Press Club

Crystal City’s Amazon Fresh is looking at a summer opening, a company spokesperson confirms.

Back in February, a mystery was solved when it was confirmed that an Amazon Fresh grocery store was moving into the large retail space at 1550 Crystal Drive. Now, the company says that residents likely won’t have to wait too long for Crystal City’s only grocery store to open.

“We haven’t confirmed an exact opening date yet but we can confirm it will open this summer,” a company spokesperson said in an email.

In addition to traditional checkouts, the store will also have what the company calls “Just Walk Out technology,” meaning customers can exit the store without physically going to any check-out.

“Amazon’s Just Walk Out system uses ceiling-mounted cameras and artificial intelligence to track shoppers’ selections as they walk around the store and automatically charges them when they exit,” as described by Grocery Dive.

The new store will also have anti-graffiti window film, according to building permits.

Technically, Crystal City has been grocery-store-less for close to two decades, though there’s a Harris Teeter and Amazon-owned Whole Foods in Pentagon City, as well as another Harris Teeter in the Potomac Yard area of Arlington.

This will be the first Amazon Fresh in Arlington, but another location is planned less than two miles away, in the Potomac Yard shopping center in Alexandria.

The company is quickly expanding its grocery footprint across the D.C. area with three stores having opened just in the last year, including one in Fairfax last month.

There could also be a second Arlington Amazon Fresh, rumors suggest.

The Fillmore Garden Shopping Centers on Columbia Pike is set to be demolished in the coming months to make way for “The Elliott.” That new development will have 50,000 square feet of ground floor retail, a revamped CVS, and a grocery store. There is some suggestion that this grocery store will also be an Amazon Fresh.

So far, though, company officials are remaining mum.

“We don’t comment on our future store roadmap,” said the spokesperson.

0 Comments

Primary and urgent veterinary care clinic Bond Vet and dog daycare and boarding facility District Dogs are set to open locations in Clarendon in June.

Both businesses are coming to The Crossing Clarendon retail center.

Bond Vet, a chain based out of New York City, will open at 2871 Clarendon Blvd on Tuesday, June 14, the company says.

Bond Vet chose Arlington as its first location outside New York City because of the “rich context” of Clarendon, Marketing Manager Brooke Goldstein told ARLnow. The shopping center is also home to Tatte Bakery & Cafe, Lululemon, an Apple Store and other higher-end stores and restaurants.

“We like to be part of a rich context with many different types of tenants, rather than going into an area where you’re only going to find soft goods or medical offices,” she said, “We felt that this was a good opportunity for that.”

The clinic also plans to open locations in Bethesda and D.C. neighborhoods, such as Capitol Hill.

An open house at the Clarendon clinic will be held between noon and 4 p.m. on Sunday, June 12. The event will feature dogs up for adoption from The Little Black Dog Rescue Group, pet portraits and raffles.

Bond Vet provides urgent care services such as treating rashes, wound care and gastrointestinal issues, as well as primary care services like dental cleaning, neutering and planned surgeries, according to the press release. The clinic, which offers walk-in and scheduled appointments, will be open every day between 10 a.m. and 8 p.m, including on holidays.

District Dogs, which provides daycare, spas and overnight boarding services for dogs, is set to hold its grand opening on Monday, June 6. The storefront at 2820 Wilson Blvd is also the company’s first location in Virginia.

There will be playrooms, full-service pet spa services, and behavioral training workshops. Customers can also rent private dog playrooms at the store.

Clarendon currently has a variety of pet care businesses, including two other veterinary clinics, Clarendon Animal Care and Caring Hands Animal Hospital, along with Chippin, a locally based dog food brand.

District Dogs is planning to open another Arlington location in Pentagon City, at Amazon’s HQ2, which is currently under construction but set to open its first phase next year.

0 Comments

Our Mom Eugenia, a popular Great Falls-based Greek restaurant, is opening a new outpost in Shirlington.

The family-owned Greek eatery is aiming to open by the fall, a press release announced. It’s moving into the 3,604 square-foot space at 4044 Campbell Avenue, next to CHIKO which opened late last year.

Our Mom Eugenia appears to be replacing Aroma Indian Cuisine. In early 2020, that restaurant moved from next door into the larger location. Prior to that, 4044 Campbell Avenue was the location of Hula Girl Bar and Grill but that restaurant closed in 2019.

There’s no word yet on when or if Aroma will be closing to make way for Eugenia.

This will be Our Mom Eugenia’s third location, with the original opening in Great Falls in 2016. The second location in the Mosaic District started serving in August 2020.

