Scott Parker is part of a group of partners who together have built something of a nightlife empire in Arlington.
A-Town Bar and Grill, Don Tito and Barley Mac have all been hits along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor. And now Scott and his partners are getting ready to open (in the next couple of weeks) The G.O.A.T., a new sports bar right across from the Clarendon Metro station in the former Hard Times Cafe space.
Scott has helped to build this empire based on Sunday Fundays and happy hour drink specials all while having a somewhat unique personal background for a bar impresario: he does not drink.
On this week’s 26 Square Miles podcast, we sat down with Scott to discuss how he achieved success after success in the notoriously difficult restaurant industry, what to expect with the G.O.A.T., what comes next, and what he thinks of the current state of the Arlington bar and restaurant scene.
In a Facebook post earlier this week, owner Reese Gardner said the inside of the sports bar at 2766 S. Arlington Mill Drive is “85 [percent] completed and we are just waiting for the final finishes.”
Gardner said those finishes cannot be done until after the steel arrives and welding is finished. The steel is scheduled to be delivered on October 14, he said. After that, an opening date could become clearer.
“We understand the frustration and trust us we want to be open as much as you want us open,” Gardner wrote. In the comments on the post, would-be customers wondered whether Dudley’s would open before the end of football season.
The sports bar had planned to open last year, but struggled with permitting issues and other delays.
A 28-seat bar, a 125-seat dining area, and a “stadium style” viewing area are planned, as well as a rooftop bar — Shirlington’s first — with a game area, a 15-seat bar, and patio seating for about 114 people.
A new Silver Diner restaurant will be opening in Ballston.
The 6,700-square-foot eatery will join Target and Enterprise Rent-A-Car as retail tenants in the currently under-construction 750 N. Glebe development. Set to open in 2020, 750 N. Glebe will be a 12-story building with nearly 500 apartments, across from Ballston Quarter mall.
The new Ballston location will be the 14th Silver Diner in the D.C. area. The company has an existing Arlington location at 3200 Wilson Blvd in the Clarendon area.
The Washington Business Journal reports that, at least for now, Silver Diner plans to operate both Arlington locations simultaneously. (It has a long-term lease in Clarendon.)
Current plans are to operate both Ballston and Clarendon, although [Silver Diner founder Bob] Giaimo has acknowledged in the past that site where the Clarendon Silver Diner sits at 3200 Wilson Blvd., would likely be the subject of redevelopment at some point, putting the diner’s future there in flux.
More about the lease signing from a Ballston Business Improvement District press release, after the jump.
It’s official: signs are going up for a new kabob restaurant in place of the former Pio Pio restaurant between Clarendon and Virginia Square.
Naan Kabob at 3300 Wilson Blvd will serve Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi food and offer carry-out and catering services. Its parking lot is currently taped off for renovations, while work is getting underway to revamp the inside too.
A copy of the menu suggests it will have kabobs, Karahi dishes (cooked in thick, circular pots) and curries, as well as traditional desserts. As of Monday, signs had gone up advertising its new name and food offerings.
Employees at the restaurant declined to say for sure when it would open, but are hopeful of getting underway “soon.”
The county’s latest Dunkin’ Donuts opened Friday morning in Virginia Square.
And the donut-and-coffee shop made a splash this morning at 3701 Fairfax Drive with free prizes from a giveaway wheel, a balloon arch outside and appearances by mascots Cuppy and Sprinkles alongside cheerleaders for the Washington Capitals.
To mark the opening, guests could get a free classic donut with any drink purchase until 10 a.m. Friday. Then on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., patrons will receive a free medium hot or iced coffee, while children under 12 can decorate donuts. The giveaway wheel will once again be spinning, while an on-site DJ will provide music.
The cafe was already doing brisk business just before 8:30 a.m. when an ARLnow reporter stopped by. It is the 11th in the county, after one opened in April on N. Glebe Road.
An Indian restaurant is set to be the latest to move into a Ballston space that has had several eateries come and go in recent years.
The restaurant, known as Urban Tandoor, hopes to be open at 801 N. Quincy Street on the ground floor of the Quincy Crossing office building around November, said owner Rajeev Mainali.
Mainali said there will be around 95 seats inside, with another 40 on an outdoor patio. He said it will have an “extensive” bar menu, while the food will mostly be Indian, with some subtle differences.
“It’s going to be mainly Indian food,” he said. “We have expanded the menu, and will be adding a lot of seafood and grill items. We put it as a tandoor. There’s going to be a little bit of a twist on the menu to cater to the young crowd.”
Mainali said he saw an opportunity to move in due to what he said is a dearth of ethnic food in the fast-growing neighborhood.
