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by ARLnow.com — November 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm 0

A man pushed a woman to the ground and tried to take her money last Wednesday along Columbia Pike, but fled after a witness intervened.

From this week’s Arlington County crime report:

ROBBERY, 151118069, 3200 block of Columbia Pike. At approximately 10:35 p.m. on November 18, a 19 year-old female victim was shoved to the ground after a male subject attempted to steal change from her. The suspect fled the scene after a witness tried to intervene. Marlow Dugger, 37, of no fixed address, was arrested and charged with attempted robbery. He is being held on a $5,000 bond.

The rest of the crime report, after the jump.


by ARLnow.com — November 19, 2015 at 8:45 am 0

All lanes of Columbia Pike were closed during a portion of this morning’s rush hour due to a house fire.

The smoky fire was reported around 8:15 a.m., in a house fire on S. Monroe Street. As of 8:35 a.m., firefighters on the scene confirmed that they had extinguished the fire.

No injuries were reported.

Traffic congestion has been reported on the Pike as a result of the road closure, particularly westbound traffic in the area of S. George Mason Drive. Due to fire hoses on the ground, the road closure was not expected to be lifted until around 9:15 a.m.

Photos courtesy ACFD, ‏@_UrbunHippie

by ARLnow.com — November 16, 2015 at 5:35 pm 0

(Updated 6:35 p.m.) All lanes of Columbia Pike are blocked due to an overturned vehicle near Thai Square restaurant.

One person was reported to be trapped and injured. Firefighters removed the man from the vehicle, a Honda hatchback, and transported him to a local hospital.

The trapped driver is suspected of DUI, according to scanner traffic.

Initial reports suggest the driver in the Honda was driving westbound on Columbia Pike when he struck the rear quarter panel of a parked sedan, causing the Honda to flip on its side. An earlier report that the suspected DUI driver was in a different vehicle was incorrect.

All lanes of the Pike are closed between S. Walter Reed Drive and S. Glebe Road were closed for about an hour. The stretch reopened around 6:35 p.m.

by Jennifer Currier — November 12, 2015 at 5:45 pm 0

Whiskey at Twisted Vines (via Facebook:Twisted Vines)A new beverage trend is making its way into Arlington via Columbia Pike, and residents will soon have the opportunity to figure out what the hype is all about.

In such close quarters, a bar battle may be brewing — or perhaps, distilling — as the up-and-coming beverage in this case is whiskey.

Last week, Twisted Vines at 2803 Columbia Pike introduced 31 bottles of the brown liquor to its menu of wines and craft beer and is calling itself the first whiskey bar in the area.

(Copperwood Tavern, in Shirlington, may disagree.)

A short walk down the road from Twisted Vines is 2501 Columbia Pike, the home of the forthcoming Marble and Rye, a self-proclaimed wood fire kitchen and whiskey bar that’s planning a soft opening by the end of next week. Its current whiskey list includes 160 bottles and has plans to cap its selection at 200.

So, why whiskey, and why in Arlington?

“For us it’s actually a natural brand extension because we want to be a destination for fine wines, and now fine whiskey,” Tony Wagner, owner of Twisted Vines said. “People were asking for it. It’s a lot like with craft beer and wine in the sense that consumers are more knowledgable and interested in learning more about it.”

Wagner said when the restaurant first introduced its “extensive whiskey program” they started with the 31 bottles but hope to add 15 or 20 by the end of the year.

“We’re really proud of it,” he said of his whiskey plans. “Customers are becoming more sophisticated in their taste, so they want to go to a place where they can expand on that taste.”

Marble and Rye also hopes to teach locals the ways of whiskey, with a designated tasting room and cocktails that are “appealing to new whiskey drinkers and the whiskey fanatics.”

Whiskey at Marble and Rye (via Facebook:Marble and Rye)Restaurant spokeswoman Sarah Lakey described the restaurant’s menu as contemporary and locally-inspired while taking a sophisticated twist by pairing whiskeys with menu items. This is in the hopes that more customers will be encouraged to give the dark liquor a try.

“Whiskey is being enjoyed more and more as people realize there’s something for everyone,” she said.

The challenge of having a new whiskey bar as a next door neighbor, however, is welcomed.

