Thirty-one performances ranging from family-friendly magicians to rock to old time country to Ethiopian jazz are planned at the Lubber Run Amphitheater this summer.
The performances start on June 17 with a cabaret from Shirlington’s Signature Theatre and wrap up on Sept. 18 with a magician Captain All-Star.
The eclectic lineup includes a focus on African and Caribbean music.
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.
Nestled in the woods and enjoyed by locals for decades, the amphitheater is located near the intersection of N. Columbus Street and 2nd Street N., a long walk from Ballston. It almost was 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.
- Friday, June 17 — Signature Theatre Cabaret
- Saturday, June 18 — ELIKEH (Afro-Pop)
- Sunday, June 19 — Nicole Saphos (Jazz)
- Friday, June 24 — Bowen MacCauley Dance
- Saturday, June 25 — Feedel Band (Ethiopian Jazz)
- Sunday, June 26 — Arlington Philharmonic (Classical)
- Friday, July 1 — By & By Bluegrass
- Saturday, July 2 — Mary Ann Redmond (Roots Rock)
- Sunday, July 3 — The Sweater Set (Folk Duo)
- Friday, July 8 — The Harry Bells (Island Brass Band)
- Saturday, July 9 — Cissa Paz (Brazilian Jazz & Pop)
- Sunday, July 10 — Los Carribeat (Caribbean)
- Friday, July 15 — National Chamber Enesmble (Classical)
- Saturday, July 16 — Cheick Hamala Diabate (Malian Griot)
- Sunday, July 17 — Hollertown (Old Time Country)
- Friday, July 22 — Telecaster Masters! Featuring Anthony Pirog and Dave Chappell (Guitar Virtuosos)
- Saturday, July 23 — Orlando Julius (Nigerian Afro-Pop icon)
- Sunday, July 24 — Levine School Interactive Family Concert (Family Fun)
- Friday, July 29 — DC Highlife Stars (African Highlife)
- Saturday, July 30 — CAZ (Rock, Soul & Reggae)
- Sunday, July 31 — The Grandsons (Roots Rock)
- Friday, August 5 — Amadou Kouyate (Malian Kora Master)
- Saturday, August 6 — Army Blues (Jazz)
- Sunday, August 7 — Margot MacDonald (Singer Songwriter)
- Friday, August 12 — Mary Alouette (Gypsy Jazz)
- Saturday, August 13 — Mbongwana Star (Congolese Fusion)
- Sunday, August 14 — Rico Amero (Blues)
- Saturday, August 27 — The Great Zucchini (Magician)
- Sunday, September 11 — Rocknocerous (Family Music)
- Saturday, September 17 — Mr. KnickKnack (Family Music)
- Sunday, September 18 — Captain All-Star (Magician)
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
To start, the local watering hole at 2854 Wilson Blvd will hold a release party for a new signature beer tonight.
Created as a collaboration with Devil’s Backbone Brewing near Lexington, Va., the beer is being called the “Whitlow’s Good Time IPA.” It’s a moderately hoppy beer that’s 4.7 percent alcohol by volume, according to Whitlow’s manager Jon Williams.
Locals can get their first taste of the beer for a big toast at 7 p.m. The beer will be offered for $3 from 7-9 p.m. Then, starting at 10 p.m. tonight, local party band For the Win will play a
free show (correction: there will be a $5 cover after 10 p.m.).
On Saturday, the band Virginia Coalition will play a free show at Whitlow’s. “VaCo” used to play at the bar every Tuesday night during the early 2000s before getting big.
“We’re looking forward seeing some old faces,” said Williams.
“The neighborhood has changed,” he said. “The condos got built and the demographics have gotten younger. And obviously there’s a lot more competition now.”
Despite the competition, Whitlow’s has managed to stay busy, attracting both younger bar-goers and long-time “neighborhood folks.” Williams chalked that up to Whitlow’s not straying far from its roots.
