The McDonald’s at 4834 Lee Highway is backing off plans to reconfigure its drive-thru, at least for now.
The fast food restaurant withdrew a use permit application at the Arlington County Board over the weekend. That followed a drubbing at the Board’s April meeting, during which county officials blasted the plans, which included a second drive-thru lane and a new recirculating lane that would run between the restaurant and Lee Highway.
After deferring the restaurant’s application to this summer, then deferring it again, the Board accepted a request by McDonald’s to withdraw it entirely.
From a county staff report:
The applicant has requested withdrawal of the use permit request due to the physical constraints in accommodating on-site vehicle circulation, as well as the growing trend toward mobile orders and curbside pick-up. This application was initially heard at the April 2020 County Board meeting and was deferred twice to allow the applicant time to evaluate how it might address concerns regarding pedestrian safety and site circulation with the proposed design of the drive-thru; most recently from the July 2020 County Board meeting to the September 2020 County Board meeting. Therefore, staff recommends the County Board accept the applicant’s request to withdraw the subject use permit application.
In addition to the second ordering lane, intended to reduce incidence of drive-thru traffic backing up to Lee Highway, the plans called for the 1960s era building to be rebuilt as a modernized, two-story restaurant with around the same floor area but a smaller overall footprint.
The new restaurant would have included a kids play area, as the current one has, and was designed to be more efficient for preparing drive-thru and online orders. Other amenities would have included new landscaping and McDonald’s restoring a mural at the nearby Langston-Brown Community Center.
County staff and the John M. Langston Citizens Association opposed the plans, citing concerns about pedestrian safety for those needing to cross the new recirculation lane to access the restaurant, as well as potential backups caused by the lane being blocked by those waiting for the drive-thru.
Despite agreeing to some changes, McDonald’s and its land use attorney continued to argue for the merits of its plan during the April meeting. ARLnow has asked about whether a new plan is in the works, but has yet to hear back.
Photo (1) via Google Maps
McDonald’s Rebuild Decision Delayed — “Action on a proposal to rebuild the existing McDonald’s fast-food restaurant in the 4800 block of Lee Highway has been put off for another two months. Arlington County officials and the applicant had sparred over the plan, which also would include a revamped traffic-circulation design.” [InsideNova]
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County Opposes Second McD’s Drive-Thru Window — “Maybe, in the end, they can all sit down amicably over a Happy Meal. But the mood was decidedly unhappy when the Arlington County Board and representatives of McDonald’s recently tangled over redevelopment of the restaurant chain’s 60-year-old outlet in the 4800 block of Lee Highway.” [InsideNova]
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Va. Trying to Ramp Up Testing — “As the state plans to reopen on Friday — though it will delay Northern Virginia’s reopening until after Memorial Day — the commonwealth is still not meeting Gov. Ralph Northam’s testing goal of 10,000 tests a day. This week, Virginia’s Department of Emergency Management signed contracts with three commercial labs in an effort to ramp up testing as the state gears up to reopen.” [DCist]
March Hotel Occupancy Rate Shows Big Drop — “Arlington hotel and motel occupancy took a pummeling in March as the COVID-19 pandemic began to take hold… March’s occupancy rate of 34.5 percent for Arlington resulted in a first-quarter occupancy rate of 52.3 percent.” [InsideNova]
GMA Profiles YHS Senior Photo Project — “In Arlington, Virginia, photographer Matt Mendelsohn has made it his mission to give the senior class of Yorktown High School the celebration they deserve… With the growing popularity of his project, which he’s named ‘Not Forgotten: The Yorktown Seniors of 2020,’ he’s enlisted the help from his daughter on shoots and a parent.” [Good Morning America]
Library Launches Virtual Career Services — “Arlington Public Library is offering virtual one-on-one appointments to job seekers who want career help or to improve their resume. All appointments are free and confidential. Appointments are available Mondays and Thursdays, 5:30-7 p.m., and Tuesdays, 9:30-11 a.m. No library card is required.” [Arlington County]
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Arlington may be the landing spot for Amazon’s HQ2, but it was selected for an even tastier honor today: the unveiling of a new Blueberry McGriddles breakfast sandwich from McDonald’s.
Corporate officials, including the company’s national Culinary Innovation Spokesperson, were on hand to debut what is basically an egg sandwich with a pair of blueberry pancakes as buns.
Offered with sausage or bacon, along with egg and cheese, the new McGriddles sandwich is being tested in the D.C. area market, including at the Rosslyn McDonald’s (1800 N. Lynn Street) where the event was held this morning.
Carol Martino, the Chicago-based culinary innovation spokeswoman, donned a black McDonald’s chef jacket as she described the process of creating the sandwich, a variation on the existing McGriddles sandwich.
