Arlington, VA

(Updated at 6:45 a.m.) The Java Shack near Courthouse is closing soon, but a new local coffee shop will be taking its place.

D.C.-based Sweet Science Coffee, which was called “the best coffee shop in Washington” by the Post’s Tim Carman in 2017, is expanding into Arlington and taking over the long-time cafe space at 2507 N. Franklin Road. It had an existing location in Adams Morgan and a new D.C. location is on the way.

Sweet Science Coffee announced the plans Thursday afternoon, saying that it hoped to open by March after some renovations.

“We were not actively looking for a second location at this time, but when the opportunity came along, our decision to go for it was unanimous,” said founder Sandra Wolter, in a press release. “We will change the look, and upgrade fixtures to reflect our concept, but it won’t be a total 180. It’s about making people feel welcome, and we really hope that the neighborhood will like what we do with the place.”

More from the press release:

Good news for local coffee lovers: The Java Shack on Franklin Road will continue to be a Coffee House after the current tenants leave.

D.C. based Specialty Coffee Shop Sweet Science has signed a ten year lease and will officially take over in January.

“We were not actively looking for a second location at this time, but when the opportunity came along, our decision to go for it was unanimous,” says founder Sandra Wolter. As both of her partners, Ricardo Iglesias and Jad Bouchebel, have roots in the local community, the group was quickly sold.

For those who have not heard about the concept, Sweet Science Coffee is best known for their meticulous manual brews, often made with traditional tools like German Karlsbad Brewers or Chemexes.

Another staple are their hands-on classes and events that aim to make specialty coffee fun and approachable.

But no one needs to fear long wait times as the brew bar is only one part of the shop. Espresso based drinks, quick drip coffees, teas and seasonal specials are made with just as much care, but faster.

The new owners will rename the space, but say they are respectful of the almost 25 year long tradition of the Java Shack. “We will change the look, and upgrade fixtures to reflect our concept,” says Wolter, “but it won’t be a total 180. It’s about making people feel welcome, and we really hope that the neighborhood will like what we do with the place.”

As for offers besides coffee and tea, the menu will feature pastries made from scratch by the groups’ pastry chef in DC, rotating soup and toast options for lunch, as well as snacks. Eventually, a small wine and craft beer selection is planned as well, for guests to enjoy in the evenings.

Sweet Science Coffee plans to open by March 2020.

The Coffee Project Group behind Sweet Science Coffee consists of Ricardo Iglesias, Entrepreneur, Realtor and Builder in Arlington for more than 30 years, Jad Bouchebel, Marketing Professional and serial Entrepreneur (Wilson Hardware, JBC Events, Provision no 14) and Sweet Science Founder Sandra Wolter, a fifth generation Coffee Professional, Coffee Business Consultant and former TV Journalist.

0 Comments

The Arlington County Board will soon vote on whether to spend over $700,000 upgrading the County Manager’s Office.

Member are scheduled to vote on the proposed renovation to the third floor office suite in the Bozman building (2100 Clarendon Blvd) during their meeting this Saturday, November 16.

If members vote to approve the project, the county will award $631,535 to Manassas-based Juniper Construction Company, Inc, plus an additional $126,307 for unanticipated costs.

A staff report to the Board indicates that the contract would fund upgrades to:

  • Create a “joint reception area” for the County Manager and County Board offices as well as a new “huddle room”
  • Several “open office concept work spaces” for staffers
  • Renovated conference rooms on the 3rd floor
  • “New finishes” in the offices and hallway

As of today (Thursday), the item is listed on the Board’s consent agenda, a place usually reserved for issues members expect to pass without debate.

The work is funded by a tenant improvement allowance negotiated as part of the county’s lease renewal and is part of a larger project to renovate the local government headquarters.

“The total project budget for the Bozman Government Center Renovation Project is $23.5M with the 3rd Floor CMO Suite renovation at $757,842.17,” the report notes.

