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Cupcake Shop, Mediterranean Restaurant Coming to Pentagon Row

A pair of new restaurants are coming to the Pentagon Row shopping center in Pentagon City.

Smallcakes, a cupcake and ice cream chain, is set to open in a vacant storefront adjacent to the former Ristorante Murali.

Smallcakes has more than 200 locations in the U.S. and abroad. It touts its freshly-made treats, including a daily offering of 18 cupcake flavors — with “seasonal and special flavors such as Maple Bacon, Fat Elvis, Cannoli, Strawberries N’ Crème, Tiramisu, French Toast, and Pumpkin” — and 15 ice cream flavors, which are “a nod to Smallcakes’ famous cupcake recipes.”

The Pentagon Row Smallcakes location is simply listed as “coming soon” on the company’s website.

Also coming to the shopping center is Aabee Restaurant, a “Persian and Mediterranean fusion” restaurant formerly located in Fairfax. Permanent signs are up for Aabee, which is opening in the former NKD Pizza storefront across the parking lot from Harris Teeter.

Aabee’s former location is listed as closed on Yelp. Neither its former website nor Facebook page have been updated to reflect the apparent closure and new location, though a new website was recently launched. A phone number listed for the business has been disconnected.

In its previous location, Aabee offered soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, kabobs and Iranian stew dishes. It also had Saturday night belly dancing shows, according to the restaurant website.

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Morning Notes

Metroway bus in Crystal City (Photo courtesy Donna Gouse)

Crumbs Could Reopen — The shuttered Crumbs Bakeshop in Clarendon could reopen, after the bankrupt cupcake company was purchased by a new owner. Fischer Enterprises has yet to reveal which of Crumbs’ 48 stores will reopen. [Washington Business Journal]

Arlington’s Naturalist Blogs on the Side — Frustrated with “days filled with meetings and paperwork” after he started working as the natural resources manager for Arlington’s Dept. of Parks and Recreation, Alonso Abugattas founded an educational blog and Facebook group called Capital Naturalist. The blog has a loyal following among readers and respect from fellow naturalists. [Washington Post]

Transportation Among Reasons Politico Stayed — The president of Monday Properties, the major Rosslyn property owner, says political publication Politico decided to renew its office lease in Rosslyn largely because of “superior transit options and greater concentration of housing and retail.” [Washington City Paper]

Changes Coming to ARLnow — ARLnow.com is expected to roll out a website redesign this afternoon. The site may experience brief downtime during the transition. Readers should also expect various menu and visual changes immediately after the transition.

Photo courtesy Donna Gouse

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Cupcakes to Return to FatShorty’s

Fat Shorty'sRed Velvet cupcakes are coming to Clarendon sausage-and-beer eatery FatShorty’s (3035 Clarendon Blvd).

Cupcakes disappeared from the restaurant when it was converted from Rabbit Salad and Grill to FatShorty’s earlier this year. Aaron Gordon, who owns FatShorty’s and the Red Velvet chain, says cupcakes are returning due to customer demand.

“We found that so many people came back to FatShorty’s asking for Red Velvet that we had to bring it back,” he said.

The cupcakes are slated to be offered starting on Wednesday, Sept. 4. Red Velvet cupcakes will be sold “alongside Fatshorty’s in the same way we did with Rabbit,” Gordon said.

FatShorty’s and Red Velvet will maintain the same hours. Brian Scott, the restaurant’s Director of Operations, says eight cupcake varieties will be offered.

“We will feature our 8 most popular flavors… Red Velvet, Vanilla Bean, Devil’s Food, Peanut Butter Cup, Cookie’s and Cream, Carrot Cake, Black Velvet (Gluten free and Vegan) and our weekly feature cupcake,” he said.

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‘CupcakeCampDC’ Coming to Rosslyn

Are you a cupcake fanatic? When you go to sleep at night, do you count cupcakes instead of sheep? Do you watch television shows about cupcakes? To you, is a cupcake and coffee a perfectly acceptable breakfast?

If you said yes to any of those questions, you’re probably going to like an event that’s coming to Rosslyn next month.

