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by Chris Teale September 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

A pet store and grooming center will replace a longtime seafood shop near the Lee Heights Shops, according to county permits.

American Seafood at 4550 Lee Highway closed on December 31 last year after nearly 35 years in business.

And while none of its signs have been removed yet, permits indicate that work will be done to completely renovate the building. County planning staff approved the business license for the new pet store on September 12.

The Lee Heights Shops have seen some turnover in recent times, with long-time local stores Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes and Lemon Twist closing late last year.

Lemon Twist was replaced by women’s clothing and accessories store Lemoncello Boutique. Bradshaw’s still has not been replaced.

by ARLnow.com September 7, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Online retail behemoth Amazon just announced that it is searching for a place to build a second headquarters, and Arlington officials say the county is tossing its hat in the ring.

Amazon is looking to build its “HQ2” in North America, in a metropolitan area with a population over 1 million and room to build up to 8 million square feet of transit-accessible office space in a pedestrian-friendly setting. The new headquarters is expected to come with $5 billion worth of investment and will create up to 50,000 jobs, with an average salary north of $100,000.

Other requirements include being within 30 miles of a population center and no more than 45 minutes away from an international airport.

Arlington, officials say, could fit the bill — and the county is planning to respond to Amazon’s request for proposals.

“Yes, we will be pursuing the opportunity,” said Arlington Economic Development spokeswoman Cara O’Donnell, adding that it is “too early to say which specific locations would be under consideration.”

One potential option is Arlington’s Crystal City neighborhood, which has a burgeoning tech scene and an existing plan to build up to 9.7 million square feet of office space, partially through the demolition of aging, vacant office buildings. It is also transit and highway accessible, within walking distance of Reagan National Airport and much of its office space is owned by one company.

Another option is Arlington’s millennial-heavy Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, along the Orange Line. Rosslyn recently scored Nestle’s U.S. headquarters and Ballston has been active in trying to attract tech companies and fill soon-to-be-vacated office space.

O’Donnell declined to say what Arlington’s pitch to Amazon will be, but the transit accessibility and skilled, young professional workforce is likely to be a selling point. Economic incentives and tax breaks from the county and the state will also undoubtedly be involved — Amazon has stated that will be a determining factor.

Competition for the new headquarters will be intense, as the winning jurisdiction will be instantly transformed into a formidable technology center. In the Washington region alone, D.C., Loudoun County and Prince George’s County have already indicated that they will also be pursuing Amazon.

File photo

by ARLnow.com Sponsor September 7, 2017 at 11:35 am 0

It’s not quite a Grand Opening, but it is a big step and a new beginning for Dr. Ujjwal Shakya and the staff of MMA & Sports Rehab in South Arlington.

After almost 3 years of building a patient population inside Pentagon Mixed Martial Arts at 1041 S. Edgewood Street — near Columbia Pike — Dr. Shakya has moved his physical therapy practice two doors down to his own clinic at 1033 S. Edgewood on the same street.

Dr. Shakya says the clinic treats more than just the MMA competitor or athlete. “About 5 to 10 percent of our patients are MMA athletes,” he says. “Most patients have a number of sports-related injuries, chronic pain syndrome and acute pain/injuries from everyday activities.”

It helps that Dr. Shakya active in sports, which clearly helps him understand injuries specific to athletes. He has been practicing martial arts, particularly Muay Thai, for the last six years and plays cricket for the DC Royal Cricket Club locally.

Dr. Shakya believes that the clinic has experienced rapid growth and positive feedback because of widespread word-of-mouth referrals, evident by the sincere and abundant praises on Yelp, Google Plus and other social media platforms. He wholeheartedly appreciates patients for their kind words about his services.

The MMA & Sports Rehab practice includes multi-disciplinary approaches to disorders of general orthopedic, vestibular (balance), neurological and sports nature. Patients are likely to experience any combination of therapeutic exercises, Kinesio taping, soft tissue mobilization, Myofascial Release, Blood Flow Restriction training, Dry Needling and other manual therapies.

