Slowly, but surely, restaurants in Ballston Quarter’s food court are opening to diners.
When the development opened up its “Quarter Market” to customers earlier this month, just one restaurant (Mi & Yu Noodle Bar) was open for business. In the days since then, two more have joined the club.
The first was Copa Kitchen and Bar, a Spanish restaurant serving up small plates, flatbreads and sangria from its “sangria garden.”
Copa opened for business last week, according to Ballston Quarter’s social media accounts, and the restaurant space is now adorned with all manner of soccer-themed apparel. Eventually, Copa also plans to offer outdoor seating in the development’s plaza.
Chef Kevin Tien, who also backed the Petworth restaurant Himitsu, plans to use Sichuan spices to flavor the sandwiches, which should pack plenty of punch. Diners will also be able to order chicken tenders, but those aren’t available on the restaurant’s menu just yet.
Ice Cream Jubilee, a local chain offering exotic ice cream flavors of all kinds, could well be the next shop to open. The stand is mostly set up, and an employee there said the eatery could be ready to serve up scoops as early as next week.
Nearby, another restaurant backed by Timber Pizza’s owners, the Ballston Service Station, also seems to be nearing an opening.
Details are still scarce about what, exactly, the location will serve up, but a quick glance behind some construction screens revealed what appeared to be a line of beer taps. State records show that the restaurant is asking for a permit to serve both beer and wine at the location.
It’s been a series of false starts for Quarter Market, and the development as a whole, though shops at Ballston Quarter did start opening slowly this fall. A project to build a new pedestrian bridge linking the development to the area’s Metro station via the Ballston Exchange building has also faced some hold-ups.
More on Seven Corners Death Investigation — “Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau are investigating after a body was found… in the 6100 block of Arlington Boulevard in Falls Church. Officers found a 49-year-old Hispanic man lying unresponsive in an alley near the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and Patrick Henry Drive.” [Fairfax County Police]
D.C. Area Adds Fewer Jobs Than Expected — “The Washington region added 35,300 jobs in 2018 based on data released yesterday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 16,800 fewer jobs than indicated by the preliminary releases.” [George Mason University]
Home Sales Continue Trend — “Year-over-year home sales across the Washington region have now tumbled each of the first two months of 2019, but the median sales price rose for the 29th consecutive month, according to new data, while inventory levels tightened slightly as the winter market segued into spring.” [InsideNova]
Dudley’s Opening at Last — Nearly four years after it was first announced that a new sports bar called Dudley’s Sport and Ale was coming to the former Bungalow space in Shirlington, the long-delayed sports bar is finally planning to open to the public on Friday. [Facebook]
A new Ballston barber business is opening next week.
Dubbed the “Bearded Goat Barber,” the shop is owned by serial entrepreneur Scott Parker, who says the business will welcome customers starting next Monday. The Bearded Goat is located at the Ballston Exchange development on Wilson Blvd.
Previously, Parker told ARLnow that he’d be opening shop with barbers Eric Renfro and Jon Dodson who were striking out on their own after working at the Clarendon’s Hendricks Barbershop, which opened in 2016.
“They’re awesome guys with a combined 20-plus years barbering,” Parker told ARLnow. “It was a no brainer.”
In addition to “awesome cuts,” Parker said patrons can expect “hot towel service and cold brew on tap.”
The barber’s location at the Ballston Exchange development was formerly occupied by the National Science Foundation. These days the development is adding eateries like Shake Shack and Philz Coffee, among others, which Parker said last year that he and his team were “really excited to be among.”
Parker launched several restaurants in Arlington — Ballston’s A-Town, Clarendon’s G.O.A.T. and Don Tito, and Rosslyn’s Barley Mac — before venturing into other businesses.
He’s also backing a new boxing studio in Rosslyn called Bash Boxing, which recently opened, and he has plans to expand the gym into Ballston as well. It will be located in the Ballston Quarter development, across from the Ballston Exchange.
It’s scheduled to open its doors in early 2019 and is now “coming soon,” according to its website.
As editor-in-chief, Fruehling has been overseeing WBJ’s coverage of Amazon’s forthcoming HQ2 in Arlington. On the latest 26 Square Miles podcast, Fruehling discussed the ramifications of Amazon coming to “National Landing” and how the subscription-based Business Journal has managed to expand its coverage in the face of news industry struggles.
Also discussed: WBJ’s hiring of current ARLnow editor Alex Koma.
Listen below or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or TuneIn. We used some new recording equipment this go-round, so please forgive the resulting audio glitches — we’ll try to get them ironed out prior to the next episode.
Photo via Washington Business Journal
Amazon is sending a pop-up store into Crystal City today with the hopes Arlingtonians will stop by.
