Arlington, VA

The Potomac Paddle Pub is a pedal-powered vessel, but come next week, its occupants will be three sheets to the wind.

The pub is the latest in a trend of mobile drinking platforms, like The Pedal Saloon in Clarendon, but this adventure in drinking takes the journey to the water.

A 15-customer crew will power the vessel from Georgetown’s waterfront to Columbia Island Marina in Arlington, taking turns working at 10 pedaling stations. In total, the ride is expected to be about 90 minutes long.

The pub owners told ARLnow the boat is currently only ferrying family and friends to work out the kinks, but cruises will be open for customers starting on Monday (Oct. 4).

Unlike the land-based drinking platforms in Arlington bound by state intoxication laws, occupants of the Potomac Paddle Pub will be able to drink while operating the vehicle. The passengers are required to bring and consume their own beers or wine — no liquor is allowed onboard, and no alcohol will be sold at the bar on the deck.

Individual seats are only available during weekday trips, and a minimum of two must be purchased per transaction. Tickets are $45 for adults during a weekday, or $25 for a child under twelve. Renting the whole board during a weekday is $500, or $625 to rent a boat on the weekend.

Tickets can be purchased at the Potomac Paddle Pub website.

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Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Tuesday, March 13

Trivia Night: Are you smarter than a Catholic sister?*
Ireland’s Four Courts (2051 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6:30-9 p.m.

Test your pop culture and general knowledge against a team of Catholic Sisters, with drink specials and free appetizers. Prizes for top trivia teams.

Wednesday, March 14

Shaping Arlington for a Smart & Secure Future*
County Board Room (2100 Clarendon Blvd)
Time: 6-8 p.m.

Listen to a panel discussion on how technology will shape Arlington, featuring government and cybersecurity experts. A reception with light refreshments will also be held.

Arlington Committee of 100 Virginia Hospital Center Expansion*
Marymount University (2807 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 7-9 p.m.

The Committee of 100 is hosting a panel discussion on Virginia Hospital Center’s expansion, the county’s population growth and evolving community healthcare needs. Optional dinner served.

Thursday, March 15

Parenting Lecture: Parenting an Anxious Child
The Sycamore School (4600 N. Fairfax Drive)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Dr. Christine Golden will discuss the challenges of parenting a child with anxiety and offer some helpful strategies for managing behaviors. The lecture is free to attend.

Friday, March 16

St. Agnes Soup Supper*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The church will offer meatless soups and a noodle dish, and more every Friday during the Lenten holiday. Guests are invited to stay for confession and the stations of the cross afterwards.

Saturday, March 17

Whitlow’s St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Whitlow’s On Wilson (2854 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 9 a.m. – Close

Live Irish music and an open rooftop welcome you at Whitlow’s On Wilson’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Special Irish menu and March Madness games on the TVs all day.

WJAFC Open Day*
Virginia Highlands Park (1600 S. Hayes Street)
Time: 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

A co-ed, free clinic to learn the Australian football game. Kids from 5-15 will learn starting at 9 a.m., with an adults clinic and co-ed non-contact game at 10:30 a.m.

Guinness and Gold*
Ten at Clarendon (3110 10th Street N.)
Time: 12-5 p.m.

Tour the Clarendon apartment building with a free Guinness and cash in on leasing deals. Leasing specials are subject to terms and conditions.

Wine Dinner*
Osteria da Nino (2900 S. Quincy Street)
Time: 6:30-10:30 p.m.

Join Tre Monti winery over a four course meal with five wines, including theThea Passito 2012 Romagna Albana DOCG raisin wine. Tickets are $75 per person.

Yorktown High School Presents “Almost, Maine”*
Yorktown High School (5200 Yorktown Boulevard)
Time: 7-9:30 p.m.

Students will be performing John Cariani’s “Almost Maine,” about a remote, mythical town and the effect of the northern lights on the lovestruck residents. Tickets are $10.

Sunday, March 18

St. Joseph’s Table Celebration
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 1-4 p.m.

Join the church following the noon mass for a procession to celebrate this feast day with a potluck lunch, live music, and a kids woodworking shop.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

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Entrance to Room 19, in the back of Boulevard Woodgrill in Clarendon (courtesy photo)Clarendon is getting a new “speakeasy.”

Room 19,” as the speakeasy is called, will take place weekly in the back of Boulevard Woodgrill restaurant (2901 Wilson Blvd), starting next Monday night, July 11. It will feature classic cocktails in an intimate setting.

“The goal of Room 19 is to give the DC and NOVA crowd something they have not experienced before,” wrote Minh Tran, a spokesman for the venture.

“We want patrons to feel as if they have stepped away from 2016 and entered a hidden world,” Tran said in an email. “Room 19 will feel intimate, dark, and secretive. This is about having an immersive experience of the Prohibition era. Jazz music from the 1920’s and 1930’s will add to the ambience. This is a place you want to have a great time with your date or to share a new experience with friends. It is an escape.”

