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by ARLnow.com — April 4, 2016 at 3:10 pm 0

The Burger King on Columbia Pike is getting a makeover.

Located at 3627 Columbia Pike, Burger King’s realm was looking a bit less-than-regal as of late. Over the past few days, however, workers have spruced up the interior.

More remodeling — including exterior changes — appears to be in the works.

During the interior renovation, the restaurant’s dining room was closed but its drive-thru remained open.

Hat tip to John Fontain

by ARLnow.com — March 28, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

Vegan, gluten-friendly donuts at Sugar Shack (photo courtesy Rob Krupicka)Vegan, dairy-free and “gluten-friendly” donuts are now being offered at Sugar Shack Donuts and Coffee along Columbia Pike.

The donut store opened at 1014 S. Glebe Road to much local fanfare last month. Today Sugar Shack announced the new vegan, gluten-friendly offerings, the result of “a few weeks of testing.”

“We’ll be offering these bad boys around 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day,” said store owner and former state legislator Rob Krupicka. “They are best when they are fresh out of the kitchen… We will be topping these with a variety of gluten-free toppings. We are also making vegan, gluten-friendly apple fritters.”

Why the “gluten-friendly” label?

“These donuts do not contain gluten, but as there is a lot of flour in our store, we can’t say they are gluten-free because the chance of cross-contamination is too high,” Krupicka said. He added that the new donuts will be an exclusive for the Arlington Sugar Shack location, at least for awhile.

“Because our Arlington store is bigger, we have more room to do new things in the kitchen,” he said. “We hope to offer these at all our stores soon, but for now, to get these rare, unicorns of donuts, head over to Sugar Shack Arlington on the Pike.”

by ARLnow.com — March 23, 2016 at 11:30 am 0

(Updated at 1 p.m.) A community meeting has been scheduled to discuss the proposed redevelopment of a group of low-slung commercial buildings along Columbia Pike’s main business district.

The trio of buildings at 2330, 2342 and 2406 Columbia Pike is better known as the Rappahannock Coffee site, for the long-time Pike coffee shop housed in one of the buildings, which are slated to be torn down to make way for new apartments or condos.

Developer B.M. Smith, which was also behind the Penrose Square development across the street, is proposing a six-story mixed-use building known as 2400 Columbia Pike, with 105 new residential units, 13,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and a 140-space parking garage.

B.M Smith is also proposing streetscape improvements, 45 reserved bicycle parking spaces and the preservation of the “historic facades” of two existing buildings, according to an Arlington County project information page.

The community meeting about the development is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at the Walter Reed Community Center (2909 16th Street S.).

The Arlington Planning Commission and County Board are expected to consider the proposal at their respective meetings in May.

by ARLnow.com — March 21, 2016 at 9:20 am 0

Tree in bloom in Fairlington

Arlington Man Killed in Motorcycle Accident — An Arlington man died Saturday after his motorcycle skidded out of control while he was trying to get on northbound I-395 from Route 236, near Landmark Mall in Alexandria. Altankhuyag Saintur, 26, was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital. [Washington Post]

Firefighters Battle Blaze in Cherrydale — Arlington County firefighters were able to quickly extinguish a house fire on the 4000 block of Vacation Lane in Cherrydale early Saturday morning. No injuries were reported. [Twitter]

Shamrock Crawl Arrests — There were no major incidents during Saturday’s Shamrock Crawl in Clarendon, but nine people were arrested for drunken behavior. The Arlington County Police Department maintained a significant presence at the bar crawl — paid for by the organizers — which kept unruliness to a relative minimum. [WJLA]

Another Grocery Store for the Pike? — Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey would like to attract another food option for the western end of Columbia Pike, at least for the two years between when the Food Star store closes for construction and another grocery store opens in its place. [InsideNova]

Two Programs Planned at Arlington Mill Center — Arlington County has agreed to lease 9,400 square feet of third-floor space in the Arlington Mill Community Center to two local children’s programs: Aspire! After School Learning and Jane Franklin Dance. Aspire! will have 18 months to raise the funds to build out and lease the space, under a Letter of Intent signed with the county. [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com — March 15, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

Dress rehearsal for the St. Peter's Players production of Godspell (Flickr pool photo by Eric)

Vida Fitness Coming to Ballston? — D.C.-based Vida Fitness is reportedly planning a 30,000 square foot gym in Ballston. The plan depends on County Board approval of a site plan amendment for the as-yet-unbuilt final building in the Liberty Center development. Given the high office vacancy rate, local developer Shooshan Co. is proposing to reconfigure what would have been a 20-story office building into a 22-story building that mixes residential, office and retail space. [Washington Business Journal]