“We are pleased that other restaurants on the Pike are expanding their whiskey offerings,” Lakey added. “Our hope is that the Columbia Pike corridor will become a destination for strong whiskey programs.”

The question of exactly how much room is on the Pike for whiskey bars, then, remains unclear. It seems that’ll be left for the drinkers to decide.

by Jennifer Currier — November 12, 2015 at 2:35 pm 0

New Toscana Grill (via Google Maps)A former Italian restaurant in Courthouse has found a new home on Columbia Pike and is planning to open by the end of the week.

Toscana Grill is all new with its new location (3207 Columbia Pike), new management and new menu, according to general manager Abdul Khalique.

The eatery’s Courthouse Plaza location closed earlier this year and was replaced by a Vietnamese restaurant.

(3207 Columbia Pike was formerly home to Pines of Florence, another Italian restaurant that had relocated from the Orange Line corridor.)

Khalique said the new Toscana Grill is planning a grand opening event this Friday, or as soon as they receive the final license from Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control.

“It’s totally different than before, now an independent corporation with new brand management and great food,” he said. “We’re excited to bring this kind of traditional, Italian food to the Columbia Pike.”

The new menu includes beer and wine, entrees of chicken, seafood or veal, as well as a “make your own” pasta option.

According to its new website, the restaurant will be open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. for eat-in, take-out and delivery.

Photo via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — November 7, 2015 at 1:00 am 0

"Forever Loyal Bandit" robbing the Capital One Bank on Columbia Pike (photo via ACPD)

Arlington County Police and the FBI are seeking a serial bank robber who robbed a bank on Columbia Pike Friday afternoon.

The suspect, dubbed the Forever Loyal Bandit by the FBI, passed a note to a teller at the Capital One Bank at 3532 Columbia Pike around 4 p.m. He received an undisclosed amount of cash and fled the scene.

This was the fifth bank robbery perpetrated by the Forever Loyal Bandit since June 2014, the FBI said. The “Forever Loyal” name is a reference to a t-shirt worn by the suspect in two of his first three robberies, all of which occurred in Falls Church last summer.

The suspect went dark after an Aug. 2014 robbery, then reappeared a week ago, on Oct. 30, when he robbed the Capital One Bank at Seven Corners Center, which he had also robbed last year.

The suspect is described as a black male, between 6’0″ and 6’3″. He’s said to be in his 30s, 40s or 50s. During the Pike robbery, the man was wearing a black baseball hat, a white and black long-sleeved Izod polo shirt and black pants.

The FBI is offering a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the identification, arrest and conviction of the Forever Loyal Bandit. Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 202-278-2000, or Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by Heather Mongilio — November 3, 2015 at 3:50 pm 0

A group of more than 40 people in yellow shirts has been knocking on the doors of homes in the Glebe and Arlington Mill voting districts the past few days in hopes of increasing voter turnout today.

The group is part of the Virginians for Organized Interfaith Community Engagement, an organization that supports social justice causes like affordable housing and that strives to increase the amount of people who actively engage in local politics.

As of 9 a.m. this morning, Nov. 3, VOICE members had talked to almost 600 people who pledged they would vote, said VOICE spokeswoman Marjorie Green. Arlington residents are voting for two new County Board members, making this an election that will set the direction of county policy for years to come.

“Even if only a third of those voters actually go to the polls, we figure we will have contributed to a more than 20 percent increase in voter turnout, a pretty significant figure in an election in which, as I just heard, the county registrar is saying turnout thus far is only about 15 percent,” Green said.

VOICE’s goal with its “Get Out the Vote” push is to engage with 2,000 people in the Glebe and Arlington Mill voting districts in hopes of raising voter turnout by 5 percent, the group said in a press release. The Glebe voting district includes the Nauck neighborhood, and the Arlington Mill district is made up of people in Columbia Pike and Arlington Mill areas.

VOICE is targeting the Glebe and Arlington Mill voting districts because people living there have historically skipped voting in off-year elections, like today’s, Green said. They have also raised concerns of their voices not being heard by county officials, said Rev. James E. Victor, Jr., the pastor at Mount Olive Baptist Church in Arlington View and a VOICE leader.

