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by Chris Teale November 17, 2017 at 10:00 am 0

Arlington County’s newest Dunkin’ Donuts is now open in Clarendon.

The combined Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins store at 3009 Clarendon Blvd celebrated its grand opening this morning (Friday). The celebrations include free doughnuts for all customers and appearances by mascots Cuppy and Sprinkles and cheerleaders for the Washington Capitals.

Tomorrow (Saturday), customers can get a free medium hot or iced coffee with any purchase, while there will be a chance to decorate some doughnuts too. On both days, a prize wheel offers discount vouchers for various menu offerings.

It is the 12th Dunkin’ Donuts in the county, after one opened in September in Virginia Square. And at around 8:30 a.m., business was already brisk at the store located at the intersection of Clarendon Blvd and N. Garfield Street, just a block from the Clarendon Metro station.

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 4:45 pm 0

Plans to bring a Japanese barbecue restaurant to the former Brixx Pizza space in Clarendon could move forward soon.

The first D.C. area outpost of the Japan-based Gyu-Kaku restaurant is looking to move into 1119 N. Hudson Street, but months after first putting signs in the window, little progress is apparent on the inside.

But county staff approved a permit application for a new tenant layout late last month after several rejections for mechanical, plumbing and electrical issues, so construction could begin soon. The application was originally submitted in mid-August.

Gyu-Kaku serves Yakiniku cuisine — barbecued meats and veggies that are cooked by diners on a charcoal grill in the center of the table. The chain has hundreds of locations in Japan and existing U.S. locations in New York, Los Angeles, Hawaii and elsewhere.

Representatives of Gyu-Kaku did not respond to requests for additional comment.

by Chris Teale November 14, 2017 at 1:45 pm 0

A new coffee shop opened last month in Virginia Square.

Detour Coffee Co. is located at 946 N. Jackson Street, in the same building as the Darna Restaurant and Lounge, next to a Jiffy Lube.

On its website, Detour said it is owned by the same group that owns Darna. According to posts from its Facebook account, it opened late last month.

“Detour Coffee Co. combines tradition and innovation to create a delicious product that leaves customers satisfied every time,” it reads. “Located just blocks from the Clarendon Metro Station, our local coffee shop prides itself on maintaining the highest quality of product and service — all of our drinks are hand-crafted and pastries are made in-house from scratch.”

Detour serves various types of coffee including drip, espresso, chai and iced. It also has hot chocolate, and hot and iced tea, as well as sandwiches, pastries, empanadas and other food items. It is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

It is located about two blocks from local independent coffee shop stalwart Northside Social.

Photos 1-5 via Facebook, photo No. 6 via Google Maps.

by Chris Teale November 13, 2017 at 10:45 am 0

A fast-casual sushi restaurant appears to be moving into Virginia Square, but details are sparse.

An application filed with Virginia ABC indicates that Snap-A-Roll will be arriving at 3811 Fairfax Drive, in the same building as a Tropical Smoothie Cafe and the now-closed Water & Wall restaurant.

The space occupied by Water & Wall is still vacant, while another first-floor retail space is listed as being for lease.

In a brief interview this morning with ARLnow.com, the person whose phone number is listed with the ABC application declined to go into details about the new restaurant, or give his name.

“We’re still in the process of getting set up, so I have no specific information to give you,” he said.

The eatery shares a name with the Williamsburg, Va.-based Snap-A-Roll. On its Facebook page, it describes itself as “a revolutionary way to enjoy fresh, healthy and affordable sushi, hibachi and Asian cuisine.”

The restaurant became embroiled in controversy last month after it closed, with disagreement over whether it was for good or for a few weeks to carry out renovations.

In announcing its closure, the company’s Facebook page published a since-deleted post criticizing management and saying that employees did not know when it would reopen.

But the man who answered the phone declined to say much on whether this Virginia Square outpost is connected to that existing restaurant.

“There are some connections, but I do not have any specific information on that,” he said.

Photo No. 3 via Google Maps

by ARLnow.com November 10, 2017 at 2:55 pm 0

The whispers appear to be true: Medium Rare is coming to a building across from the Virginia Square Metro station.

Virginia ABC license application signs are up on the ground floor of the Latitude apartments at 3601 Fairfax Drive, with “Medium Rare” and co-owner Mark Bucher listed as the applicant.

Bucher responded to a resident’s tweet about the signs with an exclamation: “Coming soon!”

https://twitter.com/MediumRareDC/status/928811726216290304

Last year a company representative told ARLnow.com that the restaurant would likely open in “early 2018,” though so far the storefront is completely empty. Construction for a restaurant’s interior usually takes at least a few months, often extended further by permitting issues.

Medium Rare is known for its steak frites, “secret sauce,” simple prix fixe menu and its relatively bargain prices — just over $20 for bread, salad, steak and fries.

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 – 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 12:15 pm 0

(Updated 4:45 p.m.) A fast-casual Mediterranean restaurant is set to open in Ballston.

According to permits filed with the county, Cava Mezze Grill is set to move into 4121 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the Stafford Place II building, the former headquarters of the National Science Foundation.

It will replace the Matsutake Steak and Sushi restaurant at the location, which closed in 2014. Cava Mezze Grill is not to be confused with Cava, which already has a location in Arlington: a full-service restaurant at 2940 Clarendon Blvd in Clarendon.

A reader sent a photo of construction showing the space has been more or less stripped out, ready for the build-out.

Photos via ConciergeTim R.

by Chris Teale November 1, 2017 at 3:30 pm 0

The restaurant group behind Pamplona and Bar Bao in Clarendon has opened an outdoor food stand in the Crystal City Water Park (1601 Crystal Drive).

Called The Stand, it features a rotating menu of what it describes as “the best new food trends the area has to offer, right in the comfort of your own neighborhood.” It officially opened for business today (Wednesday).

The Social Restaurant Group partnered with venture capital firm Catalyst Venture Group on the project. It opened a few months after the water park’s former concession stand was forced to close when landlord Vornado declined to renew the lease.

November’s line-up at The Stand is as follows:

  • All day, every day: Breakfast with B Doughnut and La Colombe Coffee
  • November 1-3: Cookie Dough & Co. (cookies)
  • November 6-10: Capital Chicken & Waffle (comfort food)
  • November 13-17: Donburi (Japanese)
  • November 20-22: Pinch Dumplings (traditional Chinese)
  • November 27- December 1: Timber Pizza (pizza)

The partners are also behind the upcoming Common Ground Food Hall in Rosslyn, set to open in late 2018.

“We are so excited to introduce The Stand in Crystal City,” said Zi-Heng Zhu, co-founder of Common Ground Food Hall, in a statement. “Crystal City is full of creative people with an appetite for discoverable new kinds of food. It’s the perfect canvas for our chefs to share and test ideas in a fresh outdoor setting.”

https://twitter.com/ArlingtonVaPD/status/925788938391998464

by ARLnow.com November 1, 2017 at 8:45 am 0

Local Reaction to NYC Terror Attack — Local officials are offering words of condolence for the victims of yesterday’s terror attack in New York City. [Twitter, Twitter]

Did Gorka Park on a Rosslyn Sidewalk? — A photo posted on Twitter seems to show the Ford Mustang convertible owned by former Trump administration official Sebastian Gorka parked on a sidewalk in front of the Key Bridge Marriott in Rosslyn. It is unclear why Gorka would have parked on the sidewalk and he has thus far not confirmed that it was indeed him. [Twitter, Washingtonian, Washington Examiner]

More on Rosslyn Food Hall — New details about the new food hall planned for Rosslyn: it will be called Common Ground, it will have about 10 different food vendors and it is not expected to open until late 2018. [Washington Business Journal]

VRE Picks ‘Option 2’ for Crystal City — Virginia Railway Express says it will move forward with “Option 2” for its planned Crystal City station upgrade. The plan places the station within easy walking distance of the Crystal City Metro station but it was opposed by condominium residents concerned about noise and pollution. [InsideNova]

Arlington’s Homelessness Effort — “Now nine years into a 10-year push to end homelessness here, Arlington County has virtually wiped out homelessness among veterans, and it’s on track to house the vast majority of single individuals who still need a roof over their heads.” [Arlington Magazine]

by Chris Teale October 31, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

A fast-casual Greek restaurant is set to move into a shopping plaza in the Colonial Village neighborhood near Rosslyn.

The Simple Greek will arrive at 1731 Wilson Blvd, according to signs posted on the long-vacant storefront. It will be between the Guajillo Mexican restaurant and the Beangood! Coffee Pub, in the former Virginia ABC store space.