The restaurant is owned and named after Eugenia Hobson. A long-time local chef, she was born and raised in western Greece. She cooked at a number of other area Greek restaurants, before opening her own business a few years ago with her two sons.

“Eugenia learned the secrets of Greek cuisine from her grandmother for whom she is named,” notes a press release.

The menu consists of traditional Greek fare, like avgolémono soup, dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), pastitsio (Greek lasagna), grilled octopus, lamb chops, spanakopita, and saganaki (fried cheese).

Our Mom Eugenia is the latest in a line of other notable restaurants and businesses looking to open later this year in Shirlington. Astro Beer Hall is moving into the former Capitol City Brewing space and is aiming for a fall 2022 opening as well. Mason’s Famous Lobster Rolls is also potentially looking at an early fall starting date. Last month, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream also announced its move into Shirlington, though the company only provided a sprinkling of details beyond that.

0 Comments

Amazon has announced four more local businesses that will open at the first phase of its HQ2, known as Metropolitan Park, in Pentagon City.

HQ2 will be home to Arlington’s second Conte’s Bike Shop, a South Block, the second location of Vienna-based Social Burger and the first brick-and-mortar location of HUSTLE — a high intensity cycling workout business.

The businesses will join the two that were already announcedDistrict Dogs and RĀKO Coffee.

South Block’s Met Park spot will be one of four new planned locations that will open in the next two years, South Block’s Vice President of Marketing Lindsey Parry told ARLnow.

“For us, it’s always been about our community first and so the opportunity to build new blocks and to be a part of HQ2 to us is just really establishing those local roots, continuing to grow,” she said.

A common thread among the businesses is making an impact in their communities.

South Block owner Amir Mostafavi started nonprofit Fruitful Planet that gives fresh fruits and vegetables to food insecure communities and people in need. And at Social Burger in Vienna, 40 meals a week that its customers purchase go to Lamb Center, a homeless shelter.

Social Burger Owner Denise Lee said she’s looking forward to showcasing the business and bringing the burger spot to a bigger setting.

“I’ve been there several times through the construction phase,” she said. “It’s amazing. I’m excited to be part of that. It’s going to be a beautiful campus when the time comes.”

The restaurant will be larger than its original, with a planned 38 seats, and some outdoor seating, Lee said.

HUSTLE co-founder Sunny Miller started the online workout platform during the pandemic to continue connecting with the community she had built through cycling classes. HUSTLE later began pop-up classes at the Wharf in D.C., but to have a permanent space for the business is something special, Miller said.

“This space is going to mean so much for my team and the community because we finally have a place where they can come on a regular basis,” she said.

HUSTLE has already started running free strength classes in Long Bridge Park, Miller said. And they will also be starting cycling classes there every Saturday, beginning in June.

Conte’s Bike Shop co-founder David Conte said the approximately 4,000-square-foot space will feature a mezzanine with a studio for seat fitting, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a coffee bar similar to the one at its Navy Yard location.

“For us to have an opportunity to literally be on the ground floor with an organization like Amazon that’s going to serve the community and the county really quite fabulously, is really humbling and it’s a real privilege,” said Conte’s co-founder Wayne Souza.

“Amazon is excited to bring these businesses and more to HQ2, helping to build a vibrant, buzzing neighborhood,” the company said in a blog post this morning.

0 Comments

Hawkers, the Asian street food restaurant chain, is now aiming for a mid-August opening in Ballston.

The eatery was initially supposed to open back in spring 2021 and, then, June of this year, but supply chain issues have delayed it now twice, the company says.

“Because so much of our equipment is incredibly specialized to fit our concept — for instance, our wok stations are all completely customized to our menu, and our electrical panels are customized to handle our neon signage installations — the supply chain constraints delayed our construction timeline,” writes a company spokesperson. “Our manufacturers and suppliers worked as quickly as they could, but they could only build as specific parts and electrical components became available.”

The growing chain first announced it was opening a location at 4201 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the Ballston Exchange office complex, nearly two years ago in July 2020.

Orlando-based Hawkers was founded in 2011 when “four best friends joined forces (like the Avengers, but better) to bring the streets of Asia to the streets of Orlando, Fla.” The restaurant has about a dozen open locations in several different states. That includes a Bethesda outpost — the first in the D.C. area — which opened in late 2020.

The menu highlights street food from across the Asian continent, including dim sum, baos, chicken wings, pad Thai, noodle dishes, and fried rice.

When the new Ballston location opens in a few months, it will be the first Hawkers in Virginia and the first to have a take-out window.

