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Josephine’s Italian Kitchen Opens Its Doors in Penrose Square

Josephine’s Italian Kitchen, a new Italian restaurant, is now open for business in the Penrose Square shopping center.

Located just off Columbia Pike at 2501 9th Road S., the eatery opened its doors for the first time Saturday (Oct. 27), according to a release. The restaurant is backed by Tony Wagner, owner of the nearby Twisted Vines Bottleshop & Bistro and BrickHaus.

Wagner first announced plans to open Josephine’s in late August, saying he’d heard a need from neighbors for a casual Italian restaurant in the area. Its menu includes a variety of brick oven pizzas, plenty of seafood and more options from a wood-fired grill. The restaurant, which seats 40 people in its dining room and another 50 in its lounge area, also boasts its own “gelato bar.”

The restaurant takes the place of the old Marble and Rye restaurant, which shut down at the end of last year.

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After Brief Hiatus, Ballston’s Stageplate Bistro Plans to Reopen Next Month

(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) Stageplate Bistro in Ballston still plans to reopen following a summer hiatus, though it likely won’t welcome diners once more until late next month.

The restaurant, located at 900 N. Glebe Road, shut its doors back in August, as its owners hoped to take a pause from some lengthy work weeks and revamp the eatery’s web presence. Originally, its proprietors had planned to reopen by Sept. 1, but that date came and went without any news from the restaurant.

General Manager Mary Marchetti told ARLnow that Stageplate is now “shooting for” Nov. 26, the day after Thanksgiving, for a grand reopening. She says she and the restaurant’s executive chef — her husband, Nelly Gonzalez — have spent the last few months working to “take a breath and take stock” of how Stageplate could expand its menu offerings going forward.

The pair opened the restaurant, which primarily serves American cuisine, late last summer on the first floor of the Virginia Tech Research Center. Since then, Marchetti compares the process to one long soft opening, as Stageplate has been primarily focused on lunch. When the restaurant reopens, she plans to focus on dinner, brunch, happy hour and even catering for local businesses.

That will include some additions, like pizza and the Turkish flatbread “pide” to the menu, though she stressed that “all the favorite everyone loved before” will remain on offer. That includes Stageplate’s sangria wine slushies, which she said was a big hit in the restaurant’s first year.

“We just can’t wait to throw open the doors again,” Marchetti said. “Our regulars and the whole community has been so unbelievable and so encouraging.”

Stageplate’s new website is now active as well and Marchetti plans to make full details about the reopening available on that page in the coming weeks.

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Morning Notes

GMU Arlington Building Renamed — “Founders Hall, one of two major academic buildings on George Mason University’s Arlington Campus, was officially renamed Van Metre Hall after Mason’s Board of Visitors approved the change at its Oct. 10 meeting. The board’s action recognizes the generosity of the Van Metre Companies, a major regional builder that donated 37 acres in Ashburn, Virginia, to the George Mason University Foundation.” [George Mason University]

Overturned Vehicle on Washington Blvd — Near the tail end of yesterday morning’s rush hour a vehicle flipped on its roof along Washington Blvd, between Route 50 and Clarendon. The westbound lanes of Washington Blvd were blocked for a period of time. One person suffered minor injuries. [Twitter]

County Ranks High for Resident Satisfaction — “According to Arlington’s recent Community Satisfaction Survey, 88 percent of residents surveyed are satisfied with the overall quality of County services, 38 percentage points above the national average… Arlington also rated significantly above the national average for overall quality of life — 86 percent compared with 75 percent.” [Arlington County]

Local Credit Union Merger — “Arlington Community Federal Credit Union (ACFCU) announced today the merger of ACFCU with the Queen of Peace Arlington Federal Credit Union (QPAFCU). The combined asset size is $325 million, with nearly 22,500 members.” The Queen of Peace Arlington FCU is located in a church in the northeast corner of the Nauck neighborhood, near the back entrance to Army Navy Country Club. [CUInsight]

Venture-Funded Company Moving to Rosslyn — “FELA, the financial education and literacy company, today announced its rebrand to LifeCents. The name LifeCents is also the company’s health and wellness app that inspires and empowers people to improve their financial health and well-being… The team will move to Rosslyn, VA, at the beginning of next year to accommodate its continued growth.” [BusinessWire via Potomac Tech Wire]