Martino said her team was seeking to create a “cravable, indulgent” breakfast sandwich with a “sweet-savory balance.” The sweetness, she said, will likely mean that it’s more of a treat “for certain days of the week.”
The company’s chefs whittled down 30 recipes before selecting the one featured today, which has not only a distinct blueberry-and-maple-syrup flavor — “reminiscent of mom’s blueberry pancakes,” Martino said — but actual, embedded blueberries visible in the blue-tinted buns.
Currently, the sandwiches are only being offered as part of a test in the D.C. area before being, potentially, rolled out nationally. Part of the process of creating the new McGriddles, Martino said, was obtaining a national-scale supply of blueberries should the sandwich prove popular.
Currently, the Blueberry McGriddles are available only at certain McDonald’s locations in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. In Arlington, those locations are:
- 1800 N. Lynn Street (Rosslyn)
- 4834 Lee Highway
- 3013 Columbia Pike
(Updated at 4 p.m.) Arlington County Police responded to a stabbing outside the McDonald’s at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway in Crystal City this morning.
The incident happened around 10:30 a.m. Police say a man was stabbed with a knife by another man in the restaurant’s parking lot, following a verbal dispute. The victim was treated by paramedics and rushed to the hospital with reported non-life-threatening injuries.
A suspect was arrested and later identified as 61-year-old Anthony Jones. He was charged with Aggravated Malicious Wounding and Stab while in the Commission of a Felony and held without bond.
Victim suffered non-life threatening injury and was transported to an area hospital. Suspect is in police custody. Police remain on scene investigating. (2/2)
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 1, 2019
Crystal City’s McDonald’s has now reopened, following several months of renovation work.
The fast food restaurant, located at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway, has been serving customers again since at least late last week. The McDonald’s shuttered back in mid-May for renovations.
The restaurant now boasts a new facade, a revamped drive through and an improved lobby area.
The McDonald’s parking lot has become a point of contention for neighbors in recent weeks, particularly as people looking to avoid traffic generated by the new staging lot for rideshare drivers waiting for passengers at Reagan National Airport have sought to cut through the lot and save a bit of time.
Crystal City’s McDonald’s is closed for renovations.
Signs posted at the restaurant located at 2620 Jefferson Davis Highway say only that the location is closed during construction, urging visitors to head to the McDonald’s locations along Columbia Pike instead. Construction materials litter the restaurant’s parking lot.
No one answered the phone number listed for the restaurant and construction fencing currently blocks off its parking lot. McDonald’s didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on how long the restaurant might be closed.
A tipster first notified ARLnow about the renovations this past Wednesday.
Photos by Alex Koma
ACFD Black History Month Tweets — The Arlington County Fire Department has been recounting the history of black firefighters in Arlington in commemoration of Black History Month. There were several African-American volunteer fire departments in the county during the first half of the 20th century, serving neighborhoods like Hall’s Hill and “Hell’s Bottom,” which was cleared to make way for the Pentagon during World War II. [Twitter, Twitter]
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Shamrock Shake Sighting — The Shamrock Shake is back at McDonald’s. We spotted it on the menu at a Lee Highway McD’s yesterday. Some locations have gotten the shake, a harbinger of spring, earlier than others, according to social media reports. [Fox News, Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman
The McDonald’s on Arlington’s western end of Columbia Pike has reopened after a renovation.
The fast food restaurant at 5005 Columbia Pike closed on June 20 for the refit, and reopened to the public on this past Monday, a spokeswoman said, with updated decor and fixtures and the addition of some new ordering technology.
During the closure, workers added self-service kiosks for customers to place their orders electronically. A spokeswoman said that technology has been rolled out in more than 2,500 McDonald’s restaurants, which includes the recently-opened one at Central Place in Rosslyn.
The restaurant also introduced table service as part of the revamp, which a spokeswoman said “provides a more relaxing and custom dining experience.”
A grand re-opening ceremony is planned from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday (Aug. 5), and will include face painting, games, food and drink and music by local Spanish language radio station El Zol.
A 27-year-old D.C. man has been arrested and charged with assaulting a police officer after an incident at a McDonald’s on Columbia Pike.
Just after 6 p.m. yesterday (Monday) police responded to the McDonald’s at 3013 Columbia Pike for a report of “a group of disorderly subjects refusing to leave a restaurant, as requested by store management,” according to an Arlington County Police Department crime report.
“As officers were attempting to conduct their investigation and ban the subjects from the property, one subject became combative and shoved an officer resulting in a physical struggle,” the crime report said. “Derrell Taylor, 27, of Washington D.C., was arrested and charged with assault and battery on law enforcement, obstruction of justice, and failure to I.D.”
The incident prompted a large police response to the McDonald’s, alarming some locals, but no serious injuries were reported.
Taylor was held at the county jail on a $5,000 bond.
Photo courtesy Eric Dobson
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Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimick