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Ice Cream Shop Appears to be Coming to Shirlington

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

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Cupcake Shop, Mediterranean Restaurant Coming to Pentagon Row

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.

In its previous location, Aabee offered soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, kabobs and Iranian stew dishes. It also had Saturday night belly dancing shows, according to the restaurant website.

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Morning Notes

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]

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New Dunkin’ Donuts in Clarendon Set for Possible Weekend Opening

Arlington County’s newest Dunkin’ Donuts could open as early as this weekend.

Construction appears to be more or less finished on the combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store at 3009 Clarendon Blvd, at its intersection with N. Garfield Street and just a block from the Clarendon Metro station.

And a spokesman for Dunkin’ Donuts said the new space is “tentatively scheduled” to open this weekend, but that is “subject to change.”

While the doors are locked on the store, inside the counters and seats look to be set up, while the outdoor patio furniture is ready for use.

It will be the 12th Dunkin’ Donuts location in the county, after one opened in Virginia Square last month. The space was formerly occupied by a dining area for Pete’s New Haven Apizza, which downsized earlier this year.

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Confirmed: Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins Coming to Clarendon

Clarendon is getting a new option for coffee, donuts and ice cream.

A joint Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store is coming to a ground floor space on at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, one block from the Metro station. The space was formerly occupied by a dining area for Pete’s New Haven Apizza, which downsized earlier this year.

Permits have been issued for the interior buildout of the store, but so far there’s no word on an opening date. The new shop will join existing, nearby Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Courthouse, Virginia Square, Ballston and Cherrydale.

In March, ARLnow reported that reps for Dunkin’ had visited the space at 3017 Clarendon Blvd and were considering a lease.

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KidicalMass Leading Family Bike Ride to Ice Cream Shop This Weekend

The local chapter of KidicalMass, a national organization centered around casual community bike rides for families, will take a trip to Carvel Ice Cream this Sunday (July 30).

The organization kicks off its third annual “Kidically Summer 3.0” series of bike rides with a journey to Carvel in Virginia Square. The ride begins at 4:45 p.m. at Hayes Park (1516 N. Lincoln Street), where kids and families can cool off in its sprayground prior to the ride.

From there, cyclists will ride through the Virginia Square, Ashton Heights and Lyon Park neighborhoods on a course just over three miles long. The ride will end with ice cream at the Carvel store in Virginia Square.

According to the event description, “The route is pretty short, and as flat as they come in Arlington.” There will be stop lights at all of the major intersections and the group will travel back together from Carvel.

KidicalMass describes their bike rides as slow, short and easy with each ride no longer than four miles and going at speeds of typically six miles per hour. The group has previously hosted similar events for Father’s Day, as well as a “Junior Park Ranger Ride” along the George Washington Memorial Parkway.

The group typically hosts one bike ride a month and all events are posted on its website.

Image via KidicalMass

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Gifford’s Ice Cream Founder’s Grandson Reveals Family Horrors

(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) Nostalgia is the most dangerous emotion for Andrew Gifford, the grandson of John Gifford, founder of beloved former area ice cream chain Gifford’s Ice Cream.

Last month Gifford released his first book, “We All Scream: The Rise and Fall of the Gifford’s Ice Cream Empire. The book depicts Gifford’s abusive relationship with his parents growing up, the deaths of his grandparents and how his father ruined Washington’s largest ice cream empire.

When Robert Gifford, one of John Gifford’s other sons, took over the company, things quickly went downhill. Gifford described his father’s actions during the reading, explaining how he would never pay his taxes, cheated his customers and didn’t pay employees, ultimately leaving the company in financial ruin.

Despite the collapse, many local residents still remember Gifford’s fondly. And that means the brand is still valuable.

“It doesn’t matter what’s in the cup,” a person trying to reboot the company said last year, according to Gifford. “As long as I say it’s Gifford’s Swiss Chocolate, people will pay me anything I ask.”

“It’s these people who are so focused on this fantasy and nostalgia that frustrate me,” said Gifford. “I want the lesson to be nostalgia is dangerous, don’t give into it. Don’t buy $6 ice cream from someone who said they once bought machines from the people who once supplied Gifford’s 50 years ago.”

Gifford was at One More Page Books in Arlington’s East Falls Church neighborhood earlier this week, where he read two excerpts from his book, held a Q&A session and signed copies.

In the excerpt Gifford read during the event, he described how his mother decided to sit him down at the age of 6 and tell him that his grandmother was murdered by his grandfather. This was a lie: his grandmother had passed several years beforehand, but Gifford had been told she was still alive during his entire childhood.