“They don’t have a lot of options for ethnic food in the Ballston area,” he said. “The area is growing so fast, we feel like it has been underserved as far as restaurants go. We feel like there are not enough good restaurants there. There are some, but not enough to serve the growing clientele there.”
A new bubble tea cafe is now open in Clarendon.
The store offers black and green tea, which customers can combine with milk and with fruit flavors. There are also several flavored yogurt options made from the Japanese probiotic Yakult, slush and snow cream offerings, seasonal flavors like “Pumpkin Oolong Milk Tea,” and various coffee and espresso options.
Tapioca bubbles are one of several toppings that can be added for 50 cents each.
Inside of the new Clarendon store, which is located next to the recently-opened Hanabi Ramen restaurant, there is space for around 12 people to sit. Kung Fu Tea has dozens locations across the United States and has been expanding in the D.C. area.
Those behind a Michelin-recognized Ethiopian restaurant that is now expanding into Arlington say they are hoping to open this winter.
At the time, owner Alemayehu Abebe said he was hopeful of opening this summer, but that timeline has been pushed back. Abebe told ARLnow in a brief interview last Wednesday that construction will start sometime around today (Monday). He did not say what has caused the delays.
The restaurant has applied for a license with Virginia ABC, and is hoping to have more than 100 seats inside as well as more outside on a patio. Chercher offers traditional Ethiopian food and drink on its menu. The restaurant at 1334 9th Street NW was included in Michelin’s D.C. dining guide and earned a “bib gourmand” for high-quality food at a low price.
The eatery previously filed for county permits to convert what was intended as an office space to a restaurant use. As of Tuesday, the space had been completely gutted, ready for work to begin.
The space on the ground floor of a large office building is close to the county courthouse complex and police headquarters, and across the street from the Tellus apartment building. Signs in the window indicate another ground-floor unit in the same building as the planned restaurant is available for rent by a retail tenant.
A rarely-open restaurant near Clarendon could be set for some big changes.
Pio Pio at 3300 Wilson Blvd has been the source of fascination for months, with some calling the Peruvian restaurant’s unpredictable hours downright “mysterious.” Pio Pio closed earlier this year, reportedly for maintenance on its roof.
But a permit approved in late July by the county indicates that someone has filed to open a new restaurant with indoor seating in the space.
There are no other concrete details available about the future of the eatery, but a tipster said it would be a kabob restaurant.
“They are fixing up the building and parking lot,” said the anonymous tipster.
As of Friday morning when an ARLnow reporter visited, no work appeared to have been done, with tables and chairs still sitting in the vacant restaurant.
Wilson Hardware’s soft opening at 2915 Wilson Blvd will begin at 5 p.m. Friday, with happy hour from 5-7 p.m., according to an event listing. It will open at the same time on Saturday as well, with a DJ to perform on both nights from 10 p.m. until close.
Anyone wanting to make dinner reservations for Friday or Saturday can now do so online.
“The team has been working hard create a beautiful, multi-level space for everyone’s enjoyment,” an invite to the soft opening reads. “Guests can anticipate bold fixtures, textured artwork and a unique experience in the new eclectic venue.”
The new 7,000-square-foot bar and lounge has three distinct bar areas, including one on the roof. Inside and outside are motifs and murals.
Food to be served will include Hardware fritters, crab dip and panzerotti, which is crisp-fried pizza dough stuffed with cheeses and marinara sauce. The menu will also feature avocado burgers with grass-fed beef, duck confit with roasted vegetables, steak frites and pan-seared salmon with saffron mashed potatoes.
Many of the drinks will reference the Virginia Hardware store, which occupied the space from the early 1960s until 2005. The cocktail menu will feature signature drinks such as the “Blueprint,” a mix of rosé, vodka, cantaloupe, lemon, ancho chile and mint; the “Adjustable Wrench” made with bourbon, rum, vanilla and chocolate bitters and the “Bright Idea,” a shareable cocktail for two.
Work to renovate and build out the space began last year.
“We’re so excited for everyone to finally see our vision for Wilson Hardware to come to life,” co-owner Jad Bouchebel said in a statement. “We know Arlingtonians will be pleasantly surprised when they see how we’ve revamped the space into an elegant new restaurant and bar.”
Photos No. 2, 4-6 via Instagram.
A new beauty store is set to move to Pentagon Row, reportedly as early as next spring.
Ulta Beauty is opening a 10,000-square-foot store at 1101 S. Joyce Street, replacing the Vitamin Shoppe and Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. The store will be close to Harris Teeter and Bed Bath & Beyond.
Washingtonian magazine reported late last month it will open in spring 2018. As of Thursday, construction crews were hard at work on the space.
Ulta offers a wide range of beauty products, including brands like Urban Decay, Nars and MAC. It also offers services like facials, eyebrow waxing and hair styling.