Room 19 graphicBehind Room 19, Tran said, are Boulevard Woodgrill owner Joe Corey and mixologist Chris Bassett, whose resume includes Ping Pong Dim Sum and Old Town Alexandria speakeasy PX. The cocktail menu includes classics like a Negroni, a Sazerac, and a “cedar smoked” Old Fashioned, plus cocktails with names like “Sherry’s got me by the stones,” with tequila, apricot liqueur and sherry; and “That smokey sweetness,” with single malt whiskey, raspberry syrup and lemon juice.

Room 19 will initially take place Mondays from 6 to 11 p.m., but may stay open later if the crowd doesn’t thin out. Additional days of the week are expected to be added.

There’s a dress code: casual attire is allowed, but flip flops, tank tops and “regular,” non-trendy sneakers are all verboten. Those wishing to make table reservations are asked to email [email protected].

Courtesy photo

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2015 Shamrock Crawl in Clarendon (photo courtesy ACPD)An influx of fake IDs from overseas has prompted a crackdown by the Arlington County Police Department.

ACPD says it recently started “a high-visibility underage drinking enforcement and education campaign designed to curb the use of fake IDs by underage individuals.” The campaign is targeting the busy Clarendon bar district on weekends.

“Over the last month or so, a number of fake IDs — originating from overseas online shops — have been turned into police by Clarendon businesses,” explained ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “This initiative was developed to address this issue.”

“This is a newer initiative but it’s been going on for about a month,” Savage continued. “We have a great working relationship with the business owners in Clarendon and this is just one more step we can take to continue to make Clarendon a safe area at night. The initiative will be going on this weekend… [and] will be part of the regular duties of the officers working our Clarendon detail on Friday and Saturday nights.”

Savage said the campaign includes enforcement, signboards placed around Clarendon and social media outreach. (The department will be live tweeting from Clarendon on Friday night.)

“We encourage people to enjoy the nightlife Arlington has to offer but do so responsibly – and that includes waiting until you reach the legal drinking age of 21,” said Savage.

The full press release issued by ACPD this afternoon is below.

The Arlington County Police Department will conduct a high-visibility underage drinking enforcement and education campaign designed to curb the use of fake IDs by underage individuals. These efforts aim to deter those underage individuals from abusing alcohol and driving while impaired.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, those under the legal drinking age are at a far greater risk of death in an alcohol-related crash than the overall population, despite the fact that they cannot legally purchase or publicly possess alcohol in any state. That’s why the Arlington County Police Department is reminding underage individuals to think before they drink; underage drinking comes with adult consequences.

Throughout the summer, officers will work with our Clarendon business partners to authenticate identification documents and identify fake IDs used by underage individuals to purchase alcohol and gain access to bars. Individuals using another person’s driver’s license, altering their own driver’s license or reproducing a fake ID may be charged with violation of Virginia Code §18.2-204.2 Possession of a false identification, a Class 2 Misdemeanor and punishable up to 6 months in jail and up to a $1,000 fine and/or Virginia Code §18.2-186.3 Identity Theft, a Class 1 Misdemeanor punishable up to 12 months in jail and up to a $2,550 fine.

File photo

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Arlington County is one of the healthiest places in the Commonwealth of Virginia, but doesn’t quite top the list.

That’s according to new 2016 rankings from countyhealthrankings.org, an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Arlington ranks No. 3 in Virginia, with Fairfax County at No. 2 and Loudoun County at No. 1. Loudoun County received higher marks for Quality of Life and Length of Life, while Fairfax edged Arlington on Quality of Life and Healthy Behaviors.

Two healthy behaviors in particular for which Arlington did not compare favorably? Excessive drinking and sexually transmitted diseases.

Arlington has the highest rate of excessive drinking in the Commonwealth, according to the rankings. Fairfax and Loudoun both come in a few percentage points lower.

Arlington ranks more favorably for the rate of sexually transmitted disease — Arlington’s rate of chlamydia infection is lower than about 60 percent of Virginia jurisdictions, but still above that reported by Fairfax and Loudoun counties.

One healthy behavior in which Arlington has a decisive advantage over Fairfax and Loudoun: the rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths.

Hat tip to James Breiling

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(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) The conditions outside still are treacherous for travel, so staying indoors for a while is the best idea. But if you’re already suffering from cabin fever and have the ability to easily and safely walk somewhere for a bite or a drink, there are options. Some places are even running winter storm specials.

Here’s the list of Arlington restaurants and bars that told us they’re definitely open, at the very least with limited hours and menu selections:

Is something open in your neighborhood that didn’t make our list? Tweet us or send us an email so we can check out your tip and add the establishment to our list.

