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New Domino’s Could Be on the Way for Ballston

A new Domino’s Pizza location could soon be on the way for Ballston.

The County Board is set to sign off this weekend on a use permit for the pizza chain to open up a new shop at 550 N. Quincy Street. The location is adjacent to a Jimmy John’s, just near the Founders Square development.

According to a staff report prepared for the Board, the new Domino’s will offer delivery for “the north and central Arlington areas including the Rosslyn-Ballston Corridor.” The location would become the chain’s fourth store in the county.

Staff is recommending that the Board require the pizza purveyor to “implement a delivery and driver safety plan” before opening its doors, and stipulate that Domino’s delivery drivers can only park in the surface lot behind the building instead of on the street. The restaurant would be allowed to have four drivers working at any one time, according to proposed terms of the permit.

The Board will vote on the permit at its meeting Saturday (Sept. 22) as part of its consent agenda, a slew of noncontroversial items generally approved all at once.

Photo via Arlington County

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New Burger Restaurant Coming to Virginia Square

Virginia Square is getting a new spot for burgers.

The new burger eatery is “coming soon” to 3811 Fairfax Drive, according to the chain’s website. No word yet on an opening date.

The office building was previously home to Water & Wall restaurant, which closed in early 2017.

Burgerim, which describes itself as “an international fast casual franchise with a shiny new concept,” serves “gourmet burgers” in the “uno, duo, trio, or 16 pack.” Also on the menu: “chicken wings, onion rings, sandwiches, salads, and other favorites.”

On its website, the chain says it was founded in 2011 and has since expanded to 160 locations.

Photo (bottom) via Google Maps

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Yong Kang Street Starts Cooking in Pentagon City Mall

Yong Kang Street, a long awaited dumpling and noodle restaurant, is open for business in the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall.

The restaurant features a mix of flavors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. The restaurant is named after a street in Taiwan famous for its restaurants and street food.

Yong Kang Street is located between Garrett Popcorn and Haagen-Dazs. The restaurant is open 10 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Courtesy photo

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Idido’s Coffee Coming to Columbia Pike

Idido’s Cofee, a social house featuring coffee and serving light fare, is coming to Columbia Pike.

The coffee shop will be joining Pureluxe as the ground floor retail of Columbia Place (1107 S Walter Reed Dr), a mixed use development in Arlington Village.

The owners of Idido’s Coffee couldn’t be reached for comment, but Michael Steven, president of the Association for Columbia Place, told ARLnow he’s enthusiastic about the new business.

“We’re all excited for it to come in,” said Steven. “We hope it’s successful here.”

The timeline for when Idido’s will open is unknown.

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Top Chef Star’s ‘Le Kon’ Restaurant Opens in Clarendon

A new Mexican-Japanese fusion restaurant backed by a former “Top Chef” star is open for business in Clarendon.

Le Kon started serving up food on Sunday (Sept. 1) at a space located at 3227 Washington Blvd, according to spokeswoman Wendy Gordon. The restaurant replaces the short-lived Park Lane Tavern on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartment building.

The eatery will be the first D.C. location for chef Katsuji Tanabe, who appeared on the Bravo program back in 2014 and has since opened restaurants in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

Its menu promises seafood-themed small plates, taco platters and entrees from a “Sonora-style grill.”

Gordon says Le Kon will start serving brunch this Sunday (and will eventually offer it on both days of the weekend), and is offering happy hour deals from 3:30 to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays.

The restaurant has space for around 200 seats, and will offer an outdoor patio as well.

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‘Erasian’ Restaurant Could Be on the Way for Virginia Square

A new bar and restaurant could be on the way for an office building along Fairfax Drive in Virginia Square.

Records show that a restaurant dubbed “Erasian” is applying for a license to serve wine, beer and mixed drinks in a space at 3811 Fairfax Drive.

Representatives with the company backing the venture, ABR LLC, didn’t respond to requests for comment on their plans for the restaurant. But the permit application, filed on Aug. 14, shows that the proposed restaurant would have space for anywhere from 101 to 150 people.

