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by ARLnow.com — January 11, 2017 at 11:05 am 0

Police car (file photo)A man struck another man in the head with a coffee mug on Columbia Pike Friday night.

The incident happened around 9:30 p.m. on the 2000 block of the Pike, east of Penrose Square the “town center” row of businesses.

The altercation involved two men who knew each other, according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report. The victim was taken to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries.

From the ACPD report:

MALICIOUS WOUNDING, 2017-01060359, 2000 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 9:37 p.m. on January 6, police were dispatched to the report of an assault with injury that had just occurred. Following a verbal altercation between known individuals, the male subject allegedly struck the male victim in the head with a coffee mug. The male subject fled the scene prior to police arrival. The male victim was transported to Virginia Hospital Center with non-life threatening injuries. The investigation is ongoing.

The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.

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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 Tim Regan — January 5, 2017 at 10:05 am 0

A beloved burrito stand on Columbia Pike has split off from its parent company and adopted a new name.

The business formerly known as Pedro and Vinny’s (2599 Columbia Pike) is now a standalone eatery called “Burrito Bros.” The change happened about a week ago, according to Richard Arnez, who co-owns Burrito Bros with Roger Coronel.

“We were kind of like a franchise,” Arnez explained. “But we just wanted to be independent.”

Since the name change, most customers haven’t noticed anything different, Arnez said. After all, they’re there for the burritos, not the branding. There are some slight changes, though. For instance, Arnez said he had to give up the recipes behind the sauces when he left the Pedro and Vinny’s family.

A visit to the restaurant yesterday revealed the burritos are indeed more or less the same as before. The sauces — though still piquant — do taste slightly different now.

Still, some longtime fans might wonder whether in-house animosity could have led to the break-up. Is a burrito battle looming on the horizon?

Probably not, said Pedro and Vinny’s owner John Rider, who still staffs the original burrito cart in downtown D.C. each day. The split was merely a business decision, he explained.

“There’s no animosity with the situation,” Rider said. “I wish him the best of luck.”

Still, Rider said he feels a twinge of pain every time he drives past his former Columbia Pike restaurant and sees it without its familiar sign.

“I was hoping that Richard would open more Pedro and Vinny’s,” Rider said. “It’s too bad it happened, but it wasn’t my choice.”

There’s no guarantee Rider, who has vowed to open another brick and mortar location, won’t return to his old stomping grounds. In fact, he said he’s eyeing a Columbia Pike storefront just down the block from Burrito Bros.

“I love Arlington. Those customers are awesome,” Rider said. “We’re looking around that area, but I don’t know where we’re going to end up.”

by Tim Regan — January 3, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Frozen yogurt fans who frequent the Menchie’s at Penrose Square will now have to go cold turkey.

The company closed its store at 2405 Columbia Pike on New Year’s Eve, according to a Menchie’s representative. The froyo shop opened roughly four years ago.

“We closed the location because it simply wasn’t making any money,” said company representative Camey Turpin. Menchie’s has no plans to open another location in the area anytime soon. The closest Menchie’s store is along U Street in Northwest D.C.

It wasn’t immediately clear what might replace the business. Arlington County has not recently issued any building permits for that address.

Photos by Dave Emke

by ARLnow.com — January 3, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Police car lightsA man told police he was robbed at gunpoint in a building along Columbia Pike Monday morning.

The incident happened just after 11 a.m. on the 3200 block of Columbia Pike, just east of the S. Glebe Road intersection.

The victim was robbed of his cash but no injuries were reported. Police tried to track the suspect but were unable to find him.

From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

ROBBERY, 2017-01020060, 3200 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 11:13 a.m., an officer on routine patrol was flagged down by the victim who reported they had just been robbed at gunpoint. The victim advised he was in the stairwell of a business when the unknown suspect produced a handgun and robbed him of an undisclosed amount of cash. A K9 track of the area returned negative results. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male with an average build wearing a red and black hoodies and blue jeans.

by ARLnow.com — December 6, 2016 at 3:15 pm 0

Four Mile Run Drive recycling center

Arlington County’s self-serve recycling center on Four Mile Run Drive at Columbia Pike may be moving to the Arlington Trades Center.

The Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote on the move at its meeting this Saturday.

County staff proposed the move “in response to community concerns about aesthetics and illegal dumping.”

The Trades Center (2700 S. Taylor Street) is a hub of county maintenance activity. It is located near Shirlington, 1.5 miles away from the current recycling center location. The move “would allow for a more controlled drop-off location,” county staff say.

The cost of the move would be “minimal” and could be completed by mid-January, according to the staff report.