“We All Scream” made an impression on members of the audience, most of whom grew up in the area and had warm memories of Gifford’s Ice Cream.

During the Q&A session, many questions were about what happened to the old Gifford’s ice cream flavors and recipes people adored, and if anyone could find any remaining Gifford’s products. Instead of focusing on the horror and abuse around the Gifford story, the questions were full of yearning and nostalgia.

“This was a beautiful thing that people loved but it needs to die,” said Gifford after the event. “It needs to end. There’s this obsession with the Gifford’s of old, when really it wasn’t that fairytale.”

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Two New Businesses Coming to Lee-Harrison Shopping Center

The former Dominion Pet Center at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center is being replaced by two businesses, including another pet store.

Going in will be Kriser’s Natural Pet Store at 2501A N. Harrison Street and speciality ice cream shop La Moo Creamery at 2501B N. Harrison Street.

Dominion Pet Center closed last year after facing stiff competition from internet retailers and the opening of a large chain competitor, Unleashed by Petco, across the street. It first opened in 1981.

Now Kriser’s and La Moo will fill the 3,113 square feet of available space between H&R Block and the Sushi-Zen Japanese Restaurant.

For Kriser’s, the move represents an expansion of its presence in Arlington, as it already has a location at 2509 N. Franklin Road in Clarendon. The store, which has locations elsewhere in Virginia as well as California, Colorado, Illinois and Texas, offers natural pet food and other products, grooming and training help.

Based on a permitting application submitted to the county, La Moo will be a retail ice cream parlor. No other details were available on its website.

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PHOTOS: Arlington Cops Throw Ice Cream Party for Locals

Arlington County Police Department officers gave out free ice cream and helped save some locals from a tent that tried to fly away in Clarendon this afternoon.

The “Cones with a Cop” event at Goody’s (3125 Wilson Boulevard) gave officers and Arlington residents the opportunity to get to know each other over frozen treats.

During the gathering, locals had the chance to sit in the driver’s seat of a police car and see the cops in action.

Officers saved some people from being buried underneath an outdoor tent that was about to fly away due to the wind.

No injuries were reported, just smiles.

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ACPD to Hold Free Ice Cream Event in Clarendon Next Week

cones-with-a-copLocals will have the chance to enjoy some ice cream with an Arlington County Police officer during a special event in Clarendon next week.

ACPD officers will set up shop outside of Goody’s (3125 Wilson Blvd) next Wednesday from noon-1 p.m. for a community outreach event called “Cones With a Cop,” according to an event flyer.

During the free event, attendees will be able to “get to know the officers and neighbors in your District while enjoying a refreshing treat,” the flyer says.

Image courtesy ACPD

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Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream Has Apparently Closed in Clarendon

Clarendon residents hoping for some ice cream to go along with tonight’s snow showers will be disappointed to learn that they have one fewer option from which to choose.

Larry’s Homemade Ice Cream, at 3018 Wilson Blvd, has apparently closed.

Located in a prime retail space steps from the Clarendon Metro station, the store generally received positive marks for its ice cream, if not its prices, after opening in 2011.

As of this afternoon it appeared that the interior of the restaurant was being dismantled and signs being taken down from the windows. The store’s website is not functional, its Facebook page has not been updated recently and there was no answer at its phone number.

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ACPD Plans National Night Out Events Tonight

NNO15 logo (Courtesy of NATW)

Arlington County Police Department officers will join the community tonight for ice cream socials and neighborhood gatherings as part of the 32nd annual National Night Out.

“It’s a good opportunity to interact with citizens outside of an emergency incident,” ACPD spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.

National Night Out, an event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch, helps unite community members and police officers in order to prevent crime.

Each district ACPD team will be participating in the event, which “raises safety and crime awareness,” though police say it’s only one part of the department’s overall community outreach efforts.

“Our district teams are regularly interacting with their neighborhoods in the county,” Sternbeck said.

There will be be events throughout the county tonight and residents are encouraged to come out and talk with police officers and their neighbors.

The events include:

  • Arlington Forest Ice Cream Social (at the corner of of N. Galveston Street and 2nd Street N.) at 7:30 p.m.
  • Park Glen Ice Cream Social (between 812 and 816 S. Arlington Mill Drive) from 7-8 p.m.
  • Williamsburg neighborhood (6207 31st Street N.) at 7 p.m.
  • Barcroft School and Civic League (800 S. Buchanan Street) from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Nauck Town Square (24th Road S. between S. Shirlington Road and S. Kenmore Street) from 5:30-8 p.m.
  • Fairlington Pool 2 (3025 S. Buchanan Street) from 5-7 p.m.
  • Fairlington Pool 4 (2848-B S. Buchanan Street) from 5-7 p.m.

