Frederick-to-Arlington Transit Proposal — “Proposed transit service connecting Arlington to Frederick (Md.) and points in between remains on the table, but barely, after scoring low in a recent cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Virginia and Maryland state governments… As envisioned, the transit route would start at Frederick six times each workday morning and terminate an hour later at the Pentagon, with intermediate stops at Monocacy, Urbana, Germantown, Gaithersburg, Montgomery Mall and Rosslyn.” [InsideNova]
Women Groped in Aurora Highlands — “At approximately 7:18 p.m. on November 3, police were dispatched to the late report of an assault. Upon arrival, it was determined that at approximately 6:30 p.m., the victim was running in the area when the suspect approached her from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The victim yelled, and the suspect fled on foot, then entered the passenger side of a vehicle and left the area.” [ACPD]
Data Breach Affecting Hospital — “Virginia Hospital Center (VHC), a community-based hospital providing medical services to the Washington, DC metropolitan area for 75 years, has recently learned of an information security incident experienced by one of its vendors… [an] unauthorized party may have acquired a backup of the database that compromises certain limited elements of VHC’s donor and fundraising information, as may be the case with other nonprofits affected by this incident worldwide.” [Press Release]
Grand Opening for New Business — Paint Nail Bar (1520 Clarendon Blvd) is holding its grand opening celebration this weekend, from 5-8 p.m. on Saturday. “Champagne and light bites will be served and all attendees will receive a goody bag,” the business says. [Facebook]
Tea Returns to the Ritz — “The Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City is now offering Afternoon Tea, bringing a time-honored tradition at an affordable price – all with safety and the health of guests in mind. Offered in their fyve restaurant, featuring globally inspired dishes, the hotel’s Afternoon Tea service is available at three price points, perfect for adults and children celebrating a special occasion or looking for a weekend respite from the day-to-day.” [Press Release]
More Nice Weather on Tap — “Quite a stretch of tranquil weather ahead of us as high pressure dominates into early next week, resulting in dry conditions and temperatures running 5 to 10 degrees above normal for early November.” [@NWS_BaltWash/Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
Roasted corn stand “Shuck Shack” will soon be serving local residents on wheels.
The Florida-based franchise opened its first Arlington location in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City last October. The owner of the local stand announced the food truck addition on Instagram last week.
The restaurant declares itself the “home of the world famous Mexican street corn,” and its employees “cornistas.” Menu items include roasted corn with salt and pepper, Old Bay seasoning, lime-marinade and parmesan cheese, and more — nearly 30 corn flavorings in all.
Vincent Johnson, the owner of the stand, said mall customers responded well to its opening last year.
“Business was really good when we first opened. We got a really good, warm welcome from the community when we first opened. People were really interested in corn and that went well up until January, when the mall began to get kind of slow,” Johnson said. “And of course in March, the mall shut down.”
Since the mall has reopened, Johnson said he’s served customers from around the country.
“Pentagon City mall is an attraction when people come to the area, so we get people from all over the place. And now with the pandemic going on, we’re getting people that are from New Orleans, Texas, Chicago, and California that are coming to the mall and they’re all like ‘I just couldn’t stay in the house anymore. I’ve had enough and I just wanted to go somewhere,'” Johnson said. “It’s really interesting how people have had it with this pandemic.”
Johnson said adding a food truck was something he always envisioned.
“I had a friend who had his own food truck for several years and he did pretty well, so after I opened up in Pentagon City mall, it was kind of a natural progression,” Johnson said. “We’re getting really good feedback in the mall, but of course with the pandemic, some people don’t want to come in the mall, and the thing that I love about the truck is that I can go to where the people are and that’s something that I’m really looking forward to.”
The Shuck Shack food truck will have varying hours of operation, while the restaurant’s hours in the mall will remain the same.
“We have a general plan right now to do daytime, maybe start around 11 a.m., and then maybe around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. during the week,” Johnson said. “We’re going to start in the downtown Arlington area and try to do lunch around the city. We’re going to add on to our staff and we’re going to have people working in the mall or working on the truck.”
The grand opening for the Shuck Shack food truck is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 14, at the mall in front of Zara and Sugar Factory. The time of the grand opening is still to be determined, but Johnson said customers can follow on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter for more announcements.
Once the truck is up and running, Johnson said he’ll be able to serve “100 to 200 cooked ears every hour.”
Photo via Shuck Shack/Instagram
The new CVS Pharmacy in Shirlington is opening over Labor Day weekend.
The store at 4060 Campbell Avenue, in the Village at Shirlington, is set to open this Sunday, Sept. 6.
The 10,906-square-foot CVS has been in the works for about a year. Its outdoor signage features a big red heart facing the corner of Campbell Avenue and S. Randolph Street.
The store will be open from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 8 a.m.-9 p.m., according to the company’s website.
The Ballston spot will be the second location in Virginia for Lee’s Sandwiches — a California-based franchise — with an existing location in Falls Church. The sandwich chain has a variety of sandwich options but specializes in banh mi, a popular Vietnamese sandwich with savory ingredients in a short, toasted baguette.
