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Lyon Park Water Main Break to Snarl Evening Rush Hour Traffic

A water main break at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park is taking longer to repair than first expected.

An 8-inch water main burst along Washington Blvd this morning, causing hundreds of water customers in Lyon Park to either lose water service or experience low water pressure.

Traffic is being diverted around the work scene, causing slow traffic. Shortly before 3 p.m., Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services said via social media that repairs would continue into the evening, after initial estimates were that work would wrap up by 4 p.m.

“Traffic will remain slow,” DES said. “Thanks for continued patience.”

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Potential Trouble for Alt’s in Lyon Park

Alt’s, a new restaurant in Lyon Park specializing in meatless burgers, may be hitting some roadblocks on its way to opening.

Last month, after a representative showed up unannounced at our offices to drop off menus, it seemed like an opening was imminent. Over the weekend, however, a local resident sent us a photo of a legal notice posted on the storefront at 2300 N. Pershing Drive that suggests the opening might not be happening soon, after all.

The notice says Alt’s has failed to obtain proper insurance and pay more than $56,000 in rent.

Should Alt’s fail to fix each of the items detailed in 10-15 days, the notice says, “then be advised that KV Associates, LLC intends to exercise its option… to terminate the lease.”

The Alt’s Facebook page was last updated on May 22, 2015 when the restaurant announced that it had signed a lease.

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Lyon Park Gun Store Sales Steady Amid Gun Control Debate

(Updated at 11:10 a.m.) A gun store in Lyon Park is quietly doing steady business despite a roiling national debate over gun control policies.

Sales at NOVA Armory have not been affected by local and national protests for gun control in the past month, according to owner owner Shaun Poulin.

“It’s a small growth every couple months, but I don’t think we can correlate it to an event,” Poulin said.

Poulin said that the store hasn’t followed typical gun sale trends because, he believes, his focus is on community, not profit. The store has become a place for people of all backgrounds, including law enforcement officers and military personnel, to hang out.

“We’re not here to get rich off this. We’re here because we like it doing a service for people,” he said.

According to CNN there was a national uptick in background checks, which correlated to increased gun sales, during the Obama administration, but gun sales and corresponding background checks fell nationwide in 2017.

NOVA Armory’s sales, according to its owner, have held steady and haven’t followed national trends since it opened in 2016. That includes upticks in sales seen nationwide after mass shootings during Obama’s presidency.

The store sells the AR-15, the same gun used in the Parkland, Fla. school shooting that recently reignited the gun control debate.

Poulin noted that NOVA Armory has reserved the right to refuse service on any reason the store sees fit. There have been no threats made against the store since the February shooting in Parkland, Fla., he added.

The store, however, faced major community backlash prior to and shortly after opening two years ago. NOVA Armory, at that time under different management, threatened to sue 64 individuals who spoke out against the store’s opening. Also in 2016, the store suffered a burglary and an incident in which “a man with mental health issues walked [in] and started yelling obscenities.”

Photo via NOVA Armory/Facebook

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Alt’s Vegetarian Restaurant to Open Soon in Lyon Park

(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Alt’s, a vegetarian restaurant in Lyon Park, might soon be opening.

Though Alt’s signed a lease at 2300 N. Pershing Drive in May 2015, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, and filed permits to renovate later that year, the restaurant has only recently revealed signs of life.

Signs and a business hours card are up on the restaurant’s storefront. A company representative arrived unannounced at ARLnow’s office yesterday with laminated menus in hand, saying that it was opening this week. (Note to other businesses: please email information to us instead.)

No one from the restaurant answered calls or emails today and it was not open during lunchtime.

The restaurant’s business signs indicate it will be closed on Mondays and open from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 12-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. on Saturday to Sunday.

The restaurant sells basic vegan and vegetarian “Altburgers” for $4.50 and a vegetarian “altbacon” cheeseburger for $6.20 — “the true pinnacle of meat alternative burgers.” Customers can sub out the bun for a “delicious gluten free rice tortilla” if desired, according to the menu.

On Alt’s website, it claims people can’t tell the difference between a regular burger and its meatless burgers.

“Come to Alt’s, where your perception of a meatless burger will be forever changed,” the site writes.

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District Martial Arts Hosting Free Women’s Self-Defense Seminar

The world isn’t always safe, but it helps to be prepared. That’s why District Martial Arts (2300 N. Pershing Drive) is hosting a free self-defense seminar on Friday (March 2). And this one is catered to women.

Taught by coaches with decades of experience, the two-hour session is for participants of all fitness levels. Students will learn self-defense moves derived from Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, boxing, and krav maga. Instructors for this class are Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt Scott Dance, boxing veteran Dawson St-Jure, and ex-Australian military krav maga expert Richard Dittler.

