41°Rain

by ARLnow.com — December 2, 2016 at 6:15 pm 0

House of Steep, a tea house and “foot sanctuary” in Cherrydale, is closing after four years in business.

The well-reviewed business, at 3800 Lee Highway, is based around a number of relaxing offerings: loose leaf tea, foot soaks, massages and reflexology.

In an email to customers Friday evening, owner Lyndsey DePalma suggested that the store was not sufficiently profitable to justify remaining in business.

“The rewards are wonderful but unfortunately are not enough,” she wrote. The store is set to close on Friday, Dec. 30.

The full letter is below.

To our beautiful, loyal customers –

A deep, Steep thank you for supporting us over the past four years in our vision to spread peace and offer gentle reminders of health and wholeness to our community. Our mission has been successful and the TEAm is celebrating. The rewards are wonderful but unfortunately are not enough to continue on without innovation, which is more than our team has the capacity to do at this time. So effective December 30, 2016, we will lovingly serve our last cup of tea in our retail space.

Steep is a great company with great reviews and a loyal customer base. It’s quite difficult for small retail businesses to succeed in dynamic markets with growing real estate and workforce costs. A huge thank you for helping us defy significant odds in the start-up world and for taking the time to cheer us on along the way. Thank you for becoming our friends and for stopping in to catch up over a comfortable cup. The business has served many and created so many memories with couples first dates, moms spending cherished time with their children (or without), and so many people pausing to take advantage of the moment. Keep doing this!

A sincere thanks to the staff, as well. I don’t know of a more loved business in this area, and this is all thanks to the staff, especially Michael and his leaders who proudly served the mission and set great examples for the staff.

We wanted to give a month to anyone holding gift cards to be able to redeem for goods and services with ease (our reservation policy for foot massage/reflexology is still required). While we will serve our last cup of tea at the end of the month, a few staff members will continue to serve our wholesale accounts, as well as our online store, so you may continue to source our delicious, health-focused tea blends after we close the storefront. And we’ll continue to serve in the hearts and memories of those who appreciated us for the gentle, loving space we provided for so many years. All good things live on and we believe that to be true of Steep.

We hope you’ll come in for one last foot soak, hug, and/or a cup of healthy goodness to help lift your day. You’ve certainly lifted ours over the years.

Steeped in gratitude,
Lyndsey (and the Steep TEAm)

by ARLnow.com — November 28, 2016 at 10:25 am 0

Lee-Lex Service Center (photo via Google Maps)

The Lee-Lex Service Center, a well-reviewed, long-time automotive business at the corner of Lee Highway and N. Lexington Street, has closed.

Lee-Lex’s website, which has remained largely unchanged for the past 12 years, says that the service center has “been a good neighbor in our Arlington community since 1978 and consistently receive[d] excellent ratings by consumer magazines.”

The service center was open for part of last week but closed just before Thanksgiving. This morning the shop’s technicians were clearing out their belongings and preparing to move to nearby service centers; signs were being posted on the windows, to let customers know who moved where.

Sources tell ARLnow.com that the property is being purchased by Southland Corporation, the parent company of 7-Eleven. It could not be immediately confirmed that a 7-Eleven store would be replacing the service center.

Photo (top) via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com — November 18, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

It looks like a ramen noodle restaurant is coming to the former Amsterdam Falafelshop space in Clarendon.

Saul Centers, which owns the building, now lists “Hanabi Ramen House” on its leasing chart for the retail bay at 3024 Wilson Blvd.

No additional information was immediately available about the restaurant nor when it may open.

Separately, the leasing chart shows a portion of the space currently occupied by Pete’s New Haven Apizza — the portion at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street — as available for lease, though Pete’s is still listed as the tenant for most of its existing space.

Peter’s co-founder Joel Mehr confirmed to ARLnow.com that it is planning to downsize its space while staying in Clarendon. He added: “We are still working out details with our landlord, so it’s not a done deal yet.”