The Four Mile Run recycling center is one of two in the county: another is located in Quincy Park, at the corner of N. Quincy Street and Washington Blvd, near Washington-Lee High School.

“Both of the Recycling Centers provide for the drop-off of single stream recyclable materials, including: mixed paper, cardboard, metal cans, plastic bottles, food containers and glass,” said the staff report. “These facilities are particularly useful to provide small businesses a convenient and inexpensive way to comply with the County Code’s recycling requirements.”

The report says county staffers have conducted extensive community outreach in advance of the Board’s decision.

by ARLnow.com — December 5, 2016 at 8:30 am 0

Ice skating at Pentagon Row

County to Continue Westover Study — Arlington County’s Historical Affairs and Landmark Review Board has asked county staff to study garden apartments in the Westover neighborhood. The study is expected to take 6-12 months, after which the board will consider whether to recommend a historic designation. Some residents want Westover designated as historic in order to prevent redevelopment. The study limits the historic designation to the garden apartments and not to other parts of Westover. [InsideNovaArlington County]

Donations Needed for ANC Wreaths — The nonprofit Wreaths Across America is seeking donations to help sponsor wreaths for the gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. Without additional donations, nearly half of the graves at the cemetery may be bare for the holidays. [Washington Examiner, WTOP]

New Name for New Street — A new street that will be built as part of a planned apartment development along Columbia Pike may be getting a new name. Originally set to be called S. Smythe Street, the short connector road behind the Wellington apartments may instead be named S. Ross Street. [InsideNova]

High School Boundary Change Approved — Despite some resident complaints, the Arlington School Board on Dec. 1 approved a series of high school boundary changes that will move students, starting with high school freshmen next year, from overcrowded Washington-Lee High School to Wakefield and Yorktown. [Arlington Public Schools, InsideNova]

by ARLnow.com — November 29, 2016 at 4:35 pm 0

Sugar Shack Donuts on Columbia PikeYou might soon be able to enjoy a cold beer and a warm donut all in the same place along Columbia Pike.

Sugar Shack Donuts (1014 S. Glebe Road) has applied for a Virginia ABC license to serve beer on premises. The application was filed Nov. 7.

Owner Rob Krupicka wasn’t ready to discuss his beer-related plans when contacted by ARLnow.com.

“Need to see if we get a permit,” he said via email.

Krupicka’s Sugar Shack Donuts store in Alexandria has a hidden “speakeasy” bar called Captain Gregory’s, which serves cocktails and a small food menu featuring mostly savory, non-donut dishes.

by ARLnow.com — November 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Police pedestrian enforcement on Columbia Pike (photo courtesy ACPD)

The Arlington County Police Department issued 20 citations and made one arrest during its pedestrian safety enforcement detail on Columbia Pike this morning.

The enforcement was conducted on the Pike at S. Oakland Street from about 10 a.m. to noon.

According to ACPD, 17 drivers “were stopped and issued a summons for failure to yield to the pedestrian,” while two were issued citations for not wearing a seatbelt and another was cited for not having a driver’s license.

One person stopped by officers was wanted for failing to appear in court for not having a driver’s license. That person was taken into custody, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

The department conducted a similar enforcement detail last week on Lee Highway at N. Edison Street and issued 15 citations for failure to yield, Savage said.

Via Twitter:

Photo (top) courtesy ACPD

by ARLnow.com — November 15, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse by BrianMKAAn iconic local business may be making some major changes next year.

The Arlington Cinema and Drafthouse, at 2903 Columbia Pike, sent an email to customers on Sunday night, seeking feedback on a proposal that would change the way it books entertainment options.

Currently, the Drafthouse hosts national comedy acts, periodic special events and “sub-run” movies year-round.

Historically, sub-run movies are movies that have been out a few months but are not yet on home video or on-demand. But that has been changing — now such movies make it to on-demand and home video faster, which has led to a slump in the sub-run movie model, says Drafthouse owner Greg Godbout.

Godbout, who runs the venue with his wife Colleen, said the business of showing sub-run movies for discounted prices has been in decline for years, with fewer people finding a reason to pay to go out to a movie that they can just watch at home.

“The studios have no interest in keeping the sub-run model alive,” he said. “This has been something that has been trending for some time and we now have to do something about it.”

The proposal, as presented to customers, would bring first-run movies to the Drafthouse, but only for part of the year. In the summer, when comedy attendance is down, the Drafthouse would exclusively show new Hollywood releases. The rest of the year, the same mix of comedy, events and sub-run movies would return.

Studio rules dictate that the Drafthouse can’t show new releases and other entertainment on the same screen or stage. So if the change were to be made the Drafthouse would, during the summer, follow roughly the same model as the Uptown Theater in D.C., showing one first-run movie exclusively for a couple of weeks before moving on to another.