The office building is also home to a Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and was once the home of Water & Wall, a restaurant backed by chef Tim Ma that closed last year.

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Shake Shack in Ballston Nears Opening Later This Year

Progress is being made at the new Shake Shack in the Ballston Exchange.

The fast food burger chain will be joining We, The Pizza, Philz Coffee and Cava as the ground floor retail of the newly renovated building at 4201 Wilson Blvd.

Meg Castranova, brand communications manager for Shake Shack, said the location in the Ballston Exchange is on schedule to open in late 2018. The exact date is currently unknown.

The renovations to Ballston Exchange by Jamestown LLP come after the departure of the National Science Foundation to a new location in Alexandria.

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New Bar and Lounge Could Replace Chester’s Billiards

Chester’s Billiards, currently a gutted husk after it was closed one year ago, may soon have a new tenant.

Sydney’s Bar and Lounge has filed for a license to operate a mixed beverage restaurant at 2620 S. Shirlington Road, formerly Chester’s Billiards.

Chester’s was closed in 2017 after a prolonged battle over the facility’s elevator, compounded by the County Board denying the bar a renewal of its entertainment permit.

Little is known so far about Syndey’s Bar and Lounge, whose owners could not be reached for comment.

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New Casual Italian Restaurant Coming to Columbia Pike

Josephines Italian Kitchen, a new casual Italian restaurant, is coming to Columbia Pike (2501 9th Rd S).

The restaurant comes from Tony Wagner, owner of the nearby Twisted Vines Bottleshop & Bistro and BrickHausWagner said the idea came from discussions with neighbors and customers, and repeatedly hearing customers reference a need for a casual Italian option in the area.

Josephines Italian Kitchen will have a wood-fired oven, and Wagner said customers can look for a lot of fresh seafood and other classic Italian cuisine options at the restaurant.

Josephines Italian Kitchen will fill the space vacated by Marble & Rye, which closed last December. Wagner said the restaurant is currently in the permitting process but that the aim is to open sometime in October.

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Pop-Up Gorilla Taco Opens in Pentagon Row

Gorilla Taco is officially open in Pentagon Row.

The pop-up taco restaurant will be open Wednesdays through Sundays until December. The restaurant is located at 1201 S. Joyce Street alongside its sister restaurant, Basic Burger, which moved to Pentagon Row from Courthouse in June

When Gorilla Taco was first announced, Basic Burger co-owner Jamie Mansy said that the restaurant was based on food truck the company had for special and private events.

Like the food truck, the restaurant has a rotating menu of five to seven taco types each day. Gorilla Taco also serves alcohol, with a selection of beers like Modelo Negro and Pacifico, as well as house-made margaritas on tap. 

“We are excited to announce that Gorilla Taco will be joining Pentagon Row and its sister restaurant, Basic Burger, at this location,” said Kari Glinski, Director of Asset Management for Federal Realty Investment Trust, in a press release. “The addition of a Mexican-style pop up restaurant certainly builds upon the strength of the Center’s dining options.”

Photos via Gorilla Taco

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‘Experiential’ Art Venue, Spanish Restaurant Headed to Ballston Quarter

(Updated at 5:55 p.m.) A Spanish restaurant and an “experiential” art venue with a bar are among the new Ballston Quarter mall tenants announced today.

The occupants will join a first group of restaurants and retail announced for Ballston Quarter earlier this year. The redeveloped shopping center is planning to hold is grand re-opening this fall.