Arlington Has Nightlife Advantage Over Tysons — Despite worries about competition from Tysons among local economic development boosters, the Fairfax County community doesn’t yet have Arlington’s nighttime vibrancy. Said one Tysons bar owner: “A lot of people leave here. They’re done with their job at 6:30 or 7 p.m. and they go home. They don’t come back. If they want to go out, they go to Arlington.” [Tysons Reporter]

Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick

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Renovations on the Way for Former Capitol City Brewing Space, Though Future Remains Murky

There’s some renovation work on the way for the space once occupied by Capitol City Brewing in Shirlington, though the location’s long-term future remains unclear.

Sterling-based construction company Cypress Contracting secured permits in August to make “interior alterations” to the space at 2700 S. Quincy Street, part of the Village at Shirlington shopping center, county records show.

However, the permits do not make clear whether the changes are coming ahead of a new tenant moving into the space, with the documents noting that the changes are designed for “portions of an existing restaurant space” that will slightly reduce its square footage and involve a new “partition that creates a common service space.”

A spokeswoman for Federal Realty Investment Trust, the company that owns the shopping center, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on the location’s future.

Signs listing the space for lease still adorn its facade, as of Tuesday morning, and a small construction fence sits outside its storefront along Campbell Avenue.

Capitol City closed its Shirlington location back in March, after serving up brews there for the past 22 years. The chain’s D.C. location remains open, though the company filed for bankruptcy shortly after closing the Shirlington restaurant.

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New F45 Training Fitness Studio Looks to Be Coming to Ballston

A new fitness studio looks to be headed to Ballston.

F45 Training has applied for building permits in a 2,230-square-foot space at 3865 Wilson Blvd, according to county records. The office building is also home to a Next Day Blinds show room, though the permit application doesn’t make it clear where in the building the gym would be located.

F45 didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment seeking clarity on when the gym might open, but its website lists the location as “coming soon.” The gym would be F45’s second in Arlington, as the company already operates a location in Pentagon Row.

F45 also offers studios across the rest of the D.C. region, and the country. According to its website, each studio offers “a 45-minute high-intensity, circuit training workout class” for members, with 27 different classes offered in total.

The company applied for the building permits in September, records show.

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Meridian Pint Aims to Open First Arlington Location in Dominion Hills by Spring 2019

Meridian Pint is getting closer to opening its first Arlington restaurant, with plans to open a new brewpub in Dominion Hills sometime next spring.

The D.C.-based, craft beer-focused chain announced plans to expand into the county late last year, targeting a spot at 6035 Wilson Blvd in the Dominion Hills Centre shopping plaza. Construction is set to get underway next week at the new space, and owner John Andrade told ARLnow that he’s “tentatively targeting the beginning of April to get it open.”

“It’ll just be another iteration of the expanding ‘Pint’ brand,” Andrade said. “And this is nestled into a great community.”

Andrade currently operates two “Pint” restaurants in D.C. — Meridian and Brookland Pint — as well as Rosario’s Tacos and Tequila and Smoke Barrel. But as an Arlington resident, living just a quarter mile away from the new location, he says he was anxious for the chance to expand into his home county.

“The idea that I can just walk to work, door-to-door in somewhere between 13 and 15 minutes is really great,” Andrade said. “It’s just a great opportunity… especially for those of us that live slightly more than walking distance from Ballston or Clarendon, or have multiple kids, and don’t really want to do the dance of finding a parking garage or hunting down a metered space to go explore out that way.”

Andrade is unsure of a name for the new establishment just yet — he originally planned to dub it “Dominion Pint,” but ran into some legal headaches — but he says it will generally mirror the food and beverage options at his D.C. locations.

“It’ll have an all-American menu and all-American craft beer, with a generous emphasis on wine and spirits as well,” Andrade said.

Andrade also foresees offering growler fills and six-packs for sale at the restaurant, something he’s barred from doing in D.C. but is anxious to try now that he’s operating in Virginia.

He hopes to “start swinging hammers” at the space Monday (Oct. 22) now that he’s won all the necessary permits, and expects it will take roughly six months to get things up and running.

“We’re really planning on being members of the community, so we hope it’ll be a great neighborhood establishment,” Andrade said.

Photo via Google Maps

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Gold’s Gym in Courthouse Now Listed for Lease

The Gold’s Gym in Courthouse could soon be on the move, though its staff is hopeful it will stay put.

The gym’s space, located in an office building at 1310 N. Courthouse Road, is now be listed for lease by the real estate firm Colliers International.

A listing describes a 19,000-square-foot space on the building’s lower level as an “ideal gym, training center, conference center, or classroom space,” and says it will be available for lease by March 1, 2019. The realtor marketing the property did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

However, Mustafa Saifee, a district manager for Gold’s, told ARLnow that the gym is “currently in lease negotiations with [the] landlord” ahead of its current lease expiring in March.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to work out a deal that will allow us to stay and we absolutely plan on staying there for the foreseeable future,” Saifee said.

The entire lobby of the office building itself is currently under renovation, and some construction fencing currently blocks off entrances to the Gold’s.

The fitness chain also operates nearby locations in Rosslyn, Ballston, Clarendon and near Bailey’s Crossroads.

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New Bowling Alley Set to Roll into Crystal City Next Year

A new bowling alley and restaurant is on the way for Crystal City.

Bowlero plans to open in a 44,000-square-foot space in the base of The Buchanan apartment building at 320 23rd Street S., per a press release. The company is targeting a “mid-2019” opening date, with construction set to start within the month.

The bowling alley will be Bowlero’s third in Northern Virginia, joining locations in Centreville and Leesburg. Per the release, Bowlero “features blacklight bowling lanes, laneside lounge seating, and [an] interactive arcade, all in a family-friendly setting,” and offers a full menu and bar.

Bowlero will move into a space once occupied by the tech company GDIT, and the Queen Amannisa Uyghur restaurant. The fate of the restaurant is a bit murky, however — a sign on the door says it will be relocating to a space next to Legal Sea Food, just down 23rd Street S., but a staff member would only tell ARLnow that the restaurant is currently undergoing renovations, and would not confirm the move.

The only other location adjacent to the Legal Sea Foods is an empty storefront along S. Clark Street between Legal Sea Foods and Virginia ABC. The site was once a Chiles, which closed in 2016.

Bowlero’s arrival in the neighborhood comes on the heels of a spate of changes for the 23rd Street corridor in Crystal City.

Not only are there new restaurants popping up like Federico’s and Los Tios, but JBG Smith is planning on adding an Alamo Drafthouse and other retail offerings nearby as part of its “Central District” project.

Vernon Miles contributed reporting to this story

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Yume Sushi Plans to Open in East Falls Church in Late October

East Falls Church is now set to welcome a new sushi restaurant before the month is out.

Yume Sushi, located at 2121 N. Westmoreland Street, plans to open “in the last few weeks of October,” according to a press release. The eatery originally hoped to open last fall, but ran into some delays securing building permits.

The restaurant is backed by executive chef and co-owner Saran Kannasute, who was previously the executive chef at Alexandria’s The Sushi Bar and has worked at Sushi Rock in Courthouse, and has room for about 100 people.

Kannasute plans to serve not only an “extensive” selection of sushi rolls for a traditional dining experience, but he’ll also offer limited reservations for “Omakase dining,” stemming from the Japanese phrase that roughly translates to “I shall leave it up to you.” The two-hour Omakase sessions will allow chefs to “exert complete creative freedom and technique in curating their dishes with the finest and freshest ingredients available,” while crafting meals in front of diners, according to the release.

The restaurant also expects to stock more than 90 different sakes, which Kannasute claims will be one of the largest selections in the D.C. region. Yume’s bar will also include sake cocktails, seasonal sake varieties, a sake on tap and even Japanese whiskeys.

Yume will be located in the same building as a South Block juice bar, just down the street from the East Falls Church Metro station.

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New Restaurant Serving Up Indian, Nepalese Food Coming to Pentagon Row

(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) A new restaurant offering Indian and Nepalese cuisine is on the way for the Pentagon Row shopping center.

Namaste Everest plans to open its doors in spring 2019, according to a release from Pentagon Row owner Federal Realty Investment Trust.