Dr. Shakya says, “We perform various manual therapy techniques along with specific therapeutic exercises, and patient education is a big part of our practice. We focus on a combination of excellent patient service, focused and effective therapy.”

But perhaps most crucially, Dr. Shakya sees a patient not as a single complaint to fix, but as a comprehensive and holistic person. “We see the patient as a whole person rather than just a pain in the neck or a low back ache,” he says.

For instance, he says, if the complaint is an ailing ankle, “We address the hip, the knee and the core. The patient is a full person, not just an ankle. I try to find the source of the symptoms, the source of the pain.”

Dr. Shakya, who is originally from Nepal, has the unique distinction of being one of the few physical therapists he knows of with double-doctorates: Doctor of Physical Therapy and Doctor of Manual Therapy, in addition to being a Board Certified Sports Specialist.

There are more credentials, and you can see them on the clinic’s website.

The transition from the gym setting to the clinic setting affords patients with opportunities for relief in both locations as Shakya’s practice continues to have access to Pentagon MMA.

The bottom line on the expansion of the business into its own clinic says something about the care and treatment patients experience at MMA & Sports Rehab. “Our patients have continued to support us and we are proud to provide exceptional care with expertise,” the doctor says.

For more information about MMA & Sports Rehab, see the website here, call 703-884-7084 or email at [email protected]. The preceding was sponsored by MMA & Sports Rehab and written by Buzz McClain.

by Chris Teale September 7, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

(Updated 2:10 p.m.) After months of anticipation, the successor to the former RiRa Irish Pub in Clarendon will open its doors tomorrow (Friday).

Wilson Hardware’s soft opening at 2915 Wilson Blvd will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, with happy hour from 5-7 p.m., according to an event listing. It will open at the same time on Saturday as well, with a DJ to perform on both nights from 10 p.m. until close.

Anyone wanting to make dinner reservations for Friday or Saturday can now do so online.

“The team has been working hard create a beautiful, multi-level space for everyone’s enjoyment,” an invite to the soft opening reads. “Guests can anticipate bold fixtures, textured artwork and a unique experience in the new eclectic venue.”

The new 7,000-square-foot bar and lounge has three distinct bar areas, including one on the roof. Inside and outside are motifs and murals.

Food to be served will include Hardware fritters, crab dip and panzerotti, which is crisp-fried pizza dough stuffed with cheeses and marinara sauce. The menu will also feature avocado burgers with grass-fed beef, duck confit with roasted vegetables, steak frites and pan-seared salmon with saffron mashed potatoes.

Many of the drinks will reference the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005. The cocktail menu will feature signature drinks such as the “Blueprint,” a mix of rosé, vodka, cantaloupe, lemon, ancho chile and mint; the “Adjustable Wrench” made with bourbon, rum, vanilla and chocolate bitters and the “Bright Idea,” a shareable cocktail for two.

Work to renovate and build out the space began last year.

“We’re so excited for everyone to finally see our vision for Wilson Hardware to come to life,” co-owner Jad Bouchebel said in a statement. “We know Arlingtonians will be pleasantly surprised when they see how we’ve revamped the space into an elegant new restaurant and bar.”

Photos No. 2, 4-6 via Instagram.

by Chris Teale August 31, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

After months of delays and regulatory hurdles, new Columbia Pike beer garden BrickHaus is set to open on Labor Day.

The 2900 Columbia Pike restaurant will open its doors at 2 p.m. with full service inside and a range of freshly tapped beers and new food. Reservations are not available, and the patio will not be open until October, owner Tony Wagner said in a Facebook post.

It's time to celebrate! BrickHaus is at long last opening our doors on Columbia Pike on Monday, September 4th. Doors…

Posted by BrickHaus on Thursday, August 31, 2017

Most construction on the space has been finished since May.