The store-on-wheels is dubbed the “Treasure Truck” and travels the country offering “new, trending, local, or delicious items” per a company spokesman. Today the truck will be parked at 2011 Crystal Drive until 1 p.m.
Amazon app users can sign up for notifications that alert them when the truck opens and whatever the truck is offering that day. Users can then purchase the items they want online and pick-up in person at the truck.
In the past, the truck has served up an array of items from brownies to gold Bohemian Rhapsody movie backpacks to lightbulbs, according to Twitter posts.
Indulge your sweet tooth on Treasure Truck today with brownies from Chicago's JR Dessert Bakery, just 19.99. And in select cities, pick up a free bag of new @BearNaked premium granola, too (while supplies last)! Treat yourself at https://t.co/IctiLxp7dc pic.twitter.com/cTIOx3GBVk
— Treasure Truck (@treasuretruck) March 1, 2019
— Meg (@Megglescw) March 3, 2019
The truck’s inventory was not available to this reporter online as of 10:45 a.m. this morning.
Amazon’s treasure truck heralds the company’s impending move to the area scheduled for 2021, when it will begin construction for its second headquarters in the Crystal City and Pentagon City area that some local officials have attempted to rebrand as “National Landing.”
The trillion-dollar company’s promise to occupy long vacant real estate and add 25,000 jobs comes in exchange for $23 million in county grant money, $750 million in state incentives, and a head’s up on any Freedom of Information Act Requests, according to documents released this week. It’s a deal that’s drawn criticism from unions and affordable housing advocates as ARLnow previously reported.
Arlington County has also been criticized for directly pitching tax incentives Amazon would be eligible to receive, but which few other businesses have taken advantage of, as ARLnow reported this week.
Photo via @Dr_Pete
Two of the three restaurants moving into the space formerly occupied by La Tasca in Clarendon now expect to open their doors later this month.
The TTT Mexican Diner and Buena Vida, set to occupy the first and second floors of the building at 2900 Wilson Blvd, are now set to open on March 18.
Street Guys Hospitality, the restaurant group backing Clarendon’s Ambar and Baba, laid out menu details and released concept photos of the new restaurants in a release yesterday (Thursday). The group had previously targeted a February opening for the space.
Owner Ivan Iricanin has been hard at work on the new eateries since last April, shortly after La Tasca closed its doors following a 14-year run in the neighborhood. He’s also planning a rooftop bar on the building’s third level, though he’s not expecting that to open for a while yet.
On the first floor, Street Guys says that the TTT Mexican Diner — initially dubbed “Tacos, Tortas and Tequila” — will feature 86 dining rooms seats across a 3,500-square-foot space. It will also include a bar area and a 30-seat outdoor patio.
The restaurant will serve brunch, lunch and dinner, and the restaurant group says the “tacos and tortas will be the main attraction,” with both tortillas and tortas made fresh in-house.
TTT will also boast a full bar with “agave cocktails as well as classic margaritas,” the release said.
As for Buena Vida, the second-floor restaurant will showcase “traditional, indigenous fare that incorporates recipes that have been handed down through generations.” The 3,700-square-foot space will include seating for 101 people, including a bar and private dining room.
The menu will include a raw bar, plenty of soups and seafood, in addition to an “approachable list of wines from Mexico.”
Iricanin previously opened a similar pairing of TTT and Buena Vida in Silver Spring last year. He’s also planning to bring a new Ambar location to Northwest D.C. sometime this year, which will be his second in the city.
A new women’s fashion boutique is on the way for the Pentagon City mall.
Signs posted in a space on the third level of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City advertise that Windsor will soon open in the mall. The shop will be located next to a Lids location and the Life in D.C. store.
Windsor is set to open by April 1, according to the mall’s website.
The store is “a family-owned business dedicated to fostering a shopping environment that celebrates a woman’s unique personality,” the site says. It offers dresses, tops and bottoms, jackets, accessories and more.
This will be Windsor’s first location in Arlington, but third in the Northern Virginia area. It also operates stores at the Tysons Corner Center mall and the Fair Oaks mall.
The new Ted’s Bulletin restaurant that will soon open up shop in the Ballston Quarter development also looks to be getting an attached bakery.
Signs posted at the storefront, located at 4238 Wilson Blvd, advertise a new “Sidekick Bakery” bound for the space next to the Ted’s location.
Details about the bakery, and how it might differ from the baked goods offered at other Ted’s Bulletin locations, are sparse at the moment. The local chain is already renowned for its homemade Pop-Tarts and other pastries (in addition to its array of comfort food offerings and alcoholic milkshakes), but “Sidekick” appears to be a new concept for the restaurant.
