The details are scarce, but a new restaurant appears to be coming to Ballston Quarter mall.
Permits have been filed for a restaurant called Superette at 4238 Wilson Blvd, the mall’s address. The restaurant will seat somewhere between 1 and 100 people and will serve beer, wine and cocktails, the permit suggests.
No other details about the restaurant, which does not yet have a public web presence, were immediately available.
An LLC associated with the new restaurant, however, is linked to local restaurateur Sam Shoja, who owns Emile’s in D.C. and, according to Eater, “three D.C. area franchises of Jinya Ramen Bar and two locations of kebab Sheesh in Northern Virginia.” Shoja also previously owned a stake in Ballston Quarter eatery Hot Lola’s.
Noted chef Kevin Tien recently split from Emile’s, which he founded and co-owned with Shoja. Eater noted that in return for Tien’s stake in the restaurant, “Shoja has given Tien his 40 percent share in Hot Lola’s, the chef’s Sichuan-style hot chicken sandwich brand with a stall in a Ballston food hall.”
A retail broker whose contact information was listed on the permit for Superette did not respond to a request for comment.
Ballston is getting a new taco spot later this summer.
Chef Victor Albisu has scrapped plans to open Huevos, an all-day egg restaurant concept, and is instead going with the tried and true: a fifth location for his popular Taco Bamba chain. The 1,500 square foot eatery at 4000 Wilson Blvd will feature a 35 seats, another six at a bar, and a small patio.
The decision was made due to the financial pressure restaurants are facing during the pandemic, as well as the popularity of a Taco Bamba drop-off zone in Ballston, Albisu said.
More from a press release:
Award-winning chef Victor Albisu announces plans to bring the next location of his popular taqueria, Taco Bamba, to The View at Liberty Center in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Va. this summer. Located at 4000 Wilson Blvd., Suite C (entrance on N. Quincy St.), the 1,500-square-foot fast casual will feature a bar program, a small patio and a brand new menu of nuestros tacos, in addition to the taqueria’s traditional favorites. The space was slated to be the first location of Albisu’s all-day egg concept, Huevos, but he pivoted to an existing concept in light of the pandemic’s impact on the hospitality industry.
“As restaurants struggle to find a foothold during this unprecedented time, we felt it was a better business decision to open another location of a well-known and trusted concept, rather than introduce a new one,” Albisu said. “Our team has been working on the Huevos menu for months. We even took first place at the Coca-Cola Beachside BBQ at South Beach Wine & Food Festival in February with a Huevos dish. It was a tough decision, but we’ll find another location for Huevos.
Right now, we are excited to bring a new Taco Bamba menu to Ballston. Arlington is a neighborhood where I’ve always wanted to open a location. We’ve been operating a weekday satellite drop zone outside the space since April, and it’s been very popular. My favorite part of opening any new Taco Bamba location is creating the new menu for that neighborhood, and this has been an especially fun one to write.”
(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Surprise! Arlington is about to get a major restaurant opening in the midst of the pandemic.
Cafe Colline, a neighborhood French bistro from prolific local restaurateurs Ian and Eric Hilton, is set to open for takeout next Thursday, June 25. Both phone and online orders will be accepted.
The brothers hope it will open for indoor and outdoor dine-in service — socially distanced per state guidelines, of course — within the next two weeks, pending a Certificate of Occupancy from Arlington County.
After nearly a year of work, finishing touches were underway today at the restaurant, in the former Cassatt’s space at 4536 Lee Highway in the Lee Heights Shops. Plastic was being taken off the windows and metal fixtures were being polished. Aside from getting the occupancy certificate, the main thing left to do is to install new light fixtures.
At 100% capacity, the restaurant will be able to serve 48 people inside at tables and the bar, and 16 outside, on a back patio. When it opens, it will have about 18 indoor seats and 10 outdoor seats open. Ian said he expects to only be open for dinner Thursday through Sunday for the first two weeks or so, and then will “open up for real” after that.
Cafe Colline will serve “classic, traditional French cuisine,” and aims to be a go-to hangout for the neighborhood through a casual atmosphere and reasonable prices. The menu — just published online on the restaurant’s new website — includes entrées like ratatouille, a cafe burger, pasta provençal, and Scottish salmon.
