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by ARLnow.com February 7, 2018 at 10:00 am 0

With the addition of new experience-oriented tenants, Ballston Quarter is billing itself as “one of the largest experiential and entertainment hubs in the D.C. area.”

The center is bucking its identity as a mall as construction continues on what was once the Ballston Common Mall. Set to open this fall, Ballston Quarter has already announced hip food options in its 18-restaurant food hall and a marquee entertainment tenant in the planned 25,000 square foot Punch Bowl Social.

This morning, mall owner Forest City announced a handful of new tenants, including:

  • 5 Wits — “A live-action entertainment venue that immerses visitors in realistic, hands-on experiences, similar to escape rooms…”
  • Cookology — A “recreational culinary school” that “offers professionally taught, hands-on cooking classes for adults and kids… perfect venue for families, date nights or corporate outings.”
  • Nook — “A modern indoor play and learning space for young families” that is moving from its current Lee Highway location.

Those are also in addition to the existing Regal Cinemas and Sport&Health club, which are undergoing multi-million dollar renovations.

More from a Forest City press release, after the jump.

(more…)

by Anna Merod January 31, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Bash Boxing, a boxing-focused interval workout studio, will open its first location this spring in Rosslyn.

The new studio will be replacing Cafe Asia (1550 Wilson Blvd), which closed in 2016 after nearly 15 years in business.

The boutique studio’s fitness routine combines boxing on an water-filled aqua training bag and high intensity interval training for a total 45-minute workout. Half of the workout is boxing on the water bag and the other half is on the floor doing interval training.

Alex Trakas, one of the co-founders of Bash Boxing, noted the benefits of using an aqua training bag over one filled with sand.

“There’s no pain that goes into your joints. Every time you hit into the bag it just absorbs all the punch and all the energy,” Trakas said.

What differentiates Bash from other boxing gyms in the D.C. area is that it’s interval training focused, but uses boxing for cardio, said Lee Smith, another co-founder of Bash.

Trakas said the studio is “driving a community vibe” and is one of the reasons she and other co-founders invested into Bash Boxing. She added that there will be a pre-sale mid February that future members can access on the studio’s website.

Other partners in the brand include Arlington area entrepreneurs Scott Parker (A-Town, Don Tito, Barley Mac, The G.O.A.T.), Win Sheridan (Apex Systems, Echostage, Soundcheck, Bresca) and Sherif Abdalla (TTR Sotheby’s).

The Washington Business Journal reported yesterday that Bash will take up just over half of the cavernous former Cafe Asia space.

Photo courtesy Andy B.

by Chris Teale January 25, 2018 at 10:45 am 0

A store in Westover Village that offers handmade and fairly traded products from developing countries has opened a new cafe.

Those behind Trade Roots (5852 Washington Blvd) opened the cafe, called Roots & Vines. It offers fairly traded coffees, teas and food items.

The café is run by chef Katia Reecer, who grew up in a Brazilian restaurant family and rounded her skills at the former Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda.

“Roots & Vines offers a casual and welcoming ambiance to relax over locally sourced and globally inspired coffee, tea, sweets & savories,” Reecer said in a statement. “We plan to keep the eclectic menu limited with weekly and seasonal changes, while always offering vegetarian and vegan options. My mother instilled in me the simple philosophy that when you cook with passion using both your hands and palate, the results will always be extraordinary.”

Trade Roots also sells soaps, food, jewelry and home products from local people, and prides itself on offering “beautiful and unique” items.

“I’m thrilled to have Katia as part of the team,” Trade Roots owner Lisa Ostroff said in a statement. “Trade Roots’ customers will now have fair trade coffee and tea options and an array of delicious foods and drinks from around the globe. Katia’s experience and philosophy lend perfectly to our vibe. She makes healthy morning treats like oatmeal and fruit parfaits and some amazing-but-not-as-healthy scones and croissants as well!”

Photos via Facebook

by Chris Teale January 8, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

The new Ten at Clarendon apartment building at 3110 10th Street N. has its first open retail tenant: frame store Italo Frame.

