A car crashed into the Lee Harrison Shopping Center over the weekend.
The crash happened Saturday morning in front of the Chesapeake Bagel Bakery store, which is often crowded with weekend breakfast customers around that time. A driver reportedly hopped the curb and crashed her car into the front of the bakery, though not with enough force to physically enter the store.
Tire tracks could still be seen on the sidewalk next to the store on Monday. The damage was relatively minor: a small fence surrounding a portion of sidewalk seating was smashed and wrapped in yellow “caution” tape, while a few bricks in the storefront appeared to be cracked.
Neither the driver nor anyone in or outside the store was reported to be injured in the crash, according to a fire department spokesman.
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.
There’s a new coffee shop and eatery in the former Mother’s Macaroons space, but it might not open in time for your early morning caffeine dose.
Chill Zone serves bubble tea, Vietnamese coffee and a signature “Volcano Mango Frap,” among other beverages, but not until it opens at 10 a.m. each day, according to its Yelp page. The cafe also serves snacks such as pan-fried rice cakes and chicken wings.
The coffee shop wasn’t open when an ARLnow reporter visited the spot just before 9 a.m. this morning, but a peek through the window revealed an interior bedecked with modern decor and colorful furniture.
Reached via Facebook messenger, a representative for Chill Zone declined to comment on the opening.
There has been recent construction activity in the space, a tipster told ARLnow.
The website for the business does not appear to be active at this time, however.
File photo of Mother’s Macaroons Bakery in 2015
The Harris Teeter at the Lee-Harrison shopping center is currently being remodeled.
The supermarket is adding a full-service wine bar, an expanded salad bar, a “cheese island” with hot pizza options, American and Asian hot bars, a breakfast bar and more.
Harris Teeter sent the following email to customers this week, discussing its plans for the store.
Dear Valued e-VIC Member,
Our records indicate that you shop at our Lee & Harrison location. We are currently in the process of ongoing renovations at this store, and we appreciate your continued patience as we work to bring new and exciting features to your Harris Teeter. While we understand that this transition presents some inconveniences, we wanted to take the time to familiarize you with what amenities we are adding to enhance your shopping experience.
In the upcoming months, expect to see a full service wine bar, an expanded seafood department, an extended salad bar, more LaBrea bread options, a more extensive cheese island with hot pizza, and American and Asian hot bars for you to enjoy. We appreciate your patience during this remodel, and as always, thank you for shopping at your Harris Teeter!
During the remodel, our hours of operation will be as follows:
Monday – Thursday: 7 am – 10 pm
Friday – Saturday: Open at 7 am Friday, then open 24 hours
Sunday: Close at 10 pm
If you have any questions or concerns about the remodel process, please visit the
Hat tip to Chris Slatt
It can be called a “hidden gem” and a “buried treasure” because of its subterranean location and the nature of its business: Protea Diamonds has been creating custom designer jewelry for an educated and cultured clientele for 30 years in the same North Arlington location, in the lower level of the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center.
And, unless you have refined taste and a passion for one-of-a-kind jewelry, you most likely have never heard of Protea, until now.
Anthony Taitz is okay with that. In fact, contrary to just about every other retailer, he prefers appointments at his quiet boutique shop with clients over walk-in foot traffic. That way, he can devote the time and attention required to craft exactly the piece the client sees in their dreams.
And some of his clients dream big. Here’s a recent example:
“My client wanted to propose marriage at the bottom of the ocean, while scuba diving,” Anthony says. “So we made a cubic zirconia copy to look like the real thing in case he lost it.” The diver-boyfriend proposed with the impressive copy underwater but gave his fiancée the real ring safely back at the hotel.
That’s just one of Anthony’s seemingly endless stories about a career that has taken him from his hometown of Johannesburg, South Africa, to the dusty back roads of Texas to the bustling community of Arlington where he has earned his reputation as the “anti-mall, anti-mass market” jeweler.
“We give attention to detail, to quality,” he says. “We make exclusive, high-end, one-of-a-kind pieces that you won’t find anywhere else.”
Ideal-cut South African diamonds and precious gems are used to craft engagement rings, wedding bands, anniversary bands, earrings, necklaces and bracelets, and just as vital as the material is the education that the client receives when Anthony explains their creation.
Anthony cautions that “we are not inexpensive.” Of his pricing, he says, “on a scale of five we are between two and three.”
Modern jewelry shoppers, he said, “study the market on the Internet, and we welcome that. They know what they want and they know what they should pay. It is up to us to create exactly what they see in their dreams.”
Anthony has created his own dream along the way. He came to the U.S. from South Africa in 1983 and found a position in Dallas, driving an immense territory as a travelling salesman throughout the American Southwest. He saw hundreds of jewelry stores along the way, each one contributing to his own ideas of how he would build his own business.
After he met his soon-to-be-wife Rhonda in Dallas, “I followed her like a lovesick puppy to Arlington,” he says. Once in Arlington, Anthony made friends with the then-landlord of the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center who let him have a room in the lower level for a fabulously low rent. “It was perfect for me,” he says 30 years later. “It was a vault.”
