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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.

by ARLnow.com May 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A Dunkin’ Donuts location is coming to Virginia Square, right across the street from the Metro station and a Starbucks.

The restaurant is coming to 3701 Fairfax Drive, the former DARPA headquarters and current FDIC office.

Interior construction appears to be underway inside. No word on when the donut-and-coffee shop is expected to open.

There are existing Dunkin’ locations in Courthouse, Ballston and along Lee Highway, among other Arlington outposts. A new Dunkin’ Donuts opened last month on N. Glebe Road near Route 50.

Hat tip to Gabe C.

by Chris Teale May 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

Less than a year after it opened in Ballston, the Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar has rebranded.

Now known as the Republik Coffee Bar, the spot at 4401 Wilson Blvd made the switch “a few days ago,” according to an employee Wednesday morning. There are still various references to its former name — right down to the “Rock ‘n’ Joe” cup sleeves still in use and the murals still on the wall.

Republik still serves coffee, tea and food, including sandwiches and salads. The interior appears unchanged from its previous iteration.

The original plan had been for Rock ‘n’ Joe to open five stores in the D.C. metro area under franchise owner Talha Sarac, with the potential to expand beyond the region.

According to paperwork filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the new coffee bar is registered under Sarac’s name. Rock ‘n’ Joe no longer lists the Ballston location on its website; only its locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Sarac did not respond to requests for comment, but a spokeswoman for the county’s department of community, planning, housing and development confirmed an application was submitted last month for a change of tenant for the business.

Hat-tip to Richie F.

by Chris Teale April 17, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

The former KFC on N. Glebe Road in Buckingham has a new tenant: coffee and doughnut shop Dunkin’ Donuts.

KFC closed last year for what was described at the time as “maintenance,” but the new occupier has now opened its doors.

Dunkin’ Donuts serves a variety of doughnuts and coffee, as well as other offerings like teas, sandwiches and soft drinks.

This location, the 10th in the county, has space for 29 seats inside and a drive-through option. No major alterations appear to have been made to the exterior of the building.

by Tim Regan March 3, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

There’s a new coffee shop and eatery in the former Mother’s Macaroons space, but it might not open in time for your early morning caffeine dose.

The cafe, Chill Zone, opened at 2442 N. Harrison Street several weeks ago. The business replaced the former Mother’s Macaroons Bakery, which abruptly closed in 2015.

Chill Zone serves bubble tea, Vietnamese coffee and a signature “Volcano Mango Frap,” among other beverages, but not until it opens at 10 a.m. each day, according to its Yelp page. The cafe also serves snacks such as pan-fried rice cakes and chicken wings.

The coffee shop wasn’t open when an ARLnow reporter visited the spot just before 9 a.m. this morning, but a peek through the window revealed an interior bedecked with modern decor and colorful furniture.

Reached via Facebook messenger, a representative for Chill Zone declined to comment on the opening.

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

A Nespresso boutique is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

The store is located adjacent to the mall’s main entrance off of S. Hayes Street, in the former Belmont Jewelers space. Demolition of the store’s interior started last month.

Belmont is relocating to a different storefront on the first level of the mall and is expected to reopen March 1.

The Nespresso store is scheduled to open at some point this spring, offering “a world of unique coffee experiences.” There are four existing Nespresso boutiques in the Washington area, according to the brand’s website: two in Tysons, one at Westfield Montgomery mall in Bethesda, and another in the Friendship Heights neighborhood of D.C.

Before it was Belmont Jewelers, the storefront was home to the Tourneau high-end watch store, which was robbed by four hammer-wielding men in 2013.

by ARLnow.com January 11, 2017 at 9:15 am 0

"Trump's Cessna Citation X corporate jet at Reagan Airport on 1/10/2017" (Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman)

Coffee With a Cop Today — The Arlington County Police Department’s district teams are holding “Coffee With a Cop” events today. The event “has no agenda or speeches” and “is a chance to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know the officers and neighbors in your district.” [Arlington County]

Washington Blvd Closure Tonight — Expect lane closures and a 30-minute full closure of Washington Blvd (Route 27) over Route 110 overnight tonight. VDOT is replacing an aging bridge over Route 110; the project is expected to wrap up in 2018. [Twitter]

Boulevard Woodgrill Staff to Marble and RyeMarble and Rye on Columbia Pike has hired “the entire executive staff” from the former Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon, a restaurant rep says. The hires include longtime Boulevard executive chef Paul Murad and longtime general manager Kent Lawson. The hires, we’re told, “will provide a significant upgrade in service and menu options” and will help Marble and Rye “compete with other popular destinations in Clarendon, Ballston and Shirlington.”

Neighborhood College Applications Being Accepted — “Learn how to become a neighborhood advocate and effect change through Arlington County’s free Neighborhood College program, which will meet on eight consecutive Thursday evenings beginning March 16, 2017.” [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Katie Pyzyk December 19, 2016 at 1:00 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

College students fall asleep in class. It’s an age-old issue. But a new solution to the problem is what prompted the launch of Sunniva, an Arlington-based “super coffee” beverage business.