Open for about two weeks, owner Nasir Ester said it has a wide selection of frames as well as deeper shadow boxes for several photographs or other memorabilia.

Ester said he has been involved in the framing business for over 30 years. He previously owned Alna Art & Framing in Alexandria. The new store has frames from across Europe of all different colors and materials.

“You bring it, I will frame it for you,” he said.

The store is on the building’s westernmost corner, across the street from Fire Station 4.

by Chris Teale January 8, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

A national hair salon chain that specializes in blowouts is coming to Arlington County as part of a nationwide expansion, but its location has not yet been revealed.

Drybar announced January 1 on Facebook it is expanding into Arlington and 21 other cities, including nearby Alexandria as well as in the likes of Pennsylvania, Texas, New Jersey among others.

A Drybar spokeswoman did not provide any further information on the Arlington outpost as of the time of writing after repeated requests, including requests for specifics on its location and a possible opening date.

Drybar offers hair blowouts at more than 70 locations in the United States and Canada, and has products at department stores like Nordstrom and Bloomingdale’s.

Currently, the closest Drybar to Arlington is in Tysons Corner.

New year, new shops!! Over 20 new Drybar locations coming to a city near you in 2018!💛

Posted by Drybar on Monday, January 1, 2018

Photo via Facebook

by Chris Teale December 27, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

A fishing store is now open in a Cherrydale strip mall that had been planning to host a gun store.

District Angling opened on December 22 at 2105 N. Pollard Street, the former location of fitness business Curves. It sells fishing rods and other equipment, tackle and flies, clothing and other accessories. It also offers courses on fly tying and fly casting, and will host other events for fishing enthusiasts.

The storefront was once set to become the Arlington County home for Nova Firearms, but the landlord pulled the plug on the lease in 2015 after plans to open the gun store prompted heated protests from local residents.

The storefront has sat vacant for the past few years, except for a period as a pop-up holiday gift shop, but it is now home to the fishing store.

The Washington Business Journal reported earlier this year that founder Richard Farino had been looking to open a new store in the region after his Urban Angler store closed last year in Old Town Alexandria. Urban Angler had begun in Arlington in 2008, before relocating south in 2011.

In an email to customers, District Angling staff said:

We’re very excited to announce that the buildout of our shop is complete!  We are open for business just in time for your last minute holiday shopping, and you once again have a place to find your favorite brands, demo new rods, get information about some amazing fishing destinations locally and abroad, and learn new techniques and tricks to help your fly tying mastery.  Now that winter has arrived, we’ll make sure to have coffee.

We’re adding to our inventory and product continues to arrive daily.  We’re increasing our fly tying selection, brought on a few new fly fishing brands, and we have some great new District Angling logo gear for you to show off the place you tell stories about the one that got away.  We’ve added women’s waders, boots, and clothing, and we have gift cards in case you don’t know what to get your favorite angler this holiday season.

The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Hat-tip to Tim D.

by Chris Teale December 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm 0

A long-vacant storefront on the first floor of a Clarendon apartment building will be used as a child care center.

The Arlington County Board on Tuesday (December 19) unanimously approved a proposal to use space at the Garfield Park building (925 N. Garfield Street) for a daycare facility called A+ Kids.

County staff said the space, Suite D, has never had a retail tenant since the building opened. It is around the corner and in the same building as the recently-opened Board Room.

The center will have space for up to 60 children, and comes after the official kick-off of the county’s Child Care Initiative to try and expand choices for daycare. A final number of children will be subject to review by the county’s Child Care Office and Inspection Services Division.

It would be open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and use the building’s on-site parking garage to provide the required one parking space per employee.

The center will use some on-street parking spaces on N. Fillmore Street as a drop-off and pick-up zone, and make use of several existing parks as outdoor play space.

Board vice chair Katie Cristol praised the partnership between the various county departments to make the new child care center a reality in a previously unused space.

