For Sandra Tran, preparing for tomorrow’s reopening of Nicecream in Clarendon feels like a jump back in time to seven years ago.
Nicecream, a handcrafted ice cream shop with four locations across Northern Virginia and D.C., is reopening its Clarendon (2831 Clarendon Blvd) and Shaw locations on Friday with ice cream scoops and pints to go. Featured flavors are planned to include honey lavender, salted caramel, Nutella, cold brew coffee, bananas and cream, and wild blueberry.
Tran and husband Gil Welsford say they plan to open with a “closed-door” style of service. A menu will be mounted outside the restaurant and customers can order and pay from their phones while workers inside make the ice cream. The items will then be placed out on a pick-up table, with no customers or delivery drivers allowed inside.
“It’s pretty enlivening,” Tran said. “I don’t know how other business owners feel, but it feels like we’re building it over again.”
Tran said this was the way it was seven years ago when she and Welsford started Nicecream. They were running around getting signs, figuring out how to put them up on the walls, handling small deliveries and tackling other tasks of that nature.
“We were meeting delivery drivers at the store because there was no one there to meet them,” Tran said. “It reminds me of the beginning again.”
With that, Tran said there’s a resourcefulness that comes with being a new business that gets lost over time as systems become routine.
“You develop new experiences as you become more seasoned, but you lose some of that scrappiness,” Tran said. “You create systems and operations to make everything more efficient. But when you’re starting like this, it’s like ‘who is the cheapest guy I can get to print this?’ It’s running around to figure out who is even open. It’s remembering how to be scrappy.”
That isn’t to say it hasn’t been tough for Welsford and Tran. Over the last few months, they had to lay off their entire staff, starting with eliminating their own pay, then to seasonal workers and full-time staff. Tran said they’ve worked to get proper resources for unemployment to their staff, but some of the seasonal workers are stuck without the full-year of employment history to help file for aid.
Nats World Series Run Helps Local Startup — “BreakingT’s business is very much staying in the fight. The Arlington T-shirt retailer had already seen a significant boost from the Nationals’ playoff run… Until last week, BreakingT’s biggest revenue day was during the All-Star Game hosted at Nationals Park last July. But each of the three home World Series matchups have now exceeded that.” [Washington Business Journal]
Severe Storms Expected Tonight — “Hazardous Halloween weather is possible in the Washington area and many parts of the Mid-Atlantic, where a line of storms, some of which may be severe, will sweep through during the evening. ‘A potentially dangerous weather event is unfolding for Thursday,’ wrote the National Weather Service serving the Washington region.” [Washington Post, Twitter]
Chick-fil-A Customers Cause Crystal City Cycling Consternation — “Diving deeper geographically from streets to blocks and overlaying vehicle type, a story starts to emerge from the data. We already knew the majority of bike lane blockages were on Crystal Drive, but now we can see that the 2100 block of Crystal Drive is where all the action is, why? Chick-fil-a!” [Greater Greater Washington]
Kudos for Hot Lola’s in Ballston — “Got a hankering for a fried chicken sandwich? Forget Popeyes — go for Hot Lola’s’s version in Arlington, says a new report. Washingtonian says Hot Lola’s hot-chicken sandwich are the best in the D.C. area, tied with Wooboi in Herndon for the No. 1 spot in their list of the top five in our region.” [Washingtonian, Patch]
Paul Rudd’s Pentagon Ice Cream Connection — “While searching for the quickest route to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City from my apartment, I went down a weird internet black hole and discovered that the Google Maps photo for the Baskin-Robbins at the Pentagon features Paul Rudd dressed as a Baskin-Robbins employee. What’s the deal with that?” [Washingtonian]
Tomorrow: Horticultural Event at Arlington National — “Friday Nov 1: Join ANC’s Horticulturist for a walking tour of the cemetery’s Memorial Arboretum. We’ll look at trees, shrubs and perennials that survived the wet spring and hot, dry summer of 2019.” [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Crystal City Apartment Building Sold — “A Crystal City residential property within blocks of Amazon’s planned HQ2 campus has sold for $228 million, more than double what it last sold for a decade prior, according to Arlington County property records.” [Washington Business Journal]
It’s National Police Week — Law enforcement officers from around the country and the world are in the D.C. area for National Police Week. The annual series of events is held to honor officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. As in years past, Arlington County Police motorcycle officers are assisting with the numerous motorcades associated with Police Week. [Twitter]
Free Cone Day Today — Häagen-Dazs is holding its annual Free Cone Day today (Tuesday) from 4-8 p.m. Among other nearby locations, a locally-owned Häagen-Dazs franchise store is located in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. [Häagen-Dazs]
Crashes During Monday’s Rain — A number of crashes were reported Monday morning, amid persistant rain. Among them were a crash with entrapment at Military Road and Lorcom Lane, and a reported car vs. tree collision at Route 50 and S. Columbus Street. [Twitter]
School Board Member Donating Kidney — “Arlington School Board Vice Chairman Tannia Talento will be out of commission for several weeks, as she is donating a kidney to a sister. Speaking at the May 9 School Board meeting, Talento said preparing for, undergoing and recuperating from surgery will cause her to miss some end-of-school-year events, but ‘I hope it is amazing and wonderful,’ she said of the last weeks of the 2018-19 year.” [InsideNova]
Ice Cream Jubilee has opened its new location in Ballston Quarter’s food hall.