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Morning Notes

Autumn leaves (Flickr pool photo by Vandiik)

Group Offers Cheap Drinks to Encourage Voting — A nonprofit group will outside a half dozen Arlington polling stations on Tuesday, handing out wristbands good for cheap drinks at Clarendon bars, to “encourage young voters to celebrate democracy” and “draw more apathetic young voters out on Election Day.” [Washington Post]

Arlington Asking for Aquatics Center Feedback — Should Arlington County build the stalled Long Bridge Park aquatics and fitness center? If so, what kind of features should it include? That’s what the county is asking in a new online survey. Arlington originally launched a public input process for the planned aquatics facility in March. [InsideNova]

Airport to Cease Being a Homeless Haven — Starting today, Reagan National Airport will be kicking out the homeless who have used it as a makeshift shelter. Because it was clean, safe and open 24/7, dozens of local homeless individuals would pretend to be waylaid travelers and sleep in the airport’s terminals overnight. Increased use as a homeless sanctuary prompted airport officials to decide to no longer tolerate what will now be treated as trespassing. [Washington Post]

Fuel Spill at DCA — On Friday hazmat crews and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a reported spill of 7,500-9,000 gallons of jet fuel on the south side of Reagan National Airport. The spill has been largely contained and is not a threat to drinking water, officials say. [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Vandiik

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Uncle_Sam_LogoA bar crawl is promising to bring “a day full of Star Spangled shenanigans and bar-hopping” to Courthouse and Clarendon later this month.

The All American Bar Crawl will take place from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 28. Tickets are $15 now or $20 at the door.

Organizers say “thousands” of patriotic partiers are expected to flock to local watering holes like Clarendon Ballroom, Velocity Five, Bracket Room and Mad Rose Tavern, which are among the 14 participating bars announced so far for the event.

Participants — who are encouraged to dress in red, white and blue — receive specials at each bar, a “signature freedom mug,” “patriotic party beads,” $2 pizza slices at Bronx Pizza and raffle tickets.

This is not the first year for the All American Bar Crawl, which is being held in advance of the Fourth of July. The event was also held in Clarendon last year.

Arlington County policymakers are currently considering measures to impose additional restrictions or fees on bar crawls.

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Restaurant Talk is an occasional feature written by Nick Freshman, a native Arlingtonian and co-owner of Spider Kelly’s and Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon. Photos added by ARLnow.com.

Don’t let the title mislead you. This is not a column to teach you how to win a drinking contest. Rather, I thought I would offer a few tips on how to stock your bar at home for entertaining. Hopefully, it will complement your amazing new cooking skills.

First off, you don’t need a bar. I mean, how many people actually have a bar in their house? You really need a cabinet, a fridge and some ice. The key is having the right stuff. I’ll break it down into categories — beer, wine and spirits. And since it seems we always know someone who is pregnant, nursing or on the wagon for one reason or another there is a fourth category — other.

Beer

Beer (file photo)A friend once apologized to me when I was at his house that he didn’t have any beer to offer. He was ashamed and said a man should always have beer on hand to offer another man. It was endearing, if perhaps dated, and I was just as happy with a glass of wine.

That said, beer is popular, cheap and easy to store. It’s the foundation for a good home bar. I love beer, and I really love craft beers. I have a vintage kegerator, and it always has something interesting tapped that walks the edge between mainstream crafty and esoteric (think Lagunitas IPA or a Bell’s Seasonal), but I like to make my guests happy, so I always have crowd pleasers on hand. Usually it’s Miller Lite or something similar. In the summer, Corona.

I find guests gravitate towards whatever the kegerator is pouring even if they aren’t into the fancy stuff. Then, if they’re not wild about it, they can find their comfort beer. Nobody likes a beer snob, and I want my guests to be happy, not suffer through a hop-bomb that pleases only me. Pick two beers and always keep plenty around.

What I Love Now: Founder’s All Day IPA leads the pack of “sessionable IPAs.” These beers have the best part of what makes IPAs great–bold, bright hops, intense aromas and flavors, but the alcohol is dialed down to less than 5%, so you can have a few without keeling over, and your guests who might not be accustomed to the style can enjoy them as well.

Wine

Wine (file photo)Every house should have a decent red and white around. Plenty of each. You never know when you’ll need it. The options are dizzying, so stick with what you like first off and think about what you usually cook. That way, you’re paired up all the time. Having multiple varietals on hand is ridiculous unless you are really into wine yourself. Most people will be happy drinking whatever you have as long as it tastes good, and if they aren’t, then they are wine snobs and they shouldn’t be at your house.