“It’s nice to see an otherwise unoccupied retail space going for this use,” she said.

by Chris Teale December 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A Japanese restaurant is now open at the Westmont Shopping Center on Columbia Pike.

Takohachi opened last Monday (December 11) at 3249 Columbia Pike, near its intersection with S. Glebe Road in Arlington Heights.

It replaced the Sports House Grill, a sports bar that ran into some controversy in recent years, between a State Farm agent and a Mattress Firm store.

The restaurant has a sushi bar, as well as traditional Japanese food like noodles, ramen, tempura and several types of saki — a Japanese rice wine — on the menu.

It is open for lunch every day from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. On Sundays through Thursdays, it is open 5-10 p.m. for dinner, and on Fridays and Saturdays from 5-10:30 p.m.

by Chris Teale December 15, 2017 at 11:00 am 0

A Ballston-based burger restaurant hopes to open its second location in Shirlington early next year.

According to its website, Big Buns Damn Good Burgers & Bar will open at 4251 Campbell Ave in January. In the build-up to its opening, Big Buns is offering various gift cards to its new location, including a year-long membership for $150.

For $5,000, someone can buy free burgers for life and burger naming rights on an “epic new Designer Burger for Shirlington.”

“Oh it gets better, every time you visit Big Buns Shirlington to see your name and in the bright big burger lights, you eat for free, forever,” the website reads.

Big Buns — not to be confused with existing Shirlington bakery Best Buns — serves customizable burgers, “designer” burgers with pre-chosen ingredients and burger bowls, where the meat and toppings are served without buns.

Elsewhere in Shirlington, Dudley’s Sport and Ale (2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive) continues to move steadily towards an opening.

Yesterday (Wednesday), owner Reese Gardner posted on the sports bar’s Facebook page that the steel columns and beams have been installed, and that it passed two of six county inspections.

“Once the rest of the structure is assembled and inspected we will be able to have a very clear timeline,” Gardner wrote. “Thanks for hanging with us.”

Construction Update:The steel columns & beams have been delivered and partially installed. We passed two of the six…

Posted by Dudley's Sport and Ale on Wednesday, December 13, 2017

by Chris Teale December 4, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

A nationally-known Pilates studio has opened its first D.C.-area location in Pentagon Row.

Club Pilates had its soft opening this weekend at 1101 S. Joyce Street, and will host a grand opening celebration on January 6. The gym is next to the Saigon Saigon restaurant. It had planned to open earlier, but organizers blamed delays on the county permitting process.

The soft opening included three full days of free 30-minute introductory classes and specials. Soft opening pricing specials are available through January 5 and include 20 percent off the first three months, 5 percent off an annual membership and the waiving of the enrollment fee.

Classes are available in the mornings and evenings at the studio, which modernizes traditional Pilates with the help of state-of-the-art equipment. Eight different class formats are available, with four levels of difficulty.

“Club Pilates is like nothing the DC area has ever seen — merging a variety of exercises that complement the core traditional Pilates practice,” studio owner Michael Grams said in a statement. “And in our efforts to modernize the workout even further, we’re bringing a group class feel with slightly larger classes (12 reformers vs. the traditional 2 to 8) so students will feel the motivation of community while providing personalized attention in this all-in-one workout.”

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

A camera store already in Burke and D.C. plans to open a new flagship location in Virginia Square.

District Camera & Imaging will move into the first floor of the ARC condo building at 3409 Wilson Blvd. An employee who answered the phone at the Burke store confirmed it will be its third location, and not replace the existing ones.

The employee said District Camera is targeting a February or March opening in Arlington, and that with a big space, they have big plans.

“We’re going to make it our flagship store,” he said. “It’s a broader and bigger space, so we’re going to try and use it to display more inventory.”

District Camera currently sells all manner of photography equipment, including cameras, accessories, tripods and batteries. It also offers equipment rentals, printing facilities and classes on photography skills.

by Chris Teale November 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm 0

A British-based clothing store is now open at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Superdry opened a 5,600-square-foot store next to Kate Spade New York on the mall’s second level earlier this month.

