Arlington, VA

Some 600 homes and businesses along Lee Highway, north of Courthouse, are without water service this afternoon.

Officials say a water main break on the 2000 block of N. Adams Street has partially closed the road and knocked out water service to hundreds. Repairs on the 6-inch line are expected to be completed by 9 p.m.

More from Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services:

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Listing Prices Around HQ2 Skyrocket — “From June 2018 to June 2019, the median asking price for a single-family home in Zip code 22202, home to Amazon’s planned Northern Virginia headquarters, skyrocketed a whopping 99.9 percent–essentially doubling over that period–according to a new report from listings service Bright MLS.” [Curbed, Bloomberg]

Board OKs Child Care Parking Changes — “The Arlington County Board today voted to reduce the parking requirements for child care centers, in keeping with the County’s Child Care Initiative to promote the expansion of accessible, available, high-quality child care throughout the County.” [Arlington County]

New Pizzeria Open on Lee HighwayChicago’s Pizza With A Twist opened a couple of weeks ago on Lee Highway, next to Maya Bistro. The Indian-Italian fusion restaurant serves unique dishes like a chicken tikka masala pizza. [Instagram]

New Pike Bus Stops Approved — “The Arlington County Board today approved a $1.6 million contract with Sagres Construction Corporation to build the first four of 23 transit stations planned for Columbia Pike. Construction is expected to begin this fall and be completed by fall 2020.” [Arlington County]

Arlington GOP Sitting Out County Races — “For the most part, Arlington Republicans will be sitting out the November general election – the party did not field candidates for the County Board, School Board and most legislative races on the ballot, although there are several non-Democrats who are running that might attract GOP support.” [InsideNova]

Swanson Middle School Teacher Honored — “Congratulations to @SwansonAdmirals teacher Mary Beth Donnelly who was named the 2019 Virginia History Teacher of the Year.” [Twitter]

Injured D.C. Fire K-9 Stops GW Parkway Traffic Updated at 9 a.m. — “Traffic stopped on the George Washington Parkway near Reagan National Airport Tuesday afternoon so a medevac helicopter could land, but the patient wasn’t human — it was a very special dog. The 6-year-old German shepherd named Kylie works for D.C. Fire and EMS as a cadaver dog… [she] seriously hurt one of her hind legs while helping another law enforcement agency conduct a search.” [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by Brian Allen

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A tree has reportedly fallen, blocking the ramp from westbound Lee Highway to I-66, near Rosslyn.

Both lanes of the ramp are currently blocked. Drivers, including the driver of a commuter bus, could be seen heading back up the ramp in reverse. An Arlington County Police officer and VDOT sign truck are now on scene and blocking off the ramp.

Those on Lee Highway hoping to reach I-66 should continue heading westbound to the entrance near Spout Run.

No injuries have been reported as a result of the tree falling.

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The county is considering rehabbing the old Lee Heights Water Reservoirs with a restoration project.

This Saturday, July 13, the Arlington County Board will vote on the project which to rehabilitate two of the water tanks located at 24th Street N. and N. Wakefield Street in the Lee Heights area.

The winning bidder, with a $837,524 contract, is Loudoun-based civil engineering company Freyssinet USA.

The two dome-roofed tanks are buried in concrete and were built in 1957, according to a staff report to the Board. They help pump water into an elevated tank and together store a combined 6 million gallons of water.

“The tanks are built on a hill with varying heights of 4′-20′ of the 31-foot tall concrete wall exposed above grade,” the report notes. “The recent inspection conducted in 2017 concluded that the surface concrete on the outside of the tanks is deteriorating in many areas and spot concrete repairs are needed inside the tanks.”

Staff noted in the report that the contractor will work on one tank at a time to maintain water service:

The work proposed under this contract will replace the deteriorating concrete areas inside and outside the tanks. It will consist of removing and replacing the existing coating on the concrete wall and roof; replace the drip edge; excavation around the tank perimeter to assess/repair concrete above frost line; and replacing the deteriorated concrete. Project duration is estimated at nine months. Each of the two tanks will be worked on separately while the other remains in service to ensure water service and reliability are maintained.

Board approval is required to approve contracts above $250,000. If members approve this contact, the county will award $837,524 to Freyssinet and with additional $139,587 contingency for unexpected expenses.

Image 1 via Google Maps, image 2 via Arlington County 

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A group of restaurateurs known for their D.C. hotspots are planning to open a new eatery in Arlington.

Brothers Ian and Eric Hilton, along with Chef Brendan L’Etoile, are partnering to open Cafe Colline in the former Cassatt’s space at 4536 Lee Highway, in the Lee Heights Shops. Cassatt’s, a beloved but tiny New Zealand-themed restaurant, closed last summer shortly after being sold by its longtime owner.

The new restaurant will open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, and will serve “classic, traditional French cuisine,” Ian Hilton told ARLnow today.

