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by Chris Teale August 31, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

After months of delays and regulatory hurdles, new Columbia Pike beer garden BrickHaus is set to open on Labor Day.

The 2900 Columbia Pike restaurant will open its doors at 2 p.m. with full service inside and a range of freshly tapped beers and new food. Reservations are not available, and the patio will not be open until October, owner Tony Wagner said in a Facebook post.

It's time to celebrate! BrickHaus is at long last opening our doors on Columbia Pike on Monday, September 4th. Doors…

Posted by BrickHaus on Thursday, August 31, 2017

Most construction on the space has been finished since May.

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.

“The oldest building on Columbia Pike will come to life once more, letting it all hang out!” Wagner wrote.

by Chris Teale August 29, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A Central American restaurant run by Honduran immigrants just celebrated its first month open on Columbia Pike.

Plaza Maya at 3207 Columbia Pike serves food from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and replaced the Ethiopian restaurant Flamingo.

The restaurant’s menu includes staples of Central American food like enchiladas, burritos and tacos. It has also applied to Virginia ABC to start serving alcohol with its food. Per a permit filed with the county, it can seat up to 61 people.

It opened July 21, between the Panda Bowl Chinese restaurant and City Kabob & Curry House, an Indian and Pakistani eatery. Plaza Maya offers dine-in and carry out options.

Employees at the restaurant said they are from Honduras, and some have lived in the United States for a decade or more. They said they opened the restaurant so others could experience their love of food from their native country.

“We like cooking, and we like money too,” one joked.

Photos 4-8 via Facebook.

by ARLnow.com August 24, 2017 at 11:05 am 0

(Updated at 2:20 p.m.) Arlington County Police arrested a man last night in connection with a shooting that happened Wednesday morning and a brandishing incident Wednesday night.

The shooting happened on the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street, near Columbia Pike. The victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries and the suspect fled the scene.

Last night, around 10:30 p.m., residents who live in the area of the Pike and S. Glebe Road reported a helicopter continuously circling the neighborhood.

On Thursday morning, police confirmed to ARLnow.com that the helicopter was in the air for reasons “related to the shooting.”

Update at 2:15 p.m. — A 24-year-old Arlington resident has been arrested and charged in the shooting, ACPD announced Thursday afternoon. The man was arrested near the Pentagon City Metro station after he brandished a gun at a woman on Columbia Pike last night, police say.

More from a police press release:

An Arlington man has been arrested and charged for his involvement in a shooting in the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street. Nicholas Nichols, 24, of Arlington, VA was arrested and charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding, Possession of a Firearm in Commission of a Felony and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He is being held in the Arlington County Detention Facility on no bond.

At approximately 7:04 a.m. on August 23, Arlington County Police officers were dispatched to the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street for the report of a shooting. Arriving officers located one male victim suffering from a gunshot wound. The 26-year-old victim was transported by Fairfax County Medics to George Washington University Hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The investigation determined that the shooting occurred following an altercation between known acquaintances. The suspect fled the area prior to police arrival. A perimeter was established and a canvas of the area returned with negative results.

At approximately 9:37 p.m. on August 23, police were dispatched to the 3700 block of Columbia Pike for the report of a brandishing. Upon arrival, it was determined a male suspect brandished a firearm during a dispute with a known female victim. The suspect fled the area on foot prior to police arrival. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect in the brandishing was the suspect in the earlier shooting in the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street.

A perimeter was established and the Fairfax County Police Helicopter Unit responded to aid in the search. Officers from the Arlington County Police TAC Unit located the suspect in the area of S. Hayes Street and 12th Street S. and took him into custody without incident as he attempted to board a bus.

The investigation into this incident is ongoing. Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact Detective J. Trainer of the Arlington County Police Department’s Homicide/Robbery Unit at 703-228-4185 or [email protected] Information may also be provided anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477).

by Chris Teale August 23, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

The Arlington County Fire Department battled a house fire on S. Randolph Street earlier this afternoon (Wednesday).