The third annual “CupcakeCampDC” will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, at the Continental Pool Lounge (1911 N. Fort Myer Drive). The event is described as “an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people to share and eat cupcakes in an open environment.” Bringing your own fresh-baked cupcakes to the event is optional but encouraged; eating a bunch of cupcakes is expected.

The event will benefit the DC Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation. Tickets are available for a suggested donation of either $5 or $10, depending on whether you want “VIP” access. Organizers say last year’s event, held at Local 16 in D.C., sold out.

In addition to the consumption of cupcakes and networking with fellow cupcake fans, CupcakeCampDC will feature free gaming at the Continental’s skeeball, shuffleboard, darts, basketball, pool, Wii, and board game stations. There will also be a cupcake competition.

“Bakers will be split between professionals and amateurs giving everyone a chance with fair play,” organizers said. “Local judges include foodies we love — Nikki Rappaport of Cupcakes for Breakfast, The Cupcake Crusaders, and many more”

Tickets for CupcakeCampDC are available online.

Flickr photo by YidaL

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Bakeshop Featured on Cooking Channel

(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) Bakeshop (1025 N. Fillmore Street) was featured on the Cooking Channel “Unique Sweets” this past Sunday.

The Clarendon confection store’s owner, Justin Stegall, and his mother Linda were both featured on the program, as well as Bakeshop’s oatmeal creme pie, 7-Up cupcakes, and red velvet cake. The episode was focused on nostalgic “childhood treats.”

Unique Sweets bills itself as “an insider’s peek into innovative eateries across America that are creating the most unique and exciting desserts today.” The show airs on the Cooking Channel at 10:30 p.m. on Sundays, though repeats are aired multiples times during the week.

Stegall says he got a call from the producers of the show out of the blue, asking if he wanted to be featured. A camera crew spent seven hours in the store a couple of months ago, Stegall said, and the finished, edited segment was about seven minutes.

Stegall says he was surprised by how many people have told him that they saw him on television.

“It’s kind of funny, I didn’t know cooking TV was as big as it was,” he said. “The craziest thing is that my friends… are calling up and telling me they saw me on TV, and I didn’t tell them it was going to be on.”

Screen capture collage courtesy of Lu

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Rabbit Salad and Grill Plans Tuesday Opening

With the crucial Certificate of Occupancy finally in hand, Rabbit Salad and Grill (3035 Clarendon Blvd) is preparing to open to the public on Tuesday.

The eatery, one block from the Clarendon Metro station, will feature chef-crafted salads, sandwiches, hot plates and Red Velvet cupcakes. When its liquor license goes through, Rabbit will also serve wine by the glass and $4.50 draft beers.

Owner Aaron Gordon says he’s planning a soft opening on Tuesday, preceded by a Bisnow-sponsored event on Monday. The restaurant’s normal hours will be 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

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Coming Soon to Clarendon: Rabbit Salad and Grill

Clarendon’s new salad-sandwich-and-cupcake concept, Rabbit Salad and Grill, now has a name and an opening date.

A web site for the new restaurant, located at 3035 Clarendon Boulevard, appeared online yesterday. A representative tells us that they’re hoping to hold a grand opening on July 28.

Rabbit will offer “quality salads, sandwiches and meals in a comfortable dining room,” along with a selection of beer and wine.” In addition, sweets will be offered thanks to an in-store Red Velvet Cupcakery counter (Rabbit and Red Velvet share the same owners).

The restaurant is now hiring cooks, dishwashers and servers.

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New Cupcake Truck Launches Today

Arlington has a new mobile baked goods vendor.

The “Sweet Fleet” truck is making its public debut today in Ballston, Rosslyn, Courthouse and Shirlington. The truck features cupcakes, cookies and other treats baked by Jason Reaves, a pastry chef and an upcoming competitor on TV’s Food Network Challenge.

Prices range from $3.00 to $3.50 for individual cupcakes and $2.00 for cookies. The truck will serve “all of Arlington,” managers say. You can follow its location on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo via Facebook

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Buzz Bakery in Ballston Opening Next Month

There’s finally an opening date in sight for Buzz Bakery in Ballston.

“Coming soon” signs have been up at the storefront on the 4000 block of Wilson Boulevard for almost a year now. Next-door sister eatery Rustico opened in October while Buzz remained closed. Now, at long last, comes word that Buzz will start serving cupcakes and cappuccinos early next month.