Rumors had previously swirled in commercial real estate circles regarding Pete’s status in Clarendon and whether Chipotle might have been poking around for a potential Clarendon location.

by ARLnow.com — November 17, 2016 at 5:00 pm 0

Nick FreshmanNick Freshman is a native Arlingtonian who is the co-owner of Spider Kelly’s and was the co-owner of the former Eventide Restaurant in Clarendon.

In this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we talked with Nick about the current state of Arlington’s restaurant business, why so many restaurants are closing, and why he’s decided to start investing in and advising new restaurants. Nick also discusses the ups and downs and strategy behind running a bar and restaurant.

Be sure to subscribe to our podcast, 26 Square Miles, on iTunes, Google PlayStitcher or TuneIn.

by ARLnow.com — November 16, 2016 at 10:25 am 0

This year’s long string of restaurant closings in Arlington has people wondering what’s happening to the local restaurant business.

There are a number of factors potentially at play: oversaturation of restaurants, a culling of less-compelling or outdated restaurant concepts, high rent, a national “restaurant recession” and even perhaps a local downturn in “disposable income” spending due to election-related anxiety.

(More on some of those theories on our podcast later this week, with guest Nick Freshman.)

There’s another intriguing theory that was relayed to us by our wine and beer columnist, Arash Tafakor, of Dominion Wine and Beer in Falls Church. Could it be that Uber and Lyft are hurting Arlington’s restaurant business by making it easier to head into D.C. for a night out?

Think of your own behavior: do you find yourself heading into the District to try new restaurants when you might have just stayed in Arlington before, had it not been for ride hailing services making it easy and relatively inexpensive to get into the city?

Let’s test the theory and see how many people would agree with that last question.

by ARLnow.com — November 10, 2016 at 9:30 am 0

Trump cutout goes out with the recycling after Election Day (photo courtesy Ari P.)

David Black Convicted, Sentenced for Wife’s Murder — An Arlington County jury this week found Arlington Ridge resident David Black guilty of murdering his wife. Bonnie Delgado Black was found stabbed to death in her home, which was just blocks from her estranged husband’s house, on April 17, 2015. Yesterday the jury recommended that Black serve two life sentences. [NBC 4, WTOP]

County Board Ditches New Year’s Day Meeting — Eschewing a long-standing tradition of holding its first meeting of the year on New Year’s Day, the Arlington County Board yesterday voted unanimously to hold its 2017 organizational meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 3. “We still will start our year off with the community, but without forcing employees to give up their personal and family time on a holiday,” said County Board Chair Libby Garvey. [Arlington County]

Retail Space for WeWork in Crystal City — The County Board on Saturday voted to convert 440 square feet of the WeWork and WeLive building in Crystal City to ground floor retail space, at the request of WeWork. No word yet on what kind of a retailer may be moving in. [Arlington County]

More on Park Protests — “Our Man in Arlington” columnist Charlie Clark has tackled the dual controversies of the baseball field fence in Bluemont Park (the Board acted on that yesterday, article coming soon) and the proposed Williamsburg Middle School athletic field lights. Clark concluded: “Popular sports for kids, peaceful green parks: competing Arlington virtues.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Evolent Health Stock Soars — As of 10 a.m. the share price for Ballston-based Evolent Health is up more than 12 percent today and nearly 70 percent for the year. The tech firm reported a narrower-than-expected loss and higher-than-expected revenue in the third quarter of 2016. [CNBC, Yahoo]

Board Approves Loan for Apartment Renovations — The Culpepper Garden affordable apartment complex for low-income seniors will receive needed renovations thanks to a $9.9 million loan from Arlington’s Affordable Housing Investment Fund. The County Board unanimously approved the loan yesterday. The renovations are expected to begin in the spring and will require tenants to temporarily move to other units on site while their units are renovated. [Arlington County]

Photo courtesy Ari P.

by ARLnow.com — November 8, 2016 at 1:05 pm 0

Arlington County Board on 9/27/16The Arlington County Board on Saturday spent an hour and a half discussing changes to the county’s towing ordinance.

The Board voted to advertise a series of changes — final approval is set for next month — but not before making some alterations to the County Manager’s recommendations.