Residents in the Glebe voting district can vote at the Drew Recreation Center (3500 23th Street S.) and those in the Arlington Mill district can vote at Campbell Elementary School (737 S. Carlin Springs Road).

VOICE members stood at bus stops this morning encouraging people to stop by the two polling places and to cast their votes, Green said, adding that the organization will also be calling people throughout the day in hopes of getting more people to vote.

by Heather Mongilio — November 3, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

A new gym with a focus on a family-friendly, holistic approach to health and fitness is opening up a new location on Walter Reed Drive.

True Health and Wholeness is looking to open a new location, dubbed “Studio D,” at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive in March or April, barring any construction delays, said gym representative Kimberly Hartke. The new location is replacing World Gym, which closed last year, and is located across from the new Columbia Place development.

The new gym will take a family-friendly approach, offering childcare programs that help kids lead active and health lifestyles while their parents work out or take classes.

“True Health & Wholeness is building a team of individuals experienced in children’s movement and fitness programming, kids nutrition education and workshop design to come use their skills to help us develop what we believe to be a major differentiator for our business when it comes to family fitness,” the gym said on its website.

Gym members will be able to take classes on nutrition and healthy lifestyles, participate in group exercises and receive massages.

“Let the days of a doctor, pill and boutique for every body part and situation slowly become the exception. We believe it’s time to move away from the niche model for health (where the focus is on stand-alone services), and move toward a holistic, customer-centric, relationship-centric, lifestyle-adaptable, results-oriented model for health. You don’t need to fit into our programs, we need to fit into your lifestyle,” the gym said.

The Walter Reed Drive location will be the fitness company’s fourth space in Arlington. The company owns three other properties — Studios A, B and C — near the Glebe Road exit of I-395 in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood.

“[Co-owner Christian Elliot] said that they have always planned to expand in Arlington (though they did look once at a Skyline/Baileys location.) But they have been in business for 10 years in Arlington, which is also their home,” Hartke said in an email.

Elliot and co-owner Nina Elliot will be holding a fundraiser to help offset the costs of opening “Studio D” on Nov. 14, Hartke said. During the event, gym instructors will lead two group exercises, followed by dinner and a dance party. The gym is also accepting donations online.

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2015 at 2:45 pm 0

RedRocks Neapolitan Pizza on Columbia PikeRedRocks Neapolitan Bistro, the anchor restaurant at Penrose Square on Columbia Pike, will be closing after tonight.

RedRocks first opened at 2501 Columbia Pike in early 2013, then “relaunched” last year with lower prices, more burgers and delivery service. With middling results, the owners decided to shutter RedRocks and launch an all-new restaurant.

RedRocks will close its doors after 10 p.m. tonight.

A new restaurant and bar called Marble and Rye will be opening in its place, “offering a locally-sourced, seasonal menu highlighting the wood fire stove.”

Marble and Rye will offer “20 craft beers on tap, a carefully thought out cocktail menu, and bourbons and ryes to pair with every item on the menu,” according to its website.

RedRocks Neapolitan Pizza on Columbia Pike“Marble and Rye is moderately-priced contemporary American wood fire kitchen and whiskey bar that combines locally-inspired, seasonal, and creative food with one of the best and most extensive lists of whiskeys, and specialty seasonal cocktails,” a restaurant spokeswoman, Sarah Lakey, tells ARLnow.com.

“It will offer high quality food with a great atmosphere, ambiance, have a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and provide free and convenient parking in order to create a sense of ‘place’ and provide a great experience to our customers.”

Helming the new restaurant will be chef Kate Bennett, who has most recently been working as a private chef for a local real estate developer. Before that she worked for as an assistant kitchen manager for a large restaurant group in New York City.

“Our chef, Kate Bennett’s menus are always fresh and adapting with the seasons in order to provide farm-fresh northeast ingredients… from nearby farms and specialty purveyors,” says the website.

Marble & Rye logoAn early menu sent to ARLnow.com includes small plates from roasted marrow bone to mushroom gnocchi, a selection of wood-fired vegetables, salads, wood oven pizzas and grilled entrees like cedar plank salmon, caramelized diver sea scallops, baby back ribs, two types of burgers and quinoa cakes.