“The Ballston community is vibrant, full of energy, and incredibly social — all of which are qualities that align perfectly with the Hawkers brand,” the spokesperson said, when asked why the company chose the neighborhood. “We cannot wait to open our doors and get to know the Ballston community on a deeper level.”

The restaurant is currently hiring servers, bartenders, line cooks, hosts and dishwashers.

0 Comments

The growing cadre of tech employees working in Pentagon City and Crystal City now have new places to go for their sneakers and hoodies.

Two new stores recently opened at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall on S. Hayes Street. SneakerMat is on the second level near Nordstrom and specializes in sneaker cleaning, restoration, and repair. It also has a collection of footwear for purchase.

The shop is local to the D.C. area and independently-owned, with its only other location in Hyattsville, Maryland.

“I became very proficient in shoe care and restorations [because] of a passion to always keep my shoes clean,” Nathan Hawkins, the shop’s co-owner, wrote on its website. “Growing up there were times I had to wear the same shoes an entire school year; so making sure my shoes were clean and could last was very important to me.”

Custom World, located next to the GameStop on the mall’s food court and Metro level, is a customized hoodie and t-shirt retailer. The store claims that it can “customize everything in 15 minutes” — something, presumably, that fast-moving startups may appreciate.

The stores join other recently-opened retailers at the Fashion Centre, including Rihanna’s lingerie brand Savage X Fenty. Back in September, a cereal bar, a Levi’s store, a furniture store, and an LA-based luxury goods seller all set up shop there.

The mall, popular with local shoppers as well as out-of-town tourists, is located only a block from Amazon’s under-construction HQ2.

0 Comments

Compass Coffee is planning to open a drive-thru location along Langston Blvd in Arlington this summer.

The D.C.-based coffee shop chain is currently in the midst of construction of its first ever drive-thru location at 4710 Langston Blvd, in the Waverly Hills neighborhood, a company spokesperson confirmed to ARLnow.

The hope is to open late this summer.

The nearly 2,700-square-foot space formerly housed a SunTrust Bank, which closed in 2020. A building permit was applied for in February that called for a new build-out and interior demolition.

In addition to the drive-thru, which was first reported by the Washington Business Journal, the space will also have an indoor cafe, similar to other Compass Coffee locations.

This will be the company’s third Arlington store, joining existing cafes in Rosslyn and Ballston. Compass also just opened a location in Fairfax back in March, furthering its reach into Northern Virginia.

Overall, Compass Coffee currently has 14 open locations.

In terms of coffee drive-thrus, there’s some buzzy competition just down the road. A mile away from the new Compass Coffee, Starbucks has its own drive-thru — also a repurposed bank. The Starbucks has attracted long drive-thru lines, sometimes extending out to Langston Blvd, particularly at the height of the pandemic.

0 Comments

A new cafe and lounge is hoping to open in Crystal City within the next couple of months, the owner tells ARLnow.

Crush Cafe at 546 23rd Street S. comes from Yoseph Abegaz, who owns Flirt Lounge next door. It’s filling a space that was once occupied by a dry cleaners and shoe repair shop. The location was first rented last June and a building permit to alter the interior was first applied for in September.

The new cafe is set to serve coffee, Abegaz tells ARLnow, as well as beer, wine, and mixed alcoholic beverages.

Abegaz described the new cafe as essentially an “expansion” of Flirt Lounge, a hookah bar and lounge that opened in 2016. He declined to give an exact timeframe about when his newest venture may open, only that they are still in the midst of licensing and permits.

It will be at least a “couple of months” before Crush Cafe can open, Abegaz said.

That strip of 23rd Street S. is known as “restaurant row.” With Amazon HQ2 moving in down the road and extensive development happening in the neighborhood, there remains some questions of the aging, low-slung retail strip’s long term viability.

Nonetheless, much like Crush Cafe, new eateries continue to set their sights there.

Beauty Champagne & Sugar Boutique just started serving bubbly earlier this month at the corner of 23rd Street S. and Fern Street. A halal restaurant franchise is hoping to open a new concept by the end of the year on S. Eads Street, just around the corner from Crush Cafe’s new home. A half block down, a Korean rice dog eatery was planning for an early 2022 opening but that appears to be delayed, with the restaurant’s website still not accepting orders.

0 Comments

Late night chalupas and booze appears to be coming soon to Courthouse, with Taco Bell preparing to open its newest Cantina location.

A permit was filed earlier this week for a new Taco Bell at 2039 Wilson Blvd, county records show. The location is likely to be the fast food chain’s restaurant-bar combo, Taco Bell Cantina, as reported by the Washington Business Journal.

The permit notes that work is being limited to the first floor and will include a new HVAC system, electrical, plumbing, furniture, and kitchen equipment. A single-use restroom will also be part of the construction.

