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by Bridget Reed Morawski April 18, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) A Japanese chain restaurant may be a few steps closer to opening its doors in Clarendon.

Interior work has finally started on the restaurant, which first announced that it was “coming soon” to the former Brixx Pizza space at 1119 N. Hudson Street last May. The restaurant has an active commercial tenant buildout permit.

A application for Virginia ABC permit to serve wine and beer, meanwhile, was filed on Monday and is now pending. The permit suggests the restaurant will seat 101-150 people.

The restaurant’s interior was still in the buildout phase as of Tuesday afternoon, when a propped open front door showed construction material and unfinished fixtures within.

Gyu-Kak is a Japanese yakiniku restaurant chain with locations throughout the U.S., in addition to locations in Japan and other countries. This would be the chain’s first Virginia location, according to Gyu-Kaku’s website.

An email to Gyu-Kaku was not immediately returned, and a phone call to the number listed on a permit application had a full inbox and couldn’t accept a voicemail.

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 17, 2018 at 3:45 pm 0

A new rooftop bar in Clarendon is on the verge of regulatory approval.

The County Manager’s office has recommended that the County Board approve amendments and modifications to an incoming Clarendon restaurant at the former La Tasca site.

The proposed site plan amendment calls for “the addition of approximately 1,760 square feet of new gross floor area and approximately 12 feet of new building height to accommodate a roof structure for the incoming Buena Vida restaurant, with modification of zoning standards for parking.”

Approximately 129 new seats will be added to the space’s capacity with the amendment.

The County Board is set to approve those modifications, allowing the applicant to maintain the current level of parking spaces. This would reduce the project’s parking ratio from one spot per 580 retail square feet to one space per 606 retail square feet, according to a County Board agenda item.

With the Clarendon Metro station two blocks away from the restaurant site and a slew of Clarendon-area parking garages and street parking options, staff noted that “there will be no undue adverse impacts as a result of the request.”

The new rooftop area, “minimally visible to pedestrians at the ground level,” would include both an enclosed and an outdoor section, elevator access, and a lounge area. “Sound attenuating glass” has been proposed by the applicant for the wall adjacent to Wilson Boulevard, and dark sky lighting standards have been agreed to, per the agenda item.

Both the Clarendon-Courthouse Civic Association and the Clarendon Alliance have indicated support, according to county documents, for the site plan amendment. The Lyon Village Civic Association, per the document, “had not communicated a position on the applicant’s request” to the county.

The rooftop dining and bar area would be the top floor of a three floor dining concept, a Mexican beer garden called Up. The first floor will be a Mexican eatery called Tacos, Tortas & Tequila that would serve the aforementioned foods, while the second floor would be Buena Vida, an all-you-can-eat tapas style restaurant.

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 12, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

The new Medium Rare in Virginia Square will be opening Saturday (April 14) at 5 p.m. for dinner, according to owner Mark Bucher.

The restaurant, known for its fixed-price steak, frites, and “secret sauce,” will then open for brunch Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

The location, on the ground floor of the Latitude Apartments, is opening a little later than what had been previously reported. ABC license application notifications were first posted in November 2017.

Medium Rare has three open locations outside of Virginia — two in D.C. and one in Bethesda.

The steakhouse has help wanted signs posted in the window seeking servers and a hostess. Open interviews will be every day from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., according to the signs An end date for the open interviews was not listed.

by Anna Merod April 12, 2018 at 10:15 am 0

The Simple Greek is hoping to open its new restaurant location at the Colonial Village Shopping Center in early May, according to a company representative.

Signs for the restaurant are currently up at the shopping plaza, between the Rosslyn and Courthouse Metro stations. Workers were installing equipment as of Wednesday morning.

The Simple Greek representatives had previously told ARLnow that they were hoping for a late April opening.

Located at 1731 Wilson Boulevard, the restaurant will serve personalized Greek pitas and bowls. Greek wine and beer are available at select locations, but it doesn’t appear that this location has a pending or active Virginia ABC license.

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 11, 2018 at 11:00 am 0

Mediterranean fast-casual restaurant CAVA is opening its Ballston location on Friday (April 13). To kick off the grand opening, the restaurant will be offering the first 150 customers a free meal.

The free meals start at 10:45 a.m., and proceeds from sales will go to City Blossoms, an urban gardens and community building focused organization.

The new 52 seat location is on the ground floor of the Stafford Place II building, at 4121 Wilson Boulevard, which is the former National Science Foundation headquarters. It will replace Matsutake Steak and Sushi, which closed at the site in 2014.