The ice cream store, on the mall’s concourse level, is serving 16 unique flavors of ice cream, ranging from Thai Iced Tea to Honey Lemon Lavender to Banana Bourbon Caramel.
Owner Victoria Lai told ARLnow that she’s been pleasantly surprised by the number of customers they’ve had on their first day. She added that she’s excited to be among Ballston Quarter’s bevy of local food vendors.
“Every single day there’s something new down here,” she said. “There’s so much to look forward to.”
We're excited to be serving scoops today at @ballstonquarter!👆TAG someone from VA! Visit us Friday starting at noon! We're bringing over sixteen of our most popular flavors, like Strawberry Tres Leches & Thai Iced Tea! Which are you most excited to enjoy? @ballstonbid pic.twitter.com/Nvd93j33e9
— IceCreamJubilee (@icecreamjubilee) March 22, 2019
The opening comes at the same time as some other Ballston businesses were experiencing a power outage, across the street from the mall.
Dominion Energy spokesman Chuck Penn said the outage was caused by a nearby car accident and that Dominion crews were on the scene performing repairs.
“We expect to have all that done in about an hour,” Penn said at 2 p.m.
At 12:45 p.m. Dominion’s live outage map showed three customers affected by the outage.
Cava and Philz Coffee, which are both located at 4121 Wilson Blvd, posted signs on their front doors at noon Friday alerting customers they had closed due to the lack of power.
Cava restaurant and Philz Coffee in Ballston are both closed due to a power outage that appears to be isolated to one building pic.twitter.com/n4K6qUE4N8
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) March 22, 2019
Anyone looking for a mid-day ice cream fix can swing by Ballston Quarter this afternoon.
Ice Cream Jubilee, a D.C.-based chain which will soon set up shop in the revamped Ballston Common mall, is giving away free scoops at a pop-up location today (Wednesday).
The giveaway will run from noon through 2 p.m., and will be set up on the “M1” level in the Macy’s concourse.
Anyone swinging by will be able to choose between “candy cane pretzel” or “boozy eggnog” ice cream. The shop uses “only local all-natural milk and cream” to create “delicious, exotic flavors inspired by international travels, decadent cocktails and childhood favorites,” according to its website.
Eventually, Ice Cream Jubilee will be located in the development’s large new food court on its ground floor, dubbed “Quarter Market.” Some Ballston Quarter stores began opening up for business last month, but that section likely won’t open until February.
Photo via Facebook
I-CE-NY is set to start dishing out ice cream today in Shirlington.
The unique ice cream chain, which serves “smashed and rolled ice cream” with mix-ins like fruit, cookies and candy, started in Thailand before expanding to New York City in 2015 and then other U.S. cities.
Debuting on the same day as Shirlington’s Light Up the Village event, the shop plans to offer a “Buy One, Get One Free” rolled ice cream promotion today (Nov. 29), a spokeswoman for Federal Realty told ARLnow.
With more than 250 locations across Asia and more than 20 locations in the U.S., this is I-CE-NY’s first D.C.-area location.
In October, signs in the windows of a storefront at 4150 Campbell Ave for I-CE-NY indicated that it would take the former Knits Etc. space. The shop neighbors Samuel Beckett’s Irish Gastro Pub and Diana Nails.
I-CE-NY offers a number of signature pre-set ice cream and mix-in combos, including “Mango Sticky RI-CE” and “Strawberry Cheese-CE Cake,” per its website.
The ice cream gets made by pouring the ice cream base — including flavors such as “Thai I-CE Tea,” “Biscoff Cookie Butter,” “Cookie Spree,” “Want S’mores” and more — with a choice of mix-in ingredients on a custom-designed metal plate that can get as cold as -15 degrees Fahrenheit, the spokeswoman said. It is then chopped, smashed, flattened and served in chubby rolls.
