A restaurant called Medina appears to be preparing to open in the former Ballston location of Earl’s Sandwiches at 4215 N. Fairfax Drive.
A posting on the door of the site reads, in part, “coming soon,” and signs indicate that menu options will include shawarma and falafel.
Medina does not seem to have an online presence, though as of this morning a permit application for a new 32-seat indoor restaurant at the N. Fairfax Drive address was listed as active with the county.
Earl’s closed its Ballston location on June 15, though its original Clarendon location remains open.
The new burger restaurant that is replacing Basic Burger in Courthouse hopes to open by the end of the month.
In a press release, Burger District says that they “have been working hard to spruce the place up a little bit, and are anxious to get our doors open and provide all of our guests with a dining experience second to none.”
Located at 2024 Wilson Blvd, the eatery will serve “burgers, wings, dogs, shakes, ice cold beers and an eclectic mix of wines,” and will be “committed to our community.”
The restaurant is currently hiring and aims to open in “late July,” according to its website.
The full press release is below.
We are the crew from Burger District, a new restaurant concept opening at 2024 Wilson Blvd. We have been working hard to spruce the place up a little bit, and are anxious to get our doors open and provide all of our guests with a dining experience second to none. We are going to feature Burgers, Wings, Dogs, Shakes, Ice cold beers and an eclectic mix of wines that will all match to the many different selections on our menu. We are a small, independent company, and our goal is to quickly become that neighborhood eatery that has great food and drink, and shows our appreciation to any and all guests that come through our doors. We chose our location in Arlington because of the mix of families, businesses, schools, and youth sports teams that give Arlington its unique and special charm. We are committed to our community and will cater to local businesses, hire young Arlingtonians and teach them how to develop a strong work ethic, support our local schools, charities and first responders. Before we bring a new member on to our team, we make sure that our standard is to invite and service our guests as if we were inviting them into our own homes. Our opening menu will highlight the foundation of what we are most proud of, and our plans are to expand the menu quickly once we get rolling. We prefer to menu fewer items in the beginning, and exceed expectations rather than to try to do too much and not be able to produce to your expectations. We will offer Full Half Pound Burgers that have never, ever been introduced to hormones or antibiotics. Our jumbo wings will be Buttermilk marinated and dusted in house-made dry rubs, and smothered in our own sauces. We will feature all- beef hot dogs, superior quality pork and beef sausages as well as Vegan Dogs with mouth watering toppings. Our shakes are made with High Butterfat ice cream, and we will spare no expense on our ingredients and flavorings. We will serve high-end coffee and pastries in the morning, provide catering options as well as offering “Grill packages” which will allow the Grill Master in your family to cut a few corners when time is of the essence. We will adding a few more T.V.’s which will give us the sports bar feel without the noise and chaos of those larger “sports bars.” Our pint glass will actually hold 16 fluid oz. of beer and we will never use a “cheater” 14 oz. Pint glass. We will seat approximately 12-15 at the bar, and will offer local offices to join us with smaller groups, and provide food and beverage packages all included to wind down with a few of your friends after a hard day of work. Of course we will show Professional and College Football games, but don’t be surprised if you come in and see groups cheering for their favorite Rugby, Soccer, or Cricket teams. We are even putting up a dart board just for the heck of it. Once again, we at Burger District thank you for allow us into the neighborhood and look forward to seeing you soon.
Fast-casual Mediterranean eatery CAVA will open its doors in Rosslyn tomorrow morning (July 6), and the first 150 guests will receive a free meal.
The 1201 Wilson Blvd location joins two others in Arlington — one in Ballston and one at Reagan National Airport — along with a Cava Mezze sit-down restaurant in Clarendon.
By the end of the year, the D.C.-based chain plans to have over 65 restaurants open across the country.
The Rosslyn storefront will seat 26 people inside and offer outdoor patio seating. The restaurant is scheduled to open at 10:45 a.m. tomorrow and will accept donations to D.C. nonprofit City Blossom as part of the opening.
Simple Greek Now Open — Fast-casual restaurant chain The Simple Greek has opened its new Rosslyn location in the Colonial Plaza shopping center. A ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday was followed by long lines at lunchtime. [Twitter, Twitter]
WiFi Available in Underground Metro Stations — As of today, free wireless internet service should be available in every underground Metro station. Per yesterday’s announcement from Metro: “Customers can log-in by selecting the ‘Metro-Public’ network in their device’s Wi-Fi settings.” [WMATA]
Signs Up for Sfoglina — “Coming soon” signs are up for the new Rosslyn outpost of the acclaimed Fabio and Maria Trabocchi restaurant Sfoglina Pasta House. The restaurant is located on the street level of the office building at 11oo Wilson Boulevard. [Twitter]
Water Rescue Near Chain Bridge — D.C. police and firefighters rescued two people whose kayak overturned in the Potomac River near Chain Bridge last night. Both were evaluated by medics but “neither have physical injuries,” per DCFEMS. [Twitter, Twitter]
Fox News Coming to Iwo Jima Memorial — On Sunday, Fox News Channel will broadcast a portion of its America’s News Headquarters program (noon-2 p.m.) from the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn. Elizabeth Prann will co-anchor “ANHQ” from the Memorial, “where the nation will be preparing for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration,” according to a Fox press release.
