That’s according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
Police set up a perimeter and used a K-9 to try to track the suspects but they remain at large. More from ACPD:
ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-06200273, 1400 block of S. Queen Street. At approximately 9:14 p.m. on June 20, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim and the two unknown male suspects were connected through an online classified and had arranged to meet for a cash transaction. During the transaction, one suspect brandished a firearm and stole the victim’s cash. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. The first suspect is described as a black male, wearing a white tank top and shorts. The second suspect is described as a black male. The investigation is ongoing.
Also on Tuesday, police arrested two Falls Church men for a series of car break-ins in the Madison Manor neighborhood, near the East Falls Church Metro station.
LARCENY FROM AUTO(Series), 2017-06200005, 1100 block of N. Powhatan Street. At approximately 12:25 a.m. on June 20, officers responded to the report of a tampering. Upon arrival, it was determined two suspects entered at least four vehicles and stole items of value. Officers located and apprehended both suspects in the area shortly after. Louis Earl Blount Jr., 18, of Falls Church VA, and David Evans-Herring, 20, of Falls Church VA, were arrested and charged with petit larceny and tampering with auto. Both suspects are being held without bond.
The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
A number of roads will close this weekend for the Columbia Pike Blues Festival.
The Blues Fest stage is located near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive. The free event will include several performers, food vendors, activities for children and other vendors.
The festival is taking place on Saturday, June 17. The closures, below, are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to a county press release.
- S. Walter Reed Drive from Columbia Pike to 9th Street S. (Motorists can use 7th Street S. to S. Highland Street as a detour)
- 9th Road S. from S. Garfield Street to S. Walter Reed Drive
- 9th Street S. from S. Highland Street to S. Walter Reed Drive
There will be temporary “No Parking” signs placed around the area and illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed or towed. If you are towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.
The U.S. Army has decided against pursuing a land swap with Arlington County as part of its plan to expand Arlington National Cemetery.
Instead, the Army announced it will use all the former Navy Annex site along Columbia Pike for the cemetery’s expansion. It will also look to acquire about five acres of public land now owned by Arlington County and more than seven acres of state-owned public land.
Both sides agreed to the original swap in 2013, which would have provided the county with land south of a realigned Columbia Pike. The county had hoped to use that land for various public facilities.
“While we are disappointed that Arlington County will not receive any land in this area for county needs through a land exchange agreement, we are committed to working with the cemetery to support one of our nation’s most cherished and hallowed sites,” County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement.
County officials said they will negotiate for fair compensation for its land and for commemoration of Freedman’s Village, a camp for former slaves that was later subsumed by the cemetery, Pentagon and Navy Annex. They also promised that both Columbia Pike and Southgate Road will be realigned.
The planned expansion of the cemetery will create space for more than 25,000 new graves.
More from a county press release after the jump:
‘Love Letters’ Along the Pike — The “Virginia Is For Lovers” tourism campaign has installed the person-sized letters “LOVE” along S. Walter Reed Drive, ahead of this weekend’s Columbia Pike Blues Festival. [Facebook]
News Orgs Confuse Arlington and Alexandria — A number of news organizations mistakenly stated that yesterday’s shooting in Alexandria happened in “Arlington, Virginia.” Though somewhat inexplicable, the confusion happens frequently. [Twitter]
Regional Metro Tax Mulled — The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has approved a series of principles that could be the basis for a region-wide tax that can provide dedicated funding for Metro. Without it, WMATA says it will face budget shortfalls by 2019. [WTOP]
A gym that opened last year along Columbia Pike closed late last month.
True Health and Wholeness replaced the former World Gym at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive, but itself closed two weeks ago, on May 30.
True focused on holistic approaches and family-friendliness, and looked to be a “one stop shop” for all health and fitness needs. In an email to the community, co-founders Nina and Christian Elliot blamed “some unexpected and blindsiding events the last couple weeks” for the closure.
“The hardest part is the sour stomach of realizing how many people we’ve let down, and the relationships we’ve come to cherish that are now at best, interrupted,” the pair wrote. “There are no words to convey how sorry we are to make this announcement.”