A couple of years ago Jordan DeCicco was that guy who kept falling asleep in his classes at Philadelphia University. The freshman tried to stay awake using the energy drinks or pre-made coffee beverages available at convenience stores, but he didn’t like all the sugar, fat, caffeine, and calories that accompanied the beverages.

He learned about Bulletproof Coffee — a blended mixture of coffee, grass-fed butter, and MCT oil — and found that it definitely gave the energy boost he needed to stay awake through class. He tried making it in his dorm room but that wasn’t really practical for a few reasons. First, making it ahead of time and trying to chill it resulted in the butter going back to its solid form. Second, it was loaded with fat from the butter. Finally, Jordan just wasn’t a fan of the taste.

Sunniva "super coffee" beverageThat’s when he started making his own coffee drink and it seemed to be a winner. So much so that other students took notice and DeCicco began selling the drink out of his dorm room. He felt like he was onto something and enlisted help from older brother Jake, who at the time was in business school at Georgetown University.

“We’re very much accidental entrepreneurs,” Jake says. “We were just tired college students who needed an energy boost.”

Sunniva’s combination of Colombian coffee, coconut oil, and a lactose-free milk protein is a low-fat, low-cal beverage that, according to Jake, offers a longer-term energy boost compared to other products that often provide an energy spike and a crash later. Each bottle has 90mg of caffeine, which is pretty standard for an 8 oz. cup of coffee.

Sunniva is now about a year old and based out of the WeWork space in Crystal City. Oldest brother Jim is now the CEO and joins middle brother Jake in running the business, while youngest brother Jordan has gone back to school after taking a year off following his freshman year.

The business is coming full circle and targeting the very audience from which the original idea sprouted: Sunniva has found a substantial niche market on college campuses. It therefore relies heavily on digital marketing channels that younger audiences use: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, blogs, and vlogs, to name a few.

“Being started by tired college kids for tired college kids, we really take advantage of this digital age,” Jake says.

The DeCicco brothers, who launched Arlington-based SunnivaThe brothers often are featured in the various social media posts. “We definitely have a personality behind the brand,” Jake says. He laughs as he points out how they often go by “oldest brother, middle brother, and youngest brother” instead of by formal titles like CEO, COO, or founder.

In addition to a growing market on college campuses, Sunniva also has found a home in the cold beverage section of 32 Whole Foods stores in the Mid-Atlantic region, as well as on Amazon.

The product is processed at an aseptic facility in Buffalo, New York. The business tried out different manufacturers and different modes of pasteurization before landing at the current facility. “We had to scale our business appropriately to get there,” Jake says.

Sunniva currently processes about 200,000 bottles per batch. The product now is made in such a way that it doesn’t require refrigeration before opening; it’s shelf-stable for nine months.

Sunniva’s business plan involves further expansion into other Mid-Atlantic and northern East Coast markets up to Boston, with a longer-term goal of becoming a national brand. But the goal for early 2017 is to work on more local market penetration. The brothers want Sunniva to be the “premier bottled coffee in the Washington, D.C. area.”

“Reaching profitability is not a metric we use right now,” Jake says. “Right now we’re really focused on our philosophy of ‘win where you live’ and being hyperlocal.”

by ARLnow.com November 15, 2016 at 10:15 am 0

A Manassas-based brewery is hoping to open a location in Clarendon.

Heritage Brewing Co. has started a Kickstarter campaign with the hopes of raising $30,000 in startup costs to open a brewpub and coffee roastery on Fillmore Street, between Wilson and Clarendon Blvds.

So far, the company — which launched in 2013 with the help of another Kickstarter campaign — has raised just over $2,200.

Says the Kickstarter page:

We’ve found a vacant restaurant space in Clarendon, Arlington with the vision of making it into a fully functioning nano-brewery, coffee roastery, and small plate restaurant.

The Market Common location will be open 7 days a week with snacks in the morning and small plate meals throughout the afternoon and evening, paired with our barrel series and flagship craft beers.

In partnership with our sister company Veritas Coffee we will run a full fledged coffee bar every morning and afternoon featuring our patented cold press coffee as well as pour over and packaged varieties.

Our award-winning barrel series beers have long needed a space to call their own. In the new location, we envision giving them a chance to shine. We’ll offer barrel releases monthly, and limited edition beers aged on-site in both a variety of barrels and a seven bbl foder for unique flavor additions.

We imagine the space built out to fit our proud industrial American aesthetic. Plenty of wood barrels actively aging our beers for your enjoyment, and accents of their likeness spread throughout to adorn the space.

Your help and donations will go to outfitting the bar, purchasing glassware, barware, merchandise, fridges, menus, and paying for initial salaries of new hires. This is no small undertaking and the support we asked for during our initial start up was instrumental in the making of our success.

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