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by ARLnow.com — May 24, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

A new hardware store that’s coming to Courthouse is hoping to open its doors by the end of the summer.

Twins Ace Hardware will be located at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Troy Street, on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon Blvd apartment building. At nearly 6,000 square feet, the store will carry “a wide variety of products” while offering “the same outstanding service you’ve enjoyed” at the company’s existing Fairfax store.

“We’re excited to be a part of the neighborhood,” co-owner Jeff Smith said. “[My twin brother] Craig and I have always loved Courthouse, but never found the right site for our store until now. [The building] has great amenities and convenient parking for our customers to load purchases large and small.”

“We’re working on construction and getting our permits and hope to open late summer this year,” Smith added, in response to an inquiry from ARLnow.com.

All 30,000 square feet of retail space in 2001 Clarendon Blvd is now leased, according to a press release. Another of the newer businesses to lease a space there, fitness studio Xtend Barre, has set a June 10 opening date.

Photos by Jackie Friedman

by ARLnow.com — May 17, 2016 at 10:55 am 0

Here are some words we do not have an opportunity to write often: a construction project in Arlington is running ahead of schedule.

Construction on the new eight-story, 161-room Hyatt Place hotel in Courthouse is entering the home stretch.

Groundbreaking for the hotel, at 2401 Wilson Blvd, took place on a chilly January day last year. Developer Ray Schupp says construction is expected to wrap up mid-summer.

“We are ahead of schedule and now anticipate moving up our opening to mid-August,” Schupp tells ARLnow.com. The opening was previously planned for mid-September.

Also in the works: an unveiling for a new Vivian Beer sculpture, commissioned as part of the development and to be located at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Adams Street. A date for the unveiling has not yet been set.

Schupp says grand opening festivities are also being planned for the hotel and the local community will be invited. He thanked neighbors for their patience during construction.

“Our neighbors in Lyon Village and the surrounding communities have lived through this process while being positive (and sometimes forgiving),” he said. “We want to thank them in our opening.”

Photos by Jackie Friedman

by ARLnow.com — May 11, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Former Mazda dealership in Ballston, now closed

Firings at Peter Chang After Receipt Incident — Three employees have reportedly been fired and the chef’s own daughter is also on the chopping block at Peter Chang restaurant along Lee Highway. The firings come after a server included the insults “i have a small penis” and “im a plad [sic] a**hole” on a customer receipt. Chang has promised to improve service at his restaurant. [Washington Post]

Arlington Restaurants on Cheap Eats List — More than a dozen Arlington eateries have been included in Washingtonian magazine’s list of the top 100 inexpensive restaurants in the D.C. area. Among them: Bayou Bakery, Cheesetique, Pupatella, Ray’s Hell Burger, Yona and Peter Chang. [Washingtonian]

Video of Track Issue at Court House Station — A video taken inside the Court House Metro station shows sparks and smoldering from the track area. The video comes after a number of well-publicized electrical issues at Metro. “It was kind of weird watching infrastructure fail before my very eyes,” said the man who took the video. [Washington Post]

Tech Company Saves the Day for Theft VictimsCourse Hero, a Silicon Valley-based company that provides study materials, has paid for a scholarship for the Penn State student whose mom left her purse, with $10,000 in tuition money inside, in an Arlington Falls Church Dunkin Donuts. Police still have not found the woman who stole the purse. [NBC Washington]

Most of Crystal City Could Change Hands — Vornado, the property owner that owns more than half of the square footage in Crystal City, is considering spinning off its D.C. properties from those it owns in New York. [Washington Post]

D.C. Complaining About DCA Flights — D.C.’s attorney general has sent an email to the FAA asking that flights to and from Reagan National Airport be shifted away from the District. In 2015 the FAA received 8,670 noise complaints from those in the District, 6,500 of them from the same person. [Washington Post]

by ARLnow.com — May 10, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

The former Wendy’s restaurant in Courthouse is no more.

A construction crew demolished the restaurant yesterday, reducing it to a pile of rubble. As of last night, only a couple of newspaper boxes and small brick wall that was in front of the restaurant’s drive-thru lane still stood.