Lee’s is also noted for its Vietnamese iced coffee.
The grand opening of the restaurant had been scheduled for Aug. 4 but a sign outside the restaurant said the grand opening is now scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 10 a.m. For the grand opening, any sandwich purchase will also come with a free cup of Lee’s coffee or a hot baguette.
Staff at another Lee’s Sandwiches said social distancing will be required for customers and staff inside the restaurant when it opens.
The Subway at 801 N. Quincy Street was a somewhat hidden spot for quick meals in Ballston, away from the lunchtime crowds along Wilson Blvd. Another Subway remains open near the Ballston Metro station.
While coronavirus has disrupted the businesses of local restaurants across the country, a new one is popping up in Shirlington despite the tough times for the industry.
“TACO + PINA’s is a labor of love which has been in the works for almost a year and a half now” said owner Graham Bartlett, a protégée of famed chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval. “While some may question opening during a pandemic I believe it is our destiny to launch on Cinco de Mayo, which this year also falls on Taco Tuesday.”
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support and constant positive encouragement from the Village of Shirlington community asking when we will open,” Bartlett continued. “We have an opportunity to offer truly great food with high-quality ingredients, and we get to do something positive for our new neighbors during this anxiety-driven time.”
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., according to the website.
Bartlett said the restaurant will offer contactless pick-up and delivery. Takeout options include:
- Tacos: fried chicken, pina+taco; “chile relleno,” ribeye asado, and baja bahia.
- Enchiladas with rice and refried beans: garlic sambal chicken, roasted mushroom + cheese
- Nachos: crab chilaquiles, shrimp + chorizo nachos, hot mess nacho fries
- Party Size (6-8 people): chips + salsa, roasted poblano queso dip, and guacamole.
The press release noted that TACO + PINA will also offer a “backyard party” package for $55, which will serve 4-6 people. The package includes:
- Chips, salsa and guacamole
- Two taco proteins (pork, mushroom, fried chicken)
- 24 corn tortillas with rice and beans, salsa and cream
Tequilas, frozen margaritas, wines, Mexican imported beers, and local craft beers are also planned to be available for takeout starting Tuesday.
Photo via Taco and Piña/Facebook
A new premium cigar store is open in the Ballston neighborhood.
Cigar Unlimited (4215 Fairfax Drive) sells a wide range of premium cigars, which are handmade and rolled in dried tobacco leaves. The cigars are manufactured in Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and the U.S., some of which are made specifically for the shop, Mo Fakhro, the owner, told ARLnow.
The store is the only cigar shop that has a personal relationship with their manufacturers in the D.C. area, Fakhro claimed.
“You’re not going to find [these cigars] anywhere else, except to come visit us in the store,” Fakhro said.
Fakhro also owned Cigar Connection, a shop previously located nearby, at the corner of N. Randolph and Fairfax streets in Ballston. The shop opened in 2004 but was forced to close in 2014 after the lease expired, Fakhro said.
The new store will include house blend cigars, which were not sold at the old store.
Cigar Unlimited is not fully stocked yet, Fakhro said, adding that the store plans to hold its grand opening sometime next month.
Best cigar selection in the metro area cigar unlimited #nowopen #BTSComeback2020 #Friends #CIGARS #Arlington #fridaynight #beer #drinks @ARLnowDOTcom @ReadyArlington @firstdownbar #vape #cbd pic.twitter.com/IK2Kwh2QqJ
— Cigar Unlimited (@Cigarunlimited) February 22, 2020
Fast-casual Mediterranean grill Mezeh is scheduled to open tomorrow on the Glebe Road side of Ballston Quarter mall (4238 Wilson Blvd).
The grand opening is scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., with the restaurant then reopening from 5:30-8 p.m. According to a press release and signs around the restaurant, visitors can get a free bowl with purchase of a drink, though steak or lamb bowls are $1.50 extra.
A growing chain, Mezeh started in Northern Virginia and has locations throughout Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. The company’s first stand-alone restaurant opened in Crystal City (2450 Crystal Drive) in 2015.
In Ballston, Mezeh will face some stiff competition in the “fast-casual Mediterranean grill” market. Cava at 4121 Wilson Blvd attracts a consistently large lunch crowd and Arlington-based Lebanese Taverna’s quick-service concept LEBTAV opened at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Quincy Street last month.
