Rolls By U quietly opened on to the public on Saturday. Though the restaurant signed a lease on a location approximately a year and a half ago, the final license from the County came through last Friday.
The restaurant is the work of Latin Concepts, the same company behind Guarapo in Courthouse.
According to Faris Salim, one of the company’s partners, they were anxious to open Rolls By U as quickly as possible to give customers what they’ve been asking for.
“We want to create new thinking where people know they can come into the restaurant and create their own,” Salim said. “Arlington is one of the best places to do that. Why not give the people the power to choose what they want to eat while keeping it healthy, especially with sushi.”
The menu includes three basic items: bowls, rolls and “ritos,” the restaurant’s version of a sushi burrito. Diners can customize each of these by ordering in an assembly line fashion. They can choose proteins, veggies, extra items like quinoa or cream cheese, and sauces.
The kitchen is also completely open and visible to customers as they place their order.
For those who are more comfortable ordering off a set menu, there are specialty ritos and rolls to choose from. The rolls are from the menu of another Latin Concepts sister restaurant called Maté in Georgetown.
Salim said it was his experience working at Maté that gave him the idea for Rolls By U.
“People would always want to customize their orders because of allergies, wanting them to be vegan or gluten free,” he said. “I wanted to expand to Arlington and give it a shot, and that’s how we thought of putting a fast-casual restaurant here.”
Salim described the menu as having something for everyone, including those have allergies or prefer to eat vegan, gluten- or dairy-free. The menu items also aren’t limited to fish, as guests can choose grilled chicken, hanger steak or tofu as their protein.
While the entire menu is currently available, the restaurant is still making final preparations before holding an official grand opening within the next two weeks. Some of these include a sauce-tasting station, delivery service and a bar serving beer, wine, sake, cider and champagne.
There’s even outlets and USB ports along the walls in the dining area for the restaurant’s constantly-connected customers.
“We want people to be able to come in and out, but also feel like they can come here to relax and have a drink without having the pressure of sit down or fine dining,” Salim said.
Rolls by U is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.
To help celebrate Mexican Independence Day and its own 15 year anniversary, Guajillo in Rosslyn will be giving customers the chance to scarf down a burrito the size of a small newborn baby.
The Mexican restaurant in the Colonial Village Shopping Center (1727 Wilson Blvd) will hold its annual burrito eating contest this coming Saturday, Sept. 19, at 4 p.m. Up to six contestants will attempt to eat a 16-inch, seven-pound burrito called El Cachudo for a chance to win a future dinner for two, said Guajillo spokeswoman Joahna Hernandez.
“El Cachudo is a 16-inch long burrito made with flour tortilla, filled with Mexican rice, refried pinto beans, Oaxaca cheese, pork carnitas, shredded beef, shredded chicken, lightly battered tilapia and most importantly, voodoo salsa made with a blend of fresh habaneros and garlic. It is served with pico de gallo and sour cream on the side,” Hernandez said.
The current record to beat is 20 minutes, which was set by an 18-year-old named Ian, she said. Guajillo co-owner Rolando Juarez started the contest in 2009 and named the burrito El Cachudo, which is a slang word for devil in Spanish, Hernandez said.
In addition to its large size, El Cachudo also has a spicy kick due to the homemade voodoo habanero salsa.
“As for the spicy level, you only need to pour a few drops [of the salsa] on a taco to give it a spicy kick; a little goes a long way!” Hernandez said in an email. “As you may know, an habanero chiles are even hotter than thai peppers and serranos.”
Anyone brave enough to sign up for the burrito eating contest can call 703-807-0840 or email [email protected] for more information.
Guajillo will also be holding specials starting today through Sept. 19 in honor of the Mexican holiday and its anniversary. The restaurant will serve $15 El Taconayo, a build-your-own taco meal, $15 tequila and Mezcal flights and $4 Coronas and Pacificos today. On Saturday, the restaurant will serve brunch starting at 11:30 a.m. with $5 spicy margaritas, according to a press release.
The full press release, after the jump.
Rolls By U, a new sushi restaurant coming to the Colonial Village Shopping Center on Wilson Blvd, is hoping to open its doors mid-September.
There is no target date for the new restaurant, according to one of its employees. Rolls By U announced the mid-September opening on its Facebook page on Aug. 26.
The sushi restaurant’s slogan is “where you create,” implying that it may be a make-your-own sushi concept. On social media, the restaurant says it will offer “organic, healthy, and flavorful sushi for your senses and your soul.”
Brown paper still covers the window, but construction crews could be seen inside this afternoon.
A new sushi restaurant appears to be moving in to the Colonial Village Shopping Center, next to the IceBerry frozen yogurt shop, at 1713 Wilson Blvd.