He said the trio is “redecorating” the Cassatt’s space but largely keeping it as built and avoiding heavy construction. The cozy restaurant will include a dining room and a 12-seat bar.

The partners are hoping to open Cafe Colline at some point this fall.

The Hilton brothers have received national attention for their burgeoning D.C. restaurant empire — notable spots include Chez Billy Sud in Georgetown (where L’Etoile is executive chef), Brighton at the Wharf, and El Rey taqueria on U Street NW. But they announced plans to expand outside the District late last year.

“D.C. is so saturated,” Hilton told Washingtonian at the time. “Take a look around. I don’t know what’s left to do in D.C., quite frankly. I really don’t.”

Their first Virginia effort, French bistro Parc de Ville, is expected to open this fall in the Mosaic District, replacing disgraced restaurateur Mike Isabella’s Requin.

Hilton — who lives in Arlington’s Donaldson Run neighborhood, five minutes from the future Cafe Colline — told ARLnow this is the most excited he’s been for a new restaurant in some time.

Update at 10:35 a.m. — Additional information about the new restaurant, from a PR rep:

Located at 4536 Lee Highway, Cafe Colline will take a few cues from its sister establishment Chez Billy Sud, the acclaimed Georgetown favorite known for its elevated-but-accessible French fare. The equally French-driven new menu at Cafe Colline will feature dishes like Provencal fish soup, pork rillette and steak frites, served all day, as well as a carefully curated wine list and weekend brunch. Under the direction of Chez Billy Sud Chef Brendan L’Etoile and his impeccable staff, Cafe Colline’s open concept kitchen will offer a unique vantage point ideal for everything from date night to after-work wine & bites. The 50-seat Cafe Colline will also feature outdoor seating, ample parking and reservations for dinner. Stay in the loop by following @CafeColline on Instagram.

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The Goddard School — a private early-childhood education franchise — is planning to open a pair of linked childcare facilities 350 yards apart on Lee Highway.

A decision on permits for the facilities at 5328 and 5222 Lee Highway are docketed for the County Board meeting this Saturday, July 13.

The larger of the two projects is a childcare center and school at 5328 Lee Highway, which will host up to 208 children.

“The child care center will serve children ranging from two (2) to five (5) years of age, in addition to before/after school services for school age children ages five (5) to ten (10) years,” says a county staff report. “The applicant proposes to reconfigure the existing office space to create 14 classrooms, one of which can also operate as an indoor gymnasium, as well as several ancillary rooms, including a pantry, teacher resource room, and two offices.”

A portions of the building, which most recently served as an office building, had previously been approved as a child care facility in 2017, but the staff report noted that the proposed facility never opened. The property is attached by a breezeway to United Bank, which the report says is expected to continue operating alongside the school.

Meanwhile, the proposed childcare facility at 5222 Lee Highway will have up to 60 children, ranging from 6-weeks to 2-years-old. The building will replace the former Chevy Chase Bank and drive-thru, which has been vacant for two years.

Under local ordinance, the larger of the two facilities would be required to have 26 parking spaces, but only 18 are available in the parking lot behind the building. The staff report says The Goddard School is asking to have the additional parking be provided off-site at the 5222 Lee Highway location. That proposal has been met by concerns from neighbors.

“Yorktown Civic Association which is adjacent to the subject site, is in support of the proposal, however, has concerns regarding circulation and turning movement around the site,” the staff report says.

The report said pick-up and drop-off would occur from the parking area, accessible via two existing curb cuts, and staff recommended that the County Board find the circulation and parking issues sufficiently addressed.

If approved, the facilities would be the first locations for The Goddard School in Arlington.

Another childcare center — VINCI Early Learning School — has been proposed for 3508 Lee Highway and is also on Saturday’s County Board agenda. Consideration of that facility, however, is expected to be deferred until September “to allow the applicant additional time to meet with the community and address any concerns that they may have with the proposed use.”

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Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque is now open at 5731 Lee Highway.

The location is the first full bricks-and-mortar restaurant for the popular D.C. food truck. The barbecue joint does have an outlet in the Ballston Quarter Market food hall, but co-owner Joe Neuman told ARLnow the Lee Highway restaurant handles much of the cooking for the Ballston Quarter location.

The Lee Highway restaurant also offers a wider array of barbecue options not available in the Ballston Quarter location or the food truck due to size constraints. So if you’re interested in a full slab of cooked meat, the North Arlington eatery is the Sloppy Mama’s to go to.

The restaurant is open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. today (Friday) and Saturday, and from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, then will be closed on Monday to review the first few days and make some final tweaks, Neuman said. The restaurant was also open on the Fourth of July, and said via Facebook that it was “crushed” by crowds of customers.

Come for the bbq stay for the Mrs Pac-Man…. In case you didn’t hear we opened the door at 5731 Lee Hwy yesterday and…

Posted by Sloppy Mama's BBQ on Friday, July 5, 2019

“Thanks to all the friends, family and loyal Sloppy Mama’s BBQ lovers out there that have helped us get here we hope to see you sometime soon for some proper BBQ,” the company said in a press release.