Neighborhood Restaurant Group spokeswoman Jennifer Eberline says the company expects to announce an official May opening date “very, very soon.”

The will be NRG’s second Buzz Bakery. The first, on Slaters Lane in Alexandria, serves breakfast, baked goods, paninis, coffee, tea, wine and beer.

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Bozzelli’s Now Serving Pizza in Crystal City

The selection is a bit limited at the moment, but Bozzelli’s Italian Deli in Crystal City (2600 Crystal Drive) is now serving pizza.

The addition will bring Bozzelli’s, which opened in November, into direct competition with one of the few other street-facing quick-serve options on the southern end of Crystal Drive, Pizza Autentica (2450 Crystal Drive).

Bozzelli’s is serving plain cheese, pepperoni and veggie pizzas for now. Fancier options like the white pizza are still a few days away, an employee said. In addition to the pizza, Bozzelli’s is also now offering mini cupcakes and other sweets in Crystal City.

One repeat customer who may be sampling the new menu items is Crystal City resident and former presidential candidate Sen. John McCain. We’re told McCain has been known to swing by the restaurant on occasion.

Photo via Facebook

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Brgr:Shack Opens in Ballston

Arlington’s latest burger joint has opened for business.

Brgr:Shack serves 100% natural grass fed beef burgers in a light-filled, modernist setting across from the Ballston Metro at 4215 Fairfax Drive.

In addition to nine types of burgers, the restaurant serves fresh cut french fries, sweet potato fries, two types of salads, seven types of beer, shakes, ice cream and — coming soon — cupcakes.

(For those keeping score, burgers, salads, beer and cupcakes make up four of the six Arlington food groups. Only froyo and pizza are missing.)

Come spring, the restaurant is expected to start opening the garage door shown in the photos.

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Morning Notes

Bill Would Increase Handicap Parking Fine — Del. David Englin (D) — a prolific proposer of legislation — has introduced a bill that would increase the maximum fine for illegally parking in a handicapped parking space from $500 to $750. The minimum fine would remain $100. [Sun Gazette]

Blog Conducts Cupcake Taste Test — Which has the better cupcake, the new Crumbs Bake Shop (2839 Clarendon Blvd) or Bakeshop (1025 N Fillmore St)? A local blog conducted a taste test and produced an exhaustive a 1,100+ word comparison. [Clarendon Culture]

Public Library to Hold “Cello-bration” — Cellist David Rabin will perform at the Columbia Pike Branch Library (816 S Walter Reed Drive) at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. The event, which is billed as fun for all ages, will feature the music of January birthday boys Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Jan. 27) and Franz Schubert (Jan. 31). [Arlington Public Library Blog]

Flickr pool photo by Jason OX4

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Reminder: Crumbs Giving Away Free Cupcakes Saturday

The new Crumbs Bake Shop in Clarendon (2839 Clarendon Boulevard) will be giving away free cupcakes tomorrow to celebrate its grand opening.

The store, which opened on Dec. 30, will give away 1,000 of its signature size (read: large) cupcakes to its first 1,000 customers. Also, the store is giving away free cups of coffee with any cupcake purchase.

Crumbs is open from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

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Crumbs Bakeshop to Open on Thursday

Crumbs Bakeshop, the New York City-based cupcake chain, will open its new Clarendon store on Thursday, the company Tweeted this morning.

The Clarendon Crumbs is located at 2839 Clarendon Boulevard. It is the chain’s first Arlington location, and second D.C. area location.

The company’s store openings are often accompanied by big product giveaways.

The photos above were taken in November.

Update at 2:35 p.m. — A 1,000 cupcake giveaway will be held on Saturday, Jan. 8.

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Crumbs Bakeshop in Clarendon Closer to Opening

The paper has come down from the windows of the new Crumbs Bakeshop in Clarendon, but the NYC-based cupcake chain still has not set a definitive opening date.

A peek inside the store reveals that there’s still interior work to be done. There is, however, a surprisingly comprehensive coffee and beverage menu posted.

A Crumbs rep tells us they’re “working hard” to open by Christmas.

When we reported on Crumb’s impending arrival in February, the company was projecting a May opening.

H/T @CommonCenser

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