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by Chris Teale — May 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm 0

Less than a year after it opened in Ballston, the Rock ‘n’ Joe Coffee Bar has rebranded.

Now known as the Republik Coffee Bar, the spot at 4401 Wilson Blvd made the switch “a few days ago,” according to an employee Wednesday morning. There are still various references to its former name — right down to the “Rock ‘n’ Joe” cup sleeves still in use and the murals still on the wall.

Republik still serves coffee, tea and food, including sandwiches and salads. The interior appears unchanged from its previous iteration.

The original plan had been for Rock ‘n’ Joe to open five stores in the D.C. metro area under franchise owner Talha Sarac, with the potential to expand beyond the region.

According to paperwork filed with the Virginia State Corporation Commission, the new coffee bar is registered under Sarac’s name. Rock ‘n’ Joe no longer lists the Ballston location on its website; only its locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Sarac did not respond to requests for comment, but a spokeswoman for the county’s department of community, planning, housing and development confirmed an application was submitted last month for a change of tenant for the business.

Hat-tip to Richie F.

by ARLnow.com — May 3, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

A new massage business is coming to Campbell Avenue in Shirlington.

The business, Massage Forever, is under construction in what were formerly two retail bays, housing the Cakelove pastry shop and Periwinkle boutique.

Massage Forever “provides full-service body massages to alleviate chronic pain, stress and tension using therapeutic massage techniques,” according to the Village at Shirlington website. “Trained and licensed personnel will provide quality professional massages in a high-end therapeutic massage spa facility that serves as a one-stop shop for all massage needs.”

No word yet on an opening date.

by Chris Teale — April 20, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

The former Dominion Pet Center at the Lee-Harrison Shopping Center is being replaced by two businesses, including another pet store.

Going in will be Kriser’s Natural Pet Store at 2501A N. Harrison Street and speciality ice cream shop La Moo Creamery at 2501B N. Harrison Street.

Dominion Pet Center closed last year after facing stiff competition from internet retailers and the opening of a large chain competitor, Unleashed by Petco, across the street. It first opened in 1981.

Now Kriser’s and La Moo will fill the 3,113 square feet of available space between H&R Block and the Sushi-Zen Japanese Restaurant.

For Kriser’s, the move represents an expansion of its presence in Arlington, as it already has a location at 2509 N. Franklin Road in Clarendon. The store, which has locations elsewhere in Virginia as well as California, Colorado, Illinois and Texas, offers natural pet food and other products, grooming and training help.

Based on a permitting application submitted to the county, La Moo will be a retail ice cream parlor. No other details were available on its website.

by Chris Teale — April 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm 0

Construction is almost complete at Marymount University’s “Newside” building, and it has landed its first retail tenant.

Permit applications filed with the county indicate that Starbucks will move into the property at 1000 N. Glebe Road in Ballston.

The coffee giant would be 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.

Two buildings are under construction on the site: a nine-story office building and a 12-story, 267-unit residential building.

The former will be owned by Marymount University, with the university using six floors as office and educational space. The top three floors will be leased out as office space.

Between the two buildings, there will also be a 10,600-square-foot public plaza and pedestrian passageway.

Construction is expected to be completed this summer.

by Chris Teale — March 27, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A new cafe appears to be arriving at the Columbia Place condo complex near Columbia Pike

Building permit applications have been filed with the county for a “new cafe and lounge in an existing mixed used building” at 1107 S. Walter Reed Drive.

Currently, the 14-unit building also hosts the Pureluxe Nails and Spa nail salon on its first floor. It is across the street from a branch of the BB&T Bank and the Avalon apartment building (formerly the Halstead), and is a block from Columbia Pike.

But there appears to be plenty of work to be done ahead of the new cafe’s opening.

The county’s online permitting system notes that permit applications in building, mechanical, plumbing and zoning categories have been rejected since the initial paperwork was filed March 8.

There are two potential cafe competitors nearby: Starbucks and Rappahannock Coffee, which is slated for redevelopment.

A spokeswoman for the county’s planning department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

by Chris Teale — March 22, 2017 at 5:00 pm 0

1812 N. Moore Street (photo via Monday Properties)

The Arlington County Board approved Tuesday a $12 million package of state and local grants for the relocation of Nestlé’s U.S. corporate headquarters to Rosslyn.