Rolls By U has put construction paper in the windows and simple signs on the door, with the business’ name, plus “where u create,” typed out on its logo.
The restaurant’s Twitter account has tweeted just twice, but its bio says “coming to Arlington this spring” and its second tweet includes the hashtag “#createyourown,” implying a do-it-yourself sushi concept.
A Virginia ABC store may be coming to the Courthouse area.
The state Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is negotiating a lease for a liquor store in the new 1919 Clarendon Blvd building, an ABC official confirmed. That’s a block away from the Colonial Village Shopping Center, where another ABC store closed last year.
ABC has applied for a construction permit for the space, but it has yet to be approved.
The store, if it does finalize its lease, would move into the new building alongside Lucky Pot Asian restaurant, Oasis Nail salon — both under construction — and European Wax Center, which is already open. Also moving into the building, according to Elevation DC, is a location of H Street NE Lebanese eatery Shawafel, which also has a booth at Nationals Park.
Shawafel, owner Alberto Sissi told Elevation, plans to have two counters — one for its savory food items and one for sweets — along with a fresh juice station.
The tree supposedly came down this past Sunday, according to parks department spokeswoman Susan Kalish, but the resident who first emailed ARLnow.com to ask about the safety hazard said it actually came down Tuesday, during Superstorm Sandy. Regardless of when it fell, the tree remains have been blocking the sidewalk ever since, forcing pedestrians to either walk up a small hill or into the street to get around it. It also blocked a bus stop and a bike lane, forcing bicyclists out into a vehicle travel lane.
The tree was on private property — near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Troy Street, just down the street from the Courthouse area — and Kalish said the county was not notified that it was blocking a sidewalk until ARLnow.com asked about it yesterday.
“According to a property manager at Colonial Village the tree fell Sunday night. They did not have an opportunity to remove it or contact us regarding it until we checked into it for [ARLnow.com],” she said. “The Parks team will clear the sidewalk today.”
It was a long night for the county board, which didn’t adjourn its recessed meeting until a few minutes after midnight. In addition to a controversial resolution regarding the Secure Communities program, a briefing on next year’s budget projections and the passage of the Crystal City Sector Plan, the board took a number of other significant actions.
The board heard a presentation by County Manager Michael Brown regarding staff research into the proposed development plan for East Falls Church. Details are available on the county’s web site.
Funds for the design of a better Ballston beaver pond were approved unanimously. The $471,842 contract calls for a new design that will allow the pond to do a better job of treating stormwater while still providing a habitat for wildlife.
A plan to renovate 162 apartments in Colonial Village was approved unanimously. The board looked into concerns about parking and trash expressed by neighboring residents, but otherwise made no alterations.
After another somewhat lengthy discussion about outdoor patios, the board voted unanimously to renew Hard Times Cafe’s outdoor seating permit. The board specified an allowance of four tables and eight chairs on the North Highland Street sidewalk during dinner time.
The board voted 4-1 to advertise a steep fee increase for restaurant and food vendor licenses. The board was careful to emphasize that the fee hike, from $100 to $285, was mandated by the state and already in place in neighboring jurisdictions. The fee would apply evenly to brick and mortar restaurants and mobile food vendors.
At the very end, the board approved some sort of settlement with the owner of the long-delayed Bromptons development in Cherrydale. Update at 11:15 a.m. — The settlement deals with a dispute between the owner and the county over utility undergrounding. Under terms of the settlement, Bromptons owner R15, LLC will pay $255,000 to a utility fund.
The historic Colonial Village apartments (the portion owned by Wesley Housing Development Corporation) will be renovated and most of the units converted to low income housing, under a plan that’s up for discussion at a county hearing next week.
The proposal calls for renovations to begin around March of next year, according to a leasing agent. Renovations would proceed several at a time. Tenants will be “relocated” during the renovation process.
The details about the low income housing conversion are a bit sketchy at this point, but initial reports suggest all but two dozen or so apartments will be designated low income housing under the plan, which could force some existing tenants out.
Colonial Village was among the first garden-style apartment complexes in the U.S. when it was built in the 1930s. Wesley owns 162 apartment units, which are home to about 400 residents.
A county housing counselor told ARLnow.com that more details will be revealed on Wed., Sept. 8, during an Arlington Tenant-Landlord Commission hearing. The hearing will take place at 7:30 p.m. in Azalea Room (lobby level) of 2100 Clarendon Boulevard.
One Colonial Village resident we heard from was upset that there have only been two “resident meetings” about the plan leading up to next week’s hearing.
Today’s renovation news follows our report earlier this week about major renovations at the 1020 North Quincy Street apartments in Ballston.
Multiple calls to Wesley Housing Development Corporation’s main office in Alexandria went unanswered throughout the afternoon.