Arlington Has Millions in Prepaid Taxes — “The Arlington treasurer’s office still has about $8 million sitting untouched in its coffers, waiting to be applied to future tax payments. But that’s less than half the $17.2 million in total prepayments submitted by Arlington taxpayers in the waning days of 2017, hoping to beat changes to federal tax law that made some mortgage-interest payments non-deductible in 2018.” [InsideNova]
Basic Burger is officially open in Pentagon Row (1101 S. Joyce Street) after moving out of its Courthouse location at the end of last week.
The eatery will host a grand opening celebration Saturday (June 23), featuring giveaways and a raffle for Washington Nationals tickets.
The move comes as the young company plans to expand in the region, having signed leases for new spaces in North Arlington and D.C., according to general manager Guillermo Castillo.
The Pentagon Row location is larger than the Courthouse space, where the restaurant first opened in 2016, and will offer an expanded menu.
Atrium Cafe (901 N. Nelson Street) has opened in Virginia Square, offering Asian-fusion cuisine, coffee, beer and wine.
Since opening last Monday (June 11), Atrium has serviced breakfast, lunch and dinner crowds with menu items that include egg salad sandwiches, smoothies, rice cups and milk tea.
Atrium Cafe’s owner DJ Lee said he started serving poke bowls in the cafe’s D.C. locations about eight years ago after visiting a poke restaurant in Los Angeles with his family, though at first customers didn’t know what it was.
“I really loved it so I [said], ‘I can do it, something like this,'” Lee said. “People didn’t know about that kind of concept… but right now, they like sushi and all the things like that, so people change.”
This location is Atrium Cafe’s seventh and its first outside the District. Arlington’s Atrium Cafe occupies the space previously claimed by Jen’s Kitchen, which closed in late December.
On his way out, one customer noted that he had stopped going to Jen’s Kitchen because he was unhappy with their customer service, but has thus far been impressed by the service and food at Atrium Cafe.
“I try to make it the fastest [and] cleanest, and try to make it taste good too,” Lee said. “That’s my goal.”
A new fast casual restaurant offering all manner of Asian street eats is opening up this month in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.
Kovi Asian Street Food Kitchen will hold its grand opening on June 30, with a soft opening set for sometime in the “next few days,” lead chef and owner Vi Nguyen told ARLnow. The eatery will be located at 2921 S. Glebe Road, once the site of longtime restaurant the Arlington Diner.
“This location just fit our wheelhouse,” Nguyen said. “There aren’t a lot of unique food options in the area for local residents… and because we promote healthy lifestyles, it’s such a good match to have a Gold’s Gym close by.”
While healthy eats are indeed a focus for Nguyen, he says his main pitch to diners is simple: “I make tasty food.”
He’s run a food truck bearing the same name for the last few months now, serving up dishes like Korean barbecue tacos and Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches throughout Northern Virginia. Nguyen says he’s even started offering poke bowls recently, and he plans to keep experimenting with “nontraditional tacos” at his first storefront — octopus tacos are one of his newest offerings.
Take a sneak peek into our new restaurant. We're just a few days from opening our doors!#kovirules #kovifan #kovilove…
Nguyen, who’s worked as a chef at both fine dining establishments and casual eateries around the D.C. area, says the Arlington Ridge location won’t be the only Kovi in the area. He already has a lease set for a location in Leesburg, and he’s envisioning opening “four to eight more” restaurants in the near future.
“Our plan for growth is very aggressive,” Nguyen said.
But first, Nguyen is planning on offering up plenty of promos at his Arlington store as the soft opening gets going, like giving some of the first customers to swing by Kovi free lunch for a month.
Nguyen’s new restaurant takes the place of a 32-year fixture in the shopping center. Arlington Diner closed last May, with its owner citing struggles in keeping up with the rent in his decision to move on.
Fairfax-based District Dumplings will be moving in next door to Kovi, taking the place of a Domino’s location in the shopping center. It initially appeared as if District Dumplings would be taking over the Arlington Diner space, but Nguyen stresses that Kovi is not affiliated with that restaurant.