McChrystal Speaks Out Against Lee — Amid the furor over changing the name of Washington-Lee High School, Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who attended W-L, says it’s time to set aside icons like Robert E. Lee and “combat our desire to mythologize our history and our leaders.” [Washington Post]
Fill the Cruiser Tonight — The Arlington County Police Department is holding one of its three planned “Fill the Cruiser” holiday toy drive events today from 2-6 p.m. at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall. “A cruiser will be located in the food court next to the Christmas tree,” ACPD notes. [Arlington County]
E-CARE Stats — This month’s Arlington E-CARE disposal and recycling event collected more than 100,000 pounds of hazardous household materials and used electronics products. [Twitter]
AFAC Helps Less Fortunate Celebrate Thanksgiving — The Arlington Food Assistance Center gave away 2,500 turkeys, along with other Thanksgiving staples, over the past week. Hunger remains an unresolved issue at a time when Amazon’s future arrival will likely exacerbate inequality and housing unaffordability in Arlington. [Washington Post]
Nearby: Big New Development in Falls Church — “The development team of EYA, PN Hoffman and Regency Centers was chosen by the Falls Church City Council Monday night to orchestrate a dense and diverse $500 million development of 10.3 acres of City-owned land where its George Mason High School currently sits,” near the West Falls Church Metro station. [Falls Church News-Press]
A unique ice cream chain that started in Thailand before expanding to New York City and then other U.S. cities is coming to Shirlington.
Signs are up in the windows of a storefront at 4150 Campbell Ave for I-CE-NY, which serves “smashed and rolled ice cream” with mix-ins like fruit, cookies and candy. That confirms our earlier report that the former Knits Etc. space would be filled by an ice cream shop.
I-CE-NY offers a number of signature pre-set ice cream and mix-in combos, including “Mango Sticky RI-CE” and “Strawberry Cheese-CE Cake,” per its website.
The business is currently hiring “ice cream crafters” for the new Shirlington location. So far there’s no word on an exact opening date.
It looks like Shirlington will be getting its own ice cream shop.
An application has been filed to convert a storefront at 4150 Campbell Avenue into an “ice cream take out” business. There is a frozen yogurt store a block away, but no other ice cream shops in the neighborhood.
The exact storefront could not be confirmed, though Knits Etc. at 4150 Campbell Ave recently closed and is currently vacant.
Hat tip to Chris Slatt
A pair of new restaurants are coming to the Pentagon Row shopping center in Pentagon City.
Smallcakes, a cupcake and ice cream chain, is set to open in a vacant storefront adjacent to the former Ristorante Murali.
Smallcakes has more than 200 locations in the U.S. and abroad. It touts its freshly-made treats, including a daily offering of 18 cupcake flavors — with “seasonal and special flavors such as Maple Bacon, Fat Elvis, Cannoli, Strawberries N’ Crème, Tiramisu, French Toast, and Pumpkin” — and 15 ice cream flavors, which are “a nod to Smallcakes’ famous cupcake recipes.”
The Pentagon Row Smallcakes location is simply listed as “coming soon” on the company’s website.
Also coming to the shopping center is Aabee Restaurant, a “Persian and Mediterranean fusion” restaurant formerly located in Fairfax. Permanent signs are up for Aabee, which is opening in the former NKD Pizza storefront across the parking lot from Harris Teeter.
Aabee’s former location is listed as closed on Yelp. Neither its former website nor Facebook page have been updated to reflect the apparent closure and new location, though a new website was recently launched. A phone number listed for the business has been disconnected.
Wakefield Advances to Championship — The Wakefield High School boys basketball team has advanced to the Virginia Class 5 championship after defeating Edison last night 82-66. The team will face Varina tomorrow at VCU. Meanwhile, Wakefield senior forward A’Mari Cooper has been named Northern Region Class 5 Player of the Year. [Washington Post, InsideNova]
Metro Starts Selling Merch — Despite its reliability issues and subsequent image problem, Metro has launched a new line of clothing and gifts, sold online and at a new gift store at Metro Center. The reaction to the merchandise has been mixed. [WMATA, NBC Washington]
General Assembly Passes Car Seat Bill — “Today, the Virginia General Assembly passed House Bill 708… which would change the commonwealth’s law to require that child safety seats remain rear facing until the age of two, or the child reaches the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing child restraint device as prescribed by the manufacturer of the device. The bill is now on its way to Governor Northam’s office for his signature. If signed, the new law would become effective July 1, 2019.” [AAA Mid-Atlantic]
More Restaurants Considering Ballston Quarter — Fresh off the announcement that Ted’s Bulletin was coming to Ballston Quarter, the owners of trendy D.C. spots Himitsu and Gravitas are said to be considering opening up eateries at the mall. Also in the works: a donut shop, an arepas stand, an oyster bar, and a barbecue joint. [Washington Business Journal]
Nicecream Expanding to D.C. — Liquid nitrogen-powered ice cream shop Nicecream Factory, which first opened in Clarendon, has since expanded to Alexandria and is now planning to open two D.C. locations, in Adams Morgan and Shaw. [Washington Business Journal]
Nearby: Gun Reform Discussion — Fred Guttenberg, father of one of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting victims, will speak at an event called “A Conversation About Gun Safety And The Safety Of American Schools” at T.C. Williams High School in Alexandria tonight. Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is hosting the event, which will discuss “actions we can take to ensure no other parent has to experience this kind of trauma.” [Eventbrite]