“As we make this decision, it’s a significant change — trying to figure out how we change our model to fit the movie industry, so we can continue to do movies,” said Godbout. “We’ve had so many internal discussions about this, but we’ve never opened it up and said, ‘hey customers, what do you think about this?'”

He said the response to his email has been overwhelming: less than 24 hours after he sent it Sunday night, more than 1,600 people had already filled out a survey that he linked to in the email.

“We’re so fortunate, we have a very passionate fan base,” Godbout said. “This is the best type of market research you can imagine. People have also been emailing privately, I can barely keep up with it.”

Godbout said a final decision needs to be made by February, to give the Drafthouse enough time to book movies in advance for the summer. The decision, he hinted, may be different than what was proposed in the email, in response to feedback.

“That proposal, while still in tact, is changing significantly based on responses,” he said. “People are saying, remain unique, don’t be like everything else.”

But change is likely either way.

“When you run a small business, nothing is permanent, you have to adapt,” said Godbout.

The change took on a bit more urgency this year because so-called “disposable income venues” — entertainment venues, restaurants, etc. — in the area are experiencing a downturn that Godbout attributed to election anxiety.

Despite that, the Drafthouse is investing in its future with planned maintenance to its neon “ARLINGTON” sign and the replacement of its more worn-out chairs.

Godbout said certain things about the Drafthouse, which he and Colleen first took over in 2005, are not changing. The new chairs, for instance, will still be office chairs. And the shows will go on.

“We’re not shutting our doors,” he said. “This will still be the comfortable place to come to enjoy world class entertainment.”

The full email, after the jump.

Flickr pool photo by Brian MKA

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by ARLnow.com — November 15, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Street Smart pedestrian safety tips (via ACPD)As part of an ongoing fall pedestrian and bicycle safety campaign, the Arlington County Police Department will be conducting an enforcement detail along Lee Highway later this week.

On Thursday, from 10 a.m. to noon, cops will “ticket motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic laws” on Lee Highway near N. Edison Street, in the Hall’s Hill/High View Park area.

A second enforcement detail is planned along Columbia Pike next week, on Tuesday, Nov. 22, according to an ACPD press release, below.

During the month of November, the Arlington County Police Department’s Special Operations Section will be out promoting the 2016 Fall Pedestrian & Bicycle Safety Awareness Program. The safety campaign will be held in Hall’s Hill and Barcroft areas of Arlington County. This campaign is part of the 2016 Fall Street Smart Pedestrian, Motorist, and Bicyclist Safety Campaign which will run from October 31st through November 27th.

The goals of the campaign are to change motorist and pedestrian behavior, and reduce pedestrian and bicyclist injuries through education and enforcement. Officers will ticket motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who violate traffic laws at the following locations:

  • November 17th from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Lee Highway and Edison Street
  • November 22nd from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – Columbia Pike and Frederick Street

The Street Smart programs are designed to carry out education and enforcement campaigns throughout the year in the Metropolitan area in order to ensure everyone shares the roads safely.  Pedestrians and bicyclists account for a quarter of the traffic fatalities in the region, nearly 90 deaths per year.

Motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians are reminded to pay attention to one another and always proceed with caution and care for each other’s safety.

by ARLnow.com — November 8, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

Van fire on SB I-395Several lanes of southbound I-395 are blocked due to a vehicle fire.

A van caught fire in the HOV lanes near Shirlington Circle around 2:45 p.m. The fire was extinguished by firefighters, who are still on scene examining the van’s engine compartment.

Currently, two mainline lanes and one HOV lane is squeezing by the scene, with HOV backups extending to the Pentagon.

Separately, there are currently significant delays on westbound Columbia Pike due to a reported three-vehicle crash just past Glebe Road. At least two injuries were reported in that crash, while no injuries were reported as result of the vehicle fire.

by Katie Pyzyk — November 8, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

The following is the fourth in a weekly mini-series of articles about a “day in the life” of companies at the MakeOffices coworking space in Clarendon. The series is sponsored by MakeOffices.

The employees at Winking Fish have a knack for thinking “outside the bowl” to make you notice a business. Other people’s businesses, that is.

If you have lived in, worked in, eaten in or passed through Arlington during the past eight years, the odds are good that you’ve spotted the creative strategy and design firm’s work at least once.

Perhaps you’ve seen their branding and design work for the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization, such as the lamppost banners and marketing materials for popular events like the farmer’s market, wine and craft beer festival, movie nights and jazz festival. Or maybe it’s the menus and promotional items they design for Vintage Restaurants Group — which owns Ragtime, Rhodeside Grill and William Jeffrey’s Tavern in Arlington and Dogwood Tavern in Falls Church. They also do pro bono work for the Arlington Free Clinic.