BrickHaus will be a beer garden on the first floor, with some 20 beers on tap and an approximately 30-seat outdoor patio. The second floor mezzanine will have upstairs dining with a menu including steaks, German food and other entrees.

It will offer mostly regional brews from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, in addition to perhaps a couple of German beers. Wagner said draft wine will also be available.

The aging building has received an extensive renovation after being vacant for years following the departure of Blanca’s Restaurant.

“The oldest building on Columbia Pike will come to life once more, letting it all hang out!” Wagner wrote.

by Chris Teale August 31, 2017 at 11:15 am 0

A company that markets “As Seen on TV” products will come to Arlington next month to hear local inventors’ ideas on the next big thing.

Top Dog Direct will hold a “Speed Pitch” event at TechShop (2100-B Crystal Drive) in Crystal City on Monday, September 18 starting at 9:30 a.m.

The company is known for products like the Sobakawa Cloud PillowStream Clean stain remover, Tag Away skin tag remover, the Futzuki pain relieving reflexology mat.

The event will be held in conjunction with the Inventors Network of the Capital Area, a nonprofit that helps inventors of all experience levels network and share information.

Anyone who wants to pitch their ideas at the event must fill out and send an application form beforehand. The form asks for a short description of the product, and has the following requirements for the pitch itself:

  • Prototype or final product available to present
  • Consumer product
  • Reach a mass audience
  • Can retail from $9.99-39.99
  • Demonstrable
  • Easy to understand
  • New product that is not on the market
  • Short, two-minute pitch

Forms must be sent to [email protected], with the subject line, “Sept 18 Arlington, VA Pitch.” Top Dog will review applications and then select the contenders for the pitch-a-thon.

by Chris Teale August 30, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

The last still-operating reminder of when Clarendon was known as “Little Saigon” is celebrating its reopening with an open house today (Wednesday).

Nam-Viet at 1127 N. Hudson Street closed temporarily last month for renovations, but is back in business today with a free lunch buffet from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. It will reopen for regular business hours tomorrow (Thursday).

During the renovations, workers raised the restaurant’s ceilings, refreshed the ceiling tiles, added new tables, chairs and toilets and, literally, raised the bar. The eatery seats 90 people inside and another 60 on the patio outside. General manager Richard Nguyen said the refresh was the first since the restaurant opened in Clarendon in 1986.

“We figured, hey, we stayed here 31 years, have longevity, let’s see if we can stay here for even longer,” Nguyen said.

When customers walk into the restaurant, they will see photos of former prisoners of war, who Nguyen said have helped make Nam-Viet a success. The restaurant holds reunions for POWs as well as other private events.

Nguyen said customers can expect the same menu as before, filled with traditional Vietnamese food which has stayed more or less unchanged throughout its decades in business.

“The only thing that’s changed over 31 years is the décor,” he said. “Everything else has stayed the same.”

The renovation came a month after Nam-Viet closed its second location, in D.C.’s Cleveland Park neighborhood. Nam-Viet’s full letter to its customers is after the jump.

(more…)

by Chris Teale August 29, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A Central American restaurant run by Honduran immigrants just celebrated its first month open on Columbia Pike.

Plaza Maya at 3207 Columbia Pike serves food from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and replaced the Ethiopian restaurant Flamingo.

The restaurant’s menu includes staples of Central American food like enchiladas, burritos and tacos. It has also applied to Virginia ABC to start serving alcohol with its food. Per a permit filed with the county, it can seat up to 61 people.

It opened July 21, between the Panda Bowl Chinese restaurant and City Kabob & Curry House, an Indian and Pakistani eatery. Plaza Maya offers dine-in and carry out options.

Employees at the restaurant said they are from Honduras, and some have lived in the United States for a decade or more. They said they opened the restaurant so others could experience their love of food from their native country.

“We like cooking, and we like money too,” one joked.

