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by ARLnow.com — September 15, 2016 at 4:30 pm 0

“A Deli” is coming to Pentagon Row.

A sign recently put on the front of the former Subway at 1301 S. Joyce Street announces that a deli serving “Italian food and wine” will be “coming soon.” The storefront has been vacant for about three years.

No other information about the new restaurant was available. A search of county records for the address did not reveal any recent applied or active permits.

Separately, the shopping center’s biggest “coming soon” business, TJ Maxx, is set to open later this fall, according to signs around the former Hudson Trail Outfitters location.

Hat tip to Michelle S.

by ARLnow.com — September 13, 2016 at 3:35 pm 0

The new Nando’s Peri-Peri in Ballston will hold its grand opening celebration this coming Saturday, Sept. 17.

The restaurant, in the former Vapiano’s space at 4401 Wilson Blvd, is celebrating its opening with appearances by Washington Capitals players, media personalities and the Caps’ Red Rockers squad.

The new Nando’s will be open from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday and all opening day sales will be donated to the Capitals’ official charity, the Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation, according to a press release. The guest appearances will take place between noon and 7 p.m.

Among those expected to help flip chicken on the grills during the opening event, are:

  • Radio personality Elliot Segal from “Elliot in the Morning”
  • Left winger Andre Burakovsky
  • Center Lars Eller
  • Right winger Stanislav Galiev
  • Defenseman Nate Schmidt
  • Right winger Tom Wilson
  • Capitals alumnus Paul Mulvey
  • Red Rockers squad
  • Caps announcer Wes Johnson
  • CSN Mid-Atlantic’s Capitals analyst and Caps alumnus Craig Laughlin
  • Capitals contributor Courtney Laughlin

“Nando’s is thrilled to partner with the Caps to Rock the Red in Ballston and support Monumental Sports & Entertainment Foundation,” said Nando’s U.S. CEO Burton Heiss. The Capitals practice facility, Kettler Capitals Iceplex, is located in Ballston.

From the press release:

Nando’s has built an intensely loyal following by providing fresh food in a relaxed atmosphere with friendly service. Nando’s is known worldwide for its succulent PERi-PERi chicken, marinated for 24 hours, flame-grilled to perfection, and basted to the customer’s preferred flavor and spice.

Every Nando’s is painstakingly designed and completely unique, with earthy textures and bright colors that reflect its sunny African-Portuguese heritage. With thousands of pieces of original works of art that are a constant reminder of where the restaurant came from, Nando’s has become the largest collector of South African contemporary art in the world. In the United States alone, there are more than 600 pieces of original African art in Nando’s restaurants.

by ARLnow.com — September 6, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

A Stone Hot Pizza is coming to Arlington’s bustling Clarendon neighborhood, according to a construction permit application.

The eatery will be located on the ground floor of the Beacon at Clarendon apartments (1200 N. Irving Street). That’s according to the permit application, which was filed on Thursday, Sept. 1.

Stone Hot Pizza’s future neighbors include Park Lane Tavern and O’Sullivan’s. It will most directly compete with neighborhood fixture Goody’s and four-year-old Bronx Pizza.

The small Northern Virginia pizza chain has three existing locations, in Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax. Its menu includes specialty pizzas, calzones, sandwiches, pastas, salads, wings, meat pies and various appetizers and desserts.

Hat tip to Chris Slatt

by ARLnow.com — August 23, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

Matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit will be opening in Pentagon City on Thursday, according to a spokeswoman.

The restaurant, which is the company’s tenth Matchbox location, will launch with an updated menu.

Located in the newly-expanded portion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, at 1100 S. Hayes Street, it will feature an expansive, 12,000 square foot, multi-level dining space with a second floor patio.

