Arlington, VA

Maizal is planning to open tomorrow (Thursday) with a free food giveaway.

The new restaurant serves South American street food, like arepas, yuca fries, plantains and street corn.

For its Aug. 1 grand opening in the Quarter Market food hall in Ballston Quarter mall, Maizal will be offering a free arepa and a side — with the purchase of a drink — from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and again from 5:30-8:30 p.m., according to a PR rep for the mall.

Employees could be seen preparing fresh ingredients in the restaurant’s open kitchen this morning, but a manager said it would not be serving customers today.

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South Block is hoping to open its new Rosslyn location by late August.

Owner Amir Mostafavi told ARLnow yesterday (Monday) that he’s “excited” about the summer opening, and is planning a block party to celebrate.

“We anticipate opening in late August followed by a community block party in September,” said Mostafavi. “The block party will consist of a live DJ, Bash will be there, we will be handing out swag bags to the 100 blockstars in line, free samples and more.”

The new eatery (1550 Wilson Blvd) will take up part of the space that previously housed Cafe Asia, next to Bash Boxing.

This will be the fourth South Block to open in Arlington and the tenth total since its founding in 2011. The latest South Block to open was the Ballston Quarter location in March.

The burgeoning local chain serves juice, smoothies, acai bowls and toasts. The new Rosslyn location will serve up a similar menu.

Mostafavi previously told ARLnow that he picked the location for its proximity to Bash.

“We’ve always had a really strong relationship with Arlington’s fitness community, so this is just a really good fit,” he said.

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Update at 12:20 p.m. — The gym is opening this Saturday, July 27, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., according to its owner.

Earlier: Potential patrons of an upcoming gym in Courthouse may have to wait a few more days before they can give the facility a test run.

Owner Mike Savitch, a bobsledder who represented the Virgin Islands in the 2002 Winter Olympics, told ARLnow that The Conditioning Room (2050 Wilson Blvd) should be open within two weeks, but hasn’t settled on an exact day.

Located near the Courthouse Metro station, in the former Cosi space, the new gym has missed Savitch’s desired opening date of June 1. But progress is being made: Savitch said he has moved in the exercise equipment in and hired artist Jack Labadie to put the finishing touches on the space with his graffiti-style artwork.

Unlimited memberships will be available for $205 per month. Once the gym opens, scheduled classes are set to run throughout the day Monday through Saturday.

The gym will also offer a free trial class on Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.

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The expanded EvolveAll fitness studio near Columbia Pike is now open, after missing the mark on its original goal to open in May.

Owner Emerson Doyle said that the company had problems “trying to line up getting out of our old lease, coordinating the move, finishing the build out, and getting our [certificate of occupancy] with Arlington County.”

“Everything always takes longer then our optimistic minds think,” Doyle said.

The Columbia Pike studio, which is located at 1058 S. Walter Reed Drive, has 10,000 square feet of space, separated into four rooms that allow trainers to run simultaneous classes.

EvolveAll has nine instructors who teach a wide gamut of classes including children’s martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, kickboxing, yoga and fitness boot camps. Personal training and massage therapy are also offered.

“We have the same schedule as before but are adding early morning yoga and bootcamp classes, starting with Tuesday and Thursday at 6:15 a.m.,” Doyle said of the new class schedule.

The company’s website notes that the fitness studio aims to serve as a “meeting space for local communities of growth minded people.”

Photos courtesy EvolveAll

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A new LensCrafters store is now open in Ballston.

Last week marked the grand opening of LensCrafters in Ballston Quarter (4238 Wilson Blvd). It replaces a former LensCrafters store at the mall that closed prior to its renovations. 

Located on the ground floor of an outdoor portion of the mall, LensCrafters offers eye exams and sells prescription glasses, sunglasses, and contact lenses. 

“Customers can expect to find innovative technology, the newest styles, and unparalleled personalized service,” at the store, a mall PR rep said in an email. “They offer a wide range of prescription lenses for eyeglasses and sunglasses, perfectly tailored to your lifestyle.”

The location is open Monday-Saturday, from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and on Sunday, from 12-6 p.m.

The store is running a 50% discount on complete pair of glasses though Friday, Aug. 2. 

Photo (3) courtesy Ballston Quarter

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Cucina Al Volo opened for business this past weekend in the Quarter Market food hall at Ballston Quarter mall (4238 Wilson Blvd). 

The restaurant is known locally for serving up authentic Italian cuisine and prides its on using ingredients from local farmers markets whenever possible. An employee of the new location told ARLnow that business has been good so far and they’re expecting new customers to continue discovering it in the mall’s food hall, near Copa Kitchen and Bar.