This Ballston location will be the chain’s 51st in the country, and the 28th in the Washington metropolitan region. Hours of operation will be 10:45 a.m.-10 p.m. daily.

by ARLnow.com April 11, 2018 at 8:55 am 0

New Rooftop Beer Garden in Clarendon — The company behind Ambar is opening three new Mexican restaurant concepts in the former La Tasca space: “Tacos, Tortas & Tequila (TTT), Buena Vida and eventually a rooftop Mexican beer garden called Up.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

School Board to Gather Once More at Ed Center — Past and present Arlington School Board members will gather prior to the April 19 board meeting for a final group photo at the Arlington Education Center building. School administrators are leaving the 50-year-old building for leased administrative offices along Washington Blvd, to make way for a new high school program. [InsideNova]

Deloitte Expanding in Rosslyn — “Global consulting firm Deloitte LLP plans to significantly increase its footprint in the Waterview building in Rosslyn, where it recently subleased about 120,000 square feet from Gartner Inc. The sublease boosts Deloitte’s presence at 1919 N. Lynn St. to about 450,000 square feet, including the five floors it has picked up from Gartner… The firm now has around 8,000 employees in Rosslyn, its largest of 13 offices across Greater Washington.” [Washington Business Journal]

by ARLnow.com April 9, 2018 at 3:30 pm 0

A pair of new restaurants are coming to the Pentagon Row shopping center in Pentagon City.

Smallcakes, a cupcake and ice cream chain, is set to open in a vacant storefront adjacent to the former Ristorante Murali.

Smallcakes has more than 200 locations in the U.S. and abroad. It touts its freshly-made treats, including a daily offering of 18 cupcake flavors — with “seasonal and special flavors such as Maple Bacon, Fat Elvis, Cannoli, Strawberries N’ Crème, Tiramisu, French Toast, and Pumpkin” — and 15 ice cream flavors, which are “a nod to Smallcakes’ famous cupcake recipes.”

The Pentagon Row Smallcakes location is simply listed as “coming soon” on the company’s website.

Also coming to the shopping center is Aabee Restaurant, a “Persian and Mediterranean fusion” restaurant formerly located in Fairfax. Permanent signs are up for Aabee, which is opening in the former NKD Pizza storefront across the parking lot from Harris Teeter.

Aabee’s former location is listed as closed on Yelp. Neither its former website nor Facebook page have been updated to reflect the apparent closure and new location, though a new website was recently launched. A phone number listed for the business has been disconnected.

In its previous location, Aabee offered soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, kabobs and Iranian stew dishes. It also had Saturday night belly dancing shows, according to the restaurant website.

by ARLnow.com April 9, 2018 at 11:15 am 0

Alt’s, a new restaurant in Lyon Park specializing in meatless burgers, may be hitting some roadblocks on its way to opening.

Last month, after a representative showed up unannounced at our offices to drop off menus, it seemed like an opening was imminent. Over the weekend, however, a local resident sent us a photo of a legal notice posted on the storefront at 2300 N. Pershing Drive that suggests the opening might not be happening soon, after all.

The notice says Alt’s has failed to obtain proper insurance and pay more than $56,000 in rent.

Should Alt’s fail to fix each of the items detailed in 10-15 days, the notice says, “then be advised that KV Associates, LLC intends to exercise its option… to terminate the lease.”

The Alt’s Facebook page was last updated on May 22, 2015 when the restaurant announced that it had signed a lease.

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 4, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

A new Turkish restaurant is coming to the Ballston area, replacing long-time restaurant El Ranchero.

Istanbul Grill will offer up traditional Turkish food, with kebabs served with rice and vegetables, and “traditional special appetizers,” according to its owner.

The restaurant, which has applied for a license to sell wine and beer, is aiming to seat between 101-150 people at a time, according to the license application.

Istanbul Grill’s owner, Turgut Yiğit, wrote to ARLnow that he “is aiming and hoping to open” May 1 at 4617 Wilson Boulevard, which is just west of Ballston in the Bluemont neighborhood.

The Istanbul Grill in Arlington, Va., does not appear to have a website at this time, and is not the same as the Istanbul Grill in Arlington, Texas.

Photo via Google Maps

by Bridget Reed Morawski April 2, 2018 at 3:15 pm 0

Delia’s Brick Oven Pizza has opened its new location at 2931 S. Glebe Road in Arlington Ridge.

The pizzeria, which also features Mediterranean dishes other than pizza, replaces Tazza Kitchen, which closed in November 2016. It first opened this past Wednesday, we’re told.

Delia’s has several Northern Virginia locations, including in Alexandria and Springfield. The Delia’s website does not yet list the Arlington Ridge location.

However, the menu for other locations includes smaller, appetizer-sized options like halloumi crostini, Greek avgolemono soup, and “pizza knuckles.” Entrees include grilled lamb chops and swordfish, in addition to the signature pizzas.

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 30, 2018 at 1:45 pm 0

Urban Tandoor opened its doors yesterday (March 29) in Ballston.

The Indian restaurant, at 801 N. Quincy Street, is the newest restaurant in the neighborhood, and is down the street from Ballston Quarter construction. Urban Tandoor replaces Republic Kitchen & Bar, which replaced the former Leek American Bistro.

A lunch buffet will run from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. every day, and an à la carte dinner menu will be available from 5:30-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 5-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday.

Most entrees on the menu run from $16-20, including an $18 lamb madras dish “cooked with coconut milk and spices.”