Recently, the Board approved a multimillion dollar contract to replace the heating system at the county’s jail and courthouse building.

0 Comments

The Made in Arlington store in Courthouse has begun its weekly holiday pop-up series.

The shop, which is open year-round in the Plaza Branch Library at county government headquarters (2100 Clarendon Blvd), features locally-made wares and Arlington-themed products.

Its holiday pop-ups will be held every Thursday through December 19, during lunchtime hours from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., save for Thanksgiving.

“The Made in Arlington pop-up shop is a great place to find those one-of-a-kind gifts for the holidays while supporting local businesses at the same time,” said Cara O’Donnell of Arlington Economic Development. “From ceramics to chocolates and much more, the artistry and craftsmanship demonstrated by these Arlington vendors is truly outstanding. This pop-up shop is a wonderful way to celebrate that artistry while finishing your holiday shopping list.”

The list of pop-up vendors includes:

Artisan Confections owner Jason Andelman, who has sold chocolates in the area for over 13 years, said the pop-up is a way “to showcase our products for the holidays to a local crowd.”

On Thursday, November 21, Andelman says he’ll be selling a collection of Thanksgiving pie-flavored chocolates, made exclusively for the pop-up, featuring flavors such as apple, cherry, pumpkin and blackberry.

0 Comments

The Gold’s Gym in Courthouse will be closing Dec. 1, according to a letter to members obtained by ARLnow.

The letter, sent today (Friday), says that the fitness chain made “several attempts to come to a lease renewal agreement with the landlord” but ultimately made the decision to close. Members will instead be transferred to the Gold’s Gym on N. Fillmore Street in Clarendon.

Gold’s also has a gym in Ballston and earlier this year announced a new, 30,000 square foot location next to the Rosslyn Metro station, to replace an existing location nearby.

The Courthouse Gold’s Gym, at 1310 N. Courthouse Road, changed its branding from Fitness First in 2013. Last year ARLnow reported that the gym was listed for lease by a commercial real estate firm, though at the time we were told that the company was “optimistic” about keeping it open.

The full letter about the closure is below.

Dear Gold’s Gym Member,

After several attempts to come to a lease renewal agreement with the landlord, we had to make the difficult decision to permanently close our Gold’s Gym Arlington Courthouse location at 1310 N. Courthouse Road. We will continue standard operations at the gym through December 1, 2019.

To ensure that there are no interruptions to your fitness journey, we will be transferring your membership to Gold’s Gym Clarendon, located at 1220 N. Fillmore St.

Gold’s Gym Clarendon is ready to become your new home gym and has all the amenities and services you have grown accustomed to. You will also have access to our other area locations including Gold’s Gym Rosslyn and Gold’s Gym Ballston.

During this transfer, there will be no change to your membership dues. We are committed to helping you reach your potential through fitness.

Plus, we are excited to announce that you will have access to our Gold’s Gym Rosslyn City Center location opening in 2020. This location will include GOLD’S STUDIO® , our boutique studio offerings along with state-of-the-art cardio and strength equipment, and much more!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Gold’s Gym Arlington Courthouse General Manager, Denis Hernandez, at 703-276-0000 […]

Thank you for choosing Gold’s Gym and we look forward to supporting your fitness journey

0 Comments

After over a decade in business, a beloved kabob restaurant in Courthouse will be changing hands this week.

Mere hours after Afghan Kabob House shutters its doors for good tomorrow (Thursday), Courthouse Kabob will open in its place the next morning.

The new owners also manage Arlington Kabob on Lee Highway (5046 Lee Highway). Co-owner Susan Clementi said the Courthouse transaction happened quickly and seamlessly.

“We know this is a fast changeover, but we are excited to bring an extension of Afghan kabobs to the Courthouse area,” Clementi said.