The alterations were essentially intended to prevent towing malfeasance. Among them:

  • The Board inserted a provision that requires towing companies to receive authorization from the property owner to tow a vehicle, which would apply only to non-residential properties during business hours.
  • The Board kept the current requirement that tow truck drivers photograph the condition of a vehicle before towing it, and added a requirement that tow companies notify those who have been towed that they may view the photos upon request.
  • While the County Manager recommended language stipulating that tow companies must notify police of a tow within 10 minutes, rather than “immediately,” as currently worded, the Board gave itself the option of requiring police notification prior to a tow.

The Arlington Chamber of Commerce objected to the authorization requirement — also referred to as a “second signature” — on the grounds that it could cost businesses more time and money to remove trespassers who park on their lots.

A towing standoff outside Ray's Hell BurgerThe Chamber sent a letter to the Board expressing its “vehement opposition” to the requirement. Chamber President and CEO Kate Bates also spoke at the meeting.

“Nobody likes it when their car is towed but that is not justification for putting significant burden on property owners,” said Bates.

County Board Vice Chair Jay Fisette proposed the addition of the second signature requirement. It passed, but with at least two County Board members saying they were unlikely to support it when a final vote is taken next month.

Fisette said that the low number of formal complaints against towing companies — there were 87 towing complaints and seven violations recorded by the county in 2015 — does not reflect the reality of widespread disdain for so-called “predatory towing” practices in Arlington.

As evidence, Fisette cited an ARLnow.com poll from last year in which 84 percent of respondents — nearly 2,300 people — said towing companies in Arlington were more predatory in their conduct than “just doing their job” for local businesses.

“It’s actually refreshing to have the Vice Chair cite an ARLnow poll,” said Board member John Vihstadt, to laughter in the County Board room.

Fisette also cited an ARLnow.com opinion column that recounted someone being towed from the former Taco Bell lot on Wilson Blvd in 2000 while eating at the restaurant — because a spotter saw him walk next door to get cash from an ATM.

A resident who spoke at the Board meeting agreed with Fisette’s assessment of towing practices.

“Many mom and pop restaurants are being harmed by aggressive and predatory towing… it’s driving business away,” said Sarah McKinley, a towing critic and the vice president of the Columbia Heights Civic Association. “A second signature creates a balance and gives retail owners some control over this situation so they aren’t so damaged.”

The Chamber, however, said towing companies provide a valuable service to local businesses. The Chamber supported the County Manager’s original proposal, which it described as a “compromise.”

“We… emphasize our vehement opposition to the addition of a second signature requirement for the removal of illegally parked vehicles or the prohibition of parking ‘spotters’ to monitor parking areas,” the Chamber wrote in its letter to the Board.

“The addition of either would present significant administrative and cost burdens to implement and would deteriorate the level of service provided by towing contractors to local businesses who must keep parking areas clear and available to their employees, visitors and customers to remain financially viable,” the letter said. “We appreciate the steps the County has been working towards to make Arlington a more business friendly community, and urge extreme caution to the Board in exploring proposals that would shift things in the opposite direction.”

by ARLnow.com — November 1, 2016 at 11:25 am 0

A pair of long-time local stores are either closing or have already closed at the Lee Heights Shops on Lee Highway.

Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes (4532 Lee Highway) is holding a going-out-of-business sale, offering 20-50 percent off remaining merchandise.

The owners, who are in their 70s, said that they’re closing the store because they’re retiring, but also cited rising rents and competition from online retailers and big box stores like Target.

According to the store’s website, Bradshaw’s is “one of the nation’s oldest shoe stores” and has been “serving Northern Virginia continuously since 1834.”

The store was the source of an unusual police dispatch earlier this year, after a drunk woman reportedly walked into the store holding an open bottle of wine, demanding adult shoes and refusing to leave.

Another Lee Heights store, meanwhile, has already closed.

Lemon Twist (4517 Lee Highway), which sold women’s clothing and accessories from brands like Lilly Pulitzer and Vineyard Vines, has closed but, according to a sign, will be reopening under new ownership.