Wendy’s closed in December, as did its next-door neighbor, the Wells Fargo bank. The bank is next in line for demolition.

The site is set to be redeveloped into a 12-story office building that will feature Wells Fargo as its marquee ground floor retail tenant.

There are now three remaining Wendy’s restaurants in Arlington: at 5066 Lee Highway, 3431 Columbia Pike and 5050 S. Chesterfield Road, which is just off of Route 7 on the Fairfax County border.

by ARLnow.com — May 2, 2016 at 11:45 am 0

A peeping tom in Rosslyn apparently took a photo of a woman through her window and then ran off.

The incident happened around 1 a.m. Saturday at the River Place condos in Rosslyn. From an Arlington County Police Department crime report:

PEEPING TOM, 160430004, 1000 block of N. Arlington Boulevard. At approximately 1:00 a.m. on April 30, a female victim noticed a flash come through her window and a male subject fleeing from the area. The suspect is described as a male, wearing a dark jacket, dark pants, and a baseball hat.

Another peeping tom was reported early Sunday morning not too far away, in the Courthouse area.

PEEPING TOM, 160501006, 1200 block of N. Troy Street. At approximately 1:10 a.m. on May 1, a woman observed a male suspect looking into a neighbors window. The suspect is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 5’4″ – 5’8″  tall and weighed 150 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing, a dark hat, and had a book bag.

Police are investigating both incidents. So far no arrests have been announced.

by ARLnow.com — April 29, 2016 at 1:30 pm 0

Police car lightsA pizza delivery driver’s car was stolen while he was making a delivery in Courthouse yesterday afternoon.

Working with the Metropolitan Police Department, Arlington County Police say there were able to locate the vehicle in D.C. and take the suspect into custody.

From an ACPD crime report:

GRAND THEFT AUTO, 160428031, 1400 block of N. Uhle Street. At approximately 1:10 p.m. on April 28, a pizza delivery vehicle was stolen while the driver was on a delivery. Officers were able to locate the vehicle in Washington D.C. With the assistance of the Metropolitan Police Department, the suspect was taken into custody without incident. Warrants were obtained for grand larceny auto for James Lee Thomas III, 38, of Washington D.C.

by ARLnow.com — April 27, 2016 at 9:45 am 0

2001 Clarendon Blvd (file photo)(Updated at 11:33 a.m.) A new hardware store is coming to Courthouse.

Fairfax-based Twins Ace Hardware will open an Arlington location on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon apartment building late this summer, according to a company announcement

The store will sell a “wide variety” of products and span 5,560 square feet, the announcement reads.

A building permit application for the new business was filed on Monday.

A hardware store is one of the most often-requested retail amenities for the Clarendon-Courthouse area, following the 2005 closure of Virginia Hardware on Wilson Blvd.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

by ARLnow.com — April 19, 2016 at 1:35 pm 0

A slick new burger restaurant and bar has opened in Courthouse.

Basic Burger pairs a relatively straightforward menu — burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, salads, shakes — with a clean, modern interior and a bar offering beer, cider and wine.

It’s a bit Shake Shack-esque, with some unique touches, including sweet potato fries, onion rings, fried pickles and fizzy beverages from “craft soda” brand Stubborn Soda.

Located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, just down from the now-closed Wendy’s and up from Ray’s Hell Burger, Basic Burger opened for business on Monday. Its hours are 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.

by ARLnow.com — April 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm 0

Another barre studio is coming to Arlington.

Xtend Barre, which has existing locations in Alexandria, D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood and Bel Air, Maryland, is coming to 2008 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the 2001 Clarendon Blvd apartment building. Construction is underway but no opening date has been announced.

“We’re opening with almost 40 classes on the schedule including our signature Xtend Barre class, Xtend Technique, Xtend Stick, Xtend Suspend and Xtend Petites,” the company said on its website. “We are incredibly excited to announce our opening day and we can’t wait to meet you at the barre!”