The business grew as his reputation as a reliable, affordable craftsman spread, and it continues to spread to this day. Protea Diamonds may still be a “hidden gem” and a “buried treasure,” but there are many who are in on the secret.
To make an appointment at Protea Diamonds at 2499 North Harrison Street, call 703-536-9822 or [email protected]
The preceding was a promoted post written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by Protea Diamonds.
A group of friends who dined at Peter Chang restaurant (2503-E N. Harrison Street) on Saturday were shocked to find the words “asshole” and “I have a small penis” on their receipt at the end of the night.
The words were apparently insults typed in by one of the servers, in response to a particularly persnickety member of the group.
One of the diners, Matthew, emailed us and the Washington Post about the experience but asked that his last name be withheld. Matthew said the trouble started when one member of his party, who previously lived in China and speaks Mandarin, but is not Chinese, commented about the way the rice was served.
“One of my friends — who lived in China for 5 years — questioned the authenticity of how the rice was supposed to be served at a Chinese restaurant,” Matthew said. “Peter Changs [sic] served it in one bowl instead of individually, which is how I guess they serve it in China. I guess the waitress took offense to that.”
Then the receipt arrived. Below the various food items, it included the following lines: “im plad [sic] asshole” and “i have a small penis.”
The man who questioned the rice serving was wearing plaid that night, Matthew said. Management, according to Matthew, tried to pass it off as a “joke.”
“I wasn’t too offended by it, but the waitress and the management kept saying it was simply a ‘joke’ and they didn’t do too much to apologize,” he said. “Ultimately we got a $20 gift card. Like many incidents, the cover up was worse than the crime.”
It’s unclear whether the server purposely included the lines on the receipt or if they were only intended to vent some steam internally.
The restaurant has not responded to a request for comment from ARLnow.com. A manager told the Washington Post that “servers had previously been warned before about leaving offensive comments in the [point-of-sale] system” and that he’s cut the hours of the server who left the insults on the receipt.
The Post also reported that when the group asked to split the check four ways, the server replied sarcastically, “That’s totally how they do it in China.”
Dominion Pet Center, which first opened in 1981, is closing.
The pet supply store is located at the Lee-Harrison shopping center at 2501 N. Harrison Street. It has survived for five years following the opening of a large chain competitor, Unleashed by Petco, across the street.
In a Facebook post, Dominion blamed its closing primarily on the internet. The store will be holding a going-out-of-business sale over the next few weeks, before it closes for good.
This is probably the hardest post I have ever written. We have spent the past 35 years serving our community. We absolutely love what we do. But recently, too many people have chosen the convenience of online ordering over coming in to our store.
So, Dominion Pet Center will be closing in the next few weeks.
Everything must go. Starting tomorrow, EVERYTHING is at least 25% off. All shelving, fixtures, freezers, etc are also for sale. No reasonable offer refused. If you are local, PLEASE SHARE THIS POST. We need to clear out the store and need your help.
The store’s owners, Steve and Kendra Green, said in a separate post that the business was their “heart and soul.”
“I hope our customers know how much we loved that store,” the post said. “It’s like losing a child. Words cannot begin to express how hard this is.”
Photo via Facebook
ACFD Battles Fire on Patrick Henry Drive — On Thursday morning Arlington County firefighters assisted in battling a two-alarm blaze at an apartment building on the 3000 block of Patrick Henry Drive, just across the border in Fairfax County. [Twitter, Twitter]
Arlington Doubling Down on Startups — Arlington Economic Development plans to use the $1.5 million in one-time additional funds it’s allocated in County Manager Mark Schwartz’s budget to target early-stage tech companies and help them lease offices between 5,000 and 20,000 square feet. [Washington Business Journal]
W-L Alum to Direct Sci-Fi Film — Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams has selected Washington-Lee High School alum Julius Onah to direct “God Particle,” a new sci-fi thriller being produced by Abrams’ production company. Onah was named one of the top 10 “Up and Up Feature Directors” in 2013. He’s also signed up to direct an upcoming Universal Pictures film, “Brilliance.” [Blackfilm.com, Indiewire, Twitter]
Local Chef Nominated for Big Award — Peter Chang, whose eponymous restaurant opened last year in the Lee-Harrison shopping center, has been nominated for a prestigious James Beard Award for “Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic.” [Patch]
Shirlington Profiled by Post — As part of its “Where We Live” series, the Washington Post has profiled Arlington’s Shirlington neighborhood. Shirlington earns high marks for having a variety of walkable entertainment, dining and shopping options, and for having only six crimes of note over the course of 12 months. [Washington Post]
More on Nauck History Project — Arlington County’s Nauck Green Valley Heritage Project has already received dozens of photos in its new online photo archive. A vibrant, historically black neighborhood since before the Civil War, Nauck has been changing — some say gentrifying. “Today, we’re probably less than 32 percent African American,” noted the community’s civic association president. [WJLA]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Duck Donuts is now open at 2511 N. Harrison Street, in the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center.
