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by ARLnow.com March 28, 2018 at 8:45 am 0

Community Concerns Over Hospital Land SwapUpdated at 1:50 p.m. — Virginia Hospital Centers needs to expand to keep up with patient demand but the planned expansion is in a holding pattern as resident concerns are addressed. “Tracy Greiner, chair of a task force of three nearby civic associations, said the hospital has ‘failed to effectively address three years of homeowner feedback.’ Neighbors — some who’ve been in Halls Hill for three generations, others who just bought in — worry about traffic, nighttime lights and construction.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Beyer Wants Answers from FBI — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is requesting a meeting with the director of the FBI to discuss the investigation into the fatal shooting of Bijan Ghaisar by U.S. Park Police along the GW Parkway, to ensure that it proceeds expeditiously. Of note: “Beyer said that Arlington County, where the 911 calls came in, will not release the 911 tapes because the FBI hasn’t given them permission because it’s an ongoing investigation.” [WTOP]

Wilcox to Headline Arlington Gala — “Arlington’s own Amy Wilcox, a recording artist and star of A&E Network’s ‘Crazy Hearts: Nashville,’ will be the featured performer at the Arlington Community Foundation’s annual gala – ‘This Is Us’ – to be held April 21. The evening event will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Pentagon City, with funds raised being used to support the philanthropic initiatives of the foundation.” [InsideNova]

Candy Dispute Prompts Call to Police — According to scanner traffic, police responded yesterday evening to a domestic incident in which “a father is not allowing his kid to have candy and they’re all fighting.” [Twitter]

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 21, 2018 at 10:00 am 0

(Updated at 1:15 p.m.) The Arlington County Board approved two of the new use permit requests from Westover Market last night (March 20).

The market and beer garden sought to expand its current 29 outdoor cafe seats to 102, which was approved unanimously, but with conditions. The requested, expanded “piped-in” music hours were also approved.

“Previously, the beer garden could not play a radio, recorded, or piped-in music in the outdoor cafe area unless it was during the same hours as the live music,” noted County Board Chair Katie Cristol. “Now, they’re free to do so any evening until 10 p.m. on weeknights or 11 p.m. on weekend nights.”

The County Manager’s staff had recommended approving the expanding seating and music hours. The business withdrew a request, not supported by county staff, to expand the permitted hours of outdoor live entertainment.

The Westover Market also asked for a code modification for outdoor fireplaces, which was denied due to “life and safety concerns.” However, other forms of outdoor heating are still permitted.

An amendment was added that Westover Market would be required to have a representative on site at all times to comply with the new regulations and handle complaints. Board members said their votes were in the interest of helping a local business serve its customers.

“We’re losing the uniqueness,” lamented Board Member John Vihstadt. He said Arlington was losing its “funky” character, citing the recent closure of Clarendon’s Iota Club and Cafe and explaining his view that the most desirable neighborhoods to live in in the county are those with more unique neighborhood amenities and going-out options.

A number of beer garden customers spoke in favor of the permit changes during the public comment period. David Calhoun, the market’s bar manager, told the Board that the beer garden is trying to be a good neighbor.

“We jumped through every hoop, every hurdle that we could,” he said. “We’re not asking for too much and we’re always willing to tone it down if there is a complaint.”

Though the new use permits were approved, some Board members acknowledged and echoed the concerns of those opposed to the market’s requests.

Board Chair Katie Cristol said any enforcement of the new use permits would be difficult and would require responding police officers to have very specific zoning law knowledge, such as knowing the difference between amplified, live, or piped in music permissions.

“All of these things somehow have to find a balance,” said Board Member Christian Dorsey, explaining the difficulty in determining how to limit what he said is the only outdoor cafe with live entertainment in the county.

The market at 5863 Washington Boulevard has become an entertainment and drinking destination, popular with local residents and families, but the county has struggled with how to regulate it given little existing precedent for a business of its kind.

File photo

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 19, 2018 at 3:00 pm 0

Arlington Agenda is a listing of interesting events for the week ahead in Arlington County. If you’d like to see your event featured, fill out the event submission form.

Also, be sure to check out our event calendar.

Monday, March 19

Conversations with Tyler: Martina Navratilova*
George Mason University Arlington (3351 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Listen to record-setting tennis player and communist defector Martina Navratilova for an across the board conversation on her activism, professional accomplishments, and personal life.

Free Home Buyer Seminar: Get $1,500 Towards Your New Home*
Orange Line Living (1600 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Attend the Rosslyn class with wine and cheese and receive a $1,500 credit toward a new home or lease termination. The first three registrants and attendees will receive a Google Chromecast.

