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Arlington Celebrity Chef David Guas Set to Appear on ‘Chopped’ Tomorrow

David Guas, Arlington’s resident celebrity chef and TV personality, will return as a judge on “Chopped” tomorrow (Tuesday).

The owner of Courthouse’s Bayou Bakery is set to appear on the Food Network show once more Tuesday at 9 p.m., per a spokeswoman.

The New Orleans native will be judging an episode with competitions centered around Cuban food, dubbed “Under The Cuban Sun.” Guas’ father was born and raised in the country.

After opening the Courthouse eatery in 2010, Guas has gone on to appear on “Chopped” several times over the years — his son has even competed on the program.

Guas has also hosted the Travel Channel show “American Grilled,” written two cookbooks and is a frequent guest on NBC’s “Today Show.”

File photo 

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Paving Kicks Off on Clarendon Blvd, As Courthouse Intersection Work Wraps Up

Work is wrapping up on improvements to one of Courthouse’s trickiest intersections, with some night paving set to close a few streets this week.

The county is putting the finishing touches on some changes to sidewalks and bus stops around the intersection of Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards, near the Courthouse Metro station. Starting last night (Tuesday), workers began paving the area and the county expects the work to last through Friday (Sept. 7).

Arlington officials are advising drivers to avoid the area where Clarendon Blvd meets N. Veitch Street and 15th Street N. during the paving, set to run from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. through the rest of the week.

Workers permanently closed the lane turning from Clarendon Blvd. to 15th Street N. in March, and have spent the ensuing months widening the sidewalks in the area and adding a new bus stop to accommodate additional Arlington Transit service in the area. The county hopes the project “will improve pedestrian safety, circulation and access in and around Courthouse Plaza,” per its website.

Construction was originally set to wrap up sometime this winter, but the county says it’s now “nearing completion, ahead of schedule.”

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New Protected Bike Lane Opens Connecting Rosslyn and Courthouse

Arlington’s opened up another protected bike lane, this time connecting Rosslyn and Courthouse.

This newest lane runs along Wilson Blvd, between N. Quinn Street and N. Courthouse Road near the post office in the area. The county previously built a protected lane between N. Oak and N. Quinn Streets back in 2016.

In the early going, at least, the new lane seems to be a hit for cyclists and scooter fans alike.

The county’s added several new protected bike lanes this summer, including one along N. Veitch Street near this latest addition, as part of summer paving work around Arlington.

Photo via @juddlumberjack

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Burger District Opens Its Doors in Courthouse

A new burger restaurant in Courthouse has now opened its doors.

Burger District, located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, held its grand opening on Friday (Aug. 3), taking the place of Basic Burger, which closed up shop at the location last month in order to expand elsewhere.

The new burger eatery is offering a free drink with any meal, through next Monday (Aug. 13) to lure in customers. The restaurant’s menu includes wings, shakes and hot dogs, in addition to burgers.

Burger District also currently has a state license to sell beer and wine, according to restaurant staff, with plans to eventually offer a full bar.

The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. most days.

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DEVELOPING: Police Looking for Armed Suspect Who Threatened Fellow Metro Rider

Police are searching the area around the Courthouse Metro station for a suspect who reportedly threatened another rider on a Metro train with a weapon.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. Arlington County Police and Metro Transit Police are on the scene, trying to get to the bottom of what happened. According to initial reports, the suspect was armed with either a gun or a knife and is still at large.

A photo (below) shared by a Twitter user and retweeted by the account Unsuck DC Metro shows a police officer with a gun drawn and a woman with her hands in the air at the station.

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New Protected Bike Lane Coming to Courthouse This Month

A new protected bike lane is on the way for Courthouse this month.

Workers are set to add the new lane along N. Veitch Street as it runs between Wilson Blvd and Lee Highway, in a bid to better connect the Custis Trail with both Courthouse and Rosslyn.

Construction on the protected lane is set to move in conjunction with the county’s paving work starting this month, and will require some adjustments for the area’s on-street parking. Workers have also temporarily relocated the Capital Bikeshare station along N. Veitch Street to the road’s intersection with Key Blvd in preparation for the construction.