“We don’t try to be something we’re not,” he said. “We’re not pretentious at all and we just stay true to what we started out as — a neighborhood gathering spot — and I think people appreciate that. It’s a gathering place people who have lived here a long time know they’re pretty much guaranteed to run into someone they know.”
The most recent major change: the opening of a new rooftop bar, Wilson’s on Whitlow’s, a few years back.
Asked what the future holds, Williams wasn’t sure.
“We’re going to keep chugging along and keep coming up with silly ideas,” he said. “You have to keep doing stuff to stay fresh and current in people’s minds. That’s the biggest challenge. We’re going to get through this weekend and put on the thinking caps again.”
Widening Critics Still Questioning I-66 Deal — “Widening the highway for four miles from Beltway to Ballston will not relieve traffic congestion, according to every expert I’ve spoken to,” writes WAMU transportation reporter Martin Di Caro, regarding the I-66 deal struck by Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D). Arlington County Board member Jay Fisette, meanwhile, says the overall plan for tolling I-66 is worth the compromise. [Twitter, WAMU]
Arlington Probably Won’t Sue Over I-395 HOT Lanes — After mounting an expensive legal battle over a plan by Gov. Bob McDonnell’s (R) administration to convert the HOV lanes on I-395 to High Occupancy Toll lanes, Arlington appears poised to accept a similar HOT lane plan by VDOT and the McAuliffe administration. There are some key differences between the two proposals, observers say. [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington Man Arrested in D.C. Cold Case — Arlington resident Benito Valdez, 45, has been arrested and charged with an alleged accomplice in a 1991 triple homicide cold case in the District. [Associated Press]
Chamber Concert in Lyon Park This Weekend — On Saturday, IBIS Chamber Music will hold a free concert of chamber music in the newly-renovated Lyon Park Community Center (414 N. Fillmore Street). The concert will start at 7:30 p.m. and feature music by Schubert, Beethoven and Debussy. [ARLnow]
Local Resident’s Cat Story Appears in Book — A story by Arlington resident April Riser is featured in the new book, “Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Very Good, Very Bad Cat,” according to a PR rep for the publisher.
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick
The Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Event will return to Arlington this weekend in preparation for the federal holiday next Monday.
The 47th annual tribute is scheduled for this Sunday from 5-6:30 p.m. in the Wakefield High School Auditorium at 1325 S. Dinwiddie Street.
Hosted by the Department of Parks and Recreation, this year’s tribute is called Freedom: America’s Goal, Our Destiny. It will be a celebration with a variety of live music, spoken word and dance performances.
The performances were produced and directed by inspirational arts programmer Nolan Williams, Jr. The featured work will be performed by BET Sunday Best Allstars finalist Clifton Ross, the NEWorks Freedom Dancers and students from the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, D.C.
Jacquie Gales Webb from WHUR Sunday Afternoon will emcee.
The tribute also includes a food drive for the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Guests who’d like to contribute can bring nonperishable food items to the event. Community groups can also register in advance to organize a collection of their own that will end on Sunday night. The group that collects the most donations will be recognized for their contribution during the performances.
The tribute is free, open to the public and does not require any registration in advance.
Photo via Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation
Clarendon live music venue and restaurant IOTA Club and Cafe (2832 Wilson Blvd) is “not closing soon,” says co-owner Jane Negrey Inge.
On Monday we reported that A&R Engravers, next door to IOTA, had closed its Clarendon storefront and moved to North Carolina. A&R had reportedly been given a Jan. 31, 2016 move-out date by the owner of its building, Market Common Clarendon owner TIAA-CREF.
IOTA’s building is also owned by TIAA-CREF. In a response to an inquiry from ARLnow.com, Inge said she was “sorry to see our good old neighbors move to North Carolina” but denied that IOTA would be forced to close anytime soon.
“IOTA is still rocking in the free world doing live shows — supporting local and touring musicians, hunting down those rising stars,” Inge said. “Stephen and I are still dedicated to doing the art thing as much as possible, fighting the good fight, especially on stage with many performances that send you to the moon and back.”
(Stephen Negrey is Inge’s brother and her IOTA co-owner.)