Chef Nabin Paudel, a Nepal native, operates another restaurant under the name “Namaste” in Alexandria. The new eatery will be his first expansion into Arlington.

The menu will include an array of curries and tandoor cooking, as well as dumplings, biryani, kabobs and more. The restaurant also plans to offer a full bar, the release said.

“It has been a priority to continue to expand dining options at this location for the local community,” Kari Glinski, director of asset management for Federal Realty, wrote in a statement. “With the addition of Indian and Nepalese cuisine, diners certainly have several diverse choices to choose from.”

Other recent additions to Pentagon Row include a pop-up taco bar and a new location for local chain Basic Burger.

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Despite Bankruptcy, DCA’s Taylor Gourmet Still Serving Up Sandwiches

Taylor Gourmet might have shut down all its other sandwich shops around the D.C. region, but it seems hungry fliers at Reagan National Airport can still get their hoagie fix.

The chain revealed late last month that it would be shuttering its 17 stores after a major investor spurned the company, and Taylor’s Ballston and Arlington locations were closed soon after.

But, for now at least, ARLnow readers say the DCA location is still serving up sandwiches. The store is located in the airport’s Terminal B/C, near gates 23 and 24; getting there requires getting through security.

A spokesman for Taylor said the Reagan location is operated Marketplace Development, the company that manages concessions at the airport, and he declined to elaborate on why the shop is still open. The concession company did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and no one answered the phone at the restaurant Monday morning.

Taylor has since filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Delaware, court records show. Company insiders have speculated that everything from co-owner Casey Patten’s meeting with President Donald Trump to the chain’s aggressive expansion plans ultimately doomed the business.

Photo (top) courtesy of @CartChaos22202

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Journey Yoga Off Columbia Pike Shutting Down Today

Journey Yoga is shutting down after more than a decade in business in Penrose.

The studio, located at 2501 9th Road S. in a shopping center just off Columbia Pike, announced that it will close today (Friday) in an email to its members.

“I love the community of Journey Yoga and I am honored to have been your teacher and the teacher of many of your teachers,” owner Sarah Lynn wrote in the email. “It is time for my journey to continue in a new direction. It’s been 11 amazing years, two locations, international and regional retreats, teacher trainings, workshops and special events.”

Lynn added in the email that YogaWorks, a regional chain with a location near Virginia Square, plans to honor any unused class passes from Journey Yoga attendees. Lynn herself also plans to teach some classes at the YogaWorks studio, adding “I respect YogaWorks immensely and hope you can find a home there.”

Journey Yoga plans to sell off its props and furniture in the coming days, and Lynn invited anyone looking to bid the studio farewell to drop by between 5-7:30 p.m. tonight.

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New Pizzeria Set to Replace Upper Crust on Lee Highway

Just a few months after Upper Crust Pizzeria shut down along Lee Highway, a new pizza shop is now set to take its place.

Old Dominion Pizza Company is now planning to open up in Upper Crust’s old space at 4514 Lee Highway in the Lee Heights shopping center, owner John Rodas told ARLnow.

Rodas, who also helps run The Spirits of ’76 bar in Clarendon, says he’s still sorting out the menu for the new restaurant, but hopes Old Dominion will become a “good, local, neighborhood pizza place.”

He says he’d long enjoyed getting pizza at Upper Crust, but thought the restaurant’s management was a bit lacking. He even considered what he might do differently with the space.

“I remember saying, ‘If this spot ever comes open, I would love to put a nice neighborhood pizza place here,” Rodas said.

Accordingly, when Rodas saw ARLnow’s story on the store’s closure this July, he jumped at the chance to lease the space.

“I’d always wanted to do something in the neighborhood, but it wasn’t something I already had plans in the works for,” Rodas said. “But when I saw that it was closed, I drove right over there.”

He says he signed a lease for the space a few months ago, working in tandem with his chef at Spirits of ’76, Charles Smith, who is helping to design Old Dominion’s menu and will have an ownership stake in the pizzeria.

Rodas adds that the restaurant will deliver, and he plans to offer wine and beer in the space, though he expects the lengthy permit application process means the restaurant might not have it available as soon as it opens. As for that opening date, he’s currently hoping to start welcoming customers sometime in December.