Photos 4-8 via Facebook.

by ARLnow.com August 29, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

Reminder: Dogs Not Allowed Off-Leash in Arlington — “In the last year, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington received 260 reports of dogs running at large and more than 120 sightings of strays. Being off-leash in Arlington is only allowed on private property and in designated dog parks.” [Arlington County]

AAA: Gas Prices Up Due to Harvey — The ongoing disaster along the Gulf in Texas is causing gas prices to rise in the D.C. area, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic. [Alexandria News]

Tranquil Space Sold — Publicly-traded yoga studio chain YogaWorks has acquired Tranquil Space, a small studio operator with two locations, in Arlington and D.C. [MarketWatch]

Rainy, Cool Morning — It feels fall-like outside this morning, with cool temperatures and a soaking rain. [Twitter]

by Chris Teale August 25, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

The space occupied by Buckingham Florist until earlier this year is apparently set to be taken over by the owners behind the Ravi Kabob family of Pakistani restaurants, though details about the new eatery are scarce.

The florist’s former storefront at 301 N. Glebe Road is under construction, with signs indicating it will become “Ravi Kabob For Family,” the restaurant’s fourth location in the area of the Buckingham Shopping Center.

A sign next door at the Ravi Chatkhara takeout restaurant indicates it will become the “Ravi Confectioners and Bakers.” The flagship Ravi Kabob restaurant, known in the neighborhood as “Ravi Kabob 1,” appears to be staying put.

Ravi Kabob is described as a “no-frills restaurant” that offers kebabs and other Pakistani food at low prices. It has another location across the street at 250 N. Glebe Road next to the CVS, known as “Ravi Kabob 2.” Multiple attempts to contact the restaurant’s owners were unsuccessful.

Buckingham Florist, a long-time local business, relocated to Annandale. Open since the 1940s, the florist delivered to Arlington County, Arlington National Cemetery and other parts of Northern Virginia.

by Chris Teale August 25, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

(Updated at 5:35 p.m.) Fifty years ago today — on August 25, 1967 — the leader of the American Nazi Party was gunned down at the Dominion Hills Shopping Center while trying to do his laundry.

George Lincoln Rockwell was shot by former neo-Nazi John Patler from the rooftop of the shopping center when he went out to his car to go and get bleach to clean his clothes with at the laundromat. Patler was arrested half an hour later, after throwing his gun into Four Mile Run nearby, when he was spotted with wet trousers waiting for a bus by a police officer.

From the American Nazi Party’s headquarters in Ballston, Rockwell and his followers called for black people to be returned to Africa and for Jews to be gassed. Local historian Charlie Clark, who writes the “Our Man in Arlington” column for the Falls Church News-Press and wrote a magazine article about the history of Nazis in Arlington, said a lot of people found the group’s views troubling.

“For many people, it was pretty shocking,” Clark said. “It was only 15 years after World War II, when a lot of veterans who lived in Arlington who had fought the Nazis would have to put up with this group.”

Members marched in a local parade and picketed places as varied as the White House and an Arlington pizza restaurant owned by a Jewish family. Rockwell also ran for Governor of Virginia in 1965, but only received 1 percent of the vote.

Clark said that more than anything, Rockwell was a publicity seeker, who received press coverage for a while before most reporters of the time lost interest in his antics.

“His bark was much bigger than his bite,” Clark said. “The Nazis never really committed any violence, never assassinated anybody. They just liked shocking people.”

The Commonwealth’s Attorney at the time pushed for Patler, who Clark said changed his name from John Patsalos as a homage to Adolf Hitler, to receive the death penalty. But the jury gave him a 20-year prison sentence, and he was released on parole after eight years. Patler then violated his parole and received an additional six years in jail.

The American Nazi Party never quite recovered from Rockwell’s assassination, although remained in Arlington until the 1980s — based in what is now a coffee shop in Courthouse — before moving to Wisconsin. Since the dawn of the internet and social media, the group has appeared to gain more visibility again.