Soon afterward, the county also hopes to retool parking along N. Troy Street as part of the repaving work, set to take place sometime in “late summer.”

In subsequent phases of this project, the county plans to extend a previously built protected bike lane between N. Oak Street and N. Quinn Street in Rosslyn, linking the neighborhood to Courthouse. Some paving work on that effort could start as soon as this month.

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New Daycare Center in Courthouse Set to Win Permit

A new daycare center could soon be open for business for Courthouse.

The Merit School nearly has the final approval it needs to open up a new facility in an office building at 2311 Wilson Blvd.

The County Board is reviewing a use permit to allow the daycare company, an offshoot of a similar school in Woodbridge, to start operating in the space, and has approved several other child care facilities in the area in recent months. The Board has made the availability of child care in the county a particular focus over the last few years, and is still working on an overhaul of Arlington’s policies governing the facilities.

The 7,600-square-foot space could someday serve as many as 103 children, and includes a nearly 3,000-square-foot playground around the rear of the building.

According to a letter to county staff from the company’s managers, the facility “will be designed with separate areas designated for children by age,” serving kids from toddlers up to 12-year-olds.

The daycare center will have eight parking spaces reserved for its employees in a nearby underground garage, with another six saved for pick-up and drop-offs by parents along N. Adams Street.

The Lyon Village Civic Association raised a few “concerns about potential increased traffic and parking issues in the neighborhood,” according to a county staff report. But county staff ultimately decided to simply require the daycare center to make its parking rules clear to parents in advance, rather than forcing the company to make any significant changes.

The County Board is set to vote on the permit for the new facility at its meeting Saturday (July 14). Board members are planning to unveil their childcare changes in a July 24 work session.

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Despite Helicopter Search, Indecent Exposure Subject Gives Police the Slip

The Fairfax Police helicopter whirred over the Courthouse area last night in search of an indecent exposure suspect, but the man managed to make a clean getaway after performing his dirty deed.

A woman witnessed the lewd act as she was walking along Fairfax Drive, near the entrance to westbound Route 50, according to police.

More from Arlington County Police:

At approximately 9:32 p.m. on July 11, police were dispatched to the report of an indecent exposure in the 2200 block of Fairfax Drive. Upon arrival, it was determined that the female victim was walking in the area when she observed a male suspect masturbating. Police responded to the scene, established a perimeter and conducted a search of the area. The search was assisted by the Fairfax Police Department helicopter unit and returned with negative results. The suspect is described as a white male with dark curly hair, approximately 5’9″ with an average build. The investigation is ongoing.

Asked whether this case may be related to the serial flasher who prowls the Rosslyn area, ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage said that remains uncertain.

“At this time, this incident is not being investigated as part of the series in Rosslyn,” she told ARLnow.com. “This remains an active investigation and detectives will work to determine if there is any link between the incidents.”

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Morning Notes

Arlington Named Top Digital County Again — “Arlington County is the No. 1 digital county in the nation for a third straight year. The Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties 2018 award recognizes Arlington for its best technology practices in areas of open government, transparency, public engagement, planning, cyber security and operations.” [Arlington County]

Robbery in Courthouse — Two men reportedly robbed the Dunkin’ Donuts on Wilson Blvd in Courthouse yesterday evening. The men demanded money and fled the scene with cash but did not display any weapons during the robbery, according to initial reports. [Twitter]

Kaine to Campaign in Arlington Today — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tonight “will host a ‘Neighbor to Neighbor’ community conversation in Arlington to engage Northern Virginia voters on the critical issues facing our country and take their questions.” The event is taking place at the Barcroft Park Picnic Shelter (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive) at 6:30 p.m.