Located in the heart of Arlington, District Martial Arts caters to people who aren’t afraid to break a sweat, but don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s about cultivating a community-centered fitness experience.

And if you enjoy this seminar, or can’t make it, there’s more practice to be had. The studio offers world-class martial arts training for both competitive fighters and everyday people who are looking to learn martial arts or switch up their fitness routines. Regular classes include Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Muay Thai, and wrestling. While each program offers a total fitness experience, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu focuses on being grounded and Muay Thai keeps you on your feet. Wrestling can be considered a mix of the two.

The women’s self-defense seminar is taking place on March 2 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Visit District Martial Art’s website to learn more about this event and other opportunities.

The preceding post was written by ARLnow.com and sponsored by District Martial Arts.

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Vehicle Flips on Side in Lyon Park Crash

A collision at a busy intersection in Lyon Park blocked traffic during the Monday evening rush hour.

The crash happened just before 5 p.m., at the intersection of N. Daniel Street and 10th Street N. One vehicle, a Volvo XC70, tipped to its side while a Mitsubishi Eclipse was severely damaged.

Two ambulances were dispatched to the scene, though no serious injuries were reported, according to the police scanner. The intersection was temporarily blocked by emergency vehicles; it reopened around 5:45 p.m.

At least two vehicle occupants were walking around the closed-off intersection speaking with police and taking photos of the crash.

Map via Google Maps

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Military Device Prompts Scare in Lyon Park

An unexpected find by a Lyon Park resident prompted a police and fire department response on the 200 block of N. Barton Street last night.

The resident called the authorities after finding a military mortar shell in his or her basement. Police, firefighters and the county’s bomb squad responded to investigate.

Eventually, it was determined that the object was indeed an old World War II mortar shell, but that all of the explosives has already been removed.

“Nothing illegal or dangerous about it, but [the] homeowner turned it over to [the] bomb team anyway,” a fire department spokesman said via text message.

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Tipsters Given Cash Reward for Helping Identify Armed Robbery Suspects

Citizen tipsters were rewarded with $650 for helping the Arlington County Police Department track down two men suspected of armed robbery in 2016.

Police arrested Jorgito Cruz, 37, of Alexandria and Alexander Ruiz, 21, of Puerto Rico for trying to rob Sacramento Jewelers on the 2700 block of Washington Blvd in Lyon Park just before 5:45 pm. on December 7, 2016.

The pair were armed with guns, and tried to hold an employee hostage before fleeing the scene.

Police were led to the men after tipsters spotted a suspicious vehicle stopped on the Washington Blvd exit of I-395 shortly after the robbery. The tipsters reported seeing a man removing tape from the license plate and throwing something away.

Noting the large police presence in the area, the tipsters copied down the license plate number and contacted police. They were arrested in Fairfax County, south of Alexandria, just before midnight that night.

The tipsters were given the cash reward by Arlington County Crime Solvers, a community program that sponsors a 24-hour confidential tip line — 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) — for individuals to anonymously report potential leads or information. Callers who provide information leading to arrest, the recovery of drugs or stolen property, are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

“During the commission of their crimes, Jorgito Cruz and Alexander Serpa Ruiz endangered the lives of innocent and hardworking citizens,” said Police Chief Jay Farr said in a statement. “Thanks to the assistance of the witnesses and the diligent investigative work of detectives, two violent offenders have been removed from our streets and will no longer be in a position to cause harm in our community. This case highlights how police and the public can work together to maintain the safety and security of Arlington County.”

In June 2017, Cruz pled guilty to two counts of attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, two counts of abduction and use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery. He was sentenced to 11 years in prison and 20 years of probation upon release.

Ruiz pled guilty to three counts of robbery and use of a firearm during the commission of a robbery. He was sentenced to six years in prison and 10 years of probation upon release.

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Police Cite 11 Drivers for Not Yielding to Pedestrians

Arlington County Police cited 11 drivers in two places earlier this week for failing to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks.

Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said the tickets were issued from two locations: the intersections of Washington Blvd and 4th Street N. in Lyon Park; and Columbia Pike and S. Oakland Street in Alcova Heights.

Police said the program is part of its 2017 Street Smart Pedestrian, Driver, and Bicyclist Safety Campaign from November 6 through December 3.

The program aims to change road users’ behavior while reducing the number of crashes and injuries. Officers ticketed motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians who violated traffic laws.

Officers will conduct another high-visibility enforcement effort on November 30.

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New Martial Arts Gym to Celebrate Grand Opening Saturday

A gym on N. Pershing Drive owned by a former UFC fighter will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday (October 14).

Kamal “The Prince of Persia” Shalorus, who now fights in the Singapore-based ONE Fighting Championship mixed martial arts competition, opened District Martial Arts at 2300 N. Pershing Drive, across from The Shops at Pershing strip mall in Lyon Park.

On Saturday, the gym will host three seminars for its grand opening: on striking at 11 a.m., on MMA at noon and on grappling at 1 p.m. It will then host a happy hour at Courthaus Social (2300 Clarendon Blvd), with four raffles.

Attendees can also sign up for special membership deals at the event, with all fees waived on a $120 a month membership contract.

Shalorus is also one of six instructors at the gym, which offers training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Muay Thai and wrestling.

More from a press release:

Former UFC and current OneFC fighter, Kamal “The Prince of Persia” Shalorus, has opened a gym on Pershing Drive.  Classes at the new gym are expanding and include Brazilian jiu-jitsu, MMA, Muay Thai, boxing, wrestling, and Krav Maga.  The gym is a safe and friendly environment for people of any skill level, from complete novice to professional fighter.  Lose weight, learn to defend yourself, stay in shape, and meet some great people.  Instructors include: Kamal;  Scott Dance, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; Sam Shawa, a high-level brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; Mark Cirello, a former Division I wrestler; Charles DiGisco, an amateur MMA fighter and color commentator on UFC fight pass; and Richard Dittler, a Royal Australian Navy veteran who was certified in Krav Maga by KMG founder Eyal Yanilov.

A grand opening with 3 free seminars will be open to the public on 10/14.  Striking seminar will start at 11am, followed by an MMA seminar with Kamal Shalorus at noon, and a Brazilian jiu-jitsu seminar at 1pm with black belt Scott Dance.  Email [email protected] with any questions!

Photo via District Martial Arts,

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Troy’s Italian Kitchen Replaces Zpizza in Lyon Park

A new Italian restaurant is open in Lyon Park, replacing a pizza chain.

Troy’s Italian Kitchen replaced Zpizza at 2710 Washington Blvd in April. The eatery is located between a Discount Tobacco & Phone Cards store and the El Charrito Caminante Mexican and Salvadorian restaurant in a small strip mall.

Troy’s opens each day at 10 a.m. and has garnered mostly positive reviews online so far. An employee at the restaurant said Monday that demand has been good for its customizable pizzas, pastas, paninis and salads.

“People need to eat at different times,” he said of the earlier-than-usual opening hours.

Troy’s stays open until midnight Sundays through Thursdays, and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Inside, there is seating for around a dozen people.

Already, a small collection of art by younger customers is starting to grow on the wall, as well as a review written on a plate.

“Great pizza, great atmosphere, love the thin crust,” it reads. “Can’t wait to try out other pizzas.”

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Bed and Breakfast Plan Denied for ‘Pershing Manor’ Mansion

The Arlington County Board nixed a plan for a huge Lyon Park mansion to be used as a bed and breakfast at its meeting Saturday (September 16).

On a 3-2 vote, the Board denied a proposal for the home at 3120 N. Pershing Drive to operate as a bed and breakfast with at most five guest rooms, with some of those to operate as suites using more than one bedroom. The 13,700-square-foot house contains nine bedrooms, and would have been the county’s first bed and breakfast.

Board member John Vihstadt joined chair Jay Fisette and vice chair Katie Cristol in voting against the plan. Christian Dorsey and Libby Garvey voted for it.

“One of the bottom lines here for me is you have an exceptionally large house… and now it has the potential to provide exceptionally large disruption depending upon what the Board does and either way, how it is managed in the neighborhood,” County Board chair Jay Fisette said.

But the door is still open for property owners Yogi and Daisy Dumera to have their home as a short-term Airbnb rental, which has laxer rules on operation.

Under the Airbnb regulations, a total of six people could stay in the home at one time, or two per bedroom, whichever is most. An Airbnb rental does not require any off-street parking, unlike a bed and breakfast, and would only be inspected by code enforcement after a complaint.

Garvey said given the stricter enforcement on operating bed and breakfasts, she was inclined to support the plan as it could protect the neighborhood more.

“I think, in the long run, it’ll be better for the neighborhood to have more controls and regulations to stay within the parameters of that neighborhood to make it a B&B,” she said. “If we don’t make it a bed and breakfast, I suspect it’ll go the Airbnb route and make things more difficult for the neighborhood.”

The bed and breakfast plan came in for criticism at the Board’s meeting during public testimony. Local resident Harlan Hadley bemoaned the home’s potential conversion into a “quasi-commercial business,” especially because of traffic impacts.

And in a letter to the Board, the Lyon Park Citizens Association said allowing a business in a home would damage the residential neighborhood and possibly encourage similar uses from others.

“Residents opposed the conversion of a residential property in the heart of a residential area into a commercial site,” the association’s executive committee wrote. “The Association believes that this could set a deleterious precedent and could lead to many more sites being developed and reclassified in ways that would erode the quality of our neighborhood.”