 

More from a press release:

matchboxfoodgroup will roll out new offerings in all of its matchbox American Kitchen + Spirit locations in August, including the company’s tenth and eleventh matchbox locations, scheduled to open in Arlington, VA and Short Pump, VA in late summer.

matchbox will debut in Arlington, VA in the bustling Fashion Centre at Pentagon City (1100 S Hayes Street) with a sprawling 12,000 sq. ft. restaurant, set across two levels with an elevated outdoor dining terrace. Deepening the brand’s roots on the east coast, the company will also debut near Richmond with matchbox slated for Short Pump Town Center (11720 W Broad Street) in a freestanding 7,000 sq. ft. multi-level dining space complete with an outdoor patio. Both locations will prominently feature wood-fired masonry ovens as well as reclaimed materials – highlights of the concept’s signature open, energetic design.

Stephen Lyons, Vice President of Culinary Operations, has spent the summer developing original spins for the concept’s updated menu, and will introduce a number of new sandwiches, entrees and salads. The restaurant’s all-day menu will include two grinders, each served on stuffed and baked wood-fired pizza dough, with flavors such as Italian with salami, prosciutto, and capicola or meatball. The sandwiches join a new fried chicken cobb and seared salmon salad, as well as chicken + walnut pesto fettuccine. Longtime favorites like the 3.6.9 mini burgers and artisanal pizzas continue to anchor the revitalized menu, due to roll out progressively in late summer beginning with matchbox 14th street in Washington, DC.

In 2013 matchbox announced a partnership with famed California winemaker Jed Steele, creating its proprietary “matchbox blend” red wine. This month the partnership expands with a white wine blend, which Steele expects to fully roll out in fall with limited availability beginning late summer. matchbox Co-Founder Ty Neal shares, “Outstanding wine does not have to be expensive, and we are so happy with the blend Jed has developed for us. It’s approachable and refined, and we are proud to serve it.”

The brand’s proprietary bottled wines join a focused list of American craft spirits and beers, as well as an innovative draft wine system that is now standard at new locations.

by ARLnow.com — August 15, 2016 at 11:15 am 0

Ballston (photo courtesy Noah Kaufman)

NAACP Wants War Memorial Plaque Changed — The Arlington chapter of the NAACP wants a plaque on the war memorial in Clarendon updated. The plaque lists Arlingtonians killed in World War I, but separates two “colored” military members from the rest of the local war dead. The NAACP says it would like to get the plaque removed and replaced. “We owe it to those who fought and died,” said local NAACP president Karen Nightengale. [InsideNova]

Two Restaurant Chains Coming to Arlington — Two regional franchise operators have signed agreements that will bring two expanding restaurant chains to Arlington. A former Domino’s Pizza franchisee is planning to open an Arlington location of Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza, in addition to locations elsewhere in Northern Virginia. Meanwhile a Five Guys franchisee says it will be opening 10 Newk’s Eatery locations in Arlington and Fairfax counties. The Mississippi-based soup, salad, sandwich and pizza chain is big in the Southeast U.S., with more than 100 locations in 13 states and an aggressive expansion plan. [WTOP, Washington Business Journal]

Arlington Hotels Hacked — Two Arlington hotels have reportedly had their payment systems compromised by hackers. HEI Hotels and Resorts says malware was found on its systems at 20 hotels, including the Le Meridien in Rosslyn and the Sheraton Pentagon City on Columbia Pike. The hack potentially exposed the credit card information of hotel guests and customers. [Associated Press]

Pokemon Go at the Pentagon — Department of Defense officials have put the kibosh on DoD employees playing Pokemon Go on government phones, citing concerns about the game tracking the movement of its employees. The DoD has also reportedly told Pentagon employees to only play the game outside of the building. A Pokemon “gym” inside the Pentagon has been removed. [The Guardian, Twitter]

Bethesda Man Bought $1 Million Lottery Ticket in Arlington — The $1 million-winning Powerball ticket that was sold at a Ballston 7-Eleven store last month was sold to a Bethesda resident. Larry Elpiner says he plans to “share his winnings with family and friends,” in addition to paying for his daughter’s college education. [WUSA 9]

Photo courtesy Noah Kaufman

by Adrian Cruz — August 11, 2016 at 3:45 pm 0

A fast-casual eatery in Pentagon City gave select locals a taste of its noodle, rice and salad bowls and its automated ordering and payment system today, ahead of its scheduled opening next week.

