The McDonald’s at 4834 Langston Blvd is once more looking to change its drive-thru to reduce backups that spill onto the busy road.
The fast food restaurant has filed a special exception use permit application to add a second ordering station and three more “standing spots” for customers. Currently, the site has one drive-thru lane and a circulating lane wrapped around it.
“The Application proposes a site layout that will improve vehicular flow and help minimize stacking onto Langston Blvd,” McGuireWoods lawyer Matthew Weinstein wrote in the application prepared on behalf of McDonald’s.
One apparent casualty, based on the rendering above: an aging and sparsely used McDonald’s PlayPlace, a free indoor playground for kids.
About three years ago, the fast food restaurant proposed a second drive-thru lane and a new recirculating lane that would have run between the restaurant and Langston Blvd. These plans fizzled, however, after county officials blasted the plans during an April 2020 meeting of the Arlington County Board.
This time, Weinstein says, the business engaged Arlington County staff to address issues they had with the 2020 application. After talking with staff, McDonald’s nixed the recirculation lane.
“The recirculation lane was staff’s primary concern about the 2020 application,” he wrote. “By removing the recirculation lane, the Applicant envisions a smooth traffic flow and minimal pedestrian conflicts.”
Building a second order station would result in 16 total standing spaces for cars, compared to the 13 that exist today, which “will help minimize potential vehicular stacking onto Langston Blvd,” Weinstein said.
Customers will access the drive-thru from the property’s northwest side, queue in one of two lanes, order, pick up their food and exit on the property’s northeast side.
McDonald’s also took the plans to the Langston Blvd Alliance to compare them against Plan Langston Blvd. This planning study reenvisions the corridor as denser, greener and more walkable.
McDonald’s new plans would reduce parking spots from 34 to 28 spaces but will plant more trees and shrubs to “provide a natural buffer between the restaurant and the Langston Blvd frontage,” Weinstein said.
“[This] will create an attractive setting for McDonald’s customer sand drivers passing by the restaurant on Langston Boulevard,” he said. “McDonald’s customers will also be able to enjoy an outdoor seating and dining area in the landscaped area long the Property’s Langston Boulevard frontage.”
Although the County Board has yet to adopt a final version of the Plan Langston Blvd study, Weinstein says, the plans from McDonald’s align with the preliminary concept plan, or PCP. This document envisions an enhanced streetscape with a wider-right-of-way, landscaped areas, street trees and flexible open spaces.
“The Project accommodates and will not inhibit the PCP’s enhanced streetscape recommendations,” he said.
The application is slated to be reviewed by the Arlington County Board alone, per a public notice of items up for review by the Planning Commission and the Board this month. The Board will meet on Saturday, March 18 and Tuesday, March 21.
There may not be chalupas for Christmas, but Courthouse’s new Taco Bell Cantina is set to open in just a few weeks.
The fast-food restaurant that’s coming to 2039 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse was originally expected to open this month, but that might no longer be the case.
A company spokesperson said in an email to ARLnow that the eatery is “waiting for an electric service upgrade” which could push the opening past the new year. The Taco Bell should be “open within the next 30 days,” the spokesperson said.
This morning, crews were putting up the familiar purple and white logo and signage above the entrance.
The restaurant is currently hiring, per the website and flyers on the door. In September, flyers advertising job openings could be seen affixed to trees in the Courthouse neighborhood.
ARLnow reported that Taco Bell was opening one of its Cantina concept restaurants in Courthouse back in May. The location appears to be an effort to appeal to the late-night crowd leaving nearby bars as well as serving those who live in the numerous nearby apartment and condo communities.
The main difference between a regular Taco Bell and a Taco Bell Cantina is that the latter sells alcoholic beverages.
The Courthouse location will also have a walk-up window to allow hungry customers to get their Gorditas just a bit faster.
The commercial building at 2039 Wilson Blvd was previously home to Guarapo Lounge, a popular Peruvian bar and after-work staple. It closed six years ago and the space next to the post office has not had a tenant since.