“IOTA serves a full menu featuring gourmet smasher sandwiches and craft brew — open Monday through Friday at 5:00 p.m. for Happy Hour until 7:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday for breakfast/brunch at 10 a.m.,” Inge noted. “IOTA is opening at 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve and Christmas Night.”
Photo via Google Maps
Wreath Shortfall Projected for Cemetery — Wreaths Across America projects it will be 30,000 short of its goal of 230,000 wreaths to place on graves at Arlington National Cemetery this year. The organization is hoping more donors step up before its fundraising deadline tomorrow. [Fox News]
Arlington Ranks No. 2 for Roommates — Among major U.S. localities, Arlington ranks No. 2 for having the highest percentage of adults living with roommates. According to the website, 23 percent of 18-39 year olds in Arlington live with a roommate. That compares to 21 percent for the No. 4 city, Washington, D.C. [Priceonomics via Greater Greater Washington]
Barbershop Chorus to Sing at Metro Stations — The Arlingtones, a barbershop chorus, will be performing barbershop music at three local Orange Line Metro stations this month. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
A new Potbelly Sandwich Shop in Rosslyn is planning to open its doors next week.
The restaurant, at 1735 N. Lynn Street, is set to officially open on Tuesday, Dec. 1. It will also be open for a lunchtime “oven-warming” on Monday, with 100 percent of proceeds going to nearby Key Elementary School.
In addition to offering sandwiches, shakes and salads, Potbelly plans to host live music from local performers.
The company, which has more than 300 locations in the U.S., issued the following press release about the Rosslyn opening.
Potbelly Sandwich Shop announced today the opening of a new location in Rosslyn at 1735 N. Lynn St. Set to open on Tuesday, December 1st, the widely acclaimed neighborhood hangout will feature its toasty warm sandwiches, hand-dipped milkshakes, tasty made-to-order salads and live, local music, which make it “The Best Place for Lunch.”
Earning a reputation in neighborhoods across the United States for having delicious food, fun décor and local musicians performing, Potbelly shops are also well known for their friendly and lively people. Khaled Elmeligy, the general manager of the new sandwich shop, has worked with Potbelly for two years.
“We look forward to becoming Rosslyn’s favorite neighborhood sandwich shop,” said Elmeligy. “Our toasty, warm sandwiches, hand-dipped milkshakes and market-fresh salads, will give guests the perfect lunchtime escape.”
Potbelly Sandwich Shop fans have grown to adore the brand while visiting its nearby shops in Ballston. Known for its good vibes in addition to great sandwiches, live music has been a part of the Potbelly experience since the first shop opened in 1977. Neighborhood musicians put a little rhythm into lunch at Potbelly Sandwich Shops around the country. Interested performers in and around Arlington should contact the new shop manager to apply and to schedule an audition.
“There is no doubt we are going to be a welcome addition to the area,” Elmeligy added. “We have already heard from a few locals who are excited to have us open. It won’t be long before our friends, families and neighbors in Rosslyn are calling Potbelly Sandwich Shop home.”
To celebrate the launch of the new location, Potbelly Sandwich Shop will host its traditional oven warming event. The shop will donate 100 percent of proceeds from the pre-opening event to Key Elementary School. The fundraising celebration will occur on Monday, November 30th between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for lunch.
The new Potbelly Sandwich Shop includes about 20 staff members, ranging from customer service to managers. The shop will be open 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. from Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Delivery service will be available from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekdays with minimum orders of $25.
It’s been an arduous journey from conception to completion, but Devin Hicks is finally getting ready to open his homegrown Arlington brewpub and entertainment venue in Clarendon.
With a flurry of last-minute construction, Hicks is hoping to open Sehkraft Brewing (925 N. Garfield Street) on Monday, Nov. 23, in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. But he warns that that the opening date is is still in flux and admits that he hasn’t had great luck with setting opening dates.
The brewpub was originally slated to open in March. After various delays, in August Hicks promised that Sehkraft would definitely be open by mid-September — as he put it, “in time to watch the Nationals kill it in the playoffs and hopefully watch the Redskins be competitive.”