Federal records show that Ted’s Bulletin filed for a trademark for the “Sidekick Bakery” name last May, but the application offers few other details on the bakery.
The restaurant chain did not respond to a request for comment seeking more information on Sidekick.
Signs posted at the soon-to-be Ted’s location at Ballston Quarter say that the restaurant is set to open sometime this spring. The chain won permission to set up outdoor seating at the development last fall.
The new eatery will be located just above entrances to the newly opened “Quarter Market,” the development’s much-anticipated new food court. One restaurant is now open in that “food hall” space, but it remains unclear when the other 13 restaurants bound for the food court will start serving up meals.
Other stores at Ballston Quarter have slowly been opening to customers since the fall.
(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) Invicta will soon start selling its high-end watches — well, high end to a working journalist anyway — at the Pentagon City mall.
Signs posted at a space in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City indicate that the timepiece retailer will open on the mall’s second level soon. The new shop will be in between the Pandora Jewelry location and the Papyrus stationary store.
The mall’s website says that Invicta is currently set to open by May 1.
The shop will be the chain’s second in Northern Virginia, with another location at the Tysons Corner Center mall.
Invicta offers a variety of different of watch styles for men and women, with prices ranging from around a hundred dollars to well over a thousand. That, of course, is lower end than the nearby Tourneau watch store, which carries watches worth tens of thousands of dollars and was once robbed of more than a half-million dollars worth of merchandise.
(Updated at 4 p.m.) The Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop in the Pentagon City mall has shut down for renovations.
All evidence of the small store on the first floor of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City is now gone, but an employee says they’re hoping to reopen by the end of the week.
The shop is located near the mall’s Sunglass Hut and the new dumpling eatery Yong Kang Street.
An ARLnow reader first reported that the store was closed last Wednesday (Feb. 27). An employee subsequently told ARLnow that the store “is being updated to the newest Haagen-Dazs finishes,” including “counters, wall tile, floor tile and equipment.”
Anyone hoping to get their ice cream fix from Haagen-Dazs in the meantime will now have to venture to the store at the Pentagon, or to one of the company’s two D.C. locations — or to a local grocery store.
USPS Decides to Relocate Rosslyn Post Office — “The U.S. Postal Service will relocate the Rosslyn Station Post Office, located at 1101 Wilson Blvd, to a yet-to-be-determined location as close as reasonably possible to the current site.” [USPS]
Netherlands Carillon to Go Quiet, Temporarily — “Bells that have been ringing high atop an Arlington hill for nearly 60 years will soon go temporarily silent as they embark on a journey thousands of miles long… The 50 bells will be taken down by crane and sent by ship to a foundry in the Netherlands, where they will be cleaned and retuned.” [WJLA]
New Memorial Bridge Lane Closures — “Work is moving ahead on the Arlington Memorial Bridge, which means that the overnight traffic pattern will change to accommodate construction lanes. Starting on Monday, March 11, the National Park Service will reduce the number of lanes that drivers can access from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m.” [WTOP]
Ballston Tech Company Acquired — “Comcast today announced it has acquired BluVector, a company that uses advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning to provide cybersecurity protection to companies and government agencies.” [BluVector]
‘Pizza With Police’ Event Planned — “Pizza with the Police, similar to the popular Coffee with a Cop series, is an informal event designed for Arlington’s residential and business communities to meet and interact with members of the police department, ask questions, discuss their public safety concerns and get to know their neighbors.” [Arlington County]
Amazon VP Tweets from Crystal City — “Delicious lunch at Federico Ristorante Italiano in #CrystalCity! It was fun to hang out with @FreddieFlamingo and see one of the great local restaurants that the future #AmazonHQ2 employees will be able to enjoy very soon!” [Twitter]
Ballston Quarter’s long-awaited food court is now open, but the wait continues for most of its restaurants.
The space, dubbed “Quarter Market,” occupies 25,000 square feet in the renovated Ballston Quarter mall. As of today (Monday) Mi & Yu Noodle Bar is open for business, but all other eateries remain shuttered as construction continues and “coming soon” signs adorn the industrial digs.
Developer Forest City described the food court as an “indoor/outdoor eatery” with 14 restaurants scheduled to open:
- Ballston Service Station
- Cucina Al Volo
- French Exit
- Hot Lola’s
- Ice Cream Jubilee
- Local Oyster
- Mi & Yu Noodle Bar
- Pinch Dumplings
- Rice Crook
- Sloppy Mama’s BBQ
- Turu’s by Timber Pizza Company
Forest City previously told ARLnow that Quarter Market will “begin to open” on Feb. 27 after public signs promised a February opening date for months. But diners showed up that day to blocked-off entrances, and Forest City revised its timeline for the “food hall” until early March.