Opening in the middle of a global pandemic “is not the best timing, that’s for sure,” Ian told ARLnow today. “But what are you going to do? At least we’re in Phase 2 now… I lament my poor timing, but here we are.”
In addition to the impending opening of Cafe Colline, the brothers just opened their new Solace Outpost brewpub in the former Mad Fox Brewing space in Falls Church. Amid the new openings — the Hiltons are also behind the new Parc de Ville in the Mosaic District and the still under-construction El Rey taco spot in Ballston — Ian said he fears a potential second COVID-19 wave in the fall.
“That would potentially be the end of the road,” he said of the potential of a new surge in virus cases and a return to a business shutdown. “We would certainly have to contract.”
Ian predicts that up to 30% of all restaurants could ultimately close during the pandemic, regardless. But he remains cautiously optimistic about his restaurants making it through to next spring, when conditions could improve.
If there’s any silver lining of all this, he said, it’s the potential for improved tenant-landlord and diner-server relations, as the role of restaurants in fueling the commercial real estate industry is better appreciated and as frontline hospitality workers are given more respect by picky diners.
“If you bash a place on Yelp right now, it makes you look like one of the worst people on the planet.”
For Ian, who lives in nearby Donaldson Run, Cafe Colline — the brothers’ first Arlington eatery — is being opened where it is “100% out of selfishness.”
“I live just down the street,” he said. “There are not a lot of options around here… My friends constantly pester me, [asking] why don’t we have something of yours that we can get to easily without going into the city.”
“Dealing with the headaches of parking in Clarendon and being shoulder-to-shoulder with the raucous people there on weekends,” is not ideal for the more mature North Arlington crowd, said Ian. “This is a nice little hidden spot, a bit of an oasis around here… It made total sense.”
The new Wiseguy Pizza location in Pentagon City is set to begin its soft opening today.
The latest outpost for the acclaimed local New York-style pizza chain is on the ground floor of the Witmer, a new 26-story luxury apartment building at the corner of 12th Street S. and S. Hayes Street. It’s the second Wiseguy Pizza in Arlington; the first is in Rosslyn.
Owner Nuri Erol says the eatery “did a test opening last week for a few days” but would begin its soft opening week today (Tuesday). It will be open from noon-8:30 p.m., he said.
Wiseguy recently started offering online ordering and curbside pickup. While opening during a pandemic might not be ideal, the pizzeria’s long-term prospects look promising, given the 25,000 Amazon employees that will eventually be working two blocks away.
Hat tip to @CartChaos22202. Photo courtesy Nuri Erol.
Undeterred by the pandemic, a new outpost of a bánh mì sandwich chain is getting closer to opening.
As we reported in January, Lee’s Sandwiches is coming to 801 N. Quincy Street in Ballston, where a Subway sandwich shop closed last summer. Signs are now up outside the restaurant entrance, one of which says it is “coming soon.”
Lee’s serves “Asian-Euro sandwiches” including its flagship Bánh Mì, and is also noted for its fresh-baked baguettes and Vietnamese iced coffee. The chain opened its first East Coast store at 3037 Annandale Road in Falls Church in 2016.
“Founded in 1983 in San Jose, California, Lee’s Sandwiches is a quick-serve restaurant chain specializing in Bánh Mì, Vietnamese sandwiches and other Euro-Asian food products,” a press release said at the time. “From its beginnings as a food truck, Lee’s Sandwiches is now the largest Bánh Mì chain with over 60 locations in Arizona, California, Las Vegas (Nevada), Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, and Taiwan.”
While coronavirus has disrupted the businesses of local restaurants across the country, a new one is popping up in Shirlington despite the tough times for the industry.
“TACO + PINA’s is a labor of love which has been in the works for almost a year and a half now” said owner Graham Bartlett, a protégée of famed chef and restaurateur Richard Sandoval. “While some may question opening during a pandemic I believe it is our destiny to launch on Cinco de Mayo, which this year also falls on Taco Tuesday.”
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the support and constant positive encouragement from the Village of Shirlington community asking when we will open,” Bartlett continued. “We have an opportunity to offer truly great food with high-quality ingredients, and we get to do something positive for our new neighbors during this anxiety-driven time.”
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., according to the website.
Bartlett said the restaurant will offer contactless pick-up and delivery. Takeout options include:
- Tacos: fried chicken, pina+taco; “chile relleno,” ribeye asado, and baja bahia.
- Enchiladas with rice and refried beans: garlic sambal chicken, roasted mushroom + cheese
- Nachos: crab chilaquiles, shrimp + chorizo nachos, hot mess nacho fries
- Party Size (6-8 people): chips + salsa, roasted poblano queso dip, and guacamole.
The press release noted that TACO + PINA will also offer a “backyard party” package for $55, which will serve 4-6 people. The package includes:
- Chips, salsa and guacamole
- Two taco proteins (pork, mushroom, fried chicken)
- 24 corn tortillas with rice and beans, salsa and cream
Tequilas, frozen margaritas, wines, Mexican imported beers, and local craft beers are also planned to be available for takeout starting Tuesday.
Photo via Taco and Piña/Facebook
The Stand, a small food pavilion in the Crystal City Water Park which formerly hosted a rotating cast of pop-up eateries, is now a full-time location for D.C. area food truck favorite Peruvian Brothers.
The new Peruvian Brothers outpost officially opened this week. While perhaps not the best timing, given the pandemic, the stand does let customers order and pick up meals while never needing to go indoors.
More from a press release:
Peruvian Brothers is now open at The Stand in the Crystal City Water Park.
“We are thrilled to welcome Peruvian Brothers to the National Landing neighborhood,” said Amy Rice, Senior Vice President of Retail Leasing at JBG SMITH. “With the opening of their new location, residents will be able to support a local business and enjoy a delicious carry out meal while they get some fresh air during these challenging times.”
The Peruvian Brothers, co-founded by brothers Giuseppe and Mario Lanzone, expanded over the last seven years from operating one food truck to three food trucks, a catering company, and now brick-and-mortar concession stands throughout the region. The Peruvian Brothers’ new location at The Stand will serve authentic “Comida Criolla,” the tastiest part of their Peruvian heritage, which is rooted in Andean, Spanish, African, and Asian influences. The menu includes their renowned baked empanadas, desserts, and drinks, such as Peruvian coffee, for carry out.
“The ability to bring people together through food is incredibly important to us. As National Landing residents ourselves, we want to serve our neighbors fresh, delicious food when they need it most,” said Giuseppe Lanzone, CEO. “We plan to bring many of the Peruvian flavors we miss most from our childhood to The Stand for others to experience, as they remind us of family and home.”
Peruvian Brothers at The Water Park, at 1601 Crystal Drive in Arlington, will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for carry out only.
The death of Bracket Room in Clarendon, as announced by Bracket Room itself, was greatly exaggerated.
The briefly-closed sports bar is back open and offering takeout cuisine, according to a new Instagram post on Monday. The post comes less than a week after a now-deleted post announcing Bracket Room’s permanent closure amid the coronavirus outbreak.
It’s unclear what prompted the reversal.
“With your continued support, hopefully we can stay open and push through this crisis together,” the restaurant said. “We look forward to seeing you all come in and we can’t wait to get past this and back to normal.”
View this post on Instagram
‼️ Bracket Room will be opening back up! ‼️ First and foremost, THANK YOU ALL for the support and well wishes over the last week. We have decided as a business that we are going to be opening back up starting TOMORROW, from 12PM to 8PM Monday thru Sunday, with a limited menu. At this time, we will only be taking phone orders, not any online or tablet orders. You can reach Bracket Room at 703-276-7337. *The limited menu is viewable below and online. With your continued support, hopefully we can stay open and push through this crisis together. We look forward to seeing you all come in and we can’t wait to get past this and back to normal.
Bracket Room is not the only Arlington business to re-think a coronavirus closure. On Monday, local favorite The Italian Store reopened to business “in a limited capacity” after a week earlier deciding to close during the outbreak.
About This Post — Due to lots of coronavirus-related news, we have a number of non-disease-related local links that we haven’t been able to get to over the past two weeks. We’re running a one-time Weekend Morning Notes post to clear our queue. This will replace the usual weekend discussion post.