Photo courtesy @DanielMagnolia
Basic Burger is moving out of its Courthouse location, but the restaurant has big plans for expansion across the D.C. region.
General manager Guillermo Castillo says his eatery will be closing up shop at 2024 Wilson Blvd at the end of this week, after first opening there in 2016.
He says that decision was in part driven by some big changes in the company — Castillo said one of its main partners left the business six months ago — but also a reflection of his plans to open other Basic Burgers elsewhere in the coming months. He announced plans last fall to open a new space in the Pentagon Row shopping center, and he’s hoping to open another location in North Arlington and one in D.C. soon enough.
“It was a tough decision… but with all the new projects we had going on, it just didn’t make sense for us to stay there any more,” Castillo told ARLnow.
Castillo hopes to hold a soft opening for the Pentagon Row shop, to be located at 1101 S. Joyce Street in the plaza next to Starbucks, by this weekend, at the earliest. He expects that location will become the restaurant’s “flagship,” as it’s several times larger than the old Courthouse space, and will offer a whole host of new menu items beyond the burgers and hotdogs that have defined Basic Burger.
“We’re limited a bit by our budget as we opened up last time,” Castillo said. “But this has really taken us to the next level.”
He also plans to set up outdoor seating and a bar that’s “twice the size” of the one at the Courthouse location. That will include a handful of vodka cocktails on tap, as well as frozen rosé.
As for the new locations elsewhere, Castillo said he’s signed leases for both a North Arlington space and one in D.C., but he declined to reveal the locations of those just yet.
Castillo also noted that burger fans in Courthouse will soon have a new option in the space Basic Burger is leaving behind. He says he’s arranged for another restaurant to take over the location, though he doesn’t know much about the new occupants, other than the fact that they operate some food trucks in the area.
State records show that a company called Philomina, LLC recently applied for a license to serve wine and beer at the space, under the name “Burger District.”
A new Turkish restaurant is now open for business near Ballston.
Istanbul Grill started serving up kebabs and other traditional Turkish fare yesterday (June 7), according to owner Turgut Yiğit. The new eatery, located at 4617 Wilson Blvd, replaces long-time Mexican restaurant El Ranchero.
Yiğit says he’s a newcomer to Arlington, but spent the last eight years working as a chef at a McLean restaurant. He added that he fully renovated the inside of the restaurant and installed all new appliances to spruce up the space.
The building was constructed back in 1949, according to county property records.
Istanbul Grill will also eventually offer beer and wine, once Yiğit’s state license is approved. He’s even planning to someday enclose the restaurant’s front-porch to offer a “European-style” experience, but those plans are a long way off, he said.
A new Bob and Edith’s Diner along Lee Highway could open its doors in the next six to nine months, a lawyer for the local chain’s owner tells ARLnow.
Attorney Ryan Brown says Bob and Edith’s owner Greg Bolton is planning “significant renovations” of the space that once held Linda’s Cafe (5050 Lee Highway) before opening his fifth restaurant in the Northern Virginia area there. Linda’s had operated out of the space for the last 20 years before Bolton bought the property last Thursday (May 31).
Linda’s general manager Joe Ellian previously told ARLnow that Bolton’s attorneys told him he’d need to move out of the space before the end of the month, as the restaurant changes hands, lamenting that he’d barely have enough time to pack up all his equipment, let alone find a new location.
Brown says Bolton is sympathetic to Ellian’s situation, but noted that Linda’s has been renting the space from owner Joe Mehrdad Djassebi “on a month-to-month basis for several years.”
“As such, Mr. Bolton was not required to give more than 30 days notice to the current tenant to terminate the lease after he acquired the property,” Brown wrote in an email. “Presumably the current tenant could have purchased the building from the prior owner, or entered into a long-term lease if they desired to continue their business at that location.”
Brown added that Bolton bought the property from Djassebi for $1.1 million, and he reasoned that “if Mr. Bolton had not purchased the property, it is likely that another purchaser would have acquired” it. Ellian previously argued that he never had trouble paying rent, and believed Djassebi received a lucrative enough offer that he felt forced to sell the property.
Bob and Edith’s currently operates two diners in Arlington, one in Alexandria and one in Springfield.
Photo by Alex Koma
Fast-casual restaurant The Simple Greek has tabbed this coming Monday (June 11) for its grand opening in a shopping center near Rosslyn.
The restaurant, located at 1731 Wilson Blvd in the Colonial Plaza shopping complex, will be the first location of six for the chain in the D.C. region, according to a press release.
The store’s owners were previously hoping to open the Rosslyn location earlier this spring, but ended up pushing back those plans. The Simple Greek will serve customizable pitas and bowls, with “a build-your-own assembly line style set-up in an open kitchen,” according to the release.