We all know how that turned out.
“We’re at the finish line, finally,” Hicks told ARLnow.com on Wednesday, as he supervised some two dozen workers, including Sehkraft’s extensive management team, an “all star crew” that includes everything from a brewmaster to a music supervisor to a cheesemonger.
“It’s been an ordeal,” he said of Arlington County’s permitting process, with which he has had plenty of trying times at his other business, Westover Market. “We’ve been through the wringer.”
Citing a need to maintain a healthy working relationship with the county, Hicks declined to get into specifics about his permitting issues. But he did acknowledge that a quirky feature at the center of the restaurant — a bulky wheelchair lift that leads only to the small entertainment stage — was the result of orders from county inspectors.
Sehkraft will be one of the more ambitious non-chain establishments to open along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor in recent memory. At more than 9,000 square feet, with seating for 210 (including 66 on two patios outside), Sehkraft is huge. And that’s not even to mention the 10 barrel brewing system inside, or the centrally-located entertainment stage and state-of-the-art sound system.
Sehkraft will have 40 brews on tap, including 5 of its own homemade beers and 35 guest taps for a selection of beer, cider and even a honey mead. IPAs will be heavily represented on the menu, and there will be a pressurized growler fill station at the bar, allowing for take-home beer that can stay fresh for up to 90 days.
In addition to the beer, Sehkraft will have 8 wines on tap, plus others by the bottle. Just don’t come to the bar expecting hard liquor.
“Go elsewhere for Jaeger bombs,” advised one of the half dozen or so beer employees milling about on Wednesday. The beer team has an impressive pedigree, with experience at breweries like Port City and Lost Rhino, and at well-respected local restaurants like Lyon Hall and Northside Social.
The beer and wine will be accompanied by plenty of food, with three separate menus for lunch, dinner and bar fare. Expect chicken dishes, steaks, burgers, sausages and seafood, in addition to soups, salads, sides and snacks.
A Catholic church near Clarendon is holding a series of films, dances and concerts as part of a new cultural series called Forum Arlington.
Every Friday, the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church (3304 Washington Blvd) will hold either a music concert, dance class or film screening. The Forum kicked off last week with a performance by Marie Miller and will hold a film screening tonight.
All events start at 7 p.m. with a happy hour followed by the film, concert or dance class at 8 p.m. Tickets can either be purchased online or at the door, depending on the event.
Forum Arlington also has a photography exhibition about South America from Oct. 16 to Dec. 18.
The idea for the cultural series came from the church’s pastor, Father Donald Planty, who wanted to do more cultural outreach, said Terrence McKeegan, the head of Arlington Forum.
“He had this idea to have a cultural series that is a cultural outreach program for Arlington residents,” McKeegan said.
McKeegan has helped organize multiple cultural events, including large music festivals, and realized he and the pastor had the same vision. Together, they worked to find different acts and films, drawing from McKeegan’s wide network, he said.
“We try to pick bands or films or dance instructors and types of dances that appealing to widest range,” McKeegan said.
The events are held in the church’s gym, which McKeegan and church staff spruced up to make it look more like an event space instead of a typical gym, he said.
The concerts, dances and films will continue through the winter. For the spring, Arlington Forum will introduce a lecture series in addition to the concerts. McKeegan did not know at this time if the films and dance classes would resume in the spring.
Forum Arlington is open to the entire Arlington community, McKeegan said.
“The target audience is the entire community,” he said. “It’s not all the parishioners or an age demographic.”
Multiple roads will be closed in Arlington this weekend due to a 9/11 memorial race, a triathlon and festivals.
The 14th annual Arlington Police, Fire and Sheriff 9/11 Memorial 5K Race on Saturday will shut down some streets around the Pentagon.
The race takes runners around the Pentagon, starting from the DoubleTree Hotel in Pentagon City (300 Army Navy Drive) down Army Navy Drive, around Columbia Pike and on Route 110 back to the DoubleTree.
Online registration is closed, but the race is holding in-person registration for $50 on Sept. 10 and 11 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the plaza next to Arlington Police headquarters (1425 N. Courthouse Road). On race day, Sept. 12, runners can sign up from noon to 5 p.m. at the DoubleTree. All participants get a commemorative shirt and post-race refreshments at the DoubleTree.
For the race, both directions of Army Navy Drive between 12th Street S. and S. Eads Street will be closed from about 3-8 p.m.
The following roads are also closed between 5:45-6:30 p.m.:
- Westbound Army Navy Drive between S. Eads Street to S. Joyce Street
- S. Joyce Street from Army Navy Drive to Columbia Pike
- Columbia Pike from Pentagon South Parking to S. Joyce Street
- The northbound I-395 HOV exit to S. Eads Street
All roads that cross Army Navy Drive will be closed for approximately 20 minutes.
The following roads will be closed between 5:45-8 p.m.:
- Westbound Washington Blvd from Memorial Bridge to I-395
- Southbound Jefferson Davis Highway from Rosslyn to 15th Street S.
- Marshall Drive at Jefferson Davis Highway
- S. Eads Street from Army Navy Drive to 11th Street S.
Street parking will also be limited in Crystal City during the race.
In addition to the 9/11 Memorial 5K, there are two festivals shutting down roads on Saturday. The Prio Bangla Street Festival in South Arlington will close 9th Street S. from Walter Reed Drive to S. Highlands Street from 8 a.m. to midnight.
The Rosslyn Jazz Festival in Gateway Park (1300 Lee Highway) will close southbound N. Fort Myer Drive between east and westbound Lee Highway from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. There will be detours from on westbound Lee Highway and south on N. Scott and N. Veitch Streets for cars coming from Key Bridge. Heavy pedestrian traffic is expected between 2-10 p.m., according to ACPD.
On Sunday, roads in Pentagon City will be closed again, this time for the Nation’s Triathlon. The I-395 HOV lanes from the 14th Street Bridge in D.C. to the HOV overpass at S. Fern Street will be closed from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. to allow triathletes to complete the bike leg of the race.
Restaurant entrepreneur and Top Chef contestant Mike Isabella is throwing a “block party” to celebrate the opening of his three Ballston restaurants.
The event will be held at the patio at The View apartment building (4000 Wilson Blvd) on Sept. 12 from 1-4 p.m.
“The event is going to be a big party. It is a great way to experience food from all three of Mike Isabella’s Ballston restaurants, including forthcoming Yona, with live entertainment from the jazz duo The Potash Twins and DJ Toast,” said Madeline Harrington, a public relations rep for the restaurants.
Guests will be able to sample food from each restaurant at the event. There will be crispy cauliflower and barbecue goat tacos and Mexican corn on the cob from Pepita. From Kapnos Taverna, guests will be able to try spit roasted pork, falafel and classic Greek spreads. Yona, Isabella’s newest restaurant, will provide pork and kimchi dumplings, Japanese curry potato croquettes and Korean fried chicken.
“[There will be] great food, great drinks and lively music,” Harrington said. “A great way to say goodbye to the summer.”
Isabella’s first Arlington venture, Kapnos Taverna, opened last January. Pepita opened in the same building at the end of July, and new restaurant Yona is expected to open in late fall, she said.
Yona will be a Japanese noodles and small plates restaurant with new and traditional takes on ramen and other Asian dishes, she said.
“Mike loves the neighborhood. Both Kapnos Taverna and Pepita have been a huge success, and each concept is set up so that it doesn’t compete with the others other,” Harrington said. “Yona will be something fresh and new for Ballston, so it made sense [for him to open another restaurant].”
Rosslyn’s Gateway Park will turn into a beer garden this September with the arrival of Arlington’s latest beer festival.
The Backyard Beer Festival will feature more than 60 craft brews and live music during the event on Sept. 19.
The festival, which is sponsored by Uber, Drink the World and Project DC Events, will also have backyard games with plenty of prizes for guests. Attendees will be able to purchase food from food trucks and other food vendors.
