The new Crumbl Cookies coming to Lee Harrison Shopping Center hopes to be fully baked by the fall.
The franchised cookie bakery will “likely” be ready to open in early autumn, co-owner Dovy Paukstys told ARLnow. It is moving into the former Starbucks space at 2441 N. Harrison Street, next to the Wild Birds Unlimited store. The coffee shop closed in 2019.
It was first reported in June 2022 that Crumbl was making its way to Arlington, joining a cadre of cookie shops across Northern Virginia owned by Paukstys and his team. That includes bakeries in Falls Church, Reston, and Vienna.
But this location stands out because several of the owners grew up within a few minutes walk of where the new Crumbl is going.
“We are primarily a women-owned company. My wife grew up in Arlington and her aunt’s house, who also is a [co-owner], lived just down the street,” Paukstys said.
The Arlington territory initially was claimed by a different franchisee, but Paukstys picked it up to be part of their group of stores in large part due to the local connection.
Crumbl Cookies is known for its elaborate designs and flavors. It has a rotating weekly menu of options like S’more, Buttermilk Pancake, Orange Creamsicle, and Snickerdoodle Cupcake.
The cookie menu in Arlington is expected to be the same as the other regional locations.
Paukstys says he is still looking to hire as the store ramps up to open in a few months. There is also a possibility, he said, of more bakeries opening in Arlington.
The Lee Harrison Shopping Center, in the Yorktown neighborhood, has seen some changes in recent months. A Loyal Companion store, which closed after the pet store chain filed for bankruptcy, has been converted to a Wag N’ Wash. A new Thai restaurant, meanwhile, opened in the former Ghin Na Ree Thai space, after the family that owned the eatery decided to retire.
Just one month after both Loyal Companion stores in Arlington closed amid the chain’s bankruptcy, both locations are back as new pet stores.
In the Lee Harrison Shopping Center, Loyal Companion is still the sign above the storefront, but inside it has been converted into Wag N’ Wash, a pet store with a focus on pet hygiene.
Wag N’ Wash is a national chain with a few locations in the region, including one in Vienna.
As far as conversions go, the changes inside are fairly minor. Staff at the store, located at 2501A N. Harrison Street, said “it’s mostly the same stuff” with the same dog washing services Loyal Companion offered, just under a new name.
One of the few notable changes, staff said, is that eventually Wags N’ Wash will have a self-serve dog wash.
Meanwhile, a store manager at Dogma Bakery & Boutique said the new location near Clarendon — at 2509 Franklin Road — will have a soft opening later this week, perhaps on Wednesday, March 15, depending on when the shelves get set up. The store expects to be fully open next week.
Both Loyal Companion pet stores in Arlington are closing within a few weeks.
Parent company Independent Pet Partners announced it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy earlier this week and is planning to shutter all of its stores outside of Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois by the end of the month.
That includes Loyal Companion locations in Clarendon at 2509 Franklin Road and in the Lee Harrison Shopping Center at 2501 N. Harrison Street. All Fairfax County and Alexandria stores are closing as well.
The plan is for the stores to be shuttered by Tuesday, Feb. 28, per the website, but “final days of business may vary by location.”
An employee at the Clarendon location confirmed that Feb. 28 will be the final day for that location, but there was no answer at the Lee Harrison store.
The company published the following letter to customers.
To our Loyal Companion community,
With a heavy heart, we want to inform you that we’ve made the tough decision to close our Loyal Companion stores. We have loved serving the community and supporting you on your pet wellness journey.
Our stores will be open through the end of February. We will be offering liquidation discounts and we encourage you to take advantage of these great offers to get all the supplies you need.
While it’s hard to say goodbye, it’s easy to say thank you. Thank you for being part of our family. Thank you for caring about pet wellness. And thank you for supporting your local community.
We’ve enjoyed all the hugs and belly rubs along the way.
Grooming services and self-wash stations will likely be stopped in the middle of the month, the website notes.
It’s not immediately clear what liquidation sales and discounts will be available at the Arlington locations, with an employee declining to provide more information.
In 2017, Kriser’s Natural Pet Store opened at Lee Harrison Shopping Center. Less than two years later, both Arlington locations were rebranded as “Loyal Companion.”
A new Thai restaurant has opened in the space formerly occupied by Ghin Na Ree Thai at the Lee Harrison Shopping Center.
Khun Yai Thai opened last week at 2509 N. Harrison Street, next to Duck Donuts. It’s taking the place of Ghin Na Ree Thai, which announced last month it was closing after more than two decades and being sold to another family.
“Arlington is a special place with a great community, we knew we wanted to be part of,” a Khun Yai Thai rep wrote ARLnow in an email. “After meeting the family of Ghin Na Ree, they were very open and accommodating. It felt right, as they wanted to transition into retirement.”
The changeover from one restaurant to the next took less than a month.
The owners of Khun Yai Thai are local veterans in the restaurant business, having previously owned eateries in Tysons, Rehoboth Beach, and Falls Church.
