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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 Chris Teale September 7, 2017 at 9:55 am 0

A new beauty store is set to move to Pentagon Row, reportedly as early as next spring.

Ulta Beauty is opening a 10,000-square-foot store at 1101 S. Joyce Street, replacing the Vitamin Shoppe and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. The store will be close to Harris Teeter and Bed Bath & Beyond.

Washingtonian magazine reported late last month it will open in spring 2018. As of Thursday, construction crews were hard at work on the space.

Ulta offers a wide range of beauty products, including brands like Urban Decay, Nars and MAC. It also offers services like facials, eyebrow waxing and hair styling.

Already, Ulta has stores nearby in Bailey’s Crossroads, Springfield and Northeast Washington. Its online careers portal notes several open positions at the planned Pentagon Row store.

Ulta is one of a number of businesses that have opened or are opening at Pentagon Row in the coming months. Signs nearby welcome the arrivals of the F45 Training gym, Club Pilates, Aabee Kabob, a Deli and Basic Burger.

Basic Burger, a Shake Shack-eque burger restaurant, opened its first location in Courthouse last year.

by ARLnow.com August 30, 2017 at 10:10 am 0

(Updated at 12:20 p.m.) National fitness chain Club Pilates is working to open its first Arlington studio.

The Southern California-based company is opening a franchise location on Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street), next to Saigon Saigon restaurant. Paper still covers the windows, suggesting that an interior build-out is in progress.

In a Facebook message, the studio says it’s at least five weeks behind schedule due to delays with the county permitting process — a common complaint of new brick-and-mortar businesses in Arlington.

Our apologies for the delays. We are still waiting on county permits to start building out the studio. We are about 5…

Posted by Club Pilates on Tuesday, August 29, 2017

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 22, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A fast-casual Middle Eastern restaurant replaced a former frozen yogurt store in Crystal City earlier this month.

Shawarma Gyros Xpress opened on August 12 at 2329 S. Eads Street. It replaced Froyo To Go between Kabob Palace and Sahara Cafe and across from a CVS in a shopping plaza close to Jefferson Davis Highway. The owners of Kabob Palace are also behind the new fast-casual eatery.

The new eatery offers sandwiches including chicken and beef shawarma, soups, salads and pies, as well as appetizers and desserts like baklava. It offers dine-in and takeout options, and has a large dining room towards the back as well as high-top tables near the front.

Hat-tip to C.H. McMillan

by Chris Teale August 16, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

(Updated 4:35 p.m.) The first retail tenant at Marymount University’s “Newside” building is getting closer to opening.

Signs are up for the new Starbucks at the property at 1000 N. Glebe Road in Ballston, but the build-out inside still ongoing. Marymount faculty and staff started moving into the new building earlier this month ahead of the new school year.

The coffee giant is the first to commit to moving into the new building’s 5,000 square feet of retail space. The structure replaces the “Blue Goose” that was demolished in 2015.

Marymount is using six floors of the nine-story office building on the site, with the other three floors available for other companies. Next door is a 12-story, 267-apartment residential building.

No word on an exact opening date yet.

by Chris Teale August 10, 2017 at 12:00 pm 0

Three new clothing stores and a home furnishing store will open soon at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

London-based Long Tall Sally is expected to open Tuesday, August 15 on the second level of the mall, next to ZARA. The store offers clothes and shoes for women who are 5’8″ or taller.

Also opening this month near ZARA is Whiskey Ginger Men’s Shop, described as “the premiere destination for a highly curated collection of exceptional men’s clothing and accessories.” The store touts European tailoring with the laid-back styles of Southern California.

Superdry rounds out the clothing stores set to open soon. Its 5,600-square-foot store next to Kate Spade New York on the mall’s second level is expected to open this fall. The British-based 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.

Home furnishings company LoveSac will open this month next to ECCO on the mall’s second floor. LoveSac makes modular furniture known as Sactionals, which are sectional sofas that can be reconfigured in various combinations.

Meanwhile, mall leaders lauded the recent openings of restaurant Sugar Factory and shoe store ECCO, as well as the expansion of former clothing pop-up store ELOQUII.

“It’s important that we continue to bring in stores that complement the center’s ever-growing roster of sought-after brands,” said Todd Jerscheid, director of marketing and business development for Fashion Centre at Pentagon City, in a statement. “With the recent opening of the highly anticipated Sugar Factory, we hope to continue to provide shoppers with the ultimate shopping experience.”

by Chris Teale August 8, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

A new coffee shop is open in Arlington Forest in a low-slung shopping center just off Arlington Blvd.

Sense of Place (4807 1st Street N.) replaced a Subway sandwich shop in the Arlington Forest Center. It opened yesterday (Monday), next door to Brick’s Pizza, the DaVita dialysis center and the Mathnasium of Arlington education center.

Sense of Place features a coffee bar that serves specialty pour-over coffee, which uses a filter and a dripper to extract more flavors. At the bar, a certified barista will serve the coffee, while a sign nearby expressly bans the use of laptops to encourage customers to enjoy their drinks without distraction.