WordPress: An Introduction
Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street)
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.

Learn how to create, navigate, post on, and customize your own blog or basic website with WordPress.com (not WordPress.org). Registration required to attend.

Tuesday, March 20

Homebuyer Seminar with Fulcrum Properties Group*
Keller Williams Metro Center Arlington (2101 Wilson Boulevard)
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.

Looking to buy your first home, or at least thinking about it? Join this free event to learn how to take the first steps from on-hand experts. Registration required to attend.

Wednesday, March 21

CACI Ballston Toastmasters Club Open House
CACI (1100 N. Glebe Road)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

If you need to improve your public speaking, Toastmasters is the place for you.  Attend the spring open house to meet members and ask questions over refreshments.

Thursday, March 22

Beer & Donuts with Vanish Farmhouse
Sugar Shack (1014 S. Glebe Road)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Vanish Farmhouse Brewery of Leesburg, Va., brings a selection of craft brews to Sugar Shack. Board games, beer-glazed donut holes, and paninis will also be at the family friendly event.

ARLnow March Madness Watch Party
Latitude Apartments (3601 Fairfax Drive)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

Come watch the Sweet Sixteen on Latitude’s rooftop terrace with ARLnow staff with free drinks, snacks, and swag. You won’t miss any of the action — we’ll have four TVs on.

Friday, March 23

St. Agnes Fish Fry*
St. Agnes Catholic Church (1910 N. Randolph Street)
Time: 5:30-7 p.m.

The annual Lenten fish fry is upon us, and don’t miss out on the sides, beer, and other beverages as well. Registration required, and all are welcome to join in the Easter Sunday mass as well.

David Alan Grier Live
Arlington Drafthouse (2903 Columbia Pike)
Time: 7:30 and 10 p.m.

Join comedian and actor David Alan Grier, of In Living Color and Comedy Central fame, for an evening of stand up. Tickets start at $25. Additional performances on March 24.

Saturday, March 24

National Chamber Ensemble – Brahms and Mendelssohn*
Unitarian Universalist Church (4444 Arlington Boulevard)
Time: 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Enjoy masterful chamber music from Johannes Brahms and Felix Mendelssohn, performed by National Chamber Ensemble artists. Reception with the musicians to follow.

*Denotes featured (sponsored) event

by Bridget Reed Morawski February 13, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

The annual Feel The Heritage Festival, a black history month tradition now in its 26th year, is scheduled for Saturday, February 24.

The county-sponsored festival, held at the Charles Drew Community Center in Nauck, will host its first-ever soul food cook-off, with prizes for category winners. That’s in addition to dozens of vendors, music and dance acts, and fun for the kids.

Emceed by former WPGC 95.5 FM radio host Dr. Justine Love, a range of dance and musical groups will perform throughout the day, including a Joy of Motion dance center youth hip-hop group, and Elijah Jamal Balbed’s Chuck Brown-inspired The Jogo Project. Motown, hip-hop, gospel, and traditional African performers will also take the stage.

Festival organizers are touting dozens of artisan vendors selling jewelry, clothing, and more. Local African-American citizen associations and organizations, such as the Black Heritage Museum, will bring historical artifacts and photos for display in a “hall of history.”

Rocklands Barbeque and Grilling Company’s food truck will be parked outside of the community center, and the Nauck Youth Enterprise will sell hot dogs, half smokes, and more.

There will be plenty for kids to do, from creating a traditional African art inspired animal mask to face painting, balloon art, and oversize games of checkers and Connect Four. Colgate, the toothpaste company, will also be on-site from 2-6 p.m. to conduct free dental screenings and treatment referral for children up to 12 years old.

Photo via Arlington County

by ARLnow.com December 5, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

TechShop Expected to Reopen — Crystal City’s TechShop location, closed last month as a result of the company’s bankruptcy, is expected to reopen under new ownership. [Washington Business Journal]

RIP Bill Bozman — “He was ‘one of the community’s greats,’ in the words of former state Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple, and while the death of William Bozman was not unexpected, it still created a ripple of emotional outpouring from several generations of Arlington civic leaders who had relied on him for counsel and good humor.” [InsideNova]

Library Director’s Annual Xmas Playlist — Arlington Public Library Director Diane Kresh has released the 2017 version of her annual holiday music playlist. [Arlington Public Library]

ARL Sticker Opportunity — If you missed out on the the first batch of free ARL stickers, there is another opportunity to get your hands on some. We’ll be bringing the stickers to Thursday’s Speakeasy Evening With Dr. Rixey, which is happening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the The Rixey apartments in Ballston (1008 N. Glebe Road). Register for the free event, which features local art, live jazz, gin cocktails and great rooftop views, here.