Located at 2045 Wilson Blvd, Courthouse Kabob will feature a similar menu of grilled meats and lunch specials. Unlike Afghan Kabob House, however, it will not feature hookah tables and will close earlier in the night, at 11 p.m.

“Our primary focus is to provide quick and healthy lunch and dinner options such as kabobs, assortment of fresh prepared salads, fresh baked to order naan, and authentic Afghan vegetable side dishes,” Clementi said.

Courthouse Kabob’s official hours will be 10 a.m.-11 p.m.

Former Afghan Kabob owner Akbar Mandany recently told ARLnow his decision to close stemmed from food trucks and third-party delivery apps taking away from his business.

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Arlington Man Accused Of Abusing Boy — “A teacher at Anne Beers Elementary School in Southeast Washington has been charged with sexually abusing an 11-year-old student between December 2016 and April 2017, according to police and documents filed in court. David Christopher Noble, 46, of Arlington, Va., was arrested Monday and charged in an indictment with several sex abuse counts and with threatening the boy and his family.” [Washington Post]

Big Raise for Arlington Startup — “Enterprise software company Stardog announced Tuesday morning that it had raised $9 million of a Series B round to expand its product offerings as well as its engineering, customer success, sales and marketing teams. The Arlington, Virginia-based maker of an enterprise data unification platform secured the funding in a round led by New York City-based venture capital firm Tenfore Holdings.” [Technically DC]

Scams Still Targeting Local Residents — “ACPD is warning the public about two telephone scams targeting area residents… learn about the outstanding warrant scam and a scam referencing Dominion Energy and ways to protect yourself.” [Twitter]

Generator Work in Courthouse This Weekend — “Generator replacement at Justice Center means no parking/sidewalk access on 14th Street between N Troy and N Courthouse Road. Expect early a.m. noise for crane set-up… This work was rescheduled from last weekend for this coming Saturday, Nov. 2.” [Twitter]

Wardian Wants to Go Full Gump Next Year — Newly-minted MCM50K champ Michael Wardian “has participated in more than 250 marathons and another 150 ultramarathons. His longest distance thus far is a 400K (nearly 250 miles) through the Gobi Desert that was self-navigated and took him four days… Next year, he hopes to run across the continental United States, but don’t compare him to Forrest Gump; he says he’s heard that one a few too many times.” [Arlington Magazine]

Four Percent of Nuptials in Va. Are Same-Sex — “Same-sex couples have made up one of every 26 marriages in Virginia since such unions were legalized in the commonwealth in 2014.” [InsideNova]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

0 Comments

Courthouse’s Afghan Kabob House is shutting down the grills this week after just over a decade in business.

Restaurant owner Akbar Madany, who describes himself as the “creator” of the restaurant, said his business at 2045 Wilson Blvd will officially close at midnight this Thursday, October 31.

“There are food trucks in front of my restaurant — six or seven of them — for the past almost three years now, selling my similar food right in front of my restaurant,” said Madany, when asked of what led him to close up shop in the space the restaurant occupies between the UPS location and Ireland’s Four Courts.

Afghan Kabob House is known for its array of grilled meats, hookah tables, and for staying open until 3 a.m. — whether it’s for Iftar or your average workday — for the last 11 years.

In 2015, the restaurant joined a coalition of area restaurants that urged more regulation on food trucks to prevent the mobile food vendors from hurting brick-and-mortar restaurants — a disagreement that gained an edge later that year when a food truck hit one of the Afghan Kabob House’s food delivery cars.

Since then, the county has loosened regulations on food trucks, allowing the vendors to operate along more Courthouse streets and serve up grub for longer hours.

“I fought with the county… about this for many years,” Madany told ARLnow today (Monday). “We had many many meetings, but we got nowhere with them.”

The restaurateur also said that business struggled as third-party delivery apps like Postmates flooded the market.

“They took a lot of my deliveries away,” he said, noting that he tried joining Uber Eats but the company’s high rates didn’t help. “I had to partner with them, but I don’t make money out of them because of the commission they charge — 33% commission.” 