According to its website, the restaurant “is redefining the traditional Greek restaurant with an interactive concept that combines high quality ingredients, open kitchens and Greek atmosphere in a fast casual setting.”

Customers build their own meal by ordering from a combination of proteins, toppings and sauces, with sides, drinks and desserts also available. A Greek yogurt can also be built, with various sweet and savory options.

Already, The Simple Greek has 15 locations in Pennsylvania, Texas, Illinois, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Kentucky, Ohio, Florida and Arizona.

More are set to come in Florida, New Jersey, Texas, Indiana, Connecticut, North Carolina and Rhode Island. The Arlington location will be the first in Virginia.

Representatives with The Simple Greek did not respond to questions on an opening date. So far, no permitting applications have been filed with the county.

by Chris Teale October 30, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

A burger restaurant and bar is set to open a second location in Pentagon Row in the coming months.

Basic Burger hopes to open in the plaza at Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street) by the end of this year, next door to the Starbucks and facing the central square. Its first location opened in Courthouse last year.

The restaurant already pairs a relatively straightforward menu — burgers, hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, fries, salads, shakes — with a clean, modern interior and a bar offering beer, cider and wine.

And general manager Guillermo Castillo said the new location will have all those favorites as well as some new items like a new side salad, spicy chicken sandwich and between four and eight craft cocktails.

“We’re going to add to our menu, we’re not going to take away from it,” Castillo said.

Castillo said the new location will have around 1,200 square feet of outdoor seating with lighting, while two walls will be made of glass to give the whole restaurant what he called “an indoor/outdoor feel.”

“It’s thankful for us that it has been received really well, and so for our design, we want to be modern and a little bit contemporary, we wanted it to be very clean, sharp lines,” he said. “We wanted it to be welcoming. We didn’t want it to look like a franchise company. We wanted it to look like something where you’re comfortable eating there.”

Castillo said Basic Burger is “hoping and shooting for” a soft opening in December as a “bare minimum.” He said the full build-out will take around six or seven weeks once it has been prepared by the landlord.

After just a year in business, Castillo said Basic Burger’s expansion shows it is going in the right direction.

“Our first year was incredibly strong,” he said. “We’re fortunate: Arlington is really receptive to us… South Arlington, for us, is a market that we were looking to get into.”

by ARLnow.com October 30, 2017 at 9:30 am 0

Marymount Student Killed By JumperUpdated at 1:50 p.m. — A 22-year-old Marymount University graduate student was killed Saturday when a 12-year-old boy leapt from an overpass onto her car as she was driving down I-66 in Fairfax County. The boy was last reported to have survived but with life-threatening injuries. [NBC Washington, Twitter]

Food Hall Coming to Rosslyn — The restaurateurs behind Pamplona and Bar Bao in Clarendon are reportedly planning to open a new food hall in Rosslyn, above the new McDonald’s. The trendy food hall concept usually consists of “several different operators offering food from counters around a communal seating area.” [Washington Business Journal]

Drug Take-Back Day a Success in Arlington — Local law enforcement collected hundreds of pounds of prescription drugs in Arlington over the weekend. “The public safely disposed of 741 pounds of potentially dangerous unused, unwanted or expired medication during… Prescription Drug Take-Back Day,” Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow. “This exceeded the spring Drug Take-Back Day in which 562 pounds were collected.” [Twitter]

Drug Problem at Yorktown HS — “Bridget Loft, Yorktown’s new principal, took the doors off the bathrooms at school because students were using bathrooms to deal or use drugs. One of the most popular and easily disguised items of drug use, is the juul, a highly concentrated nicotine vaporizer… [which] can be refilled with marijuana, tobacco, or a substance of the student’s own invention. Youths often plug them into their school-issued laptops to charge them in class.” [Arlington Connection]

40 Under 40 Announced — The Leadership Center for Excellence has announced its annual Arlington 40 Under 40 honorees. The honoree luncheon is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 at Army Navy Country Club. [Leadership Center of Excellence]

Flickr pool photo by John Sonderman

by Chris Teale October 27, 2017 at 11:30 am 0

Workers in Ballston have a new option for a quick meal with the opening of Marymount University’s new cafeteria.

The new eatery in Marymount’s “Newside” building at 1000 N. Glebe Road, called “eat>,” is open to the public for breakfast from 7:30-10:30 a.m. on weekdays, and open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays. It is closed at the weekends.