The chain offers “vintage Americana and Japanese-inspired graphics with a British style,” and is known for, among other things, its Windcheater jackets that keep the worst of the weather off. It also has clothing for men and women, and does a line of sportswear.

Its only other location in Virginia is in Tysons Corner, with another at the Clarksburg Premium Outlets in Maryland.

“Inspired by a trip to Tokyo in 2003, Superdry fuses design influences from Japanese graphics and vintage Americana, with the values of British tailoring,” reads a blurb on the mall’s website. “The result – unique urban clothing, with incredible branding and an unrivalled level of detailing. Such distinctiveness has gained the brand exclusive appeal, as well as an international celebrity following.”

by Chris Teale November 20, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A workout studio is coming to Clarendon’s Market Common.

Barre3 is set to move into the shopping center at 2800 Clarendon Blvd, above cosmetics store Sephora and between beauty salon Acqua Nails and the space formerly occupied by Indian restaurant Zaika.

The studio’s classes give a full-body workout, including by using a barre typically used by ballet dancers for balance.

“Barre3 mixes athleticism, grace, and the latest innovations designed to balance the body,” Barre3’s website reads. “Whether you have ten minutes or an hour, each full-body workout optimizes every moment with moves that adapt to your body for maximum results.”

This new, approximately 2,600 square foot studio will be the first in Arlington. The only other one in Virginia is located in Old Town Alexandria.

No word yet on an opening date for the Clarendon location, which looks set to be part of a revamp planned at Market Common by developer Regency Centers.

by Chris Teale November 8, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

A store selling safe-to-eat cookie dough is coming to the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City later this month.

Sophie’s Dough Gourmet Cookie Dough is set to open on Friday, November 24 — Black Friday — (update: the opening has been delayed) at a permanent kiosk on the third floor of the mall, near the soon-to-open Superdry clothing store.

Co-owner Sophia Fellers said that right now, they have 12 flavors of cookie dough to sell and may add more in the future. That includes flavors like pumpkin pie, and the signature called “Cookie Monster,” which has blue cookie dough with chocolate chips, cookie cereal, Oreo cookies and chocolate sprinkles.

“We’ll be doing all different types of cookie dough, cookie dough and ice cream, cookie dough milkshakes and cookie dough ice cream sandwiches,” Fellers said. “It’ll be everything cookie dough.”

Fellers said those flavor combinations have come mostly from trial and error, although her background and experience in cooking have helped them figure out what works and what doesn’t.

“I think that gives me an edge because I do cook all the time, so I have a niche for that,” she said. “It’s definitely a little bit trial and error. You put some things together and you’re like, ‘Oh, that doesn’t taste good,’ or it tastes good but it doesn’t look too appealing to the eye, because you want the combination of it tasting good and looking good.”

And while it is not normally recommended to eat cookie dough, as it contains raw egg and flour and so can result in salmonella, Fellers said they will do things differently to prevent anyone getting sick.

“Our cookie dough is safe,” she said. “That’s the big concern. For decades, people have been taking the risk and licking the spatula after Mom makes the cookies… Now, we don’t use eggs. I use an egg substitute, so there’s no eggs whatsoever in our products, and we also use a heat-treated flour to ensure that no one gets sick. So it’s completely safe and edible.”

The new store will make its cookie dough creations on site at its 10-foot by 15-foot kiosk. Fellers said it should be in place by the end of next week, ahead of final county inspections and permitting.

Photos via Facebook

by Chris Teale November 3, 2017 at 4:00 pm 0

A nail and beauty studio is set to move in to Clarendon.

According to building permits filed with the county, Salon Lofts will move into 3001 Washington Blvd, in the long-vacant first floor of an office building in the neighborhood.

On its website, Salon Lofts says it allows beauty professionals to be independent business owners. The company provides tools, technical support and education to those interested in owning a studio, known as a “loft” by the company.

Owners can then customize their lofts and offer various beauty services.

It will be the third Salon Lofts in the D.C. metro area. The company also has locations in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio.

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