A reader alleged in an email that the pair cancelled all its classes without explanation and that members would not receive any refunds. The reader added that members with pre-paid memberships were told to ask their credit card companies for a chargeback.
Nina Elliot did not respond to requests for comment. The gym’s website is still operational.
Despite the closure of their business, the Elliots promised to return to the wellness business.
Business owners, and in particular Elliots, are a resilient breed. We are weary and wounded right now, often unable to finish sentences without crying, but we didn’t suddenly forget everything we know about health and changing people’s lives. We have not lost our love of this work. We have learned so many lessons from the school of hard knocks the last 12 years and we promise not let those lessons go to waste. We believe we have a sacred duty to help as many people as we can.
According to initial reports, a Buckingham resident was robbed by an armed man after withdrawing cash from a bank along Columbia Pike.
A police spokeswoman said the robbery occurred inside a residence on N. Thomas Street in Buckingham. The suspect remains at large.
More from today’s ACPD crime report:
ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-06120175, 300 block of N. Thomas Street. At approximately 2:07 p.m. on June 12, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, the victim reported that an unknown male subject brandished a firearm and stole an undisclosed amount of cash from the victim. The suspect then fled the scene on foot. Responding units established a perimeter with negative results. The investigation is ongoing.
Despite delays, a new beer garden on Columbia Pike is still on track to open soon, its owner says.
But the restaurant remains unopened, at least for now. In an email, owner Tony Wagner – who also owns Twisted Vines across the street — said BrickHaus is “in the midst of inspections,” and that he could have a “good idea” of an opening date as early as this week.
BrickHaus will be a beer garden on the first floor, with some 20 beers on tap and an approximately 30-seat outdoor patio. The second floor mezzanine will have upstairs dining with a menu including steaks, German food and other entrees.
It will offer mostly regional brews from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, in addition to perhaps a couple of German beers. Wagner said draft wine will also be available.
The aging building has received an extensive renovation after being vacant for years following the departure of Blanca’s Restaurant.
For this FREE annual event, LaVette is joined by a full lineup of blues, R&B and funk performers of national and regional note, including: Rufus Roundtree and Da B-more Brass Factory; Full Power Blues Band; Sol Roots with Carly Harvey; and Jonny Grave.
Presented by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) in cooperation with Arlington Arts — the presenting arm of Arlington Cultural Affairs — the Columbia Pike Blues Festival is a recipient of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Music Festival Sponsorship Program, which supports the growth of Virginia music festivals and their important economic impact for local communities while also building Virginia’s reputation as a music destination.
The winner of multiple awards, Bettye LaVette performed the memorable duet “Change is Gonna Come” with Bon Jovi for President-elect Obama at HBO’s We Are One concert, as well as the critically acclaimed “Love, Reign O’er Me” tribute to The Who at the Kennedy Center Honors. From the birth of soul in the 1960’s, Bettye continues to garner accolades and awards in her fifth decade in show business for her vital new albums and interpretive live shows. The rest of this year’s amazing Columbia Pike Blues Festival lineup includes:
- 6:45 p.m. — Bettye LaVette
- 5:00 p.m. — Rufus Roundtree and Da B-more Brass Factory
- 3:30 p.m. — Full Power Blues Band
- 2:00 p.m. — Sol Roots with Carly Harvey
- 1:00 p.m. — Jonny Grave
“The Pike” is fast becoming the Arlington destination for food and fun — with everything from the Salsa Room, a top Latin dance club in the DMV, and Ethiopian delicacies at the renowned Dama Pastry and Restaurant (whose baker was trained by the White House pastry chef), to down-home classics such as Bob and Edith’s diner and the now-famous Celtic House Irish Pub, which made national news this Spring when it was named by Travel + Leisure Magazine as the best place in the country to spend St. Patrick’s Day!
Enjoy food and beverages, arts and crafts vendors, and kids’ activities as you spend the day on Arlington’s oldest and newest Main Street — in one of its most diverse, vibrant communities — listening to quintessential American music that will make it impossible not to get up and dance.
The Blues Festival covers three blocks at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. So put on your dancing shoes, grab friends and family and head to the Pike for a day of great music, food, art and fun! More info here.
A 27-year-old D.C. man has been arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer after an incident at a McDonald’s on Columbia Pike.
