Arlington, VA

The death of Bracket Room in Clarendon, as announced by Bracket Room itself, was greatly exaggerated.

The briefly-closed sports bar is back open and offering takeout cuisine, according to a new Instagram post on Monday. The post comes less than a week after a now-deleted post announcing Bracket Room’s permanent closure amid the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s unclear what prompted the reversal.

“With your continued support, hopefully we can stay open and push through this crisis together,” the restaurant said. “We look forward to seeing you all come in and we can’t wait to get past this and back to normal.”

Bracket Room is not the only Arlington business to re-think a coronavirus closure. On Monday, local favorite The Italian Store reopened to business “in a limited capacity” after a week earlier deciding to close during the outbreak.

Starting Monday March 30th, The Italian Store will reopen for business at both locations in a limited capacity, and our…

Posted by The Italian Store on Friday, March 27, 2020

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Weekend Morning Notes

About This Post — Due to lots of coronavirus-related news, we have a number of non-disease-related local links that we haven’t been able to get to over the past two weeks. We’re running a one-time Weekend Morning Notes post to clear our queue. This will replace the usual weekend discussion post.

Arlington Cherry Blossom Walk — “Cherry blossom season in the D.C. area is a wonderful time of year, and taking in the blossoms is a beloved tradition. WalkArlington has created a walk featuring a few of our favorite locations in Arlington where you can appreciate the blooms and enjoy all that springtime in Arlington has to offer.” [WalkArlington]

Median Signs Promote Census — “What is good for the goose apparently is not good for the gander – if, that is, the gander is the Arlington County government. Those driving the roadways of Arlington in recent weeks no doubt have seen a flurry of median signage calling attention to, and promoting participation in, the federal census.” [InsideNova]

Local Cat Makes Headlines –“An adorable cat with a jaw deformity can’t help but always stick her tongue out – and her owner has insisted she wouldn’t have her pet any other way. Pretty Kitty, five, from Arlington, Virginia, can only open her mouth a ‘small amount’, and has her tongue always sticking out thanks to the way her jaw formed.” [Daily Mail]

Instant Runoff Voting for Arlington? — “Voters in future Arlington County Board elections could find themselves using the ‘instant-runoff’ method rather than the current ‘winner-takes-it-all’ manner. Both houses of the General Assembly have approved and sent to Gov. Northam a measure allowing Arlington to conduct its County Board races using instant-runoff voting, also known as ‘ranked-choice’ voting.” [InsideNova]

Arlington-Based Textile Brand Profiled — “From a plant-filled studio in Arlington, Diana Johnson translates ideas in her head to paper by lettering, illustrating and painting. Using her background in graphic design, Johnson is able to transform her artwork digitally into handcrafted products like pillows, clutches, greeting cards and, most often, prints to add a little color to any space.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Green Valley Looks Forward — “Low-level sales of marijuana and other substances in the Green Valley community in the 1960s grew into a full-fledged, open-air ‘drug supermarket’ by the early 1980s, with the intersection of 24th Road South and Shirlington Road ground zero for the illegal operations. On March 7, leaders of the community looked back at those days, and committed themselves to ensuring a better future for their community.” [InsideNova]

Chamber Acquires ‘Awesome Women’ –“Awesome Women (AWE), the professional networking group founded in Arlington in 2014 that now has six chapters throughout the DC area, announced today that it will become a program of the Arlington Chamber of Commerce later this year. The Arlington Chamber will offer women-only networking events beginning in the fall, and will call the new program the Arlington Chamber Chapter of AWE.” [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Victim of Pentagon Stabbing Identified — “The man who was fatally stabbed Monday morning on the platform of the Pentagon Metro station has been identified as a 25-year-old from Northwest Washington, a spokesman for the transit agency said. Sean Ronaldo Golden, who lived near the District’s Brightwood Park neighborhood, died shortly after arriving at George Washington University Hospital, a report provided by Metro says.” [Washington Post]

New Pho Restaurant Opens on Columbia Pike — Pho Harmony, a carry-out Vietnamese noodle restaurant, has opened on the 3200 block of Columbia Pike. [Twitter]

And now here it is, your moment of zen…

https://twitter.com/wamu885/status/1241206140475768832

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(Updated at 4:15 p.m.) A new French pastry shop is coming to Rosslyn this spring or summer, pandemic allowing.