“Lemon Twist Arlington will be reopening soon with a new name, ownership and look,” says a sign posted on the door. “Stay tuned for more information and an opening date for Lemoncello Boutique, Women & Children’s Apparel and Gifts!”

The store, part of a small retail fashion chain, opened on Lee Highway in the late 1980s, according to Arlington Magazine.

by ARLnow.com — October 31, 2016 at 4:40 pm 0

Vornado Realty TrustVornado, Arlington County’s biggest private landowner — with major collections of properties in Crystal City and Rosslyn — announced today that it is spinning off and merging its D.C. area operations with Chevy Chase, Md.-based JBG Companies.

The combined company would have both office and residential properties throughout Crystal City, Pentagon City and the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. Among JBG’s properties in Arlington are the under-construction Central Place project in Rosslyn and the iconic “Bob Peck” office building at 800 N. Glebe Road in Ballston.

In 2014, Vornado’s properties in Arlington were assessed at $3.8 billion, or 5.7 percent of the total assessed value of all property in the county, according to the Washington Business Journal. JBG’s properties in Arlington were assessed at $1.31 billion.

From a press release, issued late this afternoon:

VORNADO REALTY TRUST (NYSE:VNO) (“Vornado”) announced today that its Board of Trustees has approved a tax-free spin-off of its Washington, DC business, currently known as Vornado/Charles E. Smith, and that it has entered into a definitive agreement to merge SpinCo with the operating company and certain select assets of The JBG Companies (“JBG”), a leading Washington, DC real estate company.

The combined company will be named JBG SMITH Properties. It will be the largest, market-leading, best-in-class, pure-play Washington, DC real estate company. This transaction represents a key milestone in Vornado’s value creation strategy which will have produced three world-class, highly focused REITs – Vornado itself (RemainCo), Urban Edge Properties, and now, JBG SMITH. Each of these companies has a highly focused
management team, unique assets, and a clearly defined mission.

About JBG SMITH

  • Vornado shareholders are expected to own approximately 74% of the combined company, JBG limited partners are expected to own approximately 20%, and JBG management is expected to own approximately 6% (all percentages subject to closing adjustments).
  • JBG SMITH will be led by JBG’s senior management team which has a proven track record of superior execution in the Washington, DC market over the long term and through numerous cycles.
  • The combined company’s portfolio will consist of 50 office properties totaling approximately 11.8 million square feet, 18 multifamily properties with 4,451 residential units, and 11 other properties totaling approximately 0.7 million square feet. These assets are located in premier submarkets within the Washington, DC metropolitan area, concentrated in Downtown District of Columbia, Crystal City and Pentagon City, the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor, Reston, and Bethesda.
  • Importantly, JBG SMITH will have a pipeline of projects under construction and land for future development that could add over 20 million square feet to the portfolio, positioning the company for strong growth and attractive shareholder returns.
  • JBG SMITH will be the largest landlord to the U.S. Government in the nation’s capital.
  • The Company will be well capitalized, have substantial liquidity and a strong balance sheet.
  • The combination is expected to result in approximately $35 million of synergies producing an overhead structure in line with best-in-class peers.
  • The new company will continue to manage the JBG funds’ assets that are not being contributed for customary fees. The company will not raise new investment funds. JBG SMITH Board and Management
  • JBG SMITH’s Board of Trustees will consist of twelve members, a majority of whom will be independent. Vornado and JBG will each designate six trustees.
  • Steven Roth, Vornado’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will be Chairman of the Board.
  • W. Matt Kelly, a Managing Partner of JBG, will be Chief Executive Officer of JBG SMITH and a member of the Board.
  • Rob Stewart, a Managing Partner of JBG, will be Executive Vice Chairman of the Board.
  • The Board will also include seven independent trustees including Alan Forman of the Yale University Investments Office, JBG’s largest investor.
  • Michael Glosserman, a Managing Partner of JBG, will also join the Board, as will Mitchell Schear, current President of Vornado/Charles E. Smith.
  • From JBG, David Paul will be President and Chief Operating Officer, James Iker will be Chief Investment Officer, and Brian Coulter and Kai Reynolds will be Co-Chief Development Officers.
  • From Vornado/Charles E. Smith, Mitchell Schear will be a member of the Executive Committee, Patrick Tyrrell will be Chief Administrative Officer, Jim Creedon will be Executive Vice President responsible for Office Leasing, and Laurie Kramer will be Executive Vice President focused on integration of the teams.
  • The new company will look outside for a Chief Financial Officer and intends to have that individual in place before the close of the transaction.
  • The new company will integrate the best talent from each of Vornado/Charles E. Smith and JBG.
  • Vornado will provide transition services to JBG SMITH, in areas such as IT, tax and SEC reporting for an interim period.