‘WeLive’ Close to Opening in Crystal City — WeWork recently opened its new coworking space at 2221 S. Clark Street in Crystal City. Now, the company is nearing an opening for “WeLive,” a communal living space in the same building. WeLive is opening “very soon” and the company is now giving tours to prospective tenants, we hear. A second WeLive location, in Manhattan, recently opened for “beta testing.” [Fast Company]

Rail Was Once Planned for Columbia Pike — In the 1950s planners envisioned Columbia Pike as a rail corridor. That plan was scrapped when Metro was built and the Blue and Yellow lines ran south instead of west. In 2014, of course, a planned streetcar system for the Pike was also nixed. [InsideNova]

County Board Campaign Gets Underway — County Board Chair Libby Garvey and her Democratic primary challenger, Erik Gutshall, both held campaign events on Columbia Pike over the weekend. Garvey said getting out the vote will be the key to victory in the June 14 primary. [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Eric

by ARLnow.com — March 14, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

A runaway Arlington Transit bus rolled downhill and smashed into at least four parked cars and a motorcycle early this afternoon.

The crash happened around 12:30 p.m. on the 800 block of S. Greenbrier Street, in the Arlington Mill neighborhood near Columbia Pike.

A preliminary report suggests the bus’ brakes failed, leading to the big crash, but that has not been confirmed yet, said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. Investigators remain on scene and the road is closed.

The force of the collision flipped one car on its side and pushed another across the adjacent sidewalk. Luckily, no injuries were reported and no passengers were on the bus at the time of the crash, Savage said.

Photos courtesy @themusiking, Arlington County Police Department

by ARLnow.com — March 7, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

Investigation of shots fired on S. Frederick Street (photo courtesy @Dorchester2040)

Update at 4:15 p.m. — The man who punched a wall was treated for a possible hand injury. Police believe that sound may have been mistaken for gunshots.

Update at 3:45 p.m. — The scene has been cleared, no evidence of a shooting was found and Columbia Pike is reopening, according to scanner traffic.

A Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said the earlier crash on S. Buchanan Street involved a deputy who was responding to the shots fired call. Neither the deputy nor the other driver involved — who was issued a traffic citation — was seriously injured, said Maj. Susie Doyel. 

Update at 2:40 p.m. — Two residents have exited the building and told police that they were having an argument in which one half of the couple punched a wall, according to scanner traffic. Police are still taking a cautious stance and maintaining a perimeter around the building. Also, a parent says that nearby Kenmore Middle School is in “secure the school” mode, possibly as a result of the incident.

Arlington County Police have shut down Columbia Pike in the area of S. Frederick Street, just west of the Arlington Mill Community Center, while officers investigate reports of shots fired inside an apartment building.

The shots fired calls came from residents in an apartment building, the Arbor Heights Apartments, on the 800 block of S. Frederick Street. One resident told police he or she heard gunshots and then saw people running from the building.

In addition to the closure of Columbia Pike, S. Frederick Street is closed between the Pike and 8th Road S.

Police have staged outside the apartment complex but have not entered it yet.

Meanwhile, police and medics are responding to a report of an accident with multiple injuries on the 900 block of S. Buchanan Street, several blocks away from the possible shooting scene.

Photo courtesy @Dorchester2040

by ARLnow.com — February 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm 0

A new ramen noodle eatery is coming to Columbia Pike.

Maruko Sushi, at 2915 Columbia Pike, has closed and in its place is coming “Boru Ramen.” Interior work appears to be underway at the restaurant, though thus far there are few details about Boru other than a small “coming soon” sign on the door.

“Maruko Sushi Business is Closed,” says the old restaurant’s website. “New Ramen Noodle Restaurant will come soon, many thanks for your support over past years.”

Maruko’s owner has not responded to an email inquiry from ARLnow.com.

The former restaurant had been in business for some 35 years on the Pike. It was renamed Maruko after an ownership change in 2010. It was previously known at Matuba Japanese Restaurant.

Hat tip to @Dorchester 2040 and @lerchebomb

by ARLnow.com — February 22, 2016 at 2:40 pm 0

Peacock (Flickr photo by Sadie Hart)“Fowl running at large” is a local ordinance that doesn’t get used much nowadays, but it was enforced following an unusual incident near Columbia Pike over the weekend.

An animal control officer was called to an address on S. Barton Street on Saturday evening for a report of a runaway peacock. After a brief search, the officer found and captured the rogue peacock — and located its owner, who was issued a ticket for the aforementioned “fowl running at large” violation.

The peacock and its owner may have an even bigger problem than the “at large” charge, which is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $100.

The Animal Welfare League of Arlington, which runs the animal control program, said they notified the county zoning department — which enforces the county’s prohibition on keeping fowl in most residential yards — about the incident.