Arlington Cherry Blossom Walk — “Cherry blossom season in the D.C. area is a wonderful time of year, and taking in the blossoms is a beloved tradition. WalkArlington has created a walk featuring a few of our favorite locations in Arlington where you can appreciate the blooms and enjoy all that springtime in Arlington has to offer.” [WalkArlington]
Median Signs Promote Census — “What is good for the goose apparently is not good for the gander – if, that is, the gander is the Arlington County government. Those driving the roadways of Arlington in recent weeks no doubt have seen a flurry of median signage calling attention to, and promoting participation in, the federal census.” [InsideNova]
Local Cat Makes Headlines –“An adorable cat with a jaw deformity can’t help but always stick her tongue out – and her owner has insisted she wouldn’t have her pet any other way. Pretty Kitty, five, from Arlington, Virginia, can only open her mouth a ‘small amount’, and has her tongue always sticking out thanks to the way her jaw formed.” [Daily Mail]
Instant Runoff Voting for Arlington? — “Voters in future Arlington County Board elections could find themselves using the ‘instant-runoff’ method rather than the current ‘winner-takes-it-all’ manner. Both houses of the General Assembly have approved and sent to Gov. Northam a measure allowing Arlington to conduct its County Board races using instant-runoff voting, also known as ‘ranked-choice’ voting.” [InsideNova]
Arlington-Based Textile Brand Profiled — “From a plant-filled studio in Arlington, Diana Johnson translates ideas in her head to paper by lettering, illustrating and painting. Using her background in graphic design, Johnson is able to transform her artwork digitally into handcrafted products like pillows, clutches, greeting cards and, most often, prints to add a little color to any space.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]
Green Valley Looks Forward — “Low-level sales of marijuana and other substances in the Green Valley community in the 1960s grew into a full-fledged, open-air ‘drug supermarket’ by the early 1980s, with the intersection of 24th Road South and Shirlington Road ground zero for the illegal operations. On March 7, leaders of the community looked back at those days, and committed themselves to ensuring a better future for their community.” [InsideNova]
Chamber Acquires ‘Awesome Women’ –“Awesome Women (AWE), the professional networking group founded in Arlington in 2014 that now has six chapters throughout the DC area, announced today that it will become a program of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce later this year. The Arlington Chamber will offer women-only networking events beginning in the fall, and will call the new program the Arlington Chamber Chapter of AWE.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]
Victim of Pentagon Stabbing Identified — “The man who was fatally stabbed Monday morning on the platform of the Pentagon Metro station has been identified as a 25-year-old from Northwest Washington, a spokesman for the transit agency said. Sean Ronaldo Golden, who lived near the District’s Brightwood Park neighborhood, died shortly after arriving at George Washington University Hospital, a report provided by Metro says.” [Washington Post]
And now here it is, your moment of zen…
(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) A new French pastry shop is coming to Rosslyn this spring or summer, pandemic allowing.
In an era before social distancing and talk of quarantines, signs went up in the former Bean Good Coffee Pub space (1737 Wilson Blvd.) at the Colonial Village Shopping Center for Eclairons, a new cafe and bakery.
Signs in the window say the new restaurant will operate as a pastry shop, espresso bar and cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The location is a spin-off of the Pastry Xpo Cafe in the Mosaic District in Fairfax. Staff at Pastry Xpo said that work is still ongoing inside Eclairons and the restaurant is not expected to open for “another few months.”
A new high-end coffee shop is open in Arlington.
For Five Coffee Roasters opened yesterday in Courthouse, at 2311 Wilson Blvd. With every order, the cafe will serve a Nutella-stuffed cookie at no charge for the next three months, according to the owner.
“[Giving the cookies out] is us saying thank you, and we’re happy to serve you,” the owner, Stefanos Vouvoudakis said. “And giving back to the customer.”
The menu includes sandwiches and breakfast items, but Vouvoudakis is especially proud of the pastry selection at For Five, calling it “second to none.” The cafe serves a variety of cookies, including a “fruity pebbles” cookie with cream cheese frosting, plus red velvet, triple chocolate chip, and apple crumb pie filling cookies.
The coffee menu includes pour-over and cold brew options, and an espresso bar. Vouvoudakis’ favorite drink is the latte, for its “perfect balance between the milk and espresso.”
This is the second D.C. area location for the small, New York City-based chain. It has an existing location in Alexandria and others in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Vouvoudakis says For Five is also planning to open a location in Tysons within the next three to four months.