If you can’t wait the several weeks for a chalupa in Courthouse, there are Taco Bell Cantinas on King Street in Old Town Alexandria and D.C.’s Columbia Heights. There’s also a standard-issue Taco Bell on Langston Blvd.
(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) Arlington might be getting chalupas for Christmas.
The new Taco Bell Cantina at 2039 Wilson Blvd in Courthouse is aiming for a December opening, a company spokesperson tells ARLnow.
The fast food restaurant is currently in the midst of training and hiring for “all positions from assistant managers to team members for all types of hours,” the spokesperson said.
Flyers advertising the job openings can be seen stapled to trees around the neighborhood.
It was first reported in May that a Taco Bell was coming to Courthouse. The location looks — at least in part — to be an effort to appeal to the late-night, hungry crowds leaving the nearby bars.
The main difference between a regular Taco Bell (there’s a location on Langston Blvd) and a Taco Bell Cantina is that the Cantina sells alcohol, including beer, wine, sangria and — just in time for the cold winter months — brightly colored frozen cocktails called “Twisted Freezes.”
There are two other Taco Bell Cantina locations in the region, including in D.C.’s Columbia Heights neighborhood and on King Street in Old Town Alexandria.
Those locations are quite popular and can get crowded, which is why the forthcoming Courthouse location will have three food production lines, as opposed to two, general manager Tim Morgan told ARLnow.
“We want to get service and food out faster,” he said.
There will also be a walk-up window “to streamline mobile orders,” per the company spokesperson.
The space at 2039 Wilson Blvd was previously home to Guarapo Lounge, a Peruvian bar, restaurant and hookah lounge. It closed almost six years ago and the space has not had a new tenant until now.
This is also a return to the neighborhood for Taco Bell. The fast food chain once had a standalone location on the hill between Courthouse and Rosslyn, near where the 7-Eleven and Ace Hardware now sit. It closed about a decade ago, along with Dr. Dremo’s, to make way for new development.
Expect to be chowing on chalupas and sipping cervezas at Courthouse’s Taco Bell Cantina by the end of the year.
Construction on the newest Taco Bell Cantina location at 2039 Wilson Blvd is anticipated to start within 30 days, a company spokesperson told ARLnow, with the hope that it opens prior to the end of the year.
The spokesperson also confirmed to ARLnow that this would be a Cantina location, as opposed to a regular Taco Bell.
The main difference between the two is that the former sells alcohol, including beer, wine, sangria, and “Twisted Freezes.”
The placement of the fast food chain restaurant-bar combo seems intended to attract a late-night crowd, within stumbling distance of a number of local bars. And the Courthouse location will have a special feature that might help that late-night crowd get their Crunchwrap Supreme just a bit faster.
“This location will be similar to [other Taco Bell Cantinas] in offerings, but will also have a convenient walk-up window,” the company spokesperson wrote.
In May, the company applied for a building permit for work on the 2,166 square-foot first floor of 2039 Wilson Blvd. That work is set to include adding a new HVAC system plus new plumbing, electrical systems, furniture, and kitchen equipment. A new restroom will also be added.
The Cantina will have a 48-person dining room to go along with the walk-up window.
This will be the third regional location of Taco Bell’s popular spin-off. There are currently Cantinas in Old Town Alexandria and in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of D.C.
The space at 2039 Wilson Blvd was once home to the Peruvian restaurant, bar, and hookah lounge Guarapo Lounge. However, it closed nearly six years ago and the space has remained vacant ever since.
This will also be a return to the neighborhood for Taco Bell. A location of the fast food chain once stood on the hill between Rosslyn and Courthouse, near where the 7-Eleven and Ace Hardware are today.
But that Taco Bell closed more than a decade ago, along with the beloved bar Dr. Dremo’s, when buildings were demolished to make way for new development.
Late night chalupas and booze appears to be coming soon to Courthouse, with Taco Bell preparing to open its newest Cantina location.