The food giant will receive $6 million in Commonwealth Opportunity Fund grant money from Virginia. COF money is incentive-based, and requires at least $36 million in capital investment and 748 new jobs with an average annual salary of $127,719.

That state grant will be matched by the county’s Economic Development Incentive grant and related infrastructure improvements. The $4 million EDI grant has the same requirements as the state grant but also requires that at least 205,000 square feet of space be leased.

The additional $2 million in infrastructure improvements is already planned in the county’s Capital Improvement Plan, said Christina Winn of Arlington Economic Development.

Winn said those improvements include the Corridor of Light public art installation on N. Lynn Street, the Lynn Street Esplanade and Custis Trail Improvement project, and relocation of bus stops on N. Moore Street.

The combination of grants shows “everybody giving a little bit to get so much back,” Winn said. She added that such incentives help Arlington stay competitive against its regional rivals, and that such programs are only used 7 percent of the time, when AED looks to attract big companies like Grant Thornton.

Board vice chair Katie Cristol said that she has previously been “skeptical” of such incentive programs, but that she sees their value in cases like this. Nestlé is projected to bring $14.2 million in net tax benefit to Arlington, and will bring an anchor tenant to the previously empty skyscraper at 1812 N. Moore Street. The move is seen as a big economic development win for the county.

“The case has been well made about what this means for Arlington County and why this is a significant decision on the part of Nestlé,” Cristol said.

Photo courtesy Monday Properties

by Chris Teale — March 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm 0

Four clothing stores, two eateries and a coffee store will be open before the end of spring at the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City.

Women’s clothing store ELOQUII is now open in a pop-up location near Kate Spade New York, in the space once occupied by its parent company, the Limited, on the mall’s second level. ELOQUII offers clothing for women in dress sizes 14 and up, and also provides wide width footwear and accessories.

On the same level, Ministry of Fashion has opened its first mall location, having started in 2014 in Georgetown. It looks to provide quality menswear as well as clothing for women, and supports local businesses and talents.

Just two spaces down from Ministry of Fashion and near Macy’s is New York & Company, a specialty retailer of women’s apparel and accessories.

On the edge of the mall’s food court, Indian eatery Naan & Beyond opened earlier this month. The fast casual restaurant offers a variety of Indian staples.

The coming months will bring several new options at Pentagon City. Sugar Factory is slated to open April 1 on S. Hayes Street next to honeygrow as the mall continues to expand. The candy shop and restaurant is famed for its celebrity-endorsed Couture Pops.

The Nespresso boutique is now expected to open May 1 on the ground level at the S. Hayes Street entrance. The store will sell Nespresso coffee and other products and accessories, as well as offer complimentary tastings. The spot was once occupied by Belmont Jewelers.

Finally, The Shoe Box will debut at the Fashion Centre later this spring on the mall’s first level near Nordstrom. It brings more than 50 years of experience in footwear, and contains more than 30 luxury brands as well as its own self-titled house line.

by Chris Teale — March 7, 2017 at 4:55 pm 0

A new women’s clothing and accessories store opened December at the Lee Heights Shops, replacing the recently-shuttered Lemon Twist Arlington.

Lemoncello Boutique at 4518 Lee Highway is a family-owned store that sells clothes for women of all ages, including young children and babies. It opened under different ownership from the previous store.

It also sells gifts and other items, including photo frames, jewelry and beauty products. Brands sold include Vineyard Vines, Scout and local jewelry designer Second Daughter, owned by Jessica Speckhard.

Lemoncello replaced Lemon Twist, which sold similar items and brands from the time it opened on Lee Highway in the late 1980s until it closed last year.

The store was part of a small retail fashion chain.

As of yet, the other Lee Heights Shops store to close recently, Bradshaw’s Children’s Shoes, appears not to have been replaced. It shuttered last year due to the owners’ retirement, after the store had served Northern Virginia since 1834.

by Tim Regan — January 31, 2017 at 10:20 am 0

(Updated at 10:53 a.m.) A new fitness studio is now open on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartment building.

The business, Neighborhood Barre, opened its doors at 1148 N. Irving Street about two weeks ago, according to franchise owner Eileen McCarthy.