The store opened earlier this week to big crowds. As of 4 p.m. today, the store was jammed with school-aged kids and a few parents.
Duck Donuts specializes in made-to-order donuts coated in toppings like peanut butter icing, maple icing, bacon, and rainbow sprinkles. The low-frills menu also includes breakfast foods, orange juice, coffee and bottled beverages.
Fundraiser for Arlington Store Owner — The owner of Maley’s Music (2499 N. Harrison Street) has been hospitalized with a rare disease, just weeks after his wife suffered a debilitating stroke. That has prompted the couple’s daughter to start an online fundraiser to help the family pay its expenses. [Facebook, GoFundMe]
Arlington’s Inaccessible Bus Stops — About two thirds of Arlington’s 1,100 bus stops are not fully compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Metro estimates that the average cost of upgrading a bus stop to ADA standards is $10,000. [Washington Post]
USS Arlington Readies for Deployment — More than two years after its commissioning, the USS Arlington is getting ready for deployment. The ship has a 40 year expected lifespan in active naval service. [InsideNova]
Photo courtesy Crystal City BID
A motorcyclist was seriously injured in a crash in front of the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center over the weekend.
The incident happened just before 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, on Harrison Street. There’s no official word yet on the exact circumstances of the crash, but police say a blue SUV was involved.
The man riding the motorcycle could not get up and remained down in the middle of the roadway following the wreck. A nurse who was in the area rendered aid before police and medics arrived on scene, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
The man suffered significant but non-life-threatening injuries, Sternbeck said, and was transported to the Level 1 trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
(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.
Mother’s Macaroons Bakery, an institution in North Arlington for 28 years, will close on Friday.
Owner Kay LoMedico decided to hang up her apron this week after a trying year in which her husband — who owned the Sunoco gas station nearby — passed away and three longtime employees left the shop.
“It was a series of things, and it hit me like a bag of rocks,” LoMedico told ARLnow.com today from her bakery at 2442 N. Harrison Street, across from the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. “When I opened this bakery I was in my 30s. Now with the stress of the bakery and owning the Sunoco, I sort of fell out of love with it.”
The bakery, which serves all kinds of cookies, brownies and sweets as well as coffee, juices, breakfast and lunch, was sold 10 years ago when LoMedico’s mother died. Two weeks later, she regretted the decision, and six months after that she was able to buy it back and reopen.
Through almost three decades of keeping her customer base plied with sugary goods, LoMedico said she will miss the community and independence the most.
“My favorite part was I was able to make what I wanted,” she said. “I’m going to really miss the community. They have been wonderful for me all these years and helped me to grow.”
Although the bakery is closing, LoMedico said she’s not sure what she wants to do next, and it may not be goodbye for good.
“I’m going out with my name and my recipes,” she said. “Who knows, I may be back.”
A Chinese restaurateur with a cult following will open his first restaurant in Arlington in two days.
Oriental Gourmet in the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center just closed this month, but chef Peter Chang‘s team is full steam ahead in trying to transform the space into Peter Chang Arlington, set for a soft opening at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Chang got his start in the U.S. cooking at the Chinese Embassy before serving his speciality, Szechuan cuisine, at little-known China Star on Main Street in the city of Fairfax. He moved around Northern Virginia to a restaurant in Alexandria and back to Fairfax, before moving to Georgia, picking up devoted followings in each area.
Chang’s followers are so devoted, and his nomadic tendencies so consistent, that a lengthy New Yorker magazine profile was devoted to them — despite Chang having never opened a restaurant north of the Mason Dixon line.
Recently, he’s started opening up Peter Chang restaurants in areas of Virginia farther south, starting with Charlottesville, Richmond, Williamsburg and Fredericksburg. Chang’s daughter, Lydia, said “Everyone is excited” for her father’s return to his Northern Virginia roots.
“We’re here to provide amazing, authentic Chinese cuisine,” Lydia Chang told ARLnow.com in the under-renovation restaurant space this morning. “Peter loves Northern Virginia and he knows there are a lot of people who appreciate authentic Chinese cuisine. He’s just here to do it right.”
Doing it right means a sit-down Chinese restaurant serving more than 100 menu items, including many of the dishes that have grown Chang’s following: dry-fried eggplant, duck in stone pot and pan-fried steamed pork belly. Lydia Chang said, if he wanted, her father “can create hundreds of different menu items.”
Restaurant openings, especially in Arlington, are notoriously fraught with long delays, often being pushed back months, even years. Some may be taken aback at how quickly Chang plans to open — just a week or two after the closing of Oriental Gourmet — but blazing his own path is nothing new for the mercurial chef.
“It’s not anybody else who wants to do this, it’s Peter’s decision,” Lydia Chang said. Pushing back the opening “is not our style. We’ve been talking about Northern Virginia for years. He’s always wanted to come back.”
The soft opening and early weeks will determine Peter Chang Arlington’s hours, Chang said. The restaurant is planning a grand opening Wednesday, March 18.