Honeygrow, which is slated to make its official debut Monday in the recently-expanded Fashion Centre at Pentagon City mall, served up samples of its sesame garlic and Philly roast pork stir-fry bowls and other food during an RSVP-only preview lunch.

The restaurant follows a Chipotle-style ordering model that allows customers to pick between its suggested salad and stir-fry noodle or rice options, or create their own meals. Diners also can order a “honeybar,” a dessert with fresh fruit, honey and other toppings, such as coconut flakes and granola.

But unlike Chipotle, customers use touch screens to order and pay for their food, which they can eat in the restaurant or take away with them.

Honeygrow’s Arlington outpost is the Philadelphia-based company’s ninth restaurant and its first location in the D.C. area. The chain is slated to open a location in the District’s Chinatown neighborhood later this year, along with two other outposts in Baltimore.

by Jackie Friedman — August 10, 2016 at 11:00 am 0

(Updated at noon) Columbia Pike has a new restaurant serving an authentic and lovingly crafted version of a college dorm staple: ramen.

Boru Ramen opened in the former Maruko Sushi space at 2915 Columbia Pike on Thursday, July 21.

Customers can choose from five Japanese noodle soup dishes, such as the spicy miso ramen or buta kakuni (braised pork belly) bowls, according to the eatery’s menu. Unlike the ramen you cook on the stovetop for four minutes, the broth at Boru Ramen is simmered for more than eight hours.

“For something we love so much, we could never follow the easy path,” the menu says.

The restaurant also serves rice bowls, edamame, Japanese fried dumplings called gyoza and a sticky rice dessert known as mochi ice cream.

Although Boru Ramen has a bar, no booze is for sale. Diners can have non-alcoholic drinks, including Japanese soda called Ramune and iced green tea made with matcha, instead. The restaurant applied for a wine and beer license on Monday.

Boru Ramen is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

by ARLnow.com — August 3, 2016 at 4:45 pm 0

(Updated at 5:05 p.m.) Continental Pool Lounge is expanding with a new, 180-seat indoor/outdoor beer garden.

The new Continental Beer Garden will be located in what’s currently a pop-up urban park with tables, chairs, potted plants and a mural, at the corner of 19th Street and N. Moore Street. Despite being a block from the Metro station, in the bustling, bus-clogged heart of Rosslyn, the 4,000 square foot outdoor beer garden will be a relaxing place to eat, drink and have fun with friends, says Continental owner Curt Large.

“The seating will include a large communal table, picnic tables, outdoor sofas and Adirondack chairs,” Large told ARLnow.com. “Our menu will feature foods meant for sharing, including sausages, appetizers, and other light fare. The beer garden will showcase local Virginia craft beer along with a couple of German brews. Continental will also build outdoor bocce courts for beer garden patrons and will host bocce tournaments and leagues.”

The space, which is just steps away from the Continental Pool Lounge, was formerly the parking lot of a service station. It sat vacant for some two decades, Large said, before being converted to an outdoor seating area by property owner JBG and the Rosslyn Business Improvement District in 2014. The space has hosted a number of events, including a pop-up beer garden organized by the Continental two years ago.

Large says the inside of the service station will be incorporated into the beer garden.

“We will also renovate the interior service station area, located under the office building at 1901 N. Fort Myer Drive,” he said. “The approximately 1,000 foot area will have a bar and small seating area, along with a kitchen and bathrooms. The interior will embrace the industrial grit of the former service station, showcasing some great 1970s vintage garage cabinets and signs behind the bar area.”

Mary-Claire Burick, head of the Rosslyn BID, said the beer garden will be a welcome new amenity for the area, building upon the “pop-up” events that have been held there over the past two years.

“This is a big part of what we do as a BID,” she said. “We saw this underutilized, industrial open space with a ton of foot traffic and made it a priority to reclaim and activate it with our partners, Continental Pool Lounge and JBG. ”

Large has applied for building permits and a liquor permit. He hopes to open the beer garden in the spring of 2017.

by ARLnow.com — August 3, 2016 at 12:30 pm 0

It’s been a busy summer for local restaurateur Reese Gardner.