Firefighters responded to the home on the 900 block of S. Randolph Street in Alcova Heights, just off Columbia Pike. According to scanner traffic, the fire was quickly put out just after 4:35 p.m., with all occupants evacuated safely.

No firefighters were injured.

Anyone near the scene can expect continuing traffic delays into evening rush hour.

by Chris Teale August 23, 2017 at 8:40 am 0

(Updated 9:15 a.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating a shooting that took place this morning close to Columbia Pike.

Police said around 8:30 a.m. that a man has been transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after being shot on the 1000 block of S. Frederick Street. The area is close to the Carlyle House condo building, the Columbia Grove apartment building and Bailey’s Branch Park.

Officers remain on scene investigating. Police said it appears to be an isolated incident, with the suspected shooter described as a thin black male with dreadlocks wearing a gray hoodie.

After searching the area, police said they had not found the suspect, but that they believe there is no threat to the larger community.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police at 703-558-2222.

Image via Google Maps.

by ARLnow.com August 21, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

New Columbia Pike beer garden BrickHaus is still awaiting its grand opening, despite having wrapped up most construction in May.

On Friday, BrickHaus — located at 2900 Columbia Pike and owned by Tony Wagner, who also owns Twisted Vines across the street — announced that it had received “one more final approval” and was on to what may be the last regulatory hurdle before opening.

On its Facebook page, locals who have been waiting for a new outdoor drinking and dining venue on the Pike all summer long have been grumbling about the Arlington County inspection process that has kept BrickHaus closed. The process has been notoriously long and difficult to navigate for many other local businesses, as well.

“You should publish a log of the permitting and inspections delays and issues you faced,” one person said. “We know they’re bad, but we don’t know what they are.”

“That’s an interesting idea, but since the issues keep coming at us daily, that would be a full time job in itself,” the BrickHaus Facebook page replied. “Basically, we continue to work through the process. Each day getting closer, but too gun shy with the constant curve balls to share a date yet.”

“Arlington is so slow when it comes to permits!” said another Facebook poster.

“See if you can find someone in the Economic Development office to help you!” suggested another, likely referring to the county’s business ombudsman. “Their mission used to be to get business to stay and grow in the County. Allegedly they have people that can facilitate getting things through the process.”

In a previous post, BrickHaus said that once it gets all of its final approvals, it would take about two weeks to train staff and open its doors.

by ARLnow.com August 7, 2017 at 9:45 am 0

Man Charged in Pike Apartment Fire — A 27-year-old Arlington man has been charged in connection with Saturday’s apartment fire on Columbia Pike. Police say Demetrius Antonio Taylor got in a verbal dispute with a woman, assaulted her, lit a carpeted floor mat on fire, pushed an infant in a stroller towards the fire and fled the scene. He faces a litany of charges including arson, felony child endangerment and two counts of assault on law enforcement, after becoming combative in a police department interview room. [Arlington County]

Man Dies in Motorcycle Wreck Following Pursuit — A Woodbridge man died early Sunday morning after crashing his motorcycle while being pursued by Virginia State Police. The pursuit started after a “BOLO” broadcast for a motorcycle seen traveling at a high rate of speed on I-395 in Arlington County. [Potomac Local, WTOP]

ACFD Battles Falls Church Blaze — Firefighters from Arlington County and Fairfax County battled a house fire on Railroad Avenue in the City of Falls Church early Sunday morning. The homeowners were displaced by the fire, which was “mostly confined to the basement.” ACFD provides firefighting services to Falls Church under contract. [Falls Church News-Press]

Northam, Perriello to Mingle With Arlington Dems — Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor, will be the featured guest at an Arlington County Democratic Committee happy hour on Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Pamplona in Clarendon. Tom Perriello, who lost in the gubernatorial primary to Northam, will be featured at the annual ACDC Labor Day Chili Cookoff at the Lyon Park Community Center on Monday, Sept. 4. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com August 5, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Firefighters from Arlington and surrounding jurisdictions battled an apartment fire on Columbia Pike Saturday morning.