by ARLnow.com — October 17, 2016 at 12:15 pm 0

Luna Grill and Diner (4024 Campbell Ave) in Shirlington has been closed since last week, but there are no signs or announcements explaining the closure.

The restaurant remained closed during lunchtime today. Chairs were still placed atop tables and nothing looked amiss, save the fact that it wasn’t open as usual.

There were no signs in the window, nor recent social media posts on the restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Luna Grill website has a simple one-sentence line of text — “This site has been suspended” — and nothing else. The diner’s phone line has apparently been turned off.

Unconfirmed rumors suggest that Luna Grill was sold — it has been offered for sale, as we’ve previously reported — and that it would reopen later this year with a new owner.

The most recent Facebook post, from September, announces a new chef and a coming “grand reopening.”

“Luna is excited to have renowned Chef Scott Sunshine on board!” the post says. “Join Chef Scott Sunshine for a look at some of our new dishes: Roasted Duck Eggrolls, Watermelon Soup, Chard and Kale Caesar Salad, Crispy Red Curry Shrimp Wrap and Seared Scallop Pappardelle Pasta. Coming soon, [a] grand reopening with completely new exciting menu!”

by ARLnow.com — October 11, 2016 at 10:45 am 0

Sweetgreen opening in Clarendon

Several indicators of the pace of restaurant openings in Arlington are pointing down this year.

It’s been a tough year for eateries in Arlington, with at least seven restaurants closing in the Clarendon area alone — the latest of which is Park Lane Tavern.

While some new restaurants and bars are on the way, there have been more closings than openings this year, even while the overall Arlington population rises. (By our count: 22 openings and 24 closings, with many of the openings having been for chain restaurants with more than three locations.)

Though it’s not a precise measurement, in years past ARLnow.com has consistently published around 90 articles per year about new restaurants. This year, we’re on pace to publish 72 articles, a decrease of 20 percent.

Meanwhile, Virginia ABC permit applications are down, indicating that the pipeline of new restaurants may also be drying up.

The number of pending permit applications for businesses seeking beer, wine and liquor licenses usually hovers around 20. Currently, it’s at 13, including a number of wholesalers, a few existing restaurants and seven new restaurants that we’ve already reported on.

There’s talk of a national restaurant recession, but some factors particular to Arlington appear to be in play. For one, it follows years of net restaurant growth in the county. For another, a number of the restaurants that closed this year in Arlington were well regarded by others in the industry and not typical of other failed businesses.

“I think the closings this year have surprised everyone and some of them are concepts that people thought were pretty well done,” one restaurant industry insider told ARLnow.com. “Maybe the bubble has burst.”

While we’ve previously reported rumblings from restaurant owners that the Clarendon market in particular was too crowded with restaurants, this insider did not agree that the closings would necessarily be a good thing for the remaining restaurants.

“I’ve always thought it’s better to have a bustling industry where a lot of people are opening and can feed off being known as being in a good restaurant area,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s a good thing to see all of your competitors and everyone around you closing down.”

With continued growth in other parts of Northern Virginia, like Tysons and Loudoun County, it might be that Arlington is losing its status as a dining destination. While the weekend bar scene in Clarendon remains strong, pulling in customers from around the area, Arlington’s restaurants apparently aren’t having such success.

Or perhaps, some speculate, the continued high cost of living has been pushing out the 20-somethings who are key restaurant customers, leaving older residents with children who go out to eat more sparingly.