In an era before social distancing and talk of quarantines, signs went up in the former Bean Good Coffee Pub space (1737 Wilson Blvd.) at the Colonial Village Shopping Center for Eclairons, a new cafe and bakery.

Signs in the window say the new restaurant will operate as a pastry shop, espresso bar and cafe serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The location is a spin-off of the Pastry Xpo Cafe in the Mosaic District in Fairfax. Staff at Pastry Xpo said that work is still ongoing inside Eclairons and the restaurant is not expected to open for “another few months.”

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A new high-end coffee shop is open in Arlington.

For Five Coffee Roasters opened yesterday in Courthouse, at 2311 Wilson Blvd. With every order, the cafe will serve a Nutella-stuffed cookie at no charge for the next three months, according to the owner.

“[Giving the cookies out] is us saying thank you, and we’re happy to serve you,” the owner, Stefanos Vouvoudakis said. “And giving back to the customer.”

The menu includes sandwiches and breakfast items, but Vouvoudakis is especially proud of the pastry selection at For Five, calling it “second to none.” The cafe serves a variety of cookies, including a “fruity pebbles” cookie with cream cheese frosting, plus red velvet, triple chocolate chip, and apple crumb pie filling cookies.

The coffee menu includes pour-over and cold brew options, and an espresso bar. Vouvoudakis’ favorite drink is the latte, for its “perfect balance between the milk and espresso.”

This is the second D.C. area location for the small, New York City-based chain. It has an existing location in Alexandria and others in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Vouvoudakis says For Five is also planning to open a location in Tysons within the next three to four months.

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Ballston is on the cusp of getting its second poke restaurant.

Go Poke is scheduled to open this Sunday, March 1, at the Quarter Market food hall in Ballston Quarter Mall. To mark the opening, the restaurant will be offering a 20% discount through Tuesday, according to a spokesman for the mall.

The restaurant will serve the increasingly ubiquitous Hawaiian raw fish dish. A full menu was not immediately available. It will be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. on Sundays.

Existing poke spots in Arlington include Poké it Up in the Pentagon City mall food court, Poke Bar in Rosslyn and — soon — another Poké it Up in Ballston, at 4401 Fairfax Drive. Other nearby restaurants offer poke bowls among a broader selection of food options.

Photos courtesy Brookfield Properties

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Work is underway on a new “World of Beer” in Ballston, two blocks from its original location along N. Glebe Road.

World of Beer, a restaurant that offers a large selection of beer from around the globe, is coming to the former Ted’s Montana Grill space at 4300 Wilson Blvd. That’s just down the street from Crafthouse, which rebranded in 2017 after formerly being a World of Beer location.

Late last week workers could be seen inside the space, which had been largely cleared of the former Ted’s decor. As construction continues, World of Beer has already applied for a Virginia ABC permit; the filing suggests that the restaurant will serve beer, wine and cocktails and will have a seating capacity of more than 150.

The chain applied for construction permits this past fall. So far there’s no word as to an expected opening date.

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International foodies in Rosslyn will have another eatery option with the upcoming expansion of Fava Pot.

The restaurant — Egyptian Street Food by Fava Pot — is expected to open in September, just in time to celebrate the local chain’s 3rd anniversary, according to owner Dina Daniel.

The restaurant is rooted in Falls Church, where it has a sit-down location, and it also just opened a new pop-up in Union Market this past November. Before that, the eatery started as a food truck, which still frequents lunchtime hotspots Rosslyn, Courthouse, Ballston and Crystal City.

Daniel hasn’t yet announced exactly where the eatery will be located in Rosslyn.

We are still in negotiations,” she said, adding that they will likely announce its exact location in two to three weeks.  Still, she said that the eatery will have both sit-down options and food for take-out.

Unlike the Falls Church sit-down location, the Rosslyn location will be geared towards working professionals who have fast-paced workdays, according to Daniel.

“It is meant to be a quick bite but not fast food,” she said.