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

by ARLnow.com October 6, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

The “IOTA Club and Cafe” sign has been removed but the shuttered music club in Clarendon still has one last event left.

After 24 years in business, IOTA is holding a “yard sale” to sell equipment and keepsakes.

The sale is being held from noon-6 p.m. Saturday at the club (2832 Wilson Blvd), according to a sign in the window.

Co-owner Jane Negrey Inge tells ARLnow.com that the sales will be cash only, with Virginia sales tax collected. The items for sale include: “Memorabilia, restaurant stuff, furniture, art stuff. Lots of women’s small and medium T’s. IOTA baseball caps. IOTA Pints. Yummy art work. Many items suitable for the cave.”

IOTA closed up shop after a last bash this past weekend. The club declined to renew its lease, citing rising rents and the cost of a temporary relocation while improvements are made to its building.

by Chris Teale September 26, 2017 at 10:30 am 0

A new street festival this fall will celebrate the Four Mile Run Valley’s businesses and artists.

Valley Fest” is set for Sunday, November 5 from 12-5 p.m. on S. Oakland Street, and will include live music, local art on display and food trucks.

New District Brewing Company (2709 S. Oakland Street) is also offering two packages that include commemorative Valley Fest cups and beer tasting tickets.

Admission is free, and entrance to the festival is available from S. Oakland Street’s intersection with S. Four Mile Run Drive in the north, and from next to the Shirlington Dog Park in the south.

More from a New District press release:

New District Brewing Company is proud to present the inaugural Valley Fest Street Festival! Valley Fest is a collaboration and celebration of the Four Mile Run Valley Arts and Local Businesses.

Valley Fest was conceived from area leaders who wish to foster the growing Four Mile Run Valley as an active arts and community hub. This area is alive with significant cultural and civic groups such as Theatre on the Run, Jane Franklin Dance, and, Arlington Cultural Affairs. Please help us celebrate this momentous occasion on Sunday, November 5, 2017 from 12-5 p.m.

Area musicians and performing artists will set the stage for entertainment, local artists will showcase their pieces and, food trucks will offer tasty delights. A kids zone will keep the family busy while beer will be in abundance for adults.

Information and Tickets: www.arlingtonvalleyfest.com

Map via Valley Fest.

by ARLnow.com September 13, 2017 at 10:15 am 0

It’s the end of an era: IOTA Club and Cafe in Clarendon will close at the end of the month.

In its nearly 24 years in business, IOTA has hosted countless live music performances. Among those who have performed there, according to a list published by the club, are numerous well-known artists.

Below is a list of some of the notable acts.

  • Colin Hay (Men at Work)
  • Crash Test Dummies
  • Frank Black (The Pixies)
  • Franz Ferdinand
  • Graham Parker
  • Great Big Sea
  • Handsome Family
  • J. Roddy Walston & The Business
  • Jack Johnson
  • Jason Mraz
  • Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers)
  • Jimmie’s Chicken Shack
  • John Mayer
  • Marky Ramone (The Ramones)
  • Norah Jones
  • Ok Go
  • Rufus Wainwright
  • Silversun Pickups
  • SOJA
  • Tegan & Sara
  • Tim Reynolds (Dave Matthews Band)
  • Tristan Prettyman

Performances at IOTA this week include an open mic night tonight, a DJ spinning vinyl records Thursday, Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys on Friday and Parsonsfield on Sunday.

by ARLnow.com September 8, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

(Updated at 9:25 a.m.) Arlington’s most active live music venue is closing its doors this month.

The owners of IOTA Club and Cafe in Clarendon announced this morning they have decided to close after 23.5 years in business. The venue’s lease expires after Sept. 30, which will be IOTA’s last day in business.

Despite a campaign to “Save IOTA” earlier this year, Market Common Clarendon owner Regency Centers is proceeding with a plan to revamp the retail and office development, including IOTA’s space along Wilson Blvd. IOTA called the changes “much-needed building repairs and improvements.”

In a press release, IOTA owners Jane Negrey Inge and Stephen V. Negrey said that while Regency Centers tried to make accommodations, they ultimately made the difficult decision to close the club rather than temporarily relocate during renovations and pay higher rents upon moving back.