Madany added that rising rents around the area meant offices moved away, taking regular customers with them. Still, he told ARLnow that he wanted to thank people for their loyalty, saying, “it breaks my heart to sell something that I love so dearly but the time has come.” 

In 2011, the county profiled his business for a county TV segment on how he hand-marinates and grills the meat.

“Ever since I came to the States it was a dream for me to open a restaurant because I grew up in the business,” he said in the video. “I wanted to create something on my own, something I could call home, something I could feel a part of.”

Now, he says watching the video “just makes me sad.”

Update on 10/30/19 — “Courthouse Kabob” will be opening in Afghan Kabob House’s place shortly after it closes.

Image via Google Maps

0 Comments

(Updated at 1 a.m.) Sawatdee Thai (2250 Clarendon Blvd) has temporarily closed for renovations.

Today (Friday) was the first day in seven years it closed its doors to sit-down customers other than for holidays and weather emergencies, a representative from the restaurant told ARLnow. The renovations are expected to upgrade the restaurant’s interior.

Sawatdee anticipates re-opening in four weeks, per a sign on the front door.

In the meantime, the kitchen will remain open for takeout and delivery orders. Customers placing takeout orders are instructed to enter the restaurant through the back door.

The restaurant applied for a building permit for the 112-seat dining area in September, per county records.

0 Comments

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) The county could soon spend up to $5.5 million to replace the Arlington County Justice Center’s old heating system, which is now in need of “constant repairs,” per officials.

The Arlington County Board is poised to vote on the replacement during its meeting this Saturday, October 19. The 13-story Courthouse complex at 1425 and 1435 N. Courthouse Road includes local courts, Arlington County Police Department headquarters, the Arlington County jail, and the the Sheriff’s Office.

“The primary intent of this contract is to replace a total of (6) six boilers and (4) four domestic hot water tanks that have reached the end of their useful lives and are in constant repairs,” staff wrote in a report to the Board.

Since 2016, the county has spent $300,000 on trying to fix the six boilers, according to Peter Golkin, head spokesman of the Department of Environmental Services.

Crews are also expected to fix the Building Automation System which “controls at the Justice Center with energy efficient equipment and for redundancy” as well as a dishwasher in the kitchen of the Arlington County Detention Facility, per the report.

The Board will vote on awarding the $5 million HVAC contract to Pittsburgh-based construction and services company Limbach Holdings, Inc. The company offered to do the work for about $1 million less the next closest contract bidder, Rockville-based mechanical contracting firm Shapiro & Duncan, Inc.

The Limbach contract up for Board review to includes $4,784,880 in base pay for the contractor, plus a change order contingency allocation of $717,732.

The staff report states that the repair work “will not impact the functionality of the building for staff or public.”

0 Comments

Morning Notes

Arlington Rooftop Bar Reopens — After being shut down by county building inspectors, Arlington Rooftop Bar and Grill in Courthouse reopened Tuesday evening, just in time to watch the Nationals sweep the Cardinals in Game 4 of the NLDS, to advance to the first World Series in D.C. since 1933. [Twitter]

Housing Still Hot Near HQ2 — “The median sale price for all home types in the 22202 [zip code, which includes the Pentagon City and Crystal City area] jumped nearly 40% in September compared with the same time last year, reaching $685,000… That makes it nine straight months of home price appreciation for the 22202 area. Arlington County as a whole saw a modest 12% year-to-date increase, $590,000 for all home types.” [Washington Business Journal]

Retail Job Fair Next Week — “Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, Washington D.C.’s international shopping destination, invites job seekers to attend its Retailer Job Fair on Tuesday, October 22. From 11 a.m.-7 p.m., candidates can visit the Metro and First Levels to pick up applications, meet with store representatives and apply onsite.” [Press Release]