Rodas is well aware that it might seem a bit strange to open up a new pizzeria in the same space as one that just failed, but he’s hoping that he’ll be able to bring a bit of what has made his Clarendon bar a success over to this new venture.

“We’re lucky to have great employees there, who take pride in the place and we have great customer service there,” Rodas said. “You know the guys who own the place and who work there… and we want to bring that over to Old Dominion.”

Photo via @olddominionpizza

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South Block Plans New Rosslyn Location in Old Cafe Asia Space

South Block will soon bring its array of juices, smoothies and acai bowls to Rosslyn.

The Arlington-based chain is planning its fourth location in the county for the former Cafe Asia space (1550 Wilson Blvd), next to the forthcoming Bash Boxing workout studio, according to founder and CEO Amir Mostafavi.

“Our Clarendon spot has turned into such a busy location, and we’re growing as a company, it just seemed like it was needed for us in that area,” he told ARLnow. “Regulars can attest that if you come in on a Saturday in Clarendon, it’s just packed. So now we can spread out a bit and help the serve community better.”

Mostafavi expects that the Rosslyn location will open in the late spring of 2019, just a few months after South Block opens its third Arlington store in the new Ballston Quarter development. He says both new locations will offer the same line-up as the rest of its shops, including the toast options he’s recently added to his menus.

In an unusual twist of fate, both the new locations will be located next to Bash Boxing’s gyms, with the fitness studio also planning a Ballston Quarter location.

Though Scott Parker, one of the studio’s co-founders, says the pairings were largely a “coincidence,” Mostafavi expects the businesses will easily compliment each other.

“We’re calling it a one-two punch,” Mostafavi said.

Mostafavi says his real estate broker first showed him the Cafe Asia space a few months back as he eyed an expansion. When he subsequently heard from Bash’s backers that they too were eyeing the space, he figured opening up a juice bar right next to fitness studio would make a good bit of sense.

“We’ve always had a really strong relationship with Arlington’s fitness community, so this is just a really good fit,” Mostafavi said.

By the time South Block opens its two new Arlington locations, Mostafavi says he’ll have 10 shops running across the region.

Photo courtesy of @IAmAru

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Doughnut-Focused Cafe On the Way for Ballston Apartment Building

A new cafe will soon offer up handmade doughnuts, coffee and more in Ballston.

Good Company Doughnuts and Cafe plans to move into a space at 670 N. Glebe Road, just under the 672 Flats apartments, according to co-founder Charles Kachadoorian.

Kachadoorian told ARLnow that the restaurant is targeting an “early 2019” opening date, after signing a lease at the new building this summer.

While the Ballston location will be the first for Good Company, Kachadoorian says his family is no stranger to the doughnut business. His sister, Kate Murphy, spent decades whipping up her own doughnuts at a shop in New Hampshire before moving to Arlington to join Kachadoorian, and he says they “decided to partner up and open a new cafe that’s a little more innovative than the old one.”

He expects the cafe will offer a full range of soups, salads, sandwiches and other “light fare,” with some limited dinner options as well. Kachadoorian added that the cafe struck a deal with Chicago-based Intelligentsia Coffee for its brews, and will even someday offer craft beer, wine and cocktails for thirsty customers.

That being said, however, Kachadoorian says “there is no upstaging these doughnuts.”

“They’re made fresh every night in the shop, by hand, by experienced bakers,” Kachadoorian said. “My sister and her husband probably have about 60 years of making doughnuts between them.”

The cafe will offer up both cake donuts and yeast-raised donuts, with “traditional flavors and also a few of the more funky ones,” Kachadoorian said. He isn’t ready to set a firm opening date quite yet, but expects to start construction in the “near future.”

“We’re a family business, and we’re really excited about bringing the food we’re passionate about to the community,” said Kachadoorian.

Depending on when Good Company opens its doors, it could become the first retailer to set up shop in the new 672 Flats building, located just across from the Ballston Quarter development.

The apartments have space set aside for several other businesses on its ground floor, though Kachadoorian was unsure if others will join Good Company in the near future. A spokeswoman for the Chevy Chase Land Company, which purchased the development last week, said they have yet to announce any additional retailers at the site.

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