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by ARLnow.com January 17, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

Garbage Truck Crash — Among a number of other potentially weather-related crashes this morning, a garbage truck ran into a utility pole on the 4600 block of 27th Street N., near Marymount University. Dominion crews responded to the scene for a report of downed power lines. No injuries were reported.

Four Mile Run Valley Meeting Cancelled — A meeting of the Four Mile Run Valley Working Group, scheduled for tonight, has been cancelled. The cancellation is due to county staff reviewing “key pieces of the 4MRV transportation analysis,” the county wrote. “Staff will provide an update on the process schedule and timeline at the next scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 6.” [Arlington County]

Lee Highway Planning Moving Forward — “Funded with two county grants, donations and sponsorships, the Lee Highway Alliance is now back on the front burner of Arlington’s planning agenda, said county board Chairman Katie Cristol, who promised forward movement in the next couple of months.” Meanwhile, businesses along Lee Highway are generally supportive of redevelopment, according to the alliance. [Falls Church News-Press]

ACFD Helps Battle Fairfax Fire — Arlington County firefighters assisted Fairfax County on an apartment fire near Tysons Corner early this morning. About 34 residents were displaced by the fire. [Twitter, Twitter]

Photo courtesy Dennis Dimick

by ARLnow.com January 11, 2018 at 5:15 pm 0

Linda’s Cafe is an unassuming, long-time diner at 5050 Lee Highway in Arlington, serving a clientele that includes families and senior citizens.

The restaurant is not active on Facebook and doesn’t have a website that we could find. On Yelp, diners are mostly satisfied with the service and the food — “the service is good and the staff is nice,” is a typical comment. A sign in the window touts “excellent burgers.”

But on Twitter — at least over the past year or so — Linda’s Cafe has a much different personality: quarrelling with customers, warning of speed traps along Lee Highway and saying “f*** the pilgrims” on Thanksgiving.

One long-time customer who contacted ARLnow said the Twitter account is not befitting the character of the restaurant nor the values of its customers.

“Their servers, chefs and other employees have been spouting profanities, talking about… controversial subjects on their restaurant’s official Twitter account,” said the customer, who did not want to be named.

Reached by phone, an assistant manager who said his name was Luciano seemed confused when asked about the Twitter account, saying he was aware of its existence but not the content. He declined further comment. The restaurant’s owner was traveling and not available for comment, we were told.

Photo and screen shots via Twitter

by ARLnow.com January 2, 2018 at 2:45 pm 0

Furniture store Random Harvest has closed its location at 4522 Lee Highway.

The store, in the Lee Heights Shops, carried “an exceptional handpicked selection of furniture and accessories.” It closed just before the new year.

“It has been a pleasure to have been part of the Lee Heights community over the past 10 years,” a sign on the door reads. “But all good things must come to an end and this location of Random Harvest is now closed.”

The sign says the store’s inventory will transferred to the company’s remaining locations, in Bethesda, Georgetown and Alexandria. However, a 50 percent off “pop up sale” is planned at the Lee Highway store Jan 18-21 and 25-28.

by Chris Teale December 13, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

The pharmacies at Rite Aid drug stores throughout Arlington County now have Walgreens branding, ahead of Walgreens finalizing its purchase of Rite Aid next year.

The Rite Aid stores in Pentagon Row (1301 S. Joyce Street), and on Columbia Pike and Lee Highway, all had signs added to reflect the switch to Walgreens pharmacies inside. There are other Rite Aids in Crystal City, Rosslyn and Westover.

Fortune magazine reported in October that Walgreens plans to close nearly 600 of the more-than 1,900 Rite Aid stores across the country as part of a $4.3 billion deal to buy the company.

That transaction will close in the spring, Fortune reported, after which some Rite Aid — and a few Walgreens — stores will be closed if they are within one mile of another drug store the company owns.

Beyond the changed branding for the pharmacy services, everything else appeared much the same in local Rite Aids.

by Chris Teale December 12, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

An establishment called “Miso Men” will replace the Asian Kitchen restaurant on Lee Highway, but few other details are available about the new spot.

A sign on the front of the eatery at 5731 Lee Highway shows the new restaurant’s name, but no permitting applications have been filed with the county yet, nor with Virginia ABC.

Inside, some work appears to be underway, although the building was empty when an ARLnow reporter stopped by Tuesday. Other signs for Asian Kitchen are still up, including in its parking spaces.

“We are currently remodeling,” reads a sign on the door. “Coming back soon.”