Per Marymount’s website, the following options are available at stations in the cafeteria:

From the Get Go: Freshly made to-go sandwiches, salads, snacks, and more

From the Bowl: Fantastic comforting meals. Choose your base, your entree, and a bread for a great price

From our Favorites: Comfort food that everybody knows and loves

From the Heart: Abundant garden-fresh ingredients, creatively prepared to enhance a healthier lifestyle that satisfies the palate

From the Exotic: Adventurous, hand-crafted foods, representing innovative dishes from around the globe

From the Field: Delicious and bountiful veggies to create the ultimate salad

The cafeteria is frequented by Marymount students, faculty and staff but is open to the general public.

by ARLnow.com October 27, 2017 at 8:35 am 0

Arlington Startup to Appear on Shark Tank — SmartGurlz, an Arlington-based company that makes “a line of dolls that ride robotic scooters, controlled by an app built to teach girls to code,” is set to appear on an episode of ABC’s Shark Tank next month. At least one other Arlington startup has pitched investors on the show, successfully: Zoobean received an investment from Mark Cuban after appearing on the show in 2014. [Washington Business Journal]

Pop-Up Food Venue to Open in Crystal City — What was once an unassuming concession stand in the Crystal City Water Park on Crystal Drive has been renovated and is reopening on Wednesday, Nov. 1 as “The Stand,” featuring a “rotating lineup of pop-ups from the hottest local food vendors.” Among the vendors expected to take up temporary residence are La Columbe coffee, Cookie Dough & Co., B Doughnut, Capital Chicken & Waffle, Timber Pizza Company and Pinch Chinese dumplings. [Eater, The Stand]

Arlington Launches New Tourism Website — Arlington County has relaunched its tourism website. Per a press release: “The new website has the latest features, including responsive design… an enhanced regional events calendar integrating community events from Virginia.org and EventBrite; persistent mapping tied to local business listings; intuitive social media integration; HTML5 full-screen video and more.” [Arlington County, StayArlington]

Gutshall Endorsed by GGW — The urbanist website Greater Greater Washington has endorsed Democrat Erik Gutshall in the upcoming Arlington County Board general election. “Erik isn’t just for smart growth, he has deep experience and a strong track record from his time on Arlington’s Planning Commission and Transportation Commission,” the website wrote. “He’s a strong advocate for missing middle housing, bike infrastructure and transit-oriented development.” [Greater Greater Washington]

Clement Supports ADUs at Board Meeting — Independent County Board candidate Audrey Clement spoke in favor of loosening regulations on Accessory Dwelling Units at this past weekend’s Board meeting. “As a tenant in one of the few remaining affordable garden apartments in Westover Village, I welcome the prospect of moving to an ADU as opposed to a flat in an outlying suburb once my building is demolished,” Clement said. [Audrey Clement]

‘Breakfast With the Chief’ — Arlington County Police Chief Jay Farr will be hosting a breakfast for member of the local business community Monday morning in Rosslyn. “The event will provide information on the police department’s engagement with the business community to resolve public safety concerns, crime prevention and safety tips and a presentation by the FBI Cyber Security Task Force,” said ACPD. [Arlington County]

by ARLnow.com October 26, 2017 at 7:35 am 0

Badaro’s Big Plans — As we reported yesterday, a fast-casual Lebanese restaurant called Badaro is opening in the former NKD Pizza space in Virginia Square. According to Eater, restaurateur Jay Zein hopes to open the Badaro by December 1. “From there,” reports the website, “he says he’ll install a second location around Arlington, Virginia, by summer 2018 and ‘then expand beyond that.'” [Eater]

Fleet Elementary Time Capsule — Students, school administrators and county officials were on hand yesterday to fill a time capsule at the under-construction Alice West Fleet Elementary School, next to Thomas Jefferson Middle School. [Twitter]

Roads Next in Line for Changes at DCA — With a $1 billion expansion project underway at Reagan National Airport, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is now looking at DCA’s network of roadways as the next thing in line for upgrades. [InsideNova]

Arlington Resident Climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro — Arlington resident Janene Corrado has climbed to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Corrado’s fundraising quest started when her father was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in 2011. [Arlington Catholic Herald]

Amazon Key Coming to D.C. Area — Amazon is planning to launch a service called Amazon Key that would electronically grant delivery drivers access to your home to securely deliver packages. The service “is exclusively for Prime members in select cities and surrounding areas,” including the D.C. area. [PoPville]

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