Delays have plagued the mall’s redevelopment with Forest City missing its September and October store opening deadline, with some stores opening in mid-November. The company also planned to open its pedestrian bridge spanning Wilson Blvd in time for that fall opening, but the bridge remains under construction five months later.
The County Board approved permits in September allowing six restaurants in the mall to build outdoor seating for diners in the 5,000-square-foot public plaza off of Wilson Blvd, despite some county staff who worried private outdoor dining would cut into the public plaza area.
The September permits will allow Bartaco in Quarter Market to serve diners outdoors in warmer weather, along with five restaurants in other parts of the mall: Compass Coffee, South Block, Ted’s Bulletin, True Food Kitchen, and Union Kitchen, according to the mall’s online directory.
Hot dog food truck Swizzler and sushi burrito chain Buredo also previously announced they would be joining Quarter Market, but are not listed on the online directory.
The lineup of restaurants has fluctuated over the past several months: in May, Forest City announced that Chick-Fil-A, French Exit, Mezeh, Slapfish, South Block, and All About Burger were all slated to join. Those eateries will now be located elsewhere in the development.
Crystal City now has a new restaurant open on its burgeoning 23rd Street S.
Los Tios Grill opened its doors in mid-February in a small space at 515 23rd Street S. The location was once home to Cantina Mexicana, which closed last December, after first opening under a different name in 1978.
The menu offers a variety of Tex-Mex favorites, and some Salvadoran specialties, from fajitas to quesadillas and more. The restaurant also boasts a full menu of tequila, margaritas, sangria and draft beers.
Los Tios got its start in Alexandria, where it has two locations. The small chain also recently opened a restaurant in Leesburg.
The eatery will sit adjacent to the newly re-opened Federico Ristorante Italiano, formerly Cafe Italia, and its opening represents the latest in a series of big changes for the popular block.
The neighborhood’s landlords previously cited the expansion of popular Arlington diner Bob and Edith’s on the street as a prime factor in keying the area’s revitalization. Freddie Lutz, who also runs the eponymous Freddie’s Beach Bar, decided recently to help relaunch Cafe Italia to bring more business back to the area.
The former Tortoise and Hare Bar and Grill space at the end of the block will also soon become home to another Alexandria-based bar: Fiona’s Irish Pub.
The Crystal City Sports Pub no longer offers just beers and bites to eat — the restaurant now has its own barber as well.
“Crystal City Cuts” opened up on the first floor of the bar in mid-February, with a small salon in the back corner of the restaurant (529 23rd Street S.).
A sign outside the bar invites patrons to “get a buzz and get buzzed.”
The new barbershop, which only has room for one or two customers at a time, is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Anyone hoping for a trim on Saturday can swing by from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., or from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
The bar is one of the longest tenured watering holes in Crystal City, and even the county as a whole, and has served up beers since 1994.
One of Arlington’s busiest restaurateurs is bringing a new fast-casual taco joint to Rosslyn.
Chef Mike Cordero plans to open “Taco Rock” in a space at 1501 Wilson Blvd, he announced today (Thursday). He’s targeting a May opening date for the new restaurant, taking the place of the long-shuttered Spinfire Pizza.
In a news release, Cordero’s company promises that the new eatery will feature “affordable, gourmet tacos” served on homemade, blue corn tortillas. Per the release, specialty taco options will include:
- The Figgy Piggy — Slow roasted pork with sweet and savory fig glaze
- Bourbon BBQ Short Rib — Short ribs with caramelized onions and crispy fried onions
- Pork Belly Banh Mi — Grilled pork belly, Vietnamese slaw and cilantro
- Ya Mon Caribbean Jerk Chicken — Grilled chicken, cabbage, jerk sauce topped with a mango pico de gallo
- TNT — Fresh blue fin tuna seared with seaweed and cucumber wasabi sauce
- Land & Sea — Skirt steak and beer-battered shrimp with caramelized onions and horseradish sauce
The menu will include breakfast offerings, homemade ice cream and stuffed churros as well.
Cordero also expects to offer “an extensive tequila bar,” with specialty cocktails and Mexican beers on tap too. The roughly 2,500-square-foot space will include an 18-stool bar and room for about 50 diners.
“Taco Rock offers the best of both worlds – upscale, out-of-the-box tacos without hurting your wallet,” Mike Cordero wrote in a statement. “We anticipate the Rosslyn community will deem Taco Rock as the go-to spot for a quick bite or the place to hang out and grab a tequila or beer.”
The restaurant will be Cordero’s ninth across the Northern Virginia area, and his first fast-casual establishment. It will sit adjacent to a Roti location and across the street from the neighborhood’s Target.