Photo courtesy of National Association of Town Watch

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Morning Notes

Two men in religious garb walking through Rosslyn

Renderings of Proposed Ballston High-Rise — Ahead of Wednesday’s Arlington Site Plan Review Committee meeting, developers Lionstone and Penzance have released new renderings of the 22-story, 330-unit apartment tower they’re proposing to build on the Carpool site in Ballston. The tower is sleek metal and glass, with a retail pavilion on the ground floor. In a second phase, the developers are proposing to replace an aging, adjacent office building with another 22-story, 362-unit residential building. [Washington Business Journal]

Free Cone Day at Haagen-Dazs — The Haagen-Dazs store at Pentagon City mall is offering free ice cream today from 4:00-8:00 p.m. as part of the company’s nationwide Free Cone Day. [Facebook]

Coalition for Minority Affairs Honors Students — Eighty-seven African and African-American Arlington Public Schools students were honored last week by the Civic Coalition for Minority Affairs. The Northern Virginia group “endeavors to foster high academic achievement through its annual awards ceremony.” [Arlington Public Schools]

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Baskin-Robbins in Lee-Harrison Closes Abruptly

(Updated at 6:45 p.m.) The Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop in the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center has closed, apparently in a hurry.

Ice cream cakes are still in the freezer, cones are still on display and no signage has been removed from the location as of noon today, but multiple ARLnow.com tipsters have said the store has been closed since the beginning of April.

Eviction papers from the shopping center’s landlord were served to the business on March 26, the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office confirmed Monday evening.

The Baskin-Robbins corporate website no longer lists the Lee-Harrison shop, and the shopping center’s website lists the space as available. The two other Baskin-Robbins locations in the county are at 3520 Lee Highway and 3100 Columbia Pike.

Sweets lovers in North Arlington now have their options greatly diminished. Baskin-Robbins’ closure coincides with Mother’s Macaroons across the street closing last week.

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Photos: Wizards’ Martell Webster Serves Ice Cream

Washington Wizards swingman Martell Webster has a new position: serving ice cream at new Clarendon shop Nicecream Factory (2831 Clarendon Blvd).

Webster, who lives in McLean, had started cycling to Clarendon some afternoons to taste some of Nicecream’s treats after his childhood friend from Seattle, Wash., James Conti, started working as Nicecream’s marketing coordinator a month ago.

“Actually, that’s my little brother,” Webster is quick to point out. Webster played basketball with Conti’s older brother and said their family “took me in and pretty much raised me. It was my home away from home.”

The Washington Post reported earlier this week that Webster was doing some promotional work for Nicecream, but Friday afternoon he was behind the counter and in front of the store, making batches of homemade, on-demand ice cream like the two small half-mango, half-pistachio cups he served to a young family. He was also passing out samples to passers-by on the sidewalk, encouraging them to come inside.

“He usually comes in and sits in the corner eating and kind of crouches down,” Nicecream owner Sandra Tran told ARLnow.com while Webster was entertaining a toddler, asking her if he should dye his goatee pink. “When there’s a customer who comes in to check it out, he’ll kind of pop up and tell them ‘it’s really good.'”

Webster, who is listed at 6-foot-7, averaged 9.7 points and 2.8 rebounds in 27.7 minutes per game for the Wizards this year, his second in Washington. He’s moving back to Portland, Ore., for the summer in late June — the Portland Trail Blazers is where he spent the first five years of his career after being chosen with the No. 6 overall pick in the 2005 draft, directly out of high school.

Until he leaves for Portland, however, he said he plans on stopping by Nicecream “periodically” to help serve. He calls himself the “unofficial intern,” and he gets all the scoops of dark chocolate and sea salt — his favorite flavor — he wants.

He said it took him “about 156,000 tries” before he was able to make his first batch of ice cream worthy of serving to customers.

“It was pretty rough, but like with anything, practice makes you stronger,” he said. “Now I’m up to par, but there’s always a head over my shoulder, so to speak.”

Conti graduated from college a year ago and had been in discussions to join the Nicecream team for “a while” before he moved from Tacoma, Wash., to Arlington. Now, he’s living in Webster’s guest house and has his “big brother” working for him.

“I knew I wanted to use him somehow,” he said. “I think was the best way to do it. Knowing Martell, he might actually work at an ice cream shop. It’s still great to see him interact and engage with the customers. Not a lot of professional athletes would do that.”

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