The fire was first reported around 11:20 a.m. at the 280-unit Serrano apartment complex on the 5500 block of Columbia Pike. Flames could be seen coming from the top floor of the eight-story building.

The fire was extinguished within 20 minutes. Residents of 25 units were displaced by the fire and one person was hospitalized for smoke inhalation, WJLA reported.

Columbia Pike was temporarily closed during the firefighting effort, according to an Arlington Alert.

The apartment building is run by Arlington-based nonprofit affordable housing developer AHC Inc.

by Chris Teale August 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

The McDonald’s on Arlington’s western end of Columbia Pike has reopened after a renovation.

The fast food restaurant at 5005 Columbia Pike closed on June 20 for the refit, and reopened to the public on this past Monday, a spokeswoman said, with updated decor and fixtures and the addition of some new ordering technology.

During the closure, workers added self-service kiosks for customers to place their orders electronically. A spokeswoman said that technology has been rolled out in more than 2,500 McDonald’s restaurants, which includes the recently-opened one at Central Place in Rosslyn.

The restaurant also introduced table service as part of the revamp, which a spokeswoman said “provides a more relaxing and custom dining experience.”

A grand re-opening ceremony is planned from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 5), and will include face painting, games, food and drink and music by local Spanish language radio station El Zol.

Courtesy photos.

by ARLnow.com July 31, 2017 at 11:05 am 0

A man walking naked down the middle of Columbia Pike was arrested “without incident” Saturday evening.

Arlington County Police say they were dispatched to the 2400 block of Columbia Pike just after 5:30 p.m. A photo posted to the ARLnow.com comment section over the weekend (above) shows an officer with a Taser walking behind the man on the 3000 block of Columbia Pike, near the Days Inn and the McDonald’s.

Police suggested the man may have been suffering mental health issues. He was transported under police custody to Virginia Hospital Center.

More from an ACPD crime report:

At approximately 5:37 p.m. on July 29, police were dispatched to the 2400 block of Columbia Pike for the report of a male walking in the road naked. Upon arrival, officers made contact with the subject and took him into custody without incident. The subject was transported to Virginia Hospital Center on an emergency custody order. Arlington County Department of Human Services was notified.

Courtesy photo

by Chris Teale July 28, 2017 at 3:00 pm 0

Just feet from the demolition of the Arlington Presbyterian Church on Columbia Pike, officials broke ground Thursday (July 27) on the new affordable housing complex that will replace it.

Gilliam Place at 3507 Columbia Pike will have 173 affordable apartments, with 68 including two or three bedrooms. The ground floor of the property will contain nearly 9,000 square feet of space for retail and community use. It is named for Ronda Gilliam, a member of the church who volunteered in the community and opened a clothing donation center.

It all began in 2012 when members of the church reached out to the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing as they wanted to sell their property and create a space for affordable housing.

The new building will incorporate stone from the old church, which APAH board chair John Milliken said will be “instilled with the spirit and compassion that congregation embodied and will pass on to this new generation.”

And while the congregants are displaced from their original space, they have already guaranteed themselves a presence on the site after buying two plots of land for use as green space.

Derrick Weston, the church’s community organizer, said it will be designated as a sanctuary area for meditation. The church may also return to use the new building as a permanent home; during construction they are using a temporary space at the Arlington United Methodist Church (716 S. Glebe Road).

“This is our new front door. This is our front porch,” Weston said. “This is where people are going to visit and see who we are.”

The $71 million project is funded through various sources, including an $18.1 million loan from the county’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund, federal low-income housing tax credits authorized by the Virginia Housing Development Authority, private money from Capital One and Enterprise Community Partners totaling $31 million and donations from church members.

Susan Etherton, the chair of the church’s Moving Forward Team, said that the partnerships between various organizations were key in the church getting to this point.

“God gave us that vision, but without faithful partners, we would have been unable to accomplish that vision,” she said.

“Just think how much can be done when a group of well-meaning people all pull together in the same direction,” added APAH president and CEO Nina Janopaul.