Entree prices range from $13 for a basic “chef’s burger” to $26 for an espresso rubbed filet.

“The restaurant will offer a lunch menu that will compliment our dinner menu, including specialty pizzas, salads and sandwiches, a daily happy hour, weekly events including Whiskey Wednesdays where customers can experience high end whiskeys from our tasting room at a reasonable price and a unique Sunday brunch with drink specials,” said Lakey.

The restaurant will also “actively promote and support local breweries and distilleries with an attractive tasting room and open floor plan for private events.”

While still majority owned by the owners of RedRocks, it will be run under the leadership of Bennett and a new management team.

Marble and Rye is expected to open in mid-to-late November.

by ARLnow.com — November 2, 2015 at 11:35 am 0

3400 Columbia Pike(Updated at 12:50 p.m.) Two popular restaurants will be joining Chipotle on the corner of Columbia Pike and Glebe Road.

Sugar Shack Donuts, a Richmond-based eatery serving fresh donuts and coffee, and 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza, a quickly-expanding New Jersey-based pizza chain, are coming to the ground floor of the Pike 3400 apartment building, according to building permits.

Built on the former Rosenthal car dealershipPike 3400 is currently home to the only Chipotle location on the Arlington stretch of Columbia Pike.

Sugar Shack attracted plenty of cult-like buzz — and actor Kevin Bacon — when it opened in Alexandria earlier this year. The location is owned by former Virginia delegate Rob Krupicka and makes its donuts in-house, without the help of machines.

The new Sugar Shack on the Pike will also be owned by Krupicka. He told ARLnow.com that the store should be open in “early 2016.”

1000 Degrees has been opening hundreds of new locations nationwide, building a business based around $7.99 personalized pizzas which are cooked in two minutes — similar to existing local fast-casual eateries like Spinfire. 1000 Degrees also offers breadsticks, build-your-own salads and fire roasted wings.

So far there’s no word on when 1000 Degrees will open.

Another building permit application indicates that a Supercuts hair salon is also planning to open at 3400 Columbia Pike.

Hat tip to Joe M.

by ARLnow.com — October 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm 0

Police car lights(Updated at 5:55 p.m.) A 62-year-old man was arrested Tuesday afternoon after allegedly masturbating while watching kids on a playground.

The incident happened between 2:45 and 3:30 p.m., on the 1100 block of S. Quincy Street, near Columbia Pike.

Police say Michael Howard, an Arlington resident, was seen masturbating inside his apartment while peering at children at a nearby playground though a window.

Howard is a registered sex offender, according to police, something investigators learned after his arrest. He was charged with public masturbation and held without bond.

by Heather Mongilio — October 20, 2015 at 1:45 pm 0

More nighttime road work is coming to portions of South Arlington, starting Sunday.

The county will be milling and paving part of Columbia Pike, between Washington Blvd and S. Walter Reed Drive, and S. Four Mile Run Drive, between S. George Mason Drive and Columbia Pike. Both roads were on the county’s paving schedule this year.

For the most part, paving on Columbia Pike will take place between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. in order to minimize traffic disruptions, according to the county’s notice. Road work is expected to start Sunday, Oct. 25 and is planned to last about a week, depending on the weather, said county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.

The paving on S. Four Mile Run will take place during the day depending on the weather. Milling on the road started yesterday, and work is expected to last a week, Baxter said.

Drivers will not be allowed to park their cars on the street while the roads are being milled and paved, mostly affecting residents living in the apartment complexes on S. Four Mile Run Drive.

Some Crystal City apartment dwellers complained of loud noises from road work in the area earlier this month, saying the ruckus made it hard to sleep.

by ARLnow.com — October 16, 2015 at 4:30 pm 0

16G Metrobus (photo courtesy WMATA)Fear not, Columbia Pike residents — a post-streetcar transit plan for the corridor is on track, county officials tell ARLnow.com.

Arlington County is formulating the Pike transit plan as part of its Transit Development Plan (TDP), a state-mandated, ten-year strategy for bus service in the county. The process is expected to conclude by May 2016.

The county will be holding a series of workshops on the TDP starting Tuesday, Oct. 27. Input from the public is “critical to the success of future bus service in Arlington,” says the county’s TDP webpage, which has the full schedule of all four workshops.