Gardner has two new Arlington establishments in the works — Dudley’s Sport and Ale in Shirlington, which we first reported on in August 2015, and Quinn’s on the Corner, which we first learned about this past June, while lease negotiations were still reportedly in progress.

Despite Dudley’s nearly one year head start, it’s going to be Quinn’s, at 1776 Wilson Blvd, that opens first.

The neighborhood bar and restaurant, which will offer sports on the TVs and Irish and Belgian beers on draft, is aiming for a September opening, Gardner tells ARLnow.com. Work appeared to be in progress at the restaurant today.

Dudley’s, meanwhile, had been beset by permitting and regulatory delays stemming from its addition of a rooftop patio.

County permit page for Dudley'sThe county permit page for Dudley’s, at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive, tells the tale of the tape — a solid column of rejected permit applications, with comments from county inspectors like:

  • “This is not a tenant improvement. The conversion of the roof to a terrace with roofs over stairs, restrooms, and bar is an addition. Change permit information from CTBO to CADD or submit another permit for the addition.”
  • “The drawings indicate that new storefront will be installed. However, no information is presented regarding the U-factor of the storefront system, the air infiltration rate of the storefront system or the SHGC of the glass used in the storefront system.”
  • “Sheet E0002 includes motion sensor switches in the restrooms. It is unclear if these switches meet the requirements of section C405.2.2.2 of the 2012 VECC. In the resubmission, include a note on sheet E0002 that states that these motion sensors will shut off all non-emergency lighting within 30 minutes of all occupants leaving the space.”

Gardner, who in February said he was hoping to open Dudley’s in time for the beginning of the summer, did not provide an updated estimate on when it might open now. He said the process has been excruciating, ballooning in complexity as time has gone on.

“We actually had to divide the permit into and interior permit and exterior permit because of the rooftop and new facade,” Gardner said. “If you read they are also making us go through a special inspection process over and above the normal one.”

Though some improvements have been made in recent years, Arlington County has been criticized for having a permitting process that many business owners describe as unfriendly to smaller, brick-and-mortar businesses.

by ARLnow.com — August 2, 2016 at 9:15 am 0

Rosslyn

Wahlburgers Coming to Ballston — Wahlburgers, the burger chain founded by the show biz Wahlbergs (Mark, Donnie, Paul), is coming to Ballston next year. The eatery will be located near the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Glebe Road. [Washington Post]

SER Expanding to Capitol Hill? — The team behind SER restaurant in Ballston — or, at least, part of the team — is opening a new restaurant on Capitol Hill in the former Sona Creamery and Wine Bar space. [Washington Business Journal]

Metro Releases Cause of Derailment — What caused a Metro train to derail near the East Falls Church station on Friday? The transit agency says it was a deteriorated section of track in which the rails became too wide. [Washington Post]

Dark Star Park Day — Yesterday Arlington County held its annual observance of Dark Star Park Day in Rosslyn. The public park, built in 1984, is designed to have its shadows line up once a year, on Aug. 1. [Storify]

County Touts Innovation Recognition — Three Arlington County programs have been recognized for innovation from the Virginia Association of Counties. [Arlington County]

Road Rage on a Bike Trail — Road rage isn’t something that only happens with motorists. Occasionally, it happens among cyclists as well, as this story from an incident on the Mt. Vernon Trail demonstrates. [Storify]

by Jackie Friedman — July 27, 2016 at 10:55 am 0

No official opening date has been set yet, but construction and building permits are up outside the new Nando’s Peri-Peri restaurant in Ballston.

“We are getting close at Ballston,” said Jim Popkin, a representative for the company.

The restaurant is located at 4401 Wilson Blvd, the former home to Italian eatery Vapiano’s.

A Virginia ABC notice outside of the restaurant indicates that Nando’s is seeking to serve wine, beer and cocktails in a space with more than 150 seats.