“At the bar, customers take the time to see, smell, and taste subtly different notes of flavors and textures with every sip that they may not have noticed before,” the cafe’s website reads.

The new cafe serves its own house-brand coffee, called Enzymo Coffee. The coffee beans undergo a natural fermentation process before being roasted, which staff said keeps the coffee fresh, the acid content low and prevents any post-caffeine crashes an hour or two after drinking.

Also on offer: various other hot and cold drinks as well as homemade pastries, paninis and sandwiches.

Early Tuesday morning, the store was already doing brisk business, despite having been open for just one day. Multiple customers told ARLnow how excited they were to have an independently-owned coffee shop in the plaza, which is also home to Outback Steakhouse and used to house the now-shuttered Filipino grocery store Fiesta Oriental.

Sense of Place is open from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. It is closed on Sundays.

Hat-tip to Mike Marketti.

by Chris Teale August 8, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

The former Pentagon City home of the NKD Pizza restaurant chain will become a Mediterranean restaurant and kabob house, permits filed with the county show.

The eatery looks set to come to the Pentagon Row shopping center at 1101 S. Joyce Street, next door to an F45 gym and across a surface parking lot from the Harris Teeter. No word yet on an opening date or a name for the new restaurant.

NKD Pizza opened in July 2011 as Naked Pizza, touting unique pizza recipes and all-natural ingredients. A Ballston/Virginia Square location opened in 2012 at 933 N. Quincy Street.

Both of the Arlington pizzerias closed, as well as its flagship store in New Orleans after financial problems. The company has since relaunched, and now operates locations in Michigan as well as Dubai and Bahrain in the Middle East.

by Chris Teale August 7, 2017 at 3:45 pm 0

Just months after national chain Applebee’s closed in Ballston, its replacement, Filipino restaurant Bistro 1521, has opened its doors.

Located at 900 N. Glebe Road on the first floor of the the Virginia Tech Research Center and next door to the recently-opened Stageplate Bistro, the new spot occupies a large restaurant space, with seating capacity for 220 inside and 60 on the outside patio. It opened July 31.

The restaurant has a slew of Filipino staples, including soups, salads, rice and dishes with noodles and various meats. Bistro 1521 also has various grill and house specialty dishes including jumbo squid stuffed with tomatoes and onions; Cebu crab cakes and a “1521 Burger” with ground beef, longaniza (a Spanish sausage), atchara (pickle) and sweet potato fries.

Those behind the restaurant include Manny Tagle, bartender Jo-Jo Valenzuela and wife Christina Valenzuela, and general manager Solita Wakefield. Wakefield was previously a co-owner of Bistro 7107, a Filipino restaurant on 23rd Street S. in Crystal City, which recently closed. Jo-Jo Valenzuela said the dishes will be recognizable to those who love Filipino food.

“We want to be careful about calling our food authentic, because everyone’s mother cooks meals differently,” he said. “But we’re definitely traditional Filipino comfort food.”

The restaurant’s name refers to the year Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Philippines, and the artwork on the wall includes references to the country’s flag and other part of its history.

Dinner service begins at 4 p.m. each day, with lunch and brunch services set to launch in the near future.

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

A new wine store and gourmet shop is coming to Pentagon City, according to a Virginia ABC application.

The store, called Pentagon City Wine Merchant in the application, would be located at 1330 S. Fair Street, near The Millennium at Metropolitan Park apartment building and across from Costco.

It may replace the Tutti Frutti frozen yogurt store, which closed in 2015 and had gone unfilled until now. The new store will also be next door to the Epic Smokehouse, an upscale barbecue restaurant that opened in 2012.

As of Tuesday, August 1, no building permit applications had been filed with the county.

Calls to the phone number associated with the ABC application went unreturned.

In addition to facing competition from the Costco across the street, the store will also compete with the Whole Foods store a block away.

by Chris Teale July 31, 2017 at 1:25 pm 0

A new deli serving a wide range of food and drink is coming to Courthouse and could open as early as this fall.

The Chelsea Market & Deli will be located at 2250 Clarendon Blvd in the plaza near county government headquarters. It will replace the shuttered City Market convenience store, and be opposite Starbucks, Clarendon Nail Spa and GNC near the Courthouse Plaza apartments.

Owner Shawn Kim said Chelsea Market & Deli could be open sometime in October, depending on how permitting and construction goes. Kim said he is adding a full kitchen with a pizza oven, which could make things more complicated, and that he anticipates being open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The new deli will serve traditional deli food like corned beef pastrami, hot sandwiches, pizzas and salads as well as international cuisine like Jamaican food. After living in New York and being a regular at various street-corner delis and markets, Kim said he wanted to bring that back to Arlington.

“It seems like here, everything is so franchised and the food is good sometimes, but you don’t get that home cooking taste anymore,” Kim said. “I’m trying to bring that food back.”