Khun Yai Thai means “Thai grandma,” per the owners. The restaurant is owned by three sisters, including at least two who are grandmothers.
“[The name] signifies the journey of the family that immigrated to the US over 40 years ago, achieved the American dream of opening a business, and now continuing to pursue the American dream generations later,” the restaurant rep wrote. “Thai grandma is someone who wants to share their story and heart through their recipes. At Khun Yai Thai, we want to achieve a sense of comfort, like dining with family.”
The menu is traditional Thai, with dishes like panang curry, kao pad, pad gra pow, tom kha gai soup, and pad thai. All are family recipes, we’re told.
The new restaurant owners have some big shoes to fill given that Ghin Na Ree Thai was generally well reviewed during its more than two decades in business.
(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) A Crumbl Cookies location is expected to open at Lee Harrison Shopping Center.
A poster from leasing company A.J. Dwoskin & Associates that states Crumbl Cookies is “coming soon” has been seen on a window at the shopping center, next to the Wild Birds Unlimited store. The cookie bakery also appears on a published retail leasing plan for the shopping center at the corner of Langston Blvd and N. Harrison Street.
“I think it’s exciting, I think a lot of kids are going to be happy they can get some cookies,” Harrison Drier, commercial operations manager at A.J. Dwoskin, told ARLnow about the shop.
Founded in Utah in 2017, Crumbl has since expanded to more than 370 franchised bakeries in 40+ states, according to a press release. It claims to offer “the world’s best chocolate chip cookie” and has a rotating weekly menu of specialty cookies including options like Buttermilk Pancake, Orange Creamsicle, Lemon Blackberry and Iced Oatmeal.
Crumbl also offers drinks and several flavors of ice cream. Its offerings are available via delivery, pickup, catering and national shipping services.
A Crumbl Cookies spokesperson could only say that the Lee-Harrison store “is in the very early stages” and details would not be available until later this summer. The spokesperson noted that there is another location planned nearby in Falls Church.
Drier said the cookie store is likely to open “more towards November, December” this year.
“They haven’t gotten keys to the space yet,” he said.
Crumbl appears to be replacing the urgent care clinic, which has since moved to a larger space in a recently-built structure on the shopping center’s property.
Other Crumbl Cookies locations in Northern Virginia include Reston, Chantilly and Vienna, according to the company’s website.
@ARLnowDOTcom looks like Lee Harrison shopping center is getting a @CrumblCookies!!! pic.twitter.com/hjQkuG7TLw
— HawkeyeKevin (@HawkeyeKevin) June 3, 2022
Hat tip to @HawkeyeKevin
The Starbucks store at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center has closed, to make way for a new location down the street.
It was business as usual at the coffeehouse chain’s location at 2441 N. Harrison Street this morning — right up until it closed at 10 a.m. and employees started politely asking customers to leave.
The closure precedes the opening of a new stand-alone Starbucks at 5515 Lee Highway, currently planned for Thursday. That store will have a drive-thru window and its own parking lot, though construction was still well underway this morning.
For Starbucks aficionados who need their Frappuccinos, there’s another location in the Safeway store across the street, at 2500 N. Harrison Street.
Up to three new businesses are set to replace the long-vacant Cardinal Bank building at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center.
According to the shopping center’s developer A.J. Dwoskin & Associates, the bank’s demolition began earlier this week, and the new building will be “going up as quickly as possible.”
The company is early in its efforts to lease the 4,312 square feet of available space and “[does] not have any signed leases yet.”
“Depending on what deals come our way, we could have up to three new businesses,” said A.J. Dwoskin Marketing Director Lindsay Gilbert.
A county building permit submitted by A.J. Dwoskin at the bank’s current address (5335 Lee Hwy) details the building’s demolition, and adds that “the proposed building will be a 3,476 square foot restaurant space with a maximum of 125 seats.” The company would not comment on the permit or its mention of a restaurant.
Per signage at the construction site, the “retail pad building delivery” is expected in the first three months of 2020, but Gilbert said she does not expect any businesses operating in the spaces until later in the year.
“We’re particularly excited about the demolition, as that always creates a little neighborhood buzz,” Gilbert said.
In addition, the developer is also currently looking to lease two spaces in the lower levels of the busy shopping center, which houses a Harris Teeter store and restaurants like Peter Chang.
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.
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.
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.
The cafe, Chill Zone, opened at 2442 N. Harrison Street several weeks ago. The business replaced the former Mother’s Macaroons Bakery, which abruptly closed in 2015.
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.
(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) A new purveyor of baked goods and caffeinated beverages is in the works at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center in North Arlington.
The business, described only as a “coffee bakery,” is coming together in the former Mother’s Macaroons Bakery space at 2442 N. Harrison Street, according to building permits issued last month.
There has been recent construction activity in the space, a tipster told ARLnow.
Although information on the forthcoming cafe is sparse, a reader points out that a Facebook page for a coffee shop called “Chill Zone” says it’s “coming soon” to 2442 N. Harrison Street.
The website for the business does not appear to be active at this time, however.
File photo of Mother’s Macaroons Bakery in 2015