Already, Ulta has stores nearby in Bailey’s Crossroads, Springfield and Northeast Washington. Its online careers portal notes several open positions at the planned Pentagon Row store.
Ulta is one of a number of businesses that have opened or are opening at Pentagon Row in the coming months. Signs nearby welcome the arrivals of the F45 Training gym, Club Pilates, Aabee Kabob, a Deli and Basic Burger.
Basic Burger, a Shake Shack-eque burger restaurant, opened its first location in Courthouse last year.
Yes! We are excited to announce @ultabeauty is coming to The Row!
— Pentagon Row (@PentagonRow) September 6, 2017
After months of delays and regulatory hurdles, new Columbia Pike beer garden BrickHaus is set to open on Labor Day.
The 2900 Columbia Pike restaurant will open its doors at 2 p.m. with full service inside and a range of freshly tapped beers and new food. Reservations are not available, and the patio will not be open until October, owner Tony Wagner said in a Facebook post.
It's time to celebrate! BrickHaus is at long last opening our doors on Columbia Pike on Monday, September 4th. Doors…
Most construction on the space has been finished since May.
BrickHaus will be a beer garden on the first floor, with some 20 beers on tap and an approximately 30-seat outdoor patio. The second floor mezzanine will have upstairs dining with a menu including steaks, German food and other entrees.
It will offer mostly regional brews from Virginia, D.C. and Maryland, in addition to perhaps a couple of German beers. Wagner said draft wine will also be available.
The aging building has received an extensive renovation after being vacant for years following the departure of Blanca’s Restaurant.
“The oldest building on Columbia Pike will come to life once more, letting it all hang out!” Wagner wrote.
A Central American restaurant run by Honduran immigrants just celebrated its first month open on Columbia Pike.
Plaza Maya at 3207 Columbia Pike serves food from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, and replaced the Ethiopian restaurant Flamingo.
The restaurant’s menu includes staples of Central American food like enchiladas, burritos and tacos. It has also applied to Virginia ABC to start serving alcohol with its food. Per a permit filed with the county, it can seat up to 61 people.
It opened July 21, between the Panda Bowl Chinese restaurant and City Kabob & Curry House, an Indian and Pakistani eatery. Plaza Maya offers dine-in and carry out options.
Employees at the restaurant said they are from Honduras, and some have lived in the United States for a decade or more. They said they opened the restaurant so others could experience their love of food from their native country.
“We like cooking, and we like money too,” one joked.
Photos 4-8 via Facebook.
The space occupied by Buckingham Florist until earlier this year is apparently set to be taken over by the owners behind the Ravi Kabob family of Pakistani restaurants, though details about the new eatery are scarce.
The florist’s former storefront at 301 N. Glebe Road is under construction, with signs indicating it will become “Ravi Kabob For Family,” the restaurant’s fourth location in the area of the Buckingham Shopping Center.
A sign next door at the Ravi Chatkhara takeout restaurant indicates it will become the “Ravi Confectioners and Bakers.” The flagship Ravi Kabob restaurant, known in the neighborhood as “Ravi Kabob 1,” appears to be staying put.
Ravi Kabob is described as a “no-frills restaurant” that offers kebabs and other Pakistani food at low prices. It has another location across the street at 250 N. Glebe Road next to the CVS, known as “Ravi Kabob 2.” Multiple attempts to contact the restaurant’s owners were unsuccessful.
Buckingham Florist, a long-time local business, relocated to Annandale. Open since the 1940s, the florist delivered to Arlington County, Arlington National Cemetery and other parts of Northern Virginia.
Buuz Thai Eatery opened a few months ago on the ground floor of the 1919 Clarendon Blvd apartment building, but with an address of 1926 Wilson Blvd. It is located between the Virginia ABC store and a realty office, across the street from the Colonial Village condos.
Buuz’s predecessor, Lucky Pot, opened in 2014. The interior looks largely unchanged, even after the business changed hands. One reader emailed to say he has visited Buuz twice already, “and it’s been packed and [the] food is good.”
Co-owner Zola Enkh is Mongolian, and said she wanted to combine her native country’s food with that of Thailand. The menu is filled with traditional Thai and Mongolian dishes, like stir fry, curry, pad Thai rice and vegetable dishes.
“I’m sure there’s many Thai restaurants, but there’s not many Mongolian restaurants here,” she said.
And while the restaurant seats only around 20 people in addition to its carry-out and delivery service, Enkh said she hopes those wanting Thai and Mongolian food in Courthouse will find it welcoming.
“Even those it’s small, it can be enjoyed,” Enkh said.
Photos 5-8 via Buuz Thai Eatery.