Just after 6 p.m. yesterday (Monday) police responded to the McDonald’s at 3013 Columbia Pike for a report of “a group of disorderly subjects refusing to leave a restaurant, as requested by store management,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.
“As officers were attempting to conduct their investigation and ban the subjects from the property, one subject became combative and shoved an officer resulting in a physical struggle,” the crime report said. “Derrell Taylor, 27, of Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with assault and battery on law enforcement, obstruction of justice, and failure to I.D.”
The incident prompted a large police response to the McDonald’s, alarming some locals, but no serious injuries were reported.
Taylor was held at the county jail on a $5,000 bond.
Photo courtesy Eric Dobson
Free Donuts Today — Today, June 2, is National Donut Day. To celebrate, Dunkin’ Donuts and Duck Donuts are offering a free donut with the purchase of any beverage. Sugar Shack is offering a free donut for those who wear a Sugar Shack hat, t-shirt or other article of clothing with the company logo. [Dunkin’ Donuts, Duck Donuts, Facebook]
Stabbing on Columbia Pike — Arlington County Police are investigating a stabbing that occurred near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Rolfe Street early this morning. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries. [Fox 5, WJLA, ACPD]
Owner Wants Out of Ray’s Hell Burger Lease — Michael Landrum, owner of Ray’s the Steaks and Ray’s Hell Burger, wants out of the Hell Burger lease at 1650 Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn. The restaurant closed and went on “hiatus” last month. Landrum’s company owes the landlord just over $300,000, according to a bankruptcy filing. [Washington Business Journal]
Why Arlington and Alexandria Couldn’t Collaborate on a Pool — Sharing the costs of an indoor aquatics center seemed like a good idea in theory, but ultimately those in Alexandria did not like the idea of using their taxpayer dollars to build a pool in Arlington. Now Arlington’s planned Long Bridge aquatics center is moving forward while Alexandria’s plans to build an indoor pool are on hold. [Washington Post]
New Tenants to the Rescue in Courthouse — “Adding Reston-based VideoBlocks to its tenant roster was a good get for the owners of Courthouse Tower, but as it turns out, the lease was part of a larger plan to avoid letting about three quarters of the building’s office space go dark.” [Washington Business Journal]
Metro ‘Prepares for Life After SafeTrack’ — We’re a day and a half into June and there have been no major Metro service disruptions so far, something the transit agency hopes is the norm. From a press release: “As the yearlong SafeTrack program winds down, Metro is preparing for a new era of less disruptive preventive maintenance and planned capital work to ensure that the rail system remains in a reliable state for years to come.” [WMATA]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
A Japanese restaurant is coming to the Westmont Shopping Center at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road, replacing the Sports House Grill.
According to permit applications filed with the county, Takohachi Japanese Restaurant will move into the space at 3249 Columbia Pike.
As of Thursday, building permits for interior demolition were in the window of the spot between a State Farm agent and a Mattress Firm store.
The Sports House Grill was at the center of some controversy in recent years. In 2013, the County Board denied its application to renew its live entertainment permit to continue karaoke nights.
Neighboring civic associations, the police department and Virginia ABC all opposed the renewal due to concerns about crime. Neighbors had raised concerns about vandalism, violence in the parking lot and alleged drug sales.
No word yet on an opening date.
The proprietor of a food truck that would park near the now-closed Food Star grocery store is set to take over the former Green Room next to the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse.
The truck, Tortas Y Tacos La Chiquita, sold Mexican food like tacos, quesadillas and tortas from the parking lot at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.
Owner David Villalobos said on the eatery’s official Facebook page that their new digs at 2911 Columbia Pike will be open in the first or second week of June. He also said that customers can expect “new cakes and tacos” after the grand opening.
The restaurant replaces “The Green Room,” which hosted stand-up comedy and other events adjacent to the main theater. It closed earlier this year as owner Greg Godbout looked for a new tenant.
Next Friday, thousands of area commuters will celebrate Bike to Work Day, including at sites across Arlington.
The free event is open to all area commuters, who are encouraged to meet up with neighbors and co-workers at one of 85 pit stops across the region and ride bicycles to work in a commuter convoy.