A permit was filed earlier this week for a new Taco Bell at 2039 Wilson Blvd, county records show. The location is likely to be the fast food chain’s restaurant-bar combo, Taco Bell Cantina, as reported by the Washington Business Journal.
The permit notes that work is being limited to the first floor and will include a new HVAC system, electrical, plumbing, furniture, and kitchen equipment. A single-use restroom will also be part of the construction.
The space at 2039 Wilson Blvd was formerly after-work staple Guarapo Lounge, which closed nearly six years ago after being open for a decade and a half. Next door is a post office.
It appears that Taco Bell will be just filling the space’s 2,166-square-foot first floor, leaving the second floor open for another tenant.
The restaurant’s dining room will have an occupancy of 48 and the queuing area of a dozen, per the Washington Business Journal.
It’s unclear when the new eatery might open.
“We don’t have any details to share currently,” a Taco Bell spokesperson told ARLnow.
If this new Courthouse location does end up being a Taco Bell Cantina, it will be the third regional location of the fast food spin-off. This includes eateries in Old Town Alexandria and in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of D.C.
The main difference between a regular Taco Bell and a Cantina is that the latter sells alcohol, including beer, wine, sangria, and “Twisted Freezes.”
This would notably be a return to the neighborhood for the chain. More than a decade ago, there was a Taco Bell on the hill between Rosslyn and Courthouse — alongside the late, lamented bar Dr. Dremo’s — before the old buildings were demolished and a new mixed-use development at 2001 Clarendon Blvd went up.
Soup and sandwich purveyor Zoup! is serving its final bowls in Ballston this week.
Jim Beverley, owner of the franchised location at 4401 Fairfax Drive, tells ARLnow that Zoup! is closing this coming Friday, Oct. 15. It opened almost exactly two years ago, in October 2019.
“Regrettably, in the end the pandemic just took too large a bite out of our sales and staffing levels for us to survive,” writes Beverley.
Not only has hiring been difficult for the entire restaurant industry, but many office workers continue to work remotely amid Covid waves, shrinking a large potential lunchtime customer base for fast casual restaurants in business districts, like Zoup!
The restaurant tried to give back to the community amid tough times, providing free and reduced-price catered meals to area clinics, hospitals, and homeless shelters. This includes providing meals to Bridges to Independence and Historic Christ Church in Alexandria, Beverley writes.
The location had stayed open nearly the entire pandemic, but was closed on weekends this summer.
“During that time we were down to one person staffing the store at a time on weekdays,” Beverley notes.
The chain is known for its soups, mac and cheese dishes, and sandwiches. While there are other locations in the region, this is the only one owned by Beverley and the only Zoup! in Arlington.
The Zoup! in Sterling still appears to be open, but the one in Frederick looks to have also closed its doors.
Photo via Instagram/Zoup! Ballston
Nearly four years after the Wendy’s in Courthouse closed, the prominent but empty lot at 2026 Wilson Blvd is set to remain an empty lot for the foreseeable future.
Once set to become a 12-story office building, the site — located on a triangle of land a block from the Courthouse Metro station — is now proposed as a “temporary off-site contractor’s storage and staging area” for the condo construction project across the street. The Arlington County Board is set to consider the use permit at its meeting this Saturday.
“The proposed use is anticipated to last no longer than one (1) year,” according to a county staff report.
Per the office project, which was approved by the County Board in March 2015, the report notes: “At this time it is unknown when construction will begin.”
After weeks of remodeling, the Wendy’s at 5066 Lee Highway is back open for business, with a “free food for a year” giveaway this weekend.
The fast food restaurant quietly opened earlier this week, but the grand opening celebration is scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) from 9-11 a.m. The first 100 customers in line by 10 a.m. will have a chance to win free food for a year, according to a press release.
Two of the biggest non-decorative upgrades for the new Wendy’s are a new Coca-Cola Freestyle beverage dispenser — a soda machine with a lot of choices — and free Wi-Fi internet service.
“This restaurant has bold curb appeal and features a compelling design — inside and out,” said Arif Islam, Wendy’s region manager, in the press release. “It’s very different from what our customers in Arlington are used to, but we think they’ll really like the fresh look and feel of the new Wendy’s.”