The owner of the studio, Kelly Wilkinson, said she discovered the ballet-based barre workout about a year ago and fell in love with it. “It was fun, energetic and made me sweat,” she in a blog post.

Xtend Barre joins a growing list of barre studios in Arlington. Among them are Lava Barre, down the street in Rosslyn; Neighborhood Barre, which is coming to Clarendon; plus Pure Barre and Barre Tech, also in Clarendon.

by ARLnow.com — April 11, 2016 at 11:20 am 0

Opower logo(Updated at noon) Arlington-based Opower has laid off about 7.5 percent of its global workforce, ARLnow.com has learned exclusively.

The move comes amid a wave of layoffs among tech companies that are struggling to attain or maintain profitability as tech investment euphoria cools. Across the economy, there’s weakness in the employment market and in corporate profits.

“We’ve reduced a small number of roles — about 45, including about 25 in our U.S. offices,” Opower Vice President of Communications Matt Maurer said this morning in response to an inquiry from ARLnow.com. “It’s part of an effort to cut back on our overall spend in sales and marketing and R&D.”

“These moves give us a better expense profile and strengthen the very good position we are already in as the clear leader in our space, having recently renewed our largest clients to multi-year extensions and with over $480 million in contracted future revenue on the books,” Maurer continued. “These strong fundamentals — combined with our new and growing set of customer care products — put Opower in a great position for continued success.”

Opower had about 600 employees worldwide before the layoffs, which were announced to employees last week.

The company is planning to move from its long-time offices in Courthouse to a new yet-to-be-built headquarters down the street, at 2311 Wilson Blvd, in about two years. Opower received a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to entice the company to stay in Virginia.

Opower, which creates energy efficiency technology for utility companies, is publicly traded under the ticker symbol OPWR. As of 11:15 a.m. it was trading at $7.30 per share. The company reported a $13.6 million loss in its most recent quarterly results.

by ARLnow.com — April 1, 2016 at 9:35 am 0

A duck in Bon Air Park (Flickr pool photo by Airamangel)

Power Outage at Courthouse Metro Station — A power outage has been reported at the Courthouse Metro station. The outage turned off most of the lights and trapped some customers in the station’s elevator, according to Twitter accounts. The station is said to now be operating on emergency power. [Twitter, Twitter]

Interview with John Vihstadt — Washingtonian has published a Q&A with Arlington County Board member John Vihstadt. During the interview, Vihstadt said of county government: “by and large, it’s well managed.” Before he was elected, however, Vihstadt said the county was in danger of losing its way. “There was a growing consensus that we were too self-congratulatory. There was too much ‘Aren’t we doing great?’ And if there was room for improvement, it was nothing another taxpayer dollar couldn’t solve.” [Washingtonian]

Garvey on I-66 Widening — In a county-produced video, Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey discusses the somewhat controversial VDOT plan to widen a portion of I-66 in Arlington. [Facebook]

Another AAA Rating for Arlington — Bond rating agency Fitch Ratings has again assigned Arlington County its top AAA rating. The high rating allows the county to borrow money more cheaply than less creditworthy jurisdictions. [BusinessWire]

Rising Sea Levels and Arlington — A new interactive map shows what rising sea levels would mean for D.C. and Arlington. The good news is that the two meters of sea level rise predicted to occur by 2100 would result in little impact for most of Arlington; the most vulnerable areas are portions of Reagan National Airport, East Potomac Park in D.C. and other areas along the banks of the Potomac. [Washingtonian]

Arlington Little League Opening Day — It looks to be a cool and cloudy start to the local little league season this weekend. Arlington Little League’s 30th anniversary season kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Barcroft Park. [Twitter]

One Year Anniversary for Shirlington RestaurantOsteria da Nino in Shirlington (2900 S. Quincy Street) is celebrating its one year anniversary on Sunday. The restaurant will offer a complimentary glass of Prosecco and appetizers for guests from 4-6 p.m. [ARLnow]

Flickr pool photo by Airamangel

by ARLnow.com — March 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

2014 Four Courts Four Miler road race produced by Pacers Events. Saturday, March 15, 2014. Arlington, VA. Photo by Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run PhotographyIt’s going to be a busy six days at Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Blvd) in Courthouse.

