Arlington, VA

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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Arlington’s first “parklet” is now open to the public, providing a small splash of green space amid Rosslyn’s urban landscape — and perhaps giving county officials a new tool for adding more open spaces across Arlington.

Rosslyn’s Business Improvement District teamed up with the county to design the mini-park, located adjacent to the Roti Mediterranean restaurant at the intersection of Wilson Boulevard and N. Oak Street. Starting today (Thursday), anyone can take advantage of the parklet, which is just 30 feet wide — about the size of two parking spaces.

These sorts of mini-parks have become increasingly popular in heavily populated cities like New York and San Francisco, and Arlington tested out a temporary parklet at the same location last fall for PARK(ing) Day, an international event for cities to experiment with temporary green spaces built in parking spaces. Now, planners are hoping to make this parklet permanent, and even set up more elsewhere to help compensate for the county’s dwindling supply of available land.

“Cafe seating used to be the sum total of outdoor seating around here,” County Board Chair Katie Cristol told ARLnow. “But we know that mixed-use places need mixed-use spaces.”

Lucia deCordre, executive director of the Lee Highway Alliance and an architect of the parklet project back in her days working with the Rosslyn BID, says she came to the idea of creating a parklet like this as she started working on improvements to Rosslyn’s streetscape. As the BID looked at ways to add new benches and bike racks to make its streets more attractive, deCordre says her team “realized we needed to do something for pedestrians.”

“It’s all about helping create an identity for Rosslyn,” deCordre said.

She says the BID selected the space next to Roti because it didn’t have much existing sidewalk seating, and they needed “somewhere safe,” without too much vehicle traffic to test out  a parklet. Ultimately, N. Oak Street ended up being an ideal side street for the mini-park to sit next to, deCordre said.

But she didn’t want to simply see a few tables added to the sidewalk. She also wanted something that was both “flexible” and “user friendly,” so she made sure to include lots of greenery as well — the parklet includes a total of 18 chairs, five tables and four planter boxes.

“This should really boost retail here, but also bring together different stakeholders in the community,” said Mary-Claire Burick, the BID’s president. “And it’s particularly valuable here where open space is at a premium.”

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Arlington’s Black Heritage Museum, once only a virtual museum, opened a physical, though temporary, location today (May 1).

A bit sparse, the museum’s exhibits and decor are still in the works; at least one exhibit room still needs to be filled. Though it opened in 1996, the museum has only had an online presence.

It’s a relatively bare-bones space, nestled on the top floor above the Sun Trust bank at 3108 Columbia Pike. It’s intended to be temporary until a suitable, permanent home for the collection can be located.

“It is what it is,” said Portia Clark, the museum’s volunteer office manager and the Nauck Civic Association’s president.

“For now, we just need a presence, so we don’t have a preference,” Clark added.

While additional exhibits are lined up, those currently available provide a glimpse into what Clark calls the rich history of the three predominantly African American communities in Arlington — Nauck, Hall’s Hill and Johnson’s Hill (now Arlington View).

In one area of the musuem, a visitor can learn about the life of prominent African-American Arlingtonian John Robinson; in another, the history of how black Arlingtonians never could truly say that they were born in the county since black families had to go to Washington to give birth, according to Clark.

“There are so many stories to be told,” she said. “There’s a number of stories that we’re still collecting to tell.”

Volunteer staff are still planning fundraising events, and Clark said that the museum hoped to raise much-needed funds at a Founders Day event, as well as at a possible art show and a book signing later in the summer.

The Black Heritage Museum is currently open on Tuesdays from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., on Thursdays from 3 p.m.-6 p.m., and on Saturdays from 1 p.m.-4 p.m., but different exhibit viewing times can be arranged by calling ahead and making a request.

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A 10,000 square foot Ulta Beauty location is set to open its doors at Pentagon Row later this week.

The opening of the 1101 S. Joyce Street location is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Friday, February 23. The store “will feature 20,000 beauty products across 500 brands, as well as a full-service salon.”

The first 100 shoppers on Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be given beauty products and makeovers. Gift recipients will be given a “beauty treat” valued between $5 and $100, and can choose between a discounted first hair or facial appointment voucher at the in-store salon or skincare bar.

Ulta Beauty currently runs 1,058 locations across the country, according to a company press release.

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A new pet store is coming to Arlington County.

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming, at 4550 Lee Highway, is holding its grand opening this Saturday (Feb. 10) at 10 a.m., where it will be offering gourmet dog treat samples and premium dog food, said a Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming press release.