IOTA will host concerts to raise money for the Red Cross’s hurricane relief effort tonight and tomorrow starting at 8 p.m. Currently, the last item on IOTA’s performance calendar is an open mic night on Wednesday, Sept. 27. A “grand closing” event is planned for Sept. 30, though the details have not yet been announced.

“Watch [our] website and social media for announcements,” said Inge.

More from the press release:

IOTA Club & Cafe’s main mission has been LIVE MUSIC for 23-and-a-half years. IOTA has presented some of the most creative and talented musicians from across America, including many rising stars and dedicated artists exploring and-or earning a living making music. IOTA also has hosted acts from Canada, Mongolia, England, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, Niger, China, the Scandinavian countries and others. IOTA’s top priority has always been seeking artful, original and creative live music experiences. In addition, IOTA has showcased catalytic bands, and to a lesser extent DJs, all who put on good shows for a good time for the people.

Owners Jane Negrey Inge and Stephen V. Negrey believe they have made a contribution to their hometown Arlington, Virginia through a dedication to live music and hard work at the restaurant and bar business, the mainstay of the endeavor. They believe that creative and interesting options for consumers make communities better. They view their many years fighting for the life of IOTA as well worth it and peaking in a triumph of arts and entertainment through independent small business.

The countless performances and participation of local artist-musicians in the DC Metro Area have brought joy and good times to many thousands and have sustained IOTA. Jane and Stephen are especially grateful to these musicians in addition to the touring musicians that have inspired and entertained so many.

Regency Centers, the new owner/developer of Market Common Retail (since 2016, owner of the spaces leased by IOTA since 1993 on Wilson Boulevard), have announced their plans to make improvements to the block in order to make space available for tenants at more up-to-date market levels. Regency Centers kindly offered IOTA Jane and Stephen a six-months lease extension at rock-bottom rents, ending September 30, in order for them to review their situation. They determined they would not be able to afford to participate due to the cost of a temporary relocation, much-needed building repairs and improvements, and new higher rents. Besides, IOTA’s beloved and irreplaceable ice machine, The Hoshizaki KM-630MAF, is about to bite the dust!

The support of hundreds of SAVE IOTA participants has been amazing. Jane and Stephen have not wanted to let these IOTA fans down and hope they will watch the website and social media for upcoming events and other ways Jane and Stephen hope to support LIVE MUSIC in the future and continue to participate in art activity.

Jane and Stephen are grateful for the financial and other support from friends and family that has helped IOTA prevail since March 15, 1994. They shout out big respect to three trail-blazing music venues who opened before IOTA and have been their idols: Black Cat, 9:30 Club, and especially The Birchmere. It has been an honor to share the road with these great independent businesses, rocking in the free world, where people really get off on live music, the power, art and fun of it, and the community and fellowship it creates.

by Chris Teale August 30, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

Several thousand people are expected to descend on Rosslyn’s Gateway Park on Saturday, September 9 for this year’s Rosslyn Jazz Fest.

The free event at the park at 1300 Lee Highway regularly draws more than 5,000 people for jazz music, local food trucks and a beer and wine garden from 1-7 p.m.

This year’s lineup, with timings, is as follows:

Food trucks Tacos Matadores, Rocklands BBQ, Mangia Tutti, Chix N Stix, Tapas Truck, Bon Bonni and Healthy Food Fool will be on site.

And for the second year, the Rosslyn Business Improvement District is partnering with neighborhood restaurants to offer discounts at to those attending this event. Customers must mention the code “Rosslyn Retail” at participating restaurants and receive 15 percent off their bill all day long.

The offer is available at Barley MacBistro 360Heavy Seas AlehouseKona GrillPancho VillaPiolaBen’s Chili BowlcityhouseKey Bridge Terrace, Jimmy John’s, Continental Pool Lounge and The Perfect Pita.

Organizers said parking nearby will be limited. Public parking is available on N. Moore Street between 19th Street N. and Lee Highway for a $5 flat fee, while parking around Rosslyn will likely be limited too. Instead, organizers said they “strongly encourage” attendees to take Metro or bike to the festival, with the park a few blocks away from the Rosslyn Metro station.

Photos via Rosslyn BID.

by Kalina Newman June 16, 2017 at 1:00 pm 0

A number of roads will close this weekend for the Columbia Pike Blues Festival.

The Blues Fest stage is located near the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Walter Reed Drive. The free event will include several performers, food vendors, activities for children and other vendors.

The festival is taking place on Saturday, June 17. The closures, below, are scheduled from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., according to a county press release.