The Portuguese-style chicken chain has an existing Arlington location in Pentagon City.

by ARLnow.com — July 26, 2016 at 4:55 pm 0

Ambar, a Balkan restaurant with locations on Capitol Hill and in Belgrade, is apparently planning to open in Clarendon.

A liquor license application indicates that Ambar will be located at 2901 Wilson Blvd — the current location of Boulevard Woodgrill.

A representative for Boulevard Woodgrill said today that the owner could not be reached for comment. Earlier this month the restaurant announced that it was opening a new “speakeasy” bar in the back of the restaurant.

There was no answer at a phone number associated with the liquor license application and Ambar. The restaurant, originally founded as a partnership between celebrity chef Richard Sandoval and Ivan Iricanin, is also planning to open a new location in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood.

Ambar’s Capitol Hill location, at 523 8th Street SE on Barracks Row, has received rave reviews on Yelp and other online review sites.

by Jackie Friedman — July 19, 2016 at 3:00 pm 0

A business billing itself as a “superfood cafe” is on track to open soon in Rosslyn.

Vitality Bowls is set to arrive on the ground floor of 1515 Wilson Blvd “by the end of this summer,” according Mackenzie Coopman, a representative for the company.

The California-based restaurant chain specializes in “acai bowls,” which are blends of the “superfood” berry topped with ingredients such as bananas, strawberries and granola. Other menu options include smoothies, juices salads and paninis. All of the cafe’s food is organic, according to its website.

“Conveniently situated at the busy intersection of Wilson Boulevard and Oak Street, local residents, professionals and students will have easy access to healthier food options while out and about,” Coopman said.

Vitality Bowls claims that it plans to open 10-20 locations in Arlington and the D.C. area. The company currently has 20 locations across the U.S. and says it has another 30 “in development.”

Local entrepreneurs Anisha Sharma, Narender Neerukonda and Raghu Gondi are leading the opening of the forthcoming eatery in Rosslyn.

by Lindsay Smith — July 8, 2016 at 2:45 pm 0

The new Sweetgreen restaurant in Clarendon opened today to big lunchtime lines.

Located at 3100 Clarendon Blvd, the popular salad shop had a line stretching all the way out the door this morning for its official opening. It was similarly busy on Wednesday and Thursday as the restaurant gave away free food during RSVP-only “preview” events.

One hundred percent of today’s opening day proceeds were to be donated to the FRESHFARM Markets Matching Dollars program, which provides fresh, local produce to under-privileged communities in the D.C. area.

“It’s awesome that they donate the first day’s proceeds to a local nonprofit,” said one woman who was enjoying a “Guacamole Greens” salad inside the restaurant’s small dining area. She and her friends “actually biked [to Sweetgreen] from Rosslyn,” despite temperatures in the 90s.

by Adrian Cruz — July 1, 2016 at 10:00 am 0

Pentagon City mallWith the new expansion of the Fashion Centre at Pentagon City nearly finished, a number of new restaurants are preparing to open.

According to the mall’s website, D.C.-based Matchbox is set to open its first Arlington location in August and candy-shop-slash-restaurant Sugar Factory is slated for an October opening of what will be its first D.C. area location.

A mall spokesman confirmed that the openings are nearing, but couldn’t confirm any dates.

“Matchbox is slated to open later this summer and Sugar Shack is said to open in October, however the exact date is not yet confirmed,” said the spokesman.

Also opening as part of the expansion is Philadelphia-based stir-fry chain Honeygrow, which will be launching its first D.C. area location.

“Slated to open in early August, honeygrow will contribute to the mall’s extensive dining selection by providing shoppers with a variety of fully customizable stir-fry and salad options,” said a recent press release. “Located in the new Hayes Street expansion, the eatery will feature locally and seasonally sourced ingredients, noodles freshly prepared by ramen chefs, house-made dressings and sauces and proteins sourced from providers including Creekstone Farms and Freebird.”

The first tenant to open its doors in the new expansion was Shake Shack, which opened in May to large crowds.

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