Clark said that the policy of not giving the group much publicity in the media in the 1960s seemed to work well, and that could be a lesson for today.

“I think there must be a way for the news media and average citizens to keep an eye on it, because it can explode or it can grow in a subterranean way,” he said. “But there is an argument for not putting it on the front page, not alarming people.”

As for the Dominion Hills Shopping Center, there is no obvious evidence of its gruesome past. Instead, the biggest recent concern was a rash of business closings at the shopping plaza.

However, today there was a reminder that Rockwell’s Nazi beliefs did not die with him. A group of at least five men and one woman arrived in the parking lot, set up a small swastika-adorned wreath and a Nazi flag, and gave the “Heil Hitler” salute in memory of Rockwell, according to a photo tweeted by NBC 4’s Mark Segraves.

As of 1:45 p.m., the group was no longer at the shopping center and shoppers were going about their daily business. One passerby said she was surprised at the boldness of the Nazis demonstrating openly in a diverse community like Arlington

“It’s shocking,” she said. “You don’t expect to see it in this area. It’s normally so quiet.”

Late Friday afternoon the Washington Post reported that the Nazis were with a group called the New Order, the successor to the American Nazi Party. All but one were local to the Washington area.

by ARLnow.com August 25, 2017 at 9:05 am 0

NSF Starting Its Move to Alexandria — “Moving day for the first group of National Science Foundation workers relocating from the agency’s Ballston headquarters to Alexandria starts this weekend, more than four years — and more than a bit of controversy — after selecting the site for its new home.” [Washington Business Journal]

TSA Moving to Springfield — The headquarters of the Transportation Security Administration will be moving from Pentagon City to Springfield, after the GSA awarded a new 15-year, $316 million lease. The move is expected to take place in 2020. [Washington Business Journal]

Construction Activity at DCA — Construction is underway at Reagan National for the airport’s $1 billion expansion project. [NBC Washington]

‘Doc’ Muse Dies — “Leonard ‘Doc’ Muse, who for 65 years – from the era of Jim Crow to the election of an African-American president – watched over the Nauck community from his perch behind the counter of the Green Valley Pharmacy, died the weekend of Aug. 19-20. He was 94 years old.” [InsideNova]

by Chris Teale August 24, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

The successor to Chinese and Thai restaurant Lucky Pot in Courthouse opened earlier this year and is garnering positive reviews.

Buuz Thai Eatery opened a few months ago on the ground floor of the 1919 Clarendon Blvd apartment building, but with an address of 1926 Wilson Blvd. It is located between the Virginia ABC store and a realty office, across the street from the Colonial Village condos.

Buuz’s predecessor, Lucky Pot, opened in 2014. The interior looks largely unchanged, even after the business changed hands. One reader emailed to say he has visited Buuz twice already, “and it’s been packed and [the] food is good.”

Co-owner Zola Enkh is Mongolian, and said she wanted to combine her native country’s food with that of Thailand. The menu is filled with traditional Thai and Mongolian dishes, like stir fry, curry, pad Thai rice and vegetable dishes.

“I’m sure there’s many Thai restaurants, but there’s not many Mongolian restaurants here,” she said.

And while the restaurant seats only around 20 people in addition to its carry-out and delivery service, Enkh said she hopes those wanting Thai and Mongolian food in Courthouse will find it welcoming.

“Even those it’s small, it can be enjoyed,” Enkh said.

Photos 5-8 via Buuz Thai Eatery.

by ARLnow.com Sponsor August 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

The hustle and bustle of the holidays are rapidly approaching the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. The days are shorter, the leaves are beginning to change color and local businesses are pushing their holiday marketing efforts.

When we discussed how to increase your revenue without relying on discounts and sales, we mentioned the need for creating personalized and memorable customer experiences. Holidays present a great opportunity for marketing to your customers around a topic that is relevant, that they’re fully aware of and that they’re interested in.