Either way, 2016 will be known as a bloody year for the local restaurant biz.

“It’s unbelievable how many places have closed,” said the insider.

by ARLnow.com — October 10, 2016 at 5:45 pm 0

Startup Monday header

Sponsored by Monday Properties and written by ARLnow.com, Startup Monday is a weekly column that profiles Arlington-based startups and their founders, plus other local technology happenings. The Ground Floor, Monday’s office space for young companies in Rosslyn, is now open. The Metro-accessible space features a 5,000-square-foot common area that includes a kitchen, lounge area, collaborative meeting spaces, and a stage for formal presentations.

White noise appYou might not think that a smartphone app that plays background sounds to help people sleep could be particularly lucrative or innovative. But then you would be underestimating both the market and the vision behind the app.

TMSoft, a small software company based in Crystal City’s 1776 space, released version 7.0 of “White Noise,” its flagship app, over the summer. The update pushes the app in the direction of being a social network, of sorts, for ambient sound.

White Noise, as we’ve previously reported, was released in 2008, just after the Apple App Store started letting iPhone users easily download third-party apps to their phones.

“When I first started I didn’t think anyone was going to download the thing,” said its creator, Ballston resident Todd Moore. “I just ran around my house with a recorder and recorded eight different loops: a bedroom fan, the outside crickets, rain, my HVAC [system]” and so on.

Thanks in part to media exposure — it was written up in the Washington Post, featured on the Today Show and made fun of by Jimmy Fallon — and a first-mover advantage, it became the No. 1 free app in the App Store. Through in-app advertising and a paid-for “pro” version, it was soon bringing in enough revenue that Moore quit his otherwise lucrative R&D job to focus on apps full time.

“I was making more money in a week than I was making all year at my job, and I said to myself, why don’t I quit and do this full time,” Moore recounts.

White Noise remains popular to this day, with the main app and its variants — including a “White Noise Baby” version for parents that includes a built-in baby monitor — generating the bulk of TMSoft’s revenue. (The company has some popular games and novelty apps in its catalog, but none were sustained smash hits on the scale of White Noise.)

“Putting people to sleep is our bread and butter,” Moore quipped, although White Noise is also used by those who want to use background sounds to help them work or study. “It was definitely the story of an app that bootstrapped a company.”

White noise appThe seventh generation of White Noise doesn’t stray from its original use case, but it does represent the culmination of five years of development toward a much broader vision for the app.

“The goal is to catalog the world’s sounds,” Moore said. “I want every country covered and every sound available.”

Why do that when a simple fan or rainstorm noise will usually suffice? User feedback, Moore said, has made him realize that the most impactful sounds represent a specific time and place in people’s memories.

“People are most comforted by sounds of their childhood,” Moore said. Thanks to user submissions, if someone wants to find a loop of a certain type of frog they heard once upon a time in Bermuda, for instance, there’s a sound for that.

Version 6.0 of White Noise introduced the feature that allows users to record sounds on their phone and, through an algorithm, seamlessly loop the sound so that it can play on repeat without distracting clicks or pops — no small engineering feat.

With version 7.0, users can now upload those sounds — and mash-ups of existing sounds — and download others from a marketplace that can be searched geographically. Users can then “heart” and comment on each other’s sounds.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — October 6, 2016 at 5:55 pm 0

The rumors were true, unfortunately: Fuego Cocina y Tequileria in Clarendon is closing.

The restaurant confirmed in a press release this evening that its last day will be Sunday, Oct. 16. Fuego opened four years ago, in October 2012, at the corner of Clarendon Blvd and N. Fillmore Street.

“Even great-tasting restaurants battle tough odds, but we cannot thank our devotees enough who were a constant support and presence at our bar and in our dining room,” chef and co-owner Jeff Tunks said in a statement.

Separately, it appears that another Clarendon eatery — Spice, a well-reviewed Italian hoagie and Mediterranean food shop at 3033 Wilson Blvd — has closed after just over two years in business.