This winter, following months of community outreach, the county expects to release preliminary recommendations for transit service improvements. The county will then gather more community feedback and make more tweaks before the plan is presented to the County Board next spring.

Eric Balliet, a county spokesman, said that officials have already gathered input from 3,300 survey respondents. Via email:

We’ve made significant progress on preparing the TDP update since the consultant team came on board in July. The consultants have been compiling and analyzing a large array of data to evaluate how existing ART and Metrobus services in the County are performing, including on-time performance, ridership and productivity. The input received from over 3,300 survey respondents, as part of the first phase of TDP outreach conducted this spring, was also reviewed and incorporated into the service assessment.

We are coordinating with our regional partners including Fairfax County, City of Alexandria and the District of Columbia to obtain their input, as well as WMATA staff related to the evaluation of transit services on Columbia Pike and in Pentagon City and Crystal City. We remain on track to prepare the TDP update by May 2016, when it is due to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation.

Following the streetcar’s cancellation last November, residents and business owners who were looking forward to the economic development the streetcar promised to bring to the Pike asked “what’s next?” Streetcar opponents said enhanced bus service would take the place of the streetcar and provide many of the same benefits.

“People need to understand that we will get a bus rapid transit system going,” County Board member Libby Garvey said on the day the streetcar was cancelled. “It will do everything the streetcar could and more. They’re going to be just fine.”

Nearly a year later, with little public discussion about transit save an online survey, some have expressed frustration that the Pike is still clogged with the usual buses and traffic, with no viable streetcar alternative in sight. A number of residents have even taken it upon themselves to propose exotic transit solutions, no matter how infeasible.

In May, County Board member John Vihstadt, who helped lead the charge against the streetcar, floated the idea of “Circulator-type buses” on the Pike. That was greeted with a collective groan from the pro-transit crowd at Greater Greater Washington.

“It’s sad that in a couple years, Arlington’s sense of itself and its national reputation for excellence, innovation, and forward thinking in transportation planning has degraded so much,” wrote Richard Layman, in the comments.

by Heather Mongilio — October 9, 2015 at 2:00 pm 0

Five photographers are inviting people to watch the evolution of Columbia Pike neighborhoods through the lens of a camera.

The photographers, who work as the Columbia Pike Documentary Group, have compiled photographs of Columbia Pike and the surrounding neighborhoods, taken over the last eight years, for a book, “Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project.” The group is also displaying 50 photos from the book as part of an exhibit at the Arlington Mill Community Center (909 S. Dinwiddie Street) next week.

“Photographers Lloyd Wolf, Aleksandra Lagkueva, Xang Mimi Ho, Paula Endo and Duy Tran (working as The Columbia Pike Documentary Project) us[ed] evocative images from their recently published book, ‘Living Diversity,’ to help the viewer experience the spirit of the Pike,” Arlington County said in a press release.

Living Diversity: The Columbia Pike Documentary Project will open as part of a pop-up art gallery at the community center on Saturday, Oct. 17. There will be a presentation to unveil the photographs at 3 p.m. The exhibit will run for a month.

The photographers will be joined by County Board members, chair of Arlington School Board Emma Violand-Sánchez and Del. Alfonso Lopez to unveil the new exhibit. After the presentation, the five photographers will be available for book signings.

The exhibit opening is free to attend, but guests are asked to register beforehand. Light refreshments will be served. Copies of the photography book can be found on Amazon for a little under $29 and will be available for purchase at the exhibit opening.

The exhibit will be open Monday through Fridays from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and on Sunday from 1-9 p.m.

by Heather Mongilio — October 9, 2015 at 12:30 pm 0

The northbound lanes of S. Carlin Springs Road were shut down this morning after a series of car crashes.

Carlin Springs was shut down around 11:15 a.m. from Columbia Pike to 8th Street S.

There were two different car crashes within feet of each other, said a police officer at the scene. The officer could not say how either of the crashes occurred.

In the first accident, a black SUV ran into a parked car on the shoulder of S. Carlin Springs Road. The second, just steps from the first, reportedly involved multiple vehicles.

There were no injuries, we’re told.


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