  • S. Walter Reed Drive from Columbia Pike to 9th Street S. (Motorists can use 7th Street S. to S. Highland Street as a detour)
  • 9th Road S. from S. Garfield Street to S. Walter Reed Drive
  • 9th Street S. from S. Highland Street to S. Walter Reed Drive

There will be temporary “No Parking” signs placed around the area and illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed or towed. If you are towed from a public street, call 703-558-2222.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor June 8, 2017 at 6:00 am 0

Three-time Grammy-nominee Bettye LaVette headlines the 22nd annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival on Saturday, June 17 from 1-8:30 p.m.

For this FREE annual event, LaVette is joined by a full lineup of blues, R&B and funk performers of national and regional note, including: Rufus Roundtree and Da B-more Brass Factory; Full Power Blues Band; Sol Roots with Carly Harvey; and Jonny Grave.

Presented by the Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization (CPRO) in cooperation with Arlington Arts — the presenting arm of Arlington Cultural Affairs — the Columbia Pike Blues Festival is a recipient of Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Music Festival Sponsorship Program, which supports the growth of Virginia music festivals and their important economic impact for local communities while also building Virginia’s reputation as a music destination.

The winner of multiple awards, Bettye LaVette performed the memorable duet “Change is Gonna Come” with Bon Jovi for President-elect Obama at HBO’s We Are One concert, as well as the critically acclaimed “Love, Reign O’er Me” tribute to The Who at the Kennedy Center Honors. From the birth of soul in the 1960’s, Bettye continues to garner accolades and awards in her fifth decade in show business for her vital new albums and interpretive live shows. The rest of this year’s amazing Columbia Pike Blues Festival lineup includes:

“The Pike” is fast becoming the Arlington destination for food and fun — with everything from the Salsa Room, a top Latin dance club in the DMV, and Ethiopian delicacies at the renowned Dama Pastry and Restaurant (whose baker was trained by the White House pastry chef), to down-home classics such as Bob and Edith’s diner and the now-famous Celtic House Irish Pub, which made national news this Spring when it was named by Travel + Leisure Magazine as the best place in the country to spend St. Patrick’s Day!

Enjoy food and beverages, arts and crafts vendors, and kids’ activities as you spend the day on Arlington’s oldest and newest Main Street — in one of its most diverse, vibrant communities — listening to quintessential American music that will make it impossible not to get up and dance.

The Blues Festival covers three blocks at the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive. So put on your dancing shoes, grab friends and family and head to the Pike for a day of great music, food, art and fun! More info here.

Share your Blues Fest photos here: Facebook: @ArlingtonCPRO | Twitter: @ArlingtonCPRO | Instagram: CPRO_ColumbiaPike #CPBluesFest

by Kalina Newman May 31, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

The lineup is set for the 27th annual Rosslyn Jazz Fest.

The free event is scheduled for Saturday, September 9 in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway). It regularly draws over 5,000 music fans to the park for world-class jazz music along with local food trucks and a beer and wine garden.

The lineup this year consists of four different music groups:

New this year, a Spotify playlist is available to listen to the artists’ work before the festival. Timings will be set at a later date. The event is presented by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District and Arlington Arts.

by Chris Teale May 25, 2017 at 10:10 am 0

A new free rock concert series will kick off next week at Rosslyn’s Central Place Plaza.

The Rosslyn Rocks! Concerts are scheduled to take place each Thursday in June from 6-8 p.m. at the plaza on N. Lynn Street. Each week, a new cover band will entertain concertgoers.

Attendees can also enjoy a drink in the neighborhood’s newest outdoor space, with proceeds from sales going to the Arlington Street People’s Assistance Network.

The schedule for the month-long concert series is below.

The public plaza already hosts the newly-opened Rosslyn farmers market and is adjacent to a 31-story mixed-use building that includes apartments and retail, including a new McDonald’s.

by Chris Teale May 15, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

Thirty performances including big band, blues, soul and orchestral music as well as cabaret acts will come to the Lubber Run Amphitheater this summer.

The acts begin on June 16 with roots rock band The Grandsons, then children’s entertainer The Great Zucchini wraps things up on September 17.

The performances are being organized by Arlington’s Cultural Affairs division, with the cooperation of the Lubber Run Amphitheater Foundation, which funded the four family-friendly shows at the end of the season.

The amphitheater is located near the intersection of N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street N., about a 20-minute walk from Ballston. It is also accessible on Metrobus’ 4B route between Rosslyn and Seven Corners.

It almost closed five years ago but the foundation worked with the county to find a way to keep it open through some cost-effective renovations.

The full performance schedule is below.

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman. Kalina Newman contributed reporting.

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