The chain opened 15 locations across the country last year, and plans to open 30 more before the year is out.
Entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis founded the chain in 2015, in conjunction with a pair of Pittsburgh-based restaurant owners, while hosting the CNBC show “The Profit.” The episode was later the subject of a lawsuit.
(Updated, June 11 at 1:30 p.m.) A Fairfax dumpling restaurant will soon move into the space next to what was once the Arlington Diner in the Arlington Ridge Shopping Center.
District Dumplings, based in the Mosaic district, is planning to open a new location at 2923 S. Glebe Road, once the home of a Domino’s, according to a manager who answered the phone at the restaurant’s Fairfax location. She says the new eatery could be open as soon as next week.
The building’s landlord secured a permit for a 28-seat “fast casual restaurant” in early March, according to county records. One reader noticed signs advertising the change up at the location as of Monday (June 4).
— Dan Magnolia (@DanielMagnolia) June 4, 2018
The shopping center is also home to a Giant grocery store and a Gold’s Gym.
Photo via Google Maps
Demolition permits have been issued for one of the freestanding retail kiosks at Pentagon Row.
Pentagon Row’s other retail kiosk is currently home to Bread and Water cafe, which opened in February.
(Updated at 2 p,m.) A former D.C.-based sports bar is temporarily setting up shop in the space once occupied by Bistro 360 in Rosslyn.
Parlay Sports Bar and Lounge has set up a “pop-up” bar at the location at 1800 Wilson Blvd., according to one-time Bistro 360 owner Art Hauptman. He told ARLnow that the temporary takeover is set to last through the end of this week, though he said it could become a more long-term set-up.
Parlay was once located near Dupont Circle, before shutting down in April. The bar’s management posted on Facebook that it would be “doing events throughout the summer at various places” as it searches for a permanent home in D.C., and a Parlay banner is now draped over Bistro 360’s old signs.
“We will have game 6 on tonight so swing by and grab some wings #ParlayVA,” said one recent Facebook post, encouraging patrons to visit the pop-up. “Just look for the group that seems like they’re not from Arlington.”
Parlay’s owner did not immediately respond to a request for comment on his plans.
Bistro 360 had operated out of the space since the fall of 2014, but Hauptman said he decided to shutter the restaurant last week after receiving some lucrative offers for the space and losing his longtime chef and general manager. He’s since consolidated some of the restaurant’s wine and food options at the other Arlington eatery he owns: Cassatt’s Kiwi Café and Gallery, at the Lee Heights Shops off Lee Highway.
Photo by Alex Koma
(Updated at 1 p.m.) Longtime Crystal City restaurant Cafe Italia is getting new life, thanks to some former employees and one prominent local restaurateur.
Freddie Lutz, the owner and namesake of Freddie’s Beach Bar at 555 23rd Street S., says he’s planning to revive the restaurant after it closed in April.
Lutz worked for 25 years as a waiter and maitre d’ at Cafe Italia (519 23rd Street S.), and he hopes to reopen it in the next few months as “Freddie’s Italian Cafe.” To do so he’s teaming up with a former Cafe Italia bus boy and chef, brothers Adolfo and Birtillo Urrutia.
“I’ve missed it all these years, so it’ll be sort of like coming home,” Lutz told ARLnow. “Freddie’s brought a lot of diversity to Northern Virginia and Arlington and I’m proud of that, but I feel like I left my heart in Cafe Italia.”
Cafe Italia first opened its doors in 1976, and Lutz believes the place became “part of the history” of Crystal City. Though he says its former owners struggled to afford rising rent prices, thus leading to its closure, the Urrutias approached him a few weeks back with a plan to “bring it back to its former glory,” and he jumped at the chance.
“In the day, it really was something,” Lutz said. “I would tell people, ‘There’s an hour and 45 minute wait tonight,’ and they’d actually wait. I just hope we can restore it back to the fun, romantic little Italian restaurant it used to be.”
Lutz says he finished up the paperwork on the sale on May 21 and he plans to give the space a bit of “loving attention” before it’ll be ready for diners once more.
“The basic skeleton and soul of the restaurant is there,” Lutz said. “And the good news is we’re all in agreement that we want to get it open as soon as we can.”
Lutz, who still lives in the South Arlington home he grew up in decades ago, says he’s even kept in touch with some of the former patrons of Cafe Italia, and excitement is already building in the neighborhood. As new restaurants continue to cycle into that section of Crystal City, Lutz expects the revival of Cafe Italia will help the neighborhood continue to attract more business.
“Cafe Italia was always very gay friendly, and Freddie’s is very straight friendly,” Lutz said. “So both businesses will complement each other.”