The first 20 dogs to enter the store at the grand opening will receive free pet treats for a year. There will also be prizes, giveaways, and light refreshments.

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue will bring ready-to-adopt rescue animals to the store.

Besides treats, Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming offers self-service and grooming services. Customers can choose to use the store’s facilities to bathe their pets or pay to have the staff do it.

The store has more than 90 locations across the country, including one in Alexandria, Va.

Photo via Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming

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A new pet store will celebrate its grand opening this weekend at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center.

Kriser’s Natural Pet will open its seventh location in the area at 2501A N. Harrison Street. It replaces the former Dominion Pet Center, which closed last year after first opening in 1981.

The festivities, which include free pet nail trimming, raffles and giveaways, begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.

As of Friday morning, staff were putting the finishing touches on the store, which has pet toys, food, beds and health products among others. It also offers a grooming service for cats and dogs.

More from a Kriser’s press release:

Kriser’s Natural Pet, a specialty retailer focused on natural pet food, supplies and grooming, debuts its seventh location in the DMV Metro Area with a Grand Opening celebration on October 21st & 22nd in Arlington’s Lee Harrison Shopping Center at the corner of Lee Hwy and N. Harrison St.

“Kriser’s is thrilled to continue serving the pet parents of Arlington and to further our mission of helping pets in this vibrant community live a happy, healthy, natural lifestyle,” said Brad Kriser, founder & CEO. “Every day, we strive to provide pet parents with the best natural products, services and education to help care for their furry families. To have the opportunity to touch even more families in Arlington is an honor. We can’t wait to become a trusted resource and partner to more local pet parents.”

Kriser’s warm, welcoming shopping experience and highly educated staff are focused around a carefully curated selection of natural food, treats, toys, supplements and supplies from trusted brands that they feel good about recommending.  Kriser’s second location in Arlington will also offer grooming services by professional, caring groomers using natural products.

Kriser’s Lee Harrison location will offer a number of activities and promotions throughout the Grand Opening weekend:

  • Free pet nail trimming (Sat & Sun from 10am-4pm)
  • In-store raffles for store merchandise and grooming gift cards (Sat & Sun)
  • Free reusable shopping bags (Sat & Sun)
  • Free waste bag holders (Sat only)
  • Free engraved pet ID tags (Sun only)
  • Free can lids (Sun only)
  • Samples and product giveaways all weekend
  • PLUS Doorbuster raffles both Saturday and Sunday, whereby people in line each day at 10 a.m. will have the chance to win gift cards for on-the-spot shopping sprees.

Kriser’s will host another event on Saturday, December 12th to celebrate their first month, with free pet/ parent digital photo portraits, goodie bags for the first 50 pets and more raffles and prizes. For store events, hours and details, visit http://www.krisers.com.

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A gym on N. Pershing Drive owned by a former UFC fighter will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday (October 14).

Kamal “The Prince of Persia” Shalorus, who now fights in the Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship mixed martial arts competition, opened District Martial Arts at 2300 N. Pershing Drive, across from The Shops at Pershing strip mall in Lyon Park.

On Saturday, the gym will host three seminars for its grand opening: on striking at 11 a.m., on MMA at noon and on grappling at 1 p.m. It will then host a happy hour at Courthaus Social (2300 Clarendon Blvd), with four raffles.

Attendees can also sign up for special membership deals at the event, with all fees waived on a $120 a month membership contract.

Shalorus is also one of six instructors at the gym, which offers training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and wrestling.

More from a press release:

Former UFC and current OneFC fighter, Kamal “The Prince of Persia” Shalorus, has opened a gym on Pershing Drive.  Classes at the new gym are expanding and include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, and Krav Maga.  The gym is a safe and friendly environment for people of any skill level, from complete novice to professional fighter.  Lose weight, learn to defend yourself, stay in shape, and meet some great people.  Instructors include: Kamal;  Scott Dance, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; Sam Shawa, a high-level brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; Mark Cirello, a former Division I wrestler; Charles DiGisco, an amateur MMA fighter and color commentator on UFC fight pass; and Richard Dittler, a Royal Australian Navy veteran who was certified in Krav Maga by KMG founder Eyal Yanilov.

A grand opening with 3 free seminars will be open to the public on 10/14.  Striking seminar will start at 11am, followed by an MMA seminar with Kamal Shalorus at noon, and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu seminar at 1pm with black belt Scott Dance.  Email [email protected] with any questions!

Photo via District Martial Arts,

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