I find oaky Chardonnays and big Cabs to be isolating. A lot of people like them, and would drink them happily all night, but they are hard matches for food, and if you like lighter wines, you’re stuck. I prefer crisper whites and balanced reds. If the flavors are good, they’ll line up with almost anything you cook, and your hard core Chard/Cab friends might be pleasantly surprised. I love Sauvignon Blancs or dry Rieslings and Rhone Reds or earthy Pinot Noirs (especially from the Willamette Valley in Oregon). These wines have layers to them that make them fun to enjoy with or without food. And you can find good ones without breaking your bank.

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Trolley Pub (photo via Trolley Pub Facebook page)

Proposed legislation in the Virginia General Assembly would allow patrons of Arlington’s Trolley Pub to drink alcohol while on board.

Del. Patrick Hope (D-47) has introduced House Bill 423, which would allow passengers on vehicles with a common carrier — which would include limousines and motor coaches, in addition to the Trolley Pub — to consume alcohol.

The Trolley Pub in Arlington launched last year but has been unable to serve passengers alcoholic beverages, as it does in its original market of Raleigh, N.C. Instead, it stops at bars and restaurants in Clarendon and lets passengers debark to drink.

The Sun Gazette, which first reported on the bill, suggested that Hope’s legislation might not sit well with Arlington County Board members.

“Board members last year blasted the entire concept of the trolley pub, and only calmed down (slightly) when they learned that those using it could not consume alcohol,” the newspaper reported. “But they have remained upset about the human-powered trolley’s impact on traffic in one of Arlington’s most congested areas.”

The Trolley Pub debuted in Arlington in March, and at the time owner Kai Kaapro said he believed the business was “perfectly legal.” That was backed up by a preliminary police review. A ruling in April by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control Board, however, later determined no alcohol could be served on board.

Drinking in a vehicle in Virginia is currently only legal on chartered boats. The bill was assigned to the General Laws committee and is now in subcommittee, according to the General Assembly’s website.

Photo via Facebook

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It started on Thursday night with numerous police vehicles zooming into Clarendon with sirens blaring. Drivers pulled over and pedestrians stopped in their tracks. Suddenly, revelers were met with a most unusual sight — a superhero in a cape and leotard emerging from the Chooser Cruiser. Arlington, meet Soberman.

While his getup produced many laughs, Soberman’s message was serious: Don’t drink and drive. Speaking through a police car loudspeaker, Soberman told everyone to have fun and enjoy their adult beverages, but to make a smart choice when trying to get home by using a designated driver, taxi, public transportation or by walking.

Soberman’s appearance was coordinated by the Arlington County Police Department and the Washington Regional Alcohol Program (WRAP). Attendees were reminded of WRAP’s free holiday taxi service through SoberRide, which runs through New Year’s Day.

WRAP President Kurt Erickson said this is a bit of a different tactic for getting people not to drink and drive. The idea is all about engaging people in a fun way to get Soberman’s message to sink in.

“The message for the rest of the year is that police have stepped up to apprehend drunk drivers. But this message is not about that. This message is hey, celebrate responsibly,” said Erickson. “It’s extremely well received. It’s just a little bit of a different message.”

Soberman repeatedly said that people should enjoy the holiday cheer and not necessarily stop drinking altogether, just be responsible after drinking. He said his mission is “not to be a buzz kill, only to make sure the buzz doesn’t hit the road.”

Drinkers and non-drinkers alike gathered around Soberman to chat with him and to pose for photos. Passengers leaned out of passing cars to snap pictures and people who spotted the commotion came out of buildings to get a better glimpse. Soberman yelled across Wilson Blvd to a number of drinkers who had just stepped out of bars and began cheering. He waved them over to his spot in front of Whitlow’s.

“Partiers of Clarendon, come over here! Soberman wants to talk to you about how you’re getting home!” he said. “You can win prizes!”

The anti-drunk driving superhero approached one man emerging from a bar and said, “Hello, Arlington partier. I am Soberman.” The bar patron promptly replied, “I am Drunkman.” Soberman congratulated the man for having fun and asked the all-important question,”Drunkman, how are you getting home tonight?”

Like all those who were able to prove they had a safe and sober ride home, the man received a Starbucks gift card from Soberman for making a wise choice. The man flashed a Metro card and said he had no intention of getting behind the wheel.

Soberman especially encouraged folks in Clarendon to use social media to spread the word about staying sober while driving. Those who took the message to Twitter have a chance to win a John Wall or Alex Ovechkin bobblehead.

Part of the campaign is to get drinkers to plan ahead instead of trying to come up with a way to get home once they are already impaired.

“People just need to plan ahead, but they often don’t,” Erickson said. “Leaving the bar is not the time to make an exit strategy. If you’re able to plan an evening out, you should be able to plan a safe way home.”

Soberman first appeared at the end of August but has been particularly active during the holiday season.

“My mission is to prevent drunk driving before it starts,” said Soberman. “Any way you get home safe after having adult beverages — by designated driver or bus or Metro or cab — is the safe and sober choice.”

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