Director of strategy and engagement Maria Gallagher says working with local clients — in addition to national clients like LinkedIn and the Cure Alzheimer’s Fund — is important to the whole four-person Winking Fish team.

“We’ve got a pretty solid mix of some nationally-based clients… and a really nice mix of local Arlington businesses,” she says. “It’s nice when you’re supporting the businesses around you and then you’re seeing your work in action, too.”

The Winking Fish employees’ tasks vary a bit from day to day, but they all revolve around developing and maintaining businesses’ identities. Gallagher spends her time contemplating communications and messaging strategies while art director Parisa Damian sketches out ideas and digitally designs marketing materials.

Meanwhile, senior graphic designer Robyn Davis examines color swatches to determine which visual elements fit best with a particular client’s style. “I haven’t been able to do anything ‘pretty’ in a while because I came from an academic environment where it can be kind of boring,” Davis says. “It’s nice to be able to do different kinds of work.”

There is one thing, though, that remains the same each day: The team members get a lot of “together time.” A lot of together time.

Gallagher is married to Winking Fish principal Kieran Daly, and they’ve been friends with Damian and Davis for years. The four work together in a row of three adjacent offices and spend time together outside of work. Plus, they have lunch together nearly every day — sometimes on-site in the MakeOffices Clarendon lunchroom and sometimes at nearby restaurants. “It’s kind of nice to have that break and down time together,” Gallagher says.

Having an office in the coworking space has strengthened not only their connections with each other, but also with other businesses at MakeOffices Clarendon.

“Within two weeks [of moving here] we had a new website client,” Daly says. Fostering such connections was part of the whole plan, Gallagher explains. “That is one of the reasons we were thinking about a space like this, for the business networking it naturally promotes,” she says.

In addition to drumming up new clients, being in the coworking space creates an environment for learning different business strategies. “There’s a lot of natural opportunity to get different perspectives on running a small business. That’s a big plus,” Daly says.

One learning opportunity the Winking Fish employees especially appreciate is the once-a-month breakfast MakeOffices hosts, which includes various tenants as guest speakers.

“I went to one of those and realized I had no idea that kind of business was here in the building,” Gallagher says. “It’s nice to hear about those working models and how people are challenged and overcoming some challenges.”

For a creative firm like Winking Fish, image really is everything. The team finds that the coworking space portrays a positive, professional image to clients who visit. “It’s always fun to bring someone in here for the first time,” Gallagher says. “Everyone always comments on the energy. It’s vibrant.”

Daly explains that even though Winking Fish was in its previous building for five years, the space wasn’t very conducive to interacting with the other people there. “There really is a great energy change for us,” he says.

A standalone space also doesn’t offer the same flexibility, Daly says. “As a smaller business it’s nice to be able to have the option to add another office a couple of doors down if we need to and not be locked into a five-year term on an office space that might be too big or too small.”

And as an added bonus, “We don’t have to empty the dishwasher,” he says, laughing.

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by ARLnow.com — November 7, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

Arlington County police carSomeone broke into 20 vehicles near the Wellington apartments on Columbia Pike over the weekend.

According to Arlington County Police, the break-ins happened early Sunday morning. A bunch of car windows were broken, but little of value was stolen, police say.

From an ACPD crime report:

DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY(Series), 161106015, 1200 block of S. Scott Street. Between 2:00 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. on November 6, unknown suspect(s) entered 20 vehicles, mostly by breaking the vehicle’s windows, and rummaged through items but nothing appeared to be stolen. There is no suspect(s) description.

by ARLnow.com — November 4, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

(Updated at 2:55 p.m.) A man was taken into police custody at gunpoint in the middle of Columbia Pike this afternoon after a false report that he threatened someone with a gun.

The incident happened just before 2 p.m. near the intersection of the Pike and S. Glebe Road.

A 911 caller said the man had threatened him with a gun during some sort of confrontation, according to scanner traffic. According to Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage, the incident started as a verbal confrontation between the caller and the man over the caller allegedly ogling the man’s girlfriend while the couple was stopped in their car on Glebe Road near the Bank of America.

Police, told that the man had a gun, rushed to the scene and conducted a traffic stop on a car matching the description relayed by the caller. Officers ordered the man out of the vehicle with his hands up and took him into custody in the middle of Columbia Pike.

Upon further investigation, officers determined that the man did not have a gun in his possession and was not armed during the confrontation, Savage said.

“Basically it was just a verbal dispute that escalated,” Savage said. The scene has been cleared and no charges have been filed.

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