Over the years, Fava Pot has been the recipient of numerous awards and was recognized nationally for its food truck cuisine. All Fava Pot’s ingredients are made fresh in-house, according to Daniel.

Daniel said her favorite item is the Táamya, which she considers to be the eatery’s specialty. She called it an “Egyptian falafel” — the tiny ball has a crunchy exterior with a soft veggie-filled inside. Unlike other types of falafels, the snack is made with fava beans instead of chickpeas.

Yesterday (Feb. 13), Voice of America Asia featured Fava Pot on its YouTube channel as part of its Food Bites mini-series.

As an Egyptian immigrant, Daniel acts as a cultural ambassador for the community, helping people to experience new cuisines and understand more about Egyptian culture.

“I believe America has misconceptions of Egyptians,” she said, noting that Egypt has a distinctive cultural identity from the rest of the Middle East. The walls of the Falls Church location are covered with the stories of famous Egyptians, including athletes, academics and musicians.

To give back, some proceeds from the restaurant will go toward Coptic Orphans, an organization that assists underprovided kids in Egypt.

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Compass Coffee has opened in Ballston.

The cafe at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Randolph Street opened over the weekend, an employee told us, after more than a year of anticipation. It’s located at 4100 Wilson Blvd, on the ground floor of the Origin apartment building that was built as part of the recent renovations to what is now Ballston Quarter mall.

To celebrate the opening, Compass will be offering a “free coffee day” tomorrow, from 6 a.m.-7 p.m., according to a mall spokesman. Customers will be able to receive a drink of their choice during that time.

The new cafe will offer the same drink selection as other Compass Coffee locations — including the Rosslyn location at 1201 Wilson Blvd that opened in 2018 — but its food menu will vary slightly, ARLnow previously reported. Beyond standard coffee shop staples, drink offerings include nitro cold brew coffee (also available in a growler), apple cider, matcha latte, maple latte, and nutella mocha.

Ashley Hopko contributed to this report

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Mezeh will open at Fashion Centre at Pentagon City later this year, ARLnow has learned.

The fast-casual Mediterranean grill, which just opened a new location at Ballston Quarter mall, is planning to open at the Pentagon City mall in late summer or early fall, according to Renaud Consulting leasing agent John Marigliano.

The restaurant is set to open on the same level as the food court, Marigliano said. It is not yet clear as to which space it will occupy.

The company’s first stand-alone restaurant opened in Crystal City, at 2450 Crystal Drive, in 2015.

Photo courtesy Mezeh

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It looks like shuttered Italian restaurant Alto Fumo (2909 Wilson Blvd) is being replaced by another Italian restaurant.

The restaurant closed earlier this month and, while at least one manager said the location was planning to reopen, the closure was permanent. Signs outside the building indicate that the new restaurant will offer options similar to Alto Fumo, however, and will open sometime this spring.

Alto Fumo itself was born in a similar situation when it replaced Italian restaurant Faccia Luna in 2017.

The restaurant windows are full of Italian iconography, the promise of “a modern Italian experience,” and a slogan “Italy is Coming.” The website listed on the banner does not currently exist.

The owner of a nearby store said the new restaurant was going to be an “upgraded” Italian restaurant with new ownership.

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Fast-casual Mediterranean grill Mezeh is scheduled to open tomorrow on the Glebe Road side of Ballston Quarter mall (4238 Wilson Blvd).

The grand opening is scheduled to run from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., with the restaurant then reopening from 5:30-8 p.m. According to a press release and signs around the restaurant, visitors can get a free bowl with purchase of a drink, though steak or lamb bowls are $1.50 extra.

A growing chain, Mezeh started in Northern Virginia and has locations throughout Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. The company’s first stand-alone restaurant opened in Crystal City (2450 Crystal Drive) in 2015.

In Ballston, Mezeh will face some stiff competition in the “fast-casual Mediterranean grill” market. Cava at 4121 Wilson Blvd attracts a consistently large lunch crowd and Arlington-based Lebanese Taverna’s quick-service concept LEBTAV opened at the corner of Wilson Blvd and N. Quincy Street last month.

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