Britney Spears Touches Down in Arlington — Britney Spears arrived at Reagan National Airport ahead of the kick off of her summer tour. Photos and video show her walking through the terminal with a small entourage. [Daily Mail]

Arlington to Pay to Help Retain Federal Tenant — “Arlington taxpayers will be on the hook for nearly $8 million over 10 years to subsidize a lease that will retain the Office of Naval Research in the county. County Board members on July 14 are expected to approve an incentive package that will keep the federal agency in its current 314,000 square feet of office space in Ballston.” [InsideNova]

Suspect Hailed Cab After Pike Burglary — “A burglar made his getaway from a scene in Arlington by hailing a taxi, according to officials. The Arlington County Police Department said the burglar targeted a business in the 3100 block of Columbia Pike near the Westmont neighborhood at about 10:25 a.m. on Sunday.” [Fox 5 DC]

George Mason Drive Detour — A “small detour” will be in place this weekend on N. George Mason Drive “as crews above remove the old half still remaining from the soon-to-be-replaced Carlin Springs Road Bridge.” [Twitter]

White Ford Bronco Profiled — Prolific local 90s cover band White Ford Bronco is the subject of a newspaper profile that dubs it the “undisputed king of D.C. cover bands.” The profile recounts that “at a recent concert at the Clarendon Ballroom, guys in button-down shirts and Birkenstocks pumped their fists to the chorus of ‘Mr. Jones.'” [Washington Post]

Metrobus Delays This Morning — Metrobus passengers reported delays and missed routes this morning, which WMATA says was the result of “bus operators reporting late to work as part of a collective labor action by their union.” [Twitter, WTOP]

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‘Burger District’ Coming Soon to Courthouse

The new burger restaurant that is replacing Basic Burger in Courthouse hopes to open by the end of the month.

In a press release, Burger District says that they “have been working hard to spruce the place up a little bit, and are anxious to get our doors open and provide all of our guests with a dining experience second to none.”

Located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, the eatery will serve “burgers, wings, dogs, shakes, ice cold beers and an eclectic mix of wines,” and will be “committed to our community.”

The restaurant is currently hiring and aims to open in “late July,” according to its website.

The full press release is below.

Hello Neighbors!

We are the crew from Burger District, a new restaurant concept opening at 2024 Wilson Blvd. We have been working hard to spruce the place up a little bit, and are anxious to get our doors open and provide all of our guests with a dining experience second to none. We are going to feature Burgers, Wings, Dogs, Shakes, Ice cold beers and an eclectic mix of wines that will all match to the many different selections on our menu. We are a small, independent company, and our goal is to quickly become that neighborhood eatery that has great food and drink, and shows our appreciation to any and all guests that come through our doors. We chose our location in Arlington because of the mix of families, businesses, schools, and youth sports teams that give Arlington its unique and special charm. We are committed to our community and will cater to local businesses, hire young Arlingtonians and teach them how to develop a strong work ethic, support our local schools, charities and first responders. Before we bring a new member on to our team, we make sure that our standard is to invite and service our guests as if we were inviting them into our own homes. Our opening menu will highlight the foundation of what we are most proud of, and our plans are to expand the menu quickly once we get rolling. We prefer to menu fewer items in the beginning, and exceed expectations rather than to try to do too much and not be able to produce to your expectations. We will offer Full Half Pound Burgers that have never, ever been introduced to hormones or antibiotics. Our jumbo wings will be Buttermilk marinated and dusted in house-made dry rubs, and smothered in our own sauces. We will feature all- beef hot dogs, superior quality pork and beef sausages as well as Vegan Dogs with mouth watering toppings. Our shakes are made with High Butterfat ice cream, and we will spare no expense on our ingredients and flavorings. We will serve high-end coffee and pastries in the morning, provide catering options as well as offering “Grill packages” which will allow the Grill Master in your family to cut a few corners when time is of the essence. We will adding a few more T.V.’s which will give us the sports bar feel without the noise and chaos of those larger “sports bars.” Our pint glass will actually hold 16 fluid oz. of beer and we will never use a “cheater” 14 oz. Pint glass. We will seat approximately 12-15 at the bar, and will offer local offices to join us with smaller groups, and provide food and beverage packages all included to wind down with a few of your friends after a hard day of work. Of course we will show Professional and College Football games, but don’t be surprised if you come in and see groups cheering for their favorite Rugby, Soccer, or Cricket teams. We are even putting up a dart board just for the heck of it. Once again, we at Burger District thank you for allow us into the neighborhood and look forward to seeing you soon.

File photo

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Morning Notes

Primary Voting Underway — It’s an election day in Virginia. On the ballot in Arlington is the Democratic race for County Board, between Chanda Choun and Matt de Ferranti, and the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, with candidates Corey Stewart, Nick Freitas and E. W. Jackson. Voting will continue through 7 p.m. [Twitter]

Post-Parade Party in Courthouse — Those heading to the Capitals Stanley Cup victory parade downtown today can head on back to Arlington for an afterparty at Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill, hosted by the Caps blog Russian Machine Never Breaks. The event starts at 3 p.m. [RMNB]

Final Issue of ‘The Citizen’ — Arlington County’s “The Citizen” newsletter is publishing its last issue this week. The county-run publication is ceasing its print issues due to budget cuts. The move was lamented by the Sun Gazette, which wrote that The Citizen provided “information that, most likely, many local residents will now not get, despite the government’s plethora of online-centric public-relations efforts.” [InsideNova]

Clement: Strip Washington from W-L Too — Independent Arlington School Board candidate Audrey Clement says it is “hypocrisy in the extreme” for the “Lee” in “Washington-Lee High School” to be removed without also removing “Washington.” Wrote Clement: “Had not George Washington, James Madison and Thomas Jefferson — all Virginia native sons and all slave holders — greased the skids of institutionalized slavery by agreeing to write it into the U.S. Constitution, Lee would not have taken up arms against his own nation.” [Audrey Clement]

Apartment Building to Get Free Broadband — “Arlington’s Digital Inclusion Initiative, announced in December 2017, will leverage the County’s fiber-optic network, ConnectArlington, to bring free broadband Internet access to low- and moderate-income households in Arlington, including those with school-age children. Arlington Mill Residences, a low- and moderate-income residential development, will serve as the demonstration project for the initiative.” [Arlington County]

Paving on Lorcom Lane — Crews are paving Lorcom Lane between N. Fillmore and Daniel streets today. [Twitter]

Nearby: Second Northside Social Opens — The new Falls Church outpost of Clarendon cafe Northside Social has opened in the Little City. “The business itself will offer a menu similar to its Clarendon location, but a basement that allows for a commercial-sized bakery and chef Matt Hill’s creative inklings will provide new lunch and dinner options.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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Basic Burger Leaving Courthouse, Planning Expansion Across D.C. Region

Basic Burger is moving out of its Courthouse location, but the restaurant has big plans for expansion across the D.C. region.

General manager Guillermo Castillo says his eatery will be closing up shop at 2024 Wilson Blvd at the end of this week, after first opening there in 2016.

He says that decision was in part driven by some big changes in the company — Castillo said one of its main partners left the business six months ago —  but also a reflection of his plans to open other Basic Burgers elsewhere in the coming months. He announced plans last fall to open a new space in the Pentagon Row shopping center, and he’s hoping to open another location in North Arlington and one in D.C. soon enough.

“It was a tough decision… but with all the new projects we had going on, it just didn’t make sense for us to stay there any more,” Castillo told ARLnow.

Castillo hopes to hold a soft opening for the Pentagon Row shop, to be located at 1101 S. Joyce Street in the plaza next to Starbucks, by this weekend, at the earliest. He expects that location will become the restaurant’s “flagship,” as it’s several times larger than the old Courthouse space, and will offer a whole host of new menu items beyond the burgers and hotdogs that have defined Basic Burger.

“We’re limited a bit by our budget as we opened up last time,” Castillo said. “But this has really taken us to the next level.”

He also plans to set up outdoor seating and a bar that’s “twice the size” of the one at the Courthouse location. That will include a handful of vodka cocktails on tap, as well as frozen  rosé.

As for the new locations elsewhere, Castillo said he’s signed leases for both a North Arlington space and one in D.C., but he declined to reveal the locations of those just yet.

Castillo also noted that burger fans in Courthouse will soon have a new option in the space Basic Burger is leaving behind. He says he’s arranged for another restaurant to take over the location, though he doesn’t know much about the new occupants, other than the fact that they operate some food trucks in the area.

State records show that a company called Philomina, LLC recently applied for a license to serve wine and beer at the space, under the name “Burger District.”

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Finally, Pizza al Fresco! Fire Works Patio Is Open

The patio is open!

Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar in the Courthouse neighborhood is a wonderfully warm place to while away a meal during the frigid months, but when spring finally arrived, so did the opening of the patio.

“I think we have one of the biggest patios in Arlington,” says Jason Silerto, the general manager of the eatery. “And this year, it’s completely dog friendly.”

In fact, Silerto and the restaurant management team has reinvented the patio, which was already a neighborhood favorite, by changing up the menu, redesigning the layout and adding more convenient outdoor beverage service.

Fire Works is now entering its eighth year in business which readers will know is a remarkable run in a region full of fickle diners. The key, Silerto suggests, is its consistent high quality in every aspect of the business.

That quality extends throughout the Fire Works family of restaurants, including Leesburg landmark Tuskie’s, the sandwich bakery South Street Under and events-oriented Birkby House, as well as Purcellville’s upscale Magnolias.

While Silerto would like you take a look at the Other Side of the Menu (the non-pizza side we wrote about last October; find it here), a dinnertime visitor can’t help but notice the copious amounts of pizza being marched out of the kitchen and into the dining room and patio.

The famous (some would say infamous) wood-fired crust boast a delightful savory char that some mistake for over-cooked. It is not, and it is delicious. The crust serves as a crispy thin bed for toppings ranging from Bakers farm sausage and grana padano to white sauce with shrimp and clams.

For those looking for the fare on the Other Side of the Menu, there is more traditional bar fare in wings, burgers and salads. Those co-exist with chef Thomas Harvey’s adventurous offerings — from from flank steak to wild caught salmon to an entrée sandwich of grilled gouda, goat and gruyere slathered with that tomato jam, among many other choices — and the enormous craft beer selection.

Ingredients are sourced from the closest purveyors possible, including fertile farms in Leesburg and Purcellville but also CommonWealth Joe Nitro Brewed Coffee from the neighborhood.

“We just believe in quality, and people like to see that,” Silerto says.

Fire Works American Pizzeria and Bar is at 2350 Clarendon Boulevard. The website is here for booking a table or call 703-527-8700 for reservations or to enquire about a private room and catering. The preceding was written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by Fire Works.

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County Office Building, Homeless Shelter in Courthouse Flood Due to Broken Pipe

(Updated May 16, 9 a.m.) An Arlington County office building in Courthouse that’s home to the county’s 24-hour homeless shelter is cleaning up from some heavy flooding Tuesday (May 15).

A water pipe on the top floor of the seven-story building at 2020 14th Street N. broke Monday night (May 14), according to Jessica Baxter, a spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services.

Baxter told ARLnow that “drainage from the broken pipe impacted all areas of the building,” including the county’s Homeless Services Center, other government offices and even the Chelsea Market & Deli and Ragtime Restaurant on the building’s ground floor.

“County contractors are on-site cleaning up the water, repairing the pipe and recharging the chilled water system to restore HVAC services on floors 4-7,” Baxter wrote in an email. “HVAC services for the lower floors were not impacted.”

Baxter says the flooding has not impacted services at the shelter, but it has forced county employees working on the first and fifth floors to temporarily relocate to the other offices.

The county bought the building for $27 million in 2012, in part to open a new, year-round shelter for the homeless. The shelter opened in 2015.

Photo via Google Maps

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Four Courthouse Elevators Set to be Replaced, Including Two Reaching Metro

Arlington County could soon embark on a $1.8 million effort to replace four elevators around Courthouse.

The County Board will vote at its meeting this weekend on a plan to fully overhaul two elevators in Arlington’s Court Square West building (1400 N. Uhle Street) and two more that connect to the Courthouse Metro station underground.

All four elevators have “reached the end of their useful lives,” according to a report prepared by county staff.

The elevators in Court Square West, a building that holds some county offices, travel seven stories each. The Metro station elevators travel just two stories, and are located at each end of an underground access tunnel linking to the station — one is at 2200 Clarendon Boulevard, the other at 2111 Wilson Boulevard.

The County Board is set to vote to award a contract for the work on Saturday (May 19), as part of its “consent agenda,” which is generally reserved for noncontroversial items that are approved all at once.

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