The church, which was hit by a fire last year, is being demolished by construction crews. The building of Gilliam Place is expected to take about two years.

by Chris Teale July 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

Some residents in Columbia Forest will be without water tonight (July 20) and traffic will be diverted for emergency repairs along Columbia Pike.

Crews from the county’s Department of Environmental Services will be making emergency water main repairs at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Frederick Street, beginning at 8 p.m. The repairs are scheduled to last until 8 a.m. July 21.

During that time, the Pike’s eastbound lanes between S. Greenbrier Street and S. Dinwiddie Street will be closed, while the westbound lanes will be converted into a lane each for eastbound and westbound traffic.

DES said approximately 100-150 people will have water service affected. The Columbia Forest Civic Association said that water will be turned off for the buildings at 5200, 5300 and 5353 Columbia Pike.

Photo via Google Maps.

by Kalina Newman July 18, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Two Arlington nonprofits are benefitting from grants handed out by the company behind the I-395 High Occupancy Toll lanes.

Arlington Energy Masters Program and the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization have both been awarded grants from the Express Lanes and Community Grant Program, run by Transurban.

The program aims to “support organizations that sustain, enhance or protect the local environment and communities.” Transurban manages the HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway, and will do the same for the planned I-395 HOT lanes set to run through Arlington.

Over $550,000 has been awarded to 119 organizations around Northern Virginia since 2008, several of which that have been from Arlington. Any group can apply for a grant via the online application.

The Energy Masters Program, which promotes sustainability throughout Arlington, received grant funding to help residents at the Fort Henry Gardens apartment complex in Nauck with insulation issues, and to help refurbish over 50 units.

The CPRO received grant funding to improve the Columbia Pike farmers market and ensure that residents have access to fresh, locally sourced food. In addition, the money received was also used to design messages that were placed around schools, libraries, churches and apartment complexes and on social media about the grant program and how to apply.

In the future, CPRO plans to work with local partners such as the Arlington Food Assistance program on additional nutrition-related outreach.

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimmick

by Kalina Newman July 17, 2017 at 6:30 pm 0

STAR, Arlington’s bus service for disabled residents, will move to a new call center on Columbia Pike after County Board approval of the plan at its meeting Saturday.

Specialized Transit for Arlington Residents will move to 2301 Columbia Pike, Suite 120, near Penrose Square, after the Board agreed to rent the property from the landlord.

STAR’s existing call center is located at 2300 9th Street S. in the same neighborhood. Its lease on the property expired on June 30, and while it can be renewed on a monthly basis, the landlord plans to redevelop the office building and no longer wanted a long-term tenant.

In a report on the project, county staff noted various positives for the move.

“It is accessible and near a major transit stop with weekend service,” staff wrote. “Because it has its own separately-powered HVAC system, the call center can operate on weekends without incurring the cost of heating and cooling the entire floor. This will yield significant savings for the County in comparison with conventional office space.”

STAR is a paratransit branch of the ART bus system and provides transportation options to the disabled and handicapped who are unable to use public transportation. Those who ride with STAR call ahead to make reservations to be picked up from their home. STAR then routes the ride to pick up other residents who use the system along the way.

The Board will rent 2,337 square foot property for an initial period of 10.5 years (126 months), with a base rent of $4,944.70 per month. That rent will be free for the first six months. Staff estimate it will take three months for the office to be built out and readied to be the call center, during which time STAR will stay in its current location.

The total cost of construction for the new property is estimated at $300,000, part of which will be paid for by the landlord.

by Chris Teale July 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

A section of Columbia Pike closed in both directions for downed utility lines lying in the roadway.

The Pike closed to all traffic between S. Randolph Street and S. George Mason Drive, with police diverting cars onto side streets. A reader said the lines came down around 2:30 p.m. Thursday (July 15) at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. George Mason Drive.

Crews from both Verizon and Comcast were on scene to fix the downed lines. According to scanner traffic, some lanes began to reopen just after 4:15 p.m.

Drivers in the area should expect continued delays as lanes reopen.

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