Flickr photo by Sadie Hart

by ARLnow.com — February 22, 2016 at 11:15 am 0

A big new development is coming to the corner of Columbia Pike and George Mason Drive.

The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved the redevelopment, which includes new six-story apartment building with 365 market-rate residential units, new retail spaces and a three-level parking garage.

The “Columbia Pike Village Center” development will close and demolish the Food Star grocery store, along with several small retail businesses. In its place will be a new 50,000 square foot grocery store, 31,530 square feet of new ground-floor retail space and a 22,150 square foot public square.

The public square will “serve residents of the apartment, and the community, as a place to sit, enjoy the surrounding, or hold small-scale events and gatherings,” a county press release notes. “A garden, public art and a water feature are planned for the square.”

In order to accommodate residents, park-goers and shoppers, the parking garage will have 604 vehicle spaces and 152 bike spaces. Additionally, developer Orr Partners will help build new six-foot wide sidewalks and will make streetscape improvements along the Pike and George Mason Drive.

by ARLnow.com — February 16, 2016 at 11:10 am 0

Sugar Shack Donuts opening (photo via Facebook)Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee began serving customers at its new Columbia Pike location over the weekend.

The first Arlington store for the popular Richmond-based donut chain is located on the ground floor of the new 3400 Pike apartment building, at 3400 Columbia Pike.

Sugar Shack is open from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. today (Tuesday), as part of a week-long “soft opening,” the store said via its Facebook page. The official opening is scheduled for Saturday.

“The Columbia Pike community has been really amazing and supportive and we are excited about serving them,” said owner Rob Krupicka, a former state legislator who also owns a Sugar Shack location in Alexandria. “Neighbors will see that the walls of the new store will be covered with pictures of people from the Pike and we are so looking forward to partnering with the community and local food stores to create some unique donut flavors.”

Sugar Shack is noted for making its donuts in-house, by hand, and for its variety of flavors.

On Saturday, all Arlington County public servants – firefighters, police officers, teachers and government employees – will get a free donut by showing their ID, the store said in a press release.

“I used to be a public servant for many years,” Krupicka said in a statement. “I know how hard it is. We are delighted to be in this vibrant neighborhood and are really looking forward to getting to know the Arlington community that much better.”

Another trendy East Coast donut chain, Duck Donuts, has been serving large crowds since it opened in the Lee-Harrison shopping center on Lee Highway in November.

Photo via Facebook

by ARLnow.com — February 12, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Sign announcing a new restaurant on the former El Rancho Peruvian Chicken eateryA sign on the recently-closed El Rancho Peruvian Chicken restaurant (3610 Columbia Pike) suggests that a new chicken eatery may be opening there soon.

The sign touts “Sofia’s Charcoal Chicken” as “coming soon.” The restaurant will also offer pupusas, tacos, burritos, baleadas, “and much more.”

The restaurant is just down the street from a new Chipotle location.

No word yet on when the new eatery may open. Attempts to find a phone associated with the new business were unsuccessful.

Photo courtesy Terry Belt

by ARLnow.com — February 9, 2016 at 5:15 pm 0

Rosslyn BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy at the 2011 Light Up Rosslyn CelebrationThe Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization has a new leader following the sudden resignation of former executive director Takis Karantonis last month.

Cecilia Cassidy has been tapped as the group’s interim executive director, effective immediately, CPRO announced today.

Cassidy was formerly the executive director of the Rosslyn Business Improvement District. She retired from that post in 2013.

In a press release, after the jump, CPRO notes that Cassidy is a longtime resident of Arlington Village, along the Pike.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — February 9, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

El Rancho Peruvian Chicken, at 3610 Columbia Pike, appears to have closed.

A neighboring business owner told ARLnow.com that the restaurant closed a couple of weeks ago and has not reopened since. Inside the eatery around noon yesterday, the doors were locked and chairs placed on top of the tables.

No explanation was given for the restaurant’s closure and no signs announcing the closure were posted on the windows at the time of ARLnow.com’s visit.

El Rancho has had its share of problems over the years — there were at least two notable fires there since 2012.

by ARLnow.com — February 2, 2016 at 4:25 pm 0

3111 Columbia PikeThe name of the restaurant at 3111 Columbia Pike will be changing once again.

“Purple Ethiopian Restaurant & Lounge” will be opening at the location, according to a recent ABC license application. It’s the latest in a procession of eateries that double as nightlife spots to occupy the two-level restaurant space at 3111 Columbia Pike.

In the past, neighbors have been critical of excessive noise and crime at the location, which has at times hosted nighttime events. It didn’t help that a manager of Pines of Italy, one of the former establishments, apparently called Arlington County Board members “c-cksuckers” after a vote to revoke the restaurant’s live entertainment permit in 2014.

No word yet on when Purple might be opening.

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