Neighborhood Barre offers workouts that mix dance conditioning, pilates and isometric exercise techniques. This is the first D.C.-area gym for the company, which has locations in Tennessee and Alabama.

McCarthy, a longtime barre enthusiast, said she got the idea to open the studio after many years of trying different kinds of exercise routines.

“I had been doing barre workouts on my own,” McCarthy said. “It was a big stress reliever for me. It’s intense, but it’s not off-the-wall intense.”

The ballet-inspired barre workouts are suitable for people of any fitness level, she added.

Though she considered several other locations, McCarthy said opening a fitness studio in Clarendon was a “no brainer.”

“It’s just such a good mix of people and densely populated,” she said.

Neighborhood Barre currently offers five classes each weekday and three classes on Saturday and Sunday, but more classes are on the way, McCarthy said.

by Tim Regan — January 27, 2017 at 4:30 pm 0

One of the owners behind a local burger restaurant has a new business venture that doesn’t revolve around food.

Basic Play, a new recreational venue, opened at 2024 Wilson Blvd on Monday. The indoor playground is located next door to its sister business, Basic Burger.

“One of the owners of Basic Burger has two little ones,” said Basic Play director Ana Castillo, who did not give the owner’s name. “Through his personal life, he’s realized there’s a limited number of businesses in northern Arlington that are dedicated to younger children.”

The play area, which is designed for kids under 40 inches tall, features soft BPA-free surfaces that are cleaned with non-toxic disinfectants after every play session.

“We strive to make sure our place is as welcoming and open to as many people as possible,” Castillo added.

Basic Play offers “open play” periods that last 50 minutes and cost $10 per session. The business also hosts birthday parties and special events.

by Katie Pyzyk — November 15, 2016 at 2:30 pm 0

The following is the fifth and final article in a weekly series about a “day in the life” of companies at the MakeOffices coworking space in Clarendon. The series is sponsored by MakeOffices.

Although coffee is readily available at the office when Local News Now Founder Scott Brodbeck arrives, he typically brings his own. He knows that he’ll need the earlier jump start before leaping right in at the office and turning on the police scanner while sifting through readers’ news tips.

While the business aspects of Local News Now and much of the daily writing for local news website ARLnow.com are done at the MakeOffices Clarendon home base, covering news means being ready to go out on assignment at any given time.

“For us, the location is great. Being able to walk to so many things has been huge,” says Brodbeck.

Obviously, there’s far more to Arlington than just Clarendon, but being based at such a central location in the county makes for easy transportation to story locations. Staff usually walk, run or drive to stories, although Brodbeck explains that they have not yet delved into a very Arlington-esque mode of transportation while on the clock.

“We haven’t biked to any stories yet, but it’s something we’re considering,” he says with a laugh.

On one particularly busy news day last month, Brodbeck took the short walk from his office to a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly opened Hyatt Place Hotel in Courthouse. He snaps photos and listens to speeches from corporate and county leaders as dozens sip champagne to celebrate the new development at the space previously occupied by Wilson Tavern, and Kitty O’Shea’s before it.

(Brodbeck refrained from imbibing the bubbly on the job, but isn’t opposed to an after-working-hours beer from one of MakeOffices’ kegerators.)

Along the way to the event, Brodbeck does what reporters do: He keeps an eye out for other potential stories. That means taking photos of progress at two nearby construction sites, investigating a “temporarily closed” sign at Five Guys (it has since reopened) and making a note to stop at the just-opened Blumen Cafe after the ribbon-cutting event.

Business does not come to a halt at Local News Now headquarters when Brodbeck and other reporters are out in the field. Back at the office, Director of Sales and Business Engagement Meghan McMahon gears up to meet with advertising clients. For her, location is also key for conducting work tasks.

“I work with a lot of local Arlington businesses. Being able to run in and out of the office to meet people… is very convenient,” she says.

McMahon’s life recently changed with the birth of her daughter and now another important aspect comes into play daily: balancing work life with being a mom.

Returning to a coworking space after maternity leave at first seemed overwhelming for McMahon, who suddenly had to factor breastfeeding into her daily routine. “When I first came in I saw that everything’s glass, everything’s open. I wondered where my privacy would be,” she says. “I was a little stressed about how to be in a working office environment and also be able to pump and do the things I have to do to be a new mom.”