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Naked Lunch, an organic vegetarian and vegan eatery attached to the MOM’s Organic Market at 1901 N. Veitch Street, has closed.

According to staff at the grocery store, the location — along car-oriented Lee Highway, a long walk from Courthouse — meant that Naked Lunch never got the kind of traffic it needed and the restaurant closed last Monday, June 24.

The signs on the storefront have been taken down and through the window, the last of the kitchen supplies can be seen being packed into boxes.

Naked Lunch opened on Lee Highway with MOM’s Organic Market in 2015. The restaurant served salads, soup bowls, sandwiches and more, along with organic juices.

The next closest Naked Lunch locations are at 3831 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria’s Arlandria neighborhood or 8298 Glass Alley in Fairfax’s Mosaic District.

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New projects approved by the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) could improve some bus offerings around Arlington.

The Commonwealth Transportation Board voted yesterday (Wednesday) to use nearly $20 million in toll revenue to fund commuter projects along I-66.

“We [will] fund 13 projects that will provide connections to places people want to go, add options for commuter and local bus riders, encourage ridesharing and make it easier to choose transit,” said NVTC Executive Director Kate Mattice in a press release. “The projects funded through I-66 Commuter Choice will save Northern Virginia commuters approximately 485,000 hours of travel delay each year and move over 3,000 additional people through the corridor during rush hour.”

Additional bus trips are funded for some of Arlington’s major commuter destinations:

  • Metrobus 3Y: Lee Highway-Farragut Square — The $1 million project will increase the frequency of Metrobus 3Y, a peak-direction route that operates between the East Falls Church Metro and downtown D.C. via Lee Highway (I-66).
  • OmniRide Express: Gainesville-Pentagon — The $4.7 million project will add  three new buses and eight total trips to the route from Gainesville to the Pentagon. The route averages 300 riders daily, according to the project description, and connects riders to multiple Metro lines.
  • OmniRide Express: Haymarket-Rosslyn — The $776,700 project would add a new express bus between Haymarket Park and Ride lot to the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. The lot was built in December and offers 230 parking spaces.
  • New Bus: Stone Ridge-Pentagon — The $1.3 million project would fund a new bus line running from Stone Ridge II Park near Dulles to the Pentagon. The route will feature two morning and two evening peak-direction trips.

Five other bus routes enhanced or newly funded would pass from the outlying suburbs into D.C. along I-66.

The NVTC also agreed to spend $1.4 million to support I-66 marketing and outreach efforts of Arlington County Commuter Services — an agency that works to reduce traffic congestion and parking demand through programs like BikeArlington and The Commuter Store. The project will be continued for another three years.

“The approved projects for the FY 2020 Commuter Choice program provide connections to key destinations, address the needs of commuter and local bus riders and encourage commuters to use transit, carpools and vanpools,” the NVTC said in a report.

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(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) All lanes of Lee Highway appear to be blocked after a utility pole reportedly snapped and caused wires to fall across the street.

The incident happened around 9 a.m, just east of the East Falls Church neighborhood. The broken pole was not believed to have been caused by a crash, Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Ben O’Bryant told ARLnow.

A detour is in place between N. Ohio Street and N. Quantico Street, though minor delays should be expected. The detour is expected to remain in place for an extended period of time as utility crews work to repair the pole and downed lines.

Arlington County officials said only the westbound lanes were closed, though photos show the road closed in both directions.

Dominion’s power outage map reports 7 customers without power in the area.

Photos courtesy @mgnchny/Twitter, map via Google Maps

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The Sloppy Mama’s brick-and-mortar location at 5731 Lee Highway is about two weeks from opening, according to co-owner Joe Neuman.

The sit-down restaurant announced in January will be the second Sloppy Mama’s location in Arlington, but Neuman said the restaurant will be very different from the Ballston Quarter eatery.

“We will have a full barbecue menu,” said Neuman. “The food hall is a quick service location with a limited menu for a lunch crowd. Here, we’re not in a hurry.”

Sloppy Mama’s started out as a food truck, which currently sits outside the restaurant and will still hang around for events after the restaurant opens.

Neuman said the new location will have a little bit of everything and serve meat by the pound rather than plate. The larger space will allow Sloppy Mama’s to offer a wider variety of barbecue options, so Neuman said in contrast to the traditional plate combo style meals, if someone wants to come in for just slabs of cooked meat, they can get just slabs of cooked meat.

Inside, the restaurant has a very traditional southern barbecue joint feeling, with a metal food counter and long wooden tables in one big, open room.

According to Neuman, the contractors for the restaurant are just making the finishing touches of the restaurant, like sanding and staining the table.

“It’s a lot of little things,” Neuman said. “Finger’s crossed: we’ll open just after Father’s Day.”

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