Here are a few simple ways to get creative with your local holiday marketing that works in conjunction with your digital signage and will keep your clients interested in following your brand.

Oktoberfest: Whether you choose to don Lederhosen or not, it’s hard to ignore that Oktoberfest events have continued to gain popularity in the local area, especially amongst millennials. Take advantage of this celebration by promoting happy hour specials or outdoor Biergarten parties.

Lighting of the National Christmas Tree: This time-honored tradition has been a staple of Washington Christmas celebrations for more than 90 years. Create templates that show off your holiday and American spirit for this historic event by displaying a slideshow of previous Christmas Tree lighting ceremonies alongside your regularly scheduled content. You could even host your very own holiday lighting ceremony for customers or guests!

New Year’s Eve in the City: As we close out the year and welcome a new one, all of our local communities showcase an impressive display of colorful fireworks at midnight. How can your business ring in the new year?

Engage your clients with crowdsourced social media. Ask your customers to submit their photos and New Year’s Resolutions with a custom hashtag and then display the content in-store. They will be thrilled to see their posts on your screen as they countdown to midnight! It’s a cheap and fun method to build customer engagement.

White House Easter Egg Roll: Since the 1800s, local children and their families have been invited to the White House Lawn for the Easter Egg Roll. Decorate your templates like you would do with an Easter egg, or hide rabbits and eggs in your designs for kids to discover. Additionally, you could run kid-friendly events for your business that the whole family can enjoy.

Cherry Blossom Festival: When winter begins to thaw, the cherry blossom trees quickly steal the spotlight in D.C. Rows of beautiful pink blooms give way to some brilliant marketing ideas. Decorate your display templates with cherry blossom frames and springtime coloring.

Fourth of July: There’s something special about celebrating Independence Day on the lawn of the National Mall. Make a bang with your red, white and blue themed designs and include motion graphic fireworks to woo customers.

Local businesses that can creatively adjust their marketing strategies during the holiday season will drive sales and maintain high levels of customer engagement. A digital signage strategy that takes advantage of theses occasions is sure to bring attention to any store or business.

Jacqueline Hoffmann is a Solutions Consultant at Mvix, a leading provider of content-rich digital signage solutions. She leads the Washington, D.C. team, working with designers and engineers to build digital signage networks that connect brands with people. To learn more about Mvix, please visit www.mvixdigitalsignage.com or call 703.584.4304.

by ARLnow.com August 21, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

New Columbia Pike beer garden BrickHaus is still awaiting its grand opening, despite having wrapped up most construction in May.

On Friday, BrickHaus — located at 2900 Columbia Pike and owned by Tony Wagner, who also owns Twisted Vines across the street — announced that it had received “one more final approval” and was on to what may be the last regulatory hurdle before opening.

On its Facebook page, locals who have been waiting for a new outdoor drinking and dining venue on the Pike all summer long have been grumbling about the Arlington County inspection process that has kept BrickHaus closed. The process has been notoriously long and difficult to navigate for many other local businesses, as well.

“You should publish a log of the permitting and inspections delays and issues you faced,” one person said. “We know they’re bad, but we don’t know what they are.”

“That’s an interesting idea, but since the issues keep coming at us daily, that would be a full time job in itself,” the BrickHaus Facebook page replied. “Basically, we continue to work through the process. Each day getting closer, but too gun shy with the constant curve balls to share a date yet.”

“Arlington is so slow when it comes to permits!” said another Facebook poster.

“See if you can find someone in the Economic Development office to help you!” suggested another, likely referring to the county’s business ombudsman. “Their mission used to be to get business to stay and grow in the County. Allegedly they have people that can facilitate getting things through the process.”

In a previous post, BrickHaus said that once it gets all of its final approvals, it would take about two weeks to train staff and open its doors.

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