The festival has two sessions, one from 1-4 p.m. and the other from 7-10 p.m. General admission tickets are $25 per session, and VIP tickets cost $35. With a general admission ticket, participants will get three hours of unlimited beer tasting and a souvenir glass. VIP ticket holders will get an extra hour for beer tasting and access to VIP bathrooms.
More than 30 breweries are expected to participate, including Flying Dog from Frederick, Maryland, Old Ox Brewery from Ashburn and D.C. breweries Atlas Brew Works and DC Brau. For those with gluten allergies, the festival will have ciders and gluten-free beers.
The event is for ages 21 and up, and will happen rain or shine. All participants will need to bring an ID with their tickets.
Logo via Backyard Beer Festival
This year, the Arlington County Fair had something new to offer: an opening day parade.
The 39th annual fair, themed “Summer Nights and Lights,” opened yesterday. An hour after opening, the parade processed down S. Highland and 2nd Streets. Participants included local Boy and Girl Scout troops, local businesses and several local dancing groups.
Arlington dance group Alma Boliviana, founded in 1991, performed a Bolivian folkloric dance in the 90 degree heat as part of the opening procession.
Group member Gabriela Grajeda said Alma Boliviana, which marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in 2011, was excited when Arlington County invited them to be part of the fair’s festivities.
“It was great — we definitely want to come back next year,” Grajeda said. “And now we’re going to go enjoy the fair!”
The fair will continue through Sunday (Aug. 9). Notable upcoming events include performances by The Harlem Wizards and outdoor concerts on Saturday and Sunday, as well as daily pony rides, milking demos and piglet races, where four week-old piglets run around a small dirt track to receive a treat.
Piglet racing proprietors Rick Signor and James Caruso were enthusiastic about the fair.
“This is a great one,” Caruso said. “Everyone’s been so receptive, and the crowds are great — not just the kids, the adults are having fun too.”
The Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is teaming up with Refinery29, a digital media company focusing on fashion, to host an event they’re calling “Style Festival,” on Saturday, August 8.
A music festival would have several different stages so people could see the bands they want and personalize their music experience. The style festival’s goal is to “elevate the millennial shopping experience” by bringing the idea of music festival stages into the mall, with different attractions at each stage, according to a press release.
The four stages will include:
- A music stage, which features a 3:00 live concert from the R&B duo LION BABE, bookended by DJ performances
- A style stage, with new fashions put together by Refinery 29 editors
- A beauty stage, where attendees can get “festival-inspired hair trends” and temporary tattoos
- A DIY stage, to give personalized concert tour tees — “a keepsake souvenir” to shoppers
The event will be held at the mall (1100 S. Hayes Street) on the ground-level “Nordstrom Court,” from 1-6 p.m.
The Arlington-based organization has announced the appointment of Dr. Nancia D’Alimonte as the group’s new artistic director and conductor. The chorus, which was founded in 1966, is preparing to celebrate its 50th anniversary during the 2015-2016 season with the theme “New Horizons.”
The group is made up of singers from the D.C. area, who perform free concerts between November and May. According to TMC’s website, one of the goals of the group is to “offer music enrichment in the greater Washington metropolitan area through free performances of choral repertoire from all eras.”
D’Alimonte is only the third artistic director and conductor that the chorus has had in the past 50 years. She is also the founder and conductor of the Bethesda-based National Institutes of Health (NIH) Philharmonia, is an education programs consultant for the National Philharmonic at the Strathmore Center and was the head of orchestral activities at George Washington University for 10 years, according to TMC.
The upcoming season will be kicked off with an opening concert on November 1 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington (4444 Arlington Boulevard).
The seven concerts of the season will take place in various locations, including five in Arlington and one in Rockville, Maryland, which will be a combined concert with the NIH Philharmonia. The group also will also hold its annual sing-along of “The Messiah” at The Kennedy Center over the winter holidays, according to the Metropolitan Chorus’ 2015-2016 season brochure.