On Saturday morning, the local watering hole will again sponsor the sixth annual Four Courts Four Miler race. After the 9 a.m. race, the bar will be packed with runners enjoying their complimentary beverage and other post-race libations. There will also be a live band.

Registration is still open and will be available at Four Courts on the day of the race.

On Wednesday, Four Courts will mark its 20th anniversary. To celebrate, the bar will be offering Guinness for the original 1996 price of $4.50 from 4-8 p.m. Live music will follow, with Sanford Markley taking the stage at 6 p.m. and Sheen Righter at 9 p.m. There will also be a giveaway of $1,000 cash and other prizes, “in support of your loyal patronage.”

On Thursday, St. Patrick’s Day, Four Courts will open at 9 a.m. for the usual St. Daddy’s festivities. There will be live music all day and a heated tent in the back to help accommodate the crowds.

Dave Cahill, an Irishman and Four Courts’ long-time general manager, credits the establishment’s longevity, amid all the change in Arlington, to its core mission of being a community-oriented place to eat and hang out.

“I think we’ve never lost sight of the fact that we’re a neighborhood restaurant,” he told ARLnow.com today. “We have a great relationship with the community, we sponsor sports teams and donate to charities. We have a home-like atmosphere.”

The evidence of customer loyalty is literally hanging from the walls: Four Courts has sold 2,750 pewter mugs to its regulars. The mugs are proudly displayed around the bar, available for use when a customer comes in. Want more proof? Some of the staff are the now-grown children of Four Courts’ first customers.

In addition to pouring Guinness and running Four Courts, Cahill has another race day duty. He’s the race’s official running leprechaun, of course.

Ten minutes after the race starts, Cahill will take off down the course, dressed in green and accompanied by a lady leprechaun on a bicycle, announcing his approach. By the end of the four mile race, Cahill, 44, will have passed about two-thirds of the field.

“I usually catch the first people around the mile and a half mark,” he said. “I catch more people on the mile 2-3 turn. Then, coming up the hill [on Wilson Blvd between Rosslyn and Courthouse] people start looking over their shoulder waiting to see the leprechaun coming.”

Those who beat the leprechaun get a prize from Pacers. For every runner Cahill passes, $1 is donated to the Arlington County Police Benevolent Fund.

How does he do it? It’s not by tricks or the luck of the Irish. Cahill happens to be a very accomplished amateur runner. At last year’s Potomac River Run Marathon, he clocked a 3:10 finish time, good enough to qualify for his first Boston Marathon, in April.

The Four Miler will result in some road closures Saturday morning. The traffic alert from the Arlington County Police Department, after the jump.

(more…)

by Andrew Ramonas — February 9, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

2013 Clarendon Mardi Gras parade

Masked characters, dogs in costumes, marching bands and other Mardi Gras partiers are set to make their way through Clarendon tonight.

After dodging the threat of snow following two years of weather delays and cancellations, the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade is slated to kick off at 7 p.m. on Wilson Boulevard, making its way from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street.

After the parade, revelers then can head to the first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball at the Clarendon Ballroom (3185 Wilson Blvd.) The party is scheduled to run from 7 to 11 p.m.

More than 30 groups are expected to march in the parade, which is organized by the Clarendon Alliance. The non-profit organization has billed the parade as a “family-friendly event” that is “big fun.”

“Participating in the parade is a great way to have fun — participants can wear masks, dress completely inappropriately, and throw stuff at people,” the Clarendon Alliance says on its website. “What’s not to like?”

Except maybe traffic.

Some roads will shut down starting at 4:30 p.m. due to the parade. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the street closures include:

  • Wilson Blvd from Veitch Street to Barton Street will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Adams Street and Wayne Street, between Clarendon Blvd and Wilson Blvd, will be closed from 4:30 to 9:30 p.m.
  • Wilson Blvd from Barton Street to Irving Street will be closed from 6:45 to 9:30 p.m.