The restaurant is close to a now-closed car repair center, which shuttered after more than 30 years. It is also near the original District Taco.

by ARLnow.com December 4, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) Arlington County Police are on the scene of an attempted armed robbery that happened this afternoon along Lee Highway.

The incident was reported around 1:15 p.m., on the 4500 block of Lee Highway. Police say a man pulled a knife on two women who were getting into a car in front of the Chipotle.

“The victims were able to safely leave the location and the suspect fled the area on foot,” said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “No injuries were reported.”

“Police have established a perimeter and a K9 track will be attempted,” Savage continued. “The suspect is described as a black male with a full beard wearing a dark hoodie. Expect police activity in the area.”

As of 2:05 p.m., police had a possible suspect in custody, according to scanner traffic. The suspect was later positively identified by witnesses and charges are pending, said Savage.

Before the arrest, schools in the area were notified of the attempted robbery as police searched for the suspect.

by ARLnow.com November 23, 2017 at 9:55 am 0

A fire on the eve of Thanksgiving has damaged well-known local restaurant Caribbean Grill.

The fire broke out around 11 p.m. inside the restaurant at 5183 Lee Highway, according to fire officials. It was “caused by hot coals that fell out of [a] grill on to combustibles nearby.”

A large fire response was dispatched, but the fire was quickly extinguished and only minor damage — including smoke damage — was reported. No one was injured. The restaurant filled with smoke and firefighters remained on scene to ventilate the structure afterward.

Wednesday night was a busy night for the Arlington County Fire Department. Around 7 p.m. last night, firefighters battled a brush fire in the woods on the 3000 block of N. Quincy Street, in the Dover Crystal neighborhood.

A fire department spokesman estimated that the fire, which was extinguished without incident, scorched about 400 square feet of woodlands.

by Chris Teale October 31, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

Two neighbors of a planned child care center on Lee Highway filed a lawsuit in Arlington Circuit Court this month to try and stop it opening.

The suit, filed by N. McKinley Street residents Francisca Ferro and Cornelius James Coakley who live right behind the property, is against the proposed Little Ambassadors Academy, which is planning to open at 5801 and 5901 Lee Highway. The Arlington County Board approved the plan at its September meeting.

Little Ambassadors, which already operates two child care centers on Lee Highway, is planning to open another facility that would have space for up to 155 children aged 20 months to 5 years old.

The center would be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and have its rear parking lot converted into an outdoor playground, while the loading area next to N. McKinley Street would be modified to have 20 parking spaces.

But in a complaint filed on October 18, the pair allege that the child care facility will negatively affect parking, traffic congestion and noise in the neighborhood, especially for local residents.

“The Special Use Permit materially impacts Petitioners in a way that is different from the impact on to the general public, by greatly increasing traffic and safety concerns in the vicinity of their residences as a result of the expanding the number of cars permitted to traverse and park in the area,” the complaint reads.

The complaint against the County Board and Little Ambassadors rests on four claims.

First, they allege that the Board did not give neighbors sufficient notice that a hearing on the planned child care facility would be taking place.

By law, those nearby must be given at least five days’ written notice, but Ferro and Coakley said they only heard about the hearing on September 14, two days before it was scheduled to be heard by the County Board.

Second, the pair argue that the County Board broke the Dillon Rule, which limits the power of local government by leaving it up to the state government to delegate powers to localities.

Third, the complaintants say that in having the county Department of Human Services decide on the maximum number of children that can attend, and by having the county Zoning Administrator approve the center’s parking plan, the County Board did not have the power to delegate those tasks and should have done it themselves.

Fourth, the pair also dinged the Board for an “unreasonable exercise of legislative function” in approving the center, meaning it should not have been approved, and said the center’s parking plan violates the county’s Zoning Ordinance.

Arlington zoning calls for one parking space on site for each staff member at a child care center, with one parking space also provided for every 10 children that attend. The complaint says the 20 on-site spaces and four off-site spaces do not add up to enough parking.

In May, the Board added a staff member to the Dept. of Community, Planning, Housing and Development to suggest changes to Arlington’s zoning ordinance to help child care centers open.

At the time, Board vice chair Katie Cristol told ARLnow that “our biggest obstacles are within the zoning ordinance in terms of the number of parking spaces required by childcare centers or the amount of indoor vs. outdoor space.”

No hearing date has yet been set for the case.

Photos No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 via Google Maps

by Chris Teale October 20, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

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.

by Chris Teale October 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A section of N. Cleveland Street off Lee Highway will be closed until this afternoon as crews make emergency repairs to a water main.

A spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services said the repairs on the 1900 block of N. Cleveland Street in the North Highlands neighborhood are being made to a six-inch water main. The spokeswoman said the water for between 50 and 100 customers will be affected.

Repairs are expected to be completed by 3 p.m. The street is closed in the area, with a detour in place.

Photo via John B.

by Chris Teale September 26, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The Arlington County Police Department will participate in “National Coffee with a Cop Day” next week with an event in each of the county’s three police districts.

Officers will be on hand on Wednesday, October 4 to get to know community members, answer questions and listen to concerns.

“The Arlington County Police Department is committed to engaging with those we serve and effectively communicating to ensure the public’s trust,” organizers wrote. “Whether you live, work, or visit Arlington County, we hope you’ll join us to build strong community-based partnerships one cup of coffee at a time.”

The events will be held at the following locations:

  • Starbucks at Lee Heights (4526 Lee Highway): 9-11 a.m.
  • Starbucks at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street): 4-6 p.m.
  • Best Buns Bread Company at Shirlington Village (4010 Campbell Ave): 4-6 p.m.

by Chris Teale September 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

A pet store and grooming center will replace a longtime seafood shop near the Lee Heights Shops, according to county permits.

American Seafood at 4550 Lee Highway closed on December 31 last year after nearly 35 years in business.

And while none of its signs have been removed yet, permits indicate that work will be done to completely renovate the building. County planning staff approved the business license for the new pet store on September 12.

The Lee Heights Shops have seen some turnover in recent times, with long-time local stores Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes and Lemon Twist closing late last year.

Lemon Twist was replaced by women’s clothing and accessories store Lemoncello Boutique. Bradshaw’s still has not been replaced.

by Chris Teale September 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

A new hotel replacing the former Colony House Furniture Store in Rosslyn is starting to take shape, several years after its approval by the Arlington County Board.

The Hilton Homewood Suites at 1700 Lee Highway will be eight stories high with 168 rooms. Below ground will be two levels of parking, containing 102 spaces. The Board approved the plan by developer B.F. Saul in 2013.

As of Tuesday, the hotel’s main structure appeared to be finished, with work continuing inside on the future guest rooms, parking garage, loading bay and front entrance area. The hotel is close to the Rosslyn Vue condo building, but the trees between the two properties act as a shield of sorts between them.

On a web page about the project, B.F. Saul said the hotel is “scheduled to open in the near future.” Representatives with the company did not respond to requests for additional comment.

B.F. Saul said guests can expect “a focus on comfort and functionality” in an extended-stay hotel designed to be “guests’ home away from home while in the DC region for business or pleasure.”

“Sustainability is at the forefront of its design, construction and operation,” the page reads. “The suites offer large work areas, well-appointed bathrooms, digital flat screen televisions, fully-equipped kitchens, and an upscale, yet warm, home-like décor. The hotel will feature 1,400 square feet of highly flexible meeting space, and a best-of-class, 1,100 square foot fitness facility with state of the art equipment. The hotel will also feature a pool, spa, trail bicycles, and an outdoor patio equipped with a gas fireplace and built-in grill.”

by Chris Teale September 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm 0

A branch of Capital One Bank on Lee Highway is set to close later this year.

Multiple readers reported receiving letters from the bank at 5222 Lee Highway — its intersection with N. George Mason Drive — telling them the branch will close on November 18.

And a teller at the bank confirmed the news on Tuesday, saying that with another branch at 4700 Lee Highway, the company made the decision to consolidate its services at that location.

“We have another branch right down the street, so it just doesn’t make sense to have two so close together,” the teller said.

The bank is across the street from a strip mall — the Garden City Shopping Center — and a couple of blocks from the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center. No word yet on what might replace the bank.

A company spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

by ARLnow.com August 25, 2017 at 2:15 pm 0

(Updated at 5:30 p.m.) Arlington County Police are investigating an indecent exposure incident that happened in a rideshare vehicle Thursday morning.

A man exposed himself and masturbated during the “pool” ride, in view of a female passenger, around 9 a.m., according to an ACPD crime report. It was not immediately clear with which ride-hailing service the vehicle was associated; scanner traffic referred to it as both an Uber and a Lyft ride.

The driver stopped near the intersection of Lee Highway and Spout Run Parkway, and police were called, after the female passenger witnessed the suspect in the act. After the ride stopped the male passenger then got out of the car and fled the scene, police say.

The suspect is described as an Asian man “in his mid-20’s, with a partially grown out buzz cut, wearing a black t-shirt, dark blue shorts, with a black backpack.” Police searched the area but were unable to find him.

“The investigation is ongoing,” police said.

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