DCA Fee to Help Pay for Expansion Project — “Project Journey, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s $1 billion capital improvement effort well underway at Reagan National Airport, will be paid for in part by airline passengers. At its meeting Wednesday, the MWAA board will be asked to approve the submission of a new Passenger Facility Charge application… The $4.50 fee is collected by airlines as part of their airfare and remitted to the airport of origin.” [Washington Business Journal]

Caps Dogs Star in Arlington Photoshoot — “In the 2020 Capitals Canine Calendar, you will see 12 months of Washington ice hockey players posing with dogs of all sizes, ages and bark levels… There was plenty of four-legged mischief during the October shoot at the MedStar Capitals Iceplex in Arlington.” [Washington Post, Twitter]

Nearby: New Restaurant in Arlandria — “The new Taqueria Senora Lola is now open at 3901 Mount Vernon Avenue in Arlandria. Owner Oswaldo Salinas said the restaurant — adjacent to Salinas’ other eatery, Lilian’s Restaurant, opened two weeks ago and had a grand opening event this past Saturday.” [ALXnow]

0 Comments

Arlington Democrats will be holding a part get-out-the-vote, part pro-impeachment rally in Courthouse this weekend.

The event, organized by the Arlington County Democratic Committee, will feature a 13-foot “Baby Trump” balloon — billed as “similar to the ones that have attracted crowds across the country and in Europe” — as well as remarks by outspoken impeachment proponent Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.)

“Virginians have a beautiful, amazing, really unbelievable opportunity to show Trump that his time is nearly up: by voting bigly in this November’s election!” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said in a press release (below). “In all seriousness, it’s time for people of conscience to stand up against this corrupt president and his Republican enablers — at our family-friendly rally in Arlington and at the polls across Virginia Nov. 5.”

The rally is happening at Courthouse Plaza, outside Arlington County government HQ (2100 Clarendon Blvd), starting at noon on Saturday. Attendees will be encouraged to vote absentee immediately after the rally.

The full Arlington Democrats press release is below.

A 13-foot “Baby Trump” balloon, similar to the ones that have attracted crowds across the country and in Europe, will dominate the stage at an Arlington County Democratic Committee (Arlington Dems) “Impeach Trump, Then Vote!” rally, at noon Saturday, Oct. 19, in Arlington’s Courthouse neighborhood.

The rally will feature remarks by U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who represents Arlington and has been a strong proponent of Congress’ ongoing impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. Beyer will be joined by the “Baby Trump” balloon, like the ones that have appeared at protests in Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, London, and elsewhere.

The rally will take place in the Metro-accessible Courthouse Plaza at 2100 Clarendon Blvd., which is adjacent to the Bozeman Government Center, where “absentee voting in person” is underway in Virginia’s critical Nov. 5 election. Rally attendees are encouraged to come prepared to vote absentee immediately after the rally. Absentee voting information, including eligibility criteria, is available on the Arlington Registrar’s website. For example, Arlington voters who work in DC are eligible to vote absentee and are encouraged to do so now to avoid Election Day logistical challenges.

Absentee voting in person is available at various hours Mondays-Saturdays until Nov. 5. It’s open 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. on Oct. 19.

Virginia is the only state in the country in which Democrats are regarded as having a serious shot at flipping both houses of its legislature blue this year. Virginia Republicans now have only a two-seat majority in both the House of Delegates and the Senate. The state’s Democratic Party has mounted a formidable #RetakeTheMajority campaign to flip both houses blue, but success will require robust voter turnout between now and the Nov. 5 election.

“Virginians have a beautiful, amazing, really unbelievable opportunity to show Trump that his time is nearly up: by voting bigly in this November’s election!” Arlington Democrats Chair Jill Caiazzo said, mocking the loquacious, superlative-loving Trump. “In all seriousness, it’s time for people of conscience to stand up against this corrupt president and his Republican enablers–at our family-friendly rally in Arlington and at the polls across Virginia Nov. 5.”

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list