Clarendon Ballroom will host the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band and serve traditional Louisiana food, with wine, beer and punch, as part of the Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend, but must have a parent or guardian with them. Tickets to the party cost $20 online and $25 at the door.

Iota Club (2832 Wilson Blvd), meanwhile, will be hosting its own Mardi Gras celebration starting at 8:00 p.m. The free event features a rock-blues band and $3 gumbo shots.

Photo courtesy Jason Dixson Photography

by ARLnow.com — February 9, 2016 at 1:15 pm 0

Publicly-traded energy tech firm Opower is staying in Arlington, Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) announced at a press conference this morning, marking some good news for a county beset by the departures of large government agencies.

McAuliffe and County Board Chair Libby Garvey were among those making the announcement at Opower’s current headquarters at 1515 N. Courthouse Road in Courthouse, which President Obama visited in 2010, when the company was still a startup.

Opower will be moving down the street to a new office building at 2311 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse. The building — already approved by the County Board — is set to be constructed over the next two years, replacing a row of restaurants. Developer Carr Properties had been calling the 8-story building the “Clean Technology Center,” which seems consistent with Opower’s sustainability and energy conservation mission.

Virginia and Arlington County had been fighting to keep Opower, which was being courted by the District and by The Wharf, the massive new development on the Southwest D.C. waterfront.

“Keeping Opower in Arlington County has been a high priority of my administration,” McAuliffe said. “This high-profile energy software company is growing rapidly and making a major impact on global challenges, and we are committed to further strengthening this important corporate partnership. The technology industry is booming in Virginia, and wins like this expansion help us continue to build on the momentum in this important sector.”

“Arlington has watched Opower grow from a startup venture to a thriving leader not only in the region, but in the entire clean technology industry,” Garvey said. “Arlington’s highly-educated workforce and easy transportation access were things Opower was looking for as the company continues to grow, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them for a long time to come.”

McAuliffe helped arrange a $1 million grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to help Arlington keep Opower.

“Arlington County will match the state funding with a performance-based local economic development incentive grant,” the county notes in a press release. “Arlington will provide an additional annual performance grant through the remaining years of the lease term subject to job and occupancy requirements. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.”

Opower plans to invest about $10.5 million in its new, 63,000 square foot headquarters and expects to add 70 new employees within three years. The company will also retain 357 jobs that currently pay above the region’s prevailing wage.

“Opower has been with Arlington since the beginning,” said Victor Hoskins, Director of Arlington Economic Development. “The company is a model for the fast-growth technology companies we’re hoping to attract to Arlington, and we simply could not be more pleased that Opower has decided to continue to be a part of Arlington’s business community.”

The building at 2311 Wilson Blvd will have a total of 150,000 square feet of office space plus ground floor retail spaces when it’s completed.

by Jennifer Currier — January 13, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

Clarendon Mardi Gras Parade 2016Pending good weather, floats, bands, horses and “critters in costumes” will march down Wilson Blvd during the 17th Annual Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for early February.

This year’s parade is planned for Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 9. It will start at 7 p.m., traveling along Wilson from N. Barton Street to N. Irving Street. The deadline to register to participate is Feb. 1, and bead orders must be submitted by Jan. 25.

Snow has forced the family-friendly parade to be postponed to mid-March the last two years in a row, but this year the organizers — the non-profit Clarendon Alliance — have planned an additional event that’s not weather-dependent on the evening of the parade.

The first-ever Clarendon Mardi Gras Ball will be held from 7-11 p.m. at the Clarendon Ballroom at 3185 Wilson Blvd. The ball will have live performances from jazz ensembles the Yamomanem Jazz Band and the 8 Ohms Jazz Band. A ball king and queen will be announced between the bands’ sets.

Traditional Louisiana food will be served alongside wine, beer and punch. Ticket holders will get one free ticket upon entry. All other food and beverage sales will be cash only or from additionally purchased food and drink tickets.

Ball guests under the age of 21 are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Tickets to the ball are now for sale online for $20 per person, and parade participants can get their tickets at a discounted rate. Proceeds from the tickets — beyond parade expenses — will benefit St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church.

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