The space at 2039 Wilson Blvd was formerly after-work staple Guarapo Lounge, which closed nearly six years ago after being open for a decade and a half. Next door is a post office.

It appears that Taco Bell will be just filling the space’s 2,166-square-foot first floor, leaving the second floor open for another tenant.

The restaurant’s dining room will have an occupancy of 48 and the queuing area of a dozen, per the Washington Business Journal.

It’s unclear when the new eatery might open.

“We don’t have any details to share currently,” a Taco Bell spokesperson told ARLnow.

If this new Courthouse location does end up being a Taco Bell Cantina, it will be the third regional location of the fast food spin-off. This includes eateries in Old Town Alexandria and in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of D.C.

The main difference between a regular Taco Bell and a Cantina is that the latter sells alcohol, including beer, wine, sangria, and “Twisted Freezes.”

This would notably be a return to the neighborhood for the chain. More than a decade ago, there was a Taco Bell on the hill between Rosslyn and Courthouse — alongside the late, lamented bar Dr. Dremo’s — before the old buildings were demolished and a new mixed-use development at 2001 Clarendon Blvd went up.

0 Comments
DekaLash is looking to open this summer in Clarendon, replacing Cherry Blow Dry Bar (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A new lash and brow studio is taking shape in Clarendon, set to open in a former salon space.

DekaLash is aiming for a July opening at 1041 N. Highland Street. That was the location of Cherry Blow Dry Bar for about six years until it closed last summer citing financial issues.

Services the studio provides include lash lifts, lash fanning, lash extensions, eyebrow sculpting, eyebrow threading, and eyebrow lamination.

“A hugely popular service these days since Hollywood stars started promoting it in recent years,” writes a company spokesperson to ARLnow.

This will be the fifth DekaLash location in Northern Virginia, adding to the other shops in Alexandria, Sterling, Manssass, and the Mosaic District in Fairfax County. In total, there are more than 110 DekaLash shops across the U.S. and Canada.

The Arlington DekaLash team will be all “certified, licensed, and experts in their field,” the spokesperson says. Additionally, there are other state requirements to work in the industry.

“In Virginia, lash artists must hold a Virginia esthetician or cosmetology license,” said the spokesperson. “Applicants must then successfully complete our six-week training program and ongoing monthly meetings and training.”

Clarendon has seen a series of new businesses — mostly restaurants — opening in recent months.

Brass Rabbit Public House first started serving last month, in the former Bracket Room location. Buena Vida Gastro Lounge reopened several weeks ago at 2900 Wilson Blvd after a rebranding. Chipotle just opened last week on Clarendon Blvd. The new diner-esque eatery UnCommon Luncheonette has also now started serving breakfast and lunch at the corner of N. Garfield Street and 11th Street N.

0 Comments

(Updated, 12:05 p.m.) Tesla is opening its first Arlington sales and service center today.

A ribbon cutting ceremony is being held this morning at the nearly 64,000 square foot space at 2710 S. Glebe Road, just east of Shirlington. Several local officials are expected to be in attendance, including state Senator Barbara Favola and County Board member Takis Karantonis.

This is Tesla’s fourth Virginia sales center. Prior to the Arlington location, the closest was in Tysons.

ARLnow reported in early March that the electric car company was charging up to open a store on S. Glebe Road near I-395. It’s the former location of a Maserati dealership and, before that, seafood seller M. Slavin & Sons.

Tesla had to first get approval from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to open this and two other stores in the Commonwealth.

Under state law, automobile manufacturers like Tesla are generally not able to sell their cars directly to customers. This law was originally passed, in part, to encourage competition. In fact, for a time, Tesla couldn’t sell cars at its Tysons mall showroom and employees were forbidden from even discussing purchases.

However, that changed last May when the state DMV commissioner approved the company’s request to open three sales centers in Virginia. The reasoning the commissioner gave is that there are no independent dealers in Arlington — or in Charlottesville and Norfolk, where the other stores are opening — that could operate a Tesla franchise “in a manner consistent with public interest,” according to the hearing decision provided to ARLnow.

The Arlington store will employ about 20 people initially with “plans to grow as needed to meet demand,” a company spokesperson said.

In addition to its sales and service location, there are more than 400 Tesla “supercharger” stations in Virginia, where drivers can get a quick recharge of their car’s batteries.

That number includes eight such stations in Arlington, according to a company map. Rosslyn, Clarendon, Ballston, Pentagon City, Crystal City, and the new Tesla store on S. Glebe Road all have at least one publicly available charging station.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list