There was no notice of a closing in the windows and nothing posted on the restaurant’s social media accounts, but the doors were locked and the phone disconnected throughout the day today. Numerous boxes littered the restaurant’s interior. So far, however, there has been no confirmation that it is permanently closed.”

“[Spice] is a favorite for my coworkers and me,” one regular customer told ARLnow.com. “Do you know if it’s officially closed? Too bad, if so! It was a great place.”

This has been a turbulent year for Clarendon restaurants, with at least a half dozen — including local staples Hard Times Cafe and Boulevard Woodgrill — closing since the end of April. At the same time, however, there are a number of new restaurants and bars opening — like Ambar and Wilson Hardware.

The full press release about Fuego’s closing, after the jump.

(more…)

by ARLnow.com — October 4, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Bee and flower (Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk)

Gun Store Has New Owner — Lyon Park gun store Nova Armory has reportedly been sold to one of its employees. Shawn Poulin, the store’s manager, says he is now also its majority owner. The previous owner, Dennis Pratte, at one point claimed that the store was actually owned by his 16-year-old daughter. Poulin says the store is profitable and he plans to expand it to a second floor, “with a showroom to feature rifles, tactical gear and an expanded clothing line.” [Washington Post]

New Bishop for ArlingtonUpdated at 9:25 a.m. — The Catholic Diocese of Arlington is getting a new bishop. Bishop Michael Burbidge, 59, is transferring to Arlington from Raleigh, N.C. Burbridge is scheduled to be installed as bishop on Dec. 6, replacing current bishop Paul Loverde, 76. Some local Catholics have been pushing for a new bishop who will take the diocese in a different direction than Loverde, a traditionalist who decried the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage. Burbridge was critical of North Carolina’s HB2 “bathroom” law, which was seen as anti-LGBT, though he was also against an anti-discrimination ordinance in Charlotte that HB2 was intended to undo. [Fox 5, InsideNova]

The Evolution of Ballston — GGW takes a look at the past, present and future of Ballston. The article notes that Ballston was once the end of the Orange Line and that ridership at the station fell in the 1980s when the line was extended to Vienna. [Greater Greater Washington]

Immigrant Women to Protest at DCA — Immigrant women and labor union allies are planning a protest at Reagan National Airport today. They’ll be protesting the treatment of immigrant women who work at the airport, claiming poor working conditions for immigrant mothers in particular. [Patch]

Flickr pool photo by ksrjghkegkdhgkk

by Buzz McClain — October 3, 2016 at 7:45 am 0

A Cleaning Service logo

Over the years Beatriz Sampaio has seen the residential and commercial cleaning industry evolve. And over those years her own company, simply called A Cleaning Service, has evolved as well.

Founded in 1985, A Cleaning Service has been providing high-quality, competitively priced and diligently performed cleaning to residences and businesses in the Arlington and Washington, D.C. area for more than three decades. It’s a business that Beatriz has devoted her life to, but it was never her first idea.

Beatriz came to the U.S. from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1985 after studying at a university there. After less than a year in the states, she and a friend-turned-business-partner acquired a house-cleaning company based in Arlington. The previous owner was looking to leave the business, and handed over the keys to Beatriz and her partner.

Beatriz had no experience running a business but was eager to take on the challenge. She said she learned by working and watching.

“I was so young then, and so fresh,” Beatriz said. “I had the knack for it. I was born to be an entrepreneur.”

Part of that knack was having a competitive instinct and a flair for leadership. She empowers her more than 50 employees and gives them opportunities to grow. “I guide them so they can succeed,” she said. “We work as a team and work together. Some have been with me all 30 years.”

Their quality has been recognized as an Angie’s List Super Service Award Winner (2011-2015).

A Cleaning Service is independently owned and operated and is deliberately not a franchise. “I like being my own boss and I like being competitive,” Beatriz said. “And I’m very creative.”

In what spare time has she enjoys listening to jazz and classical music, playing classical guitar, painting and solving math problems.

To reach Beatriz Sampaio to schedule service or arrange for an estimate, call 703-892-8648. See their website here.

 The preceding was a local business profile written by Buzz McClain and sponsored by A Cleaning Service.

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