GMU to Expand Va. Square Campus — “George Mason University wants to transform its Arlington campus into an ‘innovation district’ as it kicks off an Amazon-inspired overhaul… Mason expects to use the expansion to add 3,000 to 4,000 graduate students to the campus by 2024.” [Washington Business Journal]
Man Arrested For Assaulting Police in Ballston — “At approximately 8:32 p.m. on September 11, police were dispatched the report of a disorderly subject inside a restaurant who had allegedly been throwing items and threatening staff. Upon police arrival, the business staff requested the subject be banned from the property. While speaking with the subject, he threatened an officer and took a defensive stance. While placing him under arrest, the subject became combative, kicked and spit at the officers.” [Arlington County]
Home Inventory Tight in Arlington — “New listings in Arlington declined 16.5% in August compared with last year, said Chris Finnegan, vice president at Bright MLS. The median sale price for all home types in the 22202 ZIP code, where Amazon is building and staffing up HQ2, was $749,000 in August. It’s a 23% jump since the company made its HQ2 announcement in November 2018.” [Washington Business Journal, InsideNova]
Tech Company Picks Arlington for U.S. HQ — ” Varjo, the technology leader in industrial-grade VR/XR headsets, today announced the opening of its U.S. headquarters… in Arlington, Virginia, located just outside of Washington D.C.” [Varjo via Potomac Tech Wire]
Potomac Kempo Now Open — Martial arts studio Potomac Kempo yesterday held a grand opening ceremony for its fifth location, at 3650 S. Glebe Road, in the Potomac Yard area. The studio started holding classes on Aug. 31, we’re told. [Facebook]
Video: USS Arlington Crew Welcomed at Fire Station — “Crew members from the USS Arlington were welcomed at Arlington’s Fire Station 5 before running in the The Arlington Police, Fire & Sheriff 9/11 Memorial Race. The USS Arlington honors the 184 victims and the thousands of emergency, fire and rescue personnel of Arlington County and localities in the National Capital Region who provided critical emergency assistance after the attack on 9/11.” [YouTube]
Ovi Visits Local Elementary School — “In conjunction with the launch of Ovi O’s, Alex Ovechkin’s limited-edition breakfast cereal, the Washington Capitals’ captain surprised Arlington Traditional School, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, and a local Giant store with a visit on Sept. 10.” [NHL]
9/11 Remembrance Ceremony in Courthouse — “Officials in Northern Virginia held a moment of silence to mark the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Sen Tim Kaine, Rep. Don Beyer, military commanders, local Arlington County officials and members of the Virginia House attended the remembrance ceremony on Arlington County government plaza.” [NBC 4, WUSA 9]
Local Leaders Set Housing Goals — “Local governments around Greater Washington now plan to set targets for housing production over the next decade, as part of a regional initiative to build 320,000 new homes by 2030 and ease the region’s cost pressures.” [Washington Business Journal, Twitter]
ACPD Plans ‘Coffee With a Cop’ — “Wednesday, October 2 is National Coffee with a Cop Day and the Arlington County Police Department is hosting four events with our Community Outreach Teams to celebrate. Community members are invited to join police at these informal events to ask questions, voice concerns, get to know their neighbors, interact with the Community Outreach Teams and meet officers from other sections of the department.” [Arlington County]
Orthopaedic Office Celebrates Grand Opening — “Ortho OIC Orthopaedic Immediate Care, the area’s first independent orthopaedic specialty urgent care… will be holding a grand opening event on September 19 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. The event is open to the public and will feature a ribbon cutting ceremony.” [Press Release]
Farewell, Subway-Centric Paper — “The Washington Post is closing down its free daily commuter paper, Express, this week. The final edition of Express will be published on Thursday. The staff learned of the news at a meeting at noon on Wednesday.” [DCist]
The new Rosslyn location of juice, smoothie and acai bowl emporium South Block is expected to open its doors on Monday.
Located at 1550 Wilson Blvd, the new South Block — the “Arlington born and bred” company’s 10th location — is next to BASH Boxing in the former Cafe Asia space. The 1,300 square foot space includes a mural created by local artists MasPaz and CheLove.
South Block is planning to host a soft opening in Rosslyn starting Monday, August 26. The eatery is scheduled to be open weekdays from 7 a.m.-8 p.m. and weekends from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
“When I opened my first location, I had no idea what to expect,” said owner and Northern Virginia native Amir Mostafavi, in a statement. “I’m not sure what ‘making it’ really means! I still don’t think I’ve made it… but I hope my story inspires others to pursue their passions.”
A subsequent grand opening event is planned next month. More from a press release:
South Block’s “good vibe tribe” will be out in full force at the Grand Opening “Block Party” on Saturday, September 7 at 9 a.m. The first 100 “Block Party” attendees will receive a swag bag complete with a reusable smoothie cup, sunglasses, and some fun surprises from local community partners. There will be plenty of fun surprises for all who attend while a live DJ keeps the good vibes rolling!
WHO: South Block Rosslyn
WHAT: South Block Rosslyn’s Grand Opening “Block Party”
WHEN: Saturday, September 7, 2019 at 9 a.m. (Store opens to the public on Monday, August 26).
WHERE: South Block | 1550 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22209
All proceeds on September 7 will go to South Block’s fundraising initiative, Fruitful Planet, to support the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC), a community-based non-profit that provides supplemental groceries to Arlington neighbors in need. South Block created Fruitful Planet as a way to give back to those in need and build healthy communities. “We believe that small acts can make a big impact! The Arlington community has been so great to South Block… we want to do everything we can to support the community and show love back said Mostafavi.