The plan followed Dumera’s efforts to sell the house for several years. Records show he dropped the asking price well under the property’s $4 million assessed value, but took the home off the market after not finding a buyer. The property was criticized by neighbors for its ostentatiousness when it was built a decade ago.

Fisette said the bed and breakfast plan appeared to be a “last effort” by the owners to recoup their investment after being unsuccessful in their efforts to sell or auction the house.

Photo No. 1 via Zillow

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Metropolitan Suite: A Home Base for Beauty & Wellness Pros in Lyon Park

Beauty operators who need to develop a client base and gain valuable experience in order for their business to flourish are often at a loss.

Going out on their own is prohibitively expensive and a great risk for the professional if it does not work out as planned. Many professionals never obtain the income they truly need or desire.

Which is why Arlington’s Metropolitan Suite is such an innovative — and for many — an important idea: Beauty and wellness operators rent fully equipped booths in a professionally operated salon — operators at the Metropolitan Suite only pay for the time they use at the facility. Metropolitan Suite offers operators a way to make the money a salon owner or a long-term lease renter makes without the overhead or worry.

Since the operators book their clients at their own convenience and pay for only the time they are in the booth, there is no more wasting time waiting for walk-ins. The professional can pay by the hour, the day or by the week. Longer-term leases for salon space are available for those operators who have the clientele following needed to be successful.

The sleek, modern and impressively up-to-date “luxury beauty lounge” on N. Pershing Drive is welcoming and comfortable, offering everything an operator needs to perform full salon services to the public including unisex hair cuts color, hair texture alteration services and styling.

Other professionals that operate their business at the nonprofit Metropolitan Suite are skin specialist, make-up artists, nail technicians, full-body waxing techs and licensed massage therapists. It’s a full-service salon offering everything a day spa offers.

Kinite McCrae founder and Executive Director of the Reach Far Foundation, was wondering how opening a hair salon would fit into her organizations’ non-profit purpose and agenda. After much thought and endless hours of research, it was decided to make Metropolitan Suite a hub for creating scholarships for underprivileged youth living in the metropolitan area.

Each client visit to the salon and or when an operator reserves a station, they are not only benefiting themselves but they are participating in the support of others.

“We also rent rooms for people to teach classes, in techniques they specialize in,” says McCrae.

Those community-oriented entities intend to help young adults or those looking to change careers so they may have the opportunity to chase their dreams and or get through a post-secondary trade school, says McCrae.

Coming soon, the Metropolitan Trade Academy will offer courses  that lead to a license or instructor’s certificate in cosmetology, barbering or nails.

More information about Metropolitan Suite, located at 2300 N. Pershing Drive in Lyon Park, can be found hereThe phone number is 571-777-8878 and the email address is [email protected]New operators can apply at this site.

We’re real people, doing what we love. Providing beauty services and making a difference in the lives of others. Thanks to the Reach Far Foundation dba Metropolitan Suite.” — Nickie S., Salon Manager, Metropolitan Suite.

The preceding was a sponsored business profile written by Buzz McClain.

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Large Power Outage in Clarendon Area

Update at 7:50 p.m. — The number of outages in Arlington is down to 200, according to Dominion.

Earlier: More than 5,500 Dominion customers are without power in Arlington following this afternoon’s storms, mostly in and around the Clarendon area.

The Clarendon outage extends from Wilson Blvd down to N. Bedford Street in Lyon Park, near Route 50. Numerous businesses in the area are without power and the busy intersection of Washington Blvd and 10th Street N.

As of 4:50 p.m. Dominion was reporting 5,542 outages in Arlington, with some smaller outages scattered throughout the county. There have also been reports of trees and utility wires down in the roadway in various locations, and at least one tree that fell and damaged a house.

The Arlington County Police Department is reminding drivers to treat dark traffic signals as a four-way stop.

Power outage map (top) via Dominion. Weather radar via weather.com.

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Police Investigating Another Series of Car Break-ins

Police are investigating yet another series of vehicle break-ins that occurred overnight.

The break-ins were reported in various locations, but were centered around the Arlington Heights and Lyon Park neighborhoods and Route 50.

Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage said nearly two dozen cars were broken into, with items stolen from many.

More via Savage:

Arlington County Police are investigating a series of larcenies from auto overnight originating in the unit block of S. Highland Street. Approximately 20 mostly unlocked vehicles were entered, rummaged through and various items of value were reported stolen. Police remain in the area investigating. Citizens are reminded to remove valuables, lock vehicle doors and keep windows up whenever their vehicle is not in use. If you see something suspicious in your neighborhood, report to the emergency communication center at 703-558-2222.

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