 

The new Ballston Quarter occupants are:

  • Copa: Developed by the team behind Bethesda neighborhood favorites Butchers Alley and Pescadeli, Copa is a new casual neighborhood bar and kitchen, offering a place for friends and family to gather around fresh Spanish flavors and small plates. The restaurant will feature craft cocktails and Spanish beers, along with Spanish flatbreads and tizona skewers. It will also boast a sangria garden featuring homemade sangria.
  • DC Lash Bar: DC Lash Bar is a renowned eyelash extension bar specializing in eyelash extensions, eyelash perming and eyelash tinting. Owner and CEO Josie Philippe, created a beauty retreat that delivers the best quality services and promises old school hospitality. The Ballston Quarter location – the first outside of DC – will occupy 1,300 square feet.
  • WHINO: WHINO is a new experiential venue by the founder of Art Whino, an organization geared toward cultural community service for the arts. The 6000 square-foot space at Ballston Quarter will feature a state-of-the-art chef’s kitchen with seating for 35, full service bar, art gallery, retail space and full immersion murals, providing a multi-dimensional experience unlike any other.

Bash Boxing, a boxing-focused workout studio, also announced yesterday (Wednesday) that it will be opening a second location in the development.

The finished Ballston Quarter project will be a 850,000 square foot development, including a 360,000 square feet of retail, a 25,000 square foot food hall, 176,000 of office space and a new 406-unit apartment building.

“With Ballston Quarter, we are fostering a true community in which people can live, work, shop and be entertained by dynamic and homegrown concepts alongside some of the most exciting national brands to come to this area in a decade,” Will Voegele, Forest City Senior Vice President of Development, wrote in a statement. “We are proud to partner with unique businesses across many industries, whose inspiring spirit form the heart of Ballston Quarter that will give Ballston and the surrounding Arlington County an undeniable pulse.”

Photo courtesy of Forest City

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Compass Coffee Caffeinates Rosslyn

Compass Coffee is open and brewing in Rosslyn.

The location at 1201 Wilson Boulevard officially opened on June 29 and has been busy nearly every morning since.

The Rosslyn location is the latest for the chain was started in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood by two former marines. The beans are imported seasonally and roasted locally in D.C. During the summer months, the shop has put a special emphasis on their nitro cold brews.

The industrial-chic coffee chain isn’t alone in making the move across the Potomac; D.C. based Italian restaurant Sfoglina is also on schedule to move in just down the street at 1100 Wilson Boulevard sometime later this year or early 2019.

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El Fuego Food Truck to Open Restaurant in Lyon Park

Today, if you want the El Fuego food truck’s unique fusion of Peruvian cuisine with international flavors, you’ll have to track it down first. But this fall, El Fuego will find a permanent brick-and-mortar home in Lyon Park.

El Fuego mixes traditional Peruvian food with influences from other cultures, with a particular favoritism towards Chinese and Japanese dishes. Freedom to pursue his own types of cuisine was what drew Manuel Alfaro to leave the restaurant industry and start his food truck eight years ago. Now, that same freedom is what’s bringing him back to starting his own restaurant.

“We’re going to have our own restaurant, so we’ll be able to do things that have been constantly requested,” said Alfaro. “On a food truck, you’re dealing with a kitchen that’s four feet by eight feet. You have to have a menu selected and limited.”

Alfaro says many of their dishes are broken up into summer and winter menus. Some foods, like a Peruvian pulled chicken and yellow pepper dish with the fusion twist of added cheese and wrapped in an eggroll, just don’t keep in a food truck during summer months.

“This is an item that needs to be cooked from frozen,” said Alfaro. “During the summer we tried to have that on the food truck, but it doesn’t hold up to the temperatures in the kitchen. Even though we have a freezer on truck, they still start sticking together. Having a [restaurant] location will enable us to have all of these dishes.”

For the past year, Alfaro says he’s been looking for a location to put his restaurant. But Alfaro said his options were slim. He was trying to find a location that had partially been built out as a restaurant or had previously been a restaurant to cut down on the immense initial costs of installing a hood in the kitchen.

But when Alfaro found the location on the 2300 block of N. Pershing Drive, it was perfect. The space was built as a restaurant, complete with a hood in the kitchen, back when it was originally envisioned as vegetarian restaurant Alt’s — the space only opened briefly due to family troubles among its owners, culminating in founder Bryan Morrell’s death last month.

