Outback Steakhouse and used to house the now-shuttered Filipino grocery store Fiesta Oriental.

Sense of Place is open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.

Hat-tip to Mike Marketti.

by Katherine Berko August 7, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

(Updated at 7:20 p.m.) Local coffee shop Commonwealth Joe is encouraging Arlingtonians to explore businesses in Crystal City and Pentagon City with special “passports.”

The program will run for a week, from today (August 7) until Sunday, August 13. People can stop by Commonwealth Joe (520 12th Street S.) and pick up their own passport, or they can get a team passport for up to three people.

Once passports are claimed, the goal is to visit all of the participating businesses to get the passports stamped.

Participating businesses include: Sweetgreen (Crystal City), Orangethoery Fitness, Pure Barre, CrossFit South Arlington, Earth Treks, WeWork Crystal City, TechShop and the Crystal City Wine Shop.

Once the passports have all of the necessary stamps, participants turn their passports into Commonwealth Joe, where each team that completes the challenge within the week will get a free drink.

In addition, there will be prizes for the first three teams to get all of the stamps. These grand prizes include day passes from Earth Treks, free Sweetgreen salads, WeWork merchandise and more.

A spokeswoman for Commonwealth Joe said they started this event to help build relationships with other local businesses and to help people explore the neighborhood.

by ARLnow.com August 7, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Clarendon is getting a new option for coffee, donuts and ice cream.

A joint Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store is coming to a ground floor space on at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, one block from the Metro station. The space was formerly occupied by a dining area for Pete’s New Haven Apizza, which downsized earlier this year.

Permits have been issued for the interior buildout of the store, but so far there’s no word on an opening date. The new shop will join existing, nearby Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Courthouse, Virginia Square, Ballston and Cherrydale.

In March, ARLnow reported that reps for Dunkin’ had visited the space at 3017 Clarendon Blvd and were considering a lease.

by Chris Teale June 2, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A coffee bar is moving into the RCA building in Rosslyn, in place of an English language school.

Permitting applications indicate that Central Coffee Bar — also known as Cities Coffee and Bar in county filings — will replace part of the Inlingua English Center in the first floor of the building at 1901 N. Moore Street.

Workers will convert the 2,212 square feet of office space back to its original retail use. As of Friday morning, work is underway to tear up the floors and ceilings.

Inlingua will remain in the building, but with a reduced footprint.

The building is set for demolition in the next few years, to be replaced by a residential tower. The Washington Business Journal reported last month that a 407-apartment building with 12,709 square feet of ground-floor retail space has been proposed in its place.

No word yet on an opening date for the new coffee bar.

Hat-tip to Chris H.

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