But it turns out that MakeOffices Clarendon has an amenity McMahon wasn’t aware of at first. There are small, completely private, secure rooms called “wellness centers” that she now takes advantage of twice each work day.

“That was a sense of relief for me,” she says. “I can take a few minutes out of my day and go relax in the wellness rooms… It gives me 20 minutes of alone time so that I can get ‘mom stuff’ done.” (more…)

by ARLnow.com — September 12, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

CycleBar under construction on Columbia Pike (photo via Facebook)A new indoor cycling studio is coming to Columbia Pike.

CycleBar, which offers vigorous instructor-led spin classes set to “mind-blowing” music playlists, is coming to 3400 Columbia Pike, according to its website.

Its next-door neighbors include Sugar Shack Donuts and Chipotle.

Construction on the new studio is currently underway, according to the business’ Facebook page.

“We’ve turned up the volume on the indoor cycling experience,” the Facebook page touts. “CycleBar unites you with riders of all ages and fitness levels by creating an unparalleled multi-sensory, intoxicating journey.”

CycleBar has dozens of studios throughout the U.S.

Photo via Facebook

by Andrew Ramonas — August 25, 2016 at 3:30 pm 0

Nook Play Space (Photo via Facebook/Nook)An Arlington mom is set to bring a “modern” play place to a Lee Highway storefront this fall.

Nook Play Space is slated to open at 5649 Lee Highway in mid-October, providing an alternative to play areas like Chuck E. Cheese, owner Maria Vogelei said.

She said that many of the D.C.-area play places she and her young daughters have visited are overcrowded and in dark, windowless spaces that are “completely outdated.”

At Nook, Vogelei said, children can engage in creative play without overstimulation.

Inside the 3,000-square-foot space, children who are five years old or younger can visit corners dedicated to art, construction, costumes, the senses and the city. For example, kids can build with white Lego blocks, explore a “forest” of bungee cords or play on structures that resemble an art installation of cardboard boxes, Vogelei said.

The design elements are “pleasing to the parent’s eye,” she said. “It’s a place parents would enjoy, too.”

Parents can buy monthly Nook memberships online for $120 for one child, with discounts for multiple kids. Day passes are $20.

Vogelei plans to keep the play space open seven days a week, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Photo via Facebook/Nook

by Lindsay Smith — August 2, 2016 at 2:00 pm 0

A new independent coffee shop is slated to open at some point in the near future in the Clarendon area.

The shop, called Blumen Cafe, is coming to the space that formerly held CD Cellar at 2607 Wilson Blvd, which is about halfway between the Courthouse and Clarendon Metro stations. Signs for the forthcoming cafe state that the business is “coming soon.”

Though we were unable to contact the proprietor behind the cafe, Andira Jabbari, for comment, real estate agent Kenneth Matzkin — who helped lease the property to Jabbari — was able to provide some insight.

The cafe will bring “high-end teas and coffee” and snacks to the space as early as some time this month, Matzkin said.

“They’re putting in a boatload of money to make it look nice,” Matzkin said. “They’re also going to open it up in the front so you could walk directly to the sidewalk from the space.”

But Matzkin cautioned that the end result is still subject to change.

by Andrew Ramonas — July 25, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

Shady Grove Fertility location at 901 N. Stuart Street in Ballston (Photo via Shady Grove Fertility)

A new fertility center has arrived in Ballston.

Shady Grove Fertility has a location now open at 901 N. Stuart Street in the Ballston Metro Center Office Towers, the center announced last week. Dr. Anitha S. Nair, a reproductive endocrinologist who leads the Arlington office, will treat men and women fighting infertility.

With its Ballston clinic, Shady Grove Fertility currently has 19 full-service outposts in Virginia, D.C., Maryland and Pennsylvania.

“In response to the growing demand for Shady Grove Fertility services in Northern Virginia, we’ve located our newest office in Arlington, VA, within steps of the Metro to provide additional convenience for our patients,” Shady Grove Fertility’s medical director Eric A. Widra said in a statement. “With Dr. Nair being a longtime resident of the city, we’re excited to provide the Arlington community with the experience and success we’ve achieved throughout the region.”

Photo via Shady Grove Fertility

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