When he first came to the area, Alfaro said he sat outside the restaurant around lunchtime and watched the traffic. There are several other restaurants in the nearby area, all of which were active around lunch. The street is a major cut-through when I-66 is backed up, and Alfaro said the nearby apartments and Fort Myer were promising for a steady dinner crowd.

Alfaro said the goal is for an opening in the middle of September, but experience in the restaurant industry tells him a grand opening sometime in early October is more likely. Alfaro said his vision for the opening day is to have the restaurant operational with the food truck serving more customers outside.

“We are serving something we are proud of,” said Alfaro. “This is our food. It’s not someone else’s menu dictating we serve this or that. This is food we are proud of… It gives us a drive to succeed and provide something any American can come in, try, and say ‘wow, this is awesome.'”

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Morning Notes

Top Chef Alum Opening Clarendon Restaurant — “Former ‘Top Chef’ contestant Katsuji Tanabe, best known for his kosher taco spot MexiKosher in New York, will open his first restaurant in the D.C. area in Clarendon in September. Le Kon, whose name comes from the Japanese word for corn, is taking over the space previously occupied by Park Lane Tavern at 3227 Washington Blvd.” [Washington Business Journal]

Progress on Child Care Initiative — “The county government’s child-care initiative has been under way for a little over a year, focusing in large part on the existing barriers to increasing the supply of day-care providers in the county. Hurdles run the gamut from zoning and parking issues to qualifications and pay of teachers and other staff… Using the most recent data available, county officials estimate there were about 13,500 children under age 5 in Arlington in 2015, but only about half that number of available slots in day care.” [InsideNova]

Flyover Planned Today — A flyover of Arlington National Cemetery is planned to take place at 9:15 a.m. today. [Twitter]

White Supremacist Train Runs Through Arlington — A small group of white supremacists rode Metro from the Vienna station, through Arlington, before arriving in D.C. for a rally. Police tried to keep the group separated from a much larger group of anti-hate protesters, prompting some complaints about the white supremacists having their own “private” Metrorail car, though a reporter was able to board their train car at Clarendon without issue. [Twitter, Twitter]

W&OD Railroad Stopped Running 50 Years Ago — The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad stopped running 50 years ago this month, after 130 years of service. The former rail line was later acquired by the regional park authority and converted into the current W&OD Trail, which runs from Arlington to rural Loudoun County. [InsideNova]

Reminder: Major Metro Work — “Starting Saturday (Aug. 11) and running through Aug. 26, Metro will shut down the Blue Line completely starting at the Arlington Cemetery station, and single-track between the McPherson Square and Smithsonian stations. Officials expect that will result in 20-minute headways on the Orange and Silver lines ‘at all times,’ and it’s urging riders to ‘only use Metrorail if you have no other option.'” [ARLnow, Twitter]

County Twitter Account Pokes Fun at Metro — Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services tweeted yesterday: “As a courtesy, the C&O Canal-Alexandria Canal system will be reopen to traffic. Note: two-mule minimum per team.” [Twitter]

Photo courtesy Jeremy Galliani

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‘Maya Bistro’ Could Replace Nook Play Space on Lee Highway

A new restaurant could be on the way along Lee Highway, taking the place of the Nook Play Space.

The indoor play area, once located at 5649 Lee Highway in the Leeway-Overlee neighborhood, is picking up and moving to the new Ballston Quarter development.

The space currently sits empty, but it’s unlikely to remain that way for long — a chef at a Turkish restaurant in East Falls Church appears to be eyeing the location for an expansion.

Imam Gozubuyuk has applied for a permit at the location, using the business name “Maya Bistro,” county records show. Gozubuyuk currently cooks up food at the Yayla Bistro, located at 2201 N. Westmoreland Street, with his brother, Abuzer.

Managers at Yayla Bistro did not immediately respond to a request for comment on plans for the Lee Highway space. Maria Vogelei, Nook’s owner, said she didn’t have any information on what might take her business’s place in the small shopping center.

Nook is set to re-open in Ballston Quarter sometime this fall.

H/t Chris Slatt

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