The press release boasts that the new Wendy’s boasts improvements like “large windows” and “multiple seating options,” which in practice means the fast-food restaurant has been brought up to par with other renovated spots like the Taco Bell down the street and fellow renovated Wendy’s locations on Columbia Pike and King Street.
Next door, however, the former Linda’s Diner location remains virtually untouched one year after it was “soon to be replaced” by a Bob and Edith’s Diner.
Diners seemed to be excited to finally have their neighborhood Wendy’s back. Lines for the drive-thru stretched back to Lee Highway during lunch hours yesterday.
The long-awaited resurrection of the Lee Highway Taco Bell is finally at hand.
The drive-thru Taco Bell next to the Kentucky Fried Chicken reopened today (Tuesday) at 4923 Lee Highway.
The restaurant shut down in September to be torn down and completely rebuilt. The new interior features new self-checkout stations, where staff were helping walk newcomers through the ordering process today. The self-checkout stations feature a wider range of options and customization than what’s featured on the display menus.
Despite little advertising of the reopening visible from the street, the rebuilt Taco Bell still had a steady stream of customers around lunchtime — most of whom were too busy with their meals to indulge interview requests.
It appears a new Chick-fil-A is coming to Pentagon City, alongside a new Wiseguy Pizza location.
Both locations are ground floor restaurants in the Witmer, a new 26-story luxury apartment at the corner of 12th Street S. and S. Hayes Street, amid the Pentagon Centre shopping center. The Chick-fil-A is located at the top of the Pentagon City Metro station on the east side of S. Hayes Street next to the CVS.
The next closest Chick-fil-A is the one in Crystal City at 2200 Crystal Drive.
There is no information on the Chick-fil-A website about the upcoming Pentagon City store opening. In fact, a Chick-fil-A spokeswoman would not even confirm to ARLnow that the building with a sign saying “Chick-fil-A Coming Soon” is, in fact, a Chick-fil-A:
We are always evaluating potential new locations in the hopes of serving existing and new customers great food with remarkable service. While we hope to be able to expand in Arlington in the future, we do not currently have a location to confirm.
H/t to @CuriousHenwin
Now sporting a fresh look to go along with its fresh beef, a Wendy’s along Route 7 has reopened following renovations.
The fast food outpost now features an electronic order status display, a faux fireplace, a Coca-Cola Freestyle drink machine and a flat panel TV currently tuned to ESPN.
Located at 5050 S. Chesterfield Road, not far from Wakefield High School, the renovated Wendy’s sits next to a 7-Eleven store and a Taco Bell, on a small peninsula of Arlington County surrounded on three sides by the borders of Fairfax County and the city of Alexandria.
The renovations are nearly identical to those at the recently reopened Wendy’s at 3431 Columbia Pike.
More from a press release:
With revitalized decor, comfortable seating and other amenities, customers will enjoy a stunning new Wendy’s® experience when they visit the remodeled restaurant at 5050 Chesterfield Road, Arlington, VA beginning March 16.
The restaurant was remodeled using an innovative interior and exterior design, which is part of an ongoing effort to provide an enhanced customer experience — from the high-quality food to the restaurant environment.
“This restaurant has bold curb appeal and features a compelling design–inside and out,” said Arif Islam, Wendy’s Region Manager. “It’s very different from what our customers in Arlington are used to, but we think they’ll really like the fresh look and feel of the new Wendy’s.”
The interior showcases open, bright dining areas with multiple seating options, including private booths, cozy lounge seating and a Wi-Fi bar. A Coca-Cola® Freestyle® beverage dispenser that allows customers to customize their drink choices is also available. The touch screen, self-serve fountains offer over 100 regular and low-calorie beverages, including a variety of branded waters, sports drinks, lemonades and sparkling beverages.
“Our ultimate goal is for our customers to have the best dining experience, and we think they will be surprised and excited about their new Wendy’s,” Islam said.
Map via Google Maps