Since this is a smaller Cucina Al Volo than the company’s other stand-alone restaurants, it’s not able to serve an expanded menu. The location’s offerings include pasta dishes, with a range of pasta and sauce options, plus appetizers and sandwiches.

“Cucina Al Volo has opened its fifth outpost at Quarter Market, serving up scratch-made pasta and sauces to dine in or take home,” said a spokeswoman for the mall. “Specials change daily, from Lamb Ragu to Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli to Lobster and Shrimp to Chicken Marsala. They also sell packages of pasta and sauce that can be prepared at home.”

Sandwiches are priced at $10 while pastas range from $11-15 depending on the sauce selection. As of lunchtime Friday, however, employees said the sandwiches were not yet available.

The restaurant was founded by Matteo Catalani and his business partner and uncle, Daniele Catalani. Other Cucina Al Volo locations can be found near Adams Morgan, Cleveland Park and Union Market in D.C., and in downtown Baltimore.

This is the first location to open in Arlington.

Cucina Al Volo is open Monday through Sunday, from 11 a.m.- 9 p.m.

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The two Kriser’s stores in Arlington are being rebranded as “Loyal Companion,” with a grand opening planned to give away free pet food.

The rebranding is part of a change for all East Coast locations of Kriser’s. The new brand includes the natural pet food focus of Kriser’s with other parts of “holistic pet wellness.” From the brand’s website:

Loyal Companion is unlike any pet experience in the world. We’ve combined some of the best brands in the business including Kriser’s, Especially For Pets, Bark! Dogma – Life, With Your Pet, Pet Source, Pet Life and Whole Pet Central to form one new company dedicated to holistic pet wellness. Loyal Companion is a community of pet experts — nutritionists, behaviorists, educators and groomers — that has banded together to make life easy for pet owners by offering everything you need under one virtual and physical roof. Raw food. Healthy treats. Supplies. Grooming. Daycare. Training. Vet services. Advice.

(Though Baltimore-based Dogma is one of the stores now under the Loyal Companion umbrella, as mentioned above, Dogma Bakery in Arlington is unaffiliated with the brand.)

There are two Kriser’s locations in Arlington, one in Clarendon at 2509 Franklin Road and one at 2501 N. Harrison Street in the Lee Harrison Shopping Center.

Both locations are throwing grand opening celebrations for the new brand on Saturday (May 4) from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sunday (May 5) from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. The events will offer free gift bags for the first 100 customers in each day, with gift cards up to $100 as a doorbuster prize, according to the company.

The stores will also have raffle prizes, with potential to win free pet food for a year, gift cards and more.

Planned in-store activities include a blind taste test for pets and staff on hand to answer pet nutrition questions.

Photo via Google Maps

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Two new restaurants are planning soft openings Thursday in Ballston Quarter’s new food hall, Quarter Market, with another planning a grand opening happy hour celebration.

Local Oyster, a Baltimore-based seafood joint, is planning to launch tomorrow with a limited menu. The full menu for the eatery includes beer as well as seafood like lobsters, scallops, crab legs, and — of course — oysters.

Next door, sushi and dumpling restaurant Roll’d — helmed by Sushi Taro’s Chef Nobu Yamazaki — is also tentatively planning a launch with a limited menu.

Meanwhile, the food hall’s main bar, Ballston Service Station, has been serving drinks for a couple weeks now, but the bar’s staff said a grand opening is planned tomorrow around 4 p.m.

The new openings coincide with the “Ballston Quarter Celebration” at the mall. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the first 100 guests to check in at the Ballston Quarter tent will receive a voucher for a complimentary lunch at any vendor in the market.

A family-friendly happy hour is planned for 5-7 p.m. with live music, a caricature and face painter, and food and drink specials.

Other restaurants currently open in Quarter Market include Copa Kitchen and Bar, Hot Lola’s, Ice Cream Jubilee, Mi & Yu Noodle Bar, Rice Crook, Sloppy Mama’s BBQ, and Turu’s by Timber Pizza Co.

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The new location of Dirt restaurant in Ballston is hoping to open next week.

The fast-casual, health food eatery will “likely” welcome its first Arlington customers next Wednesday, April 17, though the exact opening date is not yet set in stone, said spokeswoman Kyle Schmitz.

Dirt is located at 4121 Wilson Blvd in the former headquarters of the National Science Foundation, which is now known as Ballston Exchange and which houses Shake Shack, Philz Coffee, and — soon — We the Pizza.

Schmitz said there are “a couple of finishing touches” left to do to the menu but otherwise customers will be able to order most of what’s on the online version.

Dirt’s menu features paleo-approved bowls and sandwiches as well as trendy toasts and breakfast dishes tailored for post-workout recovery with ingredients like activated organic chia seeds. Offerings also include 11 “sustainable proteins” add-ons like vegan plant protein powder and cashew ricotta.