Chelsea Market & Deli has filed an application with Virginia ABC to serve beer and wine, and Kim said it will also serve various breakfast staples like waffles, pancakes, omelets and French toast. Cheeses and other snacks will also be sold.

He added that the new eatery, which will be focused on being a carry-out market rather than a full sit-down restaurant, will try to keep prices low.

“I’ve been working in the food industry for a long time, and the need for sandwiches and pizza for a good price, it’s hard to find these days,” Kim said.

by ARLnow.com July 26, 2017 at 9:10 am 0

Equinox Gym Coming to Clarendon — “Clarendon is getting an Equinox health club — just the third standalone location of the gym in the D.C. area. The high-end fitness facility will be part of the Market Common development in the Arlington neighborhood, according to two real estate broker sources familiar with the deal.” [Washington Business Journal]

Local Seniors Have Millennial Transit Traits — “Arlington seniors are fairly tech savvy. They are generally comfortable with transportation tasks such as searching options online to using apps on their smartphones. They generally have a young frame of mind and are open to considering new ways of doing things (including trying various modes of transportation) and the latest technology.” [Mobility Lab]

History of Local Newspapers — Arlington, Alexandria and D.C. have a rich history of local newspapers, with one currently-published paper tracing its roots back to 1800. [Falls Church News-Press]

by Chris Teale June 26, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

Soon, some parts of Arlington will be just a walk away from the latest Wawa location.

The convenience store with a cult-like following announced today (Monday) it will open a new store at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue NW and Prospect Street NW in Georgetown. That is within blocks of the Key Bridge and about a mile from the center of Rosslyn.

Wawa said it expects to open the store by the end of next year.

In a press release, Wawa promised the store will “feature the latest Wawa offerings with an upscale, urban feel, including customized architectural elements that meet the historical needs and requirements of the Old Georgetown Historic District.”

The store will include Wawa’s food and drink offerings as well as custom salads and nitro, cold brew coffee. It will be another one of the company’s “urban” stores, as it moves away from its suburban model where a gas station is attached.

Wawa earlier this month announced its first location in the region at 1111 19th Street NW, near the Farragut North Metro station. The push is part of the company’s efforts to add between 30 and 50 stores in the Washington region.

“This second location is one more step in Wawa’s overall D.C. expansion as we continue to look for sites and with the goal of opening numerous locations throughout the city over the next few years,” said Brian Schaller, Wawa’s chief real estate officer, in a statement.

Wawa officials say they are actively pursuing sites in and around D.C., potentially to include Arlington.

“Wawa will also continue its ongoing expansion in the surrounding counties in Maryland and Virginia to further our brand expansion,” the company said.

Map via Google Maps

by Chris Teale June 13, 2017 at 8:00 pm 0

Convenience store giant Wawa is considering expanding into Arlington County as part of its push into the D.C. and Virginia market, but has no firm plans yet.

Wawa, which operates more than 750 stores in six states including 81 in Virginia, announced Tuesday night its first location will be in the District at 1111 19th Street NW.

And with an aggressive plan to add 30-50 stores in the region, including 5-10 in the next two years alone, Wawa representatives said there will be a concerted push to also look beyond D.C.’s neighborhoods and into the outlying counties in Maryland and Virginia.

“We think of Arlington, Fairfax and Loudoun [counties] a little differently, not so much as part of our District expansion but really more as part of our Virginia expansion,” said John Poplawski, Wawa’s senior director of site acquisition and development, in an interview. “We continue to work towards those, but frankly, the approval process and the zoning are a little more challenging in those markets.”

With its new store in D.C., Wawa is looking to expand its more urban stores, as opposed to its previous model of operating in suburban locations with gas stations attached.

The new District store will be the largest Wawa store in the country, and as well as the latest food offerings will be the first to have counter, indoor and outdoor seating. The store will also be the first to have Wawa’s so-called “Wild Goose” café brand.

Wawa announced its first foray into D.C. at an event Tuesday night at the Newseum. Company executives were joined by representatives of various local organizations and developers in a conference room overlooking the city skyline to unveil designs of the new store.

Outside, the company set up a Fan Zone where customers could pose for photographs with mascots Wally and Shorti and pick up branded merchandise.

Wawa is famous across Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware and Florida as well as elsewhere in Virginia for offering fresh food including made-to-order hoagies, fresh coffee and a slew of other food items including breakfast sandwiches.

And given the similarities between neighborhoods in D.C. and areas of Arlington like Ballston, Clarendon, Pentagon City and Crystal City, county residents could get a taste in their neighborhood soon.

“We’re looking for those intersections that have throughout the day pedestrian counts, folks that are there on the weekends, folks that are there late-night, surrounding businesses that will support us, and we have great partners here in the District,” Poplawski said.

Poplawski said more store locations will be announced in the next “60-90 days.” Rumors have swirled online about new stores opening in Chinatown and Georgetown in D.C., while a store in Sterling in Loudoun County will open on June 23.

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