In Arlington, seven sites will provide food and drink, as well as nearby Capital Bikeshare stations for the easy docking of bikes. In the mornings, the pit stops will be open from 6:30-9 a.m., while those open in the afternoons will last from 4:30-6:30 p.m.
Rosslyn’s morning pit stop will be hosted at Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway), while in the afternoon it will be at the Heavy Seas Alehouse (1501 Wilson Blvd). Shirlington will also hold pit stops in the morning at the Shirlington Library (4200 Campbell Ave) and in the afternoon at New District Brewing (2709 S. Oakland Street).
Pit stops can also be found in the mornings at FreshBikes Bike Shop (3924 Wilson Blvd) in Ballston, Penrose Square at 2503 Columbia Pike, the East Falls Church Metro station (2001 N. Sycamore Street) and the Crystal City Water Park (1750 Crystal Drive).
Registration is required for the pit stops, which enters attendees into local and regional raffles and guarantees a free Bike To Work Day T-shirt.
The regional event is organized by Commuter Connections, a program of the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments that promotes bicycling to work, ridesharing and other alternatives to driving. More than 17,500 bicyclists are expected to register across the D.C. area.
“Each year, Bike to Work Day attracts commuters who choose to bike to work for the very first time, and after the event, 10 percent of them continue to bike to work an average of 1.4 days per week,” said Nicholas Ramfos, director of Commuter Connections, in a statement. “That’s an impressive conversion rate and it’s why we are committed to making every Bike to Work Day bigger and better than the one before it.”
With redevelopment just around the corner, the Food Star grocery store on Columbia Pike will close as early as next week according to a sign on its entrance.
Its lease at the property is set to expire on May 25. The grocery store is expected to move to 206 W. Glebe Road in Alexandria’s Arlandria neighborhood and replace the Foodway currently there.
The sign, written in English and Spanish, reads:
Dear Food Star customers:
After 32 years of business it is with sincere regret that we inform you that Food Star supermarket will be closing permanently at this location between April 30 and May 15, 2017. It is our utmost priority to inform you of this decision as you are a very important part of the Food Star family. We appreciate your business and are thankful for your loyalty. We hope to have the opportunity to continue serving you at our new location at: 206 W. Glebe Road (formally Foodway), Alexandria, VA 22305.
We will notify you which day we will open. Thank you for your business and continued support.
The store at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive is set for demolition along with several small retail businesses for the “Columbia Pike Village Center” development. More than 1,800 people who wanted to “Save Food Star” signed a petition against the plan last year.
In its place will be a new 50,000 square foot Harris Teeter grocery store, 31,530 square feet of new ground-floor retail space and a 22,150 square foot public square. The project also includes a six-story apartment building with 365 market-rate units, retail space and a three-level parking garage.
The Harris Teeter is expected to open in late 2019.
Arlington County has posted a list of other food stores in the area, the closest of which is 0.5 miles away from the Food Star, that residents can go to during construction of the new grocery store.
Of the other stores in the plaza, the Para Ti hair salon has already relocated to S. Carlin Springs Road. April was its last month in the strip mall.
A man led police on a chase down Glebe Road and Columbia Pike on Sunday afternoon.
The incident started around 3 p.m. when police were dispatched to the 4200 block of 2nd Road N. in Buckingham for a report of a “dispute in progress possibly involving a firearm.”
Police arrived on scene and located a man fitting the suspect description, but the man allegedly threw his car into reverse and sped towards an officer.
“The driver intentionally struck the officer but she did not sustain any injuries,” according to a police press release.
“A vehicle pursuit was initiated after the suspect fled from the scene traveling southbound on Glebe Road,” according to Arlington County Police. “The suspect turned onto Columbia Pike where he struck a vehicle at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. The suspect exited his vehicle and attempted to flee the scene on foot. Following a brief foot pursuit, the suspect was taken into custody without further incident.”
Police arrested 32-year-old Brian Williams and charged him with a number of crimes, including attempted malicious wounding on law enforcement, felony eluding, felony hit and run, misdemeanor identity theft and driving while suspended.
Williams was also wanted for other crimes in Arlington and in Anne Arundel County, Maryland.
Photo (top) via ACPD