Happy hour pricing on certain food items runs from 3:30-6 p.m. Monday-Thursday.

There are seven dessert options, ten varieties of naan and similar breads, and a number of appetizers, vegetarian and otherwise. There’s also a small kids menu.

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 27, 2018 at 4:45 pm 0

Bethesda Bagels is aiming to open a new location later in the year at Rosslyn’s Central Place.

Danny Fleishman, one of the bagel chain’s owners, told ARLnow that they intend to open in five or six months, pending permitting, but are “shooting for August.” The shop will be adjacent to the recently opened Nando’s Peri Peri.

The bagel shop has been around since 1982, and currently has two D.C. locations and one in their namesake town of Bethesda, Md. Closing hours vary among the locations, but all of the current locations open at 6:30 a.m. Monday-Saturday.

At least 25 handmade, New-York style bagel flavors are on offer, from orange cranberry to pumpernickel to more traditional selections like plain and everything bagels.

Bagel schmears include peanut butter and jelly, honey butter, cinnamon butter, and many varieties of cream cheese from blueberry and strawberry to olive and roasted red pepper.

The chain also offers a number of sandwiches and special items, like bagel bites stuffed with hot dogs.

by Anna Merod March 27, 2018 at 2:55 pm 0

(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) Alt’s, a vegetarian restaurant in Lyon Park, might soon be opening.

Though Alt’s signed a lease at 2300 N. Pershing Drive in May 2015, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page, and filed permits to renovate later that year, the restaurant has only recently revealed signs of life.

Signs and a business hours card are up on the restaurant’s storefront. A company representative arrived unannounced at ARLnow’s office yesterday with laminated menus in hand, saying that it was opening this week. (Note to other businesses: please email information to us instead.)

No one from the restaurant answered calls or emails today and it was not open during lunchtime.

The restaurant’s business signs indicate it will be closed on Mondays and open from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 12-2 p.m. and 5-8 p.m. on Saturday to Sunday.

The restaurant sells basic vegan and vegetarian “Altburgers” for $4.50 and a vegetarian “altbacon” cheeseburger for $6.20 — “the true pinnacle of meat alternative burgers.” Customers can sub out the bun for a “delicious gluten free rice tortilla” if desired, according to the menu.

On Alt’s website, it claims people can’t tell the difference between a regular burger and its meatless burgers.

“Come to Alt’s, where your perception of a meatless burger will be forever changed,” the site writes.

by Bridget Reed Morawski March 27, 2018 at 9:45 am 0

Lebanese cuisine fast-casual restaurant Badaro opened late Friday evening (March 23).

Though a worker at the location said that the shop is considering the first weeks a “soft opening” to smooth things out, the restaurant is open and ready for customers. Badaro replaces Ballston’s NKD Pizza location at 933 N. Quincy Street.

Badaro is the latest Chipotle-style, build-your-own restaurant in the county. Customers can choose between 27 different toppings and sauces, including fried cauliflower with pomegranate molasses, several hummus varieties, and pitted olives.

Seven protein options, like kefta and lamb kabob, are available, but Badaro charges one dollar less per bowl if it’s built without protein. A number of sides are available, like baba ghanoush with pita, from between $1.69 to $4.95.

There are also several fresh juice and drink options, as well as rice pudding and baklava for dessert.

With so many options to choose from, each Badaro bowl is uniquely yours!

Posted by Badaro – Lebanese on Saturday, March 24, 2018

by ARLnow.com March 27, 2018 at 8:35 am 0

Shake Shack, Philz and More Coming to Ballston — “Ballston will beef up its fast-casual restaurant offerings by the end of this year, with Shake Shack, We the Pizza, Philz Coffee and Cava all slated to lease space in the newly dubbed Ballston Exchange project. Ballston Exchange, formerly known as Stafford Place I and II, was until 2017 home to the National Science Foundation.” [Washington Business Journal]

Outdoor Lab Squeezed by Rising Enrollment — “A growing student body at the elementary-school level may soon mean there are not enough days in the school year to send the usual cadre of students to the Arlington Outdoor Lab, located in Fauquier County.” [InsideNova]

Arlington Smoker Busted in Falls Church — Falls Church police issued a summons to a 56-year-old Arlington man for smoking in a restaurant in the city. [Falls Church News-Press]

Hamlin Leaving Macedonia Baptist Church — The Rev. Dr. Leonard Hamlin Sr. is leaving Macedonia Baptist Church in Nauck for a post at the Washington National Cathedral. “To celebrate his 22-year tenure at Macedonia, more than 300 people attended a farewell gala held March 25 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City,” the Sun Gazette reported. [InsideNova]

Advocates Flock to Open Door Monday — Those seeking more funding in the county budget process flocked to yesterday’s regularly-scheduled Open Door Monday event with County Board member Libby Garvey. Among those bending Garvey’s ear were first responders, who are seeking higher pay, and Arlington Independent Media, which is fighting a proposed budget cut. [Twitter, Twitter]

Photo courtesy @jimcollierjr

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