The Miami-based chain first announced plans for its 1,800-square-foot space in the ground floor of the Ballston Exchange in November.

At the time, the chain’s backers said they eyed Ballston for expansion because of “the energy of the neighborhood,” and the rapid growth of businesses at the Ballston Exchange and the Ballston Quarter development across the street, where several restaurants have opened doors since March.

The restaurant says it will be donating 1 percent of all proceeds from its seasonal items to the Arlington Food Assistance Center.

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South Block, the growing juice bar chain that started its expansion in Clarendon, is planning to open its newest location to the public on Monday.

The new 1,300 square foot location, next to BASH Boxing in the outdoor row of businesses at Ballston Quarter mall, will offer raw, cold-pressed juices, along with toasts, acai bowls, and smoothies.

A “soft opening” for the new Ballston location will be held starting on Monday. The location’s normal weekday hours will be 7 a.m.-8 p.m., with weekend hours of 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

South Block will be holding a “block party” in two weeks to celebrate its grand opening, with proceeds from the event benefiting the Arlington Food Assistance Center. More on that, via a press release, below.

Locally owned South Block, northern Virginia’s first juice bar known for amazing acai bowls, smoothies and juice, celebrates its ninth location with a Grand Opening “Block Party” on Saturday, April 6 in Ballston Quarter. South Block first opened in 2011 in a 700 square foot space in Clarendon on a mission to “Build Healthier Communities…One Block at a Time!” The Ballston location is more than 1300 square feet and is located next to the future Ballston BASH Boxing in the newly renovated Ballston Mall on N. Randolph Street.

“When I graduated from Virginia Tech I lived in Ballston before I opened the first South Block. It’s where the seed was planted, and now, more than 15 years later I am so excited to go back to my roots and open our ninth location. I have a strong connection to this community and am honored to be a part of the flourishing neighborhood,” said South Block’s Founder and CEO, Amir Mostafavi.

South Block’s “good vibe tribe” will be out in full force at the Grand Opening “Block Party” on Saturday, April 6 at 9:00 a.m. The first 100 “Block Party” attendees will receive a swag bag complete with a reusable smoothie cup and sunglasses plus the chance to win a $100 South Block gift card. A live DJ and boxing demonstrations by BASH boxing will keep the good vibes rolling!

WHO: South Block Ballston
WHAT: South Block Ballston’s Grand Opening “Block Party”
WHEN: Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. (Store opens to the public on Monday, March 25).
WHERE: South Block | 700 N Randolph St, Arlington, VA 22203

All proceeds on April 6 will go to South Block’s new 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. We are ‘One Block!'” said Mostafavi.

South Block’s Ballston Quarter location will have a soft opening starting March 25 and will be open weekdays 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and weekends 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Download South Block’s mobile app to access their secret “Underground Menu” and order-ahead. South Block has partnered with another locally growing business, MightyMeals, to deliver their juices. Visit www.southblockjuice.com  for juice delivery options!

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Ballston Quarter could open to customers as soon as this week, marking an unofficial end to the years-long redevelopment of the old Ballston Common mall.

Signs posted around the development’s elevator banks list Thursday (Nov. 15) as the site’s opening day. Specifically, the signs advertise that the two main floors of Ballston Quarter — including the first floor with “street-level access” and the second floor with an area dubbed “Instagram alley” — will open this week.

Meanwhile, the third level of the development, which includes Regal Cinemas and the newly rechristened Onelife Fitness, is now open to pedestrian traffic. However, many of the stores on the level remain under construction. The new “Quarter Market,” a 25,000-square-foot food hall, won’t open until February 2019, the signs say.

A spokeswoman for Forest City, the developer spearheading Ballston Quarter, did not respond to a request for comment to confirm those dates.

Forest City initially hoped to open at least some of the stores in the development by the end of September. But delays convinced the developer to aim for late October instead, yet Ballston Quarter has remained closed to public access since then, and Forest City has been conspicuously silent on the matter. The developer has also had to push back plans to open a refurbished pedestrian bridge over Wilson Blvd to next year.

However, Onelife Fitness, once known as the Sport&Health fitness club, has a grand opening event scheduled for tonight (Tuesday) following its $2 million renovation work and rebranding. Punch Bowl Social, a combination bar and entertainment venue, has also now formally announced plans for a Dec. 8 grand opening event, after posting signs around Ballston advertising the night earlier this month.

Forest City has previously announced a bevy of other shops, restaurants and other businesses set to move into the former mall. The development had roughly 75 